The Conservative Political Action Committee held it’s convention this weekend past and it tends to be viewed as the kick-off for Republican POTUS races. This year, I think the Telegraph gets it right – CPAC is auditions, not kick-offs. The field has yet to settle out enough for CPAC to have major impact on the race itself. Next year’s CPAC will be the really interesting one. This year’s Straw poll, won by Ron Paul (gee, there’s a shocker) just shows that things have yet to settle out and people are not yet getting really serious.
CPAC is largely a religion free zone. This year saw some controversy as the convention included a gay Republican group which caused many of the religion firsters to boycott, but most people are noting that the convention is little affected. For the best free coverage, check Hot Air and if you are a subscriber, check PJTV. There were lots of great speeches by the possibles and we do not need to retread here what was covered well enough by others.
There are a few things to note. One, Donald Trump’s appearance was, I still believe, a publicity stunt. He has a TV show that is getting old and needs its ratings revved up a bit. Mitch Daniels’ speech was strong enough that he may have revived his opportunity. However, when he has to protest to Politico that he really is in a strong position to run, I’m thinking he has himself in a far less goofy Ron Paul like position (Policy wonk – maybe some good ideas) than serious candidate position. John Thune did ok, but is running out of space. Ann Coulter made a fool of herself – actually, that is not really news.
At this moment, there are only two truly serious players. Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, and they are squaring off. But before we go there, much still reverberates from Jon Huntsman’s resignation as Obama’s, I repeat Obama’s, ambassador to China.
And Still “The Question” Rings…
Largely because “On Faith” insisted that it would when it asked about it earlier last week. Some of the responses were just silly and naive. Some clearly were not listening until now. Some found the sweet spot. One of the more interesting story lines to develop out of the discussion was the Jewish claims of having been through this already. That’s bothersome. The minute we start worrying about who has been most victimized is the minute we have lost what we are really fighting for.
The most interesting question, really, is if Huntsman is not trying to play the spoiler for Romney. His actions certainly have reignited this discussion, but he’ll have to do a lot more if he truly wants to spoil. This discussion will die soon – likely is already dead.
Some liberals took a lousy shot at Dallin Oaks speech last week. It is too ineffective to deserve comment, let alone refutation.
Playing The Field…
A look at Iowa. It’s a story about Iowa action groups, which are called “tribes” in the local parlance. That’s problematic. “Tribes” draw boundaries that tend to fight against negotiation or moderation. When seeking to build a consensus, the last thing you need is to go “tribal.” Advocate, promote, champion your cause, but in the end we have to come together or all we have done is not only have our cause defeated, but our opportunity to bring our cause forward. Just another reason to remove Iowa from it’s current prominence.
I think Allahpundit has analyzed the battle lines, if not the players, just about right for the forthcoming primary:
Half the field will compete for the principled “true conservative” nomination (Palin, Huck, Santorum), the other half will compete for the moderate/managerial nomination (Mitt, Daniels, Huntsman), and then there’ll be a showdown.
It will be argued that “moderate/managerial” is what we had last time, and look where it got us; however, John McCain will no be the candidate this time and we have had four years of management by true believers even if on the other side of the aisle. We may need true conservative policies to counter-balance this administration, but there are two really important factors to keep in mind. More than policy objections to this administration are the cram-down objections. Most pep0le care less about policy than they do that stuff was force-fed them against their will, and that is what true-believers, on either side of the aisle, tend to give you.
Which gets me to my second point – general elections are decided, always, by the great unwashed moderate independents. It is a statistical reality we simply cannot ignore. A “true conservative” Republican candidate will yield the middle to Obama, where those people live, and we lose. I know the nation is in an angry conservative mood right now, but if it does not settle down things will get worse, not better.
Give me a break with this. Hit piece for sure – look who the author is, but it is not even a good one. If you are going to try and establish a narrative for the other guy, you need to come up with one that is plausible. And speaking of needing a break.
As we said earlier, the serious stuff is between Romney and Pawlenty, although Palin has made her first serious move towards candidacy – that would change the dynamic radically and quickly. Remember a few weeks ago when we suggested that perhaps Michelle Bachmann was letting rumors fly to aid some other presidential possible, by stealing Pawlenty’s Minnesota thunder? We are not the only ones that had that idea.
Romney has the best wife power. No kidding there. Ann Romney is a dynamo, and a charmer. People are reaching for straws to attack him now – this time they are trying to reinvigorate “flip-flop” over the paperback release of his book. Come on – Obama has shown a lot more leg since the hardback edition – hence Romney’s change in tone. Conditions change and smart people change with them. But what is really irritating is that we all know – it’s been proven – that flip-flop is often code for Mormon.
I’m glad some of this is playing out now and not later, when things get really serious. Obama is weak, but not dead, and if we cannot keep our act together we’ll suffer four more years of this nonsense – something the nation simply cannot afford.