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Calling Michigan And Arizona

[ Posted Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 – 16:15 PST ]

It's that time once again, kiddies, when we gather 'round the virtual fireplace and throw a few darts at the wall to predict the outcome of today's Republican primary races. Feel free to join us here tonight as we sit back and watch the results come in!

First, let's review where we are in the "calling the winners" sweepstakes. Last to vote was Maine, which I am proud to say I called 3-for-3 correct. Woo hoo! I'd also like to publicly thank the ChrisWeigant.com Maine "man on the ground" (our "Maine man," in other words...) [...pause for audience to groan...] for assisting me with this pick, as (all kidding aside) his advice was spot-on.

The vote was close, and I would have gone 1-for-3 if Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had swapped places, but once the Mainers figured out how to count the votes, Romney held a razor-thin edge in the end.

Overall, this improves my record a bit.

Total correct 2012 primary picks so far: 17 for 27 -- 63%.

One technical note, here: the vote this Saturday in Washington state will be the last contest for which I will be calling all three top winners. Because after that it is Super Tuesday, and so I'll only be picking the top finisher in every race from that point on. I'm following the (completely arbitrary, I admit) rules I laid down back in 2008 for playing this game, so I just wanted to warn everyone that it'll be "winners only" from that point onwards.

With that out of the way, let's examine the states voting today. I would say I put Arizona first due to alphabetic order, but to be honest, Michigan is the more fun race to call, so I'm leaving that for the end.

 

Arizona

First Place -- Mitt Romney
Second Place -- Rick Santorum
Third Place -- Newt Gingrich

The polling in Arizona is pretty clear -- Romney's going to walk away with this one. Santorum has never really gotten close to Romney here, and will come in at least five (if not 10 or 15) points behind Mitt. Newt Gingrich will be far behind both, but will edge out Ron Paul.

This seems like a state Paul could have done better in, being the Mountain West where Libertarianism rides free over the open range (and all of that), but perhaps the fact that a lot of Arizona Republicans are retirees from elsewhere shifts the state's demographics a bit. Or perhaps Paul just didn't put up a good effort here, it's hard to say.

The really interesting question in Arizona is going to be the general election, though. Arizona is one of those states that is really purple these days, not blue or red. While it's been a Republican stronghold in the past, the state has slowly been getting bluer. Last time around, of course, they had a "favorite son" on the top of the Republican ticket, but this time John McCain won't be on the ballot. This could wind up being a swing state for Obama in November, which may shock some folks. This underscores how the Latino vote is getting more and more influential in certain states.

 

Michigan

First Place -- Rick Santorum
Second Place -- Mitt Romney
Third Place -- Newt Gingrich

The polling in Michigan is about as close as it can get. The lead has see-sawed back and forth several times, but towards the end neither candidate got outside the "margin of error" in any of these leads -- which means the whole thing is a true tossup.

I am going with my gut, here, rather than my head. I say Santorum wins, which will be announced late in the evening because the race is so close. The word "recount" may even get bandied about, who knows?

Newt Gingrich will take third, once again ahead of Ron Paul, who will be the night's biggest loser (technically... although all the media attention will be on Romney's loss here).

I'm calling it for Santorum for a couple of reasons, all of which can influence things on election day. The first is the fact that the last-minute movement in the polls seemed to go in his direction. This often means the public is shifting, and the polls haven't quite caught up yet. The second reason I'm giving it to Rick is the "tactical" voting (or "let's pee in the other side's sandbox" voting... heh) by Michigan Democrats. Union workers annoyed at Mitt for his "let Detroit die" stance on the auto bailouts may decide that their vote is more important on the Republican side this year, and thus vote Republican (this is legal, in Michigan, as it is in many states). This is the sort of voter movement that polling usually fails to pick up, and if all they need is a few percentage points to throw the race, it could work. The irony, of course, is that Mitt Romney himself admitted to doing exactly the same thing in Massachusetts a while back. The third reason I'm going with Rick is that his voters certainly do seem a lot more enthusiastic and energetic about voting for him than Mitt's voters do. Now, this is admittedly sort of an anecdotal-driven observation, but again, if it's going to be close, this could be a decider.

So that's it. Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, Paul. I do have to admit a wee bit of bias here, because a part of me (like a part of the entire political media -- which will be on display tonight) really wants Santorum to win, just to keep the contest interesting. If Romney cleans up tonight, then the storyline is going to shift back to his "inevitability," whereas if Santorum pulls it out, there will be an absolute frenzy right up to (and right beyond) Super Tuesday, next week.

Here's a market tip: if Santorum wins Michigan, buy popcorn futures. The demand across America will explode. Heh. Heh heh.

Those are my picks, what are yours?

 

[Previous states' picks:]
[IA] [NH] [SC] [FL] [NV] [CO, MN, and MO] [ME]

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

41 Comments on “Calling Michigan And Arizona”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    It occurs to me I missed an obvious joke about "a state that is shaped like a Mitt..."

    :-)

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'm surprised Santorum didn't win Michigan, given the Dem/union effort to get Dems out to vote for him, to embarrass and weaken Romney. But they didn't seem to turn out many Dems: http://www.cbsnews.com/primary-election-results-2012/exit.shtml?state=MI&race=P&jurisdiction=0&party=R&tag=resultsR;exitPollsR

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    Well, looks like I blew it in MI in a big way -- 0 for 3!

    YEah, from the anecdotal interviews I saw, the union folks who were voting for Santorum actually honestly supported Santorum. I didn't see much in the way of spoofing among voters. But, again, that's just anecdotal.

    I think a hidden variable (and I am just guessing here) is that the Republican primary electorate -- the ones who actually vote -- probably is weighted to older voters. And older voters are precisely the ones who fondly remember Mitt's dad George.

    Again, though, that's just a guess.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The older-voter/Dad George is a good point, but I think the really true hidden variable, all throughout the primaries thus far, is the anybody-but-Obama voter. I think Romney is getting more backing than he ordinarily would simply because Republican voters are perceiving him as best equipped to go up against the incumbent. I think Gingrich lost his positioning because of that, and Santorum is losing it now. That's just a pattern I'm seeing: lots of enthusiasm for the "true conservative" of the weeek, but at the end of the day, the foremost agenda of the average Republican appears to boil down to one thing: defeat O. And Gingrich has too much baggage (risky); Santorum is too socially conservative (risky); and Ron Paul is just too whacky. Romney — although not conservative enough for many a Republican's taste — keeps nevertheless emerging as the guy whom the anybody-but-O voter feels safer with. Just my gut feeling.

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    But I thought ALL Republican voters were ABO?

    Heh.

    I hear what you're saying, and please don't take this the wrong way, but such "electability" arguments often wind up losing out in November. I can remember the same argument used for Kerry, McCain, Dole, heck, even Dukakis if you want to go back that far. What the parties wind up with, at times, is someone so uninspiring and charisma-free that they don't manage to generate enough excitement in the end.

    Now, I'm not predicting that for Romney by any means (it is way too early), but from the outside looking in, the GOP nomination race certainly does have that feel to it. I could see Romney losing to Obama due to very low turnout in November on the Republican side, in other words.

    Just a thought. Like I said, it's no prediction, just random musings...

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I hear what you're saying, and please don't take this the wrong way, but such "electability" arguments often wind up losing out in November. I can remember the same argument used for Kerry, McCain, Dole, heck, even Dukakis if you want to go back that far. What the parties wind up with, at times, is someone so uninspiring and charisma-free that they don't manage to generate enough excitement in the end.

    I agree. But I don't think inspiration and excitement are gonna play their usual role in this election. Not for the Right or Right-leaners, anyway. This looks like a "voting against" (big government, enormous debt, socialistic direction) general election coming up. And, as always, it'll be the Independents deciding it.

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    I agree about the indys. And that's the group that Obama will be hurt with most, all summer long for gas prices, which is worrisome for Democrats everywhere. He better hope for some really good unemployment rate news this Friday...

    But Obama may give some of them a reason to vote "for" something. What has struck me about ALL the GOP candidates is their overwhelming negativity. To tell you the truth, the candidate which worried me the most in 2008 (speaking with my partisan hat on) was Huckabee, because he seemed most Reaganesque in his ability to present the conservative message in a positive and upbeat manner. Who concerned me most this year was... um... maybe Herman Cain? He certainly did seem to be having a good time out there. But the flavor of most Republicans this time around seems to be "doom and gloom" which will indeed turn out your base, but may not have much appeal to independents.

    I marveled at Reagan's ability to present his whole "morning in America" thing. I think he was the most destructive president in modern times, but I was absolutely amazed at his political skills at doing so with a smile. But I just don't see any of the current lot (of GOP candidates) being able to pull that sort of thing off this year, I have to say.

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Chris: But the flavor of most Republicans this time around seems to be "doom and gloom" which will indeed turn out your base, but may not have much appeal to independents.

    I don't know about that. I think the Dems missed a big message from voters in the 2010 midterm, where the Indys leaned Right: Stop the spending and bring that hideous debt down. And what did O just propose, a few weeks ago? A budget that increases the debt by another 4T, or so, through 2013? Do you think those Indys have just changed their mind since 2010, thinking, "Ah, what the hey; what's a few more trillion"? I sure don't. And Harry and O have done nothing but fight cuts since then. The Dems had a stroke over the prospect of cutting PBS. They're not "getting" that very clear 2010 message. Just like they didn't "get" the public's anger over the CrapCare mandate until they found themselves on the campaign trail, getting their heads handed to them.

    Another thing I don't think they're getting: "Most people like President Barack Obama's proposal to make millionaires pay a significant share of their incomes in taxes. Yet they'd still rather cut spending than boost taxes to balance the federal budget ... by 56 percent to 31 percent, more embraced cuts in government services than higher taxes as the best medicine for the budget.... http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120224/D9T3L7SG3.html

    Again, they're not paying attention and missing the forest for the trees. They're also not getting the big picture re: the GM bailout, which O is apparently planning to brag about on the campaign trail. Except, in a Rasmussen poll from about 18 days ago...

    "Most Voters Still Think Bailouts Bad for America"
    Amidst reports that the car industry is experiencing a modest rebound in sales, support for the government bailouts is at its highest level in three years of regular tracking, although most voters still think they were a bad idea.

    Thirty-two percent (32%) of Likely U.S. Voters now believe the bailouts of banks, auto companies and insurance companies were good for the United States. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% view the bailouts as bad for the country, while 17% remain undecided..."

    Even if you were to give that full 17%/undecided to O, he still loses that bailout issue, 49% to 51%.

    To tell you the truth, the candidate which worried me the most in 2008 (speaking with my partisan hat on) was Huckabee, because he seemed most Reaganesque in his ability to present the conservative message in a positive and upbeat manner.

    I totally agree. It kills me that he's not running.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    But I thought ALL Republican voters were ABO?

    As are most Independents & NPAs **AND** many Democrats.. :D

    He better hope for some really good unemployment rate news this Friday..

    The prelim data suggests that the Unemployment Rate will be up to 9%...

    CB,

    And, as always, it'll be the Independents deciding it.

    Yep... Dead on ballz accurate.

    That's why I really can't see a way that Obama can win in Nov...

    If he caters to his base, Independents & NPAs will get pissed and vote the ABO vote.

    If he tries to please the Independents & NPAs, his base will stay home in droves...

    Yer also dead on ballz accurate about Dems being completely deaf to the 2010 message that Americans sent...

    By and large Democrats STILL believe that the problem is not their policies but rather how Democrats are delivering the message about their policies..

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    dsws wrote:

    And, as always, it'll be the Independents deciding it.

    I don't agree. Each swing vote does count twice as much as each turnout vote, but there are more than twice as many turnout votes. Of course, there are a lot of people who like to call themselves "independent", but who actually vote for the party their parents voted for (if they vote at all), and haven't voted for a candidate of the other party in their lives.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Each swing vote does count twice as much as each turnout vote, but there are more than twice as many turnout votes.

    That's true, as far as it goes..

    However, there are not TWICE as many turnout votes for ONE Party...

    Whereas with an Independent/NPA vote it doubly helps one Party over another.

    IE It counts as one MORE vote for Party A and one LESS vote for Party B, thereby doubling the benefit for Party A.

    Michale....

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    True as far as it goes, back atcha. There aren't quite twice as many turnout votes for each party as the gross number of swing votes. But swing votes always include some swinging each direction, which cancel each other out. It's only net swing votes that count at all, and there are far more than twice as many turnout votes on each side as there are net swing votes.

    And again, voters registered as "unenrolled" or "NPA", or who self-identify as "independent", include a lot who can be counted on to vote one way if they vote at all. That is, turnout voters not swing voters.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    However, if the Independents and NPAs are thoroughly disgusted with Obama (as would be the case if he allows US Troops to be tried by the Afghanis) then you can bet that all those NET Swing votes will swing towards the GOP...

    Independents and NPAs decide elections..

    Period..

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    Did you see the article which showed how Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum's budgetary/tax plans would explode the deficit -- above and beyond Obama's plan -- by trillions of dollars?

    What you're saying is: Obama's plan has trillions of dollars of debt... so voters will go with Republicans, whose plans have EVEN MORE trillions in debt. Sure, that's rational.

    As for the bailout issue, when the pollsters separate the Wall St. bailout from the Detroit bailout, the Detroit bailout is now in solid approval numbers from the public. There's a simple fact for this -- it worked. People know that it worked. Every time this issue comes up, it is a win for Obama politically.

    Check out just about any poll of independents these days on Romney-v-Obama. The longer the GOP primary goes on, the more indys are moving over to Obama's column, as they recoil in horror from the insanity of the Republicans.

    In other words, don't pop those champagne corks too fast...

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    The longer the GOP primary goes on, the more indys are moving over to Obama's column, as they recoil in horror from the insanity of the Republicans.

    Primaries tend to do that.. I seem to recall the Dem 2008 primary was the Sausage Factory to beat ALL Sausage Factories...

    Yet, the Dem still won the General...

    Michale....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bummer....

    Davy Jones died today.... :(

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    dsws wrote:

    if the Independents and NPAs are thoroughly disgusted with Obama (as would be the case if he allows US Troops to be tried by the Afghanis) then you can bet that all those NET Swing votes will swing towards the GOP.

    There's no way Obama will ever let the Afghans try US soldiers.

    Turnout voters decide elections. Asterisk.

    *You can come up with outlandish scenarios where swing voters would all vote the same way, but that's absolutely never going to happen in the real world. In the real world, with the current state of the electorate, turnout voters decide most elections.

  18. [18] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Chris: Did you see the article which showed how Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum's budgetary/tax plans would explode the deficit -- above and beyond Obama's plan -- by trillions of dollars?

    I don't know which article you're referring to, but I've seen so many op-eds that are spun to death, using creative math, and convenient omissions, and every other tactic in the book, that if I see one more article on the subject, I think I'll scream. But that's not the big picuture. The big picture is that O is the incumbent and it's his election to lose. He's the leader of this country, and in that capacity, he's brought this... http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20027090-503544.html ... up to $15.5T and is proposing yet another $4T through 2013.

    The question quite naturally becomes, which part of "stop the reckless spending and cut the budget," which cost the Dems a major wipeout in 2010, has he — the leader; the incumbent — yet to grasp? Unless somebody would like to suggest to me that the same 2010 voters, who sent that very loud, clear message, have since changed their minds and are no longer concerned about the size of that growing time bomb of a debt, my advice to O and the Dems is to keep themselves focused on that big picture and figure out what the response should be when the race actually beings, and the Republican candidate holds that very simple chart up in front the crowd, reigniting the fury of every voter who marched to the polls in 2010 and handed Dems their hats, big time. 2012 is when they have their shot at handing O his hat this time. And you can bet the ranch that "yeah, but" and "I inherited it (not counting the trillions I added to it)" and "it's [fill in the blank's] fault" is not gonna cut it.

    And what the heck did Bernanke even say today? Are we about to print up some more funny money? I'm literally afraid to read an article on the subject. Somebody break it to me easy.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I was just wondering ... ah ... well, a favour, really ... could you try and refrain from making any predictions that Obama will win in November ... by a landslide ... with a couple of congressional super majorities in tow? Heh.

    Just kidding! :)

    It's hard for anyone to predict what happens next with this clown show.

  20. [20] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale: By and large Democrats STILL believe that the problem is not their policies but rather how Democrats are delivering the message about their policies..

    Same as we saw during CrapCare, when Pelosi/Reid/Obama were scratching their heads, unable to figure out how Massachusetts could possibly have gone to Brown after O had made a personal appearance and appeal to voters, reminding them that his entire agenda was at stake. Lo and behold, Mass says, "Uh, yeah, we know," and sends Brown in there to put the brakes on. And O decides that the only reason this could have possibly happened was his own failure to explain the glories of CrapCare clearly enough. Remember that? Meanwhile, the the entire country had been "opposed/against" CrapCare all throughout its crafting, which managed to escape him, Pelosi and Reid to the tune of 100%. To this day, I don't believe O understands that people were saying "no" to the mandate from the get-go, which they couldn't have shouted out any more clearly to him and the Dem congress if they tried. And off the Dems march, onto the campaign trail, just as confident as can be, and... WHAMOO.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    There's no way Obama will ever let the Afghans try US soldiers.

    Then why doesn't the White House refute the report out of the Afghani Government from 6 days ago???

    There is ample precedence for military turning over troops to host governments for trial.. Obama would likely say, "I am just following precedence"...

    The fact that Obama promised punishment for those troops, who committed NO CRIME WHATSOEVER is sufficient to show that Obama is clueless...

    Turnout voters decide elections. Asterisk.

    Sorry, that's not reality...

    http://articles.courant.com/2011-10-08/news/hc-op-dautrich-obama-election-1008-20111008_1_independent-voters-approval-rating-gop-challenger

    I can provide more links if you require them...

    CB,

    WHAMOO

    Well said.. :D

    Brown in Mass, Weiner in New York, etc etc were 2x4s to the Dem heads... 2010 was a ton of bricks..

    And Democrats STILL think that the American people support their ideas....

    It must be lovely in their world.. :D

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    "For better or worse, independents are the great deciders in American presidential election history."

    I'm just sayin' :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    Figured I would throw you a bone.. :D

    http://beerbarrelpolitics.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/do-independents-decide-elections/

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    dsws wrote:

    how Massachusetts could possibly have gone to Brown after O had made a personal appearance and appeal to voters

    He filmed a tv ad. Big whoop. It was in a gym, with room for about 200 people: just enough to be background for the ad. People were lined up for blocks, but it turned out to be a non-event.

    ... punishment for those troops, who committed NO CRIME WHATSOEVER ...

    In the military, if they want to punish you for just saying "yes sir" instead of "sir, yes sir", they can: no crime required.

    Figured I would throw you a bone.

    :)

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the military, if they want to punish you for just saying "yes sir" instead of "sir, yes sir", they can: no crime required.

    You are speaking of Non Judicial punishment.. Doing 40 push-ups for not saying "Sir, yes sir", etc etc etc

    Kaffey: "Is this your signature?"
    Dawson: "Yes, sir."
    Kaffey: "You don't have to call me sir. Is this your signature??"
    Downey; "Sir, yes sir."
    Kaffey: "You definitely don't have to do it twice in one sentence."

    :D

    In Obama's unnecessary apology, he was speaking of JUDICIAL punishment. For that, the military is bound by the UCMJ and the MCM.

    For Judicial punishments, the military can't just make shit up...

    Michale...

  26. [26] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    dsws: He filmed a tv ad. Big whoop.

    No, Martha Coaxley called Axelrod and said she needed Obama to go up there, when things started spinning out of control a couple of days before the election. It's around the 47:00 mark: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamasdeal/view/?utm_campaign=viewpage&utm_medium=grid&utm_source=grid

  27. [27] 
    dsws wrote:

    In Obama's unnecessary apology, he was speaking of JUDICIAL punishment.

    All I noticed was vague verbiage about "held accountable". That sounds to me like 40 push-ups for the grunts, and some commander being reassigned with diminished prospects for promotion. Got a link, not from a rightwinger blathering on a blog but from actual text of Obama speaking, where it's unambiguously a promise of judicial punishment? Didn't think so.

    You can't promise judicial punishment. You can only promise to either initiate judicial proceedings, or implement phony-judicial punishment. Not that Obama actually promised either.

    Martha Coaxley called Axelrod and said she needed Obama to go up there, when things started spinning out of control a couple of days before the election.

    "Things" were "out of control" well before that. I tried to volunteer a couple times, and the Coakley campaign was a shambles.

    Worst. Candidate. Ever.

    She went out of her way to alienate Red Sox fans. For a politician in this town, that's just unthinkable.

    Obama came by at the last minute and filmed an ad. Big whoop. It was a non-event.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Got a link, not from a rightwinger blathering on a blog but from actual text of Obama speaking, where it's unambiguously a promise of judicial punishment?

    I posted the actual text as relayed by the Afghani Government...

    Doesn't sound ambiguous to me at all...

    You can't promise judicial punishment. You can only promise to either initiate judicial proceedings, or implement phony-judicial punishment. Not that Obama actually promised either.

    Yet, during the debacle over trying terrorists in civilian court in New York, Obama and Obama's DOJ promised just that...

    Regardless of all the obfuscation, one fact is clear.

    NO MISTAKE was made... (Other than Obama's apology)

    NO CRIME was committed...

    NO APOLOGY was required...

    Michale.....

  29. [29] 
    dsws wrote:

    No mistake was made, eh? So our troops in Afghanistan intended to set off an uproar that got a bunch of them killed. Interesting. What's the weather like on your planet?

    It's absolutely sick how the right thinks the US should be held to a lower standard than the rest of the world.

  30. [30] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    dsws: Obama came by at the last minute and filmed an ad. Big whoop. It was a non-event.

    No, as I said, Coaxley called Axelrod and said she needed him up there, and he made an appearance the weekend before the election. I gave you link. It's somewhere around the 43-minute mark (i.e., the beginning of Chapter 6). If you'd like to refute what it says in that documentary, feel free. But making believe it didn't happen doesn't count as refutation. Just saying.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    So our troops in Afghanistan intended to set off an uproar that got a bunch of them killed.

    No.. Our troops did their jobs as they were ordered to do. As SOP dictates it be done..

    They can't be responsible that the Local Nationals are savage morons..

    "How about you don't miss!!! MORONS!!!"
    -Crowley, SUPERNATURAL, Abandon All Hope

    It's absolutely sick how the right thinks the US should be held to a lower standard than the rest of the world.

    What "lower standard" would that be??

    Troops following orders?? Doing their jobs???

    Michale.....

  32. [32] 
    dsws wrote:

    No, as I said, Coaxley ...

    What do you think you accomplish by altering her name?

    No, as I said, Coaxley called Axelrod and said she needed him up there,

    So what? Coakley called Axelrod, and Obama filmed a tv ad. It was a non-event.

    and he made an appearance the weekend before the election. I gave you link.

    It was an "appearance" in a dinky gym. About 200 people got in, just enough to provide some supporters in the background. I was there -- not inside of course, since almost no one got inside, but I saw how far the line moved when they let people in.

    It's somewhere around the 43-minute mark

    So now it's at 43 instead of 47:00. Ok, I watched it again.

    Still nothing there that's news, at all. Just what is this "it" you're talking about? Obama was not planning to come to MA in support of the Coakley campaign. At the last minute he came, shot an ad, and was gone again in a few minutes. It was a complete nothing, in terms of what the supporters got to participate in (aside from the tiny number who fit in the gym as extras holding standing in the background and cheering in the ad). It was a complete nothing, in terms of what he actually did (just filmed an ad). And it was a complete nothing in terms of its effect on the campaign.

    There's nothing in the video in the 43:00-48:00 range that needs any refutation. Things in the Coakley campaign were out of control way right from the choice of candidate, way before Obama came and filmed that ad.

    "The Democrat, Martha Coakley, was sinking in the polls. Only belatedly does it dawn on the White House what's about to happen. The president's not going to go up there, until the Friday before the election, when Martha Coakley calls David Axelrod personally and says I need him to come up."

    Then all he did was film an ad. Big whoop. I didn't see the ad, or the filming session inside the gym. But I saw enough to know that the Coakley campaign was in disarray long before he filmed the ad, and it was in disarray for the few days after he filmed the ad.

    That election was about the candidates and their campaigns. Brown was a competent candidate. He was photogenic. He had a campaign that integrated the money and the volunteers (including, I believe, a bunch of both from outside the Commonwealth) well. He had a hokey but appealing image as a sexy guy who drives a truck.

    I don't completely understand why voluntarily getting bad gas mileage is so appealing, but to a lot of people it sure is. At least a mini-van or SUV is somewhat functional, for transporting your neighbors' kids and their stuff, but except for the tiny percentage who are actually farmers or building contractors or such-like, driving a truck is pure vanity.

    Coakley, meanwhile, couldn't have been a worse candidate if the RNC had hand-picked her and somehow used some dirty trick to get her on the ballot. In that silly scenario we could at least have run a write-in campaign for someone.

  33. [33] 
    dsws wrote:

    They can't be responsible that the Local Nationals are savage morons.

    You fight a war in the circumstances you have, not the circumstances you want. You don't win a war by raising enemy morale and aiding enemy recruiting. But that's what they did.

    Afghanistan has lots of hyper-religious idiots. So does the US, for that matter. That's just a background fact that our troops have to take into account.

    Whoever actually hauled the trash to the incinerator was probably just doing their job, following orders that were lawful and apparently reasonable. They probably shouldn't be punished in any way. But there was a fiasco, and people died because of it. Right-wingers don't care about that per se, of course, but some of those people were American troops. Even right-wingers should care about that.

    When there's a fiasco in our military that gets people killed, there should be an investigation. There is. Some general ordered it, not Obama. It's unlikely that Obama had to tell them to do so. Someone should almost certainly be punished, whether that's just a blot on their record, or being relieved of command, or whatever the investigation shows to be appropriate. Obama is right to express confidence that they will be.

  34. [34] 
    dsws wrote:

    About 200 people got in, just enough to provide some supporters in the background.

    I should say that 200 is just a guess. It could have been 500 or even a thousand. The line did move noticeably when they let people in, but not all that far.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    You fight a war in the circumstances you have, not the circumstances you want. You don't win a war by raising enemy morale and aiding enemy recruiting. But that's what they did.

    What they DID was follow orders and SOP..

    Afghanistan has lots of hyper-religious idiots. So does the US, for that matter.

    I don't recall the last time someone got their head cut off for drawing a picture.

    Do you??

    When the military burned a bunch of bibles in 2009, where was all the rioting???

    Where was Obama's apology??

    But there was a fiasco, and people died because of it.

    So, condemn the people who did the killing..

    Punish the people who did the killing..

    NOT the people who just did their jobs..

    Obama shouldn't be groveling to a foreign government, begging forgiveness and then just say NOTHING when that same government kills our troops..

    Obama was outraged over the burning of the Korans..

    Where is the outrage over the brutal murder of our troops??

    Michale.....

  36. [36] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    dsws: Obama was not planning to come to MA in support of the Coakley campaign. At the last minute he came, shot an ad, and was gone again in a few minutes. It was a complete nothing.

    Err, a president making a public appearance is not nothing. And he didn't go up there for nothing. He went up there to try to save the Mass seat, which he ultimately lost, despite his having reminded everyone — in his nationally televised speech — that his entire agenda was at stake.

    And no matter how hard liberals struggle to spin it (oh, she was a bad candidate; oh, the arrival of the president at the zero hour wasn't really any big thing), the fact remains that (point) O and the administration and the Dems were not paying attention and did not see that Massachusetts freight train coming. Nor did they see the great shellacking of 2010 coming. Nor did they see the public's ire over the CrapCare mandate. But, by all means, repeat the same mistakes liberals/Dems always make, i.e., downplaying defeats — even tsunami-sized ones — and making excuses instead of actually learning anything from it, such as O is exhibiting again by not taking the 2010 message, to stop the spending and cut that hideous debt, seriously. As I mentioned before, the election is his to lose.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    And now we see that CrapCare costs have ballooned up over 111 BILLION dollars!!!

    Why don't Democrats just concede the election now???

    Michale....

  38. [38] 
    dsws wrote:

    So, condemn the people who did the killing.

    Condemning our enemies is stupid. They're already our enemies.

    a president making a public appearance is not nothing

    A "public appearance" before a tiny audience, picked solely to serve as background for a campaign ad, is just filming a campaign ad. Maybe not absolutely nothing, but close as makes no never-mind.

    He went up there to try to save the Mass seat, which he ultimately lost

    Coakley lost that election herself. Obama made a token effort to save it.

    the administration and the Dems were not paying attention and did not see that Massachusetts freight train coming

    True. No one could have expected that Coakley would go out of her way to offend Red Sox fans. In this state that's like dissing motherhood and apple pie, except that people care about the Sox a lot more than about pie. Scott Brown also deserves credit for running a better-than-expected campaign.

    Nor did they see the great shellacking of 2010 coming.

    Not true. They were a little off on the exact number, but incumbent parties normally lose midterms, and even more so when the economy is bad.

  39. [39] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    dsws: True. No one could have expected that Coakley would go out of her way to offend Red Sox fans.

    And more of the usual excuses instead of learning from past mistakes. Hey, knock yourselves out, libs. Buy into as much of your own spin as you like. The only ones who end up getting hurt by that system are liberals/Dems. I give you the great shellacking of 2010. But, by all means, repeat it in 2012.

  40. [40] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale: Why don't Democrats just concede the election now???

    Because, as usual, they don't see the freight train coming.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Condemning our enemies is stupid. They're already our enemies.

    Apparently, you are not up on current events...

    It wasn't our "enemies" who did the killing..

    It was our "allies"...

    Not true. They were a little off on the exact number, but incumbent parties normally lose midterms, and even more so when the economy is bad.

    Oh, come on.. That's just spin...

    The Democrats were knocked on their asses..

    Describing it as being a "little off on the exact numbers" is like saying 9/11 was a minor fender bender...

    CB,

    Because, as usual, they don't see the freight train coming.

    Exactly. They were too busy patting themselves on the back and congratulating themselves on how great they are.. They forgot that THEY serve the American people.. Not the other way around..

    Michale.....

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