Presidential Campaigns: Is 2016 the New 1964?

1964 Presidential Election Results

1964 Presidential Election Results

If you are looking for clues about what this Fall’s campaign will look like, consider the 1964 Presidential campaign. The Republican National Convention in Daly City, California was contested as the establishment viewed Governors Nelson Rockefeller (NY) and William Scranton (NJ) as their best candidates to challenge Democratic incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson. After much infighting, the radical Senator Barry Goldwater (AZ) was nominated. The belligerent Goldwater ran a campaign of fear while Johnson reached across the aisle winning the support of moderate conservatives with his “Confessions of a Republican” commercial.

Confessions of a Republican

Israel Opponent Appointed To Senate Foreign Relations Committee

— by David Streeter

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) expressed outrage over Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) new membership on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee given his deeply disturbing record when it comes to the U.S.-Israel relationship. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:

Senator Rand Paul’s membership in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should be raising red flags and provoking severe concern across the pro-Israel community. The decision by Republican Senate leaders to give a bigger microphone and a prominent platform to someone who has repeatedly called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel and used his leadership PAC to push an anti-foreign aid agenda is simply outrageous. As we’ve said for months, Senator Paul and his father’s acolytes are becoming legitimate forces in today’s Republican Party — and pro-Israel Republicans have repeatedly and epically failed to address this growing issue within the GOP ranks. Now this failure has very real consequences. The overwhelmingly pro-Israel American public deserves much better than a radical ideologue on the Senate’s primary diplomatic committee who has demonstrated a singular obsession with slashing aid to the Jewish state.

More after the jump.
Senator Rand Paul twice pushed for ending U.S. “welfare” (in his words) for Israel — which prompted seven Democratic Senators to author a letter firmly rejecting Paul’s proposal. Further, Paul has been a staunch opponent of general U.S. foreign aid — which has long been supported by the pro-Israel community — and even used his leadership PAC to push his anti-foreign aid agenda during the 2012 campaign.

Unfortunately, membership in the committee is not likely to cause a change in Paul’s behavior. As Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin noted (emphasis added):

Replacing them will be Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), and newly minted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Paul has been a thorn in the State Department’s side since he came to the Senate, pushing for drastic cuts in U.S. foreign aid and holding up several State Department nominees. His new SFRC perch will allow him to ramp up those activities.

Mainstream Republicans Scared to Death by Tea Party

Several mainstream Republicans have resigned from leadership roles in Arizona’s 20th Legislative District due to concerns about the safety of their families in light of threats from the Awtaukee Tea Party, and the recent massacre in Tucson.

Anthony Miller resigned as chair of the Republican party in the 20th district along with Republican party secretary Sophia Johnson, the district Republican vice-chairman Roger Dickinson, and the district Republican spokesman Jeff Kolb.

Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family’s safety.

In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday’s massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”

“I wasn’t going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday,” Miller said. “I love the Republican Party but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.”

Read more in the Arizona Republic.