Late Debate Reactions

McCain, Giuliani Strong. Romney, Not So Much

By Mark I Posted in Comments (46) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

I just finished watching the debate in its entirety on youtube. Late, I know, but I am on something of a vacation this week.

First, let me say that for as much as I think Stephanopolous is a smug little jerk, I think he ran the best debate/joint appearance yet. Perhaps it was because there is so much at stake with the Ames straw poll on Saturday, but Stephy just seemed to get more out of the candidates than we have seen so far. Now to the reviews.

Read on...

The most striking thing from this debate is how badly Gov. Romney performed. His dust up with Sen. Brownback was defensive in the extreme and his reluctance to go after Mayor Giuliani immediately on the heels of going after Brownback made him seem wishy-washy. Second, I don't think I heard Romney disagree with anything anyone else said, except for Congressman Ron Paul. He was for every policy position that received applause from anybody on stage. If the debate was held in front of a NARAL-Pro Choice America audience, he might have become pro-choice again. What a panderer! Basically, he played not to lose and it showed. He definitely hurt himself. And why on Earth did ABC keep cutting to his wife in the audience? Were they trying to humanize him? I counted four cutaways to Ann Romney during candidate Romney's speaking time. When the network covering the debate gives the candidate's wife as much camera time as the candidate, it can't be billed as a good performance.

Sen. McCain was very strong. His performance breathed some life back into a campaign on life support. He was presidential, confident, contrite (he referenced the Keating Five), and disdainful but in a good way. He had an air of "I know what to do and how to get it done, and I don't have time for your stupid questions, George." that served him well. If he can duplicate this performance in the next debate in September, he'll be in it at least through Iowa and New Hampshire. I still don't think he wins, but he bought himself time.

1A in the strength department was Rep. Duncan Hunter. Hunter has almost solidified the Vice-President slot for himself. No other candidate on stage should even be considered as a possibility. Hunter is the man. He simply doesn't have the charm and star power to be the nominee, but man does he have gravitas. Buckets of it. He is the Cheney of 2008, but with 55 electoral votes in his back pocket. A Giuliani/Hunter ticket might win California.

Speaking of Giuliani, he performed well. He was not as strong as McCain or Hunter, but he didn't have to be. Giuliani is not in Ames for the straw poll, and he is the national front runner. As the darling of the coastal GOP, he needed to appear comfortable in the nation's middle and avoid any damaging gaffes. He succeeded, but he did more. In his salvo against questioner David Yepesen over the issue of raising taxes to pay for infrastructure, he showed the quality that could carry Giuliani to the nomination--he fights. The war on terror is the overarching issue of the 2008 campaign. Democrats want to surrender to varying degrees. Giuliani wants to fight. It's personal for him. In his unwillingness to accept the premise of Yepsen's question, that tax increases increase revenue, he showed again that he is not afraid to challenge liberals and Democrats on their ideas and to do so with command of the facts and belief in conservative principles of governance. He may be closer to the liberals on abortion than most Republicans. But with a war on, people may just be willing to overlook a potential commander-in-chief's ideological shortcomings if they think he can win it.

Gov. Huckabee came back to Earth in this debate. He was unable to get off any of the folksy one liners that endeared so many to him in the first two Republican debates. His focus on health care is becoming something of an obsession. People just don't want a president to tell them what to eat and how much to exercise. Plus, he toyed with the, "if we weren't spending so much around the world (I heard Iraq) we could fix things here at home," meme when asked about the Minneapolis bridge collapse. That removed him from my second look list.

Brownback was strong early in the Romney exchange, but disappointing afterwards. It's hard for the second tier candidates because they just don't get as much camera time as the leading candidates. So they have to use the time to say or do something memorable. Brownback just didn't come through. He'll be competetive in Iowa but will not survive New Hampshire.

There isn't anything positive to say about anyone else.

The GOP had better remove Ron Paul from any future debates. As long as he is on stage, he will be the mainstream press mascot for the "GOP division on Iraq." He doesn't contribute anything of substance and he really and truly has no chance of winning anything except an internet poll. It's time for a forced banishment. Let's see how many supporters he can draw when he has to make his ridiculous statements from the sidewalk across the street from the theater.

Final score: McCain wins becuase he stayed alive. Giuliani runs a close second for reminding everyone of his biggest strengths. Hunter is the sentimental third. Romney is the big loser. He still may win Ames and even Iowa because of his organization on the ground and his personal wealth, but he demonstrated to anyone paying attention that he is not a serious national candidate. Huckabee lost any ground he gained from earlier strong performances; a victim of expectation, perhaps. Brownback is treading water and there isn't much from anybody else. It may be time to winnow the field. Saturday should be the beginning.

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Late Debate Reactions 46 Comments (0 topical, 46 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

This blog and its regular contributors have consistently taken an almost hostile anti-Romney stance but I'm afraid Mark I's analysis of the Iowa Republican debate was so one-sided and blindly anti-Romney as to be almost laughable. Romney did not do badly at all and in fact a large number of commentators scored Romney the winner.

Personally I like Romney but would easily vote for Rudy or Thompson if nominated.

Guys - listen to yourself, compare what the big hitters on the right side of the blogosphere say about his performance and candidacy even if you take out Hewitt and Barnett who are clearly strong Romney supporters - your persistently snarky criticism of Romney stands out from the others on the right and particularly the coverage of this debate which was strongly positive for Romney. Are you trying to be the anti-Hugh Hewitt on purpose?

This blog and its regular contributors have consistently taken an almost hostile anti-Romney stance

You've gleaned all of this from your three hours here, eh?

but I'm afraid Mark I's analysis of the Iowa Republican debate was so one-sided and blindly anti-Romney as to be almost laughable

Then why are you wasting your any my time posting this crap instead of being off somewhere laughing at it?

Romney did not do badly at all and in fact a large number of commentators scored Romney the winner.

And of course if anybody disagrees with you it's (a) bias and (b) anti-Mormon bigotry.

your persistently snarky criticism of Romney stands out from the others on the right and particularly the coverage of this debate which was strongly positive for Romney

See response above.

Go cry in your milk somewhere else.

As it was an in-kind response to the childish comment above it.

And no, I'm not a Romney hater, nor have I selected a candidate at all yet (and resent being asked to choose one over a year away from the nominating convention). I'm just sick of every single candidate-doter crying foul when another's personal opinion is not similarly sycophantic.

Sorry if that's not your cup o' tea; I'm willing to overlook the differences if you are, though :-)

if everybody compared themselves to the "heavy hitters" everywhere else for accuracy, we'd be running a truth-by-consensus scheme, which would be chanting "known facts " and agreed-upon "truths" at the world. I'll leave that to the left.

Romney's Romney. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the guy, and there's no need to borrow one from Hugh Hewitt/MSM/whomever.

If you say that Romney did so badly that he's "not a serious national candidate" in favor of Duncan Hunter, that means that he won the debate and is going to mop the floor with everyone in Baltimore in September.

Go Mitt!

I'll watch a rerun of the proceedings later today and put my take on them in the user blogs and at TMR.

I admit I didn't watch the debate, because at this point, who cares, but I read a lot of the reax and it seems that the left feels that Romney did better than many on the right think. Perhaps the libs want Romney to be the nominee. They're clearly afraid of Rudy and probably of Fred (though, it's hard to tell for sure). I think Romney is a fairly decent candidate and often in these elections, the nominees become stronger as they go along and since its very early, I'd be wary of deciding that Romney isn't a serious candidate. He clearly is. McCain is waining, Rudy is strong. Fred might be strong. Huckabee could gain momentum. Ron Paul is Alan Keys. The rest need to bow out. If the GOP is going to take this serious, they need to cut the deadwood and get the strong candidates together for some serious debatin'!
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Halls of Justice Painted Green, Money Talking.
Power Wolves Beset Your Door, Hear Them Stalking.

notatool.com

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Giuliani or McCain could take to many moderate votes.

a Frank Luntz focus group said he won. I don't think he was referring to Iraq with the money spent around the world comment. I did miss the humor though too, but hey a Sunday morning debate? What were they thinking anyway?

I do agree that Hunter looked very good, and Romney didn't.

Shane Vander Hart
Check out my blog - Caffeinated Thoughts.

...is that he has a very backward economic vision with this hyper-protectionism argument, and when we're trying to forge strong relationships with countries like India while maintaining our own economy, I'd be very nervous about him being one heartbeat away from the Presidency. I understand the argument for him being the Vice Presidential nominee, but it makes me queasy.

I also don't think he'd swing California. Maybe he'd shift the vote in California a percent or two toward the Republicans, but no more than that.

That said, he'd make a great Secretary of Defense. If he's trying to get the VP nod or a Cabinet post out of this run, he's certainly acquitting himself very well for that.

I thought he was okay. I didn't think he was great. I thought he actually came out the better on the abortion dispute with Sam Brownback, but it's hard to remember anything else of him. The cuts to his wife probably helped.

I don't think think there was a clear winner out of that debate, in my opinion. Duncan Hunter and Tommy Thompson I think did the best of the second-tier but in terms of the front-runners, I'm not sure any one of the three distanced themselves from the rest in the debate. If you forced me to give a victory nod to someone, I would say Rudy.

And I will watch it today, but I have to say as a Romney supporter that although I didn't think he lost the debate in New Hampshire that I covered, he wasn't at his best there. It was a little bit of a surprise to me because my conventional wisdom is that Romney should be head-and-shoulders above a lot of these candidates in the debates. Maybe he's having some bad days, maybe he's holding back a little, I don't know yet.

I'll have more after I watch the replay of this one...

Romney didn't do too bad, although was not one of his stronger performances. Huckabee continues to surprise me, even if he's definitely not my guy just due to his overeager support for the nanny state (that being said, he's performing fantastic in the debates so far).

As far as losers go (ignoring people who were already losers going in), Brownback looked absolutely awful in his exchange with Romney, and came off as smug and sanctimonious. I like the guy's politics for the most part, and agree with him more than just about any of the candidates in the running right now, but he damaged himself with his gambit of tangling with Romney.

In my own mind, after what I've seen of the debate from YouTube and elsewhere, I don't really have a "top tier" of candidates... I have a "second tier" of guys who are trying to prove themselves as worthy of being "top tier". Right now, that list is Romney, Huckabee, Brownback, and Hunter, with the latter two fading away.

"I don't understand why the same newspaper commentators who bemoan the terrible education given to poor people are always so eager to have those poor people get out and vote." - P.J. O'Rourke

Could you be more biased? Brownback won the exchange with Romney? You must be joking about most of your analysis. Unfortunately for you, the voters disagreed and scored Brownback very low in Luntz's focus group. Huckabee and Romney both did well according to the focus group.

Rudy and Romney did the best. Huckabee didn't have any one liners, but he did tell people what they wanted to hear and sounded sincere and credible which is why the focus group liked him the most.

The thing that becomes ever more obvious is that FDT's supporters know that his biggest (or at least first) obstacle is Willard Mitt Romney. When you are this biased in your opinions people tune you out. If you want to sway opinion regarding Romney you are going to have to gain some credibility and posts like this don't help your cause.

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Develop alternatives to existing policies and keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable. Milton Friedman

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

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Develop alternatives to existing policies and keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable. Milton Friedman

I agree with you that Romney didn't do particularly well in this debate. Most importantly, he failed to distinguish himself in any significant way from the other front-runners (Giuliani, Thompson, McCain), which is what he badly needs to do if he wants to start pulling up in the polls.

He also failed to address any of the specific allegations in the Robocall message, which left me with the impression that the allegations are accurate. Particularly damaging was his failure to address his wife's contributions to Planned Parenthood. The "holier than thou" comment was horribly offensive and seemd to imply that all pro-lifers are self-righteous, not so much by the words themselves, but by the tone and manner in which they were delivered. That one line basically convinced me that his pro-life position is a facade (I was willing to give him the benefit up the doubt before).

However, Romney didn't completely flub -- he had a few funny moments and managed to convey moderation and intelligence in many of his responses. I don't think it will do him any good, however. Compared to the other candidates, he seemed very effeminate and indecisive.

I disagree, however, on your assessment of Huckabee. As in the other debates, the Governor was very, very articulate. I think he missed a few opportunities to really drive his position on the fair tax home, but other than that he was pretty much on the ball. I think you must have missed some of his funny one-liners, because I caught at least two. My favorite was the quip about the Congressional Health Plan.

I don't think he was really harping on Health Care -- it seemd that way because Stephanopholous directed questions on those topics to him.

"he failed to distinguish himself in any significant way from the other front-runners (Giuliani, Thompson, McCain)"

I disagree. He did distinguish himself from Fred Thompson. He showed up.
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First State Politics

I disagree with those who say Romney did not perform well. I think he was clear and polished and got the better of Brownback in the back and forth on abortion.

Others who did well were Giuliani, Huckabee and Brownback.

Tommy Thompson, and John McCain sounded hesitant and a bit lost.

Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo found it difficult to focus on the issue under discussion and kept coming back to their own obsessions.

Duncan Hunter sounded clear, but he is a protectionist so his content let him down badly.

In terms of presentation:

1. Giuliani
2. Huckabee
3. Romney
4. Hunter
5. Brownback
6. Tancredo
7. Thompson
8. McCain
9. Paul

In terms of content:

1. Giuliani
2. Romney
3. Huckabee
4. Brownback
5. Thompson
6 Tancredo
7. McCain
8. Paul
9. Hunter

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

Tancredo looked bad near the top when he went irate on Stephanopolous, and the defense of his Mecca/Medina comment put him deeper in the hole. When you start making Ron Paul look rational, you have a serious problem, because at least Paul is articulate.

His comment on healthcare - that it is no part of the federal government's responsibility - was strong. He then led into an immigration point, which can be tiresome, but reinforces his key message.

Your point Mecca/Medina doesn't ring any bells with me. It is possible I didn't see the whole thing. Several people uploaded versions and 'part three' of one person's upload might be 'part seven' of someone else's.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

that Giuliani was very good in his exchange with David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register, and the specific example he gave regarding bridges in New York City (though it made me glad that I live in a city that doesn't have income tax. I couldn't imagine another government raiding my paycheck).

I still think Huckabee did the best, and yes I'll admit that I'm biased. At least the Luntz focus group agrees with me, and since the majority didn't really know him before you can't say that they are.

Shane Vander Hart
Check out my blog - Caffeinated Thoughts.

A Giuliani/Hunter ticket might win California.

Recent CA results:
2004 Kerry 54 Bush 45 (1.25M vote diff)
2000 Gore 54 Bush 42 (1.3M)
1996 Clinton 51 Dole 38 (1.3M)
1992 Clinton 46 Bush 33 (1.5M)

We could flip half a million voters and still lose CA. People don't vote based on VP anyway, and even if they did how many voters outside his district would even care about him there?

Hunter would not flip any significant number of voters in CA. I think Giuliani might, but hunter would add nothing.

A Congressmen doesn't normally add much, but in CA even less. Dick Cheney was Congressman for all of Wyoming (not that we needed much help there). Duncan Hunter represents 2% of California.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

His dust up with Sen. Brownback was defensive in the extreme and his reluctance to go after Mayor Giuliani immediately on the heels of going after Brownback made him seem wishy-washy.

Was he defensive or was he “going after Brownback”? It would have been hypocracy in the “extreme” for him to say it isn’t right to let other canidates define his position then turn around and define Rudy’s. Don’t you think?

I suppose you would have preferred that Romney not defend himself? What was extreme about his defense? That he ended up looking better then Brownback in the end? I think we could use a little more defense of polices in the White House.

“It is not the possession of truth, but the success which attends the seeking after it, that enriches the seeker and brings happiness to him.”"-Max Planck

Romney didn't actually defend himself from the allegations in Brownback's ad, other than to say that they weren't true. What wasn't true? Specifically, please. That would be a defense. Citing an award from a right to life group and calling Brownback "holier than thou" is not a defense, its defensive.

By the way, what was with the apology for Romney's previous pro-choice position at the end of the debate? He had a "deeply held conviction" that he was pro-life in 1994 but told the voters he was in favor of the current law? What exactly does that mean? Was he lying to the voters then, or now? If he was pro-life in 1994, why did he say he has changed his position?

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Develop alternatives to existing policies and keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable. Milton Friedman

He said it wasn't true that he supported taxpayer funding of abortions in MA and he actually reduced such funding. He made Brownback seem very narrow and negative.

I thought he handled the apology quite well. What he said was that he was always personally opposed to abortion but by promising to uphold the law he made himself functionally pro-choice.

I don't see why people struggle with this. Someone can easily be personally opposed to something without wishing to make it illegal. That would be Romney's position on alcohol and coffee. He now accepts that taking the same position on abortion was wrong.

You are free, of course, to doubt the sincerity of his conversion, but the suggestion that he was lying on either occasion is baseless.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

Romney failed to defend ANY of the very specific issues in the ad. How could he have backed away from his wife's donations to Planned Parenthood?

Romney became pro-life because he saw it as politically necessary to win the nomination. It's that simple! He is one of those that Fred Thompson describes as having been running for the office since they got out of high school. Problem is, NO ONE is buying the load of BS that Romney is selling. He wont even be a VP candidate. The whole ball game changes Sept 5th (or so) when Thompson jumps in and enters these "debates".

In that case you MUST be right. NO-ONE is supporting Romney.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

I don't think there is a bias against Romney. I think there is a general bias by about 2/3 of the people here FOR their candidate (as most people support one) and against everyone else. Thus, there is always someone to say that Ron Paul will win or that Huckabee did well in the last debate -- when both are not reasonable to a straight-thinking person.

I agree that Brownback got the better of the exchange with Romney; I don't think it will hurt Romney too much, though.

I think Stephanopolous is a better moderator than most; if we consider who else has been chosen, he starts looking to be a good choice.

Hunter has done consistantly well. Looked very presidential; and I agree he should be at the top of some people's VP list.

I agree that Huckabee has lost his buzz. I think he is self-destructing.

. . . though I would like to see a poll on it.

I don't think 2/3, or anything like that, have chosen a candidate yet.

Some of us have ruled a few out as absurd - Hunter, Paul, Tancredo, etc.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

I agree that Hunter performed well, though I'm not sure about any hopes that he might flip CA. I'm pretty mush right along with him on the issues, except for his protectionism, and he seems to be very competent in general (unlike the other third-tier candidates).

Ron Paul was a disgrace. Please ban him from future debates as his shtick is getting tiresome.

Giuliani performed well. He had an endearing response to the "biggest mistake" question toward the end and he was very strong in leading the "Islamofascism" discussion. His appearance gave of a nice combination of toughness and studiousness. I appreciated his honest answer on the tax question, namely that the fair tax a good idea but can't be instantaneously implemented as most of the other candidates suggested. It showed me that he's not afraid to speak the truth even on a softball question like that, where it would have been easy to pander.

McCain, I thought, did a good job of reminding us why he's in the race. I wouldn't say that he was the star of the show (there wasn't one), but he did seem the most presidential. He did an excellent job of advertising his experience and his military expertise ("no on the job training when it comes to national security.") Good answer where he alluded to the Keating Five, as that will certainly come up later and his answer now might do a little to diffuse the issue.

Romney's performance started out weak, but improved a little over time. He seemed very petulant when responding to the opening salvo about Brownback's robocalls. He flat out denied the charges, which I think was a mistake. He looked very evasive on the issue. He should have taken his 60/90seconds to parse them out and go on the record. All he did was give one more soundbite that will end up on YouTube. Most of all is that he didn't mention at all his wife's ties to NARAL. On a few of the issues he seemed to regain his strength a little (re: healthcare and Obama). The camera constantly panning to his wife was kind of bizarre.

Tancredo was absolutely unhinged, especially when he was whining to Stephy prior to his first question, about what an inconvenience it was for him to be there and get free TV coverage. Ban him too.

Tommy Thompson gave a decent performance, by his standards, but relative to the other debates that's not saying a whole lot. I kind of feel bad for him.

Brownback was utterly obnoxious. I used to like him quite a bit, but his schtick is getting old too.

Huck gave a good performance. He dropped his folksy front which I think made him look more presidential. Still decidedly second-tier, though.

If I had to grade them A-F, it would go as follows:

McCain A-
Giuliani B+/A-
Romney B-
Hunter solid B/B+
Huckabee B
Paul C-
Tancredo D
Thompson C+
Brownback C

Several have commented that they thought McCain did well. I completely disagree. I think McCain looked half aspleep during the debate. He needs to do much better to get himself out of the hole he is in. I frankly don't se it happening. I'd give McCain a C-, just above Tancredo (who is joke of a candidate). I think Romney did fairly well. I like Hunter, but he has no chance and don't think he would be a very good choice as VP. Giuliani did well, always looks good and is solidifying himself as frontrunner. F. Thompson is waiting way too long to get in the race and am starting to question if he has what it takes to live up to the way he has been built up. I think it becomes a Giuliani, Romney race and Fred has a shot if he can get organized and appear much more motivated.

James

"Hunter has almost solidified the Vice-President slot for himself. No other candidate on stage should even be considered as a possibility. Hunter is the man. He simply doesn't have the charm and star power to be the nominee, but man does he have gravitas. Buckets of it. He is the Cheney of 2008, but with 55 electoral votes in his back pocket. A Giuliani/Hunter ticket might win California."

I do not think that VP candidate Hunter can swing California into the "Red" column on election day. I think that a "favorite son" from a swing state is needed in the VP slot. A widely known and popular figure from either OH or PA would be an ideal. Unfortunately, I can not think of any such figures in PA right now. Ridge would have been a good VP candidate in 2000, but he is "damaged goods" now. Are there any available "favorite son" candidates in Ohio right now?

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Tommy Thompson as Veep could add five points in Wisconsin and maybe one each in Michigan and Minnesota.

That would put WI into 'leaning Rep' and MI and MN into 'too close to call'.

It is also possible that Romney would help in MI, CO, NV, AZ and NH and Giuliani in NJ and PA.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

Favorite sons worked when the parties were sectionally, rather than ideologically, split, but those days are long behind us.

People are in a party now because of what they believe, not because of what their parents were.

Hooray!

But there seems little doubt that some individuals have gained great respect in their states. This particularly applies to governors, though some Senators do too. Why do some candidates do better than the national trend and others worse? Is it just that their policies are different? I doubt it. Tommy Thompson has been very popular in Wisconsin. Jodi Rell is in Connecticut. These people far outperform the popularity of their party. Governors also sometimes have coattails for candidates down ticket.

Where you probably are right, is that gaining respect in one office does not necessarily translate into another: William Weld got over 70% of the vote running for re-election as governor, but still lost his Senate challenge to John Kerry. (That said, I am sure he did better than any other GOP candidate would have managed in a Presidential year).

A VPOTUS candidate certainly adds even less to a ticket than the head of the ticket does. It does not mean that there is no effect at all. Enough to make the difference in Massachusetts or California? No way. Enough in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania or Michigan? Maybe.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

I think that we have a miscommunication upon the meaning of the label “favorite son.” A “favorite son” is a person that is very popular in a geographical location to which he is native, or long time resident. He is not necessarily the heir of a political dynasty. Certain governors, heroes, sports figures, etc fall under the label “favorite son.” For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a “favorite son” of Californians.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

He just doesn't agree that it has much impact.

Maybe I will write a whole blog on the question and Neil can debate it.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

He's certainly not the "favorite son" of California Republicans, having flipped off the Republican state legislators such that he can't get them to support his budget. Not much enthusiasm from the base either these days.

Now if he switched to the Democratic party, with his wife of Shriver lineage, who knows? He certainly seems more popular with the Democrat leadership than the Republican leadership now that he's reconciled with his "girlie men" who beat him up in the 2005 special election.

And Rightly So!

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Too bad Santorum and Blackwell lost in 2006. Santorum would be an awesome pick for VP. Great communicator, strong conservative, young and could take the mantle in 2016.

Is it possible, probably not given the beating he took in '06.

James

I predict the missing candidate will announce about the first full week in September. Then, the battle starts between Rudy Guiliani and Fred Thompson for the nomination. As with most GOP contests, I hope they hug and make up before the general election because there is a far left field candidate running with a 46-52% negative. So, if we don't want a failed health care system rewarmed, more taxes, to forget about the 2nd and 14th amendments and political infighting the likes of which we have not seen yet (only think we have), then these two need to get on a stick and differentiate themselves quickly from the far left, should NOT be that hard to do. Then maybe they can both address the cut and run mentality of the far left on terrorism and Iran. Then, we can count chads once more. Hanging, dimpled, pregnant, the whole Chad family. With some hard work, maybe Fred Thompson and/or Rudy Guiliani can make plans to redecorate the Oral Office in the White House in January 2009.

 
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