Ask Joe Carr, the tea party’s favored candidate for the Senate in Tennessee, and he’ll tell you he’s on a roll.
“Our momentum really launched when Chris McDaniel won his primary,” Carr said confidently of his primary campaign against Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander. “Then when David Brat won, our support exploded.”
Two problems with that. Not only did Chris McDaniel not actually win his primary””he lost the runoff to Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi after finishing first in the initial race””but some of the outside groups whose support Carr hopes to get sound exhausted after the tough slog in the Deep South.
Certainly, Brat showed in his upset win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia that outside support isn’t the end-all, be-all of insurgent primary campaigns. Brat benefited greatly from some name-only endorsements, the kind that Carr is picking up now. That includes conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.
But Carr, who is challenging a longtime senator and former governor, is mostly going it alone. So far, just one Nashville-based super PAC, Citizens for Ethics in Government, has gone up with TV ads on his behalf, and certainly none of Alexander’s ads have acknowledged him, as Cantor’s did for Brat.
“We fully intended to be active in [the Tennessee] race three weeks earlier than we are now,” said Kevin Broughton, the communications director for the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund. “But we had a little Senate race going on in Mississippi,” he said. Broughton, who was still in Mississippi more than two weeks after the runoff, said the group was assessing what resources it could put into Tennessee after dropping more than $1 million into Mississippi.
Carr has twice been to D.C. this year, courting outside groups, and he’s had conversations with folks whom he deemed very interested. But many of them have conceded that the protracted campaign in Mississippi robbed them of the resources they needed to fully engage in other Senate primaries, such as the one in Oklahoma last month.
“I’ve been told on two separate occasions that there was a day on the calendar to watch, earlier in the summer and also in the spring, where outside support would come; those days have come and gone,” said one Tennessee Republican who is unaffiliated in the race.
Regardless of whether the groups spend any money, the lack of name endorsements has hurt Carr’s campaign. Republicans in the state, many of whom have strong ties to Alexander, have been able to point to that silence as an indication of Alexander’s intra-party appeal.
Carr certainly fits the mold of other conservative darlings endorsed by tea-party-style groups this cycle. He’s loud and passionate and touts a statehouse record, including supporting deeply conservative immigration measures. His chief argument against Alexander is a timely one: Carr is running ads that tie the senator to his vote for “amnesty” in the form of last year’s Senate immigration bill.
Carr still passionately defends his ability to win without the outside groups, but the threat that once had Alexander’s camp looking over its shoulders has now all but faded away.
Asked why Carr’s race had been relegated so far below McDaniel’s, Broughton could only point to the calendar. “And we like to finish what we start,” he added.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”