Entries Tagged as '2012 election'

The Expectations Game

David Frum January 4th, 2012 at 7:57 am 118 Comments

Byron York has a tough read on the meaning of the Iowa result for Romney.

In the end, Romney escaped humiliation, and he did it at far less cost than in 2007-2008, when he gave Iowa everything he had in his first run for the GOP nomination. “If you look back four years ago, we had 52 paid staff in Iowa, and this time around, we have five paid staff,” top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said a few hours before Tuesday night’s results came in.  “In terms of advertising, we spent $10 million in the run-up to the caucuses four years ago, and we’ve spent a fraction of that this time.  And in terms of the candidate’s own appearances in Iowa, he was here 100 days or so four years ago, and this time we’re at about 15 days.”  [It was actually a few more, but that doesn't change Fehrnstrom's point.]

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Ron Paul’s Personal Responsibility

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 12:31 pm 209 Comments

Andrew Sullivan complained yesterday that I had engaged in a “McCarthyite” attack on Ron Paul by writing the following:

A politician isn’t answerable for the antics of every one of his supporters. But there’s surely a reason, isn’t there, that racists, anti-Semites, 9/11 Truthers, and Holocaust deniers are so strongly attracted to the Paul campaign. They hear something. They continue to hear it too, no matter how firmly Ron Paul’s more mainstream supporters clamp their hands over their own ears.

Andrew’s riposte:

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Waiting Time in Iowa

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 9:33 am 27 Comments

I attended Romney’s closing rally last night in Des Moines. Very professionally done, introduction by Senator John Thune.

Three themes really stood  out:

* Romney opened with a statement about the danger from Iran. Without mention of Ron Paul, it astutely poked at the top vulnerability of the second-polling candidate here.

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It’s Still Romney’s Turn

December 26th, 2011 at 7:40 am 16 Comments

Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich’s mutual failure to qualify for the Virginia ballot raises lots of questions about their long term viability, funding, and organization. But it isn’t that surprising at all for one simple reason: neither has run for President before while the two candidates who qualified, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, both have.

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Wall Street Ties Won’t Sink Romney

December 21st, 2011 at 12:38 am 15 Comments

Some on the right are concerned that Obama would slam Romney as a denizen of Wall Street and that Romney’s wealth would prove a hindrance in the general election. While some worries about Romney’s business background are more the product of sympathy for other candidates than anything else, there is an element of real anxiety to them, and they are not completely baseless.

However, there are numerous reasons not to overestimate the potential effectiveness of White House attacks on Romney over Wall Street connections.

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Don’t Forget Gary Johnson!

December 20th, 2011 at 1:08 am 26 Comments

While I was reading Conor Friedersdorf response to David Frum’s critique of Ron Paul, as well as Andrew Sullivan’s endorsement of Ron Paul, one question kept coming into my mind: “What about former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson?”

Friedersdorf makes the case for Ron Paul on the basis that he is different from all the other Republican candidates, but that is just not technically true. Gary Johnson is essentially Ron Paul but without the racist newsletters.

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Newt is Confused by Democracy

December 12th, 2011 at 12:00 am 64 Comments

Newt Gingrich believes in much more democracy than the founding fathers.

They believed the U.S. House should consist of representatives elected by white male property owners. Voting at the time was a public act. On election day the voters would show up at a public place, usually a county seat, where food and copious amounts of alcohol were shared, and raise their hands when the name of their candidate was announced. U.S. Senators were chosen by the state legislatures for six year terms to insulate them from public opinion. The people were not trusted to elect the President and Vice President. An electoral college stood between them.

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Can Romney be More Ambitious Than Gingrich?

December 12th, 2011 at 12:00 am 18 Comments

I’m undecided and conflicted in the 2012 presidential race. As a purely political matter, I think that former Missouri Senator Jim Talent is absolutely right: Romney would be a significantly more formidable Republican presidential nominee than anyone else now running.

However, as an iconoclastic conservative, and as a contrarian, I must confess to being a big political admirer of Newt Gingrich. Newt’s willingness — and, indeed, eagerness — to do political battle appeals to me. And his willingness to think big and to challenge the conventional wisdom also is praiseworthy in my judgment.

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It’s 3AM, Do You Trust Newt Gingrich?

David Frum December 9th, 2011 at 11:13 am 87 Comments

David Brooks makes a great point in his column today about Newt Gingrich’s temperament:

But how you believe something is as important as what you believe. It doesn’t matter if a person shares your overall philosophy. If that person doesn’t have the right temperament and character, stay away.

I’d make that same point in a slightly different way.

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Maybe Obama Doesn’t Need the Middle Class

December 9th, 2011 at 12:00 am 34 Comments

I have not commented on the recent Tom Edsall piece on the Democrats abandoning the white working class but Michael Barone does so here. An interesting nugget in that article is that Obama won a greater share of the vote than all but three Democratic Presidents but:

[H]e did it without capturing the vast middle of the electorate. He won with a top-and-bottom coalition, carrying voters with incomes over $200,000 and under $50,000 and losing those in between. He carried voters with graduate school degrees and those with no high school diplomas and ran only even with the others.

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