Republicans rooting for Rudy, overlooking his liberal positions on social issues and instead focusing on his national security hawkishness or his record of fiscal conservatism as Mayor of New York City, are already gravitating to John McCain based on Rudy’s say-so. It stands to reason that if these Republicans could forgive Rudy’s apostasies, they can surely overlook McCain’s. But what about those who consider McCain anathema – despite his 82 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union? Why is it that the same conservatives who can forgive Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping on just about every significant issue can’t get past McCain’s deviation from conservative orthodoxy on campaign finance, immigration and tax cuts?
It’s Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - featuring a two-day Samba parade, with elaborate, eye-catching floats and barely dressed dancers to usher in the Lenten period from February 6 (Ash Wednesday) to March 23 (Easter Sunday) in the Catholic nation. This year, hoping to best 11 other top samba clubs, Viradouro came up with a theme for its float that was sure to be an attention-grabber: “It Gives You Goose Bumps,” which was to include a float with a pile of naked, emaciated corpses representing Holocaust victims (complete with dancing Hitlers, according to the parade permit).
This year’s Super Bowl is the closet thing to a “subway series” football will ever have – except that the “New York” Giants really play in Jersey, New York State is geographically a mid-Atlantic state and is not part of New England, and the game will be played clear across the country in Glendale, AZ. The Stiletto – who is a baseball fan and can’t wait until March 1st when the Yankees play the Phillies - has no dog in this fight and is rooting for the winning team. Meanwhile, if you’re throwing or attending a Super Bowl party, this article on double-dipping explains why you should steer clear of the chip and dip platter (it’s not just your arteries that will thank you).
John Edwards (D-NC) finally bowed to the political reality that he was in a two-person race for his party’s nomination – and he was neither one of the two candidates that voters were supporting: “It’s time for me to step aside so that history can … blaze its path.”
The last Republican and Democrat presidential candidates left standing met for the final debates of the primary season in CA. The GOP debate, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Simi Valley, was notable for the palpable loathing the two frontrunners have for each other. The Dem debate, held at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles in front of an audience that included Hollywood celebs like Pierce Brosnan, was notable for the pretense that the two rivals do not loathe each other.
A Texan with the initials “RP” is running for president. There is a Bush in the White House, the economy is in recession, American soldiers are dying in Iraq and many Dems think their best chances of recapturing the presidency is a candidate named Clinton.
Hillary Clinton (NY) won the FL Democrat primary, and gets bragging rights (“I am thrilled to have had this vote of confidence that you have given me today”) but no convention delegates because the national committee stripped the state of its delegates as punishment for moving up the date of the primary election from February 5th. To underscore that point, just after CNN called the race for Hillary, Obama’s campaign put out a statement: “Breaking… Obama and Clinton tie for delegates in Florida. 0 for Obama, 0 for Clinton.”
The FL Republican primary was do or die for Rudy Giuliani (NY). For weeks, pundits waited with bated breath to see whether Rudy would “do,” like John McCain (AZ) in NH or “die,” like Fred Thompson (TN) in SC.
In its endorsement of John McCain in the NY Republican primary on February 5th the New York Times reminded many Republicans exactly what it is they don’t like about the AZ Senator: “[O]ne of the first prominent Republicans to point out how badly the war in Iraq was being managed … stood up for the humane treatment of prisoners and for a ban on torture … recogniz[ed] the threat of global warming early … work[ed] with Senator Russ Feingold, among the most liberal of Democrats, on groundbreaking [campaign finance reform] legislation … worked with Senator Edward Kennedy on immigration reform.”
SC voters reacted to the Bill Clinton mudslide by giving Barack Obama (D-IL) a landslide. The margin of victory for Obama was 2:1 over Hillary (55 percent v. 27 percent) – significantly larger than pre-primary polling had indicated. And his appeal proved biracial and dual gender.
In a New York Timesop-ed John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy - a direct link to an era nostalgic Dems wistfully refer to as “Camelot” - endorses Barack Obama (D-IL) in the presidential primaries:
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH or is that D’OH?) has dropped out of the running for the White House in order to defend his seat against four challengers in the March 4th Dem primary. For some unfathomable reason, the presidential hopeful’s quixotic (by which The Stiletto means “doomed”) campaign just did not resonate with moonbats the way putative Republican Ron Paul’s equally quixotic campaign resonated with ronbats (second item). Reports CQ Politics:
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) still hasn’t moved on, and remains fixated about the legitimate questions raised about his four-month tour of duty at the helm of a Navy patrol-boat in Vietnam by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential race. He has since leaped to the defense of any fellow Dem who he thinks is being “swiftboated,” including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA), her colleague Rep. John Murtha (PA) and now, presidential candidate Barack Obama (IL).
The truce between Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (IL) lasted just about as long your average truce between Hamas and Fatah. The two repeatedly lobbed bombs at each other during the first half of the Democrat debate in SC on Monday. For his part, Fmr. Sen. John Edwards (NC) chose to provide both sides with additional ammunition rather than play the role of peacemaker, as Gov. Bill Richardson (NV) used to.
The discussion of the politics of race typically starts and ends with the question: “Are whites ready to elect a black man as president?” The question that Barack Obama’s strategists should be asking is, “Are Hispanics willing to vote for a black man for president?”
Hillary Clinton’s official campaign Web site states: “Hillary has spent her lifetime as an effective advocate for parents and children” and without a modicum of shame or irony, promises that she favors “Protecting children against violence and sexual content in the media and studying the impact of electronic media on children’s cognitive, social, and physical development.”
Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and one of Hillary Clinton’s impolitic high-profile supporters apologized to Barack Obama for his comments in a SC campaign event on January 13th insinuating that while the Clintons were in the trenches fighting for civil rights, Obama was in the hood taking drugs (Obama admitted youthful marijuana and cocaine use in his autobiography, “Dreams from my Father”):
For years, Dems have promoted group identity politics, turning real or imagined grievances into votes by creating coalitions based on the solidarity of perpetual victimhood. But now, the aspirations of two groups are pitted against one another in the presidential candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and solidarity is fast giving way to polarity.
Among the more over-the-top encomia heaped upon Benazir Bhutto was that she was a stalwart enemy of terrorism. In a New York Times op-ed, author William Dalrymple notes that “Bhutto was apparently the victim of Islamist militant groups that she allowed to flourish under her administrations in the 1980s and 1990s.” He adds:
In the Republican and Democrat debates at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, on January 5th the candidates had a common strategy: Keep kicking the presumed frontrunners when they’re down to make sure they stay down.
For months, Mitt Romney thought IA was his to lose. And lose he did – by a whopping nine point margin. The IA caucus pitted organization against enthusiasm. This time, passion carried the day, with Hillary Clinton also losing to Barack Obama by nine points.
Coincidentally, both The New York Times and The Washington Post ran stories about how the suddenness of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was a sort of pop quiz on foreign policy for the presidential candidates. The Timescalled it “a ghoulish sort of test: a chance to project leadership and competence - or not - on a fast-moving and nuanced foreign policy issue.” For the WaPo, the bottom line was: “Could they respond cogently and clearly to a sudden foreign policy crisis?” Here’s how they graded the candidates:
The old year has given way to the new, a time for people to look back and assess their accomplishments, savor their triumphs, regret their failures and anticipate tackling unfinished business. No one is more backward-looking than Hillary Clinton - only she’s dialed the Wayback Machine too far to the left and is re-living the ’90s, according to The Washington Post:
Atlantic blogger Matthew Yglesias complains that “A remarkable quantity of dumb stuff has been said since Benazir Bhutto’s death” and cites, in particular, this Ipecac Syrup from Washington Post columnist David Ignatius (“”She believed in democracy, freedom and openness - not as slogans but as a way of life. She wasn’t perfect; the corruption charges that enveloped her second term as prime minister were all too real. But she remained the most potent Pakistani voice for liberalism, tolerance and change.”) Whatever else was or was not true about Bhutto, it’s not her guts that are admirable so much as her chutzpah. Think Hillary Clinton, but even more power-mad, scandal-laden - and unbridled by the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution.
In the halcyon days of TV there was a game show, “To Tell The Truth,” in which contestants bluffed – even lied – their way through their résumés, claiming experiences and expertise they did not have. The object of the game was to fool the panel into voting for the bogus contestants, instead of the one who really was who (s)he claimed to be. This seems to be the strategy Mitt Romney (R-MA) is using to get to the White House.
Synonyms for the word “ally” include “friend,” “helper,” “partner” and “supporter.” What kind of “ally” has Turkey been to the U.S. in Iraq? Duplicitous and double-dealing. Here’s just the latest example.
The Boston Globereports that debate-weary voters are looking past the rehearsed sound bites to non-verbal cues in order to glean more meaningful insight into a candidate’s psyche than their poll-tested words can convey:
At her first press conference Jeanne Assam described what happened after Matthew Murray entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs last Sunday, started shooting and refused her order to drop his weapon:
Three months to the day after the Dem presidential candidates gathered at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, for the “Univision” debate, the Republican candidates did the same. For those who were watching the Pittsburgh Steelers get their asses kicked by the New England Patriots and tuned in late or not at all, this is thatloco debate in which questions posed in Español were translated into English, and then answers given in English were translated into Español (wouldn’t it be simpler if everyone just learned English?).
With former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and other critics complaining that the National Intelligent Assessment (NIE) of Iran’s nuclear capabilities is tantamount to policy-making by “refugees from the State Department brought into the new central bureaucracy of the director of national intelligence” who have been hostile to the Bush administration’s foreign policy objectives, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) is planning to introduce legislation to constitute a bipartisan congressional commission to investigate the report’s conclusions and specific intelligence on which they are based.
For months, the MSM has been deeply deceptive about Mormonism – almost as deceptive as Mitt Romney himself. It’s not just that the MSM is not asking the right questions. Since Romney announced his candidacy, the media has aided and abetted him in deliberately sidestepping or miscasting the issues raised by his faith.
For months, pundits twittered over “will he or won’t he” give The Speech. Then when Mitt Romney (R-MA) found himself in second place to Mike Huckabee (R-AR) in IA, pundits worried, “should he or shouldn’t he” give The Speech. He finally gave The Speech. It was … A Yawn.