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In today’s political news cycle, so much happens so quickly. So here’s a look back at the past week in 2016 politics, making sense of what mattered – and what didn’t.
- Mitt Romney’s no-go: The 2012 Republican nominee’s decision NOT to run for president has two immediate consequences: 1) It makes the GOP establishment’s path to the nomination a bit easier (you’re not dividing up this vote three ways among Romney, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie), and 2) it gives Christie – and possibly others – more room if he does decide on a run.
- Former Romney adviser David Kochel becoming Jeb’s campaign manager-in-waiting: Was this news – one of Romney’s top strategists from 2008 and 2012 deciding to work for Bush – the final straw convincing Romney to forgo a third presidential bid?
- Scott Walker’s buzz after last weekend’s Iowa cattle call: A current GOP governor is bound to be a serious player in the battle for the GOP nomination, and the GOV who gobbled up the most attention this week was Walker, who also formed his Our American Revival group.
- The Koch Brothers’ $900 million they will spend in 2016: This is maybe the week’s biggest news of all. The nearly $900 million they plan to spend in the ’16 cycle is more money that the Obama campaign spent in ALL of 2008 (about $750 million), and it comes to $1.3 to $1.4 million a day (!!!) from now until Election Day 2016.
What Didn’t Matter as Much
- Hillary Clinton delaying her campaign until the summer: First came the story that Clinton is likely to launch her campaign in April. Then there was another – just days later – about her delaying it until the summer. A little perspective here: In 2012, both Obama and Romney started their campaign committees ($$$) in April, but didn’t start campaigning/announcing until much later.
- Lindsey Graham “testing the waters”: Yes, Graham, the U.S. senator from South Carolina, deserves more ‘16 ink (or bandwidth) than the Ben Carsons and Carly Fiorinas have already received. But the only true impact of a potential Graham run is making South Carolina political consultants nervous that other candidates might take a pass on the state with a favorite son in the contest.
- Romney’s digs at Hillary and Obama: Romney sure sounded a like a presidential candidate on Wednesday at Mississippi State, where he took shots at both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. In retrospect, was it less a signal about his 2016 intentions – and more of a final dig at these two Democrats?
- Sarah Palin’s performance in Iowa: Lots of talk about her, at best, uneven performance at last weekend’s Iowa cattle call. But let’s be honest: Ever since resigning as Alaska governor 2009, she’s been more of a political celebrity than a serious political figure.