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February 24, 2007

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Rudy's no shoo-in, despite Rasmussen's polling... he has his own problems. But McCain may be the biggest bust of 2008 the way he's going... and the way Iraq is going.

On the same topic, here's a video I can guarantee you Rudy Giuliani would prefer you didn't see. Not exactly presidential:
http://minor-ripper.blogspot.com/2007/02/video-rudy-giuliani-does-not-want-you.html

well done cattle call by trapper john here.

Glad you got something out of my emails, Dem.

yep... and thanks. And not just your emails... check dKos as well... and Andrew Sullivan... and Pollster.com.

Hot topic, this. it's all over the nets today.

DemFromCT,

I never liked McCain. Dad kind of likes him because of his war record.
But I reject your idea that he will be rejected because he will do anything to be president. I just don't see how that separates him that much from the rest of the herd.

Newt? Maybe. My family would go for that, but I don't know if he has a chance.

And I am a "anybody but Hillary" person.

It seems to me that the religious right is going to bury McCain's chances of winning the election, not so sure about the Nomination. However, the general public is pretty slow to wake up to changes in a guy like McCain's positions. He still has a mainstream rep as a moderate, and if the far right would tone it down a bit he would still have a pretty fair chance of giving a good run in the general. That's the main problem with our system, moderate candidates have a very hard time getting through the primaries. That's the thing that makes McCain so interesting right now. If he can suck enough right wing rod, his reputation as a Moderate could carry him further than many would expect in the general.

As for Hillary, I've often said she's unelectable, and I honestly think her leading the dem ticket is a very poor choice. Even a modest Repub candidate can give her a run, as there are SO many anyone but Hillary people out there. She just comes across so poorly. Gives off a negative vibe.

If the Repubs are smart they run Rudy. If the Dems are smart, they run anyone but Hillary. I'll vote for a solid moderate Republican over her, but then We're not going to get that choice are we?

I'd love to play Scrabble against Hillary and Chelsea. She's smart and knows how to lay the words down.

However, despite being a liberated, competant woman, I just can't see her as Presidential material. Her skills are influencing people to work together, not in leading bravely or taking a firm stand.

What passion or drive compels her to run?

Al Gore is strong on the Environment... which may be the most important issue of all. Who cares how many bombs are in the racks, when the ice caps melt and species loss becomes exponential?

Edwards has his Two Americas and the plight of the working family. Without jobs there is no hope and no pride.

Clark has the military/diplomatic credentials to repair much of the damage to those who Serve and to our treaties.

Kucinich has his cabinet-level Secretary of Peace (which I think is a great idea... if we spent a pittance of what our military devours helping people find peaceful solutions, this world would be better fed, better educated, and much more productive).

Habitat for Humanity and the Beautification of America weren't just slogans tossed out as this week's sound bite: there was passion and committment.

Blind ambition can't be the only defining quality, because most candidates have that. A five-year-old craves power! Since the position is so powerful, we need to ask anybody running exactly WHAT they would do with it.

Nobody can do everything desired. Restoring the Constitution and the Rule of Law is worthwhile. Making sure that everybody, especially the very young and the very old, has access to basic health care is worthwhile. Striving for true equality under the law so that women, blacks, gays, and atheists, all have the same rights and opportunities as WASPs is worthwhile. Working with the economy so that out-sourcing and job-loss is less profitable to the corporations than job creation and development of new technology is worthwhile. Looking at the biosphere as a whole and working to get it back into balance before it implodes is worthwhile.

Does Hillary have any single strong issue?

If not, she has a much better place in the Senate, urging those old codgers to work together and move legislation along.

McCain watchers (Jodi, Dismayed), look at his poll numbers. The religious right is only a third of R voters at best. His welcome is wearing thin.

What he 'has' to do to win the nomination is glom onto Bush and stay close - and that means adopting intelligent design as well as 'Iraq was always right'. He has the occasional rumble of "I would do it different - more troops, I'd be more Bush than Bush' to try and dredge up the old maverick feelings, but it ain't working. Mainstream general voters hate this war as much as we do - we were just early adopters.

Until you understand how mainstream our views are here, you won't understand why McCain is tanking. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. He does not have fanatically committed hordes, just this carefully cultivated 'reasonable centrist, so i guess he's acceptable' image which his pursuit of the nomination is grinding into little pieces.

Funniest McCain story yet:

McCain Mutiny
Max Blumenthal


Just as the presidential nomination process begins in earnest, Senator John McCain has suffered a stinging defeat in his home state. For the Republican media darling declared recently by Chris Matthews to be the one candidate who "deserves the presidency," it was an unlikely loss, and so far it has gone unheralded by the national press corps that McCain once half-jokingly called "my base." This defeat was the handiwork of his presumed actual political base--a ragtag band of local conservative activists led by a 65-year-old retired IBM middle manager named Rob Haney.

Who is Rob Haney? He is the Republican state committeeman in Arizona's District 11, McCain's home district. In the past, Haney and his fellow committee members would meet from time to time to review their annual budget, vote on bylaws and pass resolutions. If anyone represents Arizona's Republican Party, advancing the causes of faith, family and freedom, it is the folks from District 11. Yet their importance, let alone their existence, seemed to matter little to their state's famous and ambitious senior senator.

All that changed when Haney organized a revolt that hardly needed encouragement. "People would be calling in to [state committee] headquarters every week, absolutely enraged, threatening to leave the party because of some comments McCain made," Haney told me. "The guy has no core, his only principle is winning the presidency. He likes to call his campaign the 'straight talk express.' Well, down here we call it the 'forked tongue express.'"

Rank-and-file Republicans are disgruntled about McCain's support for campaign finance reform and gun control and his opposition to a federal ban on gay marriage. Conservative anger reached a boiling point in 2004 when McCain led the opposition to Prop 200, a state ballot measure restricting public services for undocumented immigrants. In the summer of 2005, months after Prop 200 succeeded with support from nearly 70 percent of GOP voters, Haney introduced a resolution in District 11 to censure McCain for "dereliction of his duties and responsibilities as a representative of the citizens of Arizona." After the resolution coasted through the district, it was introduced before the GOP committee of Maricopa County, Arizona's largest, encompassing Phoenix and Scottsdale (once home to Barry Goldwater).
At the time, McCain and his handlers were working to burnish his conservative credentials to win over wary Republican primary voters. The effort began with McCain's May 2006 graduation speech at Liberty University, a school founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, whom McCain had dubbed an "agent of intolerance" during his rancorous 2000 run for the presidency. His makeover continues on February 23, when he is scheduled to speak before the Discovery Institute, the right-wing think tank that has attempted to introduce into public school biology classes the teaching of Intelligent Design.

Although Arizona is somewhat off the national radar, Haney's resolution posed a threat to the McCain makeover. Apparently alarmed, the senator dispatched his chief of staff to the Maricopa County Republicans' meeting to warn against the resolution. At McCain's behest, Arizona's other GOP senator, Jon Kyl, sent his own chief of staff as well. But Haney's resolution passed by a nearly unanimous vote. "No one in the party structure would dare say anything about McCain and the grassroots was enraged, so I voiced their concerns," Haney said. "And McCain and the party establishment came down on me hard. They said, 'You're going to destroy his chances in the presidential campaign.'"

Not content to let the purely symbolic resolution stand, McCain recruited a slate of candidates to oust Haney and his allies in last November's state committee elections. McCain supporters formed a political action committee, Grassroots Arizona PAC, to bankroll this effort. Forty percent of Grassroots Arizona's funds were provided by two Democratic donors from San Francisco apparently enraptured with McCain and his "maverick" image, Gregory and Lisa Wendt, which added fuel to the flames of Haney's revolt. McCain's slate was formidable, including Fife Symington, a former Arizona governor coaxed out of retirement to come to the rescue of his old friend. So worried was McCain about being rebuked by his own party that he threw his own hat into the race, announcing that he would run for state committeeman.

When the votes were counted, McCain and his entire slate were resoundingly defeated. Despite endorsements from virtually every Republican member of Arizona's Congressional delegation, Symington, who had never lost a race in his life, was crushed--as was McCain. Adding insult to injury, in January another key McCain ally, Republican political consultant Lisa James, was defeated for state GOP committee chair by Randy Pullen, a prominent McCain critic and anti-immigrant activist who headed the campaign for Prop 200. James's defeat could complicate McCain's presidential ground game because she was to have used her position at the top of Arizona's Republican apparatus to secure the state's primary for McCain.

McCain is still likely to win his home state's primary. But according to Haney, the senator's failed attempt to oust his critics has galvanized his conservative opponents. "If McCain had just been quiet about me passing those resolutions," Haney said, "the whole issue would have died. I mean, it is unheard of for anyone to care so much about district committeemen."

McCain's botched revenge has solidified his reputation in Arizona's Republican circles as a divisive, untrustworthy and even dangerous figure. Haney hopes the general public meets this side of McCain before his penchant for angry reprisals is invested with the powers of the presidency. "This just shows that McCain is mentally unstable and out of control and vindictive," Haney told me. "If he is determined to go through that much trouble to attack a district committee chairman, what does that say about his ability to handle real political problems?"

Interesting story, and that's the people who have to nominate him. OTOH, note that he still, at best, ties Hillary in general election polling (this is the 'barely paying attention' crowd... McCain's numbers are stuck there, and i think he will only go down. Name recognition is not this guy's problem.

Only Rudy beats Hillary, and Rudy is another flawed front runner, but he deserves the front runner status right now, not McCain. Let's see how he does in the spotlight.

The Nation is where McCain Mutiny appeared.

Speaker Pelosi has the qualities of the president we need but, alas, most American males and females still find a female presidency too disturbing to contemplate. This, in spite of the latest incompetent male prez who should have us stampeding for a candidate with Pelosi's qualifications, female or not. Madness, madness, madness.

OT question? Is there a way in CT law to remove a sitting US Senator? Recall or the like?

There is no recall for US Senatotrs (at least not in CT).

I've been saying for months that McCain is the "frontrunner" only in the Press's dreams. He is old and getting older (will be 72 by election day in 2008) and he has ejected the positions that got him votes in New England. But he isn't really "one of them" to the GOP base. Many of them would seemingly stay home rather than vote for someone who was not "one of them." (Romney probably has a similar problem.)

That said, the idea of a Hillary-Rudolph G. match is about as exciting as the 2000 World Series--a bust east of the Hudson.

The only good aspect of a year's worth of pre-primary nonsense is that maybe the public will get so tired of these people that a new face will actually have a chance.

Richardson and Obama on the D side (and R's don't do novel, so maybe Newt, Mr third place for the GOP).

Been waiting for this blog to get back on 2008, as well as foreign affairs. Too much Libby here lately.

The key point with the Christian right is not whether they will be able to veto or boost a consensus fundie candidate, but whether the eventual nominee makes them want to sit on their hands. Or not.

A "sit on your hands" factor of 3 to 5% just of the fundie wing nationally is very very bad for Republicans. I think at least that many would want to thumb their nose at politics in general and the Republican party just for nominating a non truebeliever. And McCain, Romney, and Rudy are very much non true believers.

Huckabee and Newt are the answer for them.

Crab Nebula, after the shenanigans of the last year including some real stewardship issues over the earth's resources, and Haggard scandals, we may never see a united religious right the way we had in the past.

I agree newt is the sleeper, ebcause he's a true believer in a field of Rudys and Arnolds (who is not running but who represents a resurgence of practical politics).

DemFromCT

there are polls and there are polls.

current intrade
2:37pm est mon feb26 2007
libby.guilty.lying

bqty 1
bid 76
offer 78
aqty 2
last 76
vol 3428
chg -4

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