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Firebrands Out, but GOP Remains the Same

Ezra Klein on Republicans' fitful attempt to reinvent themselves

(Newser) - Something strange is happening to the GOP. All of the 2016 contenders seem to have reached a conclusion, Ezra Klein observes in a Bloomberg column: "It's better to build a reputation as one of the party’s adults than as one of its firebrands." But Republicans are... More »

'Moderate Mitt' Is Back

And conservatives don't mind

(Newser) - Remember earlier this year when Mitt Romney boasted of being a "severely conservative" governor? Well, he's long gone, and "moderate Mitt" is the one on a roll:
  • David Weigel, Slate : "Here’s the odd thing" about that debate triumph: "He did it by being the
... More »

The M-Word: A Moderate Eyes the GOP Nomination

With GOP candidates fighting over the far right, Jon Huntsman aims at middle

(Newser) - Is there room in today's GOP for a presidential nominee who is moderate on gay rights, immigration, and cap-and-trade climate regulation? Someone who even—gasp—supported the stimulus and worked with the Obama administration as ambassador to China? With Jon Huntsman kicking off his first campaign swing through New... More »

2010's Lesson: Move to Center

America wasn't ready for a new progressive era

(Newser) - Democrats didn’t just get stomped because of the economy, and they didn’t just have a communication problem. “The public heard us,” writes retiring Sen. Evan Bayh in the New York Times , “but disagreed with our approach.” Democrats overestimated their mandate. Exit polls in 2008... More »

Scott Brown Invites Wrath From Right

Colleagues complain after several votes with Democrats

(Newser) - It turns out being a Republican from Massachusetts is a tricky gig. Scott Brown has jumped across the aisle a few times now, Politico notes, most recently by helping to break a GOP filibuster on a short-term extension of jobless benefits. He’s also sided against most of his party... More »

Health Care Reform Victory, Not Defeat, for Liberals

Progressives actually provided most of the votes

(Newser) - Lately the left has been taking its lumps, courtesy of the conventional wisdom that health care reform passed over liberals’ objections. That’s just plain incorrect, writes Tom Schaller for FiveThirtyEight . A lingering narrative holds that liberals can’t govern because the left is so unmanageable. But progressives provided most... More »

Obama's Suddenly a Centrist

Shifting president must be worried about independents

(Newser) - President Obama must be worried about independents and moderates, because he’s made a dramatic shift to the center in recent days. In an economics speech Tuesday, Obama lavished praise on small businesses, promising tax cuts as incentives to grow. “This is how Republicans, moderates and centrists think, and... More »

Any Random Conservative Would Crush Snowe in 2010

Generic Republican wins 59%-31% in poll

(Newser) - Olympia Snowe could be in trouble in 2012: a new poll found that a generic conservative challenger would trounce the Maine moderate in a primary. The hypothetical conservative got 59% of the vote, while Snowe received just 31%. While it can be argued that results for hypothetical candidate have little... More »

GOP Bails on Its Feminine Side

Purge of moderates will render party male-dominated

(Newser) - Rebelling conservatives pushed Republican Dede Scozzafava out of the House race in New York’s 23rd District because she’s a moderate. But she’s also a woman, and her ouster points to a toxic side effect of the tea party revolution: the closing of the GOP to all but... More »

Lieberman's Name Ain't Benedict

We need more pols who cross party lines, says maverick junior

(Newser) - Joe Lieberman’s taking a lot of heat for saying he’ll join a GOP filibuster of the health care bill, but Meghan McCain thinks it’s the kind of courageous stand we need more of in politics. “It’s no secret I have an aversion to partisan politics... More »

Obama Neglects a Powerful Presidential Tool: Fear

Opponents' ability to criticize with impunity hinders the president's effectiveness

(Newser) - Barack Obama has been praised for bringing a more conciliatory tone to the presidency after the with-us-or-against-us swagger of George W. Bush. But Obama’s preference for gentle negotiation and compromise leaves him less able to use an effective presidential tool: fear, writes Ben Smith for Politico. Obama has failed... More »

Ex-Adviser: Obama Not Bold Enough

(Newser) - One of Barack Obama's top advisers during the campaign tells Politico he's "losing patience" with the White House and wants more "bold" leadership from the president on a host of issues including health care and gay rights. “I’m not going to just sit by the curb... More »

Health Industry Rains Cash on Blue Dog Dems

(Newser) - The Blue Dogs—the 52 fiscally conservative Democrats who have been fighting to kill health care reform proposals the industry doesn’t like—receive far more money from that industry than their non-coalition-member counterparts, the Washington Post reports. The reform push has been a boon for the lawmakers' ledgers; the... More »

'Moderate' Tag Poses Dilemma for Democrats

It generally means 'conservative,' making everyone else a 'liberal'

(Newser) - The label “moderate Democrat” has been thrown around a lot lately, but it’s usually affixed to the party’s most conservative members, Politico reports. That’s a linguistic dilemma for the rest of the party, since anyone left-of-center is suddenly a “liberal” by comparison—a term still... More »

Obama Courts GOP Moderates, but Quietly

President seeks support on health care

(Newser) - President Obama would love to have a few Republicans in his corner on health care, but he’s keeping courting efforts low-key, Politico reports. Last week, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel invited a dozen moderate House Republicans to a casual White House meeting, and the president stopped by to chat.... More »

Huckabee's Plan to Revive GOP Doesn't Add Up

Nate Silver shows why party shouldn't play to social conservatives

(Newser) - Perhaps it's Mike Huckabee's admitted distrust for math, but he's dead wrong about the best strategy to bring back the Republican Party's power, writes Nate Silver on his blog. To make the case that the party shouldn't move to the middle, Huckabee says, "People that are social conservatives are... More »

GOP Looks to Centrists for 2010

Candidates should 'fit their states': Cornyn

(Newser) - As the GOP eyes 2010, it’s turning to centrist candidates to restore its health—despite a “good riddance” attitude to the departure of moderate Arlen Specter, Politico reports. “I’m absolutely committed to recruiting candidates around the country that fit their states,” said National Republican Senatorial... More »

What the GOP Needs Is a Bill Clinton

Douthat: Way out of this mess is to find a new breed of moderate

(Newser) - Republican moderates like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Specter are right that the GOP has a hole in the center, writes Ross Douthat in the New York Times. The problem is that they’re not the right kind of centrists to fill it. Yankee Republican moderates are either just... More »

Liberal Groups' Attack Ads on Moderate Dems Not Helpful: Reid

MoveOn should back off, majority leader says

(Newser) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says left-wing groups shouldn’t run ads pressuring moderate Democrats into backing President Obama’s budget, Politico reports. “I think it’s very unwise and not helpful,” Reid said today of the efforts by Moveon.org and Americans United for Change to convert... More »

GOP's Specter Eyes Independent Run in 2010

Embattled GOP moderate rules out joining Dems but not doing a Leiberman

(Newser) - Sen. Arlen Specter isn't going to switch sides and join the Democrats but he won't rule out running as an independent in 2010, the Pennsylvania Republican tells the Hill. Specter, under pressure from the GOP base since becoming one of just three Republican senators to support the stimulus package, says... More »

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