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Early on based on the new proportional delegate rules, an appreciation of just how terrible Romney is as a candidate, and familiarity with just how much the Evangelicals distrust Mormons I predicted a brokered convention.
While the NYT Times and others are coming closer to my original prediction, and I still would hope that is the case and think it will be very close, a closer look at the half way mark, I revise my prediction;
I now predict that it will go down to the wire and though Santorum will coalesce the anti Romney vote and get some big victories in Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia and maybe even California, it won't be decided until the very last state. There will be Bitterness, Gnashing of Teeth and Years of Recrimination. Lots of quotes from the Bible too.
DemconWatch, now DemocraticConventionWatch, reports that at the half way point (that's right this clowns are approaching half time) Romney has only 40% of the delegates.
Details here: http://www.democraticconventionwatch.com/diary/5229/official-rnc-delegate-count
The totals are
While still rooting for a classic donnybrook at the Republican convention it actually looks like Romney is going to just squeak in before the bell.
Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a three day fight with Credentials Committee at the Republican Convention where every slate of delegates is challenged by large well founded groups of lawyers. Well the other thing is I would like the Republicans to take atleast 118 ballots to decide on their nominee, and I have been a really good boy all year long.
But if I can't have that could you please arrange it so that one side gains momentum and almost takes out the rich establishment droid but that it comes down to the very last state, and that state will determine whether or not there is a great and lasting fissure in the Republican Party that would last for years ?
While Romney's 40% and his declining momentum would SEEM to indicate that he will fall short the real story is the stunning incompetence of Santorum. Wikipedia shows that Santorum is doing better the longer the process goes on;
Early Contests Romney 8, Santorum 4, Gingrich 1
Super Tuesday Romney 7, Santorum 3, Gingrich 1
Mid March Romney 5, Santorum 3, and Ron Paul 1 (evidently he won the Virgin Islands)
It appears that Romney is slowing and that as we get into April where the rules switch back to winner take all, the non Romney faction would seem to be able to stall Romney short of the 1144 needed before the convention.
There are two problems.
The first is: Santorum is an idiot. His campaign never mastered the arcane rules of delegate husbanding that requires that you register delegates in each state by the particular rules of each state so in some places he will win votes and lose delegates. The second is his hubristic centric campaign where he is so determined not to pander that he goes out of the way to antagonize people. He goes to Puerto Rico and insults their fidelity to Spanish and ends up giving Romney all of the delegates, where if he had stayed and insulted the Puerto Ricans from Illinois he would have improved his chances.
The second problem is that after Illinois and Louisiana the Republicans return to winner take all either by state or congressional districts.
Here is the fucking irony.
It could very well come down to the last Primary.
The future leader of the Republican Party could very well be determined by the votes in the last winner take all primary. The other side will be embittered and angry. If Romney loses now then Mormons and his supporters will have a permanent mark of rejection on their soul. If Santorum loses the Evangelicals and the anti Romney MAJORITY of the Republican Party will be bitter.
My latest prediction; Bitterness and gnashing of teeth with anger and recriminations for years to come.
It will come down to that last final vote in a winner take all.
On June 26th the Republican Primary process ends with one final state.
And some people say that there is no such thing as a Santa Clause.
Its begining to look a lot like Christmas.
Posted by grantcart | Mon Mar 19, 2012, 03:23 AM (20 replies)
He has no particularly strong policy positions.
He waffles on both sides.
He is not comfortable with celebrity who dislikes personal questions and hates to be interviewed. When off script he cringes and reveals that he doesn't really like 'the crowd'.
So why is Mitt Romney running for President, especially when he is so poor at it and it inflicts such painful criticism of him before his family.
There are two possible explanations. The first is that he is trying to exceed his father's legacy. His father was a very nice man who was at ease in public and had a pretty good chance of becoming President except for a single interview where he told the truth about the Vietnam war and his experience on a junket there.
The second is completely anecdotal and I have no proof, just speculation, it goes back 40 years to growing up with cousins of Mitt. In a nutshell I believe that Mitt Romney's drive has to do with becoming the 4th most important person in the history of the Mormon Church. There have been three important bridges in Mormon history. The bridge of revelation (Smith), the bridge to Mormon Migration and Mormon Territory (Young), the bridge to Modernity and Conformity (Grant). The fourth bridge will be the person that brings Mormonism into complete and total acceptance of the American Christian community.
In 1968 George Romney was ahead of Nixon in the polls and was much better liked. He had a warm personality and great success story as CEO and Governor of Michigan. He was candid and relaxed and that led to his stating that he was for the Vietnam war before and during a trip he made there but when he returned he began to realize that the diplomatic and military people in Vietnam were very insulated and that he had been 'brainwashed' by their briefings and enthusiasm for the war but upon reflection began to see the conflict differently. The use of the word 'brainwashed' a year before in an obscure radio interview was unearthed and played over and over again and effectively ended his political career.
At that time I was 14 years old and was the direct descendent of (along with hundreds of others including Senator Bennett of Utah http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells-Bennett-Grant_Family#Jedediah_Morgan_Grant ) of Jedidiah Morgan Grant (the first mayor of Salt Lake City) and his son Heber J Grant (the second longest serving President of the Mormon Church 1919 - 1945). HJG had three major impact on the Church a) He started a 'Good Neighbor Pollicy' that removed revenge of anti Mormon 'persecution' and replaced it with a 'Good Neighbor' b) When the Depression hit the LDS church was seriously overleveraged and on the brink of insolvency he instituted internal reforms (see c) and went to New York and successfully negotiated refinance and kept the Church solvent and c) He moved the LDS Church from a wink and nod approach to polygamy (which he was found guilty of earlier) to starting to excommunicate Mormons that still practiced and pomoted it.
Heber J Grant was also the last living member of the Council of Fifty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Fifty)
The Council of Fifty was designed to take over the administration of government when in a post apocalyptic world all other governments collapsed. It was active in Joseph Smiths campaign for President in 1844.
With that background I had a number of interesting exchanges with one Rick Romney in the 8th grade. Rick was George's nephew and Mitt's first cousin. Even at that age I had a lot of interest in politics and would talk about the campaign with Rick. I also let it slip that I was a descendent of Heber J and Jedidiah Morgan Grant.
Rick was in absolute awe. He was more impressed with my distant relatives (with whom we had no real contact beyond the occassional Uncle visit). I would dribble out little tidbits from time to time. What was particularly fascinating was Ricks' reaction that we were no longer Mormons. It was incomprehensible to him. I explained that virtually no one in our immeidiate family bar one uncle that was a true insider, stayed up with it and I would dismissively mock the goofy things I had heard from my father about Mormon beliefs.
Rick wasn't surprised that we didn't buy it all but couldn't understand why we just didn't pass that stuff by and build on the fantastic network of relations that our family would have had.
I couldn't understand how he would accept the mumbo jumbo of Mormonism and he couldn't accept why I would be so concerned with any particular doctrine and turn away from such a vaulted family history.
He viewed my antecedents as being close to the Matthew, Mark or Luke and I viewed them as earlier forms of the three stooges.
Now I am also sure that Rick was a lot nicer about it than me and that I was probably pretty shitty about it way back then.
But seeing how Mormons see Smith/Young and Grant and how they still sting at being outside the realm of what is considered acceptable and respectable intellectual thought I see Mitt Romney's campaign as an effort to achieve what Joseph Smith attempted in 1844 but never achieved, election as President would put a permanent 'Good Housekeeping Seal of approval' on the LDS Church as being American as apple pie.
From their point of view even a successful nomination of a major party, even if it is defeated in a general election will provide massive and permanent 'certification' as Mormons being considered normal.
It would also explain why Romney always seems to be trying to get everyone's approval, he wants to be known as the fourth great Mormon, the one that finally brought Mormonism inside of the American establishment.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Mar 17, 2012, 05:29 PM (85 replies)
Much more substantial is how incompetent a public figure has he been and how disasterous would Romney be as President if he cannot after all of these years (it was first published in 2007) craft a half baked semi intelligent response over something that he knows he is going to be asked about?
A Romney President would be like a daily remix of Jean Paul Satre's Nauseau and Bill Murray's Groundhog Day. Hundreds of millions would be reduced to existential vomit inducing angst like Satre's Antoine Roquentin mixed occassionally by the psychotic humor breaks of Bill Murray's Phil Connors.
If he cannot dispatch this one issue with a sensible if untrue answer after all of these years then what would happen to all of us having to listen to a President constantly twisting in the wind trying to express basic intelligent human thought.
For the record this is Romney's prepared response to the torture of the family pet Seamus on the road to Canada. In this video Romney's response to the question is so close to vomit inducing embarassment that his handler terminates the interview with the Wall Street Journal:
In an interview ranging from the candidate’s shift to a general election tone to the causes of the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal asked Mr. Romney to give his side of the Seamus story.
“Uh…,” Mr. Romney said, clearly at a loss for words. “Love my dog.”
“That’s all I’ve got for ya,” he added.
"Love my dog.” “That’s all I’ve got for ya,”.
Think about listening to that kind of a dribble at a Presidential Press conference and then the days and months and years following that single press conference trying to get some semblance of cognitive resonance from that twerp. Can you feel the bile starting to coagulate and reside in the back of your throat, the gagging reflex beginning as you begin to search for a receptacle that you can deposit your stomach's remaining mulch from the afternoon meal?
An entire nation suffering from 4 years of Bulimia nervosa.
There is a reason that this issue continues to, yes, it had to be said, continues to dog Romney.
An entire nation strapped to the roof of Romney's car desperately trying to find momentary relief from the naseau that the addle brained driver inflicts on millions.
There are no articles of impeachment for causing mass barfing.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Mar 17, 2012, 02:21 PM (10 replies)
Said it from the begining, Romney is not going to win this.
Santorum is going to get a lot of momentum and the next contest is Illinois, a 'must win' for Romney.
Santorum is only 4 points behind Romney in latest poll
So after tonight next Tuesday is IL
Missouri and Lousiana.
Gonna be a long stretch for Romney;
Posted by grantcart | Tue Mar 13, 2012, 09:33 PM (4 replies)
edited to add the exact quotes;
“Sir, you’ve got to stop watching Keith Olbermann or Fox for that matter. It’s all just bullsh*t.”
“F*ck CBS and f*ck their instant poll.”
“I can’t get to stop watching MSNBC, which only makes him more miserable.”
Game Change was fascinating because it was obviously obsessed with not only general accuracy but details. Not only did Moore, Harrelson and give astonishing performances but all of the kids in the Palin family looked eerily like the real kids.
The most interesting inside details had to do with how the campaign got hit again and again with more details about Palin from the media, and most of the time it was watching the fact driven MSNBC with astonished looks of anguish on their faces. Again and again MSNBC delivered news, "Surprise Todd Palin was a long term member of the Alaska Independence Party".
At one point McCain is getting depressed about the general trend of the campaign and Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt yells in frustration "I have to get McCain to stop wathcing Keith Olbermann".
Posted by grantcart | Sun Mar 11, 2012, 03:26 AM (21 replies)
The book and the movie Game Change is obviously based on large part by a very extensive debriefing of Schmidt as well as others.
How many times have we said or heard that it isn't the crime that brings you down its the cover up.
Here we have an intellectually honest guy who after the fact came 100% clean in his effort of trying to pull a swift one and help elect somebody who was unfit for office.
Shame on you for doing it but kudos for being honest about it after the fact.
He ruined any chance of ever being the head of a major Republican campaign again, because you can't get hired again if you are known to tell all the secrets after the fact.
I look forward to seeing Schmidt give pretty intelligent commentary on MSNBC for years to come.
BTW the funniest part of the movie is the fact that it showed the McCain campaign glued to MSNBC and feeling stung by every one of their fact based attacks.
If you didn't see the movie the high point of the movie for me is when Woody Harreleson playing Steve Schmidt yells out in desperation that he has to get McCain to "stop watching Keith Olbermann". I would have paid $ 10 at a movie theater just to see that one line on the big screen.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Mar 11, 2012, 02:46 AM (8 replies)
PPP has just completed a very comprehensive polling in Maine.
Obama did well in Maine 4 years ago but now he has increased it by even 6 more points. PPP also anticipates that NH is "much improved in New Hampshire and these numbers seem like they may reinforce the argument that he's getting stronger in the region."
And this is Romney's back yard.
Thank you Rush Limbaugh, Darrell Issa and the rest of the clowns. The dimensions of this type of movement is significant because it means that the President's campaign will be able to allocate more and more resources to swing and red states. It means that House Republicans in the NE will face a Tsunami if these numbers were maintained.
All of this comes after the Republicans have had 6 months bashing the President and the President has been waiting and saving his money.
Now if Romney can't do well in a place like Maine (or New Hampshire) then where in the hell is he going to out perform McCain?
Maine pretty well represents the significant upgrade Barack Obama's seen in his reelection prospects over the last four months. When PPP polled there in late October he led Mitt Romney by only 11 points, 49-38. That represented a 6 point tightening from Obama's margin of victory over John McCain there in 2008. Since then Obama's Maine lead has more than doubled to 23 points at 58-35 against Romney, representing a 6 point improvement on his 2008 numbers.
It's not hard to explain Obama's improved numbers: he's getting more popular, and Romney's getting less popular. In October Obama was slightly under water in the state at 47/48. Now he's quite popular with 55% of voters approving of him to 41% who disapprove.
There are two big reasons for his improvement, and these are things we're seeing most places right now:
-The Democratic base is unifying around him. In October he was at 75/17 with his party's voters, now it's 86/10. The more Democratic voters see the Republican candidate field, the more they forgive Obama for not being completely perfect and get behind him.
-Obama's flipped independents from giving him negative reviews (46/49) to positive ones (54/38).
Meanwhile Romney's headed in the opposite direction. His numbers were already poor in October at a 38/49 favorability spread. But they're much worse now with only 30% of voters seeing him favorably to 63% with a negative opinion.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Mar 10, 2012, 12:49 AM (10 replies)
Sorry nothing, zip, nada.
None exist because none of these guys spent any time at college.
From their relevent wikipedia pages;
"Hannity dropped out of New York University and Adelphi University."
"According to his mother, "he (Limbaugh) flunked everything", and 'he just didn't seem interested in anything except radio'."
"In 1996, while working for a New Haven area radio station, Beck took a theology class at Yale University, with a written recommendation from Senator Joe Lieberman, a Yale alumnus who was a fan of Beck's show at the time. Beck enrolled in an "Early Christology" course, but soon withdrew, marking the extent of his post-secondary education"
As individuals they did however participate in bartending (Hannity), multiple marriages (Limbaugh/Beck), illegal drug use (Limbaugh/Oxycotin/, Beck/various drugs/marijuana) and alcoholism (Beck).
Quite a juxtaposition between this:
No wonder they hate him so much. He makes them look so very very small.
Posted by grantcart | Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:41 AM (52 replies)
The Comedian in Chief isn't just comfortable in his own skin (something Romney never has been despite paying several people to show him how to wear his own skin) he has a very light comedic touch on cue in front of millions.
From his news conference today;
Toward the end of his news conference at the White House today, President Obama was asked about Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's charge in today's Washington Post that the Democratic president has been the nation's "most feckless" leader since President Carter.
"What would you like to say to Mr. Romney?" Obama was asked by CBS News' Norah O'Donnell.
"Uh, good luck tonight," the president said with a smile and to chuckles from the White House news corps.
(After the chuckles die down a reporter yells "no really")
NPR has the entire PC at the link but has the video cued up for the funny response.
Now that was pretty funny at the time.
Now that Romney has lost TN and is about to lose Ohio, and trigger a panic among the Republican establishment when Romney could not take out the hapless Santorum, the President's dismissive put down of Romney before the results is really beyond priceless.
Did the President's campaign have polls that showed how bad Romney was doing or was it just the President's uncanny reading of the field.
In either case the worse Romney does the funnier it is.
Hit the link and watch the clip and then watch the entire press conference and watch what a real President is like.
Posted by grantcart | Tue Mar 6, 2012, 10:58 PM (1 replies)