Daily Archives: Jan. 2, 2012

Who cares what Iowans think?

As Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses near, more and more people are grumbling about the oversize role the state plays in picking presidential candidates. “The entire country is essentially coming to a halt to watch what 120,000 idiosyncratic voters in an idiosyncratic state do,” columnist Matt Miller complained. “This is like letting a single small city play a pivotal role in the selection of our next president.” It’s not just the puny size of Iowa’s electorate that bothers Miller. “The far-right tilt of this band of atypical Americans forces Republican candidates to disavow ideas that might make them attractive leaders to the rest of us,” he said.

Limited-government candidates want expansive presidential powers

“Even as they advocate for limited government, many of the Republican presidential candidates hold expansive views about the scope of the executive powers they would wield if elected — including the ability to authorize the targeted killing of United States citizens they deem threats and to launch military attacks without congressional permission,” the New York Times reported. Of the five candidates who responded to the Times’ survey – Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney – only Paul argued for a more limited view of presidential power.

Specter’s second act involves mike, too

Hard to say whether it was more surprising that former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (a Wichita native) did a set at a Philadelphia comedy club last week or that he mostly joked about sex. A sample: “I called Clinton up on his 65th birthday and I said, ‘Bill, congratulations on being 65. How do you feel?’ He said, ‘Arlen, I feel like a teenager. The problem is I can’t find one.’” The crowd warmed up so quickly that Specter got a laugh just by saying “Herman Cain.”