Sunday, December 16, 2007

'08 Horserace Notes: Everything Sucks

* From the Dept. of Interesting Analogies: Mitt Romney '08 = Al Gore '00.

* How did Hillary win the Des Moines Register endorsement? Lots of lobbying:

Knowing their backs were against the wall in Iowa (as an endorsement by the Register of Obama might well have sealed the deal for the Illinois senator in the Hawkeye State), the Clinton campaign organized a three-week blitz to court the editorial board.

Clinton and her husband met with the board over cocktails to make the case. A series of surrogates -- including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, EMILY's List chief Ellen Malcolm and Robert Kennedy Jr. -- barraged the board with calls in support of Clinton. High-level Clinton staffers -- including campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, pollster Mark Penn, policy director Neera Tanden and senior adviser Ann Lewis -- met individually with members of the board to make the case.

* Clive Crook on Obama:

Mr Obama is organising his campaign around what he calls a new – more consensual, more pragmatic – style of politics. This is his big idea, just as Mrs Clinton’s (improbable as it might seem) is depth of experience. This new tone is something many Americans appear to want and, after the bitterness and division of recent years, well they should.

But progressives have been under the Republicans’ hammer too long. Rapprochement is the last thing they want. What they want is their turn. They come not to work with Republicans, but to bury them. If Mr Obama believes he can come to useful compromises with those people, many liberal activists believe, he is either far too innocent for this kind of work or a traitor in the making.

* Time's Michael Duffy on the impending collapse of the GOP:

The disarray can't be blamed on Bush entirely; he may even deserve credit for postponing it. Some students of the G.O.P. have argued that the revolution that brought the party to power in Congress in 1994 was pretty much a spent force by 2000. Under this theory, Republicans should have lost that election but survived thanks to Bush's qualities, the butterfly ballot and five Supreme Court Justices. Then 9/11 happened, which enabled Bush to win reelection, despite the fact that the G.O.P.'s sell-by date had long since passed. The past seven years, in this view, were an anomaly that postponed the reckoning and made the G.O.P. crash even more severe.

A similar argument is made by Adam Nagourny in the Sunday Times.

* Huckabee gets the Times Magazine cover. This should be a deal-breaker when it comes to the people Huckabee, as hypothetical President, would fill give cabinet positions to:

Huckabee has no military experience beyond commanding the Arkansas National Guard, but he doesn’t see this as an insuperable problem. ‘‘What you do,’’ he explained, ‘‘is surround yourself with the best possible advice.’’ The only name he mentioned was Representative Duncan Hunter of California. ‘‘Duncan is extraordinarily well qualified to be secretary of Defense,’’ he said.

For more on just how qualified "SpongeBob HunterPants" is to run the world's largest office building, see here.

Sandy Levinson makes an interesting point about Huckabee's an the Arkansas 'constitutional crisis' he found himself part of as Lt. Gov.

* By the way, Huckabee has now won more support in Florida than Rudy Giuliani. This makes Rudy's win-by-kicking-ass-on-Super-Tuesday strategy look less than wise.

* Joe Lieberman will endorse John McCain. Somehow this might turn into a McCain-Lieberman third party ticket. This would go exactly nowhere. Democrats want nothing more to do with Lieberman and independents have left McCain, thus leaving this ill-fated duo to contend for votes among the Washington neocon foreign policy establishment. I would go so far as to say that they wouldn't even come close to Nader's 2000 numbers in such a scenario.

* The LA Times has a story on Ron Paul's fund-raising impresario, Trevor Lyman, who coordinated Sunday's Boston Tea Party Money bomb, which brought in $6.4 million for the campaign yesterday alone. Paul's also starting to draw some sizable crowds in Iowa.

* Not much is being said about Fred Thompson. He is, however, running negative mail pieces against Huckabee.

* Iowa has recently witnessed an explosion in its mortality rate, according to get-out-the-vote volunteers:

They love their caucuses, do not get me wrong, but it seems they like the old-fashioned variety not the hard-driven modern type where campaigns arrange "robo-calls" to drum up support, forcing many people here simply to refuse to answer their phones till 4th January.

A telephone pollster tells me his company noticed that Iowa had a reported death rate 20 times the national average: apparently when they called and asked for a husband or wife the spouse would say, "Oh they died!" in the hope of getting off the lists …...

1 comment:

tony palmeri said...

As regards the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Hillary, the fact that Donna Shalala (Clinton's HHS Secretary for 8 years) is on Gannett's Board of Directors probably did not hurt.