RJC in DC–Meeting Bill Kristol

At the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership meeting in Washington, DC, I had the pleasure of listening to and then meeting Bill Kristol. He was the Chief of Staff to former Vice President Dan Quayle. He was also one of the first strategists to issue public “private” strategy memos. His daily faxes helped defeat Hillarycare in 1993 and 1994. He is currently part of a political panel on Fox News. Below are his comments regarding the 2008 Presidential election.

“First the bad news. The democratic party will be united. Don’t kid ourselves otherwise.”

“It is tough to win three straight elections. Four out of the five Presidents since World War II failed to extend their party to a third victory. Dwight Eisenhower did not deliver Richard Nixon. Bill Clinton did not deliver Al Gore. Kennedy and Johnson only had 8 years. Nixon and Ford only had 8 years. The only President to deliver a third term was Ronald Reagan, whose popularity helped deliver President George Herbert Walker Bush.”

“75% of the country thinks that America is on the wrong track. The republican party in general is not as strong.”

“Recent special elections in Illinois and Louisiana ended 30 years of republican rule. Dennis Hastert retired, and a safe republican seat went democratic.”

“Now for some good news. Liberals lose elections. Obama is a liberal.”

“Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, and Dick Gephardt would have all been tougher candidates.”

“During war, Americans prefer hawkishness. They want someone tougher on National Security.”

“In losing an off year election, like we did in 2006, voters feel that the party in power has already been punished.”

Although Mr. Kristol did not explicitly state this, a good parallel would be the Gingrich revolution of 1994. Despite one of the biggest electoral landslides in American history, Bob Dole did not win the White House in 1996.

“Even many who disagree with the war feel that John McCain balances Nancy Pelosi.”

“1928 was the last election with no incumbent President or Vice President running. The Vice Presidential picks will be important, and the debates will be vital.”

When asked about the Jewish vote, Mr. Kristol pulled no punches and offered no olive branches.

“The Israel-America relationship matters. I have given up hope on getting liberal Jews to vote intelligently. I am tired of the political stupidity of the Jews.”

“Having Obama, Pelosi and Reid running the country for two years is much more serious than the last two years of Pelosi, who was stopped by President Bush.”

“Democrats want change merely for the sake of change. Keep in mind, for many democrats, Obama was not their first choice.”

In discussing the mortgage crisis,  I will now from now on call it the mortgage inconvenience. With liberals, everything is a crisis. It was Bill Kristol in 1993 who ordered republicans to grow spines, boldly declaring that, “There is no health care crisis.” Phil Gramm was the one who picked up on this theme, and declared that the Clinton health care plan “would become law over his cold, dead political body.” After he successfully killed it, he announced that the bill “was deader than Elvis, and it isn’t coming back.” He did come back himself for several more years.

The irony of this is that Former Senator Gramm himself agrees with me that irresponsible borrowers need to grow a pair. Yet Bill Kristol will not hop on board this line of thought publicly. Mr. Kristol is a political strategist, and for strategists, it is about winning. I am more interested in principles. In 1993, defeating Hillarycare was good policy and good politics. This is not the case in 2008 with the mortgage crisis.

“The Phill Gramm ‘suck it up’ economic message is a loser message.”

He meant from a political standpoint. It was not a personal attack against Mr. Gramm.

“We did well in 2004 before because 2004 was a ‘mobilization election.’ 2008 will be tougher for us because it will be an ‘imagination election.'”

The discussion then turned to potential Vice Presidential picks.

“If Hillary becomes the Vice President, Obama will need a food taster at the White House.”

“George Mitchell or Bob Kerrey would be good, safe, conventional choices as Vice President.”

“The democrats should go safe and conventional. The republicans should not. Mitt Romney is too conventional a choice to be Vice President.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would be a bold choice for Vice President. He is a conservative, and a fresh face. His lack of experience will not hurt him, since he can simply remind everyone about Obama’s lack of experience.”

I did have a chance to meet Bill Kristol afterwards. His manner is easy going, and his analysis is solid.

The GOP has tough challenges ahead in 2008, but 1988 makes for a great parallel. Yes, Barack Obama is significantly more inspiring than Michael Dukakis. However, John McCain is more inspiring than  President George HW Bush. Ideology defeats competence in terms of arguments every time. George HW Bush was not particularly ideological, but he ran on the Reagan ideology. Michael Dukakis was ideological, but ran away from his liberal label.

Barack Obama is a clear ideological liberal. Yet he might choose to run away from that ideology, and hope that his platitudes do not grow stale. John McCain is not seen as an ideologue, but his voting record on conservative issues is down the line ideological. He should embrace this, rather than run in fear from it.

According to the Bill Kristol strategy, republican can win this election. I believe he is right.

eric

20 Responses to “RJC in DC–Meeting Bill Kristol”

  1. Sam Smith says:

    Little boy Kristol spews against the “MSM” claiming they can’t get their facts straight.Then he gets a job at the NY Times, and proves that HE DOESN’T KNOW what a FACT IS, as his recent posts (and multiple corrections) prove.
    He rallies against our government as inefficient, ineffective, and just darn bad. Then helps gets a bunch of his little brain-twisted buddies elected, and helps proves it.

    Billy is just a SAD JOKE !

  2. J.Rock says:

    “If Hillary becomes the Vice President, Obama will need a food taster at the White House.”

    Hahahahaha!

    It is true. If Obama is elected, the Secret Service is going to have their work cut out for them as it is. Imagine the pressure if Hillary is one grassy knoll away from getting the office she is “entitled” to…

    Kristol, as usual, makes great points. I admired him when I volunteered with Newt Gingrinch years ago. The VP picks are more critical than ever. I think the smartest choice for Obama is Mayor Bloomberg, followed by either Sen. Jim Webb (VA) or frmr Sen. Sam Nunn (GA). Maybe even the Ohio governor whats-his-name.

    If McCain (who I have met and deeply respect) were to pick Romney, despite my conservative leanings, I would refuse to vote for the ticket. I think Hillary and Mitt are cut from the same opportunistic, politics-as-usual mold. His manipulations and empty-suit pandering disgusts me. Business achievements and winter bobsled event organizing aside, he represents what is wrong with politicians.

    That said, McCain does have good choices available. I agree with Kristol that Jindal would be dynamic. I hope he takes a hard look at Gov. Crist of Florida who is pure presidential material himself. A darkhorse pick that makes a ton of sense is Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf (read his book). My recommendation, to the chagrin of many in the GOP, would be for him to choose Sen. Joe Lieberman.

    A centrist, bi-partisan platform, especially when the electoral college map favors McCain already in a match-up versus Obama, wins it for McCain in November. Conservatives need to grin and bear it for the sake of future Supreme Court nominees and to keep a lid on the unpopular Pelosi/Reid congress. Besides, Lieberman so far seems to be the best voice out there amongst elected officials on the future of US foreign policy.

    The other points (regarding Phil Gramm, etc.) hit on what I believe ought to be the core of the Republican Party’s transformation. Despite voting for the man twice, I am deeply disappointed in GW. Bush. The unbridled expansion of the federal government, lack of rhetorical skill to inspire, lead, and fend off spurious claims from the media / Democrats, not to mention the dishonor done to our armed services from a poorly planned Iraq operation & the substandard medical treatment and benefits they receive upon return are but a few of my beefs with a guy that I thought in 2000 was just what the country needed. He did not walk the walk.

    The GOP ideally would speak to the issue of taking individual responsibility AND that big government does more harm than good in our quests to achieve the American dream. The pervasive psychology, perpetuated on many levels, is that the difficulties we face (lack of health care, foreclosure, energy prices, etc.) are because of others, never ourselves, or worse- by something that only extra government action and bureaucracy can fix. Politicians thrive on exploiting that false belief, and through well-crafted messages, pour honey in voters’ ears with the twisted logic that somehow a vote for them means government will “come to the rescue.”

    Of course, WE know better… but the GOP’s ability to deliver that message is deeply damaged. With the party’s credibility undermined, and the lack of a truly inspiring voice (like Obama’s), it doesn’t have the strength to adequately stand up to manipulative lies that sink in with certain voters, who’s logic is often already blinded by their partisan hatreds.

    The criticism for Republicans should be harsh. They, like their Democratic colleagues, have wallowed in pork-spending, and many deserve to be swept out.

    So, how do we fix this? What’s the solution when the system we have in place is built on politicians manipulating the fears of a population (that refuses take responsibility and look itself in the mirror) in order to to get enough votes to be elected to office to fulfill personal ambition, only to waste taxpayer dollars, cater to special-interest lobbies, leaving the country in an even bigger mess so that there’s a need to repeat this process over and over again each election?

    Does anyone have an answer?

  3. Though he makes me insane, I do regularly read and watch Kristol when I can. If you really want to know where the GOP is at, especially the neo-liberal (re: neocon) wing, don’t look to Will or Brooks, let alone Limbaugh and Hannity – look to Kristol.

    I see he’s up to his usual occuation of making me insane…

    “Liberals lose elections. Obama is a liberal.”

    While it’s true that “liberals” always lose presidential elections, it is hard to imagine Obama as much of a liberal. His record indicates he is a rather mainstream Blue Dog-esque Democrat. Now, to Kristol he may seem a liberal, and Kristol’s audience may eat that up, but any objective look at his record should disabuse that notion.

    “Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, and Dick Gephardt would have all been tougher candidates.”

    The GOP would gladly tar any of these guys with the “liberal” epithet if they had the chance. As they are not in the running (none of these three were in this election) it seems magnaamous of Kristol to make this assertion, but in reality it’s just convenient, otherwise he’d have mentioned Richardson or Biden.

    “During war, Americans prefer hawkishness. They want someone tougher on National Security.”

    From my reading of history, this is simply not true. Americans can get caught up in war fever, but they tend to lose interest later and are historically usually reticent in the first place.

    “In losing an off year election, like we did in 2006, voters feel that the party in power has already been punished.”

    I don’t think most voters think quite so much like the political insider Kristol. Here again, I disagree.

    “Even many who disagree with the war feel that John McCain balances Nancy Pelosi.”

    Again…

    “The Israel-America relationship matters. I have given up hope on getting liberal Jews to vote intelligently. I am tired of the political stupidity of the Jews.”

    He’s lucky he’s Jewish! Imagine if a gentile said that about conservative Jews! LOL!!!

    “Democrats want change merely for the sake of change. Keep in mind, for many democrats, Obama was not their first choice.”

    Kristol, like almost all Republicans, obvviously hasn’t a clue what Democrats think. The ywant a change, alright, but not just for the sake of change, but to reverse, correct,. and repair the severe damage done to America by the late GOP one-party state.

    “According to the Bill Kristol strategy, republican can win this election. I believe he is right.”

    You may be right. But as Kristol well knows, and you may too, McCain may not care much what the Kristol’s of the world think once he takes office.

    JMJ

  4. Michael Blaine says:

    Bill Kristol is an integral part of the criminal cabal that lied this country into war, and thus has a colossal amount of blood on his hands. He is a self-satisfied monster, who – in typical Republican style – owes his current position to his father.

    I don’t plan to post here again.

  5. Michael Blaine says:

    “Adult” in the sense of elevated, mature, well-informed.

  6. Michael Blaine says:

    “I am tired of the political stupidity of the Jews.”

    Can you imgagine if a non-Jew made this statement? He/she would be tarred and feathered and run out of the country on a rail. or worse.

    Kristol is noxious, pure poison.

  7. Hey, stick around, Michael. This is one of very, very, very few conservative sites that encourage debate!

    JMJ

  8. micky says:

    M.B.;
    ““Adult” in the sense of elevated, mature, well-informed.”

    Yea right.
    Only the most juvenile of Americans still eat up that “criminal cabal that lied this country into war” crap that is supposed to be part of some supposed well informed mature community.
    My charcterization of your ridiculous assertions is proved true when you seem to think that only Republicans and not Democrats have obtained positions in politics due to their fathers.
    Kennedy(s)
    Go on back to your little hole where you can contradict yourself on minute by minute basis and have your feel good buddys let you slide.

  9. Michael Blaine says:

    JMJ:

    I won’t stick around here, in large part because of the following:

    After my very first post, I was admonished by the blog author that it contained a “personal attack” even though this was patently false; later, someone else makes this comment directed toward me, and it is allowed to stand:

    “And yet all you really do is cry like a little boy and bring no points that I couldnt crap out my rear in my sleep.”

    I’m not a masochist, JMJ. The proto-fascist who post here are a vicious lot who can’t abide even a whiff of contradiction, however firmly rooted in the facts. This is the mentality of the frothing mob that drives rightwing politics in America.

    “I am tired of the political stupidity of the Jews.”

  10. Michael Blaine says:

    Thank you, Bill Kristol:

    “Study says 300,000 U.S. troops suffer mental problems

    Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:15pm EDT

    By David Morgan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, but about half receive no care, an independent study said on Thursday.

    The study by the RAND Corp. also estimated that another 320,000 troops have sustained a possible traumatic brain injury during deployment.

    . . .

    RAND, a private research organization, estimated that stress and depression among returning soldiers cost $6.2 billion in the two years following deployment, mainly due to lost productivity, medical costs and a higher risk of suicide.”

  11. micky says:

    M.B.
    “After my very first post, I was admonished by the blog author that it contained a “personal attack” even though this was patently false; later, someone else makes this comment directed toward me, and it is allowed to stand:”

    Lets make this simple Mike.
    If Blacktygrrr will tolerate Jersey (even myself) you must of done something really bad.

    You brought forth your view on the capitol gains tax and simultaneously accused blacktygrrr of spreading disinformation and made it clear from the beggining that any other view was “hogwash or worse”
    M.B.
    “Any assertion to the contrary is hogwash, or worse.”

    Now, does that sound like you were ready for an open minded debate ?

    M.B.;
    ” That way, there will be no danger of a debate breaking out. The blog’s author can thussafely remain safe and smug in his original views and assertions.”

    Pot, meet kettle.

    When you claim any other opnion from the get go to be hogwash or worse you are simply doing exactly what you accused Blacktygrrr of doing

  12. If we do not engage conservatives, Michael, we will never reconcile our differences. Sure, we still may still never, but unless we try we definitely never will.

    And I agree with you wholeheartedly – the war in Iraq is not, was not, and will never be worth the cost.

    On my site pretty much anything goes. I don’t care. There’s no rules (just no child porn or anything like that) and no format or protocol. You can say practically anything you want.

    The author of this site holds a high regard for congeniality. I think it’s fun. It’s a great mental exercise. Usually I would say to someone who espouses the Laffer Curve, for example, they should remove their head from their ******* ***. Even in public I would say, “Yeah, that’s a great theory. So, have you ever taken college math?” So I keep it kinda “public” around here.

    JMJ

  13. micky says:

    Michael.
    Should apologize for wishing you to go back to your hole.
    It is for me to wish but since its not my blog I had no right to make the request on behalf of anyone but myself.
    But I should warn you right now.
    Jersey McJones has a crystal ball, and he can tell the future.

    JMJ;
    “And I agree with you wholeheartedly – the war in Iraq is not, was not, and will never be worth the cost.”

    Now, that statement leaves a lot of room for reconsiling differences, doesnt it ?

  14. You said it, Micky, in every way. 😉

    JMJ

  15. micky says:

    Well Jersey, what I meant to say got deleted by yours truly after some ” reconciliation”
    But since you want to be such a reconciliatory pri*** about this, I’ll post it anyway.

    At first you come off all kumbaya by saying to Michael that if we dont engage conservatives how will we ever reconsile our differences and that we must try.

    Not more than one sentence later you contradicted your desire to reconcile by saying the war is not, was not, and never will be worth the cost.
    Now excuse me if from now on I cant help but notice that you and Michael contradict yourselves on a regular basis, or if I fail to take you any more seriously than I already have.

    “Its O.K. for the government to care for my body , the same government that runs a corrupt and dysfuntional tax system
    Lets compare Brazil to America, although I would not like to live there (“Its no Valhalla”)
    Lets reconcile with cons, but the war was not, is not , and never will be worth the cost.”

  16. parrothead says:

    All I know is MIchael B keep saying he is leaving this blog then continually posts. So my dime store psychology says that statement is a ploy for attention and he will keep posting.

  17. micky says:

    Aww man,
    Parrot, I was savin that for last, or later, or next.

    Its because he’s a “feudalist”
    You talk like that in the pen and you’ll get yourself a pair of pink high heels in no time.

  18. […] at Tygrrrr Express has an interesting synopsis of a recent Bill Kristol appearance. I agree with Kristol’s recommendation relative to the GOP Vice-Presidential slot. Someone […]

  19. I don’t ever expect agreement on the war in Iraq. You guys will never admit you were wrong.

    JMJ

  20. micky says:

    The problem as mentioned jersey is that you will not seek out a middle ground on the war. And so you prove your BS kumbaya desire to reach out to cons as nothing more than posturing for the cameras of compassionate liberalism when there is no such thing.

    You on the other hand will not admit any fault at all as you fail to see the many wonderful things the Iraqis have going for them now. As I have shown you repeatedly.

    I have accepted to and confessed that the war could of been executed better.
    You on the other hand are just not man enought to admit that there has, is and will be good to come out of it all.
    Even if it bites you in the ass your arrogance and pride will never allow you to admit it.

    The difference between you and I is that I am not so venomous and stubborn that I dont think I cant find an agreement on the war.

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