Political Gum Hockey

Political Commentary and Humor

Huntsman Begins Run for 2016 – Romney Wins 2012 Republican Nomination

Jon Huntsman will officially announce on Monday that he is dropping out of the race for the 2012 Republican nomination for President and immediately beginning his run for the 2016 nomination.  Word from those “in the know” of his campaign suggest that he will probably not phrase it quite like that tomorrow, instead opting for the usual boring “doing it for the good of the party” speech.  But we all can read the writing on the bathroom wall, folks.  Do you really think we aren’t paying attention?  Jon Huntsman – 2016!!

In any case, Huntsman is pretty much in a bind.  He surprised everyone by taking Show (as in Win, Place and Show) in the New Hampshire primary, falling a mere 2 light years short of Romney’s first place total and a couple of clicks behind the chief “Not-Romney-of-the-Week” Ron Paul (standing in for his son, Rand Paul).  Notwithstanding this spectacular finish after spending only most of his life there the last few months, Huntsman faces the usual problem for thoughtful, honest candidates – no one wants to give him money to continue.  So Huntsman is showing how smart he is by leaving while sane people think highly of him, thus leaving a positive memory for when he officially starts running for the 2016 nomination.  Of course his unofficial 2016 candidacy starts today, but he does have to make a show of supporting his current party until it is safe to disappear (which should be less than a week). After that he’ll likely spend his time building his network.

So all of this means that Romney will win the South Carolina primary, something that he would have done anyway given that even South Carolina won’t vote for Perry, Santorum or Gingrich enough to jeopardize their “always vote for the nominee” pride day.  And then Romney will win Florida.  And then no one will care whether the other states even bother to vote since Romney will already be pivoting to try to make everything he has said to cater to the extremist tea party disappear from the collective memories of independents and other not crazy people.

From his speech, January 16, 2012:  “This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people.”

And of course, that is from Republicans since he’s talking about the Republican primary race.

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night! *

* All About Eve (1950) starring Bette Davis

January 15, 2012 Posted by | Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Primary, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Huntsman Shows Class, Romney Shows He is a Corporate Raider Who Puts Himself Before Country

Jon Huntsman has a new campaign ad out today in New Hampshire.  It’s called:

Country First

The short video shows Huntsman responding to Mitt Romney during this weekend’s debates.  Romney attacked Huntsman for…serving his country.  Yes, Romney actually attacked a fellow Republican for putting his country first and not playing partisan politics.  Romney made it clear he is more interested in his own wealth and power than what is best for his country.

Huntsman shows what America is supposed to be. Country First. Mitt Romney shows what he is – Romney first. Party first. Damn the country, I want mine first. That attitude is reflective of his time at Bain Capital – the goal wasn’t to save businesses, it was to make money for the investors. And if that meant laying off workers and dismantling the company, so be it. They were unimportant to Romney – all that mattered was that Bain Capital and the individual wealthy investors made money.

And that is a very very sad commentary on what Mitt Romney represents.

See the video below:

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Primary, Republican | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romney and a few non-Romneys Debate in New Hampshire – Winner Takes All! Film at 11!

Team Romney goes into tonight’s Republican primary debate with a ridiculously insurmountable double digit lead in the polls.  So Team Anti-Romney has one last chance to knock Romney from the thrown before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Actually there are two chances since there is also a debate Sunday morning, but the timing is such that it’s really one debate split into two parts, presumably to capture both the asocial people with no Saturday night dates and those who don’t go to church on Sunday morning, so we can think of it as a last chance for the Anti-Romney forces to get noticed.

So watch tonight for whether anyone remembers Reagan’s 11th commandment (thou shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans). Forget that Reagan and everyone else broke that commandment, and a few others, so many times that it became nothing but a meaningless platitude.  In any case, more than likely it will be all hands on Romney.  After all, the only way anyone stays in the race is to knock Romney down a peg or two or maybe three so that they have a chance for a comeback.  You can betcha the Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Paul and Huntsman camps have been digging sharpened bamboo-spiked tiger traps for Romney all week.  I almost expect camouflage face paint (not so much for Paul, as he really wouldn’t carry that look off too well).  So expect all the non-Romneys to go for the severe wounding (metaphorically speaking) in New Hampshire, then the (equally metaphorically speaking) kill in South Carolina.

The South Carolina whose Governor has backed Romney.

You see where this going, right?

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter what they say tonight since no one is really listening and the words are political pomposity anyway.  What matters is whether Romney comes out of the debates inspiring pundits to think “The Coronation of Napoleon” or “Le Mort de Marat.”

Depending on that result, the tea party will have to decide whether to prostrate themselves in utter hypocrisy to support the nominee, or actually stand for the principles they claim to have.

January 7, 2012 Posted by | Mitt Romney, Primary, Republican, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bachmann to Drop Out of Republican Race – Tea Party Kills Another One

Michele Bachmann will drop out of the race for the Republican nomination for President.  After winning the Iowa straw poll, thus vaulting her to the front of the pack for 15 minutes, Bachmann came in last in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday.

Bachmann, of course, was the tea party darling once it became obvious that Sarah Palin wasn’t going to run (which was about 6 to 9 months before she officially said she wasn’t going to run).

After killing Bachmann by jumping to Rick Perry, the tea party ultimately killed Perry as well.  And Trump. And Gingrich. And Cain. [Not necessarily in that order]  And now they will kill Santorum.  It’s clear, the tea party kills.  [Needless to say, my use of the word “kill” is metaphorical, not literal.  Jeesh.]

So with Romney eking out an 8 vote “win” over Rick Santorum, it’s on to New Hampshire where the dynamics are a bit different than Iowa.  More on that later.

So Bye Bye Bachmann.  Good thing you didn’t give up your day job (paycheck, she actually didn’t do much in her day job in 2011…or for that matter, during her entire Congressional career).  So good luck with running for reelection – I’m sure Minnesotans will be happy to sign you up for another term.

[UPDATED: I wrote the article above before Bachmann went on TV to make an announcement.  She has now made if official.  As Politico reports: “Last night, the people in Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to step aside.”  Given that she only got 5% of the votes in Iowa it’s unclear that her departure will result in much help to other candidates, but most likely the few people who would have voted for her will lean towards Rick Santorum (Perry will be out shortly too, so he won’t get them).]

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Iowa caucuses, Iowa straw poll, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Tea Party | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

An Ode to Newt Gingrich – The Last Man on Earth

Okay, I don’t do odes, so that part was rhetorical.  As for the “last man on Earth,” that pretty much was what you would hear from political pundits when asked about former Speaker and serial philanderer Newt Gingrich’s chances of becoming President.  As in, “Newt won’t ever be President even if he was the last man on Earth.”

And that was from the Republicans.

These last few days the airwaves have been filled with media pondering the magnificent “back from the dead” resurgence of Newt Gingrich into the lead of many polls.  Which proves that the media all have that disease that won’t remember yesterday (I forget what the disease is called).  Think about it.  The reason that Newt Gingrich is suddenly in the lead for the Republican nomination is pretty obvious.  And it ain’t rocket science folks.

So here is an ancient proverb I just made up: “When all the other boats are sinking, they raise the only boat remaining that doesn’t have a gaping hole in its hull.”  Call it a political version of Archimedes principle. Or something.

In any case, the rise of Gingrich is directly related to the sinking of the other tea party saviors of the week.   It most certainly isn’t due to anything that he has done.  Let’s recap.

In the beginning there was Sarah Palin.  Remember her?  Yep, Palin was the first choice of the tea party and they begged her to run.  Eventually they begged her not to run, but early on she was the “The One.”

While waiting for Sarah Godot Palin the tea party decided to play a Trump card.  Why? Because Trump played the birther card and immediately grabbed the attention of the bigots in the tea party.  And so Trump actually moved to the front, or near the front, of polls.  Donald Trump.  Reality TV “star” and user of other people’s money to enhance the millions that his daddy handed him.   The guy who conveniently went bankrupt just before each of his last two divorces.  The guy who has Chapter 11’d so many casinos that you wonder just how the tea party could look to Donald Trump, self-promoter in chief, to fix the economy.  Yeah, that Donald Trump.

Then there was Michele Bachmann, or Palin-Lite (or Palin-Heavy depending on your viewpoint).  She was the next tea party savior.  They saw her as the best conservative Presidential option.  No, seriously.  The tea party actually thought Bachmann was Oval Office material.  Just as long as no one asked her what the shape of the Oval Office was or the color of the White House.  Bachmann surged to the front of the pack on the strength of her Iowa birtherism and lack of command of pretty much every issue.  She won the Iowa straw poll and her star rose to the lofty heights of the tea party for all of several hours before Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day.  Bye bye Michele.

So in comes Perry.  And he surges to the top. And at the top he stayed until the first debate in which he participated.  That didn’t knock him out completely (I mean, he couldn’t be that bad, could he), but the next couple pretty much showed where Perry’s skills were.  And that is hypocrisy (“Secede from the Union” but “send me federal funds for education and disaster relief”).  Oh, and when you have thought through your central policy position so deeply that you have no clue what the third Department you would eliminate could possibly be, well, friends, you’re screwed. [Note on that – anyone can forget a name, especially during a high pressure situation like a debate.  The fact that he couldn’t describe his rationale for getting rid of that forgotten named Department (or the other two) means that he was given this sound bite by his handlers and he simply memorized it without even thinking about it.  That’s not a president, that’s a mynah bird.]

Okay, so Perry sinks to the bottom.  But wait, there’s more!!  Don’t forget Herman Cain.  The Koch-supported guy who was a corporate CEO who made the corporation profitable by closing half of its 900 stores and laying off thousands of people. Yep, therein lies a great job creator.  Then he was head of the regional Fed, and we know how much the tea party likes the Fed.  Oh, and he was the head of a huge lobbying organization.  Perfect.  Just what the tea party was looking for.  Too bad all those women showed up reminding us of the harassment charges they filed against him all those years ago, and that one with the 13-year affair that he denies as he quickly rushes to the exit.  Sorry, Cain is not Able.

You do see a pattern here, right.  There is a whole lot of surging going on by a succession of tea party “saviors.”  One person floats to the top because the tea party thinks he or she is the best thing since sliced bread.  A savior is declared and that person suddenly is rushing up the polls.  Then he or she speaks, and sinks like a stone.  But have no fear, because that person sinking just raises up the next person.  And then the next. And then the next.

And now there is Gingrich.  Perhaps appropriately for a man named after an amphibian, Newt has floated to the top.  He’s basically the only one left.  He tread water while the others drowned themselves (mostly because the debate questions tend to go more to the “frontrunners” so Gingrich didn’t have much chance to shoot himself in the foot yet).  And with all the previous saviors gone, the tea party has turned to the only man standing.

For now.

Gingrich has the twin advantages of having no one else the tea party can turn to, and having not much time left before the Iowa caucuses.  Not that it matters much.

December 8, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Newt Gingrich, Tea Party | , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Fearing being ignored, Bachmann Names Names

Michele Bachmann today made a desperate plea for attention.  After surging to the top for several hours one day last summer, Bachmann has since been written off as a political has-been despite constant unserious claims to being a serious candidate.  And today she went for her Hail Mary pass.

Yes, she named her fake short list for possible VP running mates.  They include:

Rick Santorum: The only serious person in the bunch.  Though the whole “hate gays” thing is probably not going to win over too many Independent voters.

Donald Trump: I’m not kidding.  No, seriously, I’m not kidding.  She actually mentioned Donald Trump as a possible VP.  If nothing in the world had convinced voters that Bachmann is a joke, then this pushed them over the edge.

Jim DeMint (South Carolina) and Marco Rubio (Florida): Wow, can you say “pandering” to the tea party?  The same tea party that fell in love with her (see above “several hours one day”) before dumping her on the way to the day that they would set the date for the rehearsal dinner.  The tea party has since jumped to Trump, to Cain, to Perry, to Gingrich, and to new levels of insanity.  So yep, the once tea party darling thinks that picking other once tea party darlings as a running mate is going to get her the nomination?

Wow.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled ignoring of Michele Bachmann, the serious person with 5 natural born children and 23 foster children (for at least hours at a time).

P.S. Yes, the photo is on purpose. You figure it out.

December 1, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Tea Party | , , , , , | Leave a comment