Time for another LinkSwarm:
And remember that your taxes are due tomorrow…
Some political observers think Ted Cruz will pass on running in the 2016 Presidential race, including the very perceptive liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz, who says flatly that “Cruz won’t run in 2016.”
I would suggest to those who don’t think Cruz is running should look at his travel schedule. This Saturday, for example, Cruz has a pretty hectic itinerary in New Hampshire:
Saturday, April 12
10:00 am ET – Nashua
Greater Nashua NHGOP Day of Action Rally
Nashua City Hall, Back Parking Lot
229 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
11:00 am ET – Manchester
Greater Manchester NHGOP Day of Action Rally
Livingston Park, Pool Parking Lot
14 Red Coat Lane (off Hooksett Road)
Manchester, NH 03104
1:35 pm ET – Manchester
Sen. Cruz to hold media availability
The Executive Court
1199 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, NH 03109
2:15 pm ET – Manchester
Sen. Cruz to speak at Americans for Prosperity “Freedom Summit”
The Executive Court
1199 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, NH 03109
He’s also been to Iowa this year:
Tuesday, March 18
1:40 pm CT – Des Moines, IA
Sen. Cruz speaks at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) Homeschool Day at the Capitol
Marriott Hotel Downtown
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
7:40 pm CT – Mason City, IA
Sen. Cruz speaks at the Cerro Gordo County GOP Dinner
The Music Man Square
308 South Pennsylvania Avenue
Mason City, IA 50401
There were a significant number of events in Iowa and new Hampshire last year as well:
Friday, October 25
7:00 pm – Des Moines, IA
Sen. Cruz keynotes 2013 Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan Dinner
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Iowa Events Center
730 3rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
NOTE: Sen. Cruz speaks at ~7:30 pm; he will take questions from the press following the program in room 402.
Saturday, October 26
12:00 pm – Les Mars, IA
Sen. Cruz Speaks at Defenders of Freedom Banquet
Le Mars Convention Center
275 12th Street, SE
Le Mars, IA 51031
NOTE: Sen. Cruz speaks at ~1:05 pm; he will take questions from the press following the program.
Friday, August 23 – Dublin, New Hampshire
4:45 p.m. ET
4 Windmill Hill Road
Dublin, NH 03444
6:30 p.m. ET
New Hampshire GOP Summer Backyard Party
4 Windmill Hill Road
Dublin, NH 03444
On Saturday, August 10, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
Saturday, August 10
3:50 p.m. – Ames, IA
Iowa State University
400 Beach Avenue
Ames, IA 50011
*NOTE: Sen. Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, will speak prior to the Senator at 3:35 p.m.
If Cruz isn’t running, he’s sure spending an awful lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire for a Senator from Texas.
For an additional data point, note that there’s already a Draft Ted Cruz Super PAC that just happens to be run by Cruz regional director Raz Shafer (and a rare kudo for David Weigel for doing the leg, er, Google and WHOIS work).
Finally, this video on the Ted Cruz for Senate YouTube channel sure sounds like a campaign ad:
If I had to bet money, I’d say Cruz is running for the Presidency in 2016, and I think he’ll make a formidable candidate.
You may have noticed that all the usual media outlets and liberal extensions of the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself) falling in line to attack the Koch brothers, as I’m sure has been decreed by either the DNC or whatever passes for the resurrected JournoList
Never mind that the George Soros-funded Tides Foundation outspends the Koch Brothers by a good margin. The real reason Democrats hate the Koch Brothers is that their network is kicking Democrats’ collective asses.
Take some of their most recent ads, for example. Here’s one against Michigan Representative Gary Peters:
And here’s one against Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu:
And don’t forget the video that has Julie Boonstra receiving death threats:
(Hat tip: Moe Lane, I think, though damned if I can find the link just now…)
A quick tab-clearing roundup of some gun and crime news:
There’s a lot of time before November, but Democrats are freaking out early and often:
National Democrats are in a near panic — if the media’s highly-attuned panic detectors are any indicator — with a “poisonous” president unable to use his popularity to sway voters, a “screaming siren” warning about mid-term turnout, and Republicans on the offensive on Obamacare. There are a long eight months until November, but Democrats seem unlikely to get much sleep over the interim.
Maureen Dowd expands on the theme:
So now Democratic panic has set in.
With the health care sign-up period coming to an end this month, Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks.
That may be why incumbent Senator Kay Hagan is running from answering questions.
You tears, E. J. Dionne! Let me taste them! “Obama and his party are in danger of allowing the Republicans to set the terms of the 2014 elections.” Along with the usual Dionnean mush about Republicans are uniquely negative, evil, etc. He and Dowd both push the “It’s the evil Koch brothers! Evil I tells ya!” Meme of the Week. He also says to embrace ObamaCare.
That same “embrace Obamacare” advice is also offered up by Bob Shrum, and who are we to gainsay the keen tactical insight garnered from working on eight losing Presidential campaigns?
Columnist Eugene Robinson also says to defend ObamaCare. Hmmmmmm.
No wonder Democrats are freaking out. The tanks are converging on their position, crushing all before them, and their commander is telling them to be calm and fire back with their rifle. Those with even half a brain (asking a lot, I know) should remember back to 2010, where supporting Obamacare cost incumbent Democrats an average of 5.2% of the vote. The result was Democrats lost 63 seats in the House. This time it looks like Democrats’ embrace of ObamaCare will cost them the Senate.
Who can blame them for freaking out?
And what better music for a freakout than Austin’s own psychedelic pioneers, the 13th Floor Elevators?
Time for another LinkSwarm, sweeping up all the news that was happening while I was churning out Texas primary news:
“The exchanges are based on layers upon layers of bad software, run by shady characters,” he writes. “The Bitcoin masses, judging by their behavior on forums, have no actual interest in science, technology or even objective reality when it interferes with their market position. They believe that holding a Bitcoin somehow makes them an active participant in a bold new future, even as they passively get fleeced in the bolder current present.”
…enjoy a Golden Retriever nodding its head in time to the music:
There may or may not be any real content today, as it’s a Stuff Needs To Be Done day. But certainly I’ll have something tomorrow at the latest…
I haven’t been covering the primary race between incumbent Pete Sessions and Tea Party favorite Katrina Pierson for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not my district. Second, when it comes to incumbent Republicans drifting too far left, Sessions (with an ACU rating of 97%) doesn’t even rank among the top 100. Even though I was on the other side of the battle over defunding ObamaCare. I didn’t regard inter-party tactical disagreement as a reason for excommunication.
However, a lot of news has been popping up on the race:
Will the Arpaio kerfuffle blunt her momentum? Maybe, but Sessions more than 10-1 fundraising advantage will be a much steeper obstacle to overcome against an entrenched incumbent…
The Lt. Governor’s race presents plenty of irony, namely in that it features incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, whose lost the 2012 Senate race to Ted Cruz, and three statewide office holders, all running as staunch conservatives, who endorsed Dewhurst over Cruz in that race.
Dewhurst’s strengths and weaknesses are the same he displayed in that race. On the plus side, he’s run and won high-profile statewide races, he’s Independently wealthy and thus can self-fund to an extent others can’t, and he helped govern Texas during a time our prosperity, job creation and fiscal discipline have been the envy of most states. On the negative side, conservatives have long had numerous gripes about Dewhurst, complaining that he gives too much senate power to minority Democrats and gives them too many committee chairs, and that he thwarts conservatives in many ways great and small. As I wrote at the time, “Dewhurst occupies that vast gray area between a RINO (think Arlen Specter before he went The Full Benedict) and a real movement conservative.” The 2012 Senate race also showed that Dewhurst is a remarkably poor debater and off-the-cuff speaker who does not seem to think well on his feet, and losing to Cruz damaged his political reputation. His social media outreach was poor during the Senate run, but seems to have improved for this race. As in the Senate race, Dewhurst has garnered the lion’s share of business group endorsements (with Staples second), and the clear majority of newspaper endorsements (hardly a plus for most conservatives).
State Senator Dan Patrick has a solid conservative record, but also a bit of a reputation as both a hothead and (as a former sportscaster) a something of an intellectual lightweight who has been dinged by some for poor debate performances. (I did a phone interview with Patrick that may or may not see the light of day due to a technical malfunction; in my brief interview he seemed bright, articulate, and knowledgeable about the Lt. Governor’s role in managing the senate and staffing the Legislative Budget Board.) Patrick was widely seen as a foe of Dewhurst during the 2012 Senate race, but ended up endorsing him at the last minute. Patrick is widely perceived as the primary choice of many social conservatives, and was prominent in the fight for the anti-TSA groping bill (which he sponsored) and the anti-sanctuary cities bill. The fact that both Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples have been attacking him in ads suggests he is indeed in second place behind Dewhurst. He has has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Young Conservatives of Texas, several evangelical ministers, and the late Bum Philips (Patrick was a sportscaster during the Luv Ya Blue heyday of the Houston Oilers in the late 1970s and early 1980s).
Jerry Patterson, the incumbent Land Commissioner, came into the race with the most buzz among and support among Texas conservative insiders, but that doesn’t seem to have translated into sufficient polling popularity with voters, with Patterson sitting in fourth place in the latest poll. Patterson gets a lot of credit for having written the bill that became the Concealed Handgun License law, and received an A+ rating from the NRA (Dewhurst, Patrick and Staples all received As). Several Texas conservatives I respect are firmly in the Patterson camp. Patterson has been endorsed by Dick Armey and Ron Paul.
Todd Staples, the incumbent Agricultural Commissioner, comes in at third place in the most recent poll, well behind Dewhurst and Patrick, despite having raised the second most money in the race behind Dewhurst. Staples also has a reputation as a solid conservative, and as a state senator penned the state defense of marriage clause. At 50 he’s the youngest of the four candidates by a decade. He’s been stressing border security, on which he did some work from the Agriculture Department. Staples has been endorsed by Nolan Ryan. and some property rights groups.
Are the polls accurate? Hard to say. At this point in the 2012 Senate race, people were predicting a runoff between Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard on the Democratic side, and Hubbard ended up coming in fourth behind Addie Allen and the Grady Yarbrough juggernaut.
Whoever wins the Republican runoff (which looks very likely at this point) will face Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte in the general.
Here is a debate between all four candidates:
Now some video ads from all four candidates. Dewhurst:
Now some race tidbits:
It’s a mere six days before the March 4 primary, and I haven’t covered the various statewide races nearly as well as I would have liked. (Maybe Ukraine will refrain from blowing up this week.) So I’ll try to catch up with some statewide race update, including a summary of the current state of play for those just tuning in, as well as some race tidbits (some of which are, alas, fairly musty). First up: The Governor’s Race.
Gregg Abbott is a better, more focused candidate with a better organization in a deep red state. Abbott has both experience running successful, high-profile statewide races, has a solid record of achievement as Attorney General, and unquestioned conservative credentials. I’ve seen Abbott work a room in person, and he’s very good at it. He has all Rick Perry’s strengths and none of his weaknesses. He came into the campaign with a hfty warchest and continues to raise money at a record pace.
Wendy Davis, by contrast, is a photogenic white woman whose main claim to fame is her filibuster in support of unlimited late-term abortions. Davis had a fairly indifferent record as a State Senator, and called herself a Republican back in the 1990s. She has been fundraising at a more-than-respectable clip, and pulling in impressive amounts of out-of-state liberal special interest money. She probably has more enthusiasm at the liberal grassroots level than any statewide top-of-the-ticket candidate since Ann Richards. Her campaign has frequently seemed very poorly organized, and indifferent or hostile to potentially friendly reporters. Her fibs about her life story and unconvincing flip-flops on guns and late-term abortions may have hurt here with swing voters, but don’t appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of her liberal base. She’s aided in her campaign by Battleground Texas, a well-funded attempt to “turn Texas blue” by registering more Democrats.
Obviously, Abbott is going to win the Republican nomination, and, despite her many stumbles, Davis is going to win the Democratic nomination. Abbott is going to cream her in November.
Now some race tidbits: