Tag Archives: Hilary Clinton

Karl Rove Points the Way to the White House for Democrats

election2016New Orleans               You don’t expect Karl Rove to be the voice of reason for Republicans, given his role as the master political operative between the two Bush presidencies, but these days you have embrace whatever help you can find.  In this case,  Rove was writing a “sober up” memo to the Republican faithful and trying to pop a balloon floating around their ranks that they could win the White House by doing a better job at turning out more conservatives who they were claiming they were “stay-at-home” voters last time.  Rove marshals extensive evidence in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, that the dealers of this story are essentially smoking their own dope.

The point of Rove’s message is obviously an attempt to reign in the radicals including a handful of whom are running for President in the Republican primary, the likes of Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Bobby Jindal, Senator Rand Paul, and a gaggle of others.  He is clearly stepping up as a voice of the right-center “moderate” wing of the party, and given his closeness to the Bushes, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him fronting for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s campaign.

But saying all of that, there are two sides to this coin, and the other side points the directions for the Democrats as clearly as it scolds the Republicans.  Rove’s comments go right to the heart of voter turnout and why the field program is still going to be the secret sauce for a winner in 2016.  The voter turnout dropped from 131.5 million when Obama won in 2008 to 129.2 million when he won his second term.  Rove is crystal clear that while turnout may have sagged, the percentage of self-declared conservative voters in 2012 had never been higher, reaching 39%, which is pretty scary in itself.

Rove says that,

“Republicans concerned about voters who failed to show up should look elsewhere.  There were approximately 4.9 million fewer self-identified moderates, 1.7 million fewer white Catholics, and 1.2 million fewer women who voted in 2012 than in 2008.”

Among the Catholics who didn’t vote, Rove claims they appear to be middle-class and blue collar voters, who were turned off to Obama, but couldn’t stomach Romney, largely because of his elitism.   That’s an emerging, troubling issue for the Hillary-Democrats as well.

So, what are the tips for the Democrats?  In general, they are going to have to double down to pull the same number of African-Americans as Obama did in both elections.  Hillary Clinton may think she can do that, but it won’t be easy, and it won’t be Bill, it has to be Obama himself working that base, which would temper any criticism from any candidate. Young voters are not mentioned by Rove, because the Republicans know there’s not much chance there, though Rand Paul is betting he can take a slice, and Democrats will have the same problem, except with younger women if Hillary is the candidate.  There’s also little doubt that with Hillary as the candidate there will be a significant, and perhaps historic, increase in women voting, if the campaign keeps it together.  Hillary and any of the announced candidates are not going to be able to hold onto the Hispanic loyalty against Jeb Bush or Senator Marc Rubio, but once again Obama might be the difference here given all of his recent initiatives.

Here’s my takeaway.  We’re going to hear a lot from Hillary and the rest of them that we have to appeal to the moderates to win.  Maybe so, but if you study Rove’s remarks, it also looks like to win we need President Obama to see 2016 as his third presidential election with his legacy on the line in order to hold onto the key blocks that have to perform in order to win.

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A Fighting Chance with Elizabeth Warren

41pz7d5jA+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_New Orleans   Political autobiographies, like dental visits, are absolutely something to be avoided, and when written by still active politicians, such works have to define egotistical self-serving.

In the case of A Fighting Chance a new book by Elizabeth Warren, now United States Senator from Massachusetts, but still to her core a debate champion from small town Oklahoma, it’s too bad that’s the rule, because there’s virtually no way to read her book without wanting to vote for her and to literally dream of her running for President.

How would anyone not sign up to support a woman so attached to the real world where we all live that she called her father, Daddy, to the day he died; that she can’t believe that in her lifetime she got to be a Senator and, as significantly, got to be blonde; and that she didn’t hesitate to tell Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to “buckle his seatbelt” even while being sped in a heavily armored car from lunch in DC?   Reading her book, the only regret in reading her personal story is that her Aunt Bee isn’t still alive, because that woman was a saint who would have been a fantastic Secretary of HHS if we were ever fortunate enough to have Warren leading the way.

Even discounting that her story is designed to appeal, it is refreshing to read about a fighter, not a calculator.  Warren is someone who has some issues deeply embedded in her craw and isn’t afraid of anyone, no matter how high and mighty, in saying so and speaking up about it.

I’m biased of course.  I have relatives with deep Oklahoma roots, and I worked one summer in the oil fields in the Duncan-Velma area a bit more than an hour south of Oklahoma City.  I respect the values, even if I sometimes disagree with the conservative politics.  With Warren, we get the values and we get an empathy with the real issues of hard times for lower and middle income families that comes from having lived it herself whether seeing her dad’s car repossessed when he had health issues or deciding to specialize in bankruptcy law because she knew financial trouble hit good people on the wrong side of the citizen wealth line, not scammers trying to game the system.   I’ve read several of her earlier books, written with her daughter, which argued dramatically many of the same themes and campaigns ACORN waged and that I wrote about in Citizen Wealth.

If anyone had any doubt that she was a fighter, her book certainly dispels it.  She may be part of an exclusive club in the Senate now, but she’s always going to be an outsider, willing to continue to speak truth to power and let the chips fall where they may.  She’s clear the game is rigged.  Amen.  She’s clear that banks are too often cheats and bums, and that’s gospel, too.  So, certainly she’s ambitious or she might still be somewhere in Oklahoma or Texas, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone in the White House who was willing to fight for us?  Win, lose, or draw?

After reading the book, I dreamed that she asked my son to do her some favors and collect some debts for her here and there.  Ridiculous, huh?  Dreams are crazy aren’t they?  And, given the way Democrats seem to be rolling over for Hilary Clinton to run this time around, it’s probably a dream to wish Warren would stand for the nomination, win, lose, or draw, in order to change the game from simply politics to really people, but, crazy or not, that would give all of us a “fighting chance” for the future.

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