Tag Archives: Clinton

Spooked by Rubio

That I can remember, no former President has joined forces with a current one to oust a Senatorial candidate of their own party.  It reeks of panic and desperation, yes, but it also raises an interesting question—why?

Even if the path to victory appears easier with candidate Big Bird, I wonder why the Presidents, former and current, would risk alienating principled Democrats, African-Americans and skeptical independents by pleading with Meek to take one for the team. On this Halloween weekend, what about Marco Rubio so spooks these two?

He’s Hispanic? Is that it? That’s what insiders are claiming….From the Wall St. Journal:

People familiar with the matter said the former president and other top national Democrats worry a win by the charismatic Mr. Rubio, a 39-year-old Cuban-American, would make him a political phenomenon capable of boosting the GOP’s chances with Hispanic voters.

So Clinton and Obama fear his success would open the door to droves of Hispanic Americans? That theory ignores the fact that the seat up for grabs was held by Mel Martinez, a Cuban-born American.  It also ignores the fact that Susana Martinez is way ahead in the New Mexican gubernatorial race, so it’s not as if Hispanic Republicans are an endangered species.

What else could it be? Most certainly Marco Rubio poses a threat, but not as a Moses to millions of Hispanic voters. They fear a Rubio ascendency could impact their futures. He’s dynamic, direct and a charismatic leader in a Presidential field of also-rans.  Palin is polarizing, Romney’s a stiff. Gingrich faces insurmountable personal obstacles, and none of the others have the charisma to rally the people. Perhaps the old sage sees competition for his wife and maybe Obama sees it for himself.

The Presidents should relax; because Americans understand all too well the amount of damage a one-term Senator can inflict. Whether it’s Hillary or Barack, if it’s 2012, they won’t be facing Mr. Rubio.

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Are Republicans after the Anti-Bush?

John McCain Hangry

Lost in the analysis of the ever-changing complexion of the Republican primary—more specifically the ascension of John McCain—is why conservatives seem to be bucking conventional wisdom by gravitating toward someone who hasn’t simply bucked party principles but has been the party maverick, the one most likely to appear first under results of a ‘Republican outcast’ Google search.    

Some pundits cite a less than stellar field as a rationale for McCain’s popularity, and perhaps they’re right. Others believe it’s his electability, in so much as he might be the only one that can knock off Hillary Clinton. But there is one motivation for the McCain surge not making the editorial roundtables—Bush fatigue. Usually mentioned in connection with Democratic frustration and voter turnout, it’s rarely mentioned as an explanation for McCain’s emergence.

Republicans haven’t forgotten McCain-Feingold or his roguish ‘gang of 14’. They also don’t share his view on immigration. From Zogby:

“An overwhelming majority of American adults say a candidate’s stance on immigration is important to their voting decisions, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows. More than 76 % of the online poll respondents said a candidate’s position on immigration is a “very important” or “somewhat important” factor in their decision on who to vote for in the presidential elections of 2008”

So obviously, many Republicans are ignoring recent history with regards to McCain, his amnesty proposal and his forever needling of conservatives. Maybe they too want change and are looking for the anti-Bush.

Who better than that Republican who has been most openly critical?

Lost in Translation. Again.

Today on her show, one of my favorite radio hosts, Laura Ingraham, repeatedly pushed the idea that the world would love to see Barack Obama become President. She cited The Financial Times, the BBC, LeMonde and generic French and Italian newspapers. LeMonde is a communist newspaper so it doesn’t count, and even if it did, the only stories I found concerned Hillary staying on the offensive and a Barack biography. Obviously communists prefer Obama because he’s to the left of Hillary.  As for LeFigaro, the other major French newspaper, I found absolutely nothing to support her claim. I also checked every Italian newspapers. Nothing. One of Italy’s most prominent giornali, La Corriere, a left-leaning paper, even ran “Israel Afraid of Obama” and “Grandma of Obama prayed to Allah for him,” neither can be construed as positive for Obama.  La Repubblica ran an interview with Bill giving faulting the media for Hillary’s lackluster performances in the early states.

The world is simply reporting the news. Sure there’s a fascination about Obama because let’s face it, when is the last time a black politician made noise in Europe? The last one I can recall was Ayan Hirsi Ali and she was kicked out of the Netherlands.

Just because his picture is on foreign newspapers doesn’t signal a massive global wave of support for Barack. It just means they’re following the story and right now, he’s it. 

Hillary’s freefall; Is Barack the man to beat?

Living in Italy gave me an opportunity to learn about European politics, but it also gave me an education on American politics, only from their perspective, not The New York Times. For political geeks like me, election year entertainment is wall to wall TV coverage and site to site web reportage. But until I moved to Italy and had lived there for a while, I didn’t realize Europe’s level of interest in U.S. politics, and how significant American elections are and were abroad.

Headlining Italy’s Corriere della Sera is Hillary Clinton’s freefall from favored status. Another major Italian magazine, Panorama, calls Barack “the man to beat in New Hampshire.”  France’s Le Figaro leads with “Hillary Clinton in turmoil” and goes on to say (with Google translator’s help):

“The campaign of the former first lady, long time favorite of the Democratic primaries, seems mired in disarray. Officially, her staff ensures that the setback in Iowa hasn’t influenced its plans and that there is no need to change strategy. The emphasis is always on “experience” and to “swallow” the hope embodied by Barack Obama to the rank of perilous adventure”.

Germany’s Der Spiegel explores how populism and fears of a recession have factored into the success of Obama and Edwards—the angry crowd rouser who “speaks with rage” against the existence of  the “two Americas.”

I wonder though.

Are these European writers sympathetic to an electorate driven to the polls by 4% unemployment and $3 dollar gas? As mentioned in my book, The Absentee Ballot, as of last year, Italians were paying almost $6 per gallon for unleaded gas. European journalists and their readers suffer taxes, gas-prices and employment rates much higher than populism enthusiasts. American voters who are attracted to the message du jour see a nation filled with problems, while many others around the world see a paradise full of opportunities.  

 This election is closely followed, not just in the U.S, and is paramount, not only to the American people. It’ll be interesting to watch their reactions to Hillary’s fall, Obama’s rise and whichever Republican gets the nod.

Save the planet! Save the peatland!!!

In their most recent climate summit in Bali, the environmental junta set its sights on a familiar target—the U.S. But in their coordinated and overt attempt at booing the U.S into concessions, they failed to adequately address the pollution challenges of developing nations, not of just China and India, but also the conference’s host country—Indonesia.

A recent article in the Italian magazine, L’Espresso, warns of the catastrophe looming in the Indonesian island of Sumatra where palm oil is being mined through deforestation. Palm oil use has increased seventy-five percent in the last ten years thanks to the junta, who once believed its extraction would fuel their bio-fuel boom.

According to the article, the razing of the peatland areas, where the palm oil is concentrated, will cause “49 billion tons of carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere,” or in simpler terms, the equivalent of the earth’s carbon emissions for one year.

Funny how Gore and his fellow America bashers seem more interested in singling out the United States than they do in protecting the environment. Gore skeptics are shouted down time and again when they dare to question his hypocritical behavior, but are we at least permitted to question whether his anti-Americanism has surpassed his interest in finding what he calls the inconvenient truth?