Entries Tagged as 'Iowa Caucus'

MSNBC Joins the Anti-Romney Bandwagon

January 5th, 2012 at 12:15 am 52 Comments

I have always been weary of the whine regarding the purported “liberal media”; having won 60% of presidential elections over the last 40 years, near-complete dominance of the radio airwaves, and a cable news behemoth with ratings greater than the aggregate of both its nearest competitors, conservatives are hardly the most suppressed segment of our society. Yet even for a skeptic like me, MSNBC’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses was truly a sight to behold.

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Santorum’s Flawed Plan for Working America

David Frum January 5th, 2012 at 12:00 am 35 Comments

In my column for The Week I discuss the problems with Rick Santorum economic plan:

Santorum’s concern for the American middle class has been one of the most attractive features of his candidacy for the Republican nomination. Alone among the Republican candidates, he took note of the freezing of upward mobility and the stagnation of middle-class wages even before the financial crisis of 2008.

So what’s his plan? Santorum has proposed a special lowered rate of federal tax for manufacturing.

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Seriously, Why Won’t Perry Drop Out?

January 4th, 2012 at 3:12 pm 40 Comments

So it looks like the indications are that Rick Perry, former front-runner, last place finisher in the 2011 Republican Debate Tournament, is not hanging up his brush jacket yet. Despite his very melancholy nigh-concession last night, the Texas governor seems to be headed to South Carolina instead of back home to Austin.

The question is: Why?

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Santorum Masters Retail Politics

January 4th, 2012 at 11:35 am 19 Comments

David Frum argues that a “A Romney-Santorum contest is not much of a contest at all.” He’s probably right about this. Romney beats Santorum hands down in resources, organization, discipline, and support from GOP elites. But there’s one wild-card that could make things interesting: Santorum may somehow learn to master the art of retail politics.

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The Road Ahead

January 4th, 2012 at 8:44 am 7 Comments

In the wake of the Iowa caucuses, what matters now is not the exact order of Romney, Santorum, and Paul; the numbers are very close. What does matter is the range between the candidates. Iowa gives us basically a tie between Romney and Santorum, with both at around 25%. Ron Paul comes out a strong third at around 21%. Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, and Huntsman, who did not even campaign in Iowa, fall far behind.

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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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The Secret of Ron Paul’s Success

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 11:11 pm 30 Comments

Based on the tiny unrepresentative sample at the precinct caucus I attended: his core group are true believers, who have absorbed his message on Austrian economics and foreign policy non-interventionism.

But when they communicate to the broader Iowa Republican rank-and-file, they repackage Paul as a much more conventional conservative: pro-life, pro-military, small government, and supportive of the operation that killed bin Laden. If Paul ever does gain altitude, he will be very vulnerable to negative advertising that exposes the truth of his beliefs and background.

You Read it First at FrumForum

January 3rd, 2012 at 6:09 pm 31 Comments

Well, however tonight turns out it appears Rick Santorum is being given his chance. I particularly liked the analogy that makes the boyish Santorum Luke Skywalker, but whether the X-Wing takes down the well-coiffed Death Star Santorum’s doggedness and convictions appear to be paying off. And for those of you who comment at FrumForum even David Brooks is now on board! Only a month later than your humble scribe.

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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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Change Iowa’s Secret Ballot

January 2nd, 2012 at 1:15 pm 14 Comments

University of Iowa professor Stephen Bloom has gotten a lot of well-deserved criticism for an error-ridden piece in The Atlantic that’s sets new records for academic elitism, distain, and distate for just about everything about his adopted state. Much as I abhor Bloom’s style–it represents just about everything that drove me away from my parents’ uber-left views–I think that his point that Iowa’s role in the presidential nominating contest is overblown has something to it.

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