Showing posts with label GOP drop outs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOP drop outs. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thompson's out (Hunter too), the Myrtle Beach Massacre and more!

I don't think it comes as much of a surprise to anyone that Fred Thompson decided to hang it up to potentially return to playing Rudy Giuliani on TV. How does his departure affect the race for the GOP nomination though. I'm sure the folks aligned with Huckabee would have liked for the former Tennessee senator to drop out before South Carolina last weekend. Here's the take on the situation from The Fix over at The Washington Post.

Meanwhile they are still cleaning up the carnage from the debate hall in northeast South Carolina. If you missed the Democrats' debate from Myrtle Beach Monday night, you may want to go check it out (CNN still has the debate up and the transcript is also there.). You may also want to fire up your memory while you're at it because we'll see/hear some of this material again come general election time. The viable Republican candidates sure will once one of them emerges as the party's nominee. You can't complain when intra-party battles help your own potential opposition research for the fall campaign. What do you think? Will this debate bickering hurt both Clinton and Obama in South Carolina? And will that help Edwards? The CNN page linked above has a video with undecideds turned off by what they saw.

There are a few things to note as we approach the Democratic primary on Saturday:

1) Will Jim Clyburn make an endorsement? The influential South Carolina Democrat said he wouldn't (...until after Iowa), but there is some chatter out there indicating that a well-timed Obama endorsement could happen on Thursday. Thanks to The Caucus at the New York Times for that link. Hopefully this isn't a case of a runaway blog story, but there is some other speculation to "back this up."

2) What will turnout be like for the primary this weekend? Turnout for the GOP primary was down as compared to what the state experienced for the Republican primary there in 2000, but let's remember that South Carolina has an open primary system. Independents may have stayed home last weekend so that they could participate in the Democratic contest this weekend. But it could just have been the cold, rainy weather, a crop of unsatisfying candidates or that undecideds just couldn't decide and stayed home.

3) What do Clinton's trips to California yesterday and New York today mean (track daily visits at Is she ceding South Carolina to Obama or is her campaign focusing on February 5? The big win that Rob spoke about Obama needing in the comments section the other day may not mean so much if Hillary didn't give her all in the state.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Day That Was (12-20-07)

Tom Tancredo is out of the race for the Republican nomination. And he's decided to back Romney. Now why couldn't Tommy Thompson and Sam Brownback have held on long enough to make powerful, last minute endorsements prior to Iowa? And who are they endorsing again (I had to look it up: Thompson backs Guiliani and Brownback's for McCain.)?

So the question(s) of the night: 1) What impact does this have and 2) Does it matter anyway?

With Iowa now only two weeks away (Yes, only two weeks left. It's a mad rush and I'm already trying to fend off the primary season withdrawals I expect to have on February 6.), this is a well-timed exit/endorsement. And it looks even better that Tancredo, despite being the longest of long shots, was the one real issue candidate in the race. His position as the "immigration guy" now gives Romney a little something to hang his hat on concerning the issue. And he needs any extra push he can get now in Iowa to keep the Huckabee momentum at bay. How does that play in the general election though should Romney get the nod on the GOP side? Immigration is clearly an important issue for Republicans, but the position(s) posited thus far by the candidates seems to put any of them on the wrong side of the issue among the entire electorate.

Obama is facing yet another sticky issue. The latest question has arisen over the number of "present" votes he made while in the Illinois State Senate. There's yes. There's no. And then there's present. Were they votes made on principle as a sign of protest? "I'm here but I'm not going to vote for/against this piece of legislation until it is in its final form." Or were they votes intended to avoid taking a stance on some important issue. "I'm here, but I'm not touching that bill with a ten foot poll." The former is one thing, but the latter is obviously potentially more damaging. Ah, the pitfalls of being a legislator: actually having to vote on issues that may come back to haunt you later.

One other thing that I have wanted to bring up the last couple of weeks in the "live" discussion that may be better dealt with in this forum is the issue that IHOP is raising over so many states holding primaries and caucuses on February 5. That day happens to be National Pancake Day and the company has gone as far as writing the governors of fifteen states asking them to move their states primaries to different dates. Sadly, someone over in the research department didn't do their homework on this: North Carolina got a letter and the primary there is not until May 6, a day far removed from National Pancake Day.