It was a clear and solid victory for Rand Paul on Saturday with the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) ushering in the straw poll which is taken at each annual event. This is a repeat for Paul who also won in 2013. Here are the complete CPAC 2014 straw poll results.
31% – Rand Paul (1)
11% – Ted Cruz (2)
9% – Ben Carson (3)
8% – Chris Christie (4)
7% – Rick Santorum, Scott Walker (tie 5)
6% – Marco Rubio (6)
3% – Paul Ryan, Rick Perry (tie 7)
What do you make of these results? Where does the GOP appear to be headed in 2016?
The only self-proclaimed socialist in the United States Senate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has flat out stated that he's prepared to run for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton.
Report from The Nation:
Bernie Sanders says he is “prepared to run for president of the United States.” That’s not a formal announcement. A lot can change between now and 2016, and the populist senator from Vermont bristles at the whole notion of a permanent campaign. But Sanders has begun talking with savvy progressive political strategists, traveling to unexpected locations such as Alabama and entertaining the process questions that this most issue-focused member of the Senate has traditionally avoided.
In some senses, Sanders is the unlikeliest of prospects: an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate but has never joined the party, a democratic socialist in a country where many politicians fear the label “liberal,” an outspoken critic of the economic, environmental and social status quo who rips “the ruling class” and calls out the Koch brothers by name. Yet, he has served as the mayor of his state’s largest city, beaten a Republican incumbent for the US House, won and held a historically Republican Senate seat and served longer as an independent member of Congress than anyone else. And he says his political instincts tell him America is ready for a “political revolution.”
As witnessed in 2008, Hillary Clinton is vulnerable on some progressive issues where she falls a little more moderate than the base of the Democratic party. Foreign policy is a good example. That being said, can the socialist from Vermont actually force Clinton to run to the left and avoid being out flanked similarly to 2008?
Call it a replay of the last 20+ years in politics. I'm willing to bet many Americans have had their fill of politicians named Bush or Clinton.
Report from Rasmussen:
The latest round of speculation about the 2016 presidential race stars former Florida Governor Jeb Bush whose Republican nomination could potentially lead to a matchup between two powerhouse political families. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton holds a double-digit lead over Bush in a hypothetical matchup, but half of voters are less likely to vote for Bush because of his family’s history in the White House.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, 47% of Likely U.S. Voters would choose Clinton, while 33% would opt for Bush. Fourteen percent (14%) prefer some other candidate, while six percent (6%) are undecided.
Food for thought if you're a Republican who sees Jeb Bush is the "electable" one if Chris Christie doesn't pan out.
The 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) takes place over the next two days at National Harbor just outside the beltway of the nation's capital. On hand delivering remarks will be just about every major Republican who hopes to become the nominee in 2016. The entire conference is aired on C-SPAN and if you want to watch any of the speeches live, the schedule is available from CPAC.
Report from Fox News:
Sen. Ted Cruz kicked off an annual gathering of the conservative faithful by accusing his own party of standing "for nothing" in recent elections and urging the GOP to regain its stride by co-opting President Obama's mantra of "hope and change."
"Our country is at a crisis point," the fiery Texas Republican said in the opening address of the Conservative Political Action Conference, held in suburban Washington.
Cruz addressed head on the current divide in the Republican Party between moderates looking anew for common ground with Democrats and party hard-liners like himself more than happy to keep waging battle against ObamaCare and other policies they see as representative of a bloated government.
"We need to repeal every single word of ObamaCare," Cruz bellowed from the podium.
Cruz, to the delight of the crowd, borrowed Obama's famous campaign trail phrases from 2008.
Recalling the unsuccessful fight last fall to repeal the health care law, Cruz mocked the outcry from Democrats and the media.
"They said 'this is hopeless, don't you understand, just move on, just accept it, you can't do anything to stop this.' — Yes we can," he said.
Apparently Christie received a standing ovation this morning after delivering his speech.
CPAC always culminates with a straw poll at the end which is a somewhat meaningless but highly coveted prize for would-be contenders of the Republican nomination. However, Mitt Romney did win the straw poll in 2012 and go on to become the nominee so perhaps it isn't entirely meaningless.
Under current Kentucky law, Senator Rand Paul would not be able to seek higher office while simultaneously running a campaign to keep his current office. With an eye toward the White House in 2016, Paul intends to change that.
Report from the Washington Times:
Opening a door to hedge his political bets, Sen. Rand Paul has asked the leader of the Kentucky Senate for legislation to ensure that Mr. Paul can run both for the White House and for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016, The Washington Times has learned.
“Yes, I am working on clarifying an ambiguous state law that Rand Paul believes is unconstitutional if it is interpreted to bar running for re-election to the Senate and for president at the same time,” Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer told The Times on Monday.
“The purpose of the bill will be to make clear that Rand Paul or anyone in a similar situation in Kentucky can run for both offices in the same year,” Mr. Thayer explained.
If things go Mr. Paul’s way, he could win the GOP presidential nomination, then run in the fall 2016 general election for the presidency and to retain his U.S. Senate seat. If he wins the presidency and the Senate re-election bid, he would relinquish his Senate seat.
If he loses the presidential election but wins the Senate re-election race, he would become a second-term U.S. senator from Kentucky.
Pretty clear sign the junior Senator from Kentucky would like to occupy the Oval Office but would also like to hedge his bet to keep his name on his senate office door should the former not pan out.
Not an uncommon move, to say the least. One only has to look at Senator John Kerry in 2004 who retained his US Senate seat after losing the presidency to George W. Bush. Of course, Massachusetts law already allowed that scenario.
The rumors about Hillary Clinton's overall health have persisted since her disappearance from public eye between Election Day in 2012 leading up to her testimony regarding the Benghazi attack. At that time, numerous explanations were given for her weeks of absence yet some reporters are now asking whether the truth about her health is . . . → Read More: Could health concerns nix Hillary's 2016 run?
It was five years ago today that Rick Santelli set off shock waves through the political universe with his call to action live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade on CNBC. The culprit at the time was a federal program to bailout home loans coming off the housing market collapse.
. . . → Read More: Reflections of the Tea Party, 5 Years In
With many Chris Christie supporters cooling after the "bridgegate" scandal erupted and continues pouring out tidbits of information, some in the establishment have begun looking elsewhere on the GOP bench. Enter the possibility of renewed hope in Jeb Bush launching a campaign.
Report from CBS News:
From a list of five high profile . . . → Read More: GOP 2016 primary: Rand Paul vs. Jeb Bush?
For the most part, the battles in recent years have focused on domestic issues like the economy and health care. However, topics such as Libya, Egypt, Syria and now Ukraine have been on the front burner of international affairs.
Come 2016, which party will take an edge in addressing matters of foreign policy? . . . → Read More: Foreign policy in 2016
Republicans are apparently crowning Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2016. As such, the debate has begun within the party on how best to attack Mrs. Clinton and whether her husband's sexual exploits should be a part of the discussion.
Report from Fox News:
Former Bush administration adviser Karl Rove on Sunday . . . → Read More: Republicans split on how to attack the Clintons