Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

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.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

The pundits are in overload mode right now trying to read the results of last night's Iowa Caucus. We can glean a little from the results, which will be playing hard in Wyoming tomorrow night and New Hampshire next Tuesday. The key question of the day is how does the base stop Mike Huckabee? The other question, on the Democrat side, is how does Senator Clinton right her ship?

For the stopping of Governor Huckabee, the base (and primary voters) need to see a beneficial alternative choice. Iowans liked Governor Huckabee. As we have said often, he is a likeable man; the sort you could enjoy talking to at a Sunday barbecue. In that respect he seems an awful lot like Bill Clinton. Like President Clinton, Governor Huckabee has a charisma that appeals to many, but we doubt it can appeal to the base especially when they take a close look at his record as governor.

The alternative that many conservative pundits offer up is Senator McCain. We believe this would be a bad turn for the party should they see him as the only person to derail the Huckabee campaign. While he is a good man, he has spent the last seven years sticking his thumb in the eye of the GOP base. Too many distrust him to the point that if he were the nominee, they would stay home on election day. The base, we will remind readers, has a long memory, and his negative points would take up far too much time to list them for the umpteenth time here.

The better, smarter move would be to embrace either Mitt Romney of Fred Thompson. Some claim that Senator Thompson's third-place finish was not strong enough for him to stay int he race. Despite those assessments he is still in it. Governor Romney was wounded last night and it comes down to whether or not his supporters can catapult him to a first place finish in New Hampshire. (In Wyoming, Governor Romney leads in the state polls, so it is safe to say he will win Wyoming; Governor Huckabee has little in terms of organization in Wyoming, and he has literally moved into New Hampshire.)

What we, as a base must do is to get behind those we support, and continue giving them as much as we can to ensure their win. We do not run for cover. We do not run to another camp. We dig in and we fight. And we get their message out to voters. We know a good deal of Republicans and conservatives are looking for the next "Ronald Reagan," but let us be blunt -- there is no new Reagan. what that man brought to the party no one has a monopoly on, in terms of those running right now. Senator Thompson is closest to the ideals of Reagan, but even he is no Ronald Reagan. Instead of looking to the past, we should be looking to the future. Reagan's legacy should push us in that direction -- a "morning in America" moment, if you will -- not keep us held down in bygone days that cannot be recaptured. So we must dig in and be ready for a very long campaign.

On the Democrat side, the message is even more mixed. Barack Obama soundly beat both john Edwards and Hillary Clinton. His message of hope and change resounded with Iowa Democrats on Thursday night. Identity politics and attack-at-all-costs ideas did not reflect well on either John Edwards or Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton has decided to head into New Hampshire and hammer away at Senator Obama's inexperience and ideas; again, attack politics may not win her the day there. John Edwards constant drumbeat of "two Americas" did not work in Iowa, and it might not bode well in New Hampshire either. Railing against corporate greed and the rich sounds a little hypocritical from a trial lawyer who reaped millions for crap lawsuits. I think voters see him for what he is, and that is nothing more than a slick ambulance chaser trying to paint everyone, but the rich, as victims.

Instead of going on the attack, Hillary Clinton should do what she has yet to do: PROVE her "thirty-five years of experience" as the best credentials for the Oval Office. Instead of negative, go positive. Present the ideas in a clear and concise manner so that voters can make the ultimate determination, rather than be turned off because all someone can do is kvetch about her opponents. If the Clinton dynasty is to live, she needs to tack in a different direction. As of today it looks like she is falling right into a trap that she may not be able to avoid, or even recover from if voters turn her down again.

We know a lot of readers will not like the fact that we have assessed both sides, but we remind those readers that all we do is "read the tea leaves." This is what we see. If Mitt Romney can recover in New Hampshire, then he is in for the long haul. If he loses in New Hampshire, it sets Rudy Giuliani up for Super Duper Tuesday, and the possibility of still taking the nomination.

Likewise, if Hillary Clinton loses in New Hampshire, stick a fork in her. She may recover a bit on Feburary 5th, but it may not be enough to derail the Obama campaign. The wild card in the Democrat mix at this point is John Edwards, but another drubbing by Senator Obama may finish him off permanently.

Both sides are in a predicament. Who picks up the pressure are the voters, and they have but one job in the coming weeks: winnow the field down, and support the best candidate. We doubt Governor Huckabee will last long once people see who he is, and what he has done. We discounted Barack Obama on the Democrat side, and for that we must step more carefully. He has shown he can win, and beat out the "inevitable" nominee. But this race is far from over.



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