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Susan Estrich
10 Feb 2016
Why Women Should Be for Hillary

There is one reason young women should support Hillary Clinton for president. It happens to be, in my … Read More.

5 Feb 2016
Donald Trump: Sore Loser

It was the shortest speech anyone can remember him giving. He was clearly in a state of disbelief. How could … Read More.

3 Feb 2016
Rubio's the One

You can pick your headline for Iowa: "Trump Didn't Win!" "Hillary Didn't Lose!" "Rubio's the One!" I prefer … Read More.

The Good News (for Democrats)


It's not that easy to find good news these days, at least for Democrats.

You pick up the paper in the morning (or read it online the night before), and it's gloom and doom. Sure, the president always looks better when he's out of Washington, talking to real people, reminding us of exactly why we had so much hope in the first place. But still. To say that Democrats are nervous and disheartened is an understatement.

But take heart, ye of little faith. I have an answer.

Watch the Republicans debate!

I have to admit that even though I'm sometimes in the business of being a talking head, I have not watched all of the Republican debates. Why not? No offense, but I'm just not that interested in what Rick Santorum or Gary Johnson has to say. Aren't the clips good enough?

But this week, in preparing for the midterm exam in my undergraduate presidential politics class, it only made sense to check in on the Republicans. So I watched the Fox News/Google Orlando debate with my students, many of whom are eager to find a Republican to like. After nearly two hours, the only people smiling were the Democrats.

The clips are dispiriting; the full tape is downright despair or delight, depending on your perspective.

Rick Perry was even worse than I imagined. Just awful. I'm not talking about his positions. I'm not expecting to be convinced. But how could a guy who has been in politics so long have so much trouble presenting his views in a coherent way? When he entered the race, he was the great hope of conservative Republicans. Man, they must be depressed.

Michele Bachmann? OK, my expectations were low, but how low can you go? When she boasted that she had raised five "biological" children, you could hear the groans. Ouch. When she denied having attacked Perry and his support of the safe and effective vaccine preventing cervical cancer, you could see the heads shaking. What was this woman doing on that stage? Why were the other candidates treating her as a serious person?

When asked whom they would put on the ticket, only Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich refused to play "Hollywood Squares." The rest looked silly for not only answering the question but for going out of their way to say they would be happy to run with anyone on the stage.

Seriously, Bachmann makes Sarah Palin look like a rocket scientist. This is the only woman in the group? Shameful.

I like Gingrich. He is very smart. But if you didn't know that in advance, you wouldn't know it afterward. Ditto for Jon Huntsman.

And then there was the new hope of the Republican Party: Herman Cain. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza is at least fun to watch. Charismatic. A character. But a president? Ready to take on Barack Obama in a serious debate about foreign policy or education or the environment? Not.

Who was that weird guy who made no sense, one of my students asked me afterward. He could have been referring to almost anyone on the stage, but actually, it was Santorum.

Running for president only looks easy. Ditto, especially, for these cattle-call debates. Even the best candidate has trouble shining in one-minute answers on a crowded stage. Maybe Perry will learn to get out a thought coherently. Maybe Johnson will find a better way to talk about job creation than crediting his neighbor's dogs for creating shovel work. (My own create indoor carpet cleaning, but I do it for free.) Certainly, it's just as well (for Republicans) that more people aren't paying attention.

By far, the most impressive guy, the most polished by a mile, was Romney, the self-described conservative businessman. But anyone who lived in Massachusetts while he was governor would probably use another word, like "moderate." His biggest accomplishment is now his biggest problem: RomneyCare.

And that's not his only problem. There was a reason (or a host of them) why he didn't get the nomination last time. It certainly wasn't because of any love affair between conservatives and John McCain. Frankly, it's not at all clear to me that Republicans, much less the country, will support a Massachusetts Mormon who used to be a moderate. I'm from Massachusetts, the home of liberals and lobsters. I have nothing against Mormons or moderates. But then, I'm a liberal who likes lobster.

It's true that many people are disappointed with Barack Obama. But it's also true that when compared to the Republicans, at least as of today, he looks pretty darn good.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



24 Comments | Post Comment
I also watched that debate and all the other debates. No one on that stage could be a bold and decisive leader. I do not know what Santorum is doing on the stage,,,He lost by double digits as an incumbent Senator in Pennsylvania. Gary What's his name seemed like a Ron Paul clone. Ron Paul would never get more than the red neck vote. His only appeal is to the Biker crowd who ride around with their "colors" vests with Confederate flags,,,And I am sorry Susan but Newt had the same problem as Rudy Guiliani . Women voters just will not flock to either of those guys. Bachmann is even nuttier than Christine O'Donnell. She wants to deregulate everything in sight...Ok lets start by taking down all the stop signs and traffic light in a one mile radius around her Minnesota home. Maybe then she would realize that you sometimes need govenment regulations. Herman Cain may be a decent person but he just seems too simplistic and he lost me when he said he would turn the decison on troop levels over to the generals??? Was no one listening when he said that. Rick Perry just cannot think on the run. Not exactly a quality you want from a Commander-in-chief. Basically, that leaves Romney. He has taken so many different positions on the major issues of the day over the last ten years, even he doesn't know what his position really is. That is why the Republicans desparately wanted anyone else (Christie ???) to enter the race. They know these people just don't have what it takes. And only the most diehard of partisan Republican can look at this field and see a winner and ultimately a leader. How low has the REpublican party sunk since the days of Ike, Henry Cabot Lodge, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford. I personally met each of those guys and each was a solid and honest human being. When Gerald Ford took over the presidency there was a line in his first speech that is one of the best political speech lines in history........."Truth is the Glue that binds us together "..... and indeed that is true today. And truth be told, with this bunch, there is no glue there and Republicans know it. The search goes on.
Comment: #1
Posted by: robert lipka
Tue Oct 4, 2011 9:00 PM
Lets get to some unassailable facts which are conclusive that anyone would be better than "little president zero" aka Obama.
1) Obama is a proven race baiting, affirmative action and media created Islam pandering, indolent, Marxist, anti America, class war instigating proven repeat offender liar.
2) Obama is waging economic war on the US by the conscious and deliberate creation of unending debt. He is repaying his extreme leftist masters by growing Government exponentially via worthless Government make work schemes and programs which will all become a permanent and crippling drag on the productive private sector which he hates.
3) Obama is intent upon the destruction of small businesses and business in general via over regulation and via the unconstitutional Obamacare. He is the arch crony capitalist using billions of dollars of our money as a slush fund for his political backers and funders.
4) Obama is sucking up to the thuggish worthless unions and has nationalized banks and industries in order to redistribute the product of other men's labor to society's parasites.
5) Obama is redistributing phony justice by nominating the worst kind of unqualified anti Constitution activist radical liberals to the Supreme Court.
6) Obama is up to his neck in the Fast and Furious debacle orchestrated by a proven racist Department of “Just Us” and a thoroughly dishonest, terrorist defending, corrupt Attorney General.
7) Obama favors restricting first amendment rights, ending second amendment rights favors degrading national security and has already conceded the war on terror.
8 Obama is actively starving the US of home grown energy and has and will continue to use the global warming hoax and the recession he has deliberately prolonged to tax, tax and tax again and to waste billionsof tax dollars on his cronies all disguised as "green" projects
9 The fools that voted for Obama (and every vote for Obama was from a fool) got what they voted for and indeed got what they asked for, to wit, unconscionable crippling debt, rampant corruption, radical socialism, record unemployment, rampant hidden inflation, an economic depression and the abject appeasement of the enemies of the US.
Anyone or anything would be better than Obama. Any Republican any independant indeed any cockroach looks better than the “Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue” we have now but whom, mercifully, we shall be rid of in 2012.
Comment: #2
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 5, 2011 5:58 AM
All the available candidates are totally incompetent, what else is new? Someday I would like to be part of an actual democracy instead of this republic, vote for the lesser of two evils, nonsense.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Clucri
Wed Oct 5, 2011 9:00 AM
PS Rasmussen today October 5, 2011. Any Republican 47% litttle president zero 41% .
Comment: #4
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 5, 2011 9:36 AM
Are you joking Susan? All the Republican nominees look good compared to Obama. One reason Obama 'looked good' during the 08 election is he basically had no record or past. Nothing but huge, sweeping promises without an ounce of detail. Coupled with McCain, who was afraid to offend B. Hussein Obama, and you get an easy win for Barry.

Not this time. He has a past now and most (aware) Americans know he is an embarrassment as a President. His own Democrats just blocked a vote in the Senate on his 'Jobs Act'. His own Democrats won't even follow where he is trying to drag our country and you still think he is doing a good job!?!?

Can wait for a new President in Jan 2013....
Comment: #5
Posted by: E Ortiz
Wed Oct 5, 2011 11:05 AM
Re: Clucri
So it seems that Clucri more like "no clucri" would prefer an elected dictatorship because that is precisely what a "real democracy" is, particularly any form of parlimentary democracy. That is also why one hears more and more Democrats, liberals and progessives bemoaning the existence of the Constitutional Republic and the absence of a so called real democracy. The founding fathers understood the difference between a democracy and a Republic. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution was drafted so as to expressly limit the powers of Congress. Article IV Section 4 guarantees the States a Republican Form of Government and the Tenth Amendment was enacted to avoid any doubt of those matters. It is only within a democratic Republic that the people retain any vestige of power. We shall only retain the freedoms of a Republican Form of Govermnent if we rid Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidencey of liberals and progressives whose whole ideology is geared at the dismantling of the Constitutional Republic and the installation of a statist dictatorship. That the foregoing is absolutely true is demonstrated by the fact that delusional liberals and progressives like Estrich will continue to support "little president zero" even though he is the ememy of the Republic and of the Constitution and of the freedoms it bestows on the people.
If Clucri wants to live in an elected dictatorship permit me to suggest he leave any time and make sure that the emigration door does not hit him on the backside on the way out.
Comment: #6
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 5, 2011 12:05 PM
For once I agree with almost everything Susan said except for the following:

"And then there was the new hope of the Republican Party: Herman Cain. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza is at least fun to watch. Charismatic. A character. But a president? Ready to take on Barack Obama in a serious debate about foreign policy or education or the environment? Not."

Give me a break; Obama was an idiot when he was voted into the presidency and he is still an idiot today with absolutely no qualifications to be president; and he hasn't developed any qualifications since becoming president. In fact, instead of sending the military to invade another country/enemy, let's just have the military install Obama into office in such country and watch how quickly that country goes to hell in a handbasket.

Obama was a laughable president from the beginning, and I was not surprised for a moment when Obama proved to be a complete moron. Herman Cain would walk circles around Obama with one leg cut off (perhaps both).

That said, the rest the Republican field are a bunch of losers and pathetic choices for president; with perhaps the most pathetic being Romney. It will be a cold day in Hades before I vote for Mr. Obamacare lite (Romney).

As for Perry and Bachmann, please, they almost make Obama look good. With the exception of Cain and Palin, if the current Republican field of presidential candidates represents the best that the Republican Party has to offer, the Republican Party should just go away; just disband itself and stop making it look like America has a choice between two parties.

That said, I agree with Joseph Wright's comments concerning Obama and that just about anyone is better than Obama. Still the only Republican I would vote for president is Cain or Palin. Otherwise, I will vote Libertarian.

In fact my dream ticket would be Cain for president, Palin for vice president.
Comment: #7
Posted by: SusansMirror
Wed Oct 5, 2011 12:37 PM
I guess I am a racist, but I am definitely for Herman Cain over Barak Obama
Comment: #8
Posted by: ron kohl
Wed Oct 5, 2011 12:46 PM
Obama took over the White House in 2008. Let's look at what he said he was going to prior to 2008 if we were to elect him as president and see how things have changed.


In July 2007, Obama's position on poverty was that we cannot afford to lose a generation to poverty and that such conditions should not exist in America.

In 2008 there were 39.8 million Americans in poverty (13.2%);
In 2010, two years after Obama, there were 43.6 million Americans in poverty (14.3%);


October 2008: Obama states that we can't keep losing jobs month after month and that the fundamentals of our economy are not strong and that it is time that we had a President that understands such.

In January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8%. After 2 1/2 years of Obama's economic policies, in August 2011 the unemployment rate is 9.2%.

Just recently Obama said that he wanted to move quickly on doing things that help create jobs: yet it has been 40.3 weeks since January 2009. I don't see the urgency.


In December 2008, Obama said that his team will craft a plan to create 2.5 million new jobs. What were the actual results of the “recovery plan” put into place by Obama's team?

Since 2009, America has lost 25 million seven hundred and forty thousand jobs. (25, 740,000)


In September 2008, Obama lamented over the eight years George Bush has been in office, families have seen their yearly income drop $2,000. Clearly Obama was saying that such a drop was horrible and should not be tolerated.

In 2008 the average annual income of a family was $52,029.
After two years of Obama, in 2010 the average family income is $49,445. That's a drop of $ 2,584.


In October 2008, Obama said that the government was going to work with your employer to drop your insurance premiums by $2,500 a year.

What has actually happened since Obamacare was passed:

2008: the average family insurance plan costs: $12,680 per year.
2011: the average family insurance plan costs: $15,073 per year; that is an increase of $2,393.

What Obama says now is that he meant it will take 10 years for insurance premiums to drop $2,500 a year. Do any of us really believe Obama the Liar in Chief at this point?


In December 2008: Obama's economic team said that they would not allow inflation to rise above 2%.

January 2009: the inflation rate was 0.03%
after 2 1/2 years of Obama's economic policies
August 2011: the inflation rate is now 3.77%


November of 2007, Obama lamented that so many people needed to receive food stamps and that he would implement policies that would reduce the number of people who needed to receive food stamps.

January 2009: there were 31.9 million Americans receiving food stamps;
May 2011: after two years of Obama, there are 45.2 million Americans receiving food stamps.

That's an increase of 14.7 million (42% increase) LOL (although it's not funny).


June 2008: Obama stated that Americans will have to change their way of life to stop using as much gasoline as possible. Obama said the government need to send signals to Americans that will prompt (i.e. force) such a change.

Gee, I wonder what “signal” could Obama be referring?

January 2009: a gallon of gas cost a $1.82
August 2011: a gallon of gas cost $3.66 (restated, the price of gas has doubled)

Make no mistake about it, Obama is happy with four dollar per gallon gas and wishes it was even higher.


In August 2008, Obama lamented that more Americans are working harder for less than that more Americans have lost her homes and watched their home values plummet.

Q1 2009 : $ 180,449
Q2 2011: $ 171,900 (that is a 5% drop in average home value when normally the value of one's home goes up)


March 16, 2006: talking about government debt: “Obama said that Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today on the backs of our children and grandchildren” Obama said that it was irresponsible to increase to debt to such level and therefore he intended to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

In July 208: Obama said it was irresponsible to raise the national debt by $4 trillion. In fact Obama said that such behavior was “unpatriotic”.

January 2009: national debt was $10.6 trillion
September 2011: after two years of Obama : the national debt is 14.7 trillion. That is an increase of $4.1 trillion (28% increase)

Such are the numbers but such results clearly are not a valid reason to not vote for Obama. Only racists would use such results as a reason not to vote for Obama.

Comment: #9
Posted by: SusansMirror
Wed Oct 5, 2011 1:43 PM
Re: SusansMirror Well researched. However re your unemployment stats, it is to my mind useful to remind all who read these posts that the unemployment rate of 9.2% is the phony reported rate and not the actual unemployment rate which is really about 15% plus and that the actual rate is subsequent to the three quarters of a trillion stimulus debacle promised to keep the unemployment rate below 8%. Obama job killer in chief and he loves it.
Comment: #10
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 5, 2011 6:47 PM
Sure, joseph wright, I'll just hop in my time machine and head back to Ancient Greece.

There are no true democracies in the world anymore, sadly.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Clucri
Wed Oct 5, 2011 10:19 PM
Re: Clucri
Definition of "true democracies" - Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner!
Comment: #12
Posted by: Early
Thu Oct 6, 2011 4:58 AM
These are not really debates. They're media 'gotchas'.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Early
Thu Oct 6, 2011 5:00 AM
Better than countless sheep voting on which wolf will eat them for dinner.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Clucri
Thu Oct 6, 2011 5:07 AM
Re: Clucri
You just don't get it or don't want to get it! You just prove that liberals don't have much common sense.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Early
Thu Oct 6, 2011 6:35 AM
Well, have fun voting on which crook will ruin this country. As for me, I have given up on having political freedom.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Clucri
Thu Oct 6, 2011 7:59 AM
Re: Clucri
What the hell is "political freedom"? Does that mean you moving out of USA?
Comment: #17
Posted by: Early
Thu Oct 6, 2011 8:29 AM
Being able to leave the country would be "freedom of movement." "Political freedom" means you have a voice in government.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Clucri
Thu Oct 6, 2011 9:11 AM
Your vote is your political freedom. Use common sense. Don't vote for idiots! Your voice in governemt is your representative. Is he/she a dum-dum? Get rid of them. Is your President a dum-dum? Get rid of him!
If you don't like our Republic, perhaps you would prefer Cuba's form of government. If so move there.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Early
Fri Oct 7, 2011 4:56 AM
Funny you should bring up Cuba, another country that lacks political freedom. I want an actual say in government, not just the choice between two virtually identical candidates who both owe favors to the same people.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Clucri
Fri Oct 7, 2011 5:27 AM
Re: Clucri
Then run for political office instead of running in circles.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Early
Fri Oct 7, 2011 7:56 AM
Third party candidates don't win major offices and most of the time they don't even make it to the ballot. Joining either Dem or GOP would be, to use a cliché, becoming what I hate. Besides that, to even be considered for office you have to be either really rich or really well connected, neither of which apply to me.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Clucri
Fri Oct 7, 2011 8:22 AM
Subject: GOP Debates should reassure Democrats: by Susan Estrich

Reader Commentary:

Just get a teleprompter for me, my guess is I can be as good as the next guy or girl.

But hey I am also good at backstrokes in my swimming pool. I just made President 2012.

And Susan you teach? ... you write with a "slant" and I don't mean cursive writing either.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Linda
Fri Oct 7, 2011 11:10 AM
I just read this column in my local newspaper in Jacksonville, FL, and was struck by your comment that Michele Bachmann referring to her "biological children" was, in your opinion, proof of her idiocy. I then logged on to, and noted that in your column dated October 7, you very movingly offer a tribute to Steve Jobs, and cite his commencement address to Stanford University in 2005. You didn't cite one line in it, however. It's near the beginning of his speech, where he speaks about his "biological mother." Does that prove to you that Steve Jobs is an idiot? I will take idiots like Jobs and Bachmann in leadership positions any day of the week!
Comment: #24
Posted by: JaxJM
Sat Oct 8, 2011 8:12 AM
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