Saturday, June 30, 2007

Columnist Mark Shields Fancies Himself A Political Strategist

But then again Monday Morning Clacker, a blogger, also fancies himself a political strategist.

Welcome to the Age of the Amateur.

Yesterday, on the Jim Lehrer NewsHour, Mark Shields was asked by Judy Woodruff about the importance of the '08 early primary states. Shields responded:

Nobody has ever been elected president of the United States who did not win the New Hampshire primary or, at the very worst, finished second. Only two have done that. And in Iowa, nobody has ever been nominated who finished less than third.

I think Iowa and New Hampshire are even more important now than they've been in the past. And if I were counseling any candidate, I'd say, "You win Iowa and New Hampshire, don't worry about the others, because the victory will follow you.

We completely agree with Shields.

You can't spell "momentum", "comeback" or "inevitability" without New Hampshire. It's the one "known" in this clulsterf*ck of a nomination process.

And when we say clusterf*ck, we mean clusterf*ck.

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has the details (his opinion anyway) of what January 29 - February 5 looks like, which is also known as that "crazy time that comes after NH and Iowa".


Friday, June 29, 2007

The World Is Changing, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da, Zip-A-Dee-Ay

Some of the descriptive labels for "Our Age" (as suggested by Jacques Barzun) - Age of Uncertainty, Age of Science, Age of Nihilism, Age of Massacres, Age of the Masses, Age of Globalism, Age of Dictatorships, Age of Design, Age of Defeat, Age of Communication, Age of the Common Man, Age of Cinema and Democracy, Age of the Child, Age of Anxiety, Age of Anger, Age of Absurd Expectations.

How many of these labels should this YouTube video be tagged with?

We're not in Kansas anymore.

Edwards Camp Moves Forward In New Hampshire

The Edwards camp sent out a press release this morning trumpeting the opening of 8 new campaign offices in New Hampshire (Berlin, Dover, Derry, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Nashua and Portsmouth) The campaign already has community offices in Concord and Manchester.

The campaign also announced the hiring of 11 new field staffers, which brings the total number of Edwards staffers in NH to 40.

Although "conventional wisdom" thinks we're nuts (probably for more than just one reason), we believe that the Democrat most likely to take down Hillary Clinton (if she can even be taken down) is John Edwards.

And yes, we are aware of Obama's very impressive 250,000.

And that Chris Dodd is running a great race so far (with not a lot of traction).

And don't get us started on the failed former Energy Secretary.

We like Edwards chances for two reasons.

First, his politics are a "big side of Democrat to go along with your serving of Democrat".

Which is they way to be in a Democratic primary fight.

Second, and almost more importantly, Edwards has been through this "microwave" before. In 2004.

Crib Note: Seasoned and hardened and vetted. At the Presidential level.

Which is a significant advantage over every other Democrat running with the exception of Hillary Clinton.

Microwave candidate v. Microwave candidate in the '08 Democratic Primary? Time will tell.

The Politico's Roger Simon Brings The (Smart) Snark, Per Usual

Roger Simon, the Politico's Chief Political Columnist, pens some of the smartest and Snarkiest commentary in the political universe.

In his latest column, Simon ranks the Democrats latest debate performance - to the 3rd decimal point.

Like we said, Snarky.

U.S. Senate Candidate Katrina Swett Wants $31 To Help "These People"

Katrina Swett's campaign is emailing around a fundraising letter in which Swett highlights a just released Suffolk University poll showing Senator John Sununu with a 31% approval rating.

Swett goes on to say:

Sununu's historically low poll numbers are stunning. But should we be surprised that his numbers are so low or should we be more shocked that they are so high? Who exactly are the 31% who think Sununu deserves to be re-elected? Do they know Sununu has walked lockstep with President Bush on the war in Iraq and Bush's prohibition on stem cell research? We can only guess that they have not heard that Sununu has impeded efforts to solve global warming and told New Hampshire voters to 'stop complaining about health care. There is no solution.'

We need to help these people. Lets help get the word out to them about Sununu's abysmal record. That is why Swett for Senate is asking for $31 contributions - a dollar for each percentage of voters who still think Sununu deserves his job.
Who knew "Sununu" was a sickness?

Bringing The Friday Funny (Again)

Slogan of the late 90's - "Let's light this candle!"

Slogan of our life - "Stewart can I see you in my office?"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fred Thompson Is In New Hampshire Tonight...

But GreenMountainPolitics1 won't cover him.

Not tonight. Not tomorrow. Not ever.

GreenMountainPolitics1 has covered (and will continue to cover) every declared Republican and Democratic candidate in this race.


But we aren't going to cover Thompson.

Because we've already said everything we need to say about Fred Thompson's candidacy.

So has George Will.

And yeah, we feel pretty righteous about our decision.

Because we think the GOP has lost its damn mind.

Which is, we think, pretty par for the course over the last 15 years.

Bush At 26% Approval Rating, Staff Tries To Get Him Speaking "Not From Behind The Podium"

What do you think it's like working in the White House these days?

Down is up. Up is down. Left is right. The Vice President claims he's not part of the Executive Branch. Etc.

The President might not be talking to the portraits. But his staff (whoever is left) sure as hell must be.

GQ's Robert Draper (a really nice guy we first ran into at a McCain event in Keene) has a interview up with recently departed White House Communications Czar Dan Bartlett.

It's worth a read.

Especially the part where Bartlett tries to dispel the "Bush lives in a bubble" narrative by highlighting the "informal group of advisers" Bartlett uses for his own "reality check".

A "informal group of advisers" who believe that Bush could really tackle his Administration's woes if only he would come out from behind that damn podium.

Up is down. Down is up. And left is right.

Nancy Merrill Jumps Into '08 Race For McCain While NH State Rep Bettencourt Gets Clobbered By A Piano

New Hampshire's committeewoman in the national Republican Party, Nancy Merrill, is stepping down from her GOP post and joining NH Team McCain as campaign co-chair.

Former Executive Councilor Peter Spaulding is McCain's other campaign co-chair.

It's a nice pick-up for McCain.

In other endorsement news, NH State Rep D.J. Bettencourt, a former McCain supporter now with Romney, has learned (the hard way) that it's best not to leave a email trail when you attempt to shake-down McCain's presidential campaign.

The AP's Phil Elliott breaks the story.

Jon Martin brings the SNARK - "drops a piano".

GreenMountainPolitics1 guesses that Bettencourt's public shake-down gone bad has probably poisoned his endorsement "value" for the next 600 NH election cycles.

Give or take a cycle.

Light Summer Reading

It's dynamite.

And thanks goes to Jon Martin for the recomendation. We had never even heard of the book before he told us about it (which goes to show that our education has some glaring holes).

But we still think Halperin's The Way To Win is tops. Even if only by a hair.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Huckabee & Capitol Offense Set To Rock, With A Twist

Mike Huckabee and Capitol Offense will be jamming on July 7th in Concord.

Get your tickets now.

Huck is probably the only candidate with a "Musicians For" group of supporters.

And he is asking people to vote on what songs Capitol Offense should play at the concert.

Noted: Smart, fun and easy grassroots play.

Given the current political environment might we suggest "Fortunate Son" by CCR.

A Consequence Of The Game Having Changed

There were a few folks who early on picked up on what Chris Dodd's campaign was doing with New Media (the guys over at Blue Hampshire most notably).

Today Dodd went on YouTube and spoke directly to the voters, bypassing (like a locomotive screaming through the night) all "traditional media filters".

Dodd's message (content) is between Dodd and the voters.

The way Dodd delivers his message is, we think, here to stay in a big way.

Game Changing?


Although we still support the troop surge. Even if Senator Lugar no longer does.

And we remind those who don't support the surge that there are only 3 options for Iraq - surge, stay the course or cut off funding for the war.

With President Bush in the White House for another 18 months it really is that simple.

Forget Snarky Commentary...

Polls, fundraising numbers and the looming news cycle for a moment.

And remember this classic. Happy Wednesday.

John Edwards - Coming Soon To A New Hampshire Town Near You

From the way it looks on the ground, it's fair to say that the top 3 Democratic candidates (Clinton, Edwards, Obama) all believe that the New Hampshire Primary is important and have been taking it seriously.

Noted: Dodd and the rest of the Democratic field seem to be taking New Hampshire seriously also.

Smart decision by everybody.

We believe that you can't spell "inevitability", "momentum" or "comeback" without New Hampshire.

It's (we believe) one of the very few "knowns" in this clusterf*ck of a nomination process.

So it came as no surprise to us when Mike Allen and Ben Smith wrote last week that John Edwards, who is trying to move past the 4 Hs (House, Hedge Fund, Haircut and Hillary), would be focusing even more of his campaign resources on New Hampshire.

Live Free Or Die, baby!

And yesterday Edwards went up on the air in New Hampshire with his first TV ad.

Today we're linking to Chris Cillizza's piece in the Washington Post about Edwards NH (post Iowa) strategy. It's pretty good.

All of this should be interesting background for Granite Staters who are going to be seeing a lot of John Edwards over the next few months.

Draft Shaheen Website Up And Running

The Draft Shaheen website is up and running.

Pretty basic stuff. But the important items are all there.

Including trying to squeeze a bit more mileage out of the GOP's 2002 phone jamming scandal.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Alright, We'll Bite And Give Ann Coulter Some (More) Press - She "Sucks"

Ben Smith wonders if Ann Coulter is good for anything other than raising money for Democrats.

We don't think so.

She sucks.

Ron Paul Returns To NH, Supporters Still Fired Up

With everything else going on we missed Ron Paul's visit to NH.

Cosmo over at New Hampshire Presidential Watch has the call.

McCain '00 Plus - "All In" in New Hampshire (And The Other Early Primary States)

We think that McCain campaign obituaries written by the Gang of 500 before February 5th of next year are premature.

And those obits are premature in the extreme if they are based on nothing more than early poll numbers and fundraising.

Johnny Mac didn't mail it in when he was locked in a box for the better part of six years. McCain didn't flinch when he stared down the GOP nut-cutters in 2000. So we don't see him folding up now just because some whipper-snapper Clacker declares him a "dead man walking".

Even if the situation turns into Clackers plural. Which it might when Team McCain releases 2Q fundraising numbers at the end of the month.

Noted: GreenMountainPolitics1 is reading and hearing the exact same things as every other Clacker. No more. No less.

And McCain's campaign does seem to have some problems. We'll admit that.

But the important thing to remember, we think, is that it's the campaign that has the problems. Not the candidate.

Which makes this a much simpler fix.

Yes, immigration hurts McCain in a Primary. Yes, the War in Iraq hurts McCain in a General. Yes, campaign finance reform and past fights with the GOP base hurts McCain in a Primary.


But that's McCain. And he's the candidate. And he's not going to change from doing what he thinks is right for nothing and for nobody.

Which is why we love him more than any candidate who has run for President in 30 years.

And McCain's Straight Talk is why we think he's the only GOP candidate that can be elected in 2008.

But Team McCain must remember that successful campaigns compliment the candidate. Not the other way around.

Which is why we think the Bush '04 re-elect campaign that the McCain camp has been running for the last several months has not been successful.

Too much national staff. Too much "establishment thinking". Too much wishing that the candidate is someone (Bush) he's not. Too much worrying about what the GOP big donors (lots of assholes, no snark) think about McCain. Too much of a 50-State Strategy before the Primary is even won.

It's just doesn't seem to be working.

And so we think that it's time for a change. And we think that change starts in a big way in New Hampshire.

Think of it as "McCain '00 Plus".

Which we like to think of as a 80-20 split between McCain 2000 (80%) and Bush '04 (20%).

In other words, let the candidate do his thing in the early primary states, torpedoes be damned (McCain 2000) while making sure that he has a good nuts and bolts operation to back him up (Bush '04).

In other words, forget the 100 person national staff. Forget courting Bushies who will never like you and only end up muddling your message. Forget a 50-State Strategy 7 months before the first Primary vote is case.

In other words, get into (move into!) the early primary states and kick some f*cking ass.

That's "McCain '00 Plus".

Noted: Yes, we fancy ourselves a blogger and a political strategist. Who doesn't?

But we think we're right.

And we're just saying.

Edwards Up In New Hampshire Markets

First-in-the-nation Primary defenders will find a willing listener in John Edwards.

Huckabee Talks Fundraising, Iowa Straw Poll

We love Mike Huckabee.

Love. Him.

So we were quite pleased to hear the former Arkansas Governor tell bloggers on a conference call this morning that his campaign's 2Q fundraising numbers will be "a figure that we will be very happy with. It will show progress and it will show momentum."

The Huck continued, "People donate to us out of conviction. We will have much better 2Q numbers than 1Q numbers. And we hope that 3Q numbers will be even better."

And then, unable to resist jabbing the national Gang of 500 a bit, "Our (2Q) numbers might not impress the national media. But we aren't trying to be elected by the national media."

Can we hear an Amen!

Huckabee also reiterated that his campaign would "stay in" the Ames straw poll.

Maybe he read our memo?

Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me Twice...

Maybe our Snarky headline about Rudy Giuliani's decision to appoint the 80-year old father of indicted South Carolina treasurer Thomas Ravenel to be his new campaign co-chairman in the early voting state is a bit much.

We have a rather large extended family. And should the sins of one family member mark the clean record of another family member?

Probably not. Usually.

But the Ravenel case strikes us as a bit different.

First, we're not talking about managing the family dry cleaning business in Cleveland. This is a white-hot Presidential race where pretty much everything (and everyone) is fair game. For better and worse.

Second, what ever happened to "taking a breather"? Tom Ravenel was indicted by a federal grand jury for cocaine possession with intent to distribute.

That's a big deal.

But now Tom's father, Arthur, is jumping into the high-profile Giuliani campaign post that his son just resigned.

Why would the Giuliani campaign want Arthur there?

And why would Arthur want to continue to allow a huge spotlight to shine, day in and day out, on the Ravenel family during this difficult time?

Talk about cannibalizing your young.

This does not strike us as a very good decision by either the Giuliani campaign or Arthur Ravenel.

We're just saying.

Monday, June 25, 2007


A very light day today.

First because so much of the political news cycle is currently being dominated by polls and 2Q money.


But also because we spent the past weekend on the water and have a hellish sunburn.

So we're passing the time by reading the Washington Post's 4-part series on Dick Cheney.

It's quite good. So long as you remember that everyone (EVERYONE!) who gives a quote in a Washington Post 4-part series has an agenda.

Including the reporters.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Simple Country Lawyer" Paul Hodes Hits The Blog Scene

Note: This post was created with the help of Kathy Radford, Kevin Bassett, Trevor Harz and Kristin Kemos at the Loeb School.

New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes came to the Loeb School this afternoon for a press conference with students. About 50 people crowded into the conference room to hear the Congressman speak, who arrived with one staff member.

Hodes, who was elected in 2006 when the Democrats took control of Congress, is the President of the House freshman class and is "still trying to meet all the Democrats in the House" 6 months after being elected.

The Congressman described himself to the students as a "simple country lawyer" who got elected to Congress.

Right before he began a 7 minute break-down of how new media and the blogosphere helped him get to Washington in the first place.

Farmers and bloggers. Living together in harmony.

While the students seemed mostly satisfied with Congressman Hodes "stock" answers to their questions on abortion, immigration and border control, there was a general sense in the room that "Hodes had a bit too much politician in him".

For a simple country lawyer.

Student Kevin Bassett, a 16 year old (almost 17), who statistically should be around on planet Earth a little longer than Congressman Hodes, wanted to hear a bit more about Hodes' plan to stop global warming.

Kathy Radford, who will be 65 in December (and is about to start her own photography blog), was surprised that bloggers got such a glowing description from Congressman Hodes and that bloggers were credited by Hodes with changing the political scene so dramatically in such a short amount of time.

Here's to us.

And here's to you.

The Clacker Actually Got Paid To Hold Forth? Stop Those Presses!

This morning we joined about 35 students at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester for a Student Media Workshop.

We were invited to lecture on the brave new world of blogging.

We know a little something about all that.

Also lecturing at the all day conference was NHPR's Brady Carlson (podcasting), attorney Greg Sullivan (1st Amendment), the Concord Monitor's Meg Heckman (newswriting), WMUR-TV's Andy Hershberger (broadcasting), Kevin Sperl (photography) and the Union Leader's Tom Lynch (layout design).

The AP's David Tirrell-Wysocki is the head of the Loeb School.

Built around the lectures is a Newsmaker interview with NH freshman Congressman Paul Hodes.

Which we will post later with the help of some students.

It's certainly "hands-on" around here.

But that's not even the best part (although the entire Loeb operation is pretty damn impressive).

The "best part" is that the Clacker actually got PAID to come before an audience and hold forth. Which we were not expecting (when we agreed to come and lecture we thought we were volunteering our time).

But now we find that we actually have the scratch to take our (lovely) girlfriend out to dinner.

Brave new world indeed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

You Know Your Ad Team Made The Right Call...

When Jim Lehrer's NewsHour airs your entire (entire!) 2008 campaign ad.

In June 2007.

As Lehrer did with Hillary Clinton's "Sopranos Ad" during today's weekly NewsHour segment, Shields and Brooks.

Note: David Brooks, a favorite of ours, was off. Rich Lowry filled in.

Crib Note: Both Shields and Lowry thought the Sopranos ad was very smart.

So do we.

Just LOOK At That Supportive Crowd!

Cindy has always been a popular with the veterans.

Even veterans who have pledged their allegiance to Team Romney.

Obama Lays Out Tough Plan To Take On Status Quo - Lobbyists Start Looking Around For "New Horse"

Obama came to Manchester this morning to lay out his plan to reform government.

Marc Ambinder has the story here.

Holly Ramer of the New Hampshire AP has the story here.

We know a thing or two about plans to reform government, and while Obama's plan isn't the end all and be all, it's pretty damn good.

It's a plan that Obama should continue to talk about.

And pick up votes for.

Jay Garrity Says "You Will Respect My Authority!"

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that Jay Garrity has left Team Romney.
Team Romney needs a timeout.

Because senior Romney campaign aid Jay Garrity now finds himself the target of not one but two investigations.


Noted: We don't normally call out campaign staffers by name on this blog. Although we do make exceptions. And when the campaign aid is the target of two investigations, we'll make an exception.

One investigation is being led by the New Hampshire Attorney General Office. And one investigation is being led by the Massachusetts State Police.

It might not be Watergate.

But it's still an investigation by the NH AG and the Massachusetts State Police.

And can anyone imagine if Mitt Romney actually got elected and little Jay Garrity found himself embedded deep in the Office of Homeland Security?

We'd really have to respect Garrity's authority then.

Even if it was nothing more than heavy breathing on the phone late at night.

Bringing The Friday Funny (Again)

About five foot three. One hundred and twelve pounds. Oval face. Glasses.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New Hampshire AG Officially Opens Romney Investigation - In Other News, Modesty "Still The Best Policy"

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has just announced that they are opening a formal investigation into Mitt Romney's traffic stop flap.

In other news, modesty is still the best policy.

Onwards and upwards.

Is The New Hampshire Attorney General About To Open A Romney Inquiry?

Noted: Again, this is one of those posts where we are not going to name names and we are going to post whispered rumors.

Take it. Or leave it.

It seems as though the story "Romney campaign aid pulls over a car carrying a private citizen (who also happens to be a NYT's reporter) on a New Hampshire public roadway and tells the private citizen that Romney's campaign has run the citizen's license plate" has got some legs.

Which is probably not great for Romney.


We did some calling around after news of the incident hit the MSM this morning. And there are some very unhappy NH Political Wise Men (and women).

To be fair, several of the unhappy political water carriers are publicly supporting campaigns other than Mitt Romney's.

But a few are not.

As near as we can tell, the two NH political constituencies who are really upset by the allegations are the law enforcement community and the legal community.

Which makes perfect sense.

Real cops don't like fake cops pulling over drivers. And lawyers/judges don't like it when citizens don't obey the law.

One publicly uncommitted Wise Man told us that he was hearing rumors that a group of "concerned citizens" was going to approach New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and ask her to "formally look into the matter".

Which also makes perfect sense because AG Ayotte (who we have never met) has a reputation as a no nonsense, effective executive who doesn't tolerate political BS.

Which would make her the perfect person to get to the bottom of this mess.

Time will certainly tell.

Rumors, "concerned citizens" and anonymous sources?

Like we said earlier - Take it or leave it.

The Rude Rudy Narrative Continues

Yes, GreenMountainPolitics1 plays favorites.

Yes, GreenMountainPolitics1 might sometimes be a bit too opinionated for its own good.

And yes, we're a Snarky son of a bitch.

But the fact remains that we landed in Manchester, New Hampshire last October. Of 2006.

And immediately started reporting on the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Of 2008.

And with very rare exception, we've been to more presidential campaign events in New Hampshire this cycle than any other political reporter, activist or blogger.

Which means that we've reported certain '08 "campaign narratives" months ahead of (mostly) everyone else.

Like the campaign narrative that Team Giuliani tends to rub people the wrong way, which we reported on back in January when Hiz Honor came to NH to give a speech.

Which the Dean of the Iowa press corps, David Yepsen, is now reporting from the Hawkeye state.

It seems that RUDEy and his gang of national rodeo clowns haven't learned much in 6 months.

And the narrative continues.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mitt-Flop Calls "The Other Guy" A Liar

We've met New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich twice. For a combined total of about 38 seconds.

He seems like a nice guy. And we certainly enjoy his reporting.

Speaking of Leibovich's reporting, Mark wrote a piece last week about Mitt Romney campaigning in New Hampshire that included the following graph:

He (Romney) travels with an entourage that includes two or three “operations” guys who serve as advance men and a security detail. (Between stops in New Hampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the former governor’s S.U.V. on a back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructed to “veer off” by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr. Romney’s car. “We ran your license plate,” he told the reporter, and explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney’s vehicle.)
Which, when we read what Leibovich reported, really twisted our banana hammocks.

And so we penned a little missive about the Romney staff's obnoxious, "gee I wish I was a cop because I have a really small penis" here.

And Eyeon08, whose bannana hammock was also bunched by the same episode, has their take here.

But Snarking aside, the one thing that we did not expect was that the Romney campaign would tell the AP that Leibovich was LYING about the episode.


And so the simple question to the Gang of 500 is who do you believe?


Or "the other guy"?

And when you do figure out that you believe "the other guy", how pissed are you going to be and what are you going to do about it?

We're just saying.

Obama Ponders - What Does "Free And Open To The Public" Mean?

BuckeyeStateBlog has a interesting post up today (cross-posted at Blue Hampshire) about how Team Obama shut-out a New Hampshire blogger who attempted to attend a Obama campaign event yesterday in Keene, New Hampshire simply because the blogger identified himself as a blogger to the campaign when he was signing in.

The Obama campaign had promoted the campaign event in Keene as "free and open to the public".

Free and open to the public?

Free and open to the public?

Free and open to the public?

Does saying it three times make it so?

Bloggers might not qualify as "press", but they sure as hell qualify as "the public".

We're just saying.

John Edwards Is Moving To New Hampshire In A Big Way

Mike Allen and Ben Smith have the story.

Smart move by John Edwards.

Because you can't spell "momentum" or "comeback" without New Hampshire (and Hillary knows you can't spell "inevitability" without New Hampshire either, which is why she almost lives here).

Noted: This goes double for the Republican ticket.

Noted 2: Yeah, we're pretty pumped about our front row seats to the circus.

We look forward to seeing more of Edwards on the (NH) Trail.

Will South Carolina's Budget Affect First-In-The-Nation?

Marc Ambinder has interesting news that South Carolina's 2008 state budget might very well impact New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation.

Or, at the very least, make Granite Staters scramble.

Like we said before - Clusterf*ck


Interesting. But not exactly game changing.

And it probably never will be.

The Fix has a pretty good conventional wisdom rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of a potential Bloomberg candidacy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nothing Says "I Like To Party" Like Working For Giuliani In South Carolina

New Hampshire Primary lore has it that back in 1999 McCain's campaign would fire-up Eric Clapton's Cocaine on the jukebox whenever they bumped into Bush staffers out and about in Manchester.

Clapton might be coming back into style in New Hampshire once again.

This time as the theme song for Rudy Giuliani's staff.

Via South Carolina.

The AP is reporting that Thomas Ravenel, Rudy Giuliani's South Carolina state campaign chairman, "Likes to party. And he likes to party hard!"

In fact, Ravenel parties so hard that he's been indicted by a federal grand jury for "cocaine distribution".

"Distribution"? That doesn't sound good.

First Bernard Kerik and now this?

Who else is Giuliani putting his trust in?

Hillary Clinton Does The Sopranos

This sort of stuff either works or it doesn't.

And beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and the media boys billing $500/hour).

But we think this is smart play for Hillary. Really, really smart.

(Kudos to Marc Ambinder's blog for introducing us to Daily

Uploaded by hotternews

Oh He's A Handsome Robot!

Mitt's got a new ad up in Iowa and New Hampshire. What a handsome little robot.

Beep, toot, beep, beep, toooot!

Bush Loses One Of His Very Best - Rob Portman Resigns As Budget Director

We wish him the all the best.

And we thank him for teaching us that Congressmen from Ohio really do appreciate 3 page memos from their interns regarding Puerto Rico's statehood.

Newt Cuts Immigration Ad

Is Newt going to put his beloved Party through a Gingrich Presidential Flame-Out?

We wonder if (fledgling) Team Gingrich '08 employees the same pollsters, ad wizards and spin doctors who promised the GOP rank-and-file "huge gains" on the morning of the 1998 midterm elections.

But didn't the Democrats pick-up 5 House seats in '98?


We guess you can always eat lunch in Washington again.

GOP, Late To The Party, Starts Double Fisting

The GOP is shocked (SHOCKED!) to find out that President Bush might not be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So, like any good reveler late to a party, the GOP is piling on to try to catch up with everyone else.

The Politico's Jon Martin and David Kuhn have the story.

We would point out however (and the good Lord knows that defending Bush makes us want to throw-up a little bit) -

If not Bush's immigration plan, then what?

If not Bush's surge in Iraq, then what?

Two very fair questions. And questions that nobody, let alone the rest of the GOP, has answered yet.

We're just saying.

The Tip Of The Spear

Some of us do battle with our minds.

Some of us do battle with our minds and our bodies.

Is it easy to tell who is who?

Fred Thompson Hops Across The Pond

GreenMountainPolitics1 has read The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin. We even required that our post-college house mates watch the PBS companion series with us (much to their yowling).

So we "get" the Thatcher revolution. And, what Margaret Thatcher did for the global economy was a very big deal.

Of course that was almost 30 years ago. In a time and in a place that bears zero (ZERO!) resemblance to the world as it is now.

So we're not quite sure what Fred Thompson hopes to meaningfully accomplish burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel to have lunch and a photo-op in a foreign country with Margaret Thatcher.

Less government regulation? We get it!

But it's 2007. Not 1980.

When will the Republican Party realize that the world has changed?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mitt Romney's Security (Operations) Staff

DC's George Washington Memorial Parkway is an excellent place to "race" a civilian car against the black sedans traveling back and forth between the Pentagon and Langley.

Just because it's a hell of a lot of fun.

And while we have the utmost respect for law enforcement at all levels (no Snark), at the end of the day it is important to remember that law enforcement works for us - the taxpayer.

"Private security personnel" working inside the continental United States also have our respect. It's a (sometimes) dangerous world out there and (some) people need a bit more protection than their local police department.

We understand.

What we don't understand are "private security personnel" who, while protecting an individual who holds no tittle or rank other than "candidate", pull over a car that is traveling on a public roadway and tell the (U.S. citizen) driver of the stopped car "No one is permitted to follow Romney's vehicle".

This actually happened in New Hampshire. As related by Mark Leibovich of The New York Times:

Mr. Romney does not like to digress. He talks fast, walks fast through a crowd and moves fast from one question to another. He is loath to get off point or behind schedule. There is a definite “master of the universe” flavor to his campaign.

He travels with an entourage that includes two or three “operations” guys who serve as advance men and a security detail. (Between stops in New Hampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the former governor’s S.U.V. on a back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructed to “veer off” by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr. Romney’s car. “We ran your license plate,” he told the reporter, and explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney’s vehicle.

That, dear friends, is bullsh*t.

What sort of privilege does candidate Mitt Romney think he enjoys?

And while a license plate check is probably technically legal, we cannot imagine that New Hampshire's law enforcement community is going to be thrilled at the idea of Romney's private staff making unauthorized security stops on NH's public roadways.

The taxpayers aren't going to be thrilled either.

We're just saying.

Cindy McCain - Life Is Just A Tire Swing

Cindy McCain is in the latest Harper's Bazaar.

She looks great.

But we wonder, does she listen to Jimmy Buffett?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rumsfeld, Abu Ghraid & Hersh - And The Hits Keep On Coming

Seymour Hersh has a (new) story up in The New Yorker about even more fallout surrounding the Abu Ghraid prison scandal.

It's ugly.

But so is everything else having to do with this scandal.

And the hits keep coming.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hillary Clinton Goes To Dartmouth

How do you spell "inevitability"?

When you are 8 months away from any meaningful '08 primary vote you spell it "M-o-r-o-n-i-c C-o-m-m-e-n-t-a-r-y".

But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

And, talking yesterday to a savvy NH Democrat Wise Man who is publicly supporting another candidate over Clinton, we were struck when he said, "The only reason my guy is still in this is because of the underground civil war (his words, not ours) going on in the Party over Clinton's chances in a general election."

General election electability is a fair critique of Team Clinton. Not that it seems to be slowing her down much in the New Hampshire Primary.

We were at Dartmouth College today where Clinton pledged she would lift bans on stem cell research when she was President.

About 500 other people showed up as well. On a Friday afternoon. On a beautiful day.

Team Clinton was directing folks to the "overflow area" a full 45 minutes before the Senator even took the stage. But not until Clinton's field staffers had sucked up all the necessary contact information.

How do you spell "inevitable" again?

Front-Runners Beware?

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

Marv Albert calls the John Belushi action.

Chocolate doughnuts. And cigarettes.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The "Fast-Track Campaign"

What impact will the front-loaded 2008 primary calendar have on the various presidential candidates?

Beats the hell out of us.

If anyone tells you that they "know" what the impact will be (or even "sorta know") they are lying.

The only thing that we claim to "know" is that 1. the whole process is a clusterf*ck and 2. New Hampshire is more important than ever.

And into this great unknown universe wades the Washington Post with a new project tittled "Fast-Track Campaign".

You gotta like Chris Cillizza and Paul Kane's moxie.

And, you gotta love the interactive primary map.

Which is why we are linking to the site.

But even the great Washington Post needs to be very careful that it doesn't find itself using the expression "we know" in regards to 2008.

Because they don't.

And we know that we're just saying.

Is The Draft Shaheen Movement Further Along Than People Think?

Note: This post is based on whispered rumors from people we will not identify.

Note #2: "And you're just a Blog!" our very good friends in the MSM would yell in (half joking we hope) disgust.

Note #3: "And we're just a Blog!" we would yell right back with a big grin on our face.

We don't have any problem printing a rumor we pick up on the New Hampshire Trail, if it comes from a "credible" (our call) source and it isn't some form of character assassination.

And, in the last couple of days, we have heard from "credible" sources that Kathy Sullivan's Draft Shaheen movement is moving along nicely.

Which isn't exactly shocking because A. It's Kathy Sullivan and B. Jeanne Shaheen makes such an attractive candidate.

Full disclosure: We have never met either lady. But we do have a lot of respect for Mrs. Shaheen, who runs a tight ship down in Cambridge.

But what is interesting, we think, is that we've heard that the movement is already identifying various New Hampshire presidential campaign staffers to come work on Shaheen's bid after the NH Primary.

Which makes perfect sense.

Most Presidential campaigns have been on the ground in New Hampshire building their organizations for the last 5 months. So, in theory, if Jeanne Shaheen announces the day after the NH Primary she would already have in place a field organization that has been fully functioning for over a year.

Not too shabby.

Of course, we aren't totally convinced that Mrs. Shaheen actually ends up leaving her great job in Cambridge. But it looks like the political machinery will be there if she wants too.

At What Point Does Someone Actually Throw A Molotov Cocktail?

Real Clear Politics poll averages as of 6.14.07 -

President Bush Approval Rating: 32% Approve, 63.2% Disapprove = Spread of 31.2%

Incredibly ugly. But don't worry Congress, it gets worse for you.

Congress Approval Rating: 25% Approve, 62.5% Disapprove = Spread of 37%

But we have some "good" news.

Congress and the President have finally agreed on an agenda that the American people care about - sorting out exactly what Harriet Miers was up to during the AG firings!

Because even though the AGs served at the pleasure of the President, and even though no one has mentioned criminal wrongdoing, and even though this overreaching Congressional fishing expedition won't put food on the tables of the hungry, American kids through (better) schools or help us begin to deal with meaningful entitlement reform, both the Congress and the President are itching for this fight to "fire up their respective bases".


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why The Ames Straw Poll Is Mike Huckabee's Dream Come True

GreenMountainPolitics1 has pretty much bought into the conventional "wisdom" that says that the Ames straw poll will be a strategic wash for the top 3 GOP candidates.

One caveat. If Romney ends up losing the straw poll it will be a good size blow to his campaign. But since McCain and Giuliani aren't even competing we just can't see how Romney might possibly lose.

Which must keep the Romneyans up at night. Truly.

But for the "2nd tier" GOP candidates, particularly Mike Huckabee, the Ames straw poll has shaped up to be a political long shot's dream come true.

No snark.

On the stump, Governor Huckabee had frequently mentioned that competing in the Ames straw poll was the first "big" test of his candidacy.

Which is not all that surprising considering the fact that evangelicals make up a good sized chunk of Iowa caucus goers. And the straw poll was far enough "down the road" to give the relatively unknown candidate time to get out in Iowa and built a organization/reputation.

But now comes a report that Huck is "reconsidering" his decision to "play" in Ames, although he says that as of today he is still very much "in".

Huckabee is concerned that since Giuliani and McCain have dropped out of the Ames straw poll the Gang of 500 no longer takes the contest seriously.

To which we say, Dear Governor Huckabee - The Gang of 500 splits 14 different ways on what is a more attractive color, red or yellow. Listening to us is a very dangerous proposition. Many of us go to work still wearing our pajamas.

Yes, it is true that Team McCain and Team Giuliani (and probably Team Thompson) will downplay the significance of the Ames straw poll. And, they will have a relatively strong argument.

Which will be counter-balanced (to some degree) by Team Romney who will be jumping up and down screaming that the Ames straw poll is the most important event humankind has ever witnessed.

So the top 3 candidates won't take any advantage away from Ames. That narrative is already (more or less) written. And, most importantly to Huckabee, that narrative is already stale.

Which means that the Gang of 500 (who will absolutely be in Ames for the poll, all wisecracks aside) will be looking (begging, pleading, snarling!) for a fresh Ames straw poll narrative to blast across the slow August news cycle.

Might we suggest "Huckabee Places Strong Second In Ames Straw Poll!"

Which is entirely possible in the new Straw Poll environment. Which is a headline that never (ever, ever!) would have been possible for Huckabee if McCain and Giuliani were still competing against Romney in Ames.

And it is a headline (and narrative) that will light a fire under Huck's candidacy unlike anything he has seen to date.

You think they gave you lemons Mr. Huckabee. But they really gave you lemonade.

The 1st tier is calling.

New Hampshire Primary More Important Than Florida, Ending Global Poverty

Ok, we made the "ending global poverty" part up.

But you get the point.

Conventional "wisdom" is all over the map about which 2008 state primary contests will matter and why.

But the smartest of the smart money knows that as goes the New Hampshire political narrative so goes the national political narrative.

Bank it.

We'll say it again - Bank It

A decisive win in the New Hampshire Primary doesn't guarantee a candidate their Party's nomination, but it's 14 steps in the right direction.

While every other candidate takes 3 steps back.

And in this presidential race a 17 step head start ain't chopped liver. Especially if that head start comes in 2007.

Right Ho-Ho?

The NH Primary Defenders know what we're talking about.

So Much Bush

(grabbed from the Washington Post)

Steven Spielberg Endorses Hillary Clinton

The Clinton campaign is announcing that filmmaker Steven Spielberg is endorsing Hillary.

We don't normally report endorsements. Especially "Hollywood" endorsements.

But its Spielberg.

And GreenMountainPolitics1 (along with 100 million other people) owes Spielberg a debt of gratitude for hours and hours of happy summer memories.

"I hate snakes."

Filed Under "We Don't Know If This Makes Us Laugh Or Cry"

Today we added Fred Thompson's exploratory website to our candidate Blogroll.

Fred made it official last night on Leno.


May the good Lord have mercy on our country.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

George Will: Of Tulips And Fred Thompson

It turns out that conservative commentator George Will is as critical of Fred Thompson's candidacy as GreenMountainPolitics1 is.

We just happened to pass judgment on Thompson about a month earlier than George.

Of course, Will is a better writer. By a hair.

Giuliani In New Hampshire - Why Me?

UPDATE: Our camera jammed during the event. Chris at was nice enough to step in and provide us with one of his (great) shots from today.
First the "good" news for New Hampshire Team Giuliani - Rudy's "major policy address" at the Old Bedford Town Hall this morning drew 200+ people, several sticks and lots of Clackers.

GreenMountainPolitics1 included.

The rumor around the campfire was that NH Team Giuliani "threw" the event together with less than 4 days of advance warning.

Nice hustle. If the rumor is true.

Now for the "bad" news - "major policy address" our ass.

Rudy's "Twelve Commitments" is nothing more than a laundry list of vague, poll tested generalities that might get the GOP base fired up. If it was 1999.

Like Commitment #5 - "I will impose accountability on Washington."

Or Commitment #9 - "I will reform the legal system and appoint strict constructionist judges."

And Commitment #12 - "I will expand America's involvement in the global economy and strengthen our reputation around the world."

What is this? A House race in Mississippi?

Simple is as simple does.

But the most noteworthy item, in our view, was when Rudy opened his speech talking about how "leaders" have "a vision for the future".

He even told a nice story about a sign that he kept on his desk as Mayor which stated "I'm Responsible".

But then, before he started his Power Point presentation, he told the crowd that the order of importance of 11 of his 12 Commitments (only #1, stay on offense, was exempt) might change over the next several months as he got out and talked to voters about "what was important to them".

In other words - Elect me. I'm a leader. I have a vision. Unless you have a better vision and then we'll talk.

Visionary? Not really.

More like "who am I and why am I here?"