I am trying to come up with a way of saying this that is less cliche than "Live by spin, die by spin", but I can't. This is really the Karl Rove universe swallowing itself whole. The Republicans have convinced themselves so completely that constructing over-arching media narratives is what determines victory, that now they will pay any price to control those narratives. I mean, you lose a special election in a somewhat Republican district. So what? Special elections tend more often to produce upsets, and it's one crummy district. Re-group and win it back in the general when your voters are coming out to support the presidential candidate. But they can't bring themselves to chill out and take a few lumps in the media for a lousy news cycle or two, because that's the only reality they know. All I can say is, hahahahahaha.
There was a theory that having Shows on the ballot might help keep Wicker under 50 in the first round by pushing Dem turn-out up overall (it works like in LA, if no one gets 50+ then it goes to a run-off). I never bought that theory, I think it is best for Dems to be unified behind a single candidate. It seems that in Louisiana at least recently the party that unifies behind a single candidate wins. But who knows.
This is a minor and seemingly petty point, but I say kudos for Edwards on timing as well. He completely stepped on McCain's triumphant news cycle and wiped him off the front page. You can say I'm being crass, but I think that's another small but savvy move on Edwards' part.
Man, Giuliani is the Tom Brady of losing primaries. He is starting to look unbeatable when it comes to losing. Now for both him and Brady only New York stands between them and a perfect season -- but in both cases I think they can do it!
It was my impression Begich was going to say by the end of 07 if he was NOT going to run, which makes his entry into the race a pretty safe bet. It also occurred to me, looking at this list, that the Republicans must look fondly on those days a few months ago when CO was at the top of everyone's list of vulnerable seats. It hasn't got less vulnerable of course, just been superceded by much MORE vulnerable seats. Also, just going by early poll numbers, I think NC is actually looking slightly better than Maine. It's also worth pointing out that three years ago if someone told us we'd end up with 57 or 58 seats in the Senate AND be disappointed, we'd have laughed in their face. 60 would be great, but 55 would be an incredible achievement by historic standards.
I'm scared of McCain's electability but I wonder how much even an outright victory in NH could help him. Unlike Kerry 04, McCain's name recognition is pretty much 100 across the country. If Republican voters haven't decided to support him by now it's for a reason -- or multiple reasons (immigration, campaign finance, occasionally taking a token independent stand). I think the only way he could get the nomination is in a brokered convention, into which I think he'd go better positioned than anyone else.
This really was a great analysis. I think Romney's strategy now is pretty clear: exceed the newly-lowered expectations in Iowa and emerge as the anti-Huckabee. If it really did come down to Mitt vs Mike I think Romney's chances look pretty good.
Here's what I don't get -- people talk about Giuliani's Feb 5 strategy as being forced on him by Romney's strength in the early states, but why did Giuliani write off Iowa in the first place? He never had to let Romney outspend him, he had the resources to compete and went in with great early numbers and name recognition. He could have owned this thing from the beginning. My own theory is he just didn't want to do the kind of retail campaigning those early states require, since it involves, you know, staying in crappy hotels and talking to people who aren't paying you seven figure fees. But I still think it's a puzzle. Yeah, he got some bad advice somewhere along the line, but any moron could have realised that it's better to win the early states than lose them if you have a choice.
I don't know anything about Kennedy. If he won, what kind of Senator would he be? Does he have any actual positions besides his desire to get elected? Like, is there a reason why he was a Democrat for most of his career, or was that opportunism as well? Everything I can find on-line is pretty bland official "he helped children and businesses" stuff.
I admit I used to eat there quite a bit when I lived in LA, before I knew the politics, and I loved their burgers. I loved In N Out Burgers too, but had to give that up (crazy Christians). So what's left for fast food with a clear conscience? El Polo Loco is owned by Wendy's -- where are they at? What about Jack in the Box?
McCain on the rise, ugh. Though he's old, broke and cranky, I think he would still be the most formidable opponent in the general. And although a brokered convention is obviously a long shot, I think he would be the one most likely to emerge from one as the nominee, not least because he is the only person in the race with sufficient stature that any of the other candidates could accept becoming his running mate without feeling diminished.
So what effect is a prolonged writers strike going to have on politics? I think it helps the Republicans because their presidential candidates are so inherently mockable they will benefit from not having people to mock them, and because the right still dominates the non-scripted cable news world, which will presumably see its ratings rise. But I'm curious what other people think.
Whether it produces a surge in NH, or encourages a third-party bid (and we shouldn't forget he has the Libertarian Party ballot-line for the asking) there is definitely no bad news for Dems in this -- except in knowing that a lot of people will give money to a crazy person. My question is, what will he spend it on? Will he just blitz NH, or will he start playing in other states, and which ones? While it's true that NH is a natural state for him, he's a plain-talking Texan who could play well in all kinds of red states. My concern is that his campaign just doesn't have the architecture to spend this money effectively, or even at all. He's got to start hiring field staff in the early states, making ad buys, producing the ads -- and he might want to spend a bit more producing the next ones, especially on the actors.