While the 2016 presidential election is two year away, there is plenty of buzz now about who will decide to run. Gwen Ifill talks to Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz about what to look for as the race starts to take shape including how Hillary Clinton has frozen the field for other potential Democrats.
On Monday morning, at a White House summit on policies to help working families, Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his wealth. He said that while he wore a “mildly expensive suit” and was vice president of the United States of America, he didn’t own a stock or a bond, and as a senator, was the poorest member of the club. This bit is a longstanding part of Biden’s shtick, but was interpreted—most loudly by the Republican National Committee—as a dig at possible presidential rival Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state has been having trouble talking about her considerable wealth, ever since she described herself as “dead broke” upon leaving the White House.
Most potential Republican presidential contenders are renouncing the national educational standards known as Common Core. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has championed measuring academic achievement for two decades, is doubling down. Resistance to Common Core is growing among the party's activists, who see it as a federal incursion into local schools. Republican governors of South Carolina and Oklahoma last month joined Indiana in opting out. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who two years ago said the initiative "will...
Listening to Republican presidential candidates talk to GOP activists in Iowa, it’s hard to tell which party is in more trouble. The president and his party are so bankrupt and swaddled in serial stupidities that a string of electoral routs is surely coming, they say. Common-sense voters will drive Democrats from Congress and the presidency before they undermine the American Dream further. Still, each GOP hopeful seems compelled to pitch himself as a Republican savior: the only solution to a broken party that won’t win the presidency without his unique brand of political repair. “You guys have a strong force here,” said Sen. Rand Paul to the attendees at the Iowa Republican Party’s state convention on Saturday, “but frankly the president won Iowa twice. So we can’t do the same ole same old.”
Republican strength in this year's House and Senate races could, strangely enough, hurt the party's presidential chances by stalling the changes in style and policy advocated after Mitt Romney's defeat in the 2012 presidential campaign. GOP officials and strategists say it's hard to persuade party leaders to adjust the political recipe when they feel increasingly upbeat about adding Senate control to their solid House majority this fall. This optimism, numerous GOP strategists say, makes looking past the party's loss of the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections easy.
What qualities do voters want in a president? A white male Protestant lawyer of European descent from a big state has been the historical answer, but the Pew Research Center recently asked this question to get a more current view. The results were bad news for the Senate’s class of presidential hopefuls, such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Republican Party voters like governors—and just about nothing about the Washington political system in which today’s senators serve.
While most of the focus these days has been on the Tea Party's success in moving the GOP to the right, not enough attention has been paid to the very real possibility of a Democratic contest in 2016 that pushes the nominee too far to the left. A new poll from Third Way, a middle-of-the-road Democratic think tank, finds that moderate voters are much more skeptical of the kind of government intervention that many liberals support. So, why should Democrats care what moderates think? Because self-identified moderate voters are a key Democratic constituency. The more alienated they feel from the party, the bigger the opportunity for the GOP to pick them off.
Republican strategist Karl Rove on Tuesday distanced himself from a provocative New York Post headline, saying he does not believe -- as the newspaper asserted -- that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton suffered "brain damage" from a head injury in 2012.
Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor of the "PBS NewsHour." The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," Gwen has covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates.