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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More