Back for More Crap

James Carville once said running for President is kind of like sex, most people want to do it more than once.  In this spirit, Rick Santorum has decided to get screwed over once again.  The two-term Pennsylvania Republican Senator is going to give it another go in 2016.  Santorum, who shocked the political world by winning the Iowa Caucuses and came with about 2 percentage points in Ohio or Michigan from throwing the 2012 GOP race into chaos, will start out as an underdog.  However, that is where he began last time.

If he is going to be in the mix Santorum will need the support of social conservatives, who were critical to his campaign last time.  Can you get them?  He will certainly have challengers in the form of Cruz, Paul and Huckabee.  One advantage he has is that this isn’t his first rodeo.  Unlike Paul and Cruz, has been through this before so there are no new revelations about him to be unearthed.  If you don’t believe me Google it.

Honestly, Santorum is yesterday’s news who caught the anti-Romney wave in the 2012 primary at just the right time.  This time he won’t have Willard Romney to kick around so I really doubt he’ll get out of single digits in the polls.  He will probably grab the most headlines with his passionate attacks on gay marriage and the GOP becoming more socially moderate.  Surely, he’ll go after any candidate who dears to push the party in that direction.

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Blast off From Houston?

It appears Ted Cruz is inching closer to announcing what everyone and their mother knows – he wants to run for President. Reports are that he’s on the market for a campaign headquarters in the Houston area.

I think that’s great.  If for no other reason when bad things happen in his campaign I can post the headline “Houston We Have a Problem.”  Thanks Ted for making being a wise ass easier.

A Brave New World

Well, gentlemen start your engines.  You can bet after last night’s many victories the GOP will have a plethora of candidates looking to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Why not?  They won big and feel the political wind is at their backs after having crushed Obama and the Democrats.

Who will in this cast of characters?  Here is a preliminary list:

  • Chris Christie
  • Rand Paul
  • Ted Cruz
  • Mike Pence
  • Scott Walker/Paul Ryan
  • Jeb Bush
  • Marco Rubio
  • Ben Carson
  • Peter King
  • John Bolton
  • Rick Santorum
  • Bobby Jindhal
  • Rick Perry
  • At least one Congressman you’ve never heard of
  • Someone who’s never held elected office

Of it’s going to fun.  Welcome to the brave new world.

Say Goodbye to Iowa and South Carolina

Rand Paul may have earned the undying love of Reason Magazine and GOProud but the following quote may kill him in Iowa and South Carolina:

“I don’t want my guns registered in Washington or my marriage. Founding Fathers all got married by going down to the local courthouse. It is a local issue and always has been.  Society’s changing. I mean, people change their minds all the time on this issue, and even within the Republican Party, there are people whose child turns out to be gay and they’re like, oh well maybe I want to rethink this issue. So it’s been rethought. The President’s rethought the issue. So I mean, a lot of people have rethought the issue.”

First, this is a no-go with social conservatives.  If you don’t believe me go back and watch the Values Voter Summit from last week. You simply cannot win Iowa or South Carolina without the support of Christian conservatives.  Exit polls from Iowa show and South Carolina show they made up the majority of voters.   You can bet this issue is going to be stoked by people like Huckabee, Cruz and Santorum.  They know social conservatives panic when they see the progress gay rights has made in the past decade and are looking for a champion to stand up and fitgh against this.

Third it adds to the narrative that Paul is not really one of them.  Take his wanting to eliminate aid to Israel and his position on drugs and a theme starts to form that Paul isn’t really someone social conservatives can call one of their own.  Certainly Cruz and Huckabee will push this message.

Lastly, Paul equated himself to Barack Obama in the quote.  That’s a not a winner with today’s GOP.

The GOP fight is going to be nasty and Paul has given his opponents some ammo with this one.

Iowa is Cruz’s to Lose

You heard it here first.  Ted Cruz is the favorite to win Iowa.  Oh, I know he is not top of any poll among likely Caucus goers.  He certainly is not topping any national polls.  Sure there is no Cruz Fever About to Sweep the Country articles about to appear in Time, the Washington Post or New York Times that libertarians seemingly get for blinking these days.  But none of that matters now.

What matters?

As he demonstrated at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, Cruz is emerging at the choice of social conservatives.  As Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum showed with their wins in 2008 and 2012 that is the key group in Iowa.  Granted both Huckabee and the New Robert Evans will run again (seriously, what else do they have to do with themselves) but they are both retreads.  Cruz is a new fresh face and a much more skilled debater and speaker.

As for the crop of younger challengers, this weekend as demonstrated that Washington-media darling Rand Paul has a great deal of work to do.  His support for legalizing drugs and cutting foreign aid to Israel will remain barriers for him to build support among this social conservatives.  In addition, Paul’s recent ambiguity on gay marriage doesn’t help with social conservatives.  You notice he didn’t even come in second in the straw poll.

Before you know it it’ll be January or February 2016 in Iowa and Ted Cruz will be making his victory speech and the Bush Republicans will be freaking out.  Just remember you heard it here first.

Get Ready for Some Cruzing

No, I am not talking about the Al Pacino gay-killer 70’s movie.  Instead I am referring to Ted Cruz staffing up for a probable 2016 run.  Cruz is pulling together a team that has solid Iowa experience.  The Texas senator knows this will stoke the fires over a possible presidential bid.  Frankly, that is exactly the way he likes it. 

Interesting to see how Cruz tries to play it in New Hampshire.  Will he go all in or will he focus on Iowa and hope momentum carries him to victory in the Granite state? That’ll tell you how serious he is about winning. 

Mitt’s Not It

A new poll of Republicans in New Hampshire is being used to show Mitt Romney isn’t exactly setting their hearts a flutter. However the fact that Romney gets 6% while being lumped in with the someone else category is not the real news. If you look at the results below it is pretty wide open:

2014-07-31-GOP2016PrimaryPoll

Pretty wide open to say the lease

No one is really running away with it. Rand Pauls’ got 14% and that only leads non-candidate Jeb Bush by 2 points and fellow non-candidate Paul Ryan by 3.  No one is out of who is listed because at this point a ten point lead is worthless. 

It looks like we are in for a real dog fight, whether Willard Romney is in the race or not.