Today is the big day. Arizona and Michigan go to the polls to pick their respective choices for the Republican nominee. And the big winner is…
Mitt Romney has done an excellent job letting the voters of both states know who he is – a super-rich, out of touch, elitist who just can’t seem to fake this whole communing with the common man thing. He doesn’t know NASCAR racing, but hey, he has some good friends who own NASCAR racing teams. He reiterated his belief that the American auto industry – based in Detroit – should have been left to go bankrupt with no intervention, but hey, his wife’s two cars are both Cadillacs. [Mitt’s cars also are American, though it’s unclear if that only happened recently when he started running for president and knew it would look bad to have foreign cars…you know, like the undocumented foreign workers the company he hired to have his domestic work done were asked to leave because “I can’t have undocumented aliens; I’m running for President.”]
Then there is Rick Santorum. Well, Jennifer Granholm, Michigan’s former Governor, says it all with:
“The version of Republicanism you are offering is a gift to Democrats looking for recruits. The anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, anti-Europe (particularly the French and the Greeks), anti-labor, anti-poor, anti-99 percent and now anti-college graduate rhetoric enables us to eagerly welcome your castoffs into the Democratic Party — where inclusivity is celebrated and their contributions are welcome.”
So no matter which GOP candidate officially wins tonight in the Republican primary, the big winner is President Obama. Thanks Mitt and Rick (and those other two guys) – you let people know exactly who you are. And that got President Obama a bunch of new votes in November.
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?
Jon Huntsman has a new campaign ad out today in New Hampshire. It’s called:
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:
…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.