News / USA

2014 a Test for Tea Party and Clintons

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks to a group of supporters and University of Miami students at UM in Coral Gables, Florida, Feb. 26, 2014
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks to a group of supporters and University of Miami students at UM in Coral Gables, Florida, Feb. 26, 2014
Washington, D.C., is now in election mode, in case you missed it.  The likelihood of substantial cooperation or legislation emanating from under the great dome of the Capitol this year is fading fast, a victim of this year’s midterm congressional election politics and an early focus on the presidential sweepstakes in 2016.
 
Republicans have a great opportunity to strengthen their hand in Washington in November.  Few experts see much chance that Democrats will be able to take back control of the House of Representatives.  That means the real battleground in the 2014 election cycle is the Senate, where Republicans need to gain six seats currently held by Democrats to win a majority. 

Republican control of both the House and Senate in the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency would seriously alter the political dynamics in Washington and could give Republicans an opening to set the stage for a winning presidential campaign in 2016.
 
But before Republicans can get to that point they will have to weather what are likely to be nasty party primaries that will further expose the divide between mainstream Republicans and the Tea Party.  Conservative targets this year include Senate Republican veterans like Thad Cochran in Mississippi, Lindsey Graham in South Carolina and even Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.  Tea Party supporters would love to find more company in the Senate Ted Cruz of Texas, the man who (along with others) brought you last October’s shutdown of the federal government.
 
Mainstream Republicans are concerned that if too many Tea Party-type Republican candidates get nominated this year, they will lose their chance to take back the Senate.  They point to the flaws of nominating far-right candidates in 2010 and 2012 as a key reason why they failed to win enough seats to win a majority.  The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a Republican who attended a party fundraiser in New York quoted Mitch McConnell as telling the group, “We’re done being the stupid party.  We’re done with nominating candidates who can’t win general elections.”
 
The Republican’s dilemma will play out all through this midterm campaign cycle.  They desperately need the energy and activism of the Tea Party to win elections.  But if they allow the Tea Party too much influence in selecting party candidates for general elections, they may pay the political consequences in November and could lose their best shot in years and retaking control of the Senate.
 
The Bill and Hillary show
 
Coming soon to a tight Senate race near you—the return of the Clintons!  Bill Clinton was in Kentucky this week campaigning for Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who hopes to unseat Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in November.  Mr. Clinton has the distinction of being the last Democrat to carry Kentucky in a presidential race.  He did it in 1992 and again in 1996. 

In recent years Kentucky has moved sharply into the Republican column.  Even McConnell seemed nonplussed about the Clinton visit.  “I welcome him back to Kentucky,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.  “Every time he’s come it’s been really good for me.”
 
Democratic strategists see Bill Clinton as a weapon for the party where President Obama fears to tread.  Obama is very unpopular in a number of Republican-leaning states and that complicates Democratic efforts to hold their majority in the Senate this year.  Several key Senate races involve Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas and North Carolina.  If Republicans can sweep those contests they will probably win back the Senate.  Mr. Clinton may be able to campaign where the president can’t, especially in his home state of Arkansas and in North Carolina.
 
Of course, for Bill Clinton it’s not all about the 2014 results.  He is happy to bank some political IOU’s from Democrats in key states in advance of the 2016 presidential campaign, assuming his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, decides to run. 

The latest CBS News-New York Times poll found 82 percent of Democrats want Hillary Clinton to run two years from now, while only 42 percent favor a bid by Vice President Joe Biden.
 
Hillary Clinton still isn’t saying if she’s running or not in 2016.  Clinton did weigh in on the controversy in Arizona this week on a now-vetoed state law that would have allowed people with sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse to serve gays.  Clinton told thousands of students at the University of Miami that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to veto the legislation was recognition that “inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about.”
 
It’s also worth watching to what extent Hillary gets out on the campaign trail for Democrats during this year’s midterm election campaign.  For Clinton supporters it’s a tricky balance. Too much Hillary too soon could cause voters to get sick of her well before the 2016 starting bell.  But since she is the party’s prohibitive favorite for the nomination, any decision to hold back or be too coy might annoy Democrats looking for a boost in their campaigns this year from the number one celebrity in the party. 

For both Clintons, doing a lot of fundraising now on behalf of Democratic candidates for 2014 can pay big dividends two years from now, assuming Hillary Clinton wants to run for president.

A lot of Republicans believe that is a virtual certainty and helps explain why some of them are worried about who will emerge on their side with enough stature to challenge Clinton in 2016.   The recent CBS-New York Times poll found that Republicans seem most excited about two potential White House candidates—former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Kentucky Senator and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul. 

Forty-one percent of Republicans said they would like to see Bush run in 2016, while 39 percent said the same about Paul.  Bush has given little indication he is interested in the race while Paul seemingly has already been in campaign mode for months now.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 01, 2014 10:51 AM
What matters now is a candidate who will return USA to the path of good and not one to maintain the status quo. Republicans and Clinton sound good - real good - in my ears, though for now only the republicans seem to show that America is recoverable from the drift into the abyss. What really do the Americans want? Do they want a return to family value system? Do they want the present system where family system has been devalued to base? Do Americans want peace within and with allies? Or will the next general of vote help remove what remains of morals from the country? Seems only the Republicans believe in sanity and Sanctity of life. Fear is the Clintons may have been afflicted with the virus from the wildman that makes people reject God. Contamination is the problem here; But I think Americans will choose someone they know is untainted with this modern virus that is far more dangerous than AIDS and nuclear fume in decimating life and abrogating continuity of family.


by: B. Shitepoke from: NYC
February 28, 2014 12:52 PM
I'm pretty sure that Neurosyphilis is untreatable when it hits the brain.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid