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“Governor For President? No Thanks”: Challenging “Broder’s Law” That Says Governors Are Best For The Oval Office

Let me declare the end of an era: the governor-era in presidential elections. It was mostly nice while it lasted. Senators seem be in, for those who are actually politicians.

For years, pundits felt with all their hearts that governors were golden kings when it came to running for president. This political gospel was spread throughout the land, mostly because the dean of Washington opinion-makers, the late David Broder of The Washington Post, believed it devoutly. Broder’s law was repeated on Sunday talk shows until it had an aura all its own.

Let’s review the facts on the ground. Among the four front-runners in this cycle – Donald Trump (R), Ben Carson (R), Hillary Clinton (D) and Bernie Sanders (D) – the Republicans have zero political experience, and the Democrats have served as senators.

Meanwhile, the governors in the running are lagging far behind. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) thought being a model-good governor would give him a certain “je ne sais quoi.” Clearly not; he’s a distant third behind the opponents with congressional experience. The former mayor of Baltimore has yet to gain traction, though he’s followed all the signs to higher office.

John Kasich, the Republican governor of a swing state, would be the strong candidate to beat in Broder’s book. He’s in the single digits, last I looked. Three sitting Republican governors, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Perry of Texas, fell out of contention. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is hanging on but looks like a loser, too. Two young Cuban-America senators, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are outrunning Christie in this race.

The late Broder believed in governors the way my grandfather believed in building highways in the Eisenhower era. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Broder and he was kind about my wish to get into his line of work. The reasoning was simple: Those with executive authority over a state have better job training to govern the nation.

In the span of decades from Presidents Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, indeed it was true that governors often made it to the Oval Office. This paradigm crossed party lines, since Carter and Clinton were Southern Democrats and Reagan and Bush were governors of California and Texas, respectively.

The truth is, I noticed the old Broder faith beginning to break down in 2008, but I didn’t want to say anything at first. (I mentioned it in The Huffington Post.) The Democratic crop of candidates fielded more senators than you could shake a stick at: not only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but also Chris Dodd and Joe Biden. The telegenic Republican nominee, Matt Romney, a perfectly good governor of Massachusetts, lost to a younger freshman senator whose oratory could coax the stars out of the sky.

So here’s the thing. The reason why public trust in sitting governors as candidates is not part of the 21st landscape is this. The American people were so disillusioned with George W. Bush’s presidency – marked by war-mongering in the beginning, Hurricane Katrina in the middle and an economic downturn in the end – that governors have no special favor anymore. In fact, they may have to work to overcome that label.

It’s a 2016 amendment to Broder’s law.

 

By: Jamie Stiehm, U. S. News and World Report, November 23, 2015

November 27, 2015 Posted by | Election 2016, GOP Presidential Candidates, Governors | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Moses, Moses”: Behold The Power of Newt

Newt Gingrich has publicly pledged to have the single most productive day in presidential history. Gingrich has taken to listing his first-day proposals during recent stump speeches, but he promised to take it a step further when he spoke last night. He promised to release a new Contract With America during his non-concession speech— “a personal one between me and you”—that would detail his plans once he enters office. “We’re going to put this together in a way that you will be able to see in writing with my signature, and you’ll be able to hold me accountable,” Gingrich said.

For Gingrich, it’s not enough to promise voters that you’ll bring change to Washington—you have to bring about that change in the span of a few hours. By my assessment, it seemed like far too ambitious of a plan, just given the taxing schedule of inauguration, what with changing tuxedos between each ball and whatnot. But Gingrich offered a rebuke to my timekeeper’s cynicism last night. “All of this is going to happen about two hours after the inaugural address,” Gingrich said.

Having knocked aside that pesky problem of feasibility, Gingrich added another pledge, “I will sign that day an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, no U.S. money will go anywhere in the world to pay for abortions, period.”

These first day pledges have an almost mystical power in Gingrich’s worldview. It’s not enough to encourage Congress to deconstruct all of the accomplishments of the Obama presidency in a matter of weeks; he’ll also implement every conservative pipe dream with a stroke of his pen. Since the world will be aware of his arrival in the Oval Office, Gingrich thinks the economy will change on a dime. “People say to me ‘how quickly will things turnaround?'” Gingrich told a large rally in The Villages on Sunday. “Let’s talk about jobs. Late on election night when we defeat Barack Obama people will start making decisions to create new jobs.”

With everything planned for that first day, Gingrich will quickly run out of plans to enact. My guess: should Gingrich’s presidency become a reality (a dwindling proposition after last night) he’ll roll out a mission accomplished banner by the start of the second week and send himself on a congratulatory tour of the country—likely hawking a book collecting all of his grand accomplishments.

 

By: Patrick Caldwell, The American Prospect, February 1, 2012

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GOD To The GOP: “I Don’t Endorse”

Dear Politicians,

Permit me to explain my reluctance to endorse. As the All-Powerful, Benevolent Deity I have a certain responsibility to non-partisanship among my constituents. Of course, I do prefer those among you who are moral, kind, compassionate, good and gracious. I have, however, noticed a certain tendency for these qualities to be diminished upon entering office. Next time around I intend to tinker a bit with the mix, and see if I can make My creation a bit more consistent. The first batter is always lumpy.

The problem is that in times past I did intervene in elections. When Moses and Korach were, in a sense, running against each other, I took clear sides. So certain was I of the proper outcome that I resorted to the simple expedient of having the ground swallow Korach and his cohorts. That severely cut into their base. Some people thought this an extreme form of censorship, but I believed it was unworthy of the Ruler of the Universe to simply stuff ballots. If I am going to endorse, it will be in biblical measure. I don’t do leaflets. I do pronouncements. (For those of you who have not read My book in a while, check the 16th chapter of Numbers.)

There were times when I was sorely tempted to raise My right hand for a candidate for office. A parade of villainy has passed before My all seeing eye, but I left the choice up to you. Some of the people whom I most favored – dear old honest Abe comes to mind – had to win on their own. I could have delivered a key county or two. But Korach’s indignant plea as he caromed off the canyon wall reminded me that I tend to push a bit too hard. Moses had some electoral deficits – a speech impediment, a certain impatience, and an alien upbringing – but he probably could have carried the pivotal Sinai districts even without My help.

So please, I ask you in My Name – don’t use My Name. You haven’t any idea whom I endorse. I don’t tote up church attendance like a celestial accountant and award the election to the one with the best record. I see inside hearts, remember? Watch out. While I am very, very patient, sometimes I snap. When I do decide to turn My countenance to you, if you have been tossing My name around like a cheap ticket to the Oval Office, I could be very put out. You don’t want that, trust Me. Just ask Korach.

Blessings,
God

 

By: David Wolpe, Rabbi of Sinai Temple, Los Angeles; The Washington Post, June 6, 2011

 

June 1, 2011 Posted by | Congress, Conservatives, Democracy, Elections, Exploratory Presidential Committees, GOP, Government, Lawmakers, Neo-Cons, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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