Category Archives: Romney

Test Two for National Strategy: NH

Well, Team Rudy’s national strategy passed its second test last night.  McCain won, Huck disappointed, and Hizzoner avoided the awkwardness of having the eighth paragraph of NH primary coverage reading “Ron Paul finished strong in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, edging Giuliani…”

Avoiding early states and planting a flag in FL immediately before Tsunami Tuesday is looking less and less mad every day.

Still, despite this being about as wide-open a GOP primary as I am likely to see in my lifetime, there’s constant talk of candidates needing to drop out, perhaps even before Feb. 5, due to lack of funds.  Last night could have been a mortal blow to Romney.  Thompson is on fumes before his Southern base ever casts a vote.

And without a NH victory, there would have been talk about McCain needing to drop out after only 10% of Iowans and often intentionally mis-registered New Hampshire residents casting malicious ballots have had a chance to vote.  Now instead there’s talk of McCain being the frontrunner. 

I get to vote in April.

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Filed under Giuliani, McCain, New Hampsire Primary, Primaries, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

IA Results: They’re Just More Important Than Me

Well, the good voters of IA have caucused, and have selected a moderate evangelical democrat from Hope Arkansas, and an even further left wing cipher.

Now, I generally like organic tradition, a la Russell Kirk.  I also generally like heterogeneity and quirkiness.  It is somewhat refreshing that rural Iowans and grumpy Granite Staters have such a large say in our electoral system, especially since so much of what goes on in this country seems predetermined in some well-funded conference room full of people mildly afraid and hugely disdainful of average Americans.

So from that perspective it is gratifying to find those candidates most obviously designed in those conference rooms– Romney and Clinton– dealt a demoralizing defeat by just those Americans over Swedish meatballs and warm cider in a hundred high school gyms and living rooms in the IA caucuses last night

But…

Why, exactly, should the votes of a few hundred Iowans matter so much to the future of our country?  One is reminded of the famous speech in the movie Bull Durham, which I’ve mentioned here before in a different context, about the difference in baseball between a career minor leaguer and hall of famer being one hit a week.  Should the course of our country be based on such obviously fickle vicissitudes?  A couple family crises and a broken-down bus on the way to a caucus site could have made all the difference last night for any number of candidates.  Now we’re stuck with the withdrawal of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden!

It is well established on this site that I think it is an absurdity verging on a representative miscarriage that the people of Pennsylvania– and many other states– have little say in the presidential primary process.  That miscarriage seems all the more obvious when the two winners out of IA are so similar, and so similarly wrong.

In purely parochial concerns, one of my commenters recently suggested GOP bigwig Bob Asher has been recently spotted genuflecting in Mitt Romney’s direction.  Wouldn’t it be funny if such a consummate insider had to find a way to explain that away because his new favorite candidate never got a chance to even run in PA?

Finally, we should note in this space that last night’s result was pretty much ideal for Giuliani, given the fact that Team Rudy chose to skip IA altogether.  Romney is dealt a huge defeat, and Thompson and McCain do OK, thereby keeping the field wide open.  McCain appears poised to win NH.  SC will be a scramble.  Then FL comes around, where Rudy still polls on top.

It’s white knuckle time over at Team Rudy.  Their “national strategy” is about to be tested.  They’ve been quiet, letting the other candidates spend time, money, and moral capital over two early states with not many delegates at stake.  They plan to plant their flag in FL, then roll up delegates in NJ, NY, CA, and IL on Tsunami Tuesday.

So they have to win FL.  Then on Super Duper Tuesday, if they win MO, they will be in the cat bird seat.  If the Feb. 5 results are more mixed, maybe we will get to cast a vote that matters here in PA.  If Rudy can’t win FL, though, it’s looking like McCain or Huck.  Who knows, though?

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Filed under Bob Asher, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Support, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani and Libertarians

A comment in the post below expressed bemusement that Rudy Giuliani could find sympathy amongst those with Libertarian tendencies.  This poster seems to recall Hizzoner as a “gun grabbing”, “police state” mayor.

I understand the question.  You have to look at it from a perspective that respects one of Libertarianism’s fundamental requirements of the State:  That of protecting private property.

Giuliani’s priority as Mayor– the reason he was elected– was to make the City safer and more pleasant.  Read that as “Protect their private property.”

Hence this person’s perception of him as a “gun-grabbing” and “police state” mayor.  I think Giuliani was wrong at the time with his handgun lawsuits, but he thought he had two opposing freedoms he had to prioritize: Civil order and the right to defence.  I am a pretty dogged 2nd Amendment advocate, but even I can appreciate how the priorities of NYC in a crime wave and Idaho are different, and probably require different approaches.  So while aspiring to be President, it is natural for Giuliani to become more sympathetic to gun owners, which he has.

It is enlightening to also understand that the protection of private property is why– as a mayor rather than the President– he was Libertarian-ish on immigration.  He wanted illegals to be comfortable dealing with the local gendarmes so they could report on the bad apples.

Some suggest the Mayor has been doing a lot of flip-flopping.  Without getting into semantical arguments, I think it is important to understand that those issues on which he has drifted rightward merely reflect differently weighted priorities of two different jobs:  That of Mayor of NYC and that of President of the United States.  As he has pointed out, it would have been easier for him to just complete the flip-flop and lie.  A look at the GOP field illustrates at least one candidate who is comfortable doing this.  One thing, though, that appears to be consistent with the Mayor is that at the core he is driven by a respect for the freedoms of law-abiding individuals to pursue their own happiness, and an understanding that it is the State’s role to defend these freedoms.

I do not at all suggest that Giuliani would be at home in the Libertarian party.  I do suggest, though, that he is Libertarian-friendly:  His first priority is to protect your property and civil society in general.  His second priority– as evidenced by his actions in NYC and the associated favorable reviews from the Club for Growth and endorsement by Steve Forbes– is to minimize the vigor with which government dips into your bank account.  After that, he pretty much feels the states should decide on all the culturally divisive social issues.

That, I say, is pretty Libertarian friendly.  Does he buy into Libertarian ideology?  Probably not, as his habits of character can be quirky and pretty hierarchical.  Note his apparent distaste of ferret owners.  But when the time comes in a general election for Ron Paul supporters to pull a lever, I hope those that aren’t using their support for Paul merely a way to promote isolationism will do the needful and vote for Giuliani rather than staying home or voting for his opponent.

Assuming, of course, Hizzoner can secure the nomination, which is a whole ‘nother article, as Nordlinger says.  I am not entirely sure how Paul’s supporters effect that process.  Not much, I tend to think…

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Filed under 2nd Ammendment, Federalism, Giuliani, Libertarian, Primaries, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani, Social Issues

Want Cheese w/that Whine, Mitt?

Gee willakers, it seems like my part-time pro-Rudy blogging avocation trends frequently towards Mitt-bashing.  I really wish it didn’t work out that way.  I would love to snark more about McCain, Fred, and the Huckster.

Thing is, Romney makes it so gosh-darned easy.  He won’t give a guy a break.

His campaign recently took time off from suggesting he call Obama “Osama”, and supportingscurrilous anti-Fred Thompson websites to complain to a humble– if establishmentarian– PA blogger about a polygamy joke.

Our friends at Pennsyltucky Politics– that’s the royal “we”, mind you– made a somewhat unoriginal joke at the expense of Romney’s Mormonosity by commenting he and his “17 wives” would be swinging through Philadelphia to scrounge up some donated cash to help offset the mammoth loans he’s giving his own campaign out of his pocket.

Please note that while the joke may be unoriginal, Pennsyltucky Politics is at a disadvantage because we are nowhere near the point where jokes about multiple wives have actually stopped being funny.

Well, Mitt’s communications people have sent Pennstyltucky Politics a mildly scolding note which has apparently inspired a collegial apology. Take it for what you will.

I take it thusly:  If Mormons are so mainstream, and just like everyone else, why skin so thin that they go out of their way to scold a regional blogger?  You think Giuliani gets cranky at Italian jokes?  Do you think he takes criticisms of the Spanish Inquisition personally?

Here, I’ll take a test flight and see if I get a call from Team Rudy: Giuliani is Torquemada to petty drug dealers and transvestite hookers that used to do brisk trade in Times Square.  Disappointed NYT reporters lament this Mayoral mafioso’s ascent.

To learn more about the Church of Latter-Day Saints click here.

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Filed under Fundraising, Giuliani, PA Bloggers This Site Recommends, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Open Primaries

I was looking at a NH poll today showing Mayor Giuliani lagging behind Romney– which was a bummer as Hizzoner had tightened things up there during the last round of polls– and saw that the bulk of independent voters in NH still aren’t sure which primary they’ll vote in.

They get to make that choice as NH has an open primary: You don’t have to be registered as a member of the same party in who’s primary you’d like to cast a ballot.  I think this bodes will for Giuliani.  The GOP race will be more comeptitive, and hence should draw more independent voters.  I bet Giuliani is very strong with that crowd.  I have not seen commentary regarding this.

As a matter of theory I don’t know how I feel about this.  On the one hand, we are a de facto two party system, if not a de jure one.  I used to be a registered libertarian, and one of the main reasons I now am a registered member of the GOP– and now a ward leader– was I became sick of having no voice in the primaries.  It was a real bummer to be unable to cast a ballot against Arlen Specter…

On the other hand, though, political parties are private organizations.  Now, I think it might be difficult for the Dems to restrict their primary to only illegal immigrants, and for the GOP to restrict theirs to men named Cleetus.  Still, as private organizations I instinctively support their rights to handle their affairs however they want.

I do wonder, though, if Giuliani’s fight for the GOP nod would pretty much be fait accompli if all states had open primaries.  It would certainly be the case here in the Commonwealth of PA.

It’s a problem as old as the GOP, actually.  The primaries are the place where minority factions carry the most water.  But does this end up giving us the best possible candidates for a general election?  Ronald Reagans aren’t very commonplace…

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Filed under Arlen Specter, Federalism, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Libertarian, PA Support, Polling, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Swing State Quinnipiac Poll Time: Looking like Rudy & Hil

Quinnipiac University does a monthly poll of swing states: PA, OH, and FL.

The big picture?  Hillary and Giuliani appear to remain the favorites for their respective nominations.  Rudy’s matchups w/her in a general election are looking marginally worse.  Still close, but he’s now behind her in all three.  The upside of this?  He’s still way better than all the other GOP candidates.

Vis a vis the GOP race, the big news is this: Giuliani *still* is doing well amongst evangelicals.  He leads amongst them in OH and PA, and comes in second to Fred Thompson in Florida.  I say that’s more a product of the fact that Thompson is Southern than anything else.  It’s easy for us northerners to think of Florida as Miami and Orlando.  Travel around the state, though, and you’ll see many parts are every bit as “southern” as Mississippi.

Also interesting to note is that in hypothetical general election matchups the GOP candidate that comes closest to performing as well as Giuliani is not Romney or Thompson, but McCain. So stay in the game, John!  It’s good for Hizzoner.

Aside:  They seem to like Obama a lot in OH.  It seems it can’t catch a break in the Dem. primary, there, but he’s arguably stronger than Hillary in a general.  Weird.  I guess they just hate the GOP that much.

Consider yourselves warned, Commonwealth GOP leaders in PA.  You guys aren’t all that different….wait….I’m one of those guys, now, since I’m now a ward leader.  Well, at least I’ve warned myself!

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Filed under Fred Thompson, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, McCain, PA Support, Polling, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Bloggers

PA & Giuliani’s Electability

It would be disingenuous to deny that some of Hizzoner’s appeal lies in his electability.  It is difficult to imagine any other GOP candidate has a better chance at winning a general election.

Of course, the fly in the ointment has always been about his electability in the GOP primary.  Take a look at this map, though: (ht Lead Us Forward)

Repprim.png

This map is based on the most recent polling in various state’s primaries, as they stand right now.

When the math is broken down, Mayor Giuliani would have more than twice as many delegates as his next nearest comeptitor, Fred Thompson.  Romney and McCain would have about one seventh the delegates of Giuliani, with McCain actually beating Romney.

Currently, the Giuliani and Romney campaigns view each other as the primary competition.  I judge this by the e-mail missives sent to pundits from each team’s communication’s apparatus.  Last night the Giuliani campaign sent out nine such e-mails, with five taking digs at Romney and two taking runs at Fred as something of an afterthought.  I am told the Romney campaign is maintaining a similar ratio, just taking jabs at Rudy.

Frankly, though, I find it hard to imagine Romney can overcome these odds.  He’s spent about 10 million dollars to build his lead in IA, and not even he has enough money to do that everywhere else.

This is where PA comes in.  Everyone knows Giuliani is strong in the Northeast.  What other campaign’s must bitterly realize is these are all states where it is really, really expensive to organize and purchase media.  Giuliani’s strength, you’ll see, also lies on the West Coast and upper Midwest (yes, yes, I know these are considered more “liberal”, but you be careful saying that to an Orange County Republican who launched Reagan’s political career).

Thing is, unless some candidate can erode Giuliani’s support in PA, NJ, NY, CA, he may be unstoppable.  Not that those states are enough to win.  But again, they are pricey.  On that terrain it is much less fiscally prohibitive to play defence than offense.

Given this, the Giuliani campaigns electoral bar for the rest of the country may be set about as low as the one set for Fred Thompson at yesterday’s debates.

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Filed under Debates, Fred Thompson, Giuliani, McCain, PA Support, Polling, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani