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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Marc Ambinder's Take on the Iowa Race

Some interesting analysis by Marc Ambinder on the Iowa Race and Romney's challenges.

A few key excerpts:
The national political press corps and conservative political elites, aided by Nachama Soloveichik, are beginning to scrutinize Mike Huckabee, and they finding out some astounding things. Did you know that his administration was regularly censured by state ethics boards? That Huckabee once worked as a director of advertising? He certainly has his work cut out for him in trying to explain away some of the less salutary aspects of his record (in the eyes of conservatives, anyway.) But the Iowa press corps -- print and TV -- and the national TV networks -- have yet to follow. Huckabee is still the darling of the Iowa media now, and, frankly, they'll decide collectively whether to turn on the scrutiny spigot. In Iowa, Huckabee is not getting the scrutiny that leading candidates generally get.
. . .
Romney's strategy was surely the only correct one for his campaign. But either his strategists did not count on running up the score in Iowa so early or the press did not give Romney due credit for chasing three rivals out of Ames entirely and beating Huckabee (aided by the FairTaxers) by double digits. The result: Romney, for some reason, just absolutely has to win Iowa or else his chances for winning the nomination are finished. Empirically, this is nonsense. Romney has unlimited resources and is the only campaign right now that has the capacity to challenge Giuliani through January and into February.

Also, influential conservative political pundit Robert Novak rightly labels Huckabee as a "False Conservative" in his most recent column.


Anonymous said...

Romney is listening to a bunch of Arkansas Democrats who hated that Huckabee was so popular in Arkansas that he was governor for more than 10 years without having to sell out on important issues like abortion and gun control.

Huckabee will win in Iowa and Romney will be begging Huckabee for the VP slot.

Anonymous said...

Off topic however: How do you add a link to your site? Mitt has a great fundraiser right now called "The UltiMITT Holiday" where for a $250 donation you receive all sorts of Mitt stuff like fleece blanket, mugs, Ann's holiday recipes--add the link so your readers can get cool Christmas gifts for friends and add to GMR's coffers!

Anonymous said...

I've been a strong proponent of the early Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary, as I've observed time and again how studious and sober the voters are in these two states. They truly spend the time studying the issues and the candidates to make an informed first decision. Their positions in the early primary season has historically been very well deserved as bellwethers of what's to come.

That said, I'm increasingly disappointed in the apparent lack of scrutiny of Mike Huckabee in Iowa. Please take a close look at this man's record and stop fueling the media love fest that is inflating his poll numbers. I trust you, my friends in Iowa, to see through this smoke screen and allow sanity to prevail.

If not, rest assured that the Iowa Caucus will be further marginalized as was the Iowa Straw Poll earlier this year when Guliani and McCain forfeited. Your fate is in your hands. It's up to you whether you remain relevant.

Anonymous said...

The true measure of a leader is how effective he is at running large organizations while watching the bottom line, not the top line. Mike is a top liner (I like Taxes, Taxes solved all my problems, I can live with Taxes). Mitt is a bottom liner (smaller, efficient, strategic government and business, with NO tax increases).

You can balance the books both ways folks, but one way leads to more waste and, you guessed it, we get stuck with the bill. Mike's way is also coincidentally the Democrat's way as well: Don't make hard choices, just raise Taxes. So put him in office either as President (a long shot) or advising President Rudy as Veep (their real strategy), and combine them with a Democratically controlled congress, and let the spending frenzy begin.

Hello, team Iowa, are we Republicans or Democrats?

Bob Waters said...

Some religious conservatives are conservatives first of all.

Others of us are not opposed of being concerned for human beings after they've been born.

I believe that Mike Huckabee will win in Iowa- and having won, will be a far more viable candidate for the nomination than a regional candidate like Romney.

rk said...

I'm all for being concerned with our fellow human beings. But what I am NOT in favor of having big government raise and waste my tax dollars and have nothing to show for it.

What kind of conservative wants to inact a federal smoking ban? In some ways Huckabee starts to make Ron Paul sound reasonable. How scary is that?

Anonymous said...

"Regional candidate?"

Please explain.

ROmney's leading polls in NH, IA, and South Carolina. Is 2nd in FL, MI, NV, and CA. He's got a chance at putting MI in play in the general election and might put some traditionally Blue western states in play because of a strong LDS base.

Huckabee defines a "regional candidate" . . . i.e. the south. If it weren't for Iowa's caucus format (and the strong influence of Evangelicals under such a format) Huckabee couldn't claim anything but 4-6th place showings in the polls outside of the south.

The south is the GOP base, but when given the choice between Romney and Hillary they WILL side with Romney.

I think that most candidates care about humans AFTER they've been born BTW (those are the only ones that can vote). If that is a phrase to package his populist/anti-wealth messaging then it's a weak one, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Romney is no longer leading in Iowa according to Rasmussen Reports.

It's now Huck 28% and Rom 25%

Anonymous said...

You have it wrong. A vote for Romney is a vote for Rudy Giuliani.

Romney has tried to buy the race. After more than 5,000 TV commericals, Huckabee is beating him on a shoestring budget.

Did you see the panic in Mitt's face when asked about the Confederate flag during the YouTube Debate? People won't vote for a candidate who pushes the panic button after a stupid little question like that. What would he do in the White House when faces with a real crisis?

rk said...

Huckabee is getting all kinds of national free press by being the folksy, charming guy he is. Funny one-liners and no substance. Well, except for the fact that the net effect in AK was an increase in taxes during his tenure.

Anyway, Dick Morris is practically begging Rudy supporters in Iowa to vote for Huck and they even said last night on CNN that a Rudy/Huckabee ticket would be a great pairing. This is what the media wants. If Huck joins up with Rudy that would be the ultimate hypocrisy.

adam said...

come on romney supporters in Iowa!!! I'm writing from AZ and encourage you all to push your hardest so we can finish strong! give it your all!!

Nealie Ride said...

You Huck fans are ridiculous. You're guy is hopeless once the caucuses are over.

He gets a 1st or 2nd place finish, maybe a little more sunshine in SC, and he's done. NH doesn't care about him, neither will the other states.

Christians should read what Evangelicals for Mitt have to say about Huck. They appreciate his Christianity, but are repelled by the facts of his record.

Read some of these. To use your faith as a weapon will come back to bite you. The Huck and Rudy show is a shameful, hypocritical union.

Consider the recent news about Rudy: NYC taxes paying for his mistress' (and wife's simultaneously) escorts. Then, they used "funny" accounting to hide it.

willie said...

Please consider what Charles Mitchell at Evangelicals for Mitt has to say about Huckabee.

He wrote a piece, "I'm one of you." Among other points, Charles explained that "picking a president based on whether he's "one of us" as opposed ot how he'd actually govern was a terrible idea."

Read the entire story here:

Charles Mitchell is not a Mormon. He's an evangelical Christian. He sees Mitt's abilities as important--not Mitt's theology.