TIME

Scott Walker’s High-School Science Teacher: ‘Man Up’

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker participates in a panel discussion at the American Action Forum
Yuri Gripas—Reuters Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker participates in a panel discussion at the American Action Forum in Washington, Jan. 30, 2015.

The Republican presidential hopeful refused to answer a recent question about evolution. The governor's former science teacher tells TIME she isn't pleased

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker—a leader in the 2016 Republican presidential sweepstakes—prompted some stateside head-scratching this week when he dodged a British journalist’s question about evolution.

Walker said, “I’m going to punt on that one… That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.” He was in London on a trade mission.

Among those who questioned Walker: the chair of his high school science department, Ann Serpe, 73. “Answer the question when they ask you!” Serpe said in an interview. “He could have manned up a bit. That’s what I would tell him.”

Serpe, who taught chemistry and chaired the math and science department at Delavan-Darien High School in Delavan, Wis., before her retirement in 1998, now lives in nearby Elkhorn. She recalls that Walker, her pupil and an advisee in student government, was a bright, committed participant in class. Walker graduated in 1986.

What would Walker have learned in high school? “We taught the theory of evolution, and human evolution, as a prerequisite to understanding biological classification. I went out and looked at my biology textbook just to make sure.”

Serpe says, “I don’t know the dogma of the Baptist church where Scott’s father was the minister, as it concerns evolution. But I do recall that Scott was very accepting of everything in science class. He had a good sense of it.”

Walker’s onetime teacher has seen him a few times since his high-school days. She even attended one of Walker’s fundraisers in Milwaukee. Darwin, though, hasn’t come up in their conversations.

She says she hopes he—”as an intelligent young man”—would understand the importance of scientific thought, that evolution and creation are not mutually exclusive. Walker, who may be two decades removed from Serpe’s classroom, said on Twitter that science still informs his worldview.

TIME

Mitt Romney to Attack Hillary Clinton in Speech

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland in 2013.
Nicholas Kamm—AFP/Getty Images Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland in 2013.

Said to be "seriously considering" another run at the White House, the former Republican presidential nominee will attack the Democratic frontrunner as 'clueless' on foreign policy and the economy

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will make his most forceful public case yet against likely Democratic contender Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions in a speech Wednesday at Mississippi State University.

According to his prepared remarks, Romney, who said earlier this month he is “seriously considering” another White House bid, will seek to tie the former Secretary of State’s record to that of President Barack Obama, who defeated him in the 2012 election. Romney laid out a three-pronged message for a potential candidacy in an address to the Republican National Committee in San Diego, but it largely focused on Obama, not his would-be Democratic rival.

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cluelessly pressed a reset button for Russia, which smiled and then invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation,” Romney is to say. “The Middle East and much of North Africa is in chaos. China grows more assertive and builds a navy that will be larger than ours in five years. We shrink our nuclear capabilities as Russia upgrades theirs.”

Romney will also reference Clinton’s comments last year in a stump speech for Democratic Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley that “don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”

“How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn’t know where jobs come from in the first place?” Romney will say.

Clinton aides later said she had misspoken and meant to refer to tax breaks for businesses, but the line is sure to be a potent GOP attack in the coming campaign.

Romney is also set to restate his new focus on raising people out of poverty, a policy area on which his 2008 and 2012 campaigns were largely silent.

The former Massachusetts governor has been calling donors as he works to retain his political network should he decide to mount a third White House bid. But he faces new challenges this cycle, including a crowded field of qualified candidates and his self-inflicted wounds from the 2012 cycle. Many Republicans have openly expressed their preference that Romney step aside to allow a new generation of leaders to step up.

Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee responded to Romney’s attack on Clinton Wednesday afternoon in a statement. “We don’t really need to hear a lecture on ‘where jobs come from’ from a guy who’s best known for bankrupting companies and profiting off of outsourcing,” he said. “Under this Administration, we just saw the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s, and we’ve created 11 million private sector jobs. I don’t know if Mitt Romney thinks 47% of those folks are ‘takers,’ but I am sure he’s not the right guy to talk about expanding opportunity.”

Excerpts of Romney’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

“Following my campaign and the years since, there are three concerns that are foremost in my mind.

First, We need to help make the world a safer place. The President’s dismissal of real global threats in his State of the Union address was naive at best and deceptive at worst. We have only recently mourned with the people of France. Our hearts likewise go out to the people of Nigeria and Yemen. Hundreds and perhaps thousands were slaughtered by radical jihadists. ISIS represents a new level of threat given its oil revenues, vast territory, and ability to recruit even in the West. I don’t know how the President expects to defeat the jihadists if he won’t even call them what they are.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cluelessly pressed a reset button for Russia, which smiled and then invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation. The Middle East and much of North Africa is in chaos. China grows more assertive and builds a navy that will be larger than ours in five years. We shrink our nuclear capabilities as Russia upgrades theirs.

Doesn’t the President understand that some of what we are seeing in the world is in part the result of his timid foreign policy, of walking away from his red line in Syria, of paring back our military budget, and of insulting friends like Israel and Poland? Strong American leadership is desperately needed for the world, and for America.

Second, we need to restore opportunity, particularly for the middle class. And that will soon include you–you deserve a job that can repay all you’ve spent and borrowed to go to college. Short term, our economy is looking up. But it is a lot better for the few, and pretty darn discouraging for the many. Incomes haven’t gone up in decades. And I can’t count how many recent college graduates I met who expected a high paying job at graduation and instead were waiting tables.

How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn’t know where jobs come from in the first place? And how does President Obama expect to make America the best place on earth for businesses, as he promised in his State of the Union address, if he persists in business taxation that is the highest in the developed world, regulations that favor the biggest banks and crush the small ones, a complex and burdensome healthcare plan, and a slanted playing field for unions and trial lawyers. We need a president who will do what it takes to bring more good paying jobs to the placement offices of our college campuses.

And third, we need to lift people out of poverty. Almost every week during my campaign, I met folks who had fallen into poverty as result of an unfortunate event, like losing a job. These folks were almost uniformly optimistic about finding their way back into the middle class. But I also met folks who had been in poverty from generation to generation. These we have to help escape the tragedy and the trap of chronic generational poverty. For fifty years and with trillions of dollars, Washington has fought the war on poverty with failed liberal policies. They haven’t made any headway whatsoever. It’s finally time to apply conservative policies that improve America’s education system, promote family formation and create good-paying jobs.

TIME 2016 Election

Chris Christie Launches PAC in Preparation for 2016 Presidential Run

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines
Jim Young—Reuters Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 24, 2015

Several other Republican candidates have long-standing political groups as well

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launched a federal political action committee, or PAC, Monday as he seeks to lay the groundwork for a likely 2016 presidential campaign.

The new group, Leadership Matters for America PAC, will allow the 52-year-old to travel the country to raise money and support like-minded politicians, but it can’t specifically advocate on his behalf. The launch comes two days after Christie appeared at a conservative cattle call in Iowa, where he sought to prove he could reach out to a skeptical party base.

The PAC’s website features a smiling Christie holding court at one of his signature town halls, and its mission statement hews closely to Christie’s rapidly developing stump speech. News of the PAC’s formation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“America has been a nation that has always controlled events and yet today events control us,” it states. “Why? Because leadership matters. It matters if we want to restore America’s role in the world, find the political will to take on the entrenched special interests that continually stand in the way of fundamental change, reform entitlement spending at every level of government, and ensure that every child, no matter their zip code, has access to a quality education.”

Former Republican National Committee Finance chairman Ray Washburne, who announced earlier this month he would step down to take a position with Christie, will hold the same role for the new group. Former Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Cox and longtime Christie strategist Mike DuHaime will serve as political advisers. Matt Mowers, the outgoing New Hampshire GOP executive director, and Phil Valenziano, a former aide to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, will be the PAC’s on-the-ground presence in those two presidential early states.

Earlier this month, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush launched a leadership PAC and a super PAC in preparation for his presidential run. Several other Republican candidates have long-standing political groups as well.

Christie is set to return to Iowa on Feb. 9 to address the Dallas County Republican Party, and has planned trips across the country in coming weeks to fundraise and boost his political profile. He is not expected to make a final decision on his candidacy until the spring.

TIME

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Win (Again)

Will this iteration of the two-time presidential candidate come equipped with a backbone?

It is always wonderful to see a twice-failed politician suck it up and sort of announce he’s going to be running for President again. Mitt Romney’s allies say he will be different this time. There is talk of a new personal style that was really his old personal style—as seen in the Netflix documentary Mitt—but was brutally suppressed by his … political consultants, most of whom seem back on board. There is talk of Romney emphasizing the eradication of poverty as one of his three campaign pillars. There is talk about his being less gaffe-prone this time. (Translation of last two sentences: he will try to act like a rich guy who cares for the 47%.) He will “position” himself just to the right of Jeb Bush.

These are the things politicians and horse-race reporters talk about.

What they don’t talk about is whether this iteration of Romney will come equipped with a backbone. The last two certainly didn’t, to the point of embarrassment. In neither campaign did Romney take a position that was even vaguely controversial with his party’s rabid base. He was disgraceful on immigration, “self-deporting” himself to Dantean circles of chicanery. He was craven on fiscal sanity, opposing in one debate—along with all his fellow candidates—a budget proposal that would include 90% cuts and 10% revenue increases. Worst of all, he self-lobotomized on the subject of health care, dumbing himself down egregiously, denying that his (successful) universal-health-coverage program in Massachusetts was the exact same thing as Barack Obama’s (increasingly successful) national version. He never expressed a real emotion—not anger, not sadness, not unscripted laughter. His manner was as slick as his hair.

That was why he lost. Not because of gaffes or because he wasn’t conservative enough (as extreme conservatives claim) or because he was just too rich. He lost because he seemed computer-animated. There was nothing real to him. He was “positioned.” And so he was deemed untrustworthy by the crucial sliver of attention-paying voters in the middle of the spectrum who decide most elections.

So now he’s back and will be successful this time—his backers say—because he’ll be even slicker. No more gaffes. He’ll also be more personal—although it has yet to be determined whether he’ll be an actual person (many market tests to come before such a crucial decision is made). He will try to compete in the moderate primary along with Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, and perhaps a few others. This will be difficult. His only competition to the left of Attila the Hun last time was Jon Huntsman, who spoke Chinese in one of the debates—not a wise choice in a party of xenophobes—and presented a credible plan for the “too big to fail” Wall Street banks to be dismantled … in the party of bankers.

Bush is immediately more credible than Romney. He opposed his party’s positions on immigration and educational testing. He is also bilingual—Spanish!—and seems a man who has actually existed in the America of the past quarter-century, suffering family problems along with the rest of us. We still don’t know all that much about him. He was a very good governor. I’ve found him to be a smart and bold policy wonk when we’ve spoken one-on-one. (Tragically, I felt the same way about Romney—in the days before his advisers prohibited one-on-ones.) The biggest question about Bush in my mind is whether he returns to his father’s brilliantly sophisticated foreign policy or to his brother’s disastrous Cheney-dominated first term in office, or to George W.’s more reasonable second term, marked by realistic aides like National Security Adviser Steve Hadley and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Does he think strategically or tactically?

As for Christie, who may be left behind in the high-powered race to come, his greatest appeal is that he is the exact opposite of Mitt Romney. No political consultant could make him up. As a human being from the greater New York metropolitan area, I will enjoy every moment of his campaign if he doesn’t try to Romnify himself.

Does this mean Mitt is pretoasted? I wouldn’t say that. He could surprise us all and come out in favor of breaking up the big banks—ending “moral hazard”—and for reforms that would take the tax advantages away from the financial sector (including his own self). In fact, I suspect that if he had done that in 2012, he might be President today. But think of the speech he could give …

 

TIME 2016

Here’s Where 16 Potential Presidential Candidates Stand On Gay Marriage

Ted Cruz
Lauren Victoria Burke—AP Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speak to reporters on Dec. 13, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

For the most part, the gay marriage debate now falls along partisan lines: Democrats support it, Republicans oppose.

But within the crowded field of likely 2016 presidential contenders, there’s a lot of room for nuance. The would-be candidates have made much different arguments and have varying records on the issue.

Meantime, the issue continues to change. On Jan. 6, Florida became the second-largest state to recognize gay marriage, bringing the total to 36. And on Friday, the Supreme Court will meet privately to decide whether to consider cases that could lead to a more definitive ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

Here’s a look at what 16 major presidential contenders think, in order from most opposed to most supportive.

Opposed

Bobby Jindal

What he says: “I’m not a weathervane on this issue and I’m not going to change my position. I continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” (Washington Examiner)

What he’s done: The governor of Louisiana backs a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman and supported a gay marriage ban as a member of Congress.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Louisiana, but there is a pending appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on a 2014 ruling that upheld Louisiana’s ban.

Rick Perry

What he says: “Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens.” (POLITICO)

What he’s done: The Republican governor of Texas framed the marriage debate as a states’ rights issue in the wake of a 2014 decision deeming Texas’s ban unconstitutional.

Where it stands in his state: A state ban on same sex marriage was recently ruled unconstitutional, but the judge said it could continue to be enforced pending an appeal.

Ted Cruz

What he says: “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage… It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage.” (Huffington Post)

What he’s done: The Republican senator from Texas introduced the State Marriage Defense Act in 2014, which would allow states to define marriage.

Where it stands in his state: A ban was ruled unconstitutional but is still in effect.

Rick Santorum

What he says: Marriage is “about a unity of men and women, for the purposes of having and raising children, and giving the child their birthright, which is to be raised by their natural mother and natural father.” (Mediaite)

What he’s done: The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania is such a well-known opponent of same-sex marriage that activists mounted a viral campaign to mar his Google search results.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Pennsylvania since May.

Ben Carson

What he says: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.” (Baltimore Sun)

What he’s done: Carson is a surgeon, not a career politician, so he hasn’t done anything yet.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Maryland since 2012.

Mike Huckabee

What he says: On Republicans becoming more moderate on gay marriage: “If the Republicans want to lose guys like me and a whole bunch of still God-fearing, Bible-believing people, go ahead.” (MSNBC)

What he’s done: The former Republican governor of Arkansas signed a law in 1997 banning gay marriage in the state. He’s also called for impeachment of a judge who overturned the ban.

Where it stands in his state: A U.S. district judge ruled in November that the same-sex marriage ban in Arkansas is unconstitutional, but allowed the ban to continue pending appeal.

Marco Rubio

What he says: “There is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance of those who continue to support traditional marriage… Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman, is not anti-gay. It is pro-traditional marriage.” (POLITICO)

What he’s done: The Republican senator from Florida says that he believes states should handle marriage, not Congress.

Where it stands in his state: At midnight on Jan. 6, Florida became the 36th and second-largest state in the union to allow gay marriage.

Personally Against, But Politically Ambiguous

Scott Walker

What he says: “It doesn’t really matter what I think now. It’s in the constitution.” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

What he’s done: As a Milwaukee County executive, Walker opposed efforts to provide health care benefits to gay partners of county employees. He was openly in favor of a 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and opposed a law allowing gay couples to get certain county benefits.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin since 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Wisconsin and four other states seeking to keep their same-sex marriage bans.

Chris Christie

What he says: “I don’t think there’s some referee who stands up and says, ‘OK, now it’s time for you to change your opinion,.’ The country will resolve this over a period of time. But do I think it’s resolved? No.” (POLITICO)

What he’s done: The Republican governor of New Jersey has long opposed gay marriage, vetoing a bill to legalize it in New Jersey in 2012. But in 2014 he dropped his appeal of the state Supreme Court judge’s decision that the ban was unconstitutional.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in New Jersey since 2014.

Rand Paul

What he says: “I believe in old-fashioned traditional marriage but I don’t really think the government needs to be too involved in this and I think the Republican Party can have people on both sides of the issue.” (CNN)

What he’s done: The Republican senator from Kentucky said the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage act was appropriate and that “as a country we can agree to disagree.” (ABC News)

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage is banned in Kentucky.

Jeb Bush

What he says: “We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue — including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.” (The Washington Post)

What he’s done: In 1994, during his first run for governor, Bush wrote an op-ed in the Miami Herald that said, “[Should] sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is No,” reports Buzzfeed.

Where it stands in his state: Florida began recognizing same-sex marriage this month.

Somewhat Supportive

John Kasich

What he says: “I just think marriage is between a man and a woman, but if you want to have a civil union that’s fine with me.” (Huffington Post)

What he’s done: The Republican governor of Ohio quickly walked back his civil union comment, saying he used the term “loosely.” He has demonstrated support for an appeal of an upcoming ruling by a federal judge that will require Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where it is legal.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage is banned in Ohio.

In Favor

Hillary Clinton

What she says: “It really became very clear to me that if we’re going to support marriage in our country, it should be available to everyone regardless of who they love and that this marriage equality issue is a great human rights issue.” (Huffington Post)

What she’s done: The former Secretary of State did not support gay marriage in her 2008 presidential campaign, but she issued a video announcing her support for it in 2013 after she left the State Department.

Where it stands in her state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in New York since 2011.

Martin O’Malley

What he says: “All of us, wherever we happen to stand on the marriage equality issue, can agree that all our children deserve the opportunity to live in a loving, caring, committed, and stable home, protected equally under the law.” (Huffington Post)

What he’s done: The Democratic governor of Maryland signed same sex marriage into law in his state in 2012, making it the eighth state to allow gay marriage.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Maryland since 2012.

Bernie Sanders

What he says: On the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act: “This is good news for all Americans who believe in the words carved in marble on the front of the Supreme Court building, equal justice under law.” (Press release)

What he’s done: The Democratic senator from Vermont voted against the anti-gay marriage Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and voted no on a constitutional amendment against it in 2006.

Where it stands in his state: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Vermont since 2009.

Elizabeth Warren

What she says: “Marriage equality is morally right.” (POLITICO)

What she’s done: The Democratic senator from Massachusetts supported repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, parts of which the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

Where it stands in her state: In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage.

TIME Economy

The Left’s Opening Gambit for 2016 Is All About Your Paycheck

Elizabeth Warren
Cliff Owen—AP Elizabeth Warren Sen. Elizabeth Warren ponders the nation's problems at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on anti-money laundering on March 7, 2013.

The unifying value for progressives in 2016? Wages, if leaders like Elizabeth Warren and Richard Trumka have anything to say about it

See correction below.

If unemployment and slow growth were the central economic issues of the last presidential election cycle, wage stagnation and inequality are shaping up to be the focal point of 2016. The U.S. is now solidly in recovery, posting 5 % GDP growth in the third quarter of last year. But growth isn’t necessarily the same as shared prosperity. Inflation-adjusted middle class incomes have actually gone down for the last decade, something even the most rabid free market advocates won’t quarrel with statistically. And working class wages have been stagnant for much longer than that. (On balance, men with only high school degrees haven’t gotten a raise since 1968.) In an economy made up of 70 % consumer spending, that’s obviously an economic problem: no spending equals no business investment equals no jobs equals no spending…you get the picture. But inequality is increasingly taking on social and cultural dimensions, evident in everything from the debate over immigration to the killings that have rocked Ferguson and New York.

Put simply, chronically flat wages are no longer just about the lifestyle divide between the 1 % and everyone else. They’ve become an issue of social justice, democracy, and stability.

The question is, who has an answer to the problem? Liberals will be taking a first crack at it this Wednesday (Jan. 7) at the AFL-CIO-sponsored summit on Raising Wages. As Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who’ll be giving the keynote address, told me in an exclusive interview in advance of the summit, “Things are getting better, yes, but only for some. Families are working harder, but not doing better. And they feel the game is rigged against them–and guess what–it is!”

In her speech, Warren will be talking through numbers from a database compiled by French academic Thomas Piketty (author of the best-selling Capital in the 21st Century) showing that while 90 % of the workers in the US shared 70 % of all new income between the 1930s and 1970s, things started to change in the 1980s, with the 90 % capturing essentially zero percent of all new income since then.

Funny enough, that’s around that time that the laissez faire economic policies advocated by President Reagan, and later, President Clinton’s administration, took off. Former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin was the one who lobbied Clinton to roll back the Depression-era Glass-Steagall banking regulation that many (like Warren) believe was a key factor in the financial crisis (which, in and of itself, greatly exacerbated inequality, particularly for African American and Latino families). He and other Clinton advisors like Larry Summers also crafted changes in tax policy that allowed for the growth of stock options as the main form of corporate compensation, a trend that Piketty, Nobel laureate and former Clinton advisor Joseph Stiglitz and many other economists believe has been a reason for growing inequality. I asked Warren if she blamed such Rubinesque policies for our current wage stagnation problem. “I’d lay it right at the feet of trickle down economics, yes. We’ve tried that experiment for 35 years and it hasn’t worked.”

Which will be an interesting challenge for Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic front-runner for 2016, and those in her orbit to overcome. Neera Tanden, the policy director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, now head of the left wing think tank Center for American Progress, will also be speaking at the AFL-CIO summit and, next week, CAP will be debuting a brand new report on what can be done about wage stagnation. The report was spearheaded by none other than Larry Summers. When I mention to Tanden that many people might not associate Summers with “inclusive growth,” she insists that the document is “quite progressive” and that “he’s been right there with it.” This echoes what I’ve heard from other economic insiders about Summers shift away from his historic (some might say infamous) work in financial alchemy and toward more populist concerns like worker wages.

If this conversion has in fact taken place it could be described as either Biblical, or, given current public sentiment around Wall Street, opportunistic. CAP’s report will focus on what the US can learn from other developed countries like Australia, Canada, and Sweden, which have managed to keep worker wages relatively high in the face of globalization and technological disruption. It’s worth noting that they also have much more sensibly managed financial systems than the US.

One thing that all the VIP summit participants, including AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, seem to agree on: the US is the outlier in developed economies in viewing workers as “costs” rather than “assets to be invested,” as Trumka puts it. It’s a philosophy that underscores America’s focus on the rights and profits of investors to the exclusion of everyone and everything else. It’s a mythology that will be under fire in 2016, as workers, business people, and politicians alike are beginning to question the viability of a system that encourages inequality-bolstering share buybacks rather than real economy investment, and a chase for quarterly profits over what’s best for the economy–and society—at large. On that note, Trumka will be announcing some big policy steps to put the wage issue front and center in the 2016 election conversation. “We want to establish raising wages as the key, unifying progressive value,” he says. “We want wages to be what ties all the pieces of economic and social justice together.” Sounds like a rallying cry to me.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the date of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

TIME 2016 Election

Jeb Bush Quits Board Memberships in Advance of Likely White House Run

Jeb Bush at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colo., on Oct. 29, 2014.
Melina Mara—The Washington Post/Getty Images Jeb Bush at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colo., on Oct. 29, 2014

Cutting those ties could be preparation for scrutiny in a Republican primary

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has resigned all corporate and nonprofit board memberships, his office announced late Wednesday night, signaling that his preparations for a possible run at the White House in 2016 are picking up steam.

If he runs, Bush is likely to be a favorite of the GOP establishment. Divesting himself of his various nonprofit and business interests, some of which have made him quite wealthy, could be part of a strategy to shield him from criticisms similar to those leveled at Mitt Romney during his run in 2012.

Read more at The Washington Post

READ MORE: The One Issue That Will Complicate Jeb Bush’s Campaign

TIME politics

What Makes Jeb Bush the ‘Most Unusual of the Bush Kids’

John E. Bush
Steve Liss—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush during a campaign event on Oct. 1, 1998

TIME profiled the politician in 1998

After months of will-he-or-won’t-he chatter, Jeb Bush has rocketed into headlines by announcing that he’s officially exploring a 2016 run for President. But Bush is no stranger to making news.

Last year TIME’s Jon Meacham considered the possibility that the run might happen, and the myth that “Jeb was the Bush son who was supposed to be President” — a myth that can be traced back to 1994, when both George W. Bush and Jeb Bush ran for governor, of Texas and Florida, respectively. The former won; the latter lost.

In 1998, when Jeb Bush ran again, things had changed. After a religious conversion and a family crisis, his new campaign was, as TIME put it in a profile of the politician, “kinder, gentler.” It worked, bringing him a victory that fall. A gubernatorial run that had been focused on compassion, education and broad appeal was a change from the more conservative style of Bush family campaigning, and that wasn’t the only thing that was different about him:

Jeb Bush has always been the most unusual of the Bush kids. Yes, he had the Greenwich pedigree and the summers in Kennebunkport. But while still in high school, he went to Mexico and came back in love with a Mexican girl named Columba. He married her, and the Bush Episcopalians, with their love of cold Maine waters, suddenly had a warm Catholic woman for a daughter-in-law. Then Jeb left Houston, the city he grew up in, and put down roots in the Latino culture of Miami, where his family had little sway. He lost his first race for Governor of Florida in 1994 by fewer than 2 percentage points, and the finish was not pretty.

Bush had been so obsessed with the campaign that he almost lost his family too. Which is why, to those watching the 45-year-old second son of the former President become the front runner in this year’s gubernatorial race, Bush seems so different, so much softer around the edges.

Read the rest of the 1998 story, free of charge, here in the TIME archives: Kinder, Gentler—And in the Lead

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