January 20, 2008

"If you’re a southern conservative and you can’t make it in South Carolina, it’s over."

Said Bill Bennett on CNN, bullying Fred Thompson, who might say that lumbering to a slow start is the right way for an adult to handle a campaign.

26 comments:

Bob said...

Presumably the lesson will be that if you're not willing to start as early as the other prospective candidates, that you don't have the fire in the belly and consequently deserve to lose.

Laid-back won't work in modern US presidential politics, seemingly.

Sorry, Fred. You'd have been a good 'un.

EnigmatiCore said...

Bennett's comment applies equally well to Huckabee, does it not?

DaveW said...

Bennett's comment applies equally well to Huckabee, does it not?

Unfortunately no. Huckleberry won Iowa. Fred has won nothing.

The really bad news for Pubs that I'm not seeing much reporting about is the low level turnout in every state. That smells of "none of the above" or "who cares?".

Of course, a Hillary nomination could turn that around in a split second and have Pubs caring a whole lot.

I really doubt Obama would have the same effect on Pubs, and my bet would be on Obama to win against any Pub if he were nominated.

EnigmatiCore said...

DaveW--

Please explain to me how Iowa impacts on Bennett's statement that if you are a southern conservative and you can't make it in SC, it's over?

DaveW said...

EnigmatiCore,

I suppose I am reading a not present even into the quote, as in “If you’re a southern conservative and you can’t [even] make it in South Carolina, it’s over.”

YMMV.

In any event, there will be a lot of pressure on Thompson to bow out this week.

Huckleberry? Not so much.

cokaygne said...

The media want a 2-person race in each party and who can blame them. On the other hand candidates like Edwards, Fred and Huck would see no reason not to continue picking up delegates here and there. These now minor candidates are Southerners in a year when, for the first time since 1976, there is little prospect of a Southerner being a major party candidate for president. In a deadlocked convention they could be decisive. One or perhaps two of these candidates is going to be on the ticket.

cokaygne said...

Sorry, neither Mondale nor Reagan in 1980 nor neither Bush I nor Dukakis in 1988 were Southerners (Bush might dispute that).

ricpic said...

I agree with Bob that Fred would have been "a good 'un." But since he won't make it I hope he throws his support behind Romney. Romney is at least moderately conservative. And Romney has class, a big plus in a long campaign. McCain or Huckabee, both of whom would implode in a long campaign, guarantee the presidency for Her Horribleness.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I too, am for Fred. I guess I'll throw my vote away on Feb 5th for him anyway. I'm used to having my vote count for nothing since I live in California.

If Fred does bow out, he should endorse Romney as the best of the worst bunch of candidates I have seen in years. Seriously....if Huckabee or McCain are the Republican candidates this will be the first time in 40 years that I will not be voting for a Presidential candidate.

I cannot vote for the Democrat candidate, Hillary or Obama, and refuse to support what the Republican party has now become, "Democrat Lite".

We are doomed with either party.

Paddy O. said...

DBQ, I'm with you in all respects.

Though, of course, I'm also voting no on all the gambling propositions, which is throwing my vote away totally, but you might want to redeem your vote into being something worthwhile and give the reservations more slots.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry, neither Mondale nor Reagan in 1980 nor neither Bush I nor Dukakis in 1988 were Southerners (Bush might dispute that).

But CA is almost neutral for southerners, and Bush (41) was running as a Texan, despite his New England roots. I would suggest that the worst thing you can be for Southerners is from New England (i.e. Duakakis, Kerry).

EnigmatiCore said...

DaveW,

If there will be a lot of pressure on Huck to drop out, or not, it matters little.

Being a southern conservative (albeit of the social variety) and being unable to win in South Carolina, Huck is done. In order to get the nomination, he had to show that he could sweep the southern states and then expand his appeal beyond Evangelicals. Forget the latter, he could not even do the former. His campaign may struggle on for a while, but it died last night.

As for your bringing up Thompson, I can't argue with Bennett's point, so I am not sure how Thompson refutes my point. To wit:

Bennett: Thompson is done for these reasons.
Ecore: By those reasons, so is Huck.
DaveW: Huck's not done because those reasons apply to Thompson.
Ecore: Those reasons also apply to Huck.

George said...

DB--

Unless Thompson pulls out, you will not be 'throwing away' your vote. You will be voting for the person you think is best qualified, and that's all that matters.

Gov. Romney is product, and a shoddy one at that.

"His idea of the perfect deal is not when one side wins but when 'you find a new alternative that everybody agrees is the right way to go," says Fred Barnes, quoting Romney.

I recommend to you Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss. He recounts examples of Presidents from Washington to Reagan making excruciating decisions based on their core beliefs, not "One Minute Manager/Getting to Yes"-type philosophies MBA profs. push.

Is there evidence in Romney's background that he has the fortitude Washington showed when he fired his secretary-of-state on grounds of treason? Or when Reagan chewed out Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin? Like Jackson, would Romney declare, "I was born the the storm and calm does not suit me?"

Thompson defied Nixon. He defied the corrupt governor of Tennessee. He led a Congressional investigation into Chinese influence in US politics. McCain withstood torture.

And of Romney...what?

Born for the limo, I fear.

Synova said...

Everyone whines about it starting too early.

So someone bucks that trend and then... well, that's not right either.

A lot of people don't see why Iowa should decide it for everyone, and that's why so many states moved their primaries up. But looking at a chart of delegates won by each candidate against the total number of candidates and it's hardly a drop in the total bucket. But we're supposed to behave as if it's OVER.

Does this make sense?

Invisible Man said...

George makes a point that I've been trying to articulate for a few weeks about Romney. It's good to be a front-runner, but as I'm sure we've all seen, some people who haven't really ever experienced failure don't necessarily handle it well when it occurs. You only have to look at the background of past great Presidents like Lincoln to see why they were able to perform at extraordinary levels during the darkest of times. Romney doesn't look like life has layed a single glove on him, and I seriously wonder what he would do in a real crisis.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

One assumes that Mr. Bennett was nowhere near Las Vegas when he said that.

Paul said...

I'm still hoping against hope that Fred can stay in the race and build some momentum. It seems crazy that the nomination should be decided so early on.

For me the big deal breaker is whether or not I get the sense that a candidate is in love with the idea of himself. That eliminates all the Democrats, Huckabee, and McCain, and puts Fred at the top of my list. It is no coincidence that the man with the most conservative policy postions and the greatest reverence for the founding principals of the nation is the least narcissistic.

Kev said...

I'm still hoping against hope that Fred can stay in the race and build some momentum. It seems crazy that the nomination should be decided so early on.

Agreed. Here in Texas, we don't even get to participate in Super-Duper-Califragilistic-Whatever-They're-Calling-It Tuesday (we have to wait till early March), and I sure hope that nothing's "decided" before we even get to cast our ballots.

This is just thinking out loud here, but would it be totally crazy to require every candidate who's receiving federal funding (or at least those with a certain percentage of the vote so far) to stay in the race until at least two-thirds of the nation gets the chance to vote in a primary or caucus?

Or barring that, why not have all the primaries on, if not a single day, then at least on a series of four weeks (by geographical division) in the same month?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Echoing Randy: Bill Bennett maligned a stalwart Republican? What are the odds of that?*







*Bennett probably knows.

Revenant said...

I'm used to having my vote count for nothing since I live in California.

Heh. Preach on, sister... I hear ya.

Thorley Winston said...

Sorry, neither Mondale nor Reagan in 1980 nor neither Bush I nor Dukakis in 1988 were Southerners (Bush might dispute that).

Carter not Mondale was the Democrat nominee in 1980.

Middle Class Guy said...

Revenant said...
I'm used to having my vote count for nothing since I live in California.

Heh. Preach on, sister... I hear ya.



State of Illinois is worse, especially if you live in Chicago. Our votes count for less than nothing.

Ralph said...

What is it about the Bennett brothers that they can't say anything without sounding like they're bullying someone? Is it Brooklyn?

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Carter not Mondale was the Democrat nominee in 1980.

How quickly they forget. *LOL*

cokaygne said...

I should shut up and will.

DaveW said...

EnigmatiCore,

McCain won SC, but SC has a large military presence. Moreover, it has a large USMC presence - I was based at MCAS Beaufort for a year FWIW. The military Navy/Marine angle, with McCain being a former Naval Aviator, combined with the primary being open to independents, plays directly to McCain's strongest suit.

The results were McCain 33, Huck 30, Thompson 16. Romney 15, then the others.

With McCain and Huck neck and neck at 33/30, there is a *very* strong argument to make that if Thompson had not been in the race Huck wins.

There is no similar argument to make that had Huck not been in the race Thompson wins. Huck's 30 almost certainly gets split out fairly evenly among the remaining top 3 in that scenario, but even if we assume Thompson gets half of them and McCain and Romney split the rest, McCain still wins.

Thompson failed utterly in SC. Huck very nearly won.

That, combined with the fact that Huck has proven he can win, and Thompson has won exactly squat, makes Bennet's comment apply quite well to Thompson and Thompson only. It simply isn't true of Huck. Huck right now is arguably neck and neck with McCain as the front runner for the nomination.

To my dismay.

Now, if you're arguing that Bennet's statement taken alone applies to both men because they are both southern white boys running in the south, I made a mistake in quoting you in my response to your first comment. I was thinking about the political campaign, not the way his comment might be parsed to apply to Huck.

And FWIW I think Bennet would agree with how I'm reading what he said and would also agree it doesn't apply to Huck for the very reasons I'm stating. Huck is in this until super duper Tuesday.

=====

And here's my local Houston Chronicle with a story on Huck considering Texas' March super Tuesday light primary as critical to him, long after February 5th. I'm afraid we're stuck with Huck for a while.