Wednesday, October 31, 2007
During last night's Democratic debate Dennis Kucinich repeated his claim that he has seen a UFO.
And maybe he has.
Or maybe Kucinich was just channeling his former House colleague from Ohio, James Traficant.
What is it about Ohio Congressmen and outer space?
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
First Senator Joe Biden said this:
To which Giuliani communications monkey Katie Levinson responded with this:
“As the pundits work to figure out who won the debate tonight, it’s pretty clear Rudy Giuliani was the real winner. It is increasingly apparent Rudy is the one the Democrats are most worried about running against in the general election.
“Senator Biden’s comments were of particular interest. The good Senator is quite correct that there are many differences between Rudy and him. For starters, Rudy rarely reads prepared speeches and when he does he isn’t prone to ripping off the text from others. And, Senator Biden certainly falls in to the bucket of those on the stage tonight who have never had executive experience and have never run anything. Wait, I take that back, Senator Biden has never run anything but his mouth.
“Such a desperate attack from Senator Biden is to be expected considering I - Katie Levinson - have a better chance of becoming President than he does.”
Talk about ego.
"I - Katie Levinson - blah, blah, blah."
Katie dear, Joe Biden is a United States Senator.
You're a "nothin".
Best remember that.
33 Minutes Into Tonight's Democratic Debate We Have To Ask - Why Isn't Joe Biden Taking Off? (UPDATED)
Yeah, we know, there are several easy answers to our question.
But (pure) candidate Joe Biden makes a lot of sense.
A hell of a lot of sense.
(UPDATED) Biden just got done filleting Rudy's qualifications to be President.
And we are (eagerly) awaiting the YouTube clip.
But we need to say, right now, "Bravo Joe Biden. Bravo!"
(UPDATED) Oh, we got the YouTube clip. See above.
It turns out that Rudy Giuliani can walk and chew gum at the same time.
The WaPo is reporting that Hiz Honor is not only running for President, but he is also still working as a paid lobbyist on behalf of corporate clients.
People sometimes ask us, "Why the dislike of Mayor Giuliani?"
And we respond, "First, Rudy won't disclose to the American public what clients he's lobbied for in the past. Candidates for President of the United States shouldn't get that 'pass'. Second, we don't think a candidate who has made millions of dollars in private practice as a lobbyist is the best person to lead the Republican Party forward in 2008."
Noted: We have absolutely nothing what-so-ever against lobbyists in general. Just in this particular example.
And we get the joke, Rudy was never a "registered" lobbyist.
But since Rudy was never a registered lobbyist, the Gang of 500 might want to ask what the following companies paid non-lobbyist Rudy Giuliani all that money for (per the WaPo article):
Â¿ A confessed drug smuggler who hired Giuliani to help ensure that his company could do security consulting business with the federal government in the post-Sept. 11 period.
Â¿ The horse-racing industry, which hired Giuliani's firm to review the security of its betting systems after a wagering scandal shook public confidence.
Â¿ BioOne, a company that can do biological cleanups, such as its cleaning of a Florida media building after the 2001 anthrax attacks.
Â¿ Energy giant Entergy, which hired Giuliani's firm to help tighten its security.
And to get the Gang of 500 rolling, here's the Webster definition of "lobbying":
- Inflected Form(s):
- lob·bied; lob·by·ing
- 1837intransitive verb : to conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation transitive verb 1 : to promote (as a project) or secure the passage of (as legislation) by influencing public officials 2 : to attempt to influence or sway (as a public official) toward a desired action— lob·by·er noun
Monday, October 29, 2007
We need to be upfront with our readers - we were not with Fred Thompson when he filed his papers at the Secretary of State's office in New Hampshire today.
Let us repeat that - we were not there. So we will not pass this off as firsthand reporting.
But we just got an email from someone who was there. So we consider our story to be based on firsthand secondhand.
Or something like that.
According to our source, when Thompson finished the NH photo-op he climbed into a campaign SUV and sped off.
Smack into the back of a 2nd - PARKED - campaign SUV.
Which our source considered "a perfect metaphor for his campaign".
In Michigan today Mitt Romney sent out a press release trumpeting the endorsement of two former "Michigan Brownback Campaign leaders".
Noted: Everybody want to be a conservative. Except when they're running against Teddy Kennedy in Massachusetts.
But it turns out that Romney's endorsements had never been Brownback Campaign leaders.
In fact, according to the Politico's Jon Martin, it turns out that the endorsements weren't even close to Brownback Campaign leaders and that Romney had EXAGGERATED.
Shocking. Absolutely shocking.
The UL is reporting that Senator Gregg will endorse Mitt Romney today.
We reported on the likelihood of Gregg's Romney announcement back in August.
And, to be fair, everyone who's anyone in NH political circuits (and many who aren't) have been expecting this endorsement announcement for months.
It's probably a good political pick-up for Mitt.
And Senator Gregg has a dynamite (no snark) bill on entitlement reform cooking in the Senate, which buys him some serious love from us.
But, to be fair (we like being fair), George W. Bush probably thought that getting Senator Gregg's endorsement in 2000 was a big deal.
Turned out, not so much.
The Red Sox are World Champions!
So put your hands together.
And yeah, Freddie Mercury was a little odd.
But so what?
Because that boy could rock. And so could his friends.
Happy Monday everyone.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The ladies over at Blogette.com are holding a contest to see who has the best political tattoo.
And they are asking their readership to send in submissions (Meghan's own tattoo is displayed above).
It seems that Ms. McCain has a feisty, 'go-your-own-way' streak just like her father.
Which makes her blog a whole lot of fun to read.
Which is exactly the point.
Eat your hearts out boys.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Mark Halperin reports that tomorrow's New York Times will have a big Obama write-up.
And excerpts of Adam Nagourney's interview with Obama are available now.
It's well worth the read.
If for no other reason than it looks like Team Obama is finally going to try and do their part to make the Democratic Primary a little more interesting.
(UPDATED) Tomorrow's NYT's article is now up. And front-paged on Drudge.
Question: Is this article already "dated" when the dead tree version hits newsstands in about 6 hours?
Answer: Probably not. But only because the article notes such a significant '08 political development.
Finally, Halperin labels the affair "Obambi No More"
Now THAT's funny!
Friday, October 26, 2007
"Senator Clinton Is Apparently Still Living In The 'Age Of Aquarius' Rather Than In An Age Of Fiscal Responsibility"
McCain communications director Jill 'Nails' Hazelbaker isn't afraid to bring the snark.
Especially when her boss has a new TV ad up in NH.
For those of you who don't know, this is the Age of Aquarius:
Noted: We've waited a long time for this photo.
The two best candidates running in the GOP Primary appeared on stage in Iowa last night.
To sort out the nation's problems.
Without the verbal diarrhea interference of Mitt-Flop, America's Lobbyist and Lazy-Boy.
Joy to the world!
Watch the webcast here.
In what may very well be his last start at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform, Curt Schilling went 5.1 innings, gave up 4 hits, 2 walks and a run while striking out 4.
He also got the win and helped put the Red Sox up 2-0 in the World Series.
He's not the best pitcher to ever play the game, but he's fairly close.
Besides, Curt knows The Way To Win.
And his heart, and bloody sock, are as Big Time as it comes.
Thank you Curt!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Presidential campaigns ain't beanbag.
But the process should be "fairly knowable" if you know how to see 3 or 4 moves down the three-dimensional chess board.
And you're a legitimate game player. Or, at the very least, have a few on retainer.
Which is why we are so surprised that Team Obama was so surprised (and disheartened) by Team Clinton's release of Clinton's 3Q fundraising numbers on October 2nd.
It ain't rocket science.
October 2nd was the the fifth anniversary of Obama's opposition of the Iraq War, which highlights (in bold flashing neon) one of the very few issues that Clinton is really vulnerable on (at least in a Democratic Primary).
How did Team Obama not see Clinton's release coming on that very morning? How did they not better prepare the day's communication plan?
And how does David Broder, the Dean of the Gang of 500, now have a big column up about how bummed out Team Obama is about being outmaneuvered by Hillary on that day?
Who's running the show over there in Obama World? Children afloat in the big scary ocean for the very first time?
Team Clinton is good. But on October 2nd they didn't do anything particularly special.
Team Obama better understand that. And make the necessary changes.
Or this thing is over.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
We should make something clear right off the bat.
We only understand about 60% of the technical jargon people like Ken Thorpe use to describe problems and solutions in the health care policy arena.
That's why he's the policy expert. And we're the political blogger.
But we do know politics. And we know that presidential candidates on the trail in New Hampshire are asked more questions about health care than any other issue save the War in Iraq.
So when we were invited by the Partnership To Fight Chronic Disease to a blog outreach dinner with Bill and Hillary Clinton's former health care adviser, we jumped at the invitation.
Listening to smart people talk about their area of expertise is (usually) a lot of fun. And the restaurant setting, Smith & Wollensky, has a 28 ounce T-bone steak that's just to die for. Literally.
But GreenMountainPolitics1 wasn't invited to the dinner so we could blog about the food.
Instead, we were there to listen to Thorpe, now a Emory University professor of health policy, outline his strategy to combat soaring health care costs. Health care costs that have increased the rolls of the uninsured and contributed to voter anxiety on the campaign trail back in New Hampshire.
Thorpe's strategy is (fairly) simple: Form broad coalitions within the health care industry to better prevent and manage chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure). Which will, Thorpe claims, dramatically reduce overall health care costs, improve the level of care and free-up political capital to insure the uninsured.
Which is what Thorpe claims has happened in Vermont.
But real reform doesn't happen overnight. And boy we are fat and unhealthy.
However, several '08 presidential candidates seem to understand the chronic disease angle.
For example, Mike Huckabee talks at great length about the need for better prevention strategies and has written a book on the subject (on the stump the former Southern fat boy says again and again, "we are digging our graves with a knife and a fork).
Noted: We can't see why combating chronic disease shouldn't be a natural Republican issue if the choice is between more government regulation, price controls or prevention. It's a no-brainer.
Not that the Democrats don't get it.
This week 5 Democratic presidential health care advisers went back and forth about whose boss has the better health care plan. And all of the plans put a heavy emphasis on preventing and treating chronic disease.
Noted: Who's against education and electronic record keeping? No one.
Which brings us all the way back to our dinner with Mr. Thorpe.
Because as near as we can tell (or as near as a 60% understanding gets us) there is a real hope that his ideas will help save our (in shambles) health care system. And, after spending two hours with the man, we have hope too.
Now someone just needs to tell the voters in New Hampshire.
Is that there is no even semi-legitimate court of public opinion in the world where tactics like this are effective.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
But watch the Gang of 500 go absolutely bananas over this line: "You've already sold the war. Now I'm asking you to help me sell the solution."
Activist Hollywood v. The MSM
Monday, October 22, 2007
The Concord Monitor's Mike Pride thinks that voters should get to know Mike Huckabee (on 10/22/07).
Monday Morning Clacker does too (back on 5/7/07).
Problems with fiscal conservatives and campaign fundraising aside, anyone that doesn't believe Huck is a 1st tier candidate is a moron.
(UPDATED) A longtime reader just emailed us: "Hey moron, aren't you going to tell everyone about how Huckabee places 2nd in Iowa behind Mitt Romney? I've listened to you squeal about that for months."
Oh our lovely readership.
But she's right. Squealed we have (we're still working on our TV voice).
So we'll squeal some more.
Mike Huckabee comes in 2nd in the Iowa Caucus.
Cillizza nails it:
Jindal ran on a reform platform and against the entrenched Democratic political establishment, a message that resounded in a state full of angry survivors of the 2005 storms. This just shows how different the state-level dynamic is: It's hard to imagine a Republican candidate running an effective reform campaign for federal office simply because the GOP brand has been badly tarnished by voters' increased dissatisfaction with President Bush and the war in Iraq, not to mention ethics scandals involving several GOP members of Congress.
Red Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia "sorts it all out" with Big Poppi after Pedroia's blast in the 7th inning.
The 24 year old went 3-5 with 1 HR and 5 RBIs. In the biggest game (so far) of his life.
Not too shabby.
On to Colorado.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Debate? What debate?
Tonight is all about the K.
As in Dice-K.
Put up or shut-up.
Friday, October 19, 2007
You gotta love this town (even when it sometimes makes you want to scream).
This afternoon we were invited to Howard Kurtz's book party at Charlie Palmer Steak by an actual invited guest.
Translation: We were not on the original guest list.
But we went anyway. How could we not?
And managed to walk in just as Mr. Kurtz was giving his opening remarks to about 20 invited guests.
And one not-invited Clacker.
That's when we started our defensive stammering, "Oh, you all work at the Washington Post/Time Magazine/CNN? Well we run a political blog up in New Hampshire with a circulation of about 1000 'hits' on a good day. Take that!"
No, we're just kidding.
Folks could not have been more gracious.
We ate, we gabbed, we helped (maybe) set a little CW in the process.
Noted: Team Thompson, we didn't do you guys any favors. Trust us.
And we got a copy of Howard's new book, Reality Show, which the author was kind enough to sign for us.
So thank you to the young lady who took us, thank you to Mr. Kurtz (we've already started the book) and thank you to those who bought our lunch.
We had a great time.
We don't care if your skin is white, black, red, purple, green or yellow.
And we never have.
And when it comes to the so-called "Jena Six" we keep our mouth shut because we are hazy on the facts of the case.
The facts of the case.
But we do know enough to know that 6 kids jumped 1 kid and beat him badly enough to put him in the hospital.
That fact has never been in dispute.
And a court of law will ultimately determine what that all means.
Not that it matters to BET television.
The television channel brought two of the six bullies to their Hip-Hop award show last night and allowed the two to present an award to Kayne West on stage.
The host of the award show introduced the two bullies this way:
"By no means are we condoning a six-on-one beat-down," Williams said during his introduction of the teens, one of whom is still facing attempted murder charges in connection with the attack on white student Justin Barker. "... But the injustice perpetrated on these young men is straight criminal."Whatever Williams, you schmuck.
Who are these BET executives?
And where is the outcry from our (multi-colored) communities?
Last night, in a must-win situation, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett went 8 innings, scattered 5 hits, 1 walk and 1 run while striking out 11 for the win.
Striking out 11.
There has never been a better potential honorary NH Campaign Chairman (for either Party) in the history of the world.
Now who's got his agent's cell phone number?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Honestly, the first-in-the-nation Primary is going to be in December.
Noted: This is only shocking to people who haven't been paying attention or those who aren't on the ground in the Granite State.
Honestly, we're not even going to begin to speculate what this all means for New Hampshire post-2008.
Noted: Not yet anyway.
Phil Elliott has the "responsible" MSM story on where everything stands right now.
And yes, the Primary calendar is a clusterf*ck.
But it has been for the last 12 months.
But the guy sees the GOP field clearly and boy he can write it.
From Klein's latest column:
I am not suggesting that John McCain is a plausible front runner for the Republican nomination. Republicans tend not to like people like McCain: too wild, too willing to work with Senators like Ted Kennedy (gasp!) and Russ Feingold (gulp!) on legislation. Then again, what are the options? There is no plausible front runner. Each of the Republicans is flawed and flailing. The despair and hilarity as the various candidates try to squeeze into the conservative base's straitjacket, like the stepsisters struggling to fit into Cinderella's slipper, have been the gaudiest political show of 2007.
To review the bidding on the leading candidates: Rudy Giuliani, the national front runner in the polls, supports abortion rights, supported gun control, supported Democrat Mario Cuomo for Governor, moved in with a gay couple when his second marriage fell apart—and, pause for breath, well, isn't that enough? Mitt Romney, the front runner in Iowa and New Hampshire, was a liberal when he ran for the Senate from Massachusetts and a moderate when he ran for Governor. He has disavowed his former positions on abortion, gay rights—and now seems even to disavow the groundbreaking state health-care plan he passed. Asked in a recent debate if he'd seek congressional authorization to take out Iran's nuclear facilities, he responded, "Well, you sit down with your attorneys..." For a Republican, that's something like a Democrat saying, "Well, maybe we should overturn Roe v. Wade and turn abortion over to the states." Also, he is a Mormon, which many religious conservatives consider a cult. Fred Thompson seems to be performing a quarter-hearted presidential-campaign drop-by, living proof that not all actors can play charming. He's another divorc�, and was once, among other things, a lobbyist for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.
Thompson is not playing in New Hampshire.
Of course, Fred Thompson is probably just still holding out for Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta's endorsement before he decides to come back to NH.
Not that our very good Mayor would even consider that.
Noted: Thompson... Last Friday... Scheduling "conflict" our cute little bottom.
Team Thompson... Rodeo Clowns...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Politico's Mike Allen has a piece up on the "Fall Offensive" planned by House Republicans to combat the dire outlook of next year's elections.
It's a offensive offensive all right.
As we understand it, Team Boehner has a 3-pronged strategy.
Because the graph in Allen's story that's really telling is:
As a third part of the strategy, Republicans will unveil an agenda after January 2008 that Boehner has described as “innovative, dynamic solutions to the challenges Americans face every day. However, the GOP leader has yet to spell out exactly what those solutions are, and the promised agenda is already months late in being formulated.Translation: Come back later. We still have to talk to our pollsters because we're so out-of-touch with what Americans need/want that we don't have a clue what our message is yet.
So let's review the bidding so far.
The Democrats have 1. We ain't George Bush (still extremely effective for '08) 2. Give us the Congress and the White House and we'll give you health care and 3. Give us the Congress and the White House and we'll 'district targeted message'.
And so far the Republicans have 1. We only have 1,324 years of combined incumbency in our leadership while the Democrats have 1,462 years of combined incumbency in their leadership! 2. Uh and 3. Um.
Contract With America it's not.
2008 is going to be a bloodbath for the GOP. Again.
Which is all the better to re-build the Party out of.
And real game players are already looking towards 2010.
Audioslave, a group pulled together from Seattle and southern California, performs.
Seattle. Southern California. Cuba.
Both Team Thompson and Team Colbert are quarterbacked by a television actor and both campaigns are jokes.
Of course, one joke is a hell of a lot funnier than the other.
You be the judge.
Colbert does his pre-announcement on the Daily Show:
And the real thing on his show:
(h/t to Real Clear Politics for giving us the video formatting idea for this post)
This footage was taken at McCain's town hall in Amherst, New Hampshire last Friday.
The guy on the mic is our friend (and One Campaign staffer) Matt Bartlett. Matt was given the mic after the Senator recognized him in the crowd.
We understand this as a symbiotic relationship where everybody wins.
Maybe the other candidates running for office should consider hearting the One Campaign as much as McCain?
The Houston Chronicle has all the details.
First, it's nice to see that Giuliani's connection with the Texas law firm Bracewell & Patterson continues to pay off (and pay off and pay off).
Second, here is a dirty Texas secret for the beltway press corps - when it comes to political water carrying in Texas, the Governor don't carry sh*t.
Perry holds a weak executive office. Very weak.
The real political power in Texas is the Lt Governor (who is also elected statewide) and the Speaker of the Texas House (who is elected by his peers).
Then you have the Land Commissioner, The Railroad Commissioner, a handful of House and Senate committee chairmen, the guy who shines shoes on 6th Street, the taco vendor on 4th and then maybe the Governor.
We know, we know, back in 1999 Team Bush had everyone believing that then Texas Governor George W. Bush was "running the whole show" down in Texas.
Sure he wasn't.
W didn't have the constitutional power to run anything in Austin.
The guy who was really running the show was Lt Governor (and Democrat) Bob Bullock.
Bush and Bullock got along because Bush wanted to be President and Bullock was happy to take everything else.
A match made in heaven.
Which brings us back to Rick Perry and his endorsement of Rudy Giuliani.
Which doesn't mean much of anything.
But if Rudy was able to get that taco vendor on 4th...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"Defending a woman's right to be smart, beautiful and Republican"
Oh! And Republican!
Honestly, there are so many places to tee off on this that our head is spinning.
God help the Thompson campaign if the owner is a FOJ.
Because this has got to be a joke, right?
"Baby butt paste"
We met Danny Diaz a couple of times on the campaign trail when he still worked for John McCain.
We like him. And we were always impressed by the job that he (and Brian Jones and Matt David) did communicating the Arizona Senator's message.
So we were not surprised to learn that Diaz is the new RNC Communications Director.
And yes, we're quite sure that $ is willing to bring what Ambinder refers to as the "kitchen plumbing".
Which is, as Ambinder further points out, a good thing for the RNC's communication shop.
Now, about the GOP's actual '08 message...
Yup, this is a "holier-than-thou" piece.
But we know we have the experience to pull it off.
And after spending 24 hours combing through most of the presidential campaigns' FEC reports we need to take a shower.
Because several campaigns have a lot of what they think they want, and almost nothing of what they should know that they need.
It's sad really.
And makes you wonder who's minding the store.
We're just saying.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Let's not make the Governor's quick stop something more than it is.
But let's not make it less than it is either.
And Kevin Madden, you really don't want a piece of this action.
Not in New Hampshire. Not with Governor Lynch.
Of course, it's a little late to walk the horse back now.
We wonder if any enterprising young campaign staffer (not on the Romney team of course) has cross-checked this press release against Romney's NH organization.
Does the Concord Monitor smell follow-up?
GreenMountainPolitics1 interviewed Mark Halperin by email last week on the eve of his new book tour.
We would like to thank Mark for his time and for being one of the first 500 Pound Political Gorillas to take this blog seriously (way back in January '07).
We wish our friend well with his new book (we'll most certainly be buying a copy).
And, as always, our 10 & 1/2 Interview is run in its entirety and without commentary.
GMP1: Earlier this year you left ABC News and joined Time Magazine as an editor-at-large and senior political analyst. What are your day-to-day responsibilities for the magazine?
MH: I’m writing for the magazine (I have a piece in the current issue with an overview of the candidates.).GMP1: In 2006 you co-authored The Way To Win: Taking the White House in 2008. What is the most important lesson (trade secret) that a rising political operative (or candidate) should take from your book?
I’m writing for Time.com (This week we are launching The Page, which will become many a Monday Morning Clacker fans’ homepage, I hope. You can find it at http://thepage.time.com – and it is the ultimate site to know 24/7 “what’s going on?” in the presidential race).
And I work with TIME on other political projects. I also continue to appear on TV and radio, including in my continuing role as a political analyst for ABC News.
MH: There are a lot of lessons in there – “trade secrets” as you rightly point out we call them – but I think the most important is “never lose control of your public image.” It seems obvious and simple, but we lay out HOW Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did it in winning four straight elections, and how their opponents failed.GMP1: You have just completed a new book The Undecided Voter’s Guide to the Next President: Who the Candidates Are, Where They Come From, and How You Can Choose, which goes on sale on October 16. Tell us a little about the book, why you wrote it and what you hope readers will take from it.
MH: The Way to Win is about who makes the best CANDIDATE. This book is about what I think is a more important question: who would make the best PRESIDENT. I used to think there was a pretty heavy overlap between what makes the best candidate and what makes the best president, but I’m not so sure any more.GMP1: Ok, so who did you find would make the best President? And, if we assume that no other candidate is going to jump into the 2008 race, is it a ominous sign for the eventual winner that so many people are undecided on his (or her) candidacy at this point?
As I travel around the country, I am meeting an extraordinary number of undecided voters. The new book has chapters on all the candidates, exploring their biographies, their records, their positions, and their quirks. My hope is that under one literary roof, people who want to make a smart choice will buy the book and be able to compare the candidates side by side.
There isn’t a lot of time left to pick, and a lot of the information that will come at voters in the next three months will be about campaign tactics and strategy, and not about, again, who would be the best president.
MH: (That seems like two questions to me, putting the whole premise in doubt, but ok.) I found that if each voter looks at the candidates from different perspectives (as the book does), it is possible to make the best decision.GMP1: Give us a snapshot of where you think the 2008 presidential race is in October of ’07.
It isn’t my place to actually decide for others – although I am sure that some readers will suggest I have tipped my hand. It is not an ominous sign that there are still so many undecideds – as long as voters buy the book and start to pay attention right now – or, at least, before the start of the World Series.
MH: On the Republican side, I think there are four candidates with a greater than 20% chance of being the nominee, which is totally unprecedented and, thus, defies analysis.GMP1: What political reality is true today that if someone had told you a year ago would be true you would not believe him or her?
On the Democratic side, the puzzle of how to take down the formidable frontrunner keeps returning to four letters: I-o-w-a.
How’s that for snapshotty?
MH: That Rudy Giuliani would be 95% in control of his public image.GMP1: User generated content (Blogs, podcasting, digital video, wikis etc) is fundamentally altering the way that political campaigns operate, true or false? And why?
MH: “Semi-fundamentally,” because the old rules still apply to more than 85% of campaign business. But the change is inexorable.GMP1: Outside of GreenMountainPolitics1 (which we know you check several times an hour) what 4 non-MSM political Blogs do you read? And why?
MH: I love all my children equally.GMP1: Snarky, inside baseball question: Klein, Allen or Todd first in the morning?
MH: In the spirit of The Page: in whatever order they publish.GMP1: If you weren’t writing about politics what would you be doing?
MH: Living in Tokyo.GMP1: Finally, would you like to say something completely inflammatory to guarantee that this interview takes a ride on the Freak Show conveyor belt and ends up on Drudge?
MH: Would telling a story about Steve Merrill and the breadbasket at Richard’s Bistro get me onto Drudge?
How about the URL of the YouTube video of Scott Spradling and me at a marathon karaoke session in Boston not too long ago?
If not, I guess the answer is, “no.”
Sunday, October 14, 2007
All we can say is that working for a dead tree magazine does have its perks.
Like a bitching expense account.
Which rents you a bitching ride to power around after John McCain on the New Hampshire campaign trail for a day.
And a spot to park that beast in the NH Audubon Society parking lot (compact only!).
Good thing the driver is anonymous.
Oh, sorry, we meant Anonymous.
All in good snark.
Mike Huckabee was in Manchester yesterday at the "Global Warming and Solutions Conference".
Good for him (we'll have more on the conference later).
During the Governor's speech, Huckabee's cell phone rang.
And, per Brian Lawson, the Governor stopped his speech, answered the call and said, "No, the mayor is not here."
We love Huck. LOVE him.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Ron Paul is up on the radio in New Hampshire.
We have no idea when he went up, how long he will be up or even if this is news at all.
However, in the last 24 hours we have heard the same Ron Paul radio commercial 5 times. And we don't listen to much radio.
The ad's theme: taxes, government spending, health care and Paul's career as an OB/GYN. It is a campaign ad as Ron Paul voices the disclaimer at the end.
So, can Paul put together a run in New Hampshire?
He might. He just might.
And to the doubters we have one number for you - five million.
Friday, October 12, 2007
We split 14 different ways on Al Gore.
Noted: Just for the record, we don't think that Gore runs for President. He knows too well the old adage: "First they turn you into a monster and then they call you one".
But today is Al's day.
And rightfully so.
GOP internet expert David All is a sharp cookie.
And so are several of the other new media operatives over at techpresident.com
It's a new world out there and All and company are riding the wave of the future.
USA Today quoted David in a recent Ron Paul piece:
Ron Paul is no laughing matter. He's tapping into a side of the Republican Party that's never had its issues addressed," said David All, a GOP strategist and Internet expert. "And he's doing it by running a truly Web 2.0 campaign."It's a good quote.
And the Web 2.0 revolution allows candidates the opportunity to tap untapped markets.
Which is a good thing. And exciting.
But remember, if a candidate has no message then even the fanciest and most advanced communication strategy is going to be flat. As a pancake.
Ron Paul is successful because his message is terrific (if it's your cup of tea). And a little off the wall.
Which in turn gives his Web 2.0 communication strategy the opportunity to shine. And, having been given the opportunity, Paul's online strategy has been good.
But the message, and the candidate, came first.
Rightroot operatives dedicated to re-building the Party should remember this moving forward.
So the White House pool report quoted President Bush after a WH economic team availability trumpeting a shrinking budget deficit.
Which is like the captain of the Titanic saying, "But anyway, we got a really bitching orchestra rocking downstairs!"
Because the only economic game that matters is meaningful entitlement reform.
Senator Gregg knows the score.
So does David Walker.
Lil Bush, maybe not so much.
Brian "Cosmo" Lawson of New Hampshire Presidential Watch is one of our favorite people on the NH campaign trail. He also runs one of the better blog sites out there.
Beth LaMontagne of Campaigns & Elections Magazine has some fresh details about Cosmo.
And his new gray Ford Escape.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We're starting to hear it everywhere on the Trail.
And we're fairly certain we know who it started with.
And it wasn't Will Ferrell. Not this time.
Ah, when The Funny goes viral...
McCainBlogette.com: "Musings on pop culture and the campaign trail".
Hmm, that idea doesn't have to work.
But Meghan McCain (and her friends) make it work.
Especially when you consider that any material that Meghan has to work with comes from the 2008 presidential campaign trail (it's not that much of a laugh riot out there folks) and that anything she writes reflects upon her father.
We think the blog is pretty fun. And the pictures will be appreciated by political junkies for a "peek behind the curtain". Even if the "peek" is rather McCain heavy.
So lighten up Wonkette.
You're no Ana Marie and you never will be.
But you're not totally stupid.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Obama is dead on with this. As are most of the Democrats.
Which is why Obama is up in New Hampshire with this ad.
But where, oh where, are the Republicans on this issue?
National security? That's NOT a Republican issue. Is it?
Andrew Cline, our friend at the Union Leader, pointed out that we were mistaken when we called The Band "southern rock".
Drew was right. We were wrong.
So we apologise.
And offer up this "real" southern rock gem.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Let's set aside the fact that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty visited New Hampshire yesterday on behalf of Senator John McCain.
Noted: The Mitt Romney supporter in our picture was certainly able to set his feelings aside.
Everyone knows where we stand on McCain's candidacy. And, as Governor Pawlenty is the Senator's national campaign co-chair, everyone should be able to guess where Mr. Pawlenty stands as well.
So this post is not about John McCain. Shocking, we know.
This post is about Governor Pawlenty.
And his terrific "Road-Map Out Of The GOP Message Wilderness" stump speech (our words not his) that he delivered in Fairlee, Vermont last night to New Hampshire and Vermont GOP activists.
Noted: Fairlee is a long way from Manchester, New Hampshire. And while we would love to include snippets of the 4 hour conversation we had with Governor Pawlenty traveling to and from last night's event, off the record means off the record. Even for bloggers.
So back to Pawlenty's (public) stump speech.
The Governor's speech started with a few self-depreciating jokes. There is nothing wrong with warming a crowd up with a little humor. And Pawlenty tells good jokes well.
Like a lot of politicians.
But then the Governor moved into the actual meat of his speech. And he stopped sounding like "a lot of politicians".
He began by talking about the massive economic, cultural and technological changes currently sweeping across the globe. He told the audience that "massive change" is both "a little bit scary" and "exciting" at the same time.
Then he told the audience that Americans in general, and the Republican Party in particular, needs to "hold on to what makes us great" while at the same time being flexible enough to "take advantage of new opportunities".
"So what's something that makes us great?" Governor Pawlenty asked the Republican crowd. "We are the Party of fiscal discipline!" he answered himself.
The Governor then proceeded to sort out his 55 vetoes as Governor of Minnesota, including his vetoes of most of Minnesota's major omnibus bills.
Heads started bobbing up and down in the room.
"But the Republican Party needs to have a broader vision than just being accountants for the Democrats," Governor Pawlenty explained.
Our heart fluttered. More than a little bit.
The good Governor then launched into a 20 minute discussion on education reform, health care reform and energy reform.
Our favorite quote, on the need for energy reform, "70% of our oil comes from foreign sources and it hooks us to people and places that we shouldn't be hooked to. It is a national security imperative that we move our country away from oil. The public is way ahead of the politicians on this issue."
By God! A Republican who is clearly unwilling to cede the energy issue to the Democrats? Incredible!
Noted: The AP has a good Pawlenty interview on this subject.
Heads are really bobbing up and down in the room now. And remember, these are Vermont/NH GOP activists.
And so far not a peep - not one peep - has come from Governor Pawlenty about the War In Iraq or the troop surge (when he talked about the need for energy reform he specifically cited Venezuela, Russia and Saudi Arabia).
Now finished with the issue portion of his stump speech, Governor Pawlenty turned to the 2008 election and his support for Senator John McCain who Pawlenty says is "ready to lead from day one".
Which is where the subject of Iraq and the troop surge finally appears, 30 minutes into his stump speech. But only briefly. In a - you know John McCain, you know his experience, you know he will do what needs to be done in Iraq, you trust him, case closed - sort of way.
And, when you're backing a candidate who has the military experience that John McCain has, you get to make that sort of argument.
Which allows you to focus more time on other issues that voters still really care about (health care, energy, fiscal discipline, education etc).
No question that America's fight against radical Islamic fundamentalism is important. But so are these other issues. Issues that the GOP can use to build and expand their Party in 2008.
Governor Pawlenty seems to understand this.
And the Republican Party should watch the good Governor closely and learn a thing or two about updating (creating?) their broader message for 2008. And beyond.
We're just saying.
Monday, October 08, 2007
The "Thompson As Punchline" death rattle.
Hat tip Saturday Night Live.
Every president since Richard Nixon has spoken to the nation about how our oil addiction is jeopardizing our national security. We are funding both sides in the war on terror and supporting some of the most despotic,volatile regimes in the world. We are held hostage to the spot oil market – forced to watch our fortunes riseNope.
and fall with the changing price of every barrel. And we are transferring a growing portion of our national wealth to oil-producing regimes, adding to our trade deficit and enriching countries with economic and national security interests adverse to our own. And we know that our oil dependency is jeopardizing our planet as well as releasing toxic pollutants that harm local communities.
It's taken from Barack Obama's new energy plan.
Politically, Obama's energy plan unites the far right (cut Hugo Chavez off at the knees!) with the far left (move America off of fossil fuels entirely!). And everyone in-between.
Including swing voters.
Solid policy. Solid politics.
Sounds like a winner to us.
What doesn't the GOP understand about energy?
Sunday, October 07, 2007
We got a couple of phone calls regarding the picture we posted of Hillary and Bill Clinton dancing in their bathing suits.
A friendly caller told us, "Please, in the name of everything holy, take that picture down."
We can't do that. Because on the Internet once you're up, you're up.
But we can take the sting out. With laughter.
Can anyone tell us what NH campaign office this advertisement represents?
"Like a lawn chair."
Friday, October 05, 2007
So argues the delightful Peggy Noonan, expanding on the Bush-Bush-Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton(?) critique making the rounds.
It's a smart, bi-partisan and powerful critique. And it will look terrific in a 30 second campaign ad.
Which makes this particular critique a pretty good size problem for Team Hillary.