It's time to reveal the new rankings of the 25 most likely 2012 Republican Presidential nominees -- updating from my rankings entering 2009, and at the end of February. And get excited, there's a new number one!
It's been an active couple of months for the Presidential wannabes, as they have shuffled to position themselves on the federal stimulus package, the federal budget, the Tax Day Tea Parties, and anything else that provides a platform for posturing.
[Update: OK, I was in error before. The House has NOW passed the bill, 249-175, with 18 Republicans joining the majority.]
The House of Representatives just passed HR 1913 -- The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 -- on a vote of 234-190. The bill, which Obama has urged Congress to pass, would extend federal hate crimes laws to cover sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, as well as race, color, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation.
Two interesting updates for Boston City Council elections. First, Tito Jackson of Dorchester -- whose potential candidacy I've mentioned a couple of times -- has pulled papers for the at-large race. Jackson works in the state's Office of Business Development and is quite the social and community activist. (Another clue that he's running for office -- he's replaced his fun/goofy Facebook picture with a serious suit-and-tie head shot.
--Once the defeat of Norm Coleman is official, the Republican Party will be without a Jewish US Senator for the first time in a half-century. (There haven't been many, but the ones who get there -- like Jacob Javits, and of course Specter, seem to stay a long time.) I guess if you keep insisting it's a Christian Nation, my people start to look for other options.
Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has just sent out a fundraising email under the header: "Outrage over Arlen Specter."
"I hope Arlen Specter's party change outrages you," it begins.
According to the letter, Specter "told us [Republicans] all to go jump in the lake today." Worse, Specter "handed Barack Obama and his band of radical leftists nearly absolute power in
the United States Senate."
Who wins in a Baker vs. Mihos primary, and will the process help or
hurt the eventual nominee? Do you think there is any wisdom in newly
elected MassGOP Chair Jennifer Nassour's strategy to avoid the social
issues, and grant interviews to Bay Windows?
On the first question, I think Baker would win, although it could be interesting -- and I think having a contested primary would be great for the winner, particularly if it's Baker (who remains largely an unknown quantity to voters), because it would force attention onto him during a time when he would otherwise struggle to get any coverage.
"Audrey" asks via email:
1. Given the fact
that most residents don't vote during non-Mayoral years, do you think it would
benefit the city to change the term for city councilor from two to four
years? If not, how would you propose driving up voter turnout in a non-Mayoral
year? 2. Do you think that
city councilors who hold outside jobs should take a full salary given this
economic climate? On that same note, do you think that city councilors should
be permitted to hold outside jobs?
"Conor" asks via email:
What do you think about Boston municipal candidates raising money out of state?
Does this make a candidate less representative of Boston? Or less likely to be
corrupted by local developers, unions, etc.? Is money raised in Somerville
different from money raised in Western Mass different from money raised in NYC
different from money raised in SF?
"Kristin" asks via email:
Does the AS switch impact the EFCA at all?
Decoding this query, I take it to be about the likelihood of passage for the Employee Free Choice Act (pro-labor "card-check" legislation), now that Senator Arlen Specter has switched parties.
Specter's opposition to EFCA is a big reason why the bill is currently stuck; the Democrats don't have 60 votes to force cloture and have a Senate vote.
Who is going to be nominated along with Menino - and do they have a shot against Mumbles?
First of all, we do not refer to the Honorable Mayor Thomas Menino as "Mumbles" on this blog. We prefer to call him "Mayor McChicken" -- which we promised to discontinue once he announced he was running, but have decided to continue until he agrees to participate in debates.
"Ben" asks in an email:
You've been talking a lot about the
at-large Boston City Council races... what about the district seats? Do any of
them seem particularly contested this year? Does anyone seem vulnerable, or
should we expect another lackluster set of races?
Whether they are vulnerable or not, almost all will be re-elected because they are apparently running uncontested.
Can Olympia Snowe be far behind?
I'm going to take this opportunity to say a few words about the national GOP. And I say this as someone who, I think, can fairly claim to have been one of the more astute and accurate chroniclers and prognosticators of the decline and fall of the Republican Party for the past few years. (See here, here, and here, for a few examples.
What must the state GOP do to regain any semblance of relevance?
Not gonna happen, not for a long time.
Here's what I would try to do if I was the MassGOP. Recruit top-notch candidates for Treasurer and Auditor -- preferably from well outside of Boston -- and begin putting them forward as critics of the governor and the legislature on budget/tax/administrative issues -- not as candidates yet, but to build up their name recognition, to show the GOP's seriousness on fiscal issues, and to generate some media attention.
"William" asks via email:
What do you think about the large field of candidates in the at large city
council race. Do you think it will be a interesting election? Do you think they
will all stay in until September? Who do you think should just forget about it?
I do think it will be an interesting election. I think some candidates will not make the preliminary ballot; I suspect one or two others might decide to drop out as they face fundraising difficulty.
"First" steps up first with a question for Ask Me Anything Day:
Now that it looks like everybody who's gonna run for [Boston City Council] at large has
officially declared, who do you think the 4 winners are and in what
order. Also as a bonus question will you endorse 4 now or at a later
I knew, and feared, that I would get this question.