Tag Archives: Washington Post

Can poll numbers change Mitt's wife's mind?

Let it be understood that I heard what Ann Romney said about whether her husband, Mitt, should seek the presidency a third time.

She and her sons are “done, done, done” with national politics, Ann said.

Sure thing.

Now we hear that an ABC-News/Washington Post poll says Republicans want Mitt to run for president in 2016. The margin is significant over the other supposed would-be candidates.


The poll says that as of right now, 21 percent of Republicans want Mitt to run, which is close to what he got prior to the 2012 campaign. Hey, he ended up being nominated by the Republican Party in the previous election.

As for Mitt, he hasn’t yet slammed the door shut and thrown away the key. He’s said things like “I have no intention” of seeking the presidency; he proclaims his happiness at being a private citizen (more or less) once again; he says the party has plenty of good candidates willing to step into the arena.

Has there been anything approaching a “hell no, I’ll never run again” statement from Mitt? Not even close.

As for Ann Romney, her “done, done, done” declaration can be construed as potentially malleable if the poll numbers keep showing that GOP voters want Mitt to run again.

I’m not one of those Republicans. However, I’d love to see Mitt run one more time. Why? My curiosity is goading me into wanting him to atone for the hideous mistakes he made during the 2012 campaign. The 47-percent remark comes to mind; his statement that “corporations are people, too, my friend” also sticks in my head; his efforts at keeping his distance from Romneycare by suggesting it bears no resemblance to Obamacare also was a doozy.

Can this man be redeemed and remade into a credible national candidate once again?

I’d like to see his handlers try.

I hope he’s up to it. More importantly, I am hoping he can persuade Ann to take part in one more run for the White House.

Randall County makes a dubious list

It’s not every day that little ol’ Randall County, Texas, gets a mention in a Washington Post investigative story about local government spending.

But that’s what happened recently when the Post included the county in a list of government agencies that used asset-forfeiture funds on things that, um, could be seen as a bit extravagant.

Here’s the Post story:


At issue is a $637 coffee maker that the Sheriff’s Department purchased with money seized from drug busts.

The rationale is a bit odd. Sheriff Joel Richardson said the money didn’t come out of taxpayers’ pockets. It came from drug forfeiture money, the money the cops take in when they bust people for carrying illegal “controlled substances.”

I haven’t bought a coffee maker in a good while. But it does seem as though that $637 is a bit expensive to spend on something that might cost, oh, about a 20th of that price. I think I saw a Mr. Coffee unit at Wal-Mart selling for about $30.

“It’s typical restaurant equipment,” Richardson told my pal Jim McBride at the Amarillo Globe-News. “It’s for any meeting with might have there. Yes, it’s a legitimate expense.”

The Post story chronicles some high-dollar expenses from drug forfeiture funds around the country, including a $5 million helicopter for the Los Angeles Police Department and a $1 million mobile command center for Prince George’s County, Md.

That’s pretty serious dough, but those expenses seem related directly to law enforcement activities.

The Randall County Sheriff’s Department coffee maker? It might be necessary for staff meetings after hours.

But at that price?

Texas: reddest of the Red States

Texas is Ground Zero — pardon the reference — of the conservative movement.

That’s the assessment of Dan Balz, a veteran Washington Post political reporter, who uses land commissioner candidate George P. Bush as his example of the state’s rightward shift.


Bush is the grandson and nephew of two former presidents and the son of a former Florida governor. All three of his ancestors, Balz said, used to personify the “kinder, gentler” wing of the Republican Party. Bush thinks GOP firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz is the future of his party and he said so at a gathering of pols and pundits at a Texas Tribune talk-fest held in Austin.

Indeed, the view that Texas is leading the conservative charge probably isn’t that much of a surprise. Even when it leaned heavily Democratic, its officeholders weren’t usually considered — at that time, at least — to be squishy liberals. The most successful Democrats in the state were folks like John Connally, Lloyd Bentsen, Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson. Yes, you had your occasional lefty in there, such as Ralph Yarborough and then Ann Richards.

The last Democrat elected to statewide office in 1994 was John Sharp, hardly a lefty, who’s now chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

So, Texas has leaned right for longer than the GOP has been in control of everything.

As for the model of today’s modern conservatism in Texas, look at Dan Patrick, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor. He’s just recently declared his intention to rid the state of the DREAM Act, which allows Texans brought here illegally by their parents to enroll in state public colleges and universities as “in-state” students, paying in-state tuition rates.

Gov. Rick Perry, a fiery conservative if there ever was one, endorses the DREAM Act. Not Patrick. If he’s elected, he’ll get rid of it.

Yep, the state is No. 1 all right.

Sen. Paul does the seemingly impossible

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has made two fascinating public appearances of late.

The Kentucky Republican — and tea party favorite — spoke to thundering applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering. CPAC is where conservatives go for anointment by the Republican Party’s most faithful, the true believers, the hardest of the hard core right wing.

Then, just this week, the senator showed on the other coast, the Left Coast, and addressed a crowd of University of California-Berkeley students. Now this is where the lefties hang out to get their blessing from the progressive/liberal/lefty crowd. It’s also a place that usually doesn’t welcome those from the other side. But there was Sen. Paul, giving the Berkeley faithful a snootful of libertarian dogma.


What gives here?

Is he actually the most “intriguing man in the GOP,” as Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus has posited? He might be.

The CPAC meeting was a no-brainer for Paul, who’s considered to be a virtual shoo-in as a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He won the CPAC straw poll, beating the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

The Berkeley event, though, raised my eyebrows. Too many colleges and universities — those bastions of progressive thought and supposed tolerance for all points of view — have rolled out the unwelcome mat to conservatives. Rand Paul appears to be the exception, though, given his libertarian views on things such as drug decriminalization and his pacifist view of war.

He’s a conservative, though. Frankly, I was glad to see him speak at Berkeley if only to know that at least one progressive institution in this particular instance was being true to the credo of openness and tolerance of differing points of view.

Now, let’s see if Hillary Clinton shows up at a right-wing-leaning school such as, say, Liberty University.