Tag Archives: announcement

Joe Biden won’t seek presidential nomination in 2016

In remarks made in the Rose Garden at the White House on Oct. 21, Vice President Joe Biden said he would not seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

A movement had been underway to “draft” Biden into the race for the nomination, which currently includes Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee.

The following are Biden’s remarks at the news conference:

As the family and I have worked through the grieving process, I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. That it might close.

I’ve concluded it has closed. I know from previous experience that there’s no timetable for this process. The process doesn’t respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses.

But I also know that I could do this if the — I couldn’t do this if the family wasn’t ready. The good news is the family has reached that point, but as I’ve said many times, my family has suffered loss … and I hope there would come a time … that, sooner rather than later, when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. 

Well, that’s where the Bidens are today. Thank god. Beau — Beau is our inspiration. 

Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent. 

I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. And this is what I believe. 

I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery and we’re now on the cusp of resurgence. I’m proud to have played a part in that. This party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy. 

The American people have worked too hard, and we have have come too far for that. Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record. They should run on the record.

Analysis: Walker gets his moment of glory, now the race is on

“You have to be crazy to want to be president,” Gov. Scott Walker told voters last November during his re-election campaign.

But eight months after he assured Wisconsin voters, “I’m going to do the best job I can over the next four years” as governor, he formally announced his presidential bid in Waukesha on July 13. Walker delivered a red-meat speech that positions him at the right margins of the crowded GOP presidential field, which now numbers 15 — with two more announcements expected in the coming days.

Pundits said it was an extremist speech that could help him win the Iowa caucuses but could come back to haunt him later in his campaign. But Walker hopes to win by driving the far right to the polls in massive numbers, a tactic that’s served him well in Wisconsin. And he hopes to capitallize on new Republican-backed laws that make it harder for traditional Democratic constituencies to vote.

Walker’s chief talking point was that he knows “how to fight and win” at imposing ultraconservative policies on a purple state. Walker won in 2014 with 52.3 percent of the votes cast, but only 27 percent of registered voters. His policies have landed Wisconsin at or near the bottom economically, devastated education budgets and environmental protections, taken away women’s rights — and are hugely divisive and unpopular. The last time his approval rating was measured (in April), it stood at 41 percent. And that was before a bruising budget battle cost him support even among the state’s Republican leaders.

Walker is nothing if not a political shape-shifter, who changes positions so often that he sometimes appears to forget where he stands on any given day. He’s also a master of factual distortion. Among the governors whose statements are most frequently checked by Politifact, Walker leads the pack with the number of falses.

Walker rose to national fame after boldly — and without prior warning — gutting public unions after taking office in 2011. He used the move to fuel middle-class resentments, pitting workers who enjoyed union protections and bargaining powers against those who did not. He went on to eliminate all wage-protection laws and exploit the indignation of older white males toward poor people who receive public assistance.

As he was caught on videotape telling billionaire supporter Diane Hendricks, Walker’s political strategy is based on “divide and conquer.” Hendricks, who paid no income taxes in 2012, gave Wisconsin Republicans $1 million in 2014.

About 5,000 conservatives cheered his passionate, commanding 30-minute speech on July 13 at Waukesha County Expo Center. The crowd went wild when he talked about unions and jeered when he mentioned climate change, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In an effort to show that he was boning up on foreign policy knowledge, Walker made generalized remarks about the Islamic State group that reflected what others in the Republican field have been saying.

While national media afforded Walker his moment of glory, seeds of the trouble that lies ahead for him were also present at the Waukesha County Expo Center — specifically outside Gates 1 and 2. 

There, more than 200 sign-waving protesters gathered, organized by the Democratic Party, environmental groups, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. They hoped to draw attention to their view of Walker’s record. Some wore bags over their heads labeled “Ashamed of Walker.” They lingered for three hours.

Although the size of the protest was significantly smaller than the 100,000-plus anti-Walker crowds that surrounded the Capitol for days in 2011, the rhetoric hasn’t cooled over the past four years.

Media largely ignored the event, which was designed to deliver a message that was best summed up by Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Martha Laning.

“Scott Walker’s record in Wisconsin is one of unprecedented corruption, division, extremism and a failure to foster economic growth and opportunity,” she said in a press statement. “And now, with wages in Wisconsin stagnant, job growth that’s dead last in the Midwest and trailing most of the nation, a flagship jobs agency that’s known more for scandal than economic development and a $2.2 billion budget deficit created by his failed policies, Scott Walker wants to take that record nationwide.”

Critics hope that Walker’s scandals, gaffes, shoddy management and other failures become more widely known as he faces increasing scrutiny — and the probing eyes of opposition researchers in both parties.

Despite being extremely well funded by special interests, especially the fossil fuel interests that he’s catered to during his gubernatorial tenure, Walker will have to fight for attention in a crowded field, duck difficult questions about the state’s economy and his foreign policy knowledge and overcome the numerous scandals that have plagued his career.

As Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief, put it, “Walker’s relative obscurity is both a big asset and his chief vulnerability.”

The next few months are going to be riveting — and frustrating — for Wisconsin liberals and independents who have watched Walker turn the state from a bastion of reform and progressivism into the Midwest’s equivalent of Mississippi.

Clinton to announce presidential campaign on April 12

Hillary Rodham Clinton will end months of speculation about her political future and launch her long-awaited 2016 presidential campaign on April 12.

The first official word that Clinton will seek the Democratic Party’s nomination will come via an online video posted on social media.

Then Clinton will make stops in Iowa, New Hampshire and possibly other early voting states.

The AP reported that one Democrat familiar with campaign rollout said Clinton’s stops would include visits to people’s homes in those states.

The people familiar with Clinton’s plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them publicly.

The former secretary of state will be making her second bid for president and will enter the race in a strong position to succeed her rival from the 2008 Democratic primary, President Barack Obama. Clinton appears unlikely to face a stiff primary opponent, though a handful of lower-profile Democrats have said they are considering their own campaigns.

Should she win the nomination, Clinton would face the winner of a Republican primary season that could feature as many as two dozen candidates. Among them, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Clinton will return to politics following a two-year leave from government. If elected, the former first lady would be the nation’s first female president.

Republicans have been preparing for a second Clinton campaign since she left Obama’s administration in early 2013.

By campaigning heavily in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton hopes to avoid making the same stumbles against Obama as she did in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, which he won in an upset. Democrats echoed hopes that she would seek personal connections this time.

Clinton sees such campaigning as a way not take for granted her formidable position in the Democratic field.

Among the Democrats who could challenge Clinton in the primary are O’Malley, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Vice President Joe Biden.

Clinton’s race is expected to cost more than the $1 billion Obama raised for his 2012 re-election and aides have said she is expected to focus heavily on online fundraising. Her campaign will be required to release its first fundraising report in July and it will be closely examined to measure the strength of her support.

Laning to run for Wisconsin Democratic Party chair

Martha Laning over the weekend announced her candidacy for chairperson of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Laning is a community leader, businesswoman and former candidate for Wisconsin’s 9th Senate District.

“I’m running for Democratic Party chair because our progressive principles of quality public education, economic prosperity, a clean, sustainable environment and equality for all citizens is under attack by the Republican Legislature,” Laning said in a news release. “I want to offer my services to my party to build a stronger democratic party that serves the best interests of all Wisconsinites.”

Laning made her announcement at the annual Democratic Party County Chairs Association meeting, where, according to the news statement, she stressed a need to support and invest in local party leadership.

“We need build a strong grassroots team across the state — a team where all voices are important and are heard. Our party is great because of all of you — you’re the boots on the ground, the heart of our party and when we empower and strengthen you, we strengthen our progressive message, our legislators, and our candidates,” she stated.

Laning thanked Democratic activists across the state for encouragement and support as she considered entering the race.

She also thanked Mary Lang Sollinger, the former chair candidate from Madison who announced on the weekend that she would be suspending her campaign and supporting Laning.

“I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from grassroots leaders of our party from all around Wisconsin,” Laning stated. “Together we’re going to overcome the challenges of recent years and elect Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2016 and beyond.”

The news release said Martha Laning is a business professional and community leader. She has experience in budgeting and finance for large companies, such as Target Inc. Laning also has a record of success in leadership, including spearheading the effort to fundraise and build a $4.6 million community center in Sheboygan.

Laning and her husband Wayne live in Sheboygan and have three children.

On the Web …

Martha Laning’s website is www.laningforwisconsin.com.

U.S Rep. Paul Ryan won’t run for president in 2016

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and the 2012 vice presidential candidate for the GOP, will not run for president in 2016.

On his Facebook page, Ryan said, “After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided not to run for president. Our work at the House Ways and Means Committee over the next few years will be crucial to moving America forward, and my job as chairman deserves undivided attention. It’s clear our country needs a change in direction. And our party has a responsibility to offer a real alternative. So I’m going to do what I can to lay out conservative solutions and to help our nominee lead us to victory.”

In a statement on the website for his congressional campaig, Ryan added, “I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to run. Their words and continued support have been deeply humbling. And most of all I want to thank the people of Wisconsin for giving me the opportunity to serve our country.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who may seek the GOP nomination, issued this statement on Jan. 13: There are two kinds of people in politics: Those who want to be someone great, and those who want to do something great. Paul is in the latter group, and although he will not be seeking the presidency, the American people will continue to benefit greatly from his leadership in the House.”

Editor’s note: This story is developing.

Rick Perry to announce ‘exciting future plans’

Right-wing Texas Gov. Rick Perry promised friends and top fundraisers on July 2 that he’d reveal “exciting future plans” next week in San Antonio, sparking wide speculation he will announce if he’ll run again for governor.

In a campaign email, Perry doesn’t provide further details or even a location for next week’s gathering, saying simply that more details will be forthcoming. But in recent weeks he has said an announcement about whether he plans to seek a fourth full term in office next year will come soon.

The Republican is already the longest-serving governor in Texas history, taking over when George W. Bush left for the White House. Perry’s also the longest-sitting governor in the U.S.

A second run for president in 2016 is also a possibility for Perry, who hasn’t ruled out another White House bid but has said he won’t decide on that matter until later this year. His previous bid for the GOP presidential nomination fizzled in 2012.

Perry’s email begins with the greeting “Howdy Friends” before quickly advising “Please save the date.”

“Governor Rick Perry, Aggie, the longest-serving Governor of the great state of Texas and friend, will be making an announcement around mid day in San Antonio concerning his exciting future plans!,” the email continues. “Please join his family and closest friends on July 8th.”

It was sent by some of Perry’s friends from his alma mater, Texas A&M University – hence the “Aggie” reference – and concludes by saying “details to follow.”

Ray Sullivan, who was communications director for Perry’s presidential campaign, said, “I think this is probably the announcement about his gubernatorial future.”

But when pressed on what Perry might say, Sullivan responded, “The only real way to know what Rick Perry’s political future is involves listening to Rick Perry.”

“There will be, and should be, some mystery to the announcement until he actually makes it,” he said, adding that Perry “has historically shown the ability to change on a dime his political ambitions.”

If Perry opts to run again, it could mean a primary dogfight with fellow Republican and state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has a formidable $18 million in his campaign war chest – more than three times what Perry has raised.

The governor has said he and Abbott have agreed not to run against each other, but Abbott hasn’t confirmed that. Matt Hirsch, an Abbott campaign spokesman, declined to comment except to say his candidate “will be making his intention clear in the coming weeks.”

Making the announcement in San Antonio puts Perry in a heavily Hispanic city at a time when Battleground Texas, a group led by former staffers from President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign, is trying to turn Texas Democratic – given the state’s surging Hispanic population.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year and has often been mentioned as a future gubernatorial candidate, though he hasn’t confirmed any future plans.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said of Perry: “I hope he decides to run. We would love to have our candidate run against him. His negatives on so many issues statewide are very high.”

Perry’s email went to such a small group that many top fundraisers and even former campaign staffers said they didn’t receive it. Steve Heinrich, treasurer for the Republican Party of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, was surprised when told of next week’s announcement.

“One of the hardest things to do in politics is to know how to quit while you’re ahead,” Heinrich said.

Whatever he decides, the announcement may give Perry a chance to steady himself politically after a tough week.

Perry called a 30-day special legislative session after the regular one ended May 27 and put passing sweeping new limits on abortion statewide on lawmakers’ agenda. But Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, a former teenage mom, filibustered for more than 12 hours on the final day to block the wide-ranging abortion bill while hundreds of abortion rights activists packed the Capitol.

When Republican senators used parliamentary tactics to silence Davis, protesters screamed and chanted so loudly that all legislative work halted and the bill wasn’t passed until after midnight and the end of the session.

Davis became an overnight national political sensation and is now being urged to run for governor. Perry called a second session that began Monday and says he’s confident lawmakers will pass the abortion bill. He was roundly criticized, though, for subsequently wondering aloud what might have happened had Davis’ mother chosen to abort her given the future senator’s tough upbringing.

Meanwhile, convening the second special session forced Perry to delay previous plans to make an announcement about his future. He had suggested he would divulge his re-election plans last week, but then said sending lawmakers back to work would make him “push it back some.”

Gay congressman Jared Polis announces birth of his son

Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado has announced the birth of a new son, making him the only openly gay member of Congress to be a parent.

While few details of the birth were made available, the Democratic congressman’s press office did release the announcement that Polis and his partner, Marlon Reis, sent to friends and family.

The e-mail announcement said Caspian Julius was born on Friday and weighed in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces. The announcement asked well-wishers for “nice thoughts for Caspian, humankind, the planet and the universe.”

The e-mail message added: “Baby and parents are doing well, baby has learned to cry already!”

It was unclear whether the baby was adopted or born through a surrogate.

Polis is one of four openly gay members of Congress. He’s serving his second term in office. An award-winning philanthropist, he has founded a number of companies and is one of the 10 richest members of Congress, worth an estimated $65 million.