Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

No Momentum for Mitt

With all his money, good looks, high-ranking Republican friends like the Bushes, and even a seemingly storybook marriage to a popular and well-liked beauty, it is still hard for Mitt Romney to stand out from — let alone pull ahead of — the bizarre 2008 GOP presidential field. It's not that everybody loves Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain or any of the others. At this point there is just no momentum for Mitt.

One of the problems is Romney's lack of identity with any signature issue. He could have made it healthcare, after helping usher in a groundbreaking, bipartisan healthcare reform in Massachusetts, but he chose not to. He can't make abortion his thing, or opposing gay marriage for that matter; there are only a few primary voters who truly believe his precarious, even
if religious, conversions on both of these thorny social issues.

Dick Morris Is Wrong. Rudy Strikes Out.

A little fear-politics, a little 9/11 exploitation, from the guy whose best-bud choice for Homeland Security boss is rushing out of town, one step ahead of the sheriff, with Rudy's letter of recommendation in hand.

Sound familiar? Fear-politics? Exploitation of 9/11? A whiff of scandal? Will Rudy change his middle initial to W?

McCain has already locked up the Bush 43.5 mantle. Lot of good it's doing him. So Rudy plays the Bush 43.75 card. They never learn.

There are glorious temptations to return the low blow in kind to Rudy. But the game is early and our standards are higher than his. We will stick to the knitting.

Rudy is the guy who before 9/11 allowed the New York City communications system to fall so far behind it was a disaster on 9/11.

The Rap on Hillary Clinton

If you haven’t seen it already, I urge you to look at Washington Post columnist Colby King’s column on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) hypocritical stance regarding the firing of shock-jock Don Imus.

Clinton, you’ll recall, helped lead the charge against Don Imus for his deplorable and now-infamous remarks regarding the Rutgers women’s basketball team. I didn’t like Imus’s comments and I thought they were racist and indefensible. What I didn’t realize, as Mr. King points out, is that Mrs. Clinton raised more than $800,000 at the home of a rapper called Timbaland — a fellow who makes Imus’s comments look like child’s play.

As I read Mr. King’s column I realized that Timbaland’s vile lyrics are just the type of negative and destructive words that perpetuate an image of African-Americans as violent, poor drug dealers who regard human life and the status of women in low regard. Consider the following that Timbaland has to offer — I’m quoting directly from King’s column from the Post this past Saturday:

A Tale of Three Polls

I am not making this up.

On April 18, Dick Morris and other Hillary critics played up the results of the Gallup Poll (conducted April 13-15), which showed Hillary Clinton's margin over Barack Obama reduced significantly from February to mid-April (from 19 percent to 5 percent).

Then just a day later, on April 19, two additional credible national polls of Democrats and independent–leaning Democrats were conducted — by the Washington Post/ABC and Fox News (the latter certainly not a hotbed of liberal, pro-Hillary bias). The results were the reverse of Gallup's — Sen. Clinton showing some gains or at least holding her own since February and Sen. Obama appearing to plateau, despite a great two months with the successful trip to Selma and the impressive fundraising results in the first quarter. (Interestingly, the Post/ABC poll also showed Sen. Clinton once again ahead of Sen. Obama among African-Americans, by a margin of 43 percent to 34 percent, a reversal of Obama's lead in some polls shortly after the Selma trip.)

The Straight Talk Express — Back on Track?

Yesterday the ghost of Sen. John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign stopped by for a visit at the 2008 candidate's speech to the Memphis Economic Club. He sounded the theme of reform that brought McCain national prominence, as he criticized the Republicans who ran the Congress for spending too much and took a slap at the administration for failing  the victims of Hurricane Katrina. "My goodness, when disaster strikes, the government isn't even ready to deliver drinking water to dehydrated babies or rescue the aged and infirm trapped in a hospital wth no electricity," he said.

The Big Three

Will someone tell me what in the heck the top three Republican presidential candidates are up to? They look like the Three Stooges.

Mitt Romney's issue positions have melted away faster that a popsicle on a hot summer sidewalk. He has done 180s on a woman's right to choose, gay rights, gun control and now his signature legislation in Massachusetts, healthcare. His latest issue-melt was to say he had really very little to do with the legislation. Please. This isn't just about flip-flopping — it's about whether he actually believes in anything at all. By the time this campaign is over, will he have any integrity left?


On the surface, it would seem that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are about evenly matched in fundraising — itself a big plus for the Illinois senator, who is neither married to a former president nor a fundraiser with  30 years of experience. Hillary shows $22.5 million, net of payables, available for the primary, and Obama has about $20 million. In this quarter, Obama raised only about $100,000 less than Hillary.

But the fact is that Obama has cleaned Hillary’s clock in the money competition. Swelling Clinton’s financial reports is the $10 million she transferred from her Senate committee to her presidential race. Without this $10 million, Obama would have twice as much as Hillary has in cash on hand for the primary!

Day 70 and Counting

Over the weekend I saw a moving clip from Senator John McCain’s speech before the Virginia Military Institute. “Before I left for Iraq,” McCain noted, “I was watching with regret as the House of Representatives voted to deny our troops the support necessary to carry out their new mission. Democratic leaders smiled and cheered as the last votes were counted. What were they celebrating? Defeat? Surrender? In Iraq, only our enemies were cheering.” And yet, the Democratic leadership continues to put politics before substance by pressing on with a bill that limits the ability of commanders in the field to make tactical decisions while putting up an artificial timeline that tells the enemy how long it will take before we leave in defeat.

The Three-Dimensional Primary

If, as we suspect, Rudy faces off with Fred Thompson in the Republican primary and Hillary takes on Obama in the Democratic contest, it'll important to see the primaries not as separate and distinct, but as one combined battle.

At least half the states, including California, allow independents to vote in either party's primary. With more people identifying as independents than as either Democrats or Republicans, their presence in the primaries is crucial.

McCain Spending His Way to Oblivion

Will somebody take away John McCain’s checkbook? His presidential candidacy is floundering, in part, because he is just spending too much money. The campaign expenditure reports are in and McCain is spending his money just as fast as he’s raising it. In the last quarter, he raised $12 million to Rudy’s $15 million. Sounds close, right?