Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obama gains support, Hillary wins Florida, John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani say good bye, McCain....the front runner?

This week has been CRAZY in the world of politics; from the entire Kennedy family endorsing Obama to GWB's last State of the Union speech to Edwards and Giuliani dropping out. So much has gone on that it hard to keep up with it all but I'll try to sort through it here.

Obama, the new king of Camelot.

Barack Obama got the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy and his son Congressman Patrick Kennedy all endorsed Obama early this week. Caroline said that Obama was the 1st politician, and person for that matter, that had been able to inspire people like her father had done...pretty high praise. These endorsements, especially Caroline's and Ted's are very important to Obama, this is the 1st time Carolina has endorsed someone since the 1980 election when Senator Kennedy ran. Ted Kennedy has long been a friend to the Latino community and he is expected to court their votes for Obama in the border states. Kennedy was a co-author on a bill with John McCain on Illegal Immigration, the one that is getting McCain KILLED because it apparently is de-facto amnesty. These endorsements leads us to what happened in Florida on Tuesday night on the Democratic side, Hillary declared victory but received no delegates.

If Hillary wins the Florida Primary but gets no delegates does anyone really care?

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Primary in Florida this week but due to Florida ignoring the DMC's mandate that they keep their primary behind Super Tuesday Florida was stripped of their delegates making the primary a "beauty contest". None of the candidates campaigned at all in the Sunshine State but at the end of the night 1.7 Million democrats still came out to cast votes. Hillary ended up winning handily by about 20 points, she flew down to celebrate her "victory" as a ploy to take some momentum away from Obama which he received when he was endorsed by the Kennedy Clan. Florida, like Michigan, does not have any delegates and it will be very interesting to see when it comes to the Convention if there will be an attempt by the Clinton Campaign to seat these delegates which both broke for her. All in all though it seems like stupid politics because Hillary can say she won but it counts for nothing, it’s like a pre-season football game.

McCain maybe the Front Runner, but he’s not a Straight Talker.

John McCain won the Florida Primary on Tuesday night, a huge win for him giving the Arizona senior senator the delegate lead and the ability to call himself the front runner, he won in a closed primary where only Republicans could vote in. Much was made of this due to McCain's ability to court Independents very well in the states he had previously won (NH, SC). McCain even mentioned it in his victory speech. McCain's win is even more interesting and you could say even more solid by looking at some of the exit polls. Voters were asked what they thought was the most important issue in their year's campaign was 45% said the Economy, presumably Mitt Romney's best issue and something he campaigns about all the time, only 21% said the biggest issue was Terrorism, McCain's best issue, and McCain still won.

Now McCain is considered the front-runner but in last night's GOP debate in California he was not the Straight Talker he claims to be. In the lead up to the Florida Primary McCain began to talk about how Mitt Romney was for "Timetables" in Iraq. This charge comes from an interview Romney did early in 2007 where he spoke of timetables for the Iraqi Government meet certain expectations, not of a timetable to get out of Iraq. McCain twisted Romney's words and actually backed up his statement on CNN last time, even after Anderson Cooper (or as I call him 360) read the entire quote and it was clear Romney was not for a timetable to get out of Iraq. All of that dishonesty doesn’t appear to be hurting McCain however as he picked up Rudy Giuliani's endorsement last night and Arnold Swarchenegger's this afternoon.

John Edwards is out, so is Rudy.

John Edwards got out of the presidential campaign after coming in a distant 3rd in South Carolina as well a distant 3rd in the Florida primary (but we know that didn’t count...HILLARY). I never saw Edwards as really viable in all honesty. It made no difference that he had practically been campaigning for the last 4 years. When it came to Iowa, his strong hold, he still couldn’t defeat Obama, a newcomer. It was over right there; a couple of 3rd place finishes after than including a despicable 4% showing in Nevada. It will be very interesting to see who he decides to endorse and when. The longer he waits to endorse the more power it gives to Hillary because Edwards campaigned as a change agent like Obama, and if he does not endorse Obama or waits until after Super Tuesday to do so Barack could be busted. But if Edwards comes out tomorrow and endorses him then it could give Obama a bump into Feb. 5th. On the other hand if Edwards goes and endorses Hillary I see that as putting the icing on the nomination for her.

Rudy Giuliani ended his bid for President this week after a terrible showing in Florida, the state where he planned to win and jump-start him into the race. After laying low in almost all the early states (besides NH where he campaigned heavily and still got blasted) Rudy came down to the Sunshine State to try to win it but he failed, miserably. Once the national front-runner, Rudy dropped quickly once the other states started to fall to the likes of Huckabee, McCain, and Romney. All the other candidates rolled into Florida with momentum, money, organizations that were thriving. Rudy continued to fall in the polls and landed 3rd the last one taken before the primary on Tuesday, and that’s where he finished, 3rd. This was a failed strategy from the beginning and it killed Rudy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rudy is FUCKED...Hillary cedes South Carolina to Obama

Rudy sucked...we cut him.

Rudy Giuliani's quest for the Republican Presidential Nomination is officially over. Earlier this week I said that he would need a very close 2nd or 25% of the vote in the Florida Primary if he is to stay viable but those two outcomes seem to get dimmer and dimmer as we speak. A new Mason-Dixon poll has Giuliani in 3rd place with 18% of the vote; Mitt Romney and John McCain are ahead of Rudy with 30% and 26% respectively. The last GOP debate before the Florida Primary is tonight on MSNBC (THE PLACE OF POLITICS!) and Rudy literally needs a miracle, something like Romney and McCain dropping the F-Bomb are the only thing that will help Giuliani now.

It is clear that Rudy's "big state" strategy has completely failed. Other candidates have tried this in the past and they have failed. It is very clear now that you CAN NOT ignore the early states; they give you momentum and help with your fundraising if you perform well. The interesting thing about this whole Rudy situation is that he campaigned HARD in New Hampshire! He held over 100 events in the Granite State 2nd only to Romney and he STILL came in 4th. We should have seen this coming; Rudy is obviously not a viable candidate then or now, maybe never. Call us back Rudy when you have done something on the large scale.

Hillary gives South Carolina, puts a bow on it for Obama.

Hillary Clinton left the Palmetto State earlier this week to move on to bigger and better things, at least in her mind. She went onto California to fundraise and campaign in the biggest Super Tuesday state where she courted the Latino vote. Then she was onto out very own state to get the endorsement of Governor Ed Rendell who from what I hear is a possible VP candidate (that will leave a HUGE hole in the Eagles post-game show where the Gov is a regular in the fall). Hillary is not in South Carolina in person but she is there through marriage, yes Bill Clinton has stayed back to keep her campaign going but it really looks like Hillary is looking beyond South Carolina and into Super Tuesday where we should find out a lot more about this Democratic Campaign. The most recent poll in South Carolina (Reuters/CSpan/Zogby) has Obama with a 15 point lead and the Real Clear Politics avg. has Obama with an 11 point lead, all of this points to Hillary leaving with out a fight.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Look Back At The Weekend

The Caucuses and Primary this weekend provided no real insight to what is going on so far, but then did fill in some details.

Nevada: "Romney Rolls and Obama comes in 2nd but 1st in Delegates...?

Mitt Romney was the only GOP candidate to campaign heavily (if you could even call it that) in Nevada. This fact, coupled with the large population of people who are members of the LDS church gave Romney a very wide margin of victory, 37%. Ron Paul came in a distant 2nd with 14%(double digits just as was predicted here). Paul took something like 63% of the independent vote completely killing McCain's chances of a 2nd place finish to brag about. Romney's win gave him a nice lead in the delegate count, although it can be said that they are no matter this early in the race. The 1st primaries/caucuses serve more as momentum boosters and a test to see who can organize well.

Hillary Clinton's defeat is proof that she still has an advantage, at least organizationally. There was much bally-hoo made about Obama getting the Culinary Worker's Union endorsement, just as much was made of the fact that it gives those workers, who work in the Casinos of Las Vegas, being able to caucus in their workplace making it easier for them to attend. It needs to be said that these were considered "At-Large" caucus sights (read: More Important). Based on this the Clintons (Teachers Union who supported Clinton) complained and eventually there was actually a lawsuit about it, which didn't amount to anything. What is really interesting about this caucus was that in these "at-large" caucuses Hillary did very well. In fact she won Clark County, the County containing Las Vegas and 1.8 million of the 2.5 million that inhabit Nevada. She won the county 53%-39% and while that was happening Obama was winning the majority of all the other counties in the state. This leads up to the fact that Obama took more delegates away from Nevada, 13, than Clinton did, 12. As it has been happening the older you were the more likely it was you voted for Hillary and the opposite was true for Obama. Obama took the black vote by a large margin; he had 83% of their vote. If that carries on into South Carolina Obama and Clinton could each have 2 of the 1st 4 Primary/Caucus states on their way into Florida as well as Super Tuesday on Feb 5th.

South Carolina: McCain as a front-runner? Rudy still has a chance at this thing.

John McCain defeated Mike Huckabee in what could have been a loser goes home state. McCain beat Huckabee by 3% 33-30. The close race probably keeps Hukabee in the race but he will need a strong showing in Florida if he really wants to continue, he is running out of money. Fred Thompson came in a distant 3rd at 16% followed by Romney who didn’t campaign hard in South Carolina with 15%. McCain got 27% of the Evangelical vote, which is pretty surprising if you ask me. That is a nice chuck of that demographic. Some people are calling this victory for McCain proof that he can win a state that has a lot of conservative voters, he won 31% of Republicans to Huckabee's 32%. McCain still took the Independent vote however.

So John McCain and Mitt Romney seem to be sitting at the top of the GOP hill for at least this week. Florida is a big piece of the Republican puzzle and it seems that we will know a lot more after the primary in the Sunshine State. Rudy Giuliani is currently 2nd in Florida according to the Real Clear Politics poll. McCain leads with 23% followed by Rudy with 20%, Romney and Huckabee with 19% and 17% respectively. I could see Romney's numbers going up a bit after his Nevada win as well as McCain's and it will be up to Rudy to play it HUGE down in Florida if he wants any chance and getting the nomination. I will say this right here and now. If Rudy does not win or get at least 25% of the vote he will not win the nomination. Period. End of story. We'll find out in 8 short days.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weekend Predictions South Carolina and Nevada Style

With the coming Primaries and Caucuses coming on a Saturday (quite weird right?) it is now time to make some predictions.


GOP- Romney wins...big. The Mormon vote will carry him to a fairly decisive victory with McCain and Thompson trailing, and perhaps double digits for Ron Paul.

Dems- Obama wins by the smallest of margins. The culinary union should give him the edge over Clinton and Edwards who has been polling pretty well but I don't see him overtaking Hillary for 2nd.


GOP- This will be where all the real action will be on Saturday, the latest Real Clear Politics poll (this company takes a whole bunch of polls and averages them out) has McCain leading with 28% but is only 4 points ahead of Huckabee 24% followed by Romney at 16 then Thompson at 14. I believe the Evangelicals will come storming out for Huckabee on Saturday, I envision them pulling up to polling places in school buses with huge Crucifixes on the top. McCain will have to try real hard to pull in the Conservative voters and not rely only on Independents and Democrats who can vote in this open primary, he must take more conservatives if he wants to beat Huckabee and his religious supporters. It could be conceivable that whoever does the poorest between Huckabee and McCain would be pretty much out of the race unless they finish a close 1-2.

Rudy is rooting for Thompson to pull a miracle to keep up his chaos strategy going. If Thompson wins South Carolina that would give the GOP 4 different winners in the 1st 4 big states and it wouldn't matter if Romney took Nevada because you could argue that that was a sure thing. IF Thompson pulled it out Rudy could still be feasible as a front runner especially if he does well in Florida.

So there you go, it should be a great Saturday and as the Presidential picture gets clearer it keeps getting exponentially more exciting.

Michigan Primary Re-Cap

All right I'm a few days late on this but I figured I would get in my two cents.

Mitt Romney won the GOP primary in Michigan on Tuesday. Romney's success comes from a couple of things:

1) He benefited from his father being a 3-term governor in the state as well as the fact that Romney was born in Michigan, which put him in the role of the "homegrown son" of the state.

2) Romney walked around telling the people of Michigan that he could solve a lot of the economic problems that the state's residents faced (loss of jobs in the auto industry being a main one) which is the opposite of what John McCain, his chief opposition in this state, was saying to all of the residents.

3) Many people have said that John McCain won in New Hampshire because he was running for President of New Hampshire; this is basically what Romney did in Michigan. He stay optimistic and played up his background as someone who DOESNT come from Washington and railed heavily against "Washington insiders"(read: McCain).

4) Romney KILLED McCain when it came to getting Republicans to vote for him, he kept the base which is very important and it also proves that he could be a viable Front Runner because the base seems to like him. 40% of voters who considered themselves conservatives voted for Romney compared to only 22% for McCain.

This victory for Romney puts him firmly back in the race even though he wasn't really out of it. Two solid 2nd place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire should not have sent Romney wheeling but that is what the media portrayed it as. In reality Romney now has two states won (MI, WY) and has the delegate lead as well. Look for Romney to spend much more time in Nevada than South Carolina in the coming days for two reasons.
1) Nevada has a much bigger Mormon population than South Carolina, which only has about 35,000 Mormons. Nevada has over 100,000
2) Somehow Nevada has more delegates than South Carolina does so it is in Romney's best interest to work the state where he could get the most delegates.

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Hello all to The Ghost of Ed Muskie, a political blog focused on the 2008 Presidential Campaigns. Expect news, analysis, and general jabbering on nonsense. I look forward to getting to know all 2 of you that will read this.