James Pethokoukis

The second-quarter GDP report and the 2010 midterms

July 30, 2010

The uninspiring 2Q GDP report of 2.4 percent is now the new relevant data point, not the Zandi-Blinder study.

Obama polls continue to melt during Recovery Summer

July 29, 2010

President Barack Obama’s “recovery summer” has become a summer swoon. GDP growth has downshifted, as have his poll numbers. And with Democrats likely to suffer big losses in November’s elections, the president will have to rethink his economic agenda or face gridlock in 2011.

Mitt Romney, Going Rogue

March 12, 2010

The rap on Mitt Romney is that he is the protean presidential candidate. Always shifting, always morphing, ever eager to please in relentless pursuit of the Oval Office. If he was a contestant on American Idol, the judges would surely knock him for “not knowing what kind of artist he is.” One week a crooner, the next a rocker. One campaign a moderate,  the next a culture warrior.

Mitt Romney’s TARP problem

March 4, 2010

The 2008 financial crisis killed John McCain’s chances of becoming president. But will it kill Mitt Romney’s, too?

Romney’s “No Apology”

March 2, 2010

Just started reading Mitt Romney’s book “No Apology.” Actually quite a lot of meat in the economics chapters. The former Massachusetts governor and possible Republican presidential contender wants to cut investment and corporate taxes. Doesn’t like the Fair Tax or value-added taxes. Seems willing to consider a carbon tax/payroll tax swap. Wants to spend a lot more on basic research. No apologies for supporting TARP or RomneyCare.

A limited speech by a constrained president

January 28, 2010

The White House political team loves comparing Barack Obama to Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, predecessors who easily won second terms despite early stumbles in their first ones. But the economic and fiscal pincers which constrain Obama are much tighter. None of the president’s proposals in Wednesday’s State of the Union speech can do much to free him.

Rasmussen: Obama approval ratings at new low

December 22, 2009

Pollster Rasmussen indicates that healthcare is not helping the POTUS:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21 That’s the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President. … For the second straight day, the update shows the highest level of Strong Disapproval yet recorded for this President. That negative rating had never topped 42% before yesterday. However, it has risen dramatically since the Senate found 60 votes to move forward with the proposed health care reform legislation. Most voters (55%) oppose the health care legislation and senior citizens are even more likely than younger voters to dislike the plan.

A 2012 GOP presidential nomination ranking

December 18, 2009

Campaign consultant Mark McKinnon give his two cents, followed by mine in italics:

Paul Ryan and the future of the GOP

December 14, 2009

This  commentary from  GOP thought leader Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin really sets the intellectual and political framework for where the GOP might be headed.  He goes after Crony Capitalism, the melding of Big Money, Big  Business and Big Goverment. This is what’s next. Here are some important bits:

Tea Party fever! This can’t be good for the Republican brand …

December 7, 2009

From pollster Rasmussen:

Running under the Tea Party brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican.