Where Things Stand in Iowa
December 28, 2011
A new poll out from PPP gives some indications about where things are headed in the home stretch. Given that it's only one poll, and that the polling was done between the first and second nights after Christmas--and that it pours some water on my Gingrich uptick theory--I'm not going to interpret the results too literally. But they do offer some hints about what's going on. First, as on the Democratic side in 2008, it looks like turnout is going to tell us who'll win the caucuses well before the actual votes are tallied, at least if present trends continue.
Conversion Narrative, Iowa Caucus Edition
December 28, 2011
Rick Perry is getting grief for his conversion on the proverbial road to Dubuque -- announcing this week that he now opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest, not because he is desperately appealing to evangelical voters in the Iowa caucuses, but because he watched a movie. What, has Perry been kicking back with "Juno" in the Hampton Inn? No, hardier stuff than that: "The Gift of Life," produced by David Bossie, the conservative activist behind the Citizens United campaign finance case. It features Mike Huckabee and profiles people who say they were the result of rapes.
A User’s Guide to the 2011 Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary
December 26, 2011
The Republican field is crowded and fluid right now, but it won’t be for long. By January 11th, there will be at most three remaining contenders, and we’ll have a much clearer understanding of how the race will develop. There are seven candidates with a pulse, and only six of them—divided into two groups of three—are competing in Iowa. For two of the three denizens of the lower tier—Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum—failing to finish among the top three on January 3rd would spell the effective end of their candidacies.
How Social Conservatives Blew It In Iowa
December 23, 2011
The 2012 “invisible primary” is looking likely to end just how and where it began: with Republican ideologues anxiously looking to Iowa for signs of an electable “true conservative” alternative to Mitt Romney. Depending on whom you ask, they have found no such candidate, or have found too many of them. In either case, despite their fevered hopes the First-in-the-Nation Caucus is not likely to play its intended role as an all-important arbiter where ideological squishes are disciplined or destroyed and the faithful find their champion.
Fact-Checking the Candidates on ... Everything
December 22, 2011
In the eighteen previous Republican presidential debates, our crack team of three hundred and seventy-four full-time fact checkers has found over four million inaccurate or misleading statements made by the candidates. But why stop there? For the final Iowa debate, we turned our attention not just to the debate answers themselves, but to literally everything that came out of the candidates’ mouths. What follows is a critical assessment of the pre-debate banter: Rick Perry: “Good evening, Mitt.” FACT: Merriam-Webster defines “evening” as the period between sunset and bedtime.
Brokered Conventions, Last-Minute Comebacks, and Other Crazy Ways the GOP Could End Up With a Nominee
December 16, 2011
Has there ever been a worse year for the conventional wisdom in handicapping a presidential primary race? Sure, the pundit pack has been grotesquely wrong before, from over-hyping Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2008 to smugly dismissing Howard Dean’s potential to galvanize anti-war Democrats in 2004. But never have the political railbirds so frequently compounded their errors as they reeled from one smug, but erroneous, prediction to another.
Five Thoughts on the GOP Debate
December 15, 2011
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com And that's a wrap. The Republican presidential candidates are done debating, at least until the caucuses and primaries begin. Who won Thursday night's event in Iowa? Who lost? I have no idea, as I'm neither an Iowan nor a Republican. But here are five semi-informed (and perhaps semi-intelligent) observations on what transpired. 1. Proof that Newt Gingrich is in trouble. Go back and pay attention to Mitt Romney’s answers on Thursday night. He talked about the economy and his experience in the private sector.
Romney's Underappreciated Pen Pal
December 13, 2011
Much has been made of how brazenly the Washington Post's conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, has been favoring Mitt Romney and disparaging his GOP rivals, to the point where she compromised her exceedingly staunch pro-Israel stance to chide Newt Gingrich for being excessively anti-Palestinian in his recent remarks on the Middle East.
The $10,000 Question
December 12, 2011
Everybody's saying that Mitt Romney made himself sound like a rich jerk by offering to bet Rick Perry $10,000 that Perry was describing incorrectly a portion of his (Romney's) book, No Apology, that was excised from the paperback edition. I'm not inclined to judge Romney on that score, having occasionally bet my children $1 million to make this or that point. I've lost a couple of times and had to admit that I didn't actually have $1 million; then again, neither did they. Romney actually does have $10,000--indeed, he has $1 million--which I suppose makes it a little different.
In "Humanizing" Mitt, An Unintended Echo
December 12, 2011
Politico reports that Mitt Romney, seeking to reboot amid the resurgence of Newt Gingrich, is now "engaged in a humanizing effort" after months in which he framed himself as an impersonal fix-it man for a broken economy: Meet Mitt Romney, human. In the past 24 hours, the former Massachusetts governor has talked about his father, experiences while working as a missionary that weren’t even in his memoir — and twice in two days, he’s brought up the Mormon faith that he’s until now largely steered clear of.