Political Strategy

Is Newt inoculated against past deeds and late breaking flip flop?

by Gloria Feldt on December 6th, 2011
in Election Watch, Leadership, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics

Not that I had time for it today, but I couldn’t resist answering this one. What’s your take? Why isn’t Newt getting the criticism he deserves for his past deeds? Will they eventually come back to haunt him? Or will he on his own make so many missteps that he destroys his own candidacy?

Ethics SignArena Asks: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is threatening to discuss what she learned about Newt Gingrich from a 1990s ethics investigation. Pelosi, like Gingrich a former House speaker, hinted that she would one day discuss the “thousand pages of his stuff” that she rifled through in the late 1990s while serving on a panel that was investigating him for tax and ethics violations.

But would that really hurt presidential candidate Gingrich, considering the information has largely been aired publicly before? Is Gingrich politically inoculated on these and other old controversies, including the circumstances of his first divorce?

My Answer: Newt may be on the road to discrediting himself without needing Pelosi’s help…

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Sex Scandals Sink Cain: Is That Just?

by Gloria Feldt on December 3rd, 2011
in Election Watch, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power

Shoot, I lost my bet. I thought Herman Cain would stay in the race no matter what came down. But there could be no noble outcome in this story, whichever way it went. Anybody want to bet on when the divorce papers are served?

Herman Cain (Scott Olson - Getty Images)Arena Asks: Herman Cain will suspend his presidential campaign, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO announced Saturday.

Does Cain’ characterization of himself as a victim of unfair media coverage ring true? Will he be influential as the Republican presidential races unfolds?

My Answer: There isn’t much justice here.

Cain had no business running for president in the first place. The level of attention and support he received was never justified by his qualifications for the role…

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Is It Fair That Cain’s Campaign Is Sinking While Newt’s Is Rising?

by Gloria Feldt on November 29th, 2011
in Election Watch, Leadership, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power

Will new allegations that Herman Cain had a 13-year affair be the end of his campaign? Should this come up as an issue at all? Why is no one talking about Newt’s affairs any more?

Radioactive WarningArena Asks: An Atlanta businesswoman says she had a 13-year extramarital affair with Herman Cain, prompting a preemptive denial from the Republican presidential candidate. Asked earlier in November about sexual harassment allegations if he would leave the race, Cain responded, “Ain’t gonna happen.” Can Cain stick to that now, and still win the GOP nomination?

My Answer: Exhaustion from these continuing allegations of Cain’s sexual misconduct has overtaken what was left of his flash-in-the-pan campaign…

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Why did the supercommittee fail? (Duh!)

by Gloria Feldt on November 21st, 2011
in Economy, Election Watch, Leadership, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, The Economy

Silly question today but I decided to answer it anyway. More to the point, what in your opinion should be the next steps? Who should take leadership?

US CongressArena Asks: Congress is bracing today for the failure of the supercommittee, which will most likely fail to submit paperwork to the Congressional Budget Office by its Monday deadline.
Is this a big hit for Congress, which had a nine percent approval rating in a recent poll? And why was the supercommittee unable to make ends meet?

My Answer: The supercommittee was doomed from the start because the Republicans have less to lose politically by being intractable on revenue. The supercommittee process played right into their hands and the Democrats took the bait…

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Shall We Start a Pool re When Cain Leaves the Race?

by Gloria Feldt on November 9th, 2011
in Election Watch, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power

In my previous post about Herman Cain, I suggested responses to the sexual harassment allegations that could keep him in the running. Now I agree with former Ohio Secretary of State who said at the beginning of this debacle that Cain is toast.

If you were betting, when do you think he will leave the race for president?

And what do you think last night’s election returns mean for him and the rest of the Republican candidates?

Herman CainArena Asks:Herman Cain held a press conference tonight to defend his reputation, choosing to address accusations of sexual harassment directly. “I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period,” Cain said, indicating that he has no idea who accuser Sharon Bialek was. He added that he would not be stepping out of the presidential race.
Is Cain wise to remain in the presidential race? And does his defense of his reputation seem plausible?

My Answer: Cain is getting less plausible by the minute…

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Can Herman Cain Survive?

by Gloria Feldt on October 31st, 2011
in Election Watch, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power

You knew it was just a matter of minutes before a sex scandal would erupt with one or another presidential candidate. Personally, I was betting it would be Michelle Bachmann and/or her husband. So much self-righteousness is usually a mask to hide some skeleton in the closet. But no, it was Pizza Dude Herman Cain. Though many of the first responders on Arena’s commentator bench say Cain is toast, I’m not so sure. Read on and tell me what you think…

Herman CainArena Asks: POLITICO reports exclusively that during Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by him. The women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. How damaging are these revelations to Cain’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination?

My Answer: These allegations aren’t an automatic KO but they are big and they are damaging. How Cain comports himself in the aftermath will determine whether he remains a viable candidate or becomes cold pizza. So far, not so good.

This month is the 20th anniversary of Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment by then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. A comparison to those events might shed light on what this might mean for Cain…

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Fresh start for Rick Perry?

by Gloria Feldt on October 25th, 2011
in Economy, Election Watch, Leadership, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, The Economy

Waaay to soon to rule Rick Perry out, folks, as all of us who grew up tough in West Texas know.

What do you think will be Perry’s next “distractive” comment, by the way? And what are your thoughts about Obama’s best strategy to fight or flank?

Here’s the link to my original post on Politico


strategyThe Arena Asks: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s new proposal would let Americans choose between their existing income tax rate or a new flat tax of 20 percent. Will Perry’s flat tax plan restore him to the GOP presidential primary lead? Will his new campaign team help? And what do you make of Perry’s recent birther-curious comments?


Rick Perry might not know how to govern the country but he knows how to win a race by adapting and persisting. The unifying thread connecting these three changes in Perry’s campaign is this: the man is a learner with an almost feral competitiveness that turns obstacles into fuel to propel him to his goal…

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Is Obama’s Leadership dragging down Dems?

by Gloria Feldt on October 21st, 2011
in Election Watch, Leadership, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power, The Economy

I’m in SC today speaking to the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association Women Lawyers and Leadership Conference. Everyone is looking for leadership, but we need to remember that a leader is somebody who gets something done. And then go do it. Same advice I have for members of Congress in my Arena commentary today. Read on and let me know what you would tell the complainers:

Foreclosure signArena Asks: President Obama’s sagging poll numbers have many Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2012 running for cover. And discontent with the president is growing on the House side, too: In his retirement statement Thursday Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) ripped the Obama White House for what he called inaction on the housing foreclosure crisis. Will President Obama be a political albatross for Democratic congressional candidates in 2012?

My Answer: As a lawyer, President Obama should know the first rule of debate: whoever defines the terms is most likely to win it. His failure or perhaps intentional reluctance to do that is the real albatross weighing down members of Congress and causing him to lose the extraordinary voter enthusiasm that swept him into office…

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Is “Obamacare” crumbling?

by Gloria Feldt on October 17th, 2011
in Election Watch, Health Care Reform, Leadership, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics

It’s all about leadership. Would you agree?

Health CrisisArena Asks: The Obama administration is scrapping a long-term care insurance program created by the new health care law, reports the New York Times. The administration’s decision was another setback for the new law, which is under attack in court, in Congress and in many state legislatures. How much does this erode support for the health law? Will this be an issue in the 2012 campaign?

My Answer: The decision to scuttle the Class program reinforces the perception of the Obama administration as naive but does not signal the crumbling of Obamacare…

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Will outside groups crush Dems?

by Gloria Feldt on October 4th, 2011
in Activism, Election Watch, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power

Do you think it’s too late for Obama to redeem himself, as this question seems to imply? If you were advising him, what would you say? And do you think insurgent movements like Occupy Wall Street can help re-inspire the progressive base?

Occupy Wall StreetArena Asks: Democrats across the country are preparing for an onslaught of attacks from American Crossroads, an independent fundraising group that bombed the 2010 elections with negative ads.

Even President Obama seems to acknowledge the shift in power. Will these outside groups give Republicans a big advantage in 2012? And is Obama right to consider himself an “underdog?”

My Answer:Unfortunately for Democrats, the only antidote to democracy is more and better participation in democracy…

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