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.

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