Rand Paul's Biggest Obstacle

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. At the Monkey Cage, John Sides on Rand Paul’s big obstacle.

2. At Slate, Rick Hasen on what should be next for voting rights.

3. “[Y]ou don’t have to win New Hampshire, but you have to do well enough here.” That’s political scientist Chris Galdieri, quoted in a nice Washington Post story by Jenna Johnson about candidates possibly shying away from the Granite State. Yup: As with Iowa, a candidate can downplay New Hampshire (and can certainly lower expectations there), but skipping an early state has always been a losing strategy.

4. Not sure I really buy Kevin Drum’s theory of Trumpmania, but worth reading anyway.

5. I’ll also recommend Peter Suderman’s theory of Trumpishness, over at Reason. I do think this gets at some of it. More on this from me later.

6. The party decides? Here’s a whole bunch of Democratic party actors telling Joe Biden what’s what. Carl Hulse and Jason Horowitz at the New York Times report.

7. Matt Yglesias on the weird press corps theory, now transferred from Bill to Hillary Clinton, that just one more story will end the political career of these popular politicians. What he leaves out: Most political reporting throughout 1998 treated Clinton as a deeply unpopular president, just whistling right past his high approval ratings. This is basically not a story about conservative media (who demonize Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and on and on and on, more or less regardless of personality or specific actions). It’s about reporters and pundits who tend, overall, to be reasonably sympathetic to many Democrats.

8. And Ann Friedman on defunding Planned Parenthood.

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Cameron Abadi at cabadi2@bloomberg.net