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Saturday, January 19, 2008
posted by Anne | 10:57 PM | permalink
Hey, via Instapundit, it's the Saturday drunkblogger, Vodkapundit--says it's a two man race--McCain-Romney. And who would want to argue with that?

Seriously, that's what it looks like.

The Huckster is done for. We have to knock Rudy off in Florida, then it's on to Super Tuesday.

But for tonight, we can congratulate Gov. Mitt Romney on his great win in Nevada, and his holding his own in South Carolina in such a tough field.
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I think such declarations are premature.
I believe that Romney wanted to win Nevada big (he did).
Generally wanted McCain to win S.C. (he did).
And wanted to finish strong in S.C. (I think he needed 3-5% more to say this happened).

All in all however I think today was a good day for Romney. McCain’s win means that McCain will fight with Giuliani in Florida and I think this will be good for Romney. Huck’s loss SHOULD mean that Huck is no longer considered a real contender (which he probably should not have been considered after NH or MI anyway), but I am afraid it will not. Fred is done, and I think he will be out before Florida.

I however think it is premature to declare this a 2 man race. .

First, Giuliani with his anemic support and 1? delegate will be competitive in Florida. If he wins Florida, he will declare (and the media will support) the idea that he is ready for a commanding performance on super Tueday.
Second, McCain is of course not out.
And Third, Huckabee, I believe, is content to continue to tear apart the Republican Party. I fear he will continue to run. I fear he will continue to get support from folks who care little about politics and solely about his religion. With this support he will attempt to “purchase” something from himself (or whatever values he espouses) which I hope is not a VP slot (actually I hope in Nov. Romney offers him a position as a congressional pastor or something where he can use his faith appropriately).

Florida I think will be an important test for Romney. It is certainly an important test from Giuliani. And, McCain is not the anointed one precisely because so much of the Republican Party considers him fatally flawed. Florida will be one more building block for his message, “Elect me with my flaws because I am good enough and can beat Hillary (or Barack).

My political fantasies involve a number of things.
1. Fred leaves without endorsing McCain or Giuliani. Better yet he endorses Mitt. And/or the majority of Thompson supporter fall in line with Romney after Thompson leaves.
2. Huckabee leaves or upwards of 80% of evangelicals recognize he is not a good choice and he ceases to be viable. Better yet, his departure results in a pre-Florida (or pre-Super Tuesday) endorsement from James Dobson for Romney. Remember Dobson declared all front runners (at the time Giuliani, McCain, and Thompson) unacceptable to him. Without Huck it would seem he and other religions conservative could through their support behind Romney (even as Romney emphasizes his economic strength and radical competence).
3. Giuliani, no longer by himself in Florida, comes in a distant third to Romney and McCain and decides to leave before Super Tuesday or is clearly not viable in any Super Tuesday primaries.
I think all of the above three things are reasonably possible.

Political negative scenarios:
1. Huck continues to Muck up this process by taking social conservatives away from real conservative candidates (like Romney after Thomson is gone). He does this so he can use whatever influence he has at the convention. Such a use will likely not go for Romney.
2. Thompson provides considerable support to McCain or Giuliani.
3. The media’s past hostility to Romney continues and this has an increasingly negative effect upon his campaign. I really think that Rush and Will and Novak and … will continue to rally around Romney (although Giuliani is not as unacceptable to them as McCain or Huck). But, the mainstream media has painted Romney negatively for those who pay only a little attention and I fear this could continue.

Romney was in Florida tonight. To me this indicates it is not time to celebrate the “3 gold medals” with the Nevada faithful, but rather time to work to make Nevada’s vote of confidence matter.
I intend to make calls (through Call@Home) to Florida some time in the future if it all possible. I see no cruise control button on the Mitt Mobile at this point in time.

Thanks, TOm

Huck's dangerous now becaue he's playing for the VP spot. That means he won't take McCain on directly.He'll continue to take pot shots at Romney to help McCain.Ed Rollins is blaming Thompson for his loss in SC. I agree. Thompson was McCain's hachet man and McCain's fingerprints wern't on it. When is illegal immigration going to have some teeth in this race. It seems a lot of people are voting for Mccain on electibility alone and that's a suicidal path for the GOP. We need clear differences between the Dems and McCain doesn't cut it there.My hope is Huck and Thompson supporters throw in with Romney and Guliani steals security votes from McCain.At the end of the day wouldn't mind seeing a Romney/ Guliani ticket which would be socially moderate and Rudi would give Romney security gravitas.

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