Now What?

The Iowa nonsense is over. New Hampshire will be a cakewalk. Erick Erickson hates Romney. Newt is gonna scorch the Earth. Does any of it matter? No.

Mitt Romney is running as the acceptable anti-Obama. He may not be the favored candidate of extreme Republicans (chew on that phrase for a moment), but they aren't voting for Obama. The attacks on him will drive down his favorables, but he's not running to win, he is running to have Obama lose.

Whatever flaws Romney has as a political candidate, it is hard to see how he will not be considered as an acceptable alternative by those inclined to vote against Obama.

Like Jeralyn, I find the GOP primary to be boring. And once Perry imploded, it turned out to be irrelevant - Romney was and is going to be the nominee. And now nothing that happens will matter to November. That is a race that will be decided by the economy and Obama. Obama can lose the election. But Romney can't win it. In other words, the most important factors for the November election have almost nothing to do with Mitt Romney. Other than being the acceptable "Obama alternative" vessel, Romney is irrelevant to this election.

Speaking for me only

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    I just posted a comment in the thread below, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:31:47 AM EST
    on Matt Taibbi's take on the irrelevance of Iowa, and the whole campaign/election season:

    In fact, this 2012 race may be the most meaningless national election campaign we've ever had. If the presidential race normally captivates the public as a dramatic and angry ideological battle pitting one impassioned half of society against the other, this year's race feels like something else entirely.

    In the wake of the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and a dozen or more episodes of real rebellion on the streets, in the legislatures of cities and towns, and in state and federal courthouses, this presidential race now feels like a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event - the real event being a looming confrontation between huge masses of disaffected citizens on both sides of the aisle, and a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment, represented in large part by the two parties dominating this race.

    There follows a highlight of the recent decision in Montana that reinstated that state's ban on direct spending on campaigns by corporations - did anyone actually hear the media mention this amidst their breathless coverage of the playground-battle-in-the-sandbox that is the Iowa caucuses? - and setting up the inevitable Supreme Court challenge to Citizens United, and goes on to discuss the role that big corporate money plays in the election process.

    Taibbi goes on:

    The reason 2012 feels so empty now is that voters on both sides of the aisle are not just tired of this state of affairs, they are disgusted by it. They want a chance to choose their own leaders and they want full control over policy, not just a partial say. There are a few challenges to this state of affairs within the electoral process - as much as I disagree with Paul about many things, I do think his campaign is a real outlet for these complaints - but everyone knows that in the end, once the primaries are finished, we're going to be left with one 1%-approved stooge taking on another.

    Most likely, it'll be Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama, meaning the voters' choices in the midst of a massive global economic crisis brought on in large part by corruption in the financial services industry will be a private equity parasite who has been a lifelong champion of the Gordon Gekko Greed-is-Good ethos (Romney), versus a paper progressive who in 2008 took, by himself, more money from Wall Street than any two previous presidential candidates, and in the four years since has showered Wall Street with bailouts while failing to push even one successful corruption prosecution (Obama).

    There are obvious, even significant differences between Obama and someone like Mitt Romney, particularly on social issues, but no matter how Obama markets himself this time around, a choice between these two will not in any way represent a choice between "change" and the status quo. This is a choice between two different versions of the status quo, and everyone knows it.

    The whole thing is well worth a read, even if, by the time you finish reading it, you want to reach for the vodka bottle - and even if it is only breakfast-time where you are...

    To paraphrase W.C. Fields, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:21:43 AM EST
    anything that makes me reach for the Vodka bottle is OK with me.

    They've all been pretty meaningless... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:23:42 AM EST
    a few social wedge issues aside, I just think more people are realizing this with every election.  

    IOW More people are seeing the wisdom of Charles Bukowski...

    "The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting."

    And I am not even sure the social issues (none / 0) (#110)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:47:21 PM EST
    matter that much.  Probably, but not sure.  Look at Romney's past positions on gay marriage, abortion, immigration, etc.  Look at the judges he put on the court in MA.  I know this was when he was a governor of a very liberal state, but still, I don't know if Romney would sign a Dream Act, or pull a Bush 41 and put a Souter on the Supreme Court.  Romney will not try to end a piece of legislation that he was the architect of...and it appear Obama agrees with Romney on fiscal policy and foreign policy.  Not much of a debate if you ask me.

    they are not the same on fiscal policy (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by CST on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:52:41 PM EST
    or foreign policy.

    And Romney has explicitly stated he would veto the Dream Act.

    And it's not just that he was gov of a liberal state.  He was governor of a state that had an overwhelming majority of Dems in the state house (something like 120-20 in the house).  He famously vetoed 800 items.  He not so famously had 700 of them overturned.  And all judicial appointments have to go through an independent council, which was overwhelmingly Dem.

    If congress had that balance of power I might be ok with Romney as president.  It doesn't come close.


    I know what Romney is "saying" in a (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    republican primary.  It is what he would actually do I am thinking.  

    I do not think the two are that different.  Romney is so moderate for a Repub he is basically a blue dog dem.  Obama is so moderate for a dem he is a blue dog dem.  That is the choice in 2012 - two blue dog dems, with one pretending to care about the poor and the other pretending to be a conservative.


    Romney is not that moderate (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by CST on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:21:00 PM EST
    700 vetoes got overturned.

    He consistently opposed same sex marriage.  In fact, when it was legalized in MA he started enforcing a law prohibiting out of state marriages - a law which hadn't been enforced in decades for hetero couples.  Since that was the only battle he was capable of winning, and frankly, just came off as spiteful.

    He also vetoed a bill that would have allowed children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they had spent 3 years in (and graduated from) high school in MA.

    I find it kind of funny the idea that he's some closet moderate.  Since we discovered the exact opposite around here.


    It is a good line (none / 0) (#173)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:14:17 PM EST
    For those trying to persuade others to vote for Romney/sit home/close eyes to the differences of a potential first-term Republic (who would need to toe the right-wing line to keep support for another term), the argument or line would be to say "Aw, ideally doesn't matter" or "Hey, it's all the same anyway, etc.". It is street smart to take that well-known line of argument to depress the vote.  Maybe I'm too politically cynical...or been around so long that the old "they're all the same; it doesn't matter" technique makes me shake my head & smile at the weakness of the opponent that that line communicates.

    More on why Iowa was meaningless (none / 0) (#145)
    by Towanda on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 03:12:39 PM EST
    is a reminder that I just read elsewhere:

    More than 95 percent of Iowans did not participate in caucuses yesterday.


    A little bit of Iowa nice (none / 0) (#188)
    by Farmboy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 09:01:42 AM EST
    video link

    NSFW language. Cheers.


    Really? That seems low. Let's do some math. (none / 0) (#193)
    by Farmboy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:17:45 AM EST
    As it was the GOP caucus getting all the press, let's look at that first.

    Registered GOP voters in Iowa: 610,000.
    GOP caucus goers 2012: 123,000.
    Percentage of registered GOP voters who caucused: 39.7%

    A bit more than 5%. Of course, you included all Iowans, including children too young to vote, independents, and unregistered adults, and all caucuses, so let's look at all the numbers.

    Iowa population: 3,000,000
    GOP caucus goers 2012: 123,000.
    Democratic caucus goers 2012: 25,000.
    Percentage of all Iowa residents who caucused: 4.9%

    I guess you're right. As only 5% of all Iowans went to caucuses, the state is meaningless.


    Sorry, that should have been 20%, not 39% (none / 0) (#194)
    by Farmboy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:21:29 AM EST
    39.7% is the percentage of registered Dems in Iowa, and i edited that out of the reply. Sorry. Need an edit button. :-)

    BTW, the percentage of registered GOP voters in Iowa is 36%.


    So, my math is fine, after all (none / 0) (#196)
    by Towanda on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 12:31:17 PM EST
    although you always are perfectly welcome to restate the parameters as you wish to achieve the different result that you wish.

    My wish was to clarify facts vs. the constant media line (and some comments here) that "Iowans" decided this or that in caucuses, as I have not seen my simple math based on the simplest research of looking up census figures.

    Your wish to do further research to further understanding is fine, of course -- but not your condescending header, which you ended up contradicting, anyway.


    You really missed the point. (none / 0) (#198)
    by Farmboy on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    Tell me, in what state in the country do children too young to vote, get to vote in primaries, caucuses, or general elections? Or in what state do those not registered get to vote in primaries, caucuses, or general elections? Those people were never part of the process, and you can't include them to create percentages.

    I offered examples of percentages that make logical sense: the percentage of GOP caucus participants out of those registered as members of the GOP, for one.

    Your math doesn't make sense. You may as well have included the chickens, hogs, cattle, horses, or any other living creatures in Iowa to arrive at your result.


    Agree with BTD (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:36:15 AM EST
    On everything except this being boring.  Exciting things to look forward to:

    Newt going insane at Mitt over the next few weeks.

    Mitt campaigning in the south and watching the reactions on the faces of Christian conservatives when they read that Mitt's great grandfather fled to Mexico to be able to practice polygamy and his father came back from Mexico as a kid to live off of government assistance.

    Dan Savage's podcast over the coming weeks

    Bachmann kissing Mitt's butt to be VP

    Haley in SC kissing Mitt's butt to be VP

    Santorum pulling Mitt to the right


    Lots of interesting stuff coming up.

    Yuck. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:38:05 AM EST
    Thankfully, I have better things to do with my time . . .

    Interesting (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Edger on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:45:32 AM EST
    Republicans excite you.

    But then, they are a handy 'hey, look over there!' diversion, I suppose.


    Politics (none / 0) (#43)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:46:48 AM EST
    excites me generally. It is fascinating.

    But in any event, I think that what happens before a GOP nominee is selected is extremely relevant to the general election campaign.

    We should all be paying attention.


    Reading the comments at TL leads me (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:11:45 PM EST
    to believe lots of commenters here are paying close attention.  But god forbid they eveh agree w/you!

    I Don't the Party Matters (none / 0) (#147)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 03:43:41 PM EST
    No way they will out circus the Dems in 2008.

    And I don't know that I would use exciting, but watching the human beings act like politicians in very entertaining.

    For example, Bachmann claimed she isn't a politician, never has been, never will be during her consolation speech was funny stuff.  Apparently they way you hold a seat in Congress and run for President w/o being a pol is caring too much about the future, I think.

    So maybe the results of the primary are predictable, but the battles aren't and if there is one thing I have learned in life, Republicans have zero limits when their political futures are on the line.  Dems ain't far behind, that whole kitchen sink mess in '08 was pretty shameful.


    Dems ain't far behind? (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Edger on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:50:08 PM EST
    Well, there is that famous old gem attributed to Lyndon Johnson.... related by Hunter Thompson in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail `72 (p. 247):
    "Christ, we can't get away with calling him a pig fu*ker," the campaign manager protested. "Nobody's going to believe a thing like that." "I know," Johnson replied." But let's make the sonofabitch deny it."

    Don't (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:47:48 AM EST
    expect Newt's "attacks" to really hold much sway with anybody simply because they are coming from Newt and he has thrown so many bombs over the years that more bombs from Newt are just background static.

    Hooribly boring, ABG... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:51:03 AM EST
    Iowa's caucuses were "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    Only 91,988 voted... the hard core white wing of the republican party.

    Of course, there isn't a viable candidate for the presidency, unless Obama continues to dither on the economy, continues to embrace austerity, and continues to act like a republican.

    "Given a choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Repubican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time,"  Harry S. Truman.

    Now when the choice is between Mittens and someone who acts like a republican, as the magic 8 ball says, "The outcome is not clear."


    I don't have a response (none / 0) (#48)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:48:51 AM EST
    for the Obama is a conservative silliness that won't get us off track.

    I know that you believe that.  I strongly disagree.


    I said republican, (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 05:59:03 PM EST
    not conservative.

    I thought it was about 120k (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:20:54 PM EST
    who voted in the Republican Caucuses, a poor showing but up about 3k over last time.

    Mitt had 25% of the vote at about 30,000 votes.


    I thought this was a record turnout for repubs (none / 0) (#112)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:49:01 PM EST
    at an Iowa caucus.

    It was considered a poor showing (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:14:28 PM EST
    because--even with all the hype about a chance to defeat the incumbent--the 120 to 123 thousand only approximated the last go round in 2008. For excitement, more would have been expected...especially considering the relatively mild winter weather in Iowa yesterday when compared to the single-digit variety endured in 2008 when most expected the likelihood of a Democratic victory.

    My favorite fact from Iowa last night: Romney appeared to have only the same amount of votes as he garnered in 2008...this after 4 years of assiduous work on the matter. And, if I'm not mistaken, his total vote take (after all that) was reported to be 6 votes LESS than 4 years ago. Yep, lots of enthusiasm out there for the Repubs.


    Here's the thing: if I were a Republican, (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:47:39 PM EST
    I'd be feeling less-than-enthusiastic about the choices available to me, too.  But...just as many Dems will stop blustering and venting and do the loyal thing when it's time to vote, so will, I believe, most Republicans;  the enthusiasm flu that I think has hit both sides of the electoral aisle will once again make it all about which party can do a better GOTV effort.

    This Democrat is not likely to vote the presidential ballot, but I will still go to the polls and vote the local stuff - try to elect some good people who will at least represent my interests where I live; I do suspect that voter turnout will reach an all-time low this year, reflecting, as Matt Taibbi said in his article, our general disgust with how those running for office seem to be missing the finer points of, you know, actually working for the human beings who vote for them.


    As you say, Anne, the GOTV (none / 0) (#143)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 03:06:10 PM EST
    is what it is all about. The strategy & tactics flowing from that will drive some up a tree...but, in many ways, the mechanics of getting elected have only changed with the available technology (plus, the scurvy drive resulting from Citizens United.) I love to discuss philosophy--political & otherwise--but to serve the candidate has to be elected. It is an election year, and the strategies/tactics/mechanics move stage center. In that regard, deflating the little notion that the media has pedaled for some months--the one about the enthusiasm gap favoring Repubs--is an important mechanical consequence of the push-push-push Iowa show...because now the lay of the land is a bit more clear and some of that BS has been shoveled away.

    Just Because it Got Shoveled Away... (none / 0) (#153)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:18:49 PM EST
    ... does not mean it will stop.  They got a mem or two to push and reality will not it.  And if it's not that, they will come up with something to clamor on and on and on, for the next 11 months.

    Romney dropped a mint in Iowa in 2008 (none / 0) (#160)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:28:21 PM EST
    He did not campaign there at all this year until the final moments when the vote was so split he could actually win.  Not sure how important that stat is.

    Last time was a record too (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:53:14 PM EST
    The Republicans had been expecting 150k.  By way of comparison, the Democrats had over 200k in 2008.

    In pure attendance numbers, yeah, (none / 0) (#125)
    by Farmboy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:13:06 PM EST
    but as a percentage of registered Iowa GOP voters, it was lower than in 2008.

    What's interesting is that as many people turned out to caucus for Obama as voted for Romney - and the Dems didn't do a GOTV.


    IDK how meaningful that is (none / 0) (#158)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:25:55 PM EST
    Romney did not campaign there at all (unlike 2008 where he dropped a mint in Iowa) and Obama has no challengers diluting votes.

    Definition of "campaign there" (none / 0) (#174)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 07:29:46 PM EST
    My understanding is that Romney or, significantly, SuperPACs directly associated with said campaign outspent everyone per vote there but the I'll (vote) begotten Perry. Trans: Romney put the $$$ there, the org there, the name ID there...and he didn't move the vote there from four years  at all.

    So, Buckeye, I'll be curious about your reactions to Romney's moves as the campaign progresses. Clearly, I'm a strong President Obama sportier; equally clearly, you support Romney.


    I don't support Romney (none / 0) (#178)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 05:49:52 AM EST
    you may want to read my posts on this site.  I just laugh when everyone thinks Obama can't lose.

    Apologies, buckeye (none / 0) (#186)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 08:00:45 AM EST
    Hey...you sure are a good devil's advocate!

    No problem. (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 08:13:27 AM EST
    As President Clinton used to say, "its the economy stupid."  If the economy shows improvement (which it has been lately) throughout 2012 and people can actually feel it and agree it is starting to turn around, Obama wins easily.  If it improves only marginally and unemployment is still 8% or higher, I think it will be close but I would probably bet on his challenger (assuming its a repub that doesn't scare independents - like Romney).  If things get worse and people feel it, Obama loses easily.  

    My opinion.


    Christinep: Winner - Best Leap of Logic (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:16:06 AM EST
    I've read that Romney wasn't here as well (none / 0) (#183)
    by Farmboy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:19:28 AM EST
    Yet every time you turned on the TV his ads were on; he's been visiting the state for the last four years giving speeches, doing interviews with local media - there was even a fire alarm during one of his Iowa appearances and they had to evacuate the building. link

    But yeah, the media script says he won despite ignoring Iowa completely - which goes to further illustrate my trust levels toward the media.


    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:19:56 AM EST
    We have a lot of butt kissing to look forward to.

    But interesting?
    I couldn't be less interested.


    Whether intentional or not, you've managed (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:21:03 PM EST
    to completely make Matt Taibbi's - and Charlie Pierce's - many good points with respect to the campaign and election season in general; I can't decide whether to wish you a great time in the shallow end of the pool, or ask what musical numbers you plan to play on your fiddle.

    I know what's most important to you is the re-election of Barack Obama, so it has to follow that you are fairly drooling over the political benefit to Obama of the circus the GOP - with the media's help - will make of its fight to the nomination.

    To each his or her own...that you find it exciting to tune in each day to see what the squabble-of-the-day is in the Republican sandbox, and that these are the things you think it is important to pay attention to, well, I can't say as I'm surprised.


    Anne (none / 0) (#80)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:33:41 PM EST
    14th time.  

    1. There is a "political junkie" aspect to my interest.

    2. There is a "policy/substantive" concern to my interest.

    3. There is a "Obama supporter" aspect to my interest.

    It is possible to have strong interests in 1-3 simultaneously.  Most people can do this.

    It appears that you cannot, and that's fine, but don't assume those of us that can engage politics on multiple levels are shallow simply because you are.  I won't knock you for being unable to multi-task and you don't knock me for being able to do it.

    It is sad that our back and forth consist primarily of you finding some way to attack me for no reason and me embarrassing you as a result of it.


    You think you're embarrassing me? (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:58:23 PM EST
    Funniest thing I've heard all day.

    Seriously, ABG you may think you are multi-tasking, but everything you post is in service to Obama's chances at another 4 years - everything.

    Maybe you and I define "political junkie" differently.  You seem to define it as having an unquenchable hunger for the squabbling, sand-and-mud-throwing junk food being served up by these clowns, as if there were something entertaining about these allegedly grown men acting like cranky toddlers in their quest to be the next leader of the country.

    I'm pretty much more interested in their political beliefs, positions and agenda, how those positions keep being changed or walked back, and how this road to the GOP nomination is likely to affect both candidates' ideological positioning in the general election campaign.  

    The media is contributing, and in some cases, driving this as a huge entertainment venture, so sorting through that coverage for the substance isn't as easy as it should be in order to be truly informed - but I guess that's not an exercise that's high on your priority list, thus  freeing you to revel in the juvenile antics of the current GOP field.

    We know how this works, ABG: if it's good for Obama, it's just plain good, right?



    Anne (none / 0) (#97)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:30:07 PM EST
    I don't think you should be embarrassed by your constant attempt to attack me instead of addressing substantive points.

    I know it.

    You are going to find a way to tie any comment I make into your theory that it all comes back to my support for Obama.  I think people are just tired of reading it.  It adds nothing to the discourse and does nothing but derail otherwise interesting comment threads.

    How about we just not get into this debate again for a few weeks to give everyone a rest.  You think everything I believe is tied to my man crush on Obama and I believe you are being an idiot.

    Let's just agree to disagree and move on.


    Paragraph 3 is garbled. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:24:54 AM EST

    Yes, but then (none / 0) (#5)
    by Towanda on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:37:53 AM EST
    I realized that there is a certain poesy to it, as Romney is his own worst enemy.

    No it isn't (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:38:38 AM EST
    Course I fixed it . . .

    No fair! (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:09:18 PM EST
    I wanted to see the garbled version, but got here too late!   ;-)

    Here you go (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by CST on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:22:52 PM EST
    Whatever flaws Romney has as a political candidate, it is hard to see how he will not be considered as an acceptable alternative to Romney by those inclined to vote against Obama.

    It's wonderful really. Doppelganger. (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:25:47 PM EST
    Oh, I love (none / 0) (#105)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:41:41 PM EST
    this version much better!  After all, which Romney are we talking about?  The current candidate Romney, or the Romney who ran and governed in Massachusetts?  Two very different people.  (At least, on the surface.)

    Woooooooo....Zorba (5.00 / 0) (#129)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:21:43 PM EST
    Which candidate is Romney? An excellent question, Z.  It would make for an imaginative game.

    As for me: I don't think that it is the first Romney you mention; nor the second. And, there surely must be a third. Let's guess: This first-part-of-2012 Romney is Romney IV.


    you are missing at least one Romney (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by CST on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:30:05 PM EST
    variation.  The one who ran in MA is not the same as the one who governed.

    He left office with a 35% approval rating.


    Ooops! (none / 0) (#134)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:33:31 PM EST
    Absolutely correct, CST!

    He's a blank slate (none / 0) (#108)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:43:45 PM EST
    upon which you can write your hopes and dreams.

    Oh wait, wrong candidate.


    Obama has been president (none / 0) (#109)
    by CST on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:46:43 PM EST
    for the last 4 years now.

    We know who he is.


    "Empty vessel." (none / 0) (#111)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:48:15 PM EST
    I checked out Rocky Anderson's website (none / 0) (#2)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:28:04 AM EST
    his positions align with my own to a remarkable degree.  This guy was elected TWICE as Mayor of Salt Lake City, UTAH?

    At least now I don't have to skip the Presidential choice next November.

    Yes, but Salt Lake City (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:25:36 PM EST
    is very, very small geographically. It is very much like Portland.   But venture more than 3 or 4 miles from downtown and you are in very red, red, red country.

    Why did the anti-Communist Republicans ever accept red as their color?  I think that happened sometimes in the 1990s after the fall of the Sovieet Union.....Before then the Republicans were all about better dead than red.


    The red color / Republicans - only since 2000 (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:49:08 PM EST
    Red States vs. Blue States

    The advent of color television prompted television news reporters to rely on color-coded electoral maps, though sources conflict as to the conventions they followed. According to one source, from 1976 to 2004, the broadcast networks, in an attempt to avoid favoritism in color coding, standardized on the convention of alternating every four years between blue and red the color used for the incumbent party.[7][8] According to another source, in 1976, John Chancellor, the anchorman for NBC Nightly News, asked his network's engineers to construct a large illuminated map of the USA. The map was placed in the network's election-night news studio. If Jimmy Carter, the Democratic candidate that year, won a state, it would light up in red; if Gerald Ford, the Republican, carried a state, it would light up in blue. The feature proved to be so popular that four years later all three major television networks would use colors to designate the states won by the presidential candidates on Election Night, though not all using the same color scheme. NBC continued to use the color scheme employed in 1976 for several years. NBC newsman David Brinkley famously referred to the 1980 election map outcome as showing Ronald Reagan's 44-state landslide as resembling a "suburban swimming pool".[9] CBS, from 1984 on, used the opposite scheme: blue for Democrats, red for Republicans. ABC used yellow for one major party and blue for the other in 1976. However, in 1980 and 1984, ABC used red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. In 1980, when independent John B. Anderson ran a relatively high-profile campaign as an independent candidate, at least one network provisionally indicated that they would use yellow if he were to win a state.

    By 1996, color schemes were relatively mixed, as CNN, CBS, ABC, and The New York Times referred to Democratic states with the color blue and Republican ones as red, while TIME and The Washington Post used an opposite scheme.[10][11][12]

    In the days following the 2000 election, whose outcome was unclear for some time after election day, major media outlets began conforming to the same color scheme because the electoral map was continually in view, and conformity made for easy and instant viewer comprehension. On Election Night that year, there was no coordinated effort to code Democratic states blue and Republican states red; the association had gradually emerged. Partly as a result of this eventual and near-universal color-coding, the terms "red states" and "blue states" entered popular usage in the weeks following the 2000 presidential election. After the results were final, journalists stuck with the color scheme, as The Atlantic's December 2001 cover story by David Brooks entitled, "One Nation, Slightly Divisible", illustrated.[13] Thus, red and blue became fixed in the media and in many people's minds, despite the fact that no "official" color choices had been made by the parties

    That's Craxy (none / 0) (#162)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:30:38 PM EST
    I would have sworn they were using those descriptions long before 2000.  Odd stuff like this is when I notice the absence of those alcohol aborted brain cells.

    It would be fun to mess with people and swap out on election night in the future...  


    Repubs strategists can't seem (none / 0) (#130)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:24:24 PM EST
    to resist the luridly manipulative approach to politicing..

    Probably some hired marketers told them that the color red was psychologically exciting (like wet tee shirts, sports cars, and words like "Freedom" and "Good and Evil") and they went with it.


    Are you arguing that this (none / 0) (#11)
    by me only on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:53:18 AM EST
    is different than when any incumbent president is up for re-election?  (i.e. did Kerry matter?)

    Not really (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:00:09 AM EST
    Though I think Kerry was an especially stupid choice by Democrats.

    Almost as bad a candidate as Dukakis.


    It would (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:15:44 AM EST
    have been really, really interesting if the candidate to oppose Bush in 2004 would have been Howard Dean.

    In a debate, he would have absolutely demolished Bush.
    As it was, Kerry was kissing Bush's posterior.
    And jeez louise, he was running with Edwards, a transparent phony if ever there were.

    Dean had intelligence and integrity.

    The media were gunning for him, and I will admit that he gave them the ammunition they sought by doing that god-awful imitation of a football coach pep-talk to the troops. As soon as I saw it, and I saw it live, I knew he was cooked. The media were going to play it over and over and over.

    But Democrats should have and could have realized how truly insignificant that was in the scheme of things. But they didn't.

    Kerry "lent" his campaign a few extra million bucks of his wife's money, and the rest is history. Pathetic history.


    Wes Clark (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:24:48 AM EST
    was the most electable.

    I (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:37:46 PM EST
    think Dean would have demolished Bush if he had gotten the nomination.

    I still have my Clark sweatshirt (none / 0) (#82)
    by loveed on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:39:45 PM EST
     I met him at a meetup given by our group at the Burke Lakefront Airport. He was surprised at the crowd.
     He is the only person I have ever campaign for.
    He impressed me at the Dayton Peace Accord, and he daily briefing during the Kosovo War.
     Another missed opportunity by the dems.

    And still Kerry only lost by about 2% (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:37:13 PM EST
    The emerging Democratic majority (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:04:38 AM EST
    allowed Kerry to perform far better than Dukakis. It may prevent Romney from winning no matter what. (He's promised to veto the DREAM Act, you see.)

    Excellent point (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:08:52 AM EST
    If trends stand up, Obama probably needs (none / 0) (#23)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:22:43 AM EST
    a little less of the white vote than John Kerry got in 2004 in order to win.

    I like those odds.


    Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:44:04 AM EST
    problem is going to be voter motivation. I mean how many people are going to be "scared" into voting for Obama against someone like Romney?

    And how much is something like the Dream Act going to mean when Obama failed to lead on it? This is all kind of like sins of omission (Obama) vs. sins of commission (Romney). Is it going to matter that much in the end because they're both messing up but just getting the same result but just getting there in a different manner.


    The President has to make the election (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:55:38 AM EST
    about a choice on the issues that matter. If it's "what have you done for me lately?" he's likely to lose.

    It may very well be (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:01:36 PM EST
    "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

    In which cases he loses--badly (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:02:59 PM EST
    Exactly (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:05:08 PM EST
    Can you afford more of this kind of (none / 0) (#72)
    by me only on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:20:05 PM EST

    Disagreeq (none / 0) (#68)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:14:50 PM EST
    He will have shut down the Iraq war, repealed DADT, and brought unemployment down by a fair amount "lately".

    Again (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    Most people don't first and foremost care about things like DADT, because it doesn't affect them personally.

    And your economic prognostications don't seem to match what most experts think.


    Depends on the economiists (none / 0) (#84)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:47:05 PM EST
    There are economists saying the US is in the midst of a boom and there are those that say the 4Q growth we experienced was a fluke.

    If you want to make a point about the economy, you can find an economist to support it.  

    I think things will improve assuming no downturn in the EU or other unrelated disaster.


    I (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:14:00 PM EST
    And most people, only need look at their own situations and those of their friends, family, and people in their community.

    I know I'M personally not better off than I was 4 years ago. My guess is that most people aren't.

    We don't need economists.


    I, and most people I know, (none / 0) (#101)
    by Farmboy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:35:47 PM EST
    are personally better off than we were 4 years ago. By your logic, my guess is that therefore most people are.

    Unless of course, correlation is not the same as causation.

    You could however, if you wanted, back up your claim about the economy with some numbers, like the two million jobs lost since Obama became president.


    True - if I was talking macroeconomically (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:41:17 PM EST
    I'm talking retail politics.

    Getting away from "X party members outnumber Y party members" or "there are more registered X than Y" or "more X voters will come out and vote for a candidate becase___".

    People tend to vote based on their small little circle of the world - not on some grand big picture, which is why things like DADT are nice, but aren't going to be the deciding factor when someone goes into a ballot box.  What WILL be the deciding factor is what I said above - "am I better off than I was 4 years ago?"

    Besides - the job loss numbers are well known - why should I repeat it for ABG? Seems obvious.


    Four years ago was 2008 (none / 0) (#114)
    by Farmboy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:51:39 PM EST
    Economically that year the Dow collapsed, gas spiked, foreclosures spiked, unemployment climbed, 403k funds disappeared, the GDP shrank, banks failed - and that's without mentioning the ongoing surge in Iraq, and the insane suicide bombings across the Middle East and India.

    Four years ago sucked. Hard.

    Here at the beginning of 2012, for many people things are better than they were in 2008. Great? No. But demonstrably better. And Romney can't run against that, well, not honestly.


    I meant 401k - (none / 0) (#119)
    by Farmboy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:54:39 PM EST
    although both funds suffered.

    Indeed you may not be better off (none / 0) (#118)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    but you also strike me a very smart person - who should be able to discern where to accurately place blame for you not being better off.

    Sure (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:09:10 PM EST
    Which is why in 2008, my choice of an inexperienced neophyte beholden to Wall Street or Grandpa McCain, sucked and today my choices between two corporate wh0res still suck.

    Who's saying we're in (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:19:15 PM EST
    the midst of a boom?

    No one ... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:03:15 PM EST
    ... 'cept ABG.

    The GOP (none / 0) (#50)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:50:19 AM EST
    only had a few thousand more people out for the caucuses than last time.

    The GOP may have a bigger enthusiasm problem.


    I've (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:08:34 PM EST
    have bought into that flawed line of thinking before. It really means nothing about November how many people showed up for a caucus in IA.

    No question (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:26:13 AM EST
    Great chances to win for Obama.

    andgarden: There have been trends analysis (none / 0) (#131)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:28:12 PM EST
    concerning the percentage of white vote needed in view of the new demographics. 'Wish I could remember what pollster-type published a beneath-the-top-line study this past spring/summer that shows the percentage needed as in the high-30s (seem to recall 37 or 38)if the percentage for non-white remains the same for Dems...this because of related demographic growth as well as state dispersion in key swing states.

    Do you have any idea about the numbers. For now, I can't seem to find that study.


    Just below 40% is what I've seen (none / 0) (#150)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:15:36 PM EST
    I can't point you to a link right now, but it's really back of the envelope stuff.

    Google "emerging Democratic majority."


    Lately, I've been thinking about cosmic justice (none / 0) (#137)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:42:25 PM EST
    ...of a sort. In 2004: The loss of Ohio--remember the long lines denied voting in Cleveland & remember the mega-church transports of evangelical Repubs to vote against Rove's coordinated gay issues on the ballots of states like Ohio--sealed the Bush victory.  In 2012: Early winter sees Repubs, led by Boehner from Ohio, craftily crating onto payroll tax cut extension resolution a proviso that the President had to render a determination about Keyston Pipeline within @2 months...hoo, hah, thought they. Ohio more: Now, another major environmental issue takes shape & focus in Ohio in the fracking debate...and all those seismic events (as in earthquake activity) that Ohio has been experiencing & voila!, the political dynamics in Ohio may be complicate in a payback kind of way.

    But then, I'm dreaming....


    Demographics matter (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:31:11 PM EST
    as we saw in the 2008 Primary.  Momentum, etc., not so much.

    Republicans are having an increasingly difficult time winning the Presidency.  They haven't won by a comfortable margin since 1988.  Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and won it by only about 2-3% in 2004.

    Democrats, on the other hand, have won by large margins in 1992, 1996 and 2008.  Maybe part of that is the candidates and circumstances....But the electorate is changing in favor of Democrats.  For example, with unemployment so high, why is Obama still at least even with Romney?


    Because Romney is not the nominee yet (none / 0) (#107)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:42:59 PM EST
    It's a long time to go until November.

    Let's look at head to head matchups come August.


    Do you mean like Kerry & Bush (none / 0) (#133)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:30:32 PM EST
    Kerry ran ahead of Bush in hypothetical match-ups early on.  It changed later after the nomination...often happens in the reverse of your statement.

    So you agree? (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:44:58 PM EST
    Some polls show Obama beating Mitt and some show the opposite.  Because it's EARLY.

    We also know that Obama is not going to have the quite-as-friendly media this time around, and I also think Romney has a more polished operation than McCain did.  (and there will be no Sarah Palin VP candidate this time either).

    You really want to dismiss any Republican as easy for Obama to sail through because he stands for all that is righteous and good.  Too bad that isn't the reality of the situation, and it's going to be a tough fight and Obama has already shown that he gets testy and petulant when he feels his back is against the wall.  


    Er, um...raise you one & then some (none / 0) (#140)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:54:09 PM EST
    with Romney's petulance & caustic comments when he veers from script (even this early in a long campaign.)

    Akey ingredient in the Romney situation: Obama's political arm has done a superb job in magnifying Romney's changeableness. Changeableness, as Repubs are themselves quoted as saying, is related to lack of trust...which reinforces the tendency to go with the one you know rather than the changeable challenger. And, unlike campaigns of old, the degree to which Romney has been already pulled right & the modern-day media communication each time makes it much harder for him to maneuver to the mysterious center during the General.

    Standing back from our own differing emotions, that extra challenge for Romney is obvious.  The trust issue/the changeableness has been his issue in the Primary...and will be a monster for him in the General.


    Were Reagan and Clinton (none / 0) (#15)
    by me only on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:06:42 AM EST
    better choices, or did they just have worse opponents?

    Better choices (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:08:30 AM EST
    caught some breaks.

    But those are the 2 best pols of my lifetime with Obama 3rd.

    Bush 43 was a surprisingly good pol as well.


    I'll (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:17:47 AM EST
    give you Reagan and Clinton.
    They made you feel something. Even if you didn't want to.

    But I will never understand how anyone could have been conned into going along with Obama.


    You are old (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by me only on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:46:53 AM EST
    Johnson was a better pol.  Maybe not a better campaigner, but a better pol.

    Obama as a great pol?  He is a great campaigner, but as an executive, he succeeds in spite of himself.


    Agree about LBJ (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:18:25 PM EST
    I really couldn't stand the man, but he knew how to twist arms, bribe, threaten, and cajole to get things done politically.  

    Is Obama a ranking pol for his (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:13:39 AM EST
    first campaign or including his first term to date?

    His term has not helped much politically (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:25:40 AM EST
    But since August, he's been a great pol again.

    Flawless really.


    I don't know, I just don't think that (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:57:19 AM EST
    any politician - President - who deliberately decides not to actively pursue remedies for unemployment in a poor economy can ever rate as a "great" pol.

    Really? (none / 0) (#70)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:16:09 PM EST
    Obama  "deliberately decides not to actively pursue remedies for unemployment in a poor economy"

    How can you even tackle a statement like that without derailing the entire chain?


    You know as well as I know that (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:22:42 PM EST
    this Administration decided not to take any direct action on the jobs front beyond the stimulus.  They reasoned that bailing out the banks and getting the markets back on track would create jobs so they did not have to take any other direct action.  The Congressional Black Caucus disagreed with this, but were not even given the opportunity to meet with the President to discuss the policy.  Instead, the President started to talk about austerity and deficits basically digging himself a deep hole in which he finds himself now.

    Seems like Obama should get credit re jobs (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:25:29 PM EST
    in U.S. auto making industry.  

    especially against Romney (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by CST on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:33:32 PM EST
    Mr. 1% who knows all about letting companies fail, and put it in writing re. Detroit.

    Thanks Capt Howdy for that nickname.  I'm stealing it.


    He should get credit for preserving (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:19:03 PM EST
    2 million jobs with the stimulus and saving GM (even though they almost weren't going to do that).  But the economy lost some 6 million jobs beyond those saved jobs.  The unemployment rate has still remained critically high.  

    There were more things that the White House could have done and forget about "The People" as the motivating factor - the political ramifications of a bad economy and a persistently high unemployment rate should have been seen as the threat that it is to the President's political fortunes.

    Now, there are plenty of people who think it impossible for any of the GOP candidates to make a serious run against Obama, but a lot of those same people did not believe that 2010 would end up being the disaster that it was.

    Romney is already running against the President promising to get small businesses back on track; getting people back to work; and bringing the economy back.  Would he do any of that it elected?  No, not likely.  But does he have an opening a mile wide to strike a chord with the electorate on those fronts right now?  Absolutely.  

    Moreover, the austerity and deficit cloud will color people's perception of Obama's efforts to date.  The "other guys" over in the GOP field aren't going to be fool enough to tell Americans that the United States is on track for a permanent economic decline and that we all just have to get used to it.  They are going to promise that if we follow them we will all be able to earn ponies and and get our McMansions back minutes after they take office!

    Meanwhile over at the White House, the deficit hawks dominate the action.  They send the President out almost daily with more promises to cut government spending; to tighten the belt; to make cuts to this or privatize that - and you know what?  That's just not all that attractive to a desperate public looking for relief.

    Obama has officially ended the war in Iraq.  The veterans come back to what jobs?  They are on track to allow the Postal Service to shed a big chunk of good jobs and cut services - a traditional place where veterans have found a home after coming back from a war.  The states are feeling the pinch and cutting services left, right and center.  And when the White House could have done many things to soften the blow of a bad economy on their political fate during the 2009/2010 congressional term, they chose not to - and in some cases actually made it harder for themselves than it had to be.  


    How about (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    Obama's flawed faith in supply side economics?

    Flawless since August. Would be an (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:13:20 PM EST
    interesting post/diary.  

    I'm (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:26:08 AM EST
    surprised to see you say that. Obama is a horrible pol from what I've seen.

    People vote for him (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:26:58 AM EST
    He's liked personally.

    Definitely a great pol.


    Well (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:34:48 AM EST
    then you would have to put George W. Bush even with Obama if those are the standards.

    Bush 43 was a very good pol (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:49:50 AM EST
    And Rove was a great political operative.

    Who likes him? (none / 0) (#61)
    by loveed on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:07:13 PM EST
     Where are his close friends. To me it someone you have known for a long time,since childhood. He's a boring speaker, lost without a teleprompter. People will never be truthful about there opinion of Obama when asked by strangers for the fear of being call a racist.
     He takes forever to make a decision. What's with all the crazar? He actually sign into law, holding american on american soil without evidence if there thought to be a terrorist.His healthcare bills sucks.Where are the jobs?
     He don't play well with others. How can you be president and not talk to the leaders of the opposition?
     A good pol is loved and get's the job done.

    I don't believe it (none / 0) (#32)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:34:35 AM EST
    Did you just say that you liked.....{gulp}...REAGAN???!!!

    You mean there's a difference between his deft use of politics vs. his, um, er, policies?



    I said he was a great pol (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:36:55 AM EST
    I did not say I liked him.

    Hell, I did not know him. How could I possibly like him?

    Pols are pols. I do not get into the "like" game about pols.


    I know what you meant (none / 0) (#39)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:42:11 AM EST
    OT, but. . . I see Professor Gates (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:26:26 PM EST
    is scheduled to speak at 92nd Street Y.  

    Apathy (none / 0) (#13)
    by magster on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:02:30 AM EST
    Obama's greatest vulnerability this time around may be countered by the apathy Repubs would have for Romney.

    I think the chances of Ron Paul running as an independent or a libertarian if Romney wins the nomination, is better than Denver's chances against Pittsburgh.

    Tebow could beat (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:27:46 AM EST

    In a GOP Primary, certainly. (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:33:17 AM EST
    In a throw the pigskin through a tire competition? I haven't seen Mitt throw but that one might be a more even contest:)

    Heh (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:35:38 AM EST

    Except when he is losing 3 in a row.

    But imagine the hype if the Broncos miraculously beat the Steelers.


    Oh lord.... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:48:20 AM EST
    he'd be the new Donald Trump...Mitt, Santorum, & Gingrich would have to take him to lunch to kiss his AFC West Division Champ ring and beg for an endorsement.

    The Broncos (none / 0) (#60)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:06:27 PM EST
    were far and away the longest priced team on the pre-season Super Bowl future odds sheet to make it to the playoffs. Oh what fun it will be if they advance another notch.

    He won't run as a independent (none / 0) (#83)
    by loveed on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:43:50 PM EST
    because of his son, it would destroy his political career.

    I think you have a point, loveed (none / 0) (#96)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:26:26 PM EST
    I think Ron would think twice about this.  It might not destroy Rand's career, but it most likely wouldn't do Rand any good.

    Rand is an idealist.... (none / 0) (#120)
    by magster on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:54:42 PM EST
    He's more into his namesake than the GOP.

    Paul won't leave his party (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 03:21:17 PM EST
    My perception is that: At this point, he is building for his son Rand as well as giving his valedictory or other last hoorah performance.

    What I do think could be problematic for Repubs is former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson.  Johnson will seek the nomination of a third party as its presidential candidate. (Can't recall if it is the Libertarian Party.) Johnson carries some of the more youth-alluring positions of Ron Paul...and without the more ugly attributes of the mean side of Libertarianism. (I read that Johnson had encouraged his supporters to support Paul in Iowa. Etc.)

    Essentially, Ron Paul appears to be riding the latter portion of his political career on Libertarian heights...but in the Repub Party so as not to harm the future trajectory for son Rand.


    I can't believe Perry is still going to run (none / 0) (#33)
    by loveed on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:34:47 AM EST
     He's skipping New Hampshire and going to South Carolina. Perry is just plain dumb. The good old boy's cannot save him. There will be no repeat of GWB.
      It's time for the old repub.party to let go. They had a good run. They have been in charge since 1988 (GHB). Mainstream repubs. hate GWB for what he did to the country. Why do you think so many repubs. voted for Obama?
     I have said from the beginning the real battle is within the repub.party. The old guard will lose. The new repubs. want someone who can run the country. They want a new face.
     Just because there no media coverage of Huntsman(it has improved lately). Endorsed by 4 of the largest newspaper. He's doing the same thing Santorum did. Traveling all over the state. Town Hall meeting 2-3 a day. His crowds are getting larger. No skeletons in his closet. A perfect family. Yes his father is a billionaire,he giving all his money away (want to die broke).Founded one of the largest cancer foundations in the country. His wife work with underprivileged girls.Two son in the navel academy.
     Huntsman reminds me of Bill Clinton & jimmy Carter. Someone who seem to come from nowhere.
     His turn is coming,and he will not implode.

    He went to Texas (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:37:59 AM EST
    He's out.

    He's back in according to reports. n/t (none / 0) (#51)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:51:19 AM EST
    Ha! (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:53:26 AM EST
    What an incompetent operation.

    Why in Gawd's name did he say he was going to Texas last night?


    LOL - who knows. (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:07:15 PM EST
    I don't think that he really wants it.  He's just in for the ride, imo.

    I actually think that for pure entertainment value this GOP primary is rating fairly high.  It may have nothing to do with anything, but the soap opera quality of the goings on is pretty amusing.

    Bachmann (aka Erica Cane) just dropped out.  Gingrich is spewing vengeful threats and calling Mittens a Liar.  Perry is in then he's out then he's in...  Ron Paul is the evil cult leader who has captured the minds of the young.  Rick Santorum is - well - he's Rick Santorum.  The front runner is a Ken doll with billions of dollars.  Mark my words -- Luke and Laura are going to show up eventually to sort it all out and stop their evil plans to take over the world - lol.


    Apparently Perry broke the news through (none / 0) (#66)
    by easilydistracted on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:12:12 PM EST
    a Twitter Feed



    See my post below. (none / 0) (#71)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:17:21 PM EST
    Steve Forbes was on endorsing Perry but could not confirm that he was back in when Andrea Mitchell asked him to.  Really weird.

    Romney called and begged him to stay in (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:39:35 PM EST
    Or, the Perry money people will switch to Romney in the end, know Perry can't win, but know that for Romney to win, Perry must stay in to divide the Republican electorate.....

    Perry in South Carolina means Romney wins that state....


    Steve Forbes is endorsing Perry right (none / 0) (#69)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:15:58 PM EST
    now on MSNBC.

    Forbes particularly likes Perry's flat tax.

    The reporting is a bit wonky though.  There are reports that Perry is staying in, but Forbes could not confirm that he is.

    Mitchell asked Forbes to confirm definitively, but he declined.

    Talk about a weird campaign.

    Is this what passes as campaign management in Texas these days?


    Hahahaha! (none / 0) (#100)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:35:11 PM EST
    Forbes endorsing Perry.  At this point, could there be anyone less relevant to Republican politics than Steve Forbes?  

    Dang It! It's been nice since he's been gone... (none / 0) (#63)
    by easilydistracted on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:07:29 PM EST
    Hopefully he will leave again. Maybe, just maybe, he'll think Bachman's supporters will ressurect his bid, now that she has folded -- causing him to leave for SC.

    Well (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:40:01 AM EST
    I'm going to disagree with some of what you are saying. First of all the current construct of the GOP started in 1980 not 1988. Mainstream GOP hates GWB? I sure haven't seen any of that.

    I just don't see where Huntsman wins in this GOP environment. He just seems to be getting lost in the shuffle with all the emota-morons running in the primary.


    The modern Republican party dates back (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:42:33 AM EST
    to the Johnson Administration. That's when it began to include white southerners.

    Not (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:46:50 AM EST
    completely because when you look at what happened in '68 there were a lot of voters who didn't embrace the GOP but weren't Democrats either. 1968 is when the cracks started but it didn't come into fruition until 1980 because if you remember Carter won the south in 1976.

    I never said the change happened over night. (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:58:23 AM EST
    But between the Compromise of 1877 and the 1960s, there really was no Republican party in the south. The Klan, which was the terrorist wing of the Democratic party, made sure of this.

    Maybe Truman (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:43:45 AM EST
    and the desegregation of the Army.

    Yeah, '48 is plausible (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:53:33 AM EST
    Though even Strom himself waited until the 60s to become a Republican.

    I am referring to the money people (none / 0) (#89)
    by loveed on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    The Roves,Limbaugh,Fox News,Glen Becks,Hannity,O'reilly,ect..
     It's time for them to go

    Thought he dropped (none / 0) (#46)
    by eric on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:47:40 AM EST
    now he is back in?

    PS (none / 0) (#78)
    by me only on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:30:55 PM EST
    I am petitioning Jeralyn to remove your linking rights for the day.  Not knowing who Erick Erickson is, I accidentally clicked on that link.  Like a month drawn to the flame, I could not avert my eyes to the comments.

    How do I cleanse my fetid soul after such an experience?

    The Whole Election is Irrelevent ... (none / 0) (#85)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    (And, as it turns out, so was the one in 2008.)

    But anyone who thinks Romney is a viable general election candidate knows nothing about general elections.

    Romney has no significant base of support.  Not regional.  Not ethnic.  Not ideological.  

    All Obama has to do is jostle a leg of his campaign, and the whole thing collapses.

    Against Romney, Obama can probably win 40 states.

    But the reason Romney will be nominated is that he will do no damage to the Party when he loses.  He has no real history with the party.  And doesn't auger for any future.  He's a self-contained one-off.  Like a pimple, after a few days, you'll never even know he was there.

    McCain was far more hated in repub circles (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:30:53 PM EST
    than Romney.  Rush Limbaugh is not saying that nominating Romney will destroy the Repub party.

    Romney will do not worse than McCain.  As bad as he and Palin were and in spite of everything they had going against them, they won 22 states and over 47% of the vote.  I have to believe that is the floor.  If those two candidates in that election can get that support, that is the floor for repubs.  

    Romney would not have to move the needle that much to win.


    Doesn't relate to ... (none / 0) (#106)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:41:45 PM EST
    what I was saying.

    Anyway, you'll see in 11 months or so.


    How does it not relate? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:51:52 PM EST
    You are presenting Romney as a no win candidate.  He would lose 40 states and has no base of support.  What was McCain's?  

    His chances are much better than McCains who kept it close.  And yes, Romney will be the nominee (done deal) so we will find out who is right.


    It's okay ... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:58:52 PM EST
    you'll get it on the ride home.

    As long as you are sitting next to me (none / 0) (#123)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:07:17 PM EST
    eating your crow when a bad economy takes down another "unbeatable" incumbent vs. a "weak" challenger.  You know, that has never happened before.

    McCain, if you remember (none / 0) (#141)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:54:40 PM EST
    Was a sacrificial lamb since there was no way voters would allow a 3rd term to Republicans after the mess Bush left.

    Yet McCain was STILL beating Obama 8 weeks out until the collapse of Lehman and the indies left him. Hmmmmm......


    McCain was up (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 03:12:15 PM EST
    right after the Republican convention by a couple points for about three days.

    Obama was otherwise consistently ahead.


    McCain led for longer than that. (none / 0) (#154)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:20:43 PM EST
    I do agree though that it was never (none / 0) (#155)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:22:07 PM EST
    clear how much was a genuine lead vs. a post convention bounce that would have worn off regardless.  Still, it is a little frightening that the repub candidate could have a lead so close to election day against Obama considering everything that was going on.  Obama was never a strong contender and is a weak incumbent IMO.

    Did McC ever lead in any (none / 0) (#161)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:29:14 PM EST
    state-by-state electoral vote match-ups? I don't think there was ever a serious doubt that Obama would win.

    good point on electoral college (none / 0) (#179)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 05:50:36 AM EST
    Here is a list of all comprehensive polls (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 05:30:20 PM EST
    The fact that he was close (none / 0) (#163)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:37:54 PM EST
    And even ahead 8 weeks out, in a year when literally a ham sandwich could have run as s Democrat and won, is extremely telling.

    He also led in hypo match ups against Obama in January, which proves my point that using head to heads right now and relying on them is useless.


    It's still not too late for a third GOP term... (none / 0) (#159)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:27:09 PM EST
    That's the case Obama has to make. Electing the GOP now is every bit as bad as it would have been in 2008.

    Romney-Santorum (none / 0) (#136)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:38:11 PM EST
    I know it sounds like the name of a Star Trek galaxy, but it could be the GOP ticket.

    I agree we are in for 11 months of boredom. It will be nice to care about issues rather than electoral politics.

    It does sound like a Star Trek galaxy. (none / 0) (#142)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:55:30 PM EST
    And so not interfering with the ongoing clown show that is the GOP primary is required by the Prime Directive.

    And, of course, the coming general election, which promises to be both a ridiculous and a tragic imitation of democracy in action, must also be allowed to play out. The Prime Directive must not be violated even if doing so would save a culture from itself.


    Santorum is already done. (none / 0) (#176)
    by Addison on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:15:33 PM EST
    Only a lunatic would put him in at VP with his substandard political skill set, loaded history, and his thin whiny voice which drains all energy from those who are forced to listen to it. Condi has a better shot.

    Probably true. I was jus thinking it would be (none / 0) (#191)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:11:18 AM EST
    the best way to get the religious right fired up about a Romney ticket.

    Romney Rubio (none / 0) (#149)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:03:28 PM EST
    Will be the ticket and I give it a 50/50 shot.

    As BTD has stated all incumbent elections are a choice between do you think the other guy will do worse then the guy in office.   If you can't think of a worse scenario then what you got you vote for the new guy.   If you know you don't like this guy but you can think of a worse scenario you stick with what you got.

    That's how an actor got elected (Carter was so bad, an adulteress Governor (Bush had lost the country economically) and that's how Bush got re-elected (Kerry's Vietnam and cold war policy issues doomed him on National Security).

    Most of these elections boil down to one simple issue.  Can the new guy do a better job of turning around the country, or protecting the country whichever is more important at the time.

    Right now the economy is the most important so Obama will have to put his stimulus, tax and economic record up against Romney.    

    That will be the choice and right now if things don't change Romney will win.

    Yeah.....sound good...the Liar and Liar ticket :) (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:16:53 PM EST
    I think it is still pretty easy to remember a (none / 0) (#156)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:23:52 PM EST
    worse scenario. Obama/Dems should be able to make the case that going back to the Bush administration is a really bad idea. They need to make it a question of moving forward, however slowly, vs going back.

    It sure would be a lot easier if he had done more to improve the lot of most people, but I think it is a winning case even if the economy in November is just like it is today.  


    That is a liberal arguement (none / 0) (#172)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:59:16 PM EST
    and this is a general election.

    Romney will make the case that Obama tried big government and it didn't work.

    Romney will play up his business experience and that he knows how to work with business to turn around the economy.  He will talk about how the stimulus failed, how bailouts didn't help etc...

    That is the conservative argument and considering the country is nearing recession or at least flatlined after 4 years of Obama policies it will be a much more convincing argument.

    The Bush stuff won't play.   Obama can only go negative because he can't rely on his record.  If Romney doesn't commit a gaffe then he wins narrowly.

    If the economy starts to uptick then Obama can start running on his record and he probably wins.

    It's as simple as that.


    Romney (none / 0) (#165)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:53:52 PM EST
    would be pretty dumb to put a guy on the ticket who has completely made up his family history. It will be another white guy I'm willing to bet.

    Romney will beg Rubio (none / 0) (#167)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 05:34:09 PM EST
    to be on the ticket.

    The reason Romney will have a tough time is demographics, i.e., the Latino vote will hurt him in Colorado and Nevada, and maybe even in Arizona.  He has got to try to change that....Conservatives will hail Rubio as the savior.

    This is exactly the kind of thing Republicans do.  Just like appointing Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.


    Not a lot of Cubans... (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:07:41 PM EST
    out this way--how does one on the ticket help here?  The "latino" vote is not homogenous.  

    Yup - likely to turn more of them off by (none / 0) (#190)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:10:12 AM EST
    pretending they are all the same. I would venture a guess that the Cuban-American contingent is a relatively small percentage of American "latinos".

    I would think (none / 0) (#168)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 05:54:16 PM EST
    helping him with Florida would be more important. I still don't think he'll pick Rubio or even ask him because Rubio won't pass the vetting.

    How so? (none / 0) (#169)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:08:13 PM EST
    The issue about his parents?

    They will overlook that....


    Yeah (none / 0) (#170)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:20:35 PM EST
    do you really want a VP candidate who's going have to spend a ton of time explaining why he lied about his background? Almost everybody is saying that it's going to be close.

    Don't pee on my parade (none / 0) (#151)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:16:06 PM EST
    Don't talk about how boring and not relevant sports...erm...the Republican primary is.  Game of Thrones doesn't start again until April.  I don't know what you expect me to do with myself til then.

    New HBO show 'Luck' starts soon... (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 04:24:28 PM EST
    there is hope!

    if you aren't already start (none / 0) (#171)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 06:53:22 PM EST
    watching "The Walking Dead".

    I love it.  Character driven zombie show.

    Doesn't get much better.


    We were watching this (none / 0) (#180)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:03:45 AM EST
    Missed the starting of the next season, it got by me.  This isn't good.  This was big with Joshua.  I'm going to have to secretly look up where I can record the new ones.  I hope they are ON DEMAND.  Josh is having a sleepover bday party on Saturday, so maybe this failure can work in my favor.  Less Lord of Flies as my husband calls it, and more movies and popcorn.

    honestly (none / 0) (#177)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:41:32 PM EST
    Like Jeralyn, I find the GOP primary to be boring.

    I gotta say.  of all the things I would say I find it so far boring is not one.

    We are in the South though (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:07:16 AM EST
    Perhaps that is some of the appeal for us.  There is also the gay hate/racism being expressed, I have to see how far Republicans want to take this racism homophobia at this point.  I wasn't very interested in all the debates, but now we are getting the populace response and I find myself watching.

    I think this republican primary season (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:47:34 AM EST
    as been the most amazing, hilarious, pathetic, ridiculous, entertaining, disastrous, instructive, productive (from a democratic point of view) destructive, damaging, horrifying, terrifying, stultifying, mesmerizing and wonderful things EVAH.
    if it was written in a novel or a movie no one would believe it.

    it has damaged the republican brand for a generation.  may it go on forever.  I have finally found a reality show I am addicted to.


    AMEN!!! (none / 0) (#185)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:48:54 AM EST
    and you know what (none / 0) (#189)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 09:51:30 AM EST
    even  more so because - as short as the average political memory is - most people, particularly young people, remember and can compare it to the democratic primary in 08. which, however you feel about the outcome, you have to admit was a serious, in depth, sober and propitious political events in a generation.

    quite a contrast IMO.


    Very much so (none / 0) (#192)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:11:26 AM EST
    The Republican party must change, they have become so nuts it is shattering them.  And their Presidential candidates are not electable in a general election because of the insanity.

    I love how Newt claims to be a Reagan Conservative, Ronald Reagan raised taxes on millionaires because it was what the country needed and the people needed.  Hell, Ronald Reagan had a banking fiasco too and he handled more like leftie than Obama has handled his own stuff in the area of banking.  That is a God Damned shame if ever there was one :)

    I didn't care for Ronald Reagan but he wasn't insane, his party is now though.  And the two Republicans with the most in common with who Reagan was, one can't even get consideration and the other one can't break 25% within the base :)


    I have started to think this election (none / 0) (#195)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:22:12 AM EST
    is going to be an electoral landslide.