Memo to Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Americans by overwhelming numbers say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate nominated by their party who is Catholic, a woman, black, Hispanic or Jewish.
They say they would be somewhat less inclined to support a Mormon, a gay or lesbian, an evangelical Christian or Muslim for president, according to a new Gallup Poll released Monday. Yet more than half of those Americans surveyed said they would be accepting of anyone from this group who managed to garner their party’s presidential nomination. Even a qualified atheist would be acceptable to 58 percent of those questioned.
But only 47 percent said they could vote for a socialist for president. Fifty percent said they would absolutely not.
Sanders, 73, an independent who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is the only Jewish candidate in the race. And while many wrote him off early on as a fringe candidate with limited appeal, Sanders has subsequently generated considerable buzz among liberals and progressives, and has made respectable showings in some of the early polling, including in New Hampshire.
With his ringing anti-Wall Street populist message, Sanders is tapping into the Democratic Party’s progressive wing – including some who had hoped at one time that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might change her mind and enter the race. However, the former University of Chicago student radical and self-described democratic socialist, supports proposals similar to those of mainstream social democratic governments in Europe, particularly those of Scandinavia.
Five of the declared candidates for president are Catholics – including Republicans Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, and Democrat Martin O'Malley. Two are women -- Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina. Republican Ben Carson is the only black candidate in the race, while two candidates are Hispanic -- Republicans Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Here are Gallup’s findings:
Politico’s Tim Alberta and Rachael Bade drop a blockbuster: “Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. … He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority—all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season.”
Speculation has been swirling that Ryan could step down once “he’s harpooned his personal white whale of tax reform,” as HuffPost put it.
When asked at his weekly press conference whether he’ll be quitting anytime soon, Ryan chuckled and said, “I’m not, no.”
The finance ministers of Europe’s five largest economies — Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Spain — warned that the Republican tax plan could have “a major distortive impact” on international trade and may violate international treaties. "The inclusion of certain less conventional international tax provisions could contravene the U.S.'s double taxation treaties and may risk having a major distortive impact on international trade," the ministers wrote in a letter to Mnuchin.
Politico reports: “The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely. And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs. … The president is expected to sign the welfare executive order as soon as January, according to multiple administration officials, with an eye toward making changes to health care, food stamps, housing and veterans programs, not just traditional welfare payments.”
President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution today to fund the federal government through Friday, December 22.
Bloomberg called the maneuver “a monumental piece of can kicking,” which is no doubt the case, but at least you’ll be able to visit your favorite national park over the weekend.
Here's to small victories!