Bizarro Cabinet

November 13, 2008

The NYT has a fun page that lets you pick the Obama cabinet and compare your choices with those of others. I had a good laugh over some of the names that were within the top 20 for various positions, including the following, which would make for some freakishly awesome cabinet meetings:

  • Defense: Arnold Schwarzenegger (18th)
  • State: Noam Chomsky (16th)
  • Homeland Security: Ron Paul (8th)
  • Attorney General: John Edwards (8th) or Eliot Spitzer (14th)
  • Treasury: Ralph Nader (17th)

I think I can say with confidence that none of these individuals are actually in consideration for these positions. The #1 choices are Robert Gates, Bill Richardson, Richard Clarke, Janet Napolitano and Paul Volcker, as of this writing.

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“Pay no attention to this attack ad I’m showing you…”

December 31, 2007

Mike Huckabee’s bizarre press conference today announced that he was not going to run the attack ad he was planning to air against Mitt Romney.  Of course, he proceeded to show the ad to a room full of laughing reporters and guaranteed the ad lots of free media coverage anyway. I suppose this qualifies as a cunning move within the context of this year’s Republican primary race.

I enjoyed a comment at TPM Election Central:

“My staff wanted to run this ad calling Mitt Romney a child molester, and I even have a dossier here backing that up, but I told them just now that’s not the way we run things. If Mitt Romney is a child molester, that’s his problem. We’re not going to go negative and actually call him a child molester to voters. That would be morally wrong and unchristian. God doesn’t want us to point out that Mitt Romney is a child molester.”

Either go negative or don’t but whatever you do, stop with the holier-than-thou schtick.


The McCain Staff Mutiny

July 10, 2007

Aides are departing John McCain’s struggling presidential campaign. For a while I believed McCain would be the eventual nominee on a last-man standing theory: Rudy would lose because he’s pro-choice, and Mitt would lose because he’s Mormon. But that seems to have been stupid of me.

(Who the hell can the Republicans actually nominate? I have no idea as they all seem terribly flawed. A Giuliani-Romney primary showdown will be too hilarious.)

Iraq is obviously a disaster and that has hurt McCain terribly (nice of the aides to depart today just in time to steal McCain’s thunder for his big Iraq speech from the Senate floor). I find the theory that Bush called McCain’s bluff on saying we needed the 20,000 additional troops rather interesting. This one was floating around the internets a while back, and I think I remember reading about it on Daily Kos. In any case, the idea is that McCain was calling for more troops last year in the expectation that the administration wouldn’t actually do that that and instead would go along with the Iraq Study Group. Then when Iraq inevitably continued to be a hellhole, McCain could blame others for not putting in the troops he said were necessary to fix things. He could use that criticism to springboard his campaign and set himself up rather well for the primaries — a Who Lost Iraq? strategy, if you will.

McCain hugs Bush

Of course, Bush called McCain’s bluff, the surge isn’t working out, and McCain’s campaign is being dragged down by the whole thing.

There’s also immigration, the political ramifications of which I probably haven’t adequately considered all along. The Republican base really, really hates them some illegal Mexicans. It’s the kind of thing northeastern liberals like me might never fully grasp, much like I can’t understand why red state people are so damn protective of their gun ownership rights.

Anyway, I started writing this post intending to conclude that my prediction — oft-repeated to family and friends in the last year or so — that McCain would be the Republican nominee looks pretty wrong right now. I’ve been in denial about this for a little while, often invoking the Kerry campaign’s back-from-the-dead nature in 2004; remember that Kerry fired his campaign manager in November 2003 . Hell, Howard Dean was looking strong for a time, so figuring out how things will happen this far in advance isn’t an exact science. And who knows, with Rick Davis back as campaign manager maybe McCain can rekindle some of his 2000 momentum yet. As long as he can scrape by financially, McCain may yet come out of this because, as I said, the GOP field doesn’t have a clear winner in it.

So I guess I will stubbornly cling to those previous claims, albeit with less certainty.


Mitt Romney, Dog Torturer

June 28, 2007

Ana Marie Cox extracts a nugget from the Boston Globe series on Romney’s life.


Barney Frank Calls ‘Em Like He Sees ‘Em

June 12, 2007

On Mitt Romney.


Romney Won’t Be Getting Sharpton’s Vote

May 9, 2007

What on earth is Al Sharpton thinking saying this?

“As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that,” said Mr. Sharpton. “That’s a temporary situation.”

Some critics called on Mr. Sharpton to apologize, but the civil rights activist refused to back down today in a telephone interview, asserting that he was not implying that Mormons did not believe in God.

The comments came at a debate with Christopher Hitchens Monday night in New York. Audio is here. Shapton once again has shown himsef to be an idiot, and he’s proven that it made little sense to have him serve as the arbiter of civil public discourse during the whole Don Imus imbroglio.

Personally I think this will be good for the Romney campaign. Assuming that everyone who will categorically vote against Romney on the basis of his religion knows about it already or will find out eventually anyway, this incident makes it look like Romney is in a fight with Al Sharpton, which should sit well with the votes he’s going for. It’s not exactly like Sharpton and his supporters (if any) would be backing the Romney campaign.

Additionally, if there are stories in the media about Romney being unfairly targeted for attacks and insults on the basis of his religion, he ends up looking more sympathetic and getting to preach about tolerance. That all might guilt trip some people who were otherwise shaky on him to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Don’t you think Giuliani or McCain would love to be attacked by Sharpton too?


Romney Won

May 3, 2007

I didn’t like any of the GOP candidates in the debate tonight (and there were ten of them!), but I think Mitt Romney turned in the most polished and “presidential” performance. He didn’t get tripped up or seem on the defensive, as Giuliani and McCain did at times, and the others are just background noise.