This is your chance to share what your ideal GOP and/or Democratic ticket would be. In a couple of days I will post the which candidates and veeps received the most votes. Comment away!
Category Archives: Bill Richardson
Last Friday while speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus, Hillary said that if she became President she would mandate that all babies born in America would be given $5,000 to start an education savings account. She gave no explanation as to how this would be implemented, how this would be paid for, or how to ensure the money actual went to the child’s education. She’s an idiot or must think that we are all stupid (probably the latter).
While these questions certainly need to be answered, they are not the crux of the problem. The problem is greater than one specific idea or program like this, but what this is indicative of is Hillary’s natural pull towards greater government involvement in our lives. In this campaign cycle and even in much of her voting in the Senate over the last 8 years, Hillary has been trying to come across as a moderate. Many people have bought it, while many are still doubtful as they remember her years in the Whitehouse. This education plan confirms the skepticism that many have had. Hillary has not changed at all. She still has her socialistic ideals as strong as ever. This would not bother me as much if she was just up front about it. People are free to believe what they will. However, we (and her especially) well know that socialists don’t win elections in America. So she continues to attempt to look moderate, when in all actuality she is far from it. This is a wise strategy on her part to try to win, especially because she is so divisive. However, she revealed her hand too much on Friday night and exposed herself. Sadly, most people won’t even notice and the media will act like it never happened or will applaude her for her forward thinking and generous ideas.
Well, we are now well into September and the political races are heating up…or so we should think. However, on the Democratic side of the house it appears to me that things are at a low simmer. Over the Summer, the race was brought to a boil and now the cook has turned down the heat. Strange thing for this to happen when no one has even voted yet and certainly many people would completely disagree with this assessment; especially Edwards, Obama, and Richardson. But ultimately, Hillary has already won the nomination. While Barack Obama is still extremely exciting and popular and has the backing of a strong group of individuals, his hayday was July and August. He has faded and will continue to.
You see, the Democratic race (and one may be able to argue the GOP at a lesser level) is dying because voters feel that Hillary is unavoidable candidate to represent their party in the General. As a result, people are going to be less inclined to support the other candidates. It seems to me that Obama has some extremely strong backing, perhaps the strongest in the entire race for both parties, however more and more big names are turning to Hillary. I believe that most of those Hillary supporters, or at least the recent converts, like Obama more and believe that he would be a better president. There are probably a lot of voters that feel the same way. But because people want to back the eventual winner, most of those endorsements and votes will ultimately go to Clinton; despite the fact that if they all voted for whom they actually liked best, Obama would win.
The only state that is remotely competitive right now is Iowa. There is a solid race and if the winner is anyone but Hillary, that candidate may have a small chance to really use that as momentum. But most likely, there will not be a quick enough turn over and bumb before New Hampshire, where Hillary currently leads by 20. Once Hillary wins New Hampshire, the ball will be in her court and the nomination will be hers. So here is my prediction, you already know that I am picking Hillary for the nomination, but I will predict that she will win 48 states. She will lose Illinois and New Mexico, and New Mexico is just a shot in the dark, I think the ever popular Richardson can pull that out. This prediction of course is assuming that both Obama and Richardson are still in the race come Feb. 5th. If one or both drops out before then, that respective state will go to Hillary. It is well within the realm of possibility that Clinton could win all 50 states and DC.
What this does for Clinton is it allows her to save her money for the general election, where she already has a much larger war chest than any GOPer. She can do a minimum of campaigning now, for she is the most well known of the candidates and she has the media to give her free positive advertising. If I were Obama, I would quickly realize that the race is all but over and hold off until 2012 or 2016. If he plays his cards right he will be a perfect Dem candidate. He is still young enough for the wait to not matter too much.
This win by Hillary in such a manner ultimately establishes her as the de facto incumbent candidate. With this status, the money, and the fact that the GOP are eating themselves alive in an extremely close race, Hillary not only holds the advantage in the primary, but also in the general. Much to my chagrin.
Ocassionally while flipping through the channels on TV I stop on cnn or foxnews or any other news program out there. As a rule of thumb, I do not watch partisan news shows (e.g. Hannity & Colmes, Olbermann, etc), however if there is a topic that interests me I will stop and try to last as long as possible without throwing my shoe through the TV. I have always paid attention to politics and the goings on in the world, I have always had an opinion about everything, but it was not until I started blogging that I realized how much information the media leaves out or fails to cover. I have also noticed that they push things they want to be true regardeless of if they are more than I ever anticipated. This is especially true of the ’08 election.
First, the media gives predominant coverage to the Democratic race, despite the fact the GOP race is ridiculously tighter. It would be comparable to sports writers constantly writing about an AL East race where the Red Sox are up by 7 games on the Yankees in mid-September, but it is reported like it is neck and neck. The reason for this coverage seems to be 2-fold. First, the media wants a Dem victory in ’08 and they think it is inevitable. Second, the media seems to have (on average) a fascination and crush on Barack Obama. So regardless of how large Hillary’s lead gets, the media will continue say the race is closer than it looks. The media needs to clue in to the fact that Hillary is the nominee for the Dems. Period.
The close race, despite a fairly large lead nationally, really resides in the GOP. We’ve got Giuliani with about a 10 point lead nationally on Thompson and a twenty point lead on Romney. Looking purely at this, it seems that Giuliani is a near lock. However, Romney has a huge lead in Iowa and a solid lead in New Hampshire. Additionally, he leads in Wyoming, Nevada, and Michigan, all comprising the first five contests– and Thompson leads in South Carolina. So Giuliani doesn’t really lead the race. No one leads the race. Despite this all we hear about is the democratic contest.
This leads to my next piece of evidence. It appears that the media (mainstream and otherwise) is fairly anti-Romney and it baffles me. He certainly has been raked over the coals more than other candidates and is the primary target of other GOP attacks. Usually, this is a sign that he is the biggest threat among GOP candidates, something that I believe is accurate. However, whenever I watch news shows or go to MSM websites they always tout Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain. They fail to recognize that Romney is a legitimate candidate and is running no worse than a solid second, or even tied for first in the race. And McCain is all but dead (despite a slight resurrection of late). So not only does Romney get the most negative coverage, he also gets treated like a second tier candidate. Something is not adding up, second tier candidates are not the target of negative media attention (unless your Ron Paul).
Finally, (and this expands on some comments above) whenever media folk are summing up the race for the GOP they say something along the lines of this, “While Giuliani leads nationally, Romney leads in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and Thompson in South Carolina.” And then they proceed to act like the order of the primaries are IA, NH, SC, FL, then super-duper Tuesday in February. By only mentioning those select states, they act like a Romney win in IA and NH would be fairly easy to overcome. Which, if this were the actual order, it would be in the realm of possibility with SC going to Thompson and FL likely going to Giuliani. It would be wide open in February. However this is not the schedule. The schedule is/will likely be IA, NH, WY, MI, NV, SC, FL, ME, then super-duper Tuesday. So looking at this, Romney is not only ahead in the first two states, he is ahead in the first 5. A Romney sweep of those first five states would be near impossible to overcome. But, probably to keep people interested, we never hear about that. It is a slight to not only the true status of the race but also to Wyoming, Nevada, and Michigan that they are rarely mentioned.
(Side note, we never hear anything about Wyoming. I don’t even think a poll has been done there. How strange. I know that it is largelt inconsequential, but considering there are reports about polls in PA and OH, two states that vote later, one would think that at least an occasional story or poll would come out of Wyoming. I would think that they would have at least some sway in the momentum of the race, being so early and all.)
Great news for the Romney camp today. According to an ARG poll, Mitt has opened up a 26 point lead in Michigan! Who would have thought?
While this is great for the campaign and demonstrates Romney’s continued claim of being the GOP front runner, let’s not get too excited yet. I get the sense this could be another “California blunder” from when Datamar gave Romney a 17 point lead there. First, ARG is notoriously out of step with the other polling agencies. A couple of weeks ago in both New Hampshire and Iowa, ARG reported that Giuliani took a one point lead, while every other previously released poll by other pollsters were giving Mitt a solid 9-10 point lead. After that ARG poll was released, those other polls showed Mitt jumping to a 13-20 point lead. So ARG is sketchy at best.
Despite this I have the utmost confidence that Mitt will win Michigan and win it big. He grew up there, his father was a popular governor there, and he has the best organization in the state. So, as of now, revel in this poll, but be skeptical. I would bet that in the next poll by some other pollster, Romney will have around a 3-7 point lead. Nothing comfortable yet, but getting there. But I’ll settle for a 26 point lead for now.
Currently in the Democratic and Republican Presidential races there are too many people running for President and wasting people’s time. I categorize the candidates into three groups: 1. Candidates who have relatively legitimate shot at the nomination, 2. Candidates who are in the race based on principle and have a message to get out AND know they can’t win, and 3. Those who are only in it because, well no one knows, they are delusional. The parties break down like this:
Group 1: Hillary, Barack, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson
It is still too early to fully discount Edwards and Richardson, and while they seemingly have no shot, we will keep them here for now.
Group 2: Dennis Kucinich – he has no strange illusions about his chances, but he is making a point by running. I think he’s nuts, but I can respect that.
Group 3: Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Mike Gravel
Group 1: Rudy, Mitt, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee
Group 2: Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo (?)
Group 3: Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo(?)-He could go in either group, he is riding the fence.
Now, let’s just get rid of the group 3 folks. There is no reason for them to be in, they have not shot, and they have no message. I recognize that some of them may have good ideas and be solid Presidents but they are not going to win the nomination, so it’s time for them to go.
As for group 2, it is healthy to have candidates that are out there to push a message and to provide a different point of view, Paul and Kucinich do this for their respective parties. As annoying as the Paul supporters can be, they are dedicated and sold on his message. Both of these candidates are welcome to stay in the race as long as they are content wasting money on their candidacy.
Often, people complain that there is not a candidate that they like or can give their support to. The most popular phrase in electoral politics from the voters is, “I don’t like any of ’em.” The people that say that in this election either hasn’t really paid attention or will never like any candidate, regardless of how good one might be. The only group of people that I can think that arguably do not have a candidate to support are moderate Democrats (Hillary is not a moderate, stop fooling yourself); although I would argue that Giuliani would fill that niche nicely.
So with at least four candidates in each party’s group 1, there is a candidate out there for nearly everyone, the others all support Ron Paul. There is no reason to have 10 candidates running around and stepping on each others’ toes, let’s slim down the competition already.
With the current structure of the primary process, so many states attempting to move, and the “unfair” influence of Iowa and New Hampshire on the process, many have called for a new primary system. One of these is the Delaware Plan.
The Delaware Plan calls for 4 rounds of primary elections divided up according to state population. The 12 smallest states in March, 13 next smallest in April, the next 13 in May, and the largest 12 in June. The theory is that more states would have an influence and there is a decent chance that no one candidate will have the nomination locked up until June. This is how it would break out:
March: Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska , North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho
April: Nebraska, West Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Iowa, Connecticut, Oregon, Oklahoma, South Carolina
May: Kentucky, Colorado, Alabama, Louisiana, Minnesota, Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, Indiana, Massachusetts
June: Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New York, Texas, California
I really like this plan, I think it is generally fair and equitable and everyone knows where they stand. That is, I really liked it until I mapped it, now I only like it:
Orange: March Yellow: April Blue: May Red: June
The problem with this plan is that the first round of primaries, which is the most influential, does not have any representation from the South and most of the mid-West. The bulk of influence is concentrated in the Northeast and in the unpopulated northern states.
To fix this problem I came up with a fair and equitable plan for the primary system. It involves both geography and population. First, divide the country up into 5 regions of 10 states each: Pacific, West, Midwest, South, Northeast
Now divide up each region by population to determine when they will hold their primary. The two smallest from each will be in February, the next two smallest in March, and so on until the two largest of each hold their primaries in June.
What this plan does is allow all regions of people to be represented equitably throughout the primary system, keeps the smaller states relevant, and, hopefully, keeps the nominee from being determined until all of the states have held their primaries. It is a win-win for all involved.
(((Note: This is a re-post of an article I wrote in the first week of the blog. As I am on vacation for the week, I will be re-posting some of the early columns that were not seen by many people.)))