Monday, May 16, 2011

Romney Gets A Break 

Huck and Trump are out. 2 guys who had or could raise a lot of money and grab a lot of votes have stepped out of the way. The legitimate competition for the Republican nomination has narrowed considerably. If Palin chooses not to participate, the competition is down to Pawlenty and Daniels. And I doubt they can compete with Romney's ability to raise money. If Christie remains out of the race too, I would say Mitt is now the prohibitive favorite.

Republicans with different priorities will struggle with Mitt. Some will dislike the blue state compromises he made as Massachusetts governor or the flip flopping associated with that past. Others will resent his wealth and silverspoon-ish upbringing. Purists will detest Romneycare and wonder how he can legitimately repeal Obamacare. However, without Huckabee in the hunt to peel away those who struggle with Mitt's Mormon background such as evangelicals, he becomes the default leader and candidate of choice.

Is he electable in the general election? Oh yes. Those same "bugs" that many conservatives will dislike are "features" to independents. Blue state-acceptable? Healthcare savvy and experience? Check. Plus his business and economics bona fides in a moribund, stagflated economy will propel him to the head of the challenger pack. And that will be issue number one, since at this point there isn't much to differentiate the candidates on foreign policy.


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon May 16, 04:19:00 PM:

'The competition is down to Pawlenty and Daniels... and Romney.'

How come no none ever considers Herman Cain? I like him better than any of those others you mentioned.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 16, 04:36:00 PM:

Romney couldn't pull it off with Republican/Independent voters in 2008. What makes you think he can do it now? By default? Swell.  

By Anonymous EdwdLny, at Mon May 16, 04:39:00 PM:

I think that your concern with the evangelicals regarding Mitts faith are short sighted. Short sighted in that the left will use his faith, in their minds a faith more bizarre than the usual, to eviscerate him at every turn. They find little, if any, fault with the violence that is islam, but consider Mormans aliens from who knows where.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 16, 04:55:00 PM:

I disagree with Huckabee's dropping out as a boon to Romney. Trump was never a serious candidate, even to himself.

Huck's dropping out opens things up for Palin, either as a candidate or as kingmaker. She gets the Holy Roller vote without having to fight for it. If she runs, she can then "triangulate" on abortion and other social issues: "I walk the walk, but I don't insist on talk the talk."

Mitt Romney is a bad choice for several reasons, none of which have to do with his Mormonism. Were I working for the other side, he's the guy I'd most want to run against in the general. I'd beat "Mr Carried Interest" like a big bass drum. He has only a small base within the Republican Party -- people who care about "carried interest." Being a good leader in business -- or in the military -- doesn't translate to politics. Being President is not like being CEO. Romney can't project empathy, he can't even fake it. With his recent speech, Romney stepped on his dick yet again. He may not even make it out of New Hampshire.

There's three choices for the Republican nominee:

A) Some generic white bread governor (Pawlenty, Daniels, Huntsman, etc)

B) People we love but who may not be ready (Christie, Ryan)

C) Sarah Palin.

Usually a "cool" candidate beats a "hot" one. Maybe not this time. The stars are aligning for a populist from the right. I mean a fire-breathing, anti-DC-establishment hellion.

Without Huckabee in, Sarah'd win Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, and maybe even New Hampshire, for openers, if she ran. 3-1 at least in February 2012, which would knock out the field. And she can raise money, lots of it.

So it's Sarah, or whoever she throws her support to.

Obama announced early so that he can twist arms to raise $1 billion, while people still think that he has juice. He'll have MSM on his side. He won't be that easy to beat, even in a double-dip.

To beat Obama, I think you really have to take the fight to him. The times demand it. Sarah has the balls to do it, and may be the only one capable.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 16, 05:00:00 PM:

Just saw text of Ryan's speech today to the Chicago Economic Club. It's a killer:


By Blogger DEC, at Mon May 16, 05:02:00 PM:

DF82: "How come no none ever considers Herman Cain? I like him better than any of those others you mentioned."

I like Herman Cain, too, DF82. He could become the big story in the race for the White House.

Although I am a businessman and a Republican, I change channels when I see Romney on TV.

I would have no problem voting for Sarah Palin in 2012, Ignoramus.

National Review Online link:

"Introducing Herman Cain":


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon May 16, 05:25:00 PM:

I think Palin will lose a meaningfully competitive general election. She has too much negative baggage to limp out of the swing states a victor, under constant media assault. Her resignation from office was badly handled, and will play terribly with a suspicious public. It's neat and all if she does well in the Iowa primaries, but those caucuses are not representative of even general Republican sentiment (tending to drastically overemphasize social issues, for instance), much less the general population.

I'm not convinced she'd make a good president anyway. In my view, she's the Barack Obama of the Republicans, an avatar for projected values rather than a leader.  

By Anonymous spidey, at Mon May 16, 06:57:00 PM:

I like Sarah, as one of "We the People", but regard her as being unelectable in the November thingie. Too many women will NOT vote for her, for whatever reason. For that matter, I don't think that they would vote for ANY woman. I would vote for Sarah, in a heartbeat, but I aint a woman.

Of all the people I've seen or heard about, I like Herman Cain the best, but will withhold judgement until I see more, since he's never held - to my knowledge, anyway - any high elective office. He does have some executive experience, as a CEO, but that isn't quite like political executive experience. You can't fire a senator or a representative, for example. All you can do is jawbone them.

So, it looks to me as though the field is still wide open. Practically all the candidates so far projected have faults in one way or another.  

By Blogger Stephen Monteith, at Mon May 16, 08:08:00 PM:

Okay, Ignoramus, I was prepared to accept your post as a legitimate "other point-of-view" until you started talking about Sarah Palin's chances. She might win Iowa, maybe even South Carolina. But when you said she'd definitely win Nevada, my eyebrows went up, and when you said she could even win New Hampshire, I knew you had no idea what you're talking about.

Romney won Nevada by like 70 points the last time around, and he's still got that kind of lead this time, despite Huntsman and Paul being "close neighbors" with their own base of support. No one is going to beat Romney in Nevada. I could ignore you not knowing about that, but how could you possibly not know that Romney beats Palin by about twenty points in New Hampshire, maybe even more?

As for Iowa, even that's not a solid for her. Romney and Huckabee were neck and neck there the last time around, and they were still on the top in the polls there as recently as last week. Now that Huckabee's gone, Romney's the frontrunner there. It's the same story in Florida, as well, where only Romney and Huckabee were shown as having any chance of beating President Obama there in the general.

Something else you should know that I was gonna let slide but may as well point out since I'm writing this: Romney does indeed have a "small base" ... with every type of voter there is. He has twenty percent support among Tea Partiers; that's one out of every five TPers at every rally in the country. He has a majority of support among college-educated voters. He even has a base of evangelical voters; check out Evangelicals For Mitt's website, some time. He has far more support than anyone gives him credit for, and it is certainly not just among Mormons or "the rich". If you're going to talk about his chances, then at least do some digging. Find out what his chances really are. I'll give you a hint: they're better than anyone else currently running.  

By Anonymous Everyman, at Mon May 16, 08:30:00 PM:

Citizen Cain.

The Cain Mutiny.

Smart, articulate.

You go play your establishment games, but check in with what is going on down where it counts from time-to-time. You might be surprised.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon May 16, 08:57:00 PM:

"Citizen Cain."

I really like that. Take his 'inexperience' in elected office and turn it into a strength. Hasn't it been pretty well established, and carped about lately, that we have a fucking AWFUL 'political class?' Why shouldn't a successful private citizen be given a shot when the anointed ones have screwed up so badly?  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 16, 09:20:00 PM:

Well allow me to retort ...

Romney will have a hard time winning New Hampshire. If he doesn’t win there, he’s done. In 2008, he only came in second, and that’s when we didn’t know him enough to hate him. In 2008, he lost to McCain, with Huckabee third.

If Palin runs in 2012, McCain will campaign for her – he likes Palin and he hates Romney. I could see Huckabee helping her too. If one or two other candidates get traction, they’re more likely to cut into Romney than Palin. Yes, I know Independents will turn out heavily in the New Hampshire Republican primary in 2012 but I don’t see that helping Romney enough – it may even hurt.

Romney won half the caucus votes in Nevada in 2008 – 22,000 ! -- because Mormons turned out in a contest that only Romney bothered with. At that point in time, not five people outside Alaska had even heard of Palin. Last I heard, Palin now “owns” the Republican machinery in Nevada.

Huntsman is a dark horse Mormon that I expect will run further than Romney. I’d bet that Huntsman lasts at least through February 2012, and so would cut into Romney’s Mormons in Nevada. He might even go all the way.

I don’t expect Romney to get out of New Hampshire to get to Nevada.

Right now Palin’s off the radar. MSM has been trying to ignore her, and have mostly succeeded. She’s keeping her powder dry. She may not run – in which case she’s a King Maker. I doubt she’d pick Romney.

ps Cain just got on my radar screen, and I like what I see.  

By Blogger Stephen Monteith, at Mon May 16, 09:50:00 PM:

If you "don’t expect Romney to get out of New Hampshire to get to Nevada", then you are underestimating him worse than you are overestimating Sarah Palin. His campaign and PACs (plural) are some of the tightest-run ships in the country as evidenced by the work done during the 2010 elections and his fundraising abilities. Or did you miss the news that Romney raised over $10 million in one day, of Other people's money? Palin might, MIGHT be able to match him for money, but she's outclassed on organization.

Let's say both Huckabee and McCain decide to support Palin. Moderates in the party still won't vote for her over Romney, and moderates run the show in New Hampshire. They picked McCain because he was the most moderate candidate; well, that's Romney now. And Romney is far better-liked in the northeast than anyone else.

Also, I'd be very interested to know how, exactly, Palin "owns" Nevada. Or Huntsman, for that matter. Just being a Mormon isn't enough. Romney beats Huntsman by about fifty points in Utah, Huntsman's own state. One more thing: Huntsman has said he won't self-finance. If he holds to that, then he'll have the same problem every other candidate has: fundraising.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 16, 10:40:00 PM:

Last retort to Mr Monteith:

Romney doesn’t have a good answer to “why are you running?” Obama had a great answer back in 2008. I didn’t agree with any of it, but he still had a great answer.

Romney doesn’t fit the times in 2012. He’s too “Establishment.” He’s tied in lots of ways to the things that many Republicans and Independents want to rebel against right now.

If I’m wrong and Romney does get the nomination, he’d be the worst possible candidate in the general. If you’re a Mormon, an Ivy-ish grad, or work in Big Business, you may have a blind spot on this – but it’d be easy to make Romney hated by your typical American in the general. You’d just need to pull out Ted Kennedy’s old playbook. It’d even work in an economic meltdown. Huckabee said it best: Mitt’s the guy who wants to lay you off.

And I’m not over-estimating Palin. What I’m saying is that with Huckabee out, so that she gets the Holy Roller vote without a fight, she’s now poised to run the nomination table early if she wants. In the general she’d be high alpha, as the finance geeks would say: She could lose the general in a way that Pawlenty/Daniels wouldn’t, but she might also take the fight to Obama in middle America and the suburbs better than any other Republican.

And I don’t see low alpha Pawlenty/Daniels changing DC either. Am I wrong? The appeal of Christie/Ryan/Cain is that you’d know they’d try – and that’d be their answer to “why are you running”?  

By Blogger JB, at Mon May 16, 11:22:00 PM:

Herman Cain Hey! He does have more management/leadership/education experience than the current Pres.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 16, 11:27:00 PM:

Can't get past the Romneycare. I don't trust him to repeal Obamacare. I don't think he's a principled man. And I don't think he's a likeable man. Remember the backyard barbecue test: would Romney win it? I doubt it very much.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue May 17, 02:00:00 AM:

Ig, I think your analysis is mostly on the money. Palin is flawed, but I do not see a bland candidate like Romney/Daniels/Pawlenty beating BO. It's going to take Sarah, or a Ryan or Christie if they choose to run.

I honestly don't know much about Cain yet. What I've heard I like, but I worry about the Perot effect. Perot was a similar outsider, businessman candidate who ended up being branded as a crackpot, unfairly IMO. I think that, though it may be unfortunate, you need at least some political experience to run effectively for POTUS.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 17, 07:49:00 AM:

Evangelicals rejected Romney's Mormon faith in 2008 big time (remember Huckabee's query about Mormons and the devil??) and there's no reason to think they'll embrace it this time. Add his flip flopping positions on heatlh care, abortion, tax cuts, bailouts, gay rights to name a few and all available on tape, and the guy will never make it past the Republican debate podium. They don't call him "Multiple Choice Mitt" for nothng.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue May 17, 09:25:00 AM:

"I worry about the Perot effect. Perot was a similar outsider, businessman candidate who ended up being branded as a crackpot, unfairly IMO."

Perot was a bit of a crackpot, but still performed pretty well and on a third party ticket. He cost H.W. Bush the Presidency in 92. Cain has shown no evidence of crackpotedness so far, and would be running on a main party ticket.

"I think that, though it may be unfortunate, you need at least some political experience to run effectively for POTUS."

Our history is littered with Presidents without high level political experience, including good ones (Washington, Jackson, and Eisenhower). I think we could use the change.

Heh. Change. Now there's something that sounds pretty damned good these days.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 17, 10:21:00 AM:

Romney couldn't win in the last election and I can't see any election factor that's changed in his favor. His ability to raise money, the one piece you cite, is actually diminished as compared to the last election.

Far from being the favorite, Romney looks at this point to already be finished. He leads in no polls, at least two of the early states are generally very hostile to him and he has almost no share of the current news buzz. You might argue that New Hampshire, being his current home and an early state, ought to break his way, and you would be right- it should. But he just lost his campaign head there from the last go round, and he is barely hanging on in early polling. He might be in better shape in Nevada (since they have a famously,ahem, flexible (and susceptible to money) caucus system.

It really is hard to see Romney as anything but dead meat in the primaries. Far from being the "prohibitive favorite", his inability to understand why RomneyCare needs to be condemned has put him in a terrible position ideologically and that fact, combined with the perception he has created among voters as a technocrat, has almost made him unelectable.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Tue May 17, 11:01:00 AM:

Of all these people, who stands out right now as the leader of the Republicans. Although I like many of the candidates, there are only two who come close. And one stands on the top box.

Paul Ryan.

He has emerged as the intellectual leader of Republican politicians. He has all the natural gifts and developed skills needed to be President. Despite some depth to his wonkiness, he can talk to regular folks in a convincing, sincere, honest, humble and knowledgeable way.

He has great political skill and common sense. He knows how to maneuver adroitly and set achievable expectations.

He is analytical but he can also think on his feet. Nobody handles and interview with such aplomb.

He is the real deal. He is a conservative.

His entry into the race would make for the most interesting primary race in decades.

He's ready if he's capable and he's capable.

Paul Ryan for President.


PS Cain should run for Senate. President is way over reaching for him. We don't need another feel good symbolic President.  

By Anonymous Wasilla MILF, at Tue May 17, 11:13:00 AM:

Hi all. Just hanging around the house, baking cookies … with three different TVs tuned to the news, as I work up my morning social media angles.

Tell you the truth, I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I want to be as impactful as I can, but don’t know if that means I run or not. Huck’s dropping out really opens things up, but it’s still way early. I want to run silent and deep as long as I can.

It’s a hoot that all the MSM are assessing where Huck’s Holy Roller voters will go and they leave me out of it while they talk up others. You’d think I was Lord Voltemort – they can’t even say my name!

So Mitt can raise $10 million in a day. That’s Mitt’s shock and awe. I bet he worked real hard at optimizing call bank holding patterns yesterday. The things those Bain guys can do with a spreadsheet. He’s hoping that he can scare off any newbie opposition with Money and Organization.

Mitt’s core support is the hedge fund PE crowd. That’s what got mobilized yesterday. But don’t these guys realize the last thing they should want is Mitt running. It’ll only attract undo attention to how these guys operate. When I listen to Ron and Rand rant about what these guys are doing behind the scenes and how they get preferentially taxed, it makes my blood boil.

I hope Romney just goes away early. If he doesn’t he’ll muscle out any newbies. Then I’d have to run. I hope Paul Ryan jumps in too.

If I run against Romney, he gives me my opening theme. I’m going to paint Romney as a surrogate Obama. RomneyCare = Obamacare, Harvard, Harvard, Harvard! Out of touch elitists who think they know better than us. I’m going to beat Mitt like a piñata with a baseball bat. Then I’m going to field dress him. You betcha!

Ooops, oven alarm just went off. TTYL  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue May 17, 12:43:00 PM:

Ryan apparently disagrees with you, since he's not running (and has made it clear that he won't). Next choice.

I'm also rather mystified why you think Ryan is such a good choice (at 41 years old, and having been a junior Congressman until recently) and Cain (at 65) is 'over-reaching.' Cain was a sailor, CEO, Federal Reserve bank chairman, and political activist who gave Bill Clinton a solid kick in the teeth in debates over Hillarycare before Ryan ever took office.

Ryan is a wonk with a head for numbers? Cain has a master's degree in mathematics and a record of rescuing failing businesses.

I like Ryan too, but 1) he's not in the game, and 2) he's young and relatively inexperienced (and apparently recognizes that). If he were elected, he would be the youngest president *ever* elected, beating out Kennedy, who bought his election from the mob using his father's money. He has approximately the same amount of time in office (11 years) as Obama had when he ran.

I think he'd be a good choice for VP, beating the hell out of Biden and cracking the whip on fiscal reform after taking office, but that's it.  

By Anonymous Dan D, at Tue May 17, 02:05:00 PM:

I'm trying to keep an open mind, and want one or more of the candidates to convince me by their conduct and actions as well as their words. It's easy to dismiss Santorum and Bachmann and Roemer and Paul as inappropriate and inadequate to the challenges of the office. Herman Cain is an interesting fellow, but he would be a Wendall Wilkie gamble all over again, having never held public office before.

Gingrich is a bright guy who is unable to lead consistently and who is unsuited for the office.

Huckabee is gone, thankfully, given what we learned about him from 2008. Romney ran a terrible campaign in 2008, and he seems to be doing a nuts-and-bolts campaign this time. His problem is that he represents no core constituency or philosophy within the party, he is all about his biography and belief that he should be President.

Romney can't tell us what shared beliefs he uniquely champions, because his belief is that Mitt Romney deserves promotion. He thinks he is a great problem solver and we should trust him, and that is weak grounds for running.

Pawlenty, Daniels, Huntsman, they all have a chance to make their case stronger than they now appear to be. One of them might be a credible center-right opponent capable of beating Obama, but they have to prove themselves.

Or some other leader may throw their hat into the ring and surprise us all. I doubt that Jeb Bush, Christie, Palin, or any mystery names will solve the puzzle. Ryan might be capable, but he's young and has time.

I truly doubt that Romney can prevail except through the same route as McCain in 2008, squeaking by because the opposition splintered the rest of the vote. His support is wide but shallow, which as McCain proved can win a nomination while guaranteeing a general election loss.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Tue May 17, 02:08:00 PM:

Ok. I'll keep my mind and ears open vis-a-vis Cain. I have heard him speak (CPAC) and he is a rousing orator. I also like his message. I think he would be perfect in the Senate. But we have a President widely regarded (elsewhere) as smart (Tony Bennet, bless his angelic musical sense, thinks so too). We have a President who can give a rousing speech. Unfortunately he can't govern worth stink. ---a blessing in disguise.

Now why is that? Well for starters, there's not much in his tool kit when it comes to working with legislators and the details of legislation. It is one thing to herd minions who owe their job to you like CEO, and another to persuade people to work for you who owe their jobs to someone else, like voters in their own district. (Ryan is precocious in this area IMHO).

Even Eisenhower had this experience, though an odd form of it, leading a coalition of armies tethered to an assortment of politicians.

So in a key area, I'm not persuaded Cain's CV has all the right elements. But, of course, if he's the nominee he'll have my vote. I'm just reluctant to fall in love with a great orator this time around.

Ryan's "youth and inexperience" is a legitimate issue. Like most Presidents I would expect him to have a few wobbles at first. It all comes down to whether one sees him as a quick learner who lands on his feet with the peoples respect for him intact. I do.

As to the minor detail of Ryan claiming not to be in the race, the night is young. News today that he will not seek the Wisconsin Senate seat is telling. He's keeping the bigger option open.

If Republicans do not coalesce in the next few months around a candidate, we will have a stalemate and a deeply dis-satisfied bunch of elephants. We'll see what happens then.

Ryan/Cain might not be such a terrible ticket.


By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue May 17, 06:50:00 PM:

So now that I realize that this entire post was really to drive hoopla over Mitt's Telethon to raise $10 million in a day -- with the likes of e-Bay's Meg Whitman working her Rolodex in person -- I ask, was CP's lead above a total plant?

Did CP write a single word of it?

Just asking?

And who the fuck is Sudden Frequent Poster Stephen Monteith?

It's got a lot of implications.

Just sayin'

ps for those of you who can't connect the dots. Romney ran a co-ordinated effort yesterday to intimidate the likes of Daniels and Pawlenty to not run because of his superior ability to raise MONEY and ORGANIZE. Reminds me of a certain community organizer from Chicago.

And some of us here think a guy like Cain has a shot.

"Now who's naive, Kay?"

In respect of all my efforts here over nearly three years -- like me or not -- I want responses.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue May 17, 07:53:00 PM:

I don't care that CP re-posted a SECRET PRIVATE EQUITY FUND MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE DIRECTIVE, without attribution, if I'm right in my suspicion. It's not about CP. He should have just attributed that he had done so.

But if I'm right about what just happened, it says a lot about Romney.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 17, 10:07:00 PM:

Rick Perry.  

By Anonymous Old Fan, at Wed May 18, 12:39:00 AM:

AGreed with Cardinalpark,

Romney is not the front runner, but was always one of the best candidates.

Biggest positive?

He is a sincere Free Market hero, a private sector success who has essential proven CEO experience. Romney is an outstanding leader, turning failure around repeatedly.

The FASHION amongst Our Own conservative side grew to irrational levels after 2004, some actually foolishly calling GW Bush a 'traitor'.

Some very big Sideline Pundits decided to not lead, and placated the fashion - some actually use ugly populist/class warfare terms like "Ruling Class, Elite, Blue Blood, etc". They are the ones who pushed a disastrous Delaware Debacle with O'Donnell, enabling the Democratic Partisan nightmare.

One has to remember the Fashion was with Lonegan, not Christie who was dubbed a mere RINO in that Primary. The Fashion often gets it wrong. Cooler - wiser heads prevailed in the Garden State.

Folks will look right past the MASS Health Care reform mistake, they want someone who knows how to handle the economy, period. It is getting more than concerning in the USA's economic environment.

The fashionable Celebrity fan fare, romanticizing about some who actually raised taxes on Oil Companies, even grasping at new faces like Mr. Cain, is a sign some are stuck on image and identity. Conservatism is about reason, logic, basis, facts, objectivity, etc. We have to get a hold of the hype, and try to return to some sound efforts.

Romney may be another crow to chew on, for some of the big fashion peddlers.  

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed May 18, 10:53:00 AM:

"Folks will look right past the MASS Health Care reform mistake"

Even Romney fans acknowledge his problem, as you see from this comment, and (since there really is no way to make the issue go away absent Romney doing the deed) the only answer is to wish it away, as Old Fan is doing here.

Voters, especially more partisan primary voters, are (I hope) going to be very much more level-headed this election than in the last Presidential election. That means "hope" will need some back-up substance, and Romney's wishes that voters will overlook the 800 pound gorilla is just dumb. Without some change in his position he's done.  

By Blogger Stephen Monteith, at Wed May 18, 01:21:00 PM:

"Frequent Poster"? I made two comments, one of which was in response to a comment about my first comment. That's hardly "frequent posting". You've made about twice as many comments as I have, including this one. I even let you have the last word, until you basically accused me of being the blogger in disguise. If you're gonna call me a sock puppet, then maybe we should wonder if You don't have some hidden agenda.

Oh, wait, your agenda's right out in the open.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Wed May 18, 07:47:00 PM:

Response to Mr Monteith:

Declaring Romney the “Game Over” winner because of his fund-raising skills – while ignoring obvious issues with his candidacy – struck me as Astroturfing. If it wasn’t such – but sincerely-held beliefs – I apologize. It did look like a “co-ordinated effort” and Astroturfing bespoke blogsites is something I could see Team Romney doing.

Echoing other comments above, recall that Romney raised the most money for the Republican primaries last go round, and still lost, when he had less baggage.

His making it about money could crowd out Newbies, or even Daniels and Pawlenty. Mitt would call that strategic, I’d call it regrettable.

I do have an agenda – beat Obama and radically downsize the federal government.

Sarah had me at hello, but I recognize her weaknesses. But recall that the common
wisdom said that Ronald Reagan was too dumb and too extreme to beat Carter in 1980 -- and the common wisdom was correct until just before the election,

Part of why I like Sarah as a candidate is by default – who else is there? Pawlenty/Daniels need to catch fire. I’m very open to Newbies like Herman Cain. I’m a big fan of Paul Ryan. But we’re going to be in a street fight in 2012, and Sarah’s a fighter. And she can do well in all of the states that aren’t already on Obama’s side of the ledger.

Nothing hidden about that.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 23, 08:01:00 PM:

I thought this worth updating.

Pawlenty is in and he seems to be making the right moves. e.g., he wants to eliminate ethanol subsidies. He was on Rush today, and was said to have done well there. He acknowledges that Romney will raise more money, but says he'll raise enough. He also says he'll take Obama on directly. We'll see, but I was encouraged.

I suspect that Daniels isn't running because of the backstory of his wife leaving him and the kids to marry another guy, but later coming back to him. It'd play well on Lifetime, but you know at some point it'd be made into an ugly attack issue. That and his LSD and pot bust back at Princeton. If so, it reflects badly on us not on him.  

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