This post is not intended to hack you guys off, but I’ve rapidly moved toward cynicism on the whole Romney v. Huckabee end of the world death match. Today, Romney will be heading to College Station, Texas to the George H. W. Bush Library to give a speech that, while being covered, won’t get the coverage it could have gotten by being some place within a reasonable driving distance of an airport we could all get to. I think it is more strategic than necessary or anything else.
Romney supporters are starting to cry wolf about anti-Mormon bigotry. Sadly, to a degree, I think they are right. But, let’s keep this in perspective. In national polling, Romney is at 10.7% in the RCP Poll Average, which is about a four percent increase from February 6, 2007. So, it’s not like this bigotry is having a massive effect on his polls — unless it has been there all along, in which case it is probably too late to be giving this speech.
In Iowa, Huckabee has had a tremendous surge. But, again, according to the RCP Poll Average, Romney is at 25.4% , virtually a 1% increase from July 2, 2007. In fact, Romney’s high point in Iowa came at the beginning of September when he hit 31%. Coincidentally, that corresponded to a spike in Huckabee’s popularity too. And now Huckabee is only about 2% ahead of Romney, with most of his gains coming from others.
Romney is a text book perfect candidate. He’s right on the issues. He’s right on the looks. He’s right on the money. He’s right on the executive experience. He’s right on the organization. He’s right on the family. He’s right on the strategy. He’s right on the pre-campaign book launch. He’s right on who he got to support him in the conservative opinion community. It’s like his campaign checked all the boxes before he started and expected things to just work. The problem of course, is that Romney did the same thing in 1994 and 2002 and on both occasions he checked all the boxes on the other side. You’ll have to forgive voters, particularly evangelicals who’ve seen their hopes go up in flames before, from trusting the guy now. There is a manufactured, astroturf feel to all of this and it wouldn’t matter whether he was Methodist or Mormon. Republicans have a track record of producing poor self funders who check all the boxes expecting campaign flowers to grow. Just ask Pete Coors.
As Jay Cost said the other day, the Romney inexperience is showing. He is poll tested, mom sanctioned, and kid approved. He’s a manufactured candidate and it is starting to show. When he makes immigration a big issue and the Boston Globe outs his landscape team, he fired them. When Huckabee starts gaining ground with social conservatives, the group Romney tried to get, he says this campaign will not be on social issues, but flies to Texas to give a speech on faith. It’s all too accumulated and transparent now.
And all the more cynical now, we have this Article VI movie coming out. It’s about “the role of faith in politics” and it’s put out by Romney supporters. So, he’s going to go give a speech on faith in politics and have a movie funded by supporters coming out at about the same time. We’ve all said we can’t underestimate his money and this is another example. The movie, by the way, will launch in ten key primary states. Coincidence? Of course not.
So let’s get to the heart of this. Why is Romney doing it? Here is my cynical nutshell opinion: Huckabee talking about faith is working. Romney is incapable of doing it. We saw how he reacted to the Bible question in the YouTube debate. How odd it is that Huckabee is starting to be accused of mixing church and state in a Republican primary. A Republican primary. Good grief. Anyone ever hear of George W. Bush? I do believe he once said his favorite philosopher is one Jesus Christ. You might have heard of him. His birthday is coming up.
Unfortunately for Romney, George Bush’s religion talk worked. And Huckabee’s is too. Look again at the RCP Poll average for Iowa. Notice that precipitous fall in Romney’s support corresponding to the rise in Huckabee’s support? I can’t see it either. Huckabee isn’t taking votes from Romney totally. He’s taking them from everybody and he’s pulling in people who think the rest of them, well, not to repeat myself, but they all suck.
So, the super predictable strategy? Try now to take religion off the table. Romney failed to capture those voters, so now we’re hearing hints of bigotry and suggestions that Huckabee is too much of a Jesus freak for American politics.
Evelyn has a new friend — “Me Sarah”. That’s actually Miss Sarah, but Evelyn can’t really say Miss, so she says Me Sarah, which has an endearing quality to it.
Monday night, Miss. Sarah was here for Bible Study and sat on Evelyn’s kitchen stool — a high bar stool with a back that Christy got Evelyn so she could participate in all of Christy’s cooking. Evelyn had no problem sharing.
Tonight, Evelyn ran to the stool, hugged it, and said, “This Me Sarah’s tool.” i think you can figure that one out.
Evelyn is obsessed with Christmas lights now. We put up the Christmas Tree and Evelyn just dances around it singing “Jesus Loves Me”. She will literally stand for minutes at a time and just stare at it. The night we put it up, she grabbed her duck, climbed onto the couch, and announced she was going night night with the Christmas Tree. That was not to be, though.
So every morning she tells the tree good morning and every night she tells the tree night night, “See ya later.” She also wants to go out every night to look at Christmas lights and hunt for what she calls, in a rough phonetic equivalent of the sound, “S’no-man.” She loves ‘em.
We went out tonight. She loved seeing all the lights. We pulled back into the driveway to the cheers of “Yay, Evie’s house. Go see Chri’mas tee.” Then she got quiet for a second and asked, “When Me Sarah come back ta Evie’s house.?”
We just laughed.
We just need to get this out of the way today.
The Wayne Dumond case is the big news of the day in the Huckabee camp, followed closely by Huckabee not knowing anything about yesterday’s NIE Report. The Dumond thing has the potential to be devastating because it is only a matter of time before Dumond’s victim’s mother appears in a television commercial attacking Huckabee, using Huckabee’s own words against him.
Huckabee wrote a letter to Dumond writing, “My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel that parole is the best way for your reintroduction to society to take place.” That there is more to the story will be inconsequential in the coming 30 second ad (oh, you know one is coming).
So, consider this your homework today. First, Byron York is a must read. He captures, very fairly, the issue.
Second, Governor Huckabee’s campaign was kind enough to provide a transcript of Governor Huckabee’s own remarks on the matter. You can read them here (PDF).
Rush does not endorse in primaries. I can’t say I blame him. But he does know a conservative when he sees one and he’s already said that Thompson is the only conservative in the race without well
There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson.
Today, Rush was singing Fred’s praises again. But, as Rush did, let me point out that it is not so much what Fred said — though to be sure it was staggering in its conservative awesomeness — but the way Charlie Rose reacted.
You can watch the whole clip below the fold, but here is the relevant part from the transcript:
Rose asks, “You constantly say in this campaign that you are a conservative. What does that mean today?”
It means things that are consistent with God’s design for man, is consistent with human nature, it’s consistent with the lessons of history, the lessons of ages. They found form in the Constitution I think and what our founding fathers believed. They understand that man can do great and wonderful things, but man is prone to error and sometimes do terrible things. That too much power in too few hands is a dangerous thing. That power is a corrupting thing.
And Rose is just stunned. Stunned. No gay marriage. No abortion. No gun rights. None of that in that statement. Thompson explains that those are issues to which you apply your principles. Go to kerrhome’s diary for the rest and go below the fold for my take and the video.
Read on . . . Read more
It’s not just Americans who are stupid.
Does anyone know if Oprah woke up today with a horse head in her bed? It’s been 24 hours and it’s already getting ugly.
Patrick Healy of the New York Times, no doubt first forced to watch the Vagina Monologues to get in touch with his inner female before writing this, has fired the first shot at The Oprah on behalf of The Clintons.
Message: women are still alive who didn’t have the right to vote. You must stick with the woman so that these old women can finally see one of their own in the White House.
“I told her that my grandmother was the first person in town to vote, and my mother was the second,” said Mrs. Smith, who was born three months before the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. “And I told her I was born before women could vote, and I want to live long enough to see a woman in the White House.” Since then Mrs. Smith’s story has become a grace note in Mrs. Clinton’s stump speech. At the same time, the many other elderly women who turn out for Clinton campaign events have become welcome set pieces, visibly demonstrating the candidate’s effort to highlight her sex and her overtures to female voters, whom the campaign is counting on to propel her to the Democratic presidential nomination.
I wish I could insert barf noises into this post.
Seriously, this is the Clinton message against The Oprah — it’s more important that we get a woman elected than a black man because, well, there are still women alive who lived before women’s suffrage. Solidarity sisters! Housewives unite! Pay no attention to the suffrage of African-Americans. Now is our turn.
That’s really rather pathetic.
Lest you think this is an objective piece, Mr. Healy pulls out the trademarked practice of presenting the negative to show the positive in an effort to appear fair and balanced. After spending 755 words explaining to American housewives the world over that they must vote for Mrs. Bill Clinton despite what The Oprah tells them, he throws in 124 words of “not all women will vote for her just because she’s a woman” and then ends with 48 more words on how all respectable housewives will ignore The Oprah and vote for Mrs. Bill Clinton:
Mrs. Smith, the senator’s touchstone in Iowa, said she heard doubts about Mrs. Clinton from some of her Republican friends but did not care much. “A lot of them believe a woman’s place is by the cookstove,” Mrs. Smith said. “But I think Hillary’s a very capable girl.”
I say within two weeks there’ll be a hit piece on Oprah in the New York Times.
This one will hit my household as my wife sets into her holiday routine of preparing copious amounts of candies, cookies, and other treats. Christy turns out amazing stuff from our kitchen in large amounts every Christmas season.
The price of holiday baking staples – like sugar, eggs, milk and cream – have risen noticeably this year, according to local bakers and the American Farm Bureau. The rising price of corn, due to ethanol production, and the fuel used to transport goods have driven up prices as much as 30 percent in some cases.
This year we have my sister to thank for a turtle recipe and we have a large, expensive bag of pecans to throw in the mix. And there is the good news.
“This has been the best pecan crop Georgia’s seen in 15 years,” said John Steedman, owner of the North Georgia Pecan Co. in Athens. “A lot of things just happened exactly right.” The nuts thrive in relatively dry conditions, and pecan farmers turned out a bumper crop this year. Consequently, their price has dropped from about $7.95 a pound to about $7.25.
The OprahTM hits the ground soon for Barack Obama. Never let it be said The Oprah doesn’t have cajones. She’s going up against Bill and HIllary in a full frontal assault, wrecking havoc to Mark Penn’s thesis of the unbeatable Hillary and wrecking havoc in American households. I hope American politics and families will survive. But will The Oprah and Obama? They are, please remember, going up against the Clintons. As Rush Limbaugh has pointed out, lots of people end up in a bad way when doing so. (O, you got your tax records in order? Prepare to be audited if Mrs. Bill Clinton gets elected)
But here’s the thing — and I think the Godzilla picture is apt: like Godzilla tearing up Tokyo, The Oprah is going to tear up the Clinton play book. Mrs. Bill Clinton, remember, has been trying to frame herself as the sensitive Mrs. Bill Clinton, not the ice queen of Hillarycare. She’s been talking up her religion, gabbing it up with her husband, and pushing out the Tammy Wynette stories (despite her 1992 mocking) about how she stood by her man. She’s loyal and lovable down to the ankles.
Nonetheless, The Oprah, the arbiter of loyal and lovable, has chosen another. And American housewives the world over listen to every word The Oprah says and seize upon every recommendation made by The Oprah. That wavering mass of undecided American housewives that Mark Penn tells us will vote for Hillary because she’s a woman would sooner vote for The Oprah’s chosen than Bill’s wife. Why? Because The Oprah told them to.
Hollywood celebrity endorsements don’t amount to much. Just ask John Kerry. But The Oprah is bigger than all of the Hollywood-New York corridor of self congratulating, self-appointed guardians of who the “it person” is combined. The Oprah outranks Sean Penn, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Susan Sarandon, and all of Shirley McLaine’s present, past, and future lives combined. She is the modern day Jesus of the secular left and the Patron Saint of the American housewife. If she says “Obama” the Clintons better watch out. But so should Oprah.
There are three things to note here.
Rail on about megachurches, many of which are good, but I will say that I’m always a bit concerned with independent megachurches that are driven more by their charisma of their pastors than by doctrinal beliefs. And this is in large part why.
When a church, any church, is thriving more because of the pastor himself than anything else, there is no one to hold the pastor accountable. And he can get out of hand. Of course, he can also get himself a deal with
EWTN TBN (sorry Mother Angelica. Didn’t mean to get you mixed up with the big haired lady who sits on the gold throne, I was just moving fast) to be on TV all night.
Let me add more here than I did when I posted this at Peach Pundit.
I’ve got a real problem with a lot of these guys like Osteen, Binny Hinn, etc. who only know enough verses in the Bible to speak some silver tongued message about prosperity. I’ve read through the Bible and I have yet to find the passage that says God is going to make me rich if I believe in him.
No, the Bible says God will deliver me from my sins, not make me rich. And, of course, that’s worth more than all the gold on earth. But these megachurch pastors and their prosperity message are going to be held seriously accountable and will be found wanting at the end of days. They’ve taken a group of people hungering and fed them sugar without substance. The hunger has turned to a disease. While the hunger could have been cured with good scriptural nourishment, the disease will be far more difficult to cure because they were given scripture to begin with — just a bastardized version.
A whole flock lost to the sex and greed of a one man church.
Okay, so I did go off on megachurches. Oh well.