The prospect of CNBC analyst Larry Kudlow seeking the Republican and Conservative Party nominations to oppose Sen. Chuck Schumer has become a cause among Tea Party folks, Conservatives, Republicans and many on Wall Street. Not since James L. Buckley won a US Senate seat in 1970 have New York Conservatives been so excited about a statewide political race.
I don’t know Kudlow well. We met several times during the Reagan years but it was at Buffalo Congressman Jack Kemp’s 2009 memorial service that I got reacquainted with the pro-growth enthusiast. Kudlow has been on on my STONEzone TEN BESTED DRESSED LISTtm since 2008. I admire him as an unabashed apostle of hope and optimism and opportunity on television and radio. His are the politics of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, who Kudlow calls his mentor.
It goes without saying that Chuck Schumer needs a vigorous challenger; he is perhaps the most odious, pushy, abrasive and self-absorbed jerk in Congress today. His pork-fests are legendary, and he narrowly escaped indictment for corruption as an Assemblyman before becoming the master of the “pay to play” game in Washington.
But Kudlow’s potential candidacy is about something even more important than sending Schumer packing.
Today leftist historians are rewriting history, burying supply-side economics and recasting what really happened under Ronald Reagan.
Their mantra – the Reagan tax cuts caused the deficit – is dead wrong. Government revenues soared under Reagan – so did Congressional spending which is the real cause of federal deficits.
Reagan and Kemp transformed the Republican Party from the party of the wealthy to the party of the workingman. It was the Bushs who carted us back to the country club. Still, the 1992 defeat of President George HW Bush who raised taxes demoralized those who understood the need to keep the “read my my lips” pledge. Although W. was a tax-cutter the insane levels of spending undermined growth and tax-cutting became dicredited.
As a result, the pro-growth wing of the Republican Party has no leader today, no one to carry the banner of growth and opportunity and free markets.
Larry Kudlow can make a case for economic growth at center stage in the media capital of the world. In the United States Senate, Larry Kudlow would have the bully pulpit. And make no mistake – he would use it wisely.
It has bothered me to no end that The Washington Post never ran an obituary of Jack Kemp, whose 1988 campaign for President I ran in New Hampshire. The newspaper only mentioned his death in passing, relegated to the sports page.
The message behind the Beltway Bible’s dismissive treatment of one of the lions of the Reagan Revolution is this: tax-reduction didn’t work, so Kemp’s greatest achievements were on the football field.
Conservatives cannot let them rewrite history, and Larry Kudlow can snatch away their pen. He was present at the birth of the economic prosperity Ronald Reagan brought to America. So it is up to him to pick up the Kemp banner; he must relight the Reagan torch.
Win or lose, a Kudlow campaign would re-energize the growth wing of the Republican Party. That alone is worth running for, but he can certainly beat Schumer whose approval rating has dipped to a record low.
Some decry Kudlow, saying he was wrong in his economic predictions as our global economic meltdown approached. But who was right? Here is what we do know: taxing and spending got us to where we are today, and higher taxes and more pork spending are making it far worse. This is Chuck Schumer’s Washington, and it is NOT the answer.
But the 2010 campaign is not about the past, it’s about the future.
Kudlow would run an uplifting, erudite and issue-oriented campaign in the style of Jack Kemp. Although he cannot match the $19 million in blood money packed in Schumer’s war chest, Kudlow is well liked on Wall Street and at the Tea Parties and he can raise significant late dollars – big and small – to be competitive on television. As a skilled communicator in America’s Medium, Kudlow would wear well with a broader audience.
In the end, it was a popular draft movement that pulled Jim Buckley and Alfonse D’Amato into their New York Senate races, and they both won tough campaigns. In perhaps the most important draft since Goldwater, Larry Kudlow would attract thousands of young conservative activists and he would re-invigorate the Reagan/Kemp wing of the Republican Party.
I say run, Larry, run.