Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Two Remain

With the exit of Edwards and Giuliani before Super Tuesday, it is obvious that we are talking about a two person race. There is much excitement with the Obama candidacy but the Clintons have strong organizations in the 20 plus states that are up for grabs. McCain in Florida did remarkably well among those who say they are conservative and those who are concerned about the economy. Both appeals were keys to the Romney strategy.

The New York Times wonders what happened to Giuliani. Perhaps they may want to look at their own series of exposes of his years as mayor—they went out of the way to fly every piece of dirty linen. Part of the problem was his really tough style over the years, but The New York Times has a long history of anti-Italian and anti-Catholic sentiment going back nearly a century. There are many ethnic and religious angles in this long campaign

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

That Sad Face Couldn't Get Thompson a Presidency

David Brooks of the New York Times has highlighted the work of Alexander Todorov of the Woodrow WIlson School at Princeton University who shows that rapid judgments of competence based solely on the facial appearance of candidates is responsible for the outcomes of gubernatorial elections senate and house about 70% of the time. Such rapid inferences influence voting choices. Tough news for those of us in public policy and political science.

Fred Thompson dropped out. After being hailed as another Reagan, he ended not with a bang but with a whimper. He was so tired looking that his debates and speeches were better than Ambien.

What this proves is that one must almost maniacally want to be president, which may not be good for the republic in the long run.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Debate

The Tuesday debate of the three remaining democrats vying for the presidency, showed the candidates in poor light. Hillary came off as a vulture especially with Obama, he looked tentative and confused about the major issues especially medical care and Iraq, and white male John Edwards seemed ill at ease in South Carolina and in the debate.

Rudi has argued that he was saving himself; it appears now that what he was saving himself for (the big states primaries) have become increasingly populated by the Romneys and McCains of the world.

It is fun to watch the GOP candidates lionize Ronald Reagan, who was himself one of the great trimmers during his political career. Nobody can say that, but the record speaks for itself on abortion, taxes, civil rights and even dealing with the USSR.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Will Hillary Carry the South?

For Hillary to beat Romney or McCain she must carry some southern states or more than 80% of the electoral vote everywhere else. What southern states can she carry that gore or Kerry didn't?

Giuliani has postponed his campaign rev ups. If he continues to postpone combat, people will forget him. His failing support in New Jersey is a good example.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The GOP in South Carolina

The Republican candidates met in South Carolina last night and it was a strange meeting indeed. First, they fell over each other honoring the philosophy of Ronald Reagan especially for his domestic programs and budgeting balancing. Unfortunately for them, history shows that the Gipper compiled massive deficits during his eight years.

Then Fred Thompson, rising out of the weary sunshine of Law and Order, launched an assault against Rev. Huck citing him as Christian but liberal. Sort of like an old Gnostic heresy. Then Huck answered a non question on why he said that women should be subject to their men--a paraphrase of the misogynous St. Paul; the governor concluded that it was a religious not a political injunction. This distinction from a man who has made religious values entering into politics his calling card.

Rudy who has talked so often about how he is a leader seemed remarkably unable to say what he had done to earn that title. And John McCain, who is ahead in the polls, told the audience that he expected the U.S. would remain in the Iraq theatre for a century. John never knows when to quit.

They all tried to step on Congressman Ron Paul, who from some reason insists that we cannot continue to be an empire rather than a republic -- we cannot afford it and cannot man it militarily. A tough question, but they accused him of sounding like a Democrat. That is the death rattle. Actually he sounded like historian Arnold Toynbee who observed that 19 out of 22 empires fell from intently causes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire: The Morning After

John McCain, war hero and maverick Republican senator, had been pronounced dead in his campaign for president. Now he has won a major victory in flinty New Hampshire overcoming Romney, Huckabee and Giulani. He has always run well in that state and he gave an impassionate and patriotic victory speech. Meanwhile. Hillary Clinton also overcame the pundits and talking heads and beat Obama. She apparently drew large numbers of women, a group that had somewhat deserted her in Iowa, and carried the large working class cities of Nashua and Manchester. As the nation slips into recession, the bread and butter Democrats are more likely to turn out over the inspirational Democrats. Clinton is the only major Democrat in the Michigan campaign; McCain and Romney will have a major battle there.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What the Iowa Results Mean for the Candidates

Iowa voters chose Governor Huckabee and Senator Obama in their caucuses tonight. In defeating Governor Romney, Huckabee won very substantial numbers of Republican fundamentalist Christians. Obama's victory was due to strong support of young Democratic voters in a state where the young are leaving in droves.

Now what is in store in New Hampshire? Senator McCain has resurrected his campaign and looks strong in the Granite State. Can Romney afford to lose there too? He will not carry South Carolina. Hillary has a strong national organization and lots of money, but the myth of invincibility is gone. In Iowa, at least people of both parties voted for change over alleged experience.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What's With the News?

The conservative Television Fox Channel has decided that Dr. Ron Paul cannot be a part of the upcoming GOP debate for the presidential candidates. It reminds one of when Ron Reagan refused to allow organizers of a debate in 1980 to limit use of a mic. Also why is Paul illegitimate. He has raised more money than most candidates. Fox is apparently troubled by what the old libertarian has to say....

The New York Times is the best newspaper in America. Why then are they not covering the issue differences among Democrat candidates in a lucid way. Also, why in the Sunday Christmas issue was the national section almost totally taken over by advertising for New York city department stores, and why has the new paper with its smaller size and higher price made so many of its pages unreadable with a black streak on the margins. Does anybody proof the paper anymore???

Katie Couric has lost 1.1. million viewers for CBS news in the last year. Part of the problem is that she does not seem to have much of a command of hard news; but a good deal of the problem is that many of us do not go to the three networks for our nightly news. Why? Well, they are 22 minute shows, with endless advertising for eight minutes, and a good deal of the story line is fluff. There are very few stories with any depth, no real follow up on stories from previous nights, few experts who make any sense, lame humor, and almost predictable topics. Truly, Edward R. Morrow is dead. So poor Katie, who is grossly over paid, will be out in a year or so.

The Oracle of Montel Supports Obama

Popular psychic, Sylvia Browne, has predicted that Barack Obama will be nominated president on the Democratic ticket, and that the Democrats will win the White House. Show host Montel Williams was delightfully surprised.