Big Tea Party win
Richard Mourdock has defeated longtime Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana in the Republican primary, according to an Associated Press projection, ending the career of one of the Senate’s most pragmatic politicians
Mourdock, state treasurer in Indiana, campaigned as a conservative alternative to Lugar. He became a darling of the tea party movement after he began a legal challenge to the terms of the Obama administration’s bailout of Chrysler.
Mourdock was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Lugar had the backing of the party establishment, including Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Mourdock will face Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, a three-term congressman from the South Bend area, this fall. The matchup is the preferred outcome for Democrats, who view Lugar’s ouster as an opportunity to pick up a longtime Republican seat.
Lugar had warned Indiana voters that choosing Mourdock would thwart Republican efforts to take control of the Senate. Democrats will be defending 23 Senate seats in November – compared with 10 for the GOP – but just a handful are considered truly up for grabs.
Lugar, known as one of the more centrist members of the Senate, was befriended by Barack Obama during his time in the Senate. Obama touted the friendship during his 2008 campaign for president, angering some of Lugar’s constituents.
The Senate’s longest-serving Republican, Lugar also suffered a blow earlier this year when a panel in Indiana ruled that he was ineligible to vote in his former home district because he no longer lived there.
Some optimism for November
In assessing the Romney vs. Obama campaign for the presidency, let's step back and look at the big picture. The Republican nominee will win in November, and here's why.
Mitt Romney is currently running about even with Barack Obama in reputable polls. Tied, or even a few points behind, in May is the ideal position for the challenger.
Romney's vote minimum is McCain's 47% -- and he will certainly do much better than that. Obama's vote maximum is his previous 53% -- and he will certainly do much worse than that.
Romney has the discipline to stay in message.
Romney wants to win more than McCain did in 2008.
Romney has better strategists than McCain had in 2008.
Romney is not afraid of Obama.
Romney has firmed up his support among conservatives more effectively than some had feared.
Romney's campaign funding will be better than McCain's was in 2008.
The RNC is much stronger than it was in 2008.
Republican activists are using the internet more effectively than in 2008.
Obama and congressional Democrats are clearly to blame for the dismal economy.
Obama can boast of few positive achievements in office.
Obama is becoming an object of ridicule.
Obama has needlessly created political enemies among the electorate.
Obama has lost support among the moderates who still remain within the Democratic Party .
Obama's background is at last being examined.
Voters are tired of media claims that he is a messiah, a uniter, above politics.
Democrats are not as motivated as they were in 2008.
Voting with their feet after a socialist victory
Wealthy French eye move across the Channel. London is already home to about 200,000 French people
Wealthy French people are looking to London as a refuge from fresh taxes on high earners pledged by candidates in the country’s presidential elections.
The “soak the rich” rhetoric that has punctuated the presidential campaign has prompted a sharp rise in the numbers weighing a move across the Channel, according to London-based wealth managers, lawyers and property agents specialising in French clients.
François Hollande, the new Socialist president, wants to impose a tax rate of 75 per cent on income above €1m and at the launch of his bid in January said: “My true adversary in this battle has no name, no face, no party ... It is the world of finance.”
Inquiries from French clients had risen by roughly 40 per cent since the speech, says David Blanc, a partner at Vestra Wealth, a London-based wealth manager. “I have definitely seen strong interest in what could be done to protect assets both for people resident in France but also for French nationals who are UK resident,” said Mr Blanc, a former UBS executive.
The prospect of a Gallic diaspora of high earners was backed up by Knight Frank, the property agent, which said numbers of French web users searching online for its prime London properties online in the past three months had risen 19 per cent compared with the same period last year. The equivalent figure for Europe as a whole fell 9 per cent.
“The election seems to have pushed a growing number of wealthy French to consider their options for where they are likely to base themselves in the future,” says Liam Bailey, head of research at Knight Frank.
London’s status as an international finance hub as well as its proximity to France make it a natural choice for French professionals. Enclaves of French expatriates are firmly established in areas such as Belgravia and South Kensington, close to the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, a popular secondary school.
The departure of France’s business people, entrepreneurs and the young for opportunities overseas is not a new phenomenon. When Nicolas Sarkozy visited London in 2007 he called for its French residents to return to a reformed France under his presidency.
Mr Blanc says some French clients were even contemplating acquiring British or other nationality in order to safeguard assets from fears that France could move to collect more tax from citizens overseas. “A lot of people are extremely worried,” he said.
Alexandre Terrasse, a partner in corporate and property law at Jeffrey Green Russell, says he had seen a 25 per cent rise in activity from French clients over the past six months, “The 75 per cent tax is clearly a sign that the politicians will hit the wealthy and they don’t want to have to deal with that.”
Bernard Grinspan, managing partner of the Paris office of Gibson Dunn, an international law firm, says: “Some of our clients are very seriously discussing relocation – not only to London but also Singapore and New York. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”