Archives for Politics

In the states, Republicans still control the game

Since the government shutdown, public opinion of the Republican Party has hit a new low. Yet the Democrats might not be able to gain from it. Despite the GOP’s fall from grace — and even if they suffer a lower vote count in the 2014 midterm elections — the Republicans might still control the House of Representatives and many state legislatures after the polls close. Our Constitution is unique in that it gives state legislatures virtually complete control over how we elect the president and Congress. In other democracies, the national government runs elections, usually through an impartial commission. Our
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GOP woes deepen a year after Romney debacle

A year after losing a presidential race many Republicans thought was winnable, the party arguably is in worse shape than before. The GOP is struggling to control tensions between its tea party and establishment wings and watching approval ratings sink to record lows. It’s almost quaint to recall that soon after Mitt Romney lost to President Barack Obama, the Republican National Committee recommended only one policy change: endorsing an immigration overhaul, in hopes of attracting Hispanic voters. That immigration bill is now struggling for life and attention in the Republican-run House. The bigger worry for many party leaders is the
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Business and GOP: ‘Bye, bye’ to tea party troublemakers

A slice of corporate America thinks tea partyers have overstayed their welcome in Washington and should be shown the door in next year’s congressional elections. In Michigan, longtime businessmen Brian Ellis and David Trott are challenging hardline conservative Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio in Republican primaries. This comes after three years of frustration over GOP insurgents roughing up the business community’s agenda. That all came to a head with the 16-day partial government shutdown and the threat of a national financial default. The Michigan races are a turnabout after several years of widely heralded contests in which right-flank candidates
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Clinton: Beware of rabid right-wing ideologues

Conservative ideologues are reliable voters who could threaten Democrat Terry McAuliffe‘s political chances, former President Bill Clinton warned Sunday as he joined his longtime buddy’s campaign for Virginia governor. With little more than a week before Nov. 5’s Election Day, McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli each have sought to energize their strongest supporters, by inspiration or fear. McAuliffe has opened a lead in polling and is heavily outspending Cuccinelli on television ads, but turnout is expected to be low and the result could be decided by a few thousand votes. “Political extremism does have one political virtue,” Clinton said. “Once
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Cheney: Republicans need new generation of leaders

Dick Cheney said Sunday that Republicans need to look to a new generation of leaders as the party deals with poor approval ratings following the government shutdown. The former vice president said Republicans have faced challenges before and it’s healthy for the party to work to rebuild. The GOP “got whipped” in the 2012 presidential campaign, when President Barack Obama won re-election over Mitt Romney, and the party needs to build its base of supporters and find “first-class” candidates and turn to a new generation of leaders, Cheney told ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s not the first time we have had
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JFK: Walking contradiction – partly truth, partly fiction

Four days a week, David O’Donnell leads a 90-minute “Kennedy Tour” around Boston that features stops at government buildings, museums, hotels and meeting halls. Tour-goers from throughout the United States and abroad, who may see John F. Kennedy as inspiration, martyr or Cold War hero, hear stories of his ancestors and early campaigns, the rise of the Irish in state politics, the odd fact that Kennedy was the only president outlived by his grandmother. Yet at some point along the tour, inevitably, questions from the crowd shift from politics to gossip. “Someone will ask, ‘Did Jack Kennedy have an affair
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In Virginia, Cuccinelli scrambles for right-wing votes

Ken Cuccinelli‘s campaign for governor of Virginia has always been a test of whether a deeply conservative Republican could win in a swing-voting state. For months, the attorney general — known outside his state for mounting the first-in-the-nation legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s health care law — was locked in a competitive race with Democrat Terry McAuliffe as both candidates sought to court an ideologically diverse crop of voters, moderates and women among them. Now with polls showing the Republican trailing with time running out and money drying up, Cuccinelli has started emphasizing his far-right credentials in hopes of
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Obama to Dems: ‘We’ve got the better side’ of argument

Regrouping with Democrats after a bitter budget fight, President Barack Obama on Friday cast the recent spending-and-debt standoff with Congress as “a symptom of a larger challenge” but one offering Democrats the chance to show voters the virtues of their vision for government ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. At the heart of the impasse that shuttered the government were deep disagreements about what role the government should play in helping Americans succeed, Obama told about 60 donors at a fundraiser for House Democrats. “The shutdown was about more than just health care,” Obama said. “It was about a contrast
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Iowa GOP moves to take party back from extremists

Fed up and ready to get off the sidelines, veteran Iowa Republicans are working to wrest control of the state GOP from the evangelicals, tea partyers and libertarians they blame for alienating longtime party loyalists. Led by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, these Republicans want to grow the state party — one that ideological crusaders have shaped over the past few years — by bringing back into the fold pragmatic-minded voters while attracting more women and younger voters. These Republicans say success would be Branstad winning re-election next fall and paving the way for a national GOP comeback in the 2016
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Two states, two different political agendas by Republicans

This fall’s races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey offer a revealing window into the fight for the future of the Republican Party. Virginia’s illustrates the challenges facing the tea party movement and the fallout from the government shutdown while testing how well the GOP’s conservative wing can compete in a presidential swing-voting state. New Jersey’s highlights how a pragmatic Republican advocating for an inclusive GOP can dominate in Democratic territory. In Virginia, Republican Ken Cuccinelli — he promotes his role as the first state attorney general to challenge the health care overhaul — is struggling in polls against
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