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2012

Thoughts For The Morning After. We Built That Victory!

by: countrycat

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:15:51 AM CST

Last night, Democrats were thanking God & their groundgame for an expected nailbiter that turned into a surprisingly large electoral college victory.  The party held on to the Senate - and may actually pick up seats, thanks to the TEA Party.  The fight for marriage equality scored some big gains, and Allen West lost his seat.

Obama family 

Without gloating - an activity that the late Molly Ivins warned against - let's quickly review some of last night's big winners:

Nate Silver: The FiveThirtyEight blogger sustained withering criticism from the folks who didn't like his math.  Silver predicted 313 electoral votes for the President.  With Florida still too close to call, but Obama in the lead, looks like Silver's main problem was being too conservative.

Democratic senators:  A year ago, heck... even 6 months ago, even the most optimistic pundits were predicting an evenly divided senate and possibly a GOP-controlled chamber.  But as it stands now, it's possible that we may actually pick up a seat.

Marriage equality:  A big, big night on this one!  Voters in Maryland and Maine.  The vote in Washington State looks good, and Minnesota voters turned down an effort to write marriage inequality into the state constitution. 

ACLU of Alabama:  After running neck & neck all evening, Roy Moore finally surged ahead in the Chief Justice race and defeated Judge Robert Vance.  While terrible for Alabama, the ACLU affiliate's membership and contributor base grew markedly during Moore's last tenure.

Political "sports" fans:  Alerted by Twitter chatter last night, Daddycat & I turned on Fox News to enjoy the Karl Rove/Ohio meltdown and stayed to listen to analysts warn that the coming fight for the "soul" of the party (who knew it had one?) was going to be pretty bruising. TEA Party folks were already complaining that Romney lost because he wasn't a "real" conservative while the old guard talked about the need to appeal to a wider demographic group than angry old white people.

We'll have a lot more news & analysis about the election over the few days, but I'm running on about 4 hours sleep right now.....

Feel free to treat this as an open thread and tell share your favorite moments from last night.  Video of the "Great Rove Meltdown of 2012" is on the flip.

 

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 5 words in story)

My Favorite Campaign Call EVER..... Things Have Changed & It's Up To Us To Keep Moving Forward

by: countrycat

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 16:01:04 PM CST

How much have times changed?  A lot.  I missed segregated Alabama schools by just a few years & thankfully was too small to see many disturbing moments of the Civil Rights Movement.  So my "normal" is far different than that of those just a decade or two older.

And this divide was made incredibly clear to me in 2004.  We were at Democratic HQ, desperately rushing for the finish line, and cautiously optimistic about Kerry's chances.  It was so close and so important that I let myself be dragooned into making phone calls - an activity that, like Roboticcats, I generally avoid like the plague.

This one phone call made it all worthwhile.

We were working off call sheets that gave us the voter's name, age, sex, race, date they registered, and how often they'd voted during the past 2-3 cycles.  I dialed a very nice, 80+ year old black lady.  She answered, and I began my spiel, which went something like this:

"I'm a volunteer at Democratic headquarters and just wanted to remind you that Tuesday is election day and your vote is important! Do you have any questions or do you need a ride to the polls?"

She had no questions and her granddaughter was driving her, but she didn't want to hang up right away.  I was used to this: older voters often liked to chat with a friendly voice. She asked if she could tell me a little story.... well, of course you can, ma'am!

"Now I don't know if you know it, but I'm getting on in years.  (yes, I did know that, but didn't share)  And when I was younger, we had some bad times in this country - really bad for the colored folks......   (her voice trailed off for a few seconds)   And hon, I just want you to know that it does my old heart good to have a sweet young white girl call me up and tell my that my vote's important!"

I hooted with laughter at that and replied.  "Mrs. ____, you don't know how great it is to have somebody call me young! I'm over 40 years old!"

It was her turn to laugh.  "Is that all?  You're just a young 'un!"

----------------------

I think about this lady when I get so discouraged at the state of politics in this state and in the country.  It's really easy to get cynical and just want to disengage from the whole sorry spectacle. 

But the reason we've come this far is because of the efforts of the generations who came before us.  They didn't give up.  They fought for justice & equality and moved us forward.  We owe the same commitment to our children and grandchildren.

Think your voice doesn't matter and your single vote doesn't mean much?  People fought and died to ensure your right to both.  Honor their memories tomorrow and show up at the polls.

And take a couple of people with you. This not-so-sweet & not-so-young white girl is reminding you that your vote's important!

 

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Romney Campaign Is The Comic Gift That Keeps On Giving - In Flight Edition

by: countrycat

Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 07:30:00 AM CDT

Just yesterday, we wondered if this is the week that the Romney campaign would find a cure for the candidate's political hoof in mouth disease.  Nope.  Gov. Romney just can't stop talking, this time at a California fundraiser where he pulled in $6 million from suckers supporters willing to pay up to $50,000 each:  Romney Plane

Romney’s wife, Ann, was in attendance, and the candidate spoke of the concern he had for her when her plane had to make an emergency landing Friday en route to Santa Monica because of an electrical  malfunction.

“I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were,” Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.”

Good question, Mitt. I mean, what could possibly go wrong on a plane that lets passengers crack open a window at 35,000 feet in order to toss out their gum, get a breath of fresh air, or check on the dog strapped to the roof?

Predictably, those darn liberals on Twitter made fun of Gov. Romney's eminently sensible airline safety proposal.  They mocked the Governor using the hashtag #RomneyPlaneFeatures:

  • Windows that open retroactively.
  • Passengers are given vouchers to purchase their own oxygen & life vests.
  • Has 2 right wings.
  • Is held together solely by wingnuts.
  • Refuses to release its flight plan.
  • Plane-top dog carrier.
  • Grey Poupon dispensers.
  • George Romney legacy ejector seat.
  • Comes with a golden parachute.
  • Seats with an adjustable reality setting.
  • Really, really reversible positions - on everything!
  • Auto pilot set for the Caymans.
  • Goes wherever the wind blows.

If nothing else, the Romney campaign, indeed the entire Republican primary season, has been a sustained source of amusement for the "reality based community."

But after you stop laughing, remember: a substantial set of the voting population is planning to vote for this guy.

 

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Romney's Campaign & The $45 Bumper Sticker

by: countrycat

Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM CDT

wow.  This hit my email inbox yesterday afternoon and it really puts Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet with Texas Governor Rick Perry in perspective.  The Romney campaign wants to sell you a campaign sticker - for $45.

$45 Romney sticker

The email says it came from Ann Romney.  She obviously thinks that "you people" won't have any trouble spending that for a sticker.  And have no fear.... once your car is sporting it, it will have more style & class in its tire than Romney's critics.  Just ask Rafalca.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

What's Next For The Romney Campaign?

by: countrycat

Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 07:30:00 AM CDT

After a convention that generated a "dead cat bounce" and a disastrous two weeks after that, you have to wonder if Mitt Romney is actually some sort of "Manchurian Candidate" determined to re-elect Barack Obama.  Hey, he's busily sending jobs (and entire factories) to China, so it's totally possible.

Sorry, Gov. Romney, but it's just impossible for any Democrats not to grin like possums as we look back on the past month of your campaign.  The absolute best comparison I can make to you is Thurston Howell III of Gilligan's Island fame.  Mr. Howell might have been a rich, out of touch doofus, but he was never a dick.  Unlike Mitt Romney....

Let's review his history - before the past month:

Now, let's consider his campaign's recent history:

  • The media just won't stop chattering about his incompetent his campaign staff. And that includes the whiners who work for him!
  • Romney inadvertently says what he really thinks about half the country.
  • Desperate to change the subject, Gov. Romney releases his full 2011 tax return - which raises more questions than it answers - and sends in a note from his accounting firm for the rest of the missing returns.  Oh, and as he said months ago, those 2011 returns disqualify him for the presidency.

Ya think?

You know things are going badly when Herman Cain starts to look good.

But don't worry.  Romney has a "class act" supporter looking to shore up his standing with women voters - his wife, Ann, who compares critics aka "moochers" (unfavorably) to her dressage horse:

“My horse has more style and more class in its hoof than they do in their whole deal.”

Ok then. 

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

"Use It Or Lose It" - Sign The Petition To Help Take Back The House

by: countrycat

Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:18:58 AM CDT

Bucking conventional wisdom & the narrative presented by the DC chattering class, recent polls are giving the Democrats a real shot at taking back the House in November.  However, the current lead may not hold once Karl Rove & the Koch Brothers start paying attention: a huge dump of dark money could tilt close races.  That's why we need the Democrats in safe districts to help their fellow Democrats win.

Incumbent Democrats in safe districts are sitting on more than $63 million in cash.  They should be helping their counterparts in swing districts win elections.  Because our goal is to win elections & put more (and better) Democrats in office, right?

There's no prize for having the biggest war chest of member of the minority party.

Democracy For America needs you so sign a petition urging these candidates to help their fellow Democrats win.

Sign the petition here and help us give John Boehner something to really cry about....

 

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Can you help?

by: ChristianSmith

Sun May 06, 2012 at 00:53:15 AM CDT

( - promoted by herding old cats)

Friends,

      Today is not only my 26th birthday, but it marks six months to the general election. To my knowledge I am the youngest Democrat running throughout the state, this goes without saying, but I have very little capital. I am using my birthday and the six month mark to the general election as an opportunity to seek donations. In honor of my 26th birthday I am asking for donations of $26.00 to my donation website. However, any help or amount is greatly appreciated.

 


     For those of you who don't know me, I am running for Mobile County Treasurer and the only Democrat running in a contested county-wide race down here. I am a double graduate from the University of South Alabama with a BS in Education and a Masters of Public Administration. The office right now is currently held by a Republican who will be retiring at the end of this term. This means I will be running for an open seat against a Republican opponent. This can be a winnable seat as it is a non-partisan office. I have many split ticket commitments already, which has strengthened my basis for support, but funding is my biggest obstacle right now. I believe I can make a difference but in order to achieve this goal I need resources, to remain visible, to reach voters who may not have heard of me yet. 


     I am young and people are unsure if I can do the job. However, I am qualified. I have not only studied public budgeting, but have appropriated public funds via the Student Government Association for 2 years and assisted many non-profits in securing funding as well as attending and participating in conferences for the city county management association. I am also the past treasurer of numerous organizations and I was recently elected as Treasurer of the Mobile Area Alpha Gamma Delta Alumnae Association. The county commissioners in my area would like to get rid of this position and have no oversight of the budget. I will fight for the people of Mobile, ALL the people not just the city of Mobile. Those in the county have been completely underrepresented and I would like to change that when I am elected to this position. I am an active young Democrat who is ready to fight but I need your support to have a strong fight.

Here is the website, any amount is greatly appreciated.

www.gofundme.com/christiansmith

Thanks

 Christian Smith Christian Smith for Treasurer

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

The time for change is now

by: ChristianSmith

Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 18:49:29 PM CDT

( - promoted by mooncat)

As we approach the upcoming April 14th SDEC meeting, I’m reminded of my experience at my first state meeting. I was “that girl” who had everyone in a fuss and divided the room in January 2011 over not being chosen to be the female seat for District 98. Miss Hattie Clark won the seat in a vote that was written about heavily in the facebook “Blue Dots” group and in Pam Miles list serv. I have a lot of respect for Mrs. Clark; however she wasn’t even at the meeting to accept the nomination. She may well be a fantastic woman, but her election was scripted so as not allow new to enter into the arena.

 

For those of you who only know me as “that girl” I would like to formally introduce myself. My name is Christian Smith and I am 25 years old. I hail from Huntsville, AL and currently reside in Mobile, AL. I grew up in a very liberal and very political household. Many of you may have seen my name by now if you’re on Pam Miles listserv as my dad (Ted Smith or email smithybear as many of you might have seen) sends her all my information about my campaign here in Mobile County. Pam has been gracious enough to distribute my information on her listserv and I’m eternally grateful for it! I am currently the Democratic nominee for Mobile County treasurer and the only Democrat in Mobile County running in a contested race. People keep asking me why I’m running not only as young as I am, but also as a Democrat in a Red State. I tell them because if not me, then who? How can I complain about politics as usual if I’m not trying to change it?

 

 I am an energetic young Democrat who wants to make a difference, but like many of this generation, I can’t seem to get a seat at the table! Once again on March 13, it was business as usual to elect the same names that have been on the ballot for the last 20 years. In 2011, new blood breathed new life into the ADP - we got a new Chair and a new executive director, both of whom exhibit the same willingness to roll up their sleeves and do the work of rebuilding the Democratic Party in Alabama. In the face of that change, the results of the delegate race are even more puzzling. Why elect the same people to other things over and over again and complain when things don’t change?  The definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!

 

 Among other duties, delegates are tasked with supporting the Democratic nominee and officially casting one of the votes from their State for the nominee. Here in Congressional District 1, do you know who you saw at the polls rallying behind the President? Let me give you a hint: not the ones that were elected. Who has been calling on behalf of the President and actively campaigning for the president since 2010? Hint again: Not those that were elected on March 13. If you went to the polls in Mobile County you saw our new and energetic Democrats not the old guard. We talk about “change” all day long in regards to the President’s agenda, but where are we seeing the change here in Alabama in our party? We have a fantastic new chair and executive director and we are on the road to bringing back the state party, but Judge Kennedy and Mr. Davidson can’t change the party if there’s no new blood in the party.

 

It’s time to let new blood in. I have a lot of respect for those who came before me and paved the way, but it’s time for us to allow new people in. I’ve been working, and I’m ready and willing to do more (as are many of my colleagues); however we encounter road block after road block in our attempts to contribute our efforts and better our communities because we “haven’t paid our dues.” I’ve been on the campaign trail since I was 18 years old, and many of my generation have worked tirelessly to advance the efforts of the Democratic Party to only be told we need to sit and wait because we haven’t paid our dues?

 

So here I am today pleading with you, that when you have a chance to vote at the SDEC meeting for At-Large delegates and elected official delegates, consider those of us who want to have a seat at the table and have actively supported the President in non-presidential years. We are on the ground each and every day promoting and defending our President, and as I work I often think of this quote from him:

 “Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what's needed to be done. Today we are called once more - and it is time for our generation to answer that call.” 

The next generation is trying to answer - please help us get the chance.

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

All Three US Automakers Report Profits for 2011 & GM Sets A Record

by: countrycat

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:26:47 AM CST

If Mitt Romney were president.... you wouldn't be reading that headline.  He clearly stated his position in 2008: "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."  Romney's lede in that column shows he definitely broke his crystal ball - maybe he strapped that to the top of the car along with his dog:Auto Worker

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Fortunately, President Obama ignored Romney's advice and saved 1.5 million American jobs along with much of our country's manufacturing base.

By funding General Motors and Chrysler Group as they worked their way through bankruptcy, and providing needed cash to auto parts suppliers and finance companies, the Obama administration saved an estimated 1.5 million jobs, according to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, a Michigan think tank.

Without the bailout, GM and Chrysler could have been forced out of business. Other automakers, including Ford Motor and even some foreign automakers with significant operations in the U.S., could have been forced to shut some operations due to failures across the supplier base.

All three car companies are now hiring new workers (200,000 by 2012 in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana) and GM just announced a record profit for 2011 - $7.6 billion.  Workers will receive $7,000 profit sharing checks.

How does Mitt Romney respond to success?  By continuing to criticize the bailout in - of all places - The Detroit News, just days before the Michigan presidential primary.  What a gift to Rick Santorum.

This was crony capitalism on a grand scale. The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.
[...]
Health and retirement benefits alone amounted to an extra $2,000 baked into the price of every car they produced.Shorn of those excess costs, and shorn of the bungling management that had driven them into a deep rut, they could re-emerge as vibrant and competitive companies.

So workers' health care costs and older peoples' retirement benefits are "excess costs" that need to be "shorn" from the company books?  Welcome to Mitt Romney's Vulture Capitalist world, folks!

What a gift to Rick Santorum, who's now leading in Michigan polls.  And what a gift to President Obama...

 

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Will Mitt Romney's "Company Way" Lead To The White House?

by: countrycat

Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 15:30:00 PM CST

What to make of the amazing bendable Mitt Romney?  In just a few short years he's completed the amazing transformation from a pro-choice, pro-GLBT equality, health care reforming moderate into, well, the exact opposite.  It's an amazing psychological puzzle - if you assume this new "culture warrior" persona is the real deal.Two Mitt Romneys

But I don't think it is.  I also don't think the "Moderate Mitt" persona was the real thing either.  In fact, I wonder if Romney even knows.  What's up with the guy?

He's a company man, doing things the company way.  Let's take a little skip down Broadway:

       How long have you been in the mailroom?

25 years!  Yep, it takes a combination of skill, luck, and bold caution.

When I joined this firm as a brash young man, I said to myself: "Brash young man, now don't get any ideas!"  Well, I stuck to that, And I haven't had one in years.

         You play it safe.

I play it the company way; wherever the company puts me, there I stay.

         But what is your point of view?

I have no point of view.

          Supposing the company thinks . . .

I think so too.

I've previously described Mitt Romney as a Hollow Man -  "...the stuffed men, leaning together, headpiece brimming with straw." But I'm starting to think he's more of a Company Man.  Not from the movie of the same title, but this kind of guy:

A suit. Some joker whose only goal in life is the expansion of his/her own career.

One who is better described in terms of an organization than in terms of himself; one who has been successfully converted from a piece of humanity into a piece of technology.

That makes Romney's amazing transformation entirely plausible. You see, he doesn't really believe any of the crap he's spewing about health care, abortion, or envious assaults on Capitalism.  (Many Republicans find it hard to believe too!) But often, to climb the ladder in business, certain accommodations have to be made.  You have do do things you may not enjoy and say things you don't believe.  And Romney's the quintessential company man who noticed that those same tactics help one succeed in politics too.

Hey, it worked in Massachusetts!  Romney ran as a pro-choice candidate because that was the only way to win in Massachusetts.  Now, that same position means political death in a GOP primary, so Romney had no problem adjusting his position to please the bosses in his new "company."

Lost in this soulless world of opportunism is any sort of concern for the people whose lives are affected by unemployment, lack of access to health care, or Romney's brand of  "Vulture Capitalism."  They're like Leona Helmsley's "little people."  They don't matter.  WE don't matter because we're just stepping stones in the grand march of Mitt Romney's business & political career.

Mitt Romney's company is one that no person of conscience would ever want to work for.

 

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

I hope the DCCC can pull this off in 2012

by: kayman

Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 00:00:05 AM CDT

( - promoted by countrycat)

After allowing the Tell Everyone Anything (T.E.A.) Party fiasco of last fall, I guess the DCCC is finally realizing that they need to be a little more aggressive towards setting things right in 2012.  

According to the New York Congressman and DCCC chief, Steve Israel, he feels that Democrats chances of reclaiming the House back from the GOP are pretty strong next fall. The DCCC have outraised the GOP on fundraising efforts according to the September numbers that were released a few days ago. Also it looks like the DCCC has recruited 60 strong contenders for swing district seats.

There's More... :: (6 Comments, 110 words in story)

Prelude to Election

by: GadrockDem

Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 22:23:20 PM CDT

( - promoted by mooncat)

It does not take too long of a foray into the legislative campaign season to know those without money-interests never get far.  Thus is the state of our legislature.  But it is the state of our courts, the last bastion of defense in a state which mottos itself on daring to defend our rights that has most concerned me.  Anti-working class conservatism at work, I say.  I'm not denouncing the ideology (of which I even fall into a few categories) just the current context of the ideology as it applies here in Alabama.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 509 words in story)

Pawlenty and Huntsman compete to unseat 'Romney by default'

by: capcityfreepress

Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:15:03 AM CDT

  Tim Pawlenty announced officially on Monday his candidacy for President of the United States, and showed himself to be no less bland on that occasion than he did on any previous occasion. Just kidding, kind of. But he’s going to have to learn how to avoid that word “bland” if he’s ever going to make it to the convention next year.

  From Des Moines, Iowa, former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty made a very standard speech about being the kind of candidate who will “look you in the eye and tell you the truth” and tell voters facts that they don’t want to hear. The speech was even entitled “A Time for Truth.”

  Nonetheless, he made not a bold, “truthy” (as Stephen Colbert might have it) statement relevant to that premise. He promised no more bailouts; he promised cuts to entitlement programs; the gutting of Obamacare. Really? All in a Republican primary? Oh, what balls you have, T-Paw!

**********

  All slagging of the Milquetoast Man from Minnesota aside, he represents a very viable Romney alternative. And after Newt Gingrich’s implosion earlier this month I believe it’s become true—as I heard some nameless pundit on Hardball with Chris Matthews say the other day—that Romney is the Republican default for 2012 and the Republican primary is all about seeing if there’s anyone at all better than the guy who got second place last primary around (well, arguably third, but Mike Huckabee isn’t running this time).

  Pawlenty could definitely find himself filling that ‘better guy than Romney, so what the hell’ role, for a few reasons. For one, he lacks Romney’s rich-boy sheen; that matters. Romney is just too shiny, too polished, all the way around for many of the blue-collar—particularly capital-S Southern—voters who make up the base of the Republican Party.

  The former Arkansas governor may be a goofball of epic proportions, but Huckabee wasn’t wrong when he joked in that he beat Mitt Romney in Iowa in 2008 because voters would prefer “the candidate they got laid off alongside, not the candidate who laid them off!” Although Pawlenty is plenty financially comfortable now, he is definitely not a multimillionaire like Romney, and he never ran a venture capital firm, either.

  And more than that, Pawlenty doesn’t come off as a multimillionaire like the Mittster does. Romney has the hair of a multimillionaire, not to mention the alienating, time-is-money, rushed way of talking he has that lets everyone know just how rich and right he thinks he is.

**********

  To bolster his blue-collar image, Pawlenty has made much in his speeches and in his recent book Courage to Stand (in which he has not even the kindness to cite his ghostwriter) of the circumstances of his upbringing. He was one of five children in a working-class family of evangelical Christians. His father drove a milk truck; his mother died suddenly of cancer when he was sixteen years old.

  He writes in his book that he was already working by that time. It’d be a touching remark if he wasn’t obviously trying to manipulate his way into the most powerful position on earth with it.

  Speaking of Pawlenty’s evangelical Christianity, it will likely seem preferable to Romney’s Mormonism to many Republican primary voters—who tend to be quite religiously conservative in their Christian way.

  People do not like to talk about it—ethnicity and creed aren’t supposed to be barriers in the United States—but it must be remembered that Romney outspent nearly everyone in 2008, and he still lost. There had to have been a reason so many voters each took the individual choice to not vote for him. Having what many perceive as a religion heretical to mainstream Christianity had to have played a part in it.

  Although of course Pawlenty would certainly not make it a campaign issue, it could be something that allows Pawlenty success he would not have found otherwise.

**********

  The Mormonism issue isn’t just Romney’s territory this campaign season, either. Religious prejudice is likely to rear its ugly head eventually in the developing campaign of former Utah Governor and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, whose presidential bid has gained substantial stock over the past week.

  He has been mulling around New Hampshire, going quietly from town to town to talk to voters in the front rooms of homes and diners. It was less than a month ago he sent his resignation letter to President Obama after two years in Beijing as the Obama administration’s ambassador to arguably the most consequential foreign nation on earth in terms of U.S. affairs.

  Foreign policy experience is great, but as much as Huntsman enjoys being the only presidential candidate since Jefferson able to share a few words of Mandarin with Chinese expatriate locals, the fact that he is a Mormon—and spent four years as the governor of the country’s most overwhelmingly Mormon state—is going to irk a lot of people, a large percentage of whom will likely be conservatives.

  Doubly unfortunate for Huntsman, the same people who would vote against a candidate for being a Mormon would also be likely to vote against a candidate they see as somehow ‘in league’ with China; or a candidate who supports civil unions for homosexual couples.

  Huntsman is both of these—and he does not hold apologetic stances on his deep familiarity with China and its government, nor on his respect for the civil unions. (Say what you want about the guy: a motorcycle-riding Mormon who supports gay rights is pretty interesting.)

  He has an even more substantial personal fortune than Romney, Huntsman’s coming from his father, who became a billionaire after founding the Huntsman Corporation, a giant chemicals firm. But, having been out of the country serving in a strictly diplomatic and non-political role for the entirety of the past two years, Huntsman is unlikely to have much of a major donor base built up outside of Utah and his own admittedly large wallet.

  But Huntsman, arguably, shares more of Romney’s instant cons than does Pawlenty: both Huntsman and Romney are of a controversial minority faith; both are very well-off, with established family names. Both are seen as establishment figures in Washington in one way or another: Romney for having run for president before and Huntsman for having served in the Obama administration, albeit in a diplomatic role.

  Both have uncomfortably moderate positions on certain issues, to the ire of the Tea Party hivemind: Huntsman primarily on social issues, Romney mainly on his all-too-controversial health care plan he enacted as Governor of Massachusetts.

  In many ways that will appeal to likely Republican primary voters then, Pawlenty is the odd man out of the three. How well can either of them—Huntsman or Pawlenty—fill the ‘better-guy-than-Romney’ suit?

**********

  On the subject of campaign financing, a rather surprising bonus for Pawlenty going into the long drag before Iowa and New Hampshire is that, despite having announced only Monday, he was the first Republican presidential candidate to legally file papers to form an exploratory committee. He has thus been able to raise money for his presidential campaign longer than any of his competitors. He has been doing so for most of the past few months.

  Whether this will serve as a beneficial edge remains to be seen. Pawlenty—despite having been running, politically, since McCain lost in 2008—is still below 10% in most polls of potential Republican primary voters. (Huntsman finds himself even lower, although his numbers are likely to rise in the coming weeks; Romney has been the undisputed front-runner in most every poll taken for the past two years.)

  And despite Pawlenty having some major conservative donors behind him, such as Bob Perry, the founder of the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and Ray Washburne, a major George W. Bush fundraiser in 2000 and 2004, he is far behind Romney in the money game.

  Both he and Huntsman are currently vying for the large crop of GWB fundraisers from 2000 and 2004 who had been vouching for a Mitch Daniels campaign and thus had stayed on the sideline until Daniels’ announcement on Monday that he would not be running for president only hours before Pawlenty’s Des Moines appearance.

  The Pawlenty campaign admits its lack of cash and makes frequent light of it, perhaps so the criticism will less biting. Huckabee did the same thing against Romney in 2008. “We’re not going to be the money champion,” I watched T-Paw say with a goofy Minnesota grin Monday morning on the Today show, from Des Moines, Iowa. “Mitt Romney will be the front-runner in that regard.”

  It got a laugh back in the studio in New York. Good job, I guess, T-Paw. Pawlenty’s ability to change that fact will be the measure of his campaign’s success against the Romney juggernaut.

  By contrast, it will be Huntsman’s ability to distinguish himself as different from Romney—along with smoothing over in the minds of Tea Partiers his view on civil unions and his time working for the President—that will determine his viability.

  Both stand a fighting chance to beat Mitt, that’s for sure; and the chances of a wide-open primary, luckily for us durty librilz, increases daily. So, Republicans, please: don’t let this one be as boring and anticlimactic as I think it will be.

  About the author: Ian MacIsaac is a staff writer for the Capital City Free Press. He is a history major at Auburn University Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama and former co-editor of the school newspaper, the AUMnibus.
Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Sarah Palin Versus The Bear... or is it Mitt Romney?

by: countrycat

Tue May 05, 2009 at 20:46:03 PM CDT

holy crap... I hesitate to jinx it, but 2012 should be a breeze if this is the caliber of political ads we'll be up against.

Sarah "the thrilla from Wassilla" versus "Matt the Mormon" Romney.  How will the GOP faitful vote in the primary?

btw... this video is courtesy of an interesting group that calls themselves "Conservatives4Palin.com."  Sorry, not linky love, but you can enter it into your browser.  It's worth visiting just to see the header image and read the headline title:  "Governor Palin's Travel Plans Up In Air: Blame Mother Nature." 

Any of our conservative lurkers want to claim these guys?  ;-)

 

Discuss :: (2 Comments)
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