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.
Rick Santorum is giving his speech in Ohio before the votes are counted. That in itself says something.
But listening to his speech begs the question – what country does this guy live in? He seems to think he lives in a theocratic country, Iran perhaps?
In short, he seems unable to say anything that is remotely related to actual fact. He’s one bumper sticker after another. And I’m not holding him to a normal standard of actually being honest and reality based. After all, he’s a politician. But listening to him I have to wonder if he’s simply gone off into some parallel universe in which reality is whatever rhetoric he can come up with.
I’m sorry to be blunt, but the guy is unreal. Not only has he shown over the last few months that he is a maniacal bigot, he just seems not to realize that people actually are not all as uniformed as his rhetoric suggests he believes they must be.
Okay, Santorum won Tennesee and Oklahoma. That tells you something. What is interesting is that he is slightly ahead of Romney in Ohio with about a third of the vote in as I write this. That doesn’t bode well for Romney. But we’ll see that it bodes very well for Obama given Romney’s utter disconnect from anyone who isn’t a $200 millionaire.
Is this thing over yet? Seriously. The Republican party has effectively demonstrated that it is incapable of governing this country. Blame it on the tea party bigots.
Conservative icon, National Review, calls for Newt Gingrich to drop campaign for Republican nomination
The conservative icon, National Review, is calling for Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race.
According to a February 13, 2012 editorial:
“But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader.”
And that’s from the conservative wing of the Republican party.
The National Review says that it is “Santorum’s Turn,” that Mitt Romney “remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama.” It’s not so much that Romney is the best candidate. In fact, “lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion.” Worse, “Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals” [i.e., his fellow Republicans]. So much for Reagan’s 11th Commandment, though clearly the same lack of adherence to that commandment is true for all the other candidates as well. Of course, you can add one or two (or more) other Commandments that Newt Gingrich has also violated.
How will this end? Likely very badly for Romney. Oh, and Gingrich? He’s pretty much toast.
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Why the Tea Party Hates Romney – And Why They Will Continue to Hate Romney After Iowa Hands Him the GOP Nomination
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.
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.