RPT-With a nod and a wink, Republicans build 2016 campaign machines

6 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016′s grotesque beginning: How Jeb & Hillary are quietly competing to win Wall Street’s heart.

JEFFERSON, Iowa — Sheryl McDonald, a retiree, voted for both Presidents Bush. “But I’m finding out they did some things we got stuck with,” she said. “I do not want to see Jeb Bush run,” she added. “He turns me off.” Scarcely anyone at a meeting of the Green County Republican Party here in central Iowa recently had anything kind to say about Mr.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Even before Jeb Bush leaves his first footprint in Iowa on Friday during his debut trip here as a presidential hopeful, some conservative activists seem hardened against him. “It’s hard to reconcile his membership in the Republican Party as anything more than a multigenerational family tradition,” Cary Gordon, a Christian conservative pastor at a Sioux City church, told The Des Moines Register this week. “He appears to be a Republican in name, but not necessarily a Republican in heart and head. He reminds me of the man who grumbles about his old-fashioned and boring Episcopalian church, but can’t bring himself to leave because his great-grandfather donated the church bell, and his mother was buried in the graveyard.” Comments like that invent a Bush persona that’s wholly unfamiliar to Republican and Democratic politicos in Florida, where he was governor from 1999 to 2007. “He’s regarded as a conservative hero in Florida,” Republican state Rep. Scott Walker’s flip-flop on immigration to Jeb Bush’s establishing a super PAC to the media’s churning out stories that make Hillary Clinton look slippery if not outright corrupt. Perhaps most tellingly of all, though, is this Tuesday report from Politico on the subterranean fight being waged between Bush and Clinton right now to earn the support of the most important people in American democracy. Another activist, John Thompson, a West Point graduate who served in Iraq, called it “a wasted war.” Jeb Bush, he said, was the last of the potential Republican candidates he would consider.

He’s an ideologue.” Florida leaders said Bush built the GOP almost from scratch in a Democrat-dominated state, then governed sharply to the right, preaching the gospel of fiscal and social conservatism. And many more see her as a strong leader than say the same of Obama (-12). “Walker is in a nice position right now,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll along with Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “Republicans who know him overwhelmingly think he is a strong leader, and there are very few in the base who hold negative opinions toward him.” While Clinton performs well on leadership, she’s underwater on honesty (-8 points). Bush created the nation’s first school voucher program, pushed accountability in public schools, chiseled away at taxes, fought to prevent abortions, shored up gun rights, cracked down on armed criminals, reformed Medicaid into a system of private managed-care providers and ended affirmative action in state hiring. “I laugh now about people talking about Governor Bush being a moderate.

But he is unpopular with many in the rank and file, who can pick from a large crop of younger White House contenders who pass the conservative litmus tests that Mr. Bush is planning to make yet another sojourn to New York next week, White reports, and has “a pair of events scheduled … with current and former Goldman executives.” Clinton, for her part, is not quite as far along on the shadow campaign trail as Bush. Sixty-one percent of voters say if recent allegations are true and the foundation accepted contributions from foreign governments while Clinton was secretary of state — it was the wrong thing to do. Among all voters, Bush does best on “patriotic” and “caring.” His trouble spot is “strong leader,” as he’s underwater on that — albeit by just one point. “It’s interesting and potentially important how well Bush scores on the caring trait,” says Shaw. “Empathy is something recent GOP candidates have not scored well on, and reducing this gap is essential for them to do well in 2016.” Among those familiar with them, Walker does best on “patriotic” and “strong leader” and Rubio’s top traits are “patriotic” and “caring.” Both of these candidates are less well known than either Bush or Clinton.

And in marked contrast to the official primary on the Democratic side — and perhaps on the Republican side, too, if Walker keeps saying dumb stuff like this — the one for Goldman is neck-and-neck. The 1,011 registered voters were reached via landline and cell phone numbers randomly selected for inclusion in this nationwide survey from March 1-3, 2015. A narrative has already begun to sink in here that conservatives should be skeptical of him, partly because he embraces academic standards for student achievement and is disinterested in deporting every immigrant living in the country illegally. Asked if he’s worried that it might already be getting too late to change some Iowa conservatives’ negative opinions about him, Bush told the Register in a telephone interview: “No.” “Look, if I actually go beyond the consideration of running to actually running, then I’ll do it with lots of energy.

Bush appears so far to be bypassing the extensive networks of supporters, and strategists, that his father and older brother each built in Iowa en route to winning its first-in-the-nation caucus. I’d put my record up against anybody’s, to be honest with you.” Iowa isn’t entirely hostile turf for Bush — 46 percent of Republicans who intend to vote in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in 2016 view Bush favorably, according to a late January Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll. Bush named an outsider to head up his prospective Iowa campaign: Annie Kelly, a Pennsylvania native who worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Although he might prefer to stay at home with a book, he has shown an eagerness to get out to meet voters and donors, repeatedly explaining his thinking on immigration and common core education standards and how all that fits in with what he believes the country needs. Instead of trying to persuade the bankers that theirs is the superior policy vision, these crypto-candidates will probably argue that they’re the better spokesperson for winning over the real customer here — you. At the same time Bush was telling them his analysis, he was also typing responses to Floridians, including a woman reporting a problem pothole. “It remains the most fascinating multitasking experience I have ever witnessed,” said Gaetz, who is the finance and tax committee chairman in the Florida House. And so long as the U.S. is at least a nominal democratic republic, the president of the United States needs to be the candidate who won at least a plurality of the popular vote — although this rule is admittedly not hard-and-fast.

Wittgraf, a lawyer in Cherokee, Iowa, who was state chairman for the first President Bush. “People were looking for an alternative to Bill Clinton then. Rather than make it easier for Wall Street to go back to its earlier wheeling and dealing, the public strongly supports the so-called Robin Hood tax on financial transactions. Bush’s “name is something he’s going to have to overcome,” she said. “He is going to have to be more articulate with his fresh ideas.” On Friday, Mr.

Bush’s austere approach to running the state bureaucracies, including his decision to cut 13,000 positions, left Florida hurting when the recession hit after he left office, Gelber said. But Fitzgerald and several other Democrats said Bush made nothing more than mild improvement in education, and his conservative prescription for tax cuts, outsourcing and downsizing did not improve outcomes in other state services. On Saturday he will appear with a dozen other 2016 hopefuls at an agriculture forum in Des Moines, then attend a meet-and-greet at a Pizza Ranch restaurant in Cedar Rapids — the city where George W.

In the telephone interview with the Register, Bush said: “We worked hard to execute on what the legislature gave us the authority to do, and it did improve outcomes — education outcomes particularly. In K-12, we went from the bottom of the pack to having some of the greatest learning gains over the last decade.” Bush said: “I’ve had a chance to be governor of a complex state, where we fixed a few big things that made it possible for a whole lot of people in our state to benefit. But I wouldn’t worry too much if I were them, because whoever the winner is will be able to draw upon the Goldman Sachs brain trust’s expertise — and nobody but nobody out there knows more than them when it comes to passing off a rotten deal. That life experience that came from business and public leadership — if I go forward and run for president — I think will be a useful part of the story that I’ll tell Iowans.” On the night of the statewide caucus in 1988, he spoke in Council Bluffs in support of his father, who ended up losing the precinct on his way to finishing third in the state (although he won the nomination and the presidency). “It was a humbling experience” for the 34-year-old Jeb, said Douglas E.

Gross, a Bush family friend. “He trudges back to the Holiday Inn Express by himself like he doesn’t have a friend in the world.” Polls show stiff resistance to Mr. Significantly, the No. 2 issue cited by Republicans in the survey in picking a candidate, after the economy, was immigration — a persistent problem for moderates in this Midwest state with a 5.5 percent Latino population. Bush might be tempted to hedge his bets, to avoid the humiliation of a poor Iowa showing, that could allow others who also appeal to center-right voters, like Mr. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, to gain ground. “What happens in Iowa becomes a reflection of your momentum in the race,” said Mr.

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