“Unlike Barack Obama, I was not a community organizer before I was elected to the Senate.”
— Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by The Hill.
“My base is really beyond just evangelicals. I think the untold secret is a lot of the support that I have, and that I anticipate I will have, is from the working-class, blue-collar people who grew up a lot like I did – not blue-blood, but blue-collar.”
— Mike Huckabee, quoted by The Hill, brushing off the challenge to his base in the GOP presidential race from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Doug Sosnik: “Next year’s election is the midpoint between 1992 when the current phase of presidential politics began and 2040, which is around the time that most projections have us approaching a majority-minority country, one in which no race will constitute the majority of Americans.”
“While the 2016 presidential election is likely to reflect the last remnants of this bygone era, the candidate running for president in 2016 who best understands how the country is changing and runs a campaign based on the America of the future rather than the America of the past is most likely to be our 45th president.”
Former South Carolina Republican Party chief Todd Kincannon was accused of threatening his wife but he blames the medicine he was taking for a respiratory condition, the Charleston City Paper reports.
Said Kincannon: “I’m the kind of guy who never goes to the doctor. I finally went and was prescribed something called Benzonatate for my cough. I’d never taken it before, and took it for the first time last night. Basically, I went completely crazy after taking it. I don’t even remember all of it.”
Former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is in Iowa again but “almost everyone… said they knew very little, if anything, about O’Malley,” CNN reports.
“That confusion crystallizes the central challenge O’Malley faces if he decides to pursue a long-shot run for the Democratic presidential nomination. He must find a way to dent the Clinton political machine and prove that he’s a competitive candidate — not just a backup for progressives who would rather see Elizabeth Warren in the White House.”
“And it’s in Iowa where O’Malley must stake his ground. Failure here would almost certainly doom his campaign. But if he manages to do better than expected — or even stage an upset — O’Malley could emerge as a real challenger for Clinton.”
“After his third venture into Iowa testing the waters for a presidential bid, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham is convinced he sees an opening for himself in the 2016 race,” the Des Moines Register reports.
Said Graham: “At the end of the day, I think there’s a pathway forward for a guy like me. Whether I finish first or 10th, at least I had a chance here.”
“Asked which GOP competitors he considers most formidable, Graham, 59, mentioned former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio — in that order.”
New York Times: “But even if his step has slowed, Mr. Clinton is hungering once again to play a central role in his wife’s presidential campaign. And Hillary Rodham Clinton’s advisers are once again grappling with how to deploy Mr. Clinton, a strategic imperative that was executed so poorly in 2008 that it resulted in some of the worst moments of her campaign.”
“In that race, the former president was at times a frustrated and unpredictable presence, operating on his own, calling up some of his wife’s aides to second-guess strategy and shifting the news media’s focus from her to him with stray remarks, such as when he set off African-American anger by diminishing Barack Obama’s success in South Carolina.”
“This time, advisers and political associates say both Clintons understand how critical it is to harness both the rare gifts and rash impulses of a former president on behalf of a potential one.”
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) said his party’s likely candidates for the next presidential election “look lost on two key issues — foreign policy and the economy,” The Hill reports.
Said Gilmore:”What makes me different? As the former governor of Virginia, I actually ran one of the major states in this country. Secondly, none of the other potential candidates knows anything about foreign policy, whereas I do.”
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), “scorched by a fast-spreading political firestorm,” told the Indianapolis Star that “he will support the introduction of legislation to ‘clarify’ that Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians.”
Associated Press: “Hundreds of people, some carrying signs reading ‘no hate in our state,’ gathered Saturday outside the Indiana Statehouse for a boisterous rally against a new state law that opponents say could sanction discrimination against gay people.”
Just published: Is the American Century Over? by Joseph S. Nye.
“For more than a century, the United States has been the world’s most powerful state. Now some analysts predict that China will soon take its place. Does this mean that we are living in a post-American world? Will China’s rapid rise spark a new Cold War between the two titans?”
Mike Huckabee called for “the imposition of term limits on U.S. Supreme Court justices, saying that the nation’s founders never intended to create lifetime, irrevocable posts,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
Said Huckabee: “Nobody should be in an unelected position for life. If the president who appoints them can only serve eight years, the person they appoint should never serve 40. That has never made sense to me; it defies that sense of public service.”
Politico: “Tens of millions of listeners — and potential GOP primary voters — tune in each week to the biggest right-wing radio hosts, who hold forth on the merits and demerits of the various 2016 Republican hopefuls as keenly as they spit invective about Barack Obama and the Democrats. Many of them are big fans of the Texas senator, if not outright supporters. Most are holding their cards close, refusing to hug any candidate too tightly, be it in the spirit of equanimity or out of fear of alienating some listeners.”
“But nearly all the kings and queens of the conservative airwaves express admiration for a man almost universally despised by his Senate colleagues and dismissed by the mainstream media: Cruz. And they are equally clear about who they do not like: Mushy ‘progressives’ like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) “is nearing an announcement of his presidential campaign — it now seems to be just a matter of when and where exactly it’ll happen,” the Washington Post reports.
“Aides to the senator don’t deny reports first published late Friday by the Tampa Bay Times that he’s reserved space at Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower for a possible announcement on the afternoon of April 13. A team of Rubio advisers is traveling to Miami next week to put finishing touches on the anticipated rollout — and their tasks will include picking the spot where the senator and his family can make the announcement.”
Sheldon Adelson “is said to be incensed” over former Secretary of State James Baker’s comments about Israel “and the lack of pressure put on him by the Jeb Bush team before his address — a significant concern, given that Mr. Adelson has the resources to pour tens of millions of dollars into the Republican presidential primary,” the New York Times reports.
“But the flare-up could thrust Mr. Bush into conflict with some of the most hawkish voices in his party, including some leading Republican donors, and a constituency determined to demonstrate its strength in the primary.”