Friday, May 04, 2012
Thursday, May 03, 2012
(CBS News) After bowing out from the Republican presidential race Wednesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is no worse off than he was before he ran for president, says CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, will likely have to deal with some of Gingrich's less-than-complimentary "sound bites" about him for the remainder of the campaign.
"Gingrich knew from the very beginning that this was a long shot, but he also knew what a lot of other Republicans know, that there are many, many Republicans on the right side of the party who simply don't like Mitt Romney, who don't believe that he is one of them, a true conservative," Schieffer told Charlie Rose Thursday on "CBS This Morning."
So basically, all Newt did was drink beer, take bus rides and give performances. Just living out the rock star dream, I suppose.
Oh. And throwing bombs. Never forget the bombs. The question becomes: what kind of damage has he inflicted on the Romney campaign?
I mean, it's not as though had Newt played nice all primary season long, Mitt would have jumped out to an imposing lead over Obama, and certainly there's plenty of time between now and the election for Obama to jump way ahead of Mitt and annoint his second term.
Newt, however, certainly put a damper on any reasonable attacks Romney might have attempted:
He (ed. note: Gingrich) [...] mercilessly condemned Romney as a man who “can’t be honest,” who “looted a company” and who “doesn’t seem capable of inspiring positive turnout.”
Calling the guy you're about to throw your considerable weight behind a boring, thieving liar is going to leave a lot of raw material for the Obama campaign to construct commercials around.
And you have to know that the Obama camp is dying to pick a fight with the right wing, particularly the uberconservatives, because of their dilletantist demeanor in his first term. He won't want to just beat them, he'll want to stomp a mudhole in them and then do a Mexican Hat Dance around the hole. Using Newt as their conduit will merely serve to make it that much sweeter, despite the fact that Newt all but agreed with the President on the Ryan tax plan.
Still, it was fun to have Gingrich to kick around: Callista's whore diamonds, bouncing checks, the revelation that any hotel room he stays in must have access to two bathrooms, no brown M&Ms in the candy dish...ok, I made that one up, still you get the point.
His withdrawal from the race and Schieffer's revelation that he was half-hearted to begin with, cast a whole new light on Gingrich's candidacy. It points out a positive and a negative.
The positive, of course, is that he was at least realistic that he was tilting at windmills and behaved accordingly. The negative is he disrespected the American (and particularly, Republican) electorate and mocked them with his very presence in the race and his lack of seriousness and discipline in committing to the office.
In a sense, he pre-ordained his failure by ordaining his levity.
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
This is very clever--and very silly. The deficit last year was $1.3 trillion. With the Buffett rule in place, it would have been $1.295 trillion. Last year the tax credit for energy-efficient improvements to homes cost almost as much as the Buffett rule will raise annually ($4.7 billion on average). The President's proposal for keeping a low interest rate on some college loans, at $6 billion next year, costs more. The Buffett rule is government by catchphrase.
In the same vein, the President recently vowed to hunt down and stop energy "speculators," lest they "reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick." Good luck with that. No one seriously believes--surely not even Obama--that speculation is responsible for this year's rise in oil prices, now beginning to recede. The President is sending the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on a make-believe mission after nonexistent villains because it sounds good. On the election's most central issue, the economy, Obama is stuck in a minor key. He offers no major reforms in taxes or entitlements, no new stimulus, no departures whatsoever. He is obsessed with the marginalia of green energy, which is less than 10% of the energy sector and is prone to a bust unless the subsidies keep on rolling. He is content to watch his party's majority in the Senate desperately maneuver to avoid the pain of even voting on a budget. Evasion is the order of the day.
What the Obama campaign lacks in substantive heft it will try to make up in relish for tearing apart Romney. He will be portrayed as out of touch, strange, secretive and--occasionally by Obama allies--Mormon. In this highly personal demolition, Romney has already been made out as hostile to women and cruel to dogs. Someday political scientists will marvel that a top adviser to the President of the United States once joined a drumbeat over an opponent's transporting his dog in a kennel on the roof of his car ... in the 1980s.
Compare and contrast:
“You know, we had the Buffett Rule,” he said. “You know, it went on for months. Even the president admitted it was a gimmick. And then we have the Rose Garden ceremony talking about manipulation in the oil markets, without one shred of evidence. And he has an entire administration to go after speculation or manipulation in the oil markets. And then they picked this student loan fight where there is no fight.”
“Last year at this time, this very weekend, we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals,” Obama said. Then a picture of real estate mogul Donald Trump appeared on the room’s television monitors. The president last year delivered a scathing roast of Trump, who flirted with running for the Republican nomination and claimed he had solved the “mystery” of Obama’s birth certificate.
Obama also took a shot at the Republican congressional leadership, whom he thanked “for taking time from their exhausting schedule of not passing any laws” to attend the dinner.[...]
“[Mitt Romney and I] both have degrees from Harvard. I have one, he has two. What a snob.”
The crack drew a thumbs up from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who was in the audience. Santorum dropped out of the presidential primary campaign earlier this month. He had called Obama a snob for encouraging young Americans to attend college.
And there was a luscious, scrumptious video joke ("voke"?) of a faux-campaign commercial put together by Romney, using Air Force One...
It's not even May yet. We have six months more of this crap...sorry, Seamus...still to come, but it's nice it kicks off with a few laughs.