Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
(Clip from 2012, when Rand Paul was stopped by the TSA.)
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
(Clip from 2012, when Rand Paul was stopped by the TSA.)
Short answer? Nobody knows at this stage. Not even former Governor Mike Huckabee. Well, maybe he knows at some unconscious level.
Yes, he is going through the motions. He is visiting with supporters in Iowa, where he leads the field in the latest poll. And he has made trips to South Carolina. He will be back to both places for events again this Spring. He has mended fences with Paul Pressler and the conservative crowd of leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. Their support of Fred Tompson in South Carolina, arguably, cost Huckabee the GOP nomination in 2008. Yes, he has been connecting with evangelical leaders for the last six years, leaders he ignored last time around. But that is all work he has to do to keep the option open. It doesn’t mean he will run.
Republicans are famous for sending “the next man in,” that is, selecting the candidate who has earned his turn. Nixon,
Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole, McCain all benefited from that imagination deprived process. And many would say that Huckabee is the next man on the list. But the world “it is a changin.” Not many see Hukabee beating Hillary Clinton and the national media in a 2016 fall election showdown.
In the race for the GOP nomination, Huckabee will have FOX NEWS as a friend. They may not fall all over him like they did Giuliani and Christie but at least they won’t actively try to destroy him. Some at FOX will probably now tilt to Paul Ryan but Huckabee will get his moments in the sun.
Huckabee’s problem has always been money. Organically, the former governor of Arkansas will be able to raise more money on the stump this time, because he is a television celebrity. He won’t need Chuck Norris to tag along. People will pluck down $1,000 for a picture with just him alone, the FOX NEWS star.
But there will still be a gap. Evangelicals give to World Vision, Convoy of Hope, their local church and not much is left over for political candidates. Specifically he needs a big donor, someone who will chuck in a few million to a Huckabee super pak. Without it he is dead in the water. Rand Paul will have it. So will Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan. To look at it another way, Governor Huckabee is only ONE person away from making a strong run at the GOP nomination. He just needs one. But that one must be a multi-millionaire.
It may be a temptation for someone to take. History is full of things that turned out differently. Hillary Clinton is not guaranteed the White House. Just ask President Dewey, or President Muskie, or President Hart. Anything can happen. And Huckabee would be there to pick up the pieces and his billionaire would be at the pinnacle with him, like Raymond Tusk.
He needs for Sarah Palin to stay out of the race. She might get to thinking that a run would be a good career move. Like Rick Perry, she may want to get into the debates to win back some intellectual respect. Her involvement would suck a lot of air out of a Huckabee presidential campaign.
Then there is Karl Rove. He and his powerful pak will be watching. Ready to take out Huckabee if he gets too close.
Perhaps the best evidence of Huckabee’s chances are two numbers. The presidential preference polls, which have him as the GOP leader. And the bathroom scales.
If the numbers continue to climb in the GOP polls he will have to run. It is a case of “good stewardship.” A Southerner, raised with the Protestant work ethic cannot let such a moment pass without taking action.
But if the numbers continue to climb on the bathroom scale his subconscious may be saying, “Don’t do this to me Mike. You are rich and famous already and you won’t win.”
This latter process can be easy for all of us to track. Just keep Googling for the latest pictures. If the Governor starts getting trim in spite of all that good food and the difficulty in exercising when you are living on the road, well, his subconscious might be saying, “Get with it Mike. We’re going to do this things with or without you.”
Mike Huckabee can run but he can’t hide.
“I am no bully,” said Governor Chris Christie at his January 9, 2014 press conference. And then he proceeded to pummel to death his best friends and closest political advisers. Now some of those advisers are coming back to haunt him.
Christie insisted that he knew nothing about the hardball, political pay back machinations of his own office which led to the shut down of traffic at Fort Lee. It was allegedly payback to a mayor who had not supported Christie for re-election. It tied up traffic coming out of New York City for a day.
The governor claimed that his staff was to blame. They had lied to him, he said, and what they had done reeked of “abject stupidity.”
Christie said he had immediately fired his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and was ordering his two time campaign manager, Bill Stepien, to withdraw his nomination to lead the New Jersey Republican Party.
Christie went out of his way to distance himself from another aide who had long been considered a high school friend, David Wildstein. “David and I were not friends in high school,” Christie lectured the press. “We were not even acquaintances in high school. We didn’t travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don’t know what David was doing during that period of time.”
Richard Nixon had lost his presidency by trying to defend the Watergate burglars. “We have to help them,” he said, even though he had not ordered the break-in at the Democrat National Headquarters. It was the effort to get money to the burglars families that eventually implicated the White House in the scandal. And when the cover-up extended to the highest levels and Nixon was forced to fire his top aides, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, he told that nation, “I feel like I have lost my left and right arms.”
Said Nixon, “They were two of the finest public servants it has been my privilege to know.”
Later, when Sir David Frost interviewed Richard Nixon he asked why the president hadn’t blamed his staff for their mistakes and fired them and kept out of the scandal from the beginning.
Nixon quoted the British Prime Minister William Gladstone who said that the first requirement for a prime minister was to be a good butcher. Nixon answered ruefully, “I was a poor butcher.”
Not Chris Christie. Promoted by pundits on the Fox News Channel as their new Catholic candidate (ala Rudolph Giuliani in 2008) Christie had no problem immediately excising his arms, legs, hands, or anything else that might come in the way of more power. And he did so decisively.
Haldeman and Ehrlichman may or may not have been two of the finest public servants in American history but Christie’s appointees were “stupid” and “liars” who needed to be put down immediately. This was one Watergate lesson Chris Christie had taken to heart.
No one stopped to ask why Christie had surrounded himself with “stupid liars” as his closest aides. The Fox pundits, unperturbed, insisted that the incident was only a temporary setback for their man.
Anyone with experience working for a president or a governor knows that they are not ignorant of what goes on around them although they carefully nurture this idea to avoid blame for the things they can’t fix. Former Governor Sarah Palin pointed this out.
Information is currency, it has value. It is like finding a shoe box with hundred dollar bills that are disappearing before your eyes, you spend them as quickly as you can, while they still have value. If you have information, any information, you get it to the president or governor immediately.
Picture the young staffer bringing in some requested paperwork.
“So what were they talking about at lunch, kid?” The governor asks. “Why couldn’t they have the meeting here and what was so hush, hush?”
“You don’t want to know, governor, its some political payback thing and you need deniability.”
The governor smiles. “Okay, what is it kid?”
And the young staffer coughs it up immediately.
“Huh,” the governor grunts, acting dumb, apparently engrossed in a memo. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And the kid, if he should ever surface, would have to tell the grand jury that he can’t really say if the governor understood or not.
Usually, such a scenario is much too subtle. Consider Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who talked openly about selling a vacant U.S. Senate seat. But then, four of the last seven governors of Illinois have been convicted and imprisoned.
Now it turns out that David Wildstein, the Chrsitie appointee who ran the lane closing scandal is talking. In a letter through his attorney he said that “evidence exists . . . tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly.”
Now we will see how Gladstone’s axiom really works. Can a man cut off his arms and legs and still survive? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And how are all of those arms and legs supposed to feel about what has happened? Now, it’s time for Governor Chris Christie to pay the butchers bill.
“Well a mother, a real mother, is the most wonderful person in the world. She’s the angel voice that bids you goodnight.”
– Wendy to the lost boys of Neverland.
Most presidents are mama’s boys.
Many of them are actually named after their mothers.
We all know that John Fitzgerald Kennedy is named after his mother, Rose Fitzgerald. But Ronald Wilson Reagan is also named after his mother, Nelle Wilson.
Lyndon Baines Johnson is named after his mother, Rebecca Baines. Richard Milhous Nixon is named after his mother Hannah Milhous. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is named after his mother Sarah Delano. In fact, FDR’s mother used to tell him, “You are a Delano, not a Roosevelt.”
When FDR had his famous fireside chats with the nation on national radio, his mother was right there beside him. And on every Mother’s Day, she, herself, addressed the nation.
This phenomenon goes all the way back into our history. Woodrow Wilson was named after his mothers, Janet Woodrow and Rutherford Birchard Hayes was named after his mother, Sophia Birchard.
Now it isn’t a perfect trend or else John Forbes Kerry would have won the 2004 presidential election. He is named after his mother, Rosemary Forbes. And then Marvin Pierce Bush, would have been the Bush brother to win the White House over George or Jeb. He is named after his mother, Barbara Pierce. But when I wrote the book, The Raising of a President, it appeared as such a stark statistical anomaly that I had to find an explanation. I sent the data to several psychologists around the world.
Here was the identical response. When that mother took that baby to her breast she felt a special connection to the child that bore her name.
Huh? That’s it? She felt something?
It reminded me of the German scientist who had studied plants in the 1880’s and insisted that if we talk nice to plants they will respond. I’ve often thought. If talking nice to a shefflera Tree will help it grow an extra inch each year, just imagine the damage or the good we do to each other by what we say, especially to our children?
Sigmund Freud wrote that “the man who perceives himself to be the favorite of his mother is empowered for life.”
Abraham Lincoln supposedly told William Herndon, “All I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”
Even as an adult President William McKinley insisted that his mother say a prayer with him before going to bed. At great expense, he had a wire laid from Ohio to Washington, D.C. so the practice could continue even when he was in the White House.
Never underestimate the power of a mother. Apparently, how she feels, or how you think she feels, can impact the rest of your life.
No wonder William Wallace wrote, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
He won the CPAC straw poll, he is second in the latest national poll, he leads in New Hampshire, the first in the nation primary and now he is the favorite among likely voters in the first in the nation Iowa Caucus.
Senator Rand Paul must be doing something right.
There are still a few of the snubs his father used to get. Policymic ignored him as a GOP contender, insisting with a straight face that he does not break into the top five contenders. (Condoleezza Rice who polls 3% in Iowa apparently meets the stringent Policymic threshold.) But no matter how the power brokers want things to be, Rand Paul, is proving to be popular with the masses, representing the first real political movement since Ronald Reagan.
While the views of the son, Rand Paul and the father, Ron Paul are sometimes different, both represent a strong sentiment against corruption. The poll in Iowa may show Rand’s campaign picking up right where his father’s campaign ended.
By the way, don’t let anybody tell you that Dr. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign of 2012 was for naught. Dr. Paul showed great appeal to Independents, Youth and Hispanics. It was the very crowd that eventually went to Obama and sealed the fate of the doomed GOP ticket. And it is the group that the GOP now needs for any resurgence.
Astonishingly, in 2012, the smug power brokers in the Republican Party ridiculed and broke their own rules to marginalize and hurt Dr. Paul and his followers. While publicly proclaiming a “big tent” to Youth and Hispanics, the GOP security guards cut off microphones to Ron Paul Hispanics at State Conventions and escorted duly elected young Ron Paul delegates off the floor of the RNC in Tampa. During the campaign, Governor Mitt Romney openly laughed at him. No one’s laughing now.
A recent poll conducted by the McKeon & Associates for Freedom to Choose PAC, found Dr. Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul, with a commanding lead over all other possible GOP, presidential contenders in the first in the nation contest in Iowa.
Here are the results of voters most likely to vote in the 2016 Iowa Caucus.
Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul 39%
Florida Senator, Marco Rubio 20%
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 11%
Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush 10%
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal 3%
Condoleezza Rice 3%
Support for Rand Paul among Independents likely to vote in the GOP Caucus was striking and bodes well for a general election contest. 67% favored the Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul. 30% favored Governor Chris Christie, all other candidates failed to muster any showing at all among these voters.
In 2012, the New York Times and all of the national network media declared Mitt Romney the winner of the Iowa Caucus. Only months later did they reverse themselves to say that Senator Rick Santorum had won. This blogger was told that it took threats from the Governor’s office and from fellow GOP leaders, before the Iowa State GOP Chairman would finally release the votes from selected counties that put Santorum over the top. The Chairman, a Mitt Romney supporter, resigned shortly after.
For the rest of the year, the New York Times, the Associated Press and all the major networks continued to show that Ron Paul had only 3 delegates from the Iowa Caucus. Meanwhile, national polls showed him doing better than all other GOP contenders – except for Romney – in a head to head face off with President Obama, and tied within the margin of error with Romney. These were ignored as the national media continued to marginalize Dr. Paul.
In fact, the Paul supporters openly declared that they, not Santorum, had won the Iowa delegation. They contended that if the news had been reported truthfully and the following contests had been allowed to take place according to GOP rules, Dr. Paul would have arrived as a force at a brokered RNC.
The final Iowa vote on the floor of the Republican National Convention was 22 for Dr. Ron Paul and 6 for former Governor Mitt Romney. In a final irony, Dr. Paul’s Iowa state co-chairman was voted in to replace the disgraced Romney operative who had been running the State GOP and had withheld votes to assure that his man would get media credit for a win he didn’t earn.
Most people want fairness and despise the expanding corruption that pervades American society from its food supply, to its national media, to its monetary system to its government relationship with Wall Street and K Street and yes, to the corruption of its two major political parties. What good is an election if the only two candidates to choose from are produced by a corrupt process? How is that really democratic or free?
This recent poll in Iowa is a good sign. It shows that the mood of the people is beginning to reach the flood stage. It shows that the corruption that has bankrupted this nation and made a very few, very rich at the expense of all the rest of us, has finally been exposed for what it is.
It shows that Rand Paul commands a following much bigger and much wider than his father ever had. But it also shows that his father’s campaign was more than Quixotic. Dr. Paul did not run in vain, and all of those thousands of people who were shut out or whose votes were thrown away, or whose bones were broken or whose election was nullified, did not give up a year of their lives in vain. Dr. Paul was the pace car. And now the real race for America’s future begins.
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It has only been a little more than a month since Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate. But it is looking more and more like a defining moment in American politics. It may be a defining moment in American history.
For the past few years, we in the liberty movement have had the luxury of being able to stand on the outside and lob in grenades at America’s corrupt foreign policy. But now, with one of our own, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky as a potential president, we have to face the reality of how to govern. What would a Rand Paul presidency look like? We got the answer this morning when he delivered a speech before the Heritage Foundation.
Keep in mind, Rand Paul spent seventeen years as an Ophthalmologist. Nevertheless he preformed what can only be described as Rhinoplasty – or a nose job – at the Heritage Foundation, outlining before the stuffy G.K. Chesterton conservatives in the audience a new foreign policy for the Republican Party, one that offers a better fit for new realities. Some Rinos will like it, some, who are growing fat as lobbyists for government subsidies, won’t.
Rinos (Republicans in name only) is the acronym applied to liberal Democrats who became Republican during the Reagan years, at the height of the Cold War. They agreed with Reagan that communism was dangerous and America should not accept its inevitable ascendancy and should contest it. Although less enamored by Reagan’s supply side economics and totally rejecting of Reagan’s social agenda they became an important part of Reagan’s winning political coalition.
But when the Cold War ended the Rino wars kept going. They lobbied for a bigger budget for the CIA, a bigger budget for defense, with newer and better weapons and more interference around the world. And all of this was before 9-11. What had been a moral imperative, to stand down an aggressive, criminal communist gerontocracy, morphed into a role of America as moral guarantor for the world.
“We have the power,” the Rinos pointed out, “it is unconscionable for us not to use it against injustice.” Of course, Rinos and their corporate friends made money off of this new arrangement.
Today, with the added impetus of the war on terror, American accounts for 42% of the world’s military expenditures. We have 50,000 jets, while our nearest rival, China, has 5,000 jets. We borrow money from China to put boots on the ground in Australia to defend Australia from China. Feeling safe? And, ironically, the strategy we used to bring down communism is destroying us as well. Our arms race bankrupted the Soviet Union and now we are close to bankruptcy ourselves.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans are locked into a fiscal death embrace, Democrats spending programs to reward their political constituencies and Republican spending money to reward their pals in the military industrial complex. Both sides are eating at the pig trough of public money while the rest of us are taxed to death, handing over our hard earned money to government favorites.
The deadly solution? The insidious hidden tax? “Quantitative easing.” It has wiped out the wealth of a whole generation and made a tiny oligarchy of rich and powerful.
Most of us in the liberty movement have really offered no solutions to foreign threats. Our foreign policy has been to close down all of our military bases, end all of our wars, mind out own business, and curb the power of the presidency. This we hoped would help restore the economy and turn our enemies into friends. Eventually.
In the meantime, what would our policy be if one of us were president? Are these ideals only fodder for our blogs and books and newsletters? Would we really ignore a nuclear Iran and pretend it will go away? Would we ignore terrorist attacks on our allies and say it is none of our business? While we all abhor the loss of civil liberties, how far would we go to use government intelligence to pre-empt a terrorist strike against us? Where do we draw the line? And is there a safe path back to that liberty movement ideal, without us getting ambushed along the way?
The Senator began by defining the current foreign policy crisis. The enemy, he said, was not terrorism, which is after all a tactic, but rather radical Islam, something that many politicians have been reluctant to acknowledge. Rand pointed out that it is not the tiny percentage it is often alleged to be by politically correct, wishful thinking, American politicians. Rather it is a “robust minority.”
Part of Rand Paul’s new foreign policy was a list of liberty movement basics, although couched in language that Rinos, who now dominate the Heritage Foundation, can swallow. And more often than not they were posed as questions. He called for an end to war by executive order. He quoted Madison who warned that war is always more favored by the chief executive.
He complained about the irrelevancy of congress pointing out that the president sought permission to use force in Libya from NATO, the United Nations, from anyone but the US Congress where the power belonged.
“The debate over war is the single most important debate in this country and it should not be glossed over.”
Invoking his recent trip to Israel he pointed out that the debate about a nuclear Iran is underway in Jerusalem but not in Washington.
“Where are the calls for moderation, restraint?”
He alluded to the “unintended consequences” of war, a favorite subject of his father, Dr. Ron Paul. “Why are we so quick to supply weapons for Syrian rebels? Will they respect the rights of Christians in their new government?“
Rand Paul asked the room full of Rinos, many of them lobbyists for corporate arms manufacturers, “Should we keep sending weapons to countries that are hostile to Israel and the United States?”
But if the Senator called for fewer military bases, less soldiers overseas, a less trigger happy foreign policy with less power residing with the presidency, he also called for a more coordinated and ambitious strategy in the war against radical Islam. This will be a tough pill to swallow for some diehard Libertarians.
He compared this crisis to the challenge of the Cold War. And called for a modern version of Cold War containment, a policy that is not entirely military but not all diplomatic either. Countering radical Islam, the Senator declared, demands a worldwide strategy. When there is war, we should go into win it and we should not go in alone.
Rand Paul said, “What the United States needs is a policy that finds that middle path.” He called for a “foreign policy that recognizes the danger of bombing countries because of the fear of what they might do.” But also one that legitimately acts decisively when danger is known.
He pointed out that “A foreign policy that is everywhere all of the time is an extreme [policy] on the other hand a foreign policy that is nowhere, any of the time, is also an extreme [policy].”
How will liberty movement leaders accept this call for a foreign policy more engaged than our ideal? How will neo-conservatives and Rinos accept a future where American doesn’t bomb first and ask questions later?
Rand Paul ended his speech with these words, “I will be a voice to those who want a saner and sounder foreign policy.”
Nietzsche once said that “In individuals insanity is rare. But in nations it is the rule.” We can only hope that our nation will come out of its stupor and find the wisdom in Rand Paul’s clarion call.