Saturday, September 29, 2007

McCain Is Back In New Hampshire, But We Still Don't Work For The One Campaign

John McCain was back in New Hampshire yesterday for several events.

We attended the Maureen Barrows house party in Exeter and the American Legion town hall in Epping. Both events drew sizable, enthusiastic crowds.

The UL has their write-up here. Holly Ramer at the AP has a write-up here.

Not that anyone particularly cares, but we wore our "One Campaign" black t-shirt to yesterday's events. We believe in what the One Campaign is trying to do and we like to give them a little free advertising by wearing their t-shirt and white bracelet on the Trail.

Noted: The One Campaign is NOT the Bono fan club. We've been warned.

Anyway, in between yesterday's McCain house party and American Legion town hall we actually bumped into the good Senator in the lobby of the Exeter Inn. Imagine that.

And when we saw Mr. Straight Talk in the lobby we walked right over to him, stuck out our hand and said, "Senator, good to see you again."

To which he replied, "Great to see you, great to see you." And then, pointing at our One Campaign t-shirt said, "That's a great organization, really good! I see you guys everywhere. Keep up the good work!"

And then he was gone. Before we could get off even one blog-tastic question.

So we have two questions.

First, can Team One Campaign count our encounter with Senator McCain as a "official" intercept?

And second, do we get paid for something like that?

Friday, September 28, 2007

AL East Champions (and driving the entire NH weekend news cycle)!

But We Thought He Only Fancied Himself A Kingmaker?

Gingrich is ONCE AGAIN letting his ego write checks that his popularity/intellect can't cash.

Which is how the former Speaker finds himself "flirting" with a '08 presidential run.

The Politico's Mike Allen has the story.

Look, we get it, Fred Thompson ain't happening.

And that's too bad.


But how can anyone (and we mean anyone) in the GOP support a nominee who gives Hillary Clinton's negatives a good run for the money?

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

It's a Dartmouth College kind of week.

The sound is lousy, but we work with what the good Lord gives us.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Wyoming GOP Wins Us A Beer

The primary calendar is still very much in play.

Because Wyoming is still screwing with Bill Gardner's world. Hard.

A problem for Gardner that we wrote about all the way back in March.

But when we posted our Wyoming story we were promptly told "tsk-tsk" by a young, New Hampshire based political reporter with impeccable sources.

"Wyoming? Jesus Christ! It will be a cold day in hell when a 'major' Republican candidate sets foot in Wyoming," our friend said.

Or something like that.

So we bet our friend a beer.

And waited. For hell to freeze over.

Which it now has.

And it's a serious problem for NH's first-in-the-nation defenders.

Well Done MTV/MySpace/John Edwards

The WaPo's Chris Cillizza chats with fellow moderator and MTV V-J SuChin Pak before the MTV/MySpace candidate forum this afternoon on the University of New Hampshire campus.

Noted: We don't normally "shoot" press, but MTV told us that we would be unable to take pictures of John Edwards while the forum was going on. So...

Edwards is the first '08 candidate to participate in the hour-long forum, which mixes audience questions with questions from the (far) larger MySpace online community.

All in real time. Live streamed on the web. Taped to play at 7pm EST tonight on MTV.

The debate format worked well. "Hip" debate staging aside.

And the audience questions were, for the most part, excellent. And unfiltered.

There might be hope for the next generation after all.

But only if the next generation realizes that they have to get their butts into the voting booth on election day "en masse" before campaign (political) folks will truly take their concerns seriously.

Because online chatter and hype doesn't count. Only the voting booth does.

Jeez, What's A Blog Have To Do To Get A Little Respect Around Here?

Team McCain is trying a new fundraising pitch.

By "blurring out" our face. Along with the faces of the NYT, Esquire Magazine and U.S. News.

And we thought McCain loved the media?

Chris Fitzgerald Of Takes Much Better Pictures Than We Do

Chris took this photo last night on the Dartmouth Green.

The Dartmouth Debate (UPDATED)

Last night's debate at Dartmouth was our 4th Presidential debate of the 2008 cycle.

And that's plenty.

So our debate write-up this morning, in "true" blogger fashion, is going to be nothing more than links to "other people's stories" (the picture is ours, we couldn't resist a shot of Tucker smirking down on all in the press file room).

Of course, those "other peoples stories" are the work of the WaPo's Dan Balz and Time's Mark Halperin.

Just because we are burnt out on debates doesn't mean that we're stupid.


(Updated) An early bird reader (get a cup of coffee this morning?) points out that we should at least have linked to some "local" coverage of the debate.

The reader is right. Local is best (usually).

So we're going to go with the write-up of two sharp young ladies. Who are very local.

Beth LaMontagne of NH's Campaigns and Elections and Sarah Liebowitz of the Concord Monitor.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Note To Budding Clackers, Double-Check Debate Start Times

11 months on the New Hampshire Trail and it's all coming together.

And running together.

We're at Dartmouth. For the Democrat Debate.

And we're 2 hours and 6 minutes early.

We thought the debate started at 7pm EST. It actually starts at 9pm EST.


It's a cruel, cruel world.

Happy 30th Birthday Baby! I Love You!

What's the point of having your own blog if you can't say happy birthday to the ones that you love?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Or Perhaps New Hampshire Campaigns Just Don't Like Being Shaken Down?

This letter just hit our email box (click on the picture to make it larger).

It was delivered by snail mail to every GOP Presidential NH campaign office except for Paul, Thompson and Giuliani's.

Manchester GOP Chairman Jerry "Machine Gun" Thibodeau is pissy because most Presidential campaigns passed on paying $500 bucks to set up a booth at a recent Manchester GOP event where exactly 0% of the attendees were "undecided".

And who can blame the campaigns?

Well, Jerry Thibodeau is.

While claiming that he had "550 attendees".

When everyone knows that he really had less than 100.

With 0% undecided.

Rudy Giuliani Seems Pretty Confident, For A Man In 2nd Place

Two up-front disclaimers.

First, we don't much like polls. Especially '08 polls taken before the Iowa Caucus. Too much voodoo magic.

Second, the dates of the primary calendar are still fluid.

That said...

It seems to us that a lot of folks (particularly inside-the-beltway types) are beginning to talk about Rudy Giuliani as the "inevitable" or "likely" or "presumptive" Republican nominee.

"Look at Rudy's national poll numbers!" Yes-Men with cell phones slobber all over themselves in Manchester's eating and drinking establishments.

And, the Yes-Men hacks are right, Rudy is leading in most national GOP polls.

But so what?

Because Mitt Romney is leading in Iowa (RCP Average +16), New Hampshire (RCP Average +4) and Michigan (RCP Average +7).

And because Mitt Romney is leading in the 3 primary states likely to go first in 2008, it is our humble opinion that Mitt Romney is currently the GOP front-runner. Without peer.

If Team Romney wins Iowa (which they should), New Hampshire (only McCain can beat them there) and Michigan (they loved Mitt's dad), Mitt Romney is going to take out his checkbook and write himself a $100 million dollar check.

And then Team Romney is going to go up "absolutely everywhere".

And no Romney GOP opponent will survive that hurricane of earned and paid media.

And by the time Team Giuliani's "February 5th Strategy" actually starts, it will be over.

All but the crying.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rock & Roll Monday

His nickname is "The Boss".

And everyone takes the nickname seriously. Everyone.

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


A sealed deal.

On to the playoffs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's The Hypocrisy, Stupid

What a difference 13 years makes.

Or should we say what a difference a different election makes?

Sigh, and we thought that "When Republicans act like Democrats, America loses".

I guess we've lost.

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

Ali G - "International relations ain't just about having a Bangladeshi cousin."

Jacques Barzun - "When futility and the absurd are seen as normal then the culture is decadent."

Clacker - "Happy Friday!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Michelle Malkin - Fear Mongering Is My Business!

Oh boy!

It's back! Malkin's "SHAMNESTY WATCH" is back!

And this time she's going after the U.S. Senate's consideration of the DREAM Act.

Noted: Get those kids who want to go to college or join the military! Get theeeeeeeeeeeem! We'll lash them to Ted Kennedy and send them all south of the border! Yeeeeeee-haaaaw!


For a more sophisticated "take" on the GOP and immigration we suggest Michael Gerson's recent piece in the Washington Post.

No snark.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Fool's Name And A Fool's Face Are Often Seen In A Public Place (UPDATED)

Oh Rudy.

How pathetic.

What ever happened to walk softly and carry a big stick?

Maybe it's not that big a stick?

(UPDATED) A night owl reader points out that Jon Martin brought the Ron Burgandy snark before we did.

And, the reader is right. So, hat tip to Jon.

Noted: Curses! And we thought we were so original!

Although in fairness to us, we didn't see Jon's work before we posted.

Well Done Senator Gregg!

A Congressman finally does something that we can get excited about.

No snark.

The Union Leader has a huge above the fold article on Gregg/Conrad sponsored legislation that would create a bipartisan task force to meaningfully address government entitlement spending.

Noted: Hat tip to Jordy Yagrer, an intern with the Boston University Washington News Service who wrote the article.

The "teeth" of the Gregg/Conrad legislation - The bipartisan task force (made up of 7 House Members and 7 Senators and chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury) submits "long term policy recommendations" to the Congress in December of 2008, which would then have just 5 legislative days to accept or reject the entitlement reform proposals without change.

We look forward to watching the Congress kick and scream its way through that vote.

The best part of the Gregg/Conrad bill? The legislation has the support of GAO head (and our hero) David Walker.

Which means that it has the support of us.

And we'll be watching its progress very closely.

Blog This!

The New York Observer's Michael Calderone has a piece up on how campaigns are using blogs to "frame messages and release information".

They are? Heavens to Betsy!

All snarking aside, the piece is fairly good and worth a skim.

If for no other reason than the WaPo's Dan Balz seems to bemoan (just the slightest bit) the way the world has changed.

Traditional Is As Traditional Did?

We still can't get over the difference between this

and this

Yet again Mitt Romney is full of sh*t.

And yes Kevin Madden, we understand that you will argue that Mitt's radio spot is talking about activist judges, not bashing a constituency that your boss once courted.

Spin and dance cutie pie, spin and dance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thompson Doesn't Know, But Neither Does Scotty

The AP's Phill Elliott has the Thompson story.

And Matt Damon has the Scotty story.

The Most Important News Of The Day In New Hampshire

Bar none.

Monday, September 17, 2007

All That Pork Has Made John Murtha Delusional

It's no secret that we're disgusted with the state of the Republican Party right now.

And the consequences of the Bush/Cheney/DeLay/Hastert/Abramoff years will take several cycles to fix.

Noted: It might help if the GOP developed a 21st century plan (clean energy, proactive national security, real government and entitlement reform) instead of still trying to rely on their late 20th century plan (dirty energy, reactive national security, lip service government and entitlement reform).

But as pissy as we are at the Republican monkeys who have been minding the store in Washington over the last 10 years, we're almost as pissy at the Democrats.

And so is the country.

Because it seems, to humble old us, that with few exceptions the Democrats don't have a 21st century plan either.

Noted: Kicking the crap out of George Bush and company doesn't count after 2008. Furthermore, kicking the crap out of a lame duck President and his minority party isn't leadership, it's politics.

And while we agree that "politics" will most likely get the Democrats over the finish line in '08, we think it will be just barely.

So when House Appropriations Defense subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-PA) says that Democrats will pick-up "40 to 50 seats" in next year's election, we simply laugh.

And ask the good Representative which 2006 campaign promises his party - now the majority party - made and have kept from the last election?

We can't think of many. Not many at all.

And we cannot believe that "politics" trumps failed leadership to the tune of 40-50 seats, even for the Democrats in '08.

However we do believe that Chairman Porker's quick return to business as usual has gone to his head.

Rudy, Pleased As Punch Over New MoveOn Ad Attacking Him, Releases Companion Ad In NH

Don't get us wrong, Rudy is vulnerable on the Iraq Study Group issue.

Just not from In a Republican Primary.

Jon Martin has the details.

Here is the ad:

And here is Giuliani's companion ad highlighting the military experience Rudy draws upon when attacking Hillary Clinton.



Hey, Every Once In Awhile A "Georgetown Cocktail Party Analysis" Is Correct

Alan Greenspan writes in his new book that, "the Iraq War is largely about oil."

Which gave Drudge his headline.

And forced the White House to fire back a (bullsh*t) denial.

This is news?

Daniel Yergin must wonder why more so-called "DC insiders" haven't read his book.

Sigh, and Swamp City residents used to be so well read.


Oh Mitt, we had no idea.

Hat tip to ABC News for digging the (very real) flier out.

Of course, we're for gay marriage because we're for marriage.

Not that our opinion will matter one whit to likely GOP Primary voters down south.

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows?

The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll has old Fred Thompson doing particularly well among conservative, older men.

If the polling is true (and we bet that it is) it's not such good news for Mitt, the conservative placeholder's, chances in a Republican Primary.

Which screws with our head.

Because the one candidate that GreenMountainPolitics1 finds more obnoxious and unbelievable than Mitt Romney is Fred Thompson.

We. Just. Can't. Stand. Him. Our entire philosophical and political core revolts (is revolted) at the idea of a Arthur Branch Presidency.

And the enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? Well, in this case, probably not.

But we'll continue to beat Thompson like a drum anyhow.

And when we read something like Julie Bosman's Sunday NYT article about Fred on the campaign trail we start to grin. Particularly because of this line:

Next week, his (Thompson) schedule has no public events at all, limiting his appearances to fund-raisers in Florida, Tennessee and Texas.
And then we have to ask the Gang of NH 15 who read this Blog, when is Fred Thompson coming back to NH again?

And then we have to ask Team Romney's War Room, are you going to be able to hold your noses and push us out?

Remember the WSJ/NBC poll.


Rock & Roll Monday

We're guessing only 13 weeks and 1 day until the Primary.

Blue sky indeed.

So turn this sh*t up.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Back On The McCain Bus In New Hampshire

On Thursday we talked (blogged) our way back onto McCain's campaign bus for the Rochester-Franklin leg of McCain's New Hampshire No Surrender Tour.

Joining our fat head in the above picture is the lovely and talented Ana Maria Cox of Time, the hilarious Chris Jones of Esquire, the quiet Michael Cooper of the New York Times and Senator Straight Talk. Our apologies for boxing out Liz Halloran of US News who was sitting to our right (the Senator's left).

Hat tip to McCain aid Mark Salter for taking the photograph.

Noted: Cox's write-up may be found here. Cooper's here. The others will be out at a later date.

A lot of ink, digital and otherwise, has already been spilled about McCain's No Surrender Tour and so we are hesitant to spill more.

So we'll close with two items.

First, we believe that John McCain is the most qualified of all the presidential candidates to "sort out" American policy in Iraq when the troop surge is up in April.

We hope, and expect, that McCain will talk more about his post-April vision in the very near future.

Second, on a lighter note, the best quote from the bus not reported anywhere else came when Senator McCain somehow got talking about a recent newspaper review of his new book:

McCain (describing the book review), "The book is great but McCain is a total joke and a failure."

To which Salter, McCain's co-author, immediately piped in, "Which is good enough for me!"

Everyone else: "Laughter"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Jeanne Shaheen Jumps Into New Hampshire U.S. Senate Race

Pindell has the details.

Honestly, we are somewhat surprised that Jeanne Shaheen actually pulled the trigger.

For no other reason than that her Harvard gig was so choice.

But it is the U.S. Senate...

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

9:00am Thursday Morning - Depart Manchester for 1st leg of McCain's No Surrender Tour.

1:03am Friday Morning - Return to Manchester from last leg of McCain's No Surrender Tour (noted: the final leg wasn't on any campaign manifest).

16 hours of McCain/Staff/Hangers-on/Press/Wannabe Press/Voters/Espresso/Red Bull/Marlboro Lights/Vodka rocks/Miller Light/policy/gossip.

Welcome to the NH Primary Microwave.

And we love every last minute of it.

But now we feel, kinda, like this guy sounds.

And yes, this is a guy.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"More Belly-Flop Than Swan Dive"

Today's "must-read" is George Will's new column on Fred Thompson.

Flop, flop, flop.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

McCain Slams Hillary Clinton Over Petraeus Ad

From the McCain campaign:

"Senator Clinton said that believing General Petraeus' testimony requires a 'willing suspension of disbelief.' I think it willingly suspends disbelief to not repudiate an advertisement run by a radical left wing organization that impugns and dishonors the integrity of a man who has served his nation with dedication all of his life. If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be President of the United States."
We just don't get Clinton/Edwards/Obama's willingness to cozy up with the and Daily Kos (see Yearly, Kos) set.

The two organizations are high profile and can raise money. We get it.

But at the end of the day these candidates will have to ask whether their association with these two organizations helps or hurts their chances in the 5-10 states in play during a general election.

And we think that these two organizations hurt Clinton/Edwards/Obama's general election chances. Terribly.

And we don't buy that the "hurt" exists because of right-wing smear attacks.

The "hurt" exists because and Daily Kos are not where the country is.

And their media campaign sucks.

Sucks hard.

We're just saying.

Ok, This is Hilarious


Ben Smith has the details.

Web 2.0 baby!

It's enough to make a finely tuned campaign communication shop SCREAM.

Show You Care

John McCain is using campaign resources to help pull together care packages for American troops serving overseas.

And no matter how you feel about John McCain, and no matter how you feel about the War in Iraq, this is a good and decent idea.

And while the McCain family doesn't talk about it all that much, two of the care packages might end up going to a McCain family member serving in Iraq.

From the campaign release:

MANCHESTER, NH -- U.S. Senator John McCain's campaign announced today it will help non-profit organizations to collect care packages for troops overseas at all New Hampshire stops on the upcoming "No Surrender" Tour. Members of the public wishing to participate should pack a shoebox or similarly sized box of items that will be useful to the men and women of the Armed Forces and bring it with them to their local "No Surrender" event. A list of recommended items is provided below.

At the conclusion of the "No Surrender" Tour, all collected packages will be sent by non-profit organizations to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Small packages of nuts, seeds, pretzels, cookies, chips, Cracker Jacks, crackers, Corn Nuts, fruit snacks and fruit leather, Gardettos

Trail Mix, energy bars, protein bars, breakfast and granola bars, nut bars, instant oatmeal, Kraft Easy Mac, ramen, Cup a Noodles

Individually wrapped hard candy (Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Skittles, lollipops, Life Savers, Sweet Tarts, etc), chewing and bubble gum, mints, breath strips (no chocolate or homemade items)

Powdered, sweetened drink mixes (Gatorade, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid), ground or instant coffee, tea bags, hot chocolate, cider mix, sugar, sweetener, Coffee Mate, and condiment packets

Canned meats (no pork), stews, chili, ravioli, soups, fruit, beef jerky, non-refrigerated microwavable meals


Hotel/travel sized gel deodorant, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste and mouthwash, toothbrushes, dental floss and Brush Ups

Disposable razors, eye drops, nose drops, unscented baby wipes, wet wipes, small hand sanitizer, Mach III Turbo Razor Blades

Small Kleenex packets, Q-Tips, anti-fungal creams, band aids, foot powder, sunscreen

DVDs, AAA and AA batteries, pens, pencils, blank greeting cards and stationary, stickers, disposable cameras, AT&T phone cards

Handwritten cards and letters of encouragement for our troops

Zbigniew Brzezinski

This blog has been pretty tough on Mr. Obama.

But just because we haven't bought Obama-mania hook, line and sinker, doesn't mean that we won't give Obama credit where (we think) credit is due.

And Obama deserves credit for securing the foreign policy smarts of Zbigniew Brzezinski for his campaign. A lot of credit.

Because there is no smarter American global strategist than Zbigniew Brzezinski.


Even if Obama is going to take some political lumps for his choice.

McCain's No Surrender Tour Rolls Into New Hampshire

While McCain staffers Joe Coletti and Lanny Jr. push the ground game in Nashua, New Hampshire at 8am this morning.

At probably the most dangerous intersection in the Granite State.

Which makes it perfect for a sign wave.

Being Grover Norquist Ain't What It Used To Be

Fred Thompson has joined John McCain and Rudy Giuliani and refused to sign Grover Norquist's (asinine) pledge against raising taxes.

Sam Youngman at The Hill has the story.

That's too bad for old Grover.

But score one for GAO head David Walker. No snark.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Political Gangstas And Political Wankstas

Everyone fancies himself a political gangsta.

Unfortunately (for campaign communication departments) staffers are more likely to be wankstas than gangstas.

Ain't that right Romney/Madden/Donehue/Tompkins?

You wankstas.

Thompson Turns Down Thompson's Request To Debate Huckabee

The Brody File has the details.

So, if Thompson can't debate "Lincoln-Douglas style" until the General election, and Thompson won't debate "multi-candidate style" during the Primary, what's left in terms of debate?

Ahhh. Ahhh. Not much?

We thought McCain-Feingold-Thompson was supposed to take the money out of campaigns.

Instead, Thompson has "kept the money and taken out the campaign".

(H/T The Colbert Report for the joke. We think it's hilarious).

Hat Tip To The Sick F*cks At MSNBC (UPDATED)

Who are right now re-running NBC's coverage from the morning of 9-11.

This is great!

Look at those planes! And the bodies falling from the Towers!

Snuff away America. Snuff away.

Now where's the bourbon?


After we posted and pushed the story to our media list our email box blew up.

And the commentary is running about 2 to 1 in favor of us being "defeatists" who want to bury our "heads in the sand" and "deny what happened on 9/11".

Meanwhile, the 2 to 1 group claims, it's time to "again start showing the American public what happened on that day".

Has anyone forgotten? Really, has anyone forgotten what happened on 9-11? How bad it was? The suffering? The heartbreak? The loss? The terror? The triumph and heroism?

We haven't forgotten. And we don't think the American public has either. Not the ones who count anyway.

But we don't need Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and Al Roker giving us a play-by-play of The Towers coming down to remind us of what happened that day.

And we bet that the husbands/wives/brothers/sisters/mothers/fathers/friends of those who were killed don't need it either.

And if you're stupid enough to think that this makes us "soft on terror" well, that's just something that you're going to have to deal with.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We Weren't Going To Spill Any Digital Ink On This...

Because we just can't compete with the anti-war nuts/pro-surge nuts/Congress/activist/media whore/cable news circle jerk going on in Washington right now.

And who would want to? Because today's theatre changes nothing.


But we just can't help ourselves. Truly. So here's a little Smart Snark...

To the anti-war nuts - cut the funding for the war or shut-up and get out of the way. General Petraeus has better things to do than watch you all preen (inarticulately I might add, Ms. Woolsey) in front of the cameras.

Noted: Nice call on the NYT ad today. That really moved the needle in a direction you wanted. Not.

To the pro-surge nuts - the only question you should be asking one another is what is American policy towards Iraq going to be when the troop surge is done in April (all those hours of testimony today and we didn't hear you debate this question, the only question).

We get it, the surge is working. But Petraeus is a "security expert" not a "policy maker", and he's going to need new marching orders in April. And you're going to have to break it to the American public that this country is in this mess for the long haul. So get to it.

Good Lord Almighty, 40 minutes into tonight's News Hour and one begins to understand why Congress' poll numbers are in the toilet (even the staid Jim Lehrer looked like he wanted to slap the 4 members of Congress he interviewed after the Petraeus testimony segment).

Slap away Jim, we got your back.

No snark.

Colin Powell Speaks, Governor Buenos Dias Responds?

Colin Powell sits down for an interview in the latest issue of GQ.

Well worth a read. The man is a patriot.

On immigration Powell said:

"America could not survive without immigration," he says. "Even the undocumented immigrants are contributing to our economy. That's the country my parents came to. That's the image we have to portray to the rest of the world: kind, generous, a nation of nations, touched by every nation, and we touch every nation in return. That's what people still want to believe about us. They still want to come here. We've lost a bit of the image, but we haven't lost the reality yet. And we can fix the image by reflecting a welcoming attitude -- and by not taking counsel of our fears and scaring ourselves to death that everybody coming in is going to blow up something. It ain't the case."
To which Romney spokesperson Kevin Madden might have responded:
"Powell is clearly a sissy when it comes to national security issues. Undocumented immigrants aren't fit to cut Governor Romney's lawn. Mitt Romney believes that the only good illegal is a dead illegal that the Governor strangled to death with his own two hands. On Fox And Friends."
And if you think that joke is tasteless, you should read what (most) of the GOP candidates, including Governor Buenos Dias, are really putting out on the subject of immigration.

Nothing like a Party that turns backs the clock in order to try and win elections in the future.

Support For Huckabee-Thompson Debate Grows, With Everyone But Thompson (UPDATED)

On Friday, Mike Huckabee sent a letter to Fred Thompson accepting Thompson's offer for a series of "Lincoln-Douglas style" debates.

Huckabee's letter to Thompson may be found here.

James Pindell broke the initial story.

We picked it up.

So did USA Today and The Baltimore Sun.

On Saturday, we heard that the University of New Hampshire College Republicans had agreed to sponsor the debate (we lost their press release in the driving rain of the Chili Fest so please double-check our facts on this one. Noted: We can hear the eye-rolling and sighing in Concord).

On Sunday, Wolf Blitzer told Mike Huckabee on Late Edition that CNN would be happy to host the debate.

But Team Thompson still has not said anything about (much less agreed to do) a one-on-one debate with Huckabee.

You know, a one-on-one debate that Thompson initially suggested to cover the fact that he skipped the NH GOP debate for Leno.

Which has got to make Granite State voters (and the NH Gang of 15) wonder.

But then we read that Thompson said this in Nashua: "I'm going to be in New Hampshire a lot. I'm going to be talking to real people."

And then we read that Thompson supporter Dan Hughes told the Concord Monitor that Thompson will next be in New Hampshire "in early October".

"A lot" & "In early October".

Wait, what's today's date?

And we wonder no more.

Fred Thompson just doesn't get it (nor is he "playing" in New Hampshire, quote us).

But that still doesn't mean he should not be held accountable for something he said.



UPDATED - Team Huckabee just sent out a press release claiming that they have over 1,500 signatures of support for Huck's call to debate Thompson and calling on Thompson to show that Thompson isn't afraid of "expressing his views and his vision for America in a comprehensive one-on-one Lincoln Douglas styled debate".


But that's not the best (smartest) part of Huck's release. The best part of Huck's release is in the final graph:

“I’m pleased that citizens from all across America have enthusiastically endorsed this idea with their signature and have called on Senator Thompson to debate me at the location of his choice – preferably in a key state such as New Hampshire,” said Huckabee.
"called on Senator Thompson to debate me at the location of his choice - preferably in a key state such as New Hampshire".

Nice. And smart.

Rock And Roll Monday

Ever wonder if it's all for you?

Yet another "artist" that plays in his pajamas.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Of "Intuition" And Hiccups

Conventional wisdom in New Hampshire is that Mitt Romney has a pretty good campaign staff working for him.

We'd agree with that (see Flop, Mitt currently running 1st in NH polls).

But the conventional wisdom in New Hampshire is also that Team Romney has had some unnecessary, and embarrassing, staff hiccups (see Garrity, Jay).

And New Hampshire takes note of things like that.

Because Granite State voters don't like staff as*holes getting between them and the candidate they are trying to meet.

Even if the staff as*hole has "intuition".

Which is (probably) why today the Concord Monitor ran this letter to the editor about a recent Team Romney NH staff "hiccup".

"Kill The Terrorists, Protect The Borders, Punch The Hippies"

So says the t-shirt of Exeter Republican Charles Hill that Hill wore to the Seacoast Republican Woman's Chili Fest yesterday.

Which provided some great color for the AP's Phil Elliott.

Of course, so did the terrific storm that blew through right in the middle of everything ('08 symbolism?).

Noted: Only two of the three pictures above were taken by us at yesterday's Chili Fest. Can you guess which one wasn't taken at the Republican gathering?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Huckabee-Thompson Debate?

Be careful what you ask for.

Fred Thompson, defending his decision not to participate in last Wednesday's GOP debate in New Hampshire, told several media outlets that he didn't think too highly of the Fox/NH GOP multi-candidate debate format.

Thompson went on to remark that he would prefer a series of one-on-one debates.

Which Team Huckabee immediately agreed to participate in.

Note: Hat tip to James Pindell for being the first (that we know of) to report the Huckabee debate acceptance letter.

We hope that Team Thompson takes Huckabee up on his offer.

The debate would be great for the voters. Great for the process (especially in NH). And great for the candidates.

But we're not holding our breath that Thompson starts running a campaign from any closer than 30,000 feet.

Senator Hagel Will Not Seek Re-election, Presidency

The Omaha World-Herald has the details.

The U.S. Senate is losing a good man.

But the Senator's decision will have zero impact on the race for President.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Huck Slow and Steady In The Granite State

And slow and steady wins the race (usually).

The picture shows Huckabee receiving the endorsement of Strafford County Sheriff Wayne Estes and former Strafford Country Republican finance chair Dan Philbrick in Dover last night.

We're fairly certain that Huckabee actually checked with the two men before announcing their endorsement. Unlike another candidates we know about.

The picture is compliments of the Huckabee campaign.

Keeping It In Perspective

Salon's Walter Shapiro has a great Obama article up which includes the following graph:
Paul Tewes, Obama's Iowa coordinator, marveled, "It is something I've never seen before in politics. After people hear him speak, they say that they feel at peace." That phrase -- "feel at peace" -- has also never been used before by a veteran campaign staffer since I covered my first Iowa caucus in 1980.
"They say they feel at peace".

We're not ready to drop the Snark bomb on this. Yet.

Even though Obama's NH staffers are getting quite a reputation among some in the press for giving equally "potentially snark worthy" quotes.

Remember, when you invite (beg for) comparison to Robert Kennedy you better be able to produce when the time comes.

Because Mr. Kennedy produced when the nation most badly needed him to.

And the jury is still out (way out) on whether Obama could handle a situation like this.

NH Team Rudy Has Egg On Their Face. Again.

Stop us if you've heard this one before (because you have).

Yesterday, Team Giuliani released New Hampshire Firefighters For Rudy.

This was news to the supposed Firefighter Chairman, Chris Christopoulos.

Who doesn't even live in New Hampshire. And had never agreed to head up Rudy's NH operation.

Of course, that didn't stop Christopoulos from being quoted in the press release. Or being tapped as Chairman.

That's embarrassing. For everyone.

The Concord Monitor has all the detail you will need.

It's the stuff that narratives are made of.

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

See it. Love it. Understand it.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Uh-Oh, I've Backed The Wrong Horse! (UPDATED)

We have a hell of a lot of respect for Howard Baker.

And even though we are quite sure that he doesn't remember it, we certainly remember chatting with Mr. Baker once or twice (years ago) in DC.

So the former Senate Majority Leader certainly has good taste when it comes to who he chooses to converse with.

But not so good taste when it comes to who he backs in 2008.

Unless you think stuff like this actually works.

Which we don't.

And neither does Jon Martin.

Of course, Fred does give us "excellent" material to snarkily work with. And now that he's actually a declared candidate, well...


The always "on" James Pindell has details of Freddy's upcoming visit to New Hampshire.

It looks like Thompson will be sucking down chili at the annual Seacoast Republican Woman's Federation event Saturday night.

Just like us.

And the 300 "other" media hounds who will be chronicling every burp, belch and bellow.


McCain's Debate Performance - "The Commander In Chief Commanded"

So Mark McKinnon told us in the spin room following last night's GOP debate.

Right before the media wizard (and his hat) went to watch Senator McCain do a post-debate interview with Hannity and Colmes.

A Fox focus group agreed with Mark's assessment.

And so did we.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Immigrants... Coming Over The Wall... OH MY GOD!!!

It's official.

The first 23 minutes of tonight's Republican debate in New Hampshire proved (again) why the GOP is officially the party of xenophobes.

Somewhere essayist Richard Rodriguez is crying.

So is Karl Rove.

Duck? You Mean Chicken!

Taken outside the GOP debate tonight.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Hat Tip to NH based Candidate Photos.


Tonight's GOP debate at the University of New Hampshire is about four hours away.

And the spin room is ready, thank God!

Because we will need someone to tell us all about what we just watched on television.

This Photo Should Make Every Single Field Staffer In NH Break Out In A Cold Sweat (Updated)

Sam Brownback at a recent NH event.

And Drudge posted it.

The stuff that field director nightmares are made of.

Better hit the phones. And make sure that the room is set correctly. Because the Principle is on his (her) way back to town.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.


(Updated) Brownback's campaign is pushing back with an email, highlighting this story on NH Presidential Watch.

Which isn't much of a push back.

No matter what, it's a brutal picture.