They’re not kidding when they say it’s difficult to hold the White House for three terms in a row. So much depends on the incumbent: Is he deemed a success or a failure? Is he loved or derided? The candidate seeking to replace a president of his own party is betting the country doesn’t want to change. Bush 41 bet correctly—in 1988. Al Gore and John McCain did not.
The winner of the atrocious CNBC debate was Dr. Ben Carson. He came into Boulder on the upswing: taking the lead in Iowa polls and in one national poll, doing well in fundraising, and connecting with enthusiastic crowds. Nothing happened on stage to slow his momentum. Indeed, nothing happened at the CNBC debate to change …
Rumble in the Jungle this was not.
On one side: Paul Ryan, who said he’d only run for speaker of the House if Republicans were unified, open to reforms, and respectful of his family life. On the other: the House Freedom Caucus, which had influenced John Boehner’s decision to retire and Kevin McCarthy’s withdrawal from consideration. The Freedom Caucus had a reputation. Combative, aggrieved, empowered.
More than 30 dead in Israel as Palestinians armed with knives attack innocents. What’s responsible? A campaign of incitement, which slanderously accuses Jews of intruding on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and murdering Arab children in cold blood.
And who is legitimizing this campaign? None other than Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, whom President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have long held up as a peacemaker. “I think nobody would dispute that whatever disagreements you may have with him, he has proven himself to be somebody who has committed to nonviolence and diplomatic efforts to resolve this issue,” Obama told writer Jeffrey Goldberg in 2014.
Why did Hillary Clinton win tonight’s Democratic debate? The reason is simple. She’s the only candidate on stage who can win both the Democratic primary and the general election. And with today’s Democratic party, that is no small feat.
The Democratic march to the left is stunning. Having Bernie Sanders play Clinton’s chief foil may excite the left, but, as much as I hate to say it, David Brock is right: The man is unelectable. It’s not just that he’s proposing $18 trillion in new spending and trillions in new taxes. It’s his personal demeanor, which will turn off most Democrats long before it turns off swing voters in the general election. Martin O’Malley may not be as radical as Sanders, but he is certainly to Clinton’s left, and his record in Baltimore and Maryland, where he put many left wing ideas into practice, will be easily attacked by the Republicans.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, established in 1949, has 28 members devoted to the idea of collective security. Prediction: By the time President Obama leaves office in 2017, the NATO pledge of mutual defense in response to aggression will have been exposed as worthless. Objectively the alliance will have ceased to exist. The culprits? Vladimir Putin—and Barack Obama.