Going Over The Numbers

As of November 22, it appears Mitt Romney has received 47,000 more votes than John McCain in 2008.  Considering George W. Bush received just over 62 million votes in 2004, it is apparent Romney woefully underperformed.   When one realizes the US population has 19 million more people than 2004, it is fair to say Romney missed out on close to 8,000,000 votes.  Yet, the Romney apologists say he is not to blame.  I believe there is much blame to go around from Romney the candidate, to the GOP leadership, to the GOP nomination process.

Romney the candidate was dreadful.  He was utterly clueless on issues outside of what he wanted to discuss and never counterpunched Obama;  even where Obama was most vulnerable.  Even economic issues, which was supposed to be Romney’s bailiwick, seemed to be PowerPoint presentations from the late-1980s to mid-1990s.  Romney looked like Ronald Reagan but campaigned like Jane Wyman.

The GOP leadership was, in essence, non-existent.  It was as though they treated the results of the 2010 midterm election as rare event, instead of a trend.  They treated the Tea Party as a bunch of ignorant yahoos and thought Senate losers like O’Donnell and Angle were the norm and not the exception.  Thus, they ran a bunch of GOP Establishment retreads for winnable Senate seats.  They all lost.  In the two other winnable races in MO and IN, the GOP ran for the tall grass from Akin (I don’t blame them as Akin should have had the decency to allow another candidate to win this race) and failed to coalesce around Mourdock.  A divided party can never win. They also lost seats in the House.  Some of the more winnable seats were lost by inept candidates (a seat in GA comes to mind).  Others were lost because leadership did nothing to combat poor redrawing of congressional districts by “non-partisan” Commissions.  Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Whip, actually agreed to the process.  And why not, he got a better district.  Others were not so fortunate.  A word of advice to the GOP;  if they have to put “non-partisan” to describe a group;  they are not.  California lost 4 seats through this process. In FL, Allan West lost his race.  He was not only a target of the Democrats but The FL State GOP redistricted West out of his old district.  A question for the Democrats;  how is it “racist” to criticize Obama, yet, okay to disparage West?

Another problem confronting the GOP is money. A lot of money has been redirected to SuperPACs like American Crossroads. American Crossroads, which is run by Karl Rove, spent close to $400 million in this election cycle.  It would be fair to say their efforts were a disaster. Unfortunately, if the money were directed to the GOP, there would be no telling what those inept political strategists would have accomplished.

The biggest problem with the GOP during this election was a lack of strategy and message.  It was amusing and sad to watch Romney discussing the need for tax cuts, without really addressing the need for significant spending cuts.  There were several moments during the campaign where Romney was asked about parts of the Paul Ryan plan, which dealt with entitlement reform.  Each time, he either punted or worse, he denied the plausibility of Ryan’s plan.  It does make one wonder why Romney even bothered putting Ryan on the ticket.

In 1992, Bill Clinton ran on the slogan, “it’s the economy, stupid”.  The Romney mantra was not to attack Obama because the voters believed Obama was nice and likable.  The political strategists who thought this was the best way to win an election should really consider another line of work.  There was certainly a lack of political acumen by Romney and his strategists.  There were many times Obama would lead with his chin and Romney refused to strike.  In the end, it was the failure of Romney and his political strategists to address economic issues such as regulation and overspending by the Democrats, foreign policy debacles, and most of all attacks on the Church and Faith by the Obama administration.  This failure allowed Obama to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. This was Romney’s race to lose.  Obama did not steal this election but there was one significant event that all the punditry missed;  the decision by Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed, to inject $40 billion into the market.  The market soared, and many did not vote to change the presidency.  The election was lost at that moment.  Romney can discuss 12 million new jobs, but they fall on deaf ears when people are fixated on their portfolios.

Spartan

The Ghost of Moderates Past

A wise historian once claimed, “those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. As I look at the results of the 2012 election, I am amused by the number of excuses why Mitt Romney lost this election. They range from the usual suspects, the TEA Party, the social conservatives, hard-line conservatives, a lot of dumb people who don’t know any better, to complete fantasies like Obama “stole” the election, Obama “bribed” the American people, and the Democrats hacked into Romney’s Orca GOTV system on election day, causing the GOP to lose Ohio. They never blame Romney and excuse all of his tactical and strategic mistakes; nor do they ever provide direct proof of their fantasies.

You see, many of these folks have no sense of reality and history. The GOP have nominated folks like Mitt Romney since Herbert Hoover and none of them have ever been elected. The one exception was Dwight Eisenhower. I doubt even the foolish of fools could compare Romney to Ike but I am sure some blonde will try. Even Nixon, who ran as a moderate in 1960, learned his lesson and became a “conservative” in 1968. Unfortunately, for the American people, Nixon left us a legacy of a greater bureaucracy with such acronyms as OSHA and EPA.

The problem is, the Republicans have slowly dismantled the Reagan coalition of fiscal, foreign-policy, and social conservatives.

The fiscal conservatives are frustrated. When the GOP did some very fine work ( thanks in large part to Bob Livingston) paring the budget during the 1990s, they were overshadowed by Newt Gingrich’s inarticulate sound bites. After the loss of Livingston from the GOP caucus, the GOP spent like drunken sailors during the Bush years. They abandoned fiscal responsibility and past bad laws like the Medicare prescription drug benefit (which is the largest new entitlement program since the 1960s) , and No Child Left Behind (which federalized our K-12 schools). They are also frustrated over the lack of respect and understanding what the midterm elections of 2010 meant. Since the election, John Boehner has signaled his willingness to work a deal with President Obama and some members of Congress want to break their pledge not to raise taxes. This will not sit well with the fiscal conservatives.

The foreign-policy conservatives are in disarray. On one hand, they embrace our venture into Libya and hope for intervention in Syria. On the other hand, they embrace the Muslim Brotherhood brokered peace plan between Hamas and Israel but they cannot articulate a good reason why.

As for the social conservatives, they are the most maligned of the Reagan coalition. They are the bogeyman of modern American politics. Yet, their influence within the GOP has greatly diminished since 1988. 1988 is the year when many either retired or were pushed out by the George HW Bush folks. They have also lost two of their most articulate spokesmen with the passing of Paul Weyrich and Father John Neuhaus.

I believe the seminal point for social conservatives was the passing of Terri Schiavo in 2005. Subsequently, they failed to vote in 2006, 2008, probably 2010, and in spite of exit poll data, I believe they failed to vote in 2012. As long as the GOP ignores the concerns of social conservatives, I believe the GOP will be relegated to, at best, mediocre candidates with inarticulate positions.

Mitt Romney could not articulate any position beyond creating jobs. He never discussed any specifics as to spending cuts. In fact, on several occasions, he took swipes at the Paul Ryan plan. It makes one wonder why he bothered making Paul Ryan his Vice President. Mitt Romney did not articulate the events surrounding the killing of our ambassador at Benghazi or the feckless response of the Obama administration in the aftermath. He could not articulate how the Obama foreign-policy, more particularly the concept of “soft power”, has been a disaster.

Most of all, Mitt Romney never used the C word to hammer the Obama administration; corruption. From ‘Fast and Furious’ to Solyndra, Romney wouldn’t make an issue of this administration’s ethical issues. In many ways, the last two debates seemed more of a love fest than a competition to be the next president of the United States. Mitt Romney failed to heed the advice of Ronald Reagan of “raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all the issues troubling the people”.

Mitt Romney now takes his place with other such GOP luminaries as Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, Thomas Dewey, Bob Dole, John McCain; all ghosts of moderate past.

Spartan

Divide and conquer: Romney and the social conservatives

For various reasons that I have discussed, Mitt Romney was a uniquely horrible candidate to be the GOP standard bearer in 2012. He was not only a technocrat, but he lacked any sense of leadership skills. Outside of running Bain Capital, running the 1998 Winter Olympics, running against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in 1994, and an unremarkable four-year term as the governor of Massachusetts, there is very little background to discern who is Mitt Romney and what does he believe.

Before Mitt Romney ran for president in 2008, he was, based on his previous statements made as a politician from Massachusetts, a liberal. In 1994, when the Republican Revolution embraced Ronald Reagan and won convincingly around the country, Mitt Romney ran as a liberal. In his race against Ted Kennedy, Romney ended up taking both sides of the abortion question. This led Ted Kennedy to remark; “Mitt Romney isn’t just pro-choice, he’s multiple-choice.”

In 2002, Mitt Romney ran as a pro-choice Republican. In 2008, Mitt Romney ran as a pro-life Republican. For many people, especially social conservatives, “just trust me” wasn’t going to work.

In 2012, the Democrats ran a strange ( at the time) GOP War On Woman campaign. It made very little sense. That is, until Todd Akin, the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, made the ridiculous claim that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate” rape. Romney did not respond. Republican politicians and movement conservatives demanded Todd Akin step down and allow someone else to run for the U.S. Senate. Todd Akin refused. Todd Akin lost his race by almost 16 points. It was a disaster that could have been averted.

Two weeks before the election, Richard Mourdock, running for the U.S. Senate from Indiana made a comment during a debate that was deliberately twisted by his opponent to say that “rape was a gift from God”. An examination of Mourdock’s statement shows that he had said ‘life, resulting from a rape, was a gift from God’. In response to the manufactured firestorm, the Romney campaign released the following statement: “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views”. Richard Mourdock lost his race by 5 ½ points.

The vote totals from both states reflect an interesting trend. In Missouri, Obama received 286,175 less votes than 2008. Mitt Romney received 34,136 more votes than John McCain in 2008. In Indiana, Obama received 217,446 less votes than 2008. Romney received 70,522 more votes than John McCain in 2008.
It should be noted that Obama ran his campaign with abortion rights being the centerpiece of said campaign. I submit that Romney’s silence in Missouri and his rebuke of Mourdoch’s position in Indiana gave social conservatives the reason to stay home on election day. Romney made many egregious tactical errors. He ceded the foreign-policy debate to Obama and he took the social conservatives for granted after selecting Ryan as his VP candidate. He, and his political team, could not and would not make a reasonable and definitive argument to assuage the skeptics within the social conservatives. The more the Obama campaign promoted abortion rights, the Romney campaign responded with economic issues and promises. Obama conquered Romney by dividing the GOP base. Romney was all too willing to drive that bus.

One final note on the Indiana race. Mourdoch defeated the incumbent Richard Lugar in the primary. Lugar never endorsed or campaigned for Mourdoch in the general election. It would be safe to say the petulance of Lugar and his supporters played a greater role in defeating Mourdoch than anything Mourdoch said in the last two weeks of his campaign. Divide and conquer, indeed.

Spartan

Of Fools And Faith Part II

The ObamaCare Mandate

One of the most interesting political decisions made by this Administration was the ordering religion-based hospitals and charities to provide contraception and other birth control services for their employees. Politicians of the Catholic Faith, who voted for ObamaCare, came out of the woodwork to distance themselves from the uproar. Bart Stupak, who is now a lobbyist, still believes in the executive order and Kathy Dahlkemper now says if she had only known, she would have never voted for the Bill. Both are delusional. Dahlkemper, for instance, had problems with ObamaCare. However, after four days of arm-twisting at Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home, she was onboard. I guess you really have to pass a law to find out what it contains.

The outcry, especially by Catholics, over the Mandate and the administration’s most recent implementing action is amazing to watch. Led by Bishop Daniel Jenky, Archbishop Dolan, and other Catholic clergy too many to mention, the administration’s action has galvanized most Catholics, liberal and conservative, to unite in protest, a rarity among the two factions. To be sure, there will be some Catholics who will use the rhetoric of Sister Carol Keehan, the head of the Catholic Health Organization, for cover but such cover is but a fig-leaf. However, the rare Latin-Kumbaya alliance among America’s Catholics do not appear to buying Obama’s “accommodation” in forcing the insurance companies to pay for the birth control services. That type of “accommodation” has probably offended more people than the original diktat. There is no accommodation with Obama.

And yet this type of diktat does have some historical past. Many of the old “social conservatives” remember what galvanized their opposition to Jimmy Carter for the 1980 election. The Carter Administration (if I recall the story correctly) tried to impose the Fairness Doctrine on various clergy who had radio programs. The outcry then led to the formation of the Moral Majority. I am pretty sure Paul Weyrich would be stunned to watch history repeat itself.

The question is: Can Obama win re-election if he loses the Catholic vote?

I don’t know but if history is any guide, Carter lost his re-election in 1980; carrying only 6 states and DC. The Evangelicals abandoned Carter who regularly went to church for Reagan who did not attend a church with any regularity. To these folks, Reagan defended the Faith while Carter did not.

It is incumbent for the GOP address this issue with the strength and determination of a Bishop Jenky and an Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Dolan. Their defense of the Faith must be praised. Perhaps, Team Obama has written off the Catholic vote along with the White working class vote. At this rate, who will be left to vote for Obama?

Spartan

In The Long Run, We Are All Bained

This has been probably the oddest of political primary seasons. We have an incumbent President who is the mad combination of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, and Walter Mondale. Obama ran in 2008 with the promise of being a “centrist” but has ruled, not governed, this country with all the aplomb of a bull in a china cabinet.

In 2010, the people of the United States under the mantra of a Tea Party gave the President and his political party a shellacking at the polls. Not only did the House of Representatives change hands but so did over 20 State legislative bodies; some for the first time in over a hundred years. The momentum for 2012 appeared to be ready to oust Obama and the Senate Democrats. In response to the election results of 2010, did Obama and Harry Reid work to assuage the Tea Party momentum? No, they just doubled down.

The Senate has, in violation of law, not submitted a budget for over 1000 days. What Obama can not get from an unwilling Congress, he gets by bureaucratic fiat and regulations. The GOP momentum has been for all intents, neutered.

With this in mind, the GOP primary season began with a series of candidates who ranged from losers to wannabes to the never were. Missing from the race were formidable and vetted conservatives such as Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, and Paul Ryan. Now, the GOP is left with four candidates. From these, it appears two (Gingrich and Romney) are contenders, one (Santorum) is vying for VP, and one (Paul) is just trying to be an influence at the convention. Of these, I want to focus on Romney.

Mitt Romney has been running for president since he became Governor of Massachusetts in 2003. He was considered a weak and feckless Governor and for the last two years of his term, a running joke. Under his watch, RomneyCare was enacted and gay marriage was found to be constitutional by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Budget shortfalls were made up with increases in taxes and user fees. When outraged people of all political stripes demanded Romney do something to overcome the aforementioned Supreme Court decision, Romney did nothing. Yes, he decried the decision but he frustrated any effort to amend the Massachusetts Constitution. In the end, Romney fought for nothing and believed in nothing but himself.

During his first run for the Presidency in 2008, Romney had the backing of many conservatives who did not like or trust John McCain. Romney became for these folks the “Anyone But McCain” candidate. I watched in amazement as none of his rivals liked Romney. He was treated with disdain and contempt. It was assumed it was because of their contempt for his support. It was only later, we found out their frustration with Romney surrounded his attempts to destroyed candidacies through a sordid whisper campaign in the media.

In the race for 2012, the real Romney has emerged and it is not pretty. In the four years since he dropped out of the 2008, Romney has embarked on a takeover of the GOP political process.

First, states like IA and NH moved up their Caucus and Primary dates. FL also moved up their primary date; even at the price of half their delegates. VA, with their strict ballot access rules, made access to their ballot even harder to access. The beneficiary of all these moves was Romney. He has the money and organization to accomplish these moves. It is almost as if Romney had taken the Bain Model to co-opt the GOP primary process. His willing accomplices in the conservative media saw nothing wrong and remained quiet.

Second, get the polls to show Romney is the only one who can beat Obama. This is pretty easy when the narrative is pushed through the media (Mainstream and Conservative) by political operatives. The narrative is reflected in the polls and a front-runner is born.

Next, when anyone begins to threaten the frontrunner status, destroy the contender. When candidates like Herman Cain seemed to threaten Romney, stories of sexual harassment and marriage infidelity magically appeared. Cain, in a fit of pique, put all his troubles on other candidates; notably Rick Perry. When Newt Gingrich then became the contender to Romney, he was systematically destroyed in Iowa and Florida by a full frontal negative assault. Gingrich was also attacked in SC but still won that election. Once again, his willing accomplices in the conservative media see nothing wrong and remained quiet.

Lastly, create a relevant message and stick to it. In response to the horrid economy, Romney promises to create jobs by stating that only he knows what is needed to create jobs. To that end, he constantly points to his time at Bain Capital, a private equity financial firm. This is the proverbial “fly in the ointment”.

Bain Capital is a financial animal that is needed when private companies need an infusion of cash. It also comes at a high price. On top of the high fees, there is debt. Some companies survive, some companies do not. Bain is interested in making money, not creating jobs. When I think of what Bain does, I am reminded of the Henry Hill narration from the movie Good Fellas when the restaurant owner takes Paulie Cicero as a partner:

“Now the guy’s got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy’s gotta come up with Paulie’s money every week, no matter what. Business bad? F*** you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F*** you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? F*** you, pay me.”

Yet, when Rick Perry decried Bain Capital as “vulture capitalists”, a cacophony of conservatives accused Perry (and Gingrich) of being “anti-capitalists” and “attacking Romney from the Left”. The classic definition of a capitalist is someone who takes a long term risk to provide goods and services to the public. They invest their money, time, ideas, and expertise into the business while sacrificing everything to succeed. How is what Bain does any different than Paulie Cicero?

Romney’s mantra of knowing how to create jobs is belied by three other issues:

Romney’s support of a minimum wage tied to the rate of inflation.

One of the biggest criticisms of the minimum wage is that it causes unemployment, especially among Black youths. Conservative economists have decried the devastating effects the minimum wage has had on hiring. Yet, Romney pushes the idea.

The latest unemployment numbers.

The latest statistics from the government show 243,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate dropping to 8.3%. Romney’s response was basically he would have done this in quicker time. No where does Romney point out that 1.2 Million people have quit looking for work and that our labor force is at its lowest level since 1983. To be fair, even the vaunted Wall Street Journal says the 1.2 Million are likely retiring baby boomers. But as the blog Zero Hedge notes; as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. At this rate, the government should be able to declare unemployment at 6.5% by November. Romney is not prepared to face this challenge.

RomneyCare

RomneyCare is a huge problem for Romney. Ann Coulter can make three cheers for the idea but the consequences of RomneyCare are dreadful. Business owners will have some tough decisions to make. Either they do not hire or expand, or they shift the burden of paying the premium to the employee. All the insurance plans in Massachusetts have to be approved by the State. They are also expensive.

The real problem with Romney is that Romney wants a centralized control economy. RomneyCare not only accomplishes much of that but it drastically changes the relationship between the government and the people as the government dictates to us how we are to spend our money. If this concept is accepted as legitimate, there is no limit to the authority of the government over us. If you think the government will stop here, you are living in a fool’s paradise.

Romney ignores the collateral damage of his ideas, His ego is so large, he can not comprehend that any part or use of his ideas can and will produce disastrous results. Perhaps, his way of creating jobs is to have the government hire more bureaucrats with the purpose to go into each private business no matter how large or small to see if they running properly and at full capacity. These bureaucrats will be able to streamline jobs or demand more hiring by diktat.

Conclusion:

I believe Romney’s career at Bain Capital makes him uniquely unqualified to become President of the United States. If Bain were interested in and believed in the concepts of Free Enterprise, then why all the heavy tactics that result in the loss of Free Enterprise?

It was the entrepreneur who is the real capitalist. It is their sweat equity that grew our economy from the malaise of the Carter years, not the equity of Bain. If the nominees in November are Romney and Obama, it does not matter who wins. Romney’s accomplices in the conservative media still do not see anything wrong and remain quiet. They are willing to sacrifice their principles for power. Eventually, they will have neither because in the long run, we are all Bained.

Spartan

Of Fools and Faith

Of Fools and Faith

Part I

1/18/12

As everyone has realized the political primary season is in full swing. This is the time of year when everyone has an opinion over who not only is the best candidate but who will win the general election. These opinions are held by pundit and voter alike and all of them are most likely to not get one correct lottery number on a Saturday night.

From candidates to pundits to voters, the fools come in various forms and flavors. Candidates like Herman Cain promoted simplistic slogans he could not explain. He got in big trouble when he could not simply explain the Libyan adventure or his exploits with women who were not his wife. Yet, slobbering journalists like Robert Stacy McCain and pundits who have lost their conservative moorings, like Ann Coulter, professed their love and admiration. You see, in their minds, Herman was the one. Cain sold a lot of books to folks who thought he was the one. These books will keep them warm on these cold winter nights.

Michele Bachmann promoted tough rhetoric on defeating Obama. She built her following by playing the victim of Democrat attacks and showing up on any stage promoting herself at TEA Party functions. She was one of us. The problem for Bachmann is the love she felt could not overcome her lying, demagoguery, and an overall lack of legislative accomplishment. She was a show horse, not a work horse. This may explain why she has a problem maintaining a congressional staff. However, before she left the stage, she took down Tim Pawlenty and tried to take down Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich through a series of dishonest lies and demagoguery. The funny thing; she made no such attacks on Mitt Romney. Other than being on her being a prima donna, exactly whose side was/is she on?

John Huntsman ran on his record as a fiscal conservative governor of Utah. He was pro-life and he used to be Obama’s ambassador to China. He also appealed to secularists who mocked evangelicals as Huntsman put science over Faith. Huntsman found financial support from Hilary Clinton supporters. It appears his father has formed an investment partnership with a former CEO of Bain Capital. He basically ran in one state (New Hampshire) and came in third. This was his ceiling and he dropped out a few days later. However, he dropped out just after receiving the endorsement of South Carolina’s largest newspaper, The State. A lot of folks were fooled by the false ascendancy of Huntsman.

The GOP is now down to 5 candidates. I will discuss the five in greater detail later but I want to focus on the Social Conservative leaders who last weekend endorsed Rick Santorum for President. I do not really care who these folks endorse but they are presumably smart people. However, when you take into account Rick Santorum has no money and no organization to run a 50-state race. When you take into account Santorum was trounced by 18 points in his last political race in 2006. When you take into account Santorum has been a big government guy but who is staunchly pro-life and pre-family in an election cycle where big government is the biggest concern of the American voter. When you take into account the rehashed story of Santorum’s wife having a 6-year affair with an abortion doctor before she met and married Santorum. In light of all of these factors, you have to ask; what are you all thinking? Is this wishful thinking based on Faith or some realistic plan to make Santorum viable before Super Tuesday in March? Did you properly vet the candidate or is the idea to have your guy play for the VP slot under Romney?

The funny thing is both Bachmann and Cain (perhaps Huntsman–he wanted to be the anti-Romney but endorsed him upon his exit) seemed to take it easy on Romney during the campaign. There was speculation that both were angling for the VP job. What will Santorum bring to the campaign? PA? The South? The West? Any blue states?

Sometimes, I wonder who is fooling who in this matter; Santorum who is a social conservative but seems to be clueless on economic matters or the Social Conservatives who have put all their credibility on the line on a candidate who is behind in money and organization? When reality strikes both, I wonder what it will do to their reputations?

This is what happens when you abandon Faith in the search for power.

Spartan

The Conservative Crack-Up Part III

The Polls, The Electorate, and My Prediction

In all my years of working in and observing politics, I have never seen such fluctuations in the polls as I have seen in the last few months. First, Bachmann, then Perry, followed by the erstwhile Cain, now Gingrich. I think there are three reasons beyond ‘anyone but Romney’: 1) the people are looking at who is the smartest person at the time (in very much the belief that Obama is a smart man), 2) the polls are a reflection of the positive media coverage for whatever candidate is presumed the leader and the negative coverage of the other candidates (a combination of lazy analysis and a lack of caring), and 3) perhaps, the polls are wrong (not in the data but the methodology).

I believe there is deception in the promotion of Obama as a very smart person. Outside of the flowery words (which never seem memorable-like JFK) and party and ideological hacks telling us how bright he is, there is very little data to prove Obama is smart. No academic records are ever produced and no dissertations are ever released. Yet, the perception that Obama is smart remains. However, instead of demanding evidence of scholastic achievement, opponents of Obama seek to find someone who is as smart as Obama. This leads to a unhealthy vetting; not as to policies and beliefs but as to whether the candidate is smart enough to take on Obama. I think the polls reflect this dynamic.

I believe the media coverage has a lot to do with the up and down nature of the polls. The media has a nasty habit of building people up in order to destroy them later at their convenience. They also focus on minor issues as though they were major catastrophes and treat major catastrophes as mild irritations. They realize that most people are too lazy to go behind the headlines.

There seems to be two competing narratives from two different directions concerning Obama. The narrative from the MSM is that Obama is smart and a tough opponent to debate. The other narrative is Obama is the anti-Christ. Both narratives are patently false, but persistent.

The former is two fallacies; Obama is neither smart nor tough to debate. Let’s face it, when you listen to Obama, you do not get a feeling of brilliance. As for the ‘tough to debate’, that is some of the best sleight of hand the media has ever foisted on the public. Ask yourself a question; how many times have you watched a debate and thought Candidate A won the debate but only have the pundits after the debate say that Candidate B won the debate? I am not sure why the electorate allows itself to be led around by the media.

The latter is just plain ridiculous. There is no such entity as an ’anti-Christ’. It is not possible that there exists an equal and opposite entity of Christ. It is possible for people to be ’against Christ’ but no entity can have the same power and stature of Christ; but for evil.

Nonetheless, the electorate is looking for the candidate who can address these two narratives. When one does not properly vet a candidate; perceptions matter. Positive media coverage increases perceptions, negative media coverage causes a negative perception.

I believe the current polls are a reflection of the emotional angst of the electorate seeking an easy answer to the current political situations. The one thing polls can not accurately define is the real support for the candidate. When one adds the dynamic of a top-down campaign, even the candidate has no idea what is his real strength.

Supposedly, Cain was raising tons of money when the allegations of the mistress came to light. When Cain ’suspended’ his campaign, he did not mention the strength of any donations or his neophyte campaign. The question now becomes; who deluded who?
This is why I believe the polls are wrong.

The perception now has become Newt is up in the polls; followed by Romney and Paul. Yet, there is no data of fundraising or any status of his current campaign and GOTV efforts. It eerily reminds me of Cain.

My Prediction

I strongly believe the adage that successful campaigns have three things in common: money, organization, and luck. It is often said that money is the mother’s milk of politics. As of this 19th day of December, only Romney and Perry have any real money. Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman, Gingrich have little to no money. Gingrich is the latest beneficiary of the emotional electorate but his support is beginning to crater. The money will soon crater.

As for organization, Santorum has very little, if any, outside of Iowa. He may do well in IA but will not be able to capitalize anywhere else.
Huntsman, is playing for NH. He will get a little traction from IA, but if he does not do well in NH, he is finished. Even if he does well in NH, he has little to no organization in SC and beyond.

Bachmann has a little organization in NH and is starting to put an effort in SC. In SC, she has hired the Wes Donehue as her spokesman. He proclaimed Gingrich was buying Tea Party votes in SC. The problem is, Newt is not. This is an odd way of advancing Bachmann’s political campaign. Either she is not a serious candidate or she is not a serious conservative. At this point, I remain convinced she is in the race to help Romney. I am not sure what she has to gain other than the title of Ambassador to Malta.

Gingrich is finally putting together a campaign staff but it is small and most likely unable to fill the needs of a front-runner. If Gingrich continues to crater, they will be looking for work elsewhere.

Romney has organization in IA, NH, and SC. Perry has an organization in IA and SC. Ron Paul continues to have his merry band of idealists run his organization. I think these three will win, place, and show in IA. A fourth place showing by Newt will end his front-runner status. Romney and Perry will both claim the “Comeback Kid” status. Their battle royalé will begin in SC.

I see Romney and Perry being the only two who can fight a fifty state primary battle. Paul will be able to compete but his ceiling will be very low. Will either candidate avoid a brokered convention? Whether that happens or not, consider Perry lucky to survive.

Spartan