Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Republican YouTube Debate Live Blog!

Weekly Presidential Politics - 11/28/07

7:52 PM - We're coming to you live from the IC condo in Groton, CT, ready to bring live coverage of tonight's CNN/YouTube Republican debate. There's been a plethora of debates in 2007, but I don't think any have been this anticipated. Finally, the American people get a shot at a floundering Republican Party.

I have no idea how the live blog will go. I've done a couple in the past, but they are almost always too verbose. I'll have to limit either the length or number of posts. Feel free to leave comments throughout the debate! The record is 63 comments. The low is 0.

Stay tuned!

7:58 - Three things I expect tonight: 1) First-tier candidates taking a shot at Huckabee's record as governor of Arkansas. 2) Five candidates claim they're like Ronald Reagan. 3) Tom Tancredo will find an immigrant in the audience and kill him with his bare hands.

8:03 - Governor Crist (R-Fl) just had the first audition for the VP slot on the Republican ticket!

8:05 - Anderson Cooper is the Ryan Seacrest of politics, am I right? Frankly, I don't know which one I just insulted.

8:12 - First question and Giuliani gets hit on immigration. Mayor Rudy and Presidential Candidate Rudy are verrrry far apart from each other on immigration. About as far apart as New York City and El Paso.

8:16 - Yes! Romney and Giuliani are going at it during the first question! These guys will be the last two standing in February folks. Pay attention. The best part is they're both spinning and perpetuating an issue that makes both of them look bad. Ladies and gentlemen... your Republican frontrunners!

8:18 - Fred Thompson just got an absolute softball on immigration to smack out of the park and he did so.

8:19 - Okay, I'm giddy here. Thompson just took a shot at Romney AND Giuliani in 20 seconds. Is this setting the tone for the debate? This could be phenomenal.

8:22 - John McCain has never looked better. Wait, did I say better? I meant older. Did I really think this guy was the favorite a year ago?

8:24 - Prediction: Tom Tancredo drops out in December, now that his pet issue - immigration - is front and center. He was never in it to win it.

8:26 - Did Hunter just compare the San Diego-Tijuana border with the Arizona/New Mexico/Texas-Mexico border???

8:29 - Okay, Romney has three enemies on stage (Huckabee, Giuliani, Thompson) and those are the three guys directly below him in Iowa polls. Not a good spot for Mitt.

8:34 - I don't know if Ron Paul is right about the potentially budding North American Union, but he was right with his historical example of the EU. It started as murmurs and bloomed fifty years later.

8:40 - It's fun to hear a bunch of Republicans hoot and holler the destruction of the IRS like school kids hearing they might get rid of homework.

8:42 - McCain just took on Ron Paul! It's like Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers doing Rocky XVII!

8:45 - So the left side of the stage would sign a pledge and the right side wouldn't? Sounds to me that after Thompson got the cajones to say "No," everyone else did, too. Not that I expected any different response from McCain and Ron Paul.

8:54 - In responding to the Fred Thompson YouTube add, I honestly think Mitt just put the abortion issue in the rearview mirror. Huckabee's tribulations, however, have just begun.

8:55 - First commercial break. Ranking: 1) Fred Thompson; 2) Ron Paul; 3) Huckabee; 4) Romney; 5) Tancredo; 6) McCain; 7) Giuliani; 8) Hunter.

9:04 - Okay, I gotta do a quick diatribe on the second amendment. It's easily the most brutalized amendment in the U.S. Constitution. It does not simply say, "The right to bear arms." It does not. What's continually dismissed is the premise of the amendment. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Is a well regulated militia necessary to the security of a free State anymore? That's the issue that needs to be debated first. And I'd love someone to make the case that a militia is not an archaic institution that has been unnecessary since Taft.

9:05 - Hey, this is fun! Let's hear about the amount of guns our Presidential candidates own!

9:10 - Ron Paul can always fall back on one answer - let the states decide! Man, let's just get a prime minister and forget the office of the President altogether! Hmmm... More on that to come in the future.

9:14 - The death penalty: What would Jesus do? Ladies and gentlemen, the question of the night. And we all know the answer, don't we?

9:16 - Bible questions! We should have an entire debate on that subject alone.

9:17 - Giuliani just called the Bible the greatest book ever written. Sorry, I gotta go with McCullough's John Adams. By the way, this question was in Huckabee's wheelhouse and there's not even a close second.

9:22 - It's becoming clear that they'll close with the economy and then Iraq. Talk about a grand finale!

9:26 - Has anyone ever explained why Giuliani will be stronger on terror or be tougher in foreign policy than McCain? The guy was a mayor of a city that got attacked! That's it!

9:30 - John McCain is absolutely right about the water boarding issue. Absolutely right. I don't think he's said anything dishonest tonight, joining only Tancredo and Paul. Meanwhile, Romney still can't get out of his own way tonight.

9:35 - I love Ron Paul and Iraq questions. They're my favorite part of every debate.

9:38 - Islam takes such a beating during the Republican debates. Of course, the Muslim countries don't have debates to bash Christians...

9:41 - Fred Thompson has this crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. He's still leading this debate, and tonight might be the night he starts to right the sinking ship.

9:45 - Third commercial break rankings: 1) Thompson [winning the crowd, winning his freedom]; 2) Paul [his niche loves him more than ever]; 3) McCain [clearly straight shootin' like the old days]; 4) Tancredo [nothing to lose with his honesty and wrongness]; 5) Romney [not as impressive as usual]; 6) Huckabee [Disappointing performance] ; 7) Giuliani [Only one good answer on the night] 8) Hunter [Completely underwhelming].

9:50 - Romney just got caught in his newest flipflop!

9:52 - Did anyone else hear some (dozens) Republican audience members booing the gay officer? Not a good job by that crowd.

9:58 - Um, "Hillary can be on the first rocket to Mars?!" Watch out for that one tomorrow. On the Mars issue: There will be an absolute outcry from this country if the first manned expedition to Mars does not have an American. International cooperation would be fine, but if there's no American involvement, it'd be the greatest ideological and technological disappointment in this country's history.

10:02 - Romney just called out John Edwards. I'LL KILL HIM! He also just lost South Carolina, but whatever.

10:05 - Giuliani and Huckabee are closing strong. I can't say the same for myself. I'm getting up in 7 and a half hours.

10:10 - Well, "huge" Red Sox fan Mitt Romney just added a year to the Red Sox former World Series drought (86, not 87). A perfect way to end a disappointing night for Romney... but still my favorite for the Republican nomination.

10:12 - Annnd scene. Sorry for the relatively week analysis tonight, but there's simply not enough time to get into all the issues and do a live blog. For analysis, check out my blog at Presidential Politics for America, as I'll be starting daily Iowa Caucus posts starting on Monday, December 3rd - one month until the Iowa Caucus in both parties.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Permanent Presence

Permanent Presence

While we all adjust to the transition from Thanksgiving to the really big holidays; while those of us in the 35+ crowd realize that our fat cells are multiplying and dividing at incrementally rapid rates, with each passing year and every passing holiday food fest; while I resurrect from my minimally conscious state to blog myself into ’08—hold my feet— I’m back, Chimpy does what? Yeah, you got it: he formally announces that we will be in Iraq for f*cking ever. G-r-e-a-t.

I should’ve known this was coming: Yesterday, on This Week, George Pill and Smokie Roberts discussed “permanent presence” with such nonchalance, one would think they were discussing golf balls.

Perhaps “mission-accomplished” George had bad turkey. Maybe it was the stuffing. Perhaps WMD George was stunned by conveniently encountering Al Gore yet again, this time to honor the former vice president as a newly crowned Nobel Prize winner. You see, truly talented people will find ways to achieve on their own merit regardless of the cheaters in the class. Perhaps this “permanent presence” won’t be as bad as it seems once Georgey permanently leaves the White House; let's hope.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Huckabee Surging in Iowa

Weekly Presidential Politics - 11/21/07

As predicted by my blog after the Ames Iowa Straw Poll, Mike Huckabee is making a run at the Iowa Caucus. This just in from Real Clear Politics:

Republicans (ABCNews/Washington Post poll)
Romney 28 (+2 vs. last poll July 26-31)
Huckabee 24 (+16)
Thompson 15 (+2)
Giuliani 13 (-1)
McCain 6 (-2)
Paul 6 (+4)

Now, pundits across the country, in their classic insta-reactionary tradition, are taking Iowa away from Romney. If these prognosticators end up being right, even a second place Iowa finish effectively ends the Romney campaign.

Which is why it's not going to happen.

Romney will spend every last nickel of his billions of nickels to win the Iowa Caucus. If polls are still close by the end of December, Iowans can expect a blitzkrieg of ad-buys and "paid volunteers" unlike any in political history, and it'll be courtesy of Mitt Romney.

What's most interesting about the latest poll is not that Mitt Romney is losing control of Iowa polls, but rather that a Huckabee bump has meant national Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani has slipped to fourth in the country's opening caucus. FOURTH. Fickle voters in New Hampshire and beyond will need to be very sure of their Giuliani vote to support a candidate that showed so poorly in a classic benchmark state, especially when the story on every cable news network will be sinking their claws into (remember - insta-reactionary) is about a reeling Giuliani campaign. Every social conservative who barely convinced themselves to support Giuliani will run to the closest conservative competitor.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee will both be spinning the heck out of their top finishes and can ride the resulting free coverage, momentum, and huge added influx of money into the other primaries.

December will be a fascinating month, which is why I'm doing this.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back."

Things just keep getting better for the troops, don't they?

Thursday, November 08, 2007



Chris Matthews should re-name Hardball “Herball.” Night after night, Matthews’ Hillary fixation gets more and more ridiculous and blatantly psychotic. It’s Hillary’s laugh. It’s Hillary’s husband. It’s Hillary’s gender card. It’s Hillary’s dynamic with Barack…John…her parsing…her cleavage in the Senate…her treatment—boohoo—of Tim Russert. Geeze. Could Chris be more obvious about his castration fear disorder? Truth be told, many of us have fears about Hillary but let’s not go nuts—pun intended.

Tonight, for instance, Matthews, known in some corners of the blogosphere as Tweety, had yet another segment on Hillary—there’s a shocker—in which he prompted his “round table” to analyze why the dame doth clap so much at her rallies. I KID YOU NOT.

Meanwhile, there’s tons of other news, say, about:

A. Iraq
B. Iran
C. Pakistan
D. Afghanistan
E. Rudy’s Scary Resemblance to Nosferatu
F. All of the Above

I’m going with F—All of the Above.

Rest assured: if you do the MSNBC thing on weeknights, you will quickly learn that what once—in a mainstream galaxy far, far away—was known as “Hardball” has suddenly morphed into “Herball.” It seems that things, including serious news segments, aren’t as, well, hard as they should be.

And Giuliani Gets Robertson

Adendum to yesterday's post...

After Pat Robertson came out in support of Giuliani, I immediately posted my reaction over ay my blog - Presidential Politics for America.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Romney About to Take Off

Weekly Presidential Politics - 11/07/07

I tried to tell you. I did. I tried to tell you in April, and I tried to tell you in August. Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

Although the national polls will not reflect this certainty until the end of January, and although his nomination will not be sewn up until the month after, this is the week where Mitt Romney turned the corner.

Paul Weyrich, who with the passing of Jerry Falwell is perhaps the foremost figurehead of evangelical Christians and social conservatives, has endorsed Romney.

And why not? With Rudy Giuliani’s national lead in Republican polls not diminishing, the conservative bloc is in danger of their party nominating a social liberal who’s pro-choice, pro-gay, and compared to the rest of the Republican field, unfriendly to the second amendment.

So how do they slow the Giuliani train? Quite simply, they cannot. That is, unless they can unite behind another candidate. All year, the paramount problem of Republican voters was the lack of a clear cut conservative alternative who was not only in lockstep with the right, but also whose legitimacy was not limited to their home state. Brownback, Hunter, Tancredo, Tommy Thomson and Gilmore were conservative but had no chance (as stated by this blogger numerous times). Huckabee was intriguing and the most talented candidate of the second tier, but didn’t have the money (also stated numerous times by this blogger). Paul was talented and entertaining but the party could not let a dovish Republican get nominated (yup). Thompson had been out of politics and was clearly a paper tiger (hit on the head by this blogger numerous times). The Right’s problems with McCain are notorious. Romney’s a Mormon who pandered to Democrats in Massachusetts.

So the Republican Party was splintered. A clear plurality were satisfied supporting the foreign policy and quasi-fiscal conservative former mayor of New York City, while ten other candidates divvied the constituency who said they could get at least that type of conservatism from nearly any Republican candidate.

Soon, however, it will be time to unify. For the Republican base to find their perfect candidate, it only takes one leap of faith, and this leap of faith has nothing to do with religion. Has Romney truly changed his mind on abortion? Running for Senate and Governor of Massachusetts during the 90's, Romney came out as a pro-choice candidate. Since then, however, Romney has said he's seen and learned some things that have changed him into a staunch pro-life advocate. The question for Republican voters: Do you believe him? If so, that's your candidate.

That is Mr. Weyrich's conclusion, and that decision will go a long way in convincing conservatives to pledge their allegiance to Romney. After all, Romney is a Protestant, as 41 of the 42 men to hold the office of POTUS have been. Sure, he's a different kind of Protestant than Protestant Americans (52% of the country and 2/3 of American Christians) are used to, but he's stressed that Mormonism will not impact his decisions as chief executive. If you recall, Catholic John Kennedy made a similar plea in 1960, and Kennedy's mea culpa made his Catholicism all but a non-issue in his victory over Richard Nixon.

All of this, combined with his unparalleled Republican money, not to mention his enormous lead in Iowa and New Hampshire, will propel him to a very strong showing on the fifth of February (SuperDuper Tuesday). After taking the first two states, effectively eliminating every candidate but himself and Giuliani, everyone leaning Romney will run to Romney. By the middle of February, Giuliani concedes and Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee.

I tried to tell you.