Private Equity Ain’t No Reform Movement
May 22, 2012
New York Times columnist David Brooks, defending Mitt Romney against a new Romney-bashing ad from President Obama’s re-election campaign, describes private equity as a “reform movement”: "Forty years ago, corporate America was bloated, sluggish and losing ground to competitors in Japan and beyond. But then something astonishing happened. Financiers, private equity firms and bare-knuckled corporate executives initiated a series of reforms and transformations. The process was brutal and involved streamlining and layoffs.
Ties That Bind
May 18, 2012
On April 19, Republican Senator Marco Rubio appeared at a policy breakfast in Washington. The ostensible topic was his proposal for a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, but it wasn’t long before the conversation drifted to vice presidential talk. Since the start of the Republican primary, Rubio has been named at the top of nearly every short list of likely running mates—and for good reason. He is young, charismatic, and popular with both the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. He has a reputation for being serious about policy.
Who Ever Said Dick Lugar Was a Moderate?
May 10, 2012
In 2010, John Danforth, a former Republican Senator from Missouri, was asked about the possibility of a GOP primary challenge to Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. Danforth pointed out that Lugar was a six-term Senator, one of the Senate’s most respected members, and its leading authority on foreign policy. He warned that “If Dick Lugar … is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.” Many commentators will draw precisely that message from Lugar’s defeat Tuesday night by his Tea Party-aligned challenger Richard Mourdock.
The Bad Advice Stage Of The GOP Primary
March 19, 2012
The Republican primary has now reached that dread phase where we are required to feign interest in Mitt Romney's victory in Puerto Rico -- amongst voters who will not vote this November unless they catch a plane to Orlando -- and to wonder whether Rick Santorum can repeat his Missouri victory in the delegate-awarding reenactment of that state's nominating contest.
Romney, Texas, and the 'War on Women'
March 14, 2012
Republicans and their allies reject the suggestion that they are waging a war on women. Fine. How about we call it a war on women's health? During a local television interview in Missouri on Tuesday, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.” As Steve Benen notes, Romney was reiterating a previous promise to “Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.” Romney isn't alone: His presidential rivals have pledged to the same thing.
Does Romney Have a 'Southern Problem'?
March 07, 2012
After just barely pulling out a win in Ohio, Mitt Romney has “won Super Tuesday” by most media accounts. But even with his successes (wins in Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Idaho, and a decent shot in Alaska), you’ll likely hear some people echo a recent claim by Newt Gingrich: that Romney can’t be confident of the nomination if he can’t win anywhere in the South. This concern didn’t suddenly present itself: Mitt’s first real stumble in the race, of course, was in South Carolina, where he got righteously stomped by Newt.
What Backlash? Obama Birth Control Policy Looks Popular
February 15, 2012
Source: CBS/New York Times The big Catholic backlash against President Obama looks like a big nothing, at least for the moment. A new poll from Gallup shows that, among Catholic voters responding to survey, the president’s approval rating is 46 percent – down 3 percentage points from where it was last week, but not a statistically significant change given the size of the poll. It’s possible Obama’s numbers among Catholics will deteriorate more next week.
Last Night Was Santorum's Iowa Do-Over, And He Nailed It
February 08, 2012
Watching the results trickle in last night—when Rick Santorum carried two of three contests and was closing in on the third—I couldn’t help feeling like we were back in Iowa. Back then, Santorum was surging, Newt Gingrich was fading, and Mitt Romney was laboring to improve on his 2008 vote totals.
Enough With the Predictions About Brokered Conventions!
February 08, 2012
Another week, another set of primaries—and soon enough, undoubtedly, another cascade of speculations about the prospect of a brokered convention. Predictions of an unpredictable fight-to-the-finish have become an unfortunate refrain—not to say, cliché—of our presidential election campaigns. Enough!
Why Does the Media Keep Underestimating Newt?
January 20, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C.—Thursday night’s four-top GOP debate made it official: The South Carolina primary has become a referendum on Newt Gingrich. Just 10 days after he was left in a dustbin labeled “Yesterday’s Man” after dismal finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich has confounded the experts yet again. The oft-derided and consistently under-estimated House speaker has now bested Jesus in his sheer number of resurrections—an association that can only help as the South Carolina primary vote looms.