PowerLine – Cruz picks Fiorina
- Cruz picks Fiorina
- Breaking: Cruz’s 4 pm Announcement
- Venezuela Hits . . . er, Bottom?
- Baltimore picks its next mayor
- Chris Matthews’ wife fails in bid for Congress
|Cruz picks Fiorina
Posted: 27 Apr 2016 03:31 PM PDT
(Paul Mirengoff)Ted Cruz has named Carly Fiorina as his running mate, should he buck the odds and receive the Republican presidential nomination. In my opinion, Fiorina was not the optimal choice either for purposes of halting Donald Trump or winning the general election.
Marco Rubio and John Kasich strike me as the best bets for the first purpose. For the second, Rubio and Kasich would be better than Fiorina, as would South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, it seems to me.
However, there’s little reason to believe that Rubio or Kasich desire to sign on with Cruz at this juncture. It might also be the case that Cruz doesn’t want one or both of them on his ticket.
In any event, Fiorina is the pick. She’s not a pretty good one for at least five reasons.
First, she’s very capable. Her time as head of Hewlett-Packard was controversial, but I consider her well prepared for the top executive role in our government, more so than most of this year’s presidential field in both parties.
Second, she’s a good campaigner. She came out of nowhere into the second tier of Republican presidential hopefuls, and nearly made the first. If you watched her on the campaign trail or in debates, you saw why. Obviously, she came up well short, but so did many of her better known, better financed rivals.
Third, she’s conservative. Not as conservative as Cruz, but conservative enough to suggest that Cruz isn’t compromising his conservatism by seeking ideological balance (and probably more conservative than Richard Schweiker, the man Ronald Reagan selected in 1976 when he was trying to overtake President Ford).
Fourth, she’s a powerful critic of Hillary Clinton, all the more effective because of her gender. If Cruz makes it to the general election, Fiorina will probably be an asset.
Fifth, she’s from California and was popular with Republicans there when she ran for governor in 2010. California is, of course, where Cruz will make what might be his last stand.
Will Fiorina enable Cruz to overtake Trump, who is ahead by 15 to 20 points? Almost certainly not.
Will she help Cruz cut into the gap to the point that he wins a decent share of California’s delegates? It’s far from clear that she will.
But Cruz had to try something to change the dynamic of this race. He has tried something plausible without compromising his conservatism.
|Breaking: Cruz’s 4 pm Announcement
Posted: 27 Apr 2016 10:11 AM PDT
(Steven Hayward)Ted Cruz is making a “major announcement” at 4 pm eastern time today in Indiana, and speculation is turning to whether he may name a running mate—perhaps Carly Fiorina. Possible, but more likely he’s finally borrowed a page from Trump’s playbook, and looking to shake things up after last night’s terrible showing the way Trump has made news the day after his middling showings (which haven’t happened for a while) with a major endorsement. I expect, as does Allahpundit, that Cruz will be endorsed in Indiana by Governor Mike Pence, and, perhaps, former Governor Mitch Daniels, too. (Late word, though, is that Pence won’t be attending the rally where Cruz will make his announcement.)
I like Fiorina, and can see her making a great running mate for any Republican nominee, but naming her as a prospective running mate now strikes me as a too-soon desperation measure. On the other hand, I thought it was interesting last night that Trump made a point of saying the Democratic Party has treated Bernie Sanders “terribly,” and that Bernie should run as an independent. Here’s a scenario: what if Trump somehow loses or is forced out of the GOP nomination in Cleveland. Maybe he and Sanders could run on a fusion ticket? They’re close enough on major issues: trade, isolationist foreign policy, taxing the rich, single-payer health care, even immigration, which Sanders has previously and bizarrely called a “Koch brothers” plot to increase the supply of cheap labor.
Stranger things have happened lately. Trump should be pressed to name prospective running mates soon.
|Venezuela Hits . . . er, Bottom?
Posted: 27 Apr 2016 09:59 AM PDT
(Steven Hayward)As everyone over the age of six knows (that excludes Sanders voters obviously), one of the first things you run out of in a socialist economy that attempts price controls is toilet paper. But with Venezuela’s hyperinflation, you could always swap out the worthless paper currency for the Charmin. Except:
Meanwhile, in other news, a rotting whale carcass has washed ashore in southern California. I think it is a metaphor for the Republican establishment in the Age of Trump. My clue? This sentence from the story: “Its enormous tongue was so swollen that it bulged out of its mouth like a giant black balloon.”
|Baltimore picks its next mayor
Posted: 27 Apr 2016 08:59 AM PDT
(Paul Mirengoff)Almost exactly one year after Baltimore broke out in rioting, voters had to decide who the city’s Democratic nominee for mayor will be. Considering the overwhelming advantage Democrats possess in Baltimore, this decision is tantamount to electing a mayor.
The big question was whether Democrats would turn their back on the ugly past (which, whether they realize it or not, has been brought to them by Democrats). Things got off to a good start when pathetic Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the current mayor who responded so badly to the Freddy Gray crisis, announced months ago that she wouldn’t seek reelection. Things got even better when City Council member Nick Mosby, husband of the disgraceful prosecutor in the Freddy Gray case, withdrew from the race a few weeks before the primary.
This left two main contenders — former mayor Shelia Dixon and State Senator Catherine Pugh.
Dixon was Baltimore’s mayor before Rawlings-Blake. She resigned after being convicted in connection with misappropriating gift cards intended for needy families. The fact that she was a serious candidate for the office she disgraced is telling.
Pugh represents the portion of Baltimore where intense rioting occurred last year. The vacuity of her campaign was exemplified this statement: “My message is about inclusion, my message is about lifting the least of us while we lift all of us.”
The risk that she might be just another corrupt Baltimore politician is apparent from the fact that several big checks to her campaign were made out with incorrect names or by nonexistent business entities.
Pugh did, however, distinguish herself during the rioting. She appeared on street corners with a bullhorn and urged the rioters to disperse. Compared to Dixon, Pugh was the fresh candidate.
Fresher still, in a sense, was DeRay Mckesson, a 30 year-old out of Minneapolis who returned to his native Baltimore to run for mayor. McKesson is a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement. He made his name by agitating in Charleston, South Carolina, Ferguson, Missouri, and, of course Baltimore. He offered Baltimore a radical choice, but also an echo of Rawlings-Blake, Marilyn Mosby, and Baltimore’s days of rage.
In the end, Baltimore’s Democrats made the obvious selection. They nominated Pugh. She defeated Dixon, but only by a margin of three points, 37 to 34.
McKesson fell completely flat, finishing in sixth place with only 2 percent of the vote. Baltimore Democrats should be congratulated for that.
|Chris Matthews’ wife fails in bid for Congress
Posted: 27 Apr 2016 07:48 AM PDT
(Paul Mirengoff)Folks take their leftism seriously in the Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. where I live. It outweighs celebrity, money, and race/ethnicity.
That’s why the race for the Democratic congressional primary in the Eighth District was always going to favor leftist law professor Jamie Raskin. One of his opponents — Kathleen Matthews, wife of Chris and for years a local news anchor — had celebrity (okay, mini-celebrity) status in her favor. Another opponent — ultra-wealthy beer and wine merchant David Trone — had a personal fortune, $12 million of which he poured into the race.
In addition, the race included an African-American, a Hispanic, and even an Asian Indian.
No matter. Jamie Raskin was the proven leftist. As a State Senator, he led the charge for repeal of the death penalty, same-sex marriage, and a ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons. He was a supporter of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Clearly, he had the upper hand in this race.
In the end, Raskin captured 34 percent of the vote. Trone was next with 27 percent. Matthews finished third with 24 percent.
The Republican nominee Dan Cox, stands virtually no chance of defeating Raskin. Cox won 45 percent of the GOP vote, but that amounted to only around 20,000 votes, significantly fewer than Matthews obtained in her third place finish.
Raskin is the very model of a modern limousine liberal. He teaches constitutional law at American University law school, whose faculty is ridiculous. He’s part of a “power couple” thanks to his marriage to Sarah Bloom Raskin, deputy treasury secretary in the Obama administration. He’s a multi-millionaire, worth around $7 million (not bad for a law professor).
I will consider calling on Raskin for constituent service if the government is fixing to burn down my house. Short of that, I’ll look for help elsewhere.