Tag Archives: Iowa

Even Drugged Up, Glenn Beck is Smarter than Iowa

Coming out of surgery and full of drugs in a hospital bed, Glenn Beck comments on the Iowa Caucuses. He really doesn’t like Mike Huckabee. Quote of the clip: “I like everyone when I first meet them…then they turn into Mike Huckabee.”  It is hilarious and well worth a watch, although you might not find it so funny if you are a Huckabee fan.

Your thoughts?



Filed under Election 2008, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, 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

Attack Strategies: Mitt vs. McCain & Huck

Mitt Romney has been criticized by many for his attack ads that point out the policy differences between himself and both Mike Huckabee and John McCain. Mitt’s strategy has been to avoid attacking other candidates personally; e.g. no name calling or cheap shots at their personal lives. He intends to keep his ‘attacks’ at a very mild level. In fact Mitt’s attacks have been so mild that they can barely be considered attacks, a more accurate term would be ‘comparison ads’.

As a result of these ads that Mitt has put out, John McCain and Mike Huckabee (or their respective campaigns) can’t seem to control their anger. Rather than simply refute Mitt’s claims or by creating an attack ad criticizing Mitt’s stances issues, they resorted to name calling and even wishing to inflict physical harm (of course said in jest).

John McCain, well known for a fiery temper, has been the most proactive in attacking Mitt Romney. His ads attack Mitt as a flip-flopper and a phony (nevermind that McCain has flipped far more than Mitt). In one interview he even called Romney a Pig.

Mike Huckabee has attempted to avoid the mire of attack ads, but his attempt is futile. His campaign has also called Mitt a phony and who can forget his ‘innocent’ question about the LDS belief that Jesus and Satan are brothers? As if that were not a subtle jab at Mitt. Then, Huckabee creates an ad attacking Mitt on abortion over the past weekend. Apparently the ad was very harsh, and Huck decided not to air it…sort of. He disingenuously stands in front of the Media and says that he has decided to pull the attack ad from the air and will not release them, but then decided to allow the media to see the ad. Was this an attempt to for him to hit Mitt hard but come out looking scot clean? It appears so to me. Finally, Huckabee’s campaign manager one-up’d Huck by stating that he would like to “knock out Romney’s teeth.”

So what we have here are two candidates attacking one, with the one attacking the two. What’s the difference? Mitt’s attacks focus on factual information and stated policy beliefs of the respective candidate, while Huck’s and McCain’s attacks are personal and irresponsible. Their responses to Mitt’s attacks make them look like they can’t defend themselves against Mitt’s claims, so instead of addressing the issue, they resort to juvenile name calling and whining.

What I find most striking about all this, is that Mitt has yet to complain. He is attacked on all sides, including from the media (who just coincidentally seem to ignore the attacks from Huck and McCain), and he simply states the differences between his policies and the others’ policies and goes on his way. He has not called anyone any names, he has not accused Huck or John of flip-flopping (despite their MANY instances); no, he just continues on his confident course and strategy.

What is most frustrating is that of the three of these candidates, Mitt is running the cleanest campaign, yet we would not know it from what we hear from the media. Huckabee and McCain were given complete passes for their antics and inappropriate statements. The only conclusion I can come to is that the media does not want Mitt to win. Well, that just makes me want him to be our candidate even more. If the media hates him, he must be doing something right.

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

Mitt Playing Expectations Game

Lately Mitt Romney has been saying that winning Iowa and New Hampshire are not necessary, but that he only hopes to earn one of the three tickets coming out of Iowa and one of the two out of New Hampshire.  This is an interesting development because all throughout 2007 Mitt insisted that Iowa, New Hampshire and the other early states were “must” wins.

My inclination is that Mitt realized that with the way he was polling and spending in Iowa and New Hampshire, that anything less than a dominant win would be a loss and thus, he needed to lower expectations.  That lowering came in the form of Mike Huckabee and John McCain.  So while Mitt did not help or encourage the rise of these candidates, I would be hard pressed to believe that he didn’t view them as potentially blessings in disguise.

Over the last month, Mitt completely lost his lead in Iowa, thus eliminating his expected dominant victory in Iowa. What Mitt has now done is successfully pulled himself back into a tie with Huckabee, potentially making Mitt the front runner due to his vast grassroots organization.  So, now that expectations have been lowered, the reason for him to continue to keep them low and say things like “Iowa is not a must win” is two-fold:

1. In the event they lose Iowa, they can viably say they are in good shape and pleased with the outcome.

2. If they pull out a victory it produces positive coverage for Mitt, that he is the ‘comeback kid’.  It is especially helpful in the event he wins Iowa by a large margin. 

The second reason above is what my gut tells me Mitt expects.  As Mitt has drawn into a virtual tie in Iowa, he knows he is at an advantage.  I would not be surprised to discover that internal polling shows Romney with a larger lead than what independent pollsters are getting.  

So by Mitt saying that they are ok with 2nd place, then end up winning Iowa handily, he is expecting a rush of momentum heading into New Hampshire to fight off McCain.  And in order to that Mitt is going to need Iowa.

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

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 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