Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, January 11th, 2012.

Newt Recants

Mittens, Republican Party

Ooo, somebody must’ve taken Newt to the woodshed. He’s telling people he made a mistake criticizing Mittens’s record at Bain Capital. What were the puppet masters going to do? Close Callista’s Tiffany’s account? Oh, the humanity …

Fortunately, the SuperPAC preparing to saturate South Carolina with Romney vampire squid ads says it is not backing down. And you can watch the entire “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” documentary online.

Share Button

Guess the Veep!

Mittens, Republican Party

Might as well have some fun with this, even if we are on the Titanic and guessing whether it’s going down bow first or stern first — David Weigel has a must-read post up comparing the Romney road to the nomination with the path John McCain took four years ago. It’s called “Haven’t We Lived Through This Primary Before?” and it begins,

I’m thinking of a Republican primary. It starts with a candidate (John McCain/Mitt Romney) who ran once before, came in second place, and won over the party’s elite class without winning over its base. Other candidates, understandably unwilling to accept this, line up: An under-funded social conservative (Mike Huckabee/Rick Santorum), an elder statesman who’s walked to the altar three times (Rudy Giuliani/Newt Gingrich), a libertarian who wants to bring back the gold standard (Ron Paul/Ron Paul).

The BooMan takes the comparison further. Who will be this year’s Sarah Palin? Marco Rubio? Chris Christie?

In Weird News — Haley Barbour is retiring as governor of Mississippi. On his last day in office, he granted full and unconditional pardons to 193 criminals. In addition, last week he pardoned five convicted murderers who had been doing custodial work at the governor’s mansion. Some of the other pardoned convicts also had been found guilty of murder, although none were on death row.

However, he failed to pardon the Scott sisters. Go figure. At least they were both given early releases last year.

Anyway — just seems odd.

Share Button

On to South Carolina


Mittens has a formidable lead in South Carolina polls, and it’s going to be fun to see how it holds up in the coming week.

Steve Kornacki says that Newt and Perry — mostly Newt, though — will be bashing Perry Romney with Bain Capital. Thanks to his recent but short-lived surge, Newt has money.

Gingrich will head to South Carolina intent on exploiting every one of Romney’s vulnerabilities in the state, and he’ll be aided by at least $5 million from a casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, who is bankrolling a Super PAC that aims to do to Romney what Romney did to Gingrich in Iowa.

The South Carolina campaign is just beginning, Kornacki says.

Romney enters South Carolina as the favorite. A poll last week, just after Iowa, put him at 37 percent, his best showing of the entire campaign and nearly 20 points ahead of the next candidate. The numbers showed that Romney is very capable of winning the state, especially if the rest of the field remains split (Santorum finished second in the poll with 19 percent, while Gingrich was at 18 — meaning that together they accounted for the same share of the vote as Romney). But the numbers also came with a giant asterisk: Millions and millions of dollars in vicious attack ads aimed at reminding South Carolinians of all of the many reasons they have to be suspicious of Romney had not yet run.

Those ads will hit the airwaves tomorrow and won’t stop until the 21st. Romney may still emerge with a victory, and thus the nomination. But it’s not going to be pretty.

On the other hand — Jonathan Martin and John Harris write at Politico that the GOP establishment is rallying around Romney now.

These influential voices — who include many fund-raisers and other sorts of people who are unwise for politicians to alienate — will greet the kind of scorched-earth tactics necessary to slow Romney’s march with hostility.

Many conservative activists, while not especially enthusiastic about Romney or his establishment backers, are appalled by the odd turn of campaign rhetoric in the closing days of New Hampshire, with Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman taking aim at Romney’s record running the private equity firm Bain Capital. These people, who include radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, are apoplectic that anti-Romney Republicans are making common cause with anti-business Democrats.

Of course, in Reality World, opposition to Mittens’s style of cancerous vampire squid exploitation capitalism is not “pro business” at all, since it actually destroys business. But in the minds of the GOP establishment, capitalism really is the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money. And protecting that ability means more to them than duty, honor, country, or anything else. They’d sell their grandmas first.

And you know every cog in the noise machine, from Rush Limbaugh to Faux News, will be ordering the people of South Carolina to vote for Mitt, or else. Because from now on he will be branded the only true Republican in the race. Just watch. As for Newt, the genuinely demented James Taranto is calling him “Barack Hussein Gingrich.”

Taranto also says that Gingrich’s attacks against Romney now will inoculate Romney against similar attacks in the general election. I don’t see why that would be true, however. Romney really is a disgusting piece of work. Unlike George W. Bush, who was able to keep the shoddy details of his “oil man” career mostly hidden from the public in 2000, Romney’s dirty laundry will be in plain view from now until November, assuming he’s the nominee. If anything, it might actually help Obama that Republicans are dishing this stuff now. It makes the attacks seem nonpartisan and more credible to the public.

Update: See also Joan Walsh, “GOP Rallies Around Vulture Capitalism, Not Romney.”

It’s an interesting moment. Multiple news organizations reported that even close allies are telling Gingrich to cut out the attacks on Romney, but he’s already purchased an estimated $1.5 million in South Carolina airtime for his “House of Bain” spots, plus a nasty ad claiming Romney had “governed pro-abortion” in Massachusetts. What’s Gingrich going to do? He hates Romney, but he loves predatory capitalism as much as Limbaugh does. He doesn’t believe his own Bain Capital attacks. Can he continue to hurt Romney without damaging his own chances to return to the right-wing gravy train when he goes down to defeat? Trust me, the monied interests are not interested in hiring anti-capitalist “historians” to not-lobby for them. Gingrich is torn between vengeance and greed. Sucks to be him. Fun to watch.


Share Button