Now Marco Rubio enters the race

Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for president.  That makes two Cuban-Americans (with Ted Cruz) and two Floridians (assuming Jeb Bush runs).  He claims that he can attract Hispanics and other minorities, young people, and the less well off, bringing these important demographics into the Republican fold.

Do you think he can?  Do you think he would be a good president?  How do you think he stacks up with the other candidates? [Read more…]

Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy

Hillary Clinton has officially thrown her hat into the ring, announcing that she is running for president.  This is no big surprise.  She has long been assumed to be the inevitable Democratic nominee, as if she is the heir apparent.  Lots of people, many of them nostalgic for the prosperity of the Bill Clinton years, will support her, though even Democrats I’ve talked to are not all that enthusiastic about her.  Some say she is gaffe prone and doesn’t wear well.  And yet, it isn’t clear that any of the Republican contenders can defeat her.

What do you think?  I’d like to hear from both Democrats and Republicans.  Does she have qualities that would make her a good president?  Or the reverse?  Will she win?  Who could defeat her, and how would that be accomplished? [Read more…]

Corporations aren’t funding campaigns after all?

When the Supreme Court ruled that the law limiting corporate contributions was an infringement of the right to free speech, the conventional wisdom was–and is–that now big businesses will buy politicians by funding their elections.  But it hasn’t turned out that way.  Corporations aren’t giving much money at all to political candidates.

The ruling allowing unlimited “corporate” giving–“corporate” meaning collective organizations, not just business corporations–is indeed magnifying the reach of  issue-driven organizations, which would be in accord with free political speech.  And wealthy individuals, such as George Soros and the Koch brothers (notice how those who demonize one don’t demonize the other), can throw their weight around with their money.  One might still worry about the influence of campaign contributions.  But the point here is that business corporations are not, on the whole, giving many political contributions.  They have found that giving money to politicians can just alienate some of their customers and that they can get more influence for their buck by hiring lobbyists. [Read more…]

Rand Paul throws his hat into the ring

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) announced that he is running for president.  The pro-life Libertarian offers something different from the typical alternatives.  Like conservatives, he would have a smaller government and support free market economics.  Like liberals, he would have a non-interventionist foreign policy, be skeptical of big corporations, and promote civil liberties.  Do you think this could be a winning combination?  [Read more…]

Big local government

Conservatives complain about Big Government, saying that huge, distant, super-powerful centralized government should often give way to decentralized state and local governments.  But what about when local governments do what big centralized government does?  That has become an issue in Texas. . . . [Read more…]

Ted Cruz starts the presidential race

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared that he is running for president, the first candidate to do so.  Making his announcement at Liberty University, Sen. Cruz said that he would abolish the IRS, Obamacare, and legalized abortion.  Is there any way Sen. Cruz, with his in-your-face conservatism, could win the election? [Read more…]