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.
One day after Scott Walker dropped out of the presidential race, the Politico headline read: “Walker’s campaign manager unloads.” The same day, the Washington Post had an article, “Inside the collapse of Scott Walker’s presidential bid,” which also drew heavily from Walker’s campaign manager, GOP consultant Rick Wiley. It’s almost as if Wiley had an agenda.
There’s one story out of the CNN Republican debate, and that’s Carly Fiorina. The cable network expanded the ranks of GOP candidates to include her in the primetime debate, and she made the most of the opportunity. She did what no one thought was possible: She beat Donald Trump in the television game with her retort to his comments about her physical appearance. And she did more than that: She gave crisp, strong, visceral answers on questions regarding national security, abortion, and the economy. Conservative audiences have been thrilled at Fiorina’s appearances for months. Tonight she showed the nation that she is articulate, capable, passionate, and fearless. She displayed more thumos than many of the men on stage.
In early July, during another rough patch for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Dan Pfeiffer took to CNN to reassure his party. Pfeiffer used to be President Obama’s top communications aide. The title of his op-ed was “Stop the bed-wetting: Hillary Clinton’s doing fine.” Bed-wetting, Pfeiffer explained, “is a term of art in Obamaland.” Ah, the president and his acolytes. Such sophisticates.
This week President Obama won the 34th vote in support of his nuclear deal with Iran. The vote, from Senator Barbara Mikulski, guarantees that the deal will survive a rejection by Congress. The fact that the deal will be made despite such opposition—something a few of us predicted months ago—is, in the words of the AP, a “landmark Obama victory.” It is worth asking how many more of these victories our country can withstand.
The anniversary of the U.S. war against the Islamic State passed with little notice. It was August 7 of last year that President Obama authorized the first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, a campaign he expanded a month later to include targets in Syria. So far this month, the president has delivered remarks on the Voting Rights Act, his deal with Iran, the budget, clean energy, and Hurricane Katrina. ISIS? Not a peep.
The closest I’ve ever come to glimpsing hell was on Monday, when I read an article in the New York Times headlined, “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency.”
Reporters Michael D. Shear and Gardiner Harris reveal the “methodical effort taking place inside and outside the White House as the president, first lady, and a cadre of top aides map out a post-presidential infrastructure and endowment they estimate could cost as much as $1 billion,” or about as much as Obama fundraised for the 2012 campaign.
Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, wrote a six-page memo to “Interested Parties” Wednesday on the state of the 2016 presidential race. His message: Everything is under control. “While we always have, and continue to, anticipate a very competitive race,” Mook wrote, “Hillary stands today in a very enviable position.”
“Fewer than 400 families are responsible for almost half the money raised in the 2016 presidential campaign, a concentration of political donors that is unprecedented in the modern era,” the New York Times breathlessly reported last Sunday. The popularity of so-called Super PACs, which can raise unlimited funds, has allowed the wealthy to dominate the fundraising scene. “The intensifying reliance on big money in politics mirrors the concentration of American wealth more broadly.” Democracy, we are meant to believe, is at stake.
Marco Rubio won the first GOP presidential debate on Thursday night. He was confident, energetic, eloquent, knowledgeable, and figured out the way to handle Donald Trump. The importance of debates is vastly overrated, and it’s a long, long time before the first caucus in Iowa, but Rubio proved he belongs in the first tier of presidential contenders, and will be in this race for the long haul.