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Thinning the Herd – and OPEN THREAD

Remember in 2008, after Obama pulled out a surprise win in Iowa, with the stunning upset of Hillary Clinton coming in third after John Edwards?  She rallied and narrowly won New Hampshire.  It seemed like she was regaining the lead by winning the first primary election, as opposed to the Iowa barn dance.

Hillary went on to win Nevada and was uncontested in Michigan.  But momentum in political races is a fickle friend, and before we knew it, Obama came back in South Carolina, thanks to the first use of the Race Card by some Obama supporters who claimed that remarks by the Clintons were racially negative.  But that’s old news and a different topic.

Super Tuesday in 2008 came early, first week of February.  It was Obama’s night, although Hillary won her fair share.  But that’s the day it became clear that Obama had momentum on his side.  Edwards had already dropped out by then, and the pundit class was already calling on Hillary to admit defeat, even though she was still very much in contention.

I was just comparing the jockeying for primary wins among Democrats in 2008 and among Republicans in 2012. The winning margins were relatively small in most of the early contests.  Not quite the 8 votes that separated Romney and Santorum in Iowa, but still somewhat close.  In 2008, John Edwards started out running in second place or third place early on, then dropped out.  He refrained from endorsing anyone for awhile, eventually favoring Obama in what many Clinton supporters considered a dirty deed.  Not quite as jarringly treasonous as the endorsement Bill Richardson gave to Obama, but still, not what was expected.

In 2008, Hillary was the leader going in and Obama was a surprise newcomer who somehow got traction.  I don’t think Santorum can count on anything similar.  It was just his turn to be the Un-Romney Conservative Flavor of the Week.  According to Rasmussen, as of January 6, Santorum is now polling at about 13% in New Hampshire, with Jon Huntsman at 12% .  Ron Paul is in second place with about 18%, but Romney is favored by 44% of registered Republicans likely to vote.  Gingrich is in single digit hell at 8%.  Rick Perry is at 1%.  He should have followed Michelle Bachmann’s lead and called it done.  Stick a fork in it, Gov!

What happened with Obama in 2008 was a combination of fluke and voters wanting to “be a part of history being made” by helping to elect the First Black President.  No such “come from behind” momentum awaits Santorum, as just about everybody knows.  The more voters learn about him, the more momentum he loses.  He’ll be gone by Super Tuesday, which is March 6 this year.  And the others?  Only time will tell.

There are two more Republican debates this weekend.  It should be very interesting in the next few days!

January 7, 2012 9pm ET / 6pm PT on ABC
Location: Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire
Sponsor: ABC News and WMUR
Participants: Santorum, Romney, Paul, Perry, Gingrich, Huntsman
January 8, 2012 9am ET on NBC (Yes, 9am)
Location: Chubb Theatre at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH
Sponsor: NBC News, Facebook and the Union Leader
Participants: Santorum, Romney, Paul, Perry, Gingrich, Huntsman

The thinning of the herd has begun in earnest.  Is Romney unstoppable?  Did Huntsman make a major mistake blowing off Iowa?  Will the Santorum Surge last until Super Tuesday, or will he be toast by New Hampshire Tuesday next week?

  • Anonymous

    Back in 1991, a number of very high profile democrats looked at George Bush’s numbers, which were sky high at the end of the First Gulf War. People like Bradley, Glenn, Cuomo, Kerry (feh), and others decided they had no chance, so they decided not to run. Clinton got into the race in October. He had an opponent in the D primary for Governor that racked up 40% of the vote, and his R opponent in the GE did the same (that was a couple of years prior). He didn’t think he had much chance in a run for the Senate, as both sitting senators were popular.

    All of the personal baggage didn’t seem to matter, and neither did the poor economic record in Arkansas. The economy had already started to turn, but the press filled its pages with doom and gloom. I’d bet that if you asked those guys right now, they regret not jumping into the race. Their line of thinking now is probably along the lines of: if I stayed in I’d have been the nominee. The Republican candidates are thinking the same thing.

    Right now, the employment figures are supposed to be good, but the reality is that they suck. Obama is beatable. His recent poll numbers are up because he was away for three weeks. The Republicans haven’t coalesced around a nominee yet, but they will. Romney’s personal issues are likely clean, as are Perry’s. I’ve made this statement before, all of the candidates are flawed on the R side. Unless it’s Paul, I’m pulling the lever for the Republican, as four more years of King Barack makes me retch.

    The press will trumpet any weakness of his opponent. I will disregard it. There’s enough info out there for me to make a judgement. I have my favorite (ain’t sayin’ who). Let them stay in until they want out.

  • HELENK

    yard signs in New Hampshire.
    this article does show a shift

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/yard-signs-tell-the-tale-in-new-hampshire/?singlepage=true

    • gaindy

      I think most people are conceding that Obama is not going ot carry NH in November. 

  • getfitnow
    • Anonymous

      Santorum’s position on the Terry Schiavo issue is a prime example of the hypocrisy of the right. They don’t want government “interferring” in your choice of lightbulbs but charged right into a a life and death issue that should never be decided by anyone but the family and the patient’s doctor.

      This is why, although I will probably vote for the Republican candidate, as a vote against Obama, I could not in all conscience vote for  Santorum.

      I am a dedicated Independent who just happens to “dislike” the left more at this time than I do the right. But Santorum is a bridge too far for me.

  • Anonymous

    The more moderate and Independent voters learn about Santorum the less they will like him. He is a creepy social conservative/bomb everyone neo-con but wasn’t much of a fiscal conservative when he was in the Senate. Quite the contrary.

    I suspect Gingrich expects to re-invent himself again with these debates. Depends who shows up, mean bitter Newt or we are all Republicans together Newt. I suspect the former. How Romney handles that could make or break him. A calm collected Romney against a nasty sore loser could gain him some traction among moderate and Independents. Nothing he does will impress the un-Romney crowd.

  • http://twitter.com/Juliezzz Juliezzz

    Judge Napolitano: What if they’re lying to you about Ron Paul? – Fox Business

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD_ybaXhXno&feature=player_embedded

    • Betty

      WOW~!  

    • Scottymac54

      Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!

      Thank you for posting this, julie.

      This sums up my rationale for my choices in this election.

      As usual, the Judge gets it right.

  • http://twitter.com/Juliezzz Juliezzz

    Huntsman may be getting thinned out sooner rather than later if this turns our to be true.  Looking rather suspicious right at the moment.

    http://www.theendrun.com/huntsman-complicit-in-false-flag-style-dirty-trick-against-paul

    “Huntsman Complicit in “False Flag”-Style Dirty Trick Against Paul”

    “YouTube stats show that Huntsman’s official
    website was the first website to post the  ridiculous, anonymously
    created “China Jon” video immediately after it was uploaded, yet
    Huntsman and the corporate media blame Ron Paul supporters for its
    creation and call on Paul himself to disown it.  Meanwhile, Huntman uses
    it as a means to play the victim and paint himself as a cosmopolitan
    hero, with full media cooperation.

    TheEndRun.com

    January 6, 2012
    If you thought it would be impossible for Jon Huntsman and the
    Establishment media to stoop any lower than they already have in their
    attempts to marginalize and discredit Ron Paul, you thought wrong.”

    • Anonymous

      Julie, there are services  that tell you immediately when someone posts something concerning you. All celebrities use them. You then get a chance to decide what to do about it.

  • Jrterrier

    there are only two candidates thoughtful and competent and disciplined enough to have figured out what is needed to run for president — romney and paul.  paul makes a lot of sense on a lot of things and is not as crazy as people make him out to be.  but i just don’t see that he can get the Rep nomination.  he will play a part in the future with his ideas and followers.

    Romney is a very competent, disciplined guy who will serve the country well if he gets elected. And his competence as a businessman is the perfect message for the times.  i don’t think anyone else has a chance; most haven’t even gotten their names on all the state ballots.       

    perhaps huntsman has those necessary attributes also but for whatever reason, he just wasn’t able to garner the money and voter support necessary to launch a national campaign.  i’m not sure what he’s waiting for but he’s never had a consistent message other than i’m the better mormon (he’s running as the moderate or the most conservative depending on the day of the week) and  continues to muddle his message in other ways (Iowa corn/NH presidents) makes him sound arrogant (gingrich without the self-indulgent avarice).  today’s comment that he did not have to win just exceed the “expectations of the market place” show that he just doesn’t understand that he needs to appeal to people not a board room of bureaucrats or perhaps diplomats. i think he made a mistake not running in iowa.  at least he would have been in the mix, perhaps he could have appealed to some segment of the Iowa population, drwan some votes from romney and been given another look.  if the polls are to be believed, despite having practically moved to NH, he’s striking out in a state that is tailor-made for him. 

    santorum has a sweet smile and with his blue collar/immigrant background he would present a contrasting appeal to many who cannot stand obama at this point.  however, he is overly moralistic except when he needs to circumvent the rules for his own personal benefit/survival.  and when republicans wake up to his voting record, they will realize that he is conservative only on social issues.  i don’t think in this day and age, his anti-gay, anti-abortion, bomb-iran, simplistic economic stances can survive even in the republican party.  he is a lightweight intellectually.  

    gingrich has ideas but his arrogance and ugly mean streak threw it all away and played into the excellent ad attack that was launched against him.  the negatives flooded back to remind people of all his flaws, the angrier he got, the uglier and more tired-looking he became.  his third wife, although probably an intelligent woman adds nothing to his image (ann romney softens mitt; anita perry adds appeal, santorum’s wife also helps).  callista just seems a personification of all that is wrong with newt.  if he mentions reagan one more time, reagan is going to rise up from the dead to smack him down.  pretty soon, he’s going to claim that reagan was just a puppet reading gingrich’s speeches.  he gives you the sense that he would launch a nuclear strike in a snit if some foreign head of state didn’t acknowledge his fundamentally historically immense intellect. 

    perry may have some abilities but his texas governor/articulation difficulties doomed him in a time that still has a bad taste in its mouth for bush.  he showed flashes of competence (good ad campaign) and retail political appeal in Iowa but i don’t think he can recover from his disastrous start/bush similarities. 

    roemer and gary johnson would have been interesting and improved the discourse but they were never given a chance on the stage. 

    it’s either romney or no one else. 

  • Anonymous

    Labor unions continued to receive the overwhelming majority of
    waivers from the president’s health care reform law since the Obama
    administration tightened application rules last summer.

    Documents released in a classic Friday afternoon news dump show that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.

    By contrast, private employers with a total of 69,813 employees, many of whom work for small businesses, were granted waivers.
    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/06/labor-unions-primary-recipients-of-obamacare-waivers/#ixzz1ikWvRgOM

  • Anonymous

    Only one Senate Democrat, out of 51 asked, told The Daily Caller that President Barack Obama was correct when he claimed the Senate
    was in recess Jan. 3. That’s the day Obama announced that he had
    exercised his executive authority to fill four top posts during a Senate
    recess.Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/06/only-one-senate-democrat-supports-obamas-recess-claim/#ixzz1ikW7mnSc

  • Scottymac54

    “Is Romney unstoppable?”

    No. His appeal lies in appearing the “adult”, the “moderate” one in terms of ideology as well as temperament, the one with “cross-party appeal”.

    In other words, one well-played psyop can send the entire campaign org framework into chaos, as well as every penny of funding thus far, legally, up for grabs.

    Nowadays, the denizens of the “country clubs” no longer have the cachet, or the savvy, to remain immune to the whims of the ARCHITECTS of scientific dictatorship.

    “Did Huntsman make a major mistake blowing off Iowa?”

    No, a very convincing argument for foregoing Iowa itself could have been made on the grounds of conserving resources for deferred but strategically worthwhile returns, later. And Huntsman advocates were successfully making that argument, on his behalf.

    Huntsman screwed himself by displaying a colossal bit of arrogance, claiming that Iowa made corn, not presidents.

    In one felswoop, he alienated part of his base, who simply concluded his iconoclastic personal style precluded his own electability….

    The thoughtful rural/agricultural Midwestern vote, who have self-respect for their role in our nation’s economy and cultural contributions, without endlessly crowing about it…..

    Just about EVERY former Hillary supporter I know, that seriously considered him, including me….most of us INSIST upon the principles of egalitarianism and equality as bulwarks against the creeping elitism that forever threatens the existence of our republic.

    The twentyish/thirtyish urban “hipster” voters, particularly those who did well during the dotcom boom, and despise Barky’s financial policies. They view Barky’s emphasis on racial parameters for social justice for political action as fraudulent and pointless, abhor his continuation and escalation of neocon foreign policies, and have not forgotten his unwillingness to repeal DADT in a timely manner, as a fundamental weakness of character (I agree with them).

    Newly minted senior citizens, the “boomers”, who enthusiastically embraced the “values” of the sixties, who were taken in by the “rebellious spirit” and geek-rocks-out image that was cultivated, who were on the fence after the endorsement of the Ryan plan and the “most conservative” meme his supporters feverishly promoted…
    These voters will be lost to the Obama machine and the Dems, probably forever.

    I know at least one person from each one of the above composites. Each is done with Huntsman now. And this should be a lesson for all aspiring pols….the power of one, supposedly innocuous remark, tossed off thoughtlessly, in a world where every mic is live.

    “Will the Santorum Surge last until Super Tuesday, or will he be toast by New Hampshire Tuesday next week?”

    I pray he will be the burnt toast, the malfunctioning toaster pops out, charred beyond recognition, not worthy of scraping with a knife, unsalvageable, unredeemable, tossed into the rubbish bin forevermore.

    The survival of the few remaining scraps of freedom that my citizenship confers on me, and the remains of our republic, hinge upon the total annihilation of his campaign..

    My respect for self-proclaimed “social conservatives”, and their discernment, is at an all-time low.

    I have to wonder, who they supported, until now.

    • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd

      Interesting take on Huntsman; I, too, liked him, although not enough to endorse his candidacy. That comment about corn also rubbed me the wrong way. On the other hand, Roemer visited Iowa, once, some months ago and recommended against continuing government ethanol subsidies! There’s something about that man…

    • Jrterrier

      romney is unstoppable because no one else can run a national campaign. 

      • getfitnow

        I’m beginning to think you’re correct.

      • Anonymous

        Romney is unstoppable because they ensured no one else was able to run against him, does not do much if the outside forces kill all the competition does it? Lets just hope he can move Obama if not some of you are going to get a whole lot of I told you so.

        • Jrterrier

          who are they?  each of the persons who haven’t run seems to have made his own decisions or put his own foot in the mouth.

          huntsman has been given a lot of press, but hasn’t been able to break through.  he needs a good campaign manager.  gingrich was on a cruise when he should have been raising money and getting the necessary signatures to be on the ballot in his state of residence. 

          mitch daniels has personsal issues about his wife having left him and didn’t want to bring the media scrutiny onto himself.  paul ryan rightly decided that he would do more good in the house; they would have decimated him.  and perhaps he just doesn’t have the fire in the belly.  christie needs to lose some weight (or he is going to die of a heart attack on the trail). 

          jeb bush has the misfortune of having had a knucklehead for a brother.  he needs to let a few more years pass before he comes forward.  sarah isn’t going to be able to get elected unless she gets some serious work under her belt that increases her statute to go along with her natural talents.  

          who else wasn’t allowed to run against him?

          • Anonymous

            But, but, it’s the mysterious they who run everything.

            One by one the “not-Romney’s” have crashed and burned. I believe that Santorum will too. Not to mention that Independents will never vote for him.
            For some people everything is a conspiracy and people are never responsible for their own fate.

            And you’re gonna be sorry when you get a whole lot of I told you so.

          • gaindy

            Jeb Bush is never going to be President. He will be six feet under before the name Bush become palatable to this country again. 

  • Anonymous

    I don`t like Mitt. I just happen to agree that he will be the eventual nominee because he probably stands the best chance of beating Obozo. Now if we accept, that we should hope he picks a VP that will help him achieve that goal.
     We can get rid of Mitt later but we MUST get the Marxist out of OUR house.

    • BINKY

      In my gut (which probably doesn’t mean much) I just don’t believe Romney can beat Obama; I wish I did.

      • getfitnow

        I think he can, even with the msm still supporting this “historic” POTUS. The biggest difference, the faux “blank slate” is all full-up!

  • Anonymous

    Yea I remember 2008….Most of Obama’s momentum was due to Chicago type politicsthat big shot Democrats, the DNC and others were using..  There was tons of questions behind ever Cacus state vote, which were the vast majority of Obama’s primary wins..
    If you are saying that this is the story behind Romney I hope not, for we do know he is one Huge money machine with tons of people who are money machines themselves behind him.  That is one of the reasons Romney bothers me.
    Lately it seems like the only difference between if and Obama is one is supposively a Democrat and one supposively a Repubican.
    Most had and still have problems with Obama uncovered and hidden past.  Now it seems Romney has gone to great lengths to hide a lot of his past especially political past.
    Many had and still have problems with Obama due to the financial and money machines behind him.  So where the H3LL is Romney gettting all his campaign money if its not from some big money machines. (Just out of curiosity why is Romney refusing to show his income tax returns).
     

    My prayer for 2012 is that this is an election without all the questions that surrounded the 2008 election, or the 2000 election.  Just because one candidate got elected due to questionable means, does not mean that it is ok for another candidate to do it, even if it is your candidate.

    • Jrterrier

      i don’t think that romney has any skeletons in his political closet.  he is just very smart and acts like a person who knows how to get things done.  after he left the governorship of MA, he knew he wanted to run for president.  he wasn’t going to leave behind all the computers to be used by political opponents.  in this day and age of emails, who can withstand a media review of the contents of the computers of everyone who worked for him?  i don’t think it’s that unusual anymore for people to erase/destroy hard drives.  that act shows more about his preparation to meet the obama attack machine than almost anything else.  he is a veteran of the [ted] kennedy attack machine.  he knows what’s coming. 

      i don’t see any of the others having a prayer against the obama onslaught.  they are little leaguers on that field.

      the fundamental difference between romney and obama is that romney is a capitalist.  he has done it.  whatever its flaws, capitalism but not crony capitalism is the best system the world has devised for creating wealth for all.  obama has lived in a world of ideas.  on paper, lots of things look and sound good.  as hillary warned, the oceans were not just going to stop rising because of obama’s “soaring” rhetoric.     

  • Anonymous

    “Thinning the heard” is a useful metaphor to describe what a pack of wolves do…. out there on the frozen tundra of ideas.
    …or the comment section of NQ.

    Steve_KC….I really think there is no proper lense to look at the current anarchy and 2008. The texture is different as well from 2008, owing to fact that then Senator Clinton actually had creds and a real live roledex of movers and Quakers.
    I wish you a serene weekend.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Teak.  I agree, there isn’t much comparison to 2008.  I was looking for it by comparing the statistics, but the only similarity I found was the fact that Hillary was the presumptive candidate until Obama elbowed in, and there’s no way he did it on his own.  The Puppet Masters knew what they wanted, and they bought it.  Now stricken with buyer’s remorse, they put forth a replacement. Right now it looks like Mitt is the anointed one.  It’s still early by some standards.  But I think we’ll know which way the GOP wind is blowing in the next few weeks, barring an upset event.

      • Scottymac54

        “Now stricken with buyer’s remorse, they put forth a replacement…”

        I don’t think they have “buyer’s remorse”. The puppet is dancing, according to plan.

        I believe Barky was always installed to “set us up”, as it were. They understood he was not strong of mind enough to ever stand up to them or their plans.

        Much of the collapse so far, can legitimately be blamed in the public eye, on the Democratic brand, and the perceived and real ideologies of his “helpers”, particularly Pelosi, at the outset….

        The controllers have the luxury of determining whether they’ve gotten their money’s worth from Barky and throwing the game to the opposition candidate, who would most likely be the REAL tyrant.
        Barky can then be blamed for any “necessary” clampdown, and it will be utterly believable to many.

        OR, they can decide that we haven’t had enough benign neglect and incompetence to prove the point, and we get four more years.

        Speaking of “little helpers”, I just received MAIL from Barky’s campaign, LOL! I will be sure to post any bon mot’s from the amazing revelations, just waiting to spring forth from the environmentally friendly envelope, LOL!

        Seriously, this oughta be good.

  • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd

    If you believe that money has corrupted our political system then,
    please, lend your support to the only candidate who not only agrees with
    you but also is determined to do something about it. One small donor at
    a time.

    http://www.buddyroemer.com/.

    • Anonymous

      He has got that right, but is not just the money.  Its the way those people play with the money.