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Wednesday, January 30, 2008
 
Reality TV...

I'm not changing my vote. When Tuesday rolls around, I'm still pulling the lever (or whatever it is we do to vote nowadays) for Mitt. And I hope that somehow Mitt carries the day next Tuesday and eventually goes on to be the Republican nominee. I almost desperately hope so...

However - unlike Rush and Glenn Beck and quite a few other pundits out there, if McCain is on the November ballot against Billary or Oprama - I'm not staying home - I am voting for the GOP nominee. I don't like McCain's history or position on a whole host of topics, but the fact is the next President will be fighting a war and appointing judges - and first choice or not, I'd much rather have McCain making those calls than either of the two Democratic options.

If it's McCain v. Clinton and you stay at home and hold your breath - you're a fool - period.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008
 
Ugh

Well... it's pretty darn close to being over now. A 5 or 6 point win is bigger than I thought it was going to be. Add to that, it sounds like Rudy may drop out and endorse McCain tomorrow... Probably all too much for Mitt to overcome at this point. Something pretty big would have to happen between now and next Tuesday.


 
Florida Prediction

I'm slightly going out on a limb, as voting has begun long ago. But I predict Romney by 4 points. I bet some of the people who voted for Guiliani wish they could get their vote back...one reason not to have early voting.


Monday, January 28, 2008
 
SOTU...

Obama and Teddy - nice call Sip (easy call, but you were first)

Gratuitous camera shot count: Obama: 8, Hillary: 3 (that's an unofficial count folks)

Condi count: like 20 - they were all over her tonight - is it the McCain veep talk?

Where's McCain?

"The IRS takes checks and money orders" - funny. And "Any bill that raises taxes will be met with a veto" - I was almost expecting "read my lips..."

John Kerry is friggin' tall

"Make the tax cuts permanent..." - yes please

Nice that nearly everyone applauded the success of the surge... NOW.

John Dingell is appropriately named...

A lot more foreign policy than I think the speech was billed as going in - why not right, that will certainly be his legacy, and history may well look back upon it favorably.

Hey, Bob Dole - he looks pretty good...

The Demy's response (Kathleen Sebelius): Democrats are so bloody condescending, I mean really - talk about self importance - thank God that they're starting to set us in the right direction... "The new American majority... Join us Mr. President..." Ick. Maybe the most disingenuous piece of drivel I've ever seen - but the fire in the background was a nice touch...


 
Stuff

1. Jason - read your post, and all points are sound. I'm still not there...Obama doesn't have a nation-wide machine as Clinton does; I believe it would be easier to poke holes in his arguments; and I believe it would be easier to make the point that he doesn't have the right experience.

2. My prediction - during tonight's SOTU, Obama will sit next to Kennedy or right behind the Joint Chiefs. Hillary - no idea, but for both of them, it will be strategic for the cameras.


 
What David said...

David Frum today on NRO:

"Many conservatives were understandably delighted to see Hillary Clinton bested in South Carolina.

If they did not sufficiently dislike her before the primary, Bill Clinton's campaign antics offered an ugly preview of the narcissism, manipulation, and brute knee-in-the-groin politics to be expected from a Clinton restoration. Ugh.

And yet, conservatives should keep three things in mind about Obama.

1) He is likely to be a tougher general election adversary than Mrs. Clinton. He is a more appealing personality, he is quicker on his feet, he has better political instincts, and he does not carry the load of ethical and personal baggage that burdens her.

2) He is much more left-wing than Mrs. Clinton. Whatever she was in 1993, she has long since been tempered by experience. As a senator, she has proven herself far more clear-eyed than Obama about threats to American security - and far less hesitant to do what it takes to keep the country safe.

3) He is much more of a risk-taker than she is. As president, he'd be much likelier to try big ambitious social schemes than she would be. If he wins, and if Democrats hold or gain in Congress, brace yourself for a burst of government activism unparalleled since 1964. His praise for Ronald Reagan is not a sign of sympathy for Reagan's principles, but an indication of an intention to carry out a 1981 in reverse.

So, bottom line: Hillary would be the weaker Democratic candidate and the more circumspect Democratic president. Distasteful as it is, if somebody has to win the Democratic nomination, conservatives should prefer that it be her.



This is what I've been saying all along - Obama won't be triangulating...


Saturday, January 26, 2008
 
In a blatant disregard for copyright laws, I give you the entire text of the best column I've seen on the current Presidential campaigns:


Letter to Our European Friends
Everything you need to know about our presidential campaign.
by P.J. O'Rourke
02/04/2008, Volume 013, Issue 20

America is in the midst of an all-important electoral campaign. But, talking to Europeans, I've discovered that there is puzzlement and misinformation on your continent about what's happening on ours. Europeans feel an understandable confusion when faced with a political system consisting of two houses of Congress and a White House, and nobody is home in any of them.

Also, America's political parties are indistinguishable to the European eye. A British journalist once described the situation thus: "America is a one-party state, but just like Americans they've got two of them." (I forget which British journalist said that. But there are so many British journalists who should be forgotten. Maybe it was Alexander Cockburn.)

The difference between American parties is actually simple. Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay. In foreign policy, Republicans intend to pursue the war in Iraq but to do so with a minimal number of troops on the ground. This is not to be confused with the disastrous Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld policy of using a minimal number of troops on the ground to pursue the war in Iraq. Democrats intend to end the war, but they don't know when. Democrats are making the "high school sex promise": I'll pull out in time, honest!

There are two factors in American politics that may seem strange to Europeans, race and religion. You, of course, don't have any religion. Except every now and then someone who came to Europe lately and is a Muslim blows himself to bits. But I understand that you have EU funding to address these social problems and help Muslims build bombs that release fewer pollutants and less carbon dioxide, reducing the threat of global warming.

After the events of the 20th century, God, quite reasonably, left Europe. But He's still here in the United States. The majority of Americans are Christians, and Christians can be divided into two kinds, the kind who think you should get Jesus and the kind who think Jesus is going to get you. Mike Huckabee is one of the latter. Then there are the Mormons such as Mitt Romney who believe some unusual things--things that no sensible European like Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Benito Mussolini, Karl Marx, Emanuel Swedenborg, or Cherie Blair would ever believe.

The question of race in America is supposed to be a matter of what one looks like. But it is difficult to comprehend how a political interest group that contains both Al Sharpton and Halle Berry could be based on looks. Barack Obama looks like he was raised in Hawaii. He may have just a good tan.

The number of American presidential candidates varies with the sunspot cycle and the phases of the moon. Being a Republican, I'm backing Hillary Clinton. Because she could lose. The reason is not that she's a woman. The reason is that she's the particular woman who taught the 4th grade class that every man in America wished he were dead in. Hillary Clinton is Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Hillary Clinton is "America's ex-wife."

A man can be a Democrat to the core, going into the voting booth to pull the lever with the donkey label no matter what. Then he sees Hillary's name on the ballot. And it all comes back to him .  .  . the first marriage .  .  . the time he came home a little late, it wasn't even midnight, and he'd only had four or five beers, and she threw his bowling ball down the storm sewer.

The Republicans will have a hard time coming up with someone who can't beat Hillary Clinton. But I don't put it past them. You may remember Senator Bob Dole in 1996.

At the moment Republicans seem inclined to John McCain. Everyone loves John McCain. Everyone respects John McCain. He's tough. He's consistent. He's wrong. Not that I personally agree with you Europeans that John is wrong, but the voters do. John thinks the war in Iraq is a good idea. The electorate doesn't. John's campaign slogan is "Strong and Wrong."

Mitt Romney is supposed to be my own type of candidate, a true conservative. But Mitt was governor of Massachusetts. This is like applying to be pope and listing your prior job experience as "Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem."

Mitt Romney is also the "corporate candidate," promising to bring the organizational skills and fiscal discipline of corporate America to Washington. But we are in the midst of a global credit collapse and all the air is hissing out of the world's equity market balloons. We've had big corporate scandals--Enron, WorldCom, Tyco--in the not too distant past. We may have a deep recession in the not too distant future. Is this the moment to be pitching the voters on "business savvy"?

Rudy Giuliani is a wonderful person to have around during a tragedy. His campaign promise is that there will be a tragedy every week.

As for Fred Thompson, he didn't have much impact. Yes, he's a Republican who was seen on TV a lot. But so was Scooter Libby.

Mike Huckabee lost some support among the hard-core fundamentalists when Bible Belt denizens realized that John McCain was the only candidate with enough guts to really handle rattlesnakes at church. The rest of the public remains alert to the fact that evangelical Christianity, as a movement, has two faces--the Moral Majority face and the Tammy Faye Bakker face.

Let us not forget Ron Paul who is very popular--with people who stay up all night in Ayn Rand chatrooms, bury Krugerrands in the yard, and think the Trilateral Commission causes sub-prime mortgage foreclosures.

Incidentally, there's a balanced position that all of America's presidential candidates could take on the controversial abortion issue. If they want votes they shouldn't campaign to make abortion illegal or legal. They should campaign to make it retroactive. If a kid reaches 25 and he or she is still jobless, feckless, and sitting around Starbucks acting like a--no offense--European, then whack.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic field, Barack Obama may be altering our national political equation. Obama is an indication that America has reached an important benchmark in race relations. In America it is now officially more important to be cute than to be white. Barack Obama is cute, and he's nice. It's been a long time since any political party in America had the cute, nice vote sewn up. Rudy Giuliani? Not so nice. Bill Clinton? Don't get cute.

The problem for Obama is that, as yet, he doesn't have much political stature. However, there is a "Disney factor" is American politics. Think of America's politicians as the Seven Dwarves. They're all short--short on ethics, short on experience, short on common sense, short on something. But we keep thinking that one of these dwarves is going to save our snow white butt.

We've got Dopey right now. We had Sleazy before him. Grumpy lost in '04. Sleepy was great in the 1980s, but he's dead. How about Obama?

Who else do the Democrats have? There is, of course, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Al Gore. May I ask you Europeans, are your Norwegians crazy? What does the Nobel Peace Prize have to do with global warming? Did Al forge a truce in the war with the penguins? I'm trying to lead a carbon-neutral lifestyle myself. I've given up cigars. I think Al Gore should give up blowing smoke out his .  .  .

John Edwards is a personal injury lawyer, the sort of fellow who covers North Carolina with billboards reading, "Y'all May Have Been Malpracticed on by a Doctor and Not Even Know It. Call (800) S-H-Y-S-T-E-R." One of the remaining virtues of European civilization is that you aren't overrun with his ilk. John Edwards should go sue Krispy Kreme doughnuts for making his supporters too fat to get into the voting booths.

Dennis Kucinich swept the Mars caucuses.

Then there are the Democrats who're actually qualified to be president--Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd. All three have dropped out of the race. Before they did, they managed, between them, to raise almost $1,000 (2.79 euros) for their campaigns.

This leaves the Democrats with Hillary Clinton. She's going to reform America's health care system. Memo to Hillary: You already reformed America's health care system, 15 years ago. Just the outline of Hillary's 1993 health care plan was 1,400 pages long, almost as long as that equally successful reform document, the EU constitution.

Many political analysts say that the failure of Hillary's health care plan almost destroyed Bill Clinton's first term. You'll recall that Bill Clinton had to seek help from a different woman to almost destroy his second term.

But no matter who is elected America's next president--whether Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or even Ron Paul--it is important that Europeans be reassured that ordinary Americans will not change the way they think about Europe. They will continue to think they aren't sure where it is on the map.

P.J. O'Rourke is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

© Copyright 2008, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.


 
Connecticut Straw Poll - Results

Unofficial results:

Romney: 36%
McCain: 28%
Paul: 26%
Giuliani: 9%
Huckabee: .01%
Thompson: .01%
Hunter: .00%

Not official yet, but I'm pleasantly surprised if this holds up...


Friday, January 25, 2008
 
Economic Stimulus

HEY! Here is a great new economic stimulus idea - cut taxes and give people their money back!!

How about THAT?! Radical thinking!!

In all seriousness, I am never, ever one to complain about cutting taxes and getting my money back from the Treasury. I am, however, very very concerned about the price.

The Democrats aren't going to let this one go easily. I'm already hearing about the other parts of the 'package' that they are working on. Could be a $20 - $35 billion package of transportation and infrastructure projects (Fellas, does it smell like bacon in here...?). Increase taxes on oil companies, hedge fund managers, and others to offset the cost.

This is the Washington equivalent of hitting for the cycle in an election year - "I cut taxes, gave you some money (yes it is actually yours), delivered pork, created short term construction (often union) jobs, and stuck it to the man! Vote for me!" Of course this is a work in progress, so who knows what the final outcome will be, but it sure sounds bad.

(BTW - on the hedge fund managers...the rumor floating around DC is that Ways and Means have identified $7 - $8 billion that they want to tap from 300 or so hedge fund managers. They have been able to declare their own fund options as part of the fund's company capital gains rather than as income - therefore paying lower taxes. Interesting....)


Thursday, January 24, 2008
 
Connecticut Straw Poll...

The CT Republican party is holding a straw poll tomorrow for members and donors, and I just received my ballot. Neither Scalia nor Satan appear on the ballot, so at this point I’m still trying to decide where my non-McCain vote is best spent. Rudy is clearly waning, and since McCain is likely to show very well here, I think my vote is best spent on Mitt. I’m willing to entertain arguments to the contrary....

Anyone?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008
 
OK Fred-heads...

..time to pick a new horse.


What do we know? Fred's out, Huck's not far behind, Rudy's making his last (and first) stand in Florida and he too will be out (or should be) if he can't get it done there. In my opinion, by Feb. 6th, we're probably down to either Mitt and McCain - or just McCain.


 
Lengths

Dick Morris discusses Clinton strategy which is why we are seeing more of Bill lately. New York Post here.

(BTW - the Post remains one of my favorite newspapers...)


Friday, January 18, 2008
 
Saturday...

In my opinion, the best we can hope for this weekend is that McCain wins South Carolina with Fred riding a late surge to a second place finish, and Mitt wins Nevada with Rudy miraculously hanging on to enough of his early support to finish in the top three. I'd really prefer to see Fred win in SC, but that doesn't seem realistic at this point. If he can take second though, it may be enough to knock Huck out of the race. A Mitt, McCain split on Saturday would also help Rudy survive until Florida, and win or lose, I think having him in the mix is still a good thing.

Sunday...

Pats win by double digits and Green Bay hangs on to edge the G-men setting up a rematch of the 1997 Superbowl.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008
 
Who’s the money on?

The latest from Intrade (formerly Tradesports Political):

In Nevada, Mitt is trading at 50.0, a sizable lead over McCain at 35.0, Rudy at 10.0, Huckabee at 7.1 and Fred at 1.6.

On the Dem side, Obama is trading at 57.0, while Hillary is at 48.0 and Edwards is at 5.0.

In South Carolina, McCain trading at 45.6 has a slim lead over Huckabee at 40.0, with Fred trading at 16.0, Mitt at 10.0 and Rudy at just 0.1.

On the Dem side, Obama is thought to be the clear winner, trading at 84.8, compared to Hillary at 20.0 and Edwards at just 1.0.

And finally in Florida, Rudy still holds a lead trading at 38.9, compared to 30.0 for McCain, 25.0 for Mitt, 10.0 for Huckabee and 2.0 for Fred.

On the Dem side, Hillary is thought to be the clear winner trading at 80.0, with Obama at 15.1 and Edwards at just 0.2.

Nationally overall, the GOP nominee lead is with McCain, currently trading at 35.5, Mitt is trading at 20.1, just in front of Rudy at 20.0. Huckabee is trading at 14.0, Fred is at 3.4, which thankfully is just in front of Ron Paul at 2.0.

For the Dems, Hillary is trading at 59.7, Obama is at 39.0, and Edwards is trading for the same price as Al Gore at 1.0.

The money is squarely on the Dems though for the November election. The Dems winning the White House is trading at 62.2, while the Republicans pulling off the upset is trading for just 35.3.


 
Events

1. Michigan - Jason poses an interesting question - where can Mitt win next? McCain was beaten badly in 2000 in SC, Fred may get some votes there, and Huckabee will definitely get some votes there. I sense the base there (and everywhere else) isn't thrilled with McCain. The states (so far) have been soft - meaning the primaries can include independents, cross-over votes, etc. Let's get to some hardcore Republican, only-GOP-can-vote-in-the-primary states and see what develops.

2. Race - it was amusing to see the Dems snip at each other on race. They accuse the GOP of racial division during all campaigns, so they got a chance to experience it among themselves, up-close. I'm wondering if this will insulate the Republicans once the nominations are given. It's a lock that the Dems will bring up bogus racial charges, but the GOP can point to the 'truce' between the Obama/Clinton camps, and use their own words against them to hopefully mitigate any racial issues.

3. Wondering - A few years ago, after Ron Silver gave his great speech at the GOP convention, I predicted he would never work in Hollywood again. I haven't seen him since. Last night, some pundits were talking about the upcoming conventions, which reminded me of him. He seemed like a good guy, and was a U of Buffalo grad. I wonder if his career has wound down.


 
Michigan

A much needed win for Mitt, but where can he win next? He'd be lucky to finish third in SC.


Thursday, January 10, 2008
 
This is what a Republican sounds like.

Watch and learn, Huck.



Hat tip: Ace of Spades.

More reactions:


Geraghty: Winner: Thompson. This performance was so commanding, I wanted his last answer to echo back to the lights in the back of the auditorium, blow out all the lamps and spotlights, for the theme to “the Natural” to play, and for him to trot around the stage in slow motion while sparks showered down in the background.

Podhoretz: Fred Thompson…is not only winning this debate, he is giving the most commanding debate performance we’ve seen from any candidate in either party since the beginning of this endless primary process.


 

Fred Thompson

South Carolina is Fred's last chance to take off in this election. I just sent his campaign $50 and encourage other Fredheads to do the same by clicking here.

Also, Jason's right. I did have McCain down as #2. I blocked that out because I saw this photo of Lindsey Graham with McCain on the bus tour (hat tip, New York Times).

Do you want Lindsey Graham to be a top adviser to the next president? Me neither.


 
Kerry's Endorsement

Anybody think Obama is upset that Kerry didn't endorse him befor the N.H. primary? You would think that Kerry's timing would be a little better.


 
Lunch today

Had the pleasure of meeting Law School Chris (LSC) today and enjoyed chatting over lunch at ARMANDS.

Lo and behold, who do we see strolling out as we are walking in - the elusive Skip!

Two and 1/2 SCGers in one spot by chance...!

Need to plan an SCG meeting soon.

I'm heading to CO and MN soon for pre-convention work....


 
NH; Other

- Why were many of the headlines screaming that Hillary's win was an upset in NH? Wasn't she ahead there in the polls forever?

- Richardson is out. I'm not surprised. He'll be sucking up for a VP or Cabinet position. I still can't stand him.

- What is with 'Hanna Montana'?? I honestly don't know anything about her other than she has a young girls show on Disney channel, her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus, and she is on tour. I have boys and they don't watch the Disney channel. This is new to me. Is the show a Western? Westerns are great. Does she face off against Annie Oakley or Black Bart? America could use more westerns. (Good rule of thumb: When in doubt, do what John Wayne would do.) Should I be trying to scalp concert tickets? Does Billy Ray still have a mullet?


 


Doesn't it feel like the end of every horror movie you ever saw?

Just as I was starting to enjoy the demise of the Clinton machine, it comes back from the dead and destroys the last, best chance of hope on earth. Ok, not so much. But that is how the media coronation of Obama make it feel.

I'm of two minds here:

First, Hillary's win is horrible news. It is long past time to put an end to the long national nightmare known as the Clintons. The most important thing is to keep this woman away from the Presidency, whether it is Obama, Romney, Huck, McCain or even Ron Paul. Better to beat her now than chance a Clinton victory in November.

Second, as I was watching the coverage of Obama leading up to New Hampshire, I couldn't help but get a sinking feeling that it would be nearly freakin' impossible for a Republican to run against the guy. We are already running against the wind in every election, but to add to that the fact that the guy has made it extremely difficult to attack him (partly due to his demeanor, his thin record and his race), and you can't help but acknowledge it would be a tough climb in November against this guy, at least in comparison to Hillary.

Things that I enjoyed seeing in Iowa and NH:
1. The Clinton's running against the wind for once. That's pretty much every election for us. It's a lot tougher, isn't it? (Yes, Hillary won NH, but by all accounts she should have walked away with a twenty point victory against this neophyte).
2. Democratic bloggers accuse the Clintons of rigging the election in their favor (doubly interesting to wonder why we would think they don't do it against Republicans).

Can Obama still win? In a word, no. Well, I don't think so, anyway.

Here's why:

* New Hampshire was huge opportunity for Obama. A win would have led to a rush to his side. The big thing is that organization Democrats want to abandon Hillary, but they also want to go with a winner. If they aren't sure, they will go with Hillary, who is the safe bet and has the organization and support in place to make their lives easier/harder, depending.

* Organization matters and as the primaries come faster and quicker, it will be tough for Obama to generate the type of atmosphere that will get new voters to the polls. The exit polls in Iowa show that 57% of the caucus-goers never attended a caucus before. Those votes went disproportionately to Obama, who won 40% compared to Hillary's 29%. By comparison, in New Hampshire, only 19% of the voters were first-timers. So as we move forward, it will be a more traditional crowd.

* Hillary has the added advantage of the superdelegates at the end of the process, that may turn out to be an important cushion.

Either way, I think a long hard slog for the Democrats helps Republicans in November.

If Obama wins:
* He'll be a little more tested. He's still pretty green. Right now, his biggest test was against Alan Keyes in a hugely liberal state! If he beats the Clintons, he will have proved himself on the campaign trail against the best funded and best organized campaign in Democratic history. That will make him more formidable in some ways.
* In a long campaign, Obama will have to go negative at some point and counter-punch. This will undermine his biggest strength - the purity of his public image, which has made it nearly impossible for his opponents to attack him without hurting themselves terribly in the process.
* Along the way, Hillary will have to land some blows on Obama to win. She'll have to criticize his record, dig up dirt and muddy him up a bit. It will be difficult for the media to decry Republican attacks as racist or out of bounds -- they will do it, but it will not carry as much weight.

If Hillary wins:
* Jonah Goldberg took some heat the other day for pointing out that the nutroots crowd will flip out if Republicans beat Obama:

I think it's worth imagining a certain scenario. Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee — and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged. I can imagine the fear of this social unraveling actually aiding Obama enormously in 2008. Forget Hillary's inevitability. Obama has a rendezvous with destiny, or so we will be told. And if he's denied it, teeth shall be gnashed, clothes rent and prices paid.


He's not talking about urban riots, of course, but the "Bush lied, People died," crowd, which has already floated accusations that Hillary's win is a result of cheating on the part of the Clinton's (with Diebold's help, no less). Alienating ultra-liberal conspiracy nuts is no longer a positive with Democrats. Right now, they are known as "the base" and they contribute a lot of money.

* Among Obama supporters in New Hampshire, 66% had a somewhat or strongly unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton (CNN's exit poll results are a bit odd, since they add up to 120%, but I think I figured it out). Worst of all, 50% -- FIFTY PERCENT! -- had an unfavorable view of Bill Clinton. This is after just two weeks of having the Clinton's attacking their favorite guy. Wait until they unload in the next month. It is hard to believe that won't have an impact on Obama voters to show up at the polls, knock on doors, make phone calls and give money.

* Hillary has a huge gender problem. Sure, she does well with Democratic women and, to some extent, Republican women in NY. The problem is, she does terribly with men. She won just 23% of the men in Iowa and 29% in NH (compared with 30% of Iowa women and 46% of NH women). That may not kill her in Democrat primaries, where women have so far made up 57% of the voters/caucusgoers, but it will hurt her in the general.

* Still to be seen, but Hillary may have a harder time outside of the Northeast. The Iowa voters suggests that she may have trouble with both male and female voters in the middle of the country. Keep an eye on whether Hillary under-performs against Democrats in those states.

For those who are interested, here are CNN's poll results for New Hampshire and Iowa.

Exit Question: Which Republican matches up best against Hillary? Against Obama?


Wednesday, January 09, 2008
 
New Hampshire

1. One of the things that Obama's loss proved (again) is that the 'youth vote' doesn't turn out. I know the Dems try to get the youth voting block each election, but they always seem to disappoint.

2. Polls - I don't know if I can ever trust them again...even with a margin of error, they were soooooo off.

3. Hillary - I think if she lost yesterday, she would be toast. However, Obama never says anything. People must think she has some substance.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008
 
Huck and Chuck…

Chuck Norris supports Mike Huckabee and that should be good enough for you…

• There are two types of people in the world... people that suck, and Chuck Norris.
• When the boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
• When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.
• When you open a can of whoop-ass, Chuck Norris jumps out.
• Chuck Norris invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.
• Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell him there was a stripper in it.
• Chuck Norris once visited the Virgin Islands. They are now The Islands.
• Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
• Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.
• Chuck Norris once ordered a Big Mac at Burger King...and got one.
• Chuck Norris uses ribbed condoms inside out, so he gets the pleasure.
• Chuck Norris counted to infinity. Twice.
• Chuck Norris knows the last digit of Pi
• On the 7th day, God rested.... Chuck Norris took over.
• If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death.
• Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.
• Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
• Chuck Norris has a winery. The grapes crush themselves when they see him coming.
• There is no 'ctrl' button on Chuck Norris's computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
• Chuck Norris can build a snowman out of rain.
• Chuck Norris' roundhouse kick is so powerful, it can be seen from outer space by the naked eye.
• Chuck Norris is the only human being to display the Heisenberg uncertainty principle -- you can never know both exactly where and how quickly he will roundhouse-kick you in the face.
• When Bruce Banner gets mad, he turns into the Hulk. When the Hulk gets mad, he turns into Chuck Norris.
• Wilt Chamberlain claims to have slept with more than 20,000 women in his lifetime. Chuck Norris calls this “a slow Tuesday.”
• What is the quickest way to a mans heart? Chuck Norris’s fist.
• Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
• There is no such thing as a lesbian, only girls who have not met Chuck Norris.
• Chuck Norris's tears cure cancer. Too bad he's never cried.


 
Response

Jason is right (I believe) in that whoever wins in N.H. is in the driver’s seat on the GOP side. Huckabee, Thompson, and Guiliani are all second-tier candidates going forward, and Guiliani’s strategy, I think at this snapshot in time, is going to cost him.

The debates did not show Huckabee in a good light; I know he’s looking to do well in South Carolina (and he might), but I’m sure conservatives will eventually abandon him. Yeah, I know, you can all pile on me that I was a Huckabee supporter. That’s when he was talking a great deal about social issues. In discussing his economic views, limiting people’s rights (ex: national smoking ban), etc, he’s living in fantasyland. And for these reasons, I don’t believe Huckabee is a good VP candidate.

Thompson was fun in the debates, but looked tired then, and throughout the campaign this far.

RE: Fear Factor

Regarding Hillary, her slide is wild. I think the question is how (and when) she exits. However, I’m not convinced that an Obama candidacy will be harder to take on than Hillary. While he is good on television, and the press clearly loves him, he actually has been short on substance. Put him and Mitt in a full campaign against each other, add in multiple debates, and let’s see where America stands. I’ll bet with Mitt...

...and if so, I can already hear the screams of ‘disenfranchisement’, the repeated yells during the campaign of underhanded racism, etc. Get ready for it all – I’m sick of it before it even begins.

Update:

Sip: 1. Romney, 2. Thompson, 3. Guiliani, 4. McCain, 5. Huckabee


Monday, January 07, 2008
 
Is it 2008 already?

Well then Happy New Year…

Whodoyalike?

Tomorrow is round two (really three if you count Wyoming), and below you will find the most recent preferences stated by the SCG panel:

TJ: 1. Thompson, 2. Giuliani, 3. McCain 4. Romney, 5. Huckabee

JPC: 1. Thompson, 2. McCain, 3. Romney, 4. Huckabee, 5. Giuliani

Sip: 1. Romney, 2. Huckabee, 3. Thompson, 4. Guiliani, 5. McCain

TIBS: 1. Thompson, 2. McCain, 3. Romney, 4. Huckabee, 5. Giuliani

Chris: 1. Thompson, 2. McCain, 3. Giuliani, 4. Huckabee, 5. Romney

Scott: 1. Thompson, 2. Guiliani, 3. Huckabee, 4. Romney, 5. McCain

Jason: 1. Romney, 2. Guiliani, 3. Huckabee, 4. Thompson, 5. McCain

Again, these were not predictions, just preferences as stated just prior to the Iowa Caucuses. Consensus, based on weighting them as scored above would be: Thompson (30/35), Romney (21), Giuliani (19), McCain (18), Huckabee (17).

I think New Hampshire is critical for both Romney and McCain with the victor being in the driver’s seat from this point on, though I expect none of the top five to drop out after this contest. Huckabee’s rise has been impressive, and can’t be ignored, but I think he, like Thompson, is more likely to be on the lower half of the GOP ticket than the top slot. One of those two will be needed to balance a ticket if either Romney or Guiliani gains the nomination. Guiliani’s strategy of focusing exclusively on the big states appears to be costing him however, as you hardly hear his name anymore with the focus being on Mitt, Huck and McCain. Rudy could still be a viable VP candidate for Huckabee or Thompson.

Fear Factor

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary’s slide is simply amazing – I can’t recall such a rapid decline. She finished third in Iowa - third. If she loses tomorrow, she could be finished – and this has me very, very frightened. I like the chances of any of the GOP top five in a head-to-head battle with Hillary, but I think Obama has a fighting chance to win each of those same five match-ups. Republicans (like me) who could live with any of the five GOP contenders, might even be wise to walk over to the Dem’s booth and vote for Hillary – as that vote may do more to ensure a Republican victory in November.


NOTE: I fixed an error. I'm pretty sure I made Rudy my second choice and McCain my third. That's still where I stand, - TJ.


Sunday, January 06, 2008
 
Debates

I watched the New Hampshire debates (the GOP....would be bored to death watching the Dems). Last night was relatively evenly distributed - McCain did OK, and he's winning the polls. However, tonight Romney was s-t-r-o-n-g. He was polished, detailed, professional, etc. We'll see how the polls go in the next day or so, but he may be back.


Friday, January 04, 2008
 
What's Next

Iowa is history. There's been some rumblings (even prior to yesterday) that Iowa holds a disproportionate amount of influence than it should in choosing the nominee for both parties. This is interesting, as most nominees historically have not won in Iowa, but the performance in Iowa can set the table (a-la Romney) to knock a candidate out pretty early in the primaries who would be viable on the national stage. Hmmmmmm. Romney will probably be toast, but has fared well nationally prior to yesterday.

I suppose someone has to go first, and there's nothing stronger than tradition. I can't see Iowa and New Hampshire being trumped, but it is amazing that a small population state can wield such a big political bat.


Thursday, January 03, 2008
 
Blonde

Who is that blonde that Brit Hume occasionally turns the spot over to? Haven't seen her before.


 
Laugh Out Loud Funny

This is pretty good. Read the entire post (it isn't long). Stay with it.


 
Endorsement Time (and Predictions)

Ok, Sip's weighed in on his endorsement. I suppose I should offer mine. For about a year, I've supported Giuliani. Over the past few months, it has become clear (to me, at least) that only one candidate has a consistent record as a Reagan conservative and a respect for the founders' view that the government should be small and decisions are best left to the folks back home in their states and local areas. That man, of course, is Fred! Thompson. My preference order right now: Fred, Rudy, McCain, Mitt, Huck.

I should add that I have become more impressed with Romney every time I hear him on the radio or watch him on television. Seems like a good guy, but his record is inconsistent, so he can't be my top choice. Who knows which way he will go in search of a second term? I'd vote for him, somewhat enthusiastically because I think he will be conservative, but I can't be confident enough to make him my top choice.

I am glad to see that Sip has dropped off the Huckleberry bandwagon. He's a pro-life liberal. If Bill had been 10 years younger, it would be Republican governor Bill Clinton running on the same big-government, social conservative bandwagon. No Thanks.

Prediction: Hillary comes in either 2nd or a surprisingly close 3rd. Organization matters and my guess is that the Clinton's have promised lots and lots of things to local government officials. I think there is a decent chance that it ends up Edwards, Clinton, Obama, to be honest. I could be wrong, but if that is the case, it is game, set, match for Clinton as it allows them to portray Obama as the 2008 Howard Dean. Most likely it will be Edwards, Obama, Clinton, but it will be close.

On the GOP side, no idea. Just praying Fred comes in strong enough to run on fumes until McCain flames out.


 
One (of) Six Conservative Guys Endorsement

For all of our readers and fans from the Hawkeye State, this is a 1/6 (16.7%) official SCG endorsement for tonight's caucus. And this endorsement goes to Mitt Romney.

My introduction to Mitt was during the 1994 Senate race against Kennedy. And while Kennedy took that one, Mitt was impressive - and as I have learned he has been prior to, and since, that time. He has been pretty-much wildly successful at everything he has undertaken. Some of his changed views on social issues gave me things to think through, but he's in the correct place now, and I'm confident he's there to stay.

Most of you know I was on the Huckabee bandwagon for quite a while. Socially he's got it; economically he's living a fantasy.

So anyone in Iowa who is voting tonight, this SCG recommends Mitt.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008
 
Iowa

It almost feels like Christmas again - the anticipation, etc. For political junkies, the fun begins.

Through the Christmas and New Year's holidays I have purposefully not been paying attention to the talking heads. For me, Huckabee has fallen off the perch - replaced by Romney. Rudy is toast. I'm also looking at McCain again. He has disappointed me plenty, but I think he would hold up well in the general.

A very, very long time ago, Scott mentioned to me that it would be great to have Obama make Hillary publically decline the VP spot. Nothing would make me happier, but it didn't seem realistic at the time. It still may not be, but the thought is still alive, especially with Iowa so close.

Anyway, let's get the beer chilled for Thursday night - it's gonna be fun.