That’ll Teach ‘Em

Newtie didn’t get enough signatures to be on the Virginia primary ballot.  Only Mitt and Ron Paul are on the ballot.  So Newt and Callista are holding their breath and refusing to vote in today’s primary.

I thought Newt believed in playing by the rules (get your signatures) and being a responsible citizen (get out and vote).

Review of Game Change

David Frum, former speechwriter for Bush 43, has an excellent review of Game Change (the Palin-is-a-moron movie on HBO this Saturday, March 10) up at The Daily Beast.  Here’s a morsel:

Game Change the movie shows a Palin of almost unfathomable ignorance.  Staffers discover that she has never heard of the Federal Reserve and does not know why there are two Koreas; she answers a prep question about the military alliance with Britain by saluting John McCain’s excellent relationship with Queen Elizabeth.

“Efforts to instruct her send Palin into what one staffer describes as a ‘catatonic stupor.’

“The professionals soon discover their mistake.  ‘I don’t even like to say this, but has it occurred to you guys that she might be mentally unstable?’ asks one staffer about the woman the McCain campaign proposed to put next in line to America’s nuclear codes.  As they come to know Palin, the campaign professionals begin to  feel an awakening of conscience:  first qualms, then fears, and finally revulsion — not for the campaign, not for their careers, but for their country.

“Some of the best acting in the film is in the looks of unspoken dread that flit about the faces of Sarah Paulson’s [Nicolle] Wallace and Harrelson’s [Steve] Schmidt as they react to  Palin’s wilder and wilder provocations.  What have they done?  And if this campaign somehow wins — and Palin is put within reach of the presidency — what might they have done?”

There’s much more, all of it very scary.  Think about this.  Ron Paul is dangerous enough because he wants to abolish the Federal Reserve.  But at least he’s heard of it.

Debate Reminder

There’s another presidential debate tomorrow on CNN at 8 PM EST.

Will Santorum double down on the crazy?  Will Mitt praise the height of the trees in Michigan and babble incoherently about his love of lakes and cars?

That’s the last one for awhile.  They cancelled the debate scheduled for March 1 because only Newt was willing to attend, although I’m sure he would have been happy to appear by himself and fight with the moderator for two hours.

Santorum Has Big Lead in Michigan

A new PPP poll shows Rick Savonarola Santorum opening up a sizable lead over Mitt in Michigan, where Mitt grew up and where his father was a popular governor.  It would be a serious blow to Mitt’s “inevitability” to lose Michigan, which he won in 2008.

Santorum is at 39% with Mitt at 24%.  Some of that reflects Santorum’s ability to take votes away from Newt, who is fourth with only 11%.  Ron Paul is at 12%.

Santorum is running strong in Michigan among those who self-identify as Tea Party supporters or “very conservative,” as well as among Evangelicals.

If Santorum can win Michigan on February 28, it will give him a big boost going into Super Tuesday on March 6, where he is hoping to do well in Ohio, an important swing state in the general.  Santorum has a debate on February 22, where another impressive performance will help.  Santorum has consistently done well in the debates, and now he is getting more time to speak.

Santorum is virtually tied with Mitt in national polls, another measure of his ascendancy, Newt’s decline, and Mitt’s inability to buy favorability.

It’s All About Mitt

While Rick Santorum basks in the media attention and money raising of his wins in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado, we should remember that this really isn’t about him, just as Newt’s win in South Carolina wasn’t really about Newt.

No offense, Frothy, but last night’s votes don’t reflect love for you so much as disdain for and distrust of Mitt.

And these guys are fighting over a worthless prize anyway.  Neither Mitt nor Newt nor Santorum nor, God forbid, Ron Paul can beat President Obama.

Santorum would energize some voters who are turned off by Mitt, but he’d alienate others with his Taliban-like views.  It’s just a different path to defeat.


Tonight’s Debate

Mitt’s performance in tonight’s Florida debate would have been fine if he still had a 20-point lead in that state.  But he needed to do much better, given his South Carolina loss and his precipitous drop in both Florida and national polls.

Mitt came out swinging, but Newt ducked effectively.  Newt stayed cool, looked and sounded presidential, and had an answer for everything.  His answers may not all have been true, but he didn’t hesitate or stumble.  Mitt focused on making the case against Newt, but he didn’t just fail to do that, he failed to make the case for himself.

Mitt didn’t hurt himself, but he didn’t help himself either, and he’s at a crossroads in his campaign where he has to help himself and quickly.  Newt still has the momentum.

And when asked what he’s done for conservatism, he needs to come up with a much better answer than his lame line about forcing Teddy Kennedy to take out a mortgage on his house.  Not quite up there with Newt’s taking credit for balanced federal budgets and welfare reform and millions of jobs created.

As for Mitt’s saying that he balanced the budget in Massachusetts, all states except Vermont are required to balance their budgets every year, so Mitt didn’t have any choice.  And he did it with a lot of tax increases that he likes to call “fees.”

The story line between now and the next debate on Thursday will be what’s in Mitt’s taxes and that’s going to keep him on defense.  If he has another so-so performance on Thursday, the whole week is gone, and then the voting is on Tuesday.

Tick-tock, Mittens, it’s all slip-sliding away.  You need to be bold and dramatic, and you’re not a bold and dramatic kind of guy.

I thought Santorum had a very strong debate, but all the attention is really on Newt and Mitt.  He and Ron Paul were just breaks in the action.

South Carolina Challenges the Rationale of Mitt’s Campaign

While the vote count showed Mitt losing South Carolina, the exit polls showed something even more disturbing for him — a rejection of the very rationale of his campaign.

Mitt contends that he is the most electable.  But of the 45% of voters who said electability was their top reason for choosing a candidate, 51% went for Newt and only 37% went for Mitt.

Similarly Mitt contends that he has the right experience.  But of the 21% of voters who said the right experience was their top reason, 49% went for Newt, compared to 34% for Mitt.

So his claims of electability and experience aren’t resonating with GOP primary voters.  It’s one thing to tweak your message after a major loss, but it looks as if Mitt has to go back to the drawing board on the very rationale for his run.

The exit polls showed a couple of other interesting things.

18% of voters said the most important reason for their choice was strong moral character.  Newt got only 6% of those voters, but Mitt at 19% lost out to Saint Santorum at 42% and Paul at 31%.  It may be that the moral credit Mitt gets for his personal life is diluted by questions about his work at Bain.

But where Mitt really struck out was among the 14% of voters for whom the  most important quality in a candidate was being a true conservative.   Mitt got only 2% of those voters, compared to 38% for Newt.

Mitt, you really need to shake up your staff.  You’re not the greatest candidate in the world, but politics is all about putting lipstick on pigs, and you need some new makeup artists.

Tonight’s Debate

Mittens — How can you be caught flat-footed on your taxes for two debates in a row?  Even the first time was inexcusable because you and your campaign knew it was an issue, but to come back three nights later with the same incoherence?  You dodged the question on Bain tonight, but you won’t be able to dodge it between now and November 6.  And when it comes to everything you say about Obama, YOU LIE.

Frothy — If I didn’t know everything I do about you, I would have liked you best tonight.  You’re a bright guy, you argue well, but you couldn’t win a general because your religious views are too extreme.  Taking away everyone’s birth control is not a winning campaign promise.

Newt — You’re a clever debater, but a terrible human being and a delusional, paranoid leader.  It’s the erratic charge that dooms you more than the erotic one.  You don’t wear well, even if you got the nomination, the country would be sick to death of you and your bombast long before election day.  You really should be locked up in a safe, comfortable place with all the other people who think they’re Napoleon.

Ron — You should be Newt’s roommate.

“Oops” is Out

Rick Perry dropped out today and is backing Newt Gingrich.  I think he’s relieved not to have to do another debate.

And I’m sure the Obama administration is relieved that they won’t have to deal with his saying things like he’d send troops back to Iraq immediately and Turkey is run by Islamic terrorists.

But of course the biggest thrill up his leg is being enjoyed by Newtie.  More time on stage tonight to attack Mitt, more votes on Saturday.

Did Perry read my post from yesterday saying since he was going to drop out right after South Carolina, he might as well do it before?

So the GOP “debate club” is down to Mitt, Ron Paul, Newtie, and the other Rick.  Newtie will definitely let it all hang out.  Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Speaker.


Desperate Newt Pandering to Paultards

Newt the Desperate is trying to siphon votes from Ron Paul in South Carolina by saying he wants a commission to pursue getting us back on the gold standard, which is of course one of Ron Paul’s signature issues.

Ronald Reagan appointed such a commission and, of the 17 members, 15 ultimately rejected the idea.  Guess who was one of the two in favor?  Why Ron Paul, of course.

Newtie also bashed the Fed, saying it should abandon its dual mandate of fighting both inflation and unemployment and stick to the former.

Bonus fun fact — When Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain’s Veep, she thought “the Fed” referred to the federal government and didn’t know it meant the Federal Reserve.  That would make for some interesting Emily Litella moments.