It's Obiously Satire

Hotline, following up on Romney, bloodied from a week of flip-flop-flips, asks us to speculate on what Kathyrn Lopez and Matt Drudge are getting in return for picking up Mitt from the Mat:

This morning, Romney's press team e-mailed reporters a Q and A featuring Romney and his National Review admirer, KLo. Romney's not comfortable with the ISG report, he seems to want constructive engagement with China, and he no longer supports ENDA -- the employment non-discrimination act for gays.

Several top Romney supporters implored his campaign to respond more fully to the Boston Globe/Bay Windows blogswarm. But Romney was in Asia when the news broke, and top members of his team were busy interviewing staff and slogging through hours-long planning meetings.

One early sign that Romney's communication team will help contain stories like these: Matt Drudge didn't touch it. . Drudge is friendly with Romney's communications director, Matt Rhoades, the former research director of the RNC. Draw conclusions on your own.

I'm sure National Review Online and Drudge Report are expecting the advertising deals are delivered, unless you can think of something better....

Oh, Tommy Thompson is in, and tops Romney's support for gay marriage among humans with advocacy for transgendered deer.

There's more...

Republicans on 08

I wondered about whether Brownback was showing signs of traction in the Republican '08 nomination contest a few days ago. Soren Dayton follows up on it at Eye on 08 by taking a look at the prospect, but then shooting it down.

Still, Brownback was reported saying the other day on Kansas PR that, "he'll use the internet to spread his message and raise campaign funds. He compared his position to that of Howard Dean and Jimmy Carter -- candidates who overcame a lack of name recognition to eventually win broader support."

And Markos notes the compacted Republican nominating calendar:

You thought the Democrats front-loaded in 2004?

Take a look at this calendar:

January 21: Iowa
January 28: New Hampshire
February 5: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

That's 16 states in the first two weeks of the race, including delegate-rich New Jersey, Florida, Missouri and Michigan, giving the guy with the most media buzz and money an advantage. At this early point of the race, that person is McCain.

Feb 5th could benefit McCain, provided that he goes into the state with momentum; but let's say that McCain loses both Iowa (I'd say this is probable) and New Hampshire (less probable), then Feb 5th is not a deal closer.

It seems entirely possible that McCain fades over the next year, both with a conservative or two rising, and the becoming-more-likely possibility that Rudy gets into the contest.

There's more...

Wednesday 2008 Thread

Because the Iowa caucuses are less than fourteen months away.
  • Bill Frist will not run for President. Damn. I had always hoped he would win the Republican nomination. Considering that he had been running for almost a year now, this smacks of Republican-style field clearing for the likes of McCain (the field basically self-cleared for Bush in 2000, and Dole in 1996). Then again, it could also be that he realized his own base never really liked him before Republicans lost the Senate, and probably despises him now.

  • As Jonathan wrote earlier today, it certainly looks like Romney is going to run. Now I hope that either he or New Gingrich wins the Republican nomination.

  • I should have the breakdown on the straw poll by tomorrow afternoon. Once I have the breakdown, I can compile the results before stuffing occurred, and get basically clean numbers. While I don't think it was too bad, there might have been some Edwards stuffing (there has been in the past). I also think that there was stuffing for a large number of the candidates who received 4% or less. For example, at one point Dodd had only 4 votes, and every other candidate had at least 21 votes. Now he is suddenly at 31 votes, and the others haven't gone up much? Seems unlikely to me. Not to mention that Daschle and Vilsack have never done even close to this well, ever. Someone may have been stuffing the poll on behalf of all the minnows to make the leader, Al Gore, or the four frontrunners, Gore, Obama, Clark and Edwards, all have a lower percentage of the total. If that is what happened, that is actually a clever but of stuffing. I'll be able to find out when I get the poll internals.

  • Speaking of Gore, he seems to be strongly leaning against running, but clearly has not ruled it out:So if you decide to run, do you think we would see the Al Gore from the movie? Or the Al Gore from 2000?
    Well, I don't plan to run. I don't plan to run. And I don't expect to run.

    How many times a day does somebody ask you this?
    Well, I'm doing a lot of interviews and it's on the list of questions. For every one of them. And I appreciate that. I appreciate that people think enough of me still in that world to ask that question. It's true that I haven't, uh, gotten to the point where I am willing to completely rule it out for all time. But, that is really more a matter of the internal shifting of gears. I'm not making plans to run again.

    But you're not ruling it out?
    Uh... no. [smiles] The real bombshell in this interview is that there will be a Futurama movie. Yes!

  • It certainly looks like Dodd is going to run. One advantage for Dodd appears to be that he and Howard Dean share a neck.

  • Republicans complain about the media costing them elections. However, they have free reign to call Barack Obama "Hussein" without any repercussions, while if a Democrat misreads one word from a prepared speech, it is a week long national news story. We are really dealing with a bunch of bullies and whiners who have an over-developed sense of entitlement and who refuse to blame themselves for anything. For Obama's part, he is wading so deep in the Presidential waters, that at this point he is going to have to start rolling up his pant cuffs.

  • For dozens of stories on the 2008 election every day, check out the MyDD E-Wire 2008.
This is a thread on 2008.

Romney Edges Closer to Run; I Say, "Go Ahead"

With the conservative base of the Republican Party still largely skeptical about John McCain and likely reluctant to back a social moderate like Rudy Giuliani, there is still room for someone to run to the right of the pack and pick up the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. A couple of years ago, it looked like Rick Santorum might be the man, but that ended quickly. For the better part of the last year it appeared that George Allen would be the frontrunner for that slot, but macaca and his subsequent defeat at the hands of Jim Webb nixed that. Now, a cadre of relatively unknown and/or unpopular Republicans, including Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo, are vying to occupy the right and thus take the nomination. So too is outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And according to Scott Helman of The Boston Globe, Romney has already picked out his campaign headquarters.

Governor Mitt Romney, erasing any doubt that he intends to make a White House bid in 2008, is laying plans to run his presidential campaign from a three-story waterfront building at the edge of Boston's North End, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the proposed deal.

[...]

Romney's campaign team has not finalized a deal for the space yet, the sources said, but an agreement is expected soon. Romney has said he intends to make an official announcement after the first of the year about whether he will run for president in 2008.

Aside from the fact that polling indicates that Romney is the third most unpopular governor in the countryand additionally that it would be difficult for any member of the Mormon faith, Mitt Romney included, to win a presidential election, there are a growing number of reasons to believe that Romney would be a weak candidate in the general election should the Republicans back him during the primaries. As I have noted before, federal prosecutors are investigating whether the Romney administration actually performed the safety inspections it said it did on the Big Dig tunner, the partial collapse of which killed a woman this past summer. What's more, Romney's record on healthcare, upon which he is supposed to run, is much less impressive than he and others might have you think, with throwing mental patients on the streets being one of the more tangible examples of the failure that is the Romney administration.

But that's not all. Aside from winning a gubernatorial election in Massachusetts, a state that at the time tended to elect Republican governors, during a Republican-leaning year, Romney has proved a rather feckless campaigner and political strategist. On November 7, Romney's appointed heir Kerry Healey lost the Massachusetts Governor election by more than 20 points, and across the country, Republican efforts to protect their majority of governorships -- an effort that was headed by Romney as chairman of the Republican Governor's Association -- ranked somewhere between a complete and an utter failure, with Republicans unsuccessfully trying to pick up a single Democratic-held governor's mansion and losing a net six positions overall. The Hill's Aaron Blake has details about the unhappiness among Republican operatives about the poor record of the RGA under Romney's watch.

But despite the apparently overwhelming odds against them picking up seats in such places as Kansas and Oklahoma or holding outgoing Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) seat in Arkansas, Republicans in those states are expressing discontent.

"If there was a message sent to the national party, (it was that) for a few weeks on TV in those states, I'm not going to promise victory for the Republicans, but the outcomes would have been drastically different," said one Kansas GOP operative who is "legitimately annoyed" with the national party.

"They seemed to be focused on states they maybe shouldn't have been focused on," the operative said, referring specifically to New Mexico and Michigan, where the governors association supported Dick DeVos, who lost to Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) by 14 points despite spending $18 million of his own money.

The operative said a lot of Republicans in the area are disappointed with the governors association.

The nomination of Mitt Romney to be the standard bearer of the Republican Party in 2008 would be an unmitigated failure for the party. Boy, would I love to see him try and go up against almost any Democrat considering a run at the White House (with the possible exception of Mike Gravel -- but then again, who knows, even the very unknown Gravel might be able to beat him...).

There's more...

The Disaster That is Mitt Romney's Healthcare Policy

So, Mitt Romney believes he will be able to run on his healthcare achievements? Wrong. The AP is reporting that the state-run hospitals are turning away new patients due to budget cuts mandated by the none other than the Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney.

State psychiatric hospitals will begin turning away new patients on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, in response to emergency budget cuts issued earlier this month by Gov. Mitt Romney.

The cuts will force the elimination of 170 Department of Mental Health staff positions, including staffers who provide care to hundreds of emotionally disturbed children and teens.

[...]

"These are the unkindest cuts imaginable, and their timing is hard to fathom," Massachusetts Hospital Association President Ron Hollander said in a written statement. "We implore the governor to restore these essential services to the people who depend on DMH."

David Matteodo, head of the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems, said the chronically and severely disabled will be denied the critical care they need.

"That is the harsh consequence of these cuts, which will be imposed on a mental health system that is already under tremendous strain," he said.

With disastrous policies like these, it's no wonder Romney didn't even attempt a run for reelection and that he is now the third most unpopular governor in the nation with a disapproval rating of 65 percent. And it is not just Democrats who find Romney's brand of cynicism and pandering to the ultra-right offensive. Sixty-one percent of the commonwealth's independent voters, who by far make up the largest voting bloc, disapprove of Romney. This number is up eleven points in just the last month. Even Romney's 75 percent approval rating among Republicans and his 66 percent approval rating among conservatives leave much to want for a candidate intending to secure the GOP presidential nomination by playing the part of the movement conservative.

There's more...

Diaries

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