When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force

Newton’s 1st law of Motion

Lyndon Johnson’s loss had been due a political fluke. He had been beaten not by his opponent’s friends but by his opponent’s foes. 

Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power

A few days ago I saw a piece concerning Iowa that crunched the numbers in Iowa that suggest Donald Trump is going to have more trouble than he thinks in Iowa.

Really, so in order to justify Trump’s lead, somehow 50,000 more caucus attendees will have to show up and vote for Trump than have ever shown up before. Trump has 12 paid staffers in Iowa, led by Tana Goetz, a 48-year-old former runner up on “The Apprentice.” Wow, what raw horsepower.

He contrasts that to Ted Cruz:

Cruz has over 1,000 precinct chairs, a 240-plus person leadership team and over 5,000 volunteers in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties (all of which Cruz has pledged to visit before the caucuses, and it looks like he’ll make it happen). They’re led by seasoned professionals such as Jake Dagel, who was field director for Turning Point USA.

It’s a devastating  analysis but it overlooks one very important thing, and that’s strategic voting

While the GOP doesn’t have the same process as the dems who can, if the supporters of a candidate can’t get enough people to go with them to advance go with another candidate, it’s going to be very apparent very early if an attendee’s candidate has a shot in their district.

When that happens then it will be time for voters to decide:  “Do I stick with my guy or do I think strategically?”

Think if you are a Jeb Bush, or a Chris Christie, or a John Kasich guy.  Your man isn’t going to win Iowa, you likely won’t even finish in the top 3.  What is your game plan to win the nomination?

If you’re Jeb Bush guy, you need to be the last non-Trump man standing.  So you have to stop Ted Cruz.

If you’re Chris Christie or John Kasich you have to finish in the top 3 in NH, you aren’t likely to stop Donald Trump there so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

You’re Carly Fiorina, Trump is a perfect foil for your campaign, Ted Cruz is not so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

and it’s not just establishment types thinking this;

You’re a Mike Huckabee or a Rick Santorum supporter, your only prayer (assuming you have one) is to cancel out the one guy who has taken the votes you won with in 2008  & 2012 so that you can win in the south so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

You are Ben Carson voter, you know your man who has the potential to attract voters in the south who might normally not vote in a GOP primary but you have to get to those primaries with a campaign still alive so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

Your Rand Paul voter, you can’t allow libertarians to be looking for another principled alternative so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

The only candidate with a disincentive to this is Marco Rubio, the NYT not withstanding he needs to keep his guys in line to keep himself viable, a fight between him and Cruz diminishes his rivals and increases him, he needs is folks to boost his numbers at all costs.

Now you might say:  “But Datechguy Iowa is a big conservative state what makes you think there are enough establishment votes to save Iowa for Trump”

My answer.  Mitt lost Iowa by only 8 votes and those Mitt guys are all in for Bush  stopping Cruz.

Bottom line, with the exception of Marco Rubio every single other candidate has an incentive to stop Ted Cruz from winning Iowa, even if it gives the win to Trump.

Trump doesn’t need 50,000 extra voters to show up at the caucus to win, he simply needs enough voters to put the other candidates voters in a spot where they have a pragmatic choice between helping Trump win or helping letting Cruz win.

That is Donald Trump’s secret weapon and don’t think for one moment he doesn’t know it.

P.S.  You’ll not that I didn’t include Jim Gilmore with all due respect for the former gov of VA why would I?

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

This last week we’ve seen a flock of ads from presidential candidates and super packs.

Some are stronger than others but for my money the most creative of the bunch is this one from Ted Cruz

It makes the quite correct point that the people who are hurt most by illegal immigration are both citizens and legal immigrants, many of them black and latino, competing for the very jobs that people coming here illegally fill.

The left has tried to make this an issue about race rather than an issue about economics and law. Cruz’s ad demonstrates that this is a canard and it’s use of humor makes the targets of this ad think rather than simply producing a visceral reaction like the Trump ad.

That’s another way in which Cruz has sought to distinguish himself from Trump: You don’t hear much from Cruz about rapists from Mexico but you’ll hear plenty about hard-working Americans having to compete with illegal labor in a tough economy. That’s a smart way to approach the immigration debate if you’re worried about being attacked by the left as a racist, as concerns about wages being driven down by illegals are sufficiently legit among liberals that even progressive saint Bernie Sanders has been known to make the point.

That’s not to say the Trump ad is not effective it is. It has the virtue of being consistent with his campaign’s message throughout and will reinforce his voters, but Cruz’s ad is a rapier to Trump’s cutlass and unlike Trump’s shown here:

it will be harder to parry by the left, although in fairness Trump’s ad deals with more than one topic. Terror, which is the subject of Rick Santorum’s ad.

FairyTales from Santorum for President 2016 on Vimeo.

Santorum’s proclamation on Islamic Terror :All Jihadists are muslims” is very strong and has the virtue of being true. Additionally his record is good on the subject in the senate while old is very good. But the attack on Ted Cruz won’t wash given Cruz’s record on the subject, which is much more current than Santorum’s. I understand the logic of it given current polling & the fact Rick and Ted are both competing for the same voters in Iowa but not only will it not persuade Cruz voters the weak attack takes away from a strong effective positive message that Santorum does have.

In the end I (perhaps with some bias) give Cruz’s ad the nod over the other for the combination of wit, single topics and a message hard to counter. Trump gets the 2nd spot for the consistent message with Santorum right behind with the best single line of the three.

Incidentally the worst ad of the week came out from a Ted Cruz superpack hitting Marco Rubio. It has all of the problems of the Santorum ad with none of the strengths.

It’s an embarrassment and the Senator should be glad that there is no coordination involved in it because he wouldn’t want to take credit for it.

OK I’ve had a few hours to sleep on it and here are my debate takeaways.

Winner:  Main Debate Rand Paul:  Despite not having much time in the early rounds won two segments.  Made strong cases for everything he believed and sold his positions well.  Accomplished everything he needed to do, the only question is do people agree with those positions.

Winner: First Debate Lindsey Graham:  Memorable lines , humor and again made the case first for a ground war against isis, the single most important issue for the future of the country and for pressing the Obama administration in the senate.

Graham will get a small bump because he’s polling so low with Paul it’s harder because he’s making cases for things that many in the base disagree with.

Five interesting points.  

My two “winners”  are both people I disagree with.

Not only were there no bad debate performances in either debate but there was an awful lot of substance in them (particularly in debate 1)

The debate was specifically designed to promote confrontation .  It did and the candidates made the most of them.  I’m sure to the ratings delight of CNN

While it was a very long night for the Candidates it was even longer for the moderators who did an excellent job.

There wasn’t a person on either stage (even the ones I disagree with) that didn’t make themselves more credible it was like a convention of British Sea Captains from the Napoleonic Wars

 

Let’s go through the candidates starting with debate 2 in sort of the order of how they did.

Marco Rubio:  2nd place  Did exactly what he had to do, got noticed, had memorable moments and made excellent cases over an over.  Gave donors a reason to stay.

Carly Fiorina:  Completely justified her promotion to the main debate stage in a situation where he needed to do so.  Strong answers, and played to the MSM expectations and brought up the Planned Parenthood videos which will play very strongly to the base.

Chris Christie:  Reminded every conservative in the country why he was so popular before and used his time wisely.

Mike Huckabee:  Every chance he got she knocked it out of the part and really did a great job on the Kim Davis question noting the accommodations for Islamic Terrorists vs a Christian Clerk.

Jeb Bush:  A slow start but showed energy and reassured the donor class that was worried with a friendly establishment audience.

Donald Trump:  Target #1 of everyone there.  Brought up two excellent points (having to be friends with everyone in business and the threat of North Korea) that had previously been ignored.  Proved he could take a punch which is an important quality in a front runner.

Ted Cruz:  Like Huckabee took good advantage of every chance he had to talk, if he had been given the chance to make his climate change response might have been able to win.

Scott Walker:  May have saved his campaign by coming back strong

Ben Carson:  Gave good answers but criticized for being low key.  But that’s how he is.

John Kasich:  The least memorable performance of the night, yet still a good one, seemed kind of a poor man’s Lindsey Graham.

Debate 1:

Rick Santorum:  A very strong performance, made the best case for a min wage hike (I disagree there) that I’ve heard so far.

Bobby Jindal:  Really strong appeal to the base, very energetic again did the job he needed to do getting noticed.

George Pataki:  Had the single best hit on Hillary in either debate noting that she was a Senator from NY the target of terror attacks and still did what she did.

Short Term:  Tactical results:

Who was helped the most last night?  Carly Fiorina, she realized right away what the pundits were looking for & gave it to them.  Lots of credibility.

Who was hurt the most last night?  Ben Carson, the media has spun this as a defeat even though he is presenting himself the same as he always was.  The media template is to give Carly the push at his expense.

Long Term Strategic results:

Who was helped the most long term?  Donald Trump:  Not only did he dominate time and prove he could take every punch thrown at him but because nobody did bad enough to be eliminated that guarantees the vote will remain divided.  The longer that’s true the bigger advantage he has.

Who was hurt the most last night?  John Kasich:  Not because he did bad, he didn’t but because Jeb Bush did better and he is the establishment Bush fallback position.

A much longer post is coming about:

The flexible 14th amendment Kim Davis  Birthright citizenship

Ironic moment of the night:  Jeb Bush hits Kim Davis for not obeying nonexistent federal law while insisting he would not hit Colorado for ignoring explicit federal drug laws.

Most significant post debate moment:  Frank Luntz group, nobody in the group said Ted Cruz won but every single person in the group was impressed by him.  Continues to play the long game.

Am I the only one who noticed….The post debate interview with Donald Trump where he talks about getting to know his opponents.  I think it was rather revealing & will affect the way he counterpunchers in the future.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what they’re good for.

Last month at St. Anselm College Rick Santorum said this about the Iran Deal:

Here’s what I would say is that everybody who votes against this resolution and votes for the Iran deal, everybody who votes for the Iran deal owns everything Iran gonna do from this point forward. If you feel comfortable that this deal will do what the President says, you go and vote for it, but if you don’t if you know and I can’t imagine anyone whose watched Iran for any length of time knows Iran’s not going to keep this deal they’re going to pursue a nuclear weapon and they’ll probably be a nuclear power within in a very short period of time under this deal. You’re going to own that and you’re going to take responsibility for everything that happens.“

Yesterday in Hollis NH Ted Cruz put it more succinctly:

If this deal goes through the Obama Administration, quite literally become the World’s leading financier of Radical Islamic Terror

But with apologies to my two favorite candidates Senator Cruz and Senator Santorum I think even they can’t explain the danger as well as this video does:

Via the comments at Elder of Ziyon

This is likely why Debbie Wasserman Schultz was smart enough not to call for a formal vote supporting the president at the last Democrat confab It strikes too close to home.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what they’re good for.

quick thoughts on the GOP debate(s)

 

Update:  Apparently the whole world agrees that Carly is the big winner:

She also beat Chris Matthews to a pulp

I think the MSNBC audience that heard that is now praying that she doesn’t end up the nominee or anywhere near the GOP ticket.

My advice to each candidate

Pataki:  Talk about 9/11 and Welfare numbers and stick with it.

Jim Gilmore:  You’ve got some solid answers you’ve got to project differently somehow

Rick Perry:  Texas Texas Texas, every answer to every question should be about your record on Texas even foreign policy.  It’s a great record grab it and run with it.

Rick Santorum:  Less record more 25 second summaries of positions

Lindsey Graham:  No more Tip O’Neill stuff Keep making your case for the war.  Remind the people that we’d rather have the enemy fighting the greatest army in the world then our local police

Bobby Jindal:  Keep pushing conservatism as you were, keep pushing religious freedom.

Carly Fiorina:  You know what you did this afternoon?  Keep doing it.  Don’t get distracted.

OK my verdict

1st Place: Carly Fiorina and it wasn’t close at all.
2nd Place: Bobby Jindal Some strong answers and memorable lines
3rd Place: Lindsey Graham A single issue candidate but pushed it really well
4th Place Rick Santorum Good performance but he should have used the line he did with me on Monday
5th Place: Rick Perry body language was horrible until he talked about Texas. Best Record of the group but just not presenting well
6th Place: Jim Gilmore Sounded like a 20th century man on a 21st century stage
7th Place: George Pataki I guess we’ll find out if all the MSM people are correct about the GOP needing to embrace Choice

Gilmore looks & sounds like a man outside of his time

Fair close by Pataki but not enough

Graham closes with both the war and working together.

Fiorina absolutely demolishes Clinton in her speech

Jindal’s Closing speech the best so far really nails Bush

Santorum close was not bad but not memorable

When Rick Perry talks about Texas he simply lights up, if he want to win he has to frame everything in terms of Texas.

The Clinton question Jindal, Santorum & Fiorina answer best.

Graham sticking with the war topic, it’s his strongest point

Pataki: Hard hiring freeze good answer

Jindal, Perry Santorum all knock the executive order question out of the park

Graham’s Planned Parenthood answer is excellent

Jindal: “Planned Parenthood had better hope Hillary Clinton wins this election.”

Pataki gives the Cuomo answer on abortion and invokes his faith, and I just ate.

4th break and the person helping themselves the most on this stage is Fiorina and I don’t think it’s close

Is there a rule that says all social issue questions go to Santorum?

Perry & Fiorina both answer question on Iran, both are correct but Fiorina does much better

Jindal declines to condemn Kasich by name but condemns his medicare expansion.

Graham is repeating the Clinton speak business “Clinton would be third term of a failed presidency”

Hey there are finally two people in the seats!

Fiorina leading after two commercials

Perry talks about the failure to secure border & lack of trust but somehow his body language seems wrong, does anyone else see it?

Santorum: On having to wait to get in “America was worth the wait”

Gilmore: “We’re got to prepare the American people for a long war.”

Fiorina: “China & Russia are using technology to attack us.”

Pataki compares radical Islamic mosques to fire in a theatre

Lindsey Graham we fight them there or here. Says if people are not willing to put boot on ground their not serious about fighting ISIL, he’s getting hit on twitter for saying ISIL instead of ISIS

“I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton,”

First memorable statement from Fiorina

Opening statements: zzzzzzzzzz

The first part of this story about Magnificent Seven Writer and Author Tim Imholt’s arrival and mine at St. Anselm and our denial of press credentials is  here I pick up the story at the top of a rise under a tree overlooking the parking lot & entrance to the press and candidate area of the hall were the event takes place.

By the time I recharged my laptop candidates like Rick Perry & Rick Santorum had arrived. There were a few passers-by including a visiting couple that had inquired about getting in and had been initially told that some spots were reserved for students if some of the ticket holders didn’t make it they might gain admission. I offered to interview them, as the lady worked for the state department she demurred but her husband, a naturalized citizen, was kind enough to give me a few minutes:

I found his interest in a challenger for Hillary fascinating but what I found much more immediately interesting was the revelation that all of the attendees were pre-screened (which I suspect had a lot more to do with their inability to get in). That said more about the event than anything else.

I spent a fair amount of time with a retired local resident who was a former local official who I would consider fairly far left, nevertheless we had a great and friendly conversation and his anecdotes concerning various candidates were quite amusing. (It’s often forgotten that people can strongly disagree on political beliefs but get along famously.

With the colleges wireless internet signal I was able to tweet and write a bit but with a limited battery I had to occasionally head into the building behind me to charge, while charging I was able to monitor the event just as effectively as if I was in the press room since they had no access to the stage (many people don’t realize that at the vast majority of events like this press are in rooms like this and wait until either individuals leave a state or said event ends before approaching to try to get their interviews (or wait in a “spin room” for the candidates or their reps to come). With lightning flashes outside (but not rain) in sight I went back inside and decided my plan would be to watch the stream until the event was over, then go outside to try to grab interviews of either individuals or candidates.

As far as the event itself, it was very substantive except for the stupid $20 bill question.  (Frankly the answer should have been.  “I think american women care less about who is on the twenty than having an economy that makes jobs so they can have more of those $20 in their pocket.”)  The main effect was to display to political junkies (who frankly were the only people watching) that all of the candidates are competent people of actual accomplishments.  Any one of them in a normal year would be a credible candidate.

But with 17 candidates including Donald Trump who changes the normal dynamic it remains to be see what will happen.

The drawbacks were large, it was dark so the video quality might be iffy and as candidates would likely be moving I’d want the microphone connected to the laptop to get audio on the fly and as the mic drew its power from the laptop it would kill my battery faster, so I would have to carry the open laptop, the mic and the monopod with the camera all at once, so the plan was this. I started the record button on Audacity with the mic off and let it run, cradled the laptop with my arm while holding the mic in my right hand turning it on with my thumb while carrying the monopod & camera in my left figuring I’d could hit record with that thumb when ready.

I would produce two products my normal video interviews and an audio (coupled with stills from the video) with the entire set of interviews which you can watch here:

The people coming out that I approached seemed disinterested in talking to me. I briefly considered trying to enter as the event was over but given the tightness of the security decided against it (that decision was validated when after everyone left I was challenged when I tried to get a drink from a bubbler that was near the door within seconds.)

I noticed that the SUV’s were approaching the exits for some candidates but was too slow to get to Gov Perry with all I was carrying but I had better luck with Gov Pataki who came out right as I was near his door.

It was a bit tough keeping the gov centered while keeping the separate mic steady (I could really use an intern but finances can’t justify one), but the interview was good.

A few minutes later I noticed Gov Scott Walker in another part of the area doing what appeared to be an interview. I moved over and requested 2-3 minutes but he declined. So I headed back toward the parking lot just as Governor Jindal was leaving and managed to get 40 second walking interview 25 second of it on video.

by now most of the lot was empty but I saw Rick Santorum coming and the Senator recognizing me was kind enough to stop for a full interview which contained the line of the night concerning Iraq:

And in this interview he gave, in my opinion the line of the night (emphasis mine)
“Here’s what I would say is that everybody who votes against this resolution and votes for the Iran deal, everybody who votes for the Iran deal owns everything Iran gonna do from this point forward. If you feel comfortable that this deal will do what the President says, you go and vote for it, but if you don’t if you know and I can’t imagine anyone whose watched Iran for any length of time knows Iran’s not going to keep this deal they’re going to pursue a nuclear weapon and they’ll probably be a nuclear power within in a very short period of time under this deal.  You’re going to own that and you’re going to take responsibility for everything that happens.

You can see the flashes lighting up the sky behind the senator and as I couldn’t cover the 3rd exit that I presume the candidates I didn’t see left from I figured it was time to get myself as I’d been there since 1 PM before those thunderstorms became rain.

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What’s the use of being elected or re-elected if you don’t stand for something

President Grover Cleveland

On Tuesday Rick Santorum gave a speech at the Cornerstones NH event and if the only think you were listening for was: “Is the Former Senator and Runner up to Mitt Romney in 2012 running again?” then the only thing you really need to see is yesterday’s post.

But if you really want to know what yesterday was about you need to know Cornerstones. I interviewed Brian McCormick the emcee of the event concerning it:

Cornerstones my be a political group but it involves so many people who are making a difference for the elderly, the poor and the young along with the unborn, and more than that it’s about showing courage in a world that wants to silence people of faith

Cornerstones is all about faith and service and having the courage to stand up for both and there are plenty of young people willing to make that fight.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

And think about Senator Santorum, there are plenty of groups that he could have appeared with if he wanted to create buzz for a campaign but the take a closer look at his speech, it’s about courage,

The courage to speak uncomfortable truths aloud

The courage to confront issues instead of ceding the culture

The courage to ignore the MSM and the consultant demand to ignore family and life in the hopes of appeasing them.

In short the courage to stand for more than being elected.

The giveaway was in the 2nd part of his speech.  He told a story of visiting a group of donors in NY.  Every other GOP candidate had been called to see them and they began asking questions of him.

the first was on abortion, the 2nd question was on abortion, the third was on abortion and he finally had enough, and confronted them on it

When Rick Santorum opposes abortion he means it, when he says the breakdown of the family is the single biggest issues in America he means it, when he says he’ll stand up and fight on those issues he means it.  And when he says if he runs, he will bring up those issues and fight on them.  He means it.

When it comes to Social issues Rick Santorum is going to fight for the cause because he knows you can win a debate if you let the other side speak unopposed.

That’s the story that everyone is missing.

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There were two Rick Santorum Stories out of Manchester NH yesterday.  The first one is the only story that the media is interested in:

Will he or won’t he?

With the announced GOP field already large enough to field a basketball team with a six man (or woman) on the bench Cornerstone NH welcomed Rick Santorum to their annual Steward of the Family Awards Banquet.

As the Santorum group Patriot voices manned a table near the entrance a crowd of clergy, state reps and other guest came to the Radisson Ballroom to hear the Runner up of the for the GOP nomination in 2012 address them.

Given Senator Santorum’s history of eloquent and outspoken defense of faith and family a positive reception is a given, but the question that will be on national minds remains: Will the Senator who gave Mitt Romney agita in 2012 make a 2nd attempt for the right to go for the brass ring?

The Senator has some intrinsic advantages if he chooses to run.  As the runner-up last time around he has high name recognition, having managed a 2nd place finish he has the experience to avoid mistake that 1st time candidates might fall victim, his labor message still gives him an appeal outside of the traditional GOP base and his organization Patriot voices not only constitutes a loyal ground game to draw on for the workers vital in a statewide race but they have been on the ground, building relationships  attending events here in NH and around the country for the past three years

On the other hand the early field is even large than 2012 with multiple candidates who would have the same appeal to religious votes from Ted Cruz and Ben Carson to Mike Huckabee.  You have strong conservatives Governors like Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal who have fought the good fight, the Rand Paul organization which is the envy of ground games everywhere and of course the big Jeb Bush money to contend with.  A 2016 run would be no pushover.

And there is always the possibility that the Senator might decide he would carry more weight outside the crowded field causing the various contenders to reach out to him & his organization and give support to the causes that are his.

After hearing his speech

recorded in two parts

and listening as other media conducted interviews and conducting a short interview of my own

If I had to bet money I’d expect his announcement scheduled for the 27th to be the official start of his second White House run.

And for those whose only interest in an election is a horserace that’s all the story you really care about.

There is however a 2nd, more important story that those interested in odds-making might miss.

That’s the story I’ll be writing tomorrow.

Update: Buzzfeed and others have found my video and decided part of it is newsworthy.

the lack of hits or views of the video on Youtube from the Buzzfeed the other two sites (and lack of hits here) speaks volumes

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Senator Rick Santorum spoke at the NLRC 2014 event:

After his speech he gave me a few minutes

I firmly believe that if we had nominated Senator Santorum last time around he would be President Santorum today and we’d be a lot better off.

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Boy how time flies.

I Remember those heady days of Yesteryear. That time only 17 months ago when Rick Santorum was making this point in Concord New Hampshire:

“How about the argument that all men are created equal and the right to happiness?” Santorum pounces:

“Are we saying everyone has the right to marry?”

The crowd claps and agrees with loud shouts, Santorum continues

“So anyone can marry anyone else?” when the crowd approves, he asks “So anyone can marry several people?”

At once the crowd starts to object, filibuster and interrupt,

Well of COURSE they were objecting , filibustering and interrupting after all it’s not like gay marriage was going to lead to polygamy, otherwise after the Supreme Court ruled it it’s favor you would have mainstream reporters like Matt Lewis in the Daily Caller talking like this:

I mean, who are we to say that two or three or even four consenting adults — who want to make a lifelong commitment to love one another — shouldn’t be allowed to do so?

What’s magical about the number two?

Or Buzz Feed saying this:

Anne Wilde, a vocal advocate for polygamist rights who practiced the lifestyle herself until her husband died in 2003, praised the court’s decision as a sign that society’s stringent attachment to traditional “family values” is evolving.

“I was very glad… The nuclear family, with a dad and a mom and two or three kids, is not the majority anymore,” said Wilde. “Now it’s grandparents taking care of kids, single parents, gay parents. I think people are more and more understanding that as consenting adults, we should be able to raise a family however we choose.”

Or Reason saying this:

Is it time for a discussion of polygamy as a viable life choice tolerated by the federal government? With the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, it may be the time to start publicly considering whether the state has any legitimate interest in monitoring the number of people in a marriage, not just the gender. And unlike spouses in same-sex marriages, polygamists can go to jail.

Weren’t those fun old days when all the right people justy knew Rick Santorum was just some Catholic fundamentalist spreading alarmist rhetoric.

How quaint.

****************************
Olimometer 2.52

Down to $52 bucks for a full paycheck and $423 for a full Mortgage payment.

The second is a bit iffy but the first only requires two readers at $26 or one at $52.

I gotta believe it that can be done in the next 7 hours.

.

At CPAC the National Bloggers Club did more than simply hold a party. They had a few events where people had a chance to mix with folks. One of them was Rick Santorum:

He answered a question on Pope Francis I

and others after he was thanked for attending

In addition to Rick Santorum Author Evan Sayet was there and spoke to me after Sen Santorum

Buy his book Kindergarten of Eden here

Hey Guess what Charlie Crist decided he now believes as of yesterday:

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who throughout his long political career has been staunchly pro-gun rights, said Wednesday that after the Connecticut school slayings, he now backs controls

That quite a switch but the explanation is simple:

Crist recently became a Democrat and is considering a challenge to Gov. Rick Scott, who long has favored gun rights. Scott has refused to comment on gun measures after the Connecticut shootings, saying it is too early to debate.

Javier Manjarres is not amused

Is there a phonier political opportunist in the country than Charlie Crist?

A reminder the NRSC endorsed Charlie Crist 15 months before the senate primary after which he left the party and eventually joined the Democrats, but until that moment the GOP Establishment sure loved Charlie and that love had more than a political cost:

During a single three-month span of that year, Republicans contributed $4.3 million to the doomed campaign of Charlie Crist.

How’s that workin’ out for ya?

and that money was not only lost it terms of what was done, but in terms of what could have been done: Jimmie Bise:

Divide $500,000 into $4.3 million. That’s how long I could run a hypothetical conservative news site with the money dunderheaded conservatives gave Charlie Crist in just three months.

On the other hand let me remind of a poll that the GOP Establishment didn’t have any use for, a fellow named Rick Santorum. I remember (and videoed) him saying this in New Hampshire:

America is a melting pot, not a salad bowl. America is a set of values by which we hold together. That’s what holds us together, but there is a different point of view. Some have suggested that no America shouldn’t be and is wrong to be, one thing. It needs to be many things. It needs to be what any everybody wants to do. Out of one many. If that’s the case then is anybody surprised that we have trouble getting anything done for the one, the country?

Lisa Graas yesterday reminded of these words before the DeMoins Register saying this:

But as Rick Santorum told the editorial board of the Des Moines Register back during the primary, most politicians think of the issues as “little silos” and if one of the “silos” is not popular, the politician can just kick that silo down and take a new position. He sees “the big picture” of where our rights come from, and the very limited role of our government in defending only those rights.

I come back to Santorum’s answer on Gay Marriage in Concord NH against a Hostile College Crowd, he didn’t duck, he didn’t flip he explained and educated:

The GOP Establishment didn’t like Rick Santorum, they didn’t like his willingness to talk on key issues, he didn’t duck, dodge or hide. That scared them. Mitt Romney didn’t scare them or the consultants they invested in. The GOP established sure liked Mitt Romney…

…..right up until the day he lost.

Perhaps conservatives should consider a different set of investments, rather than enriching consultants by spending on pols who are so changeable we should invest in selling our ideas to the people they would benefit:

the only hope to go to the people.

Go to the Latinos and Black Americans, explain WHY conservative economics work for them. Explain why an open border hurts THEM and theirs and explain why the entitlement society makes them peons and slaves to the state as sure as if they were in the plantations of South America or the old South.

Go to women explain WHY not only conservative economics works for them but WHY conservatism in social issues benefits them, their children and themselves.

Let Americans know that WHY a strong America makes them safer than a weak one, make the case and do it every single day.

That is a better investment than any dollar to any superpac

This is what new media does, as Stacy McCain put it

For the $4 million that the permatanned RINO Charlie Crist collected during that single three-month span of 2009, you could fund eight spiffy little New Media operations for a year (or four such operations for two years). And FEC contribution limits do not apply to people making “investments” in news operations, so that the rich Republicans would not be restricted in their generosity toward New Media, as they are toward political candidates.

Why is a Media Matters & Think Progress or even a Brett Kimberlin funded? How does the left manage to push this agenda from the web to the MSM and why do they succeed? because as Stacy McCain put it

Soros has figured this out. Rich Republicans have not.

Guys it’s time to figure it out.




Update: NRSC not NRCC corrected

Robert Stacy McCain’s has two pieces concerning the Romney campaign that must be read. One at the American Spectator discusses Romney’s strength of message and how the battlefield is playing out:

What about the Electoral College? Romney’s chances look promising there, too. An article in Sunday’s New York Times seemed to find a suspicious amount of optimism for Obama in the key swing states, but could not ignore the fact that the nine crucial battlegrounds — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — are all states Obama won four years ago. In other words, Democrats begin the 2012 campaign playing defense, and there are indications that Obama is already facing a tough fight in many of those battlegrounds. Romney is ahead in the three most recent Florida polls, for example, and the latest poll from Ohio showed the Republican within two points of Obama there. More importantly, the focus on such traditional swing states shows that there is little prospect the Democrats could “spread the field” to challenge Romney in GOP strongholds. In fact, Obama’s campaign may already be writing off hope of carrying North Carolina, the state that will play host to this year’s Democratic convention

And the other at his blog where he makes the most important point of the campaign to date:

When I went up to Massachusetts to cover the Scott Brown campaign in January 2010, one of the first campaign staffers I met was Eric Fehrnstrom, one of Romney’s top advisers. If Fehrnstrom and the rest of the Romney guys were good enough to beat a Democrat for Ted Kennedy’s seat, they deserve a certain amount of confidence now that it’s their job to beat Obama.

Those are the magic words, the Romney team includes the same guys that transformed Scott Brown from an electoral sacrificial lamb to a United States Senator.

And remember the same MSM types that months ago were saying this election was all but over and are now saying it will be a close race that Obama will win were saying this two years ago in Massachusetts:

In less than two weeks, when Massachusetts voters elect Martha Coakley to the US Senate — let’s not pretend that Republican state senator Scott Brown has any chance of pulling off the monumental upset — they will trigger a massive domino effect that has the state’s political class buzzing with anticipation. (emphasis mine)

They are also the same MSM types who just this morning were talking about Romney and trouble with the base. They are being treated a few hours later with this post from of all people Lisa Graas

Rick Santorum has endorsed Mitt Romney for President this evening. His statement is below in full. Since May, I have been 100% behind Rick Santorum because I trust him to do what is right for America. If Rick Santorum believes that Mitt Romney will defend life and marriage, then that is good enough for me. I also now endorse Mitt Romney for President and look forward to being a part of Rick Santorum’s grassroots volunteer team to continue the fight for conservatism in America.

If Lisa Graas is endorsing Mitt Romney then I think Stacy’s blame warning, while true, is not in play as Captain Ed explains:

What does this mean for the race? First, the ad cutters at Team Obama will be busy this week with a new project, but that was going to happen anyway. Romney should solidify his support among the social-conservative base of the party, and perhaps even get a little more enthusiasm from it. It sounds as if Santorum could become a surrogate for Romney among the constituencies where Santorum’s message resonated, which would help Romney most in the Rust Belt states where the presidency could be won or lost. The relative rapidity of the endorsement — last Friday was only their first meeting since Santorum’s withdrawal — puts an end to stories of Republican disunity far ahead of the convention.

Santorum’s endorsement coming early also takes one more media story off the table early. By doing so it forces the MSM to find a different excuse to avoid talking about the Economy and the president’s record.

It also means that the Tonight Show is going to be a very interesting program

News is breaking that Rick Santorum is about to drop out of the presidential race in a joint appearance with Mitt Romney.

Considering the money difference what Rick Santorum has accomplished has been simply amazing but the odds of victory had finally moved beyond the point of possibility.

I strongly suspect that Romney’s decision to pull the negative ads during the sickness of his child helped ease things along.

I don’t regret one moment of supporting Rick and I’m proud to have had his sign on my lawn. It will remain there till the end of the day.

There is no question that I will be voting for Romney in November. I still think he is the weakest of the four candidates who were remaining after South Carolina but there is no question that he will be a huge improvement on Obama.

The job of Romney now is to allay the suspicions of folks like me concerning his conservatism and to make sure that the old spending ways from the previous administration are not picked up in a Romney administration.

One of the things I really got a charge out of concerning Rick Santorum is he takes his Catholicism seriously.

I was covering him back in Hollis NH one Saturday along with the Granite Grok Crowd and Captain Ed and managed go get a question in asking about going to mass considering there was an evening debate to be followed by a Morning Debate.

So with Back to back debates and the stakes as high as they get what’s on Santorum mind? “I’ve got to get to Mass.

So when I saw combo at Drudge:

Santorum heading for embarrassment in Pennsylvania

Takes 4 days off from campaign.

Hmmmm what are the four days Santorum is taking off again?

Holy Thursday , Good Friday, Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil (the night of the Easter Vigil Mass, the longest of the year) and Easter Sunday.

Some who aren’t Catholic or dissent might question why a faithful Catholic like Rick Santorum might take the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday to think and pray.

I don’t.

Update: I guess that makes him clingy.

I received this release from the Santorum Campaign today:

March 23, 2012

For Immediate Release

SANTORUM RESPONDS TO CLAIM HE WOULD VOTE FOR OBAMA

Verona, PA – Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum made the following comment in reaction to the claim he would vote for President Obama.

Rick Santorum said: “I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous. This is just another attempt by the Romney Campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney’s policies mirror Barack Obama’s. I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it’s easy to see why – Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts. Voters have to be excited enough to actually go vote, and my campaign’s movement to restore freedom is exciting this nation. If this election is about Obama versus the Obama-Lite candidate, we have a tough time rallying this nation. It’s time for bold vision, bold reforms and bold contrasts. This election is about more than Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Rick Santorum – this campaign is about freedom and I will fight to restore your freedoms.”

That sounds pretty direct to me, but what does Stacy McCain say:

Santorum was making the same argument Phyllis Schlafly made in her 1964 classic, A Choice Not an Echo. He is saying something he has said many times — and something Newt Gingrich has also said — that Romney fails to offer a clear contrast to Obama. In this context, when Santorum said “we might as well stay with what we have,” he clearly meant to express what the reaction of regular voters would be, if presented with someone who is just “a little different” than the incumbent.

Santorum did not express himself clearly, but awkwardness of expression is not the same as endorsing Barack Obama’s re-election.

But Stacy & I have endorsed Rick what does someone who hasn’t say?

(Note: I know Santorum said “we,” but I’ve heard the shtick enough times to know what he meant. And what he meant was that “we” — the voters — want a clearer contrast.)
Santorum has been making this argument for months. This is a regular line of attack.

I like Jeff but I think he’s been taken for a ride by the MSM and Romney on this one.

Update 2:
Only God is a better friend and only the Marines a better enemy

Just got the word about a Rick Santorum Conference call, signing on now

We have a candidate who is the author of the first government sanctioned healthcare takeover system.

Gov Romney defends the government takeover healthcare as the right thing to do.

The Etch-a-sketch is out and now he’s decided that he doesn’t support a government mandate that he advocated for.

Zilla of the resistance: Asks about chronic Lime disease How will Obamacare effect lime disease

Santorum: Medicine, is part science and part art, different way to approach treatments in the private care system people can work out ways to treat a disease, with Obamacare you don’t because of a specific

DaTechGuy: With the Etch-a-Sketch moment be a problem in the general election if the party picks Romney and will democrats exploit it?

Santorum: “It’s a simple thing for everyone to understand because it fits…I find it a telling coincidence that his campaign talks about hitting the reset button when he did it in Puerto Rico.” Gives the example of the PR flip flop on English.

If he is questioned on this (English as the primary language of the US) he will hit the reset button again

Mike Rodgers Granite Grok: The south is being very kind to you, what will it take to win a broader array of states?

Santorum: “We were outspent 21-1 in the Chicago media market and still finished a small 2nd… We’ve been hanging in there and doing well in the swing states that will be critical in the general election. We will do very well as the race goes on…particularly given the clear intention that the Romney campaign will do or say anything to win.”

Lisa Graas: What are your thoughts concerning the challenges of the MSM including Fox against you?

Santorum: “Today I challenged the embed if I’ve been saying this right along, it is disingenuous… they know this is a complete distortion and yet they follow the narrative. We just have to continue to plug away..They have a narrative they want to tell and they tell it.”

Update: Lisa Graas reports on the conference.

DaTechGuy Blog March 7th:

If Mitt Romney is the nominee everything changes for the worse for him

Mitt Romney will still have an organization, but instead of being vastly superior it will be inferior to Obama.

He will still have the GOP party apparatus behind him, but he’ll not only face an opponent with the party apparatus unlike in Iowa and Maine that party won’t be in a position to make “judgement calls” on caucus counts or re-counts.

It means he will have to deal, for the first time, the MSM hitting him as “extremist” his religion will be hit as “extreme” and he will have the full “Racist, sexist, homophobe” meme thrown both at him and at his Mormon religion and the MSM will do it without fear or worry.

And it goes without saying Mitt Romney won’t have the ability to outspend Obama, in fact every indication is he will be outspent by Obama.

Thomas Sowell:

Romney has outspent each of his rivals — and all of his rivals put together. His campaign organization has been operating for years, and it has put his name on the ballot everywhere, while neither Santorum nor Gingrich had a big enough organization to get on the ballot in an important state like Virginia.

In the general election, President Obama will have all the advantages against Romney that Romney currently has against his Republican rivals. Barack Obama will have boots on the ground everywhere — not just members of the Democratic Party organization but thousands of labor union members as well.

All indications are Mitt will win Illinois big (Stacy McCain’s post today is the clearest sign on it). He will rightly get congratulations for doing so, what he will be doing in the fall when he can’t outspend Obama 7-1 in a state and 21-1 in a media market with the MSM in full attack mode against him, that remains to be seen.

If Mitt wins the nomination I’ll be with him, but as long as Rick Santorum is in this race, I’ll stick with Rick Santorum as the best choice not only for the country but as the better choice to face president Obama and his friends in the MSM this fall.

Before Santorum comes on Michael Steele points out the “revisionist” history “Every establishment republican supported Arlen” and the table pointed out what I’ve said over and over, there is no way you are going to oppose an incumbent in the same party in your own state that is your colleague in the Senate. It’s a simple question of loyalty.

Santorum: If I’m a lightweight, Romney is a heavyweight, big government.

Mika hits on the contraception did people ask him to back off: Santorum: Doesn’t let her get away with it, its federal mandates not contraception. Left is keen on separation of church and state when they want people of faith out of the public square. Mandate is against 1st Amendment.

Joe hits again on contraception: Santorum: This is gotcha politics. He talks about importance and the integrity of the family. “The principle issue I talk about on the campaign is us losing our freedom.”

Santorum talks about Cap & Trade and notes he’s won 10 states.

Andrea Mitchel asks about Afghanistan: Santorum: “We should commit ourselves to be successful if not then there is no reason to be there.”

Chuck Todd asks about organization: Santorum: Notes he won 10 states outspent 10-1. Notes most people said concentrate on Iowa at the time.

Joe asks about process: Santorum: He talks about running statewide in Pennsylvania, he talks about not using a teleprompter or being scripted. “People know what you’re seeing is what you’re going to get.”

Interesting Michael Steele didn’t get to ask a question.

I think Santorum handled himself very well, of course there aren’t a lot of GOP votes on Morning Joe but it can’t hurt.

In the movie the Verdict in a scene just before the case goes to trial where Ed Concannon (James Mason) lawyer for two doctors in the malpractice case meets with his legal team.

He talks about making sure they had press they want before the trial. His people arrange for stories in the papers & WGBH lionizing the hospital and the doctors. I thought of this when I saw Stacy’s piece Santorum yesterday.

Like Stacy, yesterday I ignored the “Santorum Porn” nonsense on the net, not thinking the idea that a person declaring they would enforce federal law if chosen to head the executive branch was all that newsworthy, but Stacy McCain’s article on the subject struck me as an interesting commentary on what a campaign that is scared does:

“If you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you know it didn’t crawl up there by itself,” and this particular turtle seems mighty damned suspicious to me.

Let me speculate a bit on this particular turtle.

Mitt Romney’s campaign made fools of themselves earlier this week when in the space of under 24 hours built up and had to tear down their expectations of taking a state in the south. The MSM that despises Rick Santorum and considered Mitt their best chance to keep Obama in the White House happily went along and were crushed when Santorum took both Alabama & Mississippi forcing a narrative on the virtues of Hawaii and American Samoa.

The only thing that has driven Romney’s campaign since day one was the inevitability argument. We heard it after Iowa, we heard it after NH, we heard it after Florida how there was no chance of stopping Mitt.

Unfortunately for Romney and the GOP establishment that likes the base only in even-numbered years, they can’t put Rick Santorum away. He keeps on winning or forcing Mitt to spend inordinate amounts of money for close shaves in States like Michigan and Ohio.

The Romney campaign has apparently decided that if they can’t restore their own argument of inevitability though not from lack of trying, they can try to create an aura of unelectability over Santorum to a GOP desperate to win.

Today on Morning Joe we saw them pushing a poll saying 1-5 Romney voters would not vote for Santorum in November but such a pitch on MSNBC isn’t about to move the GOP.

And that brings us to both my fundraiser and the Daily caller piece and some more speculation on my part.

You might recall that the Caller started up with millions of seed money, you might also recall Stacy’s piece just a few days ago concerning the relative price of writing

The phrase “dining in indirectly lit luxury” in combination with “Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism” might suggest that Mr. MacArthur is a snob who enjoys the finer things in life, and if you suspect that he’s basically whining about how New Media makes it hard for snobs to make money, you’re right.

Nobody has to tell a guy like Stacy, who makes his money off the net and a few independent freelance pieces or me, a fellow who is asking his readers to help pony up for a replacement laptop & washer along with some basic bills just to keep things going.

I’ve now spent nearly a week trying to raise $2200 dollars and it’s taken up a fair amount of time and effort. (I’m still $1515 dollars shy, feel free to kick in here.) When Stacy wants to go and cover an event it is necessary to give his tip jar a mighty shake.

We are just two individuals trying to make a living, now imagine for a moment a site like the Daily Caller with actual staff to pay and support, real overhead to deal with. I might be able to get by in a pinch with a couple of grand of tip jar hits every quarter until the radio show pans out financially but picture having to do that on a regular basis on internet ads with staff and expenses behind you?

It can’t be easy, that millions in seed money starts to go quickly and internet ads aren’t all that lucrative.

What’s really needed is a customer with nearly unlimited amounts of money to spend or invest, a customer with friends to whom $10,000 is like a trip to McDonalds with an urgency to spend money on the message such a site can provide.

Near the end of the movie Ed Concannon meets with a person he has paid for some work of questionable ethics on the case and gives this speech:

I know how you feel. You don’t believe me, but I do know. I’m going to tell you something that I learned when I was your age. I’d prepared a case and old man White said to me, “How did you do?” And, uh, I said, “Did my best.” And he said, “You’re not paid to do your best. You’re paid to win.” And that’s what pays for this office… pays for the pro bono work that we do for the poor… pays for the type of law that you want to practice… pays for my whiskey… pays for your clothes… pays for the leisure we have to sit back and discuss philosophy as we’re doing tonight. We’re paid to win the case.

Stacy asks the question:

Exactly why the Daily Caller saw fit to assign its associate editor to write a 700-word “news” article, soliciting opinions from Eugene Volokh and Jonathan Turley, I don’t know. Why this cheap political “gotcha” hit-job deserved headline treatment at the Drudge Report, I don’t know.

I don’t claim to know the answer to that question, but I sure don’t wonder one bit hoow that Turtle got on that fence.

Update: For some reason the end of the last sentence was cut off when posting. Fixed

What a difference a few days makes.

Wasn’t the Drudge Headline: “Santorum tires to lower expectations” as Alabama and Mississippi came up? Wasn’t Newt’s man saying after his decisive win in Georgia that Alabama and Mississippi were “must wins”, words a manager doesn’t lose unless they believe they will win? Did we not see stories yesterday before the close of polls showing Mitt Romney ahead in Mississippi and Alabama “stealing” a primary? Did we not hear Mitt Romney speak himself about Santorum’s “desperate end” just last night?

Well despite being outspent by Romney, despite being a northerner in the south against TWO southern candidates Rick Santorum won BOTH Alabama and Mississippi.

Let’s be fair Romney DID manage to win Hawaii a state where republicans have no prayer of winning in the fall, and American Samoa which will not vote in the fall. Newt Gingrich has no such consolation prize as Stacy McCain notes:

11:50 p.m. ET: Newt Gingrich’s all-the-way-to-Tampa speech — in the wake of two defeats in his own backyard — might not exactly be “whistling past the graveyard.” He can continue campaigning, of course. But unless I’m seriously mistaken about the impact on his fundraising, Gingrich is either going to have to start laying off staff or find some other way to cut expenses. If he can’t win in the Deep South, where will he win? And why keep giving him money, if he keeps losing?

Well if I’m the Romney campaign instead of outspending Santorum 16-1 in states I’d outspend him 6-1 and prop up Gingrich as much as possible.

An even better question is this: Gingrich picked up the endorsements of both Herman Cain and Rick Perry in South Carolina, yet those endorsements couldn’t bring him over the top in the deep south?

I think this makes the case I made for Rick Santorum a week ago even stronger. Not only did he once again beat two opponents with every disadvantage but we’ve seen the final nail in the coffin to the “social conservatism will hurt us nonsense.

Consider: the left and the media with help from the White House spent a week with the drumbeat of the GOP “war on women”. On every network “contraception” was all they would talk about, yet Obama’s numbers tanked in that same week and David Axelrod is running scared from the million dollar man Bill Maher.

How bad is it for the left? The White House is reduced to picking fights with Sarah Palin… and losing.

Oh one other thing, During MSNBC’s Morning Joe show a current poll came out showing Santorum and Obama dead even in Pennsylvania, with Romney 6 points down. Willie Geist’s “fools gold” quote not withstanding simple question, the GOP can win without Pennsylvania, can Obama?

It is Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney vs Obama in 2012 and Santorum is the best match-up for us, it’s that simple.

Update: An MSNBC analyst is angry about Santorum’s success last night with women but not as much as the GOP establishment cocktail party types in DC and Washington. They know the dirty little secret that GOP women who might actually be upset by the social positions of the base tend to live in states that are safely democratic.

According to CNN, Rick Santorum, devout Catholic extraordinaire, has failed to win the Catholic vote.  This is apparently an indictment of Rick Santorum, and not of the shoddy exit polling that enables people to self-identify as Catholics when they haven’t graced the door of a church in years.  Of course, some of the problem is in the way that leftists have tried to turn the word “Catholic” into a synonym for “wealth redistributor”:

“Catholic voters care more about economic issues that affect their families than they do about socially divisive wedge issues like contraception,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, in the statement.

“Mainstream Catholics want leaders who can address the moral challenges of our day like income inequality, underwater mortgages and poverty,” Salt continued, “not leaders who perpetuate a never-ending culture war that divides our community.”

Right.  Who cares about whether or not we murder a million babies a year when someone might want to take another vacation to Aspen this winter?  Don’t you know that the two-thousand year history of the Church is all about those Aspen vacations?

To be serious: the great “moral” problems of income inequality, underwater mortgages, and poverty are all direct results of contraception, abortion, and the decline of the family unit.  As Charles Murray explains in great detail, poorer communities are getting poorer because they are not marrying, while wealthy, educated people are more likely to marry, and are especially more likely to marry before having children. These days, people without college educations have children out of wedlock, and doctors marry other doctors, and people can’t understand why family incomes aren’t equal.

Poverty: never-married mothers are six times as likely as their married peers to be in poverty.  The federal government alone spends over $100 billion a year on subsidies to never-married parents that it would save if our out-of-wedlock birth rate were the same as it was in 1950.

Underwater mortgages: kind of hard to pay for your house when your three baby daddies can only give you $100 a month in child support because he’s also supporting a few other baby mammas.  Sort of hard to have a new crop of home buyers when over ten million would-be-adults are victims of abortion and decaying in trash heaps, not putting down payments on houses.

Rick Santorum scares people because he explains how this all works together.  He scares Cafeteria Catholics who want to believe that the mandates of their faith are limited to voting the (D) at the polling place.  He frightens lefties whose entire anti-social agenda depends on people not noticing that the family is the strongest bulwark against a tyrannical state – and the breakdown in the family unit costs us serious money.  Rick Santorum probably frightens James Salt, too, because people with a good head on their shoulders tend to scare the daylights out of ditzy-brained morons.

That might sound counter intuitive but looking at the results of last night it is the logical conclusion and the explanation is pretty simple:

Yesterday Mitt Romney won five states, maybe six. He did this with a powerful organization, the full weight of the GOP establishment behind him and with a war chest that allowed him to outspend Rick Santorum in a must win state 16-1 (4-1 excluding superpac money)

Rick Santorum won 3 states, and came in at least 2nd in the field of four in every state except Vermont. He has nowhere near the money of Mitt Romney, doesn’t have the backing of the party elites and doesn’t have anything resembling a national organization.

Now lets look at the general election what will be different for each candidate:

If Mitt Romney is the nominee everything changes for the worse for him

Mitt Romney will still have an organization, but instead of being vastly superior it will be inferior to Obama.

He will still have the GOP party apparatus behind him, but he’ll not only face an opponent with the party apparatus unlike in Iowa and Maine that party won’t be in a position to make “judgement calls” on caucus counts or re-counts.

It means he will have to deal, for the first time, the MSM hitting him as “extremist” his religion will be hit as “extreme” and he will have the full “Racist, sexist, homophobe” meme thrown both at him and at his Mormon religion and the MSM will do it without fear or worry.

And it goes without saying Mitt Romney won’t have the ability to outspend Obama, in fact every indication is he will be outspent by Obama.

In other words, Romney will have to win without the advantages that made his current victories possible.

If Rick Santorum is the nominee, everything changes for him, but for the better.

Suddenly as the nominee he will have organization behind him, an organization better than he has had at any time during this campaign able to do things that he could not do before.

Suddenly he will have the full power of a party, the GOP behind him. That means he will have party surrogates on every network making the case for his election in every city, state and county of the country. It means that in there will be national lawyers ready to pounce if the left tries anything untoward.

It means that when the MSM attacks his religion, his beliefs and tries to paint him as some kind of extremist they will have to do it with care. Obama will need every vote he can manage in 2012 and if they go too heavy on hitting the Catholic Church they risk upsetting a swing demographic in swing states.

Finally it will mean money, more money that he has had at any time during this campaign, money to do the things that simply weren’t possible for him to do on a national level at any time before. It means instead of a shoestring campaign it will be a solid campaign able to make the best possible case against a powerful opponent.

Bottom line, Romney is at the absolute peak of his electoral power right now, from the moment he gets the nomination he will be on a sliding scale he will have to run as an underdog. As demonstrated against John McCain, he didn’t do well in that situation.

Rick Santorum however is nowhere near the peak of his strength, from the moment he gets the nomination he will be working on a growing scale with every advantage he didn’t have before. He’d still be the underdog vs Obama, but has a lot of experience in being the underdog. Ask the folks in Minnesota, Colorado or Iowa if Santorum can win election as an underdog.

The best chance to win in 2012 is Rick Santorum and the GOP doesn’t have a lot of time to figure this out.

Update: The results in Mississippi and Alabama makes this even more true.

My thoughts on the debate, I think the strategic move for Romney people in crowd to be nice to Newt was cute. Newt proved that when he is not attacked he makes good points. Paul remains the same and I think gains in every debate because of the way he portrays himself, I think Santourm didn’t have good visuals but gave complete answers. He does better on substance than Style. Romney was crisp and remains so. The question remains if people actually believe him.

10:00 p.m. Am I the only guy who noticed the weird (How to identify a Mason via Monty Python) handshake. between Paul and Santorum?

9:51 p.m. I like the last question.

9:37 p.m. “As long as your an enemy of the US you are safe” Gingrich nails it.

9:34 p.m. Santorum states Syria is a puppet state of Iran, it’s absolutely true. Strangely enough Paul was right about the declaration of war bit, not about Iran in general

9:30 p.m. “Find the Biden position and do the opposite and you’ll be right 100% of the time.” Santorum mentions the green revolution.

9:22 p.m. I never thought I’d hear Ron Paul quote the “just war” theory of the church.

9:05 p.m. I must admit that Santorum’s answer on Arlen is something that never occurred to me. A much better answer than I had.

8:55 p.m. Government control of services lead to tyranny. Next having a good night.

8:50 p.m. The GOP candidates are hitting the “contraception” question out of the park, Newt and Mitt on Religious Freedom, Paul on immorality, and Rick on the ills of pre-marital sex.

8:45 p.m. Coming up faith and immigration, they’ll get to fast and furious sometime after a discussion of subsidies for Unicorn breeding.

8:41 p.m. Paul having a good debate.

8:39 p.m. good exchange on bailouts, Gingrich has better debates when Romney isn’t targeting him.

8:34 p.m. good question on auto bailout

8:31 p.m. Santorum refuses to pander on earmarks

8:22 p.m. The Catholic church is pulled out of adoption in Massachusetts, is Mitt really claiming social conservatism in Massachusetts? Please.

8:16 p.m. Gotta love Paul’s answer to the “fake” question.

8:09 p.m. Opening question on debt, good!

8:07 p.m. Good opening by Romney best of the 4

That means I’m putting in entries when the mood strikes me.

Back in the days of New Hampshire when the race was very different I talked to Tom Mountain about the prospect of another Kennedy running for office. Now that it’s official it’s a great time to promote that video that I somehow missed back then:

Now I think that Bielat will do very well against Kennedy.

There is a very interesting quote that is even more timely. As a rule when I interviewed folks in NH who supported a different candidate I asked them to make the case for me changing my vote. Tom said this about Rick Santorum:

“Because the media is going to come after Santorum like you wouldn’t believe…they’re going to rip him apart.”

I disagree with him on Santorum’s ability to take it relative to Romney but when it comes to the media doing their best to rip him apart, he’s spot on.

Update: And apparently in some locations the party apparatus has taken sides

Rick Santorum Catholicism is rapidly becoming an issue in this race, at least for the left. Over and over we see them (and some Romney supporters who are becoming increasingly desperate) fret over beliefs concerning contraception, abortion and sex before marriage, all doctrines of the Catholic Church to which he belongs. This is in marked contrast to the MSM cavalier attitude to a certain Chicago Senator’s church but we can’t mention that without charges of “racism”.

One of the advantages of being born in 1963 to parents born in the early 20’s and grandparents born in the 1890’s is it gives one an excellent perspective on the massive cultural changes of the 60’s while still being young enough to talk about it without people dismissing you.

Many people do not remember that Orthodox religious belief for almost the entire history of the country has been the norm. If you go though the record of speeches, of official documents at all levels from presidential on down you see this same type of thing. Likewise if you look at what was orthodox protestant belief 100 years ago on subjects such as birth control, there is not much if any difference between that and current Catholic belief.

Somehow people don’t remember a time when teens suicide was not common, nor was resignation of premarital sex, the acceptance of divorce as the best solution, gangs not being strong on the streets, drugs not being prevent in our schools, police officers not having to be stationed inside.

Even more amazing is the change in the Black community, at the same time as giants fought for an achieved civil rights, black families stuck together and in strong families despite the oppression and discrimination that had to be endured. Today with the legal protections in place and a generation that considers the entire question of race as a qualification for employment or advancement an oddity we see black illegitimacy rates, incarceration rates, and crime rates though the roof.

The question is why?

I think the answer is exemplified by a simple contrast between two events:

NYC announced that they would not be holding a parade for the troops, (somehow these “objections” didn’t stop St. Louis) The fact that is even was a matter that needed discussion is a matter of great amazement to me, then again as colleges had to be dragged kicking and screaming into bringing back ROTC and as the left spent the last decade demonizing soldiers, the idea that volunteers who willingly risk their lives to defend the country might not be supported (unless they shoot their officers of course) should not have surprised me.

These serving men and women are the modern greatest generation yet many in our society, particularly on the left disdain them.

Meanwhile in New Jersey flags in the state were flown at half mast for Whitney Houston, a pretty good singer who rose to fame and wealth due to a fine voice but wasted in on drugs until it killed her. Yes she sang very nice but her life and death is a celebration of hedonism and the fact that every cable network felt complected to cover is was astounding to me.

BTW there is no parade scheduled for the troop in New Jersey either.

Mike Barnicle’s close to his famous article on the death of Mother Teresa and Princess Diana comes to mind:

Anybody who claims they can explain the logic behind the enormous outpouring for a dead princess is not to be believed because it is inexplicable. And anyone who equates the deeds of Diana’s life with those of Mother Teresa’s is a fool.

Substitute “Whitney Houston” for Diana in that paragraph and Sgt. Paul Smith posthumous medal of Honor recipient for Mother Teresa in those two sentences and it reads exactly the same.

Put simply the culture has gone from a culture that celebrates merit and duty to a culture that celebrates fame and hedonism.

And that brings us to Rick Santorum.

Unlike the Pelosis, Kerrys and Bidens of the left he doesn’t proclaim his Catholicism and then distort or disdain the beliefs of the Church he proclaims. He is more Rosemary Reynolds than Mario Cuomo unwilling to divide himself. Like most practicing Catholics (you know people who actually go to church weekly) his faith and belief informs him, it is not something that comes out once a week to be hidden from view. For the majority of the history of this country this was nothing odd, and in our divided culture, the half that still honors religion it is perfectly normal.

To an MSM that has abandoned faith and religion of their parents and have filled it with noise Santorum is a strange and frightening thing. Santorum is a direct threat, a reminder of the cultural failure of the 60’s and the hook up culture, a reminder that one can’t command a majority when your voter base aborts their children or chooses to delay or avoid having them. (There will be a lot of Santorum children voting long after both Maureen Dowd and I are dead and gone).

Demographics are destiny and the 60’s generation that never quite realized that never quite abandoned their teenage belief in their intellectual superiority to their parents who won the 2nd world war are slowly losing the fight, not just because of demographics but because of the cultural failures that people of the right and of faith have been avoiding through home and religious schooling.

What they forget is that “dark age” that they proclaim Santorum belongs to was an age of intact families, an age of people knowing their neighbors and an age where schools were safe and the children in them not only respected their teachers but were learning things that our current crop of public school students can’t seem to manage. They largely are railing against a past that didn’t exist to a group of people so ill-informed that they don’t realize that they are fighting against a myth.

Now in terms of electoral politics for Democrats it’s an open and shut business. It’s a lot easier to hit Santorum on issues of culture than trying to defend the Obama economic record. For many others there is something more elemental going on.

They can’t allow Santorum to be considered a credible or mainstream candidate. It’s not enough that Santorum be defeated to the left, he must be marginalized as a fanatic, it must be made clear to any in America that no believing Catholic need apply for the office of president of the United States.

Because if Rick Santorum is elected and the world doesn’t end and the values of a generation that held them against a self-destructive culture are put on display and expressed from the bully pulpit, the clarifying effect on society would be more than the left can bear.

Update: Glenn Reynolds on the attacks hitting Santorum:

Democrats are worried, so they’re playing the Republicans Will Steal Your Ladyparts!!!! card. And the knees are jerking as hoped. Women, you’re being played. Again.

Guess who’s too busy for the next presidential debate:

GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney will skip a March 1 debate in Atlanta sponsored by CNN and the Georgia Republican Party, CBS News/National Journal has learned.

“With eight other states voting on March 6th, we will be campaigning in other parts of the country and unable to schedule the CNN Georgia debate,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “We have participated in 20 debates, including 8 from CNN.”

On a tactical level it makes sense, use Newt and Paul attack Santorum and not be associated with “negative” campaigning.

On a strategic level it is a cataclysmic blunder. It creates the image of Romney as afraid and/or desperate.

Let me give Mitt Romney the advice I once gave to Herman Cain: HIRE JIMMIE BISE. At least you will have one adviser who knows how this stuff looks to real people.

Meanwhile while Romney ducks Santorum engages:

Rick’s not afraid to go 12 min with Hotair. If I’m the Romney Camp, i’d be very afraid

Update:
Apparently Santorum is now skipping the debate as well, the question is, did he decline before or after Romney? If before the Romney critique can be justly applied, if after then it’s a smart counter to keep from attack but it gives Newt an opening and that might also not be a good move.

update 2: It’s the same story updated to reflect Santorum too, that suggest that the Santorum decision came after the Romney one

Awesomeness of the day: Dave Mustaine endorses Santorum.  Here’s the explanation:

“Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable,” Mustaine recently told MusicRadar.com.  “…You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.”

Weighing in on the rest of the field, Mustaine called Newt Gingrich an “angry little man” and said Ron Paul will “make total sense for a while, and then he’ll say something so way out that it negates everything else.”

As for Mitt Romney, the rocker said, “I’ve got to tell you, I was floored the other day to see that Mitt Romney’s five boys have a $100 million trust fund. Where does a guy make that much money? So there’s some questions there.”

In related news, Dan Savage just cried.

Two days ago I was pretty sure that Santourm was going to win Missouri and should do good in Minnesota. Last night was when I went to bed Santorum had not only won Missouri decisively but very decisively in Minnesota and was doing well i Colorado.

I listened to Rick’s Victory speech and it was first-rate and I went to bed with 11% of the vote in Colorado thinking he will do pretty good.

This morning I woke up to find he won Colorado.

This is even more amazing when you consider that the conservative vote is divided with Gingrich. Romney plan and best move is to keep the teaparty/conservative vote divided between Gingrich and Rick Santorum but Santorum won despite that division.

But the last week was a gift to Santorum. The Susan G. Komen stuff highlighted planned parenthood and abortion and the protection racket that abortion is. (Which Romney vowed to protect at one time) The totally expected 9th circuit ruling highlighted the issue of liberal courts and Gay Marriage (which Romney failed to fight in Massachusetts), And finally the administration’s attack on the Catholic church which has produced letters from 169 Bishops (only 8 have not issued such letters and one is very sick) via Obamacare (a law based on Romneycare).

Put simply this is a week that energized social conservatives and reminded them what side Romney was on when he actually held an executive position to make a difference.

Meanwhile, Santorum has not only been consistent but has been totally unafraid to engage even hostile crowds on these issues and defend these positions. Remember this video:

As Santorum said last night Romney will not have the most money and organization in the fall, so perhaps we want a candidate who has other attributes.

Update: Smitty gets it

The third in my series of the GOP candidates for president

Rick Santourm Former Congressman & Senator from Pennsylvania

The Case for:

1. Social Conservatism: Rick Santorum is and has been one of the firmest social conservatives in the field. Even to the point of being named one of the top Evangelical Leaders in the country while being a Catholic.

2. Swing State/Manufacturing: Santorum comes from a key swing state but his issue of Manufacturing is something that plays really well in states the GOP needs to win in 2012

3. Congressional Experience: Santorum has been a member of both the house and senate and has had pieces in significant conservative legislation in both houses

4. Personal Story Santorum has an incredible family and personal story from his grandfather in the mines to his own wife and children.

5. Fearlessness: Many people equivocate when defending conservatism, particularly social conservatism, Santorum not only defends it without hesitation but articulates is positions without ducking questions even from hostile crowds.

6. Offense: Santourm since even the earliest debates has shown a willingness to go on offense. In debate after debate he has been willing to go after opponents.

7. Steady: Santorum is a candidate who is steady and stolid, not a lot of nasty surprises.

The Case Against:

1. Spending: Santorum had a reputation as a spender that he earned at his time in congress, it was one of the reasons for his resounding defeat in 2006..

2. Dull: Santorum is a solid stolid man but has the air of geekness about him. This is epitomized by his long answers This is something that has been a problem for many a qualified candidate.

3. Counter-base The liberal base is not inspired by Barack Obama but Santorum’s strong social conservatism and devout Catholicism is absolutely hated by the secular left and will certainly inspire social liberals on the left who might otherwise be uninspired.

4. Organization: Santorum is an excellent retail pol but doesn’t have the type of organization of a Romney or Paul as evidenced by his failure to make the ballot in both Virginia and Indiana.

5. Money: Of the remaining candidates Santorum is the weakest in terms of financial backing particularly the big backers that have sustained Gingrich, this prevents a strong air game.

6. 2006: A lot of Republicans lost in 2006 but Santorum lost as decisively as a candidate can lose a race and that defeat has been hung around his neck like an Iron collar.

Exculpatory evidence: Most of Santorum’s problems are problems of style or resources that would be mitigated in a national campaign, and his defeat in 2006 was the perfect timing it allowing him to pivot from a spending past (the voters taught me a lesson) in the direction of the rising tea party.

Conclusion: Rick Santorum is a trustworthy and honest pol with a solid conservative record and a solid and honest presentation that wins respect. Although in debates he can be aggressive he does not have the panache of a Gingrich nor does he have a style that tends to wow people. He made tactical mistake in Iowa by not claiming victory pending a full count this allowed Romney to claim victory and get the bounce from someone else’s win. He needs to let Gingrich continue to bash Romney and implode while he advances as the conservative alternative with the odd elbow thrown at Romney and Newt. His job is to stay alive and relevant enough to take advantage of his natural constituency in the manufacturing states and be ready to exploit mistakes by either Romney and Gingrich, the question is can he manage to do it?

He managed to learn a lot from his defeat in Pennsylvania and has played that well, but h

My Biggest fear: There are two, Santourm’s style issues really can’t be solved. If they try to over manage him he will come off as inauthentic as Romney. Secondly for the Media the Social issues are what drive them. They will be driven to destroy Santorum more than any other candidate out there.

My Hunch: Santorum has to continue to thread a needle He has to seem weak enough that it’s in Romney’s financial supporters to keep him alive financially to draw votes from Gingrich while be ready to jump through a hole in the defense break out a big gain when (not if) Newt makes a critical error but he has to prove he can win in a race without Newt. Missouri (with Newt off the ballot) becomes critical. If He can beat Romney or come within a few points (with Paul making the difference) then he can make a legitimate case to go on, but if Romney beats him decisively then it will be very hard to fundraise. Missouri will make or break him.

My advice to the Santorum Campaign: The Obama attack on Religious freedom combined with the attack on Susan G. Komen by planned parenthood and their media allies are slow pitches right across the plate. At every stop he makes he should bring this up and attack the administration. This will guarantee attacks on you by the MSM that can only help your campaign. Make yourself the candidate of Religious Freedom and the middle class and you will put yourself solidly in the wheelhouse of Reagan Democrats. On a smaller level it would be a good idea to not only coordinate with local tea parties but to jumping aboard the “Turn this ship Around” campaign. All these things can give you traction in places that your opponents have not.

As Stacy McCain puts it: “This is freaking HUGE.”:

He didn’t cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008. He didn’t follow the pro-bailout GOP crowd — including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — and he didn’t have to obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now, like Rick Perry and Herman Cain did. He also opposed the auto bailout, Freddie and Fannie bailout, and porkulus bills.

Santorum opposed individual health care mandates — clearly and forcefully — as far back as his 1994 U.S. Senate run. He has launched the most cogent, forceful fusillade against both Romney and Gingrich for their muddied, pro-individual health care mandate waters.

Malkin doesn’t sugar coat objections either:

Of course, Santorum is not perfect. As I’ve said all along, every election cycle is a Pageant of the Imperfects.

She then lists her objections but in the end after looking at each candidate, Santorum’s the man.

I’m pleased to have her join me on the Santorum express. Let’s hope that she helps pull us into the station.

For a Santorum supporter I haven’t put out too many huge blatant “Vote Santorum” posts but after last night debate how can one not see that Santorum is the guy?

Santorum handed it to Romney on Obamacare and Romney care:

And the CNN Panel figured it out.

He made the right argument on the Moonbase (can’t afford it) and most importantly on the question of “church and state” gave the classic answer that’s worth repeating:

Santorum noted that if rights come from the State, then the state can take them away, if rights come from God then the state can’t take them away.

And finally when is the last time somebody called the administration on its policy in central America:

Who is going to bring lay this on Obama? Romney? please. Paul? He’s on Obama’s side on this, Gingrich? Maybe, but why go with “maybe” when you can have the real thing?

Yeah, every one of these guys is better than Obama, but the best contrast AND the best candidate to get rid of Barack Obama is Rick Santorum.

Just watched yet another GOP debate and was totally unamazed by the lack of questions on fast and furious and BS questions such as: “Why did the Bush Tax Cuts fail?”. I think political types are sick of questions from people who want the GOP to fail.

I have a solution:

I suggest Hotair send an invitation to each candidate for a 2 hour debate moderated by Ed Morrissey.

The panel can be 4 bloggers the rule being each blogger has to be a known supporter of a different candidate (for example Bill Jacobson for Gingrich, Powerline for Romney, Stacy McCain for Santorum and a Ron Paul blogger for Ron Paul (Tom Woods?) )

I would suggest prospective bloggers could submit requests to be on the panel and the Hot Air Staff would vote. (That might be bad news for Stacy, oh well.)

I think Ed Morrissey should contact each campaign and see if they are willing. I guarantee it would be more interesting that what we’ve seen already.

Go for it Ed!

Update: Instalanche, thanks Glenn. I’d dead serious about this. The new media should demonstrate that it knows how to run a credible and substantive debate.

Update 2: Ed’s willing and we already know he is able.

Well, never let it be said that I would disappoint my friends. I hereby offer an invitation to the remaining four major Republican candidates to hold an on-line debate sponsored and webcast by Hot Air/Townhall, moderated by myself and a small panel of conservative and center-right bloggers. The most convenient place to conduct this would be at or around CPAC, which takes place in two weeks or so, and fortunately hits around the middle of a four-week lull in media debates. I believe all four candidates will be appearing at CPAC, which should make this convenient for them as well. However, I’m certain that we could schedule this at any other time and place where we could have all four on stage at the same time.

The candidates would be wise to jump on board.

The Anchoress reports on a disturbing omission in the MSM coverage of Thursday’s debate:

I came to the debate a few minutes late so I didn’t see it live. At the end of the debate, when CNN replayed “highlights” the standing-O wasn’t included (it certainly seemed like a “highlight” whether one liked it or not), so I only became aware of it thanks to the internet, and social media.

This morning I got an email from a friend who scours the papers, and he wrote:

AP and others did not even mention the standing O

I took a quick look around at various mainstream reports and discovered that my friend was correct. Even pieces identifying themselves as analysis of “winners and losers” or “views from the bleachers” made no mention of the standing ovation that accompanied Newt’s smackdown of King.

I also barely got to the TV for the first question after covering Scott Brown’s announcement in Worcester. I saw the standing O that Gingrich got.

Now let’s be clear, I’m a Santorum man and that’s it, but this is really more about the stereotype that the left has about the right than anything else.

To our friends on the left, the Christian is an intolerant bigot, extremely judgmental who only lives for their own self-righteous. It is a caricature of actual Christianity which is not only based on the concept of forgiveness but demands it of any who would follow Christ. In fact every time the Lord’s Prayer or as we Catholics would say the Our Father is prayed we are reminded of it:

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

For our own sakes we have to forgive

Of course one is required to avoid and turn away from sin, but Gingrich has confessed his sin and asked forgiveness. We must avoid the trap of the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son.

But to our friends on the left that’s a story they are not familiar with.

Meanwhile in South Carolina Stacy McCain does some practical shoe leather reporting on concerning a false flyer and Will “hot stuff” Folks and a flyer targeted at Rick Santorum:

this flyer was surreptitiously distributed on the windshields of cars at a pro-life event where the Paulistas were out in force.

So I come out to the parking lot, get the flyer, drive to a McDonald’s to file my American Spectator column and, while I’m at it, decide to Google this “Elizabeth Reichert” to see if such a person exists. And the only reference to her online as of 10 p.m. Wednesday was … Will Folks at FITS News, who had managed not only to transcribe the 388-word flyer, but also to write a 475-word “news” story about it, in which he said, “Allegations are flying among the rival 2012 camps, but at the moment a majority of fingers are being pointed at Perry’s campaign.”

Because why would you stop a dirty tricks campaign when you are pulling out of a race and trying to mend fences. Stacy continues

So: How did Folks get hold of the flyer? Was he in Greenville that night? Three presidential candidates — Santorum, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich — spoke in person at the pro-life forum, while Ron Paul appeared via satellite TV hookup. If Folks was in Greenville to cover that event, where are his reports of those candidates’ appearances? Did he decide that what the candidates said at the forum was less newsworthy than this flyer distributed in the parking lot of the Hilton?

You see what I mean by “suspicious”? One suspects that, unless Folks himself wrote this flyer, it was written by one of his fellow Ron Paul supporters, who informed him in advance and provided him with the text of the flyer by e-mail, so that all he had to do was to cut and paste it and hit the “publish” button the minute his fellow Paulista informed him that the flyer had, in fact, been distributed.

Read the whole thing and you can see why lover-boy is so anxious to hit Stacy. When you are a shoe leather reporter used to using sources you know how much time it takes to transcribe a flyer, you notice a lack of sources and the improbability of certain “facts”.

This would be consistent with Robocalls that took place in Iowa falsely questioning Santorum pro-life and pro-gun stance and the false flag operation at the Gingrich/Huntsman debate that I covered in Goffstown NH..

Paul’s people seem to take a page out of the Lyndon Johnson school of tactics. Politics isn’t beanbag and a presidential campaign even less so but my advice to the Ron Paul folks is this: If you expect Rand Paul to be a serious contender in 2016 (and you do) I strongly suggest cleaning up your act. The press might not be all that interested in the tactics and the players while the targets are fellow republicans or conservatives, but once the target is a democrat in 2016 or Obama if somehow Paul gets the nomination, all of this stuff is going to come out in the wash and a lot of members of the GOP who stayed silent because they didn’t want to alienate the Paul folks will be happy to confirm and cooperate in bringing you down.

Now it’s true that “liars and disgraceful cowards” votes count the same as everyone else, but I would remind every one of an old poem that I enjoy quoting:

One night in late October,
when I was far from sober,
Returning with my load, with manly pride;
My feet began to stutter,
So I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an’ lay down by my side;
A lady passing by was heard to say:
‘You can tell a man who “boozes”
by the company he chooses’
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

And this doesn’t even take into account this interesting piece of work:

In what appears to be a last ditch attempt to halt Newt Gingrich’s late momentum in South Carolina, a fake CNN Breaking News alert was emailed to state Republican activists early Thursday morning claiming that the former House Speaker pressured his ex-wife to have an abortion.

CNN did not send out the email alert.

I don’t know who sent out this blast, but as it says above “you can tell a man who boozes…”

Ransom Stoddard: You’re not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?

Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962


A Democratic Thief is as bad as a republican one

President Grover Cleveland 1962

In 1992 Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts defeated Bill Clinton in the New Hampshire primary by 8 1/2 points, however the media despite Clinton losing an early lead accepted the Clinton Narrative of “the comeback kid” ending in his eventual nomination, election and re-election as president (with a lot of help from Ross Perot).

One of the worst kept secrets of this presidential primary season is that the Establishment really wants Mitt Romney as the nominee for president. Not so much because they are in love with Romney, but because above all else they wish to stop any possible tea party victor.

People tend to forget that there is a difference between a conservative and a republican and a huge difference between a tea party republican and a generic republican.

A tea party/conservative Republican really means it. The reason why these spending bills are being held up, why subsidies are expiring is solely because of the Tea Party GOP. Never forget that senate minority leader McConnell didn’t want the tea party guys, that Trent Lott wants to co-op them at once.

Don’t get me wrong, there are difference between the parties, the life issue alone is a reason to vote GOP, but lobbyists who fund the parties understand that the tea party mood has to be stopped because a level playing field for small business is not what they are paid for.

Which brings us to the news from Iowa that the winner was actually a fellow by the name of Rick Santorum:

THE RESULTS: Santorum finished ahead by 34 votes
MISSING DATA: 8 precincts’ numbers will never be certified
PARTY VERDICT: GOP official says, ‘It’s a split decision’

Rick Santorum – Final total: 29,839 Change: -168
Mitt Romney – Final total: 29,805 Change: -210

Note that GOP officials didn’t have a problem naming Romney the victor with an 8 vote lead, but now it’s a tie, not a Santorum win?

Iowa-based operative Nick Ryan, who heads the pro-Santorum super PAC, the Red White & Blue Fund, questioned why Santorum’s 34-vote lead today is being treated differently than Mitt Romney’s 8-vote lead on caucus night.

“They look like the keystone cops– my god,” Ryan wrote in an email to POLITICO. “Romney wins by 8 and nothing will change. Final count shows santorum wins by 34 and it’s a tie?”

I’m with Byron York

I suggest that if those 8 precincts had gone for Romney, they would not be lost but it matters little, Romney has already won the narrative, but will that win hold up past SC? That’s up to you.

I’ve covered Rick Santorum extensively over the last few days watching him take questions of all types from all kinds of people. The MSM has painted Santorum position on Gay Marriage as a huge problem for him here in NH but there was a much more significant Question that was asked and answered that I think was the most damaging moment for the Santorum Campaign in NH:

With every single moment of TV airtime purchased, there are two ways of getting the word out. One is retail politics and the other is the net.

New Hampshire is a state full of high tech and colleges people live on the net and on their smartphones, combine this with a libertarian streak and New Hampshire is a state that a law like SOPA is going to be hated.

I suspect that Rick Santorum who has been going all out to meet and talk to voters has had little time to study the issue of SOPA. When he answered the question above his answer was general in the sense that the internet could be regulated but did not give details on the bill itself.

I have updated to date 120 videos only my long video on a gay marriage outdrew this one on views. It not only had 80% more comments than any other video it accounted for 46% of all the comments overall and they were uniformly negative.

Will this make a difference in the future? With more and more of the country connected SOPA has the potential to be a critical topic. If I had to give the Santorum campaign one bit of advice, I suggest they study the SOPA closely and I would further suggest that both on the merits and on the politics, it is a bill worth opposing.

It’s too late to make a difference in NH but if this isn’t nipped in the bud it will be an excellent excuse for people to look elsewhere.

It would be a terrible shame if the letters SOPA were the epitaph chiseled on the grave of the Santorum Campaign.