Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations on the Campaign

1. I didn’t see the debate last night. I did see Huck getting the tough questions from George S. on ABC about inconsistencies in his record and his rhetoric. My real opinion is that they don’t amount to much. So, although he’s against gambling, Huck had an event in Iowa in a hotel or something that had a casino, for example. Good evanglicals from my area go over to the casino hotels in Miss. just to enjoy the cheap amenities of the gambling hotels, including. of course, pigging out at the buffets. Eating the food without betting is a way of sticking it to the man.

2. The most damning evidence presented lately aginst Huck concerns his ambivalence concerning the surge and all that. Huck clearly hasn’t shown the right toughness or prudence in foreign policy. But his morning, Huck said he supported the surge but was really worried about the unprecedented overdeployment of the reserves and the National Guard. That is a real, real issue in parts of the country where people are in the reserves and the National Guard. It won’t hurt him to express that reservation about the way the surge was made possible. (I’m not taking a stand on the issue here, just saying the way Huck spin here ain’t goin’ to hurt him.)

3. Huck managed, against George, to stay on message, especially his consistent ethic of life and the dignity of everyone etc. message. He sounded smart and didn’t get angry.

4. I’m guessing that the piling on of Romney, which is starting to involve some inauthentic pettiness on McCain’s part, may start to help him. Mitt is actually as not as far behind in NH as I would have guessed he would be by today. I thought Mitt was pretty classy this morning, although obviously he shouldn’t have said his commercials didn’t say that McCain favored immigration amnesty.

5. Fred is now focused on expressing the most consistently Republican message--NLT readers will like the new line he was putting forth this morning: Yes, we need change, we need to change back to acting according to our fundamental principles.
His chances in SC will be better if McCain takes a licking in NH. Otherwise, he and McCain will divide the non-Huck vote--and Huck, today, is ahead in SC polling and really can’t be hurt by his finish in NH.

6. I saw enough clips to conclude that, although there wasn’t much Obama magic last night, Hillary is not providing any reasons why Democrats shouldn’t take an exciting chance on him.

7. Congratulations to Romney on his big victory in Wyoming--the one state where Ron Paul might have scored a breakthrough. (Well, maybe Alaska...)

Discussions - 4 Comments

Professor Lawler,
I saw the Republican debate last night and have to give kudos to ABC for the format. It was quite good. Huckabee was actually quite forgettable. He said very little, except for a couple of snide remarks toward Romney and a badly managed backpedal from his comments in Foreign Affairs "I didn't really mean Bush had a bunker mentality." McCain's nasty side came out. To me and my wife he seemed very catty toward Romney. I'm not sure how that will play with other voters. Romney was clearly the group target. He handled it evenhandedly, though some might think he was somewhat wimpy. He botched the McCain supports amnesty discussion, but was quite good on healthcare (even if his plan isn't perfect, it's better than what anyone has).

Several times Thompson said some really good things, but at other times he seemed off task, looking at his hands and not the voters. I like him, but gosh, he makes it hard sometimes.

"Fred is now focused on expressing the most consistently Republican message--NLT readers will like the new line he was putting forth this morning: Yes, we need change, we need to change back to acting according to our fundamental principles." (emphasis added)

Would you say there's much agreement what the "Republican message" should be, and agreement as to what our "fundamental principles" are?

I ask because to my eye the implication of the first point I emphasized is that there's a correct Republican message and Thompson has locked onto it and is consistently expressing it. Yet I'm not sure there would be agreement on that point, even among those who comment on NLT.

Further, I saw Thompson's interview with Charlie Rose in which he defined "conservative" as involving fundamental principles. Yet I would think Ron Paul's concept of fundamental principles might be strikingly different from Thompson's. How useful is Thompson's statement in evaluating him against the other candidates?

Professor,
You mean regarding the election? I don't get to vote until the VA elections, so I'll vote for whoever seems more viable at the time, Thompson or Romney.

Is that what you mean?

Wyoming--the one state where Ron Paul might have scored a breakthrough. (Well, maybe Alaska...)



As I said below, Wyoming's caucus was only open to Republican party functionaries. It was not open to all Republicans. Precinct captains and some others I think. That is not Ron Paul's crowd.



Also, what is "toughness" in foreign policy? A willingness to invade countries that don't threaten us?

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