Showing posts from January, 2008

go, Nader '08!

I actually think this would be a good idea : Ralph Nader has formed a presidential exploratory committee, and said in an interview Wednesday that he will launch another presidential bid if he's convinced he can raise enough money to appear on the vast majority of state ballots this fall. Nader, who ran as an independent candidate in each of the past three presidential elections, told that he will run in 2008 if he is convinced over the next month that he would be able to raise $10 million over the course of the campaign — and attract enough lawyers willing to work free of charge to get his name on state ballots. Nader makes a good point that the truly "progressive" candidates - Kucinich, and to a lesser extent, Edwards - have dropped out. Nader making a run would basically be an outlet for the far left. By bleeding off some of that fringe, Nader would actually free the Democratic nominee to tack back from the far left and settle more comfortably in left-of-cen


I couldn't resist highlighting this one . John McCain will create 20 million new Democrats by jackbenimble The damage to conservatism of a McCain win will be irreversible. We can't just keep importing poor, ignorant people from the third world and expecting them to vote anything but Democrats and socialism. Poor ignoarnat people ALWAYS vote for socialism. Prior to the Reagan Amnesty California had voted Republican in 9 out of the 10 prior elections. The Reagan Amensty turned California irreversibly blue and the McCain Amnesty will be 6 to 10 times larger. We can't lose anymore Red States and expect conservatism to ever win again. A win by John McCain would be a tactical victory and a strategic loss that would doom conservatism. I'd rather have a tactical loss and have conservatism survice to fight another day. What do rich "ignoarnat" people ALWAYS vote for, then?

And then there were four (well, three)

Predicting the outcome of Florida was not really that difficult. Romney and McCain were battling for the prize, with Rudy a distant third and Huckabee off the radar. As it turned out, McCain pulled off the upset, partly because Huckabee bled Romney of the evangelical vote, and partly on the strength of military voters . In winning Florida, McCain literally flipped the coin; had he lost, he'd be bankrupt , whereas now he's the front runner (especially with Rudy's endorsement). McCain's next move is to free himself from federal matching funds, which he must do lest he be utterly crippled against the Democratic nominee in the general election. He has already been forced to embrace lobbyists on K-street to get this far - as others put it, "embrace the same moneyed interests he's declared are among the biggest problems facing America." And the silver lining for all of us is that the authoritarian, egomaniacal, and thoroughly corrupt Rudy 9iu1liani is never,

SC prediction: Edwards

I know my track record thus far is dismal but I'm going out on one of the remaining limbs and calling SC for Edwards today. This won't help Edwards much on Tsunami Tuesday in February, but what it will do is keep him viable enough to survive beyond it. I assume that Edwards will have a solid bloc of delegates going into the convention, maybe not for kingmaker, but enough at least to influence the policy platform. Is he angling for Veep? I don't think he can appeal to either Hillary or Obama for that, and he is in a sense somewhat damaged from 2004. Let's see how it goes today.

Huck not to be, Fred's dead...

Mick Huckabee doesn't have enough money to play in Florida: "The money simply hasn't come in at the rate that we expected," says the [Huckabee Campaign] aide. "Florida is a $7 million commitment that we can't meet, and if we did, that leaves us exposed for Super Tuesday, where we have a lot of states and a lot media buys. We had to make tough decisions." With Fred! out of the campaign today , that leaves Florida as a three-way race between McCain, Rudy, and Romney. No matter how the votes break, this doesn't look good for Rudy. Huckabee's socon support is going to switch to either Romney or McCain, deprived of the Fred option as they are. And it's doubtful that everyone supporting Fred is going to go the Rudy route. It's much more likely now that McCain takes Florida and that Rudy drops out before MegaTuesday. I think that by the time we hit February the GOP nomination will be a two-person race between Romney and McCain, and I'm pret

exit white knight, stage right

Somewhere, a million conservative voices cried out in agony and were abruptly silent : "Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people." Succinct. Luckily for Fred, there's already a suggested farewell speech pre-written for him courtesy of Fredstate. So ending his campaign should be even less work than running it. When - not if - McCain wins the GOP nomination, watch for him to pick Fred as his running mate. Then all the gnashing of teeth from those who argue that McCain is absolutely unacceptable will promptly be forgotten as the inclusion of Fred! on the ticket suddenly demonstrates McCain's genuine commitment to conservative ideals, or something. Oh, and Fredstate assures us, it's not the end for Fred Thompson . Stage 1: denial...

McCain is Kerry, Huck is Dean

It's starting to look like John McCain is this cycle's John Kerry, at least as far as the electability argument goes. Since all the putative front runners are unacceptable to at least one segment of the GOP base, McCain is increasingly seen as the only "viable" alternative who is "acceptable" - and his South Caroline victory pretty much seals that view in the GOP mainstream (something that neither Iowa nor New Hampshire could have provided him). No one else has as much momentum as McCain now. GOP primary results for South Carolina were at last count, 92 percent of precincts reporting McCain 137,000 (33%) Huckabee 123,117 (30%) Thompson 65,108 (16%) Romney 62,367 (15%) Paul 15,235 (4%) Giuliani 8,518 (2%) Hunter 991 (0%) Huckabee is the Dean of this cycle, pulling in a close second and thus far still second fiddle to McCain, though of all the others, he's got the broadest support. The one ticket that I think can present a strong challenge to Clinton or O

angry man for an angry party

The TNR has a lengthy article on Ron Paul , looking beyond the short horizon of his campaign and at the years of newsletters he has written over the years with his political screeds, and concludes he is "angry". Ron Paul is not going to be president. But, as his campaign has gathered steam, he has found himself increasingly permitted inside the boundaries of respectable debate. He sat for an extensive interview with Tim Russert recently. He has raised almost $20 million in just three months, much of it online. And he received nearly three times as many votes as erstwhile front-runner Rudy Giuliani in last week's Iowa caucus. All the while he has generally been portrayed by the media as principled and serious, while garnering praise for being a "straight-talker." From his newsletters, however, a different picture of Paul emerges--that of someone who is either himself deeply embittered or, for a long time, allowed others to write bitterly on his behalf. His advers

people, not poll, powered primaries

It is almost obscene how much I am enjoying this election year, and it's only just begun. I love being wrong because my predictions thus far have been the kind you make in a year where the dynamics are known and oppressive, where polls not people matter. But not this time. It seems instead that there is a poll backlash instead. Consider: Hillary took New Hampshire. That excites me to no end. How about this for a crazy theory? Obama's wave of independent support was imminent and then indies said to themselves, "he we like Obama. You know, we also like McCain. Since Obama's got this in the bag (according to all the polls), they reason, what the heck, let's support McCain instead and keep Romney down. Result? McCain sins the indies, and Obama loses them - making the race closer on the Democratic side. Meanwhile, Democrats who've been following the news are suddenly reading how after the meaningless Iowa caucuses, Hillary is supposed to close up shop, it's over

NH: Romney and Obama dual-team McCain, Paul beats Fred

OK, so I was waaaay off base in my prediction for Iowa. It would have been pretty dull if I'd just parroted the Des Moines Register final poll as my predictions, wouldn't it? I am fine with having been so utterly wrong (and at least I still claim first dibs on "Huck fin". I just need to wait a bit longer to use it.) For the Dems, conventional wisdom prior to Iowa was that if Indies turn out en masse, it favors Obama, whereas if Dems turned out en masse it would favor Hillary. Well, it seems both happened, and it all went Obama's way. The overall turnout was enormous , with a record youth vote , but Democrats accounted for 3 out of 4 voters overall. In contrast, GOP turnout was abyssmal . If that pattern continues, and the indies defect to Obama rather than McCain , there could well be a major upset even on the GOP side. With that in mind, here are my predictions for NH. GOP: I am going to postulate that the independents go for Obama 3-1, leaving only scraps for M

O'Reilly is a thug

The sense of entitlement that this oaf wears so proudly is just baffling to me. Apparently O'Reilly decided that he had a right to speak to Obama and no one would stand in his way. OOPS ! A Secret Service agent, center, intervened after Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, shoved Marvin Nicholson, the national trip director for the Obama campaign. (Photo: Jim Bourg/Reuters) From the NYT article: NASHUA, N.H. – After a rally for Senator Barack Obama here today, a brief tussle ensued between Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and a campaign aide for Mr. Obama, which created enough of a stir for the Secret Service to get involved. Mr. O’Reilly, who had attended a campaign event earlier for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, sought to get Mr. Obama’s attention along a rope line. With cameras rolling, Mr. O’Reilly was trying to shout a question to Mr. Obama. But according to a photographer who witnessed the scene, Mr. O’Reilly grew agitated when he couldn’t get close to the senator. “Move,” he shouted to

picking on a girl

some men aren't .

two fronts

A pair of similar news reports give me pause. First , Pakistan tribal elders shot dead Gunmen in Pakistan have shot dead eight pro-government tribal leaders in the troubled South Waziristan region on Afghanistan's border, officials say. The tribesmen were killed in two separate attacks on Sunday night and early Monday, a security official said. and second , Suicide Bomber Kills Key Sunni Leader in Baghdad BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber assassinated a key leader of American-backed militia forces in a Sunni stronghold of Baghdad on Monday morning, the latest attack on nationalist Sunnis who have recently allied themselves with American troops. That attack, and a second bomb that exploded minutes later, killed at least six and wounded another 26 in total, hospital officials said. The killing of the militia leader, Col. Riyadh al-Samarrai, on the fringes of north Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district, was one of the most significant attacks so far on leaders of former Sunni insurgents who have band

Bush: "Mr. Olmert, tear down these walls."

Kudos to the President for making a clear and unambiguous statement : Mr. Bush praised the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, for honesty, but said he expected Israel to keep its promises to dismantle outposts illegal under Israeli law that were built after March 2001. “The Israeli government has said that they’re going to get rid of unauthorized settlements, and that’s what we expect, that’s what we’ve been told,” Mr. Bush said. “We expect them to honor their commitments.” Mr. Bush suggested that some Israeli settlements were bound to be kept by Israel in any peace agreement, which would define final borders. “But the unauthorized settlements, which is different from the authorized settlements, is an issue we’ve been very clear on,” he said. When Ariel Sharon was prime minister, he promised Mr. Bush personally that all Israeli outposts built after he took office in March 2001 would be dismantled before the next elections. Mr. Olmert was his deputy and said he would keep the commitme

GOP Iowa caucus predictions: Fred's dead, Huck fin

Fred's dead, baby . His own campaign is sending signals of defeat before the caucus has even started. DES MOINES, Iowa – Several Republican officials close to Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign said they expect the candidate will drop out of the race within days if he finishes poorly in Thursday’s Iowa caucus. [...] Thompson’s departure could shake up the race more than his continued presence. Friends and advisers said they have long considered it likely that if the lobbyist-actor is forced from the race he would endorse John McCain his former Senate colleague who lately has been staging a political revival in New Hampshire. I think the conventional wisdom is that Huck will take first and Romney second. However, given the depressed turnout for Republicans , it's really about ground game and organization, and a candidate who doesnt necessarily poll well might walk away with the prize. Both Huckabee and Romney are heavily counting on their field operation to turn out their res

It begins: Iowa

I have largely avoided any end of year introspection, not because 2007 was particularly bad but because in many ways this cycle the distinction between Dec 31st and Jan 1st just didn't carry as much significance. To be honest, Thursday feels more like a transition point, because it marks the beginning of the 11-month long circus wherein we the People select nominees and then a President. At any rate, Iowa is in 2 days and the general concensus seems to be that it's too close to call on the Democratic side, and that Huckabee will probably win with Romney in second on the Republican side. However, the famed Des Moines Register pre-caucus poll has thrown everyone for a loop. Kevin Drum summarizes the findings for the Dems: Among Dems, Barack Obama is in the lead with 32% (up from 28% in early December), followed by Clinton with 25% (unchanged), and Edwards with 24% (up from 23%). No other candidate had more than 6% support, and Obama's seven-point lead is the largest any Dem