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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



First Tier
CandidateKey AdvantagesKey DisadvantagesSince Last Update
Scott Walker
Governor, WI
•Midwest GOP governor in Obama state
•Heroic conservative credentials
•Shown political durability
•Too bland? Next Pawlenty?
•Might not deliver home state
•Would highly motivate left/labor
Rand Paul
Senator, KY
•Tea Party favorite
•Strong support from libertarian GOP wing
•National ID and fundraising network
•Too libertarian?
•Association with out-of-mainstream father
•Too dovish/eclectic for GOP tastes?
Chris Christie Governor, NJ•Dynamic speaker
•Shown ability to pursue mainly conservative agenda in Blue state
•Could bridge criticism by media rally right to his aid?
•Bridge scandal still playing out
•Bullying and staff questions
•Not conservative enough for base?
Second Tier
Marco Rubio
Senator, FL
•Dynamic speaker and politician
•From most electorally valuable swing state
•Future tough votes in Senate; has and will have federal record
•Vetting issues regarding family
•Could he really deliver more Hispanic votes?
Ted Cruz
Senator, TX
•Tea Party favorite
•Texas and small-dollar fundraising
•Conservative voting record
•Too extreme? One word: Shutdown.
•Disliked on both sides of the Senate aisle
John Kasich
Governor, OH
•Swing state
•Long conservative record
•Could be fallback option for GOP establishment forces
•Supported Medicaid expansion
•Makes verbal miscues, lots of video from time as Fox host
•Abrasive personality
Wild Cards?
Jeb Bush
Ex-Governor, FL
•Strong gubernatorial resume
•Hispanic connections
•Key swing state
•National Bush money and organization
•Wrong last name (Bush dynasty) — although Clinton dynasty could neutralize this
•George W. Bush’s record?
Paul Ryan
Representative, WI
•2012 VP candidate — next in line?
•General election experience
•Strong conservative record
•May not want to run, possibly positioning self for future in House
•Couldn’t help Romney carry WI
•Not a dynamic campaigner
Mike Huckabee
Ex-Governor, AR
•Governing experience
•Vetted
•Blue collar appeal
•Strong support from social conservatives
•Southerner in Southern-centered party
•Disliked by economic conservatives
•Small fundraising base
Also-Rans
Rick Santorum
Ex-Senator, PA
•Strong support from social conservatives
•2nd place finisher in ‘12 — next in line?
•Been around primary track
•Lost last Senate race by 17 points
•Chip-on-shoulder attitude
•Small fundraising base
Rick Perry
Governor, TX
•Strong conservative credentials
•Texas fundraising
•Extensive executive experience


"For all the groaning about the permanent presidential campaign, the Neverending Story is valuable in this regard: The job is so important and so powerful that potential aspirants require a thorough vetting that does — and arguably should — begin many years in advance. An individual seeking a position whose occupant is 'in the grip of events that never seem to let go' — as former President Truman put it in this excellent description above, reprinted from a newspaper column Truman wrote questioning the size and scope of the CIA — must show his or her capacity for the office. And the public should get all the information it can about the contenders in order to have the opportunity to make an informed choice. Thus, it’s with an eye toward helping to participate in that grand mission — and certainly not just because we think it is fun (wink wink) — that we make some tweaks to our lists of presidential contenders for 2016. The Republicans: Wide open opportunity. It’s hard not to think about the permanent campaign when assessing what is the biggest political story of 2014 so far, Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) scandal involving lane closures on the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey to New York. Christie continues to aggressively deny any involvement in the decision to close the lanes. The Bridge Affair — we’re really trying to avoid calling it 'Bridgegate' — undoubtedly makes Christie weaker now than he was a couple months ago when he was basking in the warm sunshine of a walkover reelection. Still, we’re not ready to say that his national aspirations are doomed. We bumped Christie down a peg in our Republican presidential ratings, but we still are putting him in our top tier. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) leads our list, as he has since we introduced it last year. In reality, though, this is a completely wide-open field with no one even approaching frontrunner status." (CenterforPolitics)


Illustration by Torren Thomas.


"IT’S WELL KNOWN AMONG THE SMALL WORLD of people who pay attention to such things that the liberal-leaning reporters at The Wall Street Journal resent the conservative-leaning editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. What’s less well known—and about to break into the open, threatening the very fabric of the institution—is how deeply the liberal-leaning reporters at The New York Times resent the liberal-leaning editorial page of The New York Times. The New York Observer has learned over the course of interviews with more than two-dozen current and former Times staffers that the situation has 'reached the boiling point' in the words of one current Times reporter. Only two people interviewed for this story agreed to be identified, given the fears of retaliation by someone they criticize as petty and vindictive. The blame here, in the eyes of most Times reporters to whom The Observer spoke, belongs to Andrew Rosenthal, who as editorial page editor leads both the paper’s opinion pages and opinion postings online, as well as overseeing the editorial board and the letters, columnists and op-ed departments. Mr. Rosenthal is accused of both tyranny and pettiness, by the majority of the Times staffers interviewed for this story. And the growing dissatisfaction with Mr. Rosenthal stems from a commitment to excellence that has lifted the rest of the Times, which is viewed by every staffer The Observer spoke to as rapidly and dramatically improving. 'He runs the show and is lazy as all get-out,' says a current Times writer, and one can almost hear the Times-ness in his controlled anger (who but a Timesman uses the phrase 'as all get-out' these days?). Laziness and bossiness are unattractive qualities in any superior, but they seem particularly galling at a time when the Times continues to pare valued staffers via unending buyouts. The Times declined to provide exact staffing numbers, but that too is a source of resentment." (NYO)


The cat's meow.


"31 January 2014 - 11:30 am/ Press Preview - To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol's First Superstar/ Norton Museum of Art West Palm Beach Friday midday I dropped by the Norton Museum of Art for a preview and tour of the To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol's First Superstar exhibition that the following night would be the main attraction for the Norton's annual Gala. Curator Cheryl Brutvan led the local press through the show, along with Norton director and CEO Hope Alswang and communications director Scott Benarde. Just as some of us were getting ready to leave, Jane Holzer graciously arrived. As she glanced up to watch herself in one of Warhol's underground classics, Holzer chatted casually about her 15-minutes of fame — an expression credited to her patron Andy Warhol — that has been mounted at The Norton as a major museum show." (NYSD)




"Twenty years ago, in February 1994, I published a lengthy cover story in The Atlantic Monthly, 'The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime, Overpopulation, Tribalism, and Disease are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of Our Planet.' I argued that the combination of resource depletion (like water), demographic youth bulges and the proliferation of shanty towns throughout the developing world would enflame ethnic and sectarian divides, creating the conditions for domestic political breakdown and the transformation of war into increasingly irregular forms -- making it often indistinguishable from terrorism. I wrote about the erosion of national borders and the rise of the environment as the principal security issues of the 21st century. I accurately predicted the collapse of certain African states in the late 1990s and the rise of political Islam in Turkey and other places. Islam, I wrote, was a religion ideally suited for the badly urbanized poor who were willing to fight. I also got things wrong, such as the probable intensification of racial divisions in the United States; in fact, such divisions have been impressively ameliorated. However, what is not in dispute is that significant portions of the earth, rather than follow the dictates of Progress and Rationalism, are simply harder and harder to govern, even as there is insufficient evidence of an emerging and widespread civil society. Civil society in significant swaths of the earth is still the province of a relatively elite few in capital cities -- the very people Western journalists feel most comfortable befriending and interviewing, so that the size and influence of such a class is exaggerated by the media." (STRATFOR)




"I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Alejandra Cicognani, a public relations executive I”ve known for a long time but only on a social basis. Alejandra and I have many friends and social acquaintances in common, but she above all, is a very nice woman with a warm personality and is especially charming. You believe her. So we made this date, and I didn’t know there would be a third – because she brought along a client. A most interesting client. A woman from St. Petersburg named Irina Nikitina, who is President of the Musical Olympus Foundation. This is one of the things about New York that makes it infinitely intriguing – the people you might meet -- for some reason often tied to someone’s business -- and the lives they lead. Irina Nikitina speaks very good English but with a heavy accent that is both charming and often difficult to comprehend. Not to mention my hearing isn’t what it used to be so there was a lot of 'what did you say?'  I love foreign accents. I often wished I had one (??), but seriously, which of course I don’t. And shouldn’t have." (NYSD)

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