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Run, Larry, Run (A Kudlow challenge to Chuck Schumer would expose his ruinous economics)
National Review ^ | 02/02/2010 | Michael Knox Beran

Posted on 02/02/2010 6:54:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Just when the gloom in the Empire State seemed thicker than ever, a ray of light pierced the darkness. The New York Post reported on Friday that economist and CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow was said to be contemplating a challenge to Sen. Chuck Schumer in response to a Draft Kudlow movement.

Could the revolt taking place in other states spread to the epicenter of the tax-and-spend ideal? Voters in New Jersey (who just installed Chris Christie in the governor’s mansion) and Massachusetts (who just sent Scott Brown to the senate) have rejected their state’s machines. That couldn’t happen in New York, right?

It’s true that the old guard in the Empire State appears to have as imperially tight a grip on power as ever. Unless a credible opposition emerges, New York’s two Senate seats and its governor’s chair — all up for grabs this year — will almost certainly go to candidates backed by the entrenched political establishment. Andrew Cuomo will take the governor’s mansion; Schumer and his protégé Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson to fill the seat Hillary Clinton vacated, will return to the Senate.

Cuomo, Gillibrand, and Schumer: It’s a lineup that promises about as much fresh thinking as a Politburo meeting in the Brezhnev era. The Cuomos have been a fixture of New York’s political establishment since the Seventies. Gillibrand cut her political teeth under Andrew Cuomo in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton years; she and Schumer are now senatorial soulmates. Schumer himself has been in Congress for nearly three decades.

Will Kudlow challenge him? “The only thing I’ve said and I’ll continue to say,” he told The Daily Caller, is that “I’m honored to be considered.” But “defeating Senator Schumer,” he added, “would be a noble cause.”

It would be perfectly understandable if Kudlow declined to put himself and his family through the hell of a campaign. But if he did throw his hat in the ring, his candidacy would be an important one.

Washington is engaged in two big policy debates: whether to expand the social state through nationalized health care, cap-and-trade legislation, and massive increases in government spending; and how to fix the government’s too-big-to-fail banking policy without wrecking the nation’s capital markets.

At this critical juncture, Candidate Kudlow could make a vital contribution to the debate. That’s because the combination of gifts he possesses is so rare. Kudlow is at once an economic expert and an expert communicator. As an economist, he was “present at the creation” of Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in the Eighties, when he served as associate director of economics and planning in Reagan’s OMB. As a communicator, he reaches a vast audience through CNBC’s The Kudlow Report and WABC radio’s The Larry Kudlow Show. He can tell you the top marginal income tax rate when President Kennedy proposed his own epochal tax cuts in 1962 (91 percent). What’s more, he can make you understand the significance of those cuts in a way few other economists can.

Hillary Clinton made a “listening tour” of New York during her quest for a New York Senate seat a decade ago. Kudlow’s campaign would more closely resemble a teaching tour. His classroom would have no shortage of exhibits. If you want to see what’s wrong with President Obama’s plans to expand the social state, take a look at New York. “One out of every eight New York workers,” observes E. J. McMahon, director of the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center for New York State Policy, “is a unionized government employee; the ratio averages one out of 19 in the rest of the country.” The lavish pay and benefits these public-sector workers receive stifle the productive element of the state’s economy and hurt ordinary New Yorkers, who fund the luxurious mandarins out of their own, generally smaller, paychecks. In 51 out of New York’s 62 counties, McMahon notes, “the average salary for state and local government jobs is higher than the private-sector average.”

New York’s fiscal nightmare is America’s fiscal future — or will be if Senator Schumer has his way. He has his own “creation” story: He was there when Nebraska’s “Cornhusker Kickback” was hammered out in Senate health-care negotiations. “I’ve been in Harry Reid’s office for 13 hours, and I’m glad to get out of there,” Schumer said of that profile in senatorial courage. “But I’m particularly glad with what has happened in that office.”

The crucial challenge for a Kudlow campaign would be to find images that make vivid the broken promises of the social state Senator Schumer is trying to expand. Candidate Reagan did that when, in August 1980, he went to the corner of Charlotte Street and Boston Post Road in the South Bronx to make the case that the New York model wasn’t working. Candidate Kudlow could make use of similarly dramatic tableaux in New York’s upstate cities, among the most stagnant in the nation, where much of the recent population growth comes from trucking in prisoners and where most of the new jobs are on the government payroll.

Schumer won reelection in 2004 with 70 percent of the vote, and his campaign chest is full. But there are indications that, consumed as he is with Washington intrigue, he’s out of touch with his constituents. “And let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments,” he declared in the Senate chamber last year. “The American people really don’t care.” It took him a while to figure out that the administration’s decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a stone’s throw away from Ground Zero wasn’t popular in the Big Apple. Not until last week did the senator get around to asking the administration to try the sheikh somewhere else.

Kudlow could exploit such tone deafness in a campaign that would almost certainly be the best thing to happen in New York politics in decades. New York politicians are even less used to confronting intelligent opposition than Massachusetts ones. A Kudlow challenge would force Schumer to defend not merely the greasy deal-making he’s abetted in Washington, but the ruinous economic calculus of the policies his deals are meant to prop up. It would be a fascinating — and enlightening — spectacle.

Run, Larry, run.

— Michael Knox Beran is a contributing editor of City Journal. His most recent book is Forge of Empires 1861-1871: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the World They Made.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: New York
KEYWORDS: chuckschumer; elections; larrykudlow; senate

1 posted on 02/02/2010 6:54:46 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Isn’t Larry a citizen of Conn.?


2 posted on 02/02/2010 6:56:41 AM PST by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Kudlow has always been one of my heroes.

Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.

However, he has had the courage to overcome his weaknesses, and he is a model citizen and true conservative leader.

3 posted on 02/02/2010 6:56:43 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: SeekAndFind

Larry’s a very accomplished guy. Methinks he won’t step into the race unless he is 100% in and in it to win.

I wish Peter Schiff would do similarly in CT, instead of nibbling around the edges. Otherwise, we could use another business titan (besides Linda McMahon) to step in up there.


4 posted on 02/02/2010 6:58:18 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Kansas58

I was just about to post the fact that ANY Republican should be squeaky clean. The Media will nail to the wall anyone not kowtowing to them; anyone connected to the Right and the Tea Party Movement. I hope his issues don’t offend the purists on the Conservative side.


5 posted on 02/02/2010 6:59:40 AM PST by originalbuckeye
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To: Kansas58
The "issue in his past" which bothers me is not the one you have in mind.

It's his Sept 2008 support for TARP.

No one who supported that atrocity will ever get a vote from me.

6 posted on 02/02/2010 7:11:12 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: Notary Sojac
We did need to do something, in the financial sector.
TARP was mishandled, and has become a political slush fund.

However, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Kudlow is FAR FAR FAR better than Schumer, and Kudlow might actually win.

Do you have any other ideas?

If not, get with the program!

7 posted on 02/02/2010 7:13:36 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: SeekAndFind
"a Draft Kudlow movement"

I seem to remember in Imperial Earth
Arthur C. Clarke conjectured that the
President should be drafted, dragged into
the White House kicking and screaming,
and only let out for good behavior.

Works for me.

8 posted on 02/02/2010 7:16:05 AM PST by Cyber Ninja (His legacy is a stain OnTheDress)
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To: Kansas58

“Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.”

Um... Yeah. And I don’t think those will play well on the campaign circuit.


9 posted on 02/02/2010 7:16:16 AM PST by Pessimist (u)
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To: Notary Sojac

Soooo...voting for Schumer is better?


10 posted on 02/02/2010 7:18:39 AM PST by IAmNotAnAnimal
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To: Pessimist
Did you jump on Scott Brown for his Cosmo picture?

Did you jump on the investigative reporter, who got busted in Senator Landreu’s office?

“We all fall short of the Glory of God” -—

Conservatives who expect all other conservatives to be perfect are hypocrites, as they can not be perfect, themselves!

Kudlow would be great.

If a firefighter came to your house, to put out a fire, would you do a background check on him first, and then a drug check, and then a credit check, before letting the firefighter do his job?

It is the way that Kudlow would VOTE in the Senate, that counts.

You act as though you are St. Peter, guarding the gates of Heaven.

Get over yourself.

Politics is NOT about saving souls.

Politics is about getting those who agree with you to the polls!

11 posted on 02/02/2010 7:22:03 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: IAmNotAnAnimal

Larry needs to run - don’t forget how Schumer would NOT get off his cell phone on the plane and he called the stewardess a bitch! THAT IS HOW HE FEELS ABOUT REGULAR FOLKS - SO, REGULAR FOLKS NEED TO GIVE CHUCKY THE FINGER! THE THUMB as in YOU’RE OUT!


12 posted on 02/02/2010 7:23:57 AM PST by princess leah
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To: Pessimist

“Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.”


True. But we’ve posted before a very B I G difference.

Larry Kudlow is one man who has been honest and upfront about his past, and has exposed his past along with the solutions that worked for him. I have heard him do that on his own radio program. He hasn’t tried to brush it under the rug, and admits his moral/personl failures. He has a definite marker in life when he dealt with those things and straightened them out, and started on the road upwward . . .

. . . upward to helping others in similar situations to get out of their vices and head upwards.

In Kudlows case, if Schumer or the Dems were to try to use those things, I think it would turn to bite them in the tail end. And that would be without Larry having to be vicious about Schumer’s or others’ moral problems.


13 posted on 02/02/2010 7:24:28 AM PST by John Leland 1789 (But then, I'm accused of just being a troll, so . . . .)
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To: SeekAndFind

Kudlow also thinks Pelosi is a despicable person. Gotta like that.


14 posted on 02/02/2010 7:28:13 AM PST by crosshairs
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To: IAmNotAnAnimal

TARP was in many ways the template for Obamanomics. Anyone who would support it has a minimal grasp at best of how the free market works, notwithstanding their mouthing all the right-sounding phrases as Kudlow does.


15 posted on 02/02/2010 7:54:31 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: Kansas58
We did need to do something, in the financial sector.

Yes we did. We needed to insist that housing and housing backed assets be allowed to seek a market, equilibrium price, and that assets holders take their writedowns like grown men.

We still need to do that. We haven't done so yet.

16 posted on 02/02/2010 7:58:35 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: Pessimist; Kansas58
“Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.”

Agreed. IMO the cocaine addiction (which was not that long ago) makes this a lost cause.

17 posted on 02/02/2010 9:24:02 AM PST by freespirited (Congratulations Senator Brown. One down, 59 to go.)
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To: freespirited

In New York?
I don’t think so.

He beat his addiction, and is an inspiration to millions on that issue.


18 posted on 02/02/2010 9:25:42 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: Notary Sojac
No institution is strong enough to survive a run on deposits.

This is truth -—

Liberals used that truth to get conservatives on board a financial bail out.

Then, liberals twisted the entire purpose of that bail out, after the fact.

19 posted on 02/02/2010 9:28:59 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: SeekAndFind
Larry quit coke before Barry did, so he should be ok on that front.

Anyone who can be schmucky, I'm all for it.

20 posted on 02/02/2010 9:31:28 AM PST by Defiant (The absence of bias appears to be bias to those who are biased.)
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To: Kansas58
Whether or not TARP was both necessary and sufficient to prevent economic collapse is something only time will tell. I happen to disagree that it was. Strongly.
21 posted on 02/02/2010 9:43:27 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: Defiant
Larry quit coke before Barry did, so he should be ok on that front.

Larry's alcoholism and past drug use will NOT be an issue. He's been upfront about it for years even in his radio program ( which I listen to every Saturday on WABC ).

I'd like to see Kudlow attack Schumer on the MERITS of the later's economic policies and Schumer maybe going after him about his past alcoholism. We'll see who eventually wins with this scenario.
22 posted on 02/02/2010 9:49:28 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
New York politicians are even less used to confronting intelligent opposition than Massachusetts ones. A Kudlow challenge would force Schumer to defend not merely the greasy deal-making he’s abetted in Washington, but the ruinous economic calculus of the policies his deals are meant to prop up. It would be a fascinating — and enlightening — spectacle.

Sen. Chuck Schumer's approval rating continues to slide

23 posted on 02/02/2010 10:45:50 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: SeekAndFind
Kudlow is awesome on many levels. He sucks on immigration and the power off the Fed. that said, he is WAAYYYYYYYY better than Schumer. It's like Brown in Mass or Christie in NJ-are they perfect-no. But, the nation is pulled a little back to the right by eliminating the far left one by one.

Fight like hell for the consertive in the primary, and then back the winner in the general. Incrementalism works.

24 posted on 02/02/2010 12:04:13 PM PST by MattinNJ (O is going to get his candy ass kicked by a girl. Go Sarah.)
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To: IAmNotAnAnimal
There will be plenty of candidates on the ballot. It is not an either or — that's how we end up with the stinking RINOs in Washington. Conservative long enough to cash the checks from the local and national parties — then once in office vote for whatever you feel like? Kudlow will have to earn it; an (R) next to his name will not immediately guarantee my vote.
25 posted on 02/02/2010 2:06:23 PM PST by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Larry would be a fantastic candidate — about as smart and articulate as any one could imagine. Yes, he lives in CT but he’s been working in NYC for decades and probably has a second home there so establishing residence wouldn’t be an issue. And let the Dems bring up his personal issues — he’s addressed those forthrightly with his conversion to Christianity... another redemption story. And who are the Dems to bring up personal issues.

Go for it, Larry! We need your leadership... We need some Kudlow 101!


26 posted on 02/02/2010 2:26:00 PM PST by ReleaseTheHounds ("The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.")
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To: SeekAndFind

If Larry doesn’t run, the least I could hope for is that Fox Business makes him an outrageous offer. I love listening to LK on the radio... I don’t watch CNBC anymore.


27 posted on 02/02/2010 3:26:21 PM PST by Rodamala
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