Nasty, Brutish & Short

Mitt Romney Archives

Hey, your Dad just dropped out of the Presidential Race. Whatcha gonna do now?

May 23, 2008 09:45 AM

Mitt Romney emails NBS with an update on the Five Brothers:

Dear [NBS]:

I'd like to update you on what's been happening since the campaign ended and to tell you about my latest venture.

First, Ann and I have some exciting news. We have three new grandchildren on the way!

That's a lot of procreatin'.  Maybe one of them is having triplets? 

For the first time, I walked in to the polls not knowing who I was going to vote for.

March 4, 2008 09:07 AM

The temptation to cross party lines and vote for Hillary was very, very strong.  Having her continue to battle it out with Obama is very good for the cause.  But in the end, I couldn't do it.  The woman in front of me did, though.  And I know a lot of people who were considering it.  When you switch parties, you have to complete a form that says you swear "to uphold the principles of the Democratic party."  Well that wouldn't be too hard--since they have no principles. 

How's that for an obvious joke?

Anyway... I placed my protest vote for Mitt Romney.  Not that it will matter in the end.  My protest vote in the 2000 primary didn't matter either.

I did get to vote in all the down ticket Republican races.  For Congress, I voted for Jean Schmidt.  Over at WMD, they've pretty much summarized my thoughts on that race, so I won't repeat it all here.  The only other contested race was Pat DeWine v. Kathy King for Judge.  I voted for Pat, since he's pro-life, and Kathy is not.  For most of the other judicial races, I refrained from voting for the party's endorsed candidates.  Most of the people they put up are total chuckleheads--though it was a nice reminder of how glad I am that I litigate almost entirely in federal courts these days. 

And of course, I voted against the Cincinnati public school levy and the zoo levy.  The only way I'd get behind either of those two organizations would be if they switched missions.  Let the zoo put the CPS students behind bars, and let the schools educate the animals.  We'd end up with a safer community and a more intelligent workforce.

I'm kidding of course.  Well, slightly kidding.

Romney gives McCain a lesson in class

February 15, 2008 09:09 AM

From Politico's coverage of yesterday's endorsement:

Despite the at-times ugly exchanges between the two during the past year, today's press conference, while not full of warmth, was not especially stilted.

The difference was especially stark compared to the last GOP nomination battle in 2000. As opposed to the week Romney took before endorsing, it took two months for McCain to get behind George W. Bush after that bitter contest. And when he did so in May of that year he initially declined to use the word "endorse." Only after being asked by a reporter why he wouldn't formally offer his blessing did McCain say "I endorse Gov. Bush" -- and then he said it over and over again as if to show his annoyance.

Romney today was gracious, lavishing praise in prepared remarks on the man who defeated him.

"This is a man who tied his political fortunes to the fortunes of his country in a time of war," Romney said. "Such courage is not always rewarded in politics, but it was this time – and that is a credit to both the man and to the party he will lead in the election of 2008."

I had forgotten it took McCain two months in 2000 to endorse Bush.  Certainly takes the wind out of the sails of those who say we should all be running out to endorse McCain now, doesn't it? 

When people like Dick Finan say they may stay home in November instead of voting for McCain...

February 7, 2008 05:19 PM

...it says a lot:

Finan, one of the first Ohio Republican party leaders to endorse Romney, said he believes many Romney supporters around the state will have a hard time voting for McCain in the fall campaign – and, he said, he is one of them.

“I might just have to sit it out,’’ said Finan. “Some of them, obviously, will vote for McCain over whoever the Democrats put up. But some of them just won’t.”

Dick Finan is a conservative Republican, but he's not some unhinged radical.  He used to be President of the Ohio Senate, for crying out loud.  He's a total party player, but he's not willing to party with McCain.  Incredible, really.

Because the depressing news can't start early enough, here we have the signage that helped John Derbyshire figure out where to vote...

February 5, 2008 04:33 PM

Welcome to John McCain's dream world.

From The Corner, at NRO Online.

Evaluating the candidates' bumper stickers

January 27, 2008 08:16 AM

I've already said I can't imagine putting a Huckabee sticker on the back of my car.  That's mostly because it's such a hill-jack name, backed up by a hill-jack personality.  Graphic designers have a problem with the aesthetics, too:

Huckabee has the most inexplicable selection of typography and graphics, from the six floating stars to the white stripe seemingly stolen from the Coca-Cola logo. The overall effect is clutter. The main typeface, used to set the candidate's name, is very tightly spaced, or tightly tracked, as typographers like to say. Some letters, like kab, are actually touching each other. Then "Mike" is tucked in between the H and k as if "we almost forgot to tell you his first name." Setting FAITH. FAMILY. FREEDOM. in such a thin weak sans serif feels as if it was added as a committee compromise or an afterthought. The type is too light, too small, and does not have a real voice.

They're right.  It definitely has an "I've never done this before" kind of look to it.  Kind of like he stopped by a Minuteman Printing on the way home one afternoon and said, "Shirley, what can you come up with?"

At the opposite end of the extreme: John McCain.  I have my problems with him on the issues, but his campaign graphics are fantastic.  Mrs. NBS and I actually discussed this a few weeks ago, and when you have people actually discussing how much they like the bumper stickers for someone they're not going to vote for, it means the designers hit a home run.  Here's what the experts say:

McCain uses type that is a perfect compromise between a sans and a serif, what type geeks call a "flared sans." Not quite sans and not quite serif, sort of in between, moderate, not too far in either direction. The strokes have contrast between the thick and thin, creating the feeling that the ends are going to have cute little serifs, but they just flare out a little, not forming actual serifs but wanting to. The military star centered and shadowed is a not-so-subtle touch. And McCain just says "President," as if to say he's already been elected. Everything about this logo says you can buy a car from this man. From the perfectly centered star to the perfectly spaced type, the entire design looks like a high-end real estate company. McCain has done something no other candidate has done, he uses all blue, no red - not even a dash.

And the blue he uses is almost a black.  With the white star, it looks very, very crisp.  Lean.  Trim.  Fit.  Very "I'm more than Harrison Ford in Air Force One could ever even dream of being."

On the Democrat side, the graphic designers say the winner is Obama.  I'm actually not wild about his design.  Doesn't it look...too liberal?  John Edwards got the (supposed) working class mantra right with his simplistic "my shift ends at 1:00 a.m. and I'm pissed" look.  And Hillary's graphic?  Exactly like bumper stickers always look.  Boring.  What's she running for, state rep.?

The Governator Calls Mitt Romney

January 22, 2008 11:19 AM

Prank calls. Who doesn't love a good prank call?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be pretty easy to get Mitt's cell phone number off of this tape?

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.

guiliani.jpg

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:

mccains-condo-500x389.jpg

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?

clinton-large.jpg

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.

obamas-house-500x375.jpg

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:

edwardshome-500x333.jpg

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?

romney-house-500x333.jpg

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.

thompson-house.jpg

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.

Wait till Barbara Walters gets the Christmas Card from the Huckabee White House

December 18, 2007 09:33 AM

She's going to hate it. It's almost worth voting for him just for that reason alone.

Camille Paglia in Romney's Religion Speech

December 12, 2007 07:20 PM

The atheist was not offended:

Romney's move may have been tactically necessary to counter evangelical Protestants' rejection of Mormonism as a cult, but the speech wasn't as conceptually developed as it should have been. As an atheist, I wasn't offended by Romney's omission of nonbelievers from his narrative of American history. On the contrary, I agree with him that the founders of the U.S. social experiment were Christians (even if many were intellectual deists) and that our separation of church and state entails the rejection of an official, government-sanctioned creed rather than the obligatory erasure of references to God in civic life.

But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe.

Amen, Amen.  Or something like that.  If you can't believe in God, at least believe in art and nature.*  This sixties secular humanism crap has got to go.

*How's that for pathetically typical Anglo-Episcopal evangelism?

The thinking conservatives make their endorsement

December 11, 2007 04:49 PM

As I was telling a liberal Democrat friend (yes, I have them) earlier today, all the thinking conservatives are lining up against Huckabee.

And today, National Review makes their endorsement:

National Review Dec. 31, 2007 Cover: Mitt Romney for President

The endorsement editorial is here.  The conclusion:

More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates.

I have found myself arriving at a very similar conclusion over the past few weeks.  Too bad Ohioans' votes will come too late to matter. 

The Weekly Standard has Romney's notes from his religion speech

Hilarious.  Here.

Romney's Speech

December 6, 2007 11:15 AM

Spectacular.

So who did I think won?

November 29, 2007 09:16 AM

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.

Mitt Romney is out with a new ad. It's hard for me to tell what kind of primary voter he thinks he'll attract with this.

August 30, 2007 09:09 AM

What do you think?