Category Archives: McCain

Live Blogcast of the Defending the American Dream Summit

5:30 PM

For the last many hours it has been pretty slow, but it is now starting to pick up.  Because of the lack of audio in the blogger room here and the limited space in the main hall where the speeches are given, I am just going to take notes on a pad of paper and will update you following the speech and subsequent events in a new post.

Vote for Mitt!

2:15 PM – Event Pictures

Me and Jeff Flake

040.JPG

My hole

019.JPG

Blog Row

005.JPG

Rudy Giuliani

0261.JPG

Ron Paul right next to me

Ron Paul

Mike Huckabee

037.JPG

Sam Brownback

038.JPG

Fred and Jeri Thompson

041.JPG

Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson

Cheese Head

011.JPG

1:40 PM

So some final afternoon observations.

One thing that really stuck out to me was the ages of most of the people attending the conference. While there are people of all ages, there were mostly young people, ages 18-30. It was great. Usually the youth is reserved for liberalism, but times are a-changin. Most likely, it is attributed to the fact that young people are generally more energetic and passionate. They like to be involved. This usually dies out as they get older.

I missed Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. Too bad. He is great. I would love to see him move up in the ranks of the GOP. He ought to challenge O’Malley for the governorship in 2010.

The best candidate in terms of overall performance so far today is Mike Huckabee. It is a shame that he does not have greater support. He would be a fantastic president. I have met a lot of people who tell me that they would support him if he were running better in the polls. He would be a great veep. I think a Romney-Huckabee ticket would be incredible. He is also a genuinely nice man. He walked right up near me for his Q&A, shook my hand and joked with a few of us. He is the kind of person everyone wishes would run for President, people just don’t know he exists.

Finally, it is time to call out the Romney supporters. It has become blatantly apparent to me (today and over the last week) that the “flip-flopper” tag stuck to Mitt is unfair. Thompson and Giuliani have flipped as much if not more than Romney. It is high time we start making some noise about this. This perception only exists because they have no other dirt on him. Romney is as clean as can be.

Also, Virginia Mitt supporters need 10,000 signatures from VA residents to get Mitt on the primary ballot by December. Contact everyone you know in VA and send them to Virginia for Mitt to find out how to sign the petition. Elections are run at the grass roots, let’s get on it.
1:00 PM

The craziness has subsided until tonight when we will be able to hear from Gov. Romney. Fred Thompson was the last speaker and seemed to be the most popular of the speakers here. I was lucky and happened to be a the entrance of the Summit when he and Jeri arrived and was able to get a picture.

It is easy to see why Thompson appeals to many conservatives. He comes across as a regular guy and the accent makes him more like the common man. He actually reminds me a lot of President Bush in 1999.

The content of his words were the same as all the rest. He focused on fiscal responsibility and personal freedom. His biggest applause came when he said, “We need judges who interpret the constitution and don’t make it up as they go along.” All in all he was all fluff no substance. There was nothing of how to fix things. He kept it broad and just talked about what he intends to fix.

One thing I noticed from all the candidates was that they often make blanket statements that have no shot to be accurate but are effective. For example, Thompson said the U.S. has “the least efficient tax code in the World.” Please. Let’s at least try to make an accurate statement. But, considering the crowd he was talking to, it worked. The nature of politics.

11:15 AM

My favorite congressman, Rep Jeff Flake from AZ, just walked in, I had the pleasure of meeting him and getting a picture with him. I will post the pic later today. We need more politicians like him.

11:00 AM

So I just ran into a writer from Virginia for Mitt, he said that he was walking around the summit and saw Senator Sam Brownback mosying around, looking at pictures. So he went up to him and introduced himself. In the course of the conversation, Brownback asked him if he new where he (Brownback) was supposed to be. Virginia For Mitt writer asked him if he had any staff, and Sam responded that he is meeting someone here.

That is incredible. How is it that a Presidential Candidate has that little organization? He has offices a mile away, he needs to grab some staff out his senate office and have them here to help him. Funny stuff.

1045am

So here on bloggers row we have no audio of the events in the main hall. The techs are working on it, but for now I have to go into the hall and take notes then come back in here to write. So it is not as real time as I would like. We just had a rush of Q&A’s, so here is the coverage. (They are not exact quotes).

Ron Paul

In hearing Ron Paul speak the word that comes to mind is “passion.” From both he and his supporters. I found many of his ideas intriguing and appealing, however he just goes a bit to far on isolationism. His isolationist ideas sound nice, but are impossible to implement and are simply too idealistic.

Q. People were surprised about the strength of your fundraising in the last quarter What is your explanation?

A. It reflects the growing strength of campaign. We were surprised, but it refutes the claim that just a couple of people on internet support me. Our fundraising has doubled every quarter (114% increase). Some even have to use their own money to inflate their numbers ((A shot at Romney)). The increase in funds allows us to buy advertisement.

Q. There are still people at poverty level and below. How would your adminstration address this?

A. Destruction of currency caused this. The poor lose; cost of living increases faster than income. It is ironic that those who want to help decide to create more entitlements despite the fact they do not have the money, so they just print more money, which hurts the people. A free market system with sound money is essential. The way out is accomplished by looking at our fiscal policy. We are spending billions on maintaining an empire. We should use that money to tide people over who are dependent, until they can stand on their own. If we continue to do what we are doing, it will never be fixed. Stop spending and restore soundness.

Q. How can you compete with other front tier candidates?

A. The other campaigns are helping us a whole lot, spending too much. They are acting like the government. We now have a lot of publicity, including from other campaigns. It is like a free ride. Even with less money we will be competitive. There is also a lot of money being spent by private groups. They all organized spontaneously. We don’t even have to buy campaign signs.

Q. Considering No Child Left Behind, how to help the kids?

A. ((See above answer)). Tax credits for people, we cannot do it by current system. Partial privatization. No child left behind is a failed program.

Q. Is Giulaini acting like this thing is done?

A. There are signs of that.

Q. Considering your previous comments on education, do you advocate the dissoution of the Department of Education? ((My question))

A. That is not where my attack is. My attack is with our foreign policy. We could better invest that money here at home. However, ultimately I would like to reform it. (A lot more of fluff)
Q. Would President Paul sign the law of the sea treaty?

A. No, I am interested in national sovereignty. But I would work with other governments on the issue. I have no interest in World Bank, WTO, and organizations like that.

Q. Why should a pro-Iraq conservative support you?

A. For fiscal policy. Or look at interventionist history. All great nations spread themselves too thin. I don’t understand why conservatives don’t see that. Conservatism is not re-routing money (not direct quote). However, I do support a strong national defense.

Senator Brownback

How can we continue to have America be a platform for growth? We need to get systems fixed. We need an alternate flat tax and allow people to choose or to stay in the same system. We also have to move to optional private social security account.

Q. What is cause of your lack of momentum in the campaign?

A. Well, we did third in Ames. We can produce a good ground game. I also think the race is still open for a dark horse candidate to come forward. Party is built on principle not

Q. Why is there some dissatisfaction with the front runners?

A. I think it is the policy issues. Their lives, taxes, past policy supports. basic Philisophical challenge, front runners have inconsistencies. Also need to find creative solution in Iraq. I support a federalism structure in Iraq; a soft partition.

Q. You mentioned giving people an option to use the current tax systems, with the current huge bureaucracy of the IRS and the convoluted system, how will having two optional systems work and make things more efficient? ((My Question))

A. ((Mostly dodged it)) He denied that it would make things more difficult, but that personal choice is essential to a successful program.

Mike Huckabee

Shook hands, great guy.

The tax system is out of date, complete elimination of current taxes. We need a consumption tax.

Q. After your straw poll success, are you dissapointed in your fundraising?

A. Not at all, I have not spent the money that others have. Yet I am running quite strong.

Q. Obama not wearing flag pin anymore. Any comments on that?

A. That’s not the reason for a person to vote or not to vote for president. Not really the topic to talk about.

Q. Considering private enterprise to solve problems, are you troubled philosophically that we cannot go to war without private contractors?

A. We need to have an army that is capable. Yet there is a need for contractors. We are spending too much money on the war at the expense of the troops. We also spend too much on social programs. Better management will allow us to more effectively utilize the money that we have and also use our military.

Q. How did you not generate more funds after Ames?

A. Actually, we keep increasing money each quarter and we don’t have to give ourselves 10 million (A dig at romney). We keep 4 tires on the track and still have fuel in the tank. We are encouraged. Considering the spending habits of some candidates, we have to ask what their spending habits would be with taxpayer money.

Q. Can you make inroads with Reagan democrats?

A. I did it in Arkansas, I have already received the machinist and aerospace unions endorsement.

Q. Why have social conservatives not impacted the race as much this time around?

A. Because they are willing to compromise to support someone they think can win ((essentially)).

9:25 -Rudy Giuliani

Of the major speakers here today, Mayor Giuliani went first. The first thing I noticed is that he is very comfortable on the stump. He is charismatic and likable. He also was very successful keeping the audience entertained.

The focus of his words were, for good reason, fiscal responsibility. In speaking of his record in New York he said, “I have a record of results doing these things (tax cuts, etc); not once, not twice, but many times and against tough odds…Compare the results.”

“Tax cuts work! They worked for President Kennedy, President Reagan, President Bush. They worked in Germany and Japan…and in New York City. They are even working in France!” — This last line drew a great response from the crowd. “In fact, the only place thinking about tax increases is here in D.C.”

He then went on to tell about a dream he says he had. As a preface he mentions a book that President Sarkozy wrote and in the book Sarkozy mentioned that he wanted to go to America to learn some of our fiscal policies and apply them in France. This lead to Giuliani’s dream. He dreamed that there was an airplane flying from France to America with Sarkozy on board. At the same time an air plane was flying from America to France. These airplanes almost crashed into each other; they flew extremely close to each other. Close enough for the passengers to see each other. Sarkozy looked over and recognized the passengers and waved. In return Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards waved back.

The line that received the biggest applause was a simple line when he said, “In my administration, the day of anonymous earmarks are over.”

All in all it seemed like an effective speech. This is a safe venue for Giuliani, while his greatest strength is defense, he is also strong on fiscal policy. So far he has not had to address his social policies, we’ll see if he is challenged in the Q&A if he decides to participate.

(Giuliani did not do a Q&A) 8:50 Am

So the events are about to start. We are in the Senate room of the Mayflower hotel–Bloggers Row. While we are not directly in the hall where the speeches are given, we are in the room where the press conferences/Q&A are given. Not only that but I am sitting directly behind and to the left of the podium. I can literally touch the candidate/speakers, so look for video and I will be right there. The main hall is full of people of milling about. At the South end are two giant tv screens on each side of the stage and a podium in the middle. In the audience, the seats are separated by State. There are a lot of folks from Wisconsin here, I am not sure why, but…”because we rock, because we’re cheeseheads” according to fellow blogger and current neighbor Fred Dooley of Real Debate Wisconsin.

7:30 AM

Greetings from Washington DC, our great nation’s Capital. I am here at the Mayflower hotel to cover all of the day’s events at the Defending the American Dream Summit. We have an incredible docket of speakers and visitors, and we here at Dry Fly Politics in association with The Mitt Report are here to cover all of the important events. Today’s line up includes:

Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, and Lt. Governor Michael Steele (I really like him!)

And most importantly, tonight in the Key Note speech, our candidate, Mitt Romney!

Other Blogs covering the event

http://www.american-infidels.com/contributors/wolkingsworld.html
https://mydryfly.wordpress.com/
http://www.mittreport.com/
http://norunnyeggs.com/ http://www.foxpolitics.net/
http://www.gaypatriot.org/
http://www.samadamsalliance.org/blog/ http://ksky.townhall.com/ http://www.pajamasmedia.com/
http://www.humanevents.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/
http://www.newstalk1130.com/pages/vicki_mckenna.html http://www.kxl.com/personalities.aspx?ID=70 http://peterandhelenevans.com/
http://openrecords.wordpress.com/
http://xmradio.com/
http://www.metronetworks.com/ http://www.amconmag.com/
http://www.rightangleblog.com/
http://www.ap.org/
http://www.ntv.co.jp/english/
http://www.townhall.com/blog/MaryKatharineHam
http://www.hermancain.com/
http://www.timesfreepress.com/
http://dcprotestwarrior.blogspot.com/
http://theconservativerevolution.com/

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Brownback, Candidates, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

The Media on Hillary v. Barack, Romney v. GOP, & the Primaries

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.) 

2 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Bush, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Media, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, People, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback, Senate

Romney Opens Huge Lead in Michigan…Maybe

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Conservative, Democracy, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics, Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

It’s time to Slim Down the Competition

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:

Dems:
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

GOP Candidates:

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

Mitt’s Ames Bump

Coming out of the Ames straw poll last week, it seemed that Mitt had earned the sort of victory that was sufficient, but would have a minimal effect. It looked as though Huckabee was the big winner of all the candidates. After a week of analysis and watching the polls, however, it seems that the impact of Romney’s 13 point victory was underestimated by nearly everyone except the Romney campaign. In fact since Ames he has seen an extensive jump in the polls across the nation. (Rankings are in parentheses, only shows leader and Mitt)

Pre-Ames National:
CNN: (1) Giuliani-27 (4) Romney-11
Cook: (1) Giuliani-26 (5) Romney-7
Newsweek: (1) Giuliani-30 (4) Romney-10

Post-Ames National:
Rasmussen (1) Giuliani-22 (3) Romney 15
Gallup (1) Giuliani-32 (3) Romney 14
Rasmussen (1) Giuliani-24 (3) Romney 16
Quinnipiac (1) Guiuliani-28 (2) Romney 15

Pre-Florida:
Quinnipiac (1) Giuliani-26 (4) Romney-9
Post-Florida:
Rasmussen (1) Giuliani-30 (3) Romney-15

Pre-Nevada:
Mason-Dixon (1)Thompson-(25) (2) Romney-20
Post-Nevada:
Research 2000 (2) Thompson-18 (1) Romney-28

In each of the polls cited Romney has increased by at 4 points and moved up at least one spot in that polls rankings. Looking at the latest Rasmussen national poll, Romney has even pulled within 7 points against the much better known Giuliani.

While all of these numbers show that he still has a lot of work to do to catch Giuliani, the fact that Mitt is closing the gap and holds commanding leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire demonstrates that the race has practically become a 2-way between Giuliani and Romney, with Thompson and Huckabee the wild cards.

The next 5 months will be very interesting and exciting indeed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Media, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Rudy Giuliani

Ames: Called It! … Huckabee, Romney the Big Winners

Before diving into analysis, let’s review how I did on may Ames Straw Poll predictions:

Prediction: 1. Romney (by 13), 2. Huckabee 3. Giuliani 4. Brownback 5. Paul

Results: 1. Romney (by 13) 2. Huckabee 3. Brownback 4. Tancredo 5. Paul

Nailed it! Well, I was way off on Giuliani and think I (unofficially) had Tancredo in 6th or 7th. I will admit, that all through Friday and Saturday of last weekend, I was doubting my Huckabee prediction; that was a risk well taken. I am most pleased with my 13 point margin of victory prediction. Anyway, enough with that, let’s get to some analysis.

While Romney won, the biggest news was Huckabee’s second place finish. He had no buses and his organization was poor compared to Brownback. While this may not be enough for him to overtake Romney or Giuliani in January, it will certainly put him in the mix and will earn him outward support from people who were not supporting him purely because they thought he had no chance. Look for Huckabee to get a significant jump in support over the next few polls in Iowa.

Huckabee’s win also spells doom for Brownback. Sam can try to spin this all he wants, but the fact that he hired some 100 buses (by some accounts) and lost to his chief rival, Huckabee, who had no buses, demonstrates the weakness of his campaign. I would be surprised if Brownback stays in through January. It would be a waste of time and resources to do so.

This is also a big deal for Huckabee because it makes him a front runner for the VEEP slot should Romney or Giuliani win the nomination. Both of those candidates would have a fairly tough time in the South, and would absolutely need to run with a southerner. (The short list: F. Thompson, Huckabee, Kay Baily Hutchison, and Charlie Crist – but this is a topic for another day).

Mitt Romney, obviously, was also a big winner in this. And had Brownback or Tancredo come in second, as many predicted, he would have been the only big winner. The 13% victory, as I said in my Friday morning post, is just fine. It is not too low, but it is not groundbreaking. Romney did what he needed to do, and he seems to have Iowa locked up. Romney should continue to have an active presence in Iowa, but should scale it down. Invest more resources in SC, FL, and NV.

Mitt’s victory has been getting some criticism due to the claim that he spent some $400+ dollars per vote. I suppose that this is one way to look at it, but more accurately, all of this is an investment. Sure he spent a lot of money to get people there, but he doesn’t have the advantage of Giuliani, McCain, or Thompson who have built in name recognition. Romney has to work harder and spend more money than any other of the top candidates. The money he spent on Ames was purely for marketing. He did not spend the money to win Ames, he spent the money to get his name, demonstrate that he is electable, and to keep in in the top tier. This event was about January, not Ames.

Finally, some analysis on the other candidates. This morning Tommy Thompson withdrew. He was a nice enough guy and was likely competent enough to be president, but he was lacking everything else. In the debates he looked like a talking statue, he does not carry himself in a presidential manner, and he did not have the bank roll to compete with the other candidates. A person like Thompson is perfect for a cabinet postion, but nothing more.

Ron Paul also did not have a bad day, while 5th is nothing to pat yourself on the back for and was worse than his supporters thought they would do, it shows that he at least belongs a little. Paulites have been complaining about efforts to keep Ron out of the debates, they have a legitimate argument. Ron Paul is a legitimate second tier candidate, if Hunter, Brownback, and Tancredo are in the debates, so should Paul. I think he will stay in the race if only for ideological purposes. He is the GOP Ralph Nader.

McCain is done in Iowa and likely nationally.

I am starting to doubt if Thompson will really run. I’m not sure his heart is in it, at least that’s my impression.

2 Comments

Filed under Brownback, Bush, Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Media, Mitt Romney, Mormon, People, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

What Ames Means for Romney, GOP

Since Giuliani and McCain announced that they would not be participating in the Ames straw poll, most people have argued that the poll (to be held on Saturday) will have less of an impact than in previous elections.  While this is seemingly so, it will still play a significant roll in the GOP race. 

With what has happened to McCain in the last month, Giuliani is likely kicking himself for withdrawing from the poll.  Had Giuliani stayed in and McCain still collapsed, Giuliani would have likely had a whole new constituency that would have flocked his way.  At the time of his withdrawl, it seemed like the right choice to make; it looked as if Romney was running away with Iowa.  While Romney is indeed pulling out a huge lead, had Giuliani stayed in he would have had a real chance to pull out a victory or, at the worst, pull out a close second.  Close enough to give him a realistic chance in January (December now?).    Instead, baring a complete collapse of the Romney campaign, he not only has a lock on the poll in Ames, but he likely has nearly the same hold on the actual caucus. 

Ames means more for Romney than for almost anyone else (of course a few people may be out of the race come Sunday, so they may have something to say about that).  In the extremely unlikely event that Romney comes in second, his campaign would be dead; game over.  This is won’t happen though.   While some argue that anything less than a 10 point win for Romney would be near devastating, I suspect Romney would be fine.  If, however, someone comes within 5 points, Romney will have a very uncomfortable ride to the caucuses.  A 6-13 point victory and Romney is sitting pretty, but in the same place he was before caucuses.  Ames wouldn’t really affect him.  

However, if Mitt can pull out a 14+ point victory, especially upwards of 20 points, the entire GOP race changes.   The other three front runners, will of course, downplay it because they did not partipate.  But it will be hard to argue with a 17 point victory.  That type of victory would attract major media coverage and would likely have a greater impact on the national polls, drawing Romney closer to Giuliani and Thompson.

The most interesting story in Ames, however, has nothing to do with Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, or McCain.  It has everything to do with whose candidacy will be alive on Monday.    Tommy Thompson already said that he needs to finish in the top two in order to continue, so he is as good as gone.  He is not finishing in the top two. 

Both Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo will likely finish outside of the top four.  This will likely be more detrimental to Tancredo, as he seems to have been working harder in Iowa.  Tancredo will likely drop out by the end of the month with a 5th or worse finish.  Hunter hasn’t seemed to put much stock here, I think he is in for ideological reasons and will stay through at least the first caucus/primary.

Ron Paul will not drop out, at least not because of Ames.  He is one to watch for in the poll because he has an extremely loyal and dedicated following.  His following is likely not large enough to crack the top four at Ames, although I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened.  Paul will see it through at least mega-Tuesday in February. 

The most interesting race in Ames is between Brownback and Huckabee.  Both have substantial support and organization in Iowa and they have been targeting each other as of late which has increased the drama.   It is likely that only one will survive the weekend.  Romney will win and Giuliani will likely finish in the top 3.  Either Sam or Mike will take the other spot in the top 3.  The loser will finish fourth or worse.  A fourth place finish may not be the knock out punch, but it will be painful.  If one of them finishes fifth, he will drop out.  

Regardless of how significant Ames may or may not be, it will certainly help shape the GOP race – if only to pare down the number of candidates in the debates.   Romney has the most to lose with the least to gain.  The “second-tier” candidates have tons to lose, but there is a lot to gain also.  If the race is close with Huckabee or Brownback in a close second, you could see a fifth addition to the big four. 

Predictions:  1. Romney (by 13)  2. Huckabee  3. Giuliani  4. Brownback (2-4 all very close)  5. Ron Paul

2 Comments

Filed under Brownback, Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Media, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback