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Rick Perry Leading GOP Field, But Electability Concerns Make Him Vulnerable

Rick Perry is leading in another new poll of the GOP field, this one from Gallup and USA Today, but there are also indications of how he could be vulnerable as Republican voters actually start to focus on the race:

Rick Perry leads Mitt Romney by 31% to 24% in a new USA Today/Gallup poll of Republican presidential nomination preferences. The two are well ahead of the rest of the GOP field, with

Ron Paul the only other candidate in double figures.

These results are from a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Sept. 15-18, and are based on a question that asks all Republicans and independents who lean Republican to choose from the eight leading announced Republican candidates for president. The results among Republicans and Republican leaners who are registered voters are similar, with Perry leading Romney, 31% to 23%.

Once again, the poll confirms that this is a two man Perry/Romney race. Other than Ron Paul, who comes in at 13%, no other candidate gets above the single digits. After that it’s Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann all bunched at 5%, and Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman at 2% and 1% respectively. According to the poll, some 10% of Republican voters remain uncommitted.

If you narrow it down to an exclusively Romney/Perry race, Perry’s lead widens, but the race looks far from over:

But there’s some good news for Team Romney here, Republican voters want to win in 2012, and, right now at least, Perry looks to be having more trouble getting ahead of President Obama in national polls than Romney:

Perry seems to have momentum, but that could be slowed in the coming weeks if Republicans start to perceive that Romney is more electable in the general election. The new poll finds the slight majority of Republicans, 53%, prefer to see their party nominate the person who has the best chance of beating Obama, even if that person does not agree with them on almost all of the issues they care about. Forty-three percent would prefer a candidate who does agree with them on almost all of the issues, even if that person does not have the best chance of winning in November 2012.

Romney currently edges out President Barack Obama by 49% to 47% in national registered-voter preferences for the November election, while Perry trails Obama by 45% to 50%. However, neither Romney nor Obama is ahead by a statistically significant margin.

As the poll goes on to note, some of Perry’s deficit against Obama may be due to name recognition issues and that may fade away as he becomes more well known nationally, especially if the economy continues to under-perform as expected. At the same time, though, it seems rather clear what Romney’s best line of attack against Perry is going to be. Experience isn’t going to do it, because Rick Perry has more time in public service under his belt than any of the other Republicans running (although Romney has started referring to Perry as a “career politician”). Ideology sure isn’t going to be it, because Perry is far more popular among the conservative Tea Party base of the GOP. Where Romney can hit Perry hard, though, is on the question of electability. That’s why we’re seeing Perry getting hit from all sides on issues like Social Security, where he might be in line with the GOP base more or less, but he holds positions that could be political poison in a General Election in states like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio. Romney is hoping that Republicans want to win in 2012 more than they want to be pure, and that they’ll turn to him to get the job done.

Will it work? Only time will tell, but Romney clearly has a shot here. A few weeks ago, there were people talking, somewhat foolishly, about Perry being able to build up a decisive lead long before the voting ever started. It was a silly idea to begin with most likely, but less than stellar Perry’s debate performances have put an end to that idea for now and at least slowed his momentum down long enough for Republicans to wonder if this horse from Texas is the one they want to ride on for the next 14 months.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Nikki says:

    For Republican primary voters, the question will be “Do you want the U.S. to resemble Texas or Massachusetts?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  2. @Nikki:

    That’s a really silly way of simplifying the issue. Say what you will about him, but Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal and he didn’t govern that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. rodney dill says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal and he didn’t govern that way.

    That is probably also the best predictor of whether his religious beliefs would affect the way he governs. Past behavior is usually the best predictor of future behavior. If his religion didn’t negatively impact (from a non-Mormon point of view) his role as governor, then it probably won’t in the future. I’m not sure most voters would accept this view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. @rodney dill:

    Fair point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Fiona says:

    At this point, I think the nomination is Perry’s to lose. Too many members of the Republican base would have to hold their nose to vote for Romney in the primaries. I suppose, like McCain, he could compensate for his tea party shortcomings by choosing someone like Palin as a running mate (should he actually get the nomination). But there’s just something completely inauthentic about him that I think turns a lot of people off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I’m not sure most Republican voters would accept this view. ”

    Fixed. (It may eventually come to all voters, but the GOP hill appears to be steeper at the moment)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Ron Beasley says:

    As the poll goes on to note, some of Perry’s deficit against Obama may be due to name recognition issues and that may fade away as he becomes more well known nationally

    Judging from how people feel about Perry in Texas name recognition may actually hurt Perry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. ponce says:

    As the poll goes on to note, some of Perry’s deficit against Obama may be due to name recognition issues and that may fade away as he becomes more well known nationally…

    I doubt it.

    I’d never seen Perry speak before the first debate and my first reaction was:

    Could the Republicans be crazy enough to nominate a dumber, meaner version of George W. Bush?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  9. jan says:

    Unless either Perry or Romney has some irreversible issue hit their campaigns, these two will be the ones left standing to battle each other through the primaries. Once one of them is the nominee it will be the “GOP candidate” versus Obama.

    My observation of Obama is that he is being more and more encrusted in a legacy of “failure.” It will be his record, indecisiveness, lack of follow through with promises, ineptness and lack of leadership, as perceived by the voting public, that will be judged and voted on in November of 2012.

    Consequently, whether it’s Romney or Perry as his political opponent, it will make little difference. Those who like neither party’s candidates will leave that space blank, leaving the die hearts voting their preferences. And, IMO, the enthusiasm, thus far, is more on the side of relieving Obama of his POTUS duties, than nitpicking what is considered to be the “extreme views” (mainly projected by the left) of either of the two pro-business governors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  10. Socrates says:

    “And, IMO, the enthusiasm, thus far, is more on the side of relieving Obama of his POTUS duties, than nitpicking what is considered to be the “extreme views” (mainly projected by the left) of either of the two pro-business governors.”

    If the Republicans nominate another dim right-wing swaggering Texas Governor, I think you’re going to see a lot of enthusiasm for “Are you f*ing kidding me???”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  11. Socrates says:

    Oh, yeah, and one more thing about Mr. Perry:

    His Straight Shootin’, Straight Talkin’ Tough Guy image is going to take a Big Hit when he has to start saying how much he loves Social Security.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  12. Hey Norm says:

    “…a legacy of “failure.” It will be his record, indecisiveness, lack of follow through with promises, ineptness and lack of leadership…”

    WTF are you talking about?
    You may not agree with his policies…which is your right…but his Presidency has been one of the most effective in recent times…especially in the face of so-called republicans who are more intent on stopping Obama than actually serving the country. Repeatedly the Teavangelicals have opposed policies that they otherwise support. In spite of that Obama signed Health Care reform…which Presidents on both sides of the aisle had been trying unsuccessfully to do for 5 decades. He stopped the massive contraction that began in 2007 under Bush, rescued the auto industry, and kept the banking system from imploding and taking the world economy with it. He also got OBL…which the Bushies could not do.
    Politifact has a running score of his campaign promises:
    Promises Kept – 145
    Compromise – 43
    Promise Broken – 46
    Stalled – 70
    In the Works – 202
    Not yet rated – 2
    That’s about 5:1 promises kept or compromised to promises broken. How in the hell is that failure?
    I realize you copy/paste all your opinions from hyper-partisan websites. But maybe once you could look at some facts and think for yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  13. Eric Florack says:

    GEORGE WILL ON OBAMA: “He went to Massachusetts to campaign against Scott Brown; Brown is now a senator. He went to New Jersey to campaign against Chris Christie, who’s now governor. He went to Virginia to campaign against Bob McDonnell, who’s now governor. He campaigned for the health-care plan extensively, it became less popular. He campaigned in 2010 for the Democrats, they were shellacked. He began, in a sense, his presidency flying to Copenhagen to get Chicago the Olympics; Chicago was the first city eliminated. There is no evidence that the man has the rhetorical powers that he is relying on.”

    This is a smll subset of the failures wrought by Obama. And we’re all upset that Perry might not play well?

    Please…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  14. ponce says:

    Eric proving once again that America’s fringe right fanatics will never forgive Obama for getting Osama bin Laden when their guy failed so miserably.

    Never.

    And speaking of failure…DADT ends today:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIFUm70n0fU

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  15. Eric Florack says:

    @ponce: You point, amusingly, to the fact that they only successes he’s had were where he continued Bush’s policy… as in the case of UBL. Not much of a selling point, from any angle, is it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  16. MBunge says:

    @Eric Florack: And exactly WHO is supposed to take seriously an analysis of Obama and his legacy by George Will? What, you couldn’t Google up a quote from Rush or Sean fast enough?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  17. ponce says:

    You point, amusingly, to the fact that they only successes he’s had were where he continued Bush’s policy… as in the case of UBL.

    Wrong as usual, Erik.

    Bush gave up the search for Osama bin Laden and publicly announced he wasn’t that concerned about him.

    Getting bin Laden was Obama’s victory from start to finish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jan:

    than nitpicking what is considered to be the “extreme views” (mainly projected by the left) of either of the two pro-business governors.

    Translation: “Social Security is a ponzi scheme.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  19. PD Shaw says:

    As a registered independent, I can see myself voting for Obama, or for Romney or for Huntsman. I can barely see myself voting for Perry, but it seems highly unlikely. I don’t believe the rest of the Republicans are qualified to be President* even if they agreed with me 100% on policies.

    * With the possible exception of Newt, who has significant leadership exerience in the legislature, but his chances aren’t really worth this footnote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  20. Ben Wolf says:

    And, IMO, the enthusiasm, thus far, is more on the side of relieving Obama of his POTUS duties, than nitpicking what is considered to be the “extreme views” (mainly projected by the left) of either of the two pro-business governors.

    This is exactly what is wrong with your ideology, Jan. Pro-business does not mean pro-free market. In fact pro-business (which is exactly what Republican economic thought is entirely devoted to) more often than not means crony capitalism.

    At this point I can’t think of a single issue on which radical rightists are coherent. They want free-markets that benefit primarily the powerful. They don’t trust government but they want it empowered to bomb and execute anyone on the planet at any time. They want a balanced budget but when they propose spending cuts they ruin the savings by demanding new tax breaks (always for the wealthiest). They demand protection for the fetus but don’t give a damn what happens after it is born. They’re the party of Christ but rip out the pages where Christ condemns acquisition of wealth and commands community and brotherhood. They decry redistribution toward the poor as theft but praise redistribution as moral when it is directed to the aristocracy.

    It isn’t hard to understand when one takes an historical perspective: conservatism at its base is about opposition to freedom and equality for the masses. From Burke to Buckley to Blimpbaugh, the same theme is at play, that the lower orders should mind their betters and kneel when the limo drives by.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  21. Hey Norm says:

    George Will…the guy who lies about anthropogenic climate change on a regular basis. Very high credibility. No wonder Eric is so confused…he is believes people who lie to him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. rodney dill says:

    @ponce:

    fringe right fanatics

    … or fringe right _______ whatever…. You seem to use that phrase quite often. Sort of dilutes any real meaning, other than just as an attempt at deprecation, especially when you seem to be applying it to anyone to the right or your position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  23. Eric Florack says:

    @ponce: No, Bush didn’t give up. He simply played down expectations. The operation never stopp.

    Oh, and let’s also recall that absent Bush policy as regards intel gathering… what many morons call ‘torture”, we’d never have found him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  24. Eric Florack says:

    @Hey Norm: AGW is the lie, Norm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  25. ponce says:

    No, Bush didn’t give up. He simply played down expectations.

    That’s the first honest thing you’ve ever posted here, Erik.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. anjin-san says:

    bit have you moved on from the Obama/marxist thread? I was so hoping for more details about Jerry Kellman’s “avowed communism”.

    Is he spearheading the revolution from his office at Mary Seat of Wisdom – you know, the office where he spends his days planning Catholic retreats?

    Waiting for some details here dude! Don’t bail on us…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. jan says:

    @Hey Norm:

    It seems that you do more cutting and pasting than I do, judging by that 5-1 ‘fact’ sheet you copied, from somewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  28. jan says:

    @ponce:

    Getting bin Laden was Obama’s victory from start to finish.

    It was a ‘victory’ under the Obama presidency. However, it succeeded because of the policies implemented under Bush, without which OBL probably would not have been apprehended.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  29. jan says:

    @rodney dill:

    You seem to use that phrase quite often. Sort of dilutes any real meaning, other than just as an attempt at deprecation, especially when you seem to be applying it to anyone to the right or your position.

    Sometimes, ‘deprecation’ is the only trick in the bag they have. If you yanked that, what would be left in their conversations, but a big blank space.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  30. Hey Norm says:

    @ Jan…
    You mean the breakdown I attributed to Politco??? Are you serious?
    Well I guess when you can’t argue the facts, and you aren’t woman enough to admit that you are wrong, you have to grasp at something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. Hey Norm says:

    “…AGW is the lie, Norm…”

    This just in…Eric knows what every single major scientific body in the United States, whose members’ expertise bears directly on the matter, doesn’t. Not most – every single one. I don’t know about you but I’m amazed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. ponce says:

    it succeeded because of the policies implemented under Bush, without which OBL probably would not have been apprehended.

    What Bush policy was that, Jan?

    To have the U.S. military herd al Qaeda and the Taliban into the safety of the mountains of Pakistan?

    That was some policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    bit have you moved on from the Obama/marxist thread? I was so hoping for more details about Jerry Kellman’s “avowed communism”.

    Kellman’s past has been blended with religious, poverty-type programs, even working for AARP, which has pretty much neutered his past community activist interactions. Sometimes I think people actually use this program to clean up past youthful indiscretions, so that when people like you search the net all they come up with is clean, sanitized laundry.

    However, Obama has had many murky associations in the past including Wright, F.M. Davis, Ayers, Dohrn, the Wood’s foundation (in which both he and Ayers served as board members). In fact it was the Woods Foundation which gave Kellman (who Obama initially forged another name for — Marty Kaufman) the grant money to hire a community organizer.

    Aaron Klein, authored the book The Manchurian President, because he found the MSM had deliberately glossed over many of Obama’s earlier affiliations, in their attempt to not rock any pre-election controversial boats. Klein’s research attempts to fill in the blank spaces, connecting dots which indicated a pretty radical past. But, Klein’s book has also been denigrated by the left for being associated with WND, a sharp right publication. However, if only half of what Klein has asserted was true, it would still show a past heavily interspersed and consequently influenced by groups and people backing socialistic agendas.

    However, at the end of the day , it will be up to the people to decide how much of that has been incorporated into Obama’s own policies as president. Before, all people had were innuendos and far right accusations of socialist ties. Now they will have a record to compare and contrast these assertions with, deciding for themselves if there is any fire to the smoke wafting around in the 2008 election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  34. jan says:

    @Hey Norm:

    You provided a link? Hmmmm…didn’t see that. And, again, isn’t it common protochol to question even those links that are provided?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  35. jan says:

    @ponce:

    What Bush policy was that, Jan?

    The one’s involving interrogation under Bush, which gleaned the name of the courier that ultimately led them to OBL’s compound.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  36. ponce says:

    The one’s involving interrogation under Bush, which gleaned the name of the courier that ultimately led them to OBL’s compound.

    Oh, Jan,

    There you go being a fringe right ditz again.

    Are you actually claiming Bush torturing suspected terrorists in 2002 led to bin Laden’s demise 9 years later?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  37. steve says:

    1) On bin Laden, it is well documented that KSm lied under torture. It was good, old fashioned intel that got him.

    2) It’s still the economy. It doesnt matter what Obama has done or not done, the economy trumps all. That said, some candidates are not viable no matter how bad the economy.

    3) I can see voting fro Romney, especially if he retains some of the quality people James listed as his foreign policy guys. Perry is out for me. One of his chief advisors has been Phil Gramm. Catastrophe follows the guy and his ideas. Enron, Gramm-Leach-Billey and then off to UBS where he has helped to destroy the European economy. Where he goes, or more specifically where his ideas go, disaster follows.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. Hey Norm says:

    Jan…are you OK? Cause you don’t make a lot of sense. Maybe you are allergic to Tea Bags?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. jan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Translation: “Social Security is a ponzi scheme.”

    Hey, you’re right. But, don’t forget his crony capitalism, religiosity, immigration policies, vaccine EO, and others. There is much to arguably discredit Perry with. And, people of all politics are doing just that. However, if Perry weathers the storm of stories about him, including his comments in his controversial book, “Fed Up,” he will have formed some healthy calluses and be ready to do battle with Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  40. jan says:

    @Hey Norm:

    It’s difficult to make sensible responses to someone with such senseless posts as yourself. But, I try.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  41. jan says:

    @steve:

    On bin Laden, it is well documented that KSm lied under torture. It was good, old fashioned intel that got him.

    This allegation, of KSM lying, has been floated around the web but not refuted by any documented consensus. From what I’ve seen the courier thread still stands as being vital in OBL’s whereabouts and take-down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  42. anjin-san says:

    The one’s involving interrogation under Bush, which gleaned the name of the courier that ultimately led them to OB

    Urban legend. Try harder please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. ponce says:

    From what I’ve seen the courier thread still stands as being vital in OBL’s whereabouts and take-down.

    Jan,

    That rumor was debunked almost as soon as the the right’s propagandists planted it.

    For a girl who claims to be too good to listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck you sure seem eager to lap up their foul discharge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. anjin-san says:

    interrogation under Bush, which gleaned the name of the courier that ultimately led them to OB

    This deserves a little more attention. In the 48 hours after OBL’s death, Fox News hammered relentlessly on the “torture got bin laden” meme. Now people like Jan & bithead accept it as holy writ. What a surprise…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  45. jan says:

    ….also, as we are always praising Obama’s take-down of OBL, there are a few side bars that are relevant here. I found it interesting that the Seal Team 6 members refused to meet with Obama when he flew in to meet and thank them. Only peripheral member of the team were on hand for that honor. And, one of the fathers of the killed Team 6 men, on that copter shot down, angrily accused Obama of being somewhat responsible by blabbing and publically naming the normally anonymous name of the team taking OBL out.

    So, there is open contention, within the ranks of those knowing more details than any of us know, about what function Obama really served in this mission.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  46. anjin-san says:

    For a girl who claims to be too good to listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck

    That’s harsh man. Jan is just a gal-on-the-go who is also a Democrat that is a little concerned that her party has lost it’s way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  47. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    Now people like Jan & bithead accept it as holy writ.

    I can assure you there are far more people than two who have heard this ‘meme,’ from an array of sources, including the MSM, and are simply questioning all angles of the OBL’s mission.

    So, you believe there was no courier involved? And, if there was intel developed strickly on Obama’s watch, what was it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  48. jan says:

    @ponce:

    For a girl who claims to be too good to listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck you sure seem eager to lap up their foul discharge.

    I never said I was too good to listen to anyone. Limbaugh and Beck are people I simply don’t like to listen to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. anjin-san says:

    the Seal Team 6 members refused to meet with Obama

    Hmmm. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces “refused” to meet with the CIC?

    I see.

    So you are “always praising” Obama for the OBL takedown, but that does not stop you from spreading utter horsesh*t like this? Kindly GFYS

    ….also, as we are always praising Obama’s take-down of OB

    “we” are always praising? Are you Queen Victoria?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. Hey Norm says:

    “…It’s difficult to make sensible responses to someone with such senseless posts as yourself. But, I try…”

    Really? The “I know I am but what are you” defense? That’s what you got?
    You made a claim. You haven’t been able to back it up. Be a real woman and admit it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. Hey Norm says:

    “…Seal Team 6 members refused to meet with Obama…”

    This was the first time I had heard this so I searched it and the only sites that talk about it are also birther sites. There is also some conspiracy theory that Obama had the Seal team executed in that helicopter crash as retribution.
    Is there any real documentation of this? Or is it just Jan being Jan?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  52. jan says:

    From Wikipedia…..

    Identification of al-Qaeda couriers was an early priority for interrogators at CIA black sites and Guantanamo Bay detention camp, because bin Laden was believed to communicate through such couriers while concealing his whereabouts from al-Qaeda foot soldiers and top commanders.[14] Bin Laden was known not to use phones, as the U.S. launched missile strikes against his bases in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 (Operation Infinite Reach) after tracking an associate’s satellite phone.[15]

    By 2002, interrogators had heard uncorroborated claims about an al-Qaeda courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti (sometimes referred to as Sheikh Abu Ahmed from Kuwait).[14] In 2003, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged operational chief of al-Qaeda, revealed under interrogation that he was acquainted with al-Kuwaiti but that he was not active in al-Qaeda.[16]

    In 2004, a prisoner named Hassan Ghul told interrogators that al-Kuwaiti was close to bin Laden as well as Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Mohammed’s successor Abu Faraj al-Libi. Ghul further revealed that al-Kuwaiti had not been seen in some time, which led U.S. officials to suspect he was traveling with bin Laden. When confronted with Ghul’s account, Khalid Sheik Mohammed maintained his original story.[16] Abu Faraj al-Libi was captured in 2005 and transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006.[17] He told CIA interrogators that bin Laden’s courier was a man named Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti. Because both Mohammed and al-Libi had minimized al-Kuwaiti’s importance, officials speculated that he was part of bin Laden’s inner circle.[16]

    In 2007, officials learned al-Kuwaiti’s real name,[18] though they will not disclose the name nor how they learned it.

    There were lots of loops in arriving at the courier’s name, much of it gleaned during Bush’s term. In 2010, wiretaps were intensified, and that’s where they narrowed it down, and were able to realize OBL’s capture in May ’11. It was a joint venture, though, a collaboration of infor and intel over a matter of years, that was expedited and succeeded under Obama. He gets the credit. But, if it were not for the info processed under Bush, it is sheer speculation whether May ’11 would have happened or not.

    That’s from wikipedia, a source that is supposed to be updated regularly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  53. anjin-san says:

    wikipedia, a source that is supposed to be updated regularly.

    And sometimes it is updated by people such as yourself, which is why it has to be taken with a grain, or sometimes a shaker, of salt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. steve says:

    “From what I’ve seen the courier thread still stands as being vital in OBL’s whereabouts and take-down.”

    KSM denied that the courier was important after being tortured. He denied that the courier was important before being tortured. From this, we determine that torture was instrumental in finding bin Laden? More broadly, the destruction of the tapes speaks volumes. If they had gained useful, life saving intel from that torture, they would have saved them for protection. No jury would convict if they had produced results. Hell, no prosecutor would prosecute.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. jan says:

    @Hey Norm: @Hey Norm:

    I heard it on a John Batchelor show interview with a guy named Larry Johnson. He has connections with the CIA and various intelligence groups. It wasn’t a widely advertised event, as it would have been embarrassing for the President. The few times I’ve heard Johnson, he seems blunt, to the point, very much in the know of the military, and doesn’t make absurd comments.

    Now, on a google search, there is a notation that Limbaugh apparently likes him, which will probably instantly discredit him around here. However, I felt the man was above-board and not trying to make any partisan points, just sharing info he had heard, and wondering himself why Team 6 should, in unison, sidestep meeting with any president.

    The father of the downed Seal 6 man is on video being interviewed by Matt Lauer, making his comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  56. jan says:

    @steve:

    KSM denied that the courier was important after being tortured.

    Did you even read the wikipedia excerpt I posted which included the part where KSM apparently denied this courier being an active member of al-Qaeda. But, with other info gathered during this time, and interpreting KSM’s continued denial that this man was really important, they continued their pursuit, finally getting the name of the courier.

    I’m not going to dwell on this any more as it is futile. You want to believe that obama was the sole person involved? Go ahead and make your day. I guess this president has accomplished so little in his term that it has become vital, to his image, that as much be made out of OBL as possible.

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  57. anjin-san says:

    It wasn’t a widely advertised event, as it would have been embarrassing for the President

    Well, that explains why Fox, Rush, Malkin and so on have been quite about it. They are pretty good about playing ball with Obama to keep him from being embarrassed.

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  58. WR says:

    @jan: Larry Johnson doesn’t make absurd comments? Larry Johnson is above board and not trying to make any partisan points?

    You’re talking about the Larry Johnson who calls Obama “an empty suit with vacuous words”?

    You’re talking about the man who spent 2008 and much of 2009 hyping the existence of Mihelle Obama’s “whitey” tape — and you’re pretending he’s some kind of objective source?

    I don’t think your heart is in your lies anymore, Jan. It’s like you’re not even trying.

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  59. Hey Norm says:

    Oh yeah…I remember the Whitey Tape…that clown at the Strata-Sphere was hyping it too.
    I guess they are holding it for 2012.

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  60. anjin-san says:

    I’m not going to dwell on this any more as it is futile. All you guys care about is facts. I give up.

    FTFY

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  61. samwide says:

    @jan:

    I found it interesting that the Seal Team 6 members refused to meet with Obama when he flew in to meet and thank them.

    You have a cite for that? He is their Commander-and-Chief. I admit it’s been over 50 years since I was in the service, but when the Commander-and-Chief shows up to review your unit, as I recall, being in attendance is not optional.

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  62. Eric Florack says:

    @ponce: Now that I’ve let things settle a little perhaps, Ponce, you’d enlighten us as to where the facts dscussed in the clip of Will I posted is inaccurate. Be sure to back your argument.

    I doubt you can.

    WR:

    You’re talking about the Larry Johnson who calls Obama “an empty suit with vacuous words”?

    That’s a fairly apt description, matter of fact. And even a lot of Democrats have started to come to that conclusion, though perhaps too late.

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  63. WR says:

    @Eric Florack: Funny how you neglect his lies or hallucinations about the “whitey tape.”

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  64. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    I never said I was too good to listen to anyone. Limbaugh and Beck are people I simply don’t like to listen to.

    Then, I guess you must read transcripts of their shows because you sure have their meme down pat. Then again, this stuff is so widespread in the land of right wing “reality,” it’s not surprising you can repeat it verbatim. I hear the same nonsense from my parents, who spend a lot of time watching Faux News.

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  65. OzarkHillBilly says:

    @jan:

    Hey, you’re right.

    Says Jan, who does not know the difference between a Ponzi scheme and a “Defined Benefit Pension Plan”. (Jan, here is a hint: Ponzi scheme= 401K)

    ps: not really, but in ’07 I told my wife to get her 401K out of the stock market…. She told me she could not…. That was when I realized it was a shell game. A scam is a scam is a scam….. Talk about your “crony capitalism”…..

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  66. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    Larry Johnson?? Are you effing kidding me? That guy is a well known crackpot who’s had it in for Obama since the 2008 Democratic primaries. He regularly pulls stuff out of his ass and presents it as “fact.” Not that I took you too seriously before Jan, but I now know you’re totally fictional.

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  67. Eric Florack says:

    @WR:

    Funny how you neglect his lies or hallucinations about the “whitey tape.”

    Ignore it? No. But, hell, look, I’d even agree with you on those occasions you were right… and Johnson is right in this case. Credit where it’s due, and all that.

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  68. jan says:

    Fiona,

    You are full of your own assumptions and other stuff. I bet you think Krugman is a credible economist, while others see him as bit of a ‘crackpot’ too. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. You have different political views than I do. We also differ in our expression of those views, as you deride those who don’t agree with you. I try to explain my disagreement.

    As for reading any transcripts, I don’t. It’s crazy, though, how you guys clump together, like a blood clot, in arbitarily assigning people’s POVs you disagree with to your most hated pundits. It seems to be a delicious way to get rid of your political bile.

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  69. jan says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Johnson is right in this case. Credit where it’s due, and all that.

    Johnson seems like a straight shooter in his reporting. He has been on both sides of the political aisle in his criticisms. For instance in 2003 he was a critic of Bush for his actions in the Iraq War, as well as being an opponent of the Bush Administration’s treatment of Valerie Plame. Now, he is a critic of Obama, calling him an “Empty Suit,” and having serious doubts about the decisions made in outting Seal Team 6 in making his self-congratulatory speech to the people.

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  70. An Interested Party says:

    As for reading any transcripts, I don’t. It’s crazy, though, how you guys clump together, like a blood clot, in arbitarily assigning people’s POVs you disagree with to your most hated pundits. It seems to be a delicious way to get rid of your political bile.

    Well, what do you expect when you spew the same talking points as those most hated pundits…

    Johnson seems like a straight shooter in his reporting.

    Oh yes, this is such a strong example of someone who is a “straight shooter”…

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  71. anjin-san says:

    and Johnson is right in this case

    Really? Prove it.

    And bit, speaking of getting it right, how about supporting your claim that Jerry Kellman is an “avowed communist?” Or will you just hide under the sheets like you always done when called on to support your “argiuments”?

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  72. WR says:

    @jan: Yes, the committe that awards the Nobel Prize in economics sees Krugman as a credible economist, while Red State, Rush Limbaugh and you see him as a crackpot.

    In related news, every scientist on the planet believes the earth revolves around the sun. Some idiot Teabagger says the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it.

    “It’s all in the eye of the beholder.”

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