Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rasmusson analyzes Romney and Huckabee; takes media to task for out-of-context reporting

You have to hand it to Rasmusson that when they're spot-on they can really stick to quite a few. In this case, it's being handed to Romney and Huckabee with a side order of "stuck on stupid" for the media:

Reporters have been breathlessly and endlessly covering every event and comment in the 2008 race for the White House. In what may be the longest election coverage in history, a look at the Republican nomination process raises questions as to whether the reporters are paying attention to the things that really matter.

The most recent example of this is the straw poll held in Ames, Iowa a couple of weeks ago. Despite the fact that leading prospects such as Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and
John McCain did not participate, the press coverage hailed the event as being terribly significant. The big winner, of course, was Mitt Romney. Second place went to Mike Huckabee who hoped the strong showing would vault him into the top tier of candidates.

Both Romney and Huckabee received a minor bounce in the polls for a few days. But, two weeks later, the national polls show that the Iowa event had virtually no impact. Romney remains mired in third place barely ahead of John McCain. Huckabee’s support continues to be measured in the mid-single digits.

It’s not really that the press got the coverage wrong. Romney did what he had to do in Iowa and did it well. Huckabee did exceed expectations, apparently on the strength of a well-received speech. What the reporters got wrong was a sense of context and scale. Despite the enormous coverage,
less than half the nation’s voters even knew that Romney was the winner. It is fair to assume that a much smaller number attached any particular significance to it.

The same lack of context has been seen in coverage of the many campaign “debates” this season. Reporters comment on the words, the style, the comebacks and everything else about the debates except the lack of public interest. Ratings have been down and
most voters say the events are “boring.’

Earlier in the year, the nation’s political commentators dubbed McCain the frontrunner despite the fact the Giuliani consistently led in the polls. Today, of course, Giuliani remains on top in the polls and McCain’s campaign is struggling to stay afloat. Some reporters have suggested that Giuliani only leads because voters don’t understand his position on the issues. But, Rasmussen Reports polling shows that
two-thirds of Republicans already view the former New York City Mayor as politically moderate or liberal. Perhaps, the conventional wisdom held by reporters is more out-of-synch with Republican Primary Voters than Rudy Giuliani.

Romney's bounce was significant only to show that he can run with the big dogs. His fundraising numbers are good, and some believe they're better than expected. I wouldn't go that far. They are good, and that's what a top-tier candidate needs in a presidential race. The bounce Huckabee received was more like a blip on the radar screen, and it hasn't translated into overwhelming support. One good speech does not make a man president especially when he's still polling in single digits.

Mayor Giuliani, on the other hand, is a story unto itself. Despite having some liberal leanings, people look at him as a leader because of what they remember on 11 September. Those that have delved into the mayor's record (like ourselves and Patrick Ruffini) see that he would most likely govern as a fiscal, law-and-order, tough on terrorism president.

those out there that have a problem with his stance on gay rights (specifically civil unions), abortion rights, and gun control forget one glaring point about those positions. As president, he can't mandate on any of those issues. He must allow congress to address them. Congress isn't going to touch abortion because they believe as we do. That is an issue mired int he courts, and it's up to the courts to fix it. Congress may try to revitalize a new gun bill similar to that of the Assault Weapons ban, but I doubt Rudy would sign it. For that matter, I'm not sure it would make it through both chambers of Congress. And as for gay rights with regard to civil unions, I believe the mayor is on record stating that it is up to the States to decide that.

In other words, he's got bigger fish to fry than virtually meaningless social issues. He understands the bottom line that if we lose this war, those issues will amount to nothing compared to the problems we will have at that time.

As for the election coverage we agree that the debates, thus far, have been relatively boring. It's due mostly to how they're being conducted. you can't get a lot out of a candidate with a thirty-second or one minute sound bite. (And we still think the YouTube debates are a joke and a half.) The election cycle started so early that only the hardcore political news junkies like ourselves and the pundits on the starboard side of the 'Sphere are really paying attention.

This point is evident to me. As many readers know, I frequent online chat rooms looking for discussions and debates, and I've noticed that quite a few conservative chatters aren't aware of the gaffes that have been made, the candidates that are weak, or the idiocy of the media, in general, when it comes to the debates. Many of these people are jumping on Fred's! bandwagon before he's even announced, despite the continuing problems his early and drawn out campaign has had. These people are also hyping guys like Tancredo and Hunter, who are good guys, and solid conservatives, but they often tend to yell a lot and have only one issue that they're strong on.

In short, unless you're a political junkie, you're not paying a lot of attention to the race for the president right now. It's due mostly to the early start of the season, and to the fact that very few have dropped out on both sides of the race. John McCain should signal his departure soon because he's running on fumes, and the base just doesn't trust him. We see him getting the nomination only if God intervenes and grants him a miracle. This race is already virtually narrowed down to a fight between Rudy and Hillary. The Democrats are too blinded by partisanship and entitlement to present a worthy candidate. I'm sorry to say this to all the Democrats out there, but Hillary isn't your man. She should have waited. she's 61 now, and she should have waited another four or eight years until the public forgot about the baggage she was carrying. Honestly, 2012 would be her ideal time to try for the presidency.

Rudy has the backing of the base. A lot of chatters keep bringing up his three sticking points, and they refuse to listen to me explain it to them. they're dead set against him, and there's little I can do to persuade them otherwise. A couple will admit they'll vote for him if he's the nominee, and many more say they simply won't vote. That's arrogant and childish, and a no vote, or vote for a third party translates to a vote for Hillary. Time for those conservatives to wake up and smell the coffee. This war won't be over in 2009 when the next president comes into the White House, and the war against radical Islam is the number one issue confronting this nation. which president would be better at handling the war, keeping us on a pro-active, preemptive war-footing?

If I'm right (and I usually am), then the answer is simple. You will support the strongest candidate on that issue, which right now is Rudy Giuliani. Hold you nose if you must. Cuss and swear that you'd never vote for him if you'd like. But remember that if Hillary gets in, you can expect a replay of the 1990s with her administration refusing to confront the danger head-on.

Publius II


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