Stick a fork in Michele Bachmann, she’s done.

I like Michele Bachmann. She’s smart. She’s right on the issues (mostly). She’s feisty. She’s well-informed. She stands her ground. She’s not going to be President. In fact, she’s not going to be the Republican nominee for President. The best she can hope for is the Vice Presidential nomination, but that is also highly unlikely.

Her performance in the debate last night was terrible. First of all, she had nothing new to say, and seemed content to repeat the one-liners from the earlier debate–“Barack Obama is going to be a one term President.” Second, she got into a food fight with Tim Pawlenty–something that pleased Chris Wallace, but did her no good. She should have taken a cue from Romney, who refused to take the bait and simply said, “I liked Tim’s response at the first debate better.” Instead she looked desperate to defend herself and too eager to counterattack. Third, she may have gotten applause when she said “submissive” means that she “respects” her husband, but she was both theologically incorrect and she didn’t answer the real question–“Is your husband going to be making the decisions, if you are elected President.” Fourth, there were times when she looked like that cover on Newsweek. And who picked out her outfit anyway. Finally, her lack of executive experience and legislative accomplishments may not help Tim Pawlenty, but they will ultimately destroy her candidacy. We don’t need another President who requires on-the-job training.

Having said all that, she may indeed win the Ames Straw Poll. And if she does, it will keep her campaign going and in retrospective become the high point of her campaign. But if she loses Ames—she’s headed for an early exit. Either way, she won’t last past the Iowa caucuses.

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10 Reasons Why I Might Support Mitt Romney

’m not a fan of Mitt Romney.  There is a great deal about him that I just don’t like.  Romneycare and his refusal to denounce Romneycare–to name two.  Some of it is visceral–as an evangelical Christian, I am bothered by the fact that he is a Mormon.  But then I remember that I’m not choosing a pastor, but a President.  As the field shapes up, and as more and more of the candidates that I really want to support take a pass on running, I am beginning to confront a harsh reality–I might have to support Mitt Romney.

And here is the ultimate reality–unless you live in Iowa or New Hampshire, the field is going to be significantly diminished by the time most of us get a chance to vote.  I live in South Carolina, which means that my vote will count, but I may not get either my first or second choice.  I will in all likelihood have to choose between 3 or 4 candidates–one of whom will be MItt Romney.  In that eventuality, here are ten good reasons why Romney could get my support and my vote for the Republican nomination:

1.  He’s not Barack Obama.

2.  He can beat Barack Obama, which may not be the case with other possible nominees–Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, for instance, both of whom I like, are probably unelectable.

3.  When it comes down to it, fully one half of the other choices are extremely unappealing–Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, and Rudy Giuliani, for example.

4.  It would be best to avoid a protracted nomination fight.  If Romney emerges as the clear frontrunner, there will be a “Stop Romney” movement.  I don’t think that will be productive for the party.

5.  He has a MIdwest Connection, having been born and raised in MIchigan where his father was governor.  I am convinced the Midwest will determine this election.

6.  He will make a smart choice for his running mate–probably another governor with Pawlenty, Jindal, Daniels, and Christie in the mix.  This choice will significantly help the ticket.

7.  He has Executive experience, unlike many of the other candidates.

8.  He has Business experience, unlike almost all of the other candidates, and the economy will be the deciding factor in this election.

9.  He has campaign experience, which will help him avoid making costly mistakes and blunders, like those we have already seen from other candidates.

10. His proposal to grant waivers for Obamacare to all 50 states on his first day in office is one of the best ideas that I’ve heard from any candidate.   It shows he has an actual plan to effectively eliminate Obamacare, even if it can’t be repealed by Congress.  It also shows he understands the role of the President.


Requiem for toonces

The real toonces the cat passed away yesterday afternoon.  He was 22 years old.   He sat in my lap every night and watched The Factor, Hannity, and On the Record.  We will miss him greatly.


Bachmann surges into second place

In the first poll taken following the Republican debate in New Hampshire, Michele Bachmann has taken over second place with a strong showing of 19% among likely Republican primary voters.  Romney further tightened his grip on first place with 33% of those polled.  The other candidates who participated in the debate neither gained nor lost support.  This poll is bad news for Tim Pawlenty, who is tied with Rick Santorum for sixth place behind Cain (10%), Gingrich (9%), and Ron Paul (7%), with only 6% support.  Of the announced candidates, only Jon Huntsman, who did not participate in the debate, did worse with 2%.  Neither Sarah Palin nor Rudy Giuliani were included in this poll, which was conducted by Rasmussen on June 14.  The poll confirms what commentators have been saying:  that Michele Bachmann made a strong showing in the debate and had emerged as a credible challenger to Romney for the Republican nomination.

For complete results, here’s the link:  http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/romney_bachmann_cain_lead_the_pack_among_gop_primary_voters


Romney and Ames: Smart Decision or Beginning of the End

With his decision not to compete in the Ames Straw Poll on August 13, Romney continues his pattern of trying to learn from the campaign mistakes of 2008.  Last time around, Romney spent over $1 million to win the Ames Straw poll only to lose the Iowa caucus to Mike Huckabee and the New Hampshire primary to John McCain, thereby effectively ending his bid for the Republican nomination.  On the other hand, McCain skipped Ames and won the nomination.  But Rudy Giuliani, who was also the Republican front-runner at this time last time around, skipped Ames and the Iowa caucus.  We know how that turned out.

Romney’s decision opens the door for the emergence of a clear challenger to his position as the Republican’s leading candidate.  Winning the Ames straw poll can provide an enormous boost to a campaign, bringing in free media and money, both of which are in short supply this year with such a crowded field.   Tim Pawlenty probably has the most to either win or lose in Ames.  If Pawlenty makes a poor showing, it could and probably would seriously impair his chances.  On the other hand, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain have everything to win and nothing to lose, because of low expectations.  Don’t count Rick Santorum out either.  He has done well in straw polls so far, although it is doubtful he has the resources to compete in Ames.

If Romney has guessed right, his opponents will fairly equally divide the Ames Straw Poll vote with no clear winner and no one getting a real boost to his/her campaign.  In his best case scenario, Ron Paul will pull off a narrow win.  But–If Romney has guessed wrong, he will suddenly face a serious challenge to his cautious, but disciplined march towards the nomination.  And his support is so thin, he can’t really afford a serious challenge. Indeed, Romney’s best chance of winning the nomination is the belief that he will win the nomination.  Ames could destroy that belief in his inevitability.


Romney takes commanding lead in Fox News Poll

Mitt Romney surged to 23%  of registered Republican voters and a 10 point lead over his nearest rivals in the latest Fox News poll.  Second and third places went to Rudy Giuliani at 13% and Sarah Palin at 12%, two individuals who are not yet candidates.  Romney’s closest competitors among the announced candidates were Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich at 7% each.  Michele Bachmann (5%), Tim Pawlenty (5%), Rick Santorum (4%) and Ron Paul (4%) were being left far behind.

The Fox News poll confirms the recent ABC News poll which placed Romney first with 21% and the Quinnipiac poll which showed Romney at 25%.  Palin was second in both of those polls.  Based on these latest results, Romney has now established himself as the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination.


Romney takes the lead in South Carolina

In the first poll taken in South Carolina  since Mike Huckabee dropped out, Mitt Romney has surged into a sizeable lead with 27% of likely Republican voters to Sarah Palin’s 18%.  Trailing Romney and Palin are Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, tied at 12%, Michele Bachmann with 9%, Ron Paul at 7% and Tim Pawlenty with 4%.  If Palin is not a candidate, Romney extends his lead to 30% compared to 15% for Gingrich and Cain, 13% for Bachmann, 10% for Paul and 5% for Pawlenty.

This latest poll suggests the nightmare scenario for anti-Romney forces–as they divide their votes almost equally and would allow Romney to pick up a critical early state with as little as 30% of the vote.  The only bright spot in this poll for opponents of Romney was that S.C. Senator Jim DeMint would handily defeat Romney 35% to 21%, if he decided to run.  This suggests that Romney’s support is soft and he can be beaten if the opposition coalesces around one candidate.

This poll was taken by Public Policy Polling on June 2 – 5 of 1,000 likely Republican primary voters.  Here’s the link: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_SC_0607806.pdf .