Political Gum Hockey

Political Commentary and Humor

The Straw Man (Poll) of La Iowa – What does it mean? (Part 1)

This is an exciting week in the world of Republican politics before it matters.   Yes, folks, this week are two of the most important meaningless events of the budding election season.  You got it…

…the Ames straw poll…and the Republican debate!

Okay, first the debate.  On Thursday the “major” Republican candidates will take the stage to not debate at all.  The goal of the debate is not to debate but to bash President Obama.  After all, this is the Republican party.  Given the events of the last week I would expect each and every participant to spend his or her time blaming the tea party downgrade on President Obama…following the script laid out by the tea party lobby.  A script so bizarre that it actually had one pundit blaming Obama for starting a recession in 2007 and the collapse of the economy in 2008…before he was even elected.

If there is anything of value to this debate it is in its potential to eliminate Tim Pawlenty from the race.  Poor Timmy has been working hard for about three years to get noticed, only to be overshadowed by the sudden candidacy of his fellow Minnesotan, Michele Bachmann.  Bachmann is actually expected to win the straw poll (more on that in a second), which would be a kick in the knees to Timmy.  But even she might be kicked to the curb if she doesn’t totally blow the field out of the water (er, drought).  Since Texas Governor Perry is supposedly ready to jump into the race (or not), Bachmann may be related to the same bin as Tim who.

Oh, Romney will pretty much ignore everyone else and just bash Obama.

One more thing about Pawlenty.  He’s put himself between a very large rock and a very hard place with his wimpish retreat in the last debate from his pre-debate puffery.  So if Pawlenty decides to ignore the Obama-bashing script and instead takes a few direct shots to the faces of Romney and Bachmann (figuratively, not literally), then the debate could make him a star.  Or a goat.  If he again wimps out of his “safe behind the Fox desk” criticisms of fellow candidates, then he’s a goner anyway.  Frankly, Pawlenty is in a lose-lose situation of his own making.

There are some other people at this debate, but they pretty much don’t matter so I won’t bother going into them.  It’s too early to bow out so I’ll have at least one more chance for most of them.

Well, this little diddy went a lot longer than expected (it’s Obama’s fault), so I’ll pick up on the straw poll in the next post.

August 9, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Republican, Rick Perry, Tea Party, Tim Pawlenty | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Governor Rick Perry To Run for President (Maybe)

Much of the buzz for the last few weeks has been over whether Texas Governor Rick Perry will take the plunge and run for the Republican nomination for President.

He’s definitely going to run.

Maybe.

Well, PGH doesn’t know any more than anyone else.  But he is definitely looking into the possibility in a serious way.  Perry has been racking up the phone bills (to be paid by Texas taxpayers) trying to find out if joining the race at this point is logistically feasible.  For pretty much anyone else the answer would almost certainly be no.  For Perry….welllllll.

With zero national campaign organization and the Iowa straw poll coming up in only a few weeks, Perry starts with a pretty big disadvantage.  But Perry does have a few things going for him.

Name recognition: At least among the tea party set, the name Rick Perry is one that is familiar.  In fact, the reason why he is seriously considering entering the race is because enough high-powered people who are disgusted with the current 10 or so choices for the Republican nomination have been lobbying Perry to run.  Still, outside of Texas and tea party circles, most of America probably knows nothing about him…or if they do, don’t necessarily like what they know.

RGA: Perry has been a bigwig in the Republican Governors Association for some time and knows how to raise money. With the tea party desperately looking for a messiah (and realizing that Bachmann ain’t gonna be it), they would flock to Perry in a nanosecond.  Off course they flocked to Donald Trump in a nanosecond as well, then Herman Cain, then Michelle Bachmann, and so I guess Perry is up next.

Cred: While Perry obviously would get the vote of everyone in the tea party, he somehow also doesn’t scare off most not-s0-bigoted mainstream Republicans.  Thus he is pretty much the only GOP candidate that could get the vote of both the crazy side and the sane side of the GOP.

So if he jumps in, he might just do well even with this late start.  Of course, if Perry does enter the race, that means the end of the Michelle Bachmann experiment.  Bachmann was all poised to win next month’s Iowa straw poll and would have likely won the February caucuses.  With Perry in the mix, she would fade away.  [And there is no way Perry would pick her as a running mate if he does get the nomination].  A Perry candidacy would also all but eliminate people like Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.  The impact of a Perry candidacy on Mitt Romney is more uncertain, mainly because Romney is the only actual serious person running for the GOP.  That makes Romney the alternative choice if the GOP decides that Perry and the tea party brigade are too dangerous to nominate.

So we wait.  Frankly, Perry jumping in would significantly change the analysis, so I hope he makes his decision soon.  PGH has some politic-crunching to do and it helps if all the nuts are in the bowl before getting started.

July 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Republican, Rick Perry, Tea Party | , , , , , , | 1 Comment