Tag Archives: Rick Perry

The GOP Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

The GOP have gotten into a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

The GOP is in a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe lead by Sarah Palin battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

Barack Obama‘s most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.

The governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia were once billed as the marquee events of Election Day 2009 — a referendum on the Obama presidency and a possible Republican “comeback.” But preposterous as it sounds, the real action migrated to New York’s 23rd, a rural Congressional district abutting Canada. That this pastoral setting could become a G.O.P. killing field, attracting an all-star cast of combatants led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Newt Gingrich, is a premise out of a Depression-era screwball comedy. But such farces have become the norm for the conservative movement — whether the participants are dressing up in full “tea party” drag or not.

The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom has what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true.

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Thanks But No Thanks: GOP Candidates Ignore Palin Offers

Sarah Palin notably absent from gubernatorial races

Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidates, but neither seems to want her help.

Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidates, but neither Chris Christie nor Bob McDonnell seems to want her help.

Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for the Republican gubernatorial candidates running in the two most closely-watched campaigns in the country this fall, but neither seems to want her help.

Less than a month before voters go to the polls, it appears increasingly clear that the former Alaska governor, vice-presidential nominee and conservative favorite will not appear on behalf of either New Jersey’s Chris Christie or Virginia’s Bob McDonnell.

Palin is the only one of the most talked-about potential 2012 presidential candidates who has not yet campaigned for either Republican candidate.

Given her loyal following among many in the party’s grassroots, it’s Palin who could surely draw the largest crowd and perhaps raise the most money for the two candidates—her book, “Going Rogue,” is already the number-one bestseller on Amazon, over a month before it’s even released.

“The governor offered her assistance with both races,” said Palin adviser Meg Stapleton. “The ball is in their court.”

Neither GOP campaign wanted to discuss why they didn’t want Palin in the state—to say so would offend the conservative base that both Christie and McDonnell are counting on, not just to vote for them but to also volunteer time in the crucial final weeks of the election.

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A Woman in the White House ~ 2012 or 2016?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Asked about the prospect of a woman winning the presidency during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded: “I’m not going to pretend that running for president as a woman is not daunting….and it is….probably a path that doesn’t appeal to a lot of women even in elective office because it is so difficult.”

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Clinton’s comments — coupled with the resignation of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) over the weekend — got us to thinking about the dearth of female politicians in the political world at the moment who are actively discussed as presidential mettle.

Clinton was widely regarded as the best hope women had to see one of their own elected to the White House; she was well-known, had a huge political machine at her disposal, pots of campaign cash to spend and was widely seen as up to the job by the American public.

“Meet” host David Gregory asked Clinton the “if not you, who” question to which Clinton responded: “I am convinced — and I don’t know if she is elective office right now or preparing to run for office — but there is a woman who I am hoping will be able to achieve that.”

But, who?

A quick glance at the roster of women currently serving in the Senate or as governor — the ranks from which presidential candidates typically emerge — turns up 17 senators and six governors.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Of that group, just one — Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) — has ever been seriously mentioned as a national candidate. But, Hutchison seems set on returning to the Lone Star State full time with her 2010 primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry (R). If she wins that race, Hutchison would theoretically be in position to run but she would be 69 years old on election day 2012 and putting together a national campaign would be hard to imagine.

Governor Jennifer Granholm

Governor Jennifer Granholm

Outgoing Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was widely seen as a rising star with the Democratic party when she was elected in 2002 but the cratering Michigan economy has diminished her appeal significantly. Also, she’s Canadian — not that there’s anything wrong with that! — making her ineligible to be president.

That leaves 21 other women — none of whom are actively discussed as potential national candidates. The best possibility is Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) who could be appealing given her ability to win statewide in Missouri. But, McCaskill will almost face a serious re-election fight in 2012 (Jim Talent, anyone?) and has to get through that race before she can be seriously considered.

Senator Claire McCaskill

Senator Claire McCaskill

Down a level to the House, the pickings are also slim. (Historically running from the U.S. House is a death wish for presidents; the last — and only — sitting member of Congress to win the White House was James Garfield in 1880.)

The most obvious choice would be Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) who has a strong political pedigree (her grandfather was governor, her father was a longtime state legislator), the ability to win votes in a red state and is young enough at 38 to spend the time needed to build the sort of network she would need to run for national office. But, Herseth Sandlin declined an expected run for governor in 2010 — delaying an expected ascent into a more high-profile office. If Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) decides against seeking a fourth term in 2014, Herseth Sandlin would be the obvious choice.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.)

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

Among the candidates currently running for statewide office in 2010, there are few obvious choices. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) and former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) are each young, highly regarded and running for the Senate; at the gubernatorial level, former eBay President Meg Whitman (R) and Florida CFO Alex Sink (D) might be possibilities if they can get elected.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan

But, that is far down the road. The simple fact is that Clinton was by far the best positioned woman to win the nation’s highest office and there is no one like her in the political minor leagues at the moment.

Could Palin be that person? Perhaps, although her high unfavorable ratings with Independents and Democrats complicate any path for her to the White House even if she decided to run.

Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte

Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte

Are there up and coming women we missed? Feel free to offer their names in the comments section below.

Chris Cillizza
The Washington Post

Palin to stump for Conservative Democrats ~ Vows to Shun ‘Partisan Stuff’

ANCHORAGE, Alaska | Brushing aside the criticisms of pundits and politicos, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she plans to jump immediately back into the national political fray — stumping for conservative issues and even Democrats — after she prematurely vacates her elected post at month’s end.

The former Republican vice-presidential nominee and heroine to much of the GOP’s base said in an interview she views the electorate as embattled and fatigued by nonstop partisanship, and she is eager to campaign for Republicans, independents and even Democrats who share her values on limited government, strong defense and “energy independence.”

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin listens to a question during a news conference, in Juneau, Alaska.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin listens to a question during a news conference, in Juneau, Alaska.

“I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation,” she said over lunch in her downtown office, 40 miles from her now-famous hometown of Wasilla — population 7,000 — where she began her political career.

“People are so tired of the partisan stuff — even my own son is not a Republican,” said Mrs. Palin, who stunned the political world earlier this month with her decision to step down as governor July 26 with 18 months left in her term.

Both her son, Track, 20, an enlisted soldier serving in Iraq, and her husband, Todd, are registered as “nonpartisan” in Alaska.

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Palin Pipe Dreams

Note: On July 26, Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska governor, citing concerns that ongoing ethical investigations and her decision not to seek a second term would limit her effectiveness in office. What she did (or didn’t do) to promote the development of a $40 billion gas pipeline will be a crucial part of her short history in office. This story, which was first published on March 17, delved into the long and complicated history of a pipeline that doesn’t exist.

Sarah Palin at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2008.

Sarah Palin at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2008.

For more than 30 years, a natural-gas pipeline had been the great white whale of Alaskan resource development. Tens of millions of dollars had been spent in the quest for it. The names of collapsed consortiums and failed legislative initiatives littered the tundra like the bleached horns of long-dead caribou. Then, last summer, Sarah Palin said she had harpooned the whale.

“I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history,” Palin said at the Republican convention. “And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.”

During the vice-presidential debate, she said it again: “We’re building a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever.”

And to Katie Couric, she said, “We should have started 10 years ago, but better late than never.”

To many outside of Alaska, it may therefore come as a surprise to learn that not only does such a pipeline not exist, but—even as Alaska’s deep winter darkness gives way to the first light of spring—the prospect that it will be built within Sarah Palin’s lifetime grows dimmer by the day. ( View a slideshow hitting the highlights of Governor Palin’s travels.)

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