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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Candidates show claws as Iowa caucuses loom

(CNN): Published polls show close races in both parties in Iowa.
A Mason-Dixon survey of likely participants, released Sunday, showed Huckabee and Romney were locked in a statistical dead heat on the Republican side. An American Research Group poll released Saturday gave Romney an edge over Huckabee for the first time in over a month, while the last CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll, conducted December 14-18, put Huckabee over Romney by an eight-percentage-point margin. The remaining GOP candidates -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and commentator and former State Department official Alan Keyes -- trail behind Romney and Huckabee in Iowa polls.
But Thompson, a former U.S. senator and actor in the television drama "Law And Order," told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that he had "a decent chance" of pulling a second-place showing out of the caucuses.
"While all this hullabaloo is going on around me and everybody's attacking each other and everybody's talking about process and who's got the most political ambition to drive them, I'm just going to stay steady up the middle with the same conservative, common-sense message that I've had and what I've always been in my political life from day one," he said.

My 2 cents: It won’t surprise me when the Republican race's 'rabbits' — Huckabee and Romney — get themselves so far off course that Thompson — arguably the 'turtle' in the race — sneaks up from behind. Meanwhile, Giuliani's race is over while McCain's never started. Finally, Paul will manage to ruin most everyone's day. OK, read on ...

Among Democrats, Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois had virtually identical levels of support in Sunday's Mason-Dixon poll. Saturday's ARG survey gave Clinton a narrow lead over Obama and Edwards, while the CNN poll found a four-point spread among the top contenders, led by Clinton.

Again, IMO, Hillary is unelectable. Obama is slightly more electable, but highly unlikely. Edwards wins the primary by default. Meanwhile, Biden pleads, "Hello?!?! What the f&ck, people?!?!?"

Edwards, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in 2004, told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that Democrats would face "an epic fight" in pushing for reforms such as universal health care if they reclaim the White House, and argued that he, as a longtime plaintiff's lawyer, was best suited to wage those battles. He said Obama "has this philosophical view that you can sit at a table with drug companies, oil companies and insurance companies and negotiate with them, and somehow they'll just voluntarily give their power away -- and I think that's a complete fantasy. It will never happen."
Meanwhile, he said, Clinton "defends the system in Washington" that Edwards blasts as "rigged" by corporate interests.
"I don't think you can take these people's money, the lobbyists, the PACs, et cetera, and sit at a table and make a deal with them," he said. "I think if that worked, it would have worked a long time ago."
Edwards also used the term "fantasy" to describe Clinton's statement that if she became president, her husband -- former President Bill Clinton -- would have no official role in her administration. Edwards said he would put the former president to work if he were elected, "providing help around the world and with leaders around the world."

I saw the show this morning. Edwards is working his audience ... and it's working. It also doesn't hurt that it's an ideal time to be a white male Democratic populist.

On the flip side and speaking of the populist approach, Huckabee can't compete with Edwards' populist appeal while running as a Republican. Further, his 'pastor-in-chief' approach is running out of steam (which is no surprise since it's nothing but smoke and mirrors anyway). And I truly doubt that Republican primary voters can find it in their hearts to choose a non-Christian for their candidate, no matter how little religion matters in the presidency. (And there goes Romney.)

So — my prediction for the primaries? Watch for surprising numbers from both Thompson and Paul, with Thompson pulling out ahead in the end (which makes good sense, since the majority of Americans don't really want change anyway). Huckabee will stay alive, and so will Romney, but each with be a disappointment. Then a Democrat will beat any of the three ... but it won't be Hillary or Obama, as neither will ever even have the chance; Democratic primary voters are 'in it to win it,' and that's it.

Then it's likely that, in the end, we'll all watch the election go down like a final episode of an American Idol season, thinking, 'What?'

But of course, I'm only guessing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2 cents: It won’t surprise me when the Republican race's 'rabbits' — Huckabee and Romney — get themselves so far off course that Thompson — arguably the 'turtle' in the race — sneaks up from behind.

You have to keep in mind that the Iowa Republican caucus is really nothing more than a straw poll of the GOP True Believers. Political Machiavellianism is the watchword in this event. This time around it is probably worse than usual. The apoplectic Hillary-hate (or Hillary-fear, as the case may be) rampant among the GOP faithful will drive the caucus voting most deeply in favor of the candidate who is perceived as the one being able to beat Hillary. He could have horns and a tail, but as long as he is registered as a Republican and there is no video tape of him molesting little boys, he'll win. The one caveat being that the Huckster, being a Southern Baptist preacher, scares the living hell out of all those soft Lutherans in Des Moines. The word on the inside GOP street is that Thompson is too little, too late. This is fly-over country, so Giuliani can just stay home, and Iowa gave McCain a chance once, they won't do it again. Ron Paul will do better than expected, but will probably come in behind Thompson. Paul will come on strong in New Hampshire and South Carolina. It's Romney by a wide margin.

Again, IMO, Hillary is unelectable. Obama is slightly more electable, but highly unlikely. Edwards wins the primary by default. Meanwhile, Biden pleads, "Hello?!?! What the f&ck, people?!?!?"

I may be wrong, but I believe the Democratic caucus in Iowa is a bit more open than the GOP's. Edwards gets the doesn't-like-Hillary and scared-of-Negroes vote (Iowa is White as the snow in the pastures around Des Moines), but he doesn't have his own base. His run for veep exposed him as the hypocritical charlatan he really is. Even the most wide-eyed pseudo-Marxians don't believe a word he says, thanks to plenty of aerial photography of his compound and mansion in Chapel Hill. He comes off as another Southern lawyer with high political aspirations and debatable morals (the media sure dropped that love-child thing like a hot potato, didn't they?). Having taken the imperative on the political scandal front, I doubt the Democrats are ready for another Bill Clinton. Obama has never been in this for the top spot. He's been running for VP all along. If he wins in Iowa, watch for some nasty bit of business to skewer him, and watch for him to act properly chastened in order to hold onto that slot on Hillary's short list. Hillary is absolutely not unelectable. Should the GOP be stupid enough to nominate Huckabee, she can go ahead and start picking out the draperies. This one is a horse race between Obama and Clinton.

Monday, December 31, 2007 1:54:00 PM  

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