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Cain Endorses Gingrich – Romney Rejoices!

In breaking news Herman Cain is endorsing Newt Gingrich in the Republican race for the nomination.

Mitt Romney breathes a sigh of relief.  Begins preparing for the general election.

Think about it.  Herman Cain.  The man who dropped out of the race after a “lady friend” of his went public with what she claims was a 13-year affair.  The man who had several women file sexual harassment charges against him 20 years ago.  The man whose 9-9-9 plan would have raised taxes on the middle class and poor but lowered taxes on the super-rich, all while dramatically increasing the debt.  That Herman Cain has officially endorsed Newt Gingrich for the nomination.

The Newt Gingrich whose 2nd ex-wife recently accused him of asking for an “open marriage” so he could dawdle with the woman with whom he had been having an affair.

For those values voters who seem confused, let’s recap:

Gingrich’s first wife was his former high school teacher. He married her when he was 19 years old and she was 26.  One wonders when they started their relationship given Gingrich’s age.

Apparently bored with the older wife, Gingrich left her after beginning an affair with the woman who would become his 2nd wife, a woman who was 9 years younger than he.

Then, not long after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Gingrich divorced her to married his 3rd (and current) wife, with whom he had been carrying on an affair for some time.  This wife was 23 years younger than him and was a staffer in the House of Representatives.  So yes, Gingrich was impeaching President Clinton for having his intern escapades while Gingrich himself was actively engaging in his latest affair with a young Congressional staffer.  One has to marvel at Gingrich’s ability to compartmentalize in order to avoid impeaching himself for such blatant hypocrisy.

In any case, it does seem that Cain and Gingrich have some things in common, though it’s uncertain whether this is the reason behind Cain’s endorsement.

The net effect, of course, is, well, actually, not really that much.  After all, this is Herman Cain we’re talking about.  It’s not like an endorsement from him carries a whole lot of weight.  But it does help Mitt Romney.  Romney’s biggest problem is that he has had to cant so far to the right to get the tea party bigot vote that he has been hemorrhaging independent and moderate voters left and right (and middle).  With Cain offering to help solidify Gingrich’s extremist right vote, thus eliminating any chance of winning the primary in Florida or the caucuses in Nevada, the contrast allows Romney to start trying to track back towards the middle.

Or not.

Way to go, Herman Cain!

 

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tea Party | , , , , | Leave a comment

Herman Cain “Suspends” Presidential Campaign – Translating the “Politician-Speak”

As I already said four days ago, Herman Cain has dropped out of the Presidential race.  Needless to say, he dropped out using “politician-speak.”  So let me translate:

The words: “I am suspending my campaign.

The meaning: I’m quitting.

Come on.  Other than the fake suspension of John McCain’s campaign, “suspending” means ending. [Note about McCain. While he used the word suspension, he didn’t actually officially and legally suspend his campaign. He merely used it as a publicity stunt.]

The words: “These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family.”

The meaning: I’m screwed.

While Cain claims that the allegations are false, unproven and “spinned,” the fact is that at least two of the harassment cases resulted in financial settlements by the organization Cain headed.  The fact that there were settlements doesn’t necessarily mean he actually did anything wrong, but it does demonstrate that those women did, in fact, make those allegations at the time and are not simply making stuff up 20 years later.  As for the most recent allegation, i.e., by a woman who claims a 13-year on-and-off casual affair with Cain, the rapidity in which Cain ended his campaign doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that his denials were an accurate reflection of reality.

The words:I have made many mistakes in life, everybody has.

The meaning: I did it.

Think about it. First he denies doing anything wrong, then admits that he has made “mistakes in life.” Obviously he’s not suddenly remembering the time as a child he ate a Cheetos that had fallen into a mud puddle (which is pretty gross, but not something that rises to the level of making “many mistakes in life”).  Bottom line, the guy probably (but not proven) did some things that could have been interpreted by the various women as being what they say he did.

The words: “I’m turning to “Plan B.

The meaning: I still want to sell books and make money off of this deal.

Or from a less capitalistic perspective, Cain is trying to save face.

The words: “I starting a new website so I can continue to be a voice for the people.

The meaning: Given that I officially suspended my campaign, I am no longer legally able to collect money from you folks on my campaign web site.  So I have to set up a new one.

‘Nuff said.

The words: “I am proof that a common man could lead this nation.”

The meaning: I’m delusional.

Seriously.  First off, while he certainly started off in a family of modest means, to refer to himself as a “common man” is to forget that he has spent most of his adult life as a corporate executive, including Chairman and CEO of a pizza corporation (where he closed hundreds of stores and laid off thousands of workers), being Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the regional Federal Reserve Bank (where he got to play with billions of dollars), and President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (from which he lobbied Congress and, according to those who got settlements, played a bit loose on the harassment laws).  Secondly, Herman Cain had about a zero percent chance of becoming President even before the (unproven) allegations came to light.  The tea party, who were the only ones who seemed to miss the memo that he was just out there trying to sell books, had raised him to a level that apparently made him dizzy (which is why he complained more than once that it was all happening so fast and there were so many things that his handlers stuck in his head that he couldn’t think straight).  Thirdly, “lead the nation?” This from someone who didn’t even lead an organization to campaign in any of the primary and caucus states.  He had essentially no organization whatsoever.  He spent more time in states that won’t even be a part of the nomination decision-making process than he did in the top 5+ early caucus/primary states (but just happened to coincide with where his publisher thought he could sell more books and his campaign advisers could attend a football game on the campaign dime).  The only reason he was getting any attention is because the other tea party nut jobs had already imploded.  And with Cain himself imploding (which, again, had already happened long before the allegations), the tea party has already moved on to their next savior of the week.

So notwithstanding his face-saving and/or delusional “suspension” speech, Cain will quickly follow Sarah Palin down into irrelevancy.

December 3, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Tea Party | , , , | 2 Comments

Herman Cain to Drop Out of Presidential Race

So far he hasn’t said so.  But he will.

I wrote a while back that Herman Cain could “Stick a Pizza Slice in it” because he was done.  That was based on his supreme lack of knowledge on the issues on which he was opining…er…trying to keep straight the talking points his handlers had inserted into his head.  And long before the string of 3 (or is it 4) women claimed Cain had “been inappropriate” with them when he was head of the restaurant lobbying group (and at least 1, or maybe 2, had settlements, which certainly suggests these women weren’t simply making this stuff up).

Oh, and now there is the woman claiming to have had a 13-year affair.

No, Cain was toast long before any of that stuff.  Since the initial revelations (but not including even this last one), Cain’s poll numbers have plummeted.  With the last one, i.e., the 13-year affair, I suspect his poll numbers would evaporate…given the whole holier-than-thou attitude of the tea party that elevated him to this ridiculous idea that he could actually be president.

So now it seems that now Herman Cain is “reassessing” his candidacy.  Huh? “Reassessing?”  No one admits to “reassessing” their candidacy publicly.  They might do it in private, but to admit it in public is like putting on a big sign that says “I’m toast.”

Which, of course, he is.  Even the conservative tea party fanatics that invented the fantasy of his candidacy are abandoning him.

Which could also be bad news for Mitt Romney.  And good news for Newt Gingrich.

November 29, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tea Party | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stick a Pizza Slice in it, Cain is done

In what will be looked back upon with irony, this was the week that signaled the end with the tea party’s love affair with their most recent “savior of the week.”  Herman Cain is done.

First there was the 9-9-9 fiasco at the Republican debate where we all realized that Citizen Cain had no clue what his 9-9-9 plan really was all about.  For him it was a cute bumper sticker phrase and nothing else.  I mean, no one really cares about these meaningless campaign popperies, do they?  It’s not like anyone actually believed 9-9-9 was a real plan that could even be proposed to Congress for passage.  It’s just a joke, right.  Surely you can’t hold that against Herman Cain.  Sure, it raises taxes on the poor and virtually eliminates taxes on the super-rich, but hey, we’ll just change the plan on the fly…yeah, that’s it, we’ll call it the 9-0-9 plan just for poor people…yeah, and marry Morgan Fairchild.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Please.

Then there was the revelation that Herman Cain did what the tea party so enjoys – he laid off thousands of Godfather Pizza workers and closed hundreds of stores, just so he could make more profit.  Yep, that’s the tea party ideal.

And how about electrifying the border fence between the US and Mexico so that those illegal aliens will fry themselves and save us the trouble of having to not actually secretly be hiring illegal aliens.  Oh, that’s just a joke folks.  You all have to get a sense of humor, I mean, if a potential future President of the United States can’t make a simple joke about murdering people, what else is there?

Oh, but then he decided that he would pull a Palin and say one thing while contradicting himself in the same breath.  Then blame everyone else for being confused.  Yep.  Only this time instead of screwing the poor he says he is Pro-Choice on abortion.  Or Pro-Life.  Or both.  Who knows what he said.  But the tea party sure didn’t like it.  Now they know that he isn’t on their side in the fight to ensure the rights of the individual to tell all women that they cannot do what they legally can choose to do, i.e., make a choice.  Hey, they’re women.  They need to listen to the men-folk, right?  Can’t have them getting all educated and making their own decisions and such.

Next up is Cain saying he would trade al Qaeda detainees from Gitmo for US soldiers, a la the recent release of hundreds of Palestinians for one Israeli soldier held for the last 5 years.  But then no, he wouldn’t ever do such a thing.  Or maybe.  What was the question again?  It seems things get moving a tad too quickly for Cain to keep up.  I mean, it’s difficult when you’re making stuff up as you go along, you know.

Then today Cain “The Self-Hermenator” shows that he has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of basic civics.  Yep, old Herman will sure sign that Constitutional Amendment banning abortions.  Huh?  Did he really say that?  Let’s go to the video tape – “”I feel that strongly about it. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I’ll sign it. That’s all I can do. I will sign it.”  Yep, he said it.  He actually said that as President he would “sign a Constitutional amendment.” He “will sign it.”  It’s all he can do.  WRONG.  This isn’t just a man who wants to run for President, this is a man that the tea party is head over heels in love with and thinks would be a fantastic President.  A man that has no clue that Constitutional Amendments don’t get signed by the President.

This is tea party America.  Sarah “Grizzly Momma” Palin.  Christine “I Am Not a Witch” O’Donnell.” Sharron “Second Amendment Solutions” Angle.  Donald “It’s Not a Wig” Trump.  Michele “I Raised 23 Kids” (oh, plus 5 of my own) Bachmann.  “Secession Rick” (but give me federal drought aid) Perry.  And now Herman “I’d Sign a Constitutional Amendment and am Pro/Anti-Choice and Raising Taxes on the Poor While Getting Rid of Taxes on the Rich” Cain.

Oh, and don’t forget Herman Cain is an anti-Muslim bigot whose only experience is to close businesses and lay off workers.

Thank you tea party.  Can I have my country back now?

October 23, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Tea Party | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Implosion of the Republican Candidates for President

The past few weeks have seen a remarkable implosion of the 2012 Republican candidates for President.  And it’s only October, still 3 months before the first (early) ballots are cast.

Not long ago Michele Bachmann was riding high on her win in the Iowa straw polls.  The straw poll, which actually hasn’t been a very good predictor of who wins the Iowa caucuses or the nomination, was for some reason seen as a watershed moment.  Bachmann wins! Bachmann rises to the top of the field!  Bachmann got less votes than she had paid for in tickets! Oh. Since then Bachmann’s fortunes have run down like an unsuspecting sucker at a curbside craps game.  In fact, “since then” was immediate, as in when Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day as the Iowa straw poll.  And since then her campaign manager has dumped her (and trashed her), her campaign is racking up debt, and now her New Hampshire campaign team has resigned en masse (or not, depending on who you ask).  Other campaign staffers haven’t been paid in at least a month.  So the tea party backing of Bachmann is back to back-stabbing and backward glances as Bachmann struggles desperately to keep her head above water.

Then there is Rick Perry himself.  He flashed onto the scene and immediately was elevated by the tea party crowd as their newest savior (claiming that he was their first choice all along, well, after all the others who said no).  Then Perry did something he regretted.  He showed up at a Republican debate.  Big mistake.  Perry’s performance was at best uneven.  And it was all downhill from there.  Half the time he seemed to barely there in ensuing debates.  And when he did say something it usually made him sound like he didn’t have the foggiest what he was saying.  Not the kind of performances that inspire the passion of the zealots on whom his candidacy must rely.  And so he sank from the top to somewhere in that middle where former top people go before they disappear into the ooze with the rest of the bottom feeders.  His most recent performance woke up the zealots, but showed that he could counter his lack of knowledge and debating adroitness with arrogance and pettiness.  Good one.

The latest to implode is Herman Cain.  What’s surprising is not that he is imploding but that the tea party had chosen him to inflate beyond all proportion in the first place.  Cain made a name for himself early in the debates by declaring that he is an anti-Muslim bigot.  Since then he has stolen a ridiculous catch-phrase (9-9-9) from a video game and even more ridiculously suggested that it was a serious attempt to fix the tax system.  Which he would do by raising taxes on the working poor and the middle class while virtually eliminating taxes on the very wealthiest.  That is exactly in line with what the tea party has pushed with nearly all of its hostage-taking tactics, so there is no surprise they love it. [It’s also in line with how he made Pizza Hut profitable – by closing half of its stores and laying off thousands of workers.]  Clearly a serious contender for the Presidency can’t have such a complete lack of awareness of his own silliness, but there it is every day.   And now he’s devolved into Palinesque incoherency where, as one conservative commentator and former Republican congressman put it, Cain is just making stuff up as he goes along.  Cain isn’t very able.

Which leaves who?  Mitt Romney, of course, who other than this last debate came off as being one of the few adults in the room (not counting the journalist moderators).  In the “adult” category you can add Jon Huntsman, but he seems way too reasonable for the tea party (not to mention his comedic timing is really really bad).  There is Newt Gingrich, who sort of sounds like an adult because he uses bigger words than the others, but also has a tendency to sound petulant.  There is Rick Santorum…oh, never mind.  There’s those two or three guys who are running that no one knows because they can’t garner enough support to even qualify for the debates (which is pretty sad given that Herman Cain is there and so is Jon Huntsman, who can’t seem to get much more than his immediate family to notice him).  And let’s not forget Ron Paul, who has a loyal following amongst the more libertarian folks who think the American government is some communist plot to steal all of our freedoms.

So we have the tea party running the Republican show these days and latching onto every incompetent nutjob they can find to be – in  succession, – “The One.”  And each and every “The One” sprints to the front of the pack only to be run over by the pack as they flame out and drop into the mud of their own creation.  Then there are the also-rans that run also, but nowhere fast.  And then there are the serious candidates.  Right now the closest thing to a serious candidate the Republican party can muster is “the next guy in line,” Mitt Romney.  And the tea party (rightly) hates him.  Romney epitomizes everything the tea party says they hate about government – the slick establishment politician, the “say anything to get elected” candidate, the “compromiser,” and OMG, he’s not the “right kind” of Christian.

So will the tea party prove themselves to be hypocrites and vote for Romney knowing that Romney would actually not do any of the things the tea party wants him to do?  Or would they “stick to their principles” and make sure Romney doesn’t get the Republican nomination.  After all, Romney is “one of them establishment” politicians and “not one of us.”

October 22, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

With Giuliani declaring he won’t run for President in 2012, who has the best “Giuliani catchphrase” in tonight’s Republican debate?

In breaking news that no one cares about, Rudy Giuliani has announced that he will not run for President in 2012.  Yes, it is a shock.  Who knew that he was even considering it?  Wow.

In any case, I’m sure most remember the Giuli joke of 2008 in which someone notes “There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11.”

So who will get this year’s coveted Giuli award for most repeated meaningless phrase?  Let’s take a look at tonight’s Republican debate in New Hampshire for a clue:

Michele Bachmann: “yada, yada, yada…I raised 23 foster children…yada, yada, yada”

Herman Cain: “yada, yada, yada…9-9-9…yada, yada, yada”

Ron Paul: “yada, yada, yada…audit the Fed…yada, yada, yada”

Mitt Romney: “yada, yada, yada…overly slick but generally informed discourse…yada, yada, yada”

Rick Perry: “yada, yada, yada…y’all…yada, yada, yada”

Newt Gingrich: “yada, yada, yada…yada, yada, yada…yada, yada, yada”

Rick Santorum: “yada, yada, yada…family values…yada, yada, yada”

Jon Huntsman: “yada, yada, yada…not quite as slick but still informed discourse…yada, yada, yada”

And the winner of tonight’s debate?

Does it matter?

October 11, 2011 Posted by | 2012, 9/11, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Has the Republican party already picked its nominee?

It’s all over but those pesky primaries and caucuses.  Or it seems that way.  The Republican road to the nomination may actually be much shorter than expected.  The winner?

Mitt Romney, of course.

This really isn’t much of a surprise given that Mitt is clearly “the next one in line” and the Republican party pretty much always nominates “the next one in line.”

But wasn’t this time supposed to be different?  I mean, the tea party is running the show and the tea party hates Mitt Romney.  With a passion.  Much passion.

But the writing is on the wall…the view is clear in the crystal ball…we can all read the tea leaves. [And other spectacularly numbing pundit phrases.]  There really isn’t anyone else that even comes close to being a credible candidate for the Republican nomination.  For those who haven’t been paying attention – or are in deep denial of reality – this weekend will make this fact abundantly clear.  That’s because this weekend, tomorrow in fact, the covers close on the quarterly cash hauls and the candidates have to tell the world how much money they raked in to fund the campaign.  And by all reports the results are not going to be pretty.  Let’s see what those tea leaves are going to tell us.

Mitt Romney: Probably in the vicinity of $10-15 million.  Not bad.  Not as much as last quarter.  But hey, this was summer and people are too busy barbecuing cows in Texas and burning their backs in Hawaii (Hi Newt!!).

Rick Perry: Probably less than $10 million.  Maybe much less. Maybe more.  Bottom line is that he pretty much looked like he thought he could wing it at the last three (or was it four?) Republican debates, as if he thought he was up there with a bunch of junior high school kids.  Rick, Rick, Rick…see that guy with the funny middle (and first) name? This is the second time around for this guy.  It’s now or never for Mitt.  And you looked silly up there.  Which is why all everyone can talk about is how fast you imploded.  Admit it.  Even the Red Sox looked better than you this past month.  And that is not a compliment.

Chris Christie: Wait, he’s not even running.  You got it.  The field of candidates is so inspiring that once again – for the 4th or 5th (or 10th) time – the tea party held Republican caucus is desperately looking for its savior of the week.  When the guy who isn’t running is looking better than the guys (and woman) who are running, then Houston, we have a problem.  Hence the reason why…

Michele Bachmann: Ever been to Disneyland?  They have a ride there that straps you into a seat, suddenly shoots you straight up to the top of a huge pedestal, then just as suddenly drops you like bad pun.  Bachmann’s fantasy league run for the presidency ended when the tea party got their last savior in Rick Perry.  Imagine winning the Ames straw poll and the very same day going from the top of the heap to just a heap.

Jon Huntsman: Not sure how much money he’ll bring in but he’s already laying off people (so much for “job creation”).  Huntsman is going to bet the farm (and at least a half million of his own lettuce) on making a showing in New Hampshire.  You know, that place in the northeast US that Huntsman’s political dopplelganger Mitt Romney owns.  Huntsman’s goal at this point is to seem credible enough to become “the next one in line” for 2016.

Herman Cain: Cain won the recent Florida straw poll.  Yep. Bye Rick.

Newt Gingrich: Yes, he is still running.  I think.  Oh wait, apparently he plans release a new “Contract with America.”  Nothing better to say “new ideas” than to roll out a copy of an almost 20 year old political gimmick. Good one Newt. [How was Hawaii?]

Ron Paul: He won some straw poll. I think.

Rick Santorum: Almost forgot him. ‘Nuf said.

There are some other folks you’ve probably never heard of or seen in a debate because, gee, we already have to give 30 seconds to each person for a response to such mundane questions as “How would you deal with nuclear insecurity in Pakistan?”

So, getting back to the whole “It’s all over but the primaries” thing.  It’s become crystal clear that as Rick Perry flames out like half of his state over the last 9 months, Mitt Romney will be the last man (or woman) standing.  Kind of awe-inspiring to see a man rise to the top purely because he was less dense then all the others as they sank into oblivion.  It’s a shame really, that all those states running the political roller derby for first dibs at casting ballots will have no one to vote for but Mitt.  And all that careful planning to dump the “all or none” delegate counts that allowed the Republican party to anoint a nominee after only getting input from three of the least representative states in the Union will go for naught.

Of course.  I could be wrong.

Next up.  Why the tea party despises Mitt Romney.  For good reason.

September 29, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tea party Supports Republican Candidate Herman Cain’s Anti-Muslim Bigotry

What is it with the tea party candidates in their attempt to hijack the Republican party?  Isn’t dragging the GOP as far to the extreme right as possible enough?  Now the tea party has to strongly back candidates who are anti-Muslim bigots?

Being anti-Muslim isn’t new for the tea party, of course.  Under the guise of  “fear of terrorism” they have gone after the Islamic religion time after time.  I’m sure all remember how an Islamic community center to be built in a dilapidated building a few blocks from the World Trade Center site in New York City suddenly became “the mosque at ground zero.”  Neither a mosque nor at ground zero, and long a non-controversial project, it was turned overnight by the tea party xenophobes into a terrorist plot.  And this was just one example of many.  According to the tea party, if you are Muslim, you are immediately considered guilty of terrorism until proven otherwise.  This is the epitome of bigotry.

Now Herman Cain, one of the favorites of the tea party, is reiterating that he doesn’t trust Muslims.  All Muslims.  Cain initially argued that “Muslims need not apply” for positions in his administration should he be elected President of the United States.  Sorry all you qualified folks that just happen to have chosen Islam as your first amendment-protected religious freedom of expression, Cain and the tea party believe Muslims simply cannot be trusted.   Faced with criticism of his abject bigotry, Cain suggested that he could, well, maybe, allow someone who is Muslim to be in his administration if they took some sort of Islamic-special vow to the Constitution.   Again, in Cain’s mind you need to prove you can be trusted – but only if you are Muslim, all others get the usual presumption of trust.  Now, as Cain tries to “reinterpret” his bigotry into something more palatable to non-bigoted Americans, he merely sticks his foot further in mouth.  He’s just worried about letting terrorists into government, he says.  And, of course, to Cain and the tea party all Muslims are potential terrorists because, well, hey, they are Muslims, aren’t they?  The bottom line – if you are Muslim, Cain and the tea party will presume you are a terrorist until you jump through enough of their bigot hoops to prove otherwise.

Cain and the tea party are a disgrace to America.

June 19, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Tea Party | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Republicans Come Together to Debate Obama, Talk About Their Kids, Ignore Each Other

Five children and 23 foster children trumps merely 7 kids.  That seemed to be the theme last night at the first real Republican debate.

Okay, they did talk about other stuff too, but it did seem odd that how many children you have would be used as a qualifier for the nomination of Republican party candidate for president.  But unlike the bizarre “Coke vs Pepsi” questions of moderator John King, this one seemed to set the tone for the debate.

In short, the debate (insert air quotes around that word) was about trying to say the right things to get the tea party vote.  It was an exercise in attacking the sitting President without even seeming to be aware of the differing opinions of the seven Republicans standing on stage.  And the result was as expected – Romney came off looking presidential, Santorum and Paul came off looking irrelevant, Cain came off looking like a backtracking anti-Muslim bigot, and Pawlenty came of looking like a guy who couldn’t figure out how to change his recent attacks against fellow Republicans into somehow being all about Obama.

Which left Michele Bachmann.  As already noted in the last two posts, PGH thinks that Bachmann will win the August straw poll in Iowa, and barring any major faux pas, will likely take either #1 or #2 in the caucuses in early 2012.  Last night she demonstrated that she knows how to play the media better than Palin while coming off smarter and less incoherent.  I know that isn’t a high bar and Bachmann has straddled it before in the past, but last night she managed to be extreme without sounding too crazy.  Perfect for the tea party crowd, which is probably licking its chops right now.

In any case Bachmann “pre-announced” her “official announcement” that she was running for president.  No shocker there, but the fact that she chose the debate to do it shows her ability to manipulate the media with the best of them.  And as PGH accurately predicted yesterday, she also rattled off quite a few sound bites that were red meat to her base – the most extreme tea partiers.  Ever happy to toss out meaningless platitudes like “job killing EPA” (which distracts from the fact that EPA was started by a Republican president to help clean up the mess industry had made of our air [visible] and water [on fire]), she went straight to the far right end of the tea party spectrum.  And they love it.

Bottom line – Bachmann showed she can do well in the debates, which means she could siphon off the tea party votes from less extremist candidates, which means the potentially electable folks will have to shift even more to the right and say things that the Obama team will easily prove are false.  This puts people like Romney, and likely Huntsman, in a position where they will be turning off the very people they need to get elected by pandering to the extremists in the primaries.

This could be an interesting election, from a pundit point of view.

June 14, 2011 Posted by | 2012, debate, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Tea Party, Tim Pawlenty | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PGH Quick Take – Previewing the New Hampshire Republican Debate

Tonight is the first (real) Republican debate for the 2012 candidates for the GOP nomination. [There was a previous debate, but given that no one with a chance showed up it doesn’t really count]  In any case, tonight New Hampshire will host the first of what could be many Republican debates.  And all the big names are there:

– Mitt Romney: Barring a Gingrich-esque meltdown, Romney will win the New Hampshire primary in early 2012.  His job tonight is to look and sound like the adult in the room, which really shouldn’t be too much trouble given the rest of the field.

– Tim Pawlenty: Probably the second most adult person in the room, though no one seems to be noticing.  Perhaps because he’s trying too hard to be the conservative alternative to Romney, thus eliminating any chance he’ll have of getting moderates.  Which is ironic.

– Newt Gingrich: He should make the debate interesting.  I actually hope he manages to un-implode his campaign long enough to contribute his flowery rhetoric (which is often contradictory, but always pretty).

– Michele Bachmann: Though technically she hasn’t announced that she is running (ssshhhh, it’s a secret), she should be good for some entertainment.  Likely she will say something that will make the lead sound bite on tomorrow’s news.  In fact, she’ll probably plan on it. [PGH will explain shortly why Bachmann may very well win the Iowa straw poll in August]

– Rick Santorum: Likely he will work hard to violate the Reagan 11th commandment just to get attention.

– Ron Paul: See “Rand Paul,” only older. Paul has a following and usually says something interesting, if not viable.

– Herman Cain: The former Godfather’s pizza magnate “won” the earlier non-debate, which is both a credit to him and a discredit to the other participants.  It will be interesting to see if debate moderator John King will ask Cain to elaborate on his recent anti-Muslim bigotry.  That should be fun.

Not participating in person but likely on the mind of several of the participants (especially Mitt Romney) is Jon Huntsman.  Huntsman hasn’t formally announced his candidacy yet but unlike Bachmann, who just wants to be seen and heard, Huntsman has chosen not to play his hand until he has to.   Huntsman could give Romney a run for his money in the adult department.  Ironically, both Romney and Huntsman face the same hurdles to get the Republican nomination – they are both Mormon, both have perfect hair, both are positively associated with the Obama administration, and both appeal to the same type of campaign funders.  They could conceivably cancel each other out.

So with the tea party actively working against their most likely nominees, the Republican party has to a choice to make.  Do they go more mainstream, or shift so far out to the right wing that they ensure that Obama wins in a landslide next year?

PGH will do a postmortem after the debate.

June 13, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments