Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 21, 2013 11 Adar, 5773 /

Republicans struggle to agree on candidates who can win

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the interesting things about recent elections is that Republicans have tended to do better the farther you go down the ballot.

They've lost the presidency twice in a row, and in four of the past six contests. They've failed to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, something they accomplished in five election cycles between 1994 and 2006.

But there's another reason, which has been particularly glaring in races for the U.S. Senate: candidate quality.

Over the years I've noticed that Democrats tend to have a disproportionate share of candidates with sharp political instincts and ambition.

Probably that's natural. Democrats tend to want more government, and smart Democrats like to go into politics. Smart Republicans tend to take other paths.

This helped Democrats maintain congressional majorities and big margins in state legislatures when Republicans were sweeping five of six presidential elections from 1968 to 1988.

They lost that edge in candidate quality in the 1990s, but they seemed to regain it in the later Bush years.

That's the main reason why Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate after the very Republican election cycle of 2010 and a 2012 cycle in which 23 Democratic and only 10 Republican seats were up for grabs.

It's generally agreed that Republicans booted sure Senate wins in 2010 in Nevada and Delaware and perhaps Colorado.

Foolish statements about abortion and rape cost Republicans wins in Indiana and Missouri in 2012. They also lost two very winnable races in North Dakota and Montana and two races in which former officeholders fell just short in Wisconsin and Virginia.

Last month Karl Rove said his American Crossroads group would spend money in primaries to prevent the nomination of weak candidates.

He was promptly attacked by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell, who said conservatives, not the Republican establishment, should choose party nominees.

Actually, both insiders and outsiders have made bad picks. Rove can cite the Senate races listed above.

His critics can cite the elections of Marco Rubio in Florida in 2010 and Ted Cruz in Texas in 2012. The National Republican Senatorial Committee originally supported Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, over Rubio. Almost all Texas Republican leaders supported Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst over Cruz.

But neither Rubio nor Cruz was a total outsider. Rubio was speaker of the Florida House and had quiet backing from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Cruz was solicitor general of Texas and had a nationwide network of fans.

The fact is that some candidates who rise up from nowhere turn out to have good political instincts, like Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, while others make game-losing mistakes.

The Republican Party has benefited on balance from the infusion of new people symbolized by the Tea Party movement, just as the Democratic Party benefited on balance 40 years ago from the infusion of people from the peace movement.

But such outsider movements also produce some candidates with a gift for campaign-losing gaffes. And they produce primary electorates who prefer a disastrous purist over someone not far off in views but also capable of winning an election.

Assessing whether a candidate has good political instincts is a matter of judgment about which reasonable people will disagree.

Rove has had a good record of doing this over the years. He really was the Republican establishment in 2002 when he picked winning candidates in key races.

Of course, it helped that he had the backing of a Republican president with 60 percent-plus job approval.

There's no Republican establishment like that today. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is by definition an insider.

He also seems to have good political instincts -- good enough that in Wisconsin he backed a newcomer like Ron Johnson in 2010.

So I don't see this as a fight between the grass roots and the Washington establishment. It's a struggle to find candidates with serious convictions and good political instincts -- which is usually an uphill struggle for Republicans.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




Michael Barone Archives

© 2009, Washington Examiner; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast