president

Draft Biden Organizer Dismissed Over Past Legal Problems

Biden is getting closer to a decision on whether to run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Draft Biden PAC is gaining steam and staff in its unaffiliated effort to encourage Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to get into the presidential race, but it recently dismissed one of the group’s initial organizers after his past legal problems came to light.  

Former congressional aide and campaign consultant Carlos Sierra  was national field and political director for Draft Biden , but his resume also includes felony charges in two states. One Democratic insider was interested in getting involved with the Draft Biden effort, but became concerned as it became clear Sierra was involved.  

A Significant Reassessment of the GOP Race

Trump’s image in Iowa has improved at the same time that his flaws, shortcomings and liabilities have become more apparent. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Republican front-runner Donald Trump isn’t going away anytime soon, I now believe.  

That assessment doesn’t mean I think Trump is the favorite for the Iowa caucuses or the GOP nomination, but it does reflect a fundamental shift in my thinking. I have believed and been arguing that once Iowa Republicans start to see the caucuses as an opportunity to select the next president, rather than an opportunity to express their frustration and anger, they will turn away from Trump (and other outsiders) and toward politically experienced, mainstream contenders.  

Missing the Boat on the Big Political News

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly dropped more than 1,000 points in morning trading on Monday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

On Aug. 21, I did something — twice — that I rarely do. I tweeted. But it wasn’t about Donald Trump’s poll numbers or Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails. It was about the stock market’s plunge.  

While Trump’s latest salvo (no matter the subject) is always entertaining and the size of Bernard Sanders’ most recent crowd is worth noting, Wall Street’s current performance and the investment community’s nervousness could turn out to be more important for the two parties next year.  

Who Will Republicans Come Around to in 2016?

Which one of these 10 men will be the GOP's 2016 nominee? (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

This is the quadrennial Republican silly season, when candidates without a prayer of election get their moments in the limelight, sometimes topping the polls before crashing.  

After adopting crazy enthusiasms — Pat Buchanan, Steve Forbes, Pat Robertson, Michele Bachman, Herman Cain and the ever-present Mike Huckabee — the party almost always ends up nominating its most electable candidate. The process is often ruinous, of course, forcing the nominee to adopt positions in the primaries that render him unable to win the general. Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" position on immigration in 2012 is the best example.  

Chris Christie’s Conundrum

Christie speaks at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in D.C. on June 19. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On first glance, Christie’s bio and profile should make him a top-tier hopeful for the 2016 Republican nomination. But he isn’t — at least not right now. In this case, timing is everything.  

A former county freeholder and U.S. attorney finishing his second term as governor in a very blue state, Christie, 52, is a guy with a big personality who has received more than his share of national media coverage over the past few years.  

Who Will Benefit From the Issues Mix in 2016?

Immigration could be the wild card issue in the 2016 election. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every election is different, but they almost always come down to one question: What is the election about?  

Some elections are about one or both of the candidates (personality, preparedness or accomplishments), while others are merely about “change.” Some are about the economy in general, or jobs or inflation in particular. A relative few are about national security or a military conflict.  

When the Second Time Isn’t the Charm

Santorum speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalition'’s Road to Majority Conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

I feel bad for Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. They are presidential retreads at a moment when anything that is more than an hour or two old is passé.  

John McCain was a retread in 2008 (having lost a bid for the GOP nomination in 2000), as was Mitt Romney four years later. Ronald Reagan was a retread in 1980, and Richard M. Nixon was one in 1968. But they’re ancient history. Times have changed. Santorum was the last conservative challenger standing against Romney in the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination. Given that, and given the party’s historical tendency to nominate the “next person in line,” you might think the Pennsylvania Republican would get some respect from journalists and voters as a contender in 2016. But alas, nobody seems to be rating his chances very highly.  

Does Scott Walker Have What It Takes to Win in 2016?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

   

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is widely viewed as a top-tier hopeful for the GOP presidential nomination. But it’s less clear he has the right profile to knock off the likely Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  

Personal Finances of President Obama and Vice President Biden Disclosed

President Obama and Vice President Biden filed their personal financial disclosure reports this week and the White House has made them public.  

The Ethics in Government Act requires the annual personal wealth and financial reports from persons in the top paying positions in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. Candidates for Congress are also required to file.