Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Katie Packer Gage, Burning Glass Consulting, discuss whether it’s time to begin taking Donald Trump more seriously as he continues to eclipse his political opponents.
South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley stared down hate and history this summer, turning an impassioned debate over the Confederate flag into a political launching pad.
Other state figures had faltered when confronting the legacy of the Confederate flag and pushing for its removal. But Haley’s quick call for it to be taken off the capitol grounds in the wake of the Charleston church shooting — a call that culminated in Friday’s ceremony in which hundreds of locals cheered its relocation to a museum — has allowed her to bask in glowing reviews.
“Now there’s more reason to come to this state,” Haley said in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. “I am proud to say that it’s a new day in South Carolina.”
And also a new day for Governor Haley.
“She saw an opportunity and saw a spotlight on South Carolina and saw that there were going to be real significant problems for the state and the Republicans if they couldn’t bring it down,” said Katie Packer Gage, a Republican consultant. “She stepped up and it didn’t take her weeks or months, even though she could have punted. She is a smart politician.”
Haley: Confederate flag ‘should never have been there’
The once-rising star, whose shine had faded after her 2010 gubernatorial victory, has emerged from the flag battle as the face of the “new South.” By leading the efforts to take down a flag embraced by alleged killer Dylann Roof, Haley helped her party and her own profile. Even Democrats offered praise.
“Had it not been for the governor saying she was supportive of this, I don’t think we would have been at the ceremony we were at today,” said Jaime Harrison, who chairs the state’s Democratic Party. “I know people say it was political, but she did what was right and for that I can’t be mad at her. I’m very appreciative of her.”
Harrison was one of the handful of leaders Haley met with in the hours before she announced days after the shooting in June that she wanted the flag to come down. He was expecting yet another compromise, but Haley had made up her mind.
Some influential Republicans remain skeptical that the party must tap a presidential candidate with strong appeal to Latino voters or that Jeb Bush is that person, leaving them unwilling for now to embrace the former Florida governor.
While GOP candidate and businessman Donald Trump has made controversial comments about Mexican-Americans since he entered the 2016 race, Bush has repeatedly highlighted his connections to the Latino community and praised the influence of immigrants on American culture. He speaks Spanish frequently on the campaign trail, constantly discusses the importance of Republicans reaching beyond the party’s base of white voters and attends events that most of his 2016 rivals don’t, like a conference for Latino pastors in April. He is also a strong supporter of creating a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Bush said that he and his wife Columba “speak Spanish more than English” at home. He spoke Spanish in that interview, as he did at times in an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and in his formal announcement speech in Miami last month. Bush also blasted Trump in an interview this week with the Daily Caller, saying “His views are not reflective of the immigrant experience. He’s just wrong.”
He’s got the deepest pockets, the best organization and everyone already knows his name.
But Jeb Bush isn’t so formidable that he’s scaring away the competition.
When the former Florida governor formally announces his presidential campaign on Monday, he will join a field of 10 GOP contenders — and there are still a handful of others who may soon jump in the race. Meanwhile, the latest Iowa polls show him trapped in a cluster of candidates vying for second behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and he has only a slight edge in New Hampshire. National polls show Bush a touch ahead, according to a Real Clear Politics average.
For all of his advantages heading into the race, the man with the famous last name who many assumed would be an automatic frontrunner is struggling to catch fire.
On this, little boys and the women of Burning Glass Consulting agree: It’s hard to talk to girls. But, lately, it seems not even local elementary schoolers are as likely to strike out as Republican politicians.
In December 2014, Missouri State Representative Rick Brattin proposed a bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to receive signed permission from “the father of the unborn child.” Except, he added, in the event of a “legitimate rape.” In God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, which Mike Huckabee published in January, the former Arkansas governor described Beyoncé lyrics as “obnoxious and toxic mental poison” and wondered whether Jay-Z had crossed the line from husband to pimp for “exploiting his wife as a sex object.” In February, Rand Paul reminded everyone of their worst ex-boyfriends when he “shushed” CNBC anchor Kelly Evans, telling her to “calm down” in the middle of a tense interview.
Your neighborhood bully could do better. Longtime political operatives Katie Packer Gage, Ashley O’Connor, and Christine Matthews know it. In 2013, the trio joined forces to establish Burning Glass Consulting. The firm is the first of its kind—a strategy outfit designed to help Republican candidates win over female voters. And its founders—two of whom worked for Mitt Romney during his run for president in 2012—want to correct the mistakes that have undone conservative campaigns in the past.
It’s the mistake that Hillary Clinton won’t make again: ignoring her gender.
The low-key video she released on Sunday announcing her run for the White House is filled with women — young, old, black, white, Asian and Latina — working in their gardens, taking care of their kids and getting ready for life in the working world.
Clinton, who made herself the center of her campaign announcement in 2007, is barely in the video at all, appearing at the end as a kind of everywoman whose story and fight could be folded in with all the others.
“I’m getting ready to do something, too. I’m running for president,” Clinton said in the video. “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion — so you can do more than just get by — you can get ahead.”
Clinton often says there’s no better time in history to be born female than the present. She’s now betting that there is no better time for her to make history as the nation’s first woman president.
The challenge for Clinton in breaking the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” that she described in 2008 is laying out a precise campaign vision that connects with all voters, while generating excitement and anticipation over the possibility of making history.
Suzy Khimm, Katie Packer Gage and Emily Tisch Sussman discuss a new report that things are heating up between Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
Gender — the issue that Hillary Clinton struggled to find her balance on during her 2008 campaign — is front and center as she prepares for a possible 2016 presidential run.
It is, in many ways, a remarkable evolution for a female politician once bedeviled by gender politics to the self-defined “pantsuit aficionado and glass ceiling cracker” of today.
For much of this year, Clinton has spoken with ease — and little controversy — about female empowerment. At Tina Brown’s ‘Women in the World’ conference in April, Clinton declared that the “double standard” for women was “alive and well.” In countless public appearances, she has opened up about how that standard played out in her own career: from being underestimated by male colleagues as a young lawyer to the advice given to career women her age that they should keep family pictures off their desks.
The former Secretary of State has turned scrutiny about her scrunchies, headbands and hairstyles into laugh lines. She has poked fun at the sexist slights of foreign leaders—like that of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who told her he was briefed that she only wore her hair back when she was in a “bad mood.”
She often advises young women to handle criticism by developing skin “as tough as a rhinoceros.” And she rarely gave a speech this fall without reminding audiences she was soon to be a grandmother. The tableau was complete when she tweeted a softly lit image of her cradling newborn Charlotte while Bill Clinton beamed over her shoulder.
While Republicans had a huge lead among male voters in the midterm election, women were pretty much split between the parties.