Ya Think?

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor now thinks maybe that whole Bush v. Gore thing (in which she voted to end the Florida recount and make Bush president) maybe wasn’t such a good idea after all:

“Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’  Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision.  It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

Just Take Your Millions and Shut Up

Al Gore lamely tried to justify selling Current to Al Jazeera on Jon Stewart last night, claiming that they provide “the highest quality, most extensive, best climate coverage of any network.”

Yes, we all think of Al Jazeera as our go-to source for climate change.  And to think how distraught and inconsolable I was when Bush v. Gore was announced.

Mitt the Wimp

Back on October 19, 1987, Newsweek had a cover story on George H. W. Bush and “The Wimp Factor.”  He won in 1988, basically because the country wanted a third Reagan term, but lost in 1992, when he ran on his own, with the Reagan glow faded.  He famously looked at his watch during a presidential debate and sounded too patrician when he asked for “just a splash” more coffee at a NH diner.

Newsweek latest cover is also about “The Wimp Factor,” this time applied to Mitt, who is not running as the vice presidential heir to a popular president.

The story is sure to generate some buzz for Newsweek, which desperately needs it.  It won’t help Mitt because the Gucci loafer definitely fits.  He’s much more of a wimp than Bush 41, who was a fighter pilot in WWII and ran the CIA.  He’s definitely a “just a splash” guy.

What Newsweek calls wimpy, I call preppy.  I believe that the less preppy-seeming person usually wins.  Both Obama and Mitt went to prep school (Obama on scholarship).  But Mitt seems so much more preppy, just as John Kerry and Al Gore both seemed more preppy than Bush 43, even though all three went to elite prep schools.  Bush played the pork-rind-loving Texan all the way to the Oval Office.

Olbermann Fired (Again)

Keith Olbermann has been fired from Current TV for not honoring his five-year, $50 million contract.  This comes a little over a year after Olbermann left MSNBC under less than happy circumstances.

Eliot (Client #9) Spitzer is replacing him as of tonight, and the show is being re-named “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” instead of Countdown.  Olbermann won’t have a chance to say goodbye.

I’m guessing there will be a lawsuit.  Current is owned by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt.

Olbermann is notoriously impossible to work with — he gives divas a bad name.

Mitt Is Bush 41

I keep reading comparisons between Mitt and Bob Dole.  Historically, that makes sense because Dole ran in 1996 against an incumbent Dem, Bill Clinton, who had suffered major losses in the preceding congressional races of 1994.

But I think personality-wise, Mitt is more like Bush 41 and comes with his out-of-touch, rich guy, patrician liabilities.  Bush won in 1988 because the country wanted a third Reagan term.  When he ran in 1992, no longer wrapped in the Reagan mantle, voters didn’t like him.

Bush was distrusted by conservatives in his second run because he’d broken his “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge.  Mitt suffers from that same mistrust because of his flip-flops and prior support for abortion and gay rights when he ran in Massachusetts.  He’s also the father of the individual health care mandate that conservatives used to support, but now believe is unconstitutional.

Less ideological voters turned against Bush in 1992 because his preppie persona contrasted poorly with Clinton’s warmth and folkiness.  The tax thing didn’t bother them as much as Bush himself did.

My theory of presidential elections is that the less preppie-seeming guy always wins.

Both Mitt and President Obama went to very fancy prep schools (the President got a scholarship), but Mitt has led a much more privileged, sheltered life, and it shows.  He can’t manage to sound convincing when he proclaims his concern for the middle class.  He’s never spent a day of his life as an actual member of the middle class.

What happens when two preppies run against each other?  Al Gore and Bush 43 both went to very elite prep schools.  But Bush managed to come across as more down-home Texas than high-flown Andover.

The less preppie guy wins — Obama beats Mitt.

Olbermann v. Gore

So far Olbermann v. Gore seems to be going about as well for Al Gore, founder and president of Current TV, as Bush v. Gore did.

David Carr has an update at the NYT (“Barricaded Inside His Show”) about Keith Olbermann’s refusal to anchor the network’s election night coverage because he doesn’t believe Current is ready to do such coverage, given the technical problems it has been having with his show, Countdown:

“Mr. Olbermann did excellent on-air work for CNN, Fox, ESPN, and MSNBC, but that never stopped him from burning bridges faster than they could be built.

“Current TV executives are going through all kinds of gyrations to patch things together while at the same time expressing surprise that Mr. Olbermann is acting like, well, Mr. Olbermann.

“Mr. Olbermann’s contractual rights at Current TV are significant — he has control over the content of his show and his lawyers have argued that the channel has no right to pre-empt it for special election coverage — and management has very little leverage over him.  So the channel is left to check his Twitter updates for indications of his mood, which is usually not very good.”  Emphasis added.

Florida May Be the End of the Line for Mitt

Mitt Romney’s early-state strategy was to win New Hampshire and Florida, letting someone else win Iowa and South Carolina.  But Florida now looks like a long shot for him.  Newt Gingrich is beating him by 25 or 30 points there in polls from last week.  Newt should get stronger as he picks up Cain supporters this week.

Mitt certainly has the money and organization to fight on if he loses Florida, but momentum will be against him.  Newt will ride out of Florida with the wind at his back for Super Tuesday.

Florida may make Mitt the Al Gore of 2012.  Do Mitt and his people realize how much trouble they are in?  It feels as if the wheels are coming off the Mittmobile.