Political Headlines December 19, 2012: Robert Bork: Conservative Trailblazer & Reagan Supreme Court Nominee Dies at 85





Conservative Trailblazer Robert Bork Dies at 85

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-19-12

CNP/Getty Images

Judge Robert H. Bork, one of the chief conservative intellectuals of the law, who forever changed the nature of Supreme Court confirmation hearings, died Tuesday morning of heart disease, according to his son, Robert H. Bork Jr. He was 85 years old.

“Robert Bork was one of the most influential legal scholars of the past 50 years. His impact on legal thinking in the fields of antitrust and constitutional law was profound and lasting. More important for the final accounting, he was a good man and a loyal citizen. May he rest in peace,” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a statement….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines March 8, 2012: Santorum argues for two-man race with Romney ahead of Mississippi primary



Santorum argues for two-man race with Romney

Source: USA Today, 3-8-12

Rick Santorum is making the argument for a two-man race with GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, but he’s not calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out.

In an interview Wednesday night on Fox News, Santorum said Gingrich should “stay in if he wants to stay in.” He called on Mississippi voters to help him narrow the Republican field, during a rally earlier that evening.

“If you deliver a victory for us on Tuesday, you will make this a two-person race,” Santorum said, according to the Associated Press. “And once it’s a two-person race, the conservative will be the nominee. You can change it all, Mississippi.”

Alabama and Mississippi hold primaries on Tuesday. Gingrich yesterday canceled plans to campaign in Kansas, which holds caucuses on Saturday, so he can concentrate on the two Southern states.

A pro-Santorum super PAC — the Red, White and Blue Fund — has called on Gingrich to drop out of the race so conservatives can coalesce behind the former Pennsylvania senator. Gingrich said he has no intention of doing so.

“What I’m saying is that the best chance for us to nominate a conservative is to get in a one-on-one match with Gov. Romney,” Santorum told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. “And we’re going through the process of proving we’re the best conservative, we’re the right person, not only just to beat Gov. Romney but to defeat Barack Obama.”

Campaign Headlines March 9, 2012: The Parallels Between Mitt Romney and George H.W. Bush



The Parallels Between Mitt Romney and George H.W. Bush

Source: NYT, 3-8-12
Mitt Romney, right, is working to appeal to both the Republican establishment and its outspoken conservatives.  The elder George Bush, left, at a Texas stop in 1992, faced the same challenge.

Left, J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press; right, Yana Paskova for The New York TimesMitt Romney, right, is working to appeal to both the Republican establishment and its outspoken conservatives.  The elder George Bush, left, at a Texas stop in 1992, faced the same challenge.

8:08 p.m. | Updated As a presidential candidate, he was awkwardly disconnected, a wealthy Republican who struggled to earn the trust of the conservatives in his party.

Now, two decades later, that candidate, the elder George Bush, is serving as a kind of political object lesson for a kindred spirit, Mitt Romney.

As Mr. Bush tried to do, Mr. Romney is working to bridge two worlds inside the Republican Party: an establishment wing with which he feels comfortable and a rabble-rousing wing that has a big influence over policy and ideology.

Mr. Bush managed to reconcile and unite both of those sometimes opposing forces, but not until he sought the White House as a sitting vice president in 1988. And those same divisions and suspicions from conservatives helped scuttle his re-election campaign four years later.

Mr. Romney now faces some of the same challenges….READ MORE

Featured Historian Matthew Dallek: Mitt Romney is no George Romney


Matthew Dallek: Mitt Romney is no George Romney

Source: Politico, 12-1-11

George Romney (center) gave his wife Lenore and son Mitt 14 (left), an affectionate hug at a Detroit news conference February 10, 1962 after he announced he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Michigan. | AP Photo

Romney has claimed that his greatest political inspiration was George Romney, the author says. | AP Photo Close

Mitt Romney is casting himself as the lone Washington outsider in the Republican presidential field with the best shot at defeating President Barack Obama. He describes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as a “lifelong politician” who “spent his last 30 or 40 years in Washington.” He labeled another rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as a career politician. Romney insists that, in contrast, he had “spent most of my life outside of politics.”

“Career politicians got us into this mess,” Romney said, “and they simply don’t know how to get us out.”

Romney’s complaint could well be his most hypocritical to date. For it belies an inconvenient reality that Romney’s father spent much of his adult life inside politics — as a liberal moderate in the Republican Party. George Romney was a three-term Michigan governor, ran for president in 1968 and served in the first Nixon administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Romney also led a grass-roots campaign in Michigan to reform its constitution.

That résumé suggests just one aspect of Romney’s judicious devotion to the politics of governmental reform. He consistently harnessed the power of the state to lift up citizens’ lives — sharply contrasting with his son’s repeated denunciations of “career politicians” and Big Government liberals as failed economic stewards.

We’ve seen this cognitive dissonance before. Just as George W. Bush famously divorced himself from his father’s moderate GOP legacy, Mitt Romney is now skating past his father’s largely liberal Republican record in his rush to stand on the right of the Republican spectrum.

Yet Romney has claimed that his greatest political inspiration was George Romney. He told The New York Times in 2007 that running for president made him feel like a member of “a relay team where the baton passed from generation to generation.”…READ MORE

Matthew Dallek, an associate academic director of the University of California Washington Center, is the author of “The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics.”

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