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Posts Tagged ‘2012’

Behind Pawlenty’s Saying “No” To Being Romney’s Running Mate

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 24, 2012

Poor Lawrence O’Donnell. He keeps getting things wrong, in public, on national TV.

For instance, remember how he spent half of last year yammering that Tim Pawlenty was a lock for the GOP presidential nomination? Too bad, so sad.

Undeterred, O’Donnell simply switched from proclaiming Pawlenty a shoo-in for top of the GOP ticket to proclaiming him a shoo-in for the second slot on the GOP ticket. This is what LOD was saying as recently as last Thursday, when he chomped down hard on this Politico teaser: “Tim Pawlenty has jumped to the top of the vice presidential shortlist of several Mitt Romney advisers after emerging as the most effective — and well-liked – surrogate for the GOP-nominee-to-be, according to several Republicans familiar with campaign deliberations.”

O’Donnell spent that segment hammering Politico for what he called taking the word of a Pawlenty associate on this matter when in fact Pawlenty had been the front-runner for the GOP running mate slot for 223 days “and I put him there!

Wow. Ego much, Larry?

And guess what? Wrong again, cupcake: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (puh-LEN’-tee) says he’s told Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to look elsewhere for a running mate.” He announced this on CBS’ Face the Nation program this morning.

So why did Pawlenty say no? There are two likely scenarios: 1) He knew Romney’s people were going to stiff him just like McCain’s did and he wanted to do a face-saving preemptive-strike move, or 2) He can read polls. I subscribe to the second scenario, and here’s why:

Remember, this is the guy whose primary reason for wanting the 2008 RNC in St. Paul was so he could appear on stage as John McCain’s running mate. He fully expected to be picked by McCain, much as Bob Dole fully expected to be picked by George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988. He wants the presidency — or the vice presidency — so much he can taste it.

Why would such a man turn down an offer to be on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket? Because he can read the polls:

See that map? Obama needs to get, at most, two more swing states to get him over the top — and if he gets Florida, only one. Romney, by contrast, needs to pick up at least five of the six swing states, one of which had better be Florida. Furthermore, the economy is doing better in most of the swing states than it is elsewhere — which is why Romney’s been telling the GOP governors of swing states to stop talking up how well they’re doing in terms of recovering from the Bush Depression.

Plus, Pawlenty’s seen this past week how well the Latino community has reacted to Obama’s end run around Republican refusal to pass the DREAM Act. That’s going to be a big issue in Florida. If he wasn’t sure before that Romney’s going to go down in flames, he’s probably sure now — and he doesn’t want his 2016 presidential-nomination résumé contaminated by being the running mate for a failed presidential candidate.

06/25/12 Update: And now we see that Michigan’s just flipped from toss-up to Leans Obama, giving him a total of 269 EVs of the 270 needed. And with the GOP-dominated SCOTUS just handing down an SB1070 ruling that preserves the worst and key part of it, Romney can kiss goodbye any hope of getting the Latino vote.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Burying The Lede RE: Mitt Romney’s Gay Foreign Policy Advisor

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 3, 2012

I normally have no trouble with HuffPo’s political coverage. But this story struck me as odd:

Richard Grenell Flap Had ‘Blown Over,’ Mitt Romney Campaign Staff Thought

WASHINGTON — Former Romney spokesman Richard Grenell left the campaign because he felt like his reputation was being destroyed by criticism and he was unable to defend himself, according to sources who have spoken with Grenell and understand his thinking.

But by the time Grenell gave notice last weekend of his intention to quit, the Romney campaign viewed any controversy about his hiring as having largely evaporated, and Romney aides were surprised when they learned of Grenell’s wish to resign.

“In the scale of things, we didn’t view it as a major story and in fact thought it had blown over,” a source close to the Romney campaign said of the controversy around Grenell.

And we get a few more paragraphs in that vein, all gee-if-he’d-stuck-around-he’d-be-OK-by-now.

Except, at the verrrry end of the story, we find the real story — namely, that he’d been told by the Romney campaign to keep his lips zipped and not make any public statements:

The Romney campaign has said Grenell had not been sent out to talk
about foreign policy issues before this week because he was not
scheduled to start until May 1. But that explanation did not make sense
to some, including one former high-ranking Bush administration official.

“Why wasn’t Rick the spokesman in the last couple of days, when
foreign policy was paramount?” former Bush White House press secretary
Ari Fleischer asked the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent . “That’s the piece I don’t understand.”

“I don’t know why he wasn’t the spokesman on foreign policy for the
last several days. It’s something that nobody understands,” Fleischer

Last week Grenell was “instructed to shut up” before a foreign policy
conference call with reporters, eroding his standing with journalists
on the beat, Andrew Sullivan reported and HuffPost confirmed.

Turns out that the reference to the Sullivan piece was a late addition to the story, which partially explains why it got stuck at the bottom of the story. That, and the unwillingness of news outlets to do proper rewrites nowadays.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Considering Giving Obama Money? You’re Better Off Helping Your Own Local Party.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 5, 2012

Even more than in 2008, Obama’s campaign is going to be dominated by big corporate and institutional funders. And even more than in 2008 and 2009, when he essentially took over the DNC and made it into an OFA arm, the downticket Democratic candidates are getting screwed:

President Barack Obama has a bleak message for House and Senate Democrats this year when it comes to campaign cash: You’re on your own.

Democratic congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have privately sought as much as $30 million combined from Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee — a replay of the financial help they received from Obama in 2008 and 2010.

But that’s not going to happen, top Obama aides Jim Messina and David Plouffe told Reid and Pelosi in back-to-back meetings on Capitol Hill on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the high-level talks. It was a stark admission from a presidential campaign once expected to rake in as much as $1 billion of just how closely it is watching its own bottom line.

Messina and Plouffe told the two Hill leaders that there would be no cash transfers to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from OFA or the DNC, at least not before Election Day, the sources said.

If you really want to help the Democratic party become a better party by electing more and better Democrats, skip donating to OFA/DNC and give it straight to the Democratic candidate or candidates of your choice. Who says so? Obama buddy Jonathan Bernstein says so:

If you’re planning on making political donations this year, and you really want your money to help the cause, here’s what you should do: Instead of sinking cash into either presidential campaign, put it where it will really matter — into Congressional or state and local races.

Here’s why: The battle for the House and Senate may well shape up as toss ups, which means that control of Congress is hanging in the balance. This matters just as much, and in many ways more, than control of the White House. The least bang for your buck comes in presidential general elections. Your money will make a much bigger difference in practically every other type of election.

Hat tip to David Dayen.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

PW Makes A Daring Prediction About Newt’s Press Conference Tonight

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 4, 2012

Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker and current presidential hopeful, is having a press conference tonight after the Nevada primary results are in.

Many think Newt will announce that he’s pulling out and conceding the nomination. I don’t think so.

I think it’s going to be Newt’s announcing that he’s going to be hiring a guy that Mitt Romney just spurned because Mitt’s ego is getting too big for its britches:

A GOP operative who won plaudits for bolstering Mitt Romney’s recent debate performances is not being retained by the front-runner’s campaign, an apparent victim of internal tensions over staff receiving too much credit for the candidate’s comeback, POLITICO has learned.

Brett O’Donnell, a former top aide to Michele Bachmann, has been paid for his work assisting Romney in the crucial Florida debates but was not offered a formal role with the campaign as he expected, according to Republican sources familiar with the situation.

I think that Romney dumped the guy both because of Romney’s ego, and also because of Romney’s arrogance. He needs 1144 delegates to win the nomination, and he’s got less than a tenth of that even with winning Nevada tonight, yet he’s already acting as if the nomination is his — so he’s preparing to pivot away from the Birchers and Tea Partiers and towards a message he thinks will be more suited to the general election. If he’s already pivoting away from the Tea Partiers, he won’t need an expert in Tea Party talk like O’Donnell, or so I imagine him to be thinking.

I have no inside information, just a weird wild guess that this is what I would do if I were Newt.

We’ll see in a few hours just how wrong — or right — I am.

UPDATE: Well, he didn’t mention O’Donnell by name, but he didn’t concede either. So it’s half-right, or half-wrong, depending on how you score these things.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

The Republicans’ Enthusiasm Gap

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2012

I’ve been trying to gauge relative voter enthusiasm by comparing 2012 primary and caucus results to those of 2008, on the idea that the more folks who turn out for the early primaries, the ones that decide the end result months in advance, are the key ones to watch as the motivation factor to participate will be higher in those than in the primaries held after them.

Up to this point — aside from South Carolina which was the Tea Party’s Last Hurrah, hence the huge TheoCon turnout which disproportionately benefited Newt — turnout’s been similar to 2008, especially when you take population growth into account. But then we came to Florida, and Florida’s GOP turnout this year was much lower than four years ago: 1,663,698 to 2008’s 1,949,498, or nearly 300,000 less.

I believe this means that while the Republican’s Tea-Party/Bircher base may have grudgingly accepted Romney as the only Republican who stands a chance against Obama this year, the operative word here is “grudgingly”. This was an incredibly hard-fought state — Romney needed Florida’s winner-take-all system to put a stake through Newt’s heart, which is why he outspent Newt there by a five-to-one margin — and if there really was the huge “dump Obama” fervor the GOP/Media Complex says exists, one would expect turnout to have been much higher than in 2008. Instead, the opposite happened, and there was a fifteen percent drop in turnout from 2008.

From now on, the rest of the primary schedule will have a decreasing amount of relevance aside from padding Mitt’s delegate totals. Money that was either on the sidelines or committed to other candidates will now start flowing Mitt’s way, and he’s going to need it: He outspent Santorum by nearly 100-to-1 in Iowa and still lost by a hairsbreadth, he outspent Gingrich by over two-to-one in South Carolina and got beaten like a gong, and he had to pull out all the stops and outspend Newt by five-to-one to beat him in Florida. His easiest win was in New Hampshire, where he had the advantage of being the only New Englander in the race, and even there he still had to spend over $10 million.

David Paul Kuhn of the Republican-run RealClearPolitics addresses the Republicans’ enthusiam gap in a roundabout way, asking: “Will Romney’s Strengths Prove Moot Against Obama?” Well, when even the Republican stalwart Scott Rasmussen’s polling shows Obama beating Romney by four percentage points in the general, I suspect that the answer is “no”.

Why is this? A number of reasons have been advanced, one of them being anti-Mormon prejudice, but I suspect that another factor is this: Having Romney as the nominee would mean that the Republicans’ biggest weapon to date against Obama and the Democrats — the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act — is now permanently neutralized, as the ACA is in essence a national version of the “Romneycare” that Mitt introduced in Massachusetts, and too many Republicans are all too aware of this.

If Romney is ever foolish enough to criticize the ACA during any of his debates with Obama, all Obama has to do is tell the stark truth: “Funny you should say that, Governor, as we used your Romneycare plan as a model for the Affordable Care Act.”

Posted in 2008, 2012, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Iowa Republican Caucus Turnout On Par With 2008; Mitt Gets Six Votes Less

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 5, 2012

As we all know by now, Mitt Romney, just barely, won the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night.

An 8-vote margin is nothing to crow about, especially when Santorum is likely to inherit most of Bachmann’s vote now that she’s pulled out. (Fascinatingly, Rick Perry hasn’t pulled out yet: Wonder if he’s playing hard to get in order to leverage himself onto a Santorum or Romney ticket as a running mate? If so, that’d be the first evidence I’ve seen that the man can think straight.)

From the point of view of Obama, what ought to make him happy is comparing Tuesday night’s turnout to 2008’s:

Total turnout in the Iowa GOP 2008 caucuses: 119,188. In 2008, Iowa had an estimated population of 3,002,555, so 3.96955% of the state’s population turned out in 2008.

Total turnout in the Iowa GOP 2012 caucuses: 122,224 (per my count of the numbers shown here: In 2011, Iowa’s estimated population was 3,062,309, so 3.9912% of the state’s population turned out last night. (Romney actually received six fewer votes last night — for a total of 30,015 — than he did in his second-place finish to Huckabee in 2008, when he got 30,021.)

In other words, for all the talk of fired-up Republicans ready to surge to victory, that ain’t happening, at least not in Iowa.

Posted in 2012 | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Do GOP Base Voters See Ron Paul’s Racism As A Bad Thing? Probably Not.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 29, 2011

If you’re part of the reality-based community and you’ve been following politics in America for the last decade or so, then you likely knew about the Ron Paul newsletters — and their bigoted contents — well before establishment Republican media outlets dredged them up again to lob at him. (The first time they were dredged up, it was lefties who did the dredging.)

You will notice that while the establishment GOP’s favorite mouthpieces and megaphones have been taking about the newsletters to anyone who will listen, Ron Paul’s Republican rivals generally aren’t touching them. (Bachmann’s the only one to actually do so; Romney, on the other hand, would not even when a reporter offered him the opportunity.) Instead, they’re largely attacking him as being “dangerous” on foreign policy (which is their way of saying he’s against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars).

In other words, most of the other Republican candidates know full well that racism is not considered a bad thing by most GOP base voters. After nearly half a century of the corporate-bigot alliance that is the GOP’s Southern Strategy, the Republican base sees bigotry not as a bug, but a feature.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

“Is Rick Perry Gay? Is Mitt Romney Mormon?”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 15, 2011

While reading the comments section of a story in Nerve concerning the outing of Phillip Hinkle, an anti-gay archconservative Bible-thumping Republican state legislator in Indiana, by the rent boy he’d hired off of Craigslist, I ran into this interesting comment:

Better than Marcus Bachmann getting caught at this would be RICK PERRY. It’s putative within the Austin gay community that RICK PERRY IS A CLOSET CASE. Go to any gay bar in town and mention the Guv and you will get a raft of info about his shenanigans.

I can’t wait until that smoking gun emerges.

Intrigued, I plugged “rick perry” into my Google search app tucked into the upper corner of my web browser, and guess what was the fourth item to appear via Google Suggest? Yup, “rick perry gay”. (The screen shot’s at the top of this post, but don’t take my word for it — try it for yourself.)

After selecting “rick perry gay”, I found this Dallas Voice article on the first page of Google results (there are around 271,000 Google results, by the way):

Is Rick Perry gay? Is Mitt Romney Mormon?

Posted on 12 Aug 2011 at 7:04pm

The above “Web Seer” (click to enlarge) from Hint.FM allows us to view the top Google Suggest results for the search queries “Is Rick Perry” and “Is Mitt Romney.”

“Gay” is the top result for “Is Rick Perry,” and “Mormon” is the top result for “Is Mitt Romney.”

The Dallas Voice article is taken from a TechPresident piece. That piece mentions that none other than Kay Bailey Hutchinson was caught trying to game Google by inserting the words “rick perry gay” into the keywords for her campaign website when she was running against him in the gubernatorial primary in 2009. Wonder if the conservatives running NewsBusters, who have been reaming out Stephanie Miller for “spreading” this rumor about Perry when she was merely commenting on a Politico story that referenced it, know about this — or would mention it if they did?

Man, oh man. Now that Perry’s officially announced his intention to run for the Republican presidential nomination, expect this rumor to get much more media play (my bet is that Kay Bailey Hutchinson or her campaign staffers have already been pumped for possible Perry dirt by operatives working for Perry’s GOP rivals), and for conservative media outlets to blame the rest of the media for spreading it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

GOP Sends O’Reilly to Battle Bachmann

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 13, 2011

Republican bigwigs fear a Michele Bachmann candidacy almost more than they fear taxing the rich.

This was shown yet again by FOX News mainstay Bill O’Reilly’s adversarial treatment of Bachmann when she was on his show Monday night:

Bachmann refused to directly address any of O’Reilly’s tough questions, prompting the visibly frustrated conservative host to role his eyes, audibly sigh, and finally laugh in Bachmann’s face when she invoked her “titanium spine.” Noting that the Republican leadership understands the need to raise the debt limit, O’Reilly chided Bachmann, saying, “You are the renegade here.”

Whoa! Not only is he ripping into Bachmann, he’s also telling FOX viewers that the debt ceiling must be raised. Guess Boehner and McConnell, on orders from the Wall Streeters who will be hurt first and worst in event of a default, have asked FOX to both try to explain fiscal reality to teabaggers thus far sheltered from it AND to try and hamstring Bachmann before she achieves her goal of becoming the next Tom DeLay: a powerbroker with access to the wallets of the religious right and thus the ability to run primary candidates against Republicans she doesn’t like.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in 2012, Michele Bachmann, Minnesota | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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