Archives for Politics

Pragmatism and reality won big on election night

Electability and pragmatism won. Ideology and purity lost. In Democratic-leaning New Jersey, voters gave Republican Chris Christie a second term and rewarded him for his bipartisan, get-it-done, inclusive pitch. In swing state Virginia, voters narrowly rejected Republican Ken Cuccinelli‘s uncompromising, conservative approach. If there’s a lesson from Tuesday’s off-year elections, it might be that during a time of deep divisions within the Republican Party, staunchly conservative GOP candidates who press ideological positions have difficulty winning general elections in competitive states. Candidates with mainstream appeal like Christie in New Jersey and Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia can overcome obstacles that might
Read More

Tuesday’s elections: A preview of what’s to come?

The 2016 overtones were clear in this year’s two most high-profile elections. Republican Gov. Chris Christie‘s resounding re-election victory in Democratic-leaning New Jersey sets the opening argument for a possible White House run while Terry McAuliffe‘s gubernatorial victory gives fellow Democrats — if not his confidante Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself — a road map for success in the pivotal presidential swing-voting state. Christie became the first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. McAuliffe is the first member of the party occupying the White House to become Virginia governor since 1977. Among
Read More

McAuliffe, Christie take governor races

Democrat Terry McAuliffe narrowly won the job of Virginia governor Tuesday, leading what Democrats hoped would be their first sweep of statewide offices in decades. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie cruised to re-election — on track for a large margin of victory — amid talk of a 2016 presidential run. New Yorkers chose Bill de Blasio as mayor, electing the first Democrat since 1989. In other, widely scattered odd-year balloting, Colorado was setting a tax rate for marijuana, Houston was deciding the fate of the Astrodome and Alabama Republicans were choosing between two of their own — from
Read More

In elections from coast to coast, voters take over

From rural Iowa to urban New York, voters across America will render judgment in a slate of political contests Tuesday, including in New Jersey and Virginia where gubernatorial race outcomes could highlight the Republican Party division between pragmatists and ideologues. Elsewhere, Colorado voters will set a tax rate for marijuana. New York City will elect a new mayor for the first time in 12 years, while Boston’s mayoral race pits white collar against blue collar, and Detroit’s spotlights the city’s bankruptcy — just three of the many mayoral contests from coast to coast. Republican and Democratic strategists alike say that
Read More

In Virginia, a state race with national implications

To appreciate their vastly different strategies in the race for Virginia governor, simply look at how the candidates spent Monday, the final full day of campaigning before polls open. Ken Cuccinelli raced from stop to stop, trying to overcome a deficit in the polls, a crush of negative ads and a lingering wariness among fellow Republicans about his deeply conservative views. His rival, Terry McAuliffe, enjoyed a last-minute visit from Vice President Joe Biden and pledged to use the national health care law to give 400,000 Virginians health care coverage. Their approaches capture the essence of the race: Cuccinelli, the
Read More

Virginia election will be a referendum on Obamacare

In Virginia, candidates on both sides of a long, bitter race for governor spent the weekend turning the final hours into a referendum on President Barack Obama’s health care “reform.” The decision to nationalize the race is a question that voters — at least those who care enough to turn out — will answer on Tuesday. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, armed with lots of campaign cash and polls which show him ahead, campaigned with President Barack Obama in Northern Virginia. Republcian Ken Cuccinelli, out of money and running out of time, hit right-wing strongholds in Southwestern Virginia hoping to increase campaign
Read More

Is Virginia the beginning of the end of the tea party?

If, as expected, tea party-favorite Ken Cuccinelli goes down in a governor’s race in Virginia where he was once expected to easily win over flawed Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the party of the elephant will intensify its inward look at what is gutting them from within and alienating voters in droves. The finger-pointing has already begun as the GOP braces itself for a bitter defeat in a key swing state where Republicans have controlled the governor’s mansion and the general assembly with ease over the past four years. “It’s not supposed to be this way right now,” longtime GOP strategist Gary
Read More

Cuccinelli, often caught lying, claims ‘truth is our friend’

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, whose campaign for governor is struggling in the final days of the race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, claims he still has a chance in the race because people are learning more about him and “the truth is our friend.” An interesting comment from an official who has come under fire for shading the truth and lying outright as the state’s top law enforcement official, Cuccinelli has come under firse for stalling investigations against major contributors to his campaign, lying about his relationship with the scandal-scarred CEO of Star Scientific and other campaign irregularities, He trails
Read More

Ultra right-wing working hard for complete takeover of GOP

Virtually unknown outside Washington, a coalition of hardline conservative groups is fighting to seize control of the Republican agenda. Tea party allies like the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Heritage Action for America showed their might by insisting that the GOP embrace the government shutdown that hurt the nation’s economy and the party’s reputation. Now emboldened, these groups are warning that their aggressive agenda-pushing tactics aren’t over — and they’re threatening retribution against Republicans who stand in their way. “They refuse to learn,” Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman who leads the Club for Growth, says of lawmakers who buck
Read More

Bipartisanship in Iowa politics? Oh, get real

Outside a state-of-the-art grain elevator, Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley talks of how Republicans and Democrats in Congress need to overcome differences that scuttled farm legislation last summer. A day later, he tells veterans at a rec center in his blue-collar, northern Iowa district that both parties should work together to help them. “The issues surrounding our veterans should be issues that bring us together, not issues that drive us apart,” Braley says in a bipartisan pitch that lacks direct criticism of Republicans over the 16-day partial government shutdown. In this district dotted with farming towns as well as in districts
Read More