Thursday, July 30, 2015




Yesterday in New York City Rick Perry outlined his plan to end ‘Too Big To Fail’.  Perry’s remarks mirror concerns expressed by the left, but were carefully crafted in terms of the endorsed solutions.  These weren’t the cheap clichés of last go-round about stringing up Ben Bernanke – it marks a serious grappling with the many difficult issues still left unresolved or unsteady after five years under Dodd-Frank. Perry even praised the Fed’s efforts to require higher capital levels for the biggest banks and suggested building on those efforts. Thus far, this is the most significant statement we’ve seen from any Republican candidate regarding the key issue of future bailouts and what changes need to happen to prevent TBTF from continuing as our national policy. It’s the sort of thing you want from a presidential candidate.

Unfortunately for Perry, that conversation may have to be relegated to the lower-level debate next week on Fox News, given their arbitrary decision to cap the debate field at 10 and rely on national polling. Thank John Kasich and the folks at Quinnipiac.  Here’s Politico’s analysis.  “Kasich, at 5 percent, is tied for eighth place with ... Cruz. That's enough to vault Kasich into the top 10 in POLITICO's analysis of [the polling that will determine the 10 prime-time slots] at the Fox News debate on Aug. 6. Kasich replaces former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who earned just 2 percent of the vote in the Quinnipiac poll and slipped to 11th in the POLITICO average. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stays at ninth in the average thanks to his 3-percent haul... Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who earned 2 percent in the Quinnipiac poll, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, at 1 percent, are tied for 12th place in the POLITICO average — a full percentage point behind Kasich for the 10th-place spot.”

As for Donald Trump: “Fully 20 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said they would vote for Trump if the primary were held today — the largest share any single candidate has received in Quinnipiac’s seven surveys over the past two years. That puts the brash real-estate magnate ahead of the two other candidates who earn double-digit support: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent.”

What is frustrating about this situation is that at the moment, the sort of serious policy conversation that ought to take place in the context of the Republican 2016 context – a grappling with the lessons of the past, and with the right approach to policy in the future – requires people who have actually put some thought into what they would do as president. Something beyond “Repeal and replace Obamacare with something terrific.”  But that conversation isn’t going to happen so long as blowhards who speak to people’s frustrations – but not their actual policy priorities – control the debate. The longer this stage of the contest continues, the less time there is for a real debate about the future of the party and the nation.


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