International Democrat Union

Boris for leader?

The Telegraph

Could Boris Johnson recuse the Conservative party? There is now talk of him tilting at the leadership. If he did it would be just awesome:

The Government is still scratching around furiously to produce some sort of autumn relaunch that might give the Coalition fresh impetus, while Tory MPs agonise about their future and scheme their schemes.

And among the plotters, it is Boris Johnson who has snatched the spotlight away from the Prime Minister and used the Games as a launch pad for his leadership ambitions. Westminster is divided between those who now believe him to be unstoppable, and those who can’t stop laughing at the idea that he is being taken seriously as an alternative prime minister. The outbreak of speculation about his chances, or even his suitability, should worry Mr Cameron less than the reason for the sudden outbreak of Boris-mania: Conservative donors have had enough, and are lining up behind the London Mayor. In City terms, the money men are shorting the Tory leadership. This has happened before; it’s what helped finish Iain Duncan Smith.

The reason for this City stampede is plain enough. Business has had enough of what it complains is the Government’s equivocating on the economy. Mr Cameron is now routinely derided by business leaders as another Ted Heath, a failure who started on the right track but lost his way. They want robust action on tax, workplace regulation, European bureaucracy and reducing the size of government, all themes that the London Mayor made a central part of his campaign for re-election. It doesn’t seem to matter that Mr Johnson enjoys the luxury of being able to pronounce on issues over which he has no say. He has found a knack for speaking Thatcherite truths about the economy in a modern idiom that does not appear to frighten the voters.

So why isn’t National doing this?

The Atlantic

The Republicans have a stack of candidates lined up for 2016, and the primary will be bloody good. On the other side there is just doubt.

“Whew, man, that’s a tough one,” said Jeanette Baust, a 55-year-old educator and activist from Denver who was attending the progressive conference along with her partner, Evelyn Hanssen. “I guess I’d have to say Elizabeth Warren if she can get elected.” What about Colorado’s Democratic senators, Michael Bennet* and Mark Udall, and governor, John Hickenlooper? The women didn’t think they had national potential.

The bench of up-and-coming talent in the Republican Party is an instructive contrast. A recent straw-poll ballot for vice presidential choices at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago featured 22 names, from retreads like Newt Gingrich to fresh faces like Rubio to newly minted political stars like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Nine major Republican candidates participated in this year’s presidential primary, and while it was seen as a weak field overall, Republicans dismayed by the spectacle of Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain as momentary front-runners comforted themselves by contemplating the party’s many future stars in the Senate, House, and governorships. Many of those rising stars, like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell , have already begun building relationships with their party’s national base by appearing at party events outside their home states or on the busy circuit of conservative activist conferences.

The Democrats might have a shallow talent pool in 2016 but they are building.

Many Democrats acknowledge the looming talent gap and give the GOP credit for its candidate recruitment and training in recent years. They are trying to match that effort down the line: Numerous sessions at the Take Back conference focused on candidate development at the minor-league level, informed in part by state-level controversies that have recently made national news, from the recent Wisconsin recall to numerous states’ abortion-ultrasound bills. Even as they had trouble coming up with names for 2016, many at the conference were eager to tout up-and-coming candidates currently incubating at the state legislative or congressional-contender level.

The big thing is the Republicans have invested heavily in “down ticket” or “farm” candidates, the people that do the work getting elected at local or state level, and are training to take the step up. The last twenty years has seen a massive number of Republicans get elected on school boards, local councils, to their state congress or senate, other state positions, and build name recognition, campaign teams and donor networks that let them take a step up. More farm or down ticket candidates coming through mean more potential governors, senators or congressmen.

The Republicans have spent twenty years doing this.

So what has National done? Anything at all to help people win down ticket races? Training up local government candidates? Supporting the de facto National C&R and iCitz? Stopping stupid rebrands that mean nothing because organisations are competent to begin with? Helping these organisations become competent to get more good down ticket candidates?

How awkward for Mr President

What is it with political figures lying about qualifications and titles?

I have mocked Peter “second-hand diesel 7-series” Goodfellow’s optimistic branding as Honourable on the International Democrat Union website a month ago.

Via the tipline, I understand that a Party staffer ‘suggested’ Goodfellew email the IDU Secretary to have the website corrected.

Goodfellow refused, citing that IDU invites bearing his “Honourable” title have already been sent around the world for an IDU meeting junket freebee hosted by National at the end of the month.  Perhaps that is why his name tag at the recent South Island Regional Conference likewise bore the Hon. title.

If Peter spent half the time worrying about the strategic quagmire of National rather than how he can make himself look more pretentious, National might have a coalition partner for 2014 or more than a one seat majority…

How disappointed would you be to travel around the world and find out your host wasn’t honourable, but a pretentious little tosser?