Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Answer Me These ...

Top 5 Questions for Democrats

5. Can Bill Clinton diminish himself even further with his petty hectoring of the media and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.)? (Answer: Yes)

4. Will Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) benefit from playing the “wronged woman” yet again on "The Tyra Banks Show"? (Answer: Sadly, yes)

3. Will John Edwards stay in the Democratic race through Super Tuesday? (Answer: Yes, but why?)

Winning Florida

It’s pretty amazing that Mitt Romney is now in first place in Florida, according to the Rasmussen poll, despite John McCain's victory in South Carolina. It shows that he was able to merchandize his uncontested victory in Nevada as a win and get momentum from it.

The real lesson of South Carolina is that Romney cannot compete in the South. If he is able to come back in Florida, despite this showing, it will be truly amazing. It is one thing for him to win in highly Mormon Nevada and his native state of Michigan, but a win in Florida would be incredible.

Otherwise, McCain seems bound for a win in Florida. His South Carolina victory especially hurts Rudy Giuliani since it gives his chief rival momentum heading into Florida.

Why is Rudy Still in This?

The fact that the press is even buying into Rudy’s “Florida Strategy” is unbelievable.

Have we looked at his “performance” so far? He has spent millions in the early states, campaigned in them, been before the voters for a year and just how has he done?

Here is how he has placed: sixth in Iowa, fourth in New Hampshire, sixth in Michigan, sixth in Nevada and sixth in South Carolina. I totaled up the percentage of the vote he was able to garner in these five states — a grand total of 18.9 percent (respectively, 3.5, 8.5, 2.8, 4 and 2.1 percent). Ron Paul has beaten the pants off Rudy Giuliani, let alone McCain, Huckabee, Romney, even Thompson.

Good Call

John McCain over Mike Huckabee by 3 percent — that's the outcome you predicted on our latest Quick Poll!, and that's what they're now calling in the South Carolina primary. The win marks Arizona Sen. McCain's second of the year in a GOP nominating contest.

Don't forget to vote in our next Quick Poll!, where you can take a crack at handicapping the Democrats' chances in the Palmetto State.

Noted with interest...

How about Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) endorsing Barack Obama? How about Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) endorsing John McCain? I want to know what you all think.

Also, I am beginning to wonder if this should be a weekly or daily feature: My New Favorite Mitt Quote. Today's winner: "I'm not looking for gold stars on my forehead like I'm in first grade." Those ridiculous primaries are just stickers, he doesn't need first-places in every state, he is just looking to collect the majority of delegates, all right? And who thinks Mitt's Michigan victory will go anywhere? More on that in my column from this week.

Defend John McCain from Slanderous Attacks on his Service

To any South Carolina Republicans who may read this, I ask you, one patriot to another, to reject the slanderous and scandalous attacks on John McCain's service in Vietnam, and to reject any similar attacks, by anyone, against anyone who served, regardless of party.

As someone who has seen many senators come and go in Washington, and who has spent a lifetime supporting our troops and vets, I can only say that John McCain is one of the greatest American patriots and American heroes I have ever seen in this city, where heroes are sometimes in short supply.

It is true that I am a Democrat in the tradition of John F. Kennedy, and have as much influence with South Carolina Republicans as a Tar Heel at a Gamecock rally. Please consider first that I am arguing against my own political interest here, which is that Republicans nominate their weakest general election candidate, while I believe that John McCain is their strongest.

The Experience Gap

David Broder has a great column in The Washington Post today about the startling lack of experience among leading Democratic contenders.

This will become the most important issue of the campaign after the primaries are completed (if they are ever completed).

Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton have served as an executive in any fashion, and their Senate experience is limited at best.

To Armstrong Williams: Retract and Apologize

Armstrong, you are grossly misrepresenting and falsely stating what Bill Clinton actually said on the “fairy tale” issue.

Clinton did not say that Obama was having a fairy tale campaign. Someone of your visibility and years of experience should be held to the standard of reviewing the clear public record on a matter so controversial with racially charged implications.

What Clinton actually said, and I do not agree with him but believe he should be treated fairly, was that Obama claiming a major difference with Hillary about Iraq was the fairy tale.

Who Should Exclude Candidates from Debates?

As my regular readers know, I have always taken the position that the maximum number of candidates should be included in all debates for the presidency. In this campaign I have argued that both Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) should be included, even though I have not supported either candidate.

Here I offer a proposal to address this question once and for all, and my suggestion is this:

Any television forum for debates should agree when they choose to exclude any candidate, and the national chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties would have authority to either confirm that candidate's exclusion or reverse it, in which case the candidate would be included.