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Nevada Bids for First in the Nation Presidential Primary

By Peter RoffAmerican Action News

By mariordo59 from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting site, Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds, Las Vegas Strip, Nevada, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63989442

Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed into law Friday a bill that would make the Silver State the first in the nation to hold a presidential primary during a general election year. 

The measure, which passed both chambers in the Nevada state legislature last month, changes both the manner and date of the Nevada contest. Previously a caucus, delegates to the national nominating conventions would be chosen in a primary held on the first Tuesday in February, The Hill newspaper reported.

Despite Sisolak making the move law with his signature, the major national political parties will still have to approve the calendar change. A refusal by either party to agree to the move puts the state at risk to lose its delegates to the 2024 national nominating conventions.

The move also sets up a fight with New Hampshire, which traditionally and by state law is currently home to the first-in-the-nation primary. At the time this story was written, Gov. Chris Sununu had yet to comment but it is unlikely he and the members of the state legislature will allow its historical role to be eclipsed. Legislation moving the New Hampshire primary to an earlier date so that it would come before the new date set for Nevada is likely.

The Nevada move would also likely push the Iowa Caucus back to an earlier date. Voters there traditionally meet to show support for nominees before the New Hampshire primary. Any contest between these three states (and others that might wish to move their nominating dates toward the beginning of the process) has the potential to move the first balloting for the next presidential race back into 2023.

The Hill reported the initiative to move to a primary in an early position on the calendar was pushed by state Democrats including former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid who, despite his retirement remains a powerful force in state politics. To justify the move they cite at least in part problems with the Iowa caucuses in 2020. In his first and thus far only televised White House press conference, President Joe Biden affirmed he plans to be a candidate for re-election in 2024. 


Talking Trump, Talking 2024

By Peter RoffNewsweek

There are certain words one never associates with former President Donald J. Trump. One of them is “coy.” Yet there he is, dancing around the question of whether he’ll run for president in 2024 like a young girl who is asked out for the first time.

Trump remains a power in the GOP, but it’s not certain he’ll run again. In 2016, his carefully crafted image as an outsider bent on shaking things up tapped into the public’s frustration over the way government continually fails to solve problems and, in the process, makes many of them worse.

The Republican presidential field in 2016 was fertile ground for the seeds he would plant. But 2024 is not 2016. Trump’s pathway back to power is not as straight as his overwhelming popularity among likely GOP primary voters makes it appear to be.

Before getting to that, however, it’s useful to review how he originally became the GOP nominee in 2016.

First, because just about everything he said made heads explode at the headquarters of the elite New York media, Republican primary voters immediately concluded he was a trustworthy conservative.

Second, coverage of Trump being outrageous and combative sold papers and generated ratings. Promoting his candidacy became an issue of financial self-interest among the media conglomerates who make and break American presidential candidates.

Third, a cohort of media stars supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid to become the first female president helped Trump along because they thought he was the Republican it would be easiest for her to beat.

Fourth, no other Republican running in 2016 could have taken down Trump without ending his or her own candidacy. Rather than alienate the voters warming to his message, the large field of Republicans mostly took the punches he threw without punching back. They let him define them. “Little Marco” and “Low-Energy Jeb” worked because Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) were too timid to push back hard enough when it still might have mattered.

Trump has had a good week. His recent speech to a statewide gathering of North Carolina Republicans was generally well-received. And the release of a government report exonerating him of charges that he ordered demonstrators occupying Lafayette Park in May and June of 2020 tear-gassed and dispersed so he could stage a “photo-op” gives his supporters one more media lie to point to.

GREENVILLE, NC - JUNE 05: Former U.S.
GREENVILLE, NC – JUNE 05: Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the NCGOP state convention on June 5, 2021 in Greenville, North Carolina. The event is one of former U.S. President Donald Trumps first high-profile public appearances since leaving the White House in January.MELISSA SUE GERRITS/GETTY IMAGES

The other Republicans who want to be president already understand that winning the nomination requires going through Trump. They’re going to have to play rough like him—which, in a much smaller field than the one in 2016, changes the calculation in their favor, not his.

Consider former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s already out making speeches and will soon visit the critical early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He’ll never say so publicly, but most everyone in GOP circles knows his relationship with Trump is currently frosty and only likely to grow colder. Trump is an anchor around Pence’s neck, whether he runs or not. It’s in the former veep’s political interest to start drawing distinctions early.

If he does, other potential GOP candidates like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also have openings to differentiate themselves from Trump. Former Trump-era Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley already tried, but did it too early, got slapped for it politically and has had to keep her head down while she repairs the damage.

The thing most likely to keep Trump from winning the nomination is his need for vindication. He keeps talking about voter fraud being responsible for his loss in 2020 without offering verifiable proof that it occurred on the scale he claims. There probably was some fraud—there always is—and the vehemence with which the Democrats try to shut down any discussion of it is puzzling. Nonetheless, it’s an old story that’s getting older by the day. Americans like to look and go forward. They aren’t that much interested in backing up if Bidenflation has wiped out their savings accounts and sent their job overseas.

If Trump wants to be the next GOP presidential nominee, he needs to talk more about what he’ll do to win in 2024 than why he lost in 2020. The chances of that happening, say many GOP insiders, is minimal.


Trump, Trumpism and the Future of the GOP

By Peter RoffNewsweek

Former President Donald J. Trump’s recent speech to the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) put him back in the spot he most enjoys: front and center of the national conversation. He’s been the topic, even as President Joe Biden suffered his first defeat on Capitol Hill and House Democrats passed a bill that suppresses our treasured right to freedom of speech.

Trump, always controversial, continued unhelpfully to assert the election was stolen from him even while effectively attacking the nascent Biden administration for undoing policies that “made America great again.”

The speech breathed new life into the discussion of a possible run in 2024 and whether he could win the Republican nomination.

Republicans and Democrats both know he could be a formidable presidential candidate in 2024, should he win the GOP nomination. He won 74 million votes in 2020—11 million more while losing than he did while winning in 2016. The GOP also picked up a governorship and flipped control of two state legislative chambers from Democrat to Republican (Democrats flipped none). Out of 227 defeated state legislators seeking re-election, only 52 belonged to the GOP.

Trump ran ahead of John McCain and Mitt Romney among blacks and Hispanics, and the GOP came within an eyelash of winning back control of the U.S. House of Representatives—when pre-election forecasts predicted they’d lose as many as two dozen seats.

Still, it’s not all gravy. The GOP lost control of the U.S. Senate and, as Karl Rove pointed out recently in The Wall Street Journal, almost all the Republicans running for the House ran ahead of Mr. Trump—”including eight in the 14 closest races that gave the GOP its pickups.” Down-ballot, the pattern was repeated, as many state legislative candidates ran ahead of the president.

Trump ran ahead of John McCain and Mitt Romney among blacks and Hispanics, and the GOP came within an eyelash of winning back control of the U.S. House of Representatives—when pre-election forecasts predicted they’d lose as many as two dozen seats.

Still, it’s not all gravy. The GOP lost control of the U.S. Senate and, as Karl Rove pointed out recently in The Wall Street Journal, almost all the Republicans running for the House ran ahead of Mr. Trump—”including eight in the 14 closest races that gave the GOP its pickups.” Down-ballot, the pattern was repeated, as many state legislative candidates ran ahead of the president.

President Donald Trump speaks at 2021 CPAC
President Donald Trump speaks at 2021 CPAC in Orlando, FloridaJOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

Others have encouraged the party to disavow Trump and what they refer to as “Trumpism”—which, until the former president’s speech at CPAC, was a phrase left either ill- or un-defined by those advocating for it.

This is where the danger lies—something that could plunge the GOP into a prolonged civil war that could cost the party greatly, and for a long time. Going forward, the party needs to decide what it’s for and what it’s against, and give the American people “an agenda worth voting for,” as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used to say.

What that in mind, it’s important to first define what “Trumpism” is in order to decide if it should be tossed aside. At CPAC the former president defined it as support for cutting marginal tax rates and deregulation to spur economic growth and job creation, traditional values and a strong military, secure borders and a merit-based immigration system, law enforcement, the rule of law, the Second Amendment, life, liberty and not letting China eat America for lunch (among other things).

Altogether, that sounds like an agenda most conservatives could, and should, support.

There may be other positions out there that people in positions of influence would like to see the GOP adopt. If there are, they should say so now, so that a discussion can be had. Simply throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as some suggest, would erase decades of progress by conservatives in defining the GOP as a coalition standing for free minds, free people and free markets.

That’s not to suggest everything about Trump should be swallowed whole. Like many of his predecessors, he refused to tackle entitlements, did nothing to address spending and approached important intergenerational issues and societal changes in a ham-handed, angry fashion. It’s one thing to push back against the Left—and it’s important he did—but it’s equally important to pursue consensus and to remember that compromise does not necessarily equal capitulation.

Right now, the GOP is stuck. To move forward and regain the majority in Congress as well as the presidency, the party must figure out how to take from Trump what was best while casting off things that were political or electoral liabilities. It’s not as hard as it sounds—and it’s been done before, as in 1994, when Republicans got past President George H.W. Bush’s betrayal of his promise to never raise taxes to win back Congress for the first time in 40 years.

The party’s mission, as the former president told CPAC, “must be to create a future of good jobs, strong families, safe communities, a vibrant culture and a great nation for all Americans.” If the GOP can come up with a plan to do that, its future electoral success is assured.


Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On

By Mollie Hemingway • The Federalist

On Saturday night, heavily redacted copies of the FBI’s application to wiretap Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page were released. The portion of the 412-page document that was not redacted supported the claims of Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as those made by the majority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The senators and the representatives had issued reports alleging that the FBI used an unverified Clinton campaign document to secure a wiretap against an American citizen, that the application for the wiretap used circular reporting and lacked verification for its central claims, and that it made materially false claims related to the source’s credibility.

President Trump tweeted triumphantly and hyperbolically about what the documents showed regarding the FBI’s behavior toward his campaign. Whatever you think about Trump’s reaction to the release of the FISA application, the media reaction to the story was disingenuous and even more hyperbolic than the president’s tweets. After a year of continuous and alarming revelations, the media are still more interested in proving the Trump campaign treasonously colluded with Russia than wrestling with the fact that the FBI spied on a presidential campaign, and used dubious partisan political research to justify their surveillance. Continue reading


Hillary Clinton’s latest lie about videos and terrorists

New York Post

Hillary Clinton at senate hearingWhen it comes to terrorists and videos, you’d think Hillary Clinton would have learned her lesson.

But her claim during Saturday’s Democratic debate that ISIS is “showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims” in order to recruit jihadists is about as accurate as her claim an online anti-Muslim video sparked the 2012 Benghazi attack.

And a number of usually pro-Hillary fact-checkers agree: The Washington Post, the Associated Press and Politifact all branded her debate claim false. Continue reading


When You See How Cruz’s Children Were Depicted in WaPo Cartoon, You’ll Understand Why He’s Not Happy

The Blaze

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz slammed the Washington Post Tuesday for publishing a cartoon appearing to depict his children as monkeys.

Continue reading


6 in 10 American Voters Do Not Trust Hillary Clinton

Plurality would be ‘embarrassed’ if she won 2016 election

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton 2Nearly six in 10 American voters do not trust Hillary Clinton as the former secretary of state’s private email use continues to undergo scrutiny from the FBI.

Fifty-nine percent of U.S. voters rate Clinton as not honest and trustworthy, compared with 35 percent who believe the opposite, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Clinton is not trusted by nearly one-fifth of likely Democratic primary voters and 72 percent of independent voters.

The same survey also found that a plurality of American voters would be embarrassed if Hillary Clinton were elected president in 2016. Specifically, 35 percent would be embarrassed by her election, while a slightly smaller share of 33 percent would be proud. Twenty-nine percent would feel neither way if Clinton prevailed in the presidential election. Continue reading


Watchdog: Hillary Clinton in ‘League of Her Own’ with Ethics Violations

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary clinton 5A watchdog group that has asked the federal government to investigate a number of possible ethics violations involving Hillary Clinton has named the presidential candidate the worst ethics violator of 2015.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) released its list of worst ethics violators Tuesday, placing Clinton in a “league of her own” due to ongoing ethics scandals involving the former secretary of state.

The watchdog cited a number of examples as evidence Clinton abused her government position and violated ethics rules, including a recent report that then-secretary of state Clinton gave preferential treatment to a business associate of her son-in-law in 2012. Continue reading


No Escape: How The International Criminal Court Will Impact the 2016 U.S. Presidential Race

unnamed-2By Shawn Macomber • Lawfare Tyranny

Over at The Washington Times today Center for Freedom and Prosperity President Andrew F. Quinlan presents the International Criminal Court as Exhibit A in his case for why, despite the fact that Americans “spare little mind for the goings-on of international organizations,” the activities of these aspiring transnational behemoths nonetheless will “not only have significant impact around the world, but could also play a role in the upcoming electoral contest.”

After noting a few of the same foundational flaws in the ICC’s mission that we have covered in detail in this space, Quinlan writes:

The United States chooses not to participate in the ICC, but that doesn’t mean its actions have no bearing on U.S. interests. Given the history of the Court’s involvement in ongoing conflicts and the negative results it can produce, the next president will have to keep a close eye on the current investigation and any potential proceedings that emerge from it.

He goes on to righteously excoriate the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), before tying the whole room together with this final warning:

The President of the United States is often called the leader of the free world. Increasingly, however, U.S. Presidents are watching from the outside as major world events are decided by unelected global bureaucrats. Whether they want to address the undertakings of these international organizations or not, the candidates vying to be the next president may similarly find that the decision is out of their hands.

Read the whole damning piece here.


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