“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

European Press Reviews of US Presidential Election

A fair amount of the articles we use for comment come from European news sources. I thought it would be interesting to see how they view the process. This from: The American Thinker


European Press and the Presidential Election
By Soeren Kern

The outcome of the US presidential election affects the lives of millions of people around the world. So it's probably not surprising that many Europeans are resentful that only Americans will have a say in it. European media are saturated with election coverage that is heavily biased in favor of the Democrats. And, as in past elections, European elites are also demanding the right to help choose the next occupant of the White House. What follows is a brief survey of what some Europeans are saying about the American way of democracy.

An editorial in the Brussels-based, center-right De Standaard articulates a view shared by many Europeans:

"American presidential elections are not ‘home affairs'. American decisions have repercussions all over the globe.... Hence, the world should be given the right to vote."

This view is echoed by the London-based, conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph. A column titled ‘If Only We Could Vote for the Next US President' argues:

"Many Britons will feel it would be rather nice to have a vote, too. Well, maybe not a whole vote: I would settle for one worth 50 per cent of those cast by American citizens. After all, since we are a strategic colony of the US, it would be nice to have even a marginal say in how the empire chooses to dispose our goodwill and our blood and treasure."

What European elites really seem to want is the right to "help" Americans choose the "correct" candidate. And if newspaper headlines are any indication, that person is, overwhelmingly, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Indeed, across the continent, European elites are infatuated with Obama, who is now a cult figure.

In Germany, the center-right Berliner Morgenpost proclaims that Obama is ‘The New Kennedy' while the centrist tabloid Bild says that ‘This Black American Has Become the New Kennedy!'

The left-wing Frankfurter Rundschau compares Obama not only to Kennedy, but also to Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt

"Obama is the candidate of the idealists.... Obama also happens to be the candidate of choice for the foreign press.... Many in Europe would like nothing more than a ‘European' America."

In the Netherlands, the left-leaning De Volkskrant reports that the US primaries are giving the Dutch "goose bumps.... Obama has the authenticity that the Dutch electorate craves."

In France, the center-left Libération says the new leader of the French Socialist Party should be someone with Obama's profile:

"The French Left seeks a charismatic leader, age 46, of mixed race, to deliver a message of hope and unity. At a time when American Democrats are discovering their new hero, it would be a good time for the Socialist Party and their friends to find a Barack Obama to end their internal quarrels."

Meanwhile, in an online poll at the center-left Le Nouvel Observateur, Obama has an overwhelming 60 percent of the 2,680 votes cast, double Clinton's 30 percent. The late President Kennedy is lagging behind, with only 4 percent of the votes.

In Britain, the centrist Times of London confirms that the Tories are suffering an identity crisis by reporting that

"Tories and Labour both hope for a sprinkling of Barack Obama's stardust. Ripples of excitement from the campaign of the presidential contender have crossed the Atlantic, and British politicians are agog."

After months of glorifying Obama, European media have tried to portray his losses to New York Senator Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada as part of an elaborate conspiracy to keep a black man from becoming the 44th president of the United States. After Clinton won the New Hampshire primary, for example, the Milan-based, center-right Il Giornale reported that Obama was the victim of vote-rigging.

In Germany, the Financial Times Deutschland opines:

"there is something narcissistic at the heart of the idea that Clinton was breaking down at the thought that America might be recklessly throwing away the chance to be governed by her. Chronic egocentrism, narcissism, self-pity-these are exactly the qualities that to this day make Bill Clinton so hated by his enemies."

The state-sponsored Deutsche Welle argues that although Clinton's victory in New Hampshire is being put down to her display of ‘genuine' emotion, it is actually a further example of "US politics descending into self-parody."

France, meanwhile, dispatched its ambassador to keep an eye on campaign events in New Hampshire.

"There's a lot of interest in France in this election.... The administration in Paris wants regular reports," says France's ambassador to the United States.

In an essay titled ‘The End of the Obama Revolution', Der Spiegel laments:

"All of those people who've been dreaming of America's first black president now have to slowly wake up. It'll happen one day, hopefully, but not in this election."

The Times of London says:

"For all his talk of changing America's face to the world and rebuilding old alliances, Mr Obama has been notably reluctant to engage, particularly with Europe. As British and European leaders ponder the meaning and consequences of Mr Obama's sudden rise, perhaps they should be asking instead how much they really matter to him."

Good point.

Indeed, another Times of London story frets that:

"Obama has made only one brief official visit to London-and none elsewhere in Western Europe...."

In an 800-word rant titled ‘American Primary System Fails to Impress Europeans', Deutsche Welle implies that if Germans cannot help Americans vote Obama into office, then the US political system itself must be flawed. DW asserts that American democracy is "atavistic. It's outdated. It doesn't really reflect democracy in a modern sense." The story goes on to say that America would be better off if it adopted a parliamentary system, just like the one in (surprise!) Germany.

Some Europeans are beginning to wake up to the reality that a Democrat in the White House might not be in their best interests.

The Hamburg-based, conservative-leaning Die Welt offers the most forthright analysis of the implications for Europe of a Clinton victory.

"For Germany, it greatly matters who finally wins the presidential race. The Clintons are not naive admirers of Germany and/or Europe. As heirs to an unpopular war in Iraq, the Clintons, after returning to the White House, would demand military coalition troop support from Europe. Indeed, as early as 2004, Gerhard Schroeder was warned that the worst possible outcome of his anti-Iraq war stance would have been a John Kerry victory. Because then the German chancellor would have had a friendly, but pushy partner in the White House who would have quickly put an end to Berlin's anti-American politicking by asking for assistance in Baghdad."

According to the London-based Economist,

"Nor is European enthusiasm for either candidate likely to survive the election of Mrs Clinton, Mr Obama, or whoever else becomes president. The person who gets voters' nod will rule as an American, promoting American interests around the world-and no doubt disappointing many watchers from abroad. For Europeans to imagine anything else would be naive indeed."

In Spain, El Diario Exterior argues that an Obama victory could be especially counter-productive for the European Left, because it will show that America is not the racist state that European elites say it is:

"The [European] Left, which likes to attribute to the United States an imperialist foreign policy and discrimination against blacks and Hispanics, is not as happy about the rise of Obama as one would expect. On sending the message that they are ready to elect an African American, a part of American society is exhibiting an attitude much less prejudiced than is commonly attributed to this country."

The article goes on to remind readers that Europe's multicultural Socialist utopia has failed to beget its own Obama.

After seeing American democracy in high gear, European publics are fretting about the relative lack of democracy at home. As the Paris-based International Herald Tribune points out in a column titled ‘Don't Look for Democracy in the EU Presidency',

"unlike America's presidential primary elections, the start of Europe's presidential selection process foretells very little to do with revivifying democracy."

It continues:

"The choice of the European president is true to the EU's historical character. Rather than a popular vote, the selection process will belong to the council of chiefs of state and government...."

Finally, London's leftwing Guardian concedes that America is doing something right for a change. In a rare case of introspection and self-criticism, the paper admonishes Britons that

"reflecting on the wide-open campaign of 2008, it's obvious that British critics-and European critics generally-are guilty of smug superiority and ignorance in writing off the strengths of the American system.... Instead of dismissing American democracy in our snooty way, we need to ask what we can learn."

Now that's a thought!

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group


  1. Bjørn Stærk: Exploring the Dark Corners

  2. Workers' kidneys stolen
    Workers promised a job are taken to a clinic and wake up missing a kidney.

  3. Researchers make tiny radio from nanotubes

    Some would have us believe that receiving Art Bell's radio signals is all a function of telepathic powers brought about by wearing a magic hat, but now you know better.

  4. Yes, "some would."
    Sad, really.

  5. Hobbit Land ski run eliminates Carbon Footprint.

    (01-28) 16:26 PST LAKE TAHOE -- The president of a San Francisco green technology company was killed while skiing at the Homewood Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe, authorities said Monday.

    Tyler A. Palmer, 37, was found unresponsive at the base of a tree about 1:52 p.m. Sunday, the Placer County Sheriff's Department said.

    Skiers found Palmer on the Hobbit Land ski run, head-first in the well of a tree, a depression of loose snow around the trunk. Hobbit Land is a black diamond run, signifying it is for advanced skiers, according to the resort's Web site.

  6. Ben Dunlap: on Cognitive Dissidence

  7. Superior Court Judge James Troiano ordered that Alexander Alfaro, 17, stand trial in adult court for murder, robbery and other charges stemming from the Aug. 4 slayings outside the Mount Vernon School. Alfaro was 16 at the time of the killings.

    The Essex County Prosecutor's Office disclosed after the judge's decision that Alfaro was being charged with using a machete to attack one of the victims, Iofemi Hightower, 20.

    The three victims - Hightower, Dashon Harvey, 20, and Terrance Aeriel, 18 - were shot to death as they were robbed by six men with links to the MS-13 street gang, authorities said. A fourth victim, 19-year-old Natasha Aeriel, Terrance's sister, was shot in the head but survived.

    Tried as Adult

  8. Cool!
    Viva el-Presidente Bush!
    Viva McCain, '08!

  9. 7:04PM As Tom notes below, the early exits look like very good signs for Mitt Romney: Lots of Florida Republicans said they care most about the economy, Cuban turnout might be lower than the 17% expected, and only 3 in ten said they're moderates. But the exits also show McCain up slightly. With so many self-described conservatives in the race, does that mean McCain mended just enough fences with the base to squeak by? - REID WILSON

  10. Panhandle comes in later.
    "*Nearly half of Florida Republican primary voters said the economy is the most important issue facing the country. Terrorism, Iraq and immigration each were picked by fewer than two in 10."
    So the state is assaulted by the illegal invasion, slavery makes a comeback, ain't no big thing.

  11. Rivera was transported to Glenn Medical Center, where he was cleared for booking into the Glenn County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest, riding a bicycle without proper lighting, riding under the influence of alcohol and use of false citizenship/government documents.

    Biking w/fake License.

  12. Landslide:
    McCain leads by 90 votes.

  13. This was McCain phone message today:
    John McCain's Pledge to Florida Voters:
    "As your President, I promise to lead our Nation and our Party as a Ronald Reagan conservative. I will lower your taxes, veto wasteful government spending, and ensure our Party returns to the smaller government principles on which it began. I will secure our Border first, before pursuing any other immigration reform. I will appoint conservative judges like Justices Alito and Roberts. I will protect the sanctity of life and have a 24 year record to prove it. This is my commitment to you.
    As you go to the polls today, consider our greatest challenge as a Nation is to defeat a relentless enemy of radical Islamic Extremists. My life experience has prepared me better than any other candidate to defeat this enemy. We can and will win this war. Again, this is John McCain and I humbly ask you to vote for me today."

  14. repeating from the last thread:

    I heard on Bill O'Reilly last night that illegal aliens in Houston have, in three years, cost $600 million in medical services. $200 million per year and that's just in one city.

    The curtain is being lifted on the true costs of cheap illegal labor.

  15. Landslide!

    There's a landslide on the way, comin' down election day!

  16. (REP) Rudy Giuliani
    (REP) Mike Huckabee
    (REP) Duncan Hunter
    (REP) Alan Keyes
    (REP) John McCain
    (REP) Ron Paul
    (REP) Mitt Romney
    (REP) Tom Tancredo
    (REP) Fred Thompson

    Total 34,590 30,266 341 450 75,331 6,689 78,619 164 3,664
    % Votes 15.0% 13.2% 0.1% 0.2% 32.7% 2.9% 34.2% 0.1% 1.6%

  17. More like, "Going down election day."

  18. With 10% of the vote in, it looks like the ol man just shifted into second gear. 3%, 10,000 vote lead.

  19. Northern Florida is the more conservative part, I think.

  20. Clinton smashing Obama at the moment.

  21. Obama just gained 5 points on her.

  22. McCain up by 2,269 votes according to Florida Electoral.

  23. 1,266
    Going to go on all night.

  24. If – and this will be clear by this time next year when the next president is in office – cheap money will not provide the boost to the economy, what about tax cuts? There are limits there.

    The present administration has taken a lot of flak for its tax cuts, partly because they were angled so obviously towards the rich; partly because they appeared excessive, but the US federal deficit is now about 1.5 per cent of GDP, half that of the UK. Although it has much more leeway than we do, there are limits and as the economy slows, the deficit will rise of its own accord.

    So a one-off stimulus makes sense but four years of fiscal laxity does not.

    What comes Next?

  25. 8:31 - As Samuel L. Jackson once famously said - "Hold onto your butts!" Broward (est. pop. 1.8 million) and Miami-Dade (est. pop. 2.4 million) are beginning to report. They could very well overwhelm the current numbers. With 7% in, Miami-Dade is going 44% for McCain, 35% for Giuliani, 12% for Romney. 4% in from Broward, and it's 38% for McCain, 25% for Giuliani, and 22% for Romney. Still no word yet from Palm Beach. JAY COST

  26. Men vote for men, women vote for women, blacks vote for blacks, whites vote for whites

    geezers vote for geezers

  27. 8:40PM - Interesting results coming out of metro Orlando.

    Lake County: 0% in, Romney +412 votes
    Osceola County: 87% in, McCain +21 votes (no, that is not a typo)
    Orange County: 91% in, Romney +19 votes (neither is that)
    Seminole County: 70% in, Romney +1,337 votes
    NET: Romney +1,789 votes OUT OF 120,000 total votes.

    That's called a tie! - JAY COST

  28. Tha Panhandle is going slightly for McCain. Tampa, slightly for McCain. Everywhere, slightly for McCain.

    Barone says they'd call it for McCain but for the mail-in ballots.
    The mail-in ballots were not being tracked the same, everywhere. In some counties they were broken out, in others combined with todays' ballots. Making a precise prediction difficult, indeed.

  29. Not good:
    Romney was sposed to get his support from Orange County.

  30. No, sam, it's winner take all.

    There are no ties, in Florida

  31. 8:35PM - Halperin reporting Giuliani will drop out and endorse McCain as early as tomorrow in California. If McCain wins tonight, Giuliani's endorsement could be the clincher. - TOM BEVAN

  32. Wife voted for Thompson, in the Super Tuesday primary, just tonight.

  33. Well, don't fret, life goes on, as we slowly sink to being a new Portugal.--Savage

  34. Ron Paul is hangin' on with 3% of the Florida vote!

    Huckabee is giving a first class concession speach.
    Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee Missouri ... Claims he'll win in those States, come super duper Tuesday

  35. "I was constantly trying to think about what do we need to do to succeed, what was it that was necessary," he said.

    And so the first thing we did, here in the White House, with a very small group of people, was work on whether a different strategy was needed. And there were competing strategies.

    One was to keep it the way it was. Two was clear, build, and hold with a counterinsurgency strategy, empowering the Iraqis, but at the same time having enough troops there to make sure that the security situation changed, primarily in the capital as well as Anbar province, where the Sunnis were being harmed greatly by al Qaeda.

    The other one was kind of the burnout strategy--step back, let it burn out, contain it, go to the borders, encampments outside the city, let them fight it out, and eventually it will fade out, and then we'll make sure it doesn't get totally out of hand, but out of hand albeit to a certain extent.

    Decision on the Surge

  36. Citizens United Political Victory Fund – run by longtime activist Dave Bossie — to hit Fox News Channel Thursday with six-figure television buy comparing McCain to Hillary Clinton.

    McCain “joined Ted Kennedy to sponsor amnesty for illegals… John McCain — surprisingly liberal.”

    Watch it above.
    Could be the start of major conservative effort trying to stop McCain in favor of Romney. The Page, 6:49 PM

  37. It doesn't matter how old you are--just get an electrode implant--fix you right up--

    Scientists discover way to reverse loss of memory.

    Scientists performing experimental brain surgery on a man aged 50 have stumbled across a mechanism that could unlock how memory works.

    The accidental breakthrough came during an experiment originally intended to suppress the obese man's appetite, using the increasingly successful technique of deep-brain stimulation. Electrodes were pushed into the man's brain and stimulated with an electric current. Instead of losing appetite, the patient instead had an intense experience of déjà vu. He recalled, in intricate detail, a scene from 30 years earlier. More tests showed his ability to learn was dramatically improved when the current was switched on and his brain stimulated.

    Scientists are now applying the technique in the first trial of the treatment in patients with Alzheimer's disease. If successful, it could offer hope to sufferers from the degenerative condition, which affects 450,000 people in Britain alone, by providing a "pacemaker" for the brain.

    Three patients have been treated and initial results are promising, according to Andres Lozano, a professor of neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital, Ontario, who is leading the research.

    Professor Lozano said: "This is the first time that anyone has had electrodes implanted in the brain which have been shown to improve memory. We are driving the activity of the brain by increasing its sensitivity – turning up the volume of the memory circuits. Any event that involves the memory circuits is more likely to be stored and retained."

  38. Tue Jan 29, 09:02:00 PM EST
    Iraq changes essentially consist of undoing all the things that Bremmer did to bring on the Insurgency:
    Revise debathification, give back pensions that Bremmer took, etc. unfortunately, can't bring back the INTEGRATED Army the way it was, nor the 5 years of Mayhem, destruction, and loss of life.

  39. I get to control McCain's electrodes in the Whitehouse.

  40. Not enough, not in the States that count.
    NY, PA, NJ, Il, CA.

    Unless they are goingto spend a huge amount in those major media mega millions. FOX News will not get 'er done.

    McCain will get millions in free air time, when Rudy endorses him during the debate tomorrow night.

    Creating a news event that no ad buy will counter.

  41. 9:07 - And what of metro Miami?

    Broward County: 38% in, McCain +7,762 over Romney
    Miami-Dade County: 31% in, McCain + 26,968 votes over Romney (who is in third)
    Palm Beach County: "0%" Reporting, McCain +2,852 over Romney

    Total: McCain NET 27,582 out of votes cast 156,926, or a 17.5% lead.

    I just don't see how Romney can find the votes in the panhandle to make up the difference. A split in Orlando, a slight lead in Tampa for McCain, a big lead in Miami for McCain. Where are the votes for Romney? - JAY COST

  42. McCain-Lieberman

  43. Bush's policies, doug, not Bremer's.
    Put the egg in the correct basket. Paul Bremer was no loose cannon, bouncing around the Iraqi deserts, alone.
    No, Mr Bush read Bremer's letter, made the decisions, replied in writing.
    We all read it.

  44. Decider.
    Bremmer came up with it, carried it out.

  45. Decider decided to ignore Garner, DOD, State Dept, Military.

  46. Decider knew better than Garner, even though Garner had been sucessful before in theater.

  47. McCain's been steady 3 points over Romney. He's just moved out to 4 points.

  48. At BC they still figure ways to credit the Great One.

  49. Half a mil in early votes. If the majority of those break for Giuliani, then Giuliani wins.

  50. 9:10PM - A Mitt Romney spokesman tells RCP that the campaign has still not made a decision about television advertising in February 5 states. With six days to go until polls open, isn't that something he ought to take care of? We wonder, how damaging is a Florida loss to Romney? Has Romney held off on investing more in his campaign because he's re-evaluating, like he did before his Michigan win, and wondering whether the campaign is still worth it? - REID WILSON

  51. 9:12 - Fox News and AP call for McCain. It makes sense. Like I said - if Romney is losing Tampa, is in a tie in Orlando, and getting trounced in Miami - there just are not enough Floridians for him to make up the difference. JAY COST

    9:10PM - A Mitt Romney spokesman tells RCP that the campaign has still not made a decision about television advertising in February 5 states. With six days to go until polls open, isn't that something he ought to take care of? We wonder, how damaging is a Florida loss to Romney? Has Romney held off on investing more in his campaign because he's re-evaluating, like he did before his Michigan win, and wondering whether the campaign is still worth it? - REID WILSON

  52. Those have been counted, 62% of them.

    They have been counted in the counties as they report, matt.

    Not held in a vault to be counted seperately.

    Rudy giving his concession speech, right now

  53. You beat me by a minute, but I'm TWO Minutes more up to date!

  54. Any statistics on the breakdown of those early votes?

  55. I guess, Doug, much of it comes down to what the goals were in those days for Iraq. Were they to defeat Saddam and his cronies or was it simply to secure the country for our use? It is looking like Bush believed his own rhetoric and he really wants to spread freedom and democracy all over the place in which case it sorta makes sense to take out the whole Baathist disease even its roots. That proved to be a harder task at which we failed so we are falling back to just trying to secure the place for our own use.

    Now, with that in mind, how should we deal with the Iranians? Take out Amnijad (easier to use the dinner jacket spelling, I must say) and leave the mullahs and the Islamic root system or, do as Bush tried to do in Iraq, and cleanse the place?

  56. Mat's on the bong again,
    predicting Rudy, defending Bush!

  57. Not really Ash:
    The Army was Shia and Sunni, with Shia officers to boot.
    Most of the non-religious had first-world ideas like the dentists.
    Don't YOU join Mat cheerleading for the Shrub!

  58. well, there is a third option, which is to let them all sort it out for themselves (which I favor) but that doesn't gybe with the invade and fixit crowd.

  59. If we had brains we'd have a cultural assault on the Persian Youth.

  60. It really WAS a pretty safe place before Bremmer nurtured the insurgency.

  61. btw Hat Tip Ash!
    That Video was Dynamite.

  62. Exit polls equal early votes? Since when?

  63. Not one independent vote for MCain in Florida
    Republican voters coming out for the man of the hour, well, many, many hours. 71 years worth of hours.

  64. Romney gives his concession speech, right now

  65. Yeah, McCain wins in most counties, takes the State.
    The counties are not breaking out the early and late votes

  66. The Hispanic vote went heavy for Mac.

  67. Old news, doug.
    There was only one decider, and he decided. That Mr Bush decided not to tell the underlings, that was his choice.

    His Team, his Army, his Command.
    Elections really do matter.
    The soldiers and top officials were just men in the ranks, it riles them, but that's the real deal.
    George W Bush fulfilled his role.

  68. History we call it.
    ...of an incompetent POTUS.

  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. And Corrupt, as in the illegal invasion.
    Bringing Mexican Crimminals, Drugs, and Sexual Predators to the American Families.
    ...and slave labor for his TranziBuds.

  71. Not exit polls, mat. Counted votes

    66% of the votes were counted, the trends were clear, the gap to great to overcome.

  72. When Romney made his concession speech, I noticed his wife and daughter? seemed to be teary eyed as though they had taken the loss hard. Is it simple disappointment and fatigue that seems to weigh heavy on the women or does it mean that Romney is through?

  73. 9:30PM - Rudy Giuliani, in his concession (withdrawal?) speech, calls the GOP the "Party of Bush." Those thumping sounds you just heard were NRCC chair Tom Cole and NRSC chair John Ensign bashing their heads against walls in frustration. - REID WILSON

  74. McCain will carry the Blue State Primaries, come Tuesday. Those are the big States, with the delegate counts.

    Rudy will endorse McCain, in CA, tomorrow. So reports NBC, just moments ago.

    Romney is toast.

  75. They're going for the Hillary Tearjerker Bounce, Whit!

  76. Party of Bush!
    Can't not Beat It.

  77. Rudy will make the announcement at the Reagan Library.

  78. But even an abundance of Yankee baseball references could not boost his candidacy, as his rivals touted their early victories and benefited from the resulting media coverage. Giuliani's lead in the national polls evaporated.

    Floridians did not even flock to him when he proposed a hyper-local issue: the creation of a National Catastrophe Insurance Fund to help Floridians who could no longer afford homeowner's insurance premiums after the state's last two hurricanes.

    While Giuliani's star power dimmed over the last few weeks, Huckabee suffered from a lack of money. His campaign could not compete against deep-pocketed Romney, who has been advertising in Florida since March 2007.

    Republican Primary

  79. Least he didn't mention Craig, or Foley.

  80. One more sad bit of Obama history:
    Ditka considered running.
    Obama would be history.

  81. When Idaho Lt. Gov. Jim Risch announced last October that he would run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Larry Craig, Risch himself showed little sense of entitlement, but he didn’t have to – the crowd did it for him.

    The press conference felt like a coronation. The Idaho GOP’s old guard, new guard, and elected officials practically down to dogcatcher stood beaming behind Risch at the lecturn as he declared.

    Since then, eight Republican challengers have said they’ll run against Risch, more than one of them citing the rally behind Risch as the heir apparent as one reason they made their decision. Richard Phennegar even commissioned a poll by a firm outside Idaho, which he says showed only 21 percent of Idahoans were satisfied with the two major-party frontrunners for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat – Republican Jim Risch and Democrat Larry LaRocco.

    Senate Seat

  82. Well, that's it.

    Giuliani Expected to Endorse McCain
    Posted on 01.30.08
    by Austin Cassidy @ 2:09 am

    Rudy Giuliani’s dismal third place finish in Florida appears to have ended the former NYC Mayor’s campaign tonight. Time Magazine is reporting that McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis has essentially struck a deal with people in the Giuliani camp to secure an endorsement in the next couple of days.

    Giuliani has long stated that he would be voting for McCain if he hadn’t been running himself. It’s also thought that Giuliani doesn’t want to roll the dice and continue on to Super Tuesday as it would likely mean an ego-crushing defeat in his home state of New York.

    By defeating Mitt Romney and eliminating Rudy Giuliani, John McCain has all but captured the Republican Presidential nomination here tonight.

    Also, look for an endorsement from Fred Thompson in the next week or so as McCain consolidates his support among conservatives.

  83. Alarming News: "If I had ran against him, no one would've ever ...

    Below is an excerpt from what the July 8, 2004 edition of "The Hill" wrote about the attempt to draft Ditka to run against Obama. (Ditka ultimately chose not to run. His wife was opposed, and he would have to neglect his private businesses.)
    Mike Ditka emerges as possible Senate candidate

    By Patrick O'Connor

    In the wake of Steve Rauschenberger’s withdrawal from the Illinois Senate race, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka has surfaced as a favorite of many Hill and state Republicans, according to interviews with GOP members and staff in Illinois and Washington.

    The Super Bowl-winning coach and Hall-of-Fame player is a Chicago icon whose name identification and stature would make him a well-known, if inexperienced, candidate in the race to replace Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R), who is stepping down at the end of this legislative session.

    Ditka has not made a public statement about his candidacy, but Republicans on the Hill and in Illinois said they would be eager for him to enter the race.

    “If Ditka ran, Democrats would claim to vote for Obama and then secretly vote for Ditka,” said Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) “It would immediately put Chicago in play.”

    Kirk said Ditka could campaign with his former players in minority areas, like Chicago’s South Side, that other Republican candidates could not previously touch.

  84. Yes, I missed SC. I had Hillary there.

  85. Cato Scholars Comment on Bush's Last State of the Union Address:

    Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies:

    The administration claims that the stimulus package 'is expected to help create more than half a million jobs by the end of 2008.' If that were true, why wouldn't the government just mail $100 billion in 'rebates' to Americans every year?


    Andrew Coulson, director of the Center for Educational Freedom:

    As in previous State of the Union addresses, the president is once again calling for a trial federal school voucher program, now dubbed "Pell Grants for Kids". Ignoring the constitutional problems with this idea, it has no chance of passing in the Democratic-led House or Senate.


    Christopher Preble, director of foreign policy studies:

    In his final State of the Union address, President Bush once again made the case for an open-ended military presence in Iraq. Indeed, the president seems to envision U.S. troops remaining in Iraq for decades; he has previously invoked Korea as a model and his administration hopes to conclude a formal status of forces agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that would effectively tie his successor's hands.

    State of the Union Address

  86. Well, you still lead the pack at the Bar!

  87. Fuck Risch. There's a farmer running whose name I can't remember, I'm voting for him.

  88. Top 10 things Rudy could have done differently:

    10. Engaged in comparative/negative campaigning against his rivals, while showing a true passion for the presidency.

    9. Dealt pro-actively with his personal life vulnerabilities, rather than passively addressing them only when asked.

    8. Changed his stump speech when his poll numbers started to tank.

    7 - 1

  89. I'm disappointed. But it saves me from being even more disappointed if I had to watch Romney go down under Hillary. Looks like I'm saved from that.

    I'd call it highly unlikely McCain would ask Bush to campaign for him.

  90. Top 10 things Rudy could have done differently:


    Sleep with the DieBold movie producers.

  91. But, not so fast, bob, Romney vows to fight on....

  92. RUSH: Now, regarding voter registration in Florida, my understanding of this is that registration closes 29 days before an election. That would be December 31st this year, correct? Right? We're right on this. Nobody, nobody who shows up and is not registered with the party is supposed to be able to register with the party on Election Day, right? Now, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says that is happening. I don't know how widespread it is. They give one example, maybe two, of a guy showing up wanting to vote, but he's not a Republican. He's a little bit angry about it, so they call in a second poll worker. The poll worker says, "Yeah, you can't vote..." "Oh, all right. Give me a ballot. I'll vote Republican," and then he goes in, comes out, and says he voted for McCain.

    RUSH: John in Orlando, it's nice to have you, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.


    CALLER: I was working for the past two weeks as taking votes from voters. So I was a poll worker.

    RUSH: Okay.

    CALLER: So, and I basically wanted to call and say you were correct. It is illegal in the state of Florida to try to change your party within 29 days, just as you said about ten minutes ago.


    RUSH: Here's Jody in Lake Orion, Michigan. Thank you for waiting.


    CALLER: Hey, I just had a comment about what you were saying about the election in Florida and some of the independents possibly voting Republican and voting for McCain. Here in Michigan we had an open primary, you know, so anybody could vote anything.

    RUSH: Right.

    CALLER: All you had to do was come in and claim a "ballot style," we were calling it.

    RUSH: Right.

    CALLER: And I found it interesting, and I wanted to know what you thought; that even though Republicans, Democrats, independents, everybody could vote Republican and vote for McCain if they wanted to, he still lost by a pretty wide margin to Mitt Romney.

    RUSH: Yeah, and the pollsters had that race all wrong.

    CALLER: Yeah.

    RUSH: Zogby had McCain winning that one by nine.

    CALLER: Mmm-hmm. A lot of independents could have voted. You know, that was their chance to vote for McCain if they really thought he was a big unifier.

    RUSH: Yeah, and especially relevant in that is that there was no Democrat primary.

    CALLER: Exactly. I mean Hillary was the only one on the ballot here, so it wasn't like they were taking any votes away from the Democrats.

    RUSH: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Mike Gravel was on the ballot.

    CALLER: Well... (laughing)

    RUSH: Let's not disrespect a great Democrat.

    CALLER: I'm sorry.

    RUSH: Mike Gravel was on the ballot.

    CALLER: She was the only one that got any press. Put it that way.

    RUSH: That's the race, by the way, that's the election where 70% of black Democrats in Michigan showed up to vote uncommitted.

    CALLER: Uncommitted.

    RUSH: So your point is that even in an open primary state where independents and Democrats could cross over and vote for a Republican, that McCain did not get a majority of them?

    CALLER: Exactly, and he actually lost by a pretty wide margin to Mitt Romney.

    RUSH: Right. I don't know if we can extrapolate that because McCain has won a majority of independents for example in New Hampshire which is a Northeastern liberal state now. What about South Carolina?

    Independents Voting in Florida?

  93. I'll Buy!
    ...gotta have a Beer to cry in.

  94. “Undernews” is the news that reaches tens of millions of people everyday, but goes unremarked upon in the mainstream press. It includes talk radio, the tabloids, alternative TV, the blogs, etc. What made Romney competitive in Florida was talk radio. Just as Rush Limbaugh rescued George W. Bush’s campaign in South Carolina eight years ago, so too did he almost salvage Mitt Romney in Florida. If Rush had been on vacation for the last two weeks, McCain would have won in a walk.

    2. Speaking of Mickey Kaus. He used to have a feature known as “Mickey’s Assignment Desk.” The idea was that he would throw out subjects that required further investigation but that he was not inclined to investigate himself. And then he would assign those stories to good reporters. So here’s one for Tom Edsall and Chris Isham: Where did all of Giuliani’s money go? He raised, as I understand it, roughly $45 million. He competed in one primary. He did not spend $45 million in Florida.

    Giuliani was just in it for the money!:)

    3. Mike Huckabee is a nice guy. Too bad he hates Mitt Romney! Presumably, if Huckabee were to exit the race, Romney would be the beneficiary of his departure. But Huckabee doesn’t seem to be in the mood for quitting. He seems to think that he can just keep collecting Southern-accented delegates and go all the way to the GOP Convention. Who needs money when you have leverage? Right now, Huckabee has a lot of leverage over Mitt Romney.

    4. Hold ‘em/Fold ‘em. Mitt has to make the call. McCain is going to sweep the Northeastern primary states next week. Huckabee is going to roll along down South, thus denying Romney traction there. The only way to overcome this pincer movement is through vast expenditures of cash for television advertising. The only money available to Romney at the moment is his own. So the question stands: will he write the big check? Or will he say to himself: good money after bad? It’s a decision only he can make. If he decides not to write the check, McCain’s the nominee.

  95. Headline of the Day
    "Obama to bring hope, change to Iraq by abandoning it immediately"

  96. Obama would bring change to Iraq, that's for sure.

    Here's lookin' at ya--thanks, Sam.

    Sam Q. Pundit

  97. Er, sorry, that should have read, thanks DOUG!

  98. I wonder where most of that Giuliani $45 million went?

  99. I'd to know who likes McCain? Anybody here?

  100. We ought to have a rule that if you drop out with unused funds and endorse another candidate, that candidate gets all your unused funds. That would stop this endorsement game in its tracks.

    Mat, he wasn't one of my first three choices, I'll put it that way.

  101. He was #3 for me behind Tancredo and Romney.

  102. McCain will be 72 when he takes office. Wonder who is VP will be?

  103. Lindsey would be good, if he had to take over he could nurture the Birthing of Aztlan.

  104. His mom's still alive, but he is a male, of course.
    Raw Deal for us.

  105. He could reach across the aisle and get that young Kennedy kid.

  106. You mean the drunk that likes to crash cars?

  107. Paris Hilton would bring balance to the ticket.

    old male sexless
    young female sexfull

    No,no, there's one or two of the younger ones in congress, I think. One had a problem with the booze. Isn't there a Bobby Kennedy son in congress? They all look, sound, and think alike.

    Heh, now I read your post again, it seems there's a drunk that likes to crash cars in both generations.

  108. I don't believe this result. No conservative I've listened to, liked McCain. Republicans publicly say they will not vote this guy for President and will sit out the November election. Yet, somehow this manchurian candidate makes it to number one in a race where only registered Republicans got to vote. This thing was fixed.

  109. Mat might be on to something here. If he picks Lieberman that's pretty close to reaching across the aisle. He will lose conservative votes with that. But will the dem/independent votes he picks up outweigh that?

  110. Either that or publicly say one thing then do another.

  111. Obama leads Clinton 63 - 48 in delegates.

  112. It's Clinton vs McCain, Sam. :)

  113. From Josh Marshall, here's how it happened:

    He Didn't Win Conservatives

    At TPM HQ tonight, we've mainly been following the action on MSNBC. And the hosts I think have been saying that McCain basically won across the board. I'm not saying they said anything incorrect. But I thought they said that [McCain] had won conservatives.

    But Kevin Drum actually has some numbers up. And that's not what happened. Among self-identified 'conservatives' Romney actually beat McCain 37% to 27%. And they made up 62% of the Republican voters. The key was that McCain nearly doubled Romney among the 39% of Republicans who called themselvs moderates or liberals.

    --Josh Marshall

    CNN had some other interesting polling data from Republican voters in Florida: Among Republicans who have a negative view of the Bush presidency, and among those to whom personal qualities rather than issues loom largest, McCain cleaned up.

  114. Rush is too dumb to see that McCain is the only Republican presidential nominee that Democrats are afraid of.

    He ought to be writing thank you notes to every Floridian that didn't follow his exhortations.

    A majority of conservatives will fall in line. Eventually.

  115. It'll be a whole new world in D.C., a moment of change, if it's Clinton vs. McCain. jeez

  116. Yeah, Trish, people certainly shouldn't care if a person gives a shit about the constitution or not.
    ...or having America turned into a Turd World Country.

  117. I thot that was a Russian Bomber, Al-Bob!

  118. Doesn't McCain drive around in a bus called the Straight Talk Express, or something?

  119. On the one side of the bus it says "Support Amnesty" and on the other "Oppose Amnesty".

  120. A angry Parkinson diseased finger on the nuclear button.

  121. This radar image was taken two days ago. The Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico broadcast radar that was reflected by the asteroid and then recorded by the Byrd Radio Telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia.

    I tell you, this guy will be remembered in W. Virginia, as long as people can read, if any can.

  122. The
    >US Presidential election 2008
    will see the participation of a huge number of candidates. The high-profile national level parties like the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have almost completed finalizing the names of the potential candidates from the various states for the primaries, which will be held in the months of March/ April in 2008.

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