Nasty, Brutish & Short

Fred Thompson Archives

The Candidates' Homes, an NBS Tour

January 17, 2008 02:59 PM

Of course, Mother Jones put these photos up because they want you to think we're ruled by monied, hypocritical, gas guzzling aristocrats, no matter which party wins.  I'm putting them up because real estate is porn for married people.  So let's begin!

Here's Huckabee's house.  Not surprisingly, the candidate that I like the least has the house I like the least.  It's weighs in at 5,124 square feet, with a deck and a swimming pool.  It's also boring, and has atrocious landscaping:

huckabeehouse-big.jpg

Here's Rudy's pad in New York.  I really can't relate to it, but it's got a Walnut-paneled dining room and a cigar room.  I don't smoke, but I like the sound of that.  There's no rule that says you can't use your cigar room as a drinking room.

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The McCains do the tall building thing too, but theirs is a $4.7 mill condo in Phoenix.  They also have a ranch in Sedona, which was profiled in Home & Garden.  I think I also saw it in Architectural Digest a few years ago.  It was nice.  Better than their condo, anyway:

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Turning for a minute to the other side of the aisle, here's Hill and Bill's place in Westchester County.  I have no problems with it, and it certainly comports with whatever their pollster told them to buy.  I just wonder if they've ever seen it themselves?

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Can't you just feel the love radiating off of the Clinton's house?  You know it's just a place of intimate diners for two, and passionate, romantic interludes.  When Hillary's in D.C.

The Obamas' place in Chicago is also nice.  And, it has a 1,000 bottle wine cellar.  Me like the sound of that!  Party at the Obamas!  They need to learn to bring the trash cans back up promptly though.  How rude.

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You've already heard me opine in the hideousness of the Edwards home in North Carolina.  It is too big (21,000 square feet).  And it has an indoor basketball court.  They also have a beach house in North Carolina.  Presumably it's more suitable to his "Two Americas" crap than this is:

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Here's one that's big and tasteful.  It's the Romney's ski retreat in Park City, Utah.  Looks like a house the Bushes would own.  Mitt has residences in several states, I believe.  Mrs. Romney must do a lot of dusting.  Of course, when you don't smoke or drink, what else is there to do?

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NBS is ready to call the winner in the taste department, though.  This is the Thompsons' house in McLean, Virginia.  A seven bedroom, five bath stunner with a real Presidential air.

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Gorgeous.

So who's actually in the lead where it matters (the delegate count)

January 7, 2008 04:15 PM

The Green Papers is keeping track, and trying to make sense of the ridiculously complicated rules. After Iowa and Wyoming, we've got:

Romney:  17

Huckabee:  13

Fred:  8

McCain:  5

Paul:  4

Rudy:  1

You need 1,259 to get the nomination, so nobody is even close.  For the Dems, Obama's got 16, Hillary's got 15 and Edwards has 14.  That's just after Iowa.  The Dems didn't do Wyoming yet.  Bet you didn't know Hillary got more delegates from Iowa than Edwards, even though she finished with fewer votes.  Further proof that the system makes no sense.

Can you imagine putting a sticker that says "Huckabee" on the back of your car?

January 4, 2008 08:57 AM

Me either.

The Iowa Results

January 3, 2008 11:00 PM

Hillary in third?  A dream come true.  True, I'm not being astute, because she's the easiest to beat in the general election, and all good Republicans should root for her in the primaries.  I'm not one of that crowd.  I want her, and him, gone. 

As for the Republicans?  Bad, bad, news for conservatism tonight.  There is now a real possibility that we will be dealing with three major Republican candidates--Huckabee, McCain and Rudy--and not have a conservative among them.  That's a sad, sad day.  And a recipe for disaster in November. 

Maybe it's just time to tune out, drop out, and make as much money as possible with the real job, since Edwards and Huckabee want to redistribute such a huge proportion of it. 

Iowa. So what's the dream scenario for tonight?

I'd just love the Republicans to poll as follows:

(1) Romney, (2) Huckabilly, (3) Ron Paul, (4) Fred Thompson, (5) McCain and (6) Rudy.

Why?  Because Romney is the well-rounded conservative in the case (other than Thompson, who can't win).  Huckabee at No. 2 because well, that's just where he's going to be if he doesn't get No. 1.  I'd like Huckabee to poll lower (last, actually), but that's just not possible.  I'd like Ron Paul at No. 3 because I will delight at the gnashing of teeth.  Fred at 4 because that's the only way Paul gets the 3 slot, and because Fred needs to drop out.  McCain at 5 because we want to burst the latest "we love John McCain" media bubble before New Hampshire gets out of control (if it is not already).  And Rudy at 6, just because he's not trying in Iowa at all.

As for the Democrats, I'd love to see:

(1) Obama, (2) Edwards and (3) Hillary. 

Why?  Because OH MY GOD if Hillary Clinton finishes third it would be just about the happiest day I could possibly ever have.  Obama in first because he's not John Edwards and because if Edwards finished first he may actually win the nomination and that would be a disaster because he could actually be elected President.  And we do not want that.

Can you imagine what tomorrow morning will be like if Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul both finish third in their respective primaries? 

So I'm ready for a glass of wine, a spot on the couch, and Henry (the black lab) in his wing-back chair.  Hopefully Shepard Smith is still on vacation.  His annoying face is the only thing standing in the way of a great evening.

Fred Thompson, Campaigner

December 19, 2007 06:27 PM

In a word, he's awful.  From Politico, we hear of a trip to a firehouse in Iowa, where the Chief offered to let him try on his hat:

Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.

“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.

In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on.  He just stood there holding it and staring at it.

Part of being a good politician is knowing what is and is not a silly hat.  A fire chief's hat is not a silly hat.  And telling Iowans that you have a silly hat rule?  Why do that?  Where's the no silly hat constituency?

Thank God, though, for smart wives:

To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.

“You look cute,” Thompson said to her.  She did.

Cute and smart.  Why isn't she the one running again?

Jeri took off the hat and McKenzie led the Thompsons over to a fire truck.

The chief invited Thompson to climb up behind the wheel, but Thompson said, “Naw, this is fine.”  And he stood there looking at the fire truck.

Jesus, Fred.  Just get on the damn truck!

But back to Fred's no silly hat rule.  You know who wears silly hats?  Delegates to political conventions, that's who.  Fortunately for Fred, I don't think he'll be seeing many of those delegates.  And their silly, silly hats.

BIG UPDATE:  Boo hiss to the Politico for their coverage of this.  CBS was also at the firehouse with Fred, and their video does not comport with the Politico's coverage.  At all.  I'd mostly known Politico for their fairly even-handed reporting, though their Republican blogger has an irrational anti-Romney tone to his posts.  Guess that spills over to their coverage of Team Fred, too. 

For the real political junkies...

December 10, 2007 10:52 AM

...National Review's David Freddoso is talking about a brokered Republican convention, because there is no frontrunner (except Rudy, kind of).

You see these articles every four years and it never happens.  But it does seem a good bit more possible this time.  I know a few of Fred's Ohio delegates.  Could get interesting for them, though it's more likely to be interesting for the delegates of candidates who are actually playing to win.

Up-chuck Huck is looking for delegates if you want to be one, and so is McCain.  One of my dinner companions on Saturday night was an Up-chuck fan.  And another was threatening to not even vote Republican at all; too much tax and spending, so he's threatening to plunge us all into economic misery with a crowd who would be even worse, just to exact his revenge.

More on Fred the Bore...

November 29, 2007 02:22 PM

..from Mark Steyn:

Every time you see him in these TV debates he has the listless air of a bored grandparent at a dreary school play.

There really is nothing worse than school plays.  I still haven't recovered from sitting through a horrible production of "Our Town" in 1991.  I'll be peeved about that until the end of my days.  I picture myself leaping up from my death bed, wailing "I could have accomplished so much, if I hadn't sat through that damned "Our Town"!"

Anyway, watching Fred is just like that.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!

So who did I think won?

Nobody, hand's down.  Huckabee seems personable, but he's lost on the tax issues.  You can just tell he has an improper understanding of the role government is supposed to play. 

Ron Paul...right on the tax issues, but lost, lost, lost on foreign policy.  Why does he play ball with the whackadoos?  The only possible conclusion is that he's a wackadoo, too.  I'm glad he's on the stage though.

McCain's right on foreign policy, but I just can't get over all the crappy ideas he's had in the past about domestic policy.  Campaign finance.  Immigration.  And the way he continually implies that people who are opposed to illegal immigration are racist.  And he doesn't believe in torturing terrorists.  Ridiculous! 

Rudy did well, but came across as petty.  I think he was coached too much.  The attack on Romney for having a "sanctuary mansion" was just silly.  Toss the campaign worker who thought that would be a witty phrase.

As for Thompson?  What can I say?  He's still such a disappointment.  Where's the passion?  Where's the personality?  It's just emptiness.  He barely did one thing during the debate that was memorable.  No wait.  He didn't do ANYTHING during the debate that was memorable. 

So who does that leave?  In my mind, Romney who had the most well-rounded result.  He flubbed a few questions, but overall, the presentation works for me, and so do the policies.  He's personable, but firm.  I call Romney the winner.

I'm still undecided, though.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!

Yes, NBS is liveblogging the CNN Youtube Debate!

November 28, 2007 08:56 PM

Out comes The Coop.  He’s apparently the moderator.

The Chair of the Florida Republican Party is going to introduce people.   Oh no, his eyes are set to close together.

No wait, it’s going to be the Governor of Florida who introduces the candidates. Charlie Crist.  He’s absurdly tan.  Melanoma city!  Looks suspiciously like Anderson Cooper.

What’s next?

Photos.  Boring.  CNN’s talking heads are talking.  More boring than the photos!  Sub story of the night: Is CNN going to remotely pretend like they have their candidate on that stage?  Or not even bother?

So while they’re doing that… what do I think of the premise of this?  Asinine questions from the public?  I think it could be fun, and let the candidates show some personality.  Thank God we are past the days of having that boring PBS guy moderate the debates.  Who cares about him!   I want to see the snowman!

The first question: a gi-tar player from Washington.  Okay, he’s too long on the riff.

Fred Thompson—wrinkly.  Is that what the country needs right now?  McCain pretends to be entertained.  Awww they actually have the guitar player in the audience.  He’s embarrassed.  As he should be.

The first real question to Giuliani: sanctuary cities in NYC.  He supported it!  Giuliani says no, it wasn’t.  We sent them back if they committed crimes.  Oh wait, there were exceptions.  The kids got to go to school, and they have emergency care.  And they could report crimes.  Whoop dee dee.  He then talks about what he will do with illegals.  Too many ideas, too little time to type.

Romney: Yes it was a sanctuary city!  Mitt looks good.  Hair looks a tad dark though.  She didn’t get the mix right! 

Back to the G man: Mitt has the worst record.  He had a sanctuary mansion at his own home!  Illegals in Mitts own home.  Oh please, who cares.  Good help is hard to come by.

Mitt: you know better than that.  No illegals in my mansion!  They were illegals hired by my contractors.  I’m with Mitt on this one.  That does not a sanctuary mansion make.

G: Holier than though attitude from Mitt!  Again, an unfair attack.

Is anyone else running but Mitt and Rudy?  The Coop says we’ve got to run.  But Mitt and Rudy ARE the front runners, you know.

Next question: People want to come here LEGALLY.  But the Senate wants amnesty.  Will you veto any amnesty bill?  Thompson says he will.  Good for him.  Totally with him on legal immigration, I know someone from Peru who would make a great citizen, and she’s about go home because her visa’s done.  If she just flew to Mexico and walked in, she’d be fine.

Fred also wants us to know that Romney supported the Bush immigration bill.  And then he goes after Rudy, too.  We’ve all hired people and it’s been a bad decision.

Hey, what’s he saying, that Republicans have lots of house hold help?  Where’s my household help?  Roberto, martini.  STAT!

McCain: we never proposed amnesty.  That’s basically a lie.  Boo!  He says we need people to pick the cotton (in not so few words).  We have learned the people want the borders enforced.  Why did they have to learn that?

Immigrants are God’s children too, he says.   Implies that people who oppose illegal immigration are racist.  So double boo to McCain!

Next up: More on immigration.  We can’t run our business without our guest workers.  Oh what crap, questioners.  Pay your employees more, and raise your prices. Why should you get labor on the cheap?

Tancredo: Says what I just said.  But was nicer. 

Hunter: He built the border fence in San Diego!  But, not himself, it would appear.  Crime went down 53%. 

Going to get Henry a frosty paws while these non-tier people are talking.

Huckabee: I never gave favors to illegals as Governor of Arkansas!

Is this whole debate about immigration?  If Republicans want to win next fall, the debate will be then.  People are hot about this.

Romney: Huckabee reminds me of a liberal in Massachusetts.  Hits him on the taxpayer issue.  Huckabee is weak on that.  No favorable tax treatment for illegals. 

Huckabee: I had to pay my own way through.  I might have needed government support or I’d be picking lettuce.  Boo hiss!  He just lost me.

Romney: no tax funded benefits to illegal kids is better than what others get.  That’s the issue.

Next question: For Ron Paul: your supporters are conspiracy freaks!

Ron Paul:  Oh my God, he does talk about the Trilateral Commission.  There is a move for a North American Union.  It’s a conspiracy of ideas.  Whack.  Job.  Millions of acres in imminent domain taken for a highway to Mexico!  I’m with him on not liking the U.N.  But I think the other candidates are too.

Next question: the economy.  A co-ed wants to know about trillions spent on national debt.  Oh please.  This is not a concern of hers.

McCain: Republicans have forgotten about spending and greatly expanded government.  He’s right about that.  But what was he doing to stop it?  He saved us $2 mill on a bogus deal.  Big deal!

Romney: Every bill with pork must be vetoed.  And there must be fundamental change.  Go after the entitlements.  So I like Romney at this point.  But I’m not believing he’s going to veto every bill with pork in it.

Rudy: across the board cuts at every agency, like Reagan did.  That sounds great!  Bush should do this now.  Yes he should!

Next question: limited government by reducing federal spending was what we used to believe.  What programs would you cut?

Fred: lots of ‘em.  But he doesn’t name a single one.  Reform Social Security and Medicare need reform.  But oh no, we’re not going to cut them.  Re-index the way benefits are calculated.  Not revolutionary enough.  By far.

Ron Paul: Washington didn’t change me.  He’s certainly right about that.  Cut Department of Education, Energy, Homeland Defense and foreign aid.  Amen.

Huckabee: Get rid of the IRS.  He claims he’s serious about this.  Revamp Homeland Security, it’s a mess. 

Question for McCain: Eliminate the federal income tax for a retail sales tax?  McCain says no.  Look carefully at it.  We need a commission, and do what we do with base closings.  Oh great.  That’s a wonderful way to de-politicize it.  Also: Paul’s brand of isolationism is what caused WWII.  Right about that.  Also, the troops don’t like you, Ron.

Paul: Why do I get the most $ from active duty personnel?  McCain doesn’t understand the difference between isolationism and non-intervention.  I believe in non-intervention.  I guess I don’t see much of a difference in that either.

Question: A no new tax pledge? Oh the question was from Grover Norquist.  I met him during my Human Events days.

Everyone signs on to the pledge but Thompson and McCain.  Paul has NEVER voted for a tax increase.  Impressive.

Question from a rude guy eating corn.  Why should we have farm subsidies?  A question for Iowans!  But I have to say, the Iowans are ridiculously greedy on this.  No farm subsidies!  Romney’s on the wrong side of this.  He wants to win in Iowa.  Boo.  Rudy agrees.  Boo, again.

Question for Rudy: he used expense accounts improperly as Mayor.  True or not?  Rudy: I had threats; I had nothing to do with the handling of security records.

All the campaigns have submitted videos.  They better be good.

Tancredo’s is bad.  He speaks poorly in his own video, with weird clips of Hillary.

Question: There is lead in our toys from China.  And we adopted a baby from China!  The kind of question I hate.  The one where the questioner is totally self-absorbed.

Tancredo: we need a new trade arrangement with China.

Hunter: China is cheating on trade, to buy planes and missiles.  Tells us to buy American.  I hate that line of thought too.   Make a competitive product and I’ll buy it. 

Fred’s vid: attacks the others as not conservative.  It’s a piss poor video, though.

Romney: I WAS WRONG ON ABORTION.  I was WRONG.  I changed my mind as Governor.  The first time it came to my desk, I came down on the side of life.  I am proud to be pro-life.  Satisfies me.

Huckabee:  I did too oppose taxes.  I am a fiscal conservative.

Finally, a break!

And we’re back.  Barely enough time to let Henry out and pour a glass of petite sirah.

I did miss some.  They’re talking about guns.  I would certainly hope they are all in agreement about this.  If not, they’re toast.

Question, tell us about your gun collection?  The Coop thinks the questioner is a freak.

Thompson: I have a lot of guns.  Won’t tell us where, though.  Witty, but sounds like a dodge

McCain, I know how to use one.  I don’t own one.  Weird.  But, if I had been tortured, maybe I wouldn’t keep guns around either.  Special dispensation on this for the previously tortured.

Booo.  Romney doesn’t own guns either.  It’s just McCain and Rudy who don’t

Next question: Black on black crime. 

Romney: We need moms and dads.  He’s right, there’s been a total collapse of the family structure in the African American community.  Cites Bill Cosby.  Civil rights issue of our time is the failure of inner city schools.  Great point.  Wish he’d followed up with school vouchers. 

Rudy: Romney has a mixed record on crime.  Rudy is on the attack.  Rudy says he has a strong record on crime.  True.  He took NYC from a very dangerous city to a very safe city. 

Romney gives him credit for that.  Says I was not a mayor, I was a governor.  Again, I agree with him on this.  Crime is a local issue.  Not a state issue, and certainly not a national way.  Say no to a nationalized criminal code!

Question on abortion: What if it becomes illegal?  Sweet cheeks, it’s not going to become illegal.  It would be a states issue and the public would get to decide through the political process.  You have nothing to fear.  Paul understands this.

Thompson: Overturning Roe should be our No. 1 focus right now, and that pertains to judicial appointments.  Amen.  But I just don’t believe this would be his No. 1 priority.

Question: another question on Roe.  He says what would you do if Roe is reversed, and Congress imposes a federal ban, would you sign? 

Rudy says no, leave it to the states.  He’s right.

Romney: Overturn Roe.  I would be delighted to sign such a bill if it were the consensus.  But we are not there as a country.  Leave it to the states.

Question: the death penalty: what would Jesus do?  A good question!

Huckabee:  I’ve done it as Governor, the others haven’t.  He took it very serious and sincerely, it seems.  There is a place for the death penalty, he says.

He avoids the theological question about where Jesus would be on the death penalty.

Coop asks the question again.

Huckabee: Jesus was too smart for to ever run for public office.  Good response.  I wouldn’t answer that question either.

Question: Do you believe every word of the Bible.  Specifically.  Weird questioner.  An attack on Romney’s Mormonism?

Rudy gives an intelligent, thoughtful response, and seems to have a sound theological understanding.

Romney: The Bible is the word of God.  I believe in the world of God.  I may interpret differently.  He’s off his footing here.

Huckabee: It is the word of revelation to us from God himself.  Quotes a few of the greatest hits.  Let’s work on Love Your Neighbor first.  No one is ever going to understand all of it.

Romney’s vid.  Hits on the big conservative points.  Looks professional.  Good spot.  But not a typical youtube video.

Break and we’re back.

Rudy’s video: Funny.  Youtube like.  Best one of the night!

Question: a Muslim lady from Alabama.  What would you do to repair the image of America in the Muslim world?  Please, this chick is not a Republican primary voter.

Rudy: Be tough on terror.  He refused to get sucked in by the premise of the question.  Excellent, excellent response.

McCain: Continue the surge.  Reconstruct Iraq.  Fight the Democrats on a date for withdrawal.  Criticizes Rumsfeld’s strategy.  But we’d be worse off under the Democrats’ strategy, though, he says.

Question: Waterboarding.  Do you support it?

Romney: The President should not limit our interrogation tactics.  Does not seem to have a big problem with it.  Interrogate terrorists.

McCain: He’s totally opposed to waterboarding and torture.  I know his background on this, and I know he was tortured.  But still.  I just don’t have a problem with torturing terrorists.  He’s very passionate about this.

Romney: I am not in favor of torture, but I am not going to pick what is and is not torture.  I will let the counter terrorism experts make that decision. 

McCain: They you have to advocate that we withdrawal from the Geneva Conventions.  And why, really, shouldn’t we?  We’re basically the only ones who honor it.  McCain, still very opposed to torture.  Life is not “24” he says.  But maybe if it were, we wouldn’t have to strip search grandmothers at airports.

Question: We should stay in Iraq long-term.  Who supports that idea?  Thompson: don’t stay forever, but for as long as it takes. 

Paul: Give them their country back.  The surge hasn’t worked.  They’re ready to be the next Vietnam.  He’s pretty ignorant, if you ask me.

McCain: we never lost a battle in Vietnam; American public opinion lost that war.  Terrorists want Iraq to be a base to attack the U.S.

He gets booed.  He’s totally right, though.  Why don’t want people want to hear the truth about this?

Paul: It is irrelevant that we never lost one battle in Vietnam.  The only reason they hate us is because we have bases in the Mideast.  So clueless!

Screams and boos for him, now.

Tancredo: We are living in a world where we are threatened by radical Islam.

Question for Rudy: You’re using 9/11 to propel yourself into the White House.  True?  Rudy: Look at my whole record.  And then he goes on.  And on. 

God, this is a long debate.  This may be the last NBS live blog, ever. 

Next: Stupid question about Vice President Cheney.  Why are people so paranoid about Dick Cheney?  The only thing wrong with Dick Cheney is he’s not running for president.  Anyway, the question:  How much authority will you give your VP?

Thompson: VP needs to be ready to assume the office, if necessary.  Brings up judges again.  Why is he bringing this up so much?  It just seems so insincere. 

McCain: Bush had to rely on Cheney’s foreign policy expertise, because that was Cheney’s area and we were at war.  I would not have to do that.

Hunter’s vid: It’s another commercial.  And it looks cheap.  Looks like he’s running for Congress, not President. 

Another break.  Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, and go to Playhouse in the Park to see Scrooge!

Question: A gay veteran wants to know what the problem is with gays in the military.

Tancredo: Blows the answer.  Young enlistees are conservative Christians, and it would be unfair to them.

Huckabee: Conduct could put at risk morale, and cohesion.

Romney: The Coop points out a Romney flip flop on this.  Romney: This is not a time to change don’t ask, don’t tell.  Let the military decide this issue.  Romney kind of flubs this.

The veteran says he didn’t get an answer.  But he did!  He just didn’t get the answer that he wanted.  The Coop gives the veteran a long leash to go on and on about gays in the military.  Gee, I wonder why?

McCain:  Thanks for your service, but all the military people I talk to say don’t ask, don’t tell is working.

Next: Should gay Republicans support you?

Huckabee: Gives a funny answer.  Hey, I’ll take their support.  But I won’t change my mind on same sex marriage.  Perfect response.  Respectful.  Kind.  Firm.

Next up?  Boring question about social security from a young person.  Start saving now, young person,” is just about the only honest answer.  Let’s see if we get it.

Thompson’s response is so boring I miss it.

Romney: We can’t follow Hillary to the left, but follow the path Reagan blazed.  He certainly knows the talking points, doesn’t he?

Question: We need a man on mars!   What are you going to do for NASA?

Huckabee: Expand the space program.  And let’s put Hillary on the first rocket to mars.

Tancredo: No spending on crap like that!  Excellent response.  We can’t afford to go to mars!

Question: African Americans hold conservative views, but vote for Democrats.  Why don’t we vote for you?   I love this question.  The Republican Party’s failure to make this case is one of the tragedies of our time. 

Rudy: School choice, welfare reform.  We can be popular in African American Community.

Huckabee: African Americans vote for me.  I asked for their vote.  He then says he spends money on hypertension and diabetes, and they afflict African Americans more.  Again with the spending!

And on the opposite extreme: Do you support Confederate flags?

Romney:  With all the issues we face?  No.

Thompson: Not everyone with a confederate flag is racist.  But there is not a place for it in the public arena. 

Paul’s video: Very populist.  Very isolationist.  Not bad as a matter of form.

Question: We need new infrastructure, and it’s going to be expensive.  Let me guess?  Huckabee will pay for it.

Rudy: We need a sustained program and long term planning.

Paul: We are taxed to blow up bridges overseas and our own bridges are falling down. 

McCain: I will veto all pork. 

Rudy: Blows it by saying he opposed the line item veto and (apparently?) took Clinton to court on this.

Question: Will you run as an independent, Ron Paul, if you don’t get the nomination?  He says no!  I think. 

Last question.  THANK GOD.  For Rudy: You are a life long Yankees fan, but still supported the Sox in the post-season.  Rudy says he is an American League fan.  Boo hiss!  He almost ends on a weak note, but then has a good joke about how many times the Yankees won the World Series when he was Mayor. 

Romney:  My family hates the Yankees.  He wasn't going to win New York anyway. 

And that’s it.  Romney’s got my vote. 

More substantive thoughts later.  I'm taking Henry outside.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!

New Poll: Top Five Republicans Can All Beat Hillary

November 27, 2007 09:07 AM

It's a Zogby poll, and a lot of people have trouble with his methodology.  But still:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders in general election match-ups, a drop in support from this summer, according to a poll released on Monday.

Clinton's top Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, still lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election, the survey by Zogby Interactive showed.

Clinton, a New York senator who has been at the top of the Democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 race, trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.

Democrats, please nominate her!

And while I'm complaining about my fellow Republicans...

October 9, 2007 11:29 AM

...let me also carp on the timing of tonight's Republican debate.  I'm batching it tonight, so I thought I'd have time to watch it.  Liveblog it, no less.  But none of that is possible, because it's at 4:00 in the afternoon.  Who in the hell has time to watch a debate at 4:00 in the afternoon?  All the working (i.e. voting) people are still working.  And the people who aren't working are watching Oprah.  They're not going to flip over to CNBC to watch the Republican candidates talk economic policy.  If a tree falls in the forest, does it still make a sound?  I guess we'll find out.

And no, I'm not satisfied that MSNBC is replaying it at 9:00.  I'm not going to liveblog a taped program!

New Poll: Thompson and Giuliani are tied with Hillary in Ohio

September 24, 2007 03:54 PM

Per Survey USA.  Romney trails Hillary by 10 points. 

If the Democrats nominate Obama (which they won't), Thompson, Giuliani and Romney are all ahead or tied.  The stats are there for John Edwards, too.  Not that you care about him.  No one does.

This is all good news, in my opinion.  It feels like all of our potential nominees are 10 points behind Hillary.

HT: Ohio Daily Blog

What the heck is Fred Thompson doing?

September 19, 2007 08:51 AM

Dick Morris has a scathing column out in which he summarizes the news Fred has generated in the few short weeks he has actually been a candidate.  And it's not a pretty picture.

•He refuses to take a pledge not to raise taxes;

•He lobbied for an abortion advocacy group before becoming a U.S. senator;

•He employed his son in a no-show job for $170,000 for four years at his political action committee after leaving office;

•As a lobbyist, he helped the attorney representing the Libyan terrorists who blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, to fight requests to extradite them to the U.K. to stand trial;

•His other lobbying clients included Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the leftist Haitian dictator who, but for a lack of oil, would have been the Hugo Chavez of the last generation;

•He skipped and is skipping the first two debates of his presidential candidacy and said he was looking forward to attending the Oct. 14 New Hampshire debate -- the one that was cancelled weeks ago;

•He is taking this week off from presidential campaigning;

•He does not know enough about the details of the Terry Schiavo case to comment;

•He said that Iraqis were supporting us because of al Qaeda's ban on smoking;

•He's run through three campaign managers and as many communications directors in just three months.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.  Half of those I didn't even know about.  Has Fred gotten any positive press?  And he doesn't even mention my number one concern about Fred, which is that people will tire of the folksy talk.  And get very, very annoyed.   

Don't get me wrong, I like Fred.  I want to believe in Fred.  I just don't understand why he's not giving people a reason to.  Come on Fred, make your case!

And if you want more food for thought consider Morris's next point:

Hillary is probably the next president anyway. But there is only one way to defeat her -- to nominate a candidate whose anti-terrorism credentials are so deep that if Americans return to their senses and grasp the nature of the dire and continuing threat we face, he can prevail in November. There are two candidates who fill that bill: Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Neither Thompson nor Romney approach it.

Rudy and McCain are hardly my preferred candidates.  But I think Morris may be right about the political realities.

I had high hopes for Fred, but the early reviews are not good.

September 12, 2007 08:11 AM

From Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post:

After six months of Waiting for Thompson, the former Tennessee senator has arrived on stage. Unfortunately, Thompson's dialogue so far consists of folksy platitudes and broad pronouncements, unobjectionable yet unenlightening

"We do whatever's necessary, hitch up our britches and come out the other end," Thompson said during a campaign rally in Iowa.  He was talking national security, but, hey, a little britch-hitching can't hurt, whatever the issue.

Fred needs to bring out the substance.  Fast.  He also irritated too many people with his ridiculous announcement dance.

Thompson Campaign Conference Call Set for Today...

August 30, 2007 11:01 AM

...to discuss his plans to announce next week.  So now it's a conference call about an announcement.  But they won't say now what they will say at the conference call.  Which is at 4:00.  Today.

Is there anyone who wasn't already annoyed by this six weeks ago?

The local FredHeads are mobilizing...

June 29, 2007 08:54 AM

...they now have "information packets."  But they also only had six people in attendance.  I would have left that part out, if I were they. 

Local Republicans Switching to Thompson?

June 21, 2007 11:38 PM

Interesting news from the VikingSpirit blog (one of the best local Republican blogs).  He's been the leading local supporter of Rudy Giuliani's campaign.  And now?

After much deliberation, I'm dropping my support of Rudy Giuliani for Fred Thompson in the Republican Presidential primary. Why you ask? Well, it's somewhat based on ideological reasons, but more based on having a chance at winning the Presidency in 2008 (and, in turn, stopping Hillary Clinton).

Firstly, I believe the political environment is ripe for the base to stay home in 2008. Our party is in open rebellion over the immigration issue, and I don't think base voters will come out to vote for Rudy because he's pro-choice, anti-gun, and pro-gay rights. If the base stays home, we cannot win the election, which leads me to my second reason for supporting Thompson.

He's totally right about the base, which is not enthusiastic about Giuliani at all.  So this is an interesting development.  Giuliani has been the front-runner for some time (which I have always attributed to name recognition, and never understood) but some polls suggest Fred Thompson has pulled ahead.  He's much more in touch with the Republican mainstream.  So welcome back, VikingSpirit!

[I do have to say though, in drafting this post, I see VikingSpirit is working for John Eby's Cincinnati city council campaign.  I voted for John Eby in 2005, but having heard him speak at political events over the last two years, I am not sure he has the ideological qualifications that the job requires.  John Eby is an endorsed Republican, but my impression of him thus far is distinctly unfavorable.  If John Eby wants the party's support he's going to have to do something that suggests he is in line with the party's values.  As yet, we've yet to see that.  If you're involved in his campaign, this should be a big source of concern, VikingSpirit).

Fred Thompson to meet with Thatcher

June 18, 2007 03:43 PM

What an interesting campaign move:

Fred Thompson, the actor and former Tennessee senator who is expected to announce next month he is running for president, flew to London on Monday to meet Margaret Thatcher and deliver a foreign policy speech, his advisers tell The Politico.

Thompson's advisers aim to use the London events to bolster his foreign policy credentials and elevate him above the increasingly contentious fray of the GOP race.

On Wednesday, he will pose for photos with Thatcher, which his advisers hope will enhance his support among devotees of former President Ronald Reagan.

This will send conservative opinion makers into fits of ecstasy.  Very smart idea, Thompson campaign.