If Michele Bachmann really believes in everything she says she does, she should drop out tomorrow and throw her support to one of the other not-Romneys to help him in South Carolina. She can’t do her causes and her supporters any good by staying in. She’s not just toast, she’s badly burned toast with rancid butter on top.
It’s a really embarrassing night for the woman who won the Straw Poll in August. Four years ago, Mike Huckabee took his second place finish in the Straw Poll and turned it into a Caucus win.
She needs to focus on her House race or she’ll be out of politics entirely. There’s a lovely thought.
Wow, we haven’t even had the Iowa caucuses, and George Will is already raising the white flag:
“Before this year is many months old, discerning conservatives may decide that Obama probably has been rescued by the Republican nominating electorate and hence it is time to begin focusing on two things other than the 2012 presidential election. One is capturing the Senate. The other is preparing the ground for a better presidential nomination competition in 2016.”
Each of the presidential campaigns has scripts for the supporters who will argue their cases at the individual Iowa precincts on caucus night this Tuesday.
Mitt Romney’s script instructs his supporters to begin by saying, “What a great day to be an Iowan!”
Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, has endorsed Mitt. Haley requires all her state employees to answer their phones by saying, “It’s a great day in South Carolina!”
Coincidence? I think not.
You want minutiae? We here at Embattled Farmers are always happy to oblige.
Rick Perry hasn’t lost the Iowa Caucuses yet, but his campaign is already in its post–mortem, finger-pointing phase. From Politico‘s story, “Perry campaign plays blame game,” by Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman:
“Their explanations for the nosedive come against the backdrop of a campaign riven by an intense, behind-the-scenes power struggle that took place largely between a group of the governor’s longtime advisers and a new cadre of consultants brought on this fall. In the end, the outsiders won out — and ever since have marginalized Perry’s longtime chief strategist while crafting a new strategy in which the Texan has portrayed himself as a political outsider and culture warrior.
“[S]ources close to the campaign depict a dysfunctional operation that might be beyond saving because of what they describe as the political equivalent of malpractice by the previous regime.
“‘There has never been a more ineptly orchestrated, just unbelievably subpar campaign for president…than this one,’ said a senior Perry adviser.
“Yet the view of the outsiders who took over Perry’s campaign is that the candidate was set up for failure by an insular group led by Dave Carney, the governor’s longtime political guru, which thought they could run a presidential campaign like a larger version of a gubernatorial race….
“In a blistering indictment, sources…describe a new team that was stunned to arrive in October and find a campaign that wasn’t executing the most rudimentary elements of a modern presidential campaign: no polling or focus groups, no opposition research book on their own candidate to prepare for attacks and debate prep sessions that were barely worth the name.
“‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ said a strategist. ‘At least not at this level for this serious of a candidate. … But for a governor from one of the biggest states…who can raise a ton of money? It’s mind-boggling. I’m more offended by that than losing.'”
Nate Silver has a post up on FiveThirtyEight at the NYT* that says his forecast model shows Mitt Romney with a 63% chance of winning the Iowa Caucuses, his highest percentage so far.
What’s interesting is that Mitt’s numbers haven’t risen very much. Silver projects him at 23.9% now, compared to 21.5% on November 19th. What has changed is that it looks as if 20% might be enough to win Iowa, which would be the lowest winning percentage ever.
*”Iowa Update: Slow and Steady May Win the Race for Romney”
I predict that Michele Bachmann will drop out right after the Iowa Caucuses. She knows she’s got nothing going in New Hampshire, and she won’t have the money to continue to South Carolina and Florida.
If Rick Santorum does decently in Iowa, he could ride out New Hampshire, and head into South Carolina with Bachmann’s support added to his. Aside from his views on social issues, his hawkish defense positions will serve him well in South Carolina, with its large population of retired military.
With a week until the Iowa Caucuses, 45% of Republican voters say they are undecided. I don’t think it’s because they have so many favorites that they just can’t decide among them.
I’m predicting a low turnout, lower than 2008, when Mike Huckabee won and Mitt Romney came in second. I think a lot of the undecideds will decide by staying home, voting not with their feet, but with their tushes firmly planted on their couches.
Newt Gingrich is attacking Mitt Romney with his own description of himself in his 2002 race for governor of Massachusetts. Mitt said then, “I think people recognize that I am not a partisan Republican. That I’m someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive.”
That’s great if you’re running in Massachusetts. It’s the kiss of death for the committed, ultra-conservative one-fourth or fifth of registered Iowa Republicans who attend the Caucuses. They don’t want to hear that you’re not “partisan,” that you’re “moderate,” and they really don’t want to hear that you’re “progressive,” which has become synonymous with those despised, evil, commie libruls in the Dem party.
This quote basically says, “You don’t want to vote for me, I’m the Mormon version of that Kenyan Muslim you hate so much.”
From the endorsement:
“Sobriety, wisdom and judgment.
Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader. Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government. Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses.”
They endorsed John McCain in 2008, when Mike Huckabee won the caucuses and Romney came in second.
The Iowa Caucuses are famous for requiring rigorous retail campaigning. You drive and drive, from one Pizza Ranch to another, in the August heat and the December snow, to make your pitch to a dozen or so folks at a time.
But Newtie? So not his style. He held a “telephone” town hall today in Iowa from “the Washington area,” which I assume means sitting comfortably in his McLean, Virginia mansion in his velvet slippers with the presidential seal and Callista fluffing down pillows around him.
Can Newtie win Iowa this way? If he does, it will be a dark day for the future of Pizza Ranch. Not to mention the United States of America.