Here's something you don't see every day. Mitt Romney goes negative on Mike Huckabee in Iowa, and John McCain is the one who fires back on Huckabee's behalf. From a statement by McCain's Iowa chairman Dave Roederer that the McCain campaign sent out last night: News that Mitt Romney will launch a new attack ad tomorrow is another move by a campaign that continues to insult Iowa voters. Iowa families should not be subjected to this negative style of campaigning, especially during the holiday season. Governor Romney has flip-flopped on several major issues that voters care about.
So much for Mike Huckabee's "benign" side. Here's his new immigration ad that's going up in Iowa. Somehow I don't think this one will be airing on the Upper West Side. --Jason Zengerle
He's got Stephen Hayes's love. I think Hayes's cover story on Obama in the new Weekly Standard is a pretty fascinating document--mainly because it's such a puff job. Indeed, from the gushing (and by now familiar) recitation of Obama's life story to the laudatory quotes from Obama supporters, Hayes--aka Dick Cheney's biographer and Fred Thompson's cheerleader--has nary a negative word to write about the Illinois Senator. Maybe Hayes just has a soft spot for Obama because he's related to Cheney, but I think his fondness for Obama is better explained by this passage from his piece.
I'm not really sure what to make of Frank Rich's Valentine to Mike Huckabee in yesterday's Times. On the one hand, Rich is able to cite plenty of evidence that Huckabee does represent a more palatable and Christian (in the best sense of the word) version of evangelical conservatism: Attacked by Mr. Romney for supporting an Arkansas program aiding the children of illegal immigrants, he replied, “In all due respect, we’re a better country than to punish children for what their parents did.” It was a winning moment, politically as well as morally. And a no-brainer at that. Given that Mr.
It's starting to look that way. It used to be that the Republican candidates intoned the words "Hillary Clinton" like a mantra of sorts, but I'm pretty sure her name wasn't mentioned once in last night's GOP debate. And I noticed an interesting new hedge in a post-debate statement by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis: "John McCain is the only conservative who can beat Senator Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat next November.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire--I can't say I've ever understood why people with deep, deep troubles go to campaign events to unburden themselves to politicians. My guess is that they do it after they've tried--and failed--to seek relief in numerous other places. Today, one such person came to a John McCain campaign event, and while these sorts of things are usually incredibly awkward to watch, this one was almost inspiring. McCain was almost finished with an hour-long forum on the environment in Portsmouth when a severely disabled man named Greg indicated that he wanted to ask a question.
Mike reminds me of a funny moment I failed to mention from the McCain-Schilling event: Standing in the back of the auditorium at McCain's event this evening was a global warming activist in an elaborate snowman costume, complete with red scarf and long carrot nose. During the question-and-answer period, McCain actually called on the guy--although McCain somehow initially thought the snowman was a chicken. You sorta had to be there. But then Mike leaves out the next part.
Manchester, New Hampshire -- I know that over on his fancypants blog Mike already promised you details of the John McCain-Curt Schilling confab. But since we both wound up at the same event, Mike's graciously decided to throw the Plank a bone and has allowed me to do the honors. If McCain wants to go from second to first in the New Hampshire polls, he might want to consider bringing Schilling along with him to every campaign stop.
It goes back to his grade school years!
Frank Rich certainly thinks so. Andrew Sullivan does, too. As for me, I'm not so sure. The crux of Rich's argument seems to be that Obama (unlike Clinton) disarms conservatives--pointing to the kind words people like Peggy Noonan and Rich Lowry have had for him--and that Obama's race would actually be an advantage in a general election campaign, in that it would prompt the GOP to engage in their cynical brand of racial politics, which in turn would drive white swing voters into the Democrats' corner. I hope those two things are true, but color me unconvinced for the moment.