The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.¬† In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.¬† Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.¬† Why jump in front of a train wreck?¬† Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.¬† Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.¬† Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.¬† The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.¬† Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.¬† He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.¬† If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.¬† But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.¬† Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.¬† However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.¬† Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.¬† While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.¬† Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.¬† But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.¬† Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.¬† Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.¬† Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.¬† We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.¬† There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.¬† In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.¬† That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.¬† However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.¬† Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.¬† He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.¬† Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.¬† As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.¬† Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.¬† But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.¬† And there are a few to choose from.¬† Rubio would lock of Florida.¬† Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.¬† Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.¬† Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.¬† Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

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A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share¬†Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre from the White House?‚ÄĚ I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can‚Äôt be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying ‚ÄúObama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt ‚Ķ The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak‚Äôs policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm‚Äôs length.‚ÄĚ

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, ‚ÄúBefore Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation. ¬†I am here to say we are.‚ÄĚ She concluded ‚ÄúThe president‚Äôs foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.‚ÄĚ

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.‚ÄĚ With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away‚Ķ Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.‚ÄĚ He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.‚ÄĚ

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan‚Äôs “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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Romney May Not Get All 50

Gingrich Shows Some Fight

Don’t count him out yet.¬† Newt Gingrich is fighting for his slice of Romney’s 50 Florida delegates.¬† According to RNC rules, no state can hold a winner takes all primary before April 1, 2012.¬† Florida was warned of this back in December.¬† This means that Newt could cut into the 50 delegates that Romney is expecting from his Florida win.¬† If this works for Newt, Romney’s delegate lead will be cut about in half.¬† But Newt faces an uphill battle, fighting an RNC and RPOF stuffed full of Romney supporters.

Romney Supporters as Annoying as Paul’s?

After the Florida primary, it might have been nice for there to be some healing in the state after one of the most negative campaigns in Florida’s primary history.¬† Instead, the theme from Romney’s supporters is that Newt should stop whining about the negative campaigning and his supporters should fall in line with the presumptive nominee.

If you think that is bad, Romney’s number one cheerleader, Ann Coulter, is now praising Romneycare as a constitutional, conservative solution to healthcare.¬† In fact, Coulter is now saying that “The problem isn’t health insurance mandates.”¬† Perhaps someone should tell that to Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General and Romney supporter who is leading the fight against Obamacare in the courts based on the health insurance mandate.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the whole “states have the constitutional authority to take away your rights, the fed doesn’t” argument, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to agree that Romneycare was a good idea.¬† Perhaps Coulter is trying to set up the future conversations for the presumptive nominee.¬† But are most Americans going to be ok with the argument that it as ok for Romney to take away their rights and force them to buy health insurance because it was on a state level?¬† Personally, I’d like to see less government intrusion in my life on every level.¬† Coulter used to feel the same way.¬† What happened?

If Romney wants to win in 2012, he has to get his supporters to change their message.¬† Romney needs to start focusing on Obama and reassuring conservatives that he is in fact principally opposed to Obamacare and the health insurance mandate, not simply offering it pandering lip service.¬† And for goodness sakes, he has to stop making Newt supporters his enemies.¬† He’ll have quite enough enemies in the general election without turning off fellow conservatives.

Florida Makes History Again. Now What?

Bookmark and Share   As is the norm for Florida, the Sunshine State has again made electoral history.  For the first time, the Republican winner of the South Carolina primary, lost the Florida primary.  What it means in the long term is uncertain, but what it means in the short term is quite apparent.  Nationally, Republicans have no real clear favorite for President yet.

Still, ¬†Mitt Romney’s win was significant and he deserve credit for¬†orchestrating it.¬† He spent $17 million to do it, but he did it and in the end, especially with 50 delegates now in his column, that is all that matters.¬† However, while Romney once again becomes the frontrunner for the nomination, you will have to forgive me¬†if¬†do¬†not declare this race over yet.

With little more than 5% of the delegates allocated so far, there is no denying that the race is not over yet, but it was made even more obvious to me after hearing Romney deliver his victory speech, and after Gingrich and Santorum gave their concession speeches.

In his speech, Mitt Romney rose to the occasion¬†and sounded enthusiastic, but humble, and most of all, he sounded presidential.¬† He delivered a speech that allowed people to truly begin to get comfortable with the idea of him being the candidate who can take the fight to President Barack Obama and beat him.¬† He didn’t seal the deal, but his Florida victory speech helped make people more willing¬†to accept the now almost inevitability of his being nominated for president.¬† And now back in the frontrunner position, Romney offered not only a brief glimpse of the potential that exists¬†in his carrying the Republican banner, ¬†he even took some steps to put the ugliness of the intraparty battle for the nomination behind him by eloquently¬†making the point that¬†“a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us.”

But in his facing the fact that he came in second place to Romney with at least 15% less of the vote than Romney, Newt Gingrich offered a speech which oozed of defiance and held a true thirst for not just beating Barack Obama, but for bringing about the type of reforms that Americans want, but as of late, have not often come to see in either Republicans or Democrats.  He also provided some of the best reasons for his candidacy to date.

While limiting his negative attacks to calling Romney a Massachusetts moderate, Newt introduced what was seemingly a very heartfelt, personal contract with the American people, a spin on the now famous 1994 Contract With America that he spearheaded and guided through Congress.

Newt’s personal¬† contract consists of two parts.¬† The first part is conditional and it requires that the people elect¬†conservatives to Congress.¬† If they do that, Newt promises that before he takes office, he will request¬†that on January 3rd, 2013, the new Congress stays in session and immediately repeals Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes¬†Oxley, three bills that are being viewed¬†as among ¬†the most¬† detrimental¬†legislative initiatives effecting our economy.¬† Gingrich vows that if the American people elect¬†strong conservative¬†majorities to Congress, those three measures can be¬†repealed by Congress and on the day of his inauguration, he will sign the legislation to rid us of those massive government burdens.¬† The problem there is¬†that unless it is veto proof majority, President Obama will have the opportunity¬†to veto it before Gingrich has the opportunity¬†to sign it.¬† So Newt might want to hold back on his request for january 3rd vote on those issues.

The rest of Newt’s personal contract is a promise to promptly enact a series of constitutional executive orders that will consist of immediately abolishing the existence of¬†all White House czars,¬†an ¬†immediate order to commence¬†construction of the Keystone Pipeline project, an executive order opening the American embassy in Jerusalem¬†and essentially acknowledging that divided city as Israel’s¬†capital, another executive order which would reinstate the Reagan policy that did not allow¬†¬†federal¬†money to fund any abortions, anywhere in the world, and last but not least, he promised to enact an order that repeals any and all of the anti-religious acts enacted¬†by the Obama Administration in what Newt described as the President’s war on religion.

Newt’s speech was far from a concession speech, but what it did do was offer voters some good reasons for why Newt should not give up.¬† With a room full of supporters waving signs that reminded voters that there are 46 more states which have yet to vote, Newt demonstrated that he still has what it takes to continue contesting this election.

The other speech of note came from third place finisher Senator Rick Santorum.

Even though Santorum placed a very distant third with only 13% of the vote in Florida, his speech actually provided a good rationale for his own continued participation in this race.

Knowing full well that he was not going to have a strong showing in Florida, Santorum¬†elected to make his primary night remarks from Nevada, where he is campaigning in advance of that state’s¬†Caucus which takes place this Saturday.

Taking advantage of the very rarely traveled high road in their¬†primary contest, Santorum exploited the bitter battle between Romney and Gingrich by looking like the adult in the room who had his eye on the real prize…….defeating President Obama.

He stated that he was not going to criticize the personal and public successes achieved by both Gingrich and Romney as they have done to one another.  Instead he declared that republicans deserve better, and that he was going to focus on the issues important to the American people.  However, Santorum did argue that Newt failed at taking the momentum he had coming out South Carolina and converting it in to establishing himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.  According to Santorum, Newt proved to make himself the issue and the American people do not need a President who is the issue, but rather a President who can address the issues and solve the problems surrounding them.

All three speeches were actually quite good and they all provided a solid foundation and legitimate reasons¬†for this nomination contest to remain¬†competitive.¬† The problem is that Santorum¬†and Gingrich will still have to find the resources it takes to convince voters that it really isn’t over.¬† If Newt can finally stick to the themes he struck in his speech in Florida, themes based on his being the anti-establishment candidate and a true conservative leader capable of achieving very real and very bold reforms, he can¬†survive long enough¬†to see another victory, but it may not happen for another month or more and the longer he goes without a victory, the harder it will¬†be for him to achieve one.

Right now, the only thing we can be¬†certain of is that Mitt Romney is the one in the catbird seat¬†tonight.¬† The real problem I see here though is that Romney is still the candidate¬†which¬†for numerous¬†reasons, many Republicans seem to be settling for.¬†¬†Such uninspired support makes it quite possible for someone like Newt to turn things around by actually inspiring people and causing voters say, you know what?¬† I don’t have to settle for Mitt.¬†We can do better.”

Until Mitt Romney is willing to stop playing it safe, and proves that he too can be¬†a bold leader, he will remain vulnerable to being overshadowed by the boldness of Newt Gingrich’s vision and red meat agenda.¬† For Mitt it is now a judgement call and a gamble.¬† Does he continue to play it safe and rely on his giant campaign war chest¬†to suppress the amount of support Gingrich and¬† risk the possibility of¬†Newt turning things around again?¬† Or¬†¬†does he step out of his safety¬†zone and make an¬†attempt to¬†prove that he is more than just a wealthy Republican establishment candidate?

My experience with Romney leads me to believe that he will continue to play it safe with the expectation that Newt will be do just the opposite and a loss it all by taking one too many risks.

On a final note, yes I know that I did not mention Ron Paul and that I did not include his concession speech.  And no it is not because I am afraid that if I give him any ink, people will flock to his side and elect him President.  The reason I did not include Ron Paul is because he has yet to become a significant factor in this election and because he said absolutely nothing new in his speech following his single digit, last place showing in Florida.

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Florida Chooses Safe and Electable

In a repeat of 2008, Florida is betting on electability.¬† The only difference is that this time around Mitt Romney is the one who has been deemed “electable”.¬† After pouring millions of dollars into off the wall, and in some cases outright dishonest, advertising portraying Newt Gingrich as a disgraced philanderer, hated by anyone who worked with him, Mitt got one huge point across.¬† Newt can’t stand up to a multi-million dollar smear campaign.

The argument for Mitt in Florida seems to be, “if Mitt Romney can do that to Newt, imagine what Obama would do”.¬† The implication seems to be that Obama has more money and could even be dirtier and more dishonest than Romney was.¬† That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Mitt Romney.

Romney made a bit of his own gamble.  He won Florida with a scorched earth campaign that pulled out all the stops.  Frankly, most Floridians have a sour taste in their mouths.  Forgiving Mitt and getting excited for him may end up being a tough pill to swallow for Newt supporters, and Santorum/Paul supporters are pretty well disgusted with both candidates. McCain used some of the same tactics against Romney in 2008 and many Floridians had a hard time getting excited for McCain.

Had Gingrich performed well in the last debate and won Florida, this race would be close to done.  Instead, Romney is now back in front and has a clear path to the Republican nomination.  He is once again the presumed nominee.  At what cost?  That is the question leaving Florida.

In an interesting development, Romney garnered more votes than Newt and Santorum combined.  Just further proof that Florida conservatives surrendered to electability.

My Endorsement

In the interest of full disclosure, today I voted for Newt Gingrich and I am officially endorsing him for President.¬† Newt has one thing the other candidates lack, bold accomplishable ideas.¬† Newt’s 15% flat tax plan is the best tax plan of the remaining candidates.¬† Unlike Paul who talks about how we should leave the Middle East alone, Gingrich actually has a viable American energy plan that would help us avoid the next war in the Middle East.¬† Newt has a proven track record of being revolutionary and putting better policies above political games.¬† He leashed Clinton and accomplished welfare reform and balanced budgets.¬† Newt also has the determination and vision to argue the 14th amendment in the abortion debate to protect the unborn.

I have forgiven Newt for his personal past, as I think all Christians should.  Newt testified against Freddie Mac, against giving them money, and in favor of reforming them.  Mitt Romney has a funny idea of what lobbying is.  I also have no issue supporting a conservative who has made enemies among establishment, middle of the road Republicans.  We used to call moderates RINOs before we started consistently nominating them.

Don’t get me wrong, I will support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.¬† I’ll even get a yard sign and show up at rallies like I did with McCain.¬† But Newt is my first choice, and Romney has greatly disappointed me with the way he ran his Florida campaign.¬† Shame on Mitt Romney for not having enough bold ideas and vision to keep him from having to resort to negative campaigning to get elected.

Gingrich Campaign Makes Desperate Calls to Jewish Florida Senior Citizens

Bookmark and Share¬†¬† In what has got¬†to be¬†one of the most desperate attempts to target a message to a critical voting bloc an election, Newt¬†Gingrich’s campaign approved a robocall that went out to Florida’s large Jewish vote.

The call went specifically to elderly Jewish senior citizens which is a smart move, Senior citizens are the most reliable voters in the nation and they show up to polls in percentages than larger all other demographics.

However, the Gingrich call was an uttrerly¬†shameful pitch to Jewish senior citizens that essentially chose to exploit the Holocaust and make a comparison that suggests even the Nazi’s didn’t force Jews to eat non-kosher food, but Mitt Romney did.

The allegation is based¬†on a measure which Romney vetoed as the Governor of Massachusetts but the truth is the bill never actually prevented kosher food from being served to Jewish residents in various facilities, and Romney’s veto did not cut any funding for kosher food services have but merely vetoed additional¬†funds. The ultimate¬†decision¬†not¬†serve kosher food certain nursing homes was actually made by individual¬†nursing homes which did have a substantial¬†enough Jewish population in their facilities.

As a supporter of Newt, even I must admit that this robocall was in extremely poor taste and in many ways, even offensive.

The Holocaust is too significant a tragedy in world history to exploit and trivialize by introducing it in to shallow politics with distortions, lies, and such sheer maliciousness.

After South Carolina, I was confident that Newt needed to go after the Jewish vote in Florida.¬† One reason was because he has an incredible record on Israel that could have greatly appealed to the Jewish community.¬† But I never meant for him to go after the Jewish vote by angering senior citizens over the Holocaust and comparing Mitt Romney to Nazi’s.

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Politics IS a Contact Sport

Newt hopes to land knock-out punch with attack ads, but is Mitt's mitt bigger and stronger?

So, Newt has launched an attack ad on Mitt, and no doubt the Democrats are watching with glee.¬† There are no doubt worries that attack ads damage the Republican Party, just as many worry that American politics is too divisive. Does all the ‚Äúinfighting‚ÄĚ damage Republican chances?

Well, no.

Attack ads are part of politics. Politics is divisive. This is because folks disagree, and they rightly disagree on important points of principle and policy. Of course the candidates attack each other, and why not? The prize is big; these are passionate people who feel they deserve a run at the number 1 job on the planet. Otherwise, they might as well play paper and scissors for the right to run.

Cast your mind back to 2008, and the exchange of ‚Äúshame‚ÄĚ accusations by candidates Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.

You can see her attack here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pPV1yd7sQg&feature=share and Obama’s response here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkR9kw81Cx8&feature=share. You can also see the Obama attack ad, comparing Hilary Clinton to Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo, which is quite a laugh given that Democrats are the Orwellian nightmare party!

Both parties share the tactics of attack, and it goes a long way back. Hilary’s barb that Obama was following Karl Rove’s playbook was foolishness; it doesn’t take a village to work out that attacking the candidate, or in soccer parlance playing the man rather than the ball, goes back a lot further than Rove.

In fact, the earliest example of attack ads was launched by Lyndon B Johnson in 1964, in his attack on Barry Goldwater. Known as the ‚ÄúDaisy Spot‚ÄĚ, it showed an innocent girl picking daisies followed by a countdown to nuclear catastrophe, which shocked audiences at the time. The idea was that Goldwater‚Äôs aggressive stance on the Cold War would lead to nuclear destruction. [You can view the ad here: http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/media/daisyspot/]This will be the same Johnson who thought escalating Vietnam was a good idea.

Hilary and Obama attacked each other without pulling their punches. She lost, Obama won, and despite all the punches Hilary laid on Obama he won the White House. Like Hilary‚Äôs husband said in 2008, “This is a contact sport, politics. You can’t complain about being attacked. It’s like Yao Ming complaining about being fouled playing basketball.”

The narrative that the attack by candidates is damaging is simply a way of attacking the Republicans, while President Obama as incumbent and the official nominee come September can stand serenely above the action and appear, well, presidential. That is, until his Republican opponent is selected and can turn his attention to attacking Obama’s record 100%.

For this reason ending the attacks is important, we need to see the main bout start. The chief result of Newt’s attacks on Mitt is to bring Mitt onto the canvas ready to land his punches. Newt’s attack ads are the last attempts to land some body blows on Mitt, but Mitt’s mitt appears to be the bigger and stronger of the two. Once the attacks are done, the choice is made, the Republican nominee can step onto the canvas and win the prize fight that will take him to the White House.

Bill Clinton was right, this is a contact sport. He was wrong to compare it to basketball though. This is a fight, and it is a fight to the end. Unlike Johnson’s Daisy ad the countdown is not to nuclear destruction, but losing to Obama will see more destruction of the American economy and the nation.

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