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The Chase: Rand, Walker rising

A new month brings a fresh listing of The Chase — The RUN’s rolling rankings of the most likely 2016 presidential nominees of each party.

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Could a pro gay marriage Republican win?

As Republican politicians incrementally adjust their rhetoric on gay marriage, a pivotal political question simmers beneath the surface: Could a pro-gay marriage candidate capture the party’s presidential nomination in 2016? At first blush, it seems hard to imagine. Some of the activists who wield considerable influence over conservatives in early states are already warning it’s a bridge too far. Craig Robinson, who runs The Iowa Republican blog told The Daily Beast that if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were to sign a gay marriage law, “it would almost disqualify him as a national candidate.” In an interview with The RUN, the Iowa Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats said he doesn’t see a proponent of gay marriage surviving the rough-and-tumble primary process. Yet, as they witness a sea change in public opinion before their eyes, GOP operatives realize it’s less a matter of if than when. And more precisely, how fast? There will be a GOP nominee for president who supports gay marriage eventually. What’s less clear is if it...

Frum 1 Frum: Hillary would ‘short-circuit party renewal

David Frum compiles his own case against Hillary Clinton in a column for CNN, where he writes that the biggest risk of her nomination is “that it would short-circuit the necessary work of party renewal.” A Hillary Clinton campaign would want to shut down any such debate before it starts. It would want to inherit the Democratic nomination and then the presidency as an estate in reversion: a debt long owed, now collected. If successful, it would arrive in office without a platform and without much of a mandate. That’s not a formula for an effective presidency — or a healthy democracy. Last month for The RUN’s kick-off, I outlined the three main reasons to bet against Clinton’s ultimate ascent to the White House, with the first being “She’s the past.” It’s similar to the argument that Frum is making now.  Despite the historic implications of her candidacy, it’s hard to imagine a Clinton as the future of the Democratic Party – introducing a new policy scope and fresh vision – especially coming after President...

Hick’s civil unions good enough?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the first major 2016er to pass a gay marriage bill back in the summer of 2011. Eight months later, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley followed suit with his own same-sex marriage signing. Now Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper – a second-tier, potential darkhorse 2016 contender – gets his turn in the spotlight. With state House passage of legislation to allow gay couples to form civil unions, it now goes to Hickenlooper for his signature. Going back to his days as Denver mayor, Hickenlooper has long been a proponent of gay rights, but he’s also drawn the line at civil unions, which may not be good enough for progressives who see marriage as the only acceptable measure to attaining real equality. In fact, Hickenlooper once ran an ad on behalf of an initiative cementing marriage as between “a man and a woman.” “It’s not marriage,” Hickenlooper says in the spot. “It’s basic legal rights.” Hickenlooper’s adamant push for civil unions has been branded...

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Frum 1 Frum: Hillary would ‘short-circuit party renewal

David Frum compiles his own case against Hillary Clinton in a column for CNN, where he writes that the biggest risk of her nomination is “that it would short-circuit the necessary work of party renewal.” A Hillary Clinton campaign would want to shut down any such debate before it starts. It would want to inherit the Democratic nomination and then the presidency as an estate in reversion: a debt long owed, now collected. If successful, it would arrive in office without a platform and without much of a mandate. That’s not a formula for an effective presidency — or a healthy democracy. Last month for The RUN’s kick-off, I outlined the three main reasons to bet against Clinton’s ultimate ascent to the White House, with the...

The Chase: Rand, Walker rising

A new month brings a fresh listing of The Chase — The RUN’s rolling rankings of the most likely 2016 presidential nominees of each party. The most significant changes come on the Republican side, where Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have vaulted into the top-tier. Paul grabs the #2 spot and Walker is on his heels at #3.  Sen. Marco Rubio retains his #1 ranking and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stays in the #4 slot. Dropping from the top-tier are Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Why Paul at #2? The freshman libertarian had the hottest month in his party, achieving hero status for his 13-hour filibuster over the Obama administration’s drone policy and notching...

Huntsman: Rand broadens the base

More praise for Sen. Rand Paul’s libertarian-ization of the Republican Party, this time from former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. He delivered his comments to PolicyMic on the same night he gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: I think Rand Paul has tapped a vein, particularly among young people with whom these ideas have always been popular. The libertarian streak has always been part of the Republican Party. It’s completely in line with a party that is committed to the Tenth amendment of the Constitution, allowing the states to be the incubators of democracy, the laboratories of change. Whether it’s on drug policy, education policy, energy policy, or keeping a wary eye on the garrison state that’s been created in this...

Could a pro gay marriage Republican win?

As Republican politicians incrementally adjust their rhetoric on gay marriage, a pivotal political question simmers beneath the surface: Could a pro-gay marriage candidate capture the party’s presidential nomination in 2016? At first blush, it seems hard to imagine. Some of the activists who wield considerable influence over conservatives in early states are already warning it’s a bridge too far. Craig Robinson, who runs The Iowa Republican blog told The Daily Beast that if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were to sign a gay marriage law, “it would almost disqualify him as a national candidate.” In an interview with The RUN, the Iowa Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats said he doesn’t see a proponent of gay marriage surviving the rough-and-tumble primary process. Yet, as...

Easter in South Carolina

WASHINGTON — The White House says Vice President Joe Biden is heading to South Carolina for Easter weekend. The vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, were to arrive Thursday evening in Kiawah Island, near Charleston. He’s not planning any public events while he’s in town. Biden has strong ties to South Carolina, and spent a weeklong vacation on Kiawah Island in 2009. Biden will return to South Carolina in May when he headlines the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner, a fundraiser that the South Carolina Democratic Party is holding in Columbia.

CPAC snub good for Christie in Jersey

Nearly half of New Jersey voters say the Conservative Political Action Conference’s snub of Gov. Chris Christie makes them more likely to support the Republican, according to a Conservative Intel/Harper Polling survey. And the sentiment is quite bipartisan: 55 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of Unaffiliated/Other voters and 46 percent of Democrats say they’re more likely to support Christie as a result of the diss. Now, the question is if Christie wins big in November, will he have the Jersey chutzpah to return the slight next year, when the invite is more likely to arrive?

The media savages Paul Ryan

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s most prominent day in the limelight since he was a vice presidential nominee earned him a stack of some of the most brutal headlines of his political career. From cable television to leading political news sites, the reaction to Ryan’s 10-year budget blueprint was largely aggressive criticism with a slice of mockery. Ryan ”promises to balance the budget in a decade by . . . slashing Medicare, Medicaid and programs to help the poor,” read the bruising lead in The Huffington Post. “Something that makes Paul Ryan an interesting figure in my view is that along with his passion for reducing the living standards of the poor in order to bolster the incomes of the wealthy, he maintains a sideline interest in monetary policy,” wrote Slate’s Matthew Yglesias on...

Hick’s civil unions good enough?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the first major 2016er to pass a gay marriage bill back in the summer of 2011. Eight months later, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley followed suit with his own same-sex marriage signing. Now Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper – a second-tier, potential darkhorse 2016 contender – gets his turn in the spotlight. With state House passage of legislation to allow gay couples to form civil unions, it now goes to Hickenlooper for his signature. Going back to his days as Denver mayor, Hickenlooper has long been a proponent of gay rights, but he’s also drawn the line at civil unions, which may not be good enough for progressives who see marriage as the only acceptable measure...

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