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Sunday, August 12, 2007
posted by Kyle Hampton | 6:44 PM | permalink
Generally I found myself unimpressed by the CNN/Youtube debate questions. They were generally silly and unserious to me. However, I thought there was one question that was worthy to ask the candidates:

More than anything I like the realism of the question: Why does it matter what your views on the issues are if when in power you won’t get anything done? I like to say it more like this: How effective will you be in office? It’s something that each voter should ask themselves about the candidate they prefer, because an ineffective president is little better than an opposition president. The ability to organize support for the principles you advocate is just as important as what those principles are.

Which brings me to Ames. There is nothing lucky, magic or serendipitous about Romney’s win. Winning at Ames was a simple and straight forward task: organize and facilitate your supporters to vote for you there. As many reporters have said, this was an organizational test. It showed the effectiveness of the campaigns in accomplishing their goals.

With that in mind, I think there are three things to note from the Ames results. First, the fact that two governors topped the voting is hardly surprising. Holding executive office better prepares a person not only for the role of chief executive of the nation, but also for commanding smaller organizations such as a campaign. Romney’s campaign organization mirrors his success in the private and public sectors. Romney knows how to set organizational goals and to go about accomplishing them.

Second, Huckabee’s second place finish was as much the result of luck as it was anything else. Huckabee admitted and reports have reaffirmed that Huckabee did little get his voters to the straw poll. The conclusion that most are making is that Huckabee could have brought in a lot more people had his campaign expended the effort. That is certainly possible. However, it seems just as likely that Huckabee stumbled upon a disproportionate number of his supporters there in Ames. Either way, the lack of organizational effort by the Huckabee campaign made the outcome just as much a function of luck as anything else. The fact that Huckabee’s luck beat out the organizational abilities of the other candidates is sad for the rest of the field.

Third, and most importantly, Romney has distinguished himself as the most capable candidate. It is a fair question to ask in the campaign which candidate will be the most effective executive in the White House. Some of this has to do with ideology and principles. However, as the person in the question above noted, if when they get there can’t accomplish their goals, what good are they? This is where Romney really stands out. He was able to accomplish goal after goal as governor of Massachusetts. He has been able to accomplish goal after goal in this campaign. There is no doubt that as President he would be equally effective.


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Part of Huckabee's "luck" was that Same BrownBECK organized a lot of folks, spent a lot of money and then turned into the meanest bully on the block.
This turned off some of his supporters who turned to Huck.

I suspect Sam BrownBECK paid for a good number of Huchabee's votes in the straw poll.

By Anonymous GeorgiaMom, at August 12, 2007 at 8:01 PM  

I have no doubt that Huckabee getting up there and jamming with his rock band helped him out, as well. Like Bill Clinton with his sax, if you can play a tune, people will follow you like the pied piper. It's an instant plus in the likeability column.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 12, 2007 at 9:01 PM  

All those cuts in the film make it feel like a GAP add, but it's a good question, a question that only candidates record can answer. How can "tell" someone you won't be all talk?

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