Derision 2012! Are you smarter than a Presidential Campaign Manager?

The GOP primary election is still going on but it’s time to make the switch to the general election for President.  So the political posts at Frank’s Place will appear under the heading Derision 2012!  I was going to use Decision 2012, but CNN had copyright issues with that. They way I hack the campaign coverage, Derision 2012! is much more appropriate.  Suck it Blitzer!

First things first.  A question: if no-one votes in a presidential primary, does it make a sound?  Answer: no, not really.  While you were sleeping, last Tuesday, the GOP held its primary elections in Nebraska and Oregon.  Governor Romney won both states in a landslide but received almost no delegates.  Delegates from those states won’t be appointed until the state conventions.  So, no those primaries were insignificant to say the least.  It’s hard to understand all the negative comments on those state web sites about the Governor not actively campaigning there.  Really?  He should waste his time and money in states who can’t get their primary system into the 21st century?

Kentucky and Arkansas are up next, Tuesday 22 May.  Then the big tamale, Texas votes 29 May.  The Governor should technically and officially clinch the nomination at the Texas primary.  Look for him to have a big presence there.  Texas will figure big in the general election.  Speaking of the general election, on to the opening question.  Are you smarter than a Presidential Campaign Manager?

Sadly this will probably be a recurring question throughout the campaign.  Anyone looking for the level of campaign discourse to be raised is in for a big disappointment.  I offer but a few examples of the genius we can expect from the President’s campaign.

It’s dog eat dog, literally.  The President’s reelection gurus decided it would be a good idea to jump on this 20-year-old story of Governor Romney putting the family dog in a carrier and strapping him to the roof of the car while on vacation.  It was supposed to show how disconnected Gov. Romney is from human emotion and thus unable to connect with the American people.  They even posted this picture to contrast the President’s love of Bo, the First Dog, and Romney’s hatred of Seamus.

A little creepy, considering the President’s childhood diet.

Apparently none of the President’s team has ever read his first book.  In that auto-biography the President tells of how he ATE dog when he was a child.  Why would you hammer the dog on the roof story when your own guy would have just eaten him to save space?  It gets better.  The Obama team’s response to the canine kabob enjoyed by young Obama? ‘Well he was ten, you’re really going to pick on something that happened 30 years ago?’  That last sentence is paraphrased.  But I would have fired the lot of them for even thinking this, much less saying it out loud.  Here’s why.

The Bully vs the Drug Lord

The next salvo from Team Three Blind Mice was even worse.  Still fresh from the ‘don’t pick on a kid’ defense they decide to…pick on a kid.  Yes they went back to an alleged incident involving young Romney in prep school.  The incident involves the would be Governor shaving the head of a hippie student at the very prominent prep school in Michigan.  Turns out the kid was also gay, although it’s not clear anyone knew that at the time.  The kid in question died of cancer in 2004 so no way to know who knew what.  The family of this kid has since come forward and made the whole story fuzzy if not outright manufactured.

Why this is stupid: Obama’s campaign just got done crying about picking on the President for something he did when he was ten.  But of course it’s ok to pick on Romney for something he did in high-school.  But the bigger issue, again back to the President’s auto-biography, where he admits to using cocaine.  What the hell is wrong with these people?  How can they be employed?  Do they think that they are the only people who don’t read?  The millisecond that bullying story about Romney came out, the cocaine stories were flying.  We all knew that was going to happen.  And by all I mean everyone in the known universe except Team Obama.

The Bain of My Existence

For those of you that have followed my coverage of the 1.3 million GOP primary debates, you know that the subject of Romney’s time at Bain Capital came up again and again.  Beating a dead horse doesn’t come close to describing the detail in which that story was hashed out.  But Team Obama felt they could squeeze one more ounce of blood out of that rock.  So they took on Romney’s record while at Bain Capital.  You know like the other 6 GOP candidates did the other 57 million times during the debates.  They decided to highlight the amount of people who lost jobs as a result of Bain buying up companies and then selling them off.  Now that would have been a great strategy except for one minor detail, the truth.

While it’s true under Romney’s direction Bain put people out of work buying up companies and selling them off or restructuring, it’s also true that in the long run Bain put more people to work or back to work by reducing and restructuring.  It’s still painful for the people who didn’t get jobs back.  That’s an issue for another post.  The issue: Team Obama not only showed they are willing to lie and distort data, or maybe they’re just not able to comprehend said data, they failed to score a hit on Romney and actually proved his financial theory.  The capitalist system can create jobs and stimulate business.

So the gang who can’t shoot straight is suffering from a lack of physics.  Yes physics.  Had any of those people stayed awake in high-school physical science class they would have been versed in Newton’s 3rd law of motion which in effect states actions and reaction are equal and opposite.  Talk about my dog carrier and I’ll bring up your doggie burger.  Talk about my days as a jerk in high school and I’ll bring up your days as a cocaine addict.

It’s simple science guys, not rocket science.   Be Smarter.

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GOP Primary: Now it’s weird.

In a very strange turn of events, everything that was predicted and expected to happen in the three primary elections tonight did in fact happen.  There are a few funny side notes but the main issues fell as people had figured they would.

First and foremost, Governor Romney crushed in all three primaries.  In West Virginia the Governor took 70% of the vote.  In North Carolina he took 66%.  Indiana gave him 65% of the vote.  The two issues that made tonight news worthy also broke out as expected.

So long Dick.  A Republican Senator from Indiana since 1977, Dick Luger was cleansed, Tea Party style, out of office.  His heinous crime: living more in DC than at one of many homes and ranches he owns in the Hoosier state.  It was also revealed that Lugar was one of the few Senators that could get work done between the two parties.  So yeah by all means get him the hell out of there.  We want the government to be totally dysfunctional.  If it’s not, what will we do with all the “I hate government gridlock” signs we just ordered.

In North Carolina the people voted to uphold an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, in effect banning gay marriage.  I said before I’m not a big fan of legislating principals or Biblical morals.  If you have to create laws to achieve a biblical moral code, how biblical can that moral code be.  The reason this is a victory; the people of North Carolina got to decide for themselves.  They should not be forced to live with a law they don’t want just because other parts of the country want it.  Likewise, if Vermont or California want to make it legal for two men to marry and enjoy all the same legal protections, benefits, and entitlements of a married man and woman, have at it.  As long as the people of California or Vermont decide that for themselves.

It’s not the end of the institution of marriage just because Ellen Degeneres can go to New York or Massachusetts to marry her girlfriend.  I’m pretty sure Kim Kardashian or that dude Kelsey Grammer took out the sanctity of marriage already; both heterosexuals by the way.  Grammer is on wedded bliss #4 and Kim the K is moving on to #3.    Marriage is treated as a joke in this country, and it started long before the gay community was allowed to do it.

Like wise if a state’s citizens believe marriage should be between one man and one woman I don’t think that means they are a bunch of homophobes or racists.  People have the right to believe what they want and vote on that belief.  Again the key to me is the citizens of each state get to decide for themselves.  Look now for Hollywood to call for a boycott of business in North Carolina.

To lighten the mood a great story comes out of the West Virginia primary.  Apparently the President was not running unopposed in the Mountaineer state.  He faced and is currently facing a withering campaign from Keith Judd.  Have you not heard of Keith Judd?  You people.  I try and try to educate, what do I get for my trouble.  Alright here is the 411 on Mr. Judd

Keith Judd:  Democrat, ran unsuccessful for President in 2008.  He made only one ballot – the state of Idaho.  He is the Founder of World Peace Through Musical Communications Skills, 1963-present.  A member of the Federation of Super Heros, 1976-1982.  And he is currently winning 40% of the vote in the democratic presidential primary against one Barak Obama, President, United State of America.

If you want to contact Mr Judd, his number is #11593-051.  That’s not a phone number, that’s the number on the back of his prison uniform.  Yep, Mr Judd is in the federal pen in Texas for extorting and threatening the University of New Mexico.  He was incarcerated in 2008 as well when he managed to get on the Idaho ballot.  His name appeared right next to then Senator Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton.  This time he’s getting traction.  It’s so bad the democratic Senator from WV, Joe Manchin, won’t say who he voted for, the President or the felon.  But this takes the cake.

Because primary election law says that any candidate receiving at least 15% of the vote gets at least one delegate at the national convention, Mr Judd will have probably more the one representative in the West Virginia delegation at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina in September.  Holy cow this guy got more votes for president than half the republican field.  Here is the most current mug shot or campaign photo I guess, of Mr. Judd.

Felon or politician – Yes.

 

 

Only in America!

 

 

 

 

GOP Primary: It’s still going, and going, and going….

For those of you still keeping up with the GOP Primary race there is an election tonight.  The good citizens of Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia get their chance tonight.

Shouldn’t be much excitement in the main event.  Governor Romney should sweep all three states.  With 132 delegates at stake the Governor can run his total to 989 total delegates.  That leaves him only 155 delegates shy of final victory.  Or does it?  More on that in a second.  But first there are some games with-in the game tonight that should make for interesting news stories tomorrow morning.

First, in Indiana, Republican Senator Richard Lugar, his friends call him Dick although at the moment it appears he has no friends, is about to lose a primary challenge to the state treasurer.  In the ongoing quest by the Republican party to cleanse itself of all those deemed not conservative enough by the Tea Party, Senator Lugar is about to be unseated by little known Richard Murdock, after 35 years in the Senate.  Lugar was the Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1976 before winning his current Senate seat in 1977.  He was once known as the George Washington of Indiana.

The big issue that felled Lugar and so angered the Tea Party; Lugar had no idea that his residence was listed as Washington DC, and had less than a clue as to where the DMV sends his mail.  He was painted as a DC insider and that was that.  Yes, clearly these are the important issue of the day in Indiana.  You think there was more to it than that, google it and find me the issue that separates Lugar from Murdock other than this silly business of residence.  Even Murdock admits he has been voting for Lugar for years.

On to North Carolina.  A gay marriage ban is up for vote by the people of the Tar Heel State.  Actually the amendment would not ban gay marriage directly but would define marriage and a union between a man and a women and cement it as law in the state’s constitution.  So by implication it bans same-sex marriage.  This is much bigger than Lugar getting busted by his own party in Indiana.  There are a lot of polls out there that say the American public is ok with gay marriage.  Still other polls show that most don’t care one way or the other.  So you have to believe the numbers showing favor over against might be misleading.  Not caring about something is not the same as being for something.  Also, the gay marriage movement has been gaining steam since 2009.  This might be a big setback for those that favor gay marriage.  Count me among those who care not, one way or the other.

While all this is going on, Governor Romney might have a little problem on his hands.  That problem is the Keebler elf, otherwise known as Congressman Ron Paul from Texas.  Way back when I tried to define unbound and bound delegates, county caucuses versus state conventions.  Read some of those here for a refresher: Unbound Delegates   Washington State Caucus

Well it turns out Paul and his campaign are taking advantage of the caucus rules and have been winning the unbound delegates that Romney won during the initial caucus.  How has he been doing that?  His camp has been going to the state conventions and getting their delegates elected to the national convention where they will likely vote for Romney when the roll is called.

For example, Governor Romney won the Nevada Caucus, taking 14 delegates to Newts, Santorum’s 3 and Paul’s 2.  However at the Nevada state convention 22 of the 25 delegates are Paul supporters.  Paul realized that the candidates don’t normally take part in the state conventions so he sent his boys to each one and they got elected to fill the delegate positions.  In the states where the delegates are not bound to vote for the initial caucus winner.  So that means at the national convention when Nevada is called, it is likely the if not guaranteed, most of the delegates will vote for Paul.  This situation is occurring in several of the states that held a caucus instead of a straight up primary election.  Paul can’t win the nomination this way but mathematically he could keep Romney from winning the nomination on the first roll call at the national convention.

This is more than likely a play by Paul for more influence and personal participation at the national convention and possibly in a Romney White House.  Stay tuned, it could get interesting.

Man I love that guy.

Election results late tonight cause, you know, it’s the silly central time zone.

GOP Primary: The Event Horizon

Can you feel it?  We are getting close.  Event Horizon is a term related to relativity, describing the boundary by which an outside observer can no longer be affected by events through space and time.  In other words, it’s the point of no return.  Tonight we reached the event horizon of the republican primary election.  Governor Romney can’t officially win the nomination of his party until the Texas primary on May 29th at the earliest, but by sweeping the five states that voted tonight, he will no longer be affected by the Newts and Ron Pauls of the political world.  The republican party is at it’s event horizon, their point of no return, with Governor Romney as their nominee.

Now as we have seen over the past few weeks, there could always be a Columbian hooker in the closet, as in the case of the Secret Service, or a pregnant mistress and violation of campaign finance law, as in the case of former 08 candidate John Edwards.  If any of that were to happen that would of course change the game.  In this case I think the republicans are safe.  This is Governor Romney’s second go round.  You would think any issue would have come up by now, but hey you never know.

Just FYI; John Edwards could get 30 years in prison for what he has been accused of.  The trial started today and the first witness, one of Edwards’ closest aides during his failed Presidential run, put Edwards squarely under the bus.  The guy had receipts, e-mails, cashed checks, the works.  Johnny Haircut might be in a pickle on this caper.

Anyway, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware voted tonight.  Governor Romney swept all 5 states.  His lowest percentage was in Delaware, where he got 56% of the vote.  There were 231 delegates available tonight and Gov. Romney won them all.  His total now stands at 801 delegates.  He needs only 343 more to win the nomination.  He will do that easily.  There will be no floor fight at the convention.

Of course Newt finished last in every race but Delaware, coming in 2nd, some 3o percentage points behind Gov. Romney.  Naturally he gave a speech in North Carolina tonight.   Why North Carolina, well the Tar Heel state votes in the next primary on Tuesday, May 8th.  So you know what that means, Newt is staying in.  He claims he’ll reevaluate, but he said that about Delaware, and he got shellacked in Delaware.  He may just to drop out tomorrow, when he has the press all to himself.  He may just like having his Secret Service detail, you know the tax payer funded, heavily armed detail.

Paul finished 2nd in every race but Delaware.  He took 3rd behind Newt.  Interesting to note that Paul did not campaign in any of the states that voted tonight and he still beat Newt by sizable margins in 4 of the 5 states.  He appears to be hanging on for a sprint to the convention, again in all likelihood to get some more time for his Libertarian message.

Next primary is May 8th.  North Carolina, West Virginia, and Indiana are up.  Should be another 132 delegates in Governor Romney’s column.

We have another dead period as we wait the two weeks for the May 8th vote.  What will we find out next.  Will it be another dog meat buffet scandal, illegal immigrant hedge trimmers, fancy vacations, or an oldy but a goody, the birth certificate conundrum?

Rest assured, if it’s utterly ridiculous, heinously stupid, and completely manufactured, Frank’s Place will be all over it.

GOP Primary: The point of no return… maybe

This is it. Possibly.  Tonight’s the night.  I think.

This should be the final step for Governor Romney.  He is running basically unopposed now and while he can’t technically win the nomination tonight, that could come in Texas on May 29th at the earliest, he can effectively put the nomination away by sweeping the five northeastern states voting tonight.  If he can’t do that, the doubts that have been finding a voice the past three weeks may get louder.

The governor has already shifted to hammering the President, although he made that move after the Florida primary.  The big difference this time; the White House has shifted to hammering Romney, clearly believing he is the man.  The only person who doesn’t believe it is Newt, and a lot of the electorate.

Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director called it way back in August of 2011.  The Republican base may not fall in love with Mitt Romney but they need to fall in LIKE with him.  Still not sure the electorate is in like with Mitt Romney.  Tonight will go a long way to settling that down.

In Newt’s case his ego just won’t let him quit.  His debt on the other hand…  Currently the Gingrich campaign is over 6 million in debt and that number is rising.  For some reason Newt and Calista have refused to accept they are the fringe campaign.  Both still use a private jet for travel, and Calista still maintains a personal body guard service, even though she has a secret service agent assigned to her.  Speaking of the US Secret Service, guess which candidate who is against frivolous government spending still demands a secret service detail, costing the tax payer some serious gitas (money).  Newt and Calista will have that detail until he drops from the race; something he say’s he’s not willing to do until the convention.

However, because of the mounting debt there has been rumblings that Newt may pull the cord after the Delaware primary.  Delaware?  That’s his last stand according to his campaign.  Not really sure what a portion of 17 delegates will do for a campaign that’s over 500 delegates behind and 6 mil in debt but hey what do I know, he’s the PhD.

Don’t Look Now…..

Remember all those dumb little non-binding delegates from all those dumb little caucuses in the mid-west?  Well, they have been conducting their respective state conventions and guess who’s been winning a lot of those un-bound delegates?  If you guessed Congressman Ron Paul, take 10 dollars out of petty cash.  The Paul campaign has 2+ million in surplus cash, no debt, no on coming debt.  He’s not traveling much, speaking at local events in his districts or at colleges where the school puts up the fee.    In other words it turns out Ron Paul practices what he preaches.  It has put him in good position for …

Guess what, Ron Paul may survive to the convention.  He can’t win it but he’ll finish second in overall delegates which would be a huge feat.  He’ll probably be offered a speech in close to prime time network coverage at the convention; in the dinner hour most likely, and that’s the victory Paul is looking for.  He knows he can’t win, but if he can keep getting his message out there through the remainder of this election, that will be victory enough.

All five states are in the correct time zone, so polls close anywhere from 7 to 8pm eastern.  Check back for results after 8.

Oh and any polls you see in April have absolutely no bearing in November.  Romney has drawn even with the President, the President trails Romney, it will be all over the map.  The only poll that matters now is the one you’re standing in on Tuesday, November 6th.

GOP Primary: Santorum – Exit stage right!

Well folks it’s just about over.  Rick Santorum is preparing to speak in Gettysburg Pennsylvania as I type.  The former Senator from PA is suspending his campaign.  To all of us in the unwashed masses that means he’s quitting the race.  Technically however, that means he will no longer actively campaign, but his name will appear on the ballot in any state he is registered, and more importantly he can legally take and use campaign contributions all the way to the Republican National Convention in August.  There is also an outside chance that Romney may implode.  If that were to occur due to some scandal, Santorum could jump back in to the race with little effort.   He couldn’t do that if he ended his campaign instead of suspending it.

This is not much of a surprise really.  For all his bluster, Santorum knew there was no slide rule, no algorithm, no math that would get him to the nomination.  The final kicker may have been one of two issues, or maybe a mix of both.  Santorum was touting Pennsylvania as his chance to make up ground.  Today’s poll numbers show Santorum losing his home state to Romney.  That’s a beat down he was probably anxious to avoid.  Santorum is young and can still run for office.  The fewer beat-downs on your resume the better. This is especially true if he tries to run for Senator again, or even governor in Pennsylvania.

Romney stopped negative ads in PA out of respect to Santorum’s family as they dealt with the medical problems of their young daughter Bella.  So the other issue could be Santorum’s family.  His daughter has had medical problems since birth and she was recently taken to the hospital again.   Running for President is hard on the candidates and can be harder still on the family.  Santorum appears to be sincere when it comes to his family.  So it would not be difficult to believe that he’s ready to spend more time with them and specifically Bella.

As a lot of pundits are currently opining right now, you have to give Santorum credit.  By comparison to the other candidates, he is dirt poor.  He campaigned the old fashioned way, door to door, city to city, county to county, state to state.  In the end though, effort, grass root, and old school style can’t overcome a ridiculous message that was out of touch from the beginning.  Teleprompters of the world! I say to you: breath easy, thine enemy is delivered to your footstool, defeated.

The Uni Bomber (Newt Gingrich) is still in.  His campaign says their plan includes a big opportunity involving Delaware.   If that strategy doesn’t disqualify Newt to be President, nothing does.  Delaware bro, really?  You think you can handle all 17 delegates?  I mean you’re only 520 delegates behind, pace yourself.  Time to phone a friend Newt, get a buddy, or even a clue.  Better yet, suspend your campaign, I hear it’s Buy One Get One at Tiffany’s this weekend.

Ron Paul is still in.  Yeah, I got nothing.  Neither does Ron Paul.

So the nomination is Romney’s to lose from this point forward.  Each state will still vote in their primary elections.  Romney still has to hit 1144 delegates.  He has 645 currently with some big states coming up.  With Santorum out now, Romney should hit 1144 quickly.  Assuming Romney will win all the delegates from here on out, he will officially clinch the nomination at the Texas primary election on May 29th.

First and foremost, the next primary is April 24th.  Five states vote on that Tuesday, including Pennsylvania.

The voting schedule and delegate count will stay up at Frank’s Place until Romney officially clinches the nomination.

GOP Illinois Primary: CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!!!

Well not really.  Sorry Mike.  But Romney won, and is winning big.  Current numbers have him at 55% to Santorum’s 28%.  That is huge, but again the delegate count will tell the tale.  We won’t know the full delegate victory until late tonight or tomorrow sometime.  Romney started the night already 10 delegates ahead because Santorum couldn’t get enough delegates registered throughout the state.  That huge lead will not hold up as the rural counties have yet to report their vote.  I would expect Mitt’s lead will be in the single digits by nights end.  It’s also likely Santorum and Romney will split up the delegates with Mitt getting just slightly more.  That is bad for Santorum.  He needs to be running ahead in delegates and since his “Big” southern win he has been consistently losing ground.

To make matters worse, Newt came in fourth tonight, finishing at 7%.  That’s a full 2% behind Ron Paul, who is so short on money the only time he’s on the radio or TV is for election night concession speeches.  Because of that the cry is getting louder for Newt to get out.  The word on the street is that Newt could exit tonight or after Wisconsin on April 3rd.  If that happens, I think the vote Santorum is counting on from the Gingrich campaign will actually migrate to Romney as Mitt continues to build his lead.

Odd stat of the night:

Romney, a Mormon, is winning among Catholics in Illinois 48% to 32% over Santorum, a devout Catholic.

Candidate Campaign Health:

It’s FEC (Federal election Commission) day which means candidates must file their financial situation for the quarter.  This gives us an interesting look into the health of each campaign.  Below are their respective efforts.  (Romney and Santorum only)

Romney:  

12 mil raised

12.4 mil spent

0 debt

0 in loans

7 mil on hand

Santorum:

6.7 mil raised

5.2 mil spent

956,000 in debt

20,000 in loans – to Santorum himself in personal funds

1.5 mil on hand

So what does all that mean.  It gives a good look at how much each candidate can spend going on to the next primaries.  These particular numbers show something else.  Santorum is having trouble raising money and keeping the money he does raise.  This is not uncommon with a campaign that is a little unorganized, as has been reported.  The 20,000 loan Santorum gave his campaign has been repaid to him even though the campaign still owes 956,000 to others.  Me thinks there might be some fancy cypherin (read accounting) going on in that there campaign.

The “on hand” money is a little decieveing. It may be on hand but a lot of that is already ear marked to upcoming debt.  So neither candidate has that # as a balance as we speak tonight.  That’s what they had on hand as of the filing deadline today but you can already subtract the reported debt from the on-hand number.  Rest assured as each candidate travels tonight they are already incurring debt and eating substantially into the on-hand number.

So Mitt has no outstanding debt but he’s spending money even as he is giving his victory speech right now.  So his $7 mil on-hand is no longer $7 mil.  Even concession speeches cost money.  You only see the candidate on stage, but what you can’t see is food and drink laid out for VIP’s, Ron Paul is known for using a cash bar at his rallies: victory or concession,  building rental, car rental, the music being played, signs handed out to the crowd for the TV shot, etc….  All of this costs money and it comes from the campaign.

There is probably a reason Santorum is giving his concession speech from his hometown tonight and not the next campaign stop in Louisiana.  Most likely he’s getting the hall on the cuff (Jersey speak for free).  He has one banner and no one is eating or drinking.

Of course each campaign is also raising money at the same time.  Mitt will take a big lead there with his state victory tonight.  As I have said many times, state victories bring money, delegate victories bring the nomination.  We’ll see if Mitt’s big win translates into big delegates.

On to the Louisiana primary this Saturday, 24 March.  It’s a big one, 42 delegates up for grabs in the Bayou Primary, but they’re all big at this point.

 

At current Illinois primary numbers Romney will win about 20 more delegates than Santorum,.  Only 50% of the vote in right now, so that may change.