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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:15 pm 
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the ... _blog.html

There’s no question that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was vulnerable in this year’s Republican presidential primary.

After all, he had signed a health care law in Massachusetts that bore more than a passing resemblance to the national law championed by President Obama. Romney had also switched his position on abortion — from pro-choice to pro-life — and was an uneasy fit (at best) for the sort of economic populism sweeping the country. He’s also a Mormon in a party whose primary electorate is dominated by white evangelical Protestants.


That Romney now appears to be on a glide path to the Republican presidential nomination — the race will be effectively over if he wins the South Carolina primary on Saturday — is a testament to two political facts of life: 1. Campaigns matter and 2. You can’t beat something with nothing.

Romney has, without doubt, run the best campaign of anyone in the race; he’s been disciplined about message and money, avoiding many of the pitfalls that laid him low in 2008.

But he’s also benefited from the fact that no one in the current field has the ability to capi­tal­ize on the weaknesses we listed above.

The key date in setting Romney’s course in the primary contest may have in fact then been May 14 — the day former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee decided not to run.At the time, Huckabee’s decision was greeted without much surprise by the political class. After all, he had shown no willingness to raise money or build the sort of early state organizations that conventional wisdom suggested he would need to compete with Romney.

But, a look at how the race has played out since then suggests it was tailor-made for Huckabee.First, the entire dynamic of the contest was driven by the myriad debates held over the summer and fall of 2011, debates in which Huckabee — if his 2008 performances were any indication — would have shined.

Huckabee’s inability/unwillingness to raise money or create a traditional organization would also have mattered far less than we all thought a year ago. Huckabee was at or near the top of every national poll when he decided not to run, a coveted position that would have put him front and center in every debate — and virtually ensured significant free media coverage in the wake of the gatherings.

Second, Iowa became a total free-for-all once Huckabee, who had won the caucuses in 2008, stepped aside. No candidate was able to put together the social conservative coalition that Huckabee would have had from the second he announced his candidacy.

With Huckabee in the race, there’s no chance that Romney plays in Iowa aggressively and an even smaller chance that the former Massachusetts governor win the caucuses.

Without an Iowa win, a Romney victory in New Hampshire is less monumental and South Carolina shapes up as a showdown between Romney and Huckabee. (It’s hard to imagine former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich still in the race in South Carolina if Huckabee is running and uniting conservatives behind his cause.)

Third, Huckabee is not only an evangelical Protestant but he’s also a former preacher. He is regarded by religious Republican voters as one of them — someone who isn’t just catering to them because it’s good politics but rather someone who understands at a basic level what they care about.

While Santorum and Gingrich are both making that same pitch to evangelicals, both men are Catholics. Huckabee wouldn’t have even had to court that critical voting bloc. They would have just been with him.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, Huckabee is the economic populist that this field badly lacks.

There is clearly an effective attack to be made against Romney as someone who is out of touch with the average person. But no one in the current field can effectively make it.

Gingrich is of considerable means himself and is not even close to a populist. Santorum has potential but seems more focused on winning over social conservatives than turning himself into a populist. Texas Gov. Rick Perry should be the economic populist in the race but his inability to articulate any message at all has made that impossible.

Huckabee’s natural folksiness oozes populism as, it’s worth nothing, do his struggles with his own weight. Can you imagine what Huckabee would have done if Romney tried to make a $10,000 bet with him during a debate?

Obviously, hindsight is 20-20 and it’s not clear that if Huckabee had run, the race would have played out as it has over the past year. It’s also worth noting that Huckabee had a number of weaknesses — his spending and tax record in Arkansas for one — that would have come under withering scrutiny from the Romney team.

Still, there’s little question in our mind that had Huckabee run, he would have presented — by far — the most difficult hurdle to Romney’s chances of winning the Republican nomination.

He didn’t. And the rest is history.



Post by steves has received Likes: 2 goalieman, justgrace
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:37 pm 
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All you can do when you read that article is
:balling

Then sigh

and then move on to trying to fight for a cause that got you excited about Huckabee in the first place.

But Chris Cillizza, if you recall, loved Romney in 2008. And he would have been one of the first to diss on Huckabee if Huck had run.

So an :roll: is also needed as we would have been battling with 'The Fix' if Huck had run.

Oh well....sigh

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Quote:
Huckabee’s inability/unwillingness to raise money or create a traditional organization would also have mattered far less than we all thought a year ago. Huckabee was at or near the top of every national poll when he decided not to run, a coveted position that would have put him front and center in every debate — and virtually ensured significant free media coverage in the wake of the gatherings.


No "we" didn't "all" think it. There were any number of insightful souls who could have opened your eyes to this reality. You might have consulted HA for the best analysis available.


Quote:
Still, there’s little question in our mind that had Huckabee run, he would have presented — by far — the most difficult hurdle to Romney’s chances of winning the Republican nomination.

He didn’t. And the rest is history.


Your writing in the prophetic past tense here Chris. Take a clue from your earlier confession about what you had wrong that your abilty to foreknow is cloudy at best.

Huck could still be the man at an anti-Mitt brokered convention if the Paul/Rick/Newt/ and even Perry trio-quad can keep Mitt from getting to 1044 delegates.

Did you learn nothing from last time?

It's always a marathon.

It aint history till it's past.

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"As for us, our days of combat are over. Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more. The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey. Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field. I do not repine. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war; we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:42 am 
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This is a good article on WaPo, but I think I read the before the facts version of it right here at HA! How come us common folk could know this but not the politically sophisticated? :roll:

Clearly, having good political instincts is not a requirement to being a commentator or columnist. :?

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Post by goalieman Liked by: ohiorepublican09
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:57 pm 
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I'm about coming to the mindset that human nature dictates that more moderate Republicans will always tend to win primaries. The reason is because principled voters care about the "little" things, but there are a lot of those things to think about and each of them can be nuanced different ways. That means the values voters' voice will inevitably be splintered, leading to a more moderate candidate winning, because voters less interested in moral values will look to issues of electability and popularity, which will generally make for a fairly easy choice.

In other words, we are our own worst enemies.



Post by Matthew has received Likes: 2 Miranda, Southern Doc
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