By: Steven Law
2/22/2013 12:04 PM
If there’s one thing all conservatives seem to agree on, it’s that we need more Marco Rubios, Rand Pauls and other high-caliber leaders who can fight for our principles in Washington and win others over to the cause.
However, you don’t get to change Washington unless you win elections, and you don’t win elections unless you have top-notch candidates like these. That’s why we helped launch the Conservative Victory Project: to identify and support the strongest, most competitive conservative leaders who can win elections and effectively advance our values in Congress.
In just the last three years, American Crossroads has become one of the largest advocates for movement conservative and Tea Party-backed leaders at the federal level. We stood proudly with Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey. We also got behind riskier bets like Sharron Angle and Richard Mourdock that many in the “establishment” wouldn’t touch. Regrettably, some of them blew opportunities we should have won.
Conservatives point out that many of our failed candidates were “establishment” retreads instead of Tea Party insurgents. They’re right. That just means we’ve got to get better at putting forward great candidates across the board.
No one benefits more from subpar Republican candidates than the Democratic party. So here’s something else all conservatives should agree on: we don’t want Harry Reid and left-wing Super PACs picking our nominees for us. Yet it’s happening with increasing frequency. In Missouri, Reid’s Super PAC tag-teamed with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Sen. McCaskill’s campaign to deliver the GOP nomination to Todd Akin, a champion of congressional earmarks who self-immolated within weeks.
How did they get away with it? Conservative groups splintered among several second-tier contenders, weakening the front-runner and paving the way for the Democrat-backed Akin. This should never be allowed to happen again.
Some conservatives also decry a “consultant-driven” political culture that exists just to enrich consultants. Right again. For years, consultants formed outside groups, taking a fundraising commission and a fat slice of the media buy. In contrast, American Crossroads doesn’t pay any fundraising commissions, and no board member, adviser or staffer gets a percentage of funds raised or media placement fees. Strict conflicts-of-interest policies prevent self-enriching side deals. Because we bid work and avoid sole-source contracts, we pay rock-bottom fees and push 96 cents of every dollar out the door for advocacy. We hope other groups have the same model and are as transparent about their policies on conflicts and consultant fees.
In the end, here’s how conservatives can nominate more Rubios and Cruzes and fewer election-losing clunkers: more rigorous candidate vetting (including assessment of fundraising ability and message discipline); more cooperation among conservative groups to try to build consensus instead of brutalizing primaries; and more resourceful recruiting when the presented options don’t look appealing. Will it work every time? Of course not. But if there’s one lesson we should take from 2012, it’s that we can all do better. Let’s get after it.
Steven Law is president and CEO of American Crossroads.
Tuesday, 04 Dec 2012 12:10 PM
- Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolinian with a following among small-government conservatives, lashed out at House Speaker John Boehner, saying his $2.2 trillion deficit plan would cost jobs and mushroom the debt.
- Two first-term Republican Tea Party stalwarts – Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan – were removed by party leadership from the powerful budget committee in what Huelskamp called “a vindictive move.”
- A top House conservative, Jim Jordan of Ohio, was scheduled to unveil his own fiscal cliff plan on Tuesday but has backed off in the wake of Boehner’s offer to President Obama.
Published September 05, 2011
It is 22 weeks until the Iowa caucuses – maybe as little as 17 weeks if claim jumpers in Florida and Arizona move up their primaries.
That’s a relative eternity in political time. Remember, at this point in the 2008 cycle, all of the smart money was on Hillary Clinton being the next president. One-term Senator Barack Obama was running what was mostly dismissed as a vanity campaign aimed at increasing his national name identification.
But, four or five months is how long it takes to set up a national campaign for president. The fear about John McCain’s August 2007 campaign collapse wasn’t that the voters had already made up their minds, but that he wouldn’t have enough time to build a campaign that could endure through a months-long nomination fight. He nearly didn’t.
Rick Perry roared into the presidential race to great acclaim, but he hasn’t exactly been without detractors. His entrance has inspired a rhetorical war about what it means to “vet” candidates and about whether conservatives should vet their own or leave it to the MSM to do that dirty work, as they undoubtedly will.
Multimedia powerhouse Glenn Beck weighed in on that debate this week, saying sources he trusts implicitly have convinced him Rick Perry had a come-to-Jesus moment at some point in his governorship and the problematic Perry of past years has given way to Rick “the Real Deal” Perry, a conservative’s conservative. The Right Scoop reports:
Tuesday, 16 Aug 2011 01:58 PM
By Andra Varin
Just days after Rick Perry formally entered the Republican presidential race, he holds a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Tuesday.
The nationwide poll of 1,000 likely Republican voters, conducted on Monday, finds the Texas governor with 29 percent support. That’s well over the 18 percent who back Romney, previously the GOP front-runner to challenge President Barack Obama’s biggest challenger.
Posted Aug 5th 2011 at 9:27 am
We need to backup and take a moment to collect ourselves. While it is true we have a wounded president who appears all but finished as a one termer, it will not be from lack of support from the Left. I can certainly see the logic in assuming otherwise, however. After all, his presidency has been one big stinker. But if there is one thing that is utterly amazing to witness it is the limitless power of a child’s mind.
In the case when grown-ups possess a child’s mind they become trapped within it. Because grown-ups have things a child does not: Experience and years of living. In other words, liberals willfully reject reality for fantasy. They are irrational, emotional, prone to tantrums and cry out, “but that’s not fair!” when things do not go their way. For a child, that is his only defense against a world he does not understand and is ill-equipped to cope with. For an adult, it is a sickness.