Category Archives: Fred Thompson

Are Putin and Clinton Both Right?

It is a rare occassion when I agree with either Vladimir Putin (whom I think is the most dangerous person on Earth) and Hillary Clinton (whom I just despise, but no real vitriol there).  But, I always thought it would be a cold-day in hell before I agreed with both of them, but that day has come.

(Hat Tip: Ben Smith/Politico)

Back before the New Hampshire primary Hillary Clinton, when asked about Russia and Putin, Hillary said that Putin, “didn’t have a soul.”   I can’t say that I disagree there. 

Yesterday, Putin was asked to respond to this comment (a little late if you ask me) and he replied, “At a minimum, a head of state should have a head.”   I can’t say I disagree there either (in two ways, certainly a President should have a ‘head’ and that Hillary doesn’t). 

So despite the fact they were criticizing each other, they were both right! How about that.  I am confident that a similar event will never happen again in my lifetime. 

Final thought, speaking of Russia, wasn’t it Fred Thompson who referred to Russia as the Soviet Union? ….  ‘and (he) wanted to be my latex salesman’.

3 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, International Affairs, Politics, Russia

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.

16 Comments

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

Nevada v. South Carolina, a Gutsy Strategy

Yesterday, Mitt Romney practically conceded South Carolina to his fellow GOP competitors for the nomination and announced that he would spend the weekend campaigning in Nevada.  This is wise, yet gutsy, move for Mitt.  It is wise because he knows he has no chance to win.  South Carolina is naturally a better fit for McCain (Military members and veterans), Huckabee (evangelicals), and Thompson (accent) as opposed to the smooth NE state governer Mormon candidate.

So here are the positives:

1. Nevada has more delgates than South Carolina, the SC delegates are likely to be more divided due to more people splitting the vote, including Mitt.

2. Minimizes the impact of a McCain or Huckabee victory, although only slightly. 

3. Winning Nevada gives him a win going into Florida, counters the Mo for the winner of SC.

4. Helps solidify Mitt in the West, the western States are going to be more important than the Southern in the general, as the South will most likely stick with the GOP candidate regardless.

5. Losing SC is becomes not as big of a deal, he can say, “what do you want? I wasn’t contesting there and I, as a Mormon, barely lost to two Southerners and a military hero.

6. His organizational strength, coupled with the strong SC endorsements and the MI win, could still give Mitt a 2nd or 3rd place finish. If in the unlikely event that he finishes 2nd, that would be a major victory for Mitt that he can play up.  It would also all but eliminate Thompson and Huckabee from the race (assuming they finished 3rd and 4th)

7. Mitt is saying that McCain looks like a foregone conclusion in SC, this raises McCain’s expectations, while lowering Mitt’s.  So if Huck or Fred beats McCain, it will look like an even bigger loss for McCain, which could be devastating for him.

Here are the negatives:

1. Demonstrates Mitt’s inherent weakness in the South.  Can he overcome this? (I think so)

2. Nevada is being ignored by Republicans, will Nevada be viewed the way Wyoming was? (By the way, if I were a Republican in a western state, I would be pretty offended that this is the second time that important region is being ignored by the bulk of the party).

3. Possibly being overshadowed by the Democrats in Nevada with media coverage.

4. More positive media coverage for the SC winner (especially because the media doesn’t like Mitt at all) rather than the Nevada winner.

5. Media and McCain will try to pass Mitt’s Nevada win off as only being because of all the Mormons there. The media will conveniently forget that Nevada should a natural McCain state, as he is from the neighboring state and the only candidate from the West.  (I hate the media)

So this is how I see Mitt’s strategy.  It is obviously less than ideal, but considering the circumstances, it was a wise decision.  It is more important for Mitt to have another win to offset the likely McCain win in SC heading into Florida.  This will set up a 3-way race in Florida.  The big question is how does Rudy play in Florida, he has been dedicating all his time and money there, yet he is not getting any traction.  I also think that Rudy and McCain split the vote in Florida and it will provide a great opportunity for Mitt there.

It is way to early to make predictions about Florida, but one thing is for sure, it is going to be a fist fight.  One of the good things, is that it is likely that Fred will drop out of the race if he doesn’t win in SC on Saturday (which he won’t).  I think Fred will endorse McCain, but I don’t see many of his supporters heading that way, they more logically fit with Mitt (and vice-versa, Mitt supporters-like myself-would have moved to Fred’s camp had Mitt dropped out).   If Fred drops out, I definitely give the advantage to Mitt in Florida, but that is all dependent upon how this weekend and the subsequent news coverage plays out. 

One final note regarding strategy for Mitt, I would put in a lot of really quiet effort into getting out Huckabee, Paul, or Thompson voters in Nevada.  I would try to push McCain into third or fourth there.  That would be pretty embarassing for McCain to come in third in both his neighboring and pretty moderate Republican state. An ideal finish in Nevada would be a huge margin of victory for Mitt, someone not named McCain in 2nd, and McCain far behind.  GO NEVADA!

 You’re thoughts?

5 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Nevada, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina

The Good News for Mitt

Here are some positives that Mitt supporters can look at as we move forward:

1. Voting already started in New Hampshire, well before the McCain surge.

2. The media is starting to spin Huckabee’s spin as being all because of the evangelical vote.

3. Mitt is the only candidate that is competitive in all of the states.

4. There are two(?) debates before New Hampshire — Mitt needs to hammer McCain hard.

5. McCain came in 4th.  (Really good news)

6. Obama won on the Democrat side, likely pulling independent voters in NH to vote in the Dem contest.

7. McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform

8. McCain supports (or until his recent flip-flop) Amnesty

9. McCain is an angry old man and a little loony.

10. Ron Paul beat Rudy in Iowa, Rudy only got 3%.

11. Fred has not dropped out yet (let’s hope he stays in through South Carolina).

12. Lots of money and a strong organization.

13. Mitt has a home in New Hampshire, at least he can sleep in his own place for the next few nights.

14. I really, really, really, want him to win (does that make a difference? :))

7 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson

Iowa Caucus Predictions

The day we have been waiting for is finally here!  After months and months of campaigning, the voting starts tonight, and the race is much murkier than it was even 3 months ago.  As a result, attempting to make a prediction on what will happen is futile.  Nevertheless, it is an obligation that we bloggers have to throw our two cents in so here it goes.

1. Mitt Romney-33%

2. Mike Huckabee – 28%

3. Ron Paul – 13%

4. Fred Thompson – 12%

5. John McCain – 11%

6. Rudy Giuliani – 2%

Yes, I have Ron Paul third.  This was a hugely tough decision, but I know how passionate Ron Paul supporters are and I think they will turn out in droves to the caucuses.  It appears that McCain, Fred, and Giuliani fans in Iowa are less enthusiastic because they aren’t going to win the state.  So even though Paul is only polling at about 7-8% now, his passionate supporters and his organization could be good enough to propel him into third.

Organization is what should ultimately separate Mitt from Huck.  They are virtually tied heading into tonight and Mitt’s machine should propel him to victory.  That being said, Huck has the support of a lot of Churches, they too are quite effective at organization, so I would no be shocked with a Huck win. That being said, if Huckabee wins, I will lose all confidence in the judgement of Iowans and will call for them being punished to be the last state to vote in 2012.  I can understand voters choosing Thompson or McCain, but Huckabee? Really?

Finally, Thompson gets the edge over McCain because he has spent more time and resources in Iowa.  I think his organization is a little better.  However, his supporters could be dejected due to his poor overall standing and that may affect turn out.  McCain supporters on the other hand may turn out in higher percentage because he is now surging nationally and especially in New Hampshire. 

Ultimately, the race for first can go either way and so can the race for third.   Although, I find third place is harder to call.  It all comes down to how truly dedicated Paul supporters are and how positive Thompson supporters can remain.  One thing we do know is that it is highly likely that anything besides a third place finish and Thompson is dropping out (and I think he is praying for a 4th place finish to give him an excuse).

Leave a comment

Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iowa, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

New IA Polls, Two Different Stories

Two new polls have been released overnight that tell different stories of the GOP race in Iowa. First, the Des Moines Register released their poll that gave Huckabee a 6 point lead over Mitt:

Mike Huckabee: 32
Mitt Romney: 26
John McCain: 13
Ron Paul: 9
Fred Thompson: 9
Rudy Giuliani: 5

Whereas, this morning CNN/OpinionResearch released its latest Iowa poll (to be the first of the year!):

Mitt Romney: 31
Mike Huckabee: 28
Fred Thompson:13
John McCain: 10
Ron Paul: 8
Rudy Giuliani: 8

OK, so these polls just tell us what we already knew, that Iowa is unpredictable right now. I suppose the race is neck and neck; it seems to me that Hucks 6 point lead in the DMR poll is a bit inflated. Also, both polls fail to take into account Huckabee’s monumental and idiotic ad stunt yesterday. That could (and should) be his ‘Dean’ moment of the race, even journalists at the event were laughing at him. If that does not bury him in Iowa, nothing will. Ultimately, I think it is all but assured that Mitt will win Iowa, and I would not be surprised if it were a 10-15 point win. (I will publish my Iowa predictions Thursday morning).

Perhaps just as interesting is the race for 3rd. Thompson and McCain appear to be the two best positioned for third place. However, one candidate stands far and away with better organization and dedicated, even passionate, support and that is Ron Paul. In each poll he is within the margin of error. Like Mitt, I think Ron can be assured about 2-3 more points because his supporters are the most dedicated and most likely to attend caucuses of the 2nd tier Iowa candidates. Do not be one bit surprised if Paul finished 3rd, which would be a coup for him.

Mitt Romney has got to be praying that John McCain finishes 4th or worse in Iowa, regardless of whether he wins IA or not. That prevent the media from propping up McCain’s campaign and should slow his ascent in NH. The best possible scenario for Mitt would be a solid win and Ron Paul finishing 3rd, even Fred in 3rd would be fine.

For Huckabee, even if he does win Iowa, he is a one-state-wonder. He just has too many gaffes and issues. He may pull out South Carolina due to and Iowa win, but I wouldn’t count on it. Even then it would not be enough in the end.

Finally, notice Rudy Giuliani; tied for 5th in one and in 6th in the other. His supporters will say that he threw the towel in in Iowa before Ames so such a finish should not be unexpected. However there are holes all over that. A candidate whom the media claims to be the real front runner should automatically have at least 15% support in the state. John McCain and Fred Thompson also both skipped Ames and, especially McCain, have done little work in Iowa, just like Giuliani. Yet at least they are viable candidate to finish third. Giuliani’s abysmal campaign strategy is ridiculous and it shows how unlikely he is to get the GOP nod. How does one that is crowned the most likely to win the nomination finish in 6th and 5th in the first two states? We may very well see that this year. What a joke.

All in all, however, this is the most wide open GOP race ever. It is near impossible to predict what will happen, although things are slowly starting to work themselves out. It will be fun to watch.

UPDATE: Did the AP read my story?  I was just browsing around and Drudge has a headline very similar to mine and it linked to an AP story on Breitbart titled, “2 Polls, 2 Different Results” , posted at noon, Jan.1.  They used the same polls I used.  I just want it to be noted that mine was written first, so I don’t want to hear anything like I am copying stories.

3 Comments

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

The Real Deal

Mitt Romney is far and away the best candidate for President that the GOP has had since Ronald Reagan.  The fact that the GOP race remains as convoluted as it is, is baffling to me.   Mitt has the best resume, a track record of success in both business and politics, is a natural communicator, seeks differing opinion, is the most moral and ethical candidate in the race, has unparalleled character, and is the smartest.  He is the kind of candidate that, in previous elections, people wished they would have, yet now that they have him they don’t recognize it, nor realize how good they have got it.   Instead voters, pundits, and bloggers focus on little things and symantics in day to day coverage.  So, rather than outline a defense of these claims, I will let Ronald Kessler of Newsmax do it for me.  Here is the first section of this must read article on Mitt Romney:

Last April, Newsmax magazine ran a cover story headlined, “Romney to the Rescue: Romney’s Got the Right Stuff for 2008.”

Based on interviews I conducted with Mitt Romney and his friends, family, and aides, as well as with critics and neutral observers, the profile depicted him as a remarkably successful businessman and conservative governor with impeccable character.

Since the Newsmax article appeared nothing has changed.

No one has revealed that Romney appointed a close friend as police chief who has since been indicted for dealings involving figures with ties to the Mafia, as is the case with Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani did this even though he was warned about red flags in the candidate’s background.

There have been no revelations that Romney commuted or pardoned 1,033 criminals, including 12 murderers, as did Mike Huckabee. To the contrary, Romney granted no commutations or pardons as governor. Nor did Romney raise taxes. In contrast, by the end of his 10-year tenure, Huckabee was responsible for a 37 percent hike in the sales tax in Arkansas. Spending increased by 65 percent — three times the rate of inflation.

Huckabee joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies “toward the people at the top end of the economic scale.” He aligned himself with Democrats and showed an ignorance of the Bush administration’s extensive diplomatic efforts when he said the White House has an “arrogant bunker mentality.”

In contrast to his nice guy public image, when Huckabee asked in a New York Times Magazine interview, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” he belied nastiness and demonstrated what George Will has rightfully suggested is bigotry.

Huckabee’s serial ethics violations and misuse of funds to maintain the governor’s mansion in Arkansas for restaurant meals, pantyhose, and dry cleaning bills recalls Bill and Hillary Clinton’s improper appropriation of White House furniture and chinaware for their Chappaqua, N.Y, home.

Unlike Fred Thompson, Romney has not been revealed to have a lazy streak. Aside from being a key backer of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, in his eight years in the Senate, Thompson was the primary sponsor of only four pieces of legislation, none of any significance. On the campaign trail, the sour-looking Thompson has distinguished himself as someone who schedules two or three events a week and often cancels at the last minute.

A former CIA officer recalls what happened when Thompson and seven other members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee visited Pakistan in late 2002.

“The other senators, including John Edwards, attended the classified intelligence briefing,” the former officer says. “Thompson blew it off and spent a lot of time drinking and eating.”

Finally, Romney has not been found to have a vicious, out–of-control temper, as is true of John McCain. Nor did he twice oppose President Bush’s tax cuts — a key ingredient in the current the economic recovery — as did McCain.

“He [McCain] would disagree about something and then explode,” said former Sen. Bob Smith, a fellow Republican who served with McCain on various committees. “[There were] incidents of irrational behavior. We’ve all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I’ve never seen anyone act like that.”

Over the years, McCain has alternately denied being prone to angry outbursts, admitted he struggles to control his anger, and claimed he only becomes angry over waste and abuse. But those who have experienced it say his anger does not erupt over policy issues or waste and abuse. Rather, his outbursts come when peers disagree with McCain or tell him they won’t support him.

To read more of this article click here.

4 Comments

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