Archive for July, 2007

Re: Fred Thompson Troubles Becoming the Story…

July 31, 2007

It seems so:

Fred Thompson Came Up Short in June Money

…”The amount…was less than the $5 million that Mr. Thompson’s supporters had hoped for and has met with some disappointment inside his camp, which has also been buffeted in recent days by staff defections and high-level disagreements.”

Thompson’s ‘virtual’ campaign experiencing real bumps

…”He keeps delaying his official announcement, now expected in September.  Some staff members have quit.  Controversy has already arisen over the fact that Thompson once accepted a lobbying assignment for an abortion rights group.”

Thompson’s June Haul Said to be $3 Million  (scroll to bottom for piece on Fred…)

…”Three sources familiar with the finances said donations have slowed significantly, a situation made worse by staff shake-ups in recent weeks.”

Thompson to report $3 million for June

A note about this last article: It makes the point that numbers from Thompson’s July fundraising are not yet being reported – “Dollars raised in July, during which Thompson has held several large fundraising events, won’t be disclosed.”  These numbers are, of course, anybody’s guess.  If they’re good, all of this bad press goes away.  If they’re average or worse, we’ll see more snowballing…

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Fred Thompson Troubles Becoming the Story of the Moment?

July 30, 2007

Is the Fred Thompson media tagline changing from ‘The GOP’s cowboy-savior’ to ‘flash in the pan’ ?

We have here yet another tale of problems in the Thompson camp.

A little disclaimer: though I’m fairly critical of all the Fred Thompson hooplah, and although I think a Thompson nomination would be disastrous for the GOP, I do believe that his campaign’s responses to this attack are fair and valid.  I’m posting the story here as an example of what I perceive as the media’s next chapter in the GOP primary race.  (And privately, for the sake of the Giuliani campaign, I’m cheering the media on in this one.)

Don’t Let Rudy, or Romney, Duck the Debate!

July 29, 2007

If Rudy backs out of this debate, he’s going to lose a whole lot of online support. Go here for more info on saving the debate.

Fred Thompson Campaign Troubles

July 27, 2007

Maybe it’s silly to talk about the campaign troubles of an unannounced candidate.  Then again, so is the notion of an ‘unannounced candidate.’

For anyone wondering why the Fred Thompson campaign keeps putting off its announcement spectacle, this article might shed some light on the “organizational challenges.”

Here’s Jeri with Fred…

No, that’s not his daughter.Seriously, Fred…

Giuliani’s Electability is Not Enough

July 25, 2007

Electability may excite political consultants, but it will take more than this to excite and mobilize voters and volunteers.

This entry on the Washington Post’s ‘The Trail’ blog presents mixed news for Rudy.  The poll shows, once again, Giuliani’s “sizeable lead over his three principal rivals,” but also reveals that “support for Giuliani is not deep – only a third of his supporters said they are strongly behind his candidacy.”  Then we have the oft-repeated notion that many conservatives are unsatisfied with the current crop of candidates and are waiting for a white knight – “Republicans remain less satisfied with their field of candidates…Sixty-five percent of Republicans expressed satisfaction with the GOP choices.”

This last issue is, from my vantage point, moot.  Of the three candidates out of the gates early – McCain, Romney, and Giuliani – Rudy holds a commanding lead.  Fred Thompson has, for all intents and purposes, entered the race, and still polls well behind The Mayor.  As for Newt, his poll numbers are essentially negligible.  In other words, there isn’t a candidate, declared or not, that Giuliani hasn’t trounced in the polls.

So why the shallow support for Rudy?

We are kidding ourselves if we believe that Giuliani’s electability alone can trump Hillary’s or Obama’s support (the article mentions that 70% of Hillary’s supporters strongly back her candidacy, as do 56% of Obama’s).  Volunteers – the foot soldiers in Presidential elections – need to believe in their leader.  They have to be fighting for Rudy, not just against Hillary or Obama.  And voters have to have a good reason to vote for Rudy, not just against Hillary or Obama.  As we saw with Kerry in 2004, close races are lost by candidates who rely on disdain for their opponents.

The good news is that there is no shortage of good, substantive reasons for electing Rudy.  And Rudy is second to none in meaningful, detailed plans for America’s future.  The key is drawing the nation’s attention to these points and changing the media’s shorthand for the Giuliani candidacy from ‘The Electable Republican’ to ‘The GOP’s Leader.’

Rudy IA & NH Radio

July 24, 2007

Team Giuliani has started running radio ads in New Hampshire and Iowa, so we will get to see if Mitt Romney’s strong showing in polls in those states is merely a reflection of the fact that he spends infinitely more money there on media than any other candidate.

Some are saying something along the lines of this:  “Aha!  Now that McCain is looking like he’s going to tank Giuliani realizes he can’t write off those states anymore since he’ll have one less candidate to fracture the electorate.”

That may be true.  The conventional wisdom has always been wrong when it comes to Hizzoner’s campaign, though.  So I wonder if the situation is more like this:  Team Giuliani had confirmed over the last week that he is very strong in SC and FL, as I note in the post below.  They are very confident with those leads, as in FL he is up by double digits, and in SC McCain is his closest competition, with Romney down at 4%.  So while they would have been happy to concede IA and NH, now they feel they have a little room to manuver.  So they will invest some time and money IA and NH, forcing other candidates to crop-dust shekels there with desperate abandon, hence depleting their resources for later.

This could, in fact, be exactly what they plan for a for the general election:  Giuliani is the only GOP candidate that can force a Democrat candidate to spend any significant money in large, expensive states like CA and NY.  While NH and IA are not large, they are expensive in a primary.  Those folks practically expect every candidate to knock on their door and sit down for dinner.  If the rest of the GOP has to spend time working diners in IA and doing four hour interviews with the Manchester Union Leader to just protect narrow advantages there, they will find themselves 100 delegates behind Giuliani without much money to spend on super-duper media windfall Tuesday.

The Polls That Really Matter: FL & SC

July 23, 2007

Now that I have become a more earnest content-generator on the upcoming presidential race, I feel in my bones what I only before knew in my head: Polls exist to keep the commentariat occupied.

That caveat aside, we’ve recently had two polls in states with early primaries:  SC and FL.  Both of these states have primaries before super-duper local television affiliate windfall Tuesday.  Combined, there are also twice as many delegates at stake in these states than in IA and NH.

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Giuliani up by a LOT in Florida.  A recent CNN poll gave Hizzoner a solid lead in SC.  Funnily, his closest competition there is McCain, who we all expect to spectacularly auger into the ground.  If one is curious where Romney stands in states where his spending is commensurate with the competition, it is instructive to note he’s down in Ron Paul territory in SC at 4 points.

So I guess I have a new hobby horse: Why is Romney first tier?  Heck, people.  Give me 12 million dollars with opponents still biding their time and I could get Stan Jones— the Montana Libertarian who turned himself blue by eating colloidal silver– to poll well in IA and NH.

The Mayor, CA, and Bill Simon

July 17, 2007

Rudy Giuliani’s old colleague at the Justice Department, Bill Simon, has been on his presidential executive committee for some time.  Today it was announced he will also chair his campaign in CA.

While some campaigns obsess over NH and IA, Team Giuliani knows they matter less than they used to.  While Bill Simon is not some sort of electoral genius when it comes to CA politics, I think it can be safely said it would be shocking if Giuliani did not win the CA GOP primary with both his federalist approach and his support from Simon, who is one of the more popular GOP politicians in the state, and is also what passes for a conservative there.

Like the Vietnam military leaders who were stilling using the WWII and Korean playbook, the other GOP candidates all seem to think building momentum in IA and NH– and maybe SC and FL– is the path to victory.  Team Giuliani knows better.  A lot of states matter, and many of them are very hospitable to the Mayor.  And it’s a losing strategy to spend too much money now in states with only a handful of convention delegates.

Why is Mitt 1st Tier: Part Eight Gazillion

July 17, 2007

Did anyone else see the recent Gallup poll indicating Mitt Romney is the *only* presidential candidate in either party with higher unfavorables than favorables?  Giuliani, of course, has the highest favorables of any candidate.  I certainly understand Mitt’s unfavorables.  I have yet to meet a single voter actually excited about his campaign.  And I get around.  I know people excited about Duncan Hunter’s campaign.  He’s on my short list of Giuliani Veeps, actually.

My problem with Romney is that he seems to me so clearly transparently self-aggrandizing, insincere, patronizing, and manufactured.  I imagine others have their own reasons.  I just find it inconceivable he can win the nomination, and as soon as the other GOP candidates– even McCain– spend half the money Romney does in IA and NH his leads there will disappear and he will be a non-factor.

Rudy Builds Solid Foundation

July 17, 2007

Check out this glowing report on the state of the Giuliani campaign.