How Mitt Romney Outlived His Greatest Weakness
August 12, 2011
With enough political reporters in Iowa to cover both the Lindbergh kidnapping and the O.J. Simpson trial, Thursday night’s GOP debate had to be a defining moment, a game-changer so epic that it will shimmer in memory like Ronald Reagan. Yeah, sure. Even though Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann provided the expected fireworks, while Jon Huntsman made his muted entrance from stage center, the two-hour Fox News face-off mostly served as a reminder that we have only just begun. This was not a debate that triggered mass conversions to a single candidate.
A Fix for the Debt Ceiling That No One Is Talking About
August 01, 2011
Economists believe that people respond to incentives. The fact that economists never suffer career consequences for failing to consider new ideas explains why they so rarely consider any policy that has not long been in the standard bag of tricks. I mention this background since it is relevant to the reaction given a proposal on the debt ceiling that Ron Paul originally put forward and that I subsequently endorsed. Paul suggested that the Fed could destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds that it now holds as a way of getting room under the debt ceiling.
All Over the Map
July 28, 2011
On June 21, 2007, Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute in Beaver Creek, Colorado. To coincide with the address, his campaign released a statement explaining the candidate’s vision for fighting the war on terrorism.
Can Michele Bachmann Win New Hampshire?
July 06, 2011
Of course she can: When PPP polled New Hampshire in April Michele Bachmann was stuck at 4%. She's gained 14 points over the last three months and now finds herself within single digits of Mitt Romney. Romney continues to lead the way in the state with 25% to 18% for Bachmann, 11% for Sarah Palin, 9% for Ron Paul, 7% for Rick Perry and Herman Cain, 6% for Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty, and 4% for Newt Gingrich. Now, another recent poll had Romney leading her by a healthier 35%-12% margin.
Representative Ron Paul has hit upon a remarkably creative way to deal with the impasse over the debt ceiling: have the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds it now holds. While at first blush this idea may seem crazy, on more careful thought it is actually a very reasonable way to deal with the crisis. Furthermore, it provides a way to have lasting savings to the budget. The basic story is that the Fed has bought roughly $1.6 trillion in government bonds through its various quantitative easing programs over the last two and a half years.
Telling War Stories
June 30, 2011
I. On a hot Saturday in September 1962, I crowded with my brothers and cousins into my aunt and uncle’s station wagon and drove off to war. Passing through our county in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, we headed toward Charles Town, West Virginia, then crossed over the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers at Harpers Ferry into Maryland. We had traveled through the familiar historic landscape of Stonewall Jackson’s skirmishes, Mosby’s raids, Sheridan’s ride, and John Brown’s capture and hanging to witness the centennial re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam.
The New Hampshire Debate: Who Can Catch Mitt?
June 14, 2011
Mitt Romney is known already for his flip-flops and equivocations, but he only very occasionally says something that you know he can’t believe. That moment came toward the end of last night’s Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. The moderator John King asked Romney whether, in retrospect, John McCain or Barack Obama had made the better choice of vice president. Romney didn’t answer the question.
The GOP Primary Debate Is Thoroughly Unimportant
June 13, 2011
Tonight, seven Republican candidates will take part in the first New Hampshire primary debate of the 2012 campaign. Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul will do rhetorical battle from 8 to 10 p.m. at St. Anselm College in Manchester.
Republican Candidates on YouTube: How They Fare So Far
June 13, 2011
To the list of ways the 2012 presidential campaign is not 2008, add one more: Ron Paul is not winning the YouTube primary. This season’s current front-runner is Tim Pawlenty—and the momentum belongs to Herman Cain. As of noon last Friday, Pawlenty had amassed nearly 736,000 views on the YouTube videos he’s posted since November 2010, the most of any declared Republican presidential candidate.
Heading into the second GOP presidential debate tonight in New Hampshire (and the first to actually feature a first tier roster), there’s a lot of speculation as to how each candidate will fare. How will Romney handle the inevitable attacks? Can Newt miraculously revive his campaign? And who among Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain will draw the accolades of the Tea Party faithful?