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24
Women are winning everywhere: Elaine Marshall, Nikki Haley, Blanche Lincoln, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman.
 
North Carolina leads the way. Marshall would make two female Senators. A female governor. As Thomas Mills with the Marshall campaign pointed out, seven of ten statewide winners in 2008 were women. And women are moving up in the legislature and the courts.
 
The reason is simple: trust. Voters trust women in politics more than they trust men.
 
Personal trust, to start with. Women are seen as less likely to be crooks, Meg Scott Phipps notwithstanding.
 
Look at Haley. She survived accusations of extramarital affairs that might have torpedoed a male candidate. At least for now, voters believe a woman’s denials.
 
Voters – especially women, who are the majority – also believe women better understand their anxieties in tough economic times.
 
There’s also the natural emergence of women coming up through the ranks in business and politics.
 
Here’s hoping that women keep deserving that trust. We guys sure blew it.

 

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17
Republicans are determined to save Democrats from electoral disaster this year.
 
With any luck, the GOP will nominate Tea Partier Bill Randall to run against Brad Miller. Randall distinguished himself this week by speculating that the Gulf Oil spill is a conspiracy between Washington and BP.
 
Did anybody ask him if 9/11 was a conspiracy between Osama and Washington?
 
In Nevada, the GOP is out to rescue Harry Reid by nominating Sharron Angle.  She “supports phasing out Social Security, wiping out the Education Department and returning to the days almost a century ago when the federal income tax was unconstitutional.”
 
She also wants female inmates to enter a drug rehabilitation program devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
 
Go Tea Party, go!

 

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14
What’s with this mania about whether President Obama has shown enough anger over the BP oil spill?
 
Is this the legacy of Bill Clinton, who so famously felt our pain?
 
Or that old actor Ronald Reagan, who could muster a catch in the throat and a flash of anger at the drop of a cue?
 
Obama’s press secretary had to describe Obama’s “clenched jaw” to prove he was angry. The President had to publicly bully BP.
 
Are we so programmed by TV and movies that we pay more attention to how the man looks than to what he does?
 
There’s probably a lot of fault to be found with the government’s response, though I’m still waiting for somebody to tell me exactly what should be done. But taking the President’s emotional temperature doesn’t strike me as particularly informative.

 

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10
Tuesday’s primaries across the county were good for women candidates. And old governors didn’t do too badly.
 
California Democrats nominated Jerry Brown for governor again. Brown, 72, served as governor from 1975-1983.
 
Iowa Republicans nominated Terry Branstad for a return engagement. Branstad, 63, was governor from 1983-1999.
 
Both were fellow governors with Jim Hunt. Hunt, 73, was governor from 1977-1985 and 1993-2001.
 
But don’t get any ideas.

 

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04
The White House needs to go on offense on the Gulf oil spill.
 
Democrats, all too often, are weenies when it comes to political combat. They want to be fair, see all sides and over-intellectualize.
 
It’s time for a go-for-the-gut message: Blame the Republicans.
 
Here’s how it goes:
 
This all started 30 years ago when Ronald Reagan said government is the problem, not the solution. Now all these latter-day Reaganites like Bobby Jindal want government to be the solution.
 
For 20 of the last 30 years, we’ve had Republican presidents. This spill is the consequence of their energy and regulatory philosophies.
 
For 12 of those years, we had Presidents who were Texas oilmen.
 
Dick Cheney ran Halliburton. He stocked the regulatory agencies with Halliburton people. Now his old flack is a BP flack.
 
Speaking of Broken Pipe, they’re still spreading money around the GOP caucus in Congress.
 
The Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates paraded around the country last year chanting “Drill, baby, drill.”
 
We’ve been down that road – or pipe. We drilled. We deregulated. We unleashed the private sector.
 
We even went to war for oil – twice.
 
This is one more Republican mess President Obama has to clean up. First an economy in collapse. Then a failed health care system. Then the crooks on Wall Street.
 
Do you really want to put that crowd back in charge?

 

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21
That didn’t take long.
 
For all the Tea Party’s denials of racism, it took Tea Party poster boy Rand Paul about one news cycle to trip over race.
 
The federal government, he says, has no business telling a business it can’t discriminate on the basis of race.
 
Of course, he added, he “abhors” racism. He just doesn’t object to people practicing it.
 
This will be a good question to ask all candidates this year. Where, for example, does Senator Burr stand?
 
Or, to pick up on Carter’s blogs, where do Bernie Reeves and Bill Randall stand?

 

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20
Do endorsements matter? Not judging from Tuesday’s primaries.
 
A candidate endorsed by President Obama loses a Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. A candidate endorsed by the Senate Republican leader – and the state’s senior Senator – loses the GOP primary in Kentucky.
 
So how does Ken Lewis’ endorsement help Elaine Marshall?
 
Well, it’s a spin game now. Lewis got Marshall some good headlines – here and nationally. That might hurt Cal Cunningham’s national fundraising.
 
But no politician can deliver votes for another politician these days.
 
The interesting sideshow in the Marshall-Cunningham race is the race to be more anti-establishment.
 
Lewis, who once called Marshall a career politician, now praises her for not being the choice of “Washington insiders.”
 
Maybe not, but she’s hardly anti-establishment. She has been running for or occupying political office since I met her in the ‘70s.
 
Cunningham – calling her “a 14-year statewide office-holder" – said Tuesday’s results prove that “Americans are tired of the same career politicians.”
 
Of course, Cunningham earlier dropped out of the race when he couldn’t get the support of career Democratic politicians in Washington. Then he got back in when they changed their minds.
 
Neither Marshall nor Cunningham is an anti-establishment politician. But their scramble to play the role says everything you need to know about politics this year.

 

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04
About the only varmint on earth these days more unpopular than a Democratic Congressman is a Wall Street banker – so to save their political hides President Obama and the Democrats in Washington have gone banker hunting.
 
Now, broadly speaking, Wall Street bankers have a simple theory of politics: Without regard to race, creed, or party they pour millions into whichever politician can do them a favor. Manhattan billionaires are as likely to give money to Democrats like Charlie Shummer as to Republicans like Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Maybe more so. The day Obama launched his first missile at Wall Street a Republican Congressman’s Chief of Staff called me and laughed, ‘This is great – Obama’s going to reform Wall Street. That’s not going anywhere – every Democratic staffer up here has one goal in life:  To be a VP at Goldman Sachs.’
 
Now that may be so but, on the other hand, it’s Republicans who have the reputation of being the party of Wall Street and if the Republicans in Congress take the bait and walk into Obama’s trap by sticking up for the Wall Street sharks they may accomplish the all but impossible – they may find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this fall.
 
Instead the Republicans in Congress ought to tell Obama, We’ll meet you and raise you. And announce – as far as Wall Street is concerned – it’s time for a little bit of good old-fashioned trust busting. They could also suggest that instead of setting up Obama’s huge new federal bureaucracy to regulate Wall Street – which will simply put Obama and the Democrats in a better position to shake down bankers for campaign donations – they’ve got a simpler cure to greed – by making scamming investors a felony with a long prison sentence. That will be a lot harder on the Harvard MBAs than dealing with another layer of bureaucracy but, more than likely, after a few Wall Street sharks meet the same fate as Bernie Madoff it will be clear skizzling investors isn’t worth the risk.
 
 
 

 

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20
It’s bad news for Democrats when only 22 percent of Americans say they trust government.
 
That number comes from a Pew Research Center poll, which found “a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government -- a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.”
 
Democrats searching for a silver lining will doubtless note the distrust also applies to Republicans.
 
But face it: Democrats believe in government action. Republicans say government can do nothing right.
 
And Democrats should ask: What has government done the last decade to give Americans confidence? Iraq? Katrina? The budget? The economy?
 
Well, yes, the economy. Remember September 2008? People genuinely feared that the bottom was falling out in America.
 
But the federal government – both parties – stepped in, bailed out the sinking ship and avoided a depression.
 
If there had been a depression, people would be looking to government for help. Instead, people forgot how bad it all looked then – or got mad at what was done.
 
Because Democrats control Congress and the White House and because Democrats are the “government” party, the Pew poll is one more warning sign for November.
 
Perfect storm, indeed.

 

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15
The Tea Party movement may return the Republican Party to power – or ruin it. Whichever, the Tea Party controls the GOP’s future.
 
If Mushmouth Mitch McConnell and Suntan John Boehner become majority leaders in the next Congress, they’ll have no choice but to walk the Tea Party line.
 
That would pretty much assure Obama’s reelection in 2012.
 
This year, the Tea Party has passion – and intensity. It has what Obama’s “Yes We Can” crowd had in 2008.
 
But the Tea Party can be done in by its own zealots – or others. It inevitably gets mixed in with the militia crowd and the states’-rights nullifiers.
 
An aside: Didn’t we settle this argument about the states and the federal government 150 years ago?
 
And another: Who’s the nitwit who decided to ban the Tea Party protesters at the State Capitol from carrying flagpoles?
 
I truly appreciate people who are passionate about politics – and who want to change the world.
 
The Tea Party scares me because it could serve up victory for the GOP this year. But it also offers the delicious prospect of wrecking the GOP china cabinet.

 

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