Not going to belabor the blow-by-blow of last night’s Republican debate on CNN. Neither Romney nor Gingrich scored knockouts, which on balance is bad for Gingrich as the negative onslaught against him from Republican establishment figures has been taking its toll on his poll numbers. Rick Santorum had one or two very good moments, but he’s effectively conceded Florida anyway and clearly his only strategy for getting anywhere in this race is hanging on until Gingrich potentially implodes and drops out. Ron Paul was, from where I was sitting, the most likeable he’s been in any debate, with marvelous one-liners. I’ll reiterate what I’ve said before: Should both Gingrich and Santorum both throw in the towel, Ron Paul will continue making the race interesting for Mitt Romney well down the road. Paul’s strategy is obviously to just suck up as many delegates as he can so that he can wield some influence and grab a platform at the convention, so there is no reason for him to ever give up (unless he decides to go third party/independent after all). Continue reading Jacksonville CNN Republican debate
… is a rare commodity these days. I thought the irony—or even sarcasm—would be pretty obvious in my previous post, “Bill Kristol calls for Sarah Palin to jump into the Republican race for the presidential nomination,” and I thought including a picture of Chris Christie would kind of nail it, but I’ve come to understand that I was mistaken.
No, I don’t believe that Bill Kristol actually wants Sarah Palin to enter the race. (Did Jonathan Swift have these kinds of problems?)
Former Utah governor and Ambassador-to-China under President Obama, Jon Huntsman, may not qualify to participate in the next GOP debate based on his recent poll numbers. (A threshold of one percent is demanded.) As reported here:
The CNN/ORC poll released Monday found Huntsman trailing unknown candidates in the race, including “none/no one,” a choice that received 4 percent support; “someone else” (3 percent) and “no opinion” (2 percent).
Just to reiterate, Jon Huntsman has fallen behind “none/no one,” “someone else,” and “no opinion.”
It was on August 12th, after the debate in Ames, Iowa, that it was observed in this space of Jon Huntsman: In the current political climate he represents antimatter. Continue reading Jon Huntsman falls behind nothing in latest poll
Although it arguably would only be fair to finally have a president who “looks like America,” I’ve never come near to getting on the bandwagon to draft Chris Christie. The Republican Governor of New Jersey seems to be doing a fine job in that traditionally-Democrat-dominated state, but he’s only been in office 21 months, and he can’t possibly be finished with his work there. If he’s as talented and effective as his fans think, reforming New Jersey is good and holy work for him to complete, surely.
Then there are the concerns that he is not really very conservative when looked at from the perspective of national issues. This morning Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has a post titled, “Should conservatives by clamoring for a Christie candidacy?” that touches on some of these problems. Continue reading Chris Christie: a GOP Messiah?
As it happens I haven’t read much if anything of the reaction to the Republican presidential debate the other night, which was conducted by MSNBC and hosted at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. However for the record, and to prove I care (which I do) I’ll jot down my own take.
Rick Perry had to be the story, with all eyes on his first debate appearance, and I think he just plain did well. A defining moment was when he was asked about his statement in his book Fed Up! a few years back that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.” Brian Williams kindly explained that even Karl Rove has said that such an attitude is toxic and politically untenable. Rick Perry demonstrated why he’s soared to the top of the Republican polls by not stepping back a bit. One could imagine a lame politically-safer answer beginning with, “Well, let me tell you what I was really trying to get at with that rhetorical statement …” but instead Perry insisted that Social Security—while it can work for current seniors and those near retirement—is genuinely a Ponzi scheme when it comes to people in their 20s and 30s. It won’t be there in its current form for them. Continue reading On the Reagan Library Republican presidential debate
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is leaving the race for the Republican presidential nomination, after finishing third in the Iowa straw poll. I’m a little surprised, but I guess after the enormous work he put into doing well in Iowa, it’s all-but-impossible for him to make the case to donors that he continues to have a practical shot at winning the nomination. I think it’s a pity, because I think that Pawlenty had the best fundamentals of any declared candidate, in terms of record and substance—at least until yesterday when Perry entered the race. Continue reading Tim Pawlenty out
Last night eight of the Republican candidates for president debated in Ames, Iowa, on the Fox News channel. Maybe it’s overdoing it to call it aimless, but it’s difficult to see how it moved the competition significantly beyond where it was before the debate happened. And the imminent entry of Texas Governor Rick Perry into the race will certainly shake things up far more dramatically than anything that occurred during the debate. And then there’s Sarah Palin, continuing to circle the election season like an ever-so-nonchalant bird of prey. Neither, obviously, was on the stage last night. Continue reading Aimless Republican debate in Ames, Iowa
Blogger Patterico has a “read-it-to-believe-it” exchange, via Twitter and email, with the NPR ombudsman — that’s right — where she (Alicia Shepard) initially makes a false assertion for which she had no evidence (i.e. that Ron Schiller had said on the infamous tape that he was currently a Republican), then neglects to bother to listen to the recording when the relevant part is handed to her, and then … well, read it all.
(Definition of ombudsman: one that investigates, reports on, and helps settle complaints. Failing in spectacular fashion on every score here.)
Addendum: A number of NPR journalists have issued a letter saying that they were “appalled by the offensive comments made recently by NPR’s now former Senior Vice President for Development. His words violated the basic principles by which we live and work: accuracy and open-mindedness, fairness and respect.” OK. But in light of Patterico’s post, how about the accuracy, open-mindedness and fairness of NPR’s ombudsman? She had every chance to correct herself in some kind of timely manner, but just could not bring herself to do it.