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Was Mitt Romney The Best Candidate The GOP Had This Year?

Kevin Drum asserts that, notwithstanding all the faults we have seen since the General Election campaign began in earnest, Mitt Romney was the best candidate the GOP had this election cycle:

[E]arlier this year Mitt Romney was pretty unanimously considered the strongest candidate in the Republican field — by a large margin. He was, without much question, the most electable of the primary bunch and the toughest opponent for Barack Obama. He was disciplined, well-funded, and had a moderate background that appealed to independents. He was, in short, the very best the Republicans had to offer in the year 2012.

This was not a fantasy, either. It was an accurate assessment. Romney was the best they had. The very best.

At first glance, it certainly seems to be an accurate statement. After all, for all his faults, Mitt Romney was head and shoulders above candidates like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, which made the fact that they at times polled ahead of him (in August 2011 in Bachmann’s case and in October-November 2011 for Cain) all the more pathetic. Romney was also a far better campaigner than candidates like Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty, both of whom shriveled under the spotlight of a national campaign before a vote had even been cast. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s campaign never got enough attention to even be a serious challenger to Romney. And, when we got to the actual voting, Romney’s superior campaign organization, along with the fact that he was able to attract the votes of moderates and independents, allowed him to make relatively short work of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul, all three of whom stayed in the race long after their chances of actually winning the race had long passed. The most important thing about all of these candidates as compared to Romney, though, is that it was fairly obvious from the beginning that none of them would have ever had any realistic chance against Barack Obama. Notwithstanding his recent dips in the polls, Romney at least was keeping things consistently even with the President and arguably had the resume and the experience necessary to win in this year’s economic climate. Whether that pans out in the end is another question.

Of all the candidates that were in the race for the Republican nomination, the only candidate in the race that might have had a chance to out compete Romney on the electability was former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman. In addition to his executive and business experience, Hunstman was the only candidate in the entire field that had any foreign policy experience. He was a conservative, but not so far to the right as to place him outside the mainstream. Hunstman never really had a shot, though, for two basic reasons. First of all, his service as Ambassador for China was, irrationally, a deal breaker for many conservatives who considered him a traitor for taking a position under President Obama. Second, Huntsman’s campaign started off on the wrong foot by essentially acting in a manner that gave the back of the hand to the party base, which is an odd strategy when those are the people whose support you’re trying to get. At the end of his run, people began to take a second look at Huntsman and suddenly realized he was a pretty good candidate. However, while he ended up doing far better in New Hampshire’s Primary than expected, it wasn’t enough to keep his campaign alive and he was forced to drop out before South Carolina’s Primary had even been held.

There are, perhaps, some Republicans who didn’t run who might have posed a challenge to Romney had the run. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, and Marco Rubio come to mind. However, as early as May 2011 when Mike Huckabee decided not to run, Romney’s money and organizational advantages were becoming so obvious that it was unclear that anyone could have really taken him on. The one people who seemed most likely to do that was Texas Governor Rick Perry and, of course, he crashed and burned in record time. So, yea, like it or not Republicans, Romney was the best that you had. If he blows it, then that may just be an indication that you had a really lousy bench in 2012.

Related Posts:

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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hunstman was the only candidate in the entire field that had any foreign policy experience. He was a conservative, but so far to the right as to place him outside the mainstream.

    I think you mean the other right ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  2. legion says:

    Huntsman’s campaign started off on the wrong foot by essentially acting in a manner that gave the back of the hand to the party base, which is an odd strategy when those are the people whose support you’re trying to get.

    Well, this was something brought up by many people throughout the GOP Primary season – that saying what one needed to say to get nominated by the irrational, extremist base would come back to haunt the winner in the general, and that’s exactly the problem Romney’s having with elderly & hispanic voters now. Huntsman was trying to position himself for the general from day one – unfortunately for the GOP, their base is simply too stupid and gullible to allow an electable candidate through the primary gates.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    So, yea, like it or not Republicans, Romney was the best that you had.

    Pretty sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Romney has been running for President (officially) since February 13 of ’07.
    That’s 292 weeks.
    What makes you think he can’t turn it all around in the next 6 weeks?
    All he has to do is remake himself.
    Again.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  5. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yea there needed to be a “not” is there…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. PogueMahone says:

    TPaw would’ve been a better candidate in the general election. Hands down.

    TPaw has been derided as being boring – even if true, that doesn’t matter in this election cycle. Certain independents, unhappy with Obama, would have accepted any decent alternative. Romney has too many negatives, and if exploited properly, those negatives give reasons to continue supporting Obama.

    Frequent commenter here Michael Reynolds has correctly stated that there are a lot of people looking for a reason to vote for Obama despite being disappointed by him. Romney’s negative attributes give them – along with others – reasons to vote for Obama.

    Playing the counterfactual, I doubt Tpaw would have portrayed so many negatives as to steer certain independent voters back to Obama.
    It’s like this:
    Average independent voter looking at Tim Pawlenty as an alternative, “TPaw maybe boring, but he’s not a stupendous douchebag.”
    Average independent voter looking at Romney, “Romney is a stupendous douchebag. I think we’ll stick with Obama.”

    Although, I still think Tpaw would’ve lost to Obama, but maybe by not as much as I think Romney will lose to Obama.

    Cheers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  7. Fiona says:

    Agreed that Romney, with the exception of Huntsman, was the best of a bad bunch. Huntsman seemed to be practicing for 2016. The rest of the Republican A Team, however, sat this one out. I wonder if the smart money realized that winning was unlikely this year and that, even if they managed to pull out a victory, they were still left with an economy that is likely to remain slow to no growth for quite a while, a bunch of serious, long term problems that are coming to a head, and a party base that demands they take ridiculous, untenable positions. In this context, sitting 2012 out seemed like the rational thing to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. PogueMahone,

    T-Paw was a terrible campaigner among a gang of pygmies, what makes you think he could’ve ever competed on the big stage?

    One test of whether or not a candidate is a viable General Election candidate is whether they can compete for their party’s nomination. T-Paw was never a competitor and ran out of money after he failed to win the Ames Straw Poll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. stonetools says:

    Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, and Marco Rubio

    The 2016 Republican field, most likely. Huntsman might try again, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Franklin says:

    Assuming the word ‘best’ corresponds to ‘most electable’, I’d probably agree with the assessment. If instead one meant ‘best’ to be the person who would probably make the best President, it’d be Huntsman, and by a significant margin. He may have even challenged Romney on being ‘most electable’ if the Republican base gave him a chance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  11. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, you can’t discuss Perry without mentioning the back surgery and the medication and the horrible demographics of the GOP primary selectorate. It’s also necessary to remember there are vast differences between the spaced out chattering classes and the general electorate. In a national general election a multi-term Texas governor automatically is a viable and potentially a winning candidate. Without being looped out from Vicodin, or whatever his docs had him on, Perry would have posed a grave threat to Rommey in the primary and, especially given his looks, his back story and of course the disastrous economy, prospectively a severe threat to Obama.

    That all said, clearly Romney by far was the best of what turned out to be a very bad lot. But since the Reagan-Carter contest you could say the same thing pretty much about every man who’s challenged incumbent presidents. Hell, since Reagan came around we’ve not had a 1st-tier challenger to incumbent presidents. Kerry was a mannequin. Dole was a walking corpse. Dukakis was a parody skit. Mondale was a joke. By comparison Romney is a juggernaut.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  12. mattb says:

    @legion:

    Huntsman was trying to position himself for the general from day one – unfortunately for the GOP, their base is simply too stupid and gullible to allow an electable candidate through the primary gates.

    To be fair, so too was Romney. But then he got rattled — in particular by Gingrich — and made the decision to tact rightward. And that decision really demonstrates how Romney is the candidate that the current Republican Coalition deserved.

    Chances are Romney would have still won the nomination without going “severely conservative.” But the fear that he’d alienate the populist conservatives — as McCain had done four years prior — was too great. And so he begins throwing out red meat and not worrying how rotten it’s going to smell in a few months.

    Likewise, when it comes time to tack back to the center, he ends up just proving the fears of those on the far right — that he never really was a conservative in the first place — and at the same time, having his more centrist message undercut by his own soundbites.

    I’m not saying that a conservative leaning candidate couldn’t win the presidency. But not one who decides that they need to pass the current populist conservative litmus test.

    And right now, as the most extreme, yet still “mainstream”, aspect of the party, they set the general groundwork of the discussion. Their chosen candidates might not ever win the primaries (hence the reason that Eric F has been scowling since ’84), but theres no way to become the nominee without speaking their language for a bit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  13. stonetools says:

    @Fiona:

    Actually, if you look at most conservative bloggers, they seemed to think that Obama was ripe for the picking. The folks over at Power Line and Hot Air seem amazed that Romney isn’t winning by 20.
    I guess , if Fox News and talk radio is your reality, you think that way.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  14. Nikki says:

    So, yea, like it or not Republicans, Romney was the best that you had. If he blows it, then that may just be an indication that you had a really lousy bench in 2012.

    Yeah, it’s all the fault of the really lousy 2012 bench and has absolutely nothing to do with the craptastic policies the Republicans have been churning out that have managed to somehow put the Senate out of reach and possibly put the House in play.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  15. mattb says:

    @stonetools:

    The 2016 Republican field, most likely. Huntsman might try again, too.

    Don’t forget Santorum — especially given the entire “the person who came in second last time usually wins.

    That said, Christie might have the ego to make a run, but I think he might be smart enough to realize that he’d just be Giuliani: The Revenge. There’s little to no chance that the Republican party could every change enough to make him a viable nominee.

    On the other hand, I suspect he’d be a perfect Party Chair and in that role could do a lot of good for the party as a change agent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. mattb says:

    BTW, the fact that at some point @Jan, @Jenos, @SmoothJazz, or someone else will show up to make a comment along the lines of “every person in the primary was a great candidate and far more qualified to run the country than Obama and I would have voted for any of them in a heart beat (with the possible exception of Ron Paul)” demonstrates the biggest problem facing the Republican party at that moment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  17. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Oops, ex Dukakis of course. Not that he wasn’t a parody skit, he most definitely was, but obviously H.W. Bush wasn’t the incumbent president. More coffee, please.

    Now that I think about it, you could make a colorable case that since WWII there only have been two 1st-tier challengers to incumbent presidents: Dewey and Romney. Both Northeastern governors. Both might end up losing close elections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  18. Argon says:

    Huntsman was the nearest thing to a reality-based candidate in the GOP primaries. He didn’t have a prayer among the evangelicalo-phants. And global warming? There goes his business support.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  19. stonetools says:

    @Nikki:

    Yeah, it’s all the fault of the really lousy 2012 bench and has absolutely nothing to do with the craptastic policies the Republicans have been churning out

    The conservative blogosphere has been busy consoling themselves that its the mouthpeice, not the message. THat’s why I’m hoping the Dems regain the House and throw out the Tea Party morons so that there isno doubt that its the policies that repel the voters. The booing of Ryan at his AARP speech is significant, I think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  20. PogueMahone says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Well, I wasn’t working within the criteria of waging a successful campaign, but focusing on personality and policy positions.

    If you want to factor in fundraising and grassroots support, then you tell me… because for the life of me I can’t figure out the crazed, feverish wingnut mentality that goes behind picking GOP candidates in the nomination process.

    One test of whether or not a candidate is a viable General Election candidate is whether they can compete for their party’s nomination.

    Is it? Because it looks like the exact opposite to me.
    In order to compete for the GOP nomination, one has to abandon all reason and practicality. Something that, as we’re seeing, doesn’t bode to well in the general.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. Me Me Me says:

    The Republicans are wedded to tax cuts and more defense spending.

    GW Bush delivered tax cuts and more defense spending.

    The economy tanked.

    There will be no “good” Republican candidate until they can grapple honestly with what happened 2001-2008.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  22. Fiona says:

    @stonetools:

    Actually, if you look at most conservative bloggers, they seemed to think that Obama was ripe for the picking. The folks over at Power Line and Hot Air seem amazed that Romney isn’t winning by 20.

    I’m assuming folks like Daniels, Jeb Bush, and the like are smarter than the average conservative blogger or talk radio bleater. Or at least blessed with a much better sense of political reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. Stan25 says:

    I am amazed at all of you. When all of the candidates announced that they were running for President, you all were for Mitt Romney. You all trumpeted to anyone that read this blog that Romney was the go to guy. You all trashed Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and any other true conservative. Sarah Palin most of all. Now that he is still holding his own and in some places, beating the Anointed One, all I hear is how Romney is somehow not up to the job.

    Calling Jon Huntsman a conservative is a laugh riot, He was the most RINO of all of the candidates. This was from a slate of RINO candidates. Hell, look how he kissed Obama’s butt to get that Ambassadorship to China. How do you all think he got that job? He poured a few million dollars into the Obama campaign coffers.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 33

  24. J-Dub says:

    Huntsman was the only one in that field who even had a chance of getting me to consider them.

    The question is what will the GOP take away from the drubbing they are about to receive? That Romney was not a true Conservative and they need to go further right, or that the Tea Party is making them unelectable?

    For the sake of the country, I hope they move back toward the center.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. Fiona says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    I think you’re missing one top tier challenger to an incumbent, Bill Clinton, probably one of the most gifted politicians of our time.

    As for Perry, I assume he’s off the meds now but still doubling down on the stupid. See Doug’s post on Perry calling out Satan for ensuring the separation of church and state. Unmediated but still dumber than a box of rocks.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  26. Rob in CT says:

    The problem isn’t the candidate. It’s the Party.

    I know that nutpicking isn’t really fair, but Stan25’s comment illustrates the problem pretty clearly.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  27. PogueMahone says:

    @Stan25: Calling Jon Huntsman a conservative is a laugh riot, He was the most RINO of all of the candidates.

    Wait a minute.
    Romney was, at one point and time, pro-choice and pro gay rights, not to mention the health care policy he championed in Mass. – yet Huntsman was the “most RINO of all the candidates” !?!

    You guys don’t even know what you want, let alone know how to get there.
    But that doesn’t matter, does it? Because it is your loathing of the “Anointed One” that drives you.

    You can’t win an election on hate alone.

    Cheers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  28. J-Dub says:

    @Fiona: Dumber than a box of FOX.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. bk says:

    @Fiona:

    The rest of the Republican A Team, however, sat this one out.

    What A Team?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  30. I think this is the way money distorts, not in the end game. Studies show that advertising moves elections fractions of a point, or whatever. And we’ve just seen that an amateur iPhone video can impact a race more than millions of dollars in advertising.

    I think what’s missing is what happens in the early stages, when bad candidates get strong donors and move forward on that basis.

    IOW, did Huntsman lose early to better candidates, or more well funded ones?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  31. Hoot Gibson says:

    I see a lot of commenters here are saying that Huntsman is their kind of conservative, but let’s do a thought experiment: suppose a little-known Democrat who had been an ambassador for George Bush had decided to run for POTUS and thought it would be really smart to roll out his campaign by saying that in his view abortion was murder and the only use for unions was to kill jobs and destroy the economy.

    Of course, all GOPERs would shout hosannahs and remark that it is a shame that all Democrats can’t be as rational and reasonable as candidate X.

    Yet this is exactly how Huntsman rolled out his campaign—by appealing to the NYTimes crowd who might like him and might vote for him in a primary in a sort of Operation Chaos way would NEVER vote for him over Obama.

    I have often wondered who Huntsman turned to for advice for his POTUS roll out. My guess is David Axelrod.

    Huntsman may look good on paper but he obviously doesn’t have what it takes to go the distance in a presidential campaign.

    As for other GOPers—does anyone doubt Obama would have launched his Chicago Way scorched earth negative campaign any differently no matter who his opponent was?

    His only hope was to frame his opponent as a person who wants dirty air and water, who wants to leave the sick and lame on their own, who wants granny to eat dog food, who wants to bring back lynch mobs, who wants to bring back back alley coathanger abortions and drown puppies and kittens. All the while confident that his allies in the press would make sure this happened.

    Which means that Doug’s “was Romney the best candidate” post is pure bullsh*t. Doug know the answer to that as well as I do.

    But still, the base must have their red meat, which Doug is happy to provide—at no charge!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20

  32. Nikki says:

    His only hope was to frame his opponent as a person who wants dirty air and water, who wants to leave the sick and lame on their own, who wants granny to eat dog food, who wants to bring back lynch mobs, who wants to bring back back alley coathanger abortions and drown puppies and kittens. All the while confident that his allies in the press would make sure this happened.

    Well, you kinda have to admit that the Republicans OWN POLICY POSITIONS kinda helped him with the framing…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  33. Dexter says:

    @stonetools: You left out Mike Huckabee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Fiona says:

    Hoot, you’re a total hoot. Very appropriate name.

    Huntsman was reality-based when it came to global warming and evolution but in terms of other issues, such as taxes and choice, he came down pretty darned Republican. Unlike the rest of the 2012 crew, however, he seemed willing to concede that Obama wasn’t UnAmerican and all Democrats are heathen bent on destroying the country. Perhaps that’s what the other side most appreciated about him— breath of sanity and diplomacy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  35. stonetools says:

    His only hope was to frame his opponent as a person who wants dirty air and water, who wants to leave the sick and lame on their own, who wants granny to eat dog food, who wants to bring back lynch mobs, who wants to bring back back alley coathanger abortions and drown puppies and kittens. All the while confident that his allies in the press would make sure this happened.

    Heh, shorter Hoot:

    The Democratic candidate fought back by focusing on the Republican’s statements and record, and thinking out the Republican’s policies to their natural conclusion.

    Wingnut tears are delicious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  36. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Let that sink in for a little bit. Romney was the best that the Republicans could offer in 2012. The best. And I suspect that 2016 will be even worse for them.

    Assuming even a modest rebound in the economy with 6% unemployment and Hillary as the democratic nominee, who is going to want to run against her? More importantly, who is going to want to run against her that fills all the requirements the base will demand? Santorum might even take another shot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  37. danimal says:

    @Dexter: Huckabee is the only Republican that could give Obama a real run for the money. I still can’t figure out why he took a pass.

    The boring midwesterners (TPaw, Daniels, I’m sure I forgot another one or two-they’re boring, after all) would keep things more in play than Romney. With Mitt, the wheels are coming off and the House will soon be in play.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. @Latino_in_Boston:

    If the GOP remains a bad coalition, mediated by talk radio and Fox TV, they’ll have no choice but to field more pre-damaged candidates.

    If they call in the adults, something else might happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  39. michael reynolds says:

    I think Pogue is right: Pawlenty was probably the better choice. As Doug says he sucked in a sucky primary field. But that just shows how far divorced the GOP base is from the general election electorate. You have to be a complete jackass to win GOP primaries.

    Why do you think Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Christie didn’t run? To some extent for the same reason that Daniels, Pawlenty and Huntsman were pushed aside: they were insufficiently insane. Each evidently lacked the trademark Romney willingness to grovel. So Romney won the primary by toadying the right, lying about himself and his opponents, and burying all comers in cash.

    Pawlenty wasn’t built for the GOP base, but he would likely have been credible in the general. Might still have lost, but he wouldn’t have lost the way Mitt Romney is going to lose. Pawlenty was mild and boring, but he wasn’t a guy who over time could lead voters from indifference, to mild disdain, to open contempt like Mr. Romney has done.

    I think there’s now a very good chance that Mr. Obama will lose only one state he carried: Indiana. Even with the despicable Republican effort to resurrect Jim Crow and disenfranchise minority voters.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Hoot Gibson:

    Mr. Obama hasn’t done Mr. Romney nearly as much damage as Mr. Romney has.

    This wasn’t murder, it was suicide.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  41. wr says:

    @PogueMahone: “Average independent voter looking at Tim Pawlenty as an alternative, “TPaw maybe boring, but he’s not a stupendous douchebag.”

    I can see the thinking, but from what I saw and heard of him when he was Romney’s surrogate, he did have a tendency to come off as a minor league douchebag, a whiny little gnat who could repeat all the right-wing talking points about Obama without ever displaying the slightest trace of personality or integrity. And when it comes to douchebaggery, sometimes major is actually better than minor. At least there’s some gravitas there…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. LCaution says:

    Latest from Romney: doesn’t know why plane windows don’t open. Had no idea standards for graduation from Harvard were so low. (Maybe he got a “gentleman’s C” courtesy of father’s donations (pure snarky speculation)). But, really, Romney seems to be proof that brains are not needed to make money. Just the right connections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  43. @LCaution:

    I’m reminded of an old question to a science writer. What would he change about government? I’d require that any congressman be able to explain, roughly, how television works.

    That’s dated now. Maybe we should ask them to explain, roughly, how the internet works.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:

    I love that 42 days from the election we’re discussing whether a huge Republican douchebag is better than a minor league Republican douchebag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @ LCaution…
    Saw that too.
    Why don’t airplane windows open, indeed.
    Do we really need a guy that dumb as President?
    I mean, after Bush43?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  46. @C. Clavin:

    You know, as recently as this morning I wondered why the Romney campaign made arguments which seemed designed to appeal to stupid people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  47. swbarnes2 says:

    @john personna:

    If they call in the adults, something else might happen.

    Who is this “they” that can get someone made a presidential candidate over the wishes of the Republican primary voters?

    And how can the ‘adults’ win general elections if the crazy 27% won’t vote for them? The cat’s out of the bag. The 27% know what it’s like to have Republicans encouraging their vileness and legislating accordingly, and I don’t think they’ll go back to mechanically pulling the lever for a candidate who doesn’t stoke their crazy.

    How do Republicans win elections if the 27% stay home?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. LCaution says:

    @john personna:

    how the Internet works

    How many current Congresspersons, or SCOTUS justices would pass, even grading on a curve? 1%?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. @LCaution:

    I’d pass anything that named IP addresses and packets. I’d hope that interested general readers would have picked up those two elements over time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. wr says:

    @Stan25: “Now that he is still holding his own and in some places, beating the Anointed One,”

    Shockingly, beating Obama in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Lousiana is not going to get Romney anywhere near the White House.

    Oh, and if you want to be taken seriously anywhere other than at Rush Limbaugh fan pages, you might want to lose moron phrases like “the Anointed One.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  51. mattb says:

    @LCaution:

    Latest from Romney: doesn’t know why plane windows don’t open.

    That’s a BS line of attack.

    It was a BS line of attack when people complained that Obama thought there are 57 states. It’s a BS line of attack here.

    It was a dumb off the cuff statement. There are far better things to go after him on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  52. @swbarnes2:

    I sense that you would oppose a RINO party, but I’d suggest that they are what you need. They would be the right kind of opposition. Show me a RINO and I’ll show you someone I’d rather have in a position of power within the GOP. Instead we have reason and discourse as a minority alternative to the Perrys and Bachmanns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  53. Woody says:

    There’s been a great deal of speculation on the Right regarding why Romney has been such a hapless candidate.

    There’s been considerable speculation on the Right arguing over tactics, messaging, and packaging.

    There’s been a small amount of speculation on the Right regarding why their assumptions and proposals are not terribly popular outside the conservative media complex.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  54. wr says:

    @Hoot Gibson: “His only hope was to frame his opponent as a person who wants dirty air and water, who wants to leave the sick and lame on their own, who wants granny to eat dog food, who wants to bring back lynch mobs, who wants to bring back back alley coathanger abortions and drown puppies and kittens.”

    Well, Jenos, maybe the way to counter that narrative would be to run a candidate who wasn’t in favor of all of the above.

    By the way, you’re getting sloppy with your sockpuppets. When you first hauled out the Hootster, you made sure he “talked” with dropped g’s and other countryisms. Now he just writes in your whining, annoying voice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  55. @mattb:

    Maybe it’s just because I am a STEM, but I can never forgive this. Even if I said something like that in a moment of sleep deprivation, I’d catch it and correct it as soon as it left my mouth. It’s not a number said and gone, it’s an entire mental image of people opening aircraft windows.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  56. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hell, I would have voted for Huntsman if he was running.

    Intelligent, experienced, logical, fact-based, articulate…

    Hmmm… I think that explains why he didn’t have a chance with today’s GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  57. mattb says:

    @danimal:

    Huckabee is the only Republican that could give Obama a real run for the money. I still can’t figure out why he took a pass.

    (1) Obama was never as vulnerable as most people thought him to be.

    (2) The general rule of thumb is that the runner up/good soldier from the previous cycle, in this case Romney, will usually win the Republican Nomination.

    So, given 1 and 2, why would Huckabee give up a lucrative job he clearly enjoys to go through the grind to (a) probably lose the nomination to Romney (who had already made it clear he was going to do what it takes) and (b) even if he beats Romney, get locked into a close Presidential battle that he would be favored to lose.

    The more I learn about Huck, the smarter I realize he is. And I give him credit for treading in a number of venues where his fellows would never go (see his appearances on the West/Smiley show as one example).

    Plus, he’s not super popular with the populist/talk radio base when you start to really look at him. He’s far too socially progressive…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  58. mattb says:

    @john personna:

    Maybe it’s just because I am a STEM, but I can never forgive this.

    I appreciate where you’re coming from.

    But taking up that perspective… what’s more basic, concepts of air pressure or the number of states in the Union?

    (TO BE CLEAR – I’m not suggesting that Obama doesn’t know the number of States. I’m also willing to concede that Romney may not understand air pressure or the concept of atmosphere or have ever seen Goldfinger.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. Mr. Replica says:

    @mattb:

    ’m also willing to concede that Romney may not understand air pressure or the concept of atmosphere or have ever seen Goldfinger.)

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/strange-quote-of-the-day-mitt-romney-edition/#comment-1615850

    Great minds think alike?

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  60. LCaution says:

    @mattb:
    Yes, much better things. And I did ask myself if this was a fair attack. But it is more than a slip of the tongue (i.e. 57). It is part of a pattern of a Presidential candidate saying dumb or undiplomatic things. He’s even repeating his one-time “ER as health care” line. He cannot stay on-message because he doesn’t have one. And he suffers from chronic foot-in-mouth disease. He is 43 on steroids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  61. @mattb:

    I think it’s the complexity of the error. The high level concept is that there are states in the union. You pull a number from memory, say it, and move on. If you say the wrong number you probably will miss it as you finish the sentence and say the next.

    The windows thing is different. It’s an entirely wrong scenario built in your head, given voice, and then not caught even then.

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  62. Jib says:

    The A team always sits out an incumbent election. Except for Reagan and that might have been because of his age, he felt he could not wait. It is very hard to kick an incumbent out.

    Speaking of Reagan, todays repubs need to spend some time and look at how he did it. Reagan seemed to actually like people. It may have been an act but he was a happy warrior and would often grant his that his opponents were honorable men. He talked often about his personal admiration for FDR, a democrat. Now a days, the repubs take their models from talk radio. Everything is hyper-angry, everyone who disagrees is a traitor of the worse sort. It is very hard to win elections this way and especially against an incumbent.

    Rubio came the closest to getting it right at the convention when he said Obama was a good man who meant well but was not able to get it done. This is an argument that could convince several million people who voted for Obama (and thus like him) that they should change their vote. Tie in populist message that Obama failed in part because he was too close to Wall Street, that YOU would never approve of tarp and banks should be allowed to fail which at the same time tells everyone that you are not W, that you are a different kind of republican.

    I know, Romney as an investment banker could never sell that and in fact no repubs would ever try to sell that nor could they get the nomination unless they claim to view Obama as a socialist usurper bent on destroying capitalism. But as long as we are engaging in fantasy and speculation…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  63. mattb says:

    @Mr. Replica:
    I’ve learned all my science (not to mention how to fight) from Bond Movies.

    Of course, I also believe, as bond science has proven, if you fill someone up with enough compressed air, they shoot around the room like a balloon until the hit a sharp thing (like a stalactite in a cave) and *pop*.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBncb56Z_xI

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  64. grumpy realist says:

    Heck, we all thought that Romney wanted to go back to 1950. Now we know he wants to go back to 1915

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  65. swbarnes2 says:

    @john personna:

    I sense that you would oppose a RINO party, but I’d suggest that they are what you need.

    And again, what policies would your party have? I don’t agonize over labels. Are they going to support gay marriage? Abortion and contraception access for poor women? Real science education? Are they going to cut food stamps and Pell Grants? Are they going to let employers skip out on safety measures and pollution mitigation?

    If you are talking about doing what the Democrats do, but with the promise of some spending cuts somewhere or other to be “conservative”, I just don’t see the appeal.

    Or, why be a Republican of any stripe when one could be a Democrat who wants to slash military spending?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  66. Mr. Replica says:
  67. @Fiona: Clinton in 1990/1991 when he was laying the ground work for his run was known as DLC star who had some serious speaking ability if anyone was willing to listen, but for God’s sake, he was the Governor of Arkansas and already had a reputation of minimal personal self-control…. 1992 was supposed to be either a warm-up run OR a take one for the team run for whomever the nominee was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. @swbarnes2:

    When we talk about the future of the GOP, it isn’t really useful to ask me what John P. Personna’s party would look like. That would be my cloud castle and nothing more.

    Until Republicans Fix This Problem, They Can’t Fix Any Problems

    I am a pragmatist. I’d be willing to bend in a framework with “respect for empiricism and reasoned, intellectually honest debate [which] could ensure that the best critiques would be aired; the best ideas attempted; and the very worst rejected, whatever their provenance.”

    Maybe that would just be a less spendy liberalism, but that might be enough of an alternative. Certainly “we must always spend more on defense” is no more insane than “we must always spend more on schools.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  69. Fiona says:

    @David Anderson:

    Despite his origins, Clinton turned out to be a first-rate campaigner with far more vision, charm, and intellectual firepower of the Tzar’s list of also-Ryan’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  70. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And with Indiana, while Obama won’t carry the state, his performance is strong enough and Romney’s weak enough that Donnelly is certainly being helped in his bid against Mourdock for Senate (of course Mourdock has done more than a few things to help with that as well).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  71. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @john personna:

    I agree. I just don’t see the adults coming back all of a sudden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  72. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I completely agree. The best one can hope is that the party somehow regains their sanity, but that won’t happen if they keep letting Fox News run the show.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  73. @Latino_in_Boston:

    James, if he isn’t too busy, should write us a nice piece about what “change from the inside” means in fall, 2012.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  74. Hoot Gibson says:

    Fiona, et al. you are proving my point: would you support a Dem candidate for POTUS who decried abortion as murder, climate change as a hoax and unions as job/economy killers?

    Of course you wouldn’t. Yet this is what Huntsman did in his roll out as a candidate. Don’t you have the intellectual heft to see why Huntsman was as doomed as my mythical Dem candidate?

    I know you live in a cartoon world of black and white where you are good and smart and everyone on the right is stupid and evil, but please try to understand what I’m saying—-Huntsman presented himself as the candidate for the Fiona’s who would never vote for him over Obama.

    While channel surfing last week I saw Huntsman on Blitzer’s show, except there was some black guy with no upper lip hosting, and Huntsman was smart and honest and bipartisan as any politician I have ever seen. Too bad THAT Huntsman didn’t present himself when he was running for POTUS rather than the NYTimes idea of what a “conservative” should be, which is agreeing with all liberal policies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  75. @Hoot Gibson:

    For what it’s worth, I think you are right that Huntsman bears some responsibility for highlighting his differences. He’s kind of an odd fish. Maybe he’s a little too much wonk and not enough of a politician.

    A pundit can play a game where he says “you’re wrong” and then in the long form answer agrees with you.

    A politician has to play the opposite game, esp. when talking to people in his party, where he says “you’re right” and then goes on to disagree with you in the long form answer.

    Bill Clinton is great at starting slowly in any answer and going where he wants to.

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  76. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Woody:

    Which is precisely the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @Hoot Gibson: Well, considering that the Right’s side of “compromise” is My Way Or The Highway, I don’t see what you have to bitch about. What’s sausage from the goose is sausage from the gander.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  78. @Latino_in_Boston:

    Nice picture!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  79. C. Clavin says:

    “…would you support a Dem candidate for POTUS who decried abortion as murder, climate change as a hoax and unions as job/economy killers?”

    Well, no. But because all those things are demonstrably incorrect…not because said Candidate is a Democrat. I do not support Obama because he’s a Democrat. I support him because on most issues he is right..or at least closer to right than the opposition. Republicans have lost their minds. Life does not begin the second that Iook sideways at a woman. Climate Change is real. And Unions helped build and protect the Middle-Class.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  80. swbarnes2 says:

    @john personna:

    I am a pragmatist.

    For a pragmatist, you seem rather Platonic.

    And frankly, I think that article is completely off the mark. The problem is not the party elites. The elites are following what the 27% wants. The 27% know that they are a majority of a major party’s base. The elites know that they can make a nice living telling the 27% exactly what they want to hear, and lots of them are doing just that. To borrow from the Lee Atwater quote, now that the 27% is used to politicians shouting “Ni**er, Ni**er” at them, they won’t go back to hearing only mealy-mouthed talk about school busing.

    Democrats are safe from the temptation of trying to charm the vile bigots, because they picked the other side decades ago, so only Republicans are at all tempted. And now with demographics being what they are, the 27% is practically the majority of Republican voters. Republicans can not win elections without lots and lots of those 27%ers. It would probably require a few election’s worth of Republican politicians openly refusing to court them, and losing for it, to get Republicans out of the habit of encouraging that vileness. But even that might not work, because the 27%, who are a lot more than 27% in many locales, would be used to voting for state and local politicians who do cater to them, and they would still have Rush Limbaugh and the like telling them that those candidates are what they should demand on the national level.

    Nothing will change until that 27% becomes so small that they stop being a requirement for non-Democratic politicians. They are dying off, but that’s a slow process.

    Maybe that would just be a less spendy liberalism,

    Okay, then you’d be better off working to get your RINO’s to cross the aisle, rather than remaking conservatism into something it’s not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  81. MBunge says:

    I suppose the rewriting of history will become almost unstoppable if Romney does lose, but let’s not get started on that already.

    1. Romney was and is a terrible candidate. He has an atrocious resume for this climate and his political skills are roughly on the same level as Sarah Palin in that neither one seems to understand their profound weaknesses.

    2. Romney outspent every other candidate in the GOP nomination race by a considerable margin and used that money to carpetbomb them with negative ads.

    3. Most of his opponents were somewhat constrained in how they could attack Romney because they didn’t want to piss off the money boys who had already rallied behind him and they all thought establishing themselves as the conservative alternative to Romney would be enough.

    4. The overwhelming majority of the right wing media was either openly pro-Romney (Fox News) or prevented from being aggressively anti-Romney by having said good things about him 4 years ago when he was seen as the only way to stop John McCain, whom the Right had written out of polite society 12 years ago for having the audacity to beat Bush the Younger in New Hampshire.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  82. Woody says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    The Movement Media makes money independently of GOP electoral success – in fact, I believe Limbaugh makes more money when a Dem is in office (at least until his Fluke comments).

    Media industry people – like any tribal group – pay attention to salaries, on-air time, etc. and will always pay more attention to Murdoch’s operation than Web-based media, at this point.

    Fox has a dedicated audience that is (desevedly) the envy of every major media operation in the increasingly fragmented market. That audience demands constant reassurance of a conservatism that can never fail, but can only be failed.

    The GOP – and Movement Media – has run aground at this point in a rather nasty Chinese finger trap that can not allow change, or even moderation.

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  83. C. Clavin says:

    From Dan Amira at New York Magazine’s Daily Intel:

    “…To answer Romney: Airplane cabins are pressurized to allow people to, you know, breathe and stay conscious and such at high altitudes — things that are important for everyone who isn’t an advanced robot covered in a highly convincing outer layer of humanesque skin and facial features….”

    Emphasis mine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  84. C. Clavin says:

    This window opening thing strikes me as being right up there with Bush-41’s checkout line gaffe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  85. legion says:

    @Hoot Gibson:

    Fiona, et al. you are proving my point: would you support a Dem candidate for POTUS who decried abortion as murder, climate change as a hoax and unions as job/economy killers?

    I think the point here is that such a hypothetical Dem candidate wouldn’t get any farther in the primaries than Huntsman did for the GOP. I mean, I assume you believe such positions would resonate with a large enough chunk of the populace that such a person would have a good chance of winning a general election, right? Because otherwise your comparison would be nonsensical…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  86. Nikki says:

    @swbarnes2:

    Or, why be a Republican of any stripe when one could be a Democrat who wants to slash military spending?

    Shouldn’t you try to be at least as close to what the people want you to be as possible? Otherwise, you tend to end up with a potential presidential election blowout for the opposing team and a candidate who wonders out loud why airplane windows don’t open.

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  87. Hoot Gibson says:

    OK, I give up. When “fact based” intellectual argument here is “Republicans have lost their minds”, it is best to just exit the leftwing echo chamber.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  88. mattb says:

    For the record, Hunstman quickly backed away from questioning climate change… Considering the audience he was addressing when he made the original remark in question (conservative bloggers) it’s not surprising that his rather “wishy washy” statement was intepreted as climate denying (read it, it wasn’t).:

    A day after he told conservative bloggers that “the scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description of explanation about what might lie beneath all of this,” the former Utah governor said he fully agrees with the scientific consensus and supports action to reverse global warming.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/69981.html#ixzz27QNY2OVq

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  89. C. Clavin says:

    Actually Hoot…what I typed was:

    “…Republicans have lost their minds. Life does not begin the second that Iook sideways at a woman. Climate Change is real. And Unions helped build and protect the Middle-Class…”

    I can understand why you would want to run away pouting when confronted with a factual argument…have anice evening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  90. anjin-san says:

    Yes folks, Romney’s business and management skills are the only thing that can save us:

    Obama campaign had twice the staff as Romney last month at same cost

    WASHINGTON — One of the big challenges Mitt Romney faced after effectively clinching the GOP presidential nomination in late April was ramping up his campaign to match the behemoth operation President Obama already had in place across the country.
    The Republican challenger finally caught up last month – at least when measured by money.

    The Romney campaign spent $4.04 million on payroll in August — nearly twice as much as it spent in July — while the Obama campaign spent $4.37 million, according to campaign finance disclosures filed last week with the Federal Election Commission.

    But the president appears to be getting a much bigger bang for his buck.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-romney-staff-expense-20120924,0,2707799.story

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  91. @swbarnes2:

    Okay, then you’d be better off working to get your RINO’s to cross the aisle, rather than remaking conservatism into something it’s not.

    But it’s not really true that conservatives minus the crazy equal liberals.

    There can still be much productive discussion (argument) about how much focus (and spending) is enough and how much is too much on all kinds of issues. That’s what the two party competition should be about.

    @Hoot Gibson:

    The American Conservative is pretty much down with “Republicans have lost their minds”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  92. Inhumans99 says:

    I have not read through the million comments on this thread, however, I just want to say Romney still has a better than average shot at the prize title…deadline Hollywood reports he pulled in 6 million from a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. Some well known names were at the event ( love Patricia Heaton in The Middle…but so not a fan of her political champions).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  93. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @anjin-san:

    Obama campaign had twice the staff as Romney last month at same cost

    Yeah Anjin, but Romney’s top guys earned those bonuses they got after the “No-Bounce RNC.”

    Romney’s business and management skills

    Grifters get their cuts first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  94. Midwestern Dad says:

    Strong candidates don’t run against an incumbent unless the economy is weak. Guess what. The economy is weak. The GOP is wasting an opportunity.

    TPaw ran and was a very weak candidate.

    IMO, Mitt has been a weak candidate. For numerous reasons stated in this blog; he has run a weak campaign and shoots himself in the foot on a regular basis.

    People have not talked much about Mitch Daniels, the Gov. of Ind. He was associated with Sen. Lugar, was in the Reagan adm. and served as a budget Director for Pres. Bush. His grandparents were Syrian immigrants; I wonder how that would play with the GOP base. There are some whispers about him. They may fade with time. I believe he said the GOP should declare a moratorium on social issues and run on the economy. He could have run and said, I know the budget and can effectively and fairly cut it. The Chicago Tribune looked at the economies of midwestern states and job expansion. My memory is that Wisc. and Ind. did the worst. Daniels is going to be President of Purdue. Eisenhower, I believe, was the Head of Columbia Univ. before running for President.

    Candidates can appear stronger on the sideline. Gov. Perry was polling very high until he entered the race and had to talk. It is impossible to know an alternate result but Daniels could probably not be as weak of a candidate as Mitt.

    I thought Mondale could have been a great President. He was just too honest and met a political buzz saw. He was very experienced, smart and decent.

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  95. Tillman says:

    3. Most of his opponents were somewhat constrained in how they could attack Romney because they didn’t want to piss off the money boys who had already rallied behind him and they all thought establishing themselves as the conservative alternative to Romney would be enough.

    Exactly. This is why Doug’s line about being able to compete for a party’s nomination being a qualifier for the General Election is off in this instance: no one really attacked Romney. The establishment chose Romney from the get-go (or honored the tradition of “second place last run gets first this run,” pick your poison). The polls showing Cain, Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum ahead in the primaries were indications that the base did not like the establishment’s pick, and that dislike is why Romney can’t move on the ideological spectrum in the way he needs to win the presidency.

    We shouldn’t be insulting or belittling Romney, we should be pitying him. His entire strategy was banking on Republicans in Congress screwing up the economy enough the economy not getting better fast enough for him to take the big seat.

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  96. wr says:

    @Hoot Gibson: “OK, I give up. When “fact based” intellectual argument here is “Republicans have lost their minds”, it is best to just exit the leftwing echo chamber. ”

    Please feel free to take Jenos and Jay Tea with you. And make sure not to let the screen door hit your ass on the way out!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  97. Tillman says:

    @Hoot Gibson:

    would you support a Dem candidate for POTUS who decried abortion as murder, climate change as a hoax and unions as job/economy killers?

    First, no, I wouldn’t.

    Second, how precisely were Huntsman’s differences with the mainstream GOP base comparable to these? I don’t recall Huntsman advocating “Free Abortion on Demand” or “Zero Tolerance on CO2 Emissions.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  98. An Interested Party says:

    Now that I think about it, you could make a colorable case that since WWII there only have been two 1st-tier challengers to incumbent presidents: Dewey and Romney.

    BWHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you could make that case, if you were a fool…

    As for other GOPers—does anyone doubt Obama would have launched his Chicago Way scorched earth negative campaign any differently no matter who his opponent was?

    Oh boo hoo…you’re breaking my heart…those horrible, mean Democrats…they’re just soooooo unfair to Republicans…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  99. Console says:

    Huntsman was hands down the best candidate. Romney was the best candidate for 2008.

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  100. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: BTW, the fact that at some point @Jan, @Jenos, @SmoothJazz, or someone else will show up to make a comment along the lines of “every person in the primary was a great candidate and far more qualified to run the country than Obama and I would have voted for any of them in a heart beat (with the possible exception of Ron Paul)” demonstrates the biggest problem facing the Republican party at that moment.

    You rang?

    Let me put some real words, not your fantasy sentiments, on the table. And they won’t be nice.

    Your opinions on this matter simply don’t count.

    The vast majority of the commentariat here are part of the “47%” whose votes Romney was writing off. Not necessarily in the financial sense, but in the sense of there was no way in hell most of you would ever vote against Obama. Any energy expended in trying to appeal to you during the Republican primary was, be definition, wasted energy.

    The sentiments I read here all through the primary season were eminently predictable. Whoever was the front-runner was clearly the worst candidate ever to gain prominence, until someone else took the top spot — and then they were the worst candidate ever. Then, once the nomination was sewn up, the nominee would be the worst nominee ever put forth by any party.

    Romney is, by some estimations, the most fundamentally decent men to ever win the nomination. He literally gives away millions and millions to charities. (For some reason, Obama is given more credit for being generous with other people’s money than Romney is with being generous with his own. I still don’t understand that one.) But the latest rage in the comments section here? Romney must be afflicted with blinding rages because he was in a car crash over 40 years ago. Oh, and he’s a tax felon and gave a woman cancer, to bring up some other big lies put forward.

    And all this Romney-bashing is a wonderful excuse to continue to cover for the total failure of the Obama administration. Just in the past few weeks:

    Obama’s support for the “Arab Spring” has led to anti-American riots in most of the countries where he supported the “Arab Spring” movement.

    On the anniversary of 9/11, terrorists scored a huge victory against the US by assassinating our ambassador to Libya and essentially shredding our intelligence capabilities in that country.

    In Pakistan, a high-ranking government minister has put a bounty on the head of an American citizen who dared to exercise his 1st Amendment rights.

    The Secretary of Health and Human Services was found to have violated the Hatch Act, and wasn’t even given a slap on the wrist.

    At the Democratic National Convention, the “Tribute to Veterans” featured giant photos of Turkish planes and Russian ships — reinforcing the stereotype that the Democrats don’t care about, understand, or respect the military.

    In Afghanistan, terrorists effectively destroyed an entire Marine squadron of aircraft.

    Obama went on Letterman to say he doesn’t know how much the federal debt is — which broke $16 trillion during the aforementioned convention.

    Any one of these should be major news — but instead we hear that Romney did a horrible, bad, awful thing by criticizing the statements put out by the US Embassy in Egypt. Statements that the State Department itself denounced and ordered withdrawn. And all of which happened before our Ambassador and three other Americans were assassinated.

    Romney’s a decent man, a decent candidate, who should have a decent chance. Unfortunately, “decent” is a word pretty much unknown to most of the commenters here.

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  101. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Thank you for the comedy routine…much appreciated…

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  102. MarkedMan says:

    Just for the record, some of us do not consider giving money to your church to be the same as giving money to a charity. Oh, I know that legally, a church is a charity, but in reality it is just a club. Mitt belongs to a church that puts an official price tag on membership: 10% of gross revenues. (In fact, I suspect you can figure out just how much Romney has in tax shelters by simply multiplying his tithing by 10 and then deducting his reported income.

    I was raised a Catholic and blindly accepted the fact that when they passed the basket and talked about the hospitals and schools in Africa (very real, I’m not denying they exist), there was some connection. I only found out later that the money went for upkeep of the clubhouse (Church), salaries for the club officials and employees (priests, nuns, janitors), and upkeep on their residences. The schools and hospitals were funded in other ways.

    The Mormon church spends a lot of money on missions all over the world, but those missions are designed to get more people into the club, at which point they are on the hook for 10% of their income.

    I don’t really think this is cynical or evil, but I also don’t think it falls into the same category as schools or clinics.

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  103. anjin-san says:

    Gosh, money can buy love. Well, it can buy love from Jenos. Not sure about the ROI on that one…

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  104. anjin-san says:

    Romney did a horrible, bad, awful thing by criticizing the statements put out by the US Embassy in Egypt.

    No, he did a horrible, terrible thing by breaking national unity in a crisis for political gain. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would have bitch slapped him for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  105. Andre Kenji says:

    Almost all Republican Governors, including governors in the South and in the West, could not get the Republican nomination. Being a governor may mean that you have to increase taxes or that you have to invest in things like Education(Also known as governing), and no one that increases taxes or increase social spending can get the Republican nomination. Tim Pawlenty, that had a long term project of getting the nomination, had to cut money transferred to counties(That had to increase taxes) so he could say that he was not increasing taxes. Mitt Romney, that was already seeking the nomination, ended his term as a very unpopular governor.

    Herman Cain could get the lead for the Republican nomination precisely because he never had to govern or vote in controversial issues. When the Iowa Caucus began Rick Perry was the only sitting statewide elected official still in the race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  106. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    He literally gives away millions and millions to charities.

    He gave millions to his church. He holds a position in that church and is required to tithe 10%. In other words, he does what any LDS member does, but he’s worth hundreds of times more so it doesn’t represent any sort of sacrifice or strain.

    There is no support for this notion of Romney as particularly admirable guy. If your logic is that Romney giving 13% of his huge income to charity makes him a wonderful person you must be ready to declare Warren Buffet and Bill Gates as saints. Right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  107. al-Ameda says:

    @Hoot Gibson:

    While channel surfing last week I saw Huntsman on Blitzer’s show, except there was some black guy with no upper lip hosting, and Huntsman was smart and honest and bipartisan as any politician I have ever seen. Too bad THAT Huntsman didn’t present himself when he was running for POTUS rather than the NYTimes idea of what a “conservative” should be, which is agreeing with all liberal policies.

    ….. and all of that is exactly why Huntsman was completely unacceptable to the current Republican Party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  108. Andre Kenji says:

    Here in Brazil(At least here in São Paulo) it´s easy to spot Mormon Churches. There is one next to my home, by the way. That´s something formidable considering that very few Brazilians are mormons.

    But I don´t know any Mormon based charity, like hospitals or schools. My best friend said that she did quit the Mormon Church when her mother was sick and the Church people went to her home, saying that she was sick because she did not pay her dues.

    Maybe that explains something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  109. matt says:

    @C. Clavin: Look Mitt isn’t stupid and I think you should avoid trying to pull that crap. You’ll be sounding like the nutcases who think Obama is the affirmative action candidate. Now if you want to criticize Mitt’s ability to handle stress and jet lag feel free.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  110. superdestroyer says:

    The idea that the MSM and the liberal establishment would be nicer to Huntsman than Romney. Does anyone really believe that Jon Stewart, Colbert, Maddow, etc would be less snarky if Huntsman was the candidate or does everyone realize that Huntsman’s wife, daughters, past actions, and everything he ever said.

    The idea that the Republicans will ever have a strong candidate again is laughable. AS many have already noted, it is impossible for left of center media such as SNL, Colbert, Stewart to make fun of President Obama without being called racist. I suspect that people like Axelrod is learning the lesson that minority candidates are stronger candidates because the snark-industrial complex will leave liberal minorities alone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  111. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: No, he did a horrible, terrible thing by breaking national unity in a crisis for political gain.

    In case you missed reality, here’s how it went: Romney expressed the same sentiments about the Embassy’s official statement that the State Department and the White House did.

    Why is the official party line on the left to keep apologizing to savages for our being more civilized than they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  112. Nikki says:

    The idea that the Republicans will ever have a strong candidate again is laughable. AS many have already noted, it is impossible for left of center media such as SNL, Colbert, Stewart to make fun of President Obama without being called racist.

    You’ve never watched the Daily Show or the Colbert Report, have you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  113. Fiona says:

    In case you missed reality, here’s how it went: Romney expressed the same sentiments about the Embassy’s official statement that the State Department and the White House did.

    Not that it’s probably worth pointing out to you Jenos, but this isn’t what Romney did. Instead, seeing a situation where he might score a few political points, Romney rushed in to accuse the President of sympathizing with the rioters, doubling down on the Republican canard that Obama apologizes for the US rather than defending it. When all that facts came out, Romney, rather than offering sympathy to the victims in Libya and then keeping quiet for a day or so, reinforced his original inaccurate remarks. Very unstatesmen-like given the situation.

    But you can stick with the Faux News version if it makes you feel better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  114. @Fiona:

    Not only that, but Romney did it with a bizarrely high smirk count.

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  115. Rob in CT says:

    Your opinions on this matter simply don’t count.

    This may sound satisfying, Jenos, but it’s not really true. There are former Republicans here. There are others who were at least GOP-leaners or “true moderates” open to each side. That many of us have been pushed, over time, into the Dem camp does not make us a lost cause. If we can be pushed, we can be pulled (or pushed back by the Dems). Politics, for someone like me, is the search for pragmatic solutions… it’s not a religious faith. I manage to vote GOP in local and sometimes state elections. And I’m more liberal than others here.

    The problem is more the Party than a given candidate. Romney’s a weathervane. He is simply reflecting what GOP voters want. And that reflection, it appears, isn’t good enough to win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  116. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @wr:

    By the way, you’re getting sloppy with your sockpuppets. When you first hauled out the Hootster, you made sure he “talked” with dropped g’s and other countryisms. Now he just writes in your whining, annoying voice.

    Remember when he stopped being Jay Tea and showed up as Jenos? His shtick at first was to pretend that he was a beer-drinking, sports-watching, regular man’s man. IOW, the polar opposite of his flesh world self, who had never finished a beer or followed a team in his life.

    He also had that stupid Gravatar image of the ponytailed hipster (and he pretended he had no idea how it became attached to his posts) when in reality he bears a far greater resemblance to a bespectacled Jeff Albertson.

    Good times, good times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I thought you stomped out in a snit when no one would agree with your last dumb argument, Hoot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  118. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Well, Colbert and Stewart have made a cottage industry of goofing on Herman Caine, and last I looked, he was African-American. So there goes your theory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  119. An Interested Party says:

    The idea that the Republicans will ever have a strong candidate again is laughable. AS many have already noted, it is impossible for left of center media such as SNL, Colbert, Stewart to make fun of President Obama without being called racist. I suspect that people like Axelrod is learning the lesson that minority candidates are stronger candidates because the snark-industrial complex will leave liberal minorities alone.

    More of the whining bull$hit…when will conservatives stop playing the victim…I mean, according to some of them, just about every American institution is against them–the media, Hollywood, the universities, etc…..it is a wonder that any Republican ever wins elective office with these supposed horrible odds…

    Why is the official party line on the left to keep apologizing to savages for our being more civilized than they?

    Why is the official party line on the right to keep telling lies about the Obama Administration and to insinuate that over a billion people are “savages”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  120. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: So on that note, what does everyone think about “Stan25″? I’m going for Moderate Mom, but I’m not sure who else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  121. grytpype says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    I wish Perry had won the GOP nom, it would be like voting against George W. Bush again.

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