Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Promises Made - Promises Kept

I don't really buy into conspiracy theories, I believe secrets are too hard to keep. But I do believe in complicated political strategy, especially after reading the book "Boy Genius: Karl Rove, The Architect Of George W. Bush's Remarkable Political Triumphs ." This book tells of the political trickery that Karl Rove (and others) have used to become successful.

Over the last few weeks I have come to believe that a complicated political strategy has been in place to help Senator John McCain win the GOP nomination for President. Remember 2004, when rumors ran wild that the GOP made promises to McCain to keep him on the side of President Bush. Do you remember? Right after turning down the Kerry campaign, McCain began touring with Bush; advocating President Bush's war policy. The promise being that McCain would be heir apparent for the nomination in 2008. But, how can the GOP elite in Washington keep such a promise when the voters really decide the nominee through the state primaries and caucuses?

Understand something, us NASCAR fans watch race strategy every weekend. The same way, Rich Hendrick puts more cars in the race to help Jeff Gordon or Jimmy Johnson win the Championship I have come to wonder if someone didn't convince Thompson and Giuliani run to take votes from the other candidates. At the end of the day, Thompson (and his attack campaign) took enough votes away from Huckabee in SC to help McCain. At the end of the day, Giuliani took enough votes away from Romney to help McCain in Florida. Look at the campaigns of these two men. The were strongest before the voters got to know their record. After campaigning modestly in Iowa, Thompson came straight to South Carolina and ran his entire campaign on attacks on Governor Huckabee. After campaigining modestly in Iowa, Giuliani headed straight to Florida. Not being in Florida, I don't know if he attacked Romney the same way Thompson attacked Huckabee; but the results were the same.

This seems far fetched, doesn't it? But if you read the book, "Boy Genius" you will learn about the state wide races in TX where Karl Rove used this very tactic. Have a third candidate run as the attack dog for the "approved" candidate. Then the "right" guy comes across unharmed while the other two candidates battle it out. The "decoy" candidates are usually rewarded with a position in the winner's administration.

Take a look at this trickery and then add to that the establishment endorsements that McCain has gained in the past few weeks. McCain has been endorsed by many many in the elite, even Republicans that wouldn't have been seen with McCain this past summer.

What really amazes me about McCain's momentum is how conservatives are supporting him after all the disappointments McCain has fostered over the past 6-8 years. How quickly we forget. Our representatives in Washington count on this short term memory every time they let us down and vote against our wishes. (big spending, amnesty, etc.) Maybe we should change the Republican mascot - we sure don't have memories like elephants.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fred Barnes & Florida Primary Results

I've gotten to the point I can't even watch Fox News Channel for Primary Results. Their commentators don't even make sense any longer. Fred Barnes (Romney Supporter) took his usual swipe at Governor Huckabee tonight by saying, "there is no way to claim fourth is a resounding victory."

But here is the reality behind the Floriday results:

1) McCain won and does pick up some momentum.
2) Romney shows he still can't win in a contested race. After spending millions more on a single state Romney comes in second, down by 5%. For contect Huck came in 3% behind McCain in SC.
3) The biggest looser tonight was Giuliani. After being the front runner all year, he's essentially out of the race. Rumor has it he will drop out and endorse McCain tomorrow.
4) Huckabee came in fourth with 13% of the vote without spending much campaign money. The Huckabee campaign new all along that winning Florida would be tough but pulling out would be death by media. So they went through the motions to garner support and make a good showing while traveling to Super Tuesday states as much as possible. The Florida Primary was a winner take all contest, so at the end of the day; Huck got the same number of delegates as Romney and Giuliani in Florida, but spent a lot less money.

Huck will be back to Florida for the General Election and will need to utilize the same grassroots team he built for the primary. Huck absolutely has the best grassroots ground game of any of the candidates. This will be invaluable for the general election.

So Fred Barnes would to convince us that the race is between McCain and Romney. But Romney won't play well in the southern Super Tuesday states; McCain will have his problems too with real conservatives that remember his record on McCain - Feingold, McCain - Kennedy, etc.

It's not over until one's supporters give up - and Huck's army is still fighting strong!

Friday, January 11, 2008

SCGOP Debate - Jan 10, 2008 - Part Four

Once again Ron Paul showed up for the debate two cards short of a full deck. All he needs is a funny looking hat and he could play a joker.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

SCGOP Debate - Jan 10, 2008 - Part Three

Someone needs to call Fred Thompson on his hypocrisy / double standard. Thompson tried to attack Huckabee by saying that early in his campaign Huckabee (supposedly) said he wouldn't sign a no tax pledge - saying Huckabee thought it was risky. (it must have been real early because Huckabee has supported the FairTax since May 2007)

Senator Thompson, back in July; when he almost started his campaign the first time, wouldn't sign a tax pledge either. (Fred still doesn't support the FairTax.) He made an exploratory trip from SC to NH starting with a SCGOP fundraiser in Columbia. While on that trip, Thompson was asked to sign Grover Norquist's no tax pledge (which Huckabee had already signed) but he wouldn't. I still don't know that Thompson has signed that no new tax pledge - if he has - he was late to the game. For the longest time when Thompson was asked about taxes he gave his standard answer, "look at my record."

Senator Thompson, I've looked at your record and according to Gun Owners of America you've voted anti-gun 13 times. ( In crafting the language of McCain - Feingold you supported restrictions on free speech. (The Supreme Court has ruled that language un-Constitutional). While making millions as a Washington lobbyist you lobbied for a pro-abortion group. (So much for being a Washington outsider.) You claim to be a Federalist but you supported "No Child Left Behind". In the spin room tonight you claimed that the other candidates are "changing" on the issues. Senator, if you aren't changing on your positions; you are either not conservative or not telling the truth. Which is it Senator?

SC GOP Debate - Jan 10, 2008 - Part Two

Mayor Giuliani, while I won't vote for you, you have my respect. If I could give you some advice it would be to quit laughing at every question like a drunken hyena. It's annoying.

SC GOP Debate - Jan. 10, 2008 - Part One

Fred took his shots at Huckabee tonight!

It was sad to see Fred at the end of the stage asking, "can I answer that... can I address that?" Thompson insisted he wanted to talk about the Reagan coalition. But when Fox News gave him the opportunity he attacked Huckabee with the usual Club for Growth Bull $^!t. (Thompson's SC Press Secretary, Josh Gross, runs the Club for Growth's SC office) I wonder if Thompson has any positions or ideas of his own, every word I've heard from Thompson's mouth came right from a paid consultant or Republican special interest group.

I'd like to encourage grassroots social conservatives to show up for this battle for their party and movement. We've stood by and allowed the Wall Street Republicans run our party for 10 years, look where that got us in 2006. Democrats have sold out to and the Republican elites have sold out to Wall Street and their paid consultants. I know several of these consultants and most would do about anything to get a pay check playing the political game. Let's face it, most aren't employable in industry; and other than the long hours on election night "it's not bad work." Most consultants aren't even behind their own candidates.

Fred did say something that social conservatives should pay attention to - something indicative of how he thinks. Thompson, when talking about he Reagan coalition, mentioned the fiscal and defense coalitions but didn't mention the social or second amendment conservatives. He certainly didn't mention the cross over Democrats that helped President Reagan get elected. If Thompson is the conservative he claims to be how could he overlook the evangelicals and pro-gun Republicans in his comments. (Because he's written them out of "his" coalition) My friends, Governor Huckabee is the only candidate in the race that can honestly build a winning general election campaign with coalitions of pro-life, pro-family, pro-2A, pro-defense, fiscal and social conservatives in the Republican and Democratic Party. I've talked with several Democrats that see Governor Huckabee as someone they could support in the general election.

Thompson took another cheap shot at Huckabee in talking about the NEA. I don't know why Thompson has a problem with getting an endorsement from a teachers union. The union may tend to be liberal but not all teachers are. (especially in SC) Huckabee understands that the only way to change those opinions is to have an open and honest dialogue about education. Huckabee is the only Republican to even engage the NEA - not that they shouldn't endorse Huckabee, but the NEA had no choice but to endorse him for the Republican nomination. Huckabee understands that the President needs to represent all Americans; not just those that he agrees with. Thompson claims that the NEA endorsed Huckabee because (Thompson claims) Huckabee is against school vouchers. (not true) In contrast the leadership (and money) of South Carolinians for Responsible Government and Conservatives in Action is working for Thompson for the simple reason he does support vouchers. SCRG & CIA is willing to overlook Thompson's record on McCain-Feingold, No Child Left Behind, gun control, and working as an abortion lobbyist; because Thompson promises to support Federal legislation for school vouchers. These priorities seem a little backwards to me. They are not acting responsibly nor conservatively - but with big money supporters - they sure are profitable. It's ironic, that in crafting McCain-Feingold, Thompson claims he wanted to reform campaign finance; but Thompson has 527 groups (with paid employees) working full time on his campaign staff in SC. (Conservatives in Action)

In conclusion, I wonder if anyone is really paying attention to Thompson. At the end of the day Thompson is unelectable. Even the participants of the Frank Luntz Focus group, who said Thompson won the debate; said it's too little to late and that Fred doesn't stand a chance of winning. Thompson isn't able to raise money. (These days, Huckabee is raising more than Thompson) Thompson isn't polling well, anywhere. Thompson is considered an after thought by the media. The turn out at Thompson events is a fraction of that of serious candidates. I think Fred should go back home to Virginia (not Tennessee) so he catch up on his sleep. It's obvious he's lacking sleep, he probably hasn't been able to take his morning and afternoon naps for a week or ten days.

You know folks - Fred was the last candidate in the race but the first to go negative against the other candidates. Why is that? Because he has no real record and no real message. When he was a Senator in Washington, what legislation did he introduce that reduced taxes, secured the borders, or reduced the size of government?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mike Huckabee Viewed as Threat by Democrats

I am traveling on business this week to Charleston, SC. What a great city and SC treasure!

Earlier this evening I met another self proclaimed "political junkie" named Mark. Mark is a young African American that works the front desk at the hotel where I am staying. I've extended my stay through Thursday. Mark mentioned the hotel was sold out this weekend but he'd put in my request. We then talked about what is going on in Charleston this weekend that would cause the hotel to sell out. Before giving it much thought, I asked if he thought it could be the debate in Myrtle Beach Thursday night. He said not likely but went on to say he should try going to the debate. That was a natural opportunity to ask about who he liked in the candidates.

But the first thing out of Mark's mouth was, "Mike Huckabee scares me." When I asked why he said, "because he's obviously a good guy and could beat the Democrat". Mark went on to say he's rooting for Barack Obama. He's not yet an activitist, only an observer.

We didn't get to talk much more... other customers were lining up for assistance.