January 29, 2008

Fading into the Florida Sunset

A lot of conservatives were excited at the prospect of a Fred Thompson presidential bid. But once he hit the stage, the script-less Fred lacked the presence of Reagan; unable to capture the moment. Had he been engaged earlier, and with a lot more energy, Romney may never have evolved into a viable conservative candidate.

Likewise, Rudy seemed destined for a showdown against the presumed Democrat nominee Clinton. Until the game plan was revealed.

Rudy, not to mention the DuHaime/Seaborn duo, failed to see the big picture of presidential politics. These contests are all about momentum and sustainability. Had Rudy been engaged in Iowa, showing strength and organization, Huck may never have emerged from nowhere. More likely, had Rudy been engaged in New Hampshire, McCain's express may never have gotten out of the bus terminal. Rudy's expected endorsement of McCain tomorrow, shows at least he's being consistent.

Most compelling to see how stoic Rudy looked in tonight's concession speech. Too he bad waited until the contest was over to give such a performance.

January 24, 2008

Falgoust Running in PA 13th

Upper Moreland Municipal Chairman Lee Falgoust announced his intention to seek the republican nomination in PA's 13th congressional district via a January 18th letter to GOP Committeepeople in Montgomery County.

Falgoust joins Marina Kats, a personal injury attorney from Elkins Park, in an attempt to capture the seat presently occupied by Allyson Schwartz. Either candidate faces an uphill battle against one of Southeastern PA's best-funded liberal (as in way out in left field) Democrats.

Origianlly from New Orleans, Falgoust is the President and Founder of Crosslink Technology Group, LLC and coaches both girls softball and soccer in Hatboro and Willow Grove.

January 15, 2008

Olympic Horserace

Romney finally bags a relevant state, and handily at that (with 34% in - 39 to 30 over McCain). So if I'm following the media's conventional wisdom, this means he's not dead.

With 2 gold's, 2 silver's, and the potential for a bronze in South Carolina, could Romney be considered an emerging front runner by the MSM now? If this were the Winter X Games or the Olympics, ESPN would be doing one of those feel-good Sunday Night Conversations with Mitt. Somehow, I doubt the MSM will go there.

Interesting point by Nina Easton on FOX (Boston Globe, Wife of Romney staffer), will the ever-so-slightly mussed hair show he's human, much like Hillary's fake crying did? Fred Barnes also noted some potential persperation showing.

So all we need now is a win by Fred in SC and Rudy holding onto the Sunshine State and we are right back where we started heading into Super (I refuse to call it Duper) Tuesday. Except the Dr. Paul fantasy will thankfully be DOA.

January 8, 2008

Post New Hampshire

Ok, so the comeback kids won New Hampshire, and the point is? The first primary has been known to give life to otherwise floundering campaigns, but can the Live Free or Die State really have a lasting impact on the remaining primary battles? The primary did make this race an open one, on both sides. Clearly, the Dems are down to two candidates; the GOP though still has at least four viable options.

If Clinton doesn't get the democrat nod. The potential for a Hillary-less general election fight changes the entire landscape. The main motive for my early rooting interest in Rudy was his contrast against Clinton. The comparison between Obama and Rudy isn't as appealing.

Against Obama, if Barack is indeed the new front-runner for the donkeys, Rudy looks old and frail. Against the charm and charisma of Obama you need a confident and informed candidate. And with that potential battle on the horizon, Romney is starting to look like quite an interesting alternative to the shaky Giuliani.

Romney put the issue of immigration (top conservative issue after the war) out of the park on Fox's Sunday night debate; amnesty in any form is not acceptable. Second, Mitt was on target regarding changing the culture in Washington (another conservative sticking point). At last, Romney appears to be finding his voice regarding the difference between Pennsylvania avenue and the rest of us.

McCain seemed more measured Sunday night than in recent debates. Trying to appear stoic and carefully avoiding anything which would jeopardize his recent rise in the polls. However, the fake smile always reminds me of campaign finance reform, and because of that image, he could walk on water and I'd never notice. Independents however, still like the "maverick" and clearly turned to him rather than getting sucked into the Obama wave.

I never bought into the Huckster's rise, having seen many Iowa winners fade quickly once the more-liberal New Hampshire voters had their say. Once I peeled back some layers on Huckabee, it wasn't hard to find some major flaws in his campaign. Primarily, the evangelical wing of the conservative movement that Mike represents, is too single-issue-focused for my taste.

I have to admit, I underestimated Mitt's talent and focus. His broad business knowledge, his record in turning around the Olympics, and his ability to think on his feet, maintaining big-picture thinking during the heat of a debate (something Bush never possessed), all are making me reconsider his candidacy. His reference to China as a competitor to the US, shows he's tuned into the global marketplace (whether we like globalization or not) and its changing influence in our economy.

For now I remain undecided, not impressed by McCain's New Hampshire win. Hillary seems to have new life, though the crying moment seemed pathetic and weak. Romney needs to win one of the next few primaries, before Rudy's game plan starts to take hold. Obama hasn't fully captured the moment, yet. His inability to capture the independents tonight could be a sign he doesn't have broad appeal. (note: Why didn't NH independents turn his way? I thought they were moderate libs...hmmm) Huck, Fred and Edwards are afterthoughts.

The picture is starting to take shape, yet remains amazingly vague.

January 1, 2008

Rope-a-Dope, I Hope

Rudy Giuliani is taking Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina off. A curious and unique strategy which hopes to show the irrelevance of the early primaries and caucus.

Thursday's results will define a winner, and it won't be Rudy. Instead, Giuliani will be hoping for a swing in momentum starting in Florida, where he still seems to have a solid grip.

Until then Huckabee will surge, but ultimately it seems only to the dismay of Romney, if at all. McCain could spoil Mitt's New Hampshire efforts, but again Rudy does as he's expected. Thompson may find a way in South Carolina, but like the other scenarios, little change needed in Rudy's plan. If all the above happens, a Rudy win in the sunshine state changes the dynamic, less than a week before Super-Duper Tuesday.

Mitt clearly is the most organized, well funded, and the apparent alternative to the not-as-conservative Rudy. Except he's not the first alternative among many in the Christian conservative base. Never mind his faith which some can't seem to get over, Mitt's issue with conservatives seems to be about trust, given his "evolving" stance on issues. This lack of consolidation of the party's base, may ultimately be his undoing.

Rudy's been quiet of late, causing some politicos to question what's wrong. I hope it's just a pause, before a major January speech Rudy seems to be waiting patiently to give. He may just be letting the other contenders punch each other's lights out. If he has such a plan, and performs the way we know he can, it should reignite Rudy's fading flame. The rope-a-dope game plan would then be well designed.

One final note. Following the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Rudy simply stated in a press release minutes after the news spread,
"Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere -- whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi -- is an enemy of freedom...We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists' War on Us."
If anyone doubts his focus and clear-thinking in the only area that matters most this election year, they must not want to.