Has U.S. Ceded Economic Leadership?

“As world leaders converge here for their semiannual trek to the capital of what is still the world’s most powerful economy, concern is rising in many quarters that the United States is retreating from global economic leadership just when it is needed most,” the New York Times reports.

“The spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have filled Washington with motorcades and traffic jams and loaded the schedules of President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. But they have also highlighted what some see as a United States government so bitterly divided that it is on the verge of ceding the global economic stage it built at the end of World War II and has largely directed ever since.”

The U.S. Is Becoming an Oligarchy

Gary Hart: “Our Founders created a republic and, being keen students of the history of republics beginning with Athens, they knew that placing special and narrow interests ahead of the common good and the commonwealth was the corruption that destroyed republics. They feared this kind of corruption as the greatest danger to America’s success and survival.”

“By this standard, today’s American Republic is massively corrupt. Every interest group in our nation has staff lobbyists and hires lobbying firms. Thousands of lobbying firms now penetrate the halls of Congress as well as all State capitols and city halls. Those same lobbying firms collect funds for election and re-election campaigns. In exchange, they have access to legislatures and administrations, those who write the laws and make the regulations.”

“If the national presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy.”

Dean Says Capitalism Is Failing

Howard Dean “delivered a stinging critique of modern day capitalism, warning that the economic system is ‘going to fail’ unless substantial efforts are made to regulate the financial industry and reduce income inequality,” the New York Observer reports.

Said Dean: “Actually, capitalism works pretty well–until it doesn’t. Capitalism in this country is going to fail if there’s not a significant, substantial number of people who believe that capitalism works for them and people are beginning to doubt around the world and in this country whether capitalism works for them.”

Kasich Set to Launch National PAC

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) “is about to launch a national political committee that would allow him to raise money and his profile as he considers a run for president in 2016,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Records show that a nonprofit called New Day for America incorporated this week with the Ohio secretary of state. The name is similar to one Kasich has used for his gubernatorial inaugural committee. The incorporator is listed as E. Mark Braden, an attorney and election-law specialist who has worked for Kasich before and who once served as chief counsel to the Republican National Committee.”

Emanuel Spent Nearly $23 Million on Re-Election Bid

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel “and a supportive political action committee spent more than $22.8 million in the preliminary and runoff elections en route to the mayor winning a second term,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

“By contrast, challenger Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia and his union allies spent at least $4.6 million, far behind Emanuel, who collected 56 percent of the vote last week.”

Clinton Praises Warren’s Efforts to Reform Wall Street

“Hillary Clinton made her most ringing endorsement yet of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s efforts to tamp down on ‘Wall Street’s irresponsible risk taking’ in a two-paragraph Time magazine article… Clinton is yet to reveal what economic policies she would bring to the White House if elected, but much of her rhetoric in recent days has had echoes of Warren, a hero of the Democrat’s progressive left wing,” Reuters reports.

Wrote Clinton: “She never hesitates to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire: bankers, lobbyists, senior government officials and, yes, even presidential aspirants.”

 

Clinton Already Has 19 Staffers in New Hampshire

“For nearly two years, potential Republican presidential candidates have visited New Hampshire to meet with activists, interview with local media, and speak at party functions. If they’re lucky, these White House hopefuls have a few paid staffers to help them on the ground,” the Boston Globe reports.

“But that’s not much compared to the team Hillary Clinton has put together in New Hampshire less than a week into her presidential campaign. The former US secretary of state has only been to the state once in seven years, but her campaign has brought on 19 staffers for the Granite State operation, according to a Clinton campaign official.”

Rubio and Bush Deadlocked in Florida

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Florida finds Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Jeb Bush (R) essentially tied for the GOP presidential nomination in their home state. Rubio gets 31%, Bush had 30% and 17% were undecided.

Said pollster Brad Coker: “I think Rubio’s rollout was pretty good and he probably got a bump out of it. A good rollout is like a primary win: you get about three days of good media coverage and a little lift in the polls.”

McConnell Says GOP Can Hold Senate in 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans have a chance to maintain control of the Senate in the 2016 election, when two dozen GOP seats will be contested, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Of the 24 Republicans up for re-election next year, Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana is retiring and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida announced on Monday that he will run instead to be the GOP’s White House nominee. GOP Sen. David Vitter, also up for re-election in 2016, is running this year for governor of Louisiana.”

GOP Candidates Head to New Hampshire

“With every major Republican presidential hopeful descending on New Hampshire this weekend for the state’s first candidate forum, attention will turn for the moment from Hillary Clinton’s entry into the campaign to the fluid Republican race,” the New York Times reports.

“Few of New Hampshire’s influential Republican activists will commit to a candidate based solely on what they see at the two-day gathering in Nashua. But the audition there offers a chance for one of the 19 prospects expected to attend to break out of the pack in a state where there is no clear favorite.”