Tags: 2016

Good News for Jeb: ‘No Republican In South Carolina Today More Popular than George W. Bush’


Jeb Bush might like to hear that his brother is the most popular Republican in South Carolina, the early primary state where George W. Bush won a key victory in his bid to secure the presidential nomination in the 2000 cycle.

An aide to Senator Lindsay Graham, who defeated several challengers in his Tuesday primary, shared this detail from their internal polling. “There’s no Republican in South Carolina today more popular than George W. Bush,” Kevin Bishop told NRO. “He is incredibly popular in South Carolina.”

That’s a far cry from where Bush was at the end of his presidency. “Bush fatigue was real in South Carolina,” Bishop said. ”But now, six years later, after President Obama, every day his star looks brighter.”

That might be good news for Jeb Bush, given the worry that voters would resist the idea of another Bush in the White House. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar pointed out that Jeb Bush’s “vulnerabilities in a Republican primary would be remarkably similar to those [Eric Cantor] faced,” but George Bush supported immigration-law overhauls disliked by the base (and Lindsay Graham wrote one) so it’s not guaranteed that the issue would be toxic for him in the early-primary state.

It’s also not certain that George Bush’s approval rating would transfer to Jeb Bush in a 2016 primary. Another South Carolina Republican suggested that Jeb Bush’s difficulty wouldn’t be that he is another Bush, but that South Carolina voters think of him as the wrong Bush — less George W., more H.W.

“Around here, George Bush is a real, big-time conservative and Jeb is a moderate,” the campaign consultant, tying Jeb Bush to the Chamber of Commerce, said. “George Bush is the guy that you’d have beer and pretzels with and Jeb Bush is the guy that you’d have wine and cheese with.”

Tags: Jeb Bush , Lindsey Graham , George H.W. Bush , George W. Bush , 2016

Priebus: ‘I Don’t Actually Think’ Hillary Will Run


Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus suggested Sunday that Republicans welcome a Hillary Clinton presidential run, citing the former first lady and secretary of state’s poor record in government service and unimpressive work history.

“Given the month she just had, I actually doubt very much whether she actually will run for president in 2016,” Priebus told David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press. The RNC head was responding to questions about Clinton’s age and health, which he considered legitimate issues that have been raised about presidential candidates including Ronald Reagan, John McCain, and Bob Dole.

Priebus warmed to the topic, however, after Gregory quoted a reverse-humorous column by New York Times antidote-to-laughter Gail Collins, who accused “the Right” of blaming Clinton for a variety of problems.

“This writer you just quoted talks about sweeping things under the rug,” Priebus said. “Benghazi shouldn’t be swept under the rug: Four diplomats died. Boko Haram: These people have over 200 girls in Nigeria. The Syria issue, the Russian reset . . .”

Priebus also rejected Gregory’s claim that Clinton, the wife of former president Bill Clinton, is the candidate Republicans “most fear.”  

“Hillary’s a known product,” Priebus said. “I think it’s sometimes it’s worse running against a blank slate. Hillary has decades of history for us to explore. You know, her role in Hillarycare when she was first lady; her Senate experience, where there is nothing significant to point to; and her secretary of state experience, which was not just not significant but there’s all kinds of problems with it.”

Tags: Reince Priebus , Hillary Clinton , 2016 , Sunday Shows May 18 2014

Rick Perry, Intellectual


In the process of announcing himself as a serious candidate for the presidency in 2016, Texas governor Rick Perry Friday showed America a new persona that is both more laid back and more souped up than prior Perrys.

Perry, seen above rapidly drawing a crowd to the National Review booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference, needed to his outdistance the legendarily unready impression he gave to voters in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. That outing is now remembered for a debate flub during which he was unable to name the three federal departments he intended to cut. As seen in this old video, Perry’s memory failed him despite a friendly assist from then-Representative Ron Paul of Texas, who deftly played Karl Malden to Perry’s George C. Scott.

Perry’s roof-raising speech Friday, which was festooned with ten-dollar words and an emphasis on state governance as a mechanism for crowd-sourcing solutions, broke through in part because it came in a new package: Perry the collected-but-not-cool thinking man, wearing a muted tie, a bespectacled elder statesman whose long tenure as chief executive of the Lone Star state bestowed wisdom on him while showering prosperity on Texans.

Here’s the visual package in a blowup of the above picture, from Perry’s appearance with National Review’s Jim Geraghty. You can’t see Perry’s sensible shoes, but he’s working a subdued, knees-together posture, modestly leaning in to his interlocutor, fully committed to the pursuit of better solutions.

Bias confession: This reporter’s heart is with Cruz and/or Paul, but the Republicans have a very deep bench of governors. America’s most recent experiment with electing a senator to the White House has now been exposed as a folly the nation was smart to suppress during the preceding four decades. The 2016 candidate will be a governor. Perry brought a new self to CPAC, and his idea-guy act proved a better vehicle to move the crowd than his previous instantiation as a big Texan in cowboy boots.

Tags: Rick Perry , CPAC , 2016

The First Votes of the Next GOP Presidential Primary Will Be Cast in February 2016


The Republican National Committee adopted new rules for the 2016 presidential primary today:

o The carve outs (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada) remain in February

o Other states can start their contests on or after March 1

o The proportional window is reinstated but for a shorter duration. Any contest between March 1st and March 14th will be proportional

(This means that the early states cannot allocate their delegates in a winner-take-all format.)

o Any contest after March 14th can go proportional or winner take all

o The window for selection of alternates and delegates moved from 35 days before the convention to 45 days before the convention. There is a waiver process for states that are required by law to hold a primary but are not in compliance with the 45 day window and aren’t under Republican control.

o New penalties: “If any state or state Republican Party violates Rule No. 16(c)(1) of The Rules of the Republican Party, the number of delegates to the national convention shall be reduced for those states with 30 or more total delegates to nine (9) plus the members of the Republican National Committee from that state, and for those states with 29 or fewer total delegates to six (6) plus the members of the Republican National Committee from that state. The corresponding alternate delegates shall also be reduced accordingly.

March 1 is a Tuesday, so look for that to become the new Super Tuesday.

If the first four states space themselves out, the Iowa caucus will be February 2, 2016 (Groundhog Day!), the New Hampshire primary will be February 9, the South Carolina primary will be February 16, and the Nevada caucus will be February 23. (UPDATE: University of Iowa professor Tim Hagle tweets that the Iowa caucuses are usually held on a Monday, so he thinks it’s more likely that the caucus will be February 1.)

The RNC also named twelve members to its 2016 Convention Site Selection Committee. The RNC has not specified the date of the convention, but chairman Reince Priebus said he wants a “late June, early July” convention. In recent cycles, the parties have held their conventions in late August or early September, trying to get their post-convention bump as close to the fall campaign as possible.

Cities competing to host the 2016 Republican convention include Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, Kansas City, and Columbus, Ohio.

Tags: Iowa , New Hampshire , 2016 , RNC

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