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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Republican Dream Team Strategy

UPDATE: Okay Huckster supporters reading this blog. I said some unflattering words about Huckster down this post and things have gotten a little hot in the comments section. I've got some strong opinions against Mike Huckabee. I don't like him and I really feel that he ran a horribly divisive campaign in Iowa, used below the belt, knife in the back attacks etc... Here's what I'm getting at. I think Mitt supporters should still support Mitt until the convention, but lets be open to the possibility that McCain could unite the Republicans. With the right words, and statesman like behavior/attitude, McCain could smooth over the differences between the varying camps. (Romney could do the same thing if he gets the nomination. That's my opinion)

UPDATE 2: I watched the debate last night, and... So far it isn't looking like a dream team is coming together. I am just crossing my fingers at this point.

I was really really hoping that Mitt Romney would win last night.

Seriously.

I wanted to see Mitt gain a head of steam and take it all the way to victory.

Mitt is still my candidate. I'll support him until the convention. But I do want to put some of my current thoughts out there about McCain.

First - I supported McCain in 2000. I like McCain. I may disagree with him sometimes, but I'll take McCain any day. It's easy to get caught up in a primary election and be overzealous toward your candidates' opponents. If Rudy, or Fred had ran away with the nomination I would not have been upset and would gladly have voted for them. It looks to me like John McCain has the most reasonable trajectory toward the nomination at this moment and I'm not freaking out about it.

I support Mitt still because I think he's better than McCain, Rudy, Fred, and the rest of the crowd. But it was never a question for me of whether or not I would vote for these guys. If Rudy had gotten the nomination, I wouldn't be one of those voters pushing for a 3rd party candiate. I voted for George W. Bush in 2000, and 2004 specifically because I trust him to pick supreme court justices more than I trusted Al Gore, or John Kerry. I trust GWB with my tax dollars more than I trust them with John Kerry. My opinion: Mitt Romney is the best choice for America. But the other guys would have been okay too.

Let's assume McCain gets the nomination and Mitt tapers off in the next few weeks.
  1. McCain still will have trouble competing financially with Billary Clobama in the general election. Remember both of those candidates have raised over 100 million dollars each.
  2. McCain still needs to reach out to all aspects of the republican coalition.
  3. McCain needs a competent VP pick who has the energy and capacity and competence to take over if McCain keels over and dies in office.
  4. McCain needs an organization with infrastructure that can counter the Clinton Machine.
  5. McCain needs a narrative that can unite the Republicans, and compete with the Democratic narrative that has been shaping up within the mainstream media.
  6. McCain needs to realize that the media support he has enjoyed up to this point will end the moment he receives the nomination, if that happens.

McCain needs to put together a 'Dream Team'

If McCain gets the nod, Romney should be the VP.

  1. He's got the infrastructure
  2. He's got the fundraising capacity
  3. He's got the rhetorical skills to counter the Bill Clintons, and the Barack Obamas.
  4. He's got the executive skills, to be President, but he's also got the consultant skills that can be unleashed behind the scenes to re-reinvent government.
  5. Any point Clinton or Obama could make in a debate in a general election, with Mitt as VP could be countered with... 'Healthcare? My VP has more healthcare experience than all of us in this room put together. We have a team. We're not going to change this country alone, we're going to unite and solve our problems as one America.' 'Budget balancing? We've got more fiscal hawk experience on my team than all the democrats put together.' Etc...

What about the other candidates?

  • Rudy - Has shown class in the way he has run his campaign. His personal life may not be totally perfect, but he should rightly be proud of what he accomplished in NYC. His talents should be brought to bear in a 2008-2012 republican administration. Rudy should be the Secretary of State.
  • Fred Thompson - He should be on the ticket somewhere, but I'm not sure where.
  • Huckster - he needs to be put to use somehow. He has shown an uncanny ability to turn out small town, squirrel eating, narrow minded, uneducated voters in droves. We're going to need all the votes we can get in the general election. Huckster and Romney have reason not to like each other, and in my opinion it has everything to do with Huckster playing the religion card during the primaries, and the fact that Huckster is a big idiot. McCain could very well be the best person to convince Romney and Huckster, and their supporters (like me) to bury the hatchet. Also Romney could easily hook Huckster up with some legitimate way to pay his mortgage without accepting bribes.

With a dream team put together, the republicans can counter the democrats. What I don't want to see is personal vendettas that tear apart the republican party. I've read several places that McCain 'hates' Mitt Romney. I don't want the democrats picking our judges for the next decade. I don't want the democrats dealing with health care, or social security or anything else. PLEASE? Can't we all just get along?

Mitt. In my opinion, you should just run your organization for the next 14 days. Get all the delegates you can. Don't blow a lot of money on advertising. Everybody knows you've got plenty. You're the obvious choice for President. You're also the obvious VP pick. You and McCain could unite the party.

Mitt, you've had my vote this whole time. You're my guy. Play this right please?

McCain. You and I are cool with each other. Please play this right? Please do this in such a way that if you get the nomination you can unite the repubicans.

PLEASE?????

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Romney takes a respectable "silver", McCain continues dirty politics

Romney placed second in Florida, and gave a great speech. By contract, McCain gave a mediocre politicized speech. Let's compare! Feel free to watch both, and notice the following:

1. Romney did not use a teleprompter, McCain did, and looked as if he'd never used one before. He can't remember more than 3 words at a time. He's nothing but a Washington-insider puppet that the Democrats are happily supporting so that he can divide the republican party. Could anyone list all the people McCain owes favors to on a single legal pad of paper? Probably not. OK, back to the comparisons...
2. Romney talked about all core conservative values, McCain talked about national security since thats his only conservative edge.
3. Romney talked about his plan for America, McCain didn't.
4. Romney talked about the road ahead, McCain bragged about his endorsements.
5. Romney took the time to offer his respect for "W" in his speech, McCain continues to slam "W" in order to gain popularity. McCain is such a hypocrite. I saw him just 4 years ago in Madison, WI speaking on behalf of George W. Bush as a surrogate, touting what a brilliant man "W" is, and now he is trashing him to gain popularity. And when I saw him, the war in Iraq had already started, and he was praising the operation back then.
7. Romney had his family surrounding him, McCain had his wife and daughter, and some more off stage, but what I thought was weird was the random woman that ran up to him after his speech and hugged him before his wife could even get to him. (huh?)

Let's face it, McCain represents all those in Washington, dems and republicans, who are scared stiff to think that Romney could win the election to become President. They all know he will cut spending, and bring down all of their corruption. Run little rabbits, run!

ROMNEY VIDEO


McCAIN VIDEO

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"I'M MAD AS HELL . . . AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!": How McCain Lost His Integrity in Dishonest Political Trick Against Romney

(Apologies to the film Network for borrowing the headline above . . . YouTube here--a great moment in cinematic history and worth the 4 minutes)

Much has been said on Romney blogs and elsewhere expressing outrage at McCain's desperate tactic to dishonestly smear Gov. Romney's stance on "timetables" and the Iraq war. It's blatantly apparent that McCain only did this to bring the issue of "Iraq" back into the race. McCain knows (and has repeatedly admitted) that "the Economy" is not his strong point, and that he'll lose to Romney in a head to head fight when that is the #1 issue. So, McCain's solution is to invent a controversial position for his main rival that plays to his own strength. Pitiful politics at its worst.

I've heard this false "timetables" accusation once before (good old Huck), so I was initially willing to believe that McCain was maybe just going off of bad information--that he would correct the situation once he realized the context. But when Romney's recommendation for a McCain apology was met with a "Romney should apologize to the troops for being willing to abandon them" (paraphrased) rebuttal I started getting downright angry.

When I realized that yesterday McCain said "My friends, I was there — he said he wanted a timetable for withdrawal" my anger turned to OUTRAGE!

Then on Meet the Press this morning, Tim Russert went softball on McCain on this issue with no follow-up, allowing McCain to repeat his position unchallenged with the follow-up of "please read on Senator" when Romney says that he would, like President Bush, veto any legislation setting timetables for Iraq. That's either biased or shoddy journalism folks.

McCain is LYING! He's inventing this pseudo-smear to bring back his preferred issue into the limelight . . . Iraq. Then I find out that, last year, McCain recommended a similar strategy (and his would have been PUBLIC . . . in contrast to Romney's) of benchmarks that, if not met by a certain date, would lead to pulling out of Iraq before success was achieved!! This took my OUTRAGE to the next level . . . the "I'M MAD AS HELL! AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!" level.

Who's with me here?

I'm sure every Romney supporter is at least outraged. Most may be outraged enough to make it harder for McCain to count on any significant support from Romney's base if he were to get the nomination. I can tell you that I'm mad enough that I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR JOHN McCAIN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES AND I'LL DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO INFLUENCE OTHERS TO WITHHOLD THEIR SUPPORT AND VOTES FROM HIM AS WELL. Romney has always supported the troops and the war, even while governing liberal Mass. For McCain to imply otherwise is sickening (McCain went further and actually implied that Romney's position was the same as Hillary Clinton's on timetables!).

Beyond Romney's supporters "McCain Disdain" should be felt by every conservative and pro-Military American, who should view him with much less respect for dragging the American soldiers into this contrived controversy. Utterly shameless Senator McCain.

I know a lot of conservatives with influence see how dishonest McCain is being. But even the liberal MSM is calling this "scuffle" for Romney. This isn't just a nuanced misunderstanding, this is dirty politics full of tricks and lies, and it's pretty easy to see where the facts stand.

The evidence:

I've documented before how slanted the AP has been in their pro-McCain/anti-Romney bias.

So when the AP sides with Romney over McCain, you KNOW it's iron clad and there's no way for ANYONE to honestly see things from McCain's point of view.
The Arizona senator stood before a crowd in Sun City, Fla., and said he was quoting Romney as favoring a ''timetable for withdrawal.'' However, quotes circulated by McCain's campaign didn't show Romney making that comment.
. . .
By raising Iraq, McCain sought to shift the campaign in Florida back to his strength, national security, and away from Romney's, the economy.
. . .
During the campaign stop later in Sun City, McCain clipped three words from a quotation of Romney's last April, saying the former Massachusetts believed the country should set a ''timetable for withdrawal.''

In an interview with ABC News last April, Romney never uttered those words
. . .
Romney aides labeled McCain's charge ''stunningly false'' in an e-mail to campaign reporters.
Other liberal sources that see McCain's misleading dishonesty include the New York Times (yep, the same paper that just endorsed McCain again . . . and yes, McCain sought out that endorsement), and Time Magazine (yep, the same magazine that just ran an incredibly positive cover and story about McCain being the "Phoenix Rising" in the race).

And CNN legal analyst calls it right in the YouTube below:

Text here:
JEFF TOOBIN: Speaking of straight talk, no American politician has gotten more adoring press coverage than John McCain. But let's be clear about what John McCain is doing about Mitt Romney. He's lying. He's lying about Mitt Romney's position, no question about it. And you know I think that — this idea that Mitt Romney supports timetables, in fact most Americans support timetables to get out of Iraq, Mitt Romney doesn't happen to be one of them. That's really outrageous what McCain is doing bringing up this ancient interview and distorting it at the last minute so he doesn't have to talk about the economy.
Among conservatives there's plenty of displeasure with McCain's tactic as well:

Brit Hume flat out said that "McCain was dishonest" on this issue on Fox News Sunday this morning. Hume said it TWICE! He was even exasperated that Chris Wallace was trying to present McCain's side of it by rebutting (paraphrased) "Chris, as journalists we have a duty to try to present things accurately . . ." (Fox's "Fox News Sunday," 1/27/08)

Sean Hannity was railing on McCain for this tactic last night on a special Saturday edition of Hannity and Colmes. Expect more of it from Sean on his Radio and TV shows tomorrow (not to mention what Rush will have to say tomorrow!!)

"The Great One" Mark Levin, has seemed to make somewhat of a personal crusade out of this issue. See here, here, here, here, and here.

Center-Right influential blogger Ed Morrissey has plenty to say about the whole affair, but even his title "The Low Blow" pretty much sums it up. (BTW, he just endorsed Romney over at Captain's Quarters)

Katherine Jean Lopez of the National Review has chimed in too.

Powerline's Paul Mirengoff blast's Lindsey Graham for trying to defend McCain (and mis-characterize Romney) on this issue.

Bill Bennett (a strong McCain apologist and friend) said on CNN (CNN's "Newsroom," 1/26/08) that McCain's Iraq hit on Romney [was] "Way Below The Belt.":
"But the blow he took at Romney was way below the belt." . . .

"He's a maverick candidate. He should apologize for it." . . .

"He Twisted That Entirely Out Of Context." . . .

"He's always criticizing people doing that to him and he absolutely should not have done it." . . .

"It just wasn't fair and honor is his watch word and he -- I think it would be great if he said I got that one wrong. And that would be a rare thing."
Mark Steyn gets in on the act at NRO's "The Corner" by calling McCain's petty attacks unseemly for a candidate trying to give the impression that he always "takes the high road of honor"

Hugh Hewitt presents the Romney Campaign's defense.

Andy McCarthy also chimes in with a little sarcasm directed McCain's way (saying he should follow his own Campaign Finance Reform guidelines and not drop baseless bombshells within 30 days of an election)

By contrast, Huckabee (on Fox News Sunday) said that McCain has NEVER been dishonest, and sided with the Senator's opinion that Romney really did support a timetable for withdrawl. Big surprise there, eh?

If Romney survives this tag-team from his two main GOP rivals in addition to the nearly incessant negative media coverage (present topic excluded) he'll really be "The Resilient One"--a nominee we can put up against the Dems and their MSM machine with no fear of whether he can survive such a media/DNC onslaught.

Update: Adding to the sources above, Kyle Hampton's post adds some more confirmatory evidence of McCain's lie.
Quin Hillyer: John McCain today flat-out lied about Gov. Romney's position on the troop "surge," etc. This is no surprise. McCain's "straight talk express" has been anything but straight for quite some time now. He has been making false claims about what his position on immigration was just last summer. He has been making false claims about why he opposed Bush's tax cuts. He has been making false claims about Romney's stance on "torture." He has made misleading (not exactly false, but certainly misleading) representations about Giuliani's position on the line item veto. He has misrepresented his helpfulness on judicial nominations. And I know I am forgetting some of the other things he has not been exactly straight about.

Allahpundit: Yeah, pretty egregious. He never said he “wanted” to withdraw or that he wanted a date set, and it’s patently clear he doesn’t want any timetables publicly announced.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: It’s a reminder — like the McCain campaign’s dishonest line of attack this weekend — that as admirable McCain is as both a hero and a politician, he is not irreproachable even on national-security issues. McCain is fond of saying he’d rather lose a political campaign than a war; he now seems to be swimming close to using the war to win a political campaign in the most dishonest of ways. It’s conduct unbecoming a man we all respect.

Marc Ambinder: Then he was asked to justify his contention that Romney once supported a withdrawal timetable for Iraq. (I wrote this morning that McCain "stretched" history with the remark, and a few moments before this particular question received a stern talking to by two McCain aides and one reporter.)

David Freddoso: McCain’s unfair stab at Romney this weekend may not cost him anything. The endorsement from Florida’s popular governor, Charles Crist, came at just the right time to bury the item in the local news. And if he does win the nomination, this moment may not even be remembered. Unfortunately, the truth is always too complicated for a quick explanation.
Update #2 (2/3/08) Yet more evidence of McCain's blatant dishonesty:

Michael Reagan, in a piece that strongly argues that "McCain's no Reagan", says:
In last night’s debate, McCain stubbornly defended his charge, false on the face of it, that Romney wanted a deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

"I have never, ever supported a specific timetable" for withdrawing troops, Romney said, adding that McCain's accusation on the eve of Tuesday's primary "sort of falls into the dirty tricks that I think Ronald Reagan would have found reprehensible."

What Romney said last April, was merely that U.S. and Iraqi leaders "have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about" in private, which in no way suggests he was in any sense talking about troop withdrawals.

Despite the evidence, McCain charged that "of course he said he wanted a timetable" for a withdrawal, even though he had never said any such thing. It was McCain daring to ask us if we wanted to believe our lying eyes or his demonstrably false allegation.

McCain must think conservatives are dumb . . .


Thomas Sowell (who rarely ventures deeply into "horserace" politics) penned a piece entitled "McCain's Straight Lies":

The fact that McCain makes short, blunt statements does not make him a straight-talker.

There are short, blunt lies — and he told a big one
on the eve of the Florida primary, when he claimed that Mitt Romney had advocated a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
. . .

Confronted with his lie on Wednesday night's debate, McCain blustered and filibustered in a manner reminiscent of Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny," when he was caught in a lie during a navy inquiry.

When confronted with any of his misdeeds, Senator McCain tends to fall back on his record as a war hero in Vietnam.

Let's talk sense. Benedict Arnold was a war hero but that did not exempt him from condemnation for his later betrayal.

Being a war hero is not a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free card. And becoming President of the United States is not a matter of rewarding an individual for past services.

The Washington Post (who has endorsed McCain) even gave him "Three Pinnochio's" for this whopper:
Talking vaguely about "timetables and milestones" is not the same thing as setting "a date for withdrawal," from Iraq, as Senator McCain has tried to argue. And while Romney has talked about secret understandings with the Iraqi government, that is very different from promises by Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates to remove most U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of 2009.


The AP's follow-up story "Fact Check: Romney didn't say what McCain says he said on withdrawing from Iraq" also bashes McCain's dishonesty:

Republican John McCain tried to lump Mitt Romney with Democrats who want a timetable for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.

But Romney never called for the kind of public withdrawal date or timeline that Democrats in Congress sought last year.
. . .
THE FACTS:

Romney never embraced the idea of a public withdrawal date.


Reuters saw the distortion and political ploy for what it was:
SHIFTING TOPICS

A day earlier, McCain accused Romney of backing a set withdrawal date for U.S. troops from Iraq, a distortion of Romney's record that he angrily denied.
George Will condemned McCain on this, accusing him of "Crooked-talk" in his recent piece "Staying the Coarse":

This was a garden-variety dishonesty, the manufacture of which does not cause a Clinton in midseason form to break a sweat. And it was no worse than -- actually, not as gross as -- St. John of Arizona's crooked-talk claim in Florida that Mitt Romney wanted to "surrender and wave a white flag, like Senator Clinton wants to do" in Iraq because Romney "wanted to set a date for withdrawal that would have meant disaster."

Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the Clintons should bask in the glow of John McCain's Clintonian gloss on this fact: Ten months ago Romney said that President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki should discuss, privately, "a series of timetables and milestones." That unremarkable thought was twisted by McCain, whose distortions are notably clumsy, as when Romney said, accurately, that he alone among the candidates has had extensive experience in private-sector business. That truth was subjected to McCain's sophistry, and he charged that Romney had said "you haven't had a real job" if you had a military career. If, this autumn, voters must choose between Clinton and McCain, they will face, at least stylistically, an echo, not a choice.

But that dreary scenario need not come to pass. Romney seems to have found his voice as attention turns to the economy, a subject concerning which McCain seems neither conversant nor eager to become so.

Rush Limbaugh of course, covered the topic and chose to title the segment "McCain's Clintonesque Lie About Romney and Iraq Is Disappointing"

Now, this was totally dishonest. This attack by Senator McCain just wasn't true. Romney has never advocated timetables. The New York Times labeled this as untrue. The AP leveled it as untrue. Senator McCain had to change the subject because I think they got some bad polling data to indicate that they had to change the subject. But this really roiled a lot of people over the weekend. This was just blatant, this was just an out-and-out lie, and many people thought that the McCain camp thought they would get away with it because of their love and slavish devotion of the Drive-By Media. But it didn't work. He didn't get away with it. It remains to be seen what impact it will have on primary voters in Florida tomorrow. My friend Andrew McCarthy had the funniest take on this. I so wanted to steal this as my own, but I have ethics, and I think when people come up with great stuff, they deserve the credit for it. Andrew McCarthy, on Saturday afternoon in the midst of all of this, said, "I'm starting to think Senator McCain should not be allowed to mention the other candidates' names within 30 days before a primary."

He levels an allegation about Romney that's just flat not true, and if some organization wanted to run an ad calling him on it they'd be in violation of McCain's reform of campaign finance regulations. What a racket McCain is running. Is that not brilliant? And it's absolutely right. McCain comes out with this lie about Romney in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, and there's no way a Romney camp or group can run an ad on television here in Florida refuting it because you can't do that 30 days before a primary under McCain-Feingold's restrictions on free speech, but the candidates can go out there and say what they want. So Romney had to do the replying himself. He put a video up, and they were quick getting it out, but McCarthy's point is right on the money. It's hilarious. Hey, Senator McCain, you can't say anything about any candidate within 30 days before the election. McCain-Feingold ought to extend to the candidates, too, don't you think?
And even more from liberal networks that I'm pasting in from a Romney Campaign Press Release:
CNN's John King: "Governor Romney Did Not Say That." "He did not say the president should go to Iraq and give Al-Maliki a timeline for withdrawal in private. Governor Romney did not say that." (CNN's "Newsroom," 1/26/08)

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "He's Desperately Trying To Change The Topic From The Economy..." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/28/08)

· Scarborough: "He Did Lie About, Everybody Knows That He Lied About Mitt Romney." "If John McCain did lie and he did lie about it, everybody knows that he lied about Mitt Romney, everybody knows he lied when he said that he wanted to put a timeline on it and get us out of there." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/30/08)

· Scarborough: "I Haven't Met Anybody In The Media That Hasn't Said John McCain Lied About Mitt Romney." "I haven't met anybody in the media that hasn't said John McCain lied about Mitt Romney and it threw Romney off for two days. What's wrong with saying that?" (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/30/08)


MSNBC's David Shuster: "John McCain Is Being Misleading." "Actually, Mitt Romney is on the money with this one, and John McCain is being misleading." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/28/08)

· Shuster: McCain's Attack Was "Not Right." "But the fact of the matter is, when John McCain says that Mitt Romney was for public timetables, in other words, letting the Iraqis know when U.S. troops are leaving and that therefore Mitt Romney should apologize to the troops, as John McCain said, that's not right." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/28/08)


On Hannity and Colmes lastFriday night (Feb 1st) Newt Gingrich was giving his opinion on the GOP race and distinctly mentioned that McCain was "wrong" and "dishonest" in this attack.

Bob Dole even chimed in on the issue:
I do not agree that Governor Romney ever suggested a timetable for troop withdrawals in Iraq.

Is it sinking in that this isn't just a bunch of pro-Romney people making this point?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred Is Out

Fred Thompson announced that he is withdrawing today.

Its kind of sad. I liked Fred better than a lot of the other candidates running. In an ideal world, the less desirable candidates get knocked out when people start voting.

FredHeads Will Decide the GOP Nominee

FredHeads will play a vital role in this race and WILL end up choosing the nominee, though, to their obvious chagrin, it will not be for their first choice candidate.

I've been watching and analyzing this race for two years now, reading and commenting nearly daily at forumns such as RedState, FreeRepublic, and Race42008. I've seen the slow dance of Fred's entrance, his surge in popularity and polls, and his steady decline. I've debated with FredHeads about both Fred and Mitt, their strengths and weaknesses. Interestingly, there has been a significant "warming" to Mitt among FredHeads and vice-a-versa over the last several weeks. Most Mitt supporters I know have Fred #2 on their list (me included . . . though it's a close call with Rudy because I like his executive experience).

Whether or not Fred officially drops out, it's clear that he does not have a realistic shot at becoming the nominee. His supporters will probably join other camps shortly.

Two online polls taken in the wake of last Saturday's results asked folks who they'd vote for in a "Fred-less" field.

Over at RedState (jokingly referred to as "FredState") this poll was asked . . . and here are the results as of now:

Now that South Carolina is done, who will you vote for in your state?
Selection Votes
John McCain 14%307
Mike Huckabee 6%135
Rudy Giuliani 11%233
Mitt Romney 68%1,458
2,133 votes total

Over at HotAir.com (another very pro-Fred blog), the question was even more direct:

For Fred Supporters: If Fred Thompson drops out of the race, which major candidate would you support?
Selection Votes
Rudy Giuliani 15%706
Mike Huckabee 4%213
John McCain 7%341
Mitt Romney 74%3,535
4,795 votes total

There is much speculation that Fred will endorse McCain, so HotAir's readership was asked if such an ensdorsement would effect their vote:

If Fred Thompson endorses John McCain, what impact would that have on your vote?
Selection Votes
No impact 88%2,862
Somewhat more likely to vote for McCain 6%205
Much more likely to vote for McCain 5%172
3,239 votes total

Looks like FredHeads are the independent-minded voters that we'd expect of those supporting such a plain-spoken candidate.

For further evidence of FredHeads breaking for Mitt check out the comment section at HotAir (sorry, I didn't read all 1400 of them).

Some are even calling for a Romney/Fred ticket! I wouldn't have a problem with that personally. As Mitt supporters, we welcome any and all FredHeads into the fold.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Two-Week Flashback: McCain Lacks Understanding of Economic Issues

I wrote the following blog back on Jan 5th . . . and the issue has only become more and more important. However, with the worldwide stock market crashes today (here too) and Wall Street likely to suffer as well (the Dow Futures look dismal) it bears repeating now. I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that we NEED Mitt Romney at the helm of our country and economy. And we absolutely DON'T NEED John McCain anywhere near the control panel of our economy.

So "The Economy" constantly ranks up there among the top issues/concerns among voters of BOTH parties. With the Iraq issue being far less polarizing of late, the Economy, Illegal Immigration, and Healthcare look to be the key issues for the general election. Additionally, this New Hampshire Fox News Poll last month had the Economy and Illegal Immigration as the two most important issues to GOP voters with the Economy being by far the most important issue.

Additionally, unlike many issues listed, the status of the economy is something that touches EVERY American in some real and powerful way (as opposed to Iraq, or abortion, or foreign policy, or those without healthcare insurance).

In the financial world, the news of an imminent recession has been dominating the headlines (including the sinking strength on Wall Street). Just yesterday, Bush met with the economic advisors and the Fed Chairman to discuss these issues. The press conference afterwards was not terribly positive.

So is a McCain presidency a good fit for a good economy? Back in 2003 many didn't think so. His new economic plan isn't impressing many. And let's not forget what the Club for Growth thinks about McCain's economic record (Their main points are that "John McCain is No Supply-Sider" and that he has a "Tenuous Record as an Economic Conservative")

Those are the words of others . . . but what does McCain think of himself in relation to the ecomony?

Just one month ago, a piece from the Boston Globe (who has since endorsed McCain) led off with this:

SALEM, N.H. -- John McCain, who happily volunteers he doesn't know much about economics . . .

Later in the piece:
McCain stood before a line graph showing the increase of the alternative-minimum tax, a low-budget campaign's alternative to the PowerPoint presentation Mitt Romney uses when talking about economic policy, a subject McCain has said he feels he is unknowledgeable and that filling the void would be a priority when selecting a vice-presidential nominee.

So McCain wants to bolster the ticket because he's weak on the #1 issue and at a time that recession is a real concern? Sounds scary to me.

Yet further:
Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he "may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night," McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," McCain said. "I've got Greenspan's book."
Sorry John, but if you haven't gotten a grasp of economic issues after 71 years of life, and after 3+ decades in politics, something tells me that you're not ever going to "get it" . . . even if Greenspan's book is really good.

If we really are headed toward recession in the next few months, do we really want John McCain as our nominee to put up against Hillary or Obama? I think we have much better options to have at the TOP of the ticket.

Update Jan 14th:
I was just watching Road to the White House 2008 on C-Span (DVR'd) and John McCain, in a Saturday town hall meeting in MI, got a question about the economy and the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

He promptly said he knew it was a problem, but didn't know much about the details and so he brought up Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard to discuss the issue. After she answered the question, McCain mentioned that he wasn't an expert on every issue, but that he'd get people like her to advise him. I mean, this is a major issue in our economy and every other POTUS candidate can grasp it enough to say a few nice lines. Even Huck can sound conversant on the issue!


Update Jan 20th:
McCain is showing his lack of depth on economic understanding . . . and is proposing policy based on his faulty logic. It's SCARY folks!



I also noticed that the Romney campaign has been reading my blog :)

Jeff Fuller

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Post SC/NV Evangelical vs non-Evangelical Scorecard (with NV Mormon vote analysis)

Based on Exit polling from SC, NV, MI, NH, and IA (as well as real vote tallies from the five states--apologies to WY!):

Total voters thusfar: 1,731,000
Total "Evangelical/""Born Again" voters: 734,200
Total non-Evangelical voters: 996,800

Evangelical Numbers

Percent of total votes cast that were from Evangelicals: 42%

Evangelical Voters by candidate:

Huckabee -- 36%
Romney -- 25%
McCain -- 24%
Thompson -- 10%
Paul -- 4%
Giuliani -- 1%

Before SC, Romney was tied with Huckabee at 31% each with the Evangelical voters. Huckabee has an undisputed "base" among Evangelicals, but both Romney and McCain have proven that they can get a significant portion of the "Evangelical vote."

Non-Evangelical Numbers

Percent of total votes cast that were from non-Evangelicals: 58%

Non-Evangelical Voters by candidate:

Romney -- 36%
McCain -- 35%
Paul -- 9%
Huckabee -- 9%
Thompson -- 6%
Giuliani -- 5%

Yes folks . . . the appeal for Huckabee to non-Evangelical voters is on par with Ron Paul's (before this Sat he actually trailed Ron Paul among non-Evangelical votes by quite a large margin). Huckabee definitely HAS NOT proven in any contest thus far that he can get non-Evangelicals to support him in large numbers.

Huck's best showing for the non-Evangelical votes was 14% (both in IA and SC--4th place in both instances). In MI he got 8% of non-Evangelical votes. In NH he got just 6%, and in Nevada he got a Hunter-esque 3% of the non-Evangelical votes. This does not bode well for Huckabee from Feb 5th onward (let alone how in the world he could compete in a general election). He's yet to prove that he can move beyond his base (and his gaffe-prone campaigning the last few weeks isn't helping with any "outreach"). Additionally MI, NV, and even SC have shown that he's even having a hard time "locking up" his Evangelical base effectively.

I maintain my position from last week's similar post: Mike Huckabee's sole purpose in this race right now is to dilute Romney's access to social conservative voters so that McCain can win and then Huck can hope to be chosen as VP.

***************

Now onto the Mormon vote in Nevada. Most media outlets seemed to delight in repeating that Romney got 94% of the LDS vote in Nevada. It was repeated time and again as I watched the coverage live and many pundits said/inferred that this factor accounted for Romney's win. Actually, if you subtracted out every single Mormon vote for Romney he still would have won by a double digit margin and had nearly double the votes of either of his next two competitors.

But others seemed to express dismay that one religious group would be so absolutely monolithic in it's support. However, they fail to recognize that Dems NV Exit polling shows that 3% of those participating in the Democratic caucus were Mormons. I'm guessing NONE of them voted for Romney (sarcasm intended).

With voting totals around 115,000 in the Dem race (I saw that number on Fox News) that would come out to approximately 3500 LDS voters NOT voting for Romney in the Dem caucus.

By contrast, 25% of the GOP caucus in NV that were Mormon with nearly 45,000 total GOP voters --- therefore around 11250 LDS voters and 94% of them were for Romney . . . but that means nearly 500 were not.

So, 4000 LDS in Nevada voted "Not for Romney" and 10,750 voted for Romney. That breaks down to 73% LDS for Romney and 27% LDS that were not for Romney. Not quite the absolutely robotic block-voting group that many media outlets are trying to play up, but, still, a solid base for Romney in the western/mountain states.

An interesting counter-argument about such huge LDS support for Mitt is that LDS have absolutely NO reservations about or aversion to Romney based on his religion, and can therefore view him outside of that context (while most non-LDS cannot) and therefore judge him solely on his record, experience, and issue stances. Romney surely hasn't "pandered" to the LDS base like Huckabee has to his Evangelical base. Historically speaking, there was no huge LDS groundswell of support for Orrin Hatch in 2000, or Mo Udall back in the 70s. Similarly, Harry Reid is a guy that only a tiny fraction of LDS would ever consider voting for based on co-religiosity. In Romney most LDS are able to see, outside of the context of him having a "weird religion," that he is an incredibly competent, faithful, successful, and articulate leader with a record of conservative governance and broad-based executive experience.

I've never thought there was any "upside" for Romney or his supporters to decry the hard or soft bigotry that he's faced because of his religion. Most of us have know it exists, but it is something difficult to quantify. It is what it is and it's hard to change, so why focus on it, right? No one likes a "whiner" and Romney certainly can't be criticized for being one.

However, a recent study out of Vanderbilt University provides pretty convincing evidence that religious aversion to Romney is very real, but has hidden under the cover of his branding as a "flip-flopper." The researchers conclude that such negative perceptions and labels have "stuck" to Romney because of underlying or overt theological misgivings about his religion.
Bias against Mitt Romney’s religion is one of the reasons that the tag “flip-flopper” sticks with the former Massachusetts governor but not his Republican opponents, according to Vanderbilt political scientist[s] . . .

“We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney’s Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue,” Benson said. “Our survey shows that 26 percent of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping, is their problem with Romney.” Benson noted that the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.

The study’s findings suggest that criticizing Romney for flip-flopping is an effective campaign strategy because it sticks with two different groups: those who are genuinely concerned about Romney’s shifts on certain issues and those who use the label as cover for the fact that they do not want to vote for a Mormon for president.

“As the campaign continues to unfold, these data become increasingly relevant as the Republicans choose a presidential nominee,” Geer said.
Again, I present this not as a complaint or "whining" about it, but in an informational sense. Like Romney, I love data and believe in it's power. Having this new data out there might help people see deeper into the dynamics of this race and self-analyze why there may be an aversion to Romney for which he can hardly be blamed. That he has succeeded and progressed despite this "handicap" is quite impressive IMO.

Thoughts?

RedState poll: Who would you vote for now that Fred's gone

New RedState poll: Who would you vote for now that Fred's gone

Romney's ahead now, but let's get him a convincing win!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pre-Florida GOP Election Scorecard

Election Scorecard:

Delegate Count (via CNN):

Total Cumulative Vote Tally (after 95% of SC vote)--1,679,675 votes cast thusfar in GOP contests (excluding Hunter and Keyes):
Romney - 537,070 -- 32%
McCain - 513,131 -- 30%
Huckabee - 339,801 -- 20%
Thompson - 121,628-- 7%
Paul - 107,428 -- 6%
Giuliani - 60,617 -- 4%


Medals Count (can you tell who I support?):
Romney - 3 Gold, 2 Silver
McCain - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Huckabee - 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
Thompson - 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Paul -1 Silver
Hunter - 1 Bronze
Giuliani - NADA

In the face of all the data above, the media are now saying that McCain is unstoppable.

Some other considerations:
Romney also has:
1) RAISED the most money AND has the biggest purse to continue on to future states?

2)Won the largest plurality of voters in any contest ested state thusfar (39% of the vote, Romney's total in Michigan, is the highest percentage of any candidate in any contested state thusfar)

3) Won the most demographically diverse and most populous state thusfar (significant Urban, Suburban, and rural populations in MI)

94% of Nevada Mormons DID NOT Vote for Mitt (Contrary To Media Reports)

Check out this . . .

Dems Exit polling shows that 3% of those participating in the Democratic were Mormons.

I'm guessing NONE of them voted for Romney (sarcasm intended).

With voting totals around 115,000 in the Dem race (I saw that number on Fox News) that would come out to approximately 3500 LDS voters NOT voting for ROmney.

By contrast, 25% of the GOP caucus in NV that were Mormon with nearly 45,000 total GOP voters --- therefore around 11250 LDS voters and 94% of them were for Romney . . . but that means nearly 500 were not.

So, 4000 LDS in Nevada voted "Not for Romney" and 10,750 voted for Romney. That breaks down to 73% LDS for Romney and 27% LDS that were not for Romney. Not quite the absolutely robotic block-voting groups that many media outlets are trying to play up.

Interesting, eh?

Nevada Called for Romney in 3.5 seconds

The states where Romney wins, he wins convincingly.

Good job Mitt!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lee Bandy: "This Time Around, South Carolina is NOT going to pick the [eventual] winner"

About 15 minutes into FOX News' Special Report with Brit Hume yesterday honored veteran political journalist of The State in SC, Lee Bandy said (direct quote from re-watching it on my DVR):

"What the voter says here . . . I don't think there's gonna be any clear winner.
So, this time around, South Carolina is not going to pick the winner.
Somebody else may do that this time."

Most pundits and South Carolinians will be quick to remind you that the winner of SC has been the eventual nominee since 1980. Not this time . . . at least according to someone a lot more "in the know" than just about anyone else.



UPDATE: YouTube Obtained!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ross Perot Intends to Vote Mitt Romney!

I happen to have a deep affection for Ross Perot. I have spent several months working at the Perot Systems campus in Plano TX, and I even have an autographed copy of Ross Perot's autobiography.

Ross Perot is a good human being.

Remember when Jimmy Carter didn't have the cojones to rescue American hostages in Iran? Two of those hostages were Ross Perot's employees. Ross Perot and his team mounted a rescue effort. The US Government didn't do it. Ross Perot did.

Read the whole article. Ross doesn't have good things to say about John McCain. Read why - does anybody else see a possible swiftboating of McCain?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Huckabee has opened the bag of dirty tricks again......in South Carolina

It looks as if Huckabee's dirty background support groups are push-polling in South Carolina, and slandering Romney, McCain and Thompson. The first two I understand, but Thompson? He's not really a threat, but I suppose they are covering all their bases. Interesting that they did not even show up in Michigan. Romney is the only candidate who has CONSISTENTLY CAMPAIGNED IN EVERY STATE. The others have picked and chosen the states where they thought they had the best chance. So long as Romney keeps bringing in the Gold Medals, he'll win the nomination despite a couple of silvers.

Excerpts: (Original Article from Foxnews.com)

Huckabee began circulating a statement accusing Romney backers of smearing him through The Club for Growth — an economic watchdog that has aggressively gone after the former Arkansas governor for raising taxes in his state.
Huckabee’s campaign released a list of seven Romney donors it claims
have given at least $585,000 to The Club for Growth. “What does $585,000 buy you?” a campaign statement asks. “It bought Mitt Romney backers a smear job against Mike Huckabee orchestrated by Beltway insiders.”
The Club for Growth held its own press conference Wednesday to slam what it calls Huckabee’s “liberal economic record,” but the blast against Romney is particularly poignant, not only because he is a successful businessman who has funded a good portion of his own campaign, but because the former Massachusetts governor has been running on the theme that Washington is broken and must be fixed by someone outside the I-495 loop.


Why is he so concerned that Romney supporters have donated to the club for growth? Even if they did, they have the right to. And who are the other thousands of CFG donors? If he trying to draw ties from them to every other candidate. I guess he is tired of hearing the truth in their commercials.

Elsewhere, however, a group of McCain supporters known as the South Carolina Truth Squad issued a statement condemning reported push-polling efforts by Colorado-based Common Sense Issues, which has been allegedly distorting McCain’s record on abortion. The pro-Huckabee organization ignored early pleas by their candidate to stop previous push polls.


We got similar push-polls here in Iowa, but they were against Romney and his religion. They were obviously from one of the many Huckabee dirty-trick factories cranking out push-poll calls.

Meanwhile, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who has yet to win a contest and has marked South Carolina as a line in the sand, also accused Huckabee’s backers of using push polling to distort his record on illegal immigration and abortion.
Thompson, who has repeatedly stated that he must do very well in South Carolina, decried rumors being floated that Huckabee’s campaign had asserted the former Tennessee senator was only staying in the race to pull votes from Huckabee and help his old friend, McCain. “It’s an attempt by the Huckabee campaign to get me to attack McCain so they don’t have to,” Thompson said. “Huckabee hasn’t said anything about McCain … mighty strange that McCain is leading the race and their focus is on me … just kind of South Carolina politics.”

Evangelical vs. non-Evangelical Scorecard: Some Surprising Results

Based on Exit polling from MI, NH, and IA (as well as real vote tallies from the three states):

Total voters thusfar: 1,226,000
Total "Evangelical/""Born Again" voters: 465,150
Total non-Evangelical voters: 760,850

Evangelical Numbers

Percent of total votes cast that were from Evangelicals: 38%

Evangelical Voters by candidate:

Huckabee -- 31%
Romney -- 31%
McCain -- 21%
Thompson -- 6.4%
Paul -- 5.5%
Giuliani -- 1.6%

I think many would be surprised to find out that as many Evagelicals have chosen to vote for Romney as they have for Huckabee. Romney has definitely proved that he can get the "Evangelical vote."

Non-Evangelical Numbers

Percent of total votes cast that were from non-Evangelicals: 62%

Non-Evangelical Voters by candidate:

Romney -- 38%
McCain -- 33%
Paul -- 9.1%
Huckabee -- 7.9%
Giuliani -- 5.7%
Thompson -- 3.4%

Yes folks . . . the appeal for Huckabee to non-Evangelical voters is LOWER than Ron Paul's. OUCH!! Huckabee definitely HAS NOT proven in any contest thusfar that he can get non-Evangelicals to support him in large numbers. This does not bode well for Huckabee from Feb 5th onward (let alone how in the world he could compete in a general election).

For all the talk of who can unify the three legs of the conservative base we are seeing living evidence that someone already is. Romney's supposed weakness among religious social conservatives/Evangelicals isn't bearing out in the votes cast thus far.

Roughly 1 out of every 3 Evangelicals who have cast their vote thus far have cast it for Romney.

Roughly 1 out of every 13 non-Evangelicals who have cast their vote thus far have cast it for Huckabee.

And therein lies the difference.

Mike Huckabee's sole purpose in this race right now is to dilute Romney's access to social conservative voters so that McCain can win and choose him as VP. There, I said it.

Election Scorecard

Election Scorecard:

Total Cumulative Vote Tally:
Romney - 450,740 -- 37%
McCain - 367,126 -- 30%
Huckabee - 210,402 -- 17%
Paul - 85,807 -- 7%
Thompson - 51,536 -- 4%
Giuliani - 49,772 -- 4%
Winner:
Mitt Romney (he was winning this BEFORE MI too)

Delegate Count (via CNN):
Winner: Mitt Romney (he has more delegates than Huckabee, McCain, and Rudy COMBINED)

Medals Count:
Romney - 2 Gold, 2 Silver
Huckabee - 1 Gold, 2 Bronze
McCain - 1 Gold, 1 Silver
Thompson - 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
Hunter - 1 Bronze
Giuliani -
Paul -

Winner: Mitt Romney

Which candidate
has both RAISED the most money AND has the biggest purse to continue on to future states? Mitt Romney

Which candidate has won the largest plurality of voters in any contest thusfar? Mitt Romney (39% of the vote is the highest percentage of any candidate on either side in any contested state thusfar)

Which candidate won the most demographically diverse and most populous state thusfar? Mitt Romney (significant Urban, Suburban, and rural populations in MI)

A Contrast--Associated Press Has Blatant Pro-McCain/Anti-Romney Bias

When McCain won New Hampshire by 5% (37% for him vs 32% for Mitt) the AP headline read: "McCain wins in New Hampshire, where he bet it all" (incidentally, if you look at the top bar of your Internet browser it reads "McCain Triumphs Where He Bet It All."

The contrast . . . When Romney won Michigan by nearly 10% and nearly 100,000 votes the AP headline reads: "Romney Edges McCain to Win Michigan"
And if that's not bad enough, check out the lead paragraphs to those AP articles . . .

McCain:
John McCain rode the Straight Talk Express straight into first place in New Hampshire, and back into the thick of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

''I hate to use to the word kid, but I think we showed the people of this country what a real comeback looks like,'' the Arizona senator told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday, savoring victory . . .
Another AP article about McCain's NH win leads with:

CONDORD, N.H. (AP) — Arizona Sen. John McCain won the New Hampshire Republican primary Tuesday night, completing a remarkable comeback and climbing back into contention for the presidential nomination.

"We showed the people of this country what a real comeback looks like," McCain told The Associated Press in an interview as he savored his triumph. "We're going to move on to Michigan and South Carolina and win the nomination."

The Arizona senator rode a wave of support from independent voters to defeat former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a showing that reprised his victory in the traditional first-in-the-nation primary in 2000.

It was a bitter blow for Romney, who spent millions of dollars of his own money in hopes of winning the kickoff Iowa caucuses and the first primary — and finished second in both.

Now the contrast to the AP article linked to above about Romney's Michigan victory:
DETROIT (AP) - Mitt Romney scored his first major primary victory Tuesday in his native Michigan, a win he desperately needed to give his weakened candidacy new life and set the stage for a wide-open Republican showdown in South Carolina in just four days.

Romney was the third Republican victor in the first four states to vote in the 2008 primary season, further roiling a volatile nomination fight that lacks a clear favorite.
No agenda there, eh?

Then they have the audacity to give McCain the last word in the AP article about Romney's win!
McCain said he had called Romney to congratulate him ``that Michigan welcomed their native son with their support.''

``Starting tomorrow, we're going to win South Carolina, and we're going to go on and win the nomination,'' McCain declared, also in an AP interview.
Yes folks, McCain got more quoted words/sentences in the AP article about Romney's MI win than Romney himself did. Shameless.

I've blogged before that McCain's resurgence in NH and nationally has been a completely media created, directed, and propagated affair. I repeat my questions here:
Which do you think will have a better chance in the general election . . . the one who's a front-runner DESPITE the MSM coverage or the one(s) that's a challenger BECAUSE of the MSM coverage? I think the answer to that is clear. I'd want the guy who's truly battle-tested.
Lest there be any doubt, that guy is Mitt Romney!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mitt Romney takes Michigan!

Mitt Romney showed America how to get it done in Michigan tonight. Below is the success speech from Michigan. There is quite the interesting scenario taking shape now. Romney is definitiely leading based on delegate votes now. 2 Golds, 2 Silvers, 46 more states to go! Romneys win in Michigan will push him up in the upcoming states. South Carolina will be a tough battle, but nothing is too tough for Mitt. Let's see how Nevada goes, too. Any predictions? I think we all know who the winner will be.... MITT ROMNEY!

NEVADA LOOMING: Let's insist the media give the GOP Nevada caucus the coverage and respect it deserves

Most Romney supporters were pretty peeved about how the media has downplayed his WY victory. (a recent Newsmax story addresses this) However, I can see how it was easy for the media to ignore WY results since it's the least populous state and due to the odd caucus system they used (mostly party insiders and/or major activists.) However, their 12 delegates were as many as NH awarded, and Mitt actually got more delegates out of WY (8) than McCain got out of NH (7).

But that's in the past already . . . but NV looms in the future and we need to insist that it should count. Sadly, we're already seeing how downplayed NV is in the national media coverage.

Even though the the media is covering NV pretty heavily for the it for the Democratic side, they're relatively ignoring it for the GOP. My paranoid side says: "Figures, since Romney stands a good chance of winning it . . . of course the MSM will downplay it." I'm actually convinced that Romney will win it (and if he wins MI, Romney will win NV BIG). Unfortunate timing has the NV caucus on the same day as the SC primary (which is monopolizing the media's coverage.)

But is SC inherently more important than NV for this nomination?

OK, so we know that in recent history, no GOP candidate has won the nomination without winning SC. But this year is very different with at least three candidates still with very credible claims to taking it all, and two others who are still considered "top-teir" candidates. Usually, someone has established themselves after IA and NH and races into SC with the mighty momentum. Or, in the past, the race has been winnowed down to two people already and SC has been the final elimination round for one of them. Not so this year. Some are arguing that FL may play the role this year that SC has played in the past.

But lets look at the two states objectively.

Both are on Jan 19th

NV: 34 delegates up for grabs
SC: 24 delegates up for grabs

NV: Important swing state/purple state (i.e. we need someone who can show/run strong in such a state for the general election)
SC: Solid Red state . . . whoever the nominee is will win SC and most of the south no matter what.

NV: First western state on the docket (and much of that region are swing states)
SC: First southern state primary . . . and the south is pretty much locked up for the GOP.

Objectively, NV looks MORE important than SC to me!

Romney supporters need to start trumpeting the importance of NV relative to SC. Let's get this message on blogs, in comment sections on important blogs/articles/etc . . . I encourgage people to forward this message to your friends/contacts. It would be great if we could get an email campaign together focused at news organizations/journalists/prominent bloggers and asking them why it's being ignored so much . . . demanding that it get fair coverage (at least as much as their giving to the Dems in NV. I don't think any of us want another of Romney's wins to be written off like WY was. LET'S MAKE NEVADA COUNT!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Liberal Types Give New Hampshire Win to McCain

The CNN New Hampshire exit polling confirms that those with the liberal mindset were the ones responsible for vaulting John McCain to win there and thereby granting him somewhat of a "front-runner" status.

Numbers don't lie (and remember, these are just the numbers from the voters in the GOP NH primary):

52% think that Abortion should be "legal"

53% go to church "never" or "a few times a year"

49% have a negative opinion of Bush

57% do not "strongly oppose" civil unions

50% support a "path to citizenship" or a "guest worker program" for illegals already here.

39% of them are not Republicans

Only 21% say they're "very conservative" (BTW, Romney beat McCain 43% to 18% among them).

45% admit to being moderates or liberals.

Finally, 50% made their decision within the last week (with a full 19% admitting to deciding on the day of the primary).

So they're not just liberals . . . they're fickle liberals.

Thanks for nothing New Hampshire.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Now Playing: Post-Debate Panel: "Very Good Night for Romney"

Sunday's Debate on Fox news showed a solid win for Mitt Romney. See Frank Luntz's focus group give Mitt the Thumbs Up!


Saturday, January 05, 2008

2007 Year in Review

Mitt's Post-Caucus speech in Iowa

"It's the Economy Stupid": John McCain Admits He Isn't Ready to Oversee Economy

So "The Economy" constantly ranks up there among the top issues/concerns among voters of BOTH parties. With the Iraq issue being far less polarizing of late, the Economy, Illegal Immigration, and Healthcare look to be the key issues for the general election. Additionally, this New Hampshire Fox News Poll last month had the Economy and Illegal Immigration as the two most important issues to GOP voters with the Economy being by far the most important issue.

Additionally, unlike many issues listed, the status of the economy is something that touches EVERY American in some real and powerful way (as opposed to Iraq, or abortion, or foreign policy, or those without healthcare insurance).

In the financial world, the news of an imminent recession has been dominating the headlines (including the sinking strength on Wall Street). Just yesterday, Bush met with the economic advisors and the Fed Chairman to discuss these issues. The press conference afterwards was not terribly positive.

So is a McCain presidency a good fit for a good economy? Back in 2003 many didn't think so. His new economic plan isn't impressing many. And let's not forget what the Club for Growth thinks about McCain's economic record (Their main points are that "John McCain is No Supply-Sider" and that he has a "Tenuous Record as an Economic Conservative")

Those are the words of others . . . but what does McCain think of himself in relation to the ecomony?

Just one month ago, a piece from the Boston Globe (who has since endorsed McCain) led off with this:

SALEM, N.H. -- John McCain, who happily volunteers he doesn't know much about economics . . .

Later in the piece:
McCain stood before a line graph showing the increase of the alternative-minimum tax, a low-budget campaign's alternative to the PowerPoint presentation Mitt Romney uses when talking about economic policy, a subject McCain has said he feels he is unknowledgeable and that filling the void would be a priority when selecting a vice-presidential nominee.

So McCain wants to bolster the ticket because he's weak on the #1 issue and at a time that recession is a real concern? Sounds scary to me.

Yet further:
Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he "may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night," McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," McCain said. "I've got Greenspan's book."
Sorry John, but if you haven't gotten a grasp of economic issues after 71 years of life, and after 3+ decades in politics, something tells me that you're not ever going to "get it" . . . even if Greenspan's book is really good.

If we really are headed toward recession in the next few months, do we really want John McCain as our nominee to put up against Hillary or Obama? I think we have much better options to have at the TOP of the ticket.

Update Jan 14th:
I was just watching Road to the White House 2008 on C-Span (DVR'd) and John McCain, in a Saturday town hall meeting in MI, got a question about the economy and the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

He promptly said he knew it was a problem, but didn't know much about the details and so he brought up Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard to discuss the issue. After she answered the question, McCain mentioned that he wasn't an expert on every issue, but that he'd get people like her to advise him. I mean, this is a major issue in our economy and every other POTUS candidate can grasp it enough to say a few nice lines. Even Huck can sound conversant on the issue!


Update Jan 20th:
McCain is showing his lack of depth on economic understanding . . . and is proposing policy based on his faulty logic. It's SCARY folks!



I also noticed that the Romney campaign has been reading my blog :)

Huck/Obama Win and Wall Street Tanks

OK . . . so there are other factors too, but the Dow Jones dropped 2% today (257 pts) on the heels of two populist candidates winning the Iowa caucuses.

Coincidence?

I report . . . you decide.

Update: I was watching Kudlow & Company from yesterday on my DVR (OK, so I'm a nerd) and this same question/idea was presented to the panel by Kudlow. Kudlow himself seemed to think there was an effect as did 2 of the 3 people on the panel he presented the question to. So whoever in the comments called me a "dolt" for suggesting such might need to look in the mirror.