I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't tempted to cast a protest vote ...
“Tomorrow, I will formally end my bid for the GOP nomination for President of the United States. As the GOP and the networks host debate number twenty-something this evening, they have once again turned their backs on the democratic process by choosing to exclude a former Governor and Congressman. I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people by declaring my candidacy for Americans Elect. Also, after many discussions with The Reform Party, I am excited to announce my intentions of seeking their nomination. It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special-interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America’s top priority – jobs.”
I don't think I agree with Buddy on issues much more than I do with the current administration. But knowing that Texas isn't likely to be competitive (suggestive polling notwithstanding) and a previous affinity to Roemer from his days as a Congressman and Governor might be enough to swing a sentimental vote his way. The fact that he still cares about campaign finance and has managed to generally hold true to his old self without trying to out-crazy the rest of the GOP pack is also a plus.
Via the inbox ...
Governor Roemer will be a guest this Friday on Real Time with Bill Maher. Since it’s on HBO, anything can happen so expect Buddy to call out the other candidates by name and expose their ties to the special interests.
I have only two words for this: Awe. Some.
There's absolutely zero chance in the world that I'll be in a position to cast a vote for Buddy. But he's definitely been an interesting candidate for President this go-round.
Candidate Votes % ------------------------ Romney 30,015 24.56% Santorum 30,007 24.55% Paul 26,219 21.45% Gingrich 16,251 13.29% Perry 12,604 10.31% Bachmann 6,073 4.97% Huntsman 745 0.61% No pref. 135 0.11% Other 117 0.10% Cain 58 0.05% ------------------------- 122,224
The post-caucus speeches are listed in full here. I think the most intriguing of them all is the return of Bitter Newt:
Excessive adverbs aside, it remains to be seen whether Newt has enough money or leverage to help undermine Romney. But the game is already underway. So far, the contest is a Democrat's dream: after seeing just about every GOP candidate short of Huntsman and Roemer get their 15 minutes of polling fame, the guy who's presently assumed to be the nominee has a diehard core of vote that does not want him to be the party's nominee.
Back to Texas, it looks like the fair-haired retiree we call a Governor may be looking for a way to pull the plug from his $20M failed campaign. It looks more like the heart wants to quit while the bankroll may be too rich to shut off the machine. Whichever way he goes, I can't wait to see how the people who pitched the story of "Perry's vaunted ground game" try and repair their reputations. To wit ...
There are 1,774 Republican caucus precincts around the state, 900 of which are combined and held at the same location.
As of Friday, the Texas governor had signed up 1,500 precinct leaders in Iowa, a source inside the Perry campaign told CNN.
The source requested anonymity because staffers are not authorized to reveal the information.
The Perry camp also has 470 out-of-state volunteers descending on Iowa this weekend (including Perry's own family, which flew in on Friday).
The source said that by caucus night, "we will easily have over 2,000 Perry volunteers" fanning out across the state knocking on doors and speaking for Perry at their voting sites.
2,000 volunteers fanned out across the state. 12,000 votes. That's a laughable ROI. And still, it's worth comparing this to the Texas spin that came out after Perry's 2010 primary win against Hutchison:
Employing an Amway-style organizational model, during the primary season the Perry campaign recruited both paid contractors and volunteers to establish their own "home headquarters" from which they were tasked with locating 11 Perry voters by focusing on their family and friends, and then ensuring that those individuals voted (ideally early). Those recruited were in turn encouraged to form their own home headquarters by recruiting an additional 11 voters, and so on. As is often the case with these types of pyramid arrangements, the initial paid recruiters received funds for forming not only their first headquarters group but also for each additional headquarters group formed as part of their pyramid (i.e., their downline).
This use of monetary incentives to motivate individuals to establish home headquarters was not, however, without controversy, with several instances of convicted felons receiving payments from the Perry campaign for their organizational efforts. This caused the campaign to end the recruitment incentive phase (while still maintaining voter turnout incentives) a few weeks before the March primary.
The establishment of this vast home headquarters network was crucial to Perry's success in the Republican primary, which, in spite of a record turnout, only involved the participation of 1.5 million Texans (11 percent of the state's registered voters and 8 percent of its voting age population). In the event Perry runs for president, we should expect a more polished version of this identification and mobilization model to be used in early presidential caucuses (e.g., Iowa, Nevada) and primaries (e.g., New Hampshire, South Carolina).
That mainstream media gobbles up this spin is key among the reasons that political reporting is a joke today. Whether it continues after Perry's failed Presidential experiment heads home will be worth watching for. A somewhat more critical view of state government and it's officials just might be in order rather than boosterism such as this.
Bachmann may be announcing her departure today. We'll see what we see out of Team Perry when we see it. For now, the muddled race goes to New Hampshire, where Jon Huntsman might have an opportunity to make things even less settled.
And in a perfect world, this guy, Buddy Roemer would be seeing his poll numbers rise right about now:
The campaign sent out their daily update today with a subject line of "Roemermentum." I don't think it's that they don't get the irony of the ____mentum meme. I think they're just having fun at this point. Nice to see.
This should have happened twenty-four years ago, except that there wouldn't have been a "web" to play a web video on ...
I'm not sure why the Roemer campaign hasn't leaned more heavily on cranking out video such as this instead of the more amateurish videos showing his answers to GOP Debates that he's never allowed to participate in. When you're running as an underdog to the extent that he is, web video is a very affordable crutch to lean on if you want to look like a bigger and slicker campaign than you really are. Ron Paul serves as a pretty good example on this count.
Whatever. It's just as well that he's one step ahead of Gary Johnson and conducting a campaign longer than Thaddeus McCotter.
All quiet on the Obama front. There was that bus tour (which seems all the rage these days!), some plummeting poll numbers, and then the Auguest tradition of a Presidential vacation. The President's weekly address seems to capture a bit of the transition that Obama is making toward a campaign mode for 2012:
On to the candidates knipping at his heels ...
The Candidates That Matter
Rick Perry ... Right off the bat, there's the whole "treason" comment by Perry. Not surprisingly, the WSJ makes an extended effort to intellectualize what more normal people would just call being an "idiot". Expect a lot of this kind of rationalization between now and whenever Perry's run ends..... The Washington Post served up a puff piece that would normally set off cries of "bias" if the party labels were different. Somehow, it's just different when it happens to Republicans, I guess..... The early GOP polls are encouraging for the well-coifed Guv. In New Hampshire, Perry starts off in second place, trailing Romney 36-18. A Georgia poll has him ahead of the two Georgia candidates. Another has in leading in Louisiana and in second place in Missouri. In Florida, Perry trails Romney. The Hill's Michael O'Brien sums up the remainder of Perry's first full week on the trail. Ross Ramsey puts some Texas context on that first week..... Gene Simmons predicts Perry will be the next President. Guess we can just pack things up now, folks..... A rather serendipitous online newspaper moment occurs when a Bank of America exec offers to help Perry, company backtracks with an officious, even-handed sounding quote, and the related news story sidebar betrays the entire effort. Screencap in the extended post.
Mitt Romney ... The question this election isn't how many homes a candidate has. It's how many are being almost tripled in size. The Wall Street Journal's Allysia Finley dings Romney. Funny how they'd diss a candidate with actual private-sector experience in favor of a lifetime politician like Perry. This, of course, dismisses Perry's experience as a government-funded farmer.
Michele Bachmann ... Ryan Lizza does a deep writeup of Bachmann. And unlike Matt Taibbi, he seems to have a) actually left his sofa to do some real reporting, and b) not repeatedly plagiarized a 2006 blog post in order to put his name atop someone else's work. That's the good news for Team Bachmann. The better news is that there were no new corn dog photos of the candidate or her husband take this week. Outside of that, the Perry announcement had the net effect of squelching much of Bachmann's remaining week.
The Candidates That Don't
Jon Huntsman ... call him crazy.
Ron Paul ... call him anything. But just call him. Please.
Rick Santorum ... In case you're wondering, the GOP can't be just about cutting taxes.
Herman Cain ... Hey, remember Herman Cain? Yeah, that's right ... no link this time. He'd have to do something to make news in order to have a link to something suggesting that he actually made news.
Newt Gingrich ... What's sometimes referred to as a "campaign" headed to Hawaii for some politicking. Are we sure that this isn't another cruise vacation?
Buddy Roemer ... Color me impressed. Buddy Roemer may very well have peaked this election cycle. There was a National Press Club speech, which contained a fair amount of red meat for clean government junkies (me, raising hand very quietly). And ... um ... that was about it. Hope springs eternal that Roemer will be able to afford a small (probably single cable market) ad buy in New Hampshire. I'm sure that's got the campaign accountant working overtime. Still, no idea when Ryan Lizza will get off to Bossier City for a lengthy New Yorker expose on Roemer. Maybe next week.
Gary Johnson ... He still hasn't quite "made news" yet in this campaign. But out of nothing more than sympathy, here's two items ... Contra Santorum, GaJo (as I'll refer to him) suggests that social issues are not the way to go for the GOP. No word back if he's actually been following GOP politics for the last 30 years. And if you only need one headline to tell you everything about the GaJo campaign, this is the one.
The Non-Candidates That Like Seeing Their Name In Print
Chris Christie ... Maybe, maybe not thinking about it.
Paul Ryan ... It's not that Ryan is really thinking about the idea. It's that the Weekly Standard has subscriptions to sell among GOP voters.
CandidateCelebrity Formerly Known as the Former Governor of Alaska ... Easily, the most narcissistic moment of American political history. Maybe of all time.
Screen capture of story involving Bank of America exec offering BoA "help" for Perry, along with BoA job cuts link.
I'm a little late in getting to this, but here's Buddy Roemer's appearance on Colbert ...
Yes, he has zero shot of having even a single delegate at the convention. I think it's safe to say that a prime time speaking slot is even a longshot. The fact that he may not even raise enough money to get on the ballot in most states certainly doesn't help. And I'm in the odd spot of having one of the few (if only) GOP candidates that I can respect hailing from the growing "fair trade" wing of the party that runs counter to my views on the topic. Still, it's kinda good to see him back in the mix of things.
If nothing else, the interview does a magnificent job of demonstrating the folly of federal campaign finance law.
A preview of tonight's love-fest between Stephen Colbert and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer. Am I the only one who thinks the television moment will be epic? Yeah, I thought so.
Not a great deal to report on the Obama campaign since the national news cycle has been obssessed with debt ceiling theatrics. Or the fact that we're still months away from knowing who the GOP nominee will be. So on with the candidates chasing Obama ...
More or Less “In It”
Mitt Romney ... Meet the Mexican Romneys! I'd have guessed that they were part of Mitt's "stealth campaign". I don't put much stock in national polls done this early. But for whatever it's worth, Romney's ahead in the Post-ABC poll out this week. Make of it what you will ... Nate Silver does.
Michele Bachmann ... had a headache of a week.
Tim Pawlenty ... new ad up, this time the focus is on hockey. Not surprisingly, ABC is going all Tom Petty on the usage of their copyrighted material. There's also new radio and web video up expounding on Pawlenty's faith.
Herman Cain ... Winner of the Joe the Plumber's vote. Maybe Joe thought he was asked about John McCain?
Ron Paul ... SuperPAC alert.
Rick Santorum ... Patch tracks the door-to-door/farm-to-farm outreach by Santorum.
Thaddeus McCotter ... After participating in a twitter debate, the campaign sent a blast email out with the following subject line: "Thad McCotter Dominates Twitter Debate, Proves He is Best Candidate for President." Gotta love that rationale for the Presidency.
Buddy Roemer ... Never mind that little shindig in Bossier City. That was just the warm-up. The real announcement happened in New Hampshire on Thursday. You can just feel the Roemer-mentum, now!
Gary Johnson ... This space still reserved for when Gary Johnson makes news.
Addicted to Publicity “Thinkin’ About It”
Rick Perry ... Mike Huckabee may have a few questions about Perry's 2008 support for Rudy Giuliani, but the MSM is likelier to fawn over a new candidate once he's in. Just ask Doyle McManus. The Iowa Straw Poll, on the other hand, will offer no insights into Perry's early appeal or organization. In light of the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, however, Rick Perry goes after President Obama for not pouring more money into the jobs program for engineers. Small government, y'all.
Even Slower News Weeks
Rudy Giuliani ... Rudy takes the mulling stage to Hannity.
The Candidate Formerly Known as the Former Governor of Alaska ... still in second place. There's also the very, very, extremely, but very real case of GWAR vs Sarah Palin that I've never been made aware of. Helps that I don't own any GWAR albums.
Buddy Roemer will announce his candidacy for President on Saturday.
Will it last longer than Tim Pawlenty's campaign?
It's a perfect storm for slow blogging: internet out at the homestead, the weather outside is beautiful and I just picked up a new drum machine that is fun as heck to play with. In the midst of all that, blogging takes a back seat for the weekend. In order to accommodate my blogging sloth, here's the lazy man's form of a blog entry: the aggrepost. Enjoy.
OBL/Pakistan/War on Terror:
» Washington Post: The Hunt: The Search for Osama bin Laden
Great initial read of the years-long adaptation and conclusion to the hunt for OBL.
» National Journal: The Two Faces of Pakistan: Understanding an ally that hides terrorists even as it kills many of them (Michael Hirsh)
» Washington Post: In Pakistan, no more secrets (Vali Nasr)
» Brookings: Melting Pot Cities and Suburbs: Racial and Ethnic Change in Metro America in the 2000s (William Frey)
» Statesman: Asian population surges in Austin
"Not your father's suburbs" starts to get academic.
» Express-News: S.A.'s metro area growing
Kuff has more on this item.
» Alice Linahan: Governor Perry “Stand With Us”- We the People Showed up in Austin Yesterday
» Texas GOP Vote: Ask Gov. Perry to Veto CSHB 600 SBOE Redistricting Map
For those of you doubting that legislators can be accused of being "too liberal" for drawing a map that creates nearly 2/3 of SBOE districts as GOP seats.
» AV Club: We're No. 1 Def Leppard’s Hysteria
Great read on the niche-ification of music ... regardless of what you think about "Pour Some Sugar On Me."
2012 Presidential Race:
» Politico: Poor Buddy Roemer: Pledge kept, 2012 bank balance low
» Politico: Buddy Roemer turned away from South Carolina debate
Turns out that Roemer raised about $25k and loaned himself another $25k. That's not likely to set the world on fire, let alone South Carolina. But having over 250 contributors to date seems to suggest that the guy probably has better name ID than at least two of the candidates who did make the cut for last week's debate.
Elsewhere in Politics ...
» Washington Post: Kaine, Allen tied in 2012 Virginia Senate matchup, Post poll shows
The purplification of Virginia continues, once more proving that 2010 was primarily a turnout-driven phenomenon.
» Washington Post: Louisiana Gov. Jindal releases birth certificate
Obama Envy now has a name: Bobby.
» TPM: Jon Stewart Spars With Social Conservative David Barton Over Church And State
A good glimpse of the polemic style of David Barton and a good identification of it by Jon Stewart.
» TX Tribune: Deadlock Grips the House Floor
The funny thing about super-majorities ... you still have to show up to work in order for them to be functional.