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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Who Won?

OK, here's the question Frances asked tonite, and I think it's a good one. If you were a GOP primary voter, which of those five candidates in the Fox forum would you vote for? It's easy to eliminate Thompson (who was in rare grumpy old man form tonite, no?). But among the remaining four: Rudy, Huckabee, Romney, McCain?

It's a tough one. But the Fox (out of) focus group thought that Romney won the debate tonite. I didn't see that, but I'm not a NH GOP primary voter. Did anyone else see it that way?

Btw, have you ever heard a debate less relevant to actual public policy? Was there even a health-care question? An education question? An economy (and/or jobs) question? How much time was spent on tax cuts? One would think that illegal immigration was the single most pressing issue of our time, and that everything else is just dandy. There wasn't even an Iraq question, was there? What did they spend 90 minutes talking about? Whether A raised taxes more than B, and whether C supports "amnesty."


At 11:31 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

As I like to say, in sports and politics, bet on evil. So it's Romney. And the Cowboys win the Superbowl.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Frances said...

How does "betting on evil" narrow your choices in this GOP field? Maybe rules out Huckabee?

On the evilness front, I guess I would personally rank Rudy number one. John McCain's current warmongering incarnation is pretty horrifying also, putting him at least even in the rankings with Romney.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thougt Romney won. I think he's the GOP's weakest candidate in the general election, at least of those who have a chance of winning (i.e. not Ron Paul). I couldn't believe that some in the Fox focus group argued that Romney was more pro-life than Huckabee. Speaking of Huckabee, I find the GOP- establishment's class bias toward him utterly appalling. Oh, and Obama's favorite TV show is the Wire. . . . 'nuff said.

At 1:13 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

You guys are way off on Romney. He would be a dead duck nominee if he were nominated by the DEMOCRATS (like Kerry was). The GOP machine would slice him up, tar him as a flip-flopper, whisper circuit the Mormonism cultist angle, and ruthlessly mock his affluent lifestyle & hairstyle (he's already made hair jokes that would have killed Kerry).

But he's a REPUBLICAN, which means they will fall in line and we'll take the "high road," like we always do. Unfortunately, if you're not paying very close attention Romney looks and talks like a president. He would win a casting call. And he is ruthless--that guy will say literally anything to get elected. He will also go very negative, playing as dirty as Bush does.

Conversely, I have no fear of Rudy. He's a deeply corrupt, gaffe prone, loose cannon whose 9/11 obsession has already become a national joke. Plus, he's got a funny ethnic name that won't play as well as Romney's does. His pro-life and pro-gun control record will alienate a large segment of the base. The idea that he's electable has always been far-fetched. Yeah, he's got swagger, but Ann Coulter endorsed the Mittster after he spoke to the CPAC confab--not Rudy. I think that's a decent indicator.

Fred is also no threat. He makes Bob Dole (even post-viagra) look like the youth and vitality vote. He also quite obviously has no idea what he's talking about most of the time and does not campaign very hard.

Beware the presentism of polling. Looking at fundamentals, Mitt is one of the GOPs best candidates, and we're best off if he goes down soon.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Frances said...

I'm not basing my views on Romney on the polls. I'm basing it on the fact that he is thoroughly incapable of generating enthusiasm on the GOP side, something a candidate has to be able to do.

He is a terrible campaigner: no empathy, no ability to connect, no common touch. He has no ability to create passion or energy on his side, no ability to enlist any deep support. He may be able to appeal to the GOP in a lowest common denominator way, but he has no strong supporters (his support is an inch deep and not even a mile wide). A candidate needs some energetic support somewhere at the core of his campaign to win in a tough election.

His inauthenticity robs him of the ability to wage the culture war effectively. The Mormonism DOES indeed bother Republican culture warriors. The problem is at the grassroots level, not at the level of the Christian right leadership. But it is another factor that shortcircuits his ability to connect with his audience.

If he could succeed, it would be as George H.W. Bush. But I think he's the GOP's John Kerry. Technocratic, running on his resume, preppie, and totally unable to reach out to average Americans.

Of course, our little disagreement may be moot today. The media are very eager to pronounce the death of Mitt Romney's campaign.

And just for good measure: GO OBAMA GO!!!!!!!!


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