Political Gum Hockey

Political Commentary and Humor

Jeb Bush Endorses Mitt Romney for President – It’s all over

The Republican spectacle of picking their nominee to run for President is over.  Today Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.  So it’s “So long, Santorum,” “Goodbye, Gingrich,” and “Pack it in, Paul.” Elvis has left the building.  The nomination battle is done.  [Feel free to add your own silly platitude.]

Not that Jeb Bush controls the Republican party or anything.  The very thought of having a Bush backing you is sure to become an Obama campaign commercial in September.  But Jeb represents the establishment.  The establishment that now sees that Romney is their guy, for better or worse.  So expect to start seeing more establishment “leaders” rally behind Romney and calling for Gingrich and Santorum (and that other guy) to drop out.  And expect to see the tea party hypocritically vote for the guy they have actively despised and hated for his hypocrisy.

Will Gingrich and Santorum take the hint? Probably not.  Gingrich still has his one super-rich 0.01-percenter paying for his campaign (Romney has most of the rest of the super-rich).  Santorum might have a shot at winning a few more states, primarily the anachronistic bigoted ones,  so may stay in to see if he can get a prime speaker slot at the convention (which will boost further the post-election lobbyist consultant fees he plans to collect).

So congratulations, Mitt.  You’re going to be the nominee.  Welcome to Disneyland.

More about Jeb Bush’s endorsement of Romney here, here, here, and probably a million other places.

Advertisements

March 21, 2012 Posted by | Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mitt Romney wins Maine caucuses…and wins CPAC straw poll…net gain of delegates – Zero

Ron Paul tried, but just missed beating Mitt Romney in the Maine caucuses.   The margin was probably due to the fact the voting has been going on for a week (i.e., started before Romney got embarrassed on Tuesday) and the caucuses for Washington County were postponed due to a major snowstorm.  Meanwhile, “severely conservative” Romney also won the meaningless straw poll at the end of the CPAC conference, beating out Rick Santorum as Ron Paul slid into fourth.

So with Saturday’s two wins Romney gets exactly the same number of delegates that Santorum got with his three wins on Tuesday.  Which is, of course, zero, zilch, nada, null.  The actual delegate choices come later in some cases and are non-binding in others, which makes one wonder why they spend so much time and money to hold these dog and pony shows.

In any case, this is good news for Romney since losing either or both of today’s non-events would paint him as a serial loser.  And that really isn’t a good paint job for the campaign bus heading into a general election.  Winning at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, aka, a conservative lobbying event, was actually quite a good outcome for Romney considering two important details.  First, Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll the last two years, and second, it means Romney’s newest bizarre verbal gaffe didn’t hurt him too much.  At least with the white guys in the room.

When PGH first heard that Mitt had emphasized his “severely conservative” ideology we were as confused as everyone else.  “Highly” conservative? Maybe.  “Largely” conservative? Sort of.  “Always” conservative? Umm, no.  But “severely” has essentially no positive meaning in this context.  PGH’s first thought was “time to fire the speech writer.”  Seriously.  But then this was apparently an ad lib by the Mitt, and since the Republican party has fired pretty much everyone else that was running already, we guess Mitt is safe for now.  [Though Gingrich seems to have had a belly bouncing guffaw that Romney had said something even more nonsensical than Michele Bachmann, aka, “the perfect candidate.”]

So Romney survives another day in his inexorably slow bumpy road to the nomination.  The next few states (Arizona and Michigan on February 28 and Washington on March 3) seem to be tailor made for him.  Notably, Daddy was Governor of Michigan, though this must be balanced against Mitt’s stated desire to have let the automobile industry in Detroit fail and millions of jobs go down the tubes.  Who knows, Santorum could surprise everyone and do well in those states.  Then comes Super Tuesday on March 6 when there are some substantial delegates available in a wide variety of states – pretty much something for everyone.  Even Gingrich has Georgia (though not Virginia).

If Mitt can win all of the above then it’s finally over.  If the results look like a blindfolded drunk dart thrower than at least the media have something to talk about.  Because, after all, isn’t that the real reason they have these primaries and caucuses anyway – to give the media something to talk about for that boring two years leading up to an election?

February 11, 2012 Posted by | Caucus, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Primary, Republican, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

And the Three Big Primary Winners are…Santorum! Wait, Santorum? No, Seriously…Santorum?

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!*

Yes, folks. The sideshow euphemistically called the Republican nomination race of 2012 ran three primaries/caucuses Tuesday night. Up until now we’ve had three winners in four states (giving benefit of the doubt to Santorum for barely beating Romney two weeks and several lost precincts after Romney even more barely beat Santorum in the same Iowa caucus where the results are non-binding anyway…are you staying with me here?).  With Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado all voting Tuesday we could have had a Romney romp, or a Santorum surprise, a Gingrich Gain, or even a Paul Peripeteia.  Alliteration notwithstanding, this promised to be an interesting night.

If Romney were to have won all three states it could have meant the signal for all of the “I want to vote for the guy that wins the nomination” people to all line up like good little Republican soldiers and vote for the guy that wins the nomination.  Yeah, Mitt.

But wait a minute.  Santorum ended up winning all three states?  The guy that barely registered in the last three states? Really?  Wow.

And here we are.

Minnesota: Santorum overwhelmingly wins! – 45% (With Romney in 3rd place)

Missouri: Santorum overwhelmingly wins! – 55%

Colorado: Santorum overwhelmingly wins! – 40%

Thanks a bunch ELP.  Now this sideshow may never end.

*Karn Evil 9 by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Caucus, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Rick Perry Drops Out – Romney Heads to the Cayman Islands!

Tea party savior of last week Rick Perry is dropping out of the Republican primary race after being ignored in New Hampshire (and most other places).  His departure won’t change much as the three individual people who would have voted for him in South Carolina will probably split their votes between the other tea party flavors left unlicked.

But his departure does demonstrate one thing that is incredibly important – the tea party begged him to jump into the race because they thought everyone else was woefully insufficient.  That didn’t stop them for raising those same others up on a pedestal in succession, the pedestal from which they fell face first into the mud once people started paying attention to what they had to say.  Think Yertle the Turtle and you get the idea.   Spaalaaaat.

This is who the tea party picks – Michele Bachmann (out), Donald Trump (not ever in, but the tea party begged the tycoon buffoon to run), Herman Cain (out and hiding from several women, think The Eagles), and, well, you get it.  Throw in Sarah Palin and you have some of the most unaccomplished “leaders” in America.

Which gets us to Mitt Romney.  PGH will have more on him later, but the latest news from Mr. $374,000 is “not very much” for speaking fees (plus millions of dollars in other income taxed at only 15%) is that he’s a poster child for how the super-rich get to hide much of their income from US taxation by popping it off to a beach resort in the Cayman Islands.

Oh, and he actually pulled back his hand that he had outstretched to the person speaking to him when he found out the person was “undocumented.”  Ooh, cooties.

More to come.

January 19, 2012 Posted by | Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Hampshire Primary Shocker!

Romney wins!

Oh, that’s not a shock? My bad.

So even though they are still counting the votes as I write this, Romney has been projected the winner of the New Hampshire Republican party primary, just a couple of light clicks after winning in Iowa (if you can call an 8 vote – not 8%, 8 vote – margin a win).  Did someone say inevitable? Did someone say this months ago? Maybe a year ago?

Oh wait, there is a New Hampshire shocker to report – yep, Ron Paul will come in second!  Yes, that Ron Paul.

The reason for Paul’s surge in New Hampshire (and Iowa) are obviously due to his insightful and visionary ideas for the future greatness of America.  Oops, check that.  Mistook him for someone else.  No, Paul did well in Iowa and even better in New Hampshire because all the rest of the tea party nuts had already had their day on the artificial pedestal the tea party created for them.  Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum all got their jet pack in the, umm, on their back and flew into the heavens…only to get the vapors and collapse back to Earth as soon as they spoke when people might actually be listening.  So that left Paul.  Who has been there all the time saying the same thing over and over (though not always taking the credit/blame for what he’s said in the past).  Ron Paul was ignored then, and when this “last man not stuck up on a pole to be eaten alive by the crows” falls back to Earth he’ll go back to being ignored again.  Of course, he will immediately be reincarnated as Rand Paul.  Wonderful.

Which leaves Jon Huntsman.  Huntsman made a name for himself this weekend and not only raised his standing to a third place finish in New Hampshire but put himself into the position of “the next white guy in line” for 2016.  Watch this space for more on Jon Huntsman after Romney officially wins the Republican nomination for 2012.  Of course, the 2016 countdown clock for Huntsman can’t start until after the November 2012 election, you know, just in case.

So we’re on to South Carolina, where Romney has the support of SC Governor Nikki Haley.  Then there is Florida, though by that time Perry and Santorum and maybe even Gingrich could have dropped out of the race and it will be an anointing rather than a primary.  Which should make the other 46 states wonder why they are going through the expense of holding primaries in the first place.

Then the fun begins – the tea party gets to show us all whether they actually have the principles they keep telling us…cough…that they have, or will the tea party vote for the guy they have been actively despising and calling all sorts of mean and nasty names?  And those are the Republicans doing this.

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Why the Tea Party Hates Romney – And Why They Will Continue to Hate Romney After Iowa Hands Him the GOP Nomination

Dateline Tuesday, January 3rd, the year 2012.  The Headline: Romney Wins GOP Nomination in Iowa!!

Gotta laugh.

Mitt Romney, after dissing Iowa for nearly a year, floods the state with money in the last week and wins the Iowa caucuses.  And the tea party hates it.  Because they hate Romney.

Of course, the votes haven’t been counted yet and Rick Santorum or Ron Paul or a player to be named later could actually have more caucus votes than Romney, but all that is just the gooey technical stuff that really doesn’t mean anything.  Whether Romney comes in “first” or “second” or even “third” is unimportant.  What is important is that he will beat previous expectations, which will ensure his win in New Hampshire and propel him through the remaining two or three states that would have mattered in selecting the Republican nominee. [One must wonder why the other 45+ states even bother with the expense given that the nominee is pretty much “the next old white guy in line” for the Republicans every single time.]

In any case, it has been instructive to watch determined Iowans scurry about hoping to have a real live candidate give them some previously rehearsed boilerplate already given dozens of times to other Iowans who thought it was original for them too.  One thing is clear – the tea party hates Mitt Romney. They have actively tried to destroy him and have been desperately trying to find the “Anyone But Romney” (ABR) candidate…to the point of leaping from Bachmann to Trump (yeah, that Trump) to Perry to Cain to Gingrich to Paul and now to Santorum. Seriously, those people. In an actual election year.

So the last laugh will be on the tea party.

After desperately dissing Romney, now they will have to decide if they want to vote for him…knowing that Romney would dump the tea party the second the votes were counted because, well, because Romney knows that tea party hypocrites have damaged this country and that he, i.e., Romney, would actually have to govern it.

And Romney isn’t so stupid as to actually screw up our country just to please some birthers and bigots in the tea party.  Not when he would be caught holding the bag.

And that is why the tea party will show they are not only anti-middle class extortionists for the rich, they are also hypocrites.

The interesting thing will be to see how Romney tries to kiss up to the tea party during the actual election process while not scaring the bejeesus berries out of the Independent vote.  I’m picturing some high wire balancing reminiscent of the Flying Wallendas.  Of course, many of them fell to their deaths.

Happy New Year! 2012 promises to be a very good year.

January 2, 2012 Posted by | 2012, Birthers, Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, Republican, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dead and Dying in the Iowa Caucuses – Who Survives?

Ooooh, the Iowa caucuses are only a few days away.  What fun.

Unless you’re one of the losers. Which is pretty much everyone but Romney.

I’ll do a post shortly on how Romney played the field and the media to win Iowa, but first let’s make some guesses as to who is still around after Tuesday.

Michele Bachmann: Gone.  It’s ironic that the all-so-(un)important Iowa straw poll in August was won by someone who is desperately trying to save face by not coming in last in the Iowa caucuses.  Last.  Jon Huntsman might even beat here, and he isn’t even competing in Iowa, having openly written them off to focus on the 2016 New Hampshire primary.  Bachmann’s money will complete its evaporation as soon as the Iowa voting is done, and she has already had virtually all of her important staffers jump ship.  Her goal right now is to figure out how to get out of the race with the right rhetoric to keep her in the running for re-election in her Congressional race (unlike Ron Paul, Bachmann decided to run for both President and Congresswoman of Minnesota at the same time…now there is a commitment for you).

Who else is out? Probably everyone but Romney in short shrift.  But for now we’ll likely see Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman stay in until after they all lose in New Hampshire.  Some will bow out after that due to lack of money and interest.  The others will wait until they lose to Mitt in South Carolina.

Oh wait, I’m writing as if Romney will win Iowa.

More on that later.

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Rise of Ron Paul – Can He Take Iowa?

As the tea party has lurched from one incomprehensible candidate to another and found itself settling (most recently) on Newt Gingrich in the final days before the January 3rd Iowa voting, one question remains unanswered.

Can Ron Paul finally be taken seriously enough to win the Iowa caucuses?

Notwithstanding the claims by some of the pundits that Paul’s position on Iran* could cause him to lose in Iowa, Paul has actually been gaining ground in the polls.  And Paul would seem to be the natural fit for the tea party crowd (He was “tea party” before the tea party was cool, or even invented by the billionaire Koch brothers).  Okay, maybe not “this” tea party, the whole being against unilateral attacks on countries we don’t like thing is anathema to the tea party, but close enough.  After all, the tea party simply adapts reality to whatever it wants to rationalize that day (call it “The Matrix, Part IV”).

But I digress.

The bottom line is that Ron Paul is actually making a concerted effort to do well in Iowa.  And why not, at 76 it’s really his last shot at the Presidency and his branding is good for this particular year.  Stranger things have happened.  For example, after the tea party cycled through Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain they jumped from these unconventional candidates to the dyed-in-the-wool Washington insider Newt Gingrich.  And could be in a position to vote for “the next guy in line” Mitt Romney, who has been running for President full time for over five years.  So much for unconventional.

But there is still hope.  No, I don’t mean Rick Santorum, whose severe anti-gay attitudes are too extreme even for the tea party (who prefer to wrap their bigotry in anti-Muslim garb these days).  I mean Ron Paul.  After all, he is the only one left in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) rankings.  And his anti-government views fit in with the tea party desire to remove all impediments to rampant robber baronism, fair opportunity for the lowly 99% of us, and those protections for human health and the environment that just cut into corporate profits and the ability to fund pork projects.

So Ron Paul has decided to go after frontrunner of the week Newt Gingrich.  Besides being more than a little testy at the recent debates, Paul has issued a scathing reminder that Newt Gingrich tends to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Check out Paul’s new campaign ad:

Serial Hypocrisy

The word “serial,” by the way, isn’t a coincidence.  The political marketing guru’s know that it will instantly trigger visions of Gingrich’s serial affairs, marriages, un-marriages, and his hypocrisy of trying to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair while Newt himself was carrying on his latest affair.

But that is just icing to the cake of the main message – Gingrich is a Washington player who puts his own financial well-being ahead of all else.

So with the Iowa caucuses coming up in just over two weeks, with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays squeezed in between, and with Gingrich’s sudden surge starting to un-surge, Paul is looking to do well and maybe even win in Iowa.

And that would be really really interesting.  If nothing else, a vote for Ron Paul in Iowa is a vote for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.  Which is why Romney is snickering a bit these days.

*P.S. BTW, this is Paul’s explanation of his position on Iran and what the US should, or should not, do regarding the potential for Iran to get nuclear weapons.

December 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Iowa caucuses, Republican, Ron Paul | , , , , | 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