The Lid: What Impact Will Paris Have on 2016 Presidential Race?

by Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann /  / Updated 
Image: Germany v Netherlands Match Cancelled Amid Bomb Scare Threat
A flag is waved in tribute for the victims of Paris shortly before the match Germany against the Netherlands was cancelled following a bomb alert at the HDI-Arena on November 17, 2015 in Hanover, Germany. Alexander Koerner / Getty Images

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Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… a New York Times headline Tuesday read “Ben Carson Is Struggling to Grasp Foreign Policy, Advisers Say.” Which is, like, more brutal than “Adult Child Actually Does Not Make Family Proud, Mom Says.”

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It’s clear that much of the Western world is on edge after the Paris attacks. Still more U.S. governors say they’re closing their doors to Syrian refugees; a soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was shut down after a threat; and a manhunt is still underway for a fugitive involved with the Paris killings. And it’s certainly clear that media scrutiny of 2016 candidates’ foreign policy records is high. Just check out the New York Times’ jaw-dropping look at how Ben Carson’s OWN adviser spilled that “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East.”

Here’s what we don’t know yet: Whether Paris ultimately resets the election in a more foreign-policy oriented direction for the long run. In fact, in a focus group that one of us(!) attended last night, the answer seemed to be a pretty definitive “no,” at least for now. General election voters remained focused on domestic issues and saw the violence in the French capital as akin to the steady parade of headlines about shootings and unrest here at home. ISIS was seen as a concern by these participants, but not an acute one. And/but, the word “experience” kept popping up, particularly when it comes to Hillary Clinton, even among those who said they wouldn’t consider supporting her.



Here’s that New York Times story on Carson: “Ben Carson Is Struggling to Grasp Foreign Policy, Advisers Say”

Getting traction today: “Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Tuesday that there was a “rationale” for the assault on satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, unlike the more recent attacks in Paris.

Barack Obama says it would have been “fun” to run against Donald Trump.

Ron Paul says he’d like to send Marco Rubio “to space.”

A super PAC supporting Ted Cruz will run a radio ad in Iowa hitting Rubio on immigration, the New York Times reports.


“For the New York Times to take advantage of an elderly gentleman and use him as their foil in this story is an affront to good journalistic practices."

-- Ben Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts response to criticisms from Carson aide Duane Clarridge, as quoted in Business Insider.


Jeb Bush makes a foreign policy address at the Citadel.

Donald Trump holds a rally in Worcester, MA.

Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are in Iowa, while Carly Fiorina stumps in New Hampshire.

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