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SNL Spoofs Christie, Bloomberg and White People

http://youtu.be/8TFuOW4wHDo?t=2m20s

Posted: November 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, SNL | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on SNL Spoofs Christie, Bloomberg and White People

Whitman A Leader Of Third Party Effort

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman will not be joining Governor Chris Christie on the campaign trail for Mitt Romney.

Whitman is a director of Americans Elect 2012, a PAC that converted into an educational group so that it would not have to disclose its donors.   The group wants Americans to nominate a “centrist” Independent presidential candidate via Internet voting. They are working to secure ballot positions in all 50 states.  So far they’re on the ballots in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Utah.  There are reports that they’ve submitted petitions in California and Hawaii.

Despite their success in collecting signatures to get on ballots, there is a lot of controversy about the group that will likely hamstring their efforts going forward.  There is a clause in their by laws that allows the group’s directors to disqualify “America’s” candidate.  They’ve got a rule restricting how their nominee selects his/her vice presidential candidate.  The group says it doesn’t support or oppose any particular candidate at this point, but Whitman has been promoting Jon Huntsman as a third party candidate and Mark McKinnon, another director of the group, said Mitt Romney doesn’t have the cojones to be president.

Sounds more like a three ring circus than a third party.  Besides, the Republicans look as though they are going to nominate a centrist in either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.  

As an aside, how long will it be before a highly paid national pundit writes a column about what it means about America that the three front runners for president have weird first names?

Even without the other controversies surrounding Americans Elect 2012, Whitman joining their board should be a sign of that the group is doomed to fail.  Her legacy as New Jersey’s Governor and as Administrator of the EPA under President George W. Bush is beyond embarrassing. 

The messes that Governor Christie is cleaning up now….the broke pension system, broke transportation trust fund, broke unemployment insurance fund, Abbot and COAH, were all started or made worse by Whitman and her appointees.   Shortly after 9-11, EPA Administrator Whitman declared the air at Ground Zero safe to breathe, thereby sending clean up workers to slow deaths and long term disabilities.

It’s little wonder that candidate Chris Christie declared that he’s not a Whitman Republican.

Despite Americans Elect’s foibles, a third party presidential candidate might be a good news for those who want President Obama to be a one termer.

In modern times, i.e., during the lifetimes of anyone likely to vote in 2012,  there have been only two elected incumbent presidents denied a second term by the voters; Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.  Both had significant third party challengers during their reelection bids.  John Anderson, a Republican Congressman from Illinois ran against Carter and Ronald Reagan.  Reagan won.   Ross Perot, the populist Texas billionaire ran against Bush and Bill Clinton.  Clinton won.

The bad news, from a historical perspective, is that Carter and Bush 41 also faced significant primary challenges prior to being renominated.  Carter was challenged for the Democratic nomination in 1980 by Teddy Kennedy.  Bush was challenged for the 1992 GOP nomination by Pat Buchanan.

Reagan’s primary challenge against Gerald Ford in 1976, preceding Carter’s election, may indicate that an incumbent’s problems within their own party may be more of a detriment to reelection than a third party challenge.  Unfortunately, there is no Democrat seriously challenging Obama.

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz says New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is “clearly eyeing” a third party run for president.   A Bloomberg run might be America’s best hope of defeating Obama next year.   The Mayor has the resources to make a credible run and a nanny state record to appeal to enough dissatisfied Democrats and left leaning Independents.

Posted: December 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

2012: Will history be made or repeat itself?

By Art Gallagher

With Repubican Randy Altschuler’s concession on Tuesday to incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop in New York’s 1st congressional district, the 2010 midterm elections have come to a close.  Republicans picked up 63 seats while taking control of the House of Representatives, and picked up 6 seats in the U.S. Senate.

The 2010 midterms have frequently been compared to the 1994 midterms when Newt Gingrich lead the House GOP to pick up 54 seats, while Republicans picked up 8 U.S. Senate seats and controlled both houses of Congress for the first time since 1954.

With the midterms behind us pundits and political junkies are shifting their focus to the 2012 Presidential election. Many have pondered whether President Obama will move to the center ala Bill Clinton after the massive loss in the ’94 midterms, “triangulating” Republicans, Independents and their issues on his way to a scandal plaqued second term, or will Obama finish out his term like Jimmy Carter, dogged by a stagflation economy, unrest in the Middle East and challenged by the left in his own party.

My friend Alan Steinberg argues that Obama’s recent deal with Congressional Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax rates for two years ehances the President’s reelection prospects because of the likely improvement in the economy that will result.  Steinberg says that the far left wing of the Democratic party condeming Obama for the deal will also help him by making him look like a centrist. Steinberg says an Obama primary victory over a left wing opponent like Howard Dean would boost the President further with an aura of success and centrism.

Alan overlooks the historical fact that every incumbent President since Gerald Ford who faced a credible primary challenge won the primary but lost the general election.  Ford was challenged by Ronald Reagan in the 1976 GOP primary and lost the election to Jimmy Carter.  Carter was challenged in the 1980 Democratic party by Ted Kennedy and lost the election to Reagan.   George H.W. Bush was challenged by Pat Buchanan in the 1992 GOP primary and lost the election to Bill Clinton.

Taxes could well be the issue that dominates the 2012 election.  Just as George H.W. Bush’s broken “NO NEW TAXES” pledge cost him dearly with the Republican base that never revered him like they did Reagan, Obama’s broken pledge to raise taxes on the rich and redistribute wealth could yet cost him dearly with his Democratic base.  Just as Bush I was no Reagan, Obama may prove to be no Clinton. Clinton, despite moving away from his leftist base,  “felt their pain” in 1996. So far Obama’s message to “the professional left” is “you are a pain.”

Should a Democrat like Dean or Hillary Clinton really become a pain and challenge Obama in the primary he or she might argue that the Clinton era tax increases on the wealthy lead to a booming ecomony, the first balanced federal budget in memory and even a surplus. 

Of course such a Democrat will ignore the fact that the Clinton 1993 tax increases did not boost the economy as Democrats had expected it would.  The “Clinton boom” and balanced budgets didn’t occur until after 1997 when the Republican Congress lowered  the capital gains tax rates, added a child credit, lowered the death tax and increased the IRA exclusions.

There is another development on the horizon that might make the 2012 election look more like ’92 when Bill Clinton defeated Bush I, than like ’96 when Clinton was reelected over Bob Dole or like 1980 when Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg might end up the 2012 version of H. Ross Perot, the billionaire businessman who ran for President as a third party candidate against Bush I and Clinton in 1992, capturing 19% of the popular vote, and many think Bush I a second term. 

Bloomberg sounded an a lot like a presidential candidate yesterday when he bashed both major political parties, Washington gridlock and offered a “centrist way” to fix America.  Perot built the Reform Party in 1996.  Bloomberg would embrace the No Labels movement of centrists that has been building a grassroots organization over the last year. No Labels will have a major event, their “official launch,” in New York of all places on Monday December 13.  The event will be simulcast in the Internet on Monday December 13.

The other factor making 2012 look like 1996 in my crystal ball is the Republican field of Presidential contenders. So far only New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has the charisma of a Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or candidate Obama.  Christie says he’s not running.  I believe him. He will have his hands full in New Jersey in 2011, making the kind of national travel throughout the year that would be required to compete in the GOP primaries that start in February of 2012 very unlikely.  The rest of the  Republican field doesn’t have “it.”  They are reminiscent of Bush I, Bob Dole and John McCain.

In a head to head race of Obama vs a current Republican contender other than Christie, Obama would have to be favored at this point, assuming he keeps moving to the center.   If Bloomberg runs as a No Labels candidate and spends the $1.5 billion that has been speculated, history could be made rather than repeated.

Posted: December 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »