Romney “wins” straw poll

April 10, 2010

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference was billed as a conference for the Republican core.  $119 a seat.  Come and speak your mind about the future of the party.  And then a straw poll about who best represents those core values.

“Evangelicals for Romney” bought and gave away 200 tickets.  Ron Paul’s supporters sold 600 at a discount.  No other potential candidate electioneered at the event.  So it’s not surprising the “victory” for Romney.  In fact, it’s surprising Paul didn’t do any better, except that he’s not core Republican. (439 votes for Romney, 438 for Paul.)

The news article I read came from CBS (see it here). The companion article asks “Is This How Straw Polls are won?”  It noted that a ticket  got the holder into the straw poll, but also political speeches and a Friday dinner party.  All you had to do was say you’d support their candidate.

Looks like the money is on making an early appearance of front-runner status.


One thing that bothers me is the “Evangelicals for Romney.”  It’s run by a Presbyterian (not core for the evangelical community) and seems to say that Romney’s Mormonism is just as valid as Huckabee’s Baptist faith.

The group’s founder, David French said “Mormons and evangelicals are fellow travelers in a lot of the cultural battles that are taking place around the country.”  He says Romney’s Mormonism is not a problem because Romney “shares our core values.”

French wants evangelicals to “unite — early — behind the right candidate. He’s pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and the guy knows how to balance a checkbook.”

Pro-marriage, yes.  Pro-life, yes (lately).  And he balanced checkbooks at Bain & Co by firing the people that founded the companies and siphoning the value in leveraged buyouts.  He balanced his checkbook on the backs of middle-class workers.  It’s elitism.  Might work in Washington, but doesn’t play well to the centrist core.

(The Republicans lost in 08 because they ran an uninteresting old codger against an eloquent orator.  Just about anyone besides Paul would have made for a better campaign.  McCain needed Palin just to draw a crowd, and then made sure her opinions were minimized.)

There is so much falseness in this straw poll it’s invalidity taints the winner.  He might claim front-runner for now, but will it stick?


Politics of Making Nice

March 29, 2008

“In a show of Republican unity, one-time bitter foes John McCain and Mitt Romney raised money and campaigned together Thursday for a single goal — getting McCain elected president.”

So begins an article by Liz Sidoti for the Associated Press on March 27. It shows how far politicians will bend “core principles” to get elected. For Romeny’s part, he dropped out of the Presidential race after assuming he couldn’t beat McCain. But while he was in the race, there was no love lost. Romney repeatedly said McCain was outside of the GOP’s conservative mainstream, and called him a Washington insider, someone who caused the probelms now needing fixing. McCain shot back that Romney’s positions on issues seemed to come only after he decided to run for President.

Oddly, it was McCain’s charges were prophetic. He said that Romney’s flipflops “indicated a willingness to change his positions to fit his political goals.” It is that willingness that lets Romney sit next to McCain on the campaign airplane Sidoti noted “They sat next to each other and ate turkey sandwiches. They laughed and talked during the hourlong flight, and were complimentary of each other when talking to reporters traveling with McCain.”

It seems clear the reversal is a bid by Romney to become McCain’s Vice President. “Romney lauded McCain and promised to do all he can to help, saying: “He is a man who is proven and tested” and without question the right man to be president.”

McCain’s Vulnerability

February 26, 2008

Yesterday, I was reading the Romney supporter’s blog (comMITTed to Romney), which has turned into a mix of tributes for GMR and political strategy.  (I’m part of the latter.)

I posted:

“… understand that if there is no war, McCain has no platform. His “paygo” approach says for the military to recover from Iraq we will have to boost taxes or print money. Health care? Mortgage mess? Energy? There is no platform there that at the moment that will catch anyone’s attention.” (comment #71)

Today, John McCain admitted just as much.

“John McCain said Monday that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can’t, “then I lose. I lose,” the Republican said. … While most Republicans continue to back the war, many independents and Democrats don’t. That presents a significant challenge for McCain and an opportunity for either Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton.  McCain acknowledged the war will be ‘a significant factor in how the American people judge my candidacy.’ “

Senator McCain continued: 

“There could be other things that happen both domestically and politically,” he said, adding that the economy and subprime mortgages weren’t the issues three months ago that they are today. “We’ve got many months to go before the general election. But is Iraq an important part of the judgment that people will make of me, of course.”

And so they will.  If the best the Republicans can do is to field a candidate with only one issue, and that being an issue that doesn’t resonate with, then we lose before we begin.  Romney’s money was wasted.  Huckabee’s passion was ignored.  The party will have been sold down the river.

And so we pray again.  And we do not give up.  If Governor Huckabee does not prevail, we all lose.

Help needed – message from Amy

February 16, 2008

Amy Hale is the Huckabee state coordinator in Maine. She sent an email reminding us that when Romney dropped out, his delegates were released from obligation. He can request they support McCain, but if you read the Romney blogs, most oppose all 3 Senators running. She reminds us that McCain has to win his own delegates, but all Huckabee has to do is keep him from winning them, in order to have a brokered convention and a shot at winning the nomination.

Saturday, 16 February, 2008 02:20

Sorry I have not emailed everyone very much lately but I have been busy trying to help out RI and VT with their upcoming primaries/caucuses. …

Even though our caucus is over, Mike still needs our help. Phone calls to WI, TX, and OH are going to be more important than ever. With the media giving the impression that McCain has his nomination in the bag, we need to let people know in states that have yet to vote that McCain does NOT have the nomination sewn up.

Read the rest of this entry »

2-man Race!

February 8, 2008

It’s a full-court offensive now, and the opposition isn’t even subtle. My local paper has their breaking news headline saying “Romney suspends run, McCain gets GOP nod.

It’s not true.

Daily even said there’s no reason for the Virginia primary now. I disagree. I know that without Romney, there is now only one Conservative candidate with a chance of winning. Conservatives should turn their attention to Mike Huckabee if they want change in government.

Romney did not pledge his delegates to McCain. Even if he did, those delegates are not obligated to vote at the convention for someone their state did not pick. Those delegates are in effect now “free agents.” In a sense, McCain is in even worse shape than if Romney had stayed in.

Gov Romney thought he could buy an election. He raised $88M- half of it his own money – and spent most of it. Gov Huckabee has raised a total of $8M, a tenth as much, and has about a million in reserves right now. Romney’s message was that we could spend our way out of a recession. Huckabee’s message remains that the solution is to empower the people and give them a cause worth working for, and they will solve the solution themselves.

Governor Huckabee is the only Republican with the ideas and leadership needed to make a radical change for the better in America. And he’s in it for the long haul. He’s not burning through his kids’ inheritance for a shot at glory. He’s got his kids working side by side him in the fight to become the country’s next servant leader.

I for one am not giving up.

What kind of work experience?

February 1, 2008

There’s been talk about ability to govern based on work experience. (Most of this has come from Gov Romney.) However, the talk has excluded discussion that the type of work matters even more than hours on the clock.

Senator McCain was a military officer for 22 years. I work for the military, and know that half the job is leading, advising and motiving those under them. The common joke is about working “half days” – only 12 hours of the day, seven days a week. What I don’t like about Sen McCain is what he has done with the power of leadership. In his zeal to be absolutely honest in all his dealings, he has killed vital programs – most notably the new military refueling tanker, to replace the current fleet that is wearing out quickly. By badgering military leaders, and refusing to confirm key appointments, he has pushed a number of them into retirement, because nothing was getting done. McCain as president would be another four years of Bush, only less fun.

Gov Romney offers a change, but at what cost? His “successful venture capital company” was not a production-based business, but was more like an unregulated bank. They did not produce anything, but simply loaned money with the hopes of multiple hundreds of percent returns (in banking, that would be usery). They often did not get paid until a sizeable portion of a company’s workers were laid off. He ran the Olympics in Salt Lake City, but that was a part-time job (he maintained residency in Mass) and short duration. Similarly, his Governorship was short-lived. His business experiences did not prepare him to work with people that did not agree with him. I can’t see how his presidency would add value to the country. It’s not conservatism, it’s continuance of feudal economics, where the rich get richer by sucking dry the labors of the workers, and then discarding the husks of those worker’ former selves.

Governor Huckabee’s work experience is closer to ours. He was a pastor, which is a mix of teacher, counselor and small-business manager. The value it added to society was that people were better off intellectually and emotionally/spiritually for having been there. Then he was Governor for 10 years. He pulled a corrupt, backward state forward into the modern era. And he did it while working a second job – the small business experience of his band.

Among the three, if you count work experience, there’s only one viable choice. Gotta be Mike.

Romney Economic Plan Preview

January 29, 2008

What happens when the straight line capatalists take over the economy?  When the pump and run financial experts take over, what is the result?

Sarah Evans of  Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, has an opinion.  “When folks buy a home they expect to die in it, I guess,” she said as she stood outside in the cold. “I had my American Dream but it became a nightmare.”

 According to a Briebart news article, her neighborhood has been ravaged by the results of the subprime mortage mess. 

She’s afraid she’ll soon lose thetwo-bedroom house she’s lived for more than 30 years because she can’t afford the new monthly payments.  Like everyone else in the neighborhood, she did a leveraged buyout of her credit debt by using the increased equity in her house.  And like the rest of her neighborhood, it went south. 

 Soon, her property will join the rest of the street on the portfolio of the new owner: a bank.

This crisis will not be fixed before the election.  It’s 1992 all over again – “it’s the economy, stupid!”

And Romney is in no position to suggest alternatives.  He made his money being the bank.