1.29.2008

A Chill In The Air

Today was one of those interesting weather days that you get from time to time. A nice warm start early and then the bottom drops out. Here's how it played out:

(temp) (wind) (humidity)
8:00 am 59 F SSW 19-26 75%
11:00 64 WSW26-45 30%
11:25 57 W 25-44 32%
12:25 32 NW 29-36 71%
I looked at the temp map right now (12:30) and the front is bisecting Missouri from the northeast to the southwest and has, obviously, past us here in Springfield - it’s 18 in Kansas City and 70 in St. Louis. The temps continued to fall throughout the afternoon, though less rapidly, until:
3:00 21 WNW23-44 56%

As Col. Henry Blake once said, "Better bring the brass monkey in tonight!"

Also chilling, McCain wins Florida.

Here's what I wrote this afternoon before we knew tonight's results:
Paul Mirengoff of Powerline in his post Simplified But Not Simple expresses what many who call themselves conservative have been going through for many weeks now. I won’t recap it here, but please read it, you vast numbers of Central Standard readers, ahem.

I do have this, though. I don’t understand the assumption that only McCain can ward off the liberals come the fall. It has been in vogue, since about 1992, for party nominees to tack to the middle in an effort to win the presidency. This has resulted in Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush. Clinton had the blowout and Bush barely survived using this model. I’m not convinced that trying to be moderate is a winner for Republicans. I know the media like McCain in the primary, but I don’t think that’ll carry over to the general. The things that agitate us about McCain now will be on display for all to see come the fall. I actually think McCain would wind up looking frail, bitter, old and out of touch in the general election, especially against Obama. McCain-Obama would be the rout that Mirengoff, and the rest of us, fear. Is this why the NY Times endorses McCain?

I liked Fred best and Rudy’s a fighter, but it’s going to boil down to Romney, I believe. I think Romney is the engine that could. There has been quite a lot written about why he’s not the guy and he can’t win and the media doesn’t like him, etc, etc. All he does is win and pick up delegates. Oh, by the way, he leads in delegates on the Republican side. (And he’s supposed to drop out?)

Watch his speech about faith if you haven’t seen it. It’s simply one of the better speeches I’ve heard in a long time. Romney looks inevitable to me and I don’t just mean for the Republican nomination. I think he’ll be underestimated all the way to the White House.

Just like a recent governor of Texas.

I still believe what I wrote earlier. Obviously the delegate math has changed but still, I think Romney will pull it out and I think McCain is brittle. When you think McCain '08, you should think Dole '96.

Now here's some opinion from a couple of guys who actually know a thing or two - Ruffini - Hewitt.

1 comment:

Bob W. said...

Mike, I read the articles.

First off, I’m in a quandary about who to vote for this first Tuesday in February. What I know so far:

I will vote. This is far too important to sit out.
I will vote Republican.
No matter who wins the Republican nomination, he will get my support. I will spread the word and try to encourage others to join me in this, and vote Republican in November.

And yeah, I have my concerns about McCain (also about Romney and Huckabee for that matter). In a perfect world we would have a perfect candidate, but that’s fantasy. There’s never been a perfect candidate, though there were some good ones, and some choices which were obvious.

Many good points were made in your comments and in the articles you mentioned, and I don’t claim to be a political expert to judge. But here’s what stood out for me…

Mike (of Central Standard):
“I’m not convinced that trying to be moderate is a winner for Republicans.”

I can agree with that as a general statement, and it’s part of the mix as I consider.

“McCain-Obama would be the rout that Mirengoff, and the rest of us, fear. Is this why the NY Times endorses McCain?”

I can’t speak for the NY Times. It could be their wish for McCain to lose big, or it could be their institutional opposition to anyone too traditionally moral (Huckabee and Romney). Perhaps if the Democrats were to fail in their takeover, better to fail to McCain, as far as the Times is concerned.

On second thought, it’s probably the former. It’s hard for me to imagine a Liberal Democrat paper Not assuming a Democrat win in ’08.

“I liked Fred best…”

Me too. It seemed to me he “didn’t want it seriously enough”, though.

“I think Romney is the engine that could.”

Maybe.

“Watch his speech about faith if you haven’t seen it. It’s simply one of the better speeches I’ve heard in a long time.”

Agreed.

“When you think McCain '08, you should think Dole '96.”

I sure hope not. That’s a troubling scenario.

Patrick Ruffini (From Rudy to Romney):
“Huck’s Army refusing to join with the most viable conservative alternative left after all hope was lost — shows just how badly we need to reunify the movement…attitude needs to be…that we are reclaiming the Party for long-lost principles with strength and assertiveness, not retreating and simply becoming more like the left. McCain represents the later kind of change…Mitt Romney gets that you don’t win by retreating. You win by winning”

All good points, especially for long term consideration. But doggone it, we still have to win in November. To borrow a famous quote from the Apollo 13 mission, “Failure is not an option”.

“Mitt Romney is a better candidate than he lets on. His business acumen has hardly been explored in this campaign, at least not early enough. He is, as they say in Boston, wicked smart. Of all the candidates running, it is hardest to see the colossal managerial failures of Katrina happening under his watch.”

Yes, and if I choose to vote for Romney in the primary it will likely be in part for his business acumen.

Paul Mirengoff (of Powerline “Simplified But Not Simple”):
“John McCain is a social conservative, and as close to invulnerable to the Clinton smear machine as one can be. He's the only Republican contender who still does well in head-to-head polls with Democrats. But he does well mostly because of his well-earned reputation as a maverick who is willing to reject key conservative positions with relish and fanfare.”

Being “invulnerable to the Clinton smear machine” may be The survival trait this year.

“Mike Huckabee did not strike me presidential material”

Same here, sad to say. I agree with much of what Huckabee says he stands for, more than I agree with the other two Republicans we’re discussing. But I just can’t quite see a November win in his future.

“Every time it looks like McCain will break away from the pack, I panic in anticipation of four years of watching him stick it to conservatives on a more than occasional basis. When things seem to be breaking Romney's way, I panic in anticipation of an electoral rout in November followed by four years of a Clinton or Obama presidency.”

This may be the telling point for me in November, in case McCain gets the nod. By itself, this comment still doesn’t determine who I will vote for in the primary.

Hugh Hewitt (Super Tuesday Showdown: A Two-Man Race):
“Huck's voters are conservative or very conservative, and if they stay with Huck because they like him better than Romney, they hand the nomination to McCain.”

Here’s a bit of speculation I’ve heard on a local talk radio show. If Huckabee siphons enough of the conservative vote away from Romney on Super Tuesday, then nominee McCain will reward Huckabee with the VP slot on the ticket. That might be just cynical talk, but it could happen, too.

”If an ABM Treaty emerges --anybody but McCain-- the smoke will clear a week from now on a delegate hunt that will continue through the Pennsylvania primary in late April, seven contests in May, and the June 3rd elections in New Mexico and South Dakota. McCain could conceivably seal the deal next week by running the table, but if Romney can rally enough of the conservatives, he can force the race into the final innings.”

Now, I’m too much the political amateur to really know. Would it be better for the Republican party to get the process over quickly and concentrate on the battle against Obama or Clinton in November? Or would it be better to extend the contest between McCain and Romney, in the hope of getting more details out in the open?

The question remains, who will I vote for Tuesday?

If I had to cast my primary vote this instant, it probably would not be for McCain, as I feel confident his campaign will make it through Super Tuesday without my vote. Also as I said before, I do have some concerns about McCain.

So, right now, I’m deciding between two – Huckabee and Romney.

If the question “who will win in November” was not in the back of my mind, and it really were purely a matter of personal Christian / traditional family / pro-life / conservative convictions, I’d probably vote for Huckabee.

On the other hand, while I disagree with Romney's Mormon faith in many key, critical points, I’m reassured by the speech he gave regarding faith, and he strikes me as a moral man. Maybe voting for him will strengthen the Republican chances in November.

My thinking is still that defeating the Democrats in November is Job One, especially if Hillary is the nominee. If she wins, we all lose. You won’t recognize the USA after she’s been in power a short time, and the changes will only weaken us.

Unconvinced? Remember, it was a “co-presidency” from 1992-2000, and if you think Bill is just going to set back and be quiet, then maybe you’ll believe me when I say I have some beach property to sell you.

How about the people they’ll appoint? Remember Janet Reno? Remember her quote about Christians being dangerous, the ones who attend church more than once a week, who take the Bible seriously, and who distrust government? That was said around the time they had the Branch Davidians (yes, admittedly a cult) burned to death in Waco. Just one part of an eight year nightmare I haven’t forgotten, and I don’t want to return to.

But, that was in the past, you say. Okay, here’s something she wants to do now (Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080203/ap_on_el_pr/campaign_rdp;_ylt=AuRI9ek8aN25Nw2WLM0Gr3J34T0D )

The New York senator has criticized Obama for pushing a health plan that she says would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified how she would enforce 100 percent enrollment. But when pressed during a television interview, she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

From personal experience, I know health insurance is expensive. But do you really want your wages garnished, with no choice in the matter? Before you say yes to socialized medicine, I Strongly suggest first checking out how that’s worked in Canada and the U.K. (Can you say long lines? Long waits for surgery? Rationed health care?)

Enough of that. To avoid such a bleak future, I suggest supporting whoever the Republicans nominate, and get out the vote! Whatever you do, Please do Not sit home in November without voting. Even if your – or my – first choice of a candidate isn’t on the ticket, Any of these Republicans is more conservative than either Obama or Clinton. And so much is at stake.