Free Markets, Free People

Ron Paul


Romney wins in New Hampshire

As expected, and as polls indicated would happen, Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary.  And he did more than win, he pretty much cruised to victory.  Second place went to Ron Paul, which, actually, shouldn’t be particularly surprising.  New Hampshire is a libertarian leaning state.  He should have done well there.  Jon Huntsman took third, which is mildly surprising, after the showing Rick Santorum made in Iowa.

And yes, the big loser was Santorum who was pretty much rejected as a candidate by New Hampshire primary voters, negating his Iowa showing.  Apparently his time as Republican flavor of the week may be passing.  As for Newt and Rick Perry … well as Ron Paul said, “drop out.”  Gingrich and Santorum polled 9% while Perry got an anemic 1% in the Granite State.

All of the bottom 3 candidates think that the upcoming South Carolina primary will resuscitate their campaigns feeling their messages will get a better reception there than in New Hampshire.  Frankly, I think Perry is fooling himself.  He hasn’t done well in either Iowa or New Hampshire and he’s not polling well in South Carolina.

PPP has it broken down as Romney 30, Santorum 19, Gingrich 23, Paul 9, Perry 5, Huntsman 4.   Rasmussen has it Romney 27, Santorum 24, Gingrich 18, Paul 11, Perry 5, Huntsman 2 .

If those numbers hold, and there’s no reason to think they won’t, it may be Paul who is looking for the exit poll after SC.  I doubt he’ll do well in Florida.  Huntsman is done and probably the next to leave, and if Perry shows as dismally as the polls show, he’ll be out before Florida’s January 31 primary.

Santorum is looking for a boost for him from what MSNBC calls the “socially conservative and evangelical Christian voters in the Palmetto State”.  If he’s able to pull Rasmussen’s numbers then he’ll stay for a while.  If he ends up second with a PPP  spread, he’s pretty much done whether he’ll admit it or not.  He’s not going to pull good numbers in Florida.

So, like it or not, Romney appears headed toward the nomination at this time.  Watch for Gingrich to remain to the bitter end and be much more destructive to the GOP’s chances than the Obama campaign ever will be.  Obama, after all, has to run on his poor record which means the campaign has to be careful about what issues they raise and what they don’t want raised.   Gingrich is the Attila the Hun of politics, with no such limits and no qualms about pulling out all the stops even if his effort is doomed.  As I said once before, it was only a matter of time until “bad Newt” showed up, and he’s here.

Meanwhile in New Hampshire, Barack Obama only managed 82% of the total Democratic vote.  10% went to write-ins and 1% of the total vote went to Vermin Supreme, the guy who claims to be a satirist and wears a rubber boot as headgear. 

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Romney wins Iowa … or something

Ok, just being flip, but I’ve never really thought that much of the caucus process and still don’t.  All this excitement, work and rhetoric over approximately 225,000 votes.  Yes I understand the possibility of winnowing the field (think Newt will finally take the hint?).

So Romney won – by 8 votes out of about 225,000 total.  That’s not as surprising to me, frankly, than who came in second.  Very disappointing to the Paulbots, I’m sure.  But Rick Santorum?  Seriously?

And will Huntsman, Bachman, and Perry drop out or hang on through New Hampshire?  After all it’s not that long till NH and again, Iowa is a caucus state.   I don’t see any of the three doing significantly better there than Iowa, but still they may give it a shot.

Cain was beaten by “no preference”.  The only “candidate” missing, as far as I’m concerned, was “none of the above”.  My guess is NOTA had a shot at at least 2nd or 3rd, and who knows, with that field, might of pulled out a win.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Ron Paul’s past catches up with him — again

This is really old news, however it has surfaced again because Ron Paul is among the top three in polls in Iowa (and in some the top pick).

A direct-mail solicitation for Ron Paul’s political and investment newsletters two decades ago warned of a "coming race war in our big cities" and of a "federal-homosexual cover-up" to play down the impact of AIDS.

The eight-page letter, which appears to carry Paul’s signature at the end, also warns that the U.S. government’s redesign of currency to include different colors – a move aimed at thwarting counterfeiters – actually was part of a plot to allow the government to track Americans using the "new money."

The letter urges readers to subscribe to Paul’s newsletters so that he could "tell you how you can save yourself and your family" from an overbearing government.

The letter’s details emerge at a time when Paul, now a contender for the Republican nomination for president, is under fire over reports that his newsletters contained racist, anti-homosexual and anti-Israel rants.

Reports of the newsletters’ contents have Paul’s campaign scrambling to deny that he wrote the inflammatory articles.

Among other things, the articles called the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. a "world-class philanderer," criticized the U.S. holiday bearing King’s name as "Hate Whitey Day," and said that AIDS sufferers "enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick."

As Paul made a campaign stop in Manchester, Iowa, on Thursday, his Iowa chairman, Drew Ivers, repeated Paul’s assertions that he did not write the articles that resurfaced this week in a report in the Weekly Standard magazine.

I have no idea whether or not Paul wrote any of what is in the newsletter or even believes it, however he lent his name to it and, if you believe him, didn’t read that which he gave them permission to use his name on.

Really?  Is that denial supposed to make it okay, even if true? 

Paul, who constantly accuses the other candidates of flip-flopping claims now that he believes none of the above or exactly the opposite of what is said in the newsletters.

I know someone who writes newspaper articles for a politician that are printed under the politician’s name.  I also know that not a single one of them go to press without the politician reading and okaying (and making some edits) to the piece.  Paul wants us to believe he never did that, never took any hand whatsoever in what was basically a solicitation for his business venture.

I’m sorry.  I just don’t buy it.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Gingrich fatigue?

Probably not so much fatigue as getting to know Newt and finding out he’s not really the guy many in the GOP want as the presidential nominee.  In fact, no one seems to be really capturing the attention of likely GOP voters for more than a month or two without imploding or fading.  Gingrich seems to be doing a fade job as Gallup documents:

After enjoying 14- to 15-percentage-point leads over Mitt Romney in early December, Newt Gingrich is now statistically tied with Romney in national Republican preferences for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination: 26% for Gingrich vs. 24% for Romney. This follows a steady decline in support for Gingrich in the past 10 days.

My guess is “Getting To Know You” wouldn’t be Newt Gingrich’s favorite song, because the more you know about him and the more you hear him, the less you want this guy anywhere near the Oval Office.  And for the man who sat on the couch with Nancy Pelosi to try to claim conservative credentials is, well, laughable.

So as the press actually vets a candidate (apparently they remembered how after Obama was elected) and voters get to hear more and more from him on issues such as the judiciary (and something about handcuffs) etc., not to mention the fact that he is the consummate and ultimate Washington DC insider, his star begins to twinkle less brightly in the political heavens.

Iowa will be upon us soon.  Rumor and a few polls have it that Ron Paul will win that.  As someone else mentioned, if he does, that will make Iowa pretty much a farce.  Paul cannot get beyond 10 to 11% nationally and winning Iowa won’t change that.  What it may do, it that happens, is cast even more doubt on Gingrich’s ability to win in the long run.  A Paul win in Iowa will simply make him the latest GOP shooting star.

Romney, however, will plod along and his organization will take Iowa in stride and continue on the long road to the nomination.  I’m not saying I want Romney by any stretch, just laying out the facts as I see them.   He has built the best organization and ground game.   Iowa will not stop or deter his pursuit of the nomination.  I won’t go as far as to say his nomination is inevitable.  It’s a long way to November.  I’m just saying that, barring the entry into the race of the prefect candidate, he probably has the best chance of being the compromise nominee when the convention rolls around.  Obviously the primaries will tell, but I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on Iowa.

Gingrich, on the other hand, is seeing what I would consider an expected pushback.  When you first see him and hear him you think, “ok, he’s articulate, he debates well, he could take on the incumbent easily and, well, he might not be so bad”.  Then you begin to pay attention and hear his ideas and thoughts.  And you decide he’s not at all what you’re looking for if you’re really a conservative.   He can talk the game, but if you really listen and pay attention to what he’s said in the past, you know he’s about as consistent as Mitt Romney – he just spins his flip-flops better.

That said, the GOP faithful are going to have to realize something – and before I say this, I want it understood it is not an endorsement of any of the above – they’re not going to get the perfect candidate.  At some point they’re going to have to pick among those running and back that candidate if they want Barack Obama to begin planning his library.  And it may entail holding their collective noses to do so … again.

If anything, that’s the problem with which the entire electorate should be concerned.  Look at the incumbent.  Look at the challengers.  How in the world did we ever get in the shape that they are the only one’s from which we have to pick?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Looking for Ronald Reagan

A poll out today shows that even with all the early debates and attention GOP presidential candidates have gotten to this point, most Republican voters remain uncommitted:

About eight in 10 Republican primary voters say it is still too early to tell whom they will support, and just four in 10 say they have been paying a lot of attention to the 2012 presidential campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Herman Cain, the former restaurant executive, is riding a wave of support among Republican primary voters that has placed him in a statistical dead heat with rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, in a race that has been characterized by momentum swings among the candidates.

The poll found Mr. Cain with the highest level of support, with 25 percent of Republican primary voters, and Mr. Romney with 21 percent. This difference is within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Adding to the fluidity of the contest, about one in 10 Republican primary voters say they would like to see someone else nominated.

As bad as President Obama might be, it is clear that there is no particular love to be found for the present Republican field.   Perry has all but imploded, Bachman continues to marginalize herself, Paul has a rabid but small contingent of supporters but can never seem to get beyond that, Gingrich has way too much baggage, Santorum is a marginal candidate at best and Mitt Romney is the nominee of last resort.

The reason, in my opinion, that Herman Cain has risen in the polls is because he comes from a background of business success.  He reflects a desire by many to have someone who can take the reins of the government and steer in such a way that it becomes a help to our economy, not a hindrance and drag.  His increased support speaks to a desire for someone in office with economic and business experience.  

But I think there’s also a great desire, so far unfulfilled, for someone who has a clear vision that can be articulated and that captures the imagination and revives the spirit.  And while Cain may fill the practical side of the equation, at least to an acceptable extent, he’s not been able to fulfill the “vision quest” part.   As gifted an orator as he might be and despite the fact he’s got practical and successful business he’s not been able to persuade enough Republican voters to come to his side to put him in the unassailable lead.

And of course neither have any of the others.

Republicans are still looking for Ronald Reagan.  A man or woman who can not only lift the malaise but lift the spirit as well.   Who can not only apply practical principled solutions to our problems but make America feel good about itself again. 

Right now, that person isn’t yet in the race, or if he or she is, they’ve not emerged as such.   This country is in desperate want of inspiration, reassurance and practical experience.   The current candidates just aren’t measuring up to that want or need.   Thus the poll results.

Is there a Ronald Regan out there?  Is there a candidate that will finally step forward and fulfill those voter wants as Reagan did when running against Jimmy Carter.

I often wonder what the outcome might have been had any of these candidates running for the GOP nomination today had been the choice against Carter.  I’m not so sure Carter would have lost.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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