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Wyoming GOP caucuses

"Mitt Romney captured his first win of the Republican presidential race on Saturday, prevailing in Wyoming caucuses for a much-needed boost to his candidacy three days before the New Hampshire primary." Thompson came in second. Wyoming Democrats hold their caucuses March 8.

Discussions - 10 Comments

Wyoming's caucus is not open to the general public. It is only open to precinct captains and other party officials. Or something like that.

That's part of the reason nobody pays any attention to a Wyoming win.

It's a sign of desperation for the overfinanced Ken doll that he and his supporters are touting a Wyoming win.

And the few times that I flipped to the debate, while I was watching the Steelers blow it against Jacksonville, Romney appeared to be sweating it.

And McCain could barely, barely stop himself from laughing at Romney, just laughing at him. The contempt and the scorn that McCain feels for Romney was just oozing through the television tonight. I always knew that McCain held Romney in contempt of course, just like he holds all those that ignominiously flip and flop about in contempt, but tonight was somewhat breathtaking.

It was a weird night, Pittsburgh had their chance for a huge comeback victory, and got conservative on their penultimate offensive possession. Very instructive moment, to be sure.

Well, someone needs to congratulate Mitt. I'm happy to do it.

Peter: "someone needs to congratulate Mitt. I'm happy to do it."

Good for you ... it is the gracious thing to do.

Dan: "The contempt and the scorn that McCain feels for Romney was just oozing through the television tonight."

That may be the fundamental problem with McCain -- his barely disguised contempt, not just for Romney but for anyone who does not agree with him.

Contempt is a deeply unflattering characteristic of a man. It is something quite different from passionate anger. And if the voters are seeking "change" from the tone of politics, displaying sincere contempt is a sure way of alienating voters.

And so it appears others on the web agree that McCain's display was unattractive:

Here Hugh Hewitt writes: "... the overwhelming impression of this debate is a negative reaction to John McCain, a deepening feeling that reflects a politically disastrous fact: John McCain lacks the essential graciousness towards his critics and opponents that a president must have ..." (emphasis added)

Hugh Hewitt openly supports Romney. One could suspect Hewitt's motives. But then there's Rich Lowry's comments found

"But he was nasty toward Romney, letting his hatred—and I used that word advisedly—show. Of course, he tried to cover it with an occasional forced grin, but it was clear where he was coming from. I find this aspect of McCain's character very unattractive, and it’s not a great quality to have in a president." (emphasis added)

Lowry is much more even handed in his analysis. That he noticed and was moved to comment on it is, to me, somewhat telling.

Don in Arizona is right to observe that McCain's pugnaciousness hurts him. And that pugnaciousness isn't just reserved for Romney, but for those who disagree with him on Campaign Finance Reform, immigration reform, tax cuts. I'm not a McCain supporter, I think if he gets the nomination the Dems will run against him the campaign they ran against Bob Dole, and it should be noted, they SUCCESSFULLY ran against Bob Dole.

I don't trust Hewitt or NR when it comes to Romney. I don't trust them period right now, at least when it comes to anything relating to the Republican race.

The latest gambit from the wider Romney campaign seems to be to highlight the victim card. Now they've been playing the victim card throughout. We've all heard it, pool old millionaire Romney is being picked on because he's a Mormon. He's being picked on because he's rich. He's being picked on because he's changed positions. "Personal attacks" are being made against him, blah, blah, blah. It's just more of the usual from Romney and his flacks.

Which presents the Republican party with the spectacle, THE IGNOMINIOUS SPECTACLE of a guy who is the SOLE candidate we're told capable of keeping together the Republican "coalition," who does nothing of late but whine and play the victim card. Conservatives have rightly resented use of the victim card. But a Romney candidacy promises nothing but prolific usage thereof.

It's revolting.

It's intellectually and morally revolting watching the lengths some will go to in defense of what can't be defended, {his record, his flip flops} and the lengths some will go to rationalize what can't be rationalized, {THEIR support for him DESPITE those endless flippings and floppings}.

So yes, McCain despises Romney. And rightly so in my opinion. There is something absolutely revolting about the entire Romney campaign. There's something revolting in the manner in which his bought and paid for radio host flacks for him. There's something revolting in how NR rationalized their support for him, despite his flips and flops. There's something revolting in Limbaugh effectively supporting him, bashing Huckabee, BUT NOT coming clean with it. His entire campaign makes me sick, just sick. And all the other candidates last night had trouble veiling their distaste for Romney. McCain was more noticeable of course, but the others too, could barely restrain themselves from blurting out what I've been hitting on for months, that there IS something bizarre about the Romney candidacy.

Here's just a for instance, and it comes from today. While being interviewed by Fox News, Romney was complaining about "personal attacks" against him, while at the same time, AT THE EXACT SAME TIME, his campaign flacks were circulating talking points pointing out how McCain uses profanity behind the scenes. I think it was the Fox News guys who reported that little gem about the Romney campaign. And that's been thematic with the Romney campaign. Their guy affects this Olympian like elevation over the field, while in reality his minions, under his direct control, go out there and attack, attack, and attack. Romney has been playing the victim card for how long now? All the while he's ripping and tearing into his opponents behind the scenes, while publicly maintaining this aura of affability.

Has anyone heard Huckabee play the victim card of late? Now old Huckabee houndog has been getting hammered, just hammered over the last month, but I've not heard him whine about it. Romney however has been doing nothing but whining for months now. And he was behind an agent provocateur action where his own guys were pushing a Mormon attack, so that he could go out there and whine about it. No wonder, NO WONDER McCain can barely look at the guy without growling.

It's as I said, Romney is political decadence incarnate, absolutely incarnate.

Romney is almost the political antithesis of McCain. It's visceral with McCain, it's not feigned, it's not faked, there's nothing Ken doll like about McCain, and when McCain looks at Romney, JUST LOOKS AT HIM, you can't help but perceive the deep, DEEP animus he has for Romney.

HOWEVER, I think we need a President who has that "ferocity" within him. The aspect that many, especially the wimpy Hewitt and some of the wimpy NR types find least attractive about McCain, his inner steel, his combativeness, IT'S THAT VERY TRAIT that he has in spades, which is the MOST presidential thing about him.

McCain CAN command. McCain can order men into battle. McCain CAN and WILL go after our enemies, instead of holding hands with them and kissing them on the cheek.

We are at war. And I don't mean Bush's understanding of this centuries long conflict. I mean a war against age old muslim supremacism. And that war isn't going to be won if we continue waging it as Condi, Gates and Bush would prefer we wage it.

There's something inside McCain that others will fear. EXACTLY like there was something inside Reagan that foreigners feared. We have to make sure we're electing men that foreigners will fear, and enemies shy away from.

You know, there are reasons why Reagan won the Cold War. And it wasn't because he sat around telling jokes to his pals.

Dan wrote: "I think we need a President who has that "ferocity" within him. The aspect that many, especially the wimpy Hewitt and some of the wimpy NR types find least attractive about McCain, his inner steel, his combativeness"

There is a difference between someone having an intensity of conviction, an "inner steel" as you put it, and displaying contempt for others. Contempt reduces the emotion to the personal. Contempt is the personal dismissal of the one who takes an alternate position. That, as I said, is a very unattractive trait in any person.

By contrast, great is the man who is capable of having a passion for his convictions yet still regards his opponent with quiet strength and grace. That man earns not just the fear of his enemies, but also a measure of respect.

Please don't equate anger with strength ... the two are not the same. Similarly, one should never assume the man who is quiet and humble is weak.

Yea Don, there's a great deal of truth in what you say. But we've a leadership of late that can't get angry with anything, or anyone, other than their base that is, and the talk radio hosts they blame for riling that base up.

I think it was Augustine who said "those that love well, hate well."

We didn't try to earn the respect of the Japanese, the Italians or the Germans. When at war, we waged war. Afterwards, that was different.

I think there are too many in our society who are looking for affability, instead of ability. There are times when such men are a positive detriment to a society. McClellan, and types like McClellan, often have to be sent away, so that grim, hard men, like Sherman, Grant and Sheridan come to the fore.

We're in a situation where we need a true tough guy, sure, there will be something unattractive about such a man. AS THERE WAS ABOUT SHERMAN, about Grant, about Sheridan, and about Patton too. Even Lee, a gentleman without peer, had a side about him that Longstreet remarked on, which was ferocious.

We have to get away from people like LBJ, like Ford, like both of the Bush men, like Clinton and like Romney. We need men like Reagan, and yes, we even need men like Nixon, who when it came to it, unleashed Linebacker and Linebacker II.

Anger is a response. Sometimes it's a healthy response, and sometimes the lack of it indicates a lack of such health. For instance, 9/11 was a thing to anger.

It's a thing of gradations however. It can be overdone.

Dan, I think I know what you're getting at. Sometimes people try to take the line of avoiding anger and the they substitute in weakness. This is, often, the road appeasers take.

Anger is one of those things that very few people can control. That's why, on the whole, it's better that people avoid it. As Dallas Willard says, "Anything that can be done in anger can usually be done better without anger." There's wisdom in that. There's also something unsaid: "Provided one's convictions are not abandoned in the avoidance of anger."

McCain is someone who can't, apparently, control his anger with much precision. I've seen several accounts where McCain seems to be testier when fatigued (who isn't? -- I sure am) and when criticized (that's my personal achilles). And his problem is, as stated earlier, he can't seem to avoid going "snarky" or "churlish." The problem with that is that to the average voter out there -- most likely a decent person just trying to do what's right -- that kind of behavior is really a turn-off. I suspect President Bush has a nasty streak of anger but has learned to stifle it as a method of keeping it in check. I'm willing to bet Guiliani does as well, but he too keeps it well guarded. Hillary is known to be pure hell behind closed doors, but it is her personal battle to bottle it up on camera.

But to your point -- if a candidate took the "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" route and was relentlessly positive, they'd be met with suspicion. Recall that Reagan had his breakout moment in New Hampshire when he let a bit of righteous indignation show over someone trying to control what was said at some campaign stop.

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