November 19, 2015 |
DWIGHT EVANS seeks a new political place. After 34 years in the Legislature during which he ran, then lost, the powerful House Appropriations Committee, after failed runs for lieutenant governor, governor and twice for mayor, he's now running for Congress. I wonder why. Why leave one mess in one Capitol for an arguably bigger mess in another? Especially since Washington runs on seniority, so if he wins, he starts on the bottom rung of the ladder. Maybe he's bored with Harrisburg.
July 2, 2015
NOW THAT JERSEY'S big boy has cannonballed into the presidential pool, the question is whether he sinks or swims. There's a good argument for sinking. He's in a (so far) 14-way Republican primary in which he polls in low single-digits. His approval rating in his own state is 30 percent, after topping 70 percent just two years back, so he isn't exactly ascending. He gave a dud 2012 convention speech more about himself than about nominee Mitt Romney. He warmly embraced President Obama after Hurricane Sandy prior to the 2012 election; some Republicans actually believe that helped Obama win. There's the George Washington Bridge thing.
June 21, 2015 |
Gov. Christie tried Friday to win over Republican activists gathered in Philadelphia to hear from several presidential hopefuls, casting himself as a terrorism fighter who wouldn't shy away from blunt talk in a run for the White House. In remarks spanning a half-hour, Christie emphasized his background as a federal prosecutor after the Sept. 11 attacks - experience he said would set him apart in the 2016 field. Of the declared or potential candidates, "you are looking at the only one who has actually used the Patriot Act," he said.
June 15, 2015 |
For Jeb Bush, the initial plan was to stun the opposition into submission with boatloads of money, his network, his lineage. But nobody in the Republican presidential race was scared off by the former governor of Florida (except, perhaps, Mitt Romney). Instead, as he prepares to formally launch his candidacy Monday, Bush has slipped from heavy favorite to just one of several candidates clumped together near the top of a growing field. He does not lead in any of the early-voting states, most polls show.
April 20, 2015 |
HUDSON, N.H. - Ejected brass shell casings, glittering as the light caught them, flew as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee emptied a Sig Sauer P238 pistol at a human silhouette target at the Granite State Indoor Range & Gun Shop. Saturday was a great day to test the compact weapon for his wife, Janet, who wants something less bulky to carry, and to pay homage to the Second Amendment as a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate in the first primary state. At the tail-end of mud season and after the sugar maple trees had been tapped for syrup, ambitions were rising in New Hampshire last week as Huckabee and 18 other Republican candidates or potential candidates for president trooped through the state and gathered for a two-day forum hosted by the state party in Nashua.
February 18, 2015 |
CONCORD, N.H. - Leo Ouellette, a retired mailman from New Hampshire, is a fan of Gov. Christie's brash personality. But that does not necessarily mean he'll vote for Christie in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. While Ouellette, 72, likes Christie - "I don't want a wimp," he said Monday, a cup of coffee in front of him, at the Windmill Restaurant in Concord - he also likes Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. "I'm wide open," Ouellette said. So, too, is the field of prospective Republican presidential candidates, as viewed by voters, elected officials, and strategists in the state.
February 9, 2015 |
In his political branding, Gov. Christie is the blunt Jersey guy who'll tell you what he thinks even if you don't want to hear it. Yet a closer look at his rhetoric and policy actions shows Christie often straddles hot-button issues that divide conservative and moderate Republicans, a skill that will be tested in his expected campaign for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. That tendency was highlighted last week when, at a pharmaceutical plant in Britain, Christie said parents should have "some measure of choice" about whether to vaccinate their children.
February 5, 2015 |
Experts and pundits tend to be terrible fortune tellers. Often wrong but rarely in doubt, they become invested in their own theories, rejecting new information that challenges their beliefs. The evidence is overwhelming, from Albert Einstein's prediction that "there is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable," to George Will's that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 presidential election by a landslide. Just as solidly proven, but far less known, is that in most cases, a group of average citizens venturing good guesses is more likely to make accurate forecasts than a typical authority on a subject, especially a smugly confident one. This counterintuitive truth has fascinated social scientists, psychologists, and statisticians for more than a century.
January 31, 2015 |
A defiant President Obama came to Philadelphia on Thursday to urge Democrats to keep aggressively promoting their beliefs, despite an Election Day drubbing. Embodying that combative outlook, Obama added a swipe at Republicans and Mitt Romney for, in his view, trying to imitate Democrats' concern for the average American. "Even though their policies haven't quite caught up yet, their rhetoric is starting to sound pretty Democratic," Obama said in a speech to House Democrats meeting at the Society Hill Sheraton.
January 26, 2015 |
DES MOINES, Iowa - For months, the 2016 Republican presidential race has been dominated by the "invisible primary" scramble for the backing of the party's donor class. On Saturday, it goes grassroots. At least eight likely candidates will give their pitches to 1,500 conservative activists at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, trying to seduce the people who pack a punch in the GOP caucuses, where the first votes of the party's nominating process are scheduled to be cast in a little over a year.