Posts Tagged ‘david french’

“After a great debate performance by all the leading Republicans and Mike Huckabee’s second-place finish at the Values Voter straw poll, Byron York and others are now saying that there’s a ‘five-man race,'” writes the bilious and befuddled David French in an Evangelicals for Mitt post titled IT’S A TWO-MAN RACE, NOT A FIVE-MAN RACE

False. It’s a two-man race. It could be a three-man race if Thompson is able to build a better organization and get more funding, but right now it’s still a two-man show–with Rudy and Governor Romney battling for the lead … etc., etc.

This is the Romney-fantasy wish-fulfullment take on the data.

Here would be a more objective take: “The latest tracking poll from Rasmussen Reports shows the Republican nomination contest tighter than ever, with only an 11% spread from first place to fifth,” writes Jim Addison in a WizBang post titled Poll: GOP race tighter than ever. Addison quotes Rasmussen:

Rudy Giuliani is now supported by 21% while Fred Thompson is the top choice for 19%. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided while John McCain moves into third place among the candidates with at 14% of the vote. Mitt Romney’s support is back down to 12%, Mike Huckabee reaches double digits for the first time at 10%, and Ron Paul earns the vote from 3%. (see recent daily numbers). The more you look at the numbers, the more you realize how wide open the race has become.

For those who have not yet begun to fight—Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee, Thompson, and Paul—this is both unsurprising and uninteresting news—it is precisely what you would expect. But if you happen to be Willard Milton “I have aired over 10,000 television commercials” Romney, then you have a lot to answer for.

Moral: it should be a 2 man race given Romney’s spending. But: it isn’t. This should give Team Romney grounds to pause and reflect. Consider: the Romney campaign has yet to accomplish even one of the goals it set for itself in that notorious powerpoint: Romney’s right flank remains perilously exposed; Evangelicals and social conservatives remain woefully divided; Romney sags in the national polls; despite Romney’s early leads, Iowa and New Hampshire remain up for grabs etc., etc.

So the Romney’s cling tenaciously to their so-called “early state strategy”—which was never a part of their so-called plan until everything else fell apart!—but this election will play out in ’08, not ’04; the primary calendar has changed.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“‘That’s a phony issue,’ Romney told reporters,” as reported by an anonymous retailer of facts and sparkling wit for’s blog Political Radar in a post titled More Rudy-Romney back and forth

Romney continues: “I’d make a decision based on the safety of the American people. But of course we’d also check to make sure what our legal and constitutional responsibilities are, that’s why we swear an oath of office.”

“But if there’s anybody with a propensity to go to lawsuits . . . it’s the mayor,” Romney continued. “The Mayor’s the one who sued Governor Pataki to keep the commuter tax in place. It’s the mayor who sued the government of the United States over the line item veto. The mayor’s the one who shows the propensity to want to put in place a legal tax. . . . He’s been the one suing. Suing on the line item veto, suing on the commuter tax. . . . I think he also brought a suit to try and keep the federal welfare law from applying to the city of New York.”

Summed up Romney: “he gets first place when it comes to suing and lawyering.”

In response, Giuliani campaign communications director Katie Levinson, issued a statement saying, “hopefully, Mitt Romney isn’t going to check with the same group of lawyers who told him the Bill Clinton line item veto was constitutional” more

Observation: Romney has gone negative—and he’s angry—well, he’s always angry. He’s also gotten himself wrangled in a tit-for-tat contest of attrition with a more intelligent, more agile player. The problem for Romney: his negatives are way, way higher than Giuliani’s. We explore that issue here:

Romney’s “gotta-call-my-laywer” response to the Iran question object of scorn, derision, and belly-laughs among other GOP candidates—how will Romney respond?

Even Romney’s own supporters realize the campaign-killing insanity of attacking Giuliani. Example: A tedious and tired David French issues a veiled warning to the Romneys in an Evangelicals for Mitt post titled third party?

… Here at EFM we have long considered Rudy to be far more of a threat to capture the nomination than John McCain or Fred Thompson. He’s a great campaigner. He shines in the debates, he has all the right enemies (the New York left just hates the guy), since 9/11 he’s cornered the market on public perceptions of effective leadership in the face of horrific terror, and there’s a deep reservoir of affection for him. Cold-blooded political consultants have long discounted the power of the visceral bond he formed with much of America on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. And those kinds of bonds matter in politics.

The challenge for Governor Romney is to persuade the ordinary American voter that they can love and respect Rudy for all that he did . . . and still vote for someone else. You don’t beat Rudy by trashing him. You beat him by presenting a better alternative
more [Emphasis ours]

Events have proven that Romney was not equal to this challenge either—the simple challenge of not self-immolating. Question: Has there been a challenge yet that Romney could meet on its own terms? We mean, a challenge that could not be met with a personal check drawn on Romney’s personal funds?

Some are trying to spin the dispute as a Rudy-Romney passion play, i.e. as dispute in which the parties enjoy a certain moral equivalence, e.g. Justin Hart’s post strangely titled The Rudy-Romney Shadow, in which Hart, a Romney partisan, quotes approvingly the Thompson campaign:

Yesterday, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani continued their partisan bickering, this time over things like the constitutionality of the line item veto.  While they played politics, Fred Thompson rose above it and took his conservative, small government, tax cutting message straight to the American people more

This argument allows Romney supporters to claim that Romney stands at the same level as the former mayor. Only he doesn’t—the two parties are not equal, and they will not be perceived as equal. To demonstrate, let us ask the same question in different terms: When people hear the name Giuliani they think of the courage and heroism of New York and New Yorkers on 9.11 and in its aftermath—or they think of how NYC became livable during his tenure as NYC’s mayor. When people hear the name Romney—if they have ever heard of him at all—they think of gay marriage. Question: So who do you think is going to win this dispute?—or, more to the point: who does Romney or his crack staff of hirelings and hangers-on think is going to win this dispute? Conclusion: Team Romney desperately needs some adult supervision.

The maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden—Romney’s chief helper-monkey in times of distress—had better immediately issue lots of conciliatory noise about the former mayer of NYC and about how much the Romneys respect his years of public service etc., etc.—and he had better do so before the next news-cycle.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.