Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Catching up

February 1, 2012

What a difference a day makes: Or just a moment, in today's news cycle. At last writing, Newt looked good in FL. Boy, 8 days is an eternity in presidential politics. Despite a poor debate performance and double-digit loss in the primary, this is one skunk that won't go crawling back into the woodpile. Sure, his massive ego will propel him throughout the next 30 dog days (i.e. "minor" caucuses), but Newt has more than his ego to bank on. He has Sheldon Adelson. And based on breakdown of FL results, he does have a path forward. Newt carried the panhandle (the part of FL that is actually in the US), which is far more reflective of the Republican voting base in several key Super Tuesday states. No one has even 10% of the total delegates required. And remember that Iowa, NH and FL all went for Dems in 08. People who look at statewide totals from FL and want to extrapolate them across a larger band have never actually lived in FL. I don't expect Newt to go quietly into that good night.

Nobody does it better: Speaking of breaking down electoral results, is there anyone on the planet who does it better than MSNBC's Chuck Todd? Let me answer that for you: NO!

The strange case of Dr. Paul and Dr. John: He was in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time. Hate to agree with Michael Graham, but he was spot-on on Imus re: Ron Paul. The man has a great message, but he is the wrong messenger. First, I hate to admit, he comes across a just a little bit nutty: to wit, Dr. Paul's speech last night when he claimed "our numbers are growing" - um, no they're not, unless we're talking about campaign dollars or number of volunteers. His bigger problem, in my opinion, is that he just doesn't have, or want to give, 30 second "sound bite" answers. And when we're talking about the world economy, can anyone really give a meaningful answer to a reasonable question in that time frame? Sorry, Ron, the voting public doesn't have the patience for detailed answers to important, complex questions. Would a more "polished" candidate with exactly the same message make more of an impact?

More nuts: Just because he's crazy doesn't mean he's wrong. Yes, I saw Buddy Roemer on Morning Joe today....

More Listerine: I have a real distaste for MSNBC's Ed Schultz. I disagree with him on almost every issue. Having said that, I saw him on Alex Wagner yesterday and he was unbelievably eloquent defending the Obama record. On an intellectual basis, I knew I didn't agree with his words as they were rolling off his tongue, but when it was over I found myself saying, "Whatever he's selling, I'll take two." The guy can be a wonderful advocate.

Zbig Deal: Hate to be like Imus and hump a book I haven't even read, but I urge all to read Zbigniew Brzezinski's new book "Strategic Vision", based on his interview last week on Morning Joe. His comments on public ignorance of political affairs both foreign and domestic is spot-on and deeply troubling. He's not the first to say it, but his putting it in the context of comparison to the last days of the Soviet Union should raise the level of alarm. We get the government we deserve.

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