December 01, 2006

2008 GOP Field May Be Slim Pickings For Conservatives

Yes, it's 21 months before Republicans pick their next Presidential nominee in the Twin Cities. But in this current era of politics, campaigns for the next election start, almost literally, the day after the last one. And as of now, the three declared candidates (officially and unofficially) are Sen. John McCain, NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and MA Gov. Mitt Romney. And considering the early steps that they're taking, they are getting a jump at hiring the best campaign staff and attracting the early funding.

John Hinderaker at Powerline gives his assessment:

McCain has a conservative voting record, but is widely mistrusted by the Republican base because of his support for restrictions on citizen political activity, his occasional squishiness on issues like tax cuts, and his general willingness to sell out the party when it suits his purposes.

Giuliani is widely admired for his solid stance on the war on terror, his history as a crimefighter, and his leadership qualities and administrative talents. But Giuliani is a social liberal. Not a moderate, a liberal. I can live with that, as long as I'm convinced he will be solid on judges. But can the Republican base? I don't know.

Romney is an impressive guy in many ways, but a relative newcomer to the national scene. His positions on the social issues appear to have "evolved" since he ran for Governor of Massachusetts. And his Mormon faith may turn out to be an issue; I don't know.

In other words, for the GOP's base, each of these front-runners would represent a compromise nominee. George Allen is done and Bill Frist is out. Yes, there is Newt - the Conservative dahling - but as Hinderaker notes he just carries too much baggage: "As someone memorably said, Newt's flaw is that he has never in his life had an unspoken thought. That's fine for an idea man, which is what Gingrich has become since leaving Congress; not so fine in a Presidential candidate."

There are other credible Conservatives out there who can (and will) run but I don't think they'll get very far because the Big Three (as I will refer to McCain, Giuliani and Romney going forward) are already dominating the pursuit of available resources in terms of support, money and campaign infrastructure. The issue of the GWOT will still be of as much importance (perhaps more so) in selecting a Commander-In-Chief in 2008 as it was in 2004. And my guess is that this is what will ultimately unite Republican voters behind a nominee, once the fighting is over.

None of the Big Three are taking anything for granted. And Captain Ed notes that McCain is even poaching support among Republican Governors - Romney's territory.

On the Dems' side there is Hillary and everyone else (mostly candidates who ran before and lost). The x-factor, I suppose, is IL Sen. Barack Obama. NRO's Rich Lowry sees him as a safety net for Democrats who are growing weary of Her Shrillness and all the baggage she brings to the table. But in terms of pure political power, Hillary isn't going to go away and already has everything she needs to claim the mantle in 2008 - everything that is, except the delegates. But she can muscle them to her side during the primaries. As of now, it's her party until she says otherwise. She hasn't spent the last six years padding a resume of Senatorial prestige just to be pushed aside by some untested punk from Illinois.

[Sidebar: This reminds me of the infamous quote from Dr. Evil in the first "Austin Powers" movie: "I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called 'mister', thank you very much". End Sidebar]

As for the General Election, the winner will depend on the unaffiliateds, the independents, the "moderates". And this is where Hillary has a big disadvantage. These voters are getting sick and tired of having a President that a huge bulk of the population hates. Yes, I mean "hates", as in rage-inducing wrath. During the Nineties you had the Clinton-haters and over the last six years it's been the Bush-haters. So, all things being equal, they will crave the candidate who is the least partisan (or most bi-partisan), the least polarizing and who at least appears to be the most reasonable.

Not convinced? Just approach a friend, relative or acquaintance who is by and large not very politically-charged and start ripping into the most high-profile leaders of either party and watch the "Oh, jeez" eye-rolling. They've had enough of it. In that sense, I think any of the Big Three has a good chance in the General Election. The task for Conservatives is to vote for the one they find most acceptable but line up behind the eventual winner even if he isn't their first choice. The key is electing a Commander-In-Chief who will prosecute the GWOT decisively and aggressively. If we don't have that in January 2009, how much does all the rest really matter?

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November 29, 2006

Bill Frist Not Running In '08

According to Hotline On Call.

Not that he stood a chance in hell anyway. If he had decided to run, I'd say he needed to see a doctor - a psychiatrist.

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November 27, 2006

McCain Watch Poll Update

Okay, so the results are in. Let's take a look.

The questions: "If AZ Senator John McCain Earned The GOP Nomination in 2008, Would You Vote For Him?"

The answers/distribution:

6.0% - Absolutely, He's My First Choice For The Nomination
16.0% - He's Not My First Choice, But I'd Vote For Him In The General Election
30.0% - I Wouldn't Be Thrilled About It, But I'd Hold My Nose And Pull The Lever
20.0% - Only If Hillary Was The Democrat Candidate
6.0% - I Would Consider Not Voting On Election Day
6.0% - I Would Definitely Stay Home On Election Day
16.0% - I Would Vote Democrat Rather Than See McCain Become President

Of the seven choices, I would aggregate the first three answers as "yes", the last three as "no" and the middle option stipulating only if Hillary were the Dem nominee as a qualified "neutral".

Now, four months ago I ran an identical poll. The results were:

14.2% - Absolutely, He's My First Choice For The Nomination
14.2% - He's Not My First Choice, But I'd Vote For Him In The General Election
35.0% - I Wouldn't Be Thrilled About It, But I'd Hold My Nose And Pull The Lever
18.3% - Only If Hillary Was The Democrat Candidate
5.0% - I Would Consider Not Voting On Election Day
0.0% - I Would Definitely Stay Home On Election Day
13.3% - I Would Vote Democrat Rather Than See McCain Become President

Aggregating the answers, McCain has gone from Yes - 63.4%, No - 18.3%, Neutral - 18.3% in July to Yes - 52.0%, No - 28.0%, Neutral - 20.0% as of this morning. Certainly there is nothing scientific about an internet poll on a blog but I'm operating under the assumption that most of the votes come from people who are Republicans and/or lean Conservative. That being the case, this represents a shift in "favorability" away from McCain among those who would be in a position to vote on the nomination in 2008. In particular, the percentage voting "definitely stay home" or "vote Democrat" aggregate moved from 13.3% to 22.0%.

Now, personally, I would have guessed that McCain would experience a slight increase in the favorability in light of the prospect of a Shrillary Presidency with Dems in control of Congress. Eh, what do I know? It's still two years away and the field is wide-open. Expect at least a dozen or so candidates to throw their hats in. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.

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November 17, 2006

Updating The "McCain Watch" Poll

Now that the dust has settled (mostly) on Election 2006, what better time to trot out the "How Do You Feel About McCain?" poll - now in the sidebar to the left. Regular readers know how I feel about the AZ Senator and I have no reason to advocate any one particular answer. I'm just curious.

With the GOP turned out of power in Congress and the exit polls all pointing to the influence of the "middle" (however you define that) it will be interesting to note any changes from the last poll.

Are Republicans who were previously down on McCain giving him a second look in the wake of last week's results? Have more people moved away from him? It's your chance to weigh in. I'll leave it open until the 27th and then I'll compare the results.

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November 15, 2006

Election 2008 Has Already Begun

...and I'm already sick of it.

McCain Exploratory Committee will file with FEC tomorrow.

Note: Keep hitting "refresh" and you get new pictures. Sigh.

h/t: The Corner

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October 12, 2006

Hillary Must Have Compromising Photos Of Mark Warner

Cuz he's bowing out of the 2008 Presidential Race.

November 8th will be the first day of the rest of her campaign. She's as good as nominated.

Unless maybe you moonbats have anything to say about it.

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August 28, 2006

Connecticut Senate Seat a Four Way Race

The two best-known names in the race for one of Connecticut's Senate seats this year are Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman. Lamont, of course, ousted Lieberman in this month's Democratic primary, and Dems are now crying foul because Lieberman is running as an independent.

The two lesser-known names are Republican Alan Schlesinger (whose much-improved website is here), and Green Party candidate Ralph Ferrucci (website here).

If you thought Lamont leaned further to the left than Lieberman, wait until you meet Ferrucci.

Ferrucci, a 34-year-old independent delivery truck driver who qualified last week to appear on the November ballot, said United Nations peacekeepers should immediately replace U.S. troops in Iraq.

Lamont, he said, only wants to pull front-line troops to the periphery.

"He supports a one-year leave date, send troops to Kuwait," Ferrucci said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "Basically his plan is more redeployment and then bring them home."

Here's more on his platform:

Ferrucci said he believes voters will relate to his proposal for a single-payer, universal health care system. Since he is an independent driver for Pepperidge Farms, he has to buy his own health insurance. He currently has none.

Asked how much it will cost, he said, "I don't even know. I don't want to know."

Ferrucci's proposal calls for setting up a nonprofit agency to run a universal health system instead of the federal government. The program would be funded mostly by business taxes.

Ferrucci also wants a per-gallon cap on the profits oil companies receive from gasoline and home-heating oil sales. He said voters he has spoken with are very concerned about the economy and issues like fuel prices that make it difficult to make ends meet.

Frankly, I'm surprised Kos and his pals supported Lamont. Ferrucci sounds more like their cup of tea. But then, for all the nonsense you hear from the left about being against individuals with lots of money, it seems that only pols with wads of cash in their pockets are the ones who get the attention.

In my opinion, the few votes Ferrucci gets will siphon off those that might vote for Lamont, leaving the field more open for a win by Lieberman. I don't think Schlesinger has much of a chance...while Connecticut has a few Republican representatives in the House and a Republican governor, there has not been a Republican senator in years. I don't foresee that changing during this election; especially since the Connecticut Republicans can't seem to find a red-hot candidate.

Crossposted to Blogmeister USA

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August 01, 2006

Kerry Attracts More Flies Than Supporters In Iowa

MA Sen. John "I was almost President before I wasn't" Kerry headed to Iowa to shore up early support for his expected 2008 Presidential bid.

Unfortunately for Kerry he was only able to round up enough senior citizens for a rousing game of Mahjong.

lonely kerry.jpg

And the reason most of them look a little pissed off is that they didn't get the buffet lunch they were promised.

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