It has nothing to do with his national profile or his performance as Chief of Staff. He represented a suburban district and he simply doesn't have the cachet in the city to be a contender. I doubt he will run, but if he does he won't be close to winning.
The business lobby didn't want Warren to get a recess appointment because they didn't want her to hold the powers of the office, not because they feared a hypothetical "electoral fight." I'll say it again, where is our Donald Berwick electoral fight?
I don't understand how a recess appointment would have baited the GOP into a fight. They would have whined about it a little and then let it go because it's not like they can do anything about it. Look at the Donald Berwick recess appointment for a comparable example.
Something else to think about. Do you think the business lobby would rather have Warren in her current position, or would they rather see her bottled up in a confirmation fight? I think I know the answer.
This doesn't make any sense. There's not even such a concept as an "interim head" in the bill. There's a provision that says the Secretary of the Treasury can exercise interim authority until a permanent head is appointed. I have no idea how you would rewrite that provision to send the message that Obama sincerely loves progressives, and I honestly don't think it matters at all. Yeah, if Obama really wanted to give Warren responsibility, he'd make it a Cabinet-level post and she'd get to wear the little crown from Burger King twice a week. Whatever.
I don't think liberals are very good at perceiving shades of difference on the right. All a Republican has to do is sign onto one obnoxious Republican initiative and it's like "that guy is no moderate, he's a wingnut through and through!"
It's hard to say much about O'Donnell, because she has no actual track record other than on the social issues, but Castle is a moderate Republican by almost any definition. He's a gettable vote in a way that Steve King is not.
I like how Saujani is the "insurgent" candidate against Carolyn Maloney.
Saujani is a Wall Street veteran. She has worked at three hedge funds. She speaks the arcane language of derivatives and basis points and mortgage-backed securities. Saujani has positioned herself as the anti-Maloney, the only candidate who understands how stressful and difficult the past few years have been for some of the wealthiest people in America.
Former Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack has given her money. So has Apollo Management founder Leon Black and the wife of J.P. Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon. Hedge fund mogul Marc Lasry hosted a fundraiser for her featuring singer John Legend that brought in $100,000.
Saujani has also attracted help from prominent New Yorkers. Maureen White, a major Democratic donor and wife of financier Steven Rattner, is introducing her to potential donors. Diana Taylor, a Republican former investment banker and the longtime companion of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), is advising her campaign.
Krugman is literally the only liberal of any prominence who understands the importance of building an economic narrative and is out there fighting to create one. He is all alone. Meanwhile you have scads of conservative writers at the national and local levels pushing their version of the narrative, and GOP politicians repeating their focus-grouped talking points about why Republican policies will fix everything. They've literally created an alternate universe for themselves, one where FDR made the Depression worse, one where government has never created a single job in recorded history. And we sit around and mock them for it but we're basically not even fielding a team to fight back.
This White House has pursued some okay policies (yes, yes, the stimulus was too small, but at least we had a stimulus) but they seem to do little or nothing to explain or defend their policies. Instead of explaining in easy-to-understand terms why this is the best policy in the short and long terms, they constantly seem apologetic about the fact that we're spending all this money and they're more interested in emphasizing that we'll turn to deficit reduction any day now than in explaining why we're doing what we're doing.
But it's about a lot more than just the President as Explainer-in-Chief. It's about the complete failure of the liberal message machine to get the word out and make arguments that persuade swing voters. Other than Krugman, our prominent liberal voices are people like Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich who, at best, waste their column space serving up red meat. Rachel Maddow, who I'm confident understands every detail of the economic arguments, seems more interested in scoring cheap points against Republican hypocrisy (look! that guy voted against the stimulus and now he's at a ribbon-cutting!) than in making the affirmative case for liberal policies. The argument for Keynesian stimulus isn't that complicated, I'm sure there's a way to encapsulate it in 10 words or less, and yet we're surrendering the debate to idiotic arguments like "the government should tighten its belt in a crisis just like a family would." At most we're responding by doing what Charles does in this post - "look, this wonky report proves we'd be even worse off with no stimulus."
I think the liberal worldview has a defect in that we tend to think everything we believe is so blindingly obvious, we shouldn't even have to explain it. Conservatives make bad arguments and we think it's good enough just to mock them, without realizing that people are being taken in and we need to make the opposing case. John Boehner is going around the country saying the current state of the economy proves that stimulus is bad policy, and we're all just like hey, fellow liberals, come gawk at this guy's economic illiteracy. But meanwhile no one is actually explaining why stimulus is important and why it works. We built a lot of liberal infrastructure in that 1994-2006 period, but the message machine is still in its infancy from where I sit.
I will also take sricki's writing any day of the week. Reading this guy is no different from reading Jerome, with the exception that Jerome is more respectful and substantive when it comes to engaging with commentors. Charles, on the other hand, is a fascinating guy who deserves a better platform.
I'll say it again, it doesn't matter what an opinion poll says, the mandate is a voting issue for barely anyone. The vast majority of Americans already have insurance and no matter how much they say they hate the concept of a mandate, it doesn't require them to do anything and they're going to find something that actually affects them to base their vote on. Of the people who don't have insurance, only a very small portion actually care deeply about their inalienable right to go through life without insurance. Much of the anti-mandate sentiment is based upon the fear that people will go to jail if they don't have health insurance or that they'll be forced to mortgage their house or whatever, and when the sky doesn't actually fall a lot of this sentiment will go away.
Having said that, of course a public option is infinitely preferable, but it's hardly some cure-all.
Having all 50 states vote on the same day would reward two things: limitless wealth and name recognition. Barack Obama certainly never would have dipped his toe in the water in such a scenario. There would be no retail politics at any stage of the process, and candidates would undoubtedly spend all of their time in the same major cities where they already do the bulk of their fundraising.
It's hard to understand the arguments for a national primary. If you don't like the Iowa/New Hampshire duopoly, then fine, try something less radical than a national primary, like rotating the prerogative of going first. My favorite pie-in-the-sky notion is that whichever state has the highest participation rate in a presidential election should get to go first for the next cycle.
No matter how many of these posts I read, I just don't see much evidence in the real world that Americans see Afghanistan as anywhere near the wrenching issue that Vietnam was. It's not anyone's favorite war, but the idea that it could be the source of a major primary challenge to Obama strikes me as craziness of the first order.
Jerome has been pushing this line for a long, long time, but I see no sign that it's anything other than wishful thinking.