Spotlight

Gas Up the Pickup Truck?

BOSTON - JANUARY 19: U.S. Senator-elect, Republican Scott Brown displays a special edition of the Boston Herald after winning the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat January 19, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the seat of late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Dec. 6, 2013, 6:40 a.m.

Will Scott Brown run in New Hamp­shire after all? For months, most Gran­ite State and D.C. Re­pub­lic­ans have con­sidered the former law­maker more in­ter­ested in at­ten­tion than an ac­tu­al Sen­ate cam­paign. But Brown’s de­luge of cam­paign-style vis­its, ac­com­pan­ied by a raft of stor­ies about his in­ten­tions, have con­vinced many he’s now ser­i­ous about run­ning. Still, he’s not in yet, and there are a host of reas­ons to think he nev­er will be.

— Des­pite his vis­its, Brown hasn’t per­son­ally cour­ted GOP lead­ers and con­ser­vat­ive act­iv­ists, an im­port­ant step for any can­did­ate con­sid­er­ing a bid for statewide of­fice (much less in a place where voters ex­pect fu­ture pres­id­ents to bend hand-on-knee ask­ing for their vote). Many party lead­ers, in fact, say they don’t think Brown even has a form­al group of ad­visers, in Mas­sachu­setts or New Hamp­shire. Brown’s con­tem­plat­ing a cam­paign, but he ap­pears to be do­ing en­tirely in­side his own head.

— He won’t ne­ces­sar­ily re­ceive a free pass in a primary. Yes, Re­pub­lic­ans are ex­cited that they might fi­nally have found a cred­ible can­did­ate to take on in­cum­bent Jeanne Shaheen, and, yes, the primary field is so far bar­ren of any oth­er top-tier con­tenders. But the Bay State Re­pub­lic­an’s re­cord begs for sort of con­ser­vat­ive chal­lenge all too com­mon in GOP polit­ics: Among oth­er things, he has sup­por­ted abor­tion rights, a ban on as­sault weapons and op­posed Paul Ry­an’s budget and the Bush-era tax cuts. Does Brown, cur­rently earn­ing a com­fort­able liv­ing in the private sec­tor, have the stom­ach to beat back con­ser­vat­ive cri­ti­cism?

— And then there’s the mat­ter of the gen­er­al elec­tion. New Hamp­shire is a swing state, es­pe­cially in a midterm elec­tion, but Shaheen is a re­l­at­ively pop­u­lar in­cum­bent star­ing down an overt car­pet­bag­ger. Even with Obama­care’s struggles, Brown would start as an un­der­dog.

Most agree he can wait un­til late winter to de­cide on a cam­paign. By that time, hope­fully he re­mem­bers which state he’s run­ning in.

What We're Following See More »
LEGACY PLAY
Sanders and Clinton Spar Over … President Obama
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”

THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

DIRECT APPEAL TO MINORITIES, WOMEN
Clinton Already Pivoting Her Messaging
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.

THE QUESTION
How Many Jobs Would Be Lost Under Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer System?
17 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 11 million, according to Manhattan Institute fellow Yevgeniy Feyman, writing in RealClearPolicy.

Source:
WEEKEND DATA DUMP
State to Release 550 More Clinton Emails on Saturday
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.

Source:
×