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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: 5/23 (343 comments)

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  •  Pawlenty has to win Iowa (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tietack, TofG, DCCyclone

    We all know that. And he has a shot because he is a social conservative. But beyond that I'm not seeing it. I think he will have the same problem as Huckabee - lack of money and too many transgressions on economic issues in his past.

    •  Even if Pawlenty wins Iowa (1+ / 0-)
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      (as I think you're suggesting)

      I'm not convinced that Pawlenty will have the money to compete through the primary season.

      "I hope; therefore, I can live."
      For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

      by tietack on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:04:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  if he can raise $30M this year (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DCCyclone, itskevin

          he'll be in a good position. Ayers knows how to stretch a budget and think about how little McCain raised through 07 - he had to accept matching funds he was so poor

        •  Agree, but money has been sidelined & now... (4+ / 0-)

          ...will be coming off the sideline.  The question is, how much and how fast, and to whom?

          We'll know a lot about Pawlenty's viability at the end of June or in early July.  If he's not able to take advantage of all these people passing on a run, and sponge up a lot of that money for himself these last 5 weeks before the end of Q2, then he will prove weaker than even I imagined.

          Romney, for his part, is only very barely "next in line."  Again, he's McCain 2.0:  the nominee no one really wants.  Except he's actually a regression from McCain, because McCain truly had a cadre of sincere admirers.  Romney does not.  He's purely a pragmatic pick as the result of the process of elimination.  It's a big problem for him that even if he's the nominee, neither the GOP intellgentsia nor the rank-and-file will be truly behind him.

          Some people in this digest have compared Romney to Kerry, but really he's worse than that.  Kerry was a plain vanilla liberal Democrat, with no fan club but also no intraparty opposition.  Romney has no fan club like Kerry, but Romney does have strong intraparty opposition.  That he's so thoroughly unwanted by his own party is going to be fatal vs. Obama.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:19:46 AM PDT

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          •  Kerry had intraparty opposition (0+ / 0-)

            The whole antiwar contigent of the party was against him.

            •  That was an illusion (1+ / 0-)
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              Dean was the only serious anti-war candidate and imploded immediately.  All other top-tier players, Kerry and Edwards and Gephardt, voted for or otherwise supported the war.

              Yes Democratic voters broadly were anti-Dem, but it was Dean, not Kerry, who was unique in his war posture.

              43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:55:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's a big change that the GOP intelligentsia (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            (and establishment) don't want Romney this time. Back in '08, he had ample establishment support. Weren't both Jeb and Daddy Bush supporters of his?

            The switch probably comes down to health care reform, plain and simple: What the GOP once considered a smart, conservative idea is now an affront to the Constitution and everything our founding fathers held dear.

            I'm not sure if these establishment backers have actually internalized the party's bombastic criticisms of the Affordable Care Act (i.e. they believe what they've been saying for the past two years) - or if they're simply acknowledging a political reality that Romney will have an uphill climb, now that the ground has shifted under his feet.

    •  Perhaps (3+ / 0-)
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      drachaCRO, ArkDem14, DCCyclone

      You're right that if he stumbles in any in Iowa, it's game over.  Maybe the problem is that for every candidate they have, it is difficult to see an easy path to the nomination.  Maybe it will be Romney, but damn it seems like everyone dislikes him.  I just can'd see a lunatic like Cain or Bachmann winning the nomination -- but the craziness of the GOP has suprised me before.

      •  They hated McCain (1+ / 0-)
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        He still got the nomination. And I'm not sure if there is the same antipathy there for Romney. Money will play a large factor. Unless Mitt is upended in NH I forsee that being key to his nomination by Super Tuesday against however emerges as his main challenger, maybe Pawlenty after an Iowa win, maybe one of the longshots catching fire after some surprise showings.

        •  i agree about McCain/Romney (0+ / 0-)

          McCain had positions that were anathema to the GOP primary voters, but by 2008, he was familiar and his negative positions were familar and not so grating.

          Romney is in the same position in 2012.  He has the same advantages that most "next-in-line" candidates have in GOP primaries...more advanced organization, more name rec and more money.  Pawlenty is a favorite of prognosticators since he is seen as someone with very few negatives, but does he really have any positives that will allow him to push past Romney?

        •  I don't think Romney gets more than 35% in NH (1+ / 0-)
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          It might be enough for him to win the state, but it won't be an improvement on his 08 performance and will just serve to highlight his electoral weakness

          •  Oh, I think Romney's capable of more than that (0+ / 0-)

            The religious right candidates (Bachmann, Palin, Santorum, Cain) won't muster a shred of traction in NH - at best, they'll combine for about a fourth of the primary vote. Gingrich will bomb, too, and Huntsman's likely supporters are probably already in the Romney camp. Pawlenty might well surge in NH via an Iowa win, but he'll need to have reached the Top 3 before that if he hopes to catch Romney. I actually think the real dark horse in NH - don't laugh - would be Giuliani. The polls which have bothered to test him typically find Giuliani polling 2nd or 3rd to Romney there. If Romney implodes, Pawlenty rights a right-wing campaign and Huntsman has no money, Giuliani could sweep in and stack his chips on the center-right there.

            For daily political commentary, visit me at and

            by andyroo312 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:02:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  There is more hatred toward Romney than McCain (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          itskevin, dc1000, NMLib, Inoljt, askew

          Romney draws far more intraparty antipathy than McCain ever did.  He's got the well-earned flip-flop image that McCain didn't have.  And while McCain seemingly imploded due to immigration, that was not as potent as health care reform is today.  Romney is in very deep trouble there, because unlike immigration reform which went nowhere, Romney signed a bill into law that is anathema to his party, and Obama based much of the federal law on Romney's plan.  So the hostility is much more intense.

          There was a significant bloc of Republicans who sincerely admired McCain.  There is no such bloc for Romney.  If he's the nominee, it's because he's just what's left, even though no one is happy about it.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:25:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not so sure about that (0+ / 0-)

            The establishment was behind Romeny in 2008. I well remember watching Hannity blast away at McCain on any number of issues while claiming Romney had seen the light and was a true conservative. He had tactic support from the Bush family. Immigration not as important as health care? Open for debate I think.

            •  Indeed, conservatives loved Romney in 2008 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              drobertson, LordMike

              He was viewed as the most plausible right-wing alternative to the "liberal" Giuliani and "unpredictable" McCain. Ann Coulter even endorsed him.

              For daily political commentary, visit me at and

              by andyroo312 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 01:11:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That was an illusion (0+ / 0-)

                Romney was hammered as a disingenuous flip-flopper, and it stuck.  Yes there were some conservatives in the noise machine who backed him, but they were unrepresentative of most conservatives, which the early caucus and primary results proved.  Romney was the runaway frontrunner in the first 2 states and fell apart, illustrating that he wasn't really the conservative choice at all.

                43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:58:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  i simply don't agree (0+ / 0-)

            mccain's carefully cultivated "maverick" image was created by him poking conservatives in his party on a variety of subjects - immigration and finance reform in particular.  they hated him for that.  he won the nomination because he denied his previous positions and he was a good soldier supporting bush in 2004.

            even though romney's bill in MA is something that GOP primary voters don't like, he has not antagonized or lectured them for it.  he has assiduously courted them.  he was a good soldier for mccain in '08, and he is more familiar than all the other guys.

            i'm from MN and i hate pawlenty deeply, but i can see why he has been having trouble energizing anybody.

            •  Romney pisses them off more than McCain (1+ / 0-)
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              It doesn't matter if Romney has never been as ascerbic as McCain had been.  That's not good enough to make him "less hated."  All that matters is that Romney has flip-flopped on everything imaginable for purely politically expedient motives.  Rank-and-file and intelligentsia alike hate him for that far more than they ever hated McCain.  

              McCain, for his part, was always more conservative than Romney.  His surrender on immigration reform was his only policy reversal, and it was one the base demanded.  He never did back down on campaign finance reform.

              And again, McCain had a genuine following in the Republican Party, a base of loyal admirers.  Romney has no such thing.

              43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:44:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think Pawlenty may have just (6+ / 0-)

      strangled his campaign in the cradle.

      "He called for a phasing out — albeit gradual — of federal ethanol subsidies, a move long considered a political death wish in a state with such a large agricultural community.

      But, Pawlenty didn’t stop there. In his speech he detailed how he will travel this week to Florida — one of the oldest (by age) states in the country — to call for fundamental reform of Medicare and Social Security, to Washington to take on alleged largess in the federal government and to New York to make clear the era of bailouts of the financial industry is over."

      •  Is there an R that will take advantage of that? (1+ / 0-)
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        I'd like to see it, but am not sure.

        "I hope; therefore, I can live."
        For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

        by tietack on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:08:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rudy! (0+ / 0-)

          No, seriously, I could see Giuliani AGAIN veer to a Florida-based strategy, though, this time, he paints himself as the sole Republican to oppose Ryan's Medicare proposals. He chills with all of the walking corpses downstate and hopes their support, this time, carries the day.

          For daily political commentary, visit me at and

          by andyroo312 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 01:14:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Newt is pro-ethanol, but... (1+ / 0-)
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          ...he's probably no longer viable.  I say "probably" because there now is this big void on the hard right that dislikes Romney and hasn't yet taken Pawlenty seriously, so there's an outside chance Newt can fill it.  It's bizarre, by all rights Newt should be complete toast, but Republican voters accepted so many deep flaws from their candidates in 2010 that it's hard to predict anymore what they'll do.

          I think more broadly, ethanol is an open question.  I don't know what others will say or do.  Maybe it really is less toxic than it used to be, and maybe belt-tightening has Iowa wingnuts ready to accept an end to ethanol subsidies.  I don't know if that's the case, but it's possible.

          But no one in Florida is going to accept cuts to social security and Medicare.  TPaw is in deep trouble there if he goes forward with that message.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Tue May 24, 2011 at 06:32:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He's trying to get credit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin, Bharat

        From the press for political courage for saying stuff that the press regards as courageous and rare but which everyone says all the time anyway.  He is ignoring the first rule of politics, which is, to quote Jimmy Carter, "fuck the press."  No one will give a damn that Pawlenty got some fawning column space (if, in fact, he does) in a week, let alone in a month or a year.

        Still, I doubt it'll strangle his campaign either, but his affection for self-dramatization is deeply annoying to this political junkie.  Still, a vanishingly small percentage of the country will notice enough to care, and those that do notice--activists and campaign workers and rank-and-rile politicos--probably still won't care.

        25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

        by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:13:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So, his goal is to get no one to vote for him then (0+ / 0-)

        I guess. The no ethnaol stand is going to hurt him in Iowa, which is must win state. Also, I'd be surprised if that was his stand while he was governor of Minnesota. There is plenty of farmers in southern Minnesota who are benefiting from ethanol subsidies.

        President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

        by askew on Mon May 23, 2011 at 02:35:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pawlenty's just endorsing Grassley's legislation? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin, jncca, SaoMagnifico

        So much for the uproar: the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association welcomed Pawlenty's support, noting that the industry is already united behind Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley's legislation to draw down and reform the current ethanol incentive.

        "I hope; therefore, I can live."
        For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

        by tietack on Mon May 23, 2011 at 02:46:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's committing suicide, maybe not in Iowa but... (0+ / 0-)


        Maybe he can run against ethanol subsidies and get away with it in one state in a divided field where everyone else has more not to like than Pawlenty.

        But ethanol combined with all the other stuff taken together just hands easy 30-second attack ads to opponents.  If the GOP field for whatever reason doesn't think they can use it, Obama and allies certainly can.  The big one, most fatal, is "fundamental reform" of Medicare and social security.  We call that CUTS, or even ABOLISHMENT, and let TPaw argue otherwise which frankly he really can't.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:38:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hahahaha (0+ / 0-)

        Republicans are shooting their own feet off all over the place these days.

        Cut ethanol subsidies. Yeah. It's a position I agree with, FWIW, but Pawlenty's must-win state is Iowa, and Iowa is addicted to those subsidies like a heroin junkie to the needle.

        Independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:07:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well Huckabee won Iowa (0+ / 0-)

      so he can have the same problems as him.  And I think T-Paw can definitely win IA with who is the likely crop of candidates.  He's a pretty typical Upper Midwestern conservative and can appeal well there.

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