Entries Tagged as 'Haley Barbour'

O’Donnell Camp’s Method: Lie, Then Slander

August 22nd, 2011 at 12:32 am 26 Comments

Haley Barbour with Christine O’Donnell at the June 13, 2008 fundraiser for Bill Lee. (Photo courtesy of Maria Evans)

On Monday, August 15, 2011, I issued a press release to set the record straight about an event featuring Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, an event that three time Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell cites in her new book, Troublemaker as an example of how the Delaware Republican Party was snubbing her all of the way back in 2008, when she was the party’s chosen nominee.

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O’Donnell: Still Making Trouble

August 16th, 2011 at 12:07 am 34 Comments

Christine O’Donnell, the failed Tea Party Senate candidate from Delaware, is back in the news with the release of her new book, Troublemaker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again.  The book frames O’Donnell as the prototypical conscientious patriot, holding true to her principles while battling the odds and the local Republican elite.

Problems with veracity troubled O’Donnell throughout her campaign, so it’s appropriate that they continue to plague her during the launch of her book.

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Barbour’s Withdrawal Boosts Romney

David Frum April 25th, 2011 at 4:32 pm 22 Comments

Who benefits from Barbour’s withdrawal? Short answer: Romney. Barbour would have been effective competition for support of Romney donors. As is, Barbour – the ultimate party regular – will gravitate to the party regulars’ consensus choice. And despite my own personal regard for Mitch Daniels (and appreciation of Jonathan Martin’s reporting), that choice is Romney.

2012 is shaping up as an all-out battle between big donors and local activists, with the big donors coalesced around Romney and the local activists increasingly desperately shopping for somebody – anybody – else.


T-Paw: The Generic GOP Choice?

David Frum March 18th, 2011 at 12:12 pm 37 Comments

Real Clear Politics offers a clear summation of the Kristol-Barbour spat.

But it’s easy to read this story upside down. The real news here is not the Kristol-Barbour falling out. It is the Kristol-Pawlenty falling in.

As for Pawlenty, he seems to be a sincere Reaganite, and has been for quite a while. What’s interesting is his leaping at the occasion to get in a little dust-up with Barbour. This suggests a degree of nimbleness and boldness that speaks well for his prospects to move from the second tier to the first. You could do worse than run as the heir of Reagan-Bush-McCain hawkishness, against a weak and dithering Obama administration, and you could do worse than bet that at some point in the primary process voters will remember they’re electing a commander in chief, not just (important as the budget issues are) an OMB director.

This is the same Tim Pawlenty who clears every utterance on tax policy with Grover Norquist, who has called for the reinstatement of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell, and who has repudiated his own prior leadership on climate change. (“Have I changed my position? Yes.”)

What we are witnessing is the unfolding of a Pawlenty campaign strategy to occupy the spot that once seemed reserved for John Thune: the most generic of all Republicans, the sole remainder after every constituency in the GOP has exercised its veto: the tax people, the life people, the gun people, the defense people, the anti-Obamacare people, etc. etc. etc. Along the way, a successful, pragmatic Midwestern governor has had to reinvent himself, down to his own voice and accent.

Bill Kristol describes this as Reaganism. But Ronald Reagan imposed himself on a party, he was not the product of a party. Pawlenty’s current strategy might more aptly be compared to that of Reagan’s 1984 opponent, Walter Mondale: the party’s least objectionable man, or rather the man least objectionable to everyone in the party with the power to express an objection.


UPDATE: A special message to reader Couchmaster: I did not “rip” NPR for doing the Pawlenty accent story. I made a joke that this kind of reporting would further motivate Republicans to attack their funding. I should have remembered Bob Bartley’s rule of journalism: Never joke in print, you can always count on 20% of the readers not to get it.