Monthly Archives: January 2008

The Worst Campaign Strategy Ever

Is anyone else out there as completely astounded by Rudy Giuliani’s campaign as I am?  Here is a man who had everything going for him last year- he had the name recognition, huge fundraising, led in all the national polls, led New Hampshire for a long time, was constantly praised by the media (especially Fox News, namely Hannity), was deemed the most electable, and was still riding the wave of September 11th.

Now some analysts and bloggers attribute Giuliani’s loss to American’s forgetting about 9-11 and others consider it bad luck of the draw in terms of which states were voting first.  This is hogwash.  If a candidate wants to be the nominee of their respective party, they should be expected to finish at least fairly strong in every state and can expect to do well with just a little hard work.

What happened with Giuliani’s campaign falls directly upon the shoulders of him and his staff. Period. There is no other excuse for his loss; it was just a really, really bad strategy. 

What Giuliani did was make a calculated risk that failed.  He figured that with as many candidates as there are, the early states would have multiple winners, thus preventing anyone from having any momentum going into Florida. Florida would then reward Rudy for his dedicated support in Florida and for sticking it to seemingly insignificant states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

In all actuality, his pre-Florida strategy could not have worked out any better.  Three different candidates won the first three states and momentum was not behind any one candidate. 

There are a couple of things that happened that Giuliani did not see coming. First he did not expect that under any circumstances he would finish behind Ron Paul in most states and rarely get above 5%.   He figured (and so did I) that name recognition and reputation would at the least get him 10% of the vote everywhere.  So not only did he lose those early states, he lost them in a big embarrasing way.

Second, he misjudged momentum. While he was correct that no one person had the big mo leading into Florida, he failed to recognize that momentum can be shared and that after 6 contests some people will be considered viable and others wouldn’t.  This year momentum was with McCain and Romney and they sufficiently covered GOP ideology in such a way that it prevented any further rise for another candidate. 

Third, he severly underestimated Huckabee.  It was his campaign that propped up Huckabee in November and December in hopes to have Huck beat out Mitt.  That worked to a tea.  What he didn’t anticipate is that Huckabee’s rise would do more damage to him than to any other candidate.  Not because they are ideologically similar or anything, but because there is only so much room for candidates, five viable candidates were just too much and Huckabee’s rise force voters to re-evaluate the race and determined that the only people really working for their vote were McCain, Romney, and Huckabee.  And really, voters rarely will have room for more than three candidates that they will consider.

4. He also underestimated McCain.  Like everyone else, Giuliani thought McCain was dead in the water, but thanks SOLELY to the media, McCain was resurrected.  In this race there is not room for both McCain and Rudy, they are practically the same ideologically.  McCain’s rise took Rudy’s support. Rudy also refused to attack McCain’s positions until the day before Florida, that is just not going to cut it.  I recognize that they are friends and respect each other, but this is politics and it’s a dirty game.  McCain would not have been afraid to through Rudy under the bus if he were the main opposition, Rudy should not have been afraid either.

Ultimately, Giuliani’s strategy was idiotic.  Who on earth thought it was a good idea to ignore the first six states?  While in theory, taking all realism out of it, his reasoning was sound, but voters just aren’t that smart.  Voters are sheep and are swayed with the wind.  All voters saw was McCain and Mitt winning a lot and Giuliani getting pummeled by Ron Paul.  Only political junkies were aware that this was (supposedly) all part of Giuliani’s plan and he wasn’t really competing.  The average voter had no idea, thus his plan was dead before it even started.

So what really makes this the worst strategy ever is that Rudy had it all, he had everything going for him.  He may well still have lost the nomination, but not like this, not in shame after only one state.   He didn’t even put up a respectable fight.  He cowered in the corner like a scared puppy.  He could have finished with a strong third in Iowa with just a little work, he could have won or finished a strong second in New Hampshire, Michigan and Nevada were great fits for him, he could have been much stronger heading into Florida, but he refused to fight and instead ran away.  He was too afraid of a one on one with Mitt, which, as it turns out, he probably could have one now that we have seen how McCain, Huckabee, and the media loathe Mitt.   Giuliani alone could have prevented the rise of Huckabee and McCain, the two things that completely destroyed his campaign.  What a sad joke of a candidate he turned out to be.  Whomever his campaign manager was should never be hired for another campaign again.

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Filed under Election 2008, Politics, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani

The Future of the GOP Race

Well, Florida did not turn out as I had hoped.  For some reason Floridians were duped into thinking that McCain would make the best President.  That is their right and congrats to McCain on his victory.  I will say that I can live with a McCain nomination, more so than a Giuliani or Huckabee one, but he has a lot of convincing to do if he wants me to vote for him in the general.  I just don’t know what kind of job he would actually do as President, I am very concerned about his temperament, especially considering it will be his finger on the button (see my last post regarding a McCain Presidency).

It appears to me that now McCain is all but a shoe in for the GOP.   I am not saying that I have lost favor for Romney, but I am being a realist.  However, all is not lost for the Romney camp or conservative Americans.  It is blatantly clear, hopefully to everyone, that the only candidate that has a remote chance of knocking off McCain in the primaries is Romney.  Huckabee has not shot.  It is also abundantly clear that McCain is loathed by a significant portion of the GOP electorate.  So conservatives should rally behind Mitt and push him through to be McCain.  There are enough of them in the GOP to do this. 

Also, Mitt has the money to compete in more states and places than McCain on Super Tuesday.  Next week, Mitt will Utah, Colorado, and Massachusetts guaranteed.  He also has a good shot to win California.  That is a must win.  Mitt MUST win California.  He also needs to do some campaigning in Minnesota and Illinois, maybe even Missouri.  Those states should be fairly Romney friendly. 

Additionally, Mitt can win in the South, though it will be tough.  He won the evangelical vote in Florida, so it shows that Huckabee is not invincible there.  He just received the backing of a majority of Tennessee legislators.  He may be able to pull a couple of those into his camp. 

The biggest problem is Huckabee, Huckabee will stay in as long as Mitt is remotely viable, because he knows he hurts Mitt.  If Huck were out of the race, like he should be, Mitt would have a much better shot.  Mitt would destroy McCain in a two man race.  Man, I hate Huckabee (at least politically). 

Further, and in a different Region, Mitt can probably win Alaska if he made on short trip up there for a couple hours, they would be thrilled that a candidate remembered them.

Of course all of this is going to be extremely difficult and is highly unlikely, but it can be done and we need to work to make it happen, a lot of people are turned off to McCain and Mitt is our only hope to knock him out.

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

Contemplating a McCain Presidency

Driving into work this morning I was contemplating the Florida GOP race and its potential ramifications.  It seems apparent to me that if John McCain wins tonight, he is going to end up being the Republican nominee for President.  Then I started thinking about what a McCain Presidency would look like.  What would he do?  How would the country be run? what would our policies be?

Ultimately, I determined that a future under McCain is not so bright, all I see is weak economic policy and more war.  You see, war and military is all McCain knows, that is his forte.  I strongly believe that he, like any President, wants his administration to be important historically and the only way he knows how to do that is through continuing our embroilment (is that a word?) in war.   Essentially, he will be Bush 3.0, but worse.  Personally, I don’t mind President Bush, I don’t think he has been a disaster of a President, in fact I think history will be kind to him.  I see much of President Bush in McCain, except I see a short temper, bitterness, and a lack of economic experience; all things that will make him worse than President Bush. 

Additionally, a McCain presidency would do great harm to the GOP.  He will not excite the GOP base come November nor throughout the next four years.  If he were to win the Presidency, I see him only being a one term President, who would get destroyed by the Democrat in 2012 — the Democrats would likely choose better candidates than divisive Hillary or no-experience Barack (look for Mark Warner of VA if he wins the Senate seat this year).   

There are only three positives I see from a McCain administration: 1. He can work with the Democrats, reaching across the aisle (but so can Mitt). 2. He will likely avoid scandal and represent the U.S. well (but so can Mitt, much better too). 3. His Presidency would mean that Hillary lost. 

As I really try to look at a McCain Presidency as objectively as I know how, I see little reason for optimism.  In fact, I think that an Obama presidency might be better for the country overall; despite the fact that I disagree with him on nearly every bit of his policy and he has no experience, at least he would bring optimism to the office.

This brings me to Mitt.  Mitt Romney, especially as I now sit here and contemplate these things, is head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates for President.   He has been an executive, knows how to reorganize and make beauracracy efficient, he is a fixer, understands the economy and how it works, he surrounds himself with bright competent people who are not afraid to tell him what he needs to hear rather than what he wants to hear.  He would represent the U.S. to the world in a much more positive light (a complete 180 contrast to President Bush).  Mitt is so superior to the other candidates it is laughable.  Of course I am a biased supporter, but that is why I am a supporter of his.  It appears that many GOP voters are slowly starting to realize this, but I fear it will be too late.  If Mitt does not win tonight, it will be highly unlikely that he can win the nomination.  What a shame that will be.

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics

My Thoughts on the Life & Death of Mormon Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

President Gordon B. Hinckley 

Last night the world lost one of the greatest men ever to live on Earth.  LDS Church President and Prophet, Seer, and Revelator Gordon B. Hinckley passed away.  There is no man to have lived in my short lifetime that was a greater exemplar of faith, love, honesty, integrity, and Christ-like living. 

It is difficult to put into words how I feel personally about the man.  I never had the opportunity to meet him or shake his hand.  The closest I got to him was in 1998 when he spoke in Edmonton, Alberta.   I was serving as a missionary at the time in Calgary and our Mission President allowed us all to travel to Edmonton for the occassion.   I can vividly remember the spirit he carried and brought into the conference hall where the meeting occurred.  I cannot remember what specifically President Hinckley spoke about, nevertheless, I know that I was in the presence of a holy man, a man who literally spoke with our Savior, even Jesus Christ. 

President Hinckley was one of the longest serving President’s of the Church in Mormon’s short history.  He oversaw the largest expansion of Church membership and temple growth.  He made the Temple and provident, Christ-like living the cornerstone of his service.  It was during his tenure that the Lord revealed his plan to make Temple ordinances more readily available to members throughout the world with the plan of building smaller temples that could built in areas with smaller LDS population.   This program allowed more members to receive the saving ordinances and perform such work for their kindred dead.  

President Hinckley has been one of the anchors of the LDS faith over the last half-century.  Having been an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ since the 1960’s, he has had a major role in every major decision since then.  He also largely ran the Church in the late-70’s and through the 80’s when President’s Kimble and Benson had severe health problems that limited their activities.  What a great and wonderful man, he was a kind and loving person and touched millions upon millions of people’s lives for good.

Now, President Hinckley’s death is only sad for those of us whom will miss him dearly, but it is certainly not sad for him.  Pres. Hinckley has returned to that God whom gave us life and he returned in glory and honor.  I am reminded of the closing remarks of Book of Mormon Prophet Enos, in his final statement he said the following:

 27 And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father.

Indeed, President Hinckley is rejoicing and will continue to rejoice.  He will see the Savior’s face with pleasure and will obtain a place in the mansions of our Father.  He has been faithful and dedicated in the service of the Lord and will be saved in his courts on high.

Yet, the greatest reason to not mourn, but to rejoice in the passing of President Hickley is that he is reunited with his beloved wife Marjorie.  What a blessing it is to be sealed with our spouse for time and all eternity, not just “till death do us part.”  He has rejoined his wife in heaven, there to be by her side throughout all eternity; is there any greater blessing that one can imagine that being able to spend eternity with the one that you love. 

I have a great testimony that President Hinckley was indeed a Prophet of God, on the paralell of Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and Peter of old.  Can one think of a more important time than this in which we now live where the need for a Prophet of God was greater?  The world has changed immensly over the last 200 years, more so than any period in its previous history.  We face new challenges and evils everyday, how can it be that God has abandonded us to our own devices and own wisdom?  The reality is that he has not.  God loves us the same as he has people of old.   He continues to reveal his will, to teach us the way to follow, and how to traverse these perilous times.   What a great blessing it is to live on the earth in a time when the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth,  when the great gathering of Israel is commencing, and when we have Prophets to teach us the mind and will of God. 

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Filed under Christian, Christianity, Doctrine, LDS, Mormon, Mormonism, People, Politics, Religion

So Much for the Straight-Talk Express

Over the last week John McCain has lied twice about two significant issues, the first is about his comment that he knows less about the economy than other issues. The second was a blatant out and out lie claiming that Mitt Romney supported a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.

The economy issue is one that he could have easily avoided looking like a fool on, it was a tough spot to be in, but there had to be a better way to work his way around that question without blatantly lying to the American people. Here is a creative video of McCain vs Mitt on economics that highlights McCains lie.

 

The more disturbing issue is that McCain claimed that Mitt supported a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq. Romney never did anything of the sort. What Mitt said was that there should be timetables and benchmarks established for progress and goals within both Iraq’s political and security structure. Basically, Mitt was simply following what anyone does who sets goals, they determine a time for which it is expected to be fulfilled. This is hardly a timetable for pulling out of Iraq, like McCain claimed. So after Mitt called McCain out for lying and asked for an apology, McCain did what he does best, plays the “defending the troops” card and said that he would not apologize but in fact Mitt should apologize for letting down our troops and military. Fortunately, some of the MSM, who has been all ga-ga over McCain for the last two months are finally critizicing him for this latest falsehood:

 

What is the most frustrating about this is that McCain has run his campaign claiming to be the honest politician, the one with the straight talk. McCain has criticized Mitt for running a negative campaign far more than any other pol out there, despite the fact that all Mitt has done is run policy comparative ads stating the opponents position. At no time has Mitt lied about McCain (or Huckabee’s) positions, nor has Mitt attacked either of them personally. On the other hand, McCain continually lies about Mitt and attacks him personally, such as when he called Mitt a pig back in New Hampshire. Yet the media conveniently ignores those attacks, and buys the “Mitt is negative” propaganda hook, line, and sinker. It is disgusting.

A McCain victory in Florida and for the GOP nomination would only validate the inherent strength of the Media. His whole resurgence was media made and the American people are sheep for buying into it. No candidate has had to endure the attacks and adversity that Mitt has had to in this Presidential cycle, yet he is one of the two finalists for the GOP nod. If Mitt wins the nom, it will be with no thanks to anyone besides himself and his campaign.

Shame on McCain.

 

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

The Strength of Mitt as a Candidate

If one looks at the adversity that Mitt Romney has had to endure up to this point in the campaign, it is really quite astounding that he is doing so well in the GOP race. Consider the following:

1. Every major GOP candidate has been the media darling except Mitt. Giuliani was propped up by the media last summer, Thompson in the early fall, Huckabee in December, and then McCain from January until now. In each of those ‘movements’ the countervailing force was Mitt Romney.

2. The MSM dislikes Mitt and loves McCain. Rarely do we hear any positive news or opinion about Mitt. This following clip from Mornings with Joe on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough calls out the MSM for their treatment of Mitt. Notice a couple of things, first the lady that Joe is interviewing does not deny that there is a media bias. Second, notice that she buys the ‘flip-flopping’ image hook, line, and sinker without pointing out that McCain has been just as ingenuous on immigration and tax reform. Third, Scarborough makes a very compelling case that there is indeed this bias and uses real examples as evidence rather than shallow rhetoric. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. (H/T Race42008)

3. McCain and Huckabee can’t stand Mitt and are in obvious collusion to take him down. Did any of you see the wink that Huck threw McCain during the first of the two New Hampshire debates before the primary? This brings me back to media coverage, we always hear about Mitt “going negative” yet, among the three of them, Mitt is the only one who has not thrown personal attacks and the media conveniently fails to point out that McCain was airing negative ads against Mitt in NH as well. Further, Rudy and Thompson have had a history of attacking Mitt, all the while letting McCain slide by, although their actions have been quite mild.

So it appears to me that Mitt has everyone other than conservative talk radio against him. It is most impressive that he is maintaining his strong position while most of the other candidates and the media are ganging up on him. I am certain that McCain and Huckabee can’t stand Mitt and that is the reason they attack him and I think the reason the MSM is always on the attack against Mitt or simply downplays things that go well for him is because they view him as the toughest general election candidate, despite current poll numbers that mean absolutely nothing. If Mitt can withstand this full frontal assault and win the GOP nomination, it will show tremedous ability and savvy. It will only strengthen Mitt as a candidate and should strike fear in the Democrats. It is always a wise decision for we conservatives to back the candidate that the media despises the most, remember 9 in 10 of them are Dems, so if they are pushing one of our guys, that must not be a good thing.

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Media, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

Why Fred Thompson will stay in…I hope I’m wrong

 UPDATE: (Tuesday 22 Feb): Hooray! I was wrong!  Fred drops out!

There is a lot of speculation that Fred Thompson will drop out of the race in the next couple of days, while this certainly would not surprise me (and he really should drop out), I think he may just stay in the race.  The reason for this is because of John McCain.

Here are some premises from which I will build my case:

1. McCain (and Huck, but this is irrelevant) absolutely despises Mitt Romney.

2. McCain and Thompson are friends and have worked closely together in the Senate.

3. It is likely that Fred would endorse McCain if he got out of the race.

4. (This is key) Despite that endorsement, a majority of Fred supporters would and are flocking to Mitt.

Considering this, I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that the McCain camp approached the Thompson camp and asked them to stay in the race to siphon off  conservative votes from Mitt.  Currently, Fred is averaging about 8-10% in Florida.  If Fred were to get out and endorse McCain, I would suspect that only about 2% would go to McCain, 2% would go to Huckabee, and the remaining 4-6% would go to Mitt.  So for McCain that is a net loss of 2-4% to Mitt.  Thus, it is much better for McCain to keep Thompson in the race as long as possible, even despite a potential big endorsement.

Let me add for good measure that Huckabee will attempt the same thing and will not drop out after Super-Tuesday, despite him knowing full well that he cannot win.  It will all be about getting McCain in the White House  and keeping Mitt out of it.

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Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics