Showing posts with label FEC reports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FEC reports. Show all posts

Friday, February 1, 2008

The One-on-One Debate

The two remaining Democrats reversed roles with the Republican presidential candidates in this week's debates. Whereas last week the stories were the back and forth bickering between Clinton and Obama in South Carolina followed by the GOP compliment-fest in Boca Raton, the debates of this week were marked by the exact opposite effect. The Republican debate from the Reagan Library showcased the personal exchanges between McCain and Romney (and lest we forget the ever popular Huckabee one-liners and Paul condemnations of the current administration's policies), while the Democrats kept it civil despite the concerted efforts of Wolf Blitzer's to bait the Democrats in to a "fight" last night. At one point he used the phrase naive to describe Clinton's support of what turned into the initial Iraq war authorization. That was the most blatant attempt at baiting on the part of the moderators last night, but certainly not the only one.

Here's the link to some videos of CNN's coverage last night.

And here's the blow-by-blow account of the pillow fight from The Caucus.

So what explains the switch?
Sequencing may have something (or a lot) to do with this. See the other party bicker, and claim that mantle of civility. It probably isn't that easy, but I find it hard to imagine that last night's Democratic debate will do anything to change what will happen in next Tuesday's slew of delegate selection events. And that's another commentary on American politics. It is the negative ads and debate performances that alter the shape of things to come (or do a more pronounced job of it).

One other thing that I noticed last night (Other than Stevie Wonder being there. Didn't he become a citizen of the African nation of Ghana about a decade ago? Maybe he still enjoys American politics.) was that CNN has a series of debates scheduled for the end of the month in Ohio (ahead of the March 4 primary there). This may give us an answer to the question that came up in the live discussion group on Wednesday: How will the media play the results on Super Tuesday (as a delegate counting contest or a who-won-the-big-states contest)? By looking forward to back-to-back debates on February 27 and 28, CNN may be showing its hand: That they prefer the delegate counting option. It does make for a different story than we've had recently in presidential elections. At the very least CNN seemingly doesn't see the race ending on Tuesday night. That's fine by me.

The Maine GOP starts their caucuses today and continue on through Sunday. They won't be earth-shattering, but it'll give political junkies a little something to tide them over until Tuesday rolls around.

And here's another Fix take on VP speculation.

Keep in mind that Year-End Reports were due to the FEC yesterday
. That will be the first real indication of where the candidates are (or were) financially. I haven't seen much if any press mention of the reports yet. Here's a little from the Boston Globe.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards, Giuliani, Debates and Super Tuesday

I hope everyone is looking on today as practice for next Tuesday because there is a lot going on in the race today.

The big news that starting coming out around 9am this morning (At least that's when a student, looking up from his laptop during the beginning moments of class told me.) was that John Edwards was going to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination. We are taught to never say never in politics (and John McCain's wild ride on the Republican side is proof of that), but I took Edwards and his campaign at their word when they said that they were in the race for the long haul (even when that message turned to being a kingmaker at the convention). Edwards' reluctance to cede the race to John Kerry in 2004 seemed to back that up. So, color me surprised to see Edwards bow out now. There is no endorsement planned, but if you believe what some of the pundits are writing (that Edwards takes away from Obama's ability to win), then Edwards dropping out now makes a tiny bit more sense.

Drop outs abound! On the GOP side, Giuliani's failed Florida strategy (skipping races rarely works) seems to have him not only on the cusp of getting out of the race but also of endorsing John McCain. Nothing is official yet, but with a debate tonight at the Ronald Reagan Library in California, Giuliani's absence would go a long way toward confirming the speculation. The two (Giuliani and McCain) have essentially switched places in this race. Giuliani has gone from national frontrunner over the summer to being out of the race before it even got to what were perceived as his strongest areas; the delegate-rich states of Super Tuesday. McCain however has gone from bottoming out over the summer to a Lazarus-style return in capturing New Hampshire, South Carolina and now Florida to become the party's frontrunner.
Now the drop out and endorsement are official.

Also, I caught this on NPR today. You'd expect this kind of "using his words against him" comparison on the Daily Show. Giuliani's book comes back to haunt him. "Giuliani Failed to Heed His Own Leadership Advice"

Incidentally, that debate will be on CNN and tonight starting at 8pm (which is interesting considering that that is during rush hour for California voters). The Democrats (sans Edwards) will debate from California the following night as well. That one also starts at 8pm(ET).

What does all this mean heading into next week's extravaganza? McCain looks to be in good shape, but you can't discount the impact of Romney's warchest. As we've moved to a national focus, this thing has moved on to the air war and that is where Romney could have a potential advantage. In the Democratic race, the constant flip flopping of victories between Obama and Clinton means that the race is in a basic dead heat moving into Super Tuesday. So which one has an advantage? Well, the release of the numbers from the FEC reports that are due tomorrow (Jan. 31) may give us an eye into who has more cash on hand and who has the advantage.