Tag Archives: Fred Thompson

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

Mitt Wins Wyoming With Over 65% of the Vote

Now Mitt is leading the medal count in the GOP race: 1-Gold, 1-Silver. Even better he now leads the GOP delegate count with 28 delegates total. Here is the total delegate count in case you are paying attention:

Romney-26
Huckabee-20
Thompson-5
McCain-3
Hunter-1
Giuliani-1

While Wyoming is less meaningful than the other January states (for whatever reason), a win is a win is a win. Fortunately CNN, Drudge, USA Today, and many other news organizations are at least mentioning Mitt’s win. Hopefully, this with solid debates in the next two days, will prove enough to propel Mitt in New Hampshire. If Mitt wins New Hampshire, he will also win MI and NV, and be close in SC.

Ultimately, McCain needs NH more than Mitt does. If McCain loses NH, that could be the end for him. He will continue at least through Feb. 5th, but he would likely have minimal success.

I for one still have a lot of optimism in Mitt’s overall chances. I wouldn’t dare go so far to say that he is the front-runner, I can’t say anyone is at this point. I am confident, however, that Mitt is the GOP’s best candidate and the only one that brings together all conservative facets under one umbrella and has the work ethic to beat the Democrat in November.

PS. Notice that Giuliani came in far behind Ron Paul in Iowa and is tied with Duncan Hunter in the delegate count. That is some campaign he is running over there.

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Filed under Conservative, Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Uncategorized

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).

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

GOP Race, One week out

Well, I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember crazier primary race than the one going on right now.    I for one figured that by the time Iowa rolled around it would be down to a two man race, three at the most.  I thought Huckabee would still be in, but not “in”.   I thought McCain would stay dead.  I thought Giuliani would be making a push in New Hampshire and in second in Iowa. And I thought Romney would still be dominating Iowa.  About the only two things that turned out the way I thought was that Fred Thompson would fade and that Romney would come back to the pack in New Hampshire.

Well, now that I have sufficiently demonstrated how inept I am (although in my defense I did nail the predictions-including the margin of victory-at the Ames straw poll,  and everyone was completely off on their predictions, so I am not alone).  Allow me to give a quick run down of the current state of the race and make some predictions that are sure to be wrong.  First the candidates:

1. Mitt Romney.  I rank Mitt #1 because he has the most paths to the nomination.  He could lose IA, win NH, win MI.  He could win IA, lose NH, win MI.  He could lose both IA and NH, win WY and MI.  Or he could win IA.  Two things I tend to strongly believe, however,  First, if he wins IA, he wins the nomination.  Second if he loses IA, Michigan is a MUST win.  

All this being said, Mitt is still a wild card even if he loses MI.  He has the money and organization to compete in later states.  But I wouldn’t give him much of a shot.

2. John McCain.  I can’t believe I am ranking him second. But this is what I see.  I think a solid 3rd place finish for him in Iowa will be treated by the media as a win; much like Huckabee’s second in straw poll.  If he wins NH, he will have a good shot at MI.  Voters know him, for good and bad, and that will prove to be a positive thing for him.  They also know that he is considered the most electable, and in a group of candidates that no one can decide on, it may come down to who can actually win.  

Additionally, McCain has two scenarios for the nomination.  If he wins NH, he will be in a good spot.  But he could lose the first two and still win the nod, here’s how: A solid 3rd in IA (with Huck winning), propels him to a close 2nd place loss to Mitt in NH, say 1-3 point loss.  The media will rave about the resurgent McCain.  This “mo” leads him to a win in Michigan and on to the nomination.  I think this scenario is HIGHLY unlikely, but it is plausible.

3. Mike Huckabee.  Mike has only one scenario: Win IOWA.  A win in Iowa may be enough to keep him afloat into South Carolina.  A win there and he could sweep the southern states, including Florida.  If he does this, he could be the guy.  He is leading nationally now and leads in a lot of states. But that lead is contigent on Iowa.

However, Iowa is going to be a tough victory.  He has to contend with Mitt’s superior organization, which some pontificators argue gives Mitt an additional 5% to the current polls.  If Mitt draws closer, say within 3-4 points, a victory for Huck will be very difficult.  Not only that, but Huckabee has become the most divisive candidate in the party.  A win in Iowa will only strengthen the voices of opposition, it will be difficult to win SC without winning or placing in NH, WY, or MI and while facing a barrage of attacks from many conservatives. 

It should be noted that McCain and Huckabee’s rankings are almost interchangeable.

4. Rudy Giuliani.  His collapse has been astounding and incredibly quiet.  The most news he has received in December is about a hospital stay.   Rudy has gone all in in Florida.  A loss there and he is done.  He may still pull a few states out on Feb 5th, but one of those won’t be California. 

The problem Rudy has in Florida is that he is flailing there also.  Huckabee is surging and Mitt is right there as well.  I just don’t see Rudy being able to hang on in Florida after placing 3rd or worse in the first 6 contests.

This being said, Rudy has the most room for improvement, check back in a month and don’t be surprised if he is up to 2nd. 

5. Ron Paul.  That’s right, not Fred.  Why?  Neither is going to win a state, but with Ron’s grassroots support and huge financial advantage, don’t be surprised if he pulls out 4th in Iowa and 3rd in New Hampshire.  Ultimately, it doesn’t mean anything, except that he is in a better position than Fred.  At least Ron has the money for an independent run in ’08.

6. Fred Thompson.  Has there been a more disappointing candidate in the race?  While he may have some good ideas, they certainly aren’t his (at least that’s my perception).  Fred feels like a complete puppet to me.  His wife wants victory more than him.  He was coaxed into the race by a bunch of GOPers who saw him as a shoe in because he talks slow, has an accent, and is an actor.  

The only shot Fred has is with a third place finish in Iowa and he needs to pray that the media plays that up.  But even so, if there are only two tickets out of New Hampshire, he won’t have one of them.

So here are my state by state predictions through Jan 19th:

Iowa: 1. Huckabee (as of today) 2. Mitt 3. McCain 4. Fred 5. Paul 6. Rudy

WY: 1. Mitt 2. Huck 3. McCain 4. Paul 5. Fred 6. Rudy 

NH: 1. Mitt 2. McCain 3. Rudy 4. Huck 5. Paul 6. Fred

MI: 1. Mitt 2. McCain 3. Huck 4. Rudy 5. Paul 6. Fred

SC: 1. Huck 2. Mitt 3. Fred 4. McCain 5. Rudy 6. Paul

NV: 1. Mitt 2. McCain 3. Rudy 4. Huck 5. Paul 6. Fred

And if it plays out like that:

FL: 1. Mitt 2. Huck 3. Rudy 4. McCain

And Mitt is your nominee. 

P.S.  This outlook will probably change tomorrow. 

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Filed under Election 2008, Politics, Republicans

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.

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

The Laziness of Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson would be an abject disaster of a Republican nominee.  I have never witnessed a candidate who wanted to be President less than Fred.  In fact, the only reason he is running is because people around him tell him it will be easy to win the nomination in the convoluted GOP race and because his wife is practically forcing him to run.  

The Politico wrote up a indicting piece on this topic (which was the motivation for my post).  In the article a day-in-the-life of the Fred campaign is discussed and followed.  Here is a snippet:

But what happened to the “tour of downtown Waverly” that was on his schedule?

Canceled. Not going to happen. He was not going to walk the streets of Waverly in search of voters.

Instead, Thompson rode four blocks to the local fire station. Local fire stations always have captive audiences (unless there is a fire).

Inside, Thompson shook a few hands — there were only about 15 people there — and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire hat so Thompson could put it on.

Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.

In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it.

To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.
the sum total of Thompson’s day in Waverly was meeting with a newspaper editor and saying nothing and then meeting about 15 people in a warm firehouse and saying nothing.

Later, his press aide sent Mark and me an e-mail of explanation, though we had not asked for one.

Thompson had skipped going up and down Bremer Avenue after the newspaper meeting because, the press aide explained, “We can’t control where the newspapers are. Had it been a more ‘main-street’ type town, it would have been different.”

But Waverly is a “main-street” type town, and the newspaper office was right there on the main street of town surrounded by businesses.

The press aide also claimed that “ice and snow on the streets presented a safety issue,” but Halperin and I had no problem walking on the mostly well-shoveled avenue, both before Thompson arrived and after he left. (In fact, we went into a local store on Bremer Avenue, where there were a number of shoppers Thompson easily could have greeted.)

When he was supposed to go out and find voters in shops and diners, talk to them and answer their questions, he decided to skip it and get back on his luxury bus instead.

That’s not retail politics. That’s not Iowa. And that’s not laconic. That’s lazy.

Fred gives off the impression that just having to shake hands with potential voters is more work than he is willing to do and that it is a burden to campaign for votes.   This type of attitude may be able to sift him through to the top of the GOP race; he has other candidates that will do his dirty work for him by pulling each other down. But in a general election race he would get destroyed.   One cannot be lazy and avoid campaigning in a one on one race against a candidate with the support and funding of a Hillary or Barack. 

The GOP can ill afford to choose a candidate of such ilk.  Two other candidates virtually hold the same positions as Fred – Mitt Romney and John McCain.  Both of these candidates are better choices. Mitt is the smartest in the race, has the most money, best organization, and is out working everyone.  John has the military background, works harder than Fred, is quite authentic, and polls the best against the dem candidates. So why on earth are people even considering Fred?  It is completely baffling to me.  What a wasted vote.  A Fred nomination is a guaranteed loss in the general election.  Not to mention that he would have a sub-par Presidency in the event he was elected.

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

Will Hillary Lose Because She is Female?

Many supporters of Hillary Clinton attribute many of the troubles she faces to the fact that some people just won’t vote for a Woman.  They act like Hillaries biggest stumbling block is her gender.  So the question begs to be asked, “Will Hillary lose because she is a Woman?”.   In short, No! She will lose because she is Hillary.

We are at a historic time in our history as a nation.  We have a very diverse Presidential field; it is quite possible that we will have a “first” as our next President – First woman, first Black (or even more inclusive, first non-White), or first Mormon.  Many argue that the country is not ready for the first woman or black president.  They say we are still too bigoted and unaccepting.   While there are certainly some ignorant and bigoted people in our country (and in higher percentage in the South), I strongly disagree that America is not “ready”.   

While critics of America (especially internal critics) like to portray America as being racist and sexist while portraying Europe as inclusive and progressive, the reality is that America is far advanced in terms of race than any other country.  Racism is rampant in England, France, and Spain.   At Soccer games in Europe, bigoted fans throw bananas and mimic monkeys to denigrate Black players.  What sets America apart is our inclusiveness and our continued ability to be self-critical and, thus, self-correcting.  Europe never had their own Civil Rights Movement and race is a real problem.

The fact is, most Americans will vote according to whom they perceive to be the best person for the office; the definition of “the best” is relative to each voter however.  There is absolutely no grounding in the claim that an American will not be elected because they are female.   I, for one, would have voted for Condoleeza (a woman and Black!), but I won’t be voting for Hillary.  Why? Again, because she is Hillary.   And for Hillary it is not even about the Politics, on which I pretty well disagree with her, it is about her – her lack of integrity and insatiable desire for power.  She cannot be trusted.

I have a similar problem with Rudy Giuliani.  I won’t vote for him either, he has shown a propensity to be involved in scandal and seems to lack any sort of sound moral judgement;  I can’t trust him.  If we have a Rudy-Hillary race in 2008, I will be voting 3rd party or will simply withhold a vote for President.

On the other hand, I have a more positive disposition towards Barack.  With him, I completely disagree with his policies and politics, I even think he is more left-wing than Hillary.  But I also have the impression that he is a good man, had real convictions, and believes what he says.  In the event of a Rudy-Barack race, I would vote for Barack.  Additionally, I would seriously consider Barack over Huckabee (depending on how his subtle anti-Mormon views play-out) and Fred Thompson (who I think is incompetent and too lazy to be President).

For me my determination for who should be President is first dependent on character and integrity, followed closely by political ideology.  I strongly prefer GOP policy and will choose a person of mediocre character over a democrat of strong Character.  However, I will choose the Democrat over a GOPer that has no character and integrity or is simply unfit for the job.

Certainly, I will not make the determination on race or sex.  And I think that most of America feels the same way on that point.  There is just no evidence that Americans as a whole would fail to vote for Hillary because she is a Woman.  They will not vote for Hillary because she is Hillary.

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