The Conversation

Politics: Policy issues, legislation and political topics of all sorts.

How to Train Your Candidate

Feb 4, 2013 12:22 PM PT

Over at The Daily Caller Matt Lewis writes:

So here’s my proposal: What if — in addition to insisting candidates sign pledges and pass other litmus tests — outside groups also mandated that before receiving financial support, a candidate must also attend campaign training?

This can make a huge difference. Candidates running for Congress in 1994 were greatly aided by training tapes and manuals sent out by Newt Gingrich’s GOPAC in the early 1990s. For four years, I worked at Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, which trains conservatives how to be more effective in the public policy process. They do tremendous work. They even have a TV studio where conservatives can practice debating and answering tough questions before going on TV.

To be sure, not every candidate will be open to this. Some don’t realize that political technology is philosophically neutral. Some mistakenly view selling conservative ideas as selling out. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

Still, instead of making Republican primary campaigns more divisive and expensive, Rove and his team should first attempt to go this route. They should try to enlist other conservative outside groups to join in the effort. And even if these groups won’t join in on the effort, before targeting conservative candidates for defeat, the Conservative Victory Project should offer these candidates a chance to attend a training seminar.

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Anonymous Strikes Again, But Are Things Always as they Seem?

Feb 4, 2013 12:12 PM PT

The hacker collective Anonymous is in the news again today for leaking the credentials of 4,000 US bank executives.  Hackers claim that the leak, part of an ongoing operation they've dubbed "Operation Last Resort," is in retaliation for "overzealous prosecution" in the case of late internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz.

As ZDNet reports:

"A spreadsheet has been published on a .gov website allegedly containing login information and credentials, IP addresses, and contact information of American bank executives."

"If true, it could be that Anonymous has released banker information that could be connected to Federal Reserve computers, including contact information and cell phone numbers for U.S. bank Presidents, Vice Presidents, COO's Branch Managers, VP's and more."

"The website used in this attack belongs to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC). The page extension URL is titled, "oops-we-did-it-again.""

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Ron Paul's conditional love for the military

Feb 4, 2013 11:58 AM PT

Ron Paul's bizarre insult against murdered Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle today is causing outrage everywhere. And deservedly so.

I've heard for years from Ron Paul supporters about how he is supported by the troops, and that he's been the only Republican presidential candidate with military experience (the Hagel defense). But Paul's love for the troops has often seemed somewhat conditional--i.e. conditioned on their willingness to oppose the wars they're in. It's not quite the same as the Obamas' "support" for the troops, when "support" doesn't mean victory but withdrawal. But it's a near relative.

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A little something else for Rand Paul to distance himself from

Feb 4, 2013 11:57 AM PT

Perhaps having read our earlier discussion about Rand Paul's prospects for higher office, and his need to distance himself from his father's eccentricities, the elder Paul decided to give his son something else to sprint away from.

"Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that 'he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.' Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense," said Ron, via Twitter, in reference to the murdered SEAL sniper.

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Sen. Menendez 'Hooks' Fish In the Dominican Republic?

Feb 4, 2013 6:27 AM PT

So what's the big deal with paying for a hooker in the Dominican Republican? Senator Menendez is under serious scrutiny over allegations that he paid for underage hookers while on vacation in the Dominican Republican. But how far could this investigation go? If Menendez really had 'relations' with these 'ladies of the night,' was he alone?

Did Menendez bring along other friends on these trips to the Carribbean? If he did, do any of them wear the same nifty lapel pin that he does?


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