Something for Everyone Tuesday

Wednesday, March 7, AD 2012

Well, all of the remaining candidates in the Republican fight for the presidential nomination had something to brag about, and to worry about, after last night.

1.  Rick Santorum:

Brag About:  Major bragging rights go to Santorum.  He battled to almost a tie in Ohio, after being outspent four to one by Mitt Romney, in a truly remarkable demonstration that fervent volunteers can largely negate a money advantage.  His wins in Oklahoma, North Dakota and  Tennessee demonstrated that where the Republican party is strongest, unless there is a substantial Mormon population., Santorum also tends to be strongest, and that he has an appeal to the Republican base that is not limited to geography.  He came in a strong second in Alaska, and weak seconds in Idaho and Massachusetts.

Worry About:  He did not win in Ohio and thus any momentum from a near defeat in the Buckeye State will be much less.   Gingrich is giving no sign that he is leaving the race and his vote totals deprive Santorum of victory after victory.

2.  Mitt Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane:

Brag About:  He dodged a bullet by winning, barely, the big prize of Ohio last night.  He won overwhelmingly in Massachusetts.  Toss in victories in Virginia, Alaska, Vermont  and Idaho and it is impossible to argue, as much as I would like to, that Super Tuesday was not a very good night for the Weathervane.  He ran a strong second in Oklahoma, and weak seconds in Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.  He continues to amass the most delegates and to be the clear favorite to get the nomination.

Worry About:  Unless his money mud machine is fully deployed, the Weathervane has a great deal of difficulty in winning against a strong candidate, the prime example last night being Ohio where he eked out a one point victory with only a four to one spending advantage.  His victory in Virginia, where 40% of Republicans voted for Doctor Delusional since he was the only not Romney on the ballot, is also troubling for the Weathervane as it shows the depth of the anti-Romney sentiment among rank and file Republicans in a key state in the fall, and is mirrored throughout the nation.

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14 Responses to Something for Everyone Tuesday

  • If you count Super-PAC spending, Dullard Flip Rino’s advantage in Ohio was probably something more like 12-1. Every time you turned on the TV here, Santorum’s grainy photo was juxtaposed with ominous music paid for by Dullard’s Super-PAC.

    At any rate, Santorum’s loss in Ohio – even though a squeaker – coupled with Gingrich’s win in Georgia – which will be enough to keep Gingrich’s oversized ego in the race, means this thing is, for all practical purposes, over. And the allegedly “conservative” and “pro-life” party will have nominated someone who is neither.

    Which means I’ll be casting my vote elsewhere this fall. Time to replace my Santorum bumper stickers and yard signs with ones for Virgil Goode.

  • Probably a correct analysis Jay unless Gingrich does decide to drop out soon and put every drop of energy he has behind Santorum. Unlikely, yes, but this year I do not think it is ever safe to assume that the unlikely may not occur.

  • I’m not sure the Pauls are angling for Rand to get the VP spot. Yeah, I’ve heard chatter about it, but it doesn’t seem to make much sense to me given that Romney’s positions (as floppy as they may be) are far and away different than those of Pauls… at least the ones Paul supporters care most deeply about (foreign policy, ending the FED, etc…).

  • Rand Paul’s chances of accepting a VP slot are between none and square-root-of-negative-one. If the GOP loses, Sen. Paul is then cast into Elysium, never to be seen again. If they win, then he’s in that lovely position that was unsuccessful for all but Martin van Buren and GHW Bush.

    He’s aiming at 2016 or 2020, depending. Were there any chance of Paul the Younger being on a ticket, Paul the Elder would have dropped out months ago. Being in any oppositional situation would not serve the cause.

  • Pretty much nailed what I was gonna say. I would just add that the Virginia result is the most troubling for Romney, especially since Virginia is such a must-win state for the GOP. That’s a mighty loud protest vote. And for the “electable” crowd, please note that Romney is barely eking out victories while massively outspending his opponents. What is he going to do when he’s the one being outspent on the order of 2:1, if not more?

    Even though Gingrich dropping out would help Santorum – and Santorum certainly would have won Ohio without Newt in the race, and probably Georgia as well – there’s something to be said for the fact that Rick would be facing a 2-1 onslaught without Newt. Not having Newt in the race could help Romney and mini-Romney concentrate their fire. So I think the advantage to Santorum to Newt dropping out is not as significant as people might think.

    I had suggested on my blog that Santorum would drop out if he lost Ohio, but considering the closeness of the race and the otherwise decent showing last night, he’ll stick it out. He should do fairly well in the next round of states, which are concentrated in the south and midwest. But he faces an uphill climb to 1,044.

  • Something to keep an eye on:
    Every time Romney gets a big win, he lets down his guard and drops the conservative fascade. It always comes back to bite him, and his campaign is left scrambling to undo the damage and explain that the candidate didn’t really mean what he just said. (See, e.g., last week’s faux pas re: the Blunt Amendment.) EVERY time. So be on the watch.

    My guess, based on his speech last night in Massachusetts, is that Romney will not wait any longer before doing the general election pivot to the “middle” (i.e. left). It will happen this week, perhaps as early as today. Expect to be continually disappointed throughout this election as the REAL Mitt comes to the fore.

    I expect he’ll even pull a Murkowski and back off his already tepid “support” of the failed Blunt Amendment at some point in the near future. He’ll use the “I support religious freedom, but the Blunt Amendment was overbroad and went too far” line. He’ll even go on record as wanting to broker a “more effective accomodation” than the Obama “accomodation”. It will be somewhat more favorable to the Church’s position, but not satisfactory. Just watch.

    That’s my prediction.

  • I think that there are a few things people often forget about:
    1) We’ve had huge upswings in this race. To count *anyone* out right now seems crazy and indicates a lack of backwards vision.
    2) I don’t have numbers to back this up, but is it possible that some people who vote for Gingrich might vote for Romney instead of Santorum? I know I would choose Romney over Santorum any day, any week, if it was between those two!
    3) How many Republicans and conservatives are actually going to sit at home on election day if Romney wins the nomination? I think the hatred for President Obama is so high among that crowd that they’d show up to vote for a shoe. So any talk of Romney barely beating Santorum, and only when he outspends him, says nothing about the general election. The general election will simply be, for Romney, making sure he doesn’t offend the Republican and conservative base, and appealing to moderates. Santorum can *only* appeal to die-hard conservatives and Republicans.

    In the end, I can’t see how Santorum is a better general election candidate than Romney: and this comes from a Newt supporter!

  • I don’t have numbers to back this up, but is it possible that some people who vote for Gingrich might vote for Romney instead of Santorum? I know I would choose Romney over Santorum any day, any week, if it was between those two!

    Most polling suggests that you’d be in the minority among Gingrich supporters, though who knows what would really happen.

    How many Republicans and conservatives are actually going to sit at home on election day if Romney wins the nomination?

    Well, you’ve got two on this thread alone, and from what I’ve seen I would say that a not unsubstantial number of conservatives would do so. Again, we’ll see.

    Santorum can *only* appeal to die-hard conservatives and Republicans.

    And yet he twice won in a district that was more than 3:1 Democrat to Republican, and won twice state-wide in a leaning blue state (yes, yes, I know – he also lost there by 18). In a general election, Santorum’s populist appeal could very well attract more blue-collar Democrats and independents than Romney is likely going to draw.

  • Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.

    Both candidates allowed the press to build it up as the defining race of Super Tuesday, so they have to live with the results. This is the second Clash of the Titans since Santorum’s three-state sweep, and Romney has won both of them.

    Newt has a shiny new toy, and will go into the Convention with two state victories – cause it ain’t gonna happen a third time. Paul didn’t even get a shiny toy. At this point they’re just vying for a good slot in primetime at the Convention. I think they both want to hold their heads high, but really, why should they?

    I’ve been bothered by the constant calls for candidates to drop out, but if Romney can win the two Deep South races of Alabama and Mississippi next week, I don’t see why Santorum should stay in the race.

    How would Santorum be as a VP nominee? Typically, the pick has less significance than the press thinks it does. VP isn’t like being Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon; it’s more like being Michael Collins who stayed in orbit. You’re close enough to see what power looks like, but you don’t actually have any. And there’s always talk about putting all the other candidates in your cabinet to show party unity, which never amounts to anything. But I think that the personas that Romney and Santorum have crafted in this campaign would play off each other really well. The fact that they don’t seem to like each other would work to their advantage.

  • I got to hear the local vaguely-conservative station’s special coverage that was mostly scolding Gingrich and pouting that Santorum was doing so well. (the guy really likes Romney)

    I notice a trend: the folks who support Romney and Libertarians seem to think that SoCons are still going to do their “better than nothing” trick and support anybody that’s not Obama. I think the game is changing– you can’t take the base for granted, not when there’s so much access to information that “better than nothing” is more like eating the seed-corn.

  • After viewing the three speeches last night, I reached the conclusion that there is only one candidate who articulates the fight necessary to beat Obama and the vision to lead this country out of the rubble. I challenge all of you to objectively view the speeches and honestly evaluate the message conveyed.

    P.S.
    Newt= $2.50 gasoline.

  • Tess S. –
    why on earth would we base our choices on one speech from each person? Besides the fact that what I heard of Newt’s speech was not persuasive unless you already agreed, and the idea of Newt fighting the elite establishment still makes me giggle (imagine Pelosi talking about speaking truth to power), I don’t make choices strictly on how good someone is at talking. That may be a bias on my part, because I’m not so silver-tongued myself.

  • Foxfier,

    Then let’s vote for a candidate based on the fact that he has seven kids.

    The majority of his Super Tuesday speech consisted of bragging about the size of his family, his roots in the Ohio Valley, and a display of a few smooches with his wife. It was beautiful. Profound. A family like his will save the world.

    Yeah. I Pick Rick.

Shenanigans in Michigan

Friday, March 2, AD 2012

Despite losing by three percentage points in Michigan on Tuesday night, Rick Santorum could claim a small moral victory.  Because Michigan awards its delegates proportionally, Santorum and Mitt Romney walked away with 15 delegates each.

Or so we all thought.

Well lo and behold the Michigan Republican establishment got together and made sure that didn’t happen.

On a 4-2 vote, the Michigan GOP’s credentials committee met Wednesday night and awarded both of the state’s at-large voting delegates to the party’s national convention to Romney — who won the popular vote 41%-38% over his chief rival, Rick Santorum.

Based on earlier explanations to reporters and the campaigns that the party’s rules said the at-large delegates would be awarded proportionally, it had been expected that each candidate would get one at-large delegate.

. . .

Saul Anuzis, one of six members of the credentials committee, said the credentials committee voted in early February to award both at-large delegates to the winner of the popular vote.

Republican Party spokesman Matt Frendewey said he didn’t do a good job explaining the rules to reporters.

“I just didn’t explain it clearly enough,” he said.

You see it was all just a big misunderstanding.  They always meant to award both at-large delegates to the winner of the popular vote.  Nothing to see here.  The native son won after all.  Have fun in Ohio.

Unfortunately for Anuzis (who at one point came close to heading the RNC), not all Romney supporters are this dishonest.

Not to former Attorney General Mike Cox, a member of the committee, who said the vote doesn’t pass the smell test.

“I have this crazy idea that you follow the rules,” Cox said. “I’d love to give the at-large delegates to Mitt Romney, but our rules provide for strict apportionment.”

Cox supported Romney and even acted as a surrogate for the candidate on several occasions during the last three weeks. He was one of two “no” votes Wednesday night — along with attorney Eric Doster. Voting for the distribution of delegates to Romney were party Chairman Bobby Schostak, Anuzis, party Co-chairwoman Sharon Wise and party official Bill Runco.

Cox figures the issue will become moot when Romney does well on Super Tuesday, when 10 states hold primaries and caucuses next week.

“But this niff-nawing over one delegate doesn’t help him,” Cox said.

He acknowledges that there was discussion of giving the popular-vote winner both at-large delegates, but that it didn’t get written into the rules.

Obviously Mr. Cox’s ears must have had a typo during that discussion.

So we have further proof that Mitt Romney is such an incredibly awesome hurricane of a candidate that party insiders have to change the rules post facto in order to give him a victory in his native state.

One would like to think that by now Romney and company have done enough to repel any Republican voter from even considering voting for Romney.  HA!  Romney now commands a 16-point lead according to Rasmussen, and has all but erased Rick Santorum’s lead in Ohio, and now leads in Washington state.

I don’t know what to say.  In light of the events that transpired yesterday I made a vow that I was no longer going to hector those whom I normally agree with about this election.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to try and do everything in my power to help Santorum get the nomination, but I’m done banging my head against the wall.  It is what it is.

 

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28 Responses to Shenanigans in Michigan

  • “I don’t know what to say.” How about: “Let’s begin to put our differences aside and realize that, unless we unite soon, President Obama will be re-elected in November.” He will then be unfettered by the need to run for election again, with its attendant consequences for his second term.

    Paul, you are right, “It is what it is,” and this November, unless we unite soon, it will be what WE allow it to become.

  • Tom, I’m sorry but I’m not going to be bullied into supporting someone as loathsome as Mitt Romney. I won’t spend my days and nights blogging about how awful he is, but “he’s not Obama” is not enough. I recognize that is a minority position, likely unpopular, and if you want to vote for whoever the GOP candidate is, that is your prerogative. Count me out.

  • Ah, pettiness and stupidity, the hallmarks of the Romney campaign. The pettiness is obvious in cheating to get a measly delegate. The stupidity comes into play in creating a great deal of ill will over one delegate. If Romney is the nominee I will vote against Obama, and the most effective way I can do that is by voting for the Republican nominee. However, Romney and his acolytes are working overtime trying to dissuade me from my resolution.

  • I certainly did not, and do not, wish to “bully” anyone. I think that I was stating what, by now, must be obvious.

    What each of us chooses to do this November is, ultimately, our choice, the consequences of which we must be fully aware. A second Obama term will be unfettered from the restraints of having to run for re-election. If you dislike what has occurred during his first term – to quote Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

  • Bully was a strong choice of words, so I apologize for that. And I completely agree that a second Obama administration must be avoided. I’d like to avoid nominating the guy who will make it easier for Obama to achieve that mission.

  • No need to apologize Paul, I admire and respect your passion. Let’s all of us – Republicans, libertarians, and conservatives – commit from this day forward, while respecting our differences, to ultimately put them aside and work together to defeat President Obama this November.

  • Even the events of yesterday couldn’t compel me to vote for that fraud Romney. And, unlike Paul, I WILL use my blog to rail against him and encourage others to vote for someone like Virgil Goode (potential Constitution Party candidate).

    Romney’s answer to the question about the Blunt Amendment that was posed to him the other day should be all the proof we need that he will sell our interests down the river at the first sign of media and Democrat confrontation. Oh sure, his campaign came back later and said he “misunderstood” the question, but I’m not buying it. Listen to him speak. When is it that he sounds most ill at ease? When he’s trying to sound conservative and mouth pro-life platitudes. When does he sound like he’s most in his own skin? When he’s trying to get to the left of his opponents, such as when he attacked Perry over Social Security and in his answer to the Blunt Amendment question when he resorted to the “bedroom police” rhetoric of the left in attacking Santorum over contraception.

    Call it whatever you like. “Bully” might be too strong a word, but no one will ever convince me to vote for Mitt Romney, and I don’t care what kind of Obama parade of horribles is marched in front of me to try to sway me.

    (And let me just say that Ohio Right to Life, who sent me a pro-Romney email today, can forget about ever receiving any support from me.)

  • Jay, I hope that former Representative Goode (R) of Virginia decides, as a loyal Republican, to support the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Every Republican, libertarian, and conservative who does not vote for the Republican nominee in 2012 will help to re-elect President Obama to a second term, a second term in which he will be unfettered by the constraints of having to run for re-election again.

    Let me just give you one enticement to vote for the Republican nominee: the very likely replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the next presidential term. If Justice Ginsburg were replaced with a Republican appointee to her fill her seat, that would tip the balance decisively to five constitutionally-oriented votes, six if you count Justice Kennedy. Isn’t that what a supporter of the Constitution Party would wish for?

    Jay, when comparing Obama with Romney, or whoever is the ultimate Republican nominee, please do not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. And yes, while I am not an ardent supporter of Romney, he is a “good” when compared to President Obama. Federal judicial appointments alone should make this clear.

  • Michigan did award its delegates proportionately. The wrinkle is that because Michigan held its primary early, it may be penalized at the convention and some of the awarded delegates may not get to vote. The rule they adopted on how to allot the voting at large delegates is a bit confusing, but it does suggest that the winner of the popular vote would get both of the voting at-large delegates.

  • It’s really not worth fighting over a single delegate unless it ends up coming down to one later on in the race (which I don’t expect to happen). I still see the whole thing as a victory for Santorum anyway. Romney had to spend 5 times as much cash just to win by only 3%. It’s the same pattern in every state he has won, when he massively outspends his opposition he wins. When he doesn’t, he loses.

    The Romney supporters don’t seem to be asking themselves WHY that is. Most of those who don’t support Romney however know the answer. It’s because he can’t win on character, facts, or his record. The only way he can win is to try and denigrate his opponents.

    Honestly I really wish Gingrich would back out and support Santorum. Newt has no chance at winning, but if he backed out most of his supporters would rather easily slide over to Santorum. The reverse isn’t necessarily true, AND Santorum already has a bigger lead in delegates won at this point as well.

  • Seriously, Tom, save your energy. My mind will not be changed re: Mitt Romney. And Congressman Goode has already announced his candidacy for the Constitution Party. As far as his being a “loyal Republican”, Goode is as independent a politician as they come. He was a conservative Democrat for most of his career, then an independent, then a Republican, and now a member of the Constitution Party. Like me, I don’t believe he will fall for the “But you HAVE to vote for Romney” routine.

  • It takes no energy, Jay, to state the obvious; every Republican, libertarian, or conservative who does not vote for the Republican nominee for President, no matter who that nominee is, will help to re-elect Barack Obama to a second term, a second term in which President Obama will no longer be constrained by the need to run for re-election again.

    I am NOT an ardent supporter of Mitt Romney, but I prefer him to President Obama. Whether we like it or not, a third-party candidate will not be the next President of the United States. Either Barack Obama, or the Republican nominee, will be the next President of the United States.

    The choice regarding who, for example, will nominate the replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she retires from the Supreme Court of the United States, is yours.

  • Please. Mitt Romney can’t be trusted to go to the mat for a constitutionalist replacement for Ginsburg. Mitt Romney can’t be trusted, period.

    Vote for him if you’d like, but I won’t. If the Republican party is intent on nominating people who are blatant frauds and who don’t share my values and my beliefs, then they have made the decision they can do without my vote. If Obama is re-elected as a consequence, that is the fault of those who nominated him and the fault of their nominee, not mine.

  • Jay,

    Robert Bork has endorsed Romney. Do you think Bork would do that if he thought Romney would nominate non-constitutionalists to the Supreme Court?

  • Jay, I respectfully ask you, and those who agree with you, to carefully reconsider and do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Whether we like it or not, we have a binary choice for President in November. In Florida, in 2000, a swing of 300 votes would have elected Al Gore. Please do not let something similar happen in Ohio, or other battleground states, in 2012.

    A second Obama term will be unfettered from the need to run for re-election. Those issues that, for political reasons in his first term, President Obama has hesitated to openly advocate, and to establish public policy toward, will not be so constrained in a second term. Advocacy and public policy actions in favor of same-sex marriage is only one probable example of an Obama second term.

    Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito – Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Which of these pairs of recent Supreme Court appointments is most closely aligned with your judicial philosophy? Who do you trust more to make constitutionalist appointments to the Supreme Court, Obama or, if he is the nominee, Romney?

  • Tom, I’m with Jay on this: I am not changing my mind. We’re not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, because frankly Romney doesn’t qualify as good. He’s a nasty, dirty campaigner with no scruples, and he’s a complete shape-shifter who changes his message when it suits his needs.

    I’ve head the arguments you’ve made before – I’ve made these arguments before. Enough.

  • Enjoy Obama’s second term . . . I am now moving on. I’m done.

  • Tom has it right.

    The choice is Liberty or Obama.

    If you think the GOP is likely to take the Senate nor maintain its House majority if Obama gets four more years to finish us off . . . Independents/swing voters go straight ticket.

    There will be a second Obama turn and it will be the end of America as we know it.

    Alinsky, Ayers, and Axelrod are having 24/7 orgasms.

  • Paul,

    If I may ask, who did you support in the 2008 primary?

  • We’re not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, because frankly Romney doesn’t qualify as good. He’s a nasty, dirty campaigner with no scruples, and he’s a complete shape-shifter who changes his message when it suits his needs.

    Just to point out that the list of Republican candidates who have in recent decades performed adequately enough to earn some delegates in constituencies they had not before represented or earned more than a scatter of popular votes is limited to Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George Bush the Elder, John Anderson, Robert Dole, ‘Pat’ Robertson, Patrick J. Buchanan, ‘Steve’ Forbes, George Bush the Younger, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Mitt Romney, ‘Mike’ Huckabee, ‘Ron’ Paul, Dr. Gingrich, and Mr. Santorum. You are not going to get the good; you might just get the marginally satisfactory.

  • By nominating Romney, the GOP’s platform will consist of two words: Mitt Romney.

    It won’t be a campaign on any of the following: Healthcare (Romney’s 2009 recommendation of the individual mandate to the President being the latest Weathervane spin his fans refuse to acknowledge), energy production (he enthusiastically signed cap and trade), or religious liberty (he forced Catholic hospitals to supply abortifacients as Governor).

    He’s going to run as a gentlemanly businessman shaking his head at how out of depth poor Mr. Obama is. Cantor’s Romney endorsement today shows the template.

    “What I have seen is a very hard-fought primary. And we have seen now that the central issue about the campaign now is the economy,” Cantor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “I just think there’s one candidate in the race who can do that, and it’s Mitt Romney.”

    Cantor said Romney was “the only candidate in the race who’s put forward a bold, pro-growth, pro-jobs plan for the future.”

    And in a tidy 59 points, no less. Sounds like it’s good for an equally tidy 200 electoral votes.

    The Supreme Court Justices argument would be a lot more convincing if (1) John Sununu wasn’t in the inner circle, and (2) Romney hadn’t punted on appointed judges to an “independent commission.” Bork will have slightly more influence over Supreme Court nominees than that other renowned Romney legal advisor, Douglas Kmiec.

    He’s a trimmer whose first instincts when faced with controversy are to tack to the left. By nominating him, the Republicans reveal themselves to be almost as graspingly desperate and unprincipled as he is. You can deck it with parsley and artfully-arranged radish rosettes all you like, but at the end of the day, it’s still a Mitt Sandwich.

  • who did you support in the 2008 primary?

    Fred Thompson, then Duncan Hunter.

    Then, with both out, and my only remaining choices being Paul, McCain, Huckabee, and Romney, I put aside my misgivings and went with Romney (although I wound up voting for McCain by the time all was said and done because it was down to just he and Huckabee). I still would take Romney over Paul and Huckabee, that’s how much I don’t care for the latter two. In retrospect I was judging McCain on his rhetoric and not his record, and doing the reverse for Romney. I didn’t particularly care for any of the choices before me, but Romney seemed like the least worst at the time.

    Things have changed drastically in the intervening four years. This field of candidates is far, far more conservative. The likelihood of a Republican winning is better (considering the circumstances). Also, I’ll be honest: I hadn’t researched Romney with the depth I should have. This year I am very familiar with all of the remaining candidates. I also think context matters. If the Republican party, given the option of going with someone with a conservative (if admittedly imperfect) record instead chooses the “safety” of someone like Mr. Romney, it has essentially sent a message that individuals who hold my beliefs are unacceptable for higher office. Exactly how much longer am I supposed to blindly follow a party like that?

    Now excuse me while I bow out of the conversation, at least for the day. I have a smoker to put together, and considering my handyman “skills,” that will take me right up to my self-imposed internet curfew of 6 p.m.

  • Oh one more point before I go: ditto Dale Price.

  • it has essentially sent a message that individuals who hold my beliefs are unacceptable for higher office.

    I will dispute that. I think the message that has been sent is as follows: primary voters are generally low information voters. The rise and fall of Gov. Perry and Mr. Cain in particular are indicative of fickle and superficial thinking.

  • And I deemed Mitt Romney to be unacceptable the first time I ever laid eyes on him and heard his smarmy efforts to get to Ted Kennedy’s left in 1994. He’s done absolutely nothing in the intervening years to change my initial impression of him.

  • Two comments.

    First, I can understand preferring another candidate to Romney in the primary. What I can’t understand is how someone could prefer Romney to McCain and Huckabee *and* say they won’t vote for Romney against Obama in the general election.

    Second, having litigated constitutional issues in the federal courts for five years, my assessment is that judges appointed by Republican presidents (even moderates like Bush 41) are as a group far superior to judges appointed by Democratic presidents.

  • fickle and superficial thinking.

    Can’t say I completely disagree with that, though my own (persistent) support for Perry was (I hope) neither superficial and certainly not fickle.

    For the record, my 6 p.m. estimate turned out to be severely conservative.

The Weathervane Avoids Disaster

Wednesday, February 29, AD 2012

 

What could have been a very bad night for Mitt Romney, a/k/a The Weathervane, turned out to be mixed.  He won handily in Arizona, a state none of his opponents seriously contested.  In Michigan he dodged a bullet by eking out a 3 point victory over Santorum  The problem for the Weathervane is that Michigan should have been one of his strongest states, a state where his father was governor, and which he won by nine points in the Republican primary in 2008.  Outspending Santorum three to one, he barely won a victory in a state which should have been his going away.  Ironically he owed his victory to the fact that his old nemesis Gingrich stayed in and deprived Santorum of a winning margin.

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32 Responses to The Weathervane Avoids Disaster

  • That’s as good a spin for Santorum as can be hoped, but the GOP electorate has decided that the most electable candidate is the one that takes Obamacare, energy production and the HHS mandate off the table.

  • Nothing was decided last night Dale, and we will see if anything gets decided next week.

  • I know Santorum can recover. In an interesting development, he won southern Macomb County’s congressional district, home of the Reagan Dems.

    But I continue to be stunned by the unexamined assumption that Mitt is the most electable. I guess those folks assume gas will be at $5 a gallon and Romney will somehow wave away his cap-and-trade law.

    Here’s hoping Ohio has better critical thinking skills.

  • Romney appeals to those GOP insiders who always wish to go with the safe choice. Play it safe is always the motto of the GOP establishment, the same type of people who backed Ford in 1976, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008. The safe choice can win but it is always by a hair, Nixon in 68, Bush in 2000 and 2004, unless the Democrat implodes, McGovern in 1972 and Dukakis in 1988. Fortunately for Romney, if he does end up being the nominee, I think Obama will be in sad shape in November due to high unemployment, high gas prices, perhaps sky high gas prices, and the coming war with Iran. The announcement by the Israeli government yesterday that they will not give the US government prior notification of an attack on Iran I suspect was done on behalf of the Obama administration to give them plausible deniability of being in cahoots with Israel prior to the attack being launched.

  • Super Tuesday will largely hinge on Ohio. Oklahoma is a layup for Santorum, and Mass is the same for Romney. Georgia is going to be interesting. It’s Newt’s “home” state (despite not being raised there and not currently living there), but Santorum was fairly close in the latest polls. I haven’t seen polls in North Dakota but I would assume that favors Santorum. Tennessee also looks good for Santorum, and Vermont should be another Romney win. Currently Santorum is doing well in Washington, which has its caucus on Saturday. Now I don’t know how recent events will make things shake out, but it’s looking like next Tuesday should be a fairly good day for Santorum.

    As for Michigan, I note that it was the senior vote that put Romney over the top. I can only speculate that many of these folks just thought they were voting for his dad.

  • I can envision Obama’s campaign speeches against Mitt….” my wife doesn’t have a couple of cadillacs and I don’t bet $10,000 on anything and that orientation of ours comes from the gravitas that most families have about life and money irrespective of net worth. To send people into war or to withdraw them from war at the right time requires gravitas…not the light headed modality of someone who seems to never have suffered.”
    It’ll be so easy for Obama writers.
    If Mitt gets that far, it’s going to be impossible not to watch the gaff meter….like counting the number of times basketball player Allen Iverson said “practice” to the sports media in his now
    famous sports press conference of another time. How many hard pressed families can Mitt offend per week by implying they are not successful in the shallowest area of life. It’s going to be pro choice versus smiley shallow. Obama may even raise the question as to whether God has ensouled Romney to date (ergo his lack of empathy with the unsuccessful)….God ensouled Adam while the latter was fully adult and breathed the soul through Adam’s nostrils. Can’t rule it out.

  • One of my favorite Democrats, Mickey Kaus, has some choice words for the GOP establishment:

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/28/david-broooks-sad-elite/

  • Michael Barone has an interesting analysis of last night’s returns suggesting that they show Romney’s potential strength in the fall (in brief: Romney managed to do better in the suburbs than Republican presidential candidates have done in 20 years).

    Looking at the delegate math, it’s not clear to me that Santorum has a path to victory at this point. He can draw out the campaign, potentially damaging the eventual nominee in the fall, but I don’t see how he wins a majority of delegates.

  • Currently Santorum is doing well in Washington, which has its caucus on Saturday.

    Two things… Saturday is just at the precinct level. Then we have the county level on 3/31. Then state is somewhere down the line from there. The WSRP is notorious for going for the safe choice. Also, WA is a rather left wing state, so a moderate is about all I expect to get WA’s delegates.

  • “Also, WA is a rather left wing state, so a moderate is about all I expect to get WA’s delegates.”

    Actually Washington is a divided state, with the Republicans tending to be very conservative and the Democrats being very liberal. I expect Santorum to do well there.

  • “Looking at the delegate math, it’s not clear to me that Santorum has a path to victory at this point. He can draw out the campaign, potentially damaging the eventual nominee in the fall, but I don’t see how he wins a majority of delegates.”

    Considering that the contest has just started BA, I don’t see how anyone can do delegate math and reach that conclusion. As to damaging Romney, I think Romney manages quite capably by himself in regard to that. If anything, this contest will make Romney a better candidate in the Fall, if he gets the nomination, assuming he has any sort of learning capability at all in regard to becoming a better politician, something I doubt.

  • Bill:

    President Obama’s wife spends on average $2 million (taxpayers’ money) a month on vacations.

    After nearly tthree years in control, Obama had the garvitas to getUS troops out of Iraq. Gitmo is still open. President Obama imnmediately stopped water-boarding three mass murderers; and ordered the aerial drone assassinations of hundreds muslim suspects.

    President Obama may now get us out of Afghanistan, after his apologoes got a bunch of our soldiers shot in the backs of their heads.

    But hey, I’m with President Obama on the apologies initiative.

    If I were President Obama, I would release the following statement:

    “On behalf of the Fifty-Seven United States of America, I apologize for the deaths of 19 muslims who were killed by New York City’s World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.”

  • Donald,

    CNN has an interactive delegate calculator that lets you look at various options. I’ve played around with it a fair amount. Romney currently leads Santorum by 100 delegates, and has another 140 all but guaranteed in Massachusetts (his real home state), Virginia (where Santorum isn’t even on the ballot), and Utah (self-explanatory). If we assume on the other side that Santorum will win Pennsylvania (which is winner take all), that still leaves him with a 168 delegate deficit to Romney. Given that the delegates in most of the remaining states are allotted proportionately, the only way that Santorum can come back from this delegate hole is if Romney collapses completely, which is not going to happen.

  • Actually Washington is a divided state, with the Republicans tending to be very conservative and the Democrats being very liberal. I expect Santorum to do well there.

    It would be nice. However, my experience is west of the Cascades, which is a different reality than eastern WA. Four years ago, all I heard was “We must support McCain! He’s the only one that’s electable!” There were better conservative options, in my opinion then. Can the east’s more conservative bent overcome the west’s more liberal tendencies? I hope.

  • There were better conservative options, in my opinion then.

    You mean like Romney?

  • Santorum reminds me of a good sports team that can rally to beat their rivals in one game a year, but don’t have the talent to put up a playoff-quality W/L record over a season. Santorum basically tied Romney in Iowa, where Romney didn’t spend much time. Rick swept the three non-binding states on February 7th, but again, they were largely uncontested. Rick avoided direct fights with Romney in Maine, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. Michigan was the first time the two of them invested effort in the same state, and Mitt won.

    If Romney gets a boost in the polls after this win, he could have a pretty good Super Tuesday. If Santorum can win OH, OK, and TN, he’d prove himself to be a contender, but if he loses any of them then Romney will return to being the presumed nominee. And I think he can grind out a win from there.

  • “if Romney collapses completely, which is not going to happen.”

    Frankly BA nothing would surprise me this campaign. Additionally I assume that Gingrich will give his delegates to Santorum eventually if he can forestall the nomination of Romney by doing so. I rather suspect that Ron Paul would do the same for Romney if that is what it takes to ensure that he is the nominee so there are wheels within wheels here. California with 169, and New Jersey with 50, are winner take all states on June 5, and they may decide it.

  • Donald,

    If Paul does give his delegates to Romney, then that will more than cancel out any advantage Santorum gets if Newt gives him his delegates (though I don’t expect it will come to that). In fact, if the Paul camp is to be believed a lot of Santorum’s delegates are really Paul delegates, since they come mainly from caucus states that Paul claims to have infiltrated. Of course, all that only matters if there is a brokered convention, which I doubt will happen.

    You are right that New Jersey is winner take all. I didn’t list it as one of Romney’s guaranteed wins, but I think he is very likely to win there because of Christie’s support and the state’s favorable demographics. The demographics are favorable to Romney in California too, but you are mistaken in saying the state is winner take all. As in Michigan, California’s delegates are awarded by congressional district. My hope would be that the race will have concluded long before then. If not, that will be an enormous waste of time and money that could be better spent with an eye towards the fall.

  • “If Paul does give his delegates to Romney, then that will more than cancel out any advantage Santorum gets if Newt gives him his delegates (though I don’t expect it will come to that).”

    It depends upon what the number of delegates are for each candidate by the time of the convention BA, and assumptions on what those numbers will be are merely guesstimates at best.

    “In fact, if the Paul camp is to be believed a lot of Santorum’s delegates are really Paul delegates, since they come mainly from caucus states that Paul claims to have infiltrated.”

    That sounds like the type of conspiracy mongering that I would expect from the devotees of Doctor Delusional.

    “You are right that New Jersey is winner take all. I didn’t list it as one of Romney’s guaranteed wins, but I think he is very likely to win there because of Christie’s support and the state’s favorable demographics.”

    Last night was the first night I believe in which a candidate endorsed by a Republican governor won that governor’s state. We will see what New Jersey looks like by June 5.

    “The demographics are favorable to Romney in California too, but you are mistaken in saying the state is winner take all. As in Michigan, California’s delegates are awarded by congressional district.”

    Most are awarded by district and some are awarded state wide. I was misinformed initially by a site that didn’t note the change of California from winner take all in 2004. As for demographics, unless the Mormons are holding out on their numbers from the census figures, or there is a demographic favorable in the Republican party to fake conservatives from Massachusetts, I am unsure how anyone can speak assuredly about demographics this early in the contest.

  • Depending on the state, not all delegates are obligated to vote as their caucuses or primaries dictated. There are also super delegates wh can vote however they want.

  • T Shaw,
    Secret Service and secured planes (not poulette au reisling) are the expense in Presidential vacations. Just war theory requires success as possible. That rules out the Afghanistan fiasco. If you owed Visa $14 trillion, would you spend another one trillion rearranging but not changing two unbaptized populations one of whom will be farming opium until Elijah returns? Look at the mountains there…impossible to police. One in five vets has PTSD. That comes from risking for no gain.

  • the same type of people who backed Ford in 1976, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008. The safe choice can win but it is always by a hair, Nixon in 68, Bush in 2000 and 2004,

    For the record, Mr. Ford was the incumbent president, who had not done a poor job in office. Mr. Dole’s principal opponents were a newspaper columnist and a magazine publisher. Mr. McCain’s principal opponents were the fellow you refer to as ‘the Weathervane’, the fellow you refer to as ‘Doctor Delusional’, and Gov. Huckabee. Mr. Nixon’s principal opponents were Gov. Rockefeller and Gov. Reagan, the latter of whom had been in office all of a year and a half; his margin of victory was shaved to a nubbin by the presence of George Wallace. The show candidate in 2000 was Dr. Keyes, whom I doubt would have improved on Mr. Bush’s performance. I cannot imagine whom you would have nominated in lieu of the President in 2004.

  • “Play it safe is always the motto of the GOP establishment, the same type of people who backed Ford in 1976, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008”

    Agreed.

    Now, what’s interesting in this crazy election cycle is who has been added to this mix. No conservative in my little corner of the world that supports Romney today was a McCain supporter of yesteryear. Such is the difference in this election.

  • I’d say that there is a good deal of overlap Paul D.

  • “For the record, Mr. Ford was the incumbent president, who had not done a poor job in office.”

    Disagree Art. I vividly remember the “Win” buttons which was his strategy against inflation.

    “Mr. Dole’s principal opponents were a newspaper columnist and a magazine publisher.”

    I think Steve Forbes would have been far better as a candidate Art than Zombie Dole.

    “Mr. McCain’s principal opponents”

    Better the Huckster than Zombie McCain, although I agree that it was a very bad field that year.

    “Mr. Nixon’s principal opponents were Gov. Rockefeller and Gov. Reagan, the latter of whom had been in office all of a year and a half;”

    You can guess Art who I was supporting at the age of 11.

    “The show candidate in 2000 was Dr. Keyes, whom I doubt would have improved on Mr. Bush’s performance.”

    I was backing Steve Forbes Art, although I hoped that Bush would govern more conservatively than he in fact did.

    “I cannot imagine whom you would have nominated in lieu of the President in 2004.”

    No one Art. I listed 2004 as another example of how safe Republican candidates tend to produce cliff hangers.

  • Heard some really amusing spin this afternoon– a middle conservative guy talking on the radio about how Mitt beat Santorum by so little just because of the liberals– 41 to 38; about two minutes later, he offered as support for Mitt being popular with those who self-identified as conservative: “Mitt won, 43 to 41!”

    No idea who did the polling he was reading off, but it amused me. ^.^

  • Disagree Art. I vividly remember the “Win” buttons which was his strategy against inflation.

    The WIN buttons were an odd public relations campaign. The actual results were as follows:

    Increase in the Consumer Price Index,

    August 1973-August 1974: 10.8%
    January 1976-January 1977: 5.2%

    I think Steve Forbes would have been far better as a candidate Art than Zombie Dole.

    Whether or not he had been a ‘good candidate’, he was running for public office, which he had never before held.

    I was backing Steve Forbes Art

    The three candidates who actually won delegates and more than a scatter of votes were Gov. Bush, Sen. McCain, and Dr. Keyes. I like Keyes, up to a point. Wrong job for him, though.

  • “August 1973-August 1974: 10.8%
    January 1976-January 1977: 5.2%”

    And Ford had as much to do with that Art as his silly WIN Buttons. Inflation went down after the ending of the Arab oil embargo and the economy adjusted to higher energy prices. That inflation had not been cured by Ford’s ministrations was dramatically illustrated during the tenure of his successor.

    “Whether or not he had been a ‘good candidate’, he was running for public office, which he had never before held.”

    I doubt if Dole’s life sinecure in warming a seat in Congress Art made him much better prepared. It certainly did not prevent him from running one of the most lifeless and dispiriting Presidential races that I have ever witnessed by any candidate not named John McCain.

    “I like Keyes, up to a point.”

    I respected Keyes Art until I witnessed the appalling campaign he put on here in Illinois against Obama in the Senate race of 2004. Dreadful beyond belief.

  • And Ford had as much to do with that Art as his silly WIN Buttons. Inflation went down after the ending of the Arab oil embargo and the economy adjusted to higher energy prices. That inflation had not been cured by Ford’s ministrations was dramatically illustrated during the tenure of his successor.

    I had no idea you had studied the intricacies of monetary policies as followed during the years running from 1973 to 1979. In any case, these are the core inflation figures (price increases during the calendar year with food and energy prices excised).

    1973: 3.6%
    1974: 8.3%
    1975: 9.1%
    1976: 6.5%
    1977: 6.3%
    1978: 7.4%
    1979: 9.8%
    1980:12.4%
    1981:10.4%
    1982: 7.4%

    During the Ford Administration, the core inflation figures began to decline around about March of 1975 and continued to do so (not quite monotonically) until he left office. During the Carter Administration, they began to escalate around June of 1978 reaching their peak in June of 1980.

  • A handy dandy resource for looking at inflation in the US from 1914-2012 is at the below link Art:

    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/

    Inflation reached a low of 4.9% in November of 1976. In December of 1976 it had bounced back to 5.8%. December of 1977 it was up to 6.5%. Ford enjoyed a brief decline in the seventies inflationary spiral for about a year and a half, but his policies had not touched the core of the problem which took Reagan to address.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes this data.

    Month-to-month headline inflation figures bounce around quite a bit. The core inflation figures have the volatile food and energy prices removed so fluctuate less. The month-to-month core metrics were on a downward trajectory from March of 1975 to the time Mr. Ford left office and for some months thereafter. Specifically, core inflation was running at an annualized rate of 11.7% in February of 1975 and at one of 6.3% in July of 1977. The country was not in a recession at that time either. The recession ended in early 1975.

    I do not see how that qualifies as poor performance, no matter how much milage comedians got out of the WIN program. All administrations are messy and make errors. In my lifetime, we have had three administrations (Nixon’s, the younger Bush’s, and the current one) which made far more severe errors than any Gerald Ford ever contemplated without incurring severe intraparty challenges, one administration which incurred a challenge for reasons irrelevant to its actual flaws (Mr. Carter’s), and two administrations among the least problematic of the post-war period who were badly injured by intra-mural party squabbling (Messrs. Ford and Bush the Elder). The only occasion where truly wretched performance met with a relevant challenge (albeit a challenge with poor prescriptions) occurred in 1968.

  • This seems to be the source of that amusing soundbite I mentioned.

    I figured out what was screwy– most major lefties don’t ID as dem, they’re “independent.” If you look at how people self-ID’ed by ideology– which is a bit more reliable– then he was far more popular with “moderate or liberal” than Rick.

    The probability that any people really trying to screw with the primary would lie like a dog makes the data even shakier, but not much you can do there.

Rombo: He Gets to Win This Time?

Wednesday, February 15, AD 2012

Santorum has some savvy ad people in his campaign if this ad is any indication.   Having the buttoned down Romney in a Rambo spoof is hilarious and will stick in the minds of viewers.  It also hits on Romney’s one trick pony campaign:  ceaselessly go negative because his flip-flops over the years make it impossible to portray himself, with a straight face, as a candidate with convictions about anything except that he should be president.  Bravo Santorum campaign!

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4 Responses to Rombo: He Gets to Win This Time?

Ross Douthat Explains the Weathervane’s Santorum Quandary

Wednesday, February 15, AD 2012

 

 

A brilliant piece by Ross Douthat in the New York Times explaining why Romney a/k/a the Weathervane, is running into so many problems in dealing with the challenged posed by Santorum:

But Santorum’s advantage is that he can get to Romney’s right and to his left at once. On the one hand, Santorum isn’t responsible for a health care bill that looks an awful lot like “Obamacare” and he doesn’t have a long list of social-issue flip-flops in his past. This makes his candidacy a plausible rallying point for the voters who previously turned Bachmann and Cain and the pre-debate Rick Perry into conservative flavors of the month.

At the same time, though, Santorum’s persona, his record and his platform all have a populist tinge that plays well in states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where swing voters tend to be socially conservative but economically middle-of-the-road. (Hence the Michigan poll that showed him leading among independents and Democrats who plan to vote in that state’s open primary.)

This means that Santorum can play the same anti-Bain, anti-rich-guy, blue-collar card that Gingrich tried to play in New Hampshire and South Carolina – but subtly, implicitly, in ways that don’t make him sound like he belongs in Occupy Wall Street instead of the Republican primary.

So what script should Romney choose as a response? Many conservatives have urged him to rebrand himself with primary voters by embracing a more rigorously right-wing policy agenda – endorsing Paul Ryan’s budget more explicitly, outlining a more aggressively supply-side approach to tax policy or even a pure flat tax, echoing furious attacks on the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul and Gingrich, and so on.

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National Review Calls on Gingrich to Drop Out and Endorse Santorum

Monday, February 13, AD 2012

 

Interesting.  I had assumed that National Review was in the tank for Romney.  However, this morning the editors have called for Gingrich to drop out and endorse Santorum.  They follow this up with a blast at Romney:

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

Santorum has been conducting himself rather impressively in his moments of triumph and avoiding characteristic temptations. He is doing his best to keep the press from dismissing him as merely a “social-issues candidate.” His recent remark that losing his Senate seat in 2006 taught him the importance of humility suggests an appealing self-awareness. And he has rightly identified the declining stability of middle-class families as a threat to the American experiment, even if his proposed solutions are poorly designed. But sensible policies, important as they are, are not the immediate challenge for his candidacy. Proving he can run a national campaign is.

Romney remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama. Lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion. Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals. His hope is that enthusiasm will follow when he takes on Obama in the summer and fall. But his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)

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6 Responses to National Review Calls on Gingrich to Drop Out and Endorse Santorum

Santorum at CPAC 2012: Leads Romney by 15 Points Nationally in Latest Poll

Saturday, February 11, AD 2012

Rick Santorum’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference convention this week.  According to The Hill, the impact of the speech on the conservative audience was electric.  Go here to read the story.  Coming off his trifecta wins on Tuesday, Santorum is now neck and neck with Romney in national polls, and is beginning to see poll results where he outpolls Romney against Obama.  We may be witnessing one of the greatest comebacks in American political history.   

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13 Responses to Santorum at CPAC 2012: Leads Romney by 15 Points Nationally in Latest Poll

  • Speaking only for myself….I need to do more fasting and prayer so that Santorum wins this year. Oh, the schadenfrude I would enjoy from the likes of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Lame Stream Media would be icing on the cake, but that cannot be the primary reason.

    A life preserver has been thrown our way. Will enough Americans recognize it?

  • What a blessing for America — Rick Santorum will be president and he will be one of the greatest US presidents ever.

    He is the only candidate worth taking the presidency and bringing America back to what she was founded on. Rick Santorum’s vision and policies are the best I have heard from any western leaders in 30 years! God bless and protect Rick Santorum – presidential candidate. We all know the truth — he is the only one who can and will do the job.. He is a brilliant, good and wise man — with a great love for God, for the Declaration of Independence – ‘all men are created equal’… — and he is a man of greath faith who loves his family and his own people.— What more could you ask for.
    I wish we had him in Canada..— !!

  • Santorum still has to answer for his throwing Pat Toomey, a very electable conservative, under the bus when he endorsed Arlen Specter in the 2004 GOP senate primary. It, for one, shows he can be bought off by the GOP establishment. And no, this “We have to support our incumbents’ BS won’t fly. Santorum did a very bad thing then and that’s that!

    The base needs to hold him accountable for it and he has to do a mea culpla. Period!

  • Santorum already has expressed regret over his endorsement, and conservatives have certainly have held his feet to the fire on it. What more exactly needs be done?

  • “Santorum already has expressed regret over his endorsement, and conservatives have certainly have held his feet to the fire on it. What more exactly needs be done?”

    Paul can you provide examples of both? I have followed this pretty closely and haven’t heard conservatives say much about this or Santorum express regret. If you can provide suffcient examples I wouild galdly stand corrected.

  • See here with a link to an interview, and his rationale for why he endorsed Specter. Note my name in the comments suggesting that this was a wrong-headed reason, though I can understand that at the time the composition of the Senate was in doubt, and he thought that we were going to need Specter’s vote to get Bush SCOTUS nominees confirmed. In retrospect he was wrong, but hindsight is admittedly 20/20.

    As for conservative angst about the Specter endorsement, you can’t read one thread about Santorum on a conservative blog without it being brought up. It was the reason that many conservatives were originally reticent about fully supporting him.

  • I saw it as wrongheaded at the time. What help was Arlen Specter in getting SCOTUS nominees confirmed that warranted his being endorsed over Toomey? After all, Specter’s relibiality in that area was doubtful at best. Just ask Robert Bork. And by 2004, this was clearly 20/20 hindsight. No, Santorum did this for purely selfish reasons, hoping his endorsement of Specter would help him in an uphill fight with Casey, which of course, he lost by an 18 point drubbing.

    But think about it. If you’re Romney, this would be his best trump card. He can play this to hilt in painting Santorum as an establishment sellout. And those of us who don’t want Romeny can’t say a damned thing about it because it is true.

    What more can be done?, you ask Paul. Well, for starters, Santorum can actually man up and admit he was selling out to curry favor with Bush and the rest of the GOP establishment and stop insulting our intelligence with that lame excuse he gave. I say this as someone who wants him to get the nomination.

    As far as conservatives holding his feet to the fire, so what if a bunch rather obscure conservative blogs talk about it. Nowhere in any real national venue, like talk radio for example has this been dealt with in any substative way. Mark Levin, who is probably Satorum’s most vocal supporer in national talk radio, hasn’t said boo about it as far as I know and I have listened to him rather regularly. Hugh Hewitt talked about it in passing on his show with Byron York, I think it was.

    So, I stand by my original assertion.

  • What help was Arlen Specter in getting SCOTUS nominees confirmed that warranted his being endorsed over Toomey? After all, Specter’s relibiality in that area was doubtful at best. Just ask Robert Bork.

    Santorum’s endorsement was contingent on getting this promise from Specter. Specter was slated to become Chair of the Judiciary Cmte, and for what it’s worth, he did forcefully back both Alito and Roberts. Santorum thought Specter was more of a sure thing in the general than Toomey, and this was at a time when it looked like the Senate could be up for grabs. Even at the time I thought Santorum was being overly pessimistic both as regards to Toomey and the Senate in general, but it was a reasonable gambit. But he was wrong, and I fully concede that.

    He can play this to hilt in painting Santorum as an establishment sellout. And those of us who don’t want Romeny can’t say a damned thing about it because it is true.

    Sure Romney is going to play this to the hilt, and it’s an admitted weakness. But somehow it pales into comparison to lavishing praise on ted Kennedy after signing into law the legislation that would become the model for Obamacare.

    Well, for starters, Santorum can actually man up and admit he was selling out to curry favor with Bush and the rest of the GOP establishment and stop insulting our intelligence with that lame excuse he gave.

    So in other words, he should proffer an apology that may or may not actually have any basis in fact. That you deem the excuse lacking does not mean it was not precisely why Santorum gave the endorsement.

    so what if a bunch rather obscure conservative blogs talk about it.

    Obscure blogs like National Review, Hot Air, Ace of Spades? Seriously? This has been brought up every single time Santorum is even under dicussion.

    Nowhere in any real national venue, like talk radio for example has this been dealt with in any substative way.

    I suspect I listen to as much talk radio as anyone. It has been brought up – by Levin as well. He didn’t excuse Santorum’s endorsement, but he did mention it at some point. Rush has discussed it as well. In fact, I believe both have discussed the Santorum endorsement of Specter as a talking point likely to be brought up by Romney’s camp.

  • Now, Paul, Specter’s being slated to become judiciary chair was actually all the more reason to primary him, given his suspect reliability. You mean to tell me that there weren’t already more suitable and reliable republicans availible to fill that post? And that Santorum didn’t know it? Sorry, I’m not buying it. At the very least Santorum should have stayed out of that. He didn’t have to endorse anyone. Based upon the facts we do know, the reason I cite is far more plausable than the excuse he gave.

  • As the tight Presidential polls that year indicated, there was every prospect that 2004 was going to be a bad year for the Republicans. The Democrats had slightly more seats up than the Republicans, 19-15 in the Senate that year, but the playing ground was fairly even. On election night Kentucky, Florida and Alaska were fairly close, and South Dakota was won by a hair. Control of the Senate would have shifted if those elections had gone the other way, and they might well have.

    I think what Santorum did was reasonable at the time, assuming that one’s goal is to have Supreme Court justices on the Court that will overturn Roe. Bush lost Pennsylvania to Kerry, and I think it likely that Toomey might well have been defeated that year, considering that he only got 51% of the vote in 2010, the best election year for Republicans since Calvin Coolidge was in office, and running against a rather weak Democrat opponent.

  • Oh goodie. Conservatives are all ga-ga over another neo-con puppet who can’t wait to start another war. By all means, let’s ignore that pesky little idea known as a Just War. No thanks. Warmongering and the lies that form the basis of such criminal activity is why God will not bless this nation until a leader can be found who possesses discernment. One more reason among many the US is headed for Divine chastisement.

  • Bye, bye Dawg em. I am sure that there is a paleocon site waiting breathlessly for your contributions.

  • Mr. McClarey, thank you for dismissing the gentleman with the rather old Cleveland Browns related name.

    Greg, you have to get over the endorsement of Specter by Santorum. We are not electing Christ to the presidency. Santorum has expressed his regret in helping Specter. Do you live in Pennsylvania, Greg? Did you know how much help Specter gave Santorum in getting elected to the Senate – twice? Specter helped Santorum compete in the Philly suburbs.

    Specter switched parties when it was apparent to Specter that Toomey would wipe up the floor with Specter in 2010 – this was not the case in 2004.

    I do not, did not and will not like Arlen Specter. I wish he would have quit years before losing in 2010. So Romney wants to attack Santorum for Specter?

    There’s plenty to go after Romney for. I remembere the Massachusetts Senate debate in 1994 on CSPAN. Romney was slightly leading Kennedy. Romney was asked about the Contract with America – the means by which Newt Gingrich and Company wiped out the most corrupt Democrat leadership in the House of Representatives. Romney turned tail and verbally hid from the moderator. Kennedy moved in for the kill.

    Romney will attack Santorum, but Romney is still a well tailored, well-spoken ninny. Santorum can roast him about Romneycare, and Mittens knows it.

Santorum Rising

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2012

 

Last night in Missouri Rick Santorum finally got to go one on one against Romney, since Gingrich did not bother to get on the ballot, and the results were devastating to the Weathervane.  Santorum won two to one, garnering 55% of the vote to 25% for Romney, with Ron Paul bringing up the rear with 12%.  Santorum won every county in the state.  The Romney camp will claim that since this was a non-binding beauty contest and that Romney did little campaigning in the state, this is meaningless.  Rubbish!  What does it say about the Romney campaign and its appeal to Republican voters that they lost this badly in a state that has been a bellweather of the nation in most Presidential elections?

However, Missouri was not the end of the bad news for Romney last night.  In the Minnesota caucuses Santorum came in first with a stunning 45% and second was, wait for it, Ron Paul with 27%.  Romney, who won the caucuses by 20 points in 2008, came in third  at 17% with Gingrich being Tail-end-Newt with 11%

To complete the trifecta of woe for the Weathervane last night, we turn to Colorado, a state Romney was supposed to win according to the polls.  In the caucuses, Santorum came in first with 40%, Romney took second at 35%, Gingrich a very distant third at 13%, just edging out Paul at 12%.

So, the night couldn’t have been better for Santorum or worse for Romney, but what does it all mean?

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30 Responses to Santorum Rising

  • Thank God! Indeed, the liberals hate Santorum as much as thy hate unborn babies.

  • Now THIS is what I call sending a message. Even if Romney does end up winning the nomination he now knows he MUST turn more to the right if he is to generate enough momentum in the key swing states to win. At the very least, he has to pick a solidly conservative running mate… perhaps Santorum himself, or Marco Rubio.

    The most surprising outcome of the evening to me is Ron Paul doing as well as he did in Minnesota. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised given that Minnesota has a history of electing some really odd pols like Jesse Ventura and Al Franken….

  • It is time to go “all in” for Rick.

  • Although it is the only strategy he has, Romney’s going negative on Santorum – especially if it’s done in the manner it happened to Newt in Florida – will NOT sit well with Republican primary voters.

    The “grassroots” were never altogether comfortable with Newt as the “not-Romney” candidate, so there was really no downside to going negative against him the way the Romney campaign did. But if they do the same thing to Santorum, there is a HUGE downside – they run the risk of further alienating those who are not sold on Romney, and perhaps getting a backlash from those who were supporting Romney only because they saw him as the only electable alternative to 4 more years of Obama.

    Watch how National Review handles this Santorum surge – if they go negative, that will be a clue that the Romney camp plans on holding nothing back in their attacks. If National Review takes the high road, that’s no guarantee that Romney won’t go negative, but it is an indication of how little tolerance some of his supporters will have for that tactic.

  • Jay – Very good point. Beating up on a guy like Newt is just karma (if you’ll forgive that word on a Catholic site). Beating up on a good family man – a Mormon beating up on a good family man – well, that’s gonna backfire. The biggest weaknesses of Santorum are his 2006 loss and his strong anti-gay stand (which I agree with, but by the time the press tells the story, it’s going to hurt him). So, what can Romney’s people do? Beat up on Santorum for being outside the religious mainstream?! Move to the left on gay rights?! It’s a nightmare for them. They’ll have to go clean, stressing Romney’s business experience, because there’s no other difference between the Romney package that they’re trying to sell and Santorum.

    Do I need to unpack the phrase “the Romney package that they’re trying to sell”? I hope it’s obvious. Romney is running as an experienced, likeable, electable conservative.

    OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

  • Yeah, between these victories and those polls showing Santorum doing just as well as Romney against Obama, this seems to me to make Santorum the only credible Romney alternative.

    I’ll admit, as perhaps the most Romney supporting writer here, I’m still kind of split. I’m worried that in the general election, Santorum would prove less slippery and teflon coated versus Obama and Romney — especially as the cultural left will go totally ape shit on him. They perhaps have Santorum even more than Sarah Palin. Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure. On the flip side, if Romney wins, in addition to some conservatives not rallying the Left will still paint him as a hard core extremist and they’ll work hard to activate every bit of anti-Mormon prejudice out there to their advantage. This will be a massively vicious campaign on the part of the Dems no matter what.

    Generally speaking, I like Romney more on economic/business policy and I’m a bit more inclined to trust him on foreign policy and perhaps immigration. I’m more inclined to trust Santorum on the environment (as in, not rolling over to greens) and I trust Santorum much, much more on the moral issues of the day, which in the end are the most important.

  • OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

    This is already in effect, as witnessed also at “conservative” sites like Red State where they have painted Santorum is basically a big government moderate. And as someone who served in Congress for well over a decade, he will have cast votes that now appear to be quasi-socialist. Never mind that most of them were wither procedural votes or were votes where he lined up 100% with the rest of the party, they will be spun to paint him as somehow being to the left of Romney. That’s why running for the presidency as sitting or former member of Congress is so difficult: lots of votes to explain away.

    But if Santorum clearly emerges as the main non-Romney, even that line of attack will likely backfire, especially if the attacks are seen as far-fetched. As I said on my post last night, Santorum’s effectiveness when he has gone negative is that he’s concentrated his fire on a few select substantive policy differences. If they try to throw the kitchen sink at Santorum, it could be viewed as desperation. And camp Romney is certainly desperate.

  • . Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure.

    As I said on Pat Archbold’s NCR blog, in point of fact Santorum isn’t much more socially conservative than Presidents Reagan and Bush policy-wise, and his views on issues like abortion and gay marriage actually aligns with majority sentiment. His two potential drawbacks are his personal social conservatism and the fact that he actually genuinely believes what he says. Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws. So the left will certainly try to spin that as much as they can.

    In the end, we have to keep in mind that the left will completely attack and smear whoever the nominee is. Santorum will be attacked for his social conservatism, Romney for being the rich aristocrat (who, we might as well just mention, paved the way for Obamacare), and Gingrich – well, where to begin? So trying to divine which candidate will be most affected by the negativism is somewhat futile, because voters are swayed by the most absurd things. It’s quite possible that attacks on Santorum’s social views might backfire, especially if they try to bring up some of the personal stuff related to their baby dying. Then again, it might work like a charm. We just don’t know. So as I’ve said before, you just have to vote for the guy that you personally believe is the best candidate, whoever that is for you.

  • Although not my first choice, I could certainly vote for Rick easier than I could for Romney.

  • The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.

  • Maybe this is a topic for a different blog post, but Paul Z. stated, “Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws.”

    Why shouldn’t contraception be banned and why shouldn’t anti-sodomy laws be enacted? They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal? Is the reason, “Well, the non-Catholics don’t agree, nor do even a majority of Catholics.”? Since when is truth determined by opinion? Oh yes, I will be accused of wanting a theocracy. Well, one way or another, we’re going to get a theocracy. The theocracy of today’s society is atheism (yes, I realize that is a contradiction in terms and that’s why it’s called “liberalism”.) But Jesus Christ will return and establish His theocracy with a rod of iron. No voting allowed. And that’s bad because?????????

  • They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal?

    Aside from the argument that it’s not practical to push an agenda too far outside the mainstream in a democracy, there would be the argument that actually enforcing certain kinds of laws would be more destructive than their absence.

    St. Thomas Aquinas actually made this argument in relation to not outlawing prostitution, even though it was clearly immoral: that the effects of trying to ban it would actually be more destructive than allowing it to continue. (So I guess we can at least feel like we’re better off that his time in one respect. Evil has a funny way of shifting around.)

    Back when we had laws against contraception and outlawing sodomy, I would have been in favor of keeping those laws — not only as a matter of morality but also because they served as a bulwark against other “logical” conclusions from their repeal. But at the point we are in right now (and at any point in the foreseeable future) I think it would be destructive to push for such laws.

  • Santorum is the doctor this country needs to make it better.
    1. $ is more a vehicle for Mitt Romney than a god, so, in a way (not- counting- the- neg.- ads- which- may- hurt- him- in the end), he is for the USA.

    2. Please don’t be quiet though, Newt Gingrich. People on both sides hear you and learn both manners and thinking with minds.

    3. He could save $, the O’s will have that covered.

    4. Santorum could do it on a shoestring in a better world, but he need to continue becoming known. Ads are forgotten rushes of images.

    5. … now if RPaul wants to defeat O., he could cooperate and support RSantorum.

    Romney/Santorum? a hope for GOP unity, one trait of Dems that works for them.

  • I expect no significant realignment of the federal government with the Constitution with any of the remaining viable candidates. Santorum will be a continuation of compassionate conservatism, i.e. big spender, big government. Newt is Mr. Toad’s wild ride, thrilling dips into conservatism and scary climbs into adventurous ideas. Romney is a weathervane.

  • “The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.”

    I don’t see how that could work in the primaries. Who would be persuaded to back away from Santorum because of it? Party faithful respect party loyalty; newcomers would have no strong feelings about it. Moderates would admire him for his willingness to compromise; conservatives wouldn’t flock to Mitt or Newt because of it, since those two candidates have had to work with moderate Republicans plenty of times. The only portion of the party that could have a problem with it are the Ron Paul supporters, who already have their man in the primary. They’d be less likely to be loyal to Santorum in an Obama/Santorum general election. Otherwise, the only people who would take offense at it are consummate insiders who would distrust Santorum’s political instincts.

  • They will use Catholicism against him, in subverted ways.

  • Santorum ideas are linked with that “old” oppressive Church– out of date– needs to get with the time- modern and…liberal. People who don’t understand why Santorum appeals, don’t understand that the Church is really always young, and just right for the times.
    We are so over the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s…. Santorum is more with the times than Madonna– how long has she been doing that same schtick? black and silver, smoke and lights and bumping and grinding— Young people I know, when asked about her performance the other night said, “Meh.” That is what they are saying to Romney, Gingrich and Obama. Santorum is doing great because his old ideas are new again.

  • they are not saying “meh” to obama– they are saying “no”

  • LIke I said before, if Santorum can go from an 18 point drubbing as an incumbent senator in 2006, a long shot at the GOP nomination to winning the nomination and then the presidency, it would be one of the most miraculous of all political miracles in history. I’d love to see it because I don’t think much of Romney and rather detest Newt. But it’s still a long shot.

    Oh, and you can bet his endorsement of the hideous Arlen Specter in 2006 GOP senate primary over Pat Toomey is now gonna be an issue. That’s one thing I have passionately disliked about Santorum.

  • I think Don happened to be channeling Jim Morrison with the title of this post. Mr San–to–rum rising, Mr San–to–rum rising Got-ta keep on ri-sin etc.

  • I am pleased with Santorum’s victories. However we must remember that Santorum added little to his delegate total.

    Red State had a temper tantrum at Rick Perry’s failed Presidential run and they took it out on Santorum. What Erick Erickson et al have failed to realize is that Santorum is far more conservative than Romney and would go farther in reigning in the government than Romney would – given a Congress that would work with him.

    There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion. Be forewarned. Romney and the Obama attack Machine will attempt to shred Santorum over it. It matters not to me, as there is no force on earth that would cause me to vote for Obama or any Democrat.

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  • “There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion.”

    Yeah, as a young nurse she was shacked up for years to a much older abortionist, before she met Santorum, fell in love with him and returned to her Catholic faith. It is a beautiful story of love triumphing over sin and I pity Romney or Obama if they think that will be a successful avenue of attack. Most of the American people are sentimental softies at heart, and they will recognize a magnificent love story when they see one.

  • I think its awesome that Senator Santorum is finally getting the attention he deserves. I’ve been saying right along that Santorum knew how to stay alive, and he’s done so – all along proving that money and sparkle aren’t the only measures of a presidential candidate – or a president, for that matter.

    I worry that this support of earmarks is going to bite him in the rear, though. I mean, the truth is that he’s got a LOT less baggage than Gingrich generated in a good year, and the fact is that he resonates with the sort of voters who don’t necessarily watch TV or listen to what a slick city politician has to say. So I think that the Midwestern base which he’s developing is now all but permanently in the Santorum camp.

    The question is whether or not he can play in other parts of the country – he needs some strong showings in the South, like Texas or North Carolina, to solidify his candidacy. If that happens, he could very well be our nominee, which would be fantastic. It’s about time.

  • Mr. McClarey, I write this as I am holding my sleeping nine week old son – I pray a majority of voting Americans see this as you and I do.

    A man can often be judged by the words and deeds of his adversaries and enemies. I find most anti-Santorum types to be quite obnoxious.

  • Penguins Fan, may God bless you and your nine week old son!

  • Well. I think if Romney or his surrogates ever brought up Karen Santorum’s past (I don’t think Mitt is stupid enough to do that), he ought to be run out of the party.

    Somehow, I don’t think the underhanded attacks will work as well against Santorum as they did against Newt. Why? The character issue. Newt’s questionable character made the attacks, whether they had any real merit or not, appear more credible. Santorum’s character is pretty solid in the minds of republicans, especially the conservative base. The strongest trump card (other than the Donald) Romney has against Satorum would be his throwing Pat Toomey under the bus to save Specter’s job.,

  • We’re electing a president, not a savior, so absolute perfection is not required. The trick is separating weaknesses (for example, poor performance in debates) and past mistakes that will not be, or are not likely to be, repeated (e.g. a “wrong” endorsement of another candidate) from fundamental character flaws and bad policy ideas that could cause real harm to the country. Unfortunately, the MSM and excessively rabid partisans tend to put all of these flaws on the same level and hold them up as equally valid reasons why a candidate cannot win or should be disqualified from consideration.

  • Electorally, Santorum would seem to be best positioned to benefit from blue collar Catholics and Midwesterners who Obama has been thumbing his nose at with things like the Keystone Pipeline denial and the HHS mandate.

    Politically, the advantage of a Santorum presidency is that for once you wouldn’t have to worry about issues like judges. He would also bring a focus to the relation between economic and family issues that has been lacking in the public discourse.

    I personally think Romney is a decent candidate personally and politically, there seems to be something about him that turns people off. I don’t quite get it myself, but I’m coming to the conclusion that it isn’t something that will go away.

    We’ll have to see whether Santorum can sustain his current momentum. But for now he arguably meets the Buckley Test of being the most conservative viable candidate, and hence deserving of conservative support.

  • What’s wrong with Romney? Let me count the ways.

    1. Search YouTube for “Romney flip flops.”
    2. Minimum wage indexed to inflation.
    3. Supporter of socialized medicine, which is what put the U.S. Church in the place its in.
    4. Supporter of government bailouts.
    5. Milquetoast

Looks Like A Two-Man Race to Me

Tuesday, February 7, AD 2012

Rick Santorum has won two of the three election contests tonight, and as of the time I write this is dead even with Mitt Romney in a state that had been all but conceded to Romney before this weekend.  Santorum has now won three of the eight primaries/caucuses that have been held thus far, and possibly four.  That puts him about even with Romney, and comfortably ahead of Gingrich and Paul in states won.

Admittedly he will be behind Romney in the delegate count, especially considering that no delegates were up for grabs in Missouri.  But 200,000 people went to the polls in Missouri, and a majority of them voted for Santorum (and again, I’ll admit that Gingrich was not on the ballot there).  He drubbed Romney in Minnesota as well.

This primary season has been a wild one, and who knows what will happen in the coming weeks.  The Romney sleaze machine* is already out in full force hitting Santorum.  Santorum is radically underfunded compared to Romney and even Newt, although that makes his victories thus far that much more impressive.  Right now it is looking like a two-man race, but it’s not between Newt and Romney but rather Romney and Santorum.

*: I wrote a post a few weeks back in which I said that Newt was and perhaps still is a jerk.  For the record, Mitt is kind of a jerk, and over two election cycles has proven himself to be a rather despicable campaigner.  For those of you who would vote for Romney in the general election, I suppose the silver lining is that the man is willing to fight dirty.  So at least he’s got that going for him.  Which is nice.

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20 Responses to Looks Like A Two-Man Race to Me

  • For those of you who would vote for Romney in the general election, I suppose the silver lining is that the man is willing to fight dirty.

    Nope. Romney fights dirty only against Republicans. If he gets the nomination, he won’t campaign that way against Obama.

  • Larry, I’m afraid you are probably right. The thing is you can fight hard without fighting dirty. Republicans just don’t seem to understand that.

  • Republicans just don’t seem to understand that.

    Happens when objecting to dirty attacks is labeled fighting dirty. Get told something often enough and you’ll eventually believe it.

  • I’d love it if Santorum is the candidate. If it is Romney – that would not be much different than Obama.

  • In the cae of Newt, he seemed to have gotten genuinely shaken up by the attacks on him in iowa, and he never really recovered his momentum. He won South Carolina, but it almost seemed that was a spite vote by the South Carolina voters. Oddly Santorum, who was the attack dog in the early debates, is becoming the guy who has emerged above the fray. He’s doing what Newt did early: deliver a conservative message while focusing his fire on Obama and not the other candidates. The added bonus is that he’s a bit more genuine about it.

  • Because of the ups and downs of Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum, I think it’s crazy to say right now that it’s a two man race. Weren’t people saying it was a two man race after South Carolina between Romney and Gingrich? Weren’t people saying it was a two man race after the first caucus?

    I think it’s just bad judgement and short-sighted to rule out anyone right now.

  • Also to Greg and Foxfier’s points, Santorum has been effective when he’s criticized the other candidates because he largely deals with legitimate policy differences from a conservative perspective. All of the others have tried to go after character issues, or have even attacked from the left. But when Santorum goes after one of the other candidates, the other candidates are left reeling because he’s not flinging absurd charges at them. He hits them at their weakest points, and he does so in a way that doesn’t discredit his cause (other than sounding a tad whiny at various moments).

  • Brett, I’m being just a bit tongue-in-cheek here as all the talk over the past month has made this sound like a two-man race between Newt and Romney. Just pointing out that actual election results would put that characterization in doubt.

  • If Rick Santorum can go from getting an 18 point drubbing as an incumbent senator. being a long shot for the GOP nomination to winning the nomination and the presidency, it will one of the most miraculous miracles in American political history. I’d love to see it, but it’s still a long shot.

  • Greg, as a friend of mine who is a Mother Superior of her order once said, “if it takes a miracle from God, I know him.” I’m going to keep praying and suffering for Santorum’s campaign.

  • The question is, how does Santorum make it a one-man race. I think the only way to do that is to bomb Tokyo. The not-Romneys have been calling for each other to drop out of the race for a long time now; Santorum needs to win Michigan and call for Romney to drop out of the race. Make the narrative going into Super Tuesday that the Republicans have rejected Romney. I think Santorum needs to win Michigan to make the case.

  • I really wish people would stop writing garbage like this and trying to sway peoples’ opinions. No, it’s not your job to do that.

    Santorum cannot win the general election; not ever.

    If you think he can, then that’s your opinion.

  • “I really wish people would stop writing garbage like this and trying to sway peoples’ opinions. No, it’s not your job to do that. ”

    New to blogs are you?

    “Santorum cannot win the general election; not ever.”

    Polls are actually showing him 1-3 points behind Obama which is quite good for a challenger in February polls. Unless you have invented a time machine and seen the future, I will have to assume your opinion of an Obama-Santorum race is simply just that, your opinion.

    “If you think he can, then that’s your opinion.”

    That goes without saying, although you said it anyway.

  • Swaying people’s opinion in a democratic republic! Oh my stars and garters– what will happen next?!?!?

  • “I really wish people would stop writing garbage like this and trying to sway peoples’ opinions. No, it’s not your job to do that. ”

    Now you’re not trying to sway our opinions, are you?

  • I will talk to my friends Marty McFly and Doc. I will see if Ken can borrow their car.

  • Ken,

    Last poll I saw had Rick over pharaoh 45 to 44.

    That was before Steve Urkell’s imbecile cousin pissed off the Pope.

    Are you minimally brain damaged? Did you eat too many lead chips as a toddler?

  • Rick Santorum is on with Greta at the moment. Too bad Ken took off with the car.

  • Oddly enough I have a statistics and research oriented profession, so in some measure it is in fact my job to persuade people.

  • I have something I would like to persuade people to think about…. birth control /sexual responsibility is not a woman’s issue is it? Doesn’t it still take two to tango?

Mitt Romney Cuts Ads for Obama and Gingrich

Wednesday, February 1, AD 2012

Fresh off his Florida triumph, Mitt Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane, decided to spend the day helping out his adversaries Obama and Gingrich.  The video above with Romney saying that he doesn’t care about the poor because they have a safety net can be played almost uncut in Democrat attack ads this fall if Romney is the nominee.  Then Romney finished the day by sending a slap across the face to economic conservatives:

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3 Responses to Mitt Romney Cuts Ads for Obama and Gingrich

  • Yep. Thought the “advantage” of a politician is that they know this kind of stuff is going to happen….?

  • I bet he’s one of them racists that want to ban welfare card usage at liquor stores and strip clubs. Re: Congresswoman Moore (D Bedlam)

  • Most other candidates could be afforded the benefit of the doubt. He badly expressed a sentiment that is not completely outrageous (though still problematic). However, this is a guy whose entire candidacy is based on electability. That is the singular quality that his supporters continue to harp on. Yet at every turn he continues to prove to be an inept, bungling candidate with mind-bogglingly poor political instincts. If you think that this is the kind of candidate to run in an election atmosphere like this, then you have completely taken leave of your senses.

Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

Coming out of his strong victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich had a golden opportunity in the Sunshine State to deal a deathblow to the Romney campaign.  Defeat Romney a/k/a the Weathervane in a large state like Florida, and the main rationale of the Romney campaign, electability, would be shattered.  If Gingrich had won the state he would  haven been the clear frontrunner and Romney would have been wondering whether he would be too old to try again in 2016.  Instead, Romney has won, and appears to have won strongly.  What happened?

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24 Responses to Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

  • accurately dubbing him the tax collector of the Welfare State.

    We have a welfare state. As long as you have it, you better pay for it.

  • “As long as you have it, you better pay for it.”

    As we are learning to our sorrow Art, welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

  • He should have been hammering away at Romneycare and Romney flipflops instead. In the second debate Santorum was devastating on Romneycare…”

    That line of attack wasn’t open to Gingrich. It had been closed off by Gingrich’s own flip flop on an individual national mandate, which is the part of the Obamacare that is easiest for most primary voters to understand. When Gingrich raised it in an earlier debate, Romney simply pointed out that the idea of the mandate came from the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich. If Romney has wrested the ‘weathervane’ title from Gingrich, it must have been by a hair.

    Plus, Gingrich hasn’t been good at attacking anyone other than debate moderators. I think you’re a trifle unfair to Wolf above; Wolf simply refused to be cowed when Gingrich tried to suggest that his own comments from earlier in the day were an inappropriate topic for the debate. Bluster only works as long as no one calls bs.

  • I disagree John Henry. There is a great deal of difference between Gingrich having made a statement about an individual mandate and Romney basically acting as a precursor for Obamacare. That is a gaping weakness in Romney and hacking at Romney through it would have been worth any jabs from Romney in return.

    In regard to Wolf Blitzer I think he clearly was gunning for Newt. Gingrich’s mistake was not to state the obvious: that Romney is an out of touch rich guy attempting to buy his way to the White House and that Blitzer is a shill for CNN, a network that has no love for conservative Republicans. Instead, Gingrich pulled his punches and lost the initiative.

    As to Romney’s weathervane title, Gingrich doesn’t come close to matching Romney’s flip flops on a whole series of issues. A debate between the various Mitt Romneys that have been in the public square since 1994 when he attempted to run to the left of Ted Kennedy on social issues would be amusing if not edifying.

  • Well call me idealistic but as a Star Trek fanatic I love the idea of a moon colony!

    I guess its “undisciplined” of Newt to say, but it is inspiring to think about that sort of accomplishment.

  • Newt Gingrich has much to commend him, including his blasts at Mr. Obama’s decision to mandate that health insurance plans at Catholic hospitals, colleges, and charities cover birth control, I think without co-payments and also, I believe, though usually unmentioned, abortifacients and sterilization. The president had compromise positions, but chose to ignore them as well as Catholic opposition to this decision. But unfortunately, Mr. Gingrich’s lack of discipline in speech and policy would make his presidency perilous. Recall what he said about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which managed to insult all the House Republicans who voted for it.

    He has also called Mitt Romney a “Massachusetts liberal.” I live in Massachusetts and know how difficult it can be for any conservative in the state, especially a Catholic conservative. I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

  • Too many voters have Romneycare fatigue. They’ve heard the complaints against so often that its offensiveness is wearing thin. So what are you left with? Flip flops and private sector experience. You can’t touch private sector experience because that’s the GOP third rail. The flip flops have been covered, and the average voter has heard it so many times applied to different politicians that they now think “They all flip flop.” So, Weathervane Romney becomes Teflon Mitt.

  • welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

    In the period running from 1969 to 2008, the ratio of public expenditure to domestic product fluctuated between 27.96% to 33.88%. The lower bound was during the fiscal year concluding in 1973 and the upper bound was in that concluding in 1992.

  • Greece reportedly will agree to pay .3 euro on each euro it owes. It’s better than zero. Next up is Portugal.

    We will soon see how that works.

    As Maine goes so goes the nation.

    Now, Maine has more peoples getting money from guvinamenent than paying taxes.

    I wead a weport that said CA guvmint may run out of money in March.

    I know!

    Let’s tax the rich!

    Let’s force the Catholic Church to pay for abortions and gender adjustment surgeries!!!

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout. This time not even the base will mobilize. Whether you like Gingrich or not, he has consistently shown that he has ideas and the willingness to take chances as a leader. I will not vote for Romney. To vote for Romney is to assent to all that he believes and legitimize his false faith and false ideals. If the Republican party wants to position itself as a liberal big Government – big Business party, fine. They will get what they want with Obama. Count me out.

  • I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

    Mitt Romney: not as bad Barney Frank and John Kerry.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to storm the beaches for the man now.

  • I think the moon colony proposal is the smartest thing since sliced bread – if we send all the politicians to live there.

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout.

    Once more with feeling.

    1. You have three salient economic metrics: the growth rate in domestic product per capita, the unemployment rate, and the rate of inflation.

    a. The last of these was consequential during the periods running from 1945 to 1952 and from 1966 to 1982, but not otherwise.

    b. The mean unemployment rate during this administration has been the highest of any since 1941. It was higher during Mr. Roosevelt’s first and second term, but during his Administration unemployment rates were on a downward trajectory and the social injuries associated with unemployment were treated with novel meliorist schemes.

    c. The growth rates experienced during the current Administration have been ever so slightly higher than was the case during the first Bush Administration, and lower than those in every other administration. The point at which economic dynamism reaches its peak varies from one business cycle to another, but it is usually within three or four quarters of the cycle’s commencement. Mr. Bush faced the electorate with a relatively fresh business cycle (ongoing for six quarters) which reached its peaks years after he left office. The current President will be facing the electorate with a stale business cycle (14 quarters in), and with a dismal future outlook due to massive public sector borrowing and the crisis in Europe.

    2. You have sixty years of public opinion polling to gauge the general assessment of the incumbent as compared with his predecessors. You have a great deal of interstitial flux in this metric, but the most common pattern is for the assessment of the President to take on a downward trajectory through the life of an administration. Some administrations have alternating biennial cycles of advance and retreat in public approval. Messrs. Eisenhower and Kennedy retained agreeable ratings with little temporal trend throughout their years in office. The current President appears to be one of the most common type, which is to say we can surmise that if it were getting better for him we’d have seen it over the last year. We have not.

    3. Mr. McCain was and is a Republican pol with a set of policy preferences that are common-and-garden within that set. He was facing (due to the ill regard for the incumbent administration and the banking crisis) a set of very challenging circumstances. Any deficiencies he had as a candidate were not an important consideration in the menu of reasons the Republicans lost the election.

    4. You think Mr. Romney’s opportunism renders him an unsalable candidate? A cursory examination of the political careers of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush the Elder would tend to discredit that thesis.

  • Experts say Gingrich moon base dreams not lunacy

    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/experts-say-gingrich-moon-1325119.html

    But then why think boldly? Besides, better things exists to spend our money on…. you will just be called a loon anyway. Can just imagine that attitude when when tried to put a man on the moon….. But no, Gingrich is just crazy….

  • 1. Obama GDP growth rates are suffuecuent to minimally reduce new unemployment claims. They are far below growth needed to return America to “full employment.”

    2. Over the recent nine (Obama) quarters, growth has been far below the four decade average. It took twice as long after the recession ended to recover to the pre-recession level GDP. The current (Obama) recovery real private sector GDP growth averaged 2.6% (2011 it was 1.7%) versus 1974-75 (Ford) 3.8% and 1981-82 (Reagan) 4.7%.

    3. The Keystone pipeline denial is the most striking example of the regime’s hostility to economic growth and job creation.

    4. A recent Gallup Poll sows Obama’s job approval in the third full year at 44%. That’s down from 47% in his second year. That’s down from 57% in his first year. That’s also down from the 69% approval he enjoyed on Inauguration Day.

    5. That 44% rating is worse than Gerald Ford’s and Bush the Elder’s going into their failed re-elections.

    6. Silver lining: Jummeh Carter’s approval rating was worse.

  • “Unless Romney loses a few of the primaries and caucuses in February, slowing his momentum, he will probably put this race away on Super Tuesday, March 6.”

    I’m not sure about either side of this. First of all, no one takes caucuses seriously, so I don’t think that a Romney loss would upset his flow. There are only three primaries in February: Missouri, Arizona, and the state of Romney’s birth. I think he’ll sweep those.

    But Super Tuesday is potentially the roughest day of his campaign. Virginia, Tennessee, and Newt’s home state. Romney hasn’t proven that he can win in the South (let’s face it, Florida isn’t a Southern state exactly). If Mitt can have a decisive victory on Super Tuesday, he’s set, but if he shows weakness on March 6th, the next month will be a gauntlet (Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, etc.).

  • Caucuses supply delegates Pinky, and that is the coin of any presidential nomination contest.

    In regard to Virginia, Newt and Santorum aren’t on the ballot. Georgia is a good state for Newt. Newt’s main concern is money drying up for his campaign. Unless he starts winning soon, goodby cash.

    The most interesting race this month is Missouri on the 7th. It is the best state for Santorum. The last poll I read showed him in first place with a stunning 45%. (Gingrich is not on the ballot.) If he can pull that off next Tuesday that could startle some voters who like neither Romney nor Gingrich into backing Santorum, and draw fallen away Gingrich backers. The primary is non-binding, but such a blow out victory would garner lots of attention anyway, and underline Romney’s weakness when the conservative vote is not divided.

    http://www.thestatecolumn.com/articles/poll-santorum-gingrich-lead-romney-in-midwest/

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  • Regarding Gingrich’s longstanding support for a national individual mandate, I believe the old line about being entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts is applicable. If you go here, you can hear Newt in May of 2009 talking about how an individual mandate had to be the key to any health care reform bill.

  • He was calling for a catastrophic health insurance mandate for those making over 75,000 BA, a bad idea but hardly Romneycare. Additionally Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare. How Romney would be able to call for the repeal of Obamacare while defending Romneycare, would tax the political skills of a far better politician than the Weathervane.

  • Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare.

    The irony here is that, after criticizing Romney for being Mr. Weathervane, you turn around and criticize him for not changing his position on an unpopular issue. Romney has never favored a national mandate, nor has he repudiated what he did in Massachusetts. Gingrich, on the other hand, favored a national mandate for nearly 20 years, supported Romneycare, and continued to support mandates up until he started running for president, at which point he suddenly realized that the whole idea was unconstitutional and would never work.

  • BA the Weathervane has made a career out of flip flopping. He has been on both sides of abortion, gun control, embryonic stem cell research, prayers in school, abstinence based sex education, the minimum wage, the types of judges that should be appointed to the bench, the abolition of the Department of Education, and the list could go at considerable length. When it comes to flip flopping the Weathervane is the grand champion.

    In regard to Obamacare, the White House consulted with former Romney aides who crafted Romneycare when designing Obamacare:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2011/10/11/romney-aides-helped-plan-obamacare.html

    The idea that Romney’s continued embrace of Romneycare is not a disaster in regard to the election this fall when a majority of the voters are opposed to Obamacare is precisely the type of politically tone deaf nonsence I expect from camp Weathervane.

  • Gingrich did not completely support Romneycare. He praised parts of it, and indeed agreed with the principle of an individual mandate. But he did not fully endorse the legislation.

    Of course there is a candidate that never endorsed the individual mandate named Rick Santorum. Maybe we should be focusing on him instead of these two duds.

  • Newt once supported the idea of a mandate and has since renounced it.
    Romney implemented the mandate and has embraced it.

    An idea can be dangerous, but bad legislation is far more destructive.

    Newt also fought Hillarycare and became its brick wall when he and the GOP won the house in 1994.

Confessions of a Reluctant Romney Supporter

Tuesday, January 24, AD 2012

I haven’t written much of anything about the GOP primary contest, despite the fact I have been following it closely, in part because I found myself so incredibly dissatisfied with all the candidates. However, as the field narrows and appears to be actually competitive, and various people I respect line up behind candidates, it seemed like it was time to come out of the closet as something I’m not very enthusiastic about being: a Romney supporter.

This is not because I’m particularly fond of Romney. I don’t trust him a great deal, I’m not clear how solid any of his principles are other than his conviction that he should be president, and I don’t find him particularly inspiring. As various candidates have had their five minutes of popularity for the achievement of not being Romney, I kept hoping that one of them would manage to pull ahead and show some stature. I was particularly hopeful about Rick Perry, but he just didn’t seem able to run a campaign.

So why support Romney?

I’ll start with the positive. While I’m not enthusiastic about Romney, I think that most of what the GOP needs in order to oust Obama this year is simply a credible alternative who doesn’t scare people too much. Given how bad the economy is and how unpopular some elements of his policy have been, “not Obama” can be a solidly popular candidate by that virtue alone.

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30 Responses to Confessions of a Reluctant Romney Supporter

  • I think Romney has a glass jaw Darwin. Of all the Republican candidates, except for Ron Paul (R. Pluto), I think he stands the best chance of being beaten by Obama. He gives every sign of conducting the same lifeless, passive campaigns that Dole and McCain ran. Your support of Romney also typifies Romney’s problem: even his supporters are very tepid about him. I will vote for him if he is the nominee, but the only reason I can think for doing so is that he would be the Not Obama in the race. This year that may be enough, but that is a frail reed to base an election on.

  • Yeah, I guess my fear is that Gingrich will on alternate days have a nitroglycerine jaw and no jaw at all. Heck, if we were okay with a flaky philanderer for our nominee why couldn’t we stick with Herman Cain? At least he didn’t have the bad congressional history and we could have pizza at all the campaign events.

    If Santorum were the one polling equal to or above Romney, and if either Santorum or Gingrich weren’t doing a lot worse in the general election polling, I’d be moderately happy to support Santorum. But although I’d reluctantly support Gingrich if he wins the nomination (which is perhaps more than I could say for Ron Paul) I have to admit I’d prefer Romney at the top of the ticket to Gingrich. (Kind of the way I supported Dole over Buchanan.)

  • Gingrich’s personal life is despicable, at least it was during his first two marriages. However thus far in this campaign he has shown a talent for coming back from the political dead, twice, and going off the script. The script I am referring to is that Republican candidates are supposed to be deferential to a media that despises them and their supporters, and that they are supposed to adopt a defensive crouch towards their ideological adversaries. I fear that is a script that Romney will faithfully follow if he is the nominee. I would much prefer it if Santorum were the one with a chance of beating Romney, but I think that ship has not only sailed, but sunk.

  • Now I think about it, I think my preference is based on one other expectation: Obama is clearly going to run one of the most viciously negative campaigns in recent memory. There will be no more of the hopey changey drivel we got last time — even his own base doesn’t believe it any more. So instead we’ll get one of the lowest and nastiest campaigns ever.

    There are, I guess, two ways to go after that. One is to put in someone like Gingrich who will fight back tooth and nail. The other is to go for someone like Romney who will try to do the teflon routine and brush it off with a, “You’re saying that because you’re a failure. Now are we going to move on and get the economy together or are we going to focus on looking for scapegoats for the next four years?”

    My instinct is that the latter will work better — though my crystal ball is no more functional than any other, so we’ll see what happens.

  • I’ve been pleased by how much emotion I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks. The line on 2012 was that it was going to be uninspiring, but people have suddenly become passionate about the race. And it’s still nine months away.

  • We are in agreement on the type of campaign Obama will run. We disagree on the best response to it. If Romney goes with the “above it all” routine he will be lucky if all of his kids vote for him as he goes down in flames. Negative campaigning is effective, and being passive to it is normally a one way ticket to political oblivion.

  • As to the feeling that the choices were weak this time around, I think that both Clinton and W did a poor job of developing the farm team. Reagan did a great job in that area, making appointments and supporting candidates who went on to become leaders. It’s not just about the so-called “team of rivals”, which doesn’t necessarily work anyway (it didn’t even work particularly well for Lincoln). It’s also about giving the rookies a chance to shine. During the past year people have been talking about their list of candidates who didn’t run (Palin, Rubio, Christie, etc.). A lot of those names are newbies. The reason that newbies are getting so much attention is because there isn’t a strong group of established politicians, the people who would have been newbies 10-20 years ago.

  • Romney consistently polls best against Obama in head to head match-ups, he has better favorable/unfavorable ratings than Gingrich, his implied electability on Intrade is higher, and of course he doesn’t have Newt’s history of blow-ups. Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.

    If Jeb Bush or Mitch Daniels got in I would be thrilled. But I don’t see that happening.

  • “Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.”

    Because he knows how to attack BA rather than to simply stand there and be a punching bag which seems to be Romney’s chief political skill. That and attempting to run to the left of his Democrat adversaries on social issues, which is a tactic he employed in both 1994 and 2002. Of course, now he is a changed man. (At least until the next shift in the political wind.)

    If pre-election polls were the determinging factor in who should be the Republican candidate than George Bush should have been the nominee instead of Reagan in 1980, since he normally polled stronger against Carter. As a matter of fact, Carter polled 10 points ahead of Reagan in the poll taken just before the October 28 Reagan-Carter debate when Reagan aggressively mopped the floor with Carter. Reagan went on to win by nine points. The rejoinder is that Gingrich is no Reagan. True, although Reagan was no Reagan until he put away a President he had trailed in almost all the polls the entire year.

  • I could understand holding one’s nose and voting for Romney in the General Election because one sees him as the better of two bad alternatives. I disagree with it, and won’t do it myself, but I understand it.

    But I just cannot understand actually supporting him in the primary. Fortunately, Darwin, Sarah and I will be more than happy to cancel out your vote in the Ohio Primary.

    😉

  • Romney consistently polls best against Obama in head to head match-ups, he has better favorable/unfavorable ratings than Gingrich, his implied electability on Intrade is higher, and of course he doesn’t have Newt’s history of blow-ups. Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.

    That’s basically my thinking. If there was a candidate out there who I thought people would love if only they could get a better look at him, I’d be happy to support someone on that basis who didn’t yet poll well. But other three who have made it this far I like even less than Romney. Which is what leaves me supporting him.

  • Drew over at Drew Musings explains why he is backing Gingrich:

    “In the end, I’ve settled on Newt Gingrich.

    It’s been a long journey and the final choice I’ve come to represents a compromise on my ideal choice to fight the battle against Barack Obama.

    Originally I wanted a bland conservative who was plausible to most voters as a reasonable option to be President. I wanted the election to be a referendum on Obama with the GOP offering a solid, if not spectacular alternative. A Sanford/Pawlenty/Daniels type would have kept the focus where it belonged…on Obama.

    Some will argue that Romney is in this mold. I don’t think so. His wealth and more importantly his lack of basic political skills makes him to easy for Democrats (Obama, pundits and “reporters’) to caricature. He simply hasn’t shown the ability to take a bunch and drive the narrative.

    Failing that I figured we’d have a battle of ideas. If we can’t make it about Obama, then we damn well needed a big time personality to make the most pro-conservative case possible. I saw Christie and Perry as the best options for this kind of fight. Sadly, Christie didn’t run and Perry was simply incapable of carrying the fight to anyone, let alone Obama.

    Again, some will say that Romney could do this. His lack of conservative accomplishments, his record of bashing long held conservative beliefs and his lousy political skills (he can’t sell capitalism to GOP primary voters!), make the idea of Romney The Ideological Warrior a joke.

    That leaves us with the fight we have…going toe-to-toe with Obama in a long, hard, slog. It’s going to be hard to unseat a sitting President under the best of conditions and this election isn’t going to be that. What Newt brings to the table is what a heavyweight fighter always brings to the ring…a puncher’s chance. No, Newt isn’t going to win the election with a big line at a debate but over the course of a 6-8 month fight, Newt will land plenty of big blows on Obama on policy, record and rhetorical grounds. That combination will generate something that was missing for the GOP last time… real excitement in the base. The question is will he be able to pick up enough swing voters along the way? I think (hope) there are enough that are fed up with the bill of goods Obama sold them last time that Newt can make Obama too unattractive to support again while seeming to be a reasonable option himself.

    Gingrich will take a lot of shots in return but unlike Romney, he’s shown over and over again an ability to get back up and start swinging again. Yes, Newt’s been knocked out before and fought some losing fights but if he’s going to go down to Obama, he’s going to bloody him on the way out. He just might be able to knock Obama out before he falls himself.

    I just don’t see on what grounds Romney has any policy or political advantage over Obama.

    It’s not an ideal way to fight this battle but I think Newt’s way is the best chance we have.”

    http://drewmusings.wordpress.com/

  • I agree with Darwin. I do enjoy Newt’s combativeness, but his most recent debate response regarding Marianne’s interview was nothing more than an egotistical outburst that bordered on pathological. It is exceedingly difficult to listen to and unpack this statement and still believe that Newt has any true remorse for his callous behavior. I fear he is not only an egomaniac of the highest order, but he is horribly deficient when it comes to basic human empathy. And his ideas are half-baked. Some may be worth baking to completion, others plainly not, but he lacks the patience to drill down and finish the job. I’d still probably vote for him over Obama.

    Santorum’s principled social conservatism is admirable and attractive. I think he is also a genuinely decent man. Unfortunately, I think he is not only unelectable, he is also incapable of effectively governing a nation that sadly does not share his his passion on social issues. That would take a leader with with exceptional persuasive abilities, and I don’t see that in Santorum.

    Paul is just weird. Deep inside I do think he still worries about the Trilateral Commission and is only partially convinced that 9/11 wasn’t an inside job.

    Romney is more technician than idealogue, which is why he is so at sea when it comes to articulating abstract ideas and his own beliefs. I think he governed center-left in a hard left state, and I think he would govern center-right in a center-right nation. I do think he would appoint conservative judges, though perhaps not as reliably conservative as Santorum.. I also think that Romney is a decent man and an adult who is capable of self-restraint and self-discipline, something I don’t think applies to Gingrich. Like Darwin, I am comfortable supporting Romney, even if not enthusiastic.

  • And that’s why the GOP establishment will keep shoving guys like Romney down our throats … because we’ve proven time and again that we’ll throw over good, decent pro-life candidates like Santorum and, in the end, support whatever pro-abort RINO stiff gets the nomination.

    Please don’t take the foregoing as a harsher criticism than what it is meant to be. But it is frustrating for me to see a couple of gentlemen for whom I have the utmost respect and with whose poltical instincts I generally concur, take this line.

  • No worries, Jay. I appreciate your frustration and admit that my calculus could be incorrect. Basically, my number one issue is abortion specifically and life generally. That said, trying to advance that agenda involves more than simply identifying the candidate whose believes are most in accord with mine. More precisely it involves identifying the candidate who is most likely to actually make progress on this issue, and that is a function not only of my assessment of (i) his priorities and beliefs but also my assessment of (ii) his likely efficacy. While I think Santorum is considerably stronger on (i), I think Romney is much stronger on (ii), especially since I do not think Santorum can defeat Obama in November. I am very much a pragmatist. I have little interest in supporting a candidate who I believe would work hard to advance the pro-life cause if I think he will neither really get that opportunity nor would be able to be successful if he did. My gut tells me that a Romney administration would be much more pro-life than Obama’s, and that he would favor conservative jurists who are skeptical of Roe. That is not perfect, but it is good insomuch as it is better than Obama — and I am not prepared to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
    All that said, I realize that this calculus is almost entirely prudential, and I could just be flat out wrong.

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  • Here’s my present voting stance:

    1) Santorum
    2) Gingrich
    3) Romney (holding my nose)

    …Ron Paul NEVER!

    WCC

  • If pre-election polls were the determinging factor in who should be the Republican candidate than George Bush should have been the nominee instead of Reagan in 1980

    I don’t say they are the determining factor in who should be the nominee, but they are an indication of who is more likely to win a general election. That Reagan ended up winning against Carter doesn’t change that fact.

  • A rather poor indicator at this time in a Presidential election cycle BA. After the conventions they have greater validity, although even then they need to be taken with a boulder of salt as demonstrated by the Reagan example. I believe the majority of polls in the first week of September of 2008 showed McCain ahead of Obama.

  • “…Ron Paul NEVER!”

    Agreed WCC!

  • It’s not conservative vs. moderate vs. liberal. It’s about the credentialed eiltes whose world views separate them from us. Seems they get upset when knuckle-draggers, such as myself, rise up on our hind legs and get in the way of their choices.

    Them there conservative elites didn’t excoriate Palin because she was liberal or moderate. They feared and loathed Sarah because she is not one of them.

    Newt will fight. He is from Mars.

    Santorum hasn’t shown any fight. He is from Venus.

    Romney is afraid or ashamed of himself. So, he can’t counter-punch. He is from Uranus.

    Paul and libertarians are worse than liberals. They are from Jupiter: could not be more stupider.

    Anyhow, Obama is at 44% approval rating. That’s down from 47% in second year; 57% first year; and 69% approval Inauguration.

    Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush had better polling numbers at similar dates in their failed re-election runs. Carter was slightly worse. I can’t understand that last one.

  • If Ron Paul (R. Pluto) gets the nominee, I’m going third party.

    As for Jay’s comments, I luv it! Romney is just another H.W.Bush/Dole/McCain clone that leaves me reaching for a swig of whiskey and a revolver.

    I want Santorum and he’s getting better in the debates.

    I could vote for Gingrich and hope he lands several debilitating punches to forever render Obama the worst president ever.

    I’d vote for Romney, if there were no one else and pray for a quick eight years to go by quickly.

  • Can anybody name a candidate for national office whose winning campaign strategy against an incumbent was to build a majority out of reluctant supporters?

  • Darwin:

    Santorum actually strikes me as a strongly principled social conservative, and in some ways I do like him, but I just don’t see him as having the executive presence to lead the nation or to succeed against Obama onstage.

    Mike Petrik:

    I think he is not only unelectable, he is also incapable of effectively governing a nation that sadly does not share his his passion on social issues. That would take a leader with with exceptional persuasive abilities, and I don’t see that in Santorum.

    You did not ask, but I tell anyway. I would not bother too much about handicapping candidates in this manner. The electorate can be highly tolerant of a considerable swath of characters if ambient conditions take a certain form. You will recall that in 1980 the country elected a man who had (eleven years earlier) been literally alone among the country’s governors on important policy questions. You will recall that three years ago the country elected a man who had been, just four years earlier, sitting in the Illinois legislature. Unlike Barry Goldwater or George McGovern, Mr. Santorum has been road-tested on a large and diverse electorate. His stance on the issues is pretty much what is modal among Republicans, just more emphatically stated. He will do as a candidate. His real deficiency is a deficit of preparation: no background as an executive and a truncated career in the private sector.

    Which brings us to what the problem is. The country needs to climb out of the hole it is in over the next four or five years. That will require instituting a combination of budget cuts and tax hikes. The latter is not admitted by Republican pols generally and quite a number may be perfectly sincere for all that. Mr. Romney’s utility (aside from an absence of distractions in his life like Marianne Ginther Gingrich) is that when he denies an intent to seek a tax increase, he is among the candidates the most likely to be lying. He also has experience presiding over restructurings. That will be useful.

    In effect, we are reduced to the hope that Mr. Romney will be much like the elder George Bush: a cheesy candidate but not a cheesy President. Wish things were different….

  • Art, you may be right. But I would note that I voted for Ronald Reagan. Twice. Rick Santorum is no Ronald Reagan.

  • Rick Santorum is no Ronald Reagan.

    Per David Stockman, Ronald Reagan was, a good deal of the time, daft. I have seen no indication that that is true of Mr. Santorum. (It is true of Michelle Bachmann, alas). So, yes, he is no Ronald Reagan.

  • David Stockman calling Ronald Reagan daft is like a turtle calling an eagle slow poke. Stockman should have been fired by Reagan after his Atlantic article in December 1981. One of Reagan’s faults is that he always was too kind hearted to mendacious mediocrities like Stockman, who was lucky to avoid a jail cell after his tenure as CEO of Collins & Aikman during 2003-2005.

  • 1. Stockman is not a mediocrity; he is anything but daft.

    2. He was known (and likely still is) for bouts of compuslive honesty. Some of them were in the presence of William Greider, which was not particularly prudent;

    3. One of Stockman’s accounts concerned a questionnaire he forwarded to the President ca. 1983. It was an attempt to flesh out just what were the Presidents priorities and preferences with regard to federal expenditure. The President was fascinated with the questionnaire and budgeted time over several days to complete it. Stockman examined the answers and discussed the implications with the President, which were as follows: you get everything you want and we have $800 bn in deficits over the next five fiscal years. Mightn’t we consider requesting a tax increase? Reagan’s reply, “Now, David, it is deficit spending that is the problem….”.

  • I have to echo Micha Elyi’s comment: “Can anybody name a candidate for national office whose winning campaign strategy against an incumbent was to build a majority out of reluctant supporters?” And let me add to it: Can anybody name the last time the candidate running against an unpopular incumbent won by being bland, moderate and uncontroversial?

    Whoever the GOP nominates, the Democrats are going to ask the swing voters, “Granted that BHO hasn’t done a very good job, do you really want to replace him with this guy?” And if it’s someone the core can’t get excited about, you can’t expect the swing to get excited about him, either. Just being “not Obama” in the most literal sense possible isn’t enough; the not-Obama has to be clearly not Obama in terms of policy and philosophy as well as identity. Romney simply hasn’t convinced anyone outside his own camp that he’s anything but “kinda-sorta-not-Obama”. That’s not a recipe for success — if we’re not careful, someone’s gonna think we’re afraid of Obama. He’s not an 800-pound gorilla! And neither Santorum nor Gingrich are that scary! (Ron Paul, on the other hand ….) I think either one of these two could get the core whipped up enough to pull the swing to the right. Mitt simply isn’t that attractive. Let’s not vote scared.

  • Voting the lesser of evils is why we have had evils in government for so long. We call ourselves Christians and even Catholics but we do not have the faith the size of a mustard seed. God is Almighty and can do all things even put Rick Santorum in the White House. Only Santorum can lead America back to God and to being, once again, a Christian nation.

Rick Santorum Won Iowa

Thursday, January 19, AD 2012

After a recount, the vote tally from the Iowa Caucuses show that Rick Santorum defeated Mitt Romney by a whopping 34 votes.  Previously Romney had been declared the winner by eight votes.

In the grand scheme of thing, this means little.  It doesn’t change the delegate vote one iota.  It does mean that the talking point that Romney won both Iowa and New Hampshire needs to come to a halt.  It is funny to read stories about this development suggesting that the Iowa caucuses were a split a decision, yet when Romney was considered to have won there was no such talk.  He might as well have won by 8,000 votes judging by some of what was said in the aftermath.

I do note that there seems to be a lot of confusion about the vote tally.

The deadline for final certification of the results was Wednesday. Party officials said eight precincts failed to follow the rules and fill out the official forms on caucus night, meaning those results can never be certified, while other precincts turned in forms that didn’t meet the legal requirements.

And yet we continue to allow this state to have over-sized influence on the nomination process.  Are we prepared to just ignore Iowa yet?

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3 Responses to Rick Santorum Won Iowa

  • I think that increasingly South Carolina is being perceived as the must-win state for primary candidates. Iowa and New Hampshire can be, and have been, won by a full-bore campaign that expends all its resources. By the time SC rolls around, though, only people with money are still in the race.

    Then again, as the years go by, people might try to focus on SC the way they currently do on Iowa and NH. But for the time being, it’s perceived as too big to win without an extensive advertising budget.

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  • Sadly, Iowa has a significant liberal element even in the Republican party. Need I say more?

Anyone Else Noticing that Romney is a Lousy Politician?

Thursday, January 19, AD 2012

Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane, is a lousy politician.  I do not mean that in a pejorative sense but in a descriptive sense.  Being a politician is a job that requires a certain set of skills and abilities.  The Weathervane is giving every sign of not being very good at being a politician.  Current evidence of this includes the following:

1.  The Bain Mess-The Weathervane had to know that the Obama campaign would use his work at Bain Capital against him, but he seemed completely flat-flooted when Gingrich raised the issue.  The responses from the Romney campaign thus far have been lacklustre.

2.  Tax Returns-Did the Weathervane really think that he could go through this campaign without releasing his tax returns?  Now he says that he will release his current tax return sometime in the Spring.  He has also sheepishly stated that his tax rate is around 15% due to his income largely being from investments.  His tax returns should have been released months ago.  By now they would be an old issue and harmless to him.  Instead, his stubborness about releasing the tax returns has transformed a non or minor issue into one that could hurt him badly.  Idiocy.

3.  Out of Touch-Talking about his speaking engagements in 2010 and early 2011 the Weathervane said that he made very little money on them.  The very little money was 374K.  Romney might as well hang a sign from his neck stating “out of touch rich guy”.

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24 Responses to Anyone Else Noticing that Romney is a Lousy Politician?

  • On the other hand, he is not Barrack Obama. That is all I need.

  • If it is the Weathervane against the Worst President Ever T.Shaw, I will vote for the Weathervane, but Romney is giving off signs of being in the Bob Dole-John McCain school of Republican losers who get the nomination and then proceed to spend the campaign attempting to lose gracefully.

  • I did not notice it, because it is not true. If he were a lousy politician, his career in politics would look like this man’s:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Checchi

    He is a politician who makes mistakes. People do.

    Romney is giving off signs of being in the Bob Dole-John McCain school of Republican losers who get the nomination and then proceed to spend the campaign attempting to lose gracefully

    You need to stop drinking that Kool-Aid. The federal elections in 1992, 1996, and in 2008 were depressing in that they revealed that lounge lizards and verbose dillettentes were neither screened out by primary voters nor regarded as unfit by a decisive corps of the general public. However, in the latter two campaigns, economic conditions and ambient views of the incumbent rendered the result more-or-less baked in the cake, whatever the Republican candidate did.

  • “I did not notice it, because it is not true.”

    Romney’s sole success thus far Art is becoming governor of Massachusetts for one term. That sounds mildly impressive until one realizes that Massachusetts has a surprising history of electing Republican governors on a fairly regular basis for such an icy blue state. He achieved that office by running as a moderate to liberal Republican, completely contra his born again conservatism today, a decade later. He was so unpopular with the electorate in 2006 that he decided not to run again. If elected, Romney would have less experience in elective office of any President since Herbert Hoover with the sole exception of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and unlike Ike Romney has won no wars. Also unlike Ike Romney was bitten with the political bug fairly early, and except for his single term as governor of the Bay state, he has to show for it an unsuccessful Senate run in Massachusetts in 1994 where he attempted to run to Ted Kennedy’s left on social issues and his unsuccessful run for the Presidential nomination in 2008.

  • I could not agree more. The naysayers are so anti-Obama they sidestep every critique of Romney. The anti-Obamists add nothing to discussion.

  • The bit about the speaking engagements is just alarmingly tone deaf. To say that an amount that is roughly 8x the amount of money that the average person makes is “very little money” is simply dumb. Sure, his defenders are going to play the capitalism card, and I agree that there is nothing wrong at all with earning money this way. But use a little common sense before speaking, will ya?

  • Yeah. Here is the way it should have been handled. “I earned over 374 K speaking and I was worth every penny! I wish I had earned more! Now we are all going to give President Obama a chance to earn a lot of money making speaches after we send him packing in November!” This isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a little imagination and a bit of style. What it does not need is Romney’s deer in the headlight reaction to obvious avenues of attack against him, followed by hemming and hawing, followed by truly lame comments that help the attack succeed against him. This is politics 101.

  • Romney’s sole success thus far Art is becoming governor of Massachusetts for one term. That sounds mildly impressive until one realizes that Massachusetts has a surprising history of electing Republican governors on a fairly regular basis for such an icy blue state.

    Not one of those six Republican governors stated views on public policy in tune with the mode of the Republican Party as it has been during the last 35 years.

    Also unlike Ike Romney was bitten with the political bug fairly early,

    His father was a politician. I do not believe Eisenhower’s was. He made his first run for political office when he was 47 years old.

    and except for his single term as governor of the Bay state, he has to show for it an unsuccessful Senate run in Massachusetts in 1994

    Everybody lost to Ted Kennedy, sad to say. Romney did better than anyone bar the Lodge scion Kennedy ran against in 1962.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_history_of_Ted_Kennedy

    his unsuccessful run for the Presidential nomination in 2008.

    He is one of 18 individuals in the last 40-odd years who have made a competitive run for the Republican presidential nomination and one of 11 who have done so more than once. You do not get from here to there by being a globally lousy politician, though you may be perfectly lousy in various aspects of the political vocation. (Contrast Gov. Perry’s career with Gov. Perry’s campaign).

  • Dollar Bill,

    Here is some more nothing:

    Obama doesn’t want America to have gasoline or jobs: Keystone Canada oil supplies denied; EPA requires $700 million in added costs to upgrade an oil refinery: it closes down;

    Investors Business Daily, “President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline sums up his presidency. When it comes down to well-paying new jobs and cheaper energy vs. his political base, guess which wins.”

    Instapundit: “For all his populist rhetoric, whenever it comes to a choice between the interests of working people and the values of the gentry class, Obama chooses the latter.

    “Related: Obama Kills Keystone Pipeline Plan: Why He Did It. ‘After all, who needs a secure energy source from a best friend when you can pay a fortune to buy it from unfriendly people in faraway unstable places?’”

    I will hit you with more sleek nothings, once an hour: next one 1015 hours EDT, if I complete my 1000 hours annoy-my-clients telephone call.

  • What this post says about Romney are the reasons why the Obama supporters want Romney to win the GOP nomination. Herman Cain’s candidacy is destroyed. ABC News is about to release an interview with Gingrich’s ex-wife that will go far to destroy his candidacy. The electorate doesn’t take Rick Santorum seriously, and Dr. Delusional (as Don M. calls him) isn’t a viable candidate either except for the vociferous libertarians who drink his koolaide. Geez, and I write that as a person who like much of libertarian thought. Boy, I must be slipping!

  • “Not one of those six Republican governors stated views on public policy in tune with the mode of the Republican Party as it has been during the last 35 years.”

    Including Romney when he ran in 2002, as opposed to the 2012 version of Romney, hence my calling him the Weathervane.

    “He made his first run for political office when he was 47 years old.” Indeed, and he had been contemplating a run for public office years before that. He always planned to emulate his father: succeed in business first and then go into politics.

    “Everybody lost to Ted Kennedy”

    Every other Republican did not attempt to run to Ted Kennedy’s left on social issues.

    “He is one of 18 individuals in the last 40-odd years who have made a competitive run for the Republican presidential nomination”

    I don’t think the Weathervane was ever much of a threat to McCain, even with the Huckster acting as Romney’s pawn in that contest. That Romney lost, and decisively, to the inept McCain is futher evidence of his low level political skills.

  • Perry is dropping out according to Drudge. Probably good news for Gingrich in South Carolina if he can stand up to the battering that he is about to receive from scorned ex-wives and his unfailing ability to allow his mouth to land him into trouble when he is rising in the polls.

  • The federal elections in 1992, 1996, and in 2008 were depressing in that they revealed that lounge lizards and verbose dillettentes were neither screened out by primary voters nor regarded as unfit by a decisive corps of the general public.

    Awesome. I demand a line-item “like” feature.

  • I was just starting warm up to the idea of Romney being our nominee than I saw his terrible performance at the S.C. debate.

    The guy couldn’t even answer a simple question about when/if he was ever going to release his tax returns. I almost felt sorry for him as I saw him try to mumble through his reply.

  • *hasn’t read the comments yet*

    Yes, he is, in both meanings.

  • “Romney’s sole success thus far Art is becoming governor of Massachusetts for one term.”

    My guess is that most voters would be ok with his level of experience, between that one term, the business background, and the Olympics. Recall that the 2008 winner had four years of high-level experience on his resume, and the 2008 loser’s VP had two years. I don’t think anyone is going to choose between Obama and Romney on the basis of either one’s political experience. And anyway, it’s very difficult to campaign against an incumbent by claiming that you have a better resume.

    I don’t think that Romney spent the last three years well, though. Between November 2008 and November 2010, his party could have used a spokesman, particularly someone with a specialization in health care. Various past and/or future candidates found forums – Huckabee, Palin, and Bachmann come to mind. But Romney wasn’t on the radar. I’m sure that he was building his organization, but he would have been better off giving future voters a reason to remember him.

  • No way!

    Romney has $$$ millions stashed overseas. The traitor . . .

    Maybe he’s as smart as Apple which keeps $$$$ Billions away from Obama and Geithner.

    How come Romney must give everyone copies of his pay checks from speakling engagements? Obama doesn’t have to produce any document.

  • Mitt Romney reminds me of John Kerry, the Brahmin

  • Mitt Romney reminds me of John Kerry, the Brahmin

    Kerry’s mother was a Brahmin (and not personally wealthy though her collateral relatives were). His father’s family was Jewish (and severely deracinated) and also not wealthy. His father was in the Foreign Service, so he did not grow up any place in particular. He was sent to boarding school on the dime of his great aunt. He grew up around the patriciate but was never quite one of them.

  • “He grew up around the patriciate but was never quite one of them.”

    He solved that problem by marrying an heiress and then marrying one of the richest women in the nation.

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  • And anyway, it’s very difficult to campaign against an incumbent by claiming that you have a better resume.

    Part of the incumbent’s resume is his performance in office. This one’s makes the challenger’s look much better.

  • What it does not need is Romney’s deer in the headlight reaction to obvious avenues of attack against him, followed by hemming and hawing, followed by truly lame comments that help the attack succeed against him. This is politics 101.

    Exactly! One thing I readily concede to Romney are his organizational skills. The fact his campaign was not prepared for this painfully-obvious line of questioning and attack makes the electability argument all the more dubious.

    Even the tax return issue, if he really is worried about it, has an obvious parry: “Sure, I’ll be happy to release them. When the President releases his collegiate and graduate transcripts. I’ll even throw in mine in the bargain.”

    If he can’t offer up a credible defense to the “corporate out of touch rich guy” offensive, he’s done like a TV dinner.

  • Romney is acting precisely as a man who, having garnered a large war chest, expected to be handed the nomination and was never psychologically prepared for other hopefuls to put up credible fights for it. His lackeys and apologists keep talking as though he were the only one who could beat Obama — who, I keep saying, is not an 800-pound gorilla — and yet he acts as though the whole nomination process is pro forma. Even Hillary put up a better fight against Obama’s astroturf campaign! Frankly, Mitt’s campaign is an insult, and the sooner the free delegates figure it out the better.

Still Want to Defend Romney and Bain?

Wednesday, January 11, AD 2012

People are crying crocodile tears about Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry attacking Mitt’s record with Bain Capital.  While I think some of the rhetoric has been excessive, I also don’t think this line of attack is completely out of line.  As conservatives we tend to reflexively defend all market institutions without first considering that some institutions are a little shady.  Moreover, I find it incredibly amusing that people are using this as a cudgel against Gingrich and Perry when Romney was the one who attacked Perry from the left on social security and basically charged him with wanting to take people’s social security away.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Whether or not you think this line of attack on Romney is fair, Mitt is going to have to come up with a better line of defense than this:

On the heels of his decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney took the attacks on his private sector record used by GOP rivals and turned them against President Obama.

Romney’s critics have accused him of destroying jobs in order to increase profits for his investment firm, Bain Capital, but speaking Wednesday on CBS, Romney said that what he did was no different from the Obama administration’s auto industry bailouts.

“In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business,” Romney said Wednesday on CBS.

This is a preemptive strike against a potential line of attack in the general election, but does Mitt really want to imply that what he did was not much different than what Obama did with the bailouts?  He’s already got Romneycare hanging around his neck, and now he’s volunteering a comparison with President Obama that most conservatives are not going to find flattering.

Hey, Mitt, you haven’t sewn up the nomination quite yet.  You might want to keep that in mind before opening your mouth again.

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14 Responses to Still Want to Defend Romney and Bain?

  • Cronyism or crony capitalism is wrong no matter the party of those who do it. I want the Amendment forcing Congress to give up insider trading and having them live by the rules they set for the rest of us! (Of course, I’d require the penalty for a Congresscritter violating this to be citizenship forfeiture.)

  • Laughing, David Axelrod said, “I love it when conservatives trash capitalism!”

    How to stay healthy when obama gets re-elected: don’t get old. (see Instapundit)

  • Yes.

    All the pundits are talking about is how Obama is going to run ads quoting Newt and Perry attacking Romney’s time at Bain. I can excuse Perry because he’s a child. Newt knows better. He just doesn’t care because he’s a horrible person.

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  • It is good that Mr Gingrich is falling on his sword to take out the crony capitalists. Such men as Neutron Jack who squeezed “efficiencies” by firing janitors and destroying middle-income pesitions and Carl Icahn – who mutilated a high-tech icon like Motorola should be spoken of in terms reserved for rapists and child molesters.

    David Axelrod said, “I love it when conservatives trash capitalism!”
    He wont be laughing so hard when the guns are trained on Obama, beholden as he is to Wall Street, Solyndra and Jeff Immelt.

  • Over at a more liberal blog, there’s a discussion about why business experience or governing experience even matters. The president can’t repeal a single mandate. In other words, he can’t change what government does, at all. He can hire and fire but how much experience do you need for that? Governing experience seems even less useful. The president’s legislative authority is probably better utilized by someone with congressional experience.

    Also, Obama will have 4 years of executive experience including foreign policy experience, something that Romney has none of. So really does the experience argument hold any water?

  • It is good that Mr Gingrich is falling on his sword to take out the crony capitalists. Such men as Neutron Jack who squeezed “efficiencies” by firing janitors and destroying middle-income pesitions and Carl Icahn – who mutilated a high-tech icon like Motorola should be spoken of in terms reserved for rapists and child molesters.

    1. The word is ‘positions’.

    2. Carl Icahn has been a minority shareholder of one of the two successor companies to Motorola. He did not have a controlling interest.

    3. A ‘crony capitalist’ is one who is able to extract rents derived from his connections to government officials. That does not describe Mr. Icahn or Mr. Romney even in your renderings.

  • He can hire and fire but how much experience do you need for that? Governing experience seems even less useful.

    1. Read Jim Manzi’s posts on The American Scene on this subject three years ago.

    2. Read John Dean’s memoir of the Nixon Administration, Ron Nessen’s account of the Ford Administration, and Richard Nathan’s The Plot that Failed on the Nixon Administration. Contrast what you read with contemporary news reports on the Reagan Administration’s inner workings.

    The president’s legislative authority is probably better utilized by someone with congressional experience.

    Of which Obama had very little.

    Also, Obama will have 4 years of executive experience including foreign policy experience, something that Romney has none of. So really does the experience argument hold any water?

    Yes, and we have been watching how he performed.

    You’ve outdone yourself this time.

  • I was expecting more from Manzi’s post. All he did was lay out correlating facts based on past presidents. Anybody care to explain why business experience matters or how governing experience is any more useful than legislative experience?

  • What is GE worth now? As others have pointed out Neutron Jack bailed out exactly at the right time to keep his reputation as the greatest manager since Josef Stalin intact ie just before Sep 11. The secular trend in the stock markets when he was around would have doubled GE’s value without any effort on his part. Corporate raiders such as Icahn do nothing to enhance the technical competence of companies such as Motorola. Their gambit is to come in as minority shareholders and spread discontent among the other shareholders. Pandering to greed they sow discord in the management ranks. The suitably riled shareholders then prevail on the paternalistic ruling family – in this case the Galvins to move with the times. The upshot is Motorola loses its technological lead as the engineers and salesmen are forced to count beans and watch their backs. And all for nothing, as Motorola soon found out after the locusts left – loosing its lead in both communications and computing.

    Agreed that I used the term “crony capitalist” erroneously.

    Pres Lincoln would have called the wrath of the Prophets down on Icahn, T Roosevelt would have lashed him onto the back of his horse, Howard Taft ridden over him with a water buffalo, Eisenhower would have included a dark reference to such “capitalists” in his farewell speech and Nixon would have ordered a nationalisation. I do not see why the Republican Party of these presidents should carry water for such people.

  • Anybody care to explain why business experience matters or how governing experience is any more useful than legislative experience?

    That may be the most obtuse question I have been posed in the last six months.

  • RR,

    As someone who works for the Executive Branch, I can tell you that these things matter more than you can imagine. There is tremendous wiggle room in the way federal law is interpreted, implemented, and enforced down at the agency level. And some of it (not all) flows down from the Chief Executive. The chain of command matters greatly, because it is their expertise at managing or lack thereof that will affect all kinds of people.

  • Unless you’re a cabinet-level official, the president himself doesn’t affect your job much. The department head calls the day-to-day shots. Sure, it’s important for a president to be able to work with his cabinet but much more important are the president’s legislative and commander-in-chief functions. In terms of legislation, LBJ, former Senate minority leader, is considered one of the most successful presidents. One of the most successful commander-in-chiefs was FDR who was Assistant Secretary of the Navy for 7 years (back when the Navy was it’s own cabinet-level department).

  • Remind me again, how many bondholders did Bain stiff and how much of its money was looted from the taxpayers?

Romney 29%-Santorum 21% Nationally

Thursday, January 5, AD 2012

Rasmussen is first out of the gates with a national poll of the Republican candidates following Iowa.   Santorum has risen 17 points to 21% with Romney at 29%.  Gingrich is at 16% and Ron Paul is at 12%.  Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry are both at 4%.   Romney seems incapable of moving out of the twenties in any of the national polls on the Republican nomination.  Santorum has a lot of room to grow, and Romney seems to have hit a firm ceiling for his support in regard to the nomination race.

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21 Responses to Romney 29%-Santorum 21% Nationally

  • Of course the Catholic Social Justice types are out now with their denunciations of Santorum:

    http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/fplaction/the-catholic-case-against-rick-santorum/

    Perhaps we can start to take these points one by one to show how some are using CST for rank partisan purposes.

  • “The baby is born when the baby is born.” Barbara Boxer is such a deep thinker.

  • That poll proves that Romney hasn’t hit a ceiling. The previous Rasmussen poll had Romney at 17%. It’s true that Romney has never hit above 30% in any poll (with the exception of PPP which seems to be a random number generator). It’s also true that nobody has hit above 40%. It’s hard with so many candidates. RealClearPolitics has Romney at the highest level of support ever. Higher than Cain ever got. There’s no reason to believe it won’t rise further.

    On Intrade, Santorum’s rise has hurt Gingrich but it hasn’t affect Romney. In fact, Romney’s numbers have improved, presumably because Santorum is the less threat.

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  • with the exception of PPP which seems to be a random number generator

    LOL!

  • “Of course the Catholic Social Justice types are out now with their denunciations of Santorum:”

    Yes, they always seem to put a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger down their memory hole:

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://www.tldm.org/news7/ratzinger.htm

  • Yes, they always seem to put a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger down their memory hole

    Not in this particular case. The blog Phillip linked to brought up perfectly legit issues working against Santorum and it made no attempt to compare them to abortion and euthanasia. Catholics who ignore bishops’ (and popes’) pastoral guidance on these matters in order to vote party line do so at their own peril (in my opinion).

  • Well Spambot the Pope noted that their could be a legitimate diversity of issues on issues such as war and peace and that not all moral issues carry the same weight. I tend to attempt to not be more Catholic than the Pope. Then we have the fact that the group putting this tripe out is a George Soros funded machine to attack all Catholic politicians to the right of Ted Kennedy:

    http://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/soros-money-funds-faith-based-community.html

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/why-is-atheist-george-soros-giving-money-to-a-faith-project/

    http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/faith-in-public-life-socialism-cloaked-as-christianity/

  • CatholicVote.org endorsed Santorum today. That doesn’t hurt.
    http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=24668

  • Just saw Santorum on The OReilly Factor last night. I was a little disappointed. Bill completely misrepresentation regarding Catholic Teaching on birth control and Santorum really seemed to back off from calling him out on it. In fact Bill gave him an opening to go into social issues more and Santorum dodged the question.

    In fairness, I know that Santorum has limited time to respond to questions thrown at him. I am sure he was completely caught off guard by the question.

    But it really seemed as I was watching the interview live that Bill needed to be corrected on his. He completely butchered Catholic teaching on birth control. Santorum made some silly faces after Bill said it, but never followed up on it. Considering millions of people were watching it seemed to me the sort of thing that really needed to be corrected. Especially since Bill brought it up and gave Santorum the chance for a follow up on it.

    For those uninformed people watching the exchange you would probably think Bill was right about birth control after the exchange.

    I guess the very fact that birth control even came up is a good thing

  • O’Reilly was doing his best to torpedo Santorum last night. He brought up the fact that when asked a question on the subject Santorum had said that states do have a right to ban contraception. O’Reilly then asked Santorum if pressing for such a law would be a priority in a Santorum administration and Santorum said absolutely not. O’Reilly is buffoonish at best in most areas of knowledge and normally I would ascribe his questioning Santorum on a non-issue to simple ignorance, but I believe he had malice aforethought against Santorum in the interview yesterday.

    Santorum of course was making the point that a state could ban contraceceptives because he believes that Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1967 US Supreme Court decision holding state bans on contraceptives to be unconstitutional under a right to privacy, was wrongly decided. Griswold set the stage for Roe. Of course all of this is far, far beyond O’Reilly’s knowledge base.

  • I think Santorum handled the O’Reilly interview pretty well. Santorum knows that debating contraception isn’t going to win him any votes. No sense in dwelling on the topic.

    But I want to pin down Santorum’s exact position. So he’s personally opposed to contraception. But he’s said that he doesn’t want to ban it. I guess that’s morally permissible if you think banning it would do more social harm. But Santorum has voted to fund contraception. Is that morally permissible?

  • Spambot,

    I think the only places one can legitimately (though not necessarily correctly) critique Santorum are on torture and war. The former I think Santorum would agree is wrong but he believes that certain techniques performed during the Bush Administration are not torture. Perhaps if the Church clearly stated Enhanced Interrogation Techniques in all circumstances were torture and he persisted in his view, one could then say he is clearly out of line with the Church. I think he has a harder time with attacking Iran.

    The remaining items in the link regarding income inequality, immigration etc. seem so fraught with prudential judgments that it merely is a laundry list of the liberal establishment. Prudential judgments, even by Church leaders, do not bind one’s conscience. Unfortunately, most of our Bishops do not make that fact clear.

  • I think Santorum handled the O’Reilly interview pretty well. Santorum knows that debating contraception isn’t going to win him any votes. No sense in dwelling on the topic.

    I would agree except that Bill framed it as a “Catholic” position, and not a general “conservative” or “republican” position. It seemed that framing it that way relieved Santorum somewhat in that it became an issue of what Catholic teaching is. Basically a case of one Catholic correcting another Catholic on an aspect of the faith.

    I am not skilled in the ways of politics, and most likely naive regarding this. Very likely a battle regarding Catholic teaching wouldn’t be a good political move. But it seemed like the opening existed for more to be said and just maybe a little clarification would have been a good thing.

  • Why should we trust a one day poll of 1,000 GOP over Gallups three day averages? I desperately want to believe the rasmussen poll (and now that Bachmann is gone I am for Santorum either way), but isn’t the 11% number more likely? I want to believe it isn’t.

  • I have high trust in Rasmussen’s numbers Ike based upon my prior experience with him and other pollsters. We will soon have more polls to draw comparisons with. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few showing Santorum ahead of Romney by this time next week.

  • Still waiting for someone to explain to me how Santorum’s support for funding contraception is morally permissible.

  • Phillip & Don,

    Thanks for the replies. I’ll keep it all in mind. (I think what concerns me is that it’s not one bishop saying one thing and another bishop saying something else. On the issues discussed in the link, there seems to be a set of fairly unified and consistent positions among the bishops who have expressed opinions. Not risng to the level of inerrant teaching, but not something to ignore either.)

  • Spambot,

    Fair enough. However, a quick response. The bishops uniformly opposed welfare reform. It passed anyway and most likely had a positive effect on poverty, work and the common good.

    Prudential judgments, even by the host of bishops, remain prudential judgments.

  • Spambot,

    This from Vox Nova by commenter “A Sinner.” An excellent rebuttal of the prevailing distortions about CST by some and better worded than I could:

    “I don’t like all these things about him either. But “show me the dogma.”

    Vox Nova’s tactic has fallen ridiculously flat of trying to “give the conservative heresy-hunters a taste of their own medicine” by trying to draw equivalency with disagreement on the prudential question of the concrete means of implementing social teachings (of which the absolute abstract moral principles in themselves…are much broader and more vague than you’re making them out to be, and there IS plenty of room for debate on whether this or that given solution fulfills the criteria).

    Now, albeit, I do generally believe the in the approach of the Vatican and USCCB towards economic questions and immigration and war, etc. But to act like Catholics have to toe the line on specific policy questions like that is very dangerous. The conservatives may (with things like the culture wars and abortion and gay issues) bring religion too much into politics, but the sort of “obedience” to “Catholic social teaching” you are proposing here would bring too much of politics into our religion!

    I support both positions, to be sure, but amnesty for immigrants or supporting Medicaid or opposing the Iraq War…are simply not De Fide questions, and there is certainly a lot more room for debate and disagreement about the application of various moral principles there than is about the statement ‘the State has a duty to defend unborn life.’”

  • Vote counters in Iowa are saying that one precinct erred and gave Romney 20 extra votes. So Santorum really won by 12. However, there’s no recount process so Romney is still the official winner.

Rick Santorum v. The Weathervane

Wednesday, January 4, AD 2012

 

 

Some elections are themeless and some have themes.  The Republican presidential nomination contest has had a theme from the outset:  this is a two man race with Romney, or as I affectionately refer to him, the Weathervane, and one other candidate, identity to be determined.  Last night the identity of the Not Romney candidate was determined:  Rick Santorum.

Final Iowa Results:

Mitt Romney:               30,015

Rick Santorum:            30,007

Ron Paul:                     26,219

Newt Gingrich:            16,251

Rick Perry:                   12,604

Michele Bachmann:       6,073

Jon Huntsman:                 745

 

Santorum was annointed by default:  each of the earlier pretenders to the title having, in turn, stumbled and fallen away:  Bachmann, for a nano-second, Perry, debating is an essential skill for Presidential candidates unless they have won a big war, Cain, the femmes were found, and Gingrich, a man can outrun anything except his own past.  However, Santorum would not have been so annointed if he had also not been working the state assiduously for many months, visiting each county in Iowa, and holding over 375 townhall events.  The caucus set up in Iowa rewards old fashioned shoe leather politics and Santorum did the endless hard work neccessary to succeed.

So today is Santorum’s day in the limelight and he has earned it.  What happens next?  Santorum is currently in single digits in all other states.  That should change now, but in order to be taken as a serious challenger to Romney, he will quickly have to move into at least a close second place behind Romney in most of the upcoming primaries.  Campaign funds will now start flowing to Santorum, and he will need to use it swiftly to build up a national organization.

Candidates will start dropping out:  Bachmann soon and probably Gingrich soon after New Hampshire.  I think Bachmann has been angling for a while for a job in a Romney administration, and I expect her to endorse Romney, although that is not probably important as her support is miniscule.  Newt is boiling over from the fact that Romney negative advertising torpedoed his campaign, and he and Santorum have been close in the past, so I would not be surprised if Gingrich endorses him after he drops out.

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