Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine despite a ceasefire agreement reached earlier this month by European negotiators.
While Russian-backed separatists began to pull back some heavy weapons from the front lines on Tuesday as part of the deal, Ukraine says the rebels are still initiating attacks. Ukrainian forces retreated from the strategic rail hub Debaltseve last week under an onslaught from the separatists—who were bolstered by Russian troops and advanced weaponry, Western officials said—and residents now fear that the rebels could launch further attacks on the eastern cities of Mariupol and Kharkiv.
Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) has less of a chance of beating a Democrat for president in 2016 than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Courier Journal reports.
An intellectually stimulating and potentially historic event was held at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday. House majority leader Eric Cantor, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and Senators Mike Lee and Tim Scott appeared alongside conservative thinkers and journalists such as Arthur Brooks, Ross Douthat, Reihan Salam, Ramesh Ponnuru, Peter Wehner, Yuval Levin, and Kate O’Beirne to discuss “solutions for the middle class.” The AEI panel was noteworthy not only for its content but also for the presence of Republican elected officials. It was the debut, however modest, of “reform conservatism” as a political force.
Today’s New York Times has a front-page hit piece on Jeb Bush, the reasonable, moderate, why-can’t-all-GOP-pols-be-more-like-him Republican who nevertheless must be destroyed lest he derail the historic ambitions of Hillary Clinton. It is ridiculous.
Hillary Clinton may end up deciding she wants to spend the 935 days until election 2016 making corporate speeches and spoiling her grandchild. Recent events have exposed weaknesses in Clinton’s supposedly impregnable armor, gaps through which a Democratic or Republican challenger could damage, perhaps even defeat her. The bad headlines to which she has been subjected are enough to make anyone—anyone who isn’t a Clinton—think twice about running for president.
My must read of the day is “Jeb, Hillary, and the curse of tarnished political brands,” by Jonah Goldberg, in the Los Angeles Times.
Salon editor Joan Walsh on Monday dismissed the buzz surrounding former Florida governor Jeb Bush and his potential run for president in 2016, calling it “really, frankly ridiculous, the notion that the only thing Republicans have going for them are men named Bush.”
Republicans, Walsh said on MSNBC, “can’t find a president from the 20th century to the 21st century who is not named Bush.” She also complained about the undue influence of rich people on the political process.