Doug Wead on Neil Cavuto, February 2, 2015.
Doug Wead on Neil Cavuto, February 2, 2015.
An insiders transcript leaked from the Jeb Bush – Mitt Romney summit. (A parody)
Thursday, January 22, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Romney: Jan, would you get the Governor some coffee?
Bush: Oh no thanks, bottled water is fine.
Romney: Well Governor that will do you some good in Nevada. (Chuckles)
Bush: Governor, the last time we talked you told me if you ever said you were running for president again to shoot you. (Laughter)
Romney: And you’re here to do the job?
Romney: And the last time we talked you said a Bush could never be elected president again. And I think I agree with you. (Laughter.)
It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do.
Bush: Have you seen this? (Passes over some polling data.)
Romney: Oh yeah, Rand Paul.
Bush: It’s a very real possibility.
Romney: Yes it is.
Bush: There is only one way to stop Rand Paul and that is a ton of money. And if we are divided we split the advantage we have. Let’s face it; we carry on our backs the established order of doing business in this country. If I can raise money like my brother did I can win Iowa, will win New Hampshire with Boston TV buys. Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham is getting into the race for one purpose, to stop Rand Paul in South Carolina. If I am ahead by then he will pull out and I can finish him in Florida.
Romney: Well I did win in Iowa and New Hampshire. You have to win the general my friend. (Romney did not actually win the GOP caucuses in Iowa.) And you left out one thing… Nevada. No matter how small you think Nevada may be it comes before South Carolina and it would be a powerful sequential win for Rand Paul. Three in a row. The race might not even get to your Lindsey Graham. And I am the only one who can effectively stop Rand Paul in Nevada because the LDS like Rand Paul. If I am not in the race, he will sweep their vote.
Bush: Yeah, I’ve seen the polling. What do Mormons like about Paul?
Romney: They see the Constitution as “hanging by a thread” and the Paul’s are all Constitution.
Bush: If we fight each other it will be brutal. We both will have a lot of money.
Romney: Well, I’ve already talked to my supporters and they are not going to go away.
Bush: Both of us will be destroyed.
Romney: If we turn our PACS lose there will never be another Bush in the White House. You need to think about that. Your son has a future.
Bush: Governor, let me ask you, why now? You’ve already run twice, three times really.
Romney: Because I will never be closer. The polls show I would win the same race with Obama if we did it again. You are younger you have time.
Bush: I am the only candidate who is right now carrying any of the battleground states against Hillary.
Romney: Really? Texas and Florida? But you can never win any of the others. Why are you in such a rush?
Bush: This is the only chance I’ve got. I would be running against Hillary Clinton. It neutralizes the political dynasty issue. The media can’t attack a Bush as an insider without attacking a Clinton for the same thing.
Romney: Governor, in all fairness, you have had a father and a brother who have already served as president. And you have a son who has a great future, I understand George P. is going to be Texas Land Commissioner, congratulations, but it is just a bit disingenuous for you to come here talking about your “only chance” when two out of the last four presidents have been Bushes. I would think that you would be deferring to your son, he has a chance, when the legacy of your brother has had a little more distance. You understand, that even if I drop out of the race, the super PACs of your opponents are going to link – for all time – the Bush family name to the disaster in the Middle East and disaster in the economy?
Bush: Which is another reason to run now, to show another Bush, a more acceptable Bush, to give young Georgie a chance.
Romney: Not to mention what Hillary Clinton would do in a general election if you win the nomination.
Bush: You have seen the list of major donors who are coming on board?
Romney: I’ve also seen the list of donors who haven’t. And remember, my biggest donor is sitting across the table from you right now.
Bush: Look. We are on the same side. The American economy is depending on us to get this settled. I don’t have to tell you that at least one of the major television executives is having second thoughts about the FED. We have to solve this soon. We need some sort of accommodation. There must be something that I can do that is legal and proper, something to help the Church, something for you and your family.
Romney: We are agreed that it is in both of our interests to solve this. And you can be sure that Anne will argue in your behalf when you are gone. (Laughs).
Jan: Gentlemen, the lunch is ready.
(Romney and Bush stand. This ended a private time together. They now join a luncheon with staff.)
Romney: (Greeting the group.) Okay, what’s to eat? The governor from Florida is hungry! (Laughter.)
Will former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, run for president again? And if he does could he win? Has it happened before?
Mitt Romney has allowed his friends to test the waters for another presidential run and with good reason.
1.) Obama is fading fast. He might as well have a sign on his desk, “The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here.”
2.) Romney knows what to do. He has already run for president twice.
3.) He co-opted the GOP caucus-primary system last time, making it Romney friendly.
4.) Just in case, he also strong-armed the last Republican National Convention and re-wrote the rules in his favor so he can actually lose in some key primaries and still overwhelm the vote and control the floor at the RNC. All he will need is a simple majority.
Has it happened before? Can a candidate run for president and lose and come back to win later?
Answer? Most presidents do. Barack Obama being the anomaly. In recent years, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, all ran for president and lost before finally winning.
But has a presidential candidate actually won the nomination, ran for president, lost, and then comeback?
Yep. Three come to mind. William Henry Harrison ran as a Whig nominee in 1836. He lost but came back to win in 1840 and went on to the White House.
Grover Cleveland was elected president in 1884, lost his re-election bid but came back to win again in 1892.
And finally, Richard Nixon won the GOP nomination in 1960, losing to John F. Kennedy in the general election. He came back in 1968 to try again and this time won the presidency.
But all three of these examples are very complicated. Nixon, for example, after losing the presidency, ran for governor of California where he was defeated again. That defeat seemed to end his public career. In 1964 the GOP experienced its conservative takeover and Barry Goldwater won the nomination. Many GOP leaders sat at home. Nixon jumped into the 1964 election and helped Republican candidates, seeking nothing for himself. With his own career apparently over, he was seen as a non threatening, beloved figure and a great fundraiser. By 1968, the GOP wanted a winner and it united behind Nixon.
Romney is reminiscent of Thomas Dewey. He looks like a president, the few Republicans who are part of the media elite think he ought to be president but he won’t even cross the street to shake hands with the people who can make it happen. Romney recently described how he would run again. If the other candidates all came to him and said, “We just can’t do it we need you.” Fat chance.
In 2012 Romney, a Mormon, was urged to meet with Evangelical Christian leaders. Didn’t happen. No time. Gallup Polls show that 41% of the American public claim to be born again Christians. and they are the base of the Republican Party. Romney took comfort from his Boston-Washington cronies and ignored them. He publicly laughed at the emerging Libertarian wing of the GOP and shut down their efforts to participate in state conventions. Nor did Catholics fair any better. He had plain clothes security guards surround Hispanics on the floor of the RNC and rush them out of the building because they held up signs of other candidates.
Polls don’t mean a lot this early. Some of it is only name recognition. Romney was the last GOP nominee. Voters were forced to choose between he and Obama in the last election. Of much more significance is the recent Zogby poll which had Rand Paul running away with the GOP nomination, rather startling for an outsider, this early. And polls showing Rand Paul as the only GOP candidate beating Hillary Clinton in battleground states. But polls, even this early, can translate into money. Which brings up the point that Romney, unlike most of the other candidates, has money.
So if Mitt Romney runs again what are his chances? If he runs the same kind of exclusive, white, Mormon, campaign, don’t be surprised if he gets the same kind of result. Winning campaigns like Obama, Clinton, Reagan, give the masses a sense of ownership. People feel a part of what has happened. They feel needed and included, not shutout or ridiculed. Reagan appealed to White Mormon men in the Mountain states, Southern born again Christians in North Carolina, Catholic, Democrat, union factory workers in Detroit, Michigan and highly educated Jews in Shaker Heights, Ohio. But he worked those constituencies humbly and earnestly. I remember sitting with Reagan in a waiting room, anticipating a meeting with a pompous evangelical leader. I have done the same with George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Can he win? History shows that it can happen. But it also shows that it will be difficult.
March 9, 2014
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. He is the only Republican who beats her head to head in battleground states.
(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.”