RasmussenReports.com starts daily tracking of Electoral Votes

For those obsessing on this already, you can find the information here. Right now McCain is slightly ahead in terms of the popular vote, but behind 284 to 216 in terms of the electoral vote.


SNL's take on media coverage of Obama's campaign


Weird Delegate Allocation Rules for Democrats

Michael Barone has a very interesting article today on how Democrats allocate delegates. What I found most interesting is how districts have an equal number of delegates and the number isn't large so that even if one of the candidates wins the district by a significant percentage both candidates still win the same number of delegates. You can win all the congressional districts and not pick up any more delegates from those allocated by congressional district. Barone's suggestion is to at least have an odd number of delegates so that a winning candidate at least picks up a net gain of one delegate.



This is closer to the Obama that I remember

Obama was at the University of Chicago Law School when I was there. Politico has a post up about his views then:

Many national politicians, including Clinton, have moved toward the center over time. But Obama’s transitions are still quite fresh. A questionnaire from his 1996 campaign indicated more blanket opposition to the death penalty, and support of abortion rights, than he currently espouses. He spoke in support of single-payer health care as recently as 2003. . . .

Labels: ,

Crime as a big issue in campaigns this year?

David Broder reports how at least one survey claims that crime is a big issue this year:

WASHINGTON -- From Pakistan to Serbia, and recurrently in Iraq, the headlines point to the dangers of the world -- most notably the threat of terrorism. And yet when the polling firm Cooper & Secrest Associates asked
1,139 Americans in December which threat they took most seriously, 69 percent chose violent crime and only 19 percent named terrorist attack.
The survey was part of a striking report released Saturday (Feb. 23) by Third Way, a liberal think tank, and several governors, warning that the crime issue, which has slipped off the political agenda since its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, is about to return.
"Four new and dangerous sociological trends are converging to disturb the peace and are threatening a crisis of crime, if not addressed," says the report. . . .

Possibly it is because of misleading claims put out by places such as the Police Executive Research Forum (for my discussion of this see here). Yet, the most recent numbers indicate that all cateogries of violent crime were falling for at least the first half of last year and that crime rates have been falt during this decade. Except for the news coverage of this, it is very hard to see where these fears are coming from. Things are certainly no worse off than a few years ago when there was no similar concern about crime rates.

Labels: ,

Nader announces another run for the Presidency

Ralph Nader announces that he is running for the Presidency, but how much more left-wing can Nader be than Obama (who has the most liberal voting record in the Senate). My guess is that despite the hard feelings towards Nader after the 2000 election he could still create problems for the Democrats because of the war. Both Obama and Clinton seem to have signed on to letting the troops stay in Iraq if the generals say that they should stay their longer.

WASHINGTON (AP) –Ralph Nader is launching a third-party campaign for president.

The consumer advocate made the announcement Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He says most Americans are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties, and that none of the presidential contenders are addressing ways to stem corporate crime and Pentagon waste and promote labor rights.



Obama's Mystery Soldier?

During the debate on Thursday Obama made a startling claim about how American soldiers are supposedly being sent into battle without rifles or sufficient vehicles.

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, sent a stern letter to colleague Barack Obama yesterday, challenging him to provide information about an Army officer he cited in Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate.

The senator from Illinois said he had heard complaints from an Army captain who led a rifle platoon in Afghanistan that had to scrounge for weapons because it was poorly equipped. Obama described how Iraq war deployments winnowed the platoon to 24 soldiers and argued that the conflict has so strained the Army that units are going to war without the necessary numbers of troops and weapons. . . . .

ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper reported yesterday that the Obama campaign put him in touch with the unidentified captain -- who was deployed to Afghanistan from late 2003 to early 2004 -- and that the West Point graduate verified Obama's statement. He said, according to Tapper, that soldiers sometimes used enemy AK-47s. The captain also said his platoon used Toyota pickup trucks and unarmored flatbeds to get to the fight because they didn't have enough armored Humvees . . .

This could become a huge issue if this person's name becomes public. The military and others have claimed that this is simply not true. Most embarrassing is that Obama makes several serious errors about military organization and the chain of command in just a few sentences.

Labels: ,


Robert J. Samuelson nails the Obama Campaign

Samuelson's piece in Newsweek can be seen here. Read the piece for the substance of his argument.

It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama. At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship. Obama has become the Democratic presidential front-runner precisely because countless millions have formed a similar opinion. It is, I now think, mistaken. . . . The trouble, at least for me, is the huge and deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views. . . . . He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue—immigration, the economy, global warming—he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. . . .

Labels: ,


"they've never paid more for college, never paid more for gas at the pump"

From Obama's speech last night:

You see it in your own lives and in your own neighborhoods. The stories I told you are not unique. Everywhere I go, I hear the same stories. People are working harder for less; they've never paid more for college, never paid more for gas at the pump. (APPLAUSE)

Well, doesn't the overall price level matter? If the inflation rate is 2 percent and college and gas are going up, that means something else is falling. A 2 percent or even a 3 percent increase in the price level seems awfully small.

Labels: ,


Clinton has election eve conversion on hunting

WIth elections near so many politicians start to come out in favor of hunting, even in Democratic primaries. Now it is Hillary Clinton's turn:

WAUSAU, WIS. -- At a campaign stop this afternoon, Hillary Clinton’s focus was on the economy and health care but some in the crowd had other things on their minds. Clinton was asked to discuss gun control which prompted Clinton to talk about her days holding a rifle in the cold, shallow waters in backwoods Arkansas.

“I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to hunt. I went duck hunting in Arkansas. I remember standing in that cold water, so cold, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men. The sun’s up, the ducks are flying and they are playing a trick on me. They said, ‘we’re not going to shoot, you shoot.’ They wanted to embarrass me. The pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck and they were surprised as I was,” Clinton said drawing laughter from the crowd. . . .

Emphasis added by me to the word "rifle" in the text. Does Hillary know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle? Does she realize how hard it is to shot a duck with a rifle and to even do it on one's first shot? I doubt it.

Thanks to Ben Zycker for the link.

Labels: , , ,


Obama leftwing contradictions: One example, campaign finance regulations

Rightwing Nuthouse has an interesting discussion here. Last year Obama promised take public financing during the general election if his Republican opponent did so also. McCain also made the pledge. Now Obama calls his pledge an "option" since he is finding it so easy to raise money. McCain made his pledge when he was the lead Republican candidate last year and Obama did the same when it looked like he had little chance of winning the nomination. I have no desire to maintain public financing of presidential campaigns, but I have to believe that these attacks will hurt Obama to at least some extent with this Democratic base. Possibly McCain is helping out Clinton right now more than Clinton is.

As an aside, this basically shows what I wrote in 2004: that presidential campaign finance regulations are dead.

Labels: ,


Hugh Hewitt has an amazing speech by Michelle Obama

For those interested you can listen to his discussion of her speech here. Things have gotten so much worse during her lifetime? Income has soared. Life expectancy has gone up. I agree with Hugh that this is a scary speech.

Labels: ,

Obama claims to support individual's right to own guns, but simultaneously supports DC's ban on handguns

Both Clinton and Obama claim to support an individual's right to own guns, though it is useful to note that neither signed the brief supporting this that was just submitted to the Supreme Court. This is one part of the article that caught my attention:

At his news conference, he voiced support for the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

I have blogged on this issue before, but I would like to see someone ask Clinton and Obama in their debates about how they can reconcile their position on the gun ban with their claimed position of gun ownership as an individual right.

Labels: , ,


Faintings at Obama Rallies Staged?


These clips are also available here.

Thanks to Sonya for sending this to me.


Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are not free-traders, McCain is

A new Cato Institute website has the voting records for congress over at least a decade on trade. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are solidly in what Cato calls the Interventionist camp (go here and plug in his name):

Barrier Votes: 31% (9 votes out of 29 opposing trade barriers)
Subsidy Votes: 14% (1 votes out of 7 opposing trade subsidies)

Barrier Votes: 36% (4 votes out of 11 opposing trade barriers)
Subsidy Votes: 0% (0 votes out of 2 opposing trade subsidies)

Interventionists -- Members of this group consistently support government intervention at the expense of the free market—favoring both subsidies and trade barriers. They tend to oppose bills and amendments that would lower trade barriers, as well as those that would cut or eliminate trade and investment subsidies. Interventionists reject the judgment of Americans twice, first by denying them full liberty to spend their private dollars beyond our borders and then by seeking to divert public tax dollars for export promotion and government-to-government bailout packages

By contrast, McCain is classified as a free trader

Barrier Votes: 88% (35 votes out of 40 opposing trade barriers)
Subsidy Votes: 80% (8 votes out of 10 opposing trade subsidies)


My guess: I think that Clinton will win the nomination

This is a tough call, much tougher than most people think. Hillary needs to win Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. The polls for Ohio and Pennsylvania actually show Hillary with substantial double digit leads, though Ohio is getting a little tighter. The question is whether the Obama's recent wins will shake her support between now and those primaries. In addition, Karl Rove indicates that Obama may make significant inroads in Texas among Hispanics. I couldn't find any polls for Texas, and that is where things might really matter. Rove did mention that the really bizarre delegate counting rules in the Democratic primary in Texas and that heavily weights African-American votes relative to Hispanics. I guess that I am just assuming that Clinton knows more about what is happening in Texas. If she pulls in those three big states, I think that she will keep the majority she has of super delegates.

Add to all that that Clinton will push for the large Democratic delegations from Florida and Michigan to be seated. If she pushes hard with legal action, it could really produce hard feelings among African-Americans. The more that it seems today that Obama is going to win, the more his supporters will be angry if she gets the nomination. It will be a bloody and difficult win, but the Clintons will do what they can and conditional on Texas, I give her the edge.

All that said, I also think that Obama would be the easier candidate for Republicans to beat in the general. He is the most liberal member of the Senate, and his record will just be too much to defend. Take for example, his opposition to renewing FISA because it would allow us to spy on conversation where foreigners are talking to foreigners. I think that will be hard to explain to people.

UPDATE: I have just come across a poll for Texas and it shows that Obama is in the lead. Obama is ahead 48 to 42 percent. "Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama among self-described Democrats 47% to 42%. Obama leads Clinton among self-described independents and Republicans 24% to 71%." On the other hand, I wouldn't put too much weight on this right now. The main reason for this is that I am becoming more convinced that she will take Wisconsin. If so, I think that Clinton will take Texas along with Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama will be edged out because of the super delegates and the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations.

UPDATE2: Several new polls give Clinton an average of a double digit lead in Texas.

Labels: , ,


Some Democrats talking about Al Gore as nominee

John Fund writes in today's WSJ's Political Diary:

Despite the Obama momentum and recent landslides in many states, if Hillary were to win Texas, where there is a very large Hispanic vote, she would have won the four big electorate-rich states: New York, California, Florida, and Texas. That would be a strong case for many undecided Democratic superdelegates to support her notwithstanding Mr. Obama's strong showing.

What happens in a deadlocked convention? If neither candidate throws in the towel and neither can get a majority of delegates, one option is a brokered convention, where both candidates step aside for a compromise candidate. That's the way smoke-filled, dealmaking conventions used to work. One name keeps resurfacing as the ideal brokered candidate: Al Gore. Many Democratic pundits still believe the Oscar and Nobel Peace Prize winner would have the best chances against the GOP in November. His record is not nearly as far left as Senator Clinton's or Senator Obama's and he may stand a better chance of winning independent voters than either of them.

But a problem with this scenario, as one Democratic insider tells me, is that Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are "mortal enemies." She would rather sleep on a bed of coals than hand the nomination to her husband's vice president, whom she constantly squabbled with in the White House. . . .

Labels: , , ,


Markets indicate Obama's chance of winning the nomination are about 2.5 times that for Clinton

The University of Iowa has a market where you can bid on the Democratic and Republican primaries and predict who will win. McCain has an almost 94 percent chance of winning, and Obama is over 70 percent. Personally, I think that given how left-wing Obama is he will be easier to defeat than most might think.



Rumor: Huckabee will drop out of the Republican Presidential Contest by March 10th to Run for the Senate from Arkansasential contest by

I heard this rumor today, but it sounds pretty plausible to me. The filing date for the Arkansas Senate race is March 10th, and Huckabee seems virtually guaranteed of winning if he runs for the senate.


Bitter fireworks about ready to blow up among Democrats

Shades of the Florida 2000 election were discussed today in the WSJ:

For over seven years the Democratic Party has fulminated against the Electoral College system that gave George W. Bush the presidency over popular-vote winner Al Gore in 2000. But they have designed a Rube Goldberg nominating process that could easily produce a result much like the Electoral College result in 2000: a winner of the delegate count, and thus the nominee, over the candidate favored by a majority of the party's primary voters.

Or this:

Indeed, it has already been reported that Sen. Clinton will demand that the convention seat delegates from Michigan and Florida, two states whose delegates have been disqualified by the party for holding January primaries in defiance of party rules. The candidates agreed not to campaign in those states. But Sen. Clinton opted to keep her name on the Michigan primary ballot, and staged a primary-day victory visit to Florida, winning both of those unsanctioned primaries. Her campaign is arguing that the delegates she won in each state be recognized despite party rules and notwithstanding her commitment not to compete in those primaries. Of course. "Count every vote." . . .

My understanding from a well-placed friend is that the Hillary campaign is talking about actually bringing a lawsuit in Florida to force the delegates to be seated.

Labels: , ,


Hillary's campaign imploding?

Is Hillary Clinton's campaign falling apart:

The day she admitted she'd written herself a check for $5 million, Obama's people crowed they'd just raised $3 million. But then his staff is happy. They're all getting paid. . . .

These announcements from the Clinton campaign were associated with a big drop in the probability of her winning.

Labels: ,


McCain's voting record.

Given all the references in the press the last couple of days to McCain's voting record, I thought that I would look up some numbers. McCain is on the liberal side of Republicans, but there is a big difference between him and the average Democrat.

McCain's ACU ratings (100 most conservative, 0 most liberal):

2006 65 Average for Republicans 81 Average for Democrats 11
2005 80 Average for Republicans 86 Average for Democrats 12
2004 72
2003 80
2002 84
2001 68
2000 81
1999 77

McCain's Americans for Democratic Action ratings (higher means more liberal with 100 as the highest):

2005 10

Here are the two liberal votes in the index that he made that year:

amendment to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug manufacturers for lower drug prices under Medicare. Rejected 49-50.

McCain (R-AZ) amendment to establish the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation as the uniform standard for interrogating persons detained by the Department of Defense, and prohibit cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of any prisoner detained by the U.S. government. Adopted 90-9. October 5, 2005.

In only the first of the two votes could his vote have mattered.

2004 35

Here are the seven liberal votes included in the index that he made that year:

1) Voted to require gun locks sold with guns. 70-27
2) increasing funds for childcare by $6 billion over five years. 78-20
3) extending unemployment benefits 59-40
4) "amendment blocking reclassification of nuclear waste that would allow the Defense Department to leave the waste in place." 48-48
5) Voted for Ted Kennedy amendment on Iraq. Given his claims on the Iraq war, this is very strange since it was a pretty much party line vote with Kennedy trying to cause trouble for the Republicans. 48-50
6) Against constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. 48-50
7) "A bill reorganizing 15 U.S. intelligence agencies and creating a national intelligence director with power to freely transfer money among the CIA, National Security Agency and other defense and civilian agencies." 96-2

Labels: ,


The Emptiness of Campaign Finance Reform

The Drudge Report mentions that the Clinton's may be spending their own money now on Hillary's campaign. Note how the WSJ recently reported:

Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million -- and will sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai -- by ending his high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire friend Ron Burkle. . . .

Obviously Clinton has gotten a lot of money from other sources so there is no need to single out Burkle, but Burkle obviously can't donate $10 or $12 million to Clinton's campaign. Yet, if he pays Clinton for work that isn't very obvious, Clinton can then turn around and spend it on a campaign. Does it really matter that Burkle can't give the money directly to Clinton?

Labels: , ,


Typical email that I am getting on the Republican Presidential Candidates and Gun Control

First of all thank your hard work defending the 2nd Amendment. I have to vote today and am quite torn as usual. I am not a one issue voter. I have always admired John McCain's sacrifice for our country, but seeing him chumming up with Arnold really bothers me. I have a lot of friends in CA that are furious about The Governor signing yet more anti gun legislation, as as they say so goes CA, so goes the Nation. So I may end up voting for a man I don't respect as much...

Any thoughts?

My response:

Well, with Romney you will likely get an new assault weapons ban. With McCain, you will get a gun show regulation bill that will regulate all private transfers of guns. I would also guess that you could get a bill requiring that people use gun locks. I am not sure what Romney really believes because he has changed his positions on too many issues. Of these different laws, I think that the gun locks rule is the worst because if prevents people from using guns defensively.

Personally, I worry that both Romney and McCain will be weak general election candidates though for different reasons. Romney because he has changed his position on too many issues. McCain will be attacked as too old and will have a tough time getting the conservative base to turn out.

My bottom line is the courts. I think that Romney is probably more likely to appoint conservatives to the courts than McCain. I think that McCain will have a very hard time appointing conservatives to the court if he really wants his campaign finance regulations put in place. I believe that there is a strong correlation between their views on protecting the First Amendment on political speech and the Second Amendment.

I hope that this helps.

Labels: ,

League of Conservation Voters endorsed McCain in 2004

I thought that this endorsement by the League of Conservation Voters was enlightening:

LCV has endorsed Republican John McCain for reelection in the U. S. Senate to represent Arizona. Senator McCain has been a leader on global warming, a strong voice of reason against drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and has voiced his opposition to the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill. He is the lead sponsor on the bipartisan McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 that would require a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to 2000 levels by the year 2010. Senator McCain said, "We must take action, and act appropriately. Many have hidden for too long behind what we do not know or the uncertainties around climate change. Their shield is shrinking." The Senator voted against an amendment that would have opened the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling and in a letter addressed to the President said, "I have thought long and hard about this debate and the vote that I will cast. I still hope we can achieve a more balanced national energy strategy, but I am not convinced that a key component of that policy should be to drill in ANWR." Before voting against the Energy Bill, he sent a letter to Congress stating his opposition to the manner in which the bill was developed, he said, "One of the other problems that I have with this bill is the way in which it was developed. This secretive, exclusive process has lead to a 1200 page monstrosity that is chock full of special interest giveaways and exemptions from environmental and other laws that frankly can´ withstand the light of scrutiny." If you would like to support Senator McCain's campaign, please contact Vivien Braslau at vivien_braslau@lcv.org.

Here is an interview where McCain is arguing that he is the strongest green candidate:

Why should voters consider you the strongest green candidate? What sets your platform on energy and the environment apart from the others?

My clear record of environmental advocacy and activism, ranging from my efforts to protect the Grand Canyon to working with [Connecticut Sen.] Joe Lieberman to get a cap-and-trade proposal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through the United States Senate.

You've said that global warming would be one of three key issues for your presidency. Why do you think the issue is important?

It's like Tony Blair said: Suppose we're wrong, and there's no such thing as greenhouse-gas emissions, and we adopt green technologies. All we've done is give our kids a better planet. But suppose we're right, and do nothing? Then what kind of a legacy are we handing on to future generations of Americans? I think we ought to frame the debate that way.

And I think most, if not all, of the ways that we can address this issue are through profit-motive, free-enterprise-system-driven green technologies. General Electric dedicated itself to green technologies, and guess what? They're still making a lot of money.

Yet, for the evidence on the global warming see here.

Labels: , ,


Hillary versus Obama on Delegates

I was looking at the delegate totals for the Democrats and while Hillary is ahead in total delegates, her lead is entirely driven by Super Delegates. Among delegates won in the primaries and caucuses, Hillary won 48 and Obama 63. The thing with these super delegates is that they can change their minds. If we had the less compressed schedule for primaries that we had in 2004 or 2000, Obama would easily win. I don't know whether he will have enough steam by Tuesday.

Labels: , ,


Mitt Romney Giving Up?

John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary writes:

Mr. Romney has only a few days left to change the dynamic of the race before 21 states vote next Tuesday. As of yesterday afternoon, his campaign had purchased no television ad time in any of the Super Tuesday states. "If Thursday goes by without an ad buy, it will be a sign the Romney campaign is only going through the motions," says one TV advertising expert with ties to no candidate. "After all, we know he can write a check if he has to."

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt writes me that: "John: He's already up in CA with a 7 figure buy. HH" So it looks as if John Fund might be wrong this time.

Labels: ,

Identity politics out of control

This video from the New York Times is simply too much. This 23-year-old black woman is discussing with her friends who she should vote for in the Democratic Presidential Primary and the question is she more of a black or a woman. Nothing about issues. It was purely identity politics. Sonya Jones also has a very amusing post about how some women are viewing Ted Kennedy as a traitor because he endorsed Obama over a Hillary.

Labels: ,


Exit polls from Florida

McCain is stronger among men, older voters, those who think that abortion should be legal, and people who rarely if ever go to church. There was one particularly strange fact: those who thought that McCain had the best chance of winning in the fall were somewhat less likely to vote for him than those who thought that Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee would be the strongest candidates would vote for those candidates.

Labels: ,


Clinton campaign tactics

John Fund writes this at the WSJ's Political Diary:

Mr. Obama is indeed frustrated by the attacks on his character, as he made clear to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. What peeves him most are mysterious emails circulating among voters that claim he is actually a Muslim and has sympathy with the ideas of the radical Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Mr. Obama says the charges are preposterous.

"We have no way of tracing where these emails come from, but what I know is they come in waves, and they somehow appear magically wherever the next primary or caucus is, although they're also being distributed all across the country," he told Mr. Brody. "But the volume increases as we get closer to particular elections. That indicates to me that this is something that is being used to try to raise doubts or suspicions about my candidacy." . . .

More on the Clinton campaign can be found here, where Ed Schultz accuses Clinton of lying. Obama pretty much says the same thing here, where he says Clinton "was making things up."

Labels: , ,


Fred Thompson Drops Out of Race

The BBC is reporting:

Former US Senator Fred Thompson has withdrawn from the Republican presidential race, after a string of poor finishes in early voting rounds.

"I have withdrawn my candidacy... I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," he said in a short statement. . . .

John Fund, writing in WSJ's Political Diary, as usual has very insightful insights on the entire campaign:

Fred Thompson spotted an opening in the field of Republicans candidates last spring: a yearning for an uncomplicated Reaganite who would unite all wings of the party and take the fight to the Democrats with brio. Until late September, Mr. Thompson actually led national polls among GOP voters. But the seeds of his downfall had already been planted.

His first mistake was not fully realizing that in entering the race so late, he would have trouble building the infrastructure necessary for a modern campaign. The best talent had already been snapped up by other candidates. Mr. Thompson ended up hiring a corporate manager to run his campaign. While a good organizer, the man had never run a political effort of any size, and the resulting confusion cost the campaign precious momentum and money. New leadership wasn't installed until just before Mr. Thompson formally entered the race after Labor Day.

The former Tennessee Senator's second mistake was making it too easy for reporters to paint him as a lazy, disinterested candidate. His campaign committed enough unnecessary gaffes to feed that story line (such as speaking for only five minutes before an enthusiastic crowd of Florida Republicans last October) and the perception set in among many supporters that they were backing a walking horse, not a warhorse.

Lastly, the candidate's theme that he was the "Consistent Conservative" in the race was developed too late and could not be sufficiently exploited because of a lack of money. When Mr. Thompson finally did hit his stride in December, he became a good candidate who performed memorably in recent debates. But, by then, his potential audience had already drifted away to other candidates who looked like they had a better chance of winning.

Mr. Thompson intends to remain active in politics and public affairs, although he has flatly ruled out any plans to serve in someone else's administration. Don't be surprised to find him returning to the airwaves he left just a few months ago -- but this time with much higher name-recognition as a political figure.

Labels: ,


Political balance at Princeton

Generally, Princeton isn't known for being particularly extreme leftwing politically (despite people such as Paul Krugman), many other more extreme schools come readily to mind. Yet, it is not too surprising that:

All Princeton faculty members who have given to 2008 presidential candidates so far have donated to Democrats, according to federal records of donations to presidential campaigns from Princeton University employees. . . .

Labels: , ,

How things have changed over people's reactions in the South to the Confederate Flag

John Fund at the WSJ as an interesting contrast between Thompson and Huckabee over the Confederate flag:

Mike Huckabee tried his best to expand beyond his evangelical base in South Carolina and appeal to what his campaign called "Joe Six Pack" voters. Mr. Huckabee was the only candidate to pander to devotees of the Confederate flag, telling crowds that outsiders should leave the banner flag, now displayed in a corner of the grounds of the state capitol, alone: "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do." Contrast that with the comments of Mr. Huckabee's fellow Southerner Fred Thompson: "For a great many Americans, [the flag] is a symbol of racism. I'm glad people have made a decision not to display it . . . in a state capitol." . . .

Labels: , , ,


Behind McCain's win in the South Carolina Primary

The backlash to DOJ DC gun ban brief

The Washington Post discusses the reaction to the Bush Administration's brief here:

The Bush administration's position in the case before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns has created an unexpected and serious backlash in conservative circles, disappointing gun enthusiasts and creating implications for the presidential campaign.

The government's brief, filed by U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement just hours before the court's deadline Jan. 11, endorses the view that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right to gun ownership, a finding long sought by gun rights activists.

But it also said an appeals court used the wrong standard when it struck down the District's ban on private handgun ownership, and it urged the Supreme Court to return the case to the lower court for review.

If the justices accept that advice when they hear the case in the spring, it could mean additional years of litigation over the controversial Second Amendment and could undo a ruling that was a seminal victory for gun rights enthusiasts. . . .

The piece notes that Senator Fred Thompson spoke out against the brief, though it doesn't make clear that he was the only one to do so.

In a debate last week in Nevada, all three major Democratic candidates pledged their fealty to the Second Amendment -- "People have a right to bear arms," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) said -- although none mentioned the District's handgun ban.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it would seem that it was the moderator's job to put the question squarely to them.

Here was my earlier take on all this.

Labels: , ,


Democratic Presidential Candidates Talk About Guns

In the debate in Nevada the other night, Tim Russert asked the democrats whether they supported licensing for guns. Clinton and Obama said it would they weren't going to push for licensing, but their reason was that it would generate too much political opposition -- implying that if the opposition went down, they would push for it. Edwards said clearly that he was against licensing.

Hillary Clinton though said that "I believe in the Second Amendment. . . . But I also believe that we can common-sensically approach this." If Russert was at all on his feet, he would have asked her whether she thought that the DC gun ban, soon to be going before the U.S. Supreme Court was unconstitutional. It would be a tough question. If she said it was unconstitutional, she would get a lot of Dems upset. If it was constitutional, the question is what would be the benefit from saying you believe in the Second Amendment?

Labels: , , ,


Democrats and Hispanics

Is there some fraying of the Democrat's coalition? John Fund at WSJ's Political Diary writes:

Sergio Bendixen, one of Hillary Clinton's pollsters, claims Hispanics back his candidate because of her stand on health care and affinity for the Clinton presidency of the 1990s. He told reporters that he viewed Hispanics as Mrs. Clinton's "firewall" against an assault by Barack Obama. "The Hispanic voter -- and I want to say this very carefully -- has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates," he added.

That comment upset Team Obama, which quickly jumped at the opportunity to tarnish the Clinton image after Clinton allies in the Nevada teachers union sued to close down polling places set up in Las Vegas casinos to allow Hispanic casino workers easily to participate in that state's caucus this Saturday. A federal judge threw the suit out yesterday, but the incident left a bad taste in the mouths of many Hispanics.

Yesterday, Obama-supporting labor unions began airing Spanish-language radio ads attacking the lawsuit in Nevada. "Hillary Clinton does not respect our people," the ad says in Spanish. "Hillary Clinton is shameless. But Sen. Obama is defending our right to vote. Sen. Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people."

Clinton supporter Dolores Huerta, an Hispanic labor leader, denounced the ad as "pathetic" and claimed it was an attempt to conceal Mr. Obama's total lack of support in the Hispanic community. "I have yet to find even one worker -- a Latino worker -- who is supporting Barack Obama," she told Politico.com.

Nevada votes tomorrow, and estimates suggest that 45% of casino workers on the Las Vegas Strip are Hispanic. We'll be able to see just how accurate Ms. Huerta is in her prediction by looking at the results from caucus sites in those casinos.

If you believe Hillary's pollster, Obama winning the nomination could alienate Hispanics. If one listens to the traded charges over racism in the campaign, a Hillary win might alienate some blacks. I wonder if this would almost ensure that if Hillary wins the nomination, she would have to pick Obama for the VP position. If Obama wins, would he have to pick RIchardson? You might have heard it here first: Obama/Richardson for the Dems.

Labels: , , ,

Thompson on the issues

From the American Thinker:

Fred Thompson is perhaps the most substantative candidate to run for President in many years. He has taken the time to think about what should be the relationship between the government and the governed. He has framed his thoughts within the context of a set of bedrock conservative principles that animates his thinking and generates sound ideas about where America should be headed.

There is a heft to Thompson, a seriousness of purpose that none of the other candidates can match. It is most pronounced during the debates where Thompson's answers to questions are more subtle and nuanced than those of his rivals. His sometimes laconic style zings his opponents with brutal accuracy. Often, the candidate will answer a question by stating "Yep" or "Nope" and pause a few seconds to gather his thoughts. What follows is almost always coherent and is informed by years of experience in government.

Labels: ,

Podcast Interview With Michael Bane

Michael Bane's interview with me can be heard here.

Labels: ,


More Romney Flip-flops: Campaign Finance Reform

Here Romney is running for the US Senate in 1994
Here is Romney now.

See this for other information on his views on public financing of campaigns.

See one of my earlier posts here.

Labels: , ,

Is Romney the Weakest of the Possibly Republican Nominees?

If you believe the averages at Real Clear Politics, Romney is the weakest possible nominee. Giuliani, Huckabee, and Thompson are virtually the same. One thing that I will say for Thompson is that given he has gotten much less favorable publicity than Giuliani or Huckabee (particularly Huckabee), he might do relatively better than them farther down the road.

Average difference in races between Clinton or Obama and Republican

McCain . . . . +3 Percent

Giuliani . . . . -8.8 percent

Huckabee . . -9.3 percent

Thompson . . -9.75 percent

Romney . . . . -13.9 percent

Between Clinton and Obama it isn't even close. Obama is a much stronger candidate than Hillary. I haven't figured out the average difference but it looks like about 7 percent on average. Plus every Republican would apparently lose to Obama. One warning with all these numbers is that the general election is a long ways away, but these are big differences.

Labels: , , , , ,

Animal Rights Groups Merge to Fight Hunting

Animal rights groups merging to better fight to end hunting:

The voice of America's anti-hunting forces is trying to become more powerful.

In what the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is calling a "precisely-calculated effort," the Humane Society of the United States is attempting to consolidate all of the animal rights movement's political power under a single umbrella.

Humane Society director Wayne Pacelle reportedly told one publication that his organization may soon merge with at least three unnamed animal rights organizations.

OK, so if they end hunting deer, what will happen to the deer population? What will happen to the cost of food as farmers have deer eat more of their crops? What will happen to the additional motorists who run into deer?

Meanwhile, Obama "pledges support for Animal Rights."

He said he sponsored a bill to prevent horse slaughter in the Illinois state Senate and has been repeatedly endorsed by the Humane Society. "I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other," he said. "And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals."
(emphasis added)

Labels: , ,


Am I missing something here?: I thought that Democrats were supposed to get upset with anything that increased the cost of voting

From John Fund at the WSJ.com's Political Diary:

[Clinton] is scrambling for every possible advantage -- down to having her supporters file lawsuits to close some poling places -- in Nevada's Democratic caucus this coming Saturday.

How is this consistent with Democrat Party rhetoric on voting? We can't even have voter IDs because they might discourage people from voting.

Labels: , ,

Thompson first to come out against Bush Adm Brief on DC gun case

Asked his opinion of the Second Amendment and the Solicitor General’s request that the DC Circuit Court remand the appeal back to the trial court for “fact-finding”, the lawyer turned Senator from Tennessee said the Bush Administration was “overlawyering” and stated that he opposed remand and that the case should move forward to the U.S. Supreme Court. . . .

Fred Thompson is the first and only presidential candidate to oppose the Solicitor General's brief that was filed in the DC gun case last Friday. You can read his entire response here.

Labels: , ,

Both Romney and McCain have it wrong

Who is right? Should government provide $100 billion to the auto industry as Romney proposes? Should they spend money retraining people to work in "green" industries as McCain proposes? Romney justifies his because of government mandates placed on the industry. What about opposing the government MPG regulations to begin with? Howard Kurtz discusses the quibbling between the Romney and McCain camps here:

Steve Schmidt, a top McCain strategist, attributed yesterday's loss to "Mitt Romney's pandering up in Michigan" by promising what Schmidt called a "$100-billion bailout of the auto industry...Mitt Romney should explain to the rest of the country how he's going to pay for it."

While Romney has proposed a five-year, $20-billion-a-year effort to revitalize the ailing auto industry, the Arizona senator has emphasized worker retraining and research into green technologies. Schmidt would not put a price tag on that but minimized the retraining plan as a consolidation of existing programs.

Here is a suggestion: why have the government pick which industries should be subsidized?

Labels: , ,


Obama Stimulus Package

Here are the components of Obama's proposal:

1.Cut $250 checks for some 150 million low and middle income workers and send them out. If needed, send out an additional $250 per worker, totaling $500 for these workers

2.Likewise, send $250 to seniors earning under $50,000 as a Social Security supplement, and and prepared to send out a second $250 payment

3.Establish a $10 billion fund to help “responsible” families avoid foreclosure. The money would be given to homeowners who did not lie about their incomes and were “mindful of personal responsibility.”

4.Provides money to state and local governments hardest hit by housing crisis to prevent them from slashing infrastructure and other important state spending

5. Expand unemployment insurance

Can you say Keynesian economics? The problem with this is that the money has to come from someplace else. Obama doesn't want to pay for this with taxes, but then you have to borrow the money. Borrowing takes it away from other uses as much as taxes.

The subprime problem was due to government regulation and point 3 will encourage home buyers to take more risks because they will believe that the government will bail them out.

Point 5 is political and will be pushed to increase the unemployment rate before the election. Never have the Democrats before asked for an extension in benefits with an unemployment rate as low as 5 percent.

Labels: ,

Huckabee Versus Thompson

Look at the difference between the campaigning by Huckabee and Thompson. Thompson raises issues. Huckabee makes bizarre charges about Thompson being "a registered foreign agent, lobbied for foreign countries, was in a law firm that did lobbying work for Libya." Huckabee knows that large law firms handle a lot of clients, but that is a long way from any particular lawyer supporting a client. One of the nice things about the South Carolina and New Hampshire debates on Fox News was that they got into the issues, and Fred Thompson came out well in both debates. Huckabee apparently doesn't think that he can compete on the issues. Here is Fred Thompson again on the issues.

Labels: , ,


When to joke and when to give serious answers?

I guess that I frequently take things too seriously, but while Huckabee is strong on protecting people's right to own guns, he rarely seems to explain the reasons well. I am not sure what to make of the answer below. Is it funny? Yes, I guess so. But in the discussion below will listeners come away thinking that there is a real problem by not having a one-gun-a-month rule? I fear that is the case. Can't there be some kernel of education in the discussion? This is from Huckabee's appearance on the Colbert Report:

COLBERT: South Carolina gun laws are so loose that you can go into any gun shop and buy as many handguns as you want. I mean 200 of them and then just ship them up here to New York and sell them illegally on the street and raise some serious scratch.

HUCKABEE: How do you think I've financed my campaign for the past 11 months?

COLBERT: Smart man!

COLBERT: Pick me up a couple?

HUCKABEE: On their way. What kind would you like?

COLBERT: Something with the serial numbers scratched off.

HUCKABEE: Consider it done.

COLBERT: I know you're a man of your word. You would never rescind your offer of making me vice president no matter how well you do in the campaign. But I'm going to give you one more chance to get out of it. Just ask me, I'll say no ...

HUCKABEE: Steven, be my running mate?

COLBERT: Yes!!!!!!!!!

Labels: , ,


Could Fred Thompson be the Last Conservative Standing?

Thompson did extremely well in the Fox News debate last night (of course, I thought that he has done very well in terms of his positions in all the debates). Frank Luntz's focus group of undecided voters overwhelmingly gave the nod to Senator Thompson. Here is a YouTube clip from the debate that gives one a good idea of how Thompson did.

Given Romney's stands on everything from global warming to the assault weapons ban as well as his changed positions on many other issues, I am not sure how conservative he is, but I think that Romney has backed himself into a corner. By concentrating all his effort on Michigan, he has raised the stakes dramatically. The problem that he faces is that Michigan allows non-Republicans to vote in their primary and that is compounded by the fact that there is no Democratic race (Hillary Clinton is the only one on the Democratic ballot). Independents and Democrats who have no reason to vote in the Democratic primary will feel tempted to wreak all sorts of havoc on the Republicans by voting for McCain or even Huckabee (of course, some of these other voters probably actually like McCain). My bottom line is that I think that this will be a tough race for Romney to win, and I think that he may drop out of the race if he loses in Michigan. Given that I don't think that even their current positions would classify McCain and Huckabee as conservatives on economic issues, that would leave Thompson and Giuliani. Giuliani's strategy seems to depend a lot on what happens in Florida (his staff is being asked to work without pay because of money problems). Of course, all this might depend upon Thompson doing well in South Carolina. That is surely possible given how people in South Carolina appreciated his debate performance on Thursday.

UPDATE: The Democratic DailyKos is advising Democrats in Michigan to vote for Romney. They apparently believe that McCain would be the strongest Republican nominee.

Labels: ,


Another reason why Campaign Finance Regulations help Bloomberg

I came across an interesting news story today about Bloomberg possibly running for the presidency:

So far, the surprise outcomes of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have added urgency and strength to the Bloomberg operation, Schoen said.

"The uncertainty in the nominating process on both sides makes it more likely that Mike Bloomberg will explore a candidacy," he said.

I agree with this, but for possibly different reasons than the person here. Take the extreme case. If a nominee is not picked for a party until the party convention in August, that person will have little time to raise what would likely be a hundred or two hundred million for the general election. The less time that the Republicans or Democrats have to raise money, the easier it will be for Bloomberg to win.

Labels: ,

Fred Thompson's Plan for Cutting Federal Government Spending

While the media seems to be focused on personalities, Fred Thompson has put forward one well thought out policy position after another, whether it is social security reform or immigration. Previously Thompson has listed 100 government programs he would like to see cut. A summary of his new proposal for limiting government growth can be seen here.

Labels: ,


Clinton's crying made her appear sympathetic

I thought that this "crying" was planned yesterday and I believe it even more so now. This was Hillary Clinton's Sister Souljah moment. They wanted to make her look human and sympathetic. It just amazes me that they could achieve this with what was probably staged.

Edward Morrissey asks
"Did independents break Republican instead of Democrat, assuming that Obama had the race sewn up?"
It certainly seems possible, though you would probably need an exit poll to determine if this is true. I guess that I believe that the effect that I mentioned above was the important effect.

UPDATE: From John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary:
A senior Obama adviser told Politico.com that he had no other explanation for his candidate's startling loss. "Did her choking up have a positive effect among women? Did they say, 'We are not going to run her out of the race here?'" the adviser asked. "There is no other reason we can see. Every poll showed us even with Clinton with women, and then we lose women to her. There was a big gender gap that didn't show up until yesterday."

Labels: ,


Clinton's Muskie Moment, Or was it planned?

If it was not an Ed Muskie moment — Mrs. Clinton did not cry (or look like she was crying) — she was certainly on the verge of it after a woman asked her, at a round table discussion at a coffee shop here, how she managed to get out of bed and soldier through each day.

How will voters react to a candidate who cries about having a hard time in the campaign? If it was a man, he would be out of the race very quickly. With a woman, will people feel sorry for her? Do they think that she needs to show even more toughness?

Here is the big question. I hate to be really cynical about all this, but with the desire to make Hillary appear more human and likable is there any chance that her crying was planned? I guess that I wouldn't be surprised.

UPDATE: In the interest of fairness, here is Clinton's response to the concern that this display of emotion was staged. If you go to that link, Major Garrett has a video up of him asking her directly about this.

Labels: ,


Iowa Curse?: Not much for Democrats

There has been a lot of discussion about how poorly the Iowa caususes predict who will get party nominations. Since 1976 when the caucus has really begun to matter, when you don't have an incumbent Republican president running half the time the caucus correctly picked the eventual nominee. For Democrats, it has been either 4 to 2 to 3 to 2 depending on whether you count uncommitteds winning in 1976 over Carter. But given that the 1976 caucus gave Carter a huge boost, I would probably count it as a correct prediction.



Iowa Campaign: $200 spent for every voter

John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary notes:

This year, with a couple of exceptions such as Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, candidates went beyond participation and virtually wallowed in them. The best estimates are that some $50 million will be spent by all the hopefuls on the Iowa caucuses this year, including $30 million in TV ads and salaries and expenses for at least 700 paid staffers.

That amounts to an eye-opening $200 spent for every voter who walks into a caucus. Of course, the winners in each contest will consider their money well spent. So too will the people of Iowa who will have gotten a healthy injection of cash into their economy, an inordinate amount of attention to their political opinions and pledges of undying devotion to their state's taxpayer-subsidized ethanol industry.

With all the political advertising, I wonder whether Iowa tends to have more TV and radio stations per capita than other states and whether it has increased after 1976 when Iowa started to get to be important. I might be interesting just to study the relative change in value of TV and radio stations in Iowa before and after 1976 relative to stations elsewhere.



Late breaking surge for Fred Thompson in Iowa

Thompson is all over the radio today (Hannity and Levin) and he is supposed to be on Hannity's show again tomorrow. Talk about a hint for who they think would be best. Peter Robinson has a nice discussion on Thompson here. Thompson might be surging at just the right time here.

UPDATE: Do you want some evidence that Thompson is doing better in Iowa? How about that someone felt the need to start pushing this rumor.

GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson said in an in-studio interview with KCCI-TV in Des Moines that there is no truth to rumors that his campaign will fold before New Hampshire if he doesn't have a strong showing in Iowa.

"That is absolutely made up out of whole cloth," said the former U.S. Senator from Tennessee.

Thompson said a rival campaign was likely the source of that rumor.

"Can you imagine such a thing in politics?" he asked.

Labels: ,


Giuliani On Gun Control

Obviously this old youtube clip is relevant given the current primaries and Giuliani arguing that he supports gun ownership, but the reason for linking to this is that Giuliani is making the old argument about treating gun ownership like we treat cars. In fact, if we had the same rules for guns that we have for cars, we would be deregulating gun ownership. The reason is simple. You don't need a license to own a car on your own property. The various regulations on cars only apply once you take the car off of your property, but once you meet those regulations you can take your car anyplace in the United States. If guns were treated similarly, there would be no regulations, no licensing, no safety requirements as long as you kept the gun on your property. (By the way, you can transport a car off of your property, but you just can't drive it without the license.) The driver's license would be like a right-to-carry permit, but if the permit was like the driver's license, once you got it you would be able to take your gun with you any place in the US.

Labels: , ,

Why Romney's changing positions will be so harmful

Even conservative editorialists at places like The Union Leader in New Hampshire and The Boston Herald find his flip-flopping offensive.

It is not just issues like guns and abortion (this piece also hits him for his changing position on immigration). I have no problem with him learning on issues, but it is getting pretty obvious that Romney is an extremely poll driven candidate. Here is a decade ago arguing against cutting farm subsidies and here he is more recently saying how essential farm subsidies. Here he is saying that strict gun control helps protect Americans' safety, but now he is a defender of gun rights. (Personally, I am not sure that he knows what the current gun control laws are.) Here used to oppose Boy Scout policy on homosexuals.

The thing that is important is not what his stands used to be nor what they are now (though I am very bothered by his current stand on global warming), but that they change so much on so many incredibly different things. My book, Freedomnomics, has a long discussion about why it is difficult for politicians with these changing positions to get elected.

Labels: ,


Thompson trying something different: "something more substantive"

John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary notes:

Peter Robinson, a former speechwriter for President Reagan who is now at the Hoover Institution, notes that Mr. Thompson is trying something no other GOP candidate this year has done: appeal to Democrats. His key passage begins: "You know, when I'm asked which of the current group of Democratic candidates I prefer to run against, I always say it really doesn't matter. These days all those candidates, all the Democratic leaders, are one and the same. They're all NEA-MoveOn.org-ACLU-Michael Moore Democrats. They've allowed these radicals to take control of their party and dictate their course.... This election is important to salvage a once-great political party from the grip of extremism and shake it back to its senses. It's time to give not just Republicans but independents, and, yes, good Democrats a chance to call a halt to the leftward lurch of the once-proud party of working people."

Certainly the other GOP candidates might argue with Mr. Thompson's claim that his track record and approach make him the best candidate to win Democratic votes in the general election. Rudy Giuliani would be expected to put blue states such as New Jersey and Connecticut in play, and John McCain has proven support among some independent voters. But Mr. Robinson gives Mr. Thompson credit for trying to change the tone of the last days of the Iowa caucuses to something more substantive: "We have here a serious man, making a serious case -- and doing so in the context of a campaign that has otherwise descended into mere caterwauling."

Labels: ,


Fred Thompson's Closing Message for the Iowa Caucuses

A compelling closing message from Fred Thompson before the Iowa Caucuses can be found here.

Labels: ,

Brought to you by Campaign Finance Regulations: Bloomberg's Presidential Run

My book Freedomnomics goes through the impact of campaign finance regulations, but one of the bigger impacts is how it has worked to give wealthy candidates an advantage. I won't go through all the arguments here, but one simple point is that if Bloomberg spends $500 million or $1 billion as has been discussed, donation limits mean that there is no way that even the combined Democratic and Republican expenditures can match that.

Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of launching an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.

On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock.

Labels: , ,


Giuliani On Global Warming

Rudy Giuliani is shown discussing the threat of global warming here. As bad as Rudy is on this, the only consolation is that Huckabee, Romney, and McCain are worse. Of all the top tier Republican candidates, only Thompson is good on this issue.

Labels: ,

Sockpuppets used by Hillary Clinton Campaign

While it has gotten mentioned twice on the NY Times' blog and once on a Washington Post blog, the fact that the Clinton campaign has been using sockpuppets to push her campaign doesn't seem to be worth mentioning in even one single print publication or main media website. A Google search tonight on "Clinton Sockpuppet" or "Clinton 'Sock Puppet'" turned up no other hits other than to the two NY Times' blog posts using Google News. I guess that I thought that there would be at least one mention in the print or television media, but I guess that this is not deemed to be very important.

1) Here is the original post on December 13th:
BlueHampshire.com, a progressive site in the Granite State, has found that several Clinton staff members slipped into sock-puppet mode to beef up the pro-Clinton diary recommendations on its site.

The Caucus learned of this through techpresident.com, which is surprised that anybody still uses sock puppets.

“I’m still amazed that anyone with a basic knowledge of computers would think that they operate anonymously from a campaign office,” Joshua Levy writes. “Haven’t we learned anything from Wikipedia?”

The Caucus too is shocked — shocked! — at the use of sock puppets. We have nothing like that on our site, right readers? We thought sock puppets were “in” for about as long as Paris Hilton’s stay in jail.

In any case, BlueHampshire handled the whole thing with class and their story says a lot about maintaining site integrity in these wild and wooly times.

Blue Hampshire’s Dean Barker writes that the site administrators grew suspicious when they saw that several users had signed up in quick succession. They then discovered that they all used the same IP address, which is registered to the Clinton campaign.

2) Here is the entire reference on December 20th to her campaign's sockpuppet postings:

‘Vote for Me. I’m a Sock Puppet.’
You may have seen that some Hillary Clinton “sock puppets” were recently outed on a New Hampshire blog, to the campaign’s great embarrassment. A sock puppet, for those of who you aren’t immersed in blog culture, is what they call someone who pretends to be commenting as a regular voter but who is in fact posting propaganda. . . .

Nathalie Guyol writes: I hope you can find out (and publish, if you do) how many Iowans would support Hillary Clinton if Bill Clinton did not exist. I suspect a huge preponderance would not have even given her serious consideration.

Good question. I say we get that car that Christopher Lloyd had in “Back to the Future,” go back to the Yale Law School library in the spring of 1971 and ask Bill Clinton for a lighter at exactly the moment that Hillary first walks by. It could work. Barring that, we’ll never know.

The Washington Post mention can be found here. Here is all the blog commentary that I could find here, here, here, and here. At least this is all the blogs that gave me a hit for "Clinton Sockpuppet" after the beginning of December.

Thanks to Joe Olson for sending these links to me.

Labels: , ,


Fred Thompson's Christmas Ad

Fred Thompson has a very unique Christmas ad. You can see it here. It seems that I have seen all the other ads on the news.

Labels: ,


Why Hillary might be in real trouble


Mitt Romney inaccurately claiming that he had the NRA endorsement when he ran for governor

John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary writes:

"Last Sunday, Mr. Romney appeared on NBC's 'Meet the Press' and twice claimed he had won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in his 2002 race for governor of Massachusetts. Wrong. While Mr. Romney got a respectable 'B' rating from the NRA, it was his Democratic opponent, Shannon O'Brien, who actually got an 'A' grade from the gun-rights group, which ultimately made no endorsement in the race. Ouch."

My guess is that Shannon O'Brien didn't want the endorsement because it would have hurt more than helped in Massachusetts.

Labels: ,

An explanation too far

In a new television ad debuting Tuesday in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee does the unthinkable - he wishes early voters “Merry Christmas.”

Wearing a red sweater and standing before a glowing Christmas tree as “Silent Night” plays in the background, the former Arkansas governor asks viewers if they’re “about worn out of all the television commercials you’ve been seeing, mostly about politics.”

Behind Huckabee appears to be a white cross, which may be intersecting shelf lines or a window pane and slowly moves to the right on the screen until it’s behind his head.

But the ordained Baptist minister, who has been riding a wave of evangelical support with his open religious appeals, said Tuesday that it’s just a bookshelf and defended the ad.

Huckabee shouldn't have tried this explanation because it makes him look dishonest. True the cross in the ad is just a "bookshelf," but to imply that Huckabee and his people just saw it as a bookshelf and not as a cross isn't believable. If you haven't seen the ad, the cross image just dominates the picture. Does the image bother me? Hardly, but this explanation is just not credible. You can see the ad here.

For Jason Lewis' typically perceptive comments on this ad go here.

Labels: ,


Prediction: Hillary Clinton to come in third in Iowa

Edwards and Clinton are tied for second, but Edwards appears to be every Democrat's second choice. If a candidate doesn't have at least 15 percent of the voters at a Caucus site, those voters have to choose another candidate. I don't think that Hillary will pick up many votes there, but Edwards will.

So what will this do to her supposed invincibility? What will this do to her very narrow leads in NH and South Carolina? The polls showing her far ahead in Michigan are over a month old and I am not sure that they are worth very much right now.

Barack Obama is the top 2008 United States presidential contender for Democratic Party supporters in Iowa, according to a poll by Research 2000 released by the Quad City Times. 33 per cent of respondents in the Hawkeye State would vote for the Illinois senator in January’s caucus.

New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former North Carolina senator John Edwards are tied for second with 24 per cent, followed by New Mexico governor Bill Richardson with nine per cent, Delaware senator Joe Biden with three per cent, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich with one per cent, and Connecticut senator Chris Dodd also with one per cent. . . .

Labels: ,


A lot is at stake in this next election regarding global warming

My guess is that global warming fanatics realize that a lot is at stake in this next election. I think that the more time that goes by, the more obvious it will be that these various predictions of concern on global warming are wrong. The problem is that if a global warming agreement goes into effect, those pushing for more controls will say that their regulations are responsible. If we can get by the next administration, I would guess that the pressure on all this will begin to subside and those who have been pushing for all these regulations will look really foolish.

Germany’s environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, who led the criticism of the United States earlier in the week, said Friday, “The climate in the climate convention has changed a little bit.”

He added: “It’s true that during the last night and during the negotiations America was more flexible than in the first part of the conference. We very much appreciate this. Not only the Americans but also other parties.”

It was not clear what had brought about the improved mood of cooperation. Amid the escalating bitterness between the European Union and the United States on Thursday, former Vice President Al Gore told delegates in a speech that, “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali.”

He urged delegates to agree to an open-ended deal that could be enhanced after the Bush administration leaves office and the United States policy changes.

“Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now,” Mr. Gore said to loud applause. “You must anticipate that.”

Labels: , ,


Michelle Obama (Barack's wife) sees need for guns in rural America

“My wife, she was traveling up, I think, in eastern Iowa, she was driving through this nice, beautiful area, going through all this farmland and hills and rivers and she said ‘Boy, it’s really pretty up here,’ but she said, ‘But you know, I can see why if I was living out here, I’d want a gun. Because, you know, 911 is going to take some time before somebody responds. You know what I mean? You know, it’s like five miles between every house.”

Well, I know Barack from when we were both at the University of Chicago Law School, and I have the strong belief that he does not people that any private citizens should be able to own guns and that he never came across a gun control law that he didn't like. This appears to be a bit of election time conversion or that his wife has different views than he does.

Labels: ,


Rush Limbaugh's Take on Last Night's Republican Presidential Debate

"Except for Fred Thompson, all the GOP candidates swerved into moderate mushiness last night."

Here is a new Thompson ad on youtube.

Labels: ,


Two new Fred Thompson Ads

Obama the strongest Democratic Candidate, Clinton the Weakest

Thompson is very strangely left out of this comparison, and it is especially strange given that he is number 2 among Republicans in the polls for the Republican nomination and also that he has been doing very well against the Democrats in the past. (UPDATE: Sean Hannity said on his show today that Thompson is also ahead of Clinton in these polls.) In any case, I wonder if Dems will start to desert Clinton if they thought that she was their weakest candidate. What is interesting is how little variation there is in the percent obtained by the different Republican candidates when you look at any individual Democrat. The range of percentages of Republicans against Obama is only 2 percent and the same is true when one looks at the Republicans against Edwards or Clinton. By contrast, there is a much bigger spread among the Democrats when you look at an individual Republican (6 percentage points is typical across the Democrats).

Possible match-ups - 2008 U.S. presidential election

John McCain (R) 38% - 45% Barack Obama (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 41% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 41% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 40% - 46% Barack Obama (D)

John McCain (R) 41% - 42% John Edwards (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 43% - 44% John Edwards (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 42% - 44% John Edwards (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 42% - 45% John Edwards (D)

John McCain (R) 42% - 38% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 43% - 40% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 43% - 40% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 44% - 39% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)

Source: Zogby Interactive
Methodology: Online interviews with 9,150 American adults, conducted from Nov. 21 to Nov. 26, 2007. Margin of error is 1 per cent.



I just hope that James Taranto is correct about Guiliani

James Taranto seems a lot more confident about Guiliani's views on guns than I am.

What about those social conservatives Mr. Giuliani has to win over? A few hours after I interviewed Mr. Olson, he introduced Mr. Giuliani's speech at the annual conference of the Federalist Society, the hub of the conservative legal community. Sure enough, the former mayor promised that as president he will choose judicial nominees "with the advice of people like Ted." He seemed to be on the same page as his adviser: "We need judges who embrace originalism, endeavor to determine what others meant when they wrote the words of our Constitution--justices like Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts. That would be my model."

He reassured the gun-rights constituency, praising the recent appellate decision that struck down the District of Columbia's handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.

Well, I was at Guiliani's talk to the Federalist Society and I wasn't convinced:

John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime" told Cybercast News Service he was disappointed he did not have the opportunity to ask Giuliani questions.

"He talks about how it's an abuse of the legal process for people to bring suits that try to accomplish public policy goals," said Lott.

"So I wanted to ask him about his suit against gun manufacturers. He has talked about how this suit has morphed into something he disagreed with and I wanted him to be specific and tell how this suit had changed and what had been included that now he disagreed with," he added.

James is a smart guy. Possibly he is right, but I have my doubts.

Labels: ,


Anti-Mormon Push Poll May Have Been Done by Romney?

If this is true, it could end Romney's campaign:

Who would be behind such a thing, given that the risks to any campaign caught dragging religion into the race would be enormous? After an extensive investigation, Mark Hemingway of National Review has fingered a likely culprit: "Although the Romney campaign denies involvement, evidence points in its general direction."

Why? One plausible motive would be to gather data about public reaction to negative information about the Mormon Church. Another might be to arouse sympathy for Mr. Romney and provide him a needed pretext to give a major address on why voters should not factor in his Mormon religion when making their presidential decision.

the firm making the calls is the Utah-based Western Wats, which may have direct ties to the Romney campaign. Back in August, people in Iowa and New Hampshire who received unwanted telephone calls of a political nature were able to trace those calls back to Western Wats. The client paying Western Wats was Target Point Consulting, a firm that had been received $720,000 from the Romney campaign. Alex Gage, president of Target Point, has been identified in the media as "Romney's Data Cruncher" and part of "Mitt Romney's Inner Circle."

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has been all over this on his radio show and his guests have argued that it is most likely funded by George Soros.

Labels: ,

I was wrong about Huckabee, he is even worse then I thought

And I already thought that he was really bad, a kind of social conservative with left-wing economic views. I have written a few things on Huckabee here and here.

I have mentioned previously his obsession with the hysteria about man-made global warming being a real threat, but now he wants to further expand conservation, make us energy independent within four years, and expand ethanol and other biofuels. This is a recipe for economic poverty. Subsidize the sale of fruit and vegetables. Force use of fluorescent lights. This guy is a disaster. Is there anything that this guy won't mandate or subsidize or tax?

Talk about micromanaging. People aren't eating enough fruit, subsidize it.

I'm one of the few people who's actually talked about the fact that as Republicans we have done a lousy job of presenting the case for conservation. We ought to be the leaders, but unfortunately we've been the last people speaking out on conservation. . . . .

You've vowed in your presidential platform to achieve energy independence by your second term. . . . .

The key is to create [energy independence is] the kind of unbridled marketplace that turns innovators loose to find the solutions. I don't think we're going to find one big answer. I think it's going to be a combination of many that will include hydrogen, solar, wind, nuclear, domestically produced fossil fuels -- at least for the short term. . . . .

You mentioned your support for ethanol and other biofuels. . . . . .

replace light bulbs with the fluorescent types. We need to shoot for less fossil fuel, go to more energy-efficient and certainly non-carbon-producing methods of energy. . . . .

we can start making a genuine transition to healthier, more whole-food products, doing more to subsidize fruits and vegetables, rather than just the processed food, and creating the appetites in children by exposing them more to fruits and vegetables at the marketplace, and the schools, and their homes and neighborhoods. . . .

Labels: ,


Among Extremely Likely Voters Gallup Shows Giuliani and Thompson Very Close (25 to 21 percent)


Huckabee concerns me a great deal, part II

I think that just the rhetoric that someone who opposes government intervention in health care "doesn't care about that kid" is enough to concern me. Doesn't he understand the long term harm caused by more and more government intervention in health care? My own belief is that those who want the government to provide for all these problems are the ones who really aren't effectively caring for others. The increased government intervention means that the health care system will not work as well and that a lot of people's health will be harmed as a result.

former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee accused the Club for Growth of advocating "an economic policy that doesn't care about that kid," a line that highlighted the fundamental problem with Mike Huckabee's "conservatism." Much like the Democratic candidates, Mike Huckabee believes the only way to help an asthmatic child is by increasing the size of government and raising taxes to pay for it. That is how he governed in Arkansas, and that is how he will govern if elected president, his anti-tax pledge notwithstanding.

Labels: ,


Some not so close fans of Huckabee

Apparently some people don't think to highly of Huckabee

Even editorialists and columnists at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state's dominant (and Republican-friendly) daily paper, use words like "petty" and "thin-skinned" to describe Huckabee. Then again, he's compared hard-hitting (and accurate) news reporters for the Democrat-Gazette to the press fabulists Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke. He called liberal columnist John Brummett of Stephens Media "constipated" when that early admirer commenced some gentle criticism. His administration paid $15,000 to settle a suit filed by Roby Brock, the host of a public TV news show whom Huckabee's people tried to force off the air for his critical commentary. . . . .

More important, Huckabee revealed an enduring weakness as glaring as that other Arkansas governor's fondness for women. Huckabee seems to love loot and has a dismissive attitude toward ethics, campaign finance rules and propriety in general. Since that first, failed campaign, the ethical questions have multiplied. . . . .

Labels: ,


Huckabee Not Exactly Tough on Keeping Taxes Low

There have been a lot of claims that Huckabee was not exactly very tough on keeping taxes low in Arkansas. Well, if you had any doubts about it you should see the video here.

Labels: ,


Oops . . . Hillary Caught Planting Questions in Audience

This has not been a good couple of weeks for her campaign. Not only did Clinton plant the questions, but the beginning of her answer made it worse by her claiming that this question was something everyone wanted to ask. If so, why did she plant it?

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign admitted Friday that it planted a global warming question in Newton, Iowa, Tuesday during a town hall meeting to discuss clean energy. . . . .

"After her speech, Clinton accepted questions. But according to Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff ’10, some of the questions from the audience were planned in advance. 'They were canned,' she said. Before the event began, a Clinton staff member approached Gallo-Chasanoff to ask a specific question after Clinton’s speech. 'One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask],' she said.

"Clinton called on Gallo-Chasanoff after her speech to ask a question: what Clinton would do to stop the effects of global warming. Clinton began her response by noting that young people often pose this question to her before delving into the benefits of her plan.

"But the source of the question was no coincidence — at this event 'they wanted a question from a college student,' Gallo-Chasanoff said." . . . . .

We after saying that it was an unusual event and not something that would happen again, it turns out that the Clinton Campaign had planted a question at another event:

Clinton's Iowa campaign confirmed to Fox News that one of its staff discussed questions with Mitchell before her April 2 event, but denied attempting to plant a pro-Clinton question.

Mo Elliethee, spokesman for Clinton's campaign in Iowa, told Fox that Hayler and Mitchell "had a previous relationship" and that a discussion about Clinton arose out of a normal conversation between two people who knew each other well.

"They had a previous relationship and were talking before the event and the topic of the senator's position on Iraq came up and Geoffrey said he had some questions," Elliethee said. "Chris suggested Geoffrey ask a question."

Mitchell, however, said that he and Hayler did not know each other personally before the event.

"I had no previous relationship with him," said Mitchell. "I knew his name and by name only as some who worked for Sen. Evan Bayh. But we didn't know each other and I had never met him before this event."

Labels: ,

Holman W. Jenkins Jr. on Tipgate

Holman W. Jenkins Jr. at OpinionJournal's Political Diary on "Tipgate Update"

National Public Radio continues to birddog allegations that Hillary Clinton failed to leave a tip after visiting the Toledo Maid-Rite diner in Iowa for breakfast last month. The Clinton campaign responded to yesterday's report by saying it did leave a tip -- $100 on a $157 tab. Also yesterday a Clinton staffer turned up at the diner and handed a $20 bill to Anita Esterday, the waitress who had waited on Mrs. Clinton and mentioned (in passing) to a radio interviewer that she hadn't received a tip.

The plot thickens. She tells NPR that yesterday's staffer said the tip had been included in the credit card payment. However, the credit card receipt, when examined, was apparently bereft of tip. So the staffer then opined the tip must have been left as cash with the expectation the diner crew would divvy it up. Where's the Zapruder film? Her aides were seated at tables around the diner, but Mrs. Clinton was sitting at the counter. Ms. Esterday doubts her colleagues stiffed her for her share of the tip. The restaurant's manager tells AP it may have happened.

As the truth recedes into the region of mist and shadows where many things Clinton reside, another question suggests itself: Wouldn't it have been better for the campaign simply to have said, "If we didn't leave a tip, it surely was an oversight, and we'll rectify it immediately?" What good can possibly come from quibbling with a waitress over such a trivial matter?

But the most cringe-inducing aspect was reporter David Greene, in a scripted dialogue with an NPR host this morning, bathing himself in recrimination for failing to check with the Clinton campaign before running the tip anecdote yesterday in a longer report about how campaigns impact the lives of local folks when they land in town.

Apparently, this is not the first time that Hillary has been accused of stiffing waitresses on tips.

Labels: ,

What "civility and bipartisanship" means

Huckabee worries me a great deal

Is Huckabee good on the gun issue? Sure, though I am not always happy with his ability to explain the issue. There is no doubt that he is as strong as anyone on that issue. That said, I would have a very difficult time voting for him in a general election. Among the reasons I would have a hard time is that he supports a nationwide smoking ban, "supports a mandatory cap on global-warming pollution," and "limiting the pay of corporate executives." Huckabee's discussion on health care also worries me.

Labels: ,


Fred Thompson Answers Questions on Guns for Field and Stream

Thompson has a long list of answers. Here is one on the BATFE:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should have as its priority its efforts to combat violent crime, violent criminal gangs, and to interdict and disrupt the gun traffickers who supply violent gang members with firearms. While one way to curb illicit gun trafficking is to ensure that legitimate dealers maintain their paperwork in good order, these paperwork violations should in no way be BATFE’s focus. I would also consider giving BATFE a wider range of sanctions so that dealers’ simple paperwork violations do not result in license revocations. Finally, having a politically accountable BATFE Director, who is now subject to Senate confirmation, instead of a career bureaucrat should also help change BATFE’s priorities and make the agency more responsive. . . .

Labels: , ,


John Edwards Ad Effectively Smashes Hillary Over Inconsistencies.

Hillary Clinton is shown to be all over the map here.

Labels: ,


What if Hillary's Campaign Implodes?

Hillary has had a relatively easy race so far. The other Democrats have treated her very gingerly. It has almost been as if they were afraid to anger her or possibly even running for the VP nomination. The debates have also protected her from answering tough questions, at least until this past debate. The problem that the Democrats face is that it is too late for anyone new to really enter the race with the possible exception of Al Gore. I have always felt that the Democratic field has been pretty weak. O'Bama is not a strong candidate. His talks and answers to questions are extremely wordy and not very forceful. Edwards is probably too damaged to win the nomination. So what is left after that? Not much. Will Dems rally around Hillary because she is still the best candidate in the race? Will they quickly try to push her out and get Gore to run? Hillary's negatives were already at 49 percent. Her move now to seek protection in being a woman must be a real problem for many.

Labels: ,


Backlash by Women Because They Feel People have been Attacking Hillary?

Shades of Rick Lazio's campaign all over again? I guess that I thought that women think that Hillary was tougher than this.

The criticisms followed Penn’s assertion that Clinton was “unflappable.” He also said criticisms from Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) would backfire and that he was already “detecting some backlash,” particularly among female voters.

I am not sure that Obama or Edwards would have had a chance with these voters in the first place.

Labels: ,


One Vote Hillary Probably didn't Want to Win

At first I thought that Hillary having the most choosen mask for Halloween would be a plus, but given that her mask was primarily picked by Republican men, it seems a pretty safe bet that those wearing the mask are doing so because they really believe it to be scary. Giuliani probably shouldn't be too thrilled either, but it would be very informative if we were given the same type of breakdown in terms of who was wearing it.

Clinton was the choice of four in 10 men and one-third of women. While a predictable two-thirds of Republicans picked her, she also was the choice of 18 percent of Democrats. Among members of her own party, that made her second only to Giuliani as the scariest costume.

About one-third of independents, nearly half of whites and just over half of conservatives selected her.

Labels: , ,


Senator John Edwards asks for 2 Year Ban on all New Drug Ads

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says prescription drug companies should have to wait two years to begin advertising their new products to consumers. . . . .

Heck, why should customers know about a new drug for the first two years that it is out? If these new drugs are beneficial (presumably why the FDA approved them), what is the loss in poorer health that results from not letting people learn about these drugs? Many years ago there used to be bans on all sorts of advertising such as for optometrists. There have been studies that showed that when advertising was allowed the prices for that type of care went down substantially.

If ads are so misleading, why allow them to be advertised when they have been out for 2 years and one day?

Well, in some sense all this might not really matter very much since the price regulations that the Democrats want to impose on drugs will mean that very few new drugs will be being made.

Labels: ,


Giuliani Tries Reassuring Voters on Gun Control

LEBANON, N.H. — Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani is leaving the door open to allowing the blind and physically disabled to carry guns.

During a town hall meeting in northwestern New Hampshire Tuesday night, Giuliani told a former police officer blinded in the line of duty and concerned about the former New York City mayor's stance on guns, "You don't have to worry."

"You have a constitutional right, that is protected, to bear and carry arms. It is the Second Amendment," Giuliani told about 200 attendees in a high school gymnasium in Lebanon. "If someone disagrees with that, you have to get the Constitution changed."

He added that he believes in only three restrictions for those wishing to exercise their Second Amendment right — a previous criminal record, a history of mental instability and an age requirement. . . . .

Giuliani's answers are all over the map on guns as I discussed here. I have a hard time believing almost anything he wants to say on guns. One time he gives big qualifications, the next time he seems to believe that there are only three reasons for someone not being able to own a gun. If true, that would rule out most gun control.

Labels: , ,


Zogby Online Poll claims that 50 percent of Voters would never vote for Hillary Clinton

I guess that I am a little dubious of this type of poll, though Zogby claims that these surveys are reasonably accurate. However, one thing to take into account is that some candidates may have low numbers simply because they are not that well known. People won't say that they would never vote for someone whom they don't know much about. That said, Hillary's numbers seem to be going up, not down, and at 50 percent, they are dangerously high. My guess is that this will be a very close presidential race. If Hillary wins, she will do so with only around 50 to 53 percent of the vote.

The online survey of 9,718 likely voters nationwide showed that 50 percent said Clinton would never get their presidential vote. This is up from 46 percent who said they could never vote for Clinton in a Zogby International telephone survey conducted in early March. Older voters are most resistant to Clinton — 59 percent of those age 65 and older said they would never vote for the New York senator, but she is much more acceptable to younger voters: 42 percent of those age 18-29 said they would never vote for Clinton for president. . . . .

On the other side, Fred Thompson has the fewest number of people who say that they will not vote for him among major candidates from both parties.

Labels: , , ,


Hillary Clinton listened in on illegal tapes of telephone calls

Republicans are focusing on an allegation in a recent book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, which suggests Clinton listened to a secretly recorded conversation between political opponents.

In their book about Clinton’s rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at The New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent 30 years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: “Hillary’s defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.

“The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill,” Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. “Bill’s supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.”

Labels: ,


So should this be considered a campaign contribution?

This just goes to show how hopeless campaign finance regulations are. Moveon.org's credibility will be important in determining the impact of its ads during the campaign.

Internet search giant Google has rejected ads that are critical of far-left advocacy group MoveOn.org. MoveOn caused a national stir last month after The New York Times gave it preferential treatment for the infamous “General Betray Us” public message.

The banned ads were placed by the campaign of Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, for her re-election. The reason given for the ads' removal was that they violated Google’s copyright infringement policy. . . . .

While the Google people are obviously strong Democrats anyway, here is some additional information from John Gibson that makes this contribution to the Democrats even more interesting:

Now Gore and MoveOn are, if not joined at the hip, at least extremely simpatico. Gore also sits on the board of Google. Its $600 a share stock has made him so rich he could fund his own presidential campaign with one check.

Why do you think Google has denied Republican Collins ad space to fight back against MoveOn, which is trying to put her out of business?

Google says her ad against MoveOn violates some policy or other and they have to tell her no. Translation: It's Al Gore's Google in this situation and Al Gore is more interested in MoveOn getting its anti-Bush, anti-war message out there than helping a Republican fight the Soros MoveOn machine to hold onto to her Senate seat.

MoveOn has been a very, very Clinton-centric organization, of course. But do you think maybe, just maybe, MoveOn might be interested in the candidacy of the environmental saint Al Gore if she should stumble?. . . .

Labels: ,


Futures Market predicts Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Pretty depressing, Well at least a British court ruled earlier this week that Gore's movie can only be shown to British School Children if they have been told about 11 false statements in it.

Al Gore, the former US vice-president, on Thursday overtook Barack Obama in a closely watched futures betting market on the next Democratic nominee fuelled by speculation that he would pick up the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Although the Nobel committee never informs the winner in advance, online speculators drew energy from the fact that Mr Gore cancelled his attendance at a global warming event in San Francisco on Thursday night, citing an unspecified overseas event on global warming. . . . .

Nine of the Eleven errors that the British Court found with Gore's movie can be seen here:

Labels: , , , ,


Mark Levin Nails the unfair treatment of Fred Thompson

This "senior moment" and "Fred Thompson-is-lazy" stuff is really starting to irk. I remember hearing the same comments about Ronald Reagan in every campaign in which I participated — 1976 and 1980. And this tactic was especially used against him in 1984. I have spent some time with Thompson. He is intellectually curious and sharp. He is engaging and vigorous. Yes, he chooses his words carefully. He speaks in a southern accent. But the attacks on him appear to have a Northeastern-liberal-style feel to them, emanating largely from the NewYork-Washington, D.C axis. This is a man, after all, who worked sixteen hours a day in both television and radio. (By the way, have any of those who promote the "lazy" argument actually analyzed his campaign activities compared to the other candidates? If so, I've not seen any such thing.). . . . .

I have also seen and talked to Senator Thompson in person and the description of him as tired and being without energy is simply inaccurate.

Labels: ,


One reason why this presidential election counts so much

This question is made all the more urgent by the fact that on Jan. 20, 2009, six of the nine current justices will be over the age of 70--an age at which many people either retire or begin to wind down their affairs. There is thus a very real possibility that the next president could appoint as many as four justices in his first term alone. We may be getting ready for the biggest turnover in the membership of the Supreme Court since Richard Nixon's election in 1968 brought the Warren Court to an end.. . . .

It seems difficult to believe that John Paul Stevens won't retire within the next five years. He is already in his late 80s and one of the longest serving justices ever. Three replacements would be a likely outcome and thus a huge role in shaping the court for decades to come.



Clinton Campaign getting only a small amount of flak from having Sandy Berger as an advisor

One would think that there would be more of an outrage over Sandy Berger being brought on as an advisor to Hillary Clinton.

Fox News has a report on this, but I couldn't see anything on this on CNN, MSNBC, or the New York Times.

Sandy Berger, the former national security adviser to President Bill Clinton who was convicted after he stole and destroyed top secret documents, is now advising Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, FOX News confirms.

Labels: ,


Newt Gingrich's Potential Presidential Run is Victim of McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Regulations

Here is a discussion of how the Federal campaign finance laws have prevented Newt Gingrich from running for President. So much for campaign finance laws encouraging competition. My book Freedomnomics made similar points regarding the impact of campaign finance regulations.

Labels: , ,


More on Romney and guns

This is from someone who I am confident knows the facts here:

This isn't the first time we've attempted to deal with Mr. Romney on Second-Amendment issues. In 2001, the Utah Legislature passed a special bill designating the 2002 Winter Olympic venues as temporary secure areas, making it illegal to bring firearms into those venues during the Olympics. As with all secure areas designated by state law here, two requirements were attached. The first was a security perimeter around the entire venue, with metal detectors at all entrances. This, of course, was put in place at all Olympic venues. The second requirement was that gun-storage lockers be provided outside the security perimeter, where legally-carried self-defense weapons could be safely deposited.

When Mr. Romney took charge of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, we politely asked him whether lockers would be put in place as required by law. He curtly informed us that no lockers would be provided. The absolute disdain with which he treated us left a bad taste that still lingers in the gun-rights community in Utah.

Labels: , ,