Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Can Rubio Beat Clinton in Pennsylvania?

Marco Rubio (3/30/15)
"in [Scott] Walker and Marco Rubio, [Jeb] Bush faces two opponents whose backgrounds and identities — the working-class slayer of unions, the self-made immigrant’s son — match the way Republican voters want to think about their party in a way that a silver-spoon politician, whatever his record, never will."

--Ross Douthat, New York Times

Quinnnipiac has just completed a poll running Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Ted Cruz against Hillary Clinton in three swing states. Of notable interest, Quinnnipiac’s three swing states are Florida and Ohio, the two closest Obama swing states in 2012, plus Pennsylvania, a state increasingly seen--as noted earlier here--as a 2016 “swing” state, a development Quinnipiac had earlier endorsed. With good reason. If the Republican nominee carries every Mitt Romney state plus Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, s/he will win.

The Quinnnipiac results add to evidence Pennsylvania is in play for 2016. Except for Florida, which is partial to native sons Bush and Rubio, Pennsylvania is the best state for the other five Republicans polled--they all come closest to Clinton in Pennsylvania (Cruz and Christie do as well in Florida as they do in Pennsylvania). And Floridians Rubio and Bush do better in Pennsylvania than Ohio. That’s very strong evidence any GOP victory strategy runs through the Keystone state.

In Pennsylvania, Paul does the best of any GOP candidate against Clinton, actually beating her by 1 point.  Kentuckian Paul, the only candidate among the 7 from Appalachia--which covers much of Ohio as well as Pennsylvania--does best in Ohio as well (-5), and performs best overall.

Bush beats Clinton by 3 points in Florida and among Republican candidates, comes in #2 overall. Rubio is third, 2 points behind Bush because he trails Jeb by 5 in Florida, losing there to Clinton by -2 (we believe Bush will in the end lose the nomination; see Douthat's “silver spoon” quote above). Overall, Christie is 1 point behind Rubio in fourth.

Polls like Quinnnipiac’s are the ones to watch. Republicans want a winner, and that means someone who can beat Clinton in Florida, in Ohio, and now, in Pennsylvania as well.

Bush may beat Rubio in Florida today, but Rubio’s campaign has yet to take off. By seeking the presidency, Rubio is giving up his Florida senate seat, a heavy price to pay. He has decided to pay the price, however; press reports say Rubio will announce his White House run April 13 at Miami’s Freedom Tower.

Rubio hopes for a truly fresh start. He’s still trying to recover from a terrible 2013, a year that saw him grouped with liberal Democrats pushing an aborted comprehensive immigration reform plan, a mistake that separated him from most 2016 GOP primary voters. And 2013 was also the year Rubio botched his first national speech--the GOP response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address--by lunging for a water bottle in mid-stream (see “Saturday Night Live’s” take on Rubio's "watergate" here).

April 13 is a key date for Rubio. In nationwide polling right now, he’s well behind Bush and Walker.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

U.S. Foreign Policy “Unwinding”

The liberal Politico’s latest issue has an article titled “Obama's Mideast 'free fall.'” Even the left can’t hide from the hash that’s the president’s foreign policy.

What’s happening to U.S. influence abroad, however, is bigger than Obama. Our Middle East problems further prove what Philip Stephens of the Financial Times (U.K.) calls “the great unwinding.” Stephens’ three “great unwindings” are:

1. Pax Americana.
At the turn of the millennium Washington assumed, and most experts concurred, that the sole superpower would set the terms of international relations for most of the 21st century. There would be adjustments to accommodate the new powers, but the US would continue to act as guarantor of the peace. . . the illusion was shattered. . . in Iraq. . . future presidents will be obliged to follow Barack Obama in recognizing the constraints of a multipolar world.
2. Europe.
The creation of the euro was intended to complete the work of the EU’s founding fathers. . . Europe’s postwar model would be exported, first to the EU’s neighbors in the east and then as a template for the rising world. [The EU as] Venus to America’s Mars. And now?. . . governments are reluctant to pool sufficient sovereignty to assure the single currency’s long-term future. The resurgence of nationalism [with] governments slam[ing] the door against . . . globalization.
3. Globalization.
[We assumed] economic interdependence would soften national competition and that global supply chains would beget more effective global governance. [M]ost of the rising. . . powers never signed up to the idea of sharing national sovereignty. The threat in the Middle East and parts of Africa comes from collapsing states; in Asia it is rooted in competition between states.
Stephens concludes that “the great unwinding has created a world that is dangerously unpredictable.”

Comment: Obama’s belief in a “people of color” world displacing the old (white) Western power structure is consistent with Stephens’ “great unwindings.” And Obama's and Stephens’ shared views undermine this blog’s vision of a world instead shaped by capitalism + democracy = peace. But I do not despair. The long arc of history still bends toward freedom, toward free enterprise, and toward power to the people.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hillary Clinton: Corruption Unfashionable?

Conservative Lisa Schiffren in the New York Observer makes the case that Hillary Clinton won’t be president. The number of Hillary doubters is growing these days, even as head-to-head, Clinton continues handily beating any possible Republican rival.

The Kiss
Hill is corrupt, covered with scandal, and many Americans don’t like that. Al Gore himself is blamed for losing to George W. Bush in 2000 (though he won the popular vote), a time of budget surplus, reduced crime, peace, and prosperity.

And corruption.  People say Gore shouldn’t have separated himself from Clinton; shouldn't have run a campaign that played down his Clinton connection, while accenting his separation from the Clintons with his long, public kiss of then-wife Tipper at the Democratic convention.  Yet the  fact is that Democrats would never have lost in 2000 had the Clintons been less corrupt and scandal-ridden, more no-drama as were Martin Sheen and Stockard Channing in “West Wing."

"West Wing's" First Couple
Another underplayed fact is how readily the country embraced Barack Obama in his battle with Hillary and later against John McCain in part because Obama was an obvious good family man in a solid marriage--one-half of the real "West Wing" ideal couple.

Bill and Hill. So "Go Go '90s;" so yesterday.

Iran Bomb: At the Brink

Iran Bomb
“Whoever is not with [my enemy] is [with] me.”

--paraphrasing Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:30)

In short, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

In a letter, 367 members of Congress (84%, including a majority of Democrats) have warned the president that lawmakers must be satisfied that any Iranian nuclear agreement must "foreclose any pathway to a bomb" before they lift sanctions against Tehran. But the White House has already told Congress their Iran rapprochement won’t require congressional approval.

At this point is there any doubt--as the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens writes--about Barack Obama’s “upside-down” world view? Stephens, noting that the administration is now on better terms with Iran than it is with Israel, adds that the president
treats Republicans in the Senate as an enemy when it comes to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, while treating the Russian foreign ministry as a diplomatic partner. He favors the moral legitimacy of the United Nations Security Council to that of the U.S. Congress. He is facilitating Bashar Assad’s war on his own people by targeting ISIS so the Syrian dictator can train his fire on our ostensible allies in the Free Syrian Army.
He was prepared to embrace a Muslim Brother as president of Egypt but maintains an arm’s-length relationship with his popular pro-American successor. He has no problem keeping company with Al Sharpton and tagging an American police department as comprehensively racist but is nothing if not adamant that the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” must on no account ever be conjoined.
In light of these Topsy-turvy Obama policies and actions, Stephens’ advice to the Israeli government is:
Repay contempt with contempt. Obama plays to classic bully type. He is abusive and surly only toward those he feels are either too weak, or too polite, to hit back. . . The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance.
Comment: Obama has a consistent world view. Growing up as a minority half-black in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama took comfort in the anti-colonial, anti-European wave of nationalism that swept through the mostly non-white world at the time. He rode that affirmative action tide through Columbia and Harvard Law to safe landing with his impressive black wife in mostly black South Side Chicago. Race remained his co-pilot as he rose through the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate to the White House.

Don’t tell Obama the numbers are against him; he knows better. Israel is the past, much as Great Britain, Western Europe, and the Republican Party are the past. Time to align with a future that includes Iran, Obama’s own “Nixon goes to China” place in history.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Culture Wars: Who Delivers the Goods?

“something perverse has permeated our culture in America today, a culture where taking personal responsibility for one’s actions has been replaced by a grievance industry that promotes white privilege as the root cause for all that ails them. Sadly, America’s first African-American President and Attorney General have encouraged this myth—with the media promoting an agenda rather than dispassionately reporting facts.”

--Ron Christie, Daily Beast  

"The measure of a person's character is found by looking at the difficulties they overcame, not by the difficulties for which they found excuses.”

--Reader’s comment on Christie article

Victimization has triumphed over self-reliance.

In our three-part look at liberals’ victory in the culture wars, we quoted Stanford Hoover Institution conservative Shelby Steele’s conclusion that “Liberals successfully smother conservatism by identifying it as another word for American evil. Tainting conservatism — its principles, policies, and personalities — with past American shames remains for liberals an ‘endless font of power.’”

William Voegeli
Seele isn’t alone among conservatives in acknowledging liberals won the culture wars. William Voegeli says the same in his book, The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion. David DesRosiers, in the conservative Washington Times, summarized Voegeli’s findings:
The Republican disadvantage is that Democrats convincingly make a claim to be the party of greater human equality and compassion, making them the electoral scissors to the Republican paper. The claim of equality on the heartstrings of a democratic people is naturally stronger and resonates more than the claim of liberty. The democratic pitch — the promise of free stuff and fairness — is near impossible to beat head on, Voegeli’s advice is not to do so. Where liberalism is weak is with delivering the promised goods. This failure to deliver is the less fundamental, more effective route to check liberalism’s march.
According to DesRosiers, Voegeli is applying leftist agitator Saul Alinsky’s rule for radicals by making the opposition live up to their own values. In that spirit, Voegeli suggests how liberalism’s high motives may mask a self-centered core:
compassion is a modern doctrine with a selfish-center. Christ didn’t coin the word compassion, Rousseau did, and it reflects an interest in the “sufferer for the love of myself.” The emphasis is on the “I” in “I feel your pain.” The bull card, when applied to the legacy of liberal compassion, has the capacity to decouple the “reactor core” of liberalism, the “alliance of experts and victims.”
So finally, along with Voegeli’s dead-on reading of how liberals won the cultural high ground, a counterattack strategy emerges: make the battle about who achieves results.

Focusing on results, New York Times house conservative Ross Douthat wonders whether liberals or conservatives are more able to fix working-class family breakdown:
[is] the social crisis among America’s poor and working class — the collapse of the two-parent family, the weakening of communal ties —. . .best understood as a problem of economics or of culture[?]
Liberals want government aid. Conservatives want individual responsibility.
[To the left,] it’s unchecked capitalism and Republican stinginess, not the sexual revolution, that has devastated working-class society over the last few decades. Fight poverty, redistribute wealth, and you’ll revive family and community — it’s as simple as that.
I don’t think Douthat agrees:
In a substantially poorer American past with a much thinner safety net, lower-income Americans found a way to cultivate monogamy, fidelity, sobriety and thrift to an extent that they have not in our richer, higher-spending present.
The post-1960s . . . cultural earthquake that makes society dramatically more permissive and [that has created] dramatic social fragmentation among vulnerable populations [means] that [denying] any connection [between permissiveness and social fragmentation] looks a lot like denying the nose in front of your face.
In the culture wars, liberals have won. They shouldn’t have. Time for a “mean-spirited diatribe,” in Voegeli’s words, focused on who actually delivers “the promised goods.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

Unready for Hillary

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in trouble. The crisis follows revelations that 1) the Clinton Foundation, which finances her undeclared campaign for president, took money from foreign governments, some of them unsavory, while she was running U.S. foreign policy, and that 2) she handled all her emails--most of which had to have been classified--via a private server in her New York estate.  With more to come.

Hillary was poised this year to run a campaign that featured her popular husband, reminding us that before the Obama era with its sleep-walked economy and intense partisan warfare reducing Democratic officeholders to historic low numbers, America lived the bipartisan, Clinton-led, high-growth ‘90s. After Obama’s failed presidency, Clinton would offer throwback to a happier time.

Now Hillary, jarringly, has instead recalled the ‘90s the country preferred to forget--the Clinton scandals, the slippery legalisms, the outright lies, stuff people had been happy to move past with “no drama Obama.” It’s big that Clinton inadvertently chucked a major rationale for her campaign--nostalgia.

Don’t, however, read media attention to Clinton’s errors as evidence Democrats have written her off. Think back instead to 2012's first presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney, won handily by Romney. Then too, the media was all over a Democrat’s poor performance. Why? Because 1) liberals desperately needed a big correction, and 2) there was time to engineer a fix.

So it is with Clinton’s current bad press (see TIME cover above). There’s time.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

China’s Leaders: Still “Riding the Tiger”

"He who rides the tiger finds it difficult to dismount" (騎虎難下).

--Chinese Proverb

While China’s economy expands, its authoritarian political system remains the country’s chief weakness. China’s leaders continue to “ride the tiger,” the human resource-based economy burdened by the master on its back. As this blog and many others have wondered, “for how long?”

David Shambaugh is a China expert at George Washington University and the Brookings Institution. He recently wrote:
The Chinese have a proverb, "waiying, neiruan" (外英內軟) — hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Xi [Jinping] is a genuinely tough ruler. He exudes conviction and personal confidence. But this hard personality belies a party and political system that is extremely fragile on the inside.
Shambaugh offered five signs of weakness confronting China’s leaders:
  • China’s economic elites have one foot out the door, and they are ready to flee en masse if the system really begins to crumble. 
  • The Party’s “Document No. 9” has ordered all units to ferret out Western “universal values”—constitutional democracy, civil society, a free press and neoliberal economics. 
  • Party loyalists are going through the motions. It is hard to miss the theater of false pretense that permeates the Chinese body politic. 
  • Corruption is rooted in the single-party system, patron-client networks, an economy lacking transparency, state-controlled media, and the absence of “rule of law.” Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is a selective purge that takes out his enemies (as suggested here). 
  • Xi’s economic reform package is challenging powerful, entrenched interests—state-owned enterprises and local party cadres—and they are blocking implementation. 
 One party rule isn’t working in China, damaging the economy and threatening to devour its leaders.

Shambaugh concludes,
political controls [prevent China from becoming] an innovative society and a “knowledge economy.”. .The political system has become the primary impediment to China’s needed social and economic reforms. If Xi and party leaders don’t relax their grip, they may be summoning precisely the fate they hope to avoid. . . The CCP [Chinese Communist Party] is the world’s second-longest ruling regime (behind only North Korea), and no party can rule forever.
We all, outsiders and the Chinese people who give China its prosperity, root for the tiger.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Liberals Win Culture War; May Give Iran the Bomb (Part III)

Our last post quoted Shelby Steele’s conclusion that liberal “dissociation” has captured American culture. Liberals believe the U.S. is no better or worse than any other nation, and through this act of self-effacement, have “dissociated” American culture from the historic errors of our past especially slavery and segregation, from neo-imperialism in the guise of “nation building” and protecting the “Free World,” from pre-civil rights laws discriminating against Mexicans and Asians, and from suppression of women. This perfect dissociation from the American past grants liberals moral legitimacy, and so an entitlement to power with power the liberals’ ultimate objective.

Liberal moral legitimacy also puts conservatives in a bad spot, bad enough that liberals may prevail in today’s struggle over allowing Iran to acquire the bomb — a development America should unambiguously oppose.

Steele tells us:
post-1960s liberalism had so won over the culture, and so congealed into the new moral establishment, that conservatism — as a politics and a philosophy — became a centerpiece in liberalism’s iconography of evil. It was demonized and stigmatized as an ideology born of nostalgia for America’s past evils — inequality, oppression, exploitation, warmongering, bigotry, repression, and all the rest.
Conservatism — liberals believed — facilitated America’s moral hypocrisy. Its high-flown constitutional principles only covered up the low motivations that actually drove the country: the self-absorbed pursuit of wealth, the insatiable quest for hegemony in the world, the unacknowledged longing for hierarchy, the repression of women, the exploitation of minorities. . . Liberalism. . . won for its followers a veil of innocence[, a] gift that recommends it despite its legacy of failed, even destructive, public policies[—]the black underclass, the near disintegration of the black family, and the general decline of public education. . . Affirmative action presumed black inferiority to be a given, so that racial preferences locked blacks into low self-esteem and hence low standards of academic achievement.
conservatives. . . now feel evicted from their culture, . . .made to feel like outsiders even as they are accused of being traditionaists. And contemporary conservatism is now animated by a sense of grievance, by the feeling that the great principles it celebrates are now dismissed as mere hypocrisies.
[The] great irony that slowly emerged out of the turmoil of the 1960s is that conservatism became the new counterculture — a movement that was subversive in relation to the established liberal cultural order. And, continuing this irony, liberalism became the natural home of timid conventionalists and careerists — people who find it hard to know themselves outside the orthodoxies of mainstream “correctness.” The special energy of contemporary conservatism — what gives it the dynamism of a movement — comes from conservative outrage at being stigmatized in the culture as the politics in which all of America’s past evils now find a comfortable home.
Conservatives may dislike being connected to America’s hypocritical past, but the link is, Steele writes, liberals’ “greatest source of authority.” Liberals successfully smother conservatism by identifying it as another word for American evil. Tainting conservatism — its principles, policies, and personalities — with past American shames remains for liberals an “endless font of power.”

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Liberals Win Culture War; May Give Iran the Bomb (Part II)

“Obama is not just a citizen of America. He’s a citizen of the world. And he’s a disbeliever in American exceptionalism in any sense stronger than the British believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism. . . Obama is very much in the mainstream of modern progressive thought in his embrace of cosmopolitanism and his distrust of nationalism.”

--Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard

Obama is our first non-white, third world-linked president. His arrival symbolizes the changed American elite leadership that grew out of the civil rights and feminist struggles of the 1960s and 1970s.

Shelby Steele
Shelby Steele, conservative author of the award-winning The Content of Our Character, wrote a recent National Review article proclaiming that in the cultural wars, it’s bigger than just Obama. Anti-American liberalism has won, and Steele helps us understand why--dissociation:
post-1960s liberalism fell into a pattern in which anti-Americanism — the impulse, as the cliché puts it, to “blame America first” — guaranteed one’s innocence of the American past. Here in anti-Americanism was the Left’s all-defining formula: relativism-dissociation-legitimacy-power. Anti-Americanism is essentially a relativism — a false equivalency — that says America, despite her greatness, is no better an example to the world than many other countries. And in this self-effacement there is a perfect dissociation from the American past, and thus a new moral legitimacy — and so, finally, an entitlement to power.
in the culture war between liberalism and conservatism that followed the tumultuous 1960s, liberalism won. That is, liberalism won the moral authority, the power, to set the terms of social relations among Americans — the manners, the protocols, the ideas of decency, the rules establishing how people must interact within the most diverse society in human history. Liberalism gave America a new “correctness” that enforced these new rules with the threat of stigmatization.
post-1960s liberalism won a certain moral hegemony over the culture by establishing dissociation as the über human value — the value that arbitrates the importance and relevance of all other values. Even those timeless, conventional values that people in earlier times never thought to challenge now come under the purview of dissociation. . . personal responsibility and the work ethic. . . Insistence on values such as these seems to put victims in double jeopardy. It makes them the victims of both oppression and their own irresponsibility — implying that their own choices are as much a cause of their inferiority as the fact of their oppression. . . the idea that the victims may be accountable in some way for their own ongoing weakness is just impermissible. It violates the assignment of guilt and innocence — who is culpable and who is entitled — that dissociation seeks to enforce.
When we look at American exceptionalism through the lens of dissociation, that exceptionalism is transformed into garden-variety white supremacy. Dissociation sees this exceptionalism as proof of America’s evil character. . . When you win the culture, you win the extraordinary power to say what things mean — you get to declare the angle of vision that assigns the “correct” meaning.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s well-received attack on Iran and its nuclear program, delivered to a packed audience of U.S. senators and congressmen, may be (white) Israel’s last, best hope to hold back Obama’s “nuclear weapons for Iran, not just now” foreign policy. In a changed world, a U.S. elite conditioned by dissociation from supporting any “dead white men’s foreign policy” may be ready to accept the reality of Iran’s bomb.

Liberals Win Culture War; May Give Iran the Bomb (Part I)

Rhodes w/President on Air Force One
It’s fair, I believe, to say that Barack Obama views life through the prism of race and gender. His memoir, Dreams from My Father, is subtitled “A Story of Race and Inheritance.”

Obama's black father was absent, he was raised by a white mother and grandmother, he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, he understood the power of race in America in our time, and he knew how race--the American civil rights movement--became supercharged when the feminist movement joined the path toward equality, helping make minorities plus women the new national majority.

Obama’s “Dreams” years, 1961-88, a childhood and youth spent in nonwhite, nonblack Hawaii, newly-independent Indonesia, and black South Side Chicago, unfolded against the world backdrop of anti-colonialism, collapsing white empires, and the U.S. failure in Vietnam. Obama was not only part of a new American majority, he would move toward a presidency that enabled him to fit America into the world’s anti-colonialist majority.

On this changed globe, the white outpost of Israel artificially planted by Europeans in the Arab Middle East seems the relic of an older era, to Obama a last vestige of white imperialism. Obama’s “dream” would use U.S. power to re-balance the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, gaining Iran as an ally in the process.

When leaders come to power, they carry out ideas formed earlier, when they actually had time to think. I now realize how much the Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward – A New Approach, written in 2006 under the guidance of former Republican Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Lee H. Hamilton, influenced Obama.

An “expert adviser” to that report had anticipated the panel’s recommendation that the Bush administration should pressure Israel to make concessions so as to “entice Syria and Iran to a regional conference on Iraq,” and the report itself found “critics of the Bush Administration's handling of the [Iraq] war, including liberal media outlets and think tanks, applaud[ing] the report's recommendations [of] increased diplomacy with Syria and Iran.” [emphasis added]

Obama had to be among those applauding. As president, Obama made Ben Rhodes (see picture) his deputy national security adviser. Rhodes spent five years as Lee Hamilton’s assistant, helping to draft the Iraq Study Group Report, and in 2007, Rhodes began working as a speechwriter for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. He later wrote Obama's 2009 Cairo speech "A New Beginning,” during which Obama addressed “the Islamic Republic of Iran:”
In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build. . . we will proceed with courage, rectitude and resolve. . . we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.
Rhodes said recently that a deal with Iran is the “biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy.” Iran-born Valerie Jarrett. Ben Rhodes. Iran--front and center since Obama’s 2009 Cairo “new beginning” speech.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

GOP Seeking that “New Car Smell”?

Scott Walker                         Chris Christie                       Marco Rubio
"I assume [Marco Rubio]'s running. He will help the party turn the page, politically, to the next generation."

--Wayne Berman, veteran Republican fundraiser, Chair of John McCain's 2008 presidential fundraising, now lining up donors for Rubio

Conservative Byron York has just re-interpreted the GOP presidential primary race after looking at South Carolina, where one of the earliest primary face-offs will take place. In line with Berman’s opinion (above), York writes:
Republican activists around the country [are] hungry. . . for a presidential candidate who is new. They didn't want Mitt Romney to come back for another run. They don't want someone who ran in 2008 or 2012. And [they] count former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the old category, not because Bush himself has run before but because his family has been running for president since 1980.
[In] South Carolina. . ., Bush leads the field, although very narrowly, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has shot up from out of nowhere to a virtual tie for the lead [--] Bush 18% and Walker 17%. And [while] 99% of the Republicans surveyed have heard of Jeb Bush[, j]ust 58% have heard of Walker. . . for Walker. . . to end up in a virtual tie at the top means a lot of South Carolinians are really taking to [him].
Yet while the new car roars forward, York found that in the donor class:
"I would say there is a sense of loyalty of people who contributed to George H.W. and George W.," says Barry Wynn, a former South Carolina state party chairman. "I don't think I've talked to anybody who was involved in those financial efforts who's not ready to saddle up again for Jeb. I don't see any of them giving any money to Rubio, Walker, and the new class."
Still, York opines, what South Carolinians really want is “someone who can win.”

That could be Walker. While “next generation” candidates include Ron Paul, Chris Christie, or Rubio, right now, the “new car” is Walker. In the overall "RealClearPolitics" average among serious candidates, Scott Walker leads Jeb Bush 15.0 to 14.7, Paul is at 9.3, while Christie is at only 6.0 and Rubio worse off at 4.7. That means Christie and Rubio, the two challengers who must take Bush down, combined still trail Jeb by 4.0.

Early days? Walker for President?