The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Morning Cheat Sheet

Bartlett Unleashed: On Flip-Flops, a "Dud" and the Guy With the Funny Name

Dan Bartlett, formerly one of the closest advisers to President Bush, has been offering a tough analysis of the GOP field. (White House Photo Office).

One of President Bush's closest advisers has a brutally candid analysis of the Republican nomination battle: Fred Thompson is the campaign's "biggest dud," Mitt Romney has "a real problem in the South" because people will not vote for a Mormon, Mike Huckabee's last name is too hick and John McCain could end up repeating 2000 by winning New Hampshire but losing the nomination.

Dan Bartlett, who stepped down as White House counselor in July after working nearly his entire adult life for Bush, gave those frank assessments of the Republican presidential candidates during a recent appearance before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that went unnoticed outside the room. Never before has Bartlett opened up in a public setting with such an unvarnished analysis of the race. And while he no longer formally speaks for the president, Bartlett spent 14 years channeling Bush and remains virtually his alter ego, so his views could be seen as a revealing look into the thinking within the president's inner circle.

Bartlett was harshest in his judgment of Thompson, the former Tennessee senator who jumped into the contest a month ago and faces his first televised debate today. Thompson, Bartlett said, was the "biggest dud" because he peaked last spring when he first started talking about running and since then has yet to articulate a compelling vision for why he is running. "The biggest liability was whether he had the fire in the belly to run for office in the first place and be president," Bartlett said. "So what does he do? He waits four months, fires a bunch of staff, has a big staff turnover, has a lot of backbiting, comes out with his big campaign launch and gives a very incoherent and not very concise stump speech for why he's running for president."

Bartlett held out little hope that Thompson could win the nomination. "Unless they really find a way to crystallize his message for why he's different than the other candidates, why people should take a second look now, I don't feel very good that Fred Thompson's going to be the candidate for my party," he said.

His judgment of Romney was only somewhat less negative. While crediting the former Massachusetts governor with the "best strategy and organization" born out of his "business acumen," Bartlett said "the flip-flopping on positions" stemmed from a miscalculation that the primary field would be more conservative than it proved to be. "They were trying to solidify his conservative credentials." Bartlett added: "He's getting a narrative in the national media as somebody that is too much trying to position himself, trying to hedge himself, almost too mechanical about the issues. Authenticity is going to be a very important principle in this campaign. And right now that's their biggest danger."

The flip-flopping issue, Bartlett added, provides an outlet for another big reason why Republican voters will not back Romney -- his religion. "The Mormon issue is a real problem in the South, it's a real problem in other parts of the country," he said. "But people are not going to say it. People are not going to step out and say, 'I have a problem with Romney because he's Mormon.' What they're going to say is he's a flip-flopper. ... It's a fact, it's reality. I don't know if it's one that will keep him from becoming the nominee for the party but it's something they clearly understand they've got to deal with."

Bartlett was more sympathetic to McCain, calling him the "biggest wild card," but he clearly felt the Arizona senator who lost the nomination to Bush in 2000 still faces enormous hurdles. "He is now where he does his best," Bartlett said. "He's lean, he's mean, he's out there, he's fighting in New Hampshire. The problem's going to be it always comes down to money, money, money. He doesn't have it. The irony could be he could see this thing play out the exact same way it did in 2000. He could win in New Hampshire and not have any infrastructure or funding to maximize it in a national campaign."

As it happens, the Bush adviser was most enthusiastic about a contender who seems to have even less chance. He called Huckabee the "best candidate," one who seems to most mirror Bush's own vision of compassionate conservatism. "He is the most articulate, visionary candidate of anybody in the field," Bartlett said. Initially, he admitted, he was perplexed that the former Arkansas governor was running. "But the more I watch him, the more impressed I become." When it comes to advocating conservative positions on social issues, "he does it in a very positive, optimistic way."

But Huckabee probably cannot win, Bartlett added. "He's got the obvious problems -- being from Hope, Ark., and, quite frankly, having the last name 'Huckabee,'" he said. "I hate to be so light about it, but it is, it's an issue. Politics can be fickle like that. I mean, you're trying to get somebody's attention for the first time. ... 'Huckabee? You've got to be kidding me! Hope, Arkansas? Here we go again.'"

The only top-tier candidate Bartlett did not criticize was Rudy Giuliani, whom he credited with the "best message," particularly because the former New York mayor has kept his focus on attacking Democrats, not fellow Republicans, which serves as an effective distraction from his own liberal positions on guns, gays and abortion. "He's doing it particularly with Hillary," Bartlett said. "There's headlines the other day. He wants to engage in this debate. And there's a very practical aspect of it because if he's engaged with the Democrats, he's not engaged on ... his own positions, whatever those that would not be very receptive in a typical Republican primary."

For all that, Bartlett declined to make a prediction about who would win the nomination, although he seemed to lean toward Giuliani. "Republicans, I believe, are terrified about losing the presidency after losing Congress," he said. "I think this is going to be the season of the pragmatic Republican voter. That bodes well for Rudy and it gives McCain a shot because I think people feel McCain can go toe-to-toe with Hillary in the general election."

Bartlett, who was at the heart of two presidential campaigns, gave his appraisal during a Sept. 13 joint appearance with former Democratic National Committee chairman Terence McAuliffe, campaign chairman for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), the Democratic presidential frontrunner. Bartlett was taking on the role in a regular tandem act once played by former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, who succeeded him as White House counselor. It was Bartlett's first public speech since leaving the White House and video excerpts of it are posted on the Web site of Leading Authorities, the speakers bureau that arranges his appearances ($10,000 to $20,000 for speeches in town, $20,000 to $30,000 for out of town events).

Bartlett began his presentation by noting that after so many years on someone else's payroll, he finally feels "a little liberated." Certainly seems so.

-- Peter Baker

Posted at 9:35 AM ET on Oct 9, 2007  | Category:  Morning Cheat Sheet
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Apparently, Dan Bartlett has indicated that you have to be a multi millionaire or a trust fund brat with a pedigree to be president. How un-american.

Posted by: richardgorlewski | January 6, 2008 3:30 PM

lux_devoid: Are you implying that by some miracle Florida voters have actually figured out HOW to vote successfully?

(BTW Im a native Floridian who fled screaming 20 years ago)

Posted by: MarcMyWords | October 10, 2007 5:50 PM

Ron Paul should definitely run as a 3rd party candidate.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | October 10, 2007 5:44 PM

To jol 310:

So would you not vote for a Christian?

Science would definitely consider the following to be demonstrably false historic claims: a virgin giving birth, a man raising himself from the dead, a man raising other people from the dead, water being turned to wine, a man walking on water...I think you get my point.

Science and religious belief have always clashed, and due to the limitations of science and man's knowledge, they always will. I can only respect your argument if you apply it to all candidates that believe in something that goes against scientific proof.

Posted by: kirkblack2003 | October 10, 2007 11:03 AM

"Dr. Paul deserves genuine consideration from the mainstream media. Although I don't necessarily agree with all of his policy, he is the only candidate from either party who doesn't spew out partyline mantras whenever he opens his mouth"

Not so. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel may come across as wacky (esp Mike), but they don't do the party line.

Posted by: jdarby21 | October 10, 2007 10:04 AM

Typical repub backstabber,would have worked for nixon, he is correct about old fred,what a maroon

Posted by: gonville1 | October 10, 2007 8:50 AM


"The intellectual capacity of the GOP voter is evident by the fact that Huckabee cant do well because his name is too "hick"."

Speak for yourself. I like the man's positions despite the awkwardness of the name. You should examine a candidate's positions, not how his name sounds, and I like Mike.

Posted by: washingtonpost | October 10, 2007 8:16 AM

I see Ron Paul and all I see is another Dennis Kucinich, whacko, whacko, chacko.

Posted by: RLFortinNH | October 10, 2007 6:33 AM

I am intrigued by Mitt Romney and by Ron Paul. I have three questions involving them, if anyone cares to comment and help me out.

(1) To the extent that some will hold his Mormonism against him, can't Romney just say, "Look, I've been governor of a populous state (not Utah), and I've been CEO of a global business organization; if my religion were to stand in the way of my being an effective leader, policy formulator, or arbiter of tough issues, don't you think that would have showed up already in my past record in those jobs?"

Comments: jol310 (@5:15 PM) wrote very well about HIS reservations; thanks for that thoughtful post. It resonates with me, but then so would a similar stance regarding someone who accepts the dogma of LOTS of different religions and denominations, including Christianity.

(2) Cannot Romney disown some of the teachings of Mormon (such as the ones jol310 referenced) and yet still "be" a Mormon? Or is that verboten?

(3) What would likely happen if Ron Paul were not nominated by Republicans? Would he likely then strike out on his own with a "new label", such as "Conservative Populist" or something? (Maybe that's what he has been angling toward all the time, but getting a start his campaign in the Republican tent where his message is more likely to be heard (pure conjecture alert!).

Comment: I hope Ron Paul does not bow out, and that his supporters stay vocal. They should NOT let "discouraging words" (like "get real") discourage them. We need REAL choice. There is way too much "status quo" thinking from the several establishment politicians. How can anyone in an open society discourage the advancement of different agendas from consideration?

Posted by: TerryOtt | October 10, 2007 1:21 AM

Bartlett's ommission of Ron Paul is significant proof of Ghandi's observation:
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

I suggest Ron Paul is gaining momentum by the hour and is lately winning over some of the cable tv pundits like Chris Matthews and Jim Kudlow who interviewed Dr. Paul after the recent debate in Detroit.

Posted by: claytanner2 | October 10, 2007 1:04 AM

Ron Paul is the only one that hits it on the head. Spending is the real issue. You can't have guns and butter by subsidizing the defense of Europe and Asia and fighting undeclared wars while trying to pay for entitlement programs and domestic spending at home. He is the only candidate from both major parties who gets it and he gets my vote. This is not what the powers to be wants to here. He's the only one speaking the plain truth.

Posted by: mdabfab23 | October 10, 2007 12:18 AM

Brief Overview of Congressman Paul's Record:

He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress.


Posted by: madgeowens | October 10, 2007 12:07 AM

I happen to like Mike Huckabee and I think he would make a great President. Apparently Mr Bartlett thinks little of the voters in America and much less of those in the south to say they would not vote for Mitt Romney because he is a mormon....I don't happen to believe the people in America are that shallow thank you very much....and they will vote for the best MAN to be the next President of the United States...we are done with Clinton's and Bush....a breath of fresh air...and nut jobs need not apply...that means Ron Paul the spas-mo!

Posted by: madgeowens | October 10, 2007 12:04 AM

I'm not surprised that Dan Bartlett was kindest to Guiliani in his comments, nor that Huckabee was his runner-up. Especially if he is Bush's "alter ego".

Quite aside from his affinity for christian coalitionists (Huckabee is one), Bush is basically a Rockefeller Republican and has sought to remake the party in that image. Guiliani is not only a New Yorker, his philosophy is at least neo Rockefeller.

I can't believe the rank and file Republicans in the primaries will follow Bush over that cliff, but they have goose-stepped for him pretty good up until now. Even in the South, where the Goldwater conservatives and Reagan Democrats have been insulted and ignored and marginalized throughout the Bush presidency.

Posted by: rphillips1 | October 9, 2007 10:58 PM

So Giuliani is divorced. So what? If he gets the nomination, look who he'll be running against. Hilary might as well be divorced.

Ron Paul isn't going anywhere and I don't count voting against the Patriot Act a plus. So far he only appeals to Democrat wannabes. He'd do better running as a Libertarian which is to say at best he gets 3% of the vote on maybe a good day.

It's a sad commentary in the year 2007 when a man's religious beliefs are also his liability. Mitt Romney is very capable. Get over it.

Which brings back to the only 'take charge' guy who has a shot at beating Hillaryous and isn't that what it's all about? You go Rudy!

Posted by: Excaliburn | October 9, 2007 10:16 PM

Bartlett is an advisor in search of a client. If he did such a good job for Bush, why are Bush's ratings in the toilet?

Posted by: PatrickCurry | October 9, 2007 9:28 PM

Of course, the main stream media is primarily focusing on their perceived impression that Bartlett saved his harshest judgements for Senator Thompson. Bartlett seems to forget that the main stream media was not too keen on his boss during his first presidential campaign either.

The part that really irks me is the timing of this "news report". Bartlett apparently made these comments during a speech he made before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on September 13th. That's right, almost a month ago! So why on earth do you think comments from his speech are being released today? Could it be an attempt to, once again, try to deflect attention away from Thompson before his first Presidential debate? And what candidate would benefit the most from this - the one that Bartlett apparently dislikes the least?

Posted by: bohuslav | October 9, 2007 9:15 PM

Looks to me like Ron Paul is 40 points over the next baffoon Rudy or actor Fred!

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | October 9, 2007 8:38 PM

Check this jokers. Ron Paul blowout!

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | October 9, 2007 8:37 PM

"And I live in Austin, Texas!"

That's a cute statement. Austin, Texas is as representative of Texas as Raleigh or Durham is representative of North Carolina. Good try Liberal.

Posted by: lutonmoore | October 9, 2007 8:36 PM

Brief Overview of Congressman Paul's Record:

He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | October 9, 2007 8:28 PM

Hey, what about Alan Keyes? I'd like to see Rudy G. challenge him to a crowd-surfing contest.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | October 9, 2007 8:24 PM

Sure, bring on Condi, it would be a blast analyzing in great detail her role and involvement in the slave labor used to build the Burma gas pipeline for Chevron while she was on the Chevron board amongst whatever other atrocities they committed in the name of petro $$$. The Junta in Burma is funded by Chevron actually, Condi pretty well tied in and perfectly OK with that, afterall, she's a bloodthirsty killer.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | October 9, 2007 8:12 PM

Fred did a fine job in the debate and will continue to impress. Go here for Thompson bumper stickers --

Posted by: amurphy | October 9, 2007 7:43 PM

It's funny, Ron Paul's been upgraded by even the critics calling him crazy and no-chance long shot to a 'spoiler'. I find it as a compliment because now ALL people are entertaining the possibility of his candidacy.

You can't ignore his grassroots support.

I'd like to thank those critics and be prepared to upgrade him to contender very shortly.

Posted by: soulmantim | October 9, 2007 7:43 PM

I believe Milton Friedman in his interview with Charlie Rose referred to the government's powerlessness to get anything done being good for the economy. Since most laws passed anymore either 1) Spend more taxpayer money, or 2) Impose some sort of restriction on the population, I support that idea. That being the case, maybe we need a "NO" man in office for a change. Government spending is choking our dollar to death.

Posted by: junkmailsucks856 | October 9, 2007 7:38 PM

The fact that Bush got elected twice means virtually anybody can be President. Heck, Bush would back Vincente Fox for President if he could.


Elected? That's news to me!

Posted by: grayforester | October 9, 2007 7:33 PM

Ahem, As a TEXAN, I am VERY Familiar with everything Ron Paul is Against! I believe breathing, and eating are the only two things he suppports!

In Texas Political Circles, he is DR. NO!

Just as the Republican'ts probably got Kinky to Spoil the Dims for Perry(Da Gov.), seems the Move-on.Please crowd is TRYING to make Dr. No the Spoiler NOW!

He has good Ideas. He is just not electable! Dr. No! would be a FOUR YEAR LAME DUCK!

Think I'm lying-Check out his Voting Record-a little hard in Texas, due to the votes not being available at the State Level-BUT, I do believe being a House Rep. that the WaPo has all his NO's Documented!

Dr. NO! Ohhhhh Dr. NOooooooooo!!!!!!!!

Noooooo NOoooooooo! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Posted by: rat-the | October 9, 2007 6:57 PM

Not to say that Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee or John McCain are good enough to be president, but Dan Bartlett was defiantly not working for the sharpest knife in the draw! Why can't we have some good, honest and qualified people running for the office of president! And don't anyone say we do and list off the democrats, because they are not any better than the republicans!

Posted by: roger.young | October 9, 2007 6:26 PM

It's not really that complicated. Both parties are bought and paid for by special interests, Ron Paul is not. Even if you are not for his ideas, putting him in makes a stand as citizens that we want a leader who actually stands for what he believes. His voting record speaks for itself, as do most others. When is the last time there was a "Student movement" for any candidate who wasn't a Dem? The guy is the real deal...despite the ignorance of the media and the hyping of huckabee.

Posted by: junkmailsucks856 | October 9, 2007 6:14 PM

It's amazing how Ron Paul is totally ignored. The mainstream media doesn't even mention his name. I think that Paul has a chance. Most of my friends are voting for him. His following is growing quickly.

Posted by: jpnofl | October 9, 2007 6:04 PM

I really don't think Romney even needs the votes of southern evangelicals. In the states where that presense is going to be strongest, the Republicans are pretty much a lock, anyway. Romney is in my estimation the most eloquent of the Republican candidates. Certainly the most qualified. And his overall message is the most in-line with his base.

I frankly think it would be a major mistake to nominate Fred Thompson (who looks 15-20 years older than what he is) or Rudy Giuliani (whose principles don't align with Republican voters and aren't greatly distinguished from Hillary Clinton) when you've got Romney out there.

As for Huckabee, he's extremely weak on the immigration issue (one arena where Conservative Republicans enjoy a major advantage over the Democrats) and on taxes/spending. I think a lot of the discontent with President Bush lies in the fact that he refused to cut spending. Let's just leave out how his spend-free ways have been killing the deficit and our currency.

Posted by: cheyennepress | October 9, 2007 5:50 PM

It's interesting how the two parties try to create a diverse field of candidates. The Democrats have Hispanic, Caucasian and African-American men, and a woman as the front-runner. The Republicans only diversity is in how the candidates worship Jesus Christ.

Posted by: bsphenom | October 9, 2007 5:35 PM

I think the Republicans need an entirely new team. It took Jimmy Carter to get Ronald Reagan over the hump. 4 or 8 years of Democratic control may show Republicans the error of their ways and lead to an entire slate of new and better candidates.

With just a little bit of effort the Democrats might score their 50-state victory, because even Republicans want a change.

Posted by: lalison | October 9, 2007 5:30 PM

Religion is a divisive force in American and world politics. However, to respectfully question how a candidate's religious beliefs might inform his or her decision making is not necessarily out of bounds religious intolerance.

That being said, would I vote for Mitt Romney? No. Is it because he is Mormon? No and yes.

The Mormon religion has taught for 175 years that the peoples indigenous to the American continents are descended from two groups of Jewish refugees who arrived by boat from the Middle East several hundred years prior to the birth of Christ. The introduction to the Book of Mormon states that these Semitic immigrants "...are the principal ancestors of the American Indians." Please note that these are claims of historical fact, not faith.

In the view of modern scholarship, this is a clearly disprovable assertion. Respected scholars who study ancient American civilizations and cultures in the varied disciplines of archeology, anthropology, DNA, linguistics, etc. all firmly declare that the ancient Americans came to this continent from Asia; primarily from the area of what is today Mongolia. There is no evidence supporting the Mormon claim of Jewish ancestry for Native Americans and voluminous evidence debunking it. (I refer you to 1491 by Charles Mann for an excellent overview of current scholarship regarding ancient America.)

So, how does voting for a President enter into the discussion of the ancestral origins of Native Americans? I assume the Mitt Romney accepts and supports this fundamental church teaching. To do so, he must disregard, reject, and/or discount all the contrary evidence presented by qualified, legitimate sources of information.

The ability to reject relevant evidence because it doesn't support already held conclusions is not a quality I want the leader of my country. Willful ignorance and the adamant refusal to consider that previous conclusions might be wrong is cause for concern. Failing to consider all germane information has resulted in too many dead soldiers and the loss of respect for American policy and power around the world.

This is not an issue of true or false faith. Faith by its nature is not provable or disprovable. Faith, whatever its particulars, can do many positive things. Faith can provide comfort in difficult times and guidance in moral dilemmas. Faith, however, cannot alter facts.

When a Presidential hopeful accepts demonstrably false claims as historical fact (whether or not those claims are rooted in religious teaching), we must pause and consider if that person is the individual we want in the most powerful position of American leadership.

Posted by: jol310 | October 9, 2007 5:15 PM


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA So the $1.5 million he raised in one week before the end of the quarter was donated by the same group of "unemployed musicians in Austin" (bringing him to $5.3 million in donations)? You are so ignorant of the facts. Ron Paul has the most meetup groups, facebook groups, etc. of ALL of the candidates. He is the only man of principal in the whole field of candidates and you want to trash him and his supporters? People like you deserve what you get. Unfortunately, the rest of us suffer.

Posted by: hitbabe | October 9, 2007 5:13 PM

Here in NH, I can assure you that Ron Paul has some SERIOUS support. Polls don't always pan out here,and we are the "free state" of the libertarians. My prediction,Ron Paul takes second in NH,giving a big bump into the other early states. I doubt he will win the nomination, but he will be a thorn in the side of the pro-war crowd.
It's not a scientific study but take a ride from moderate Manchester to liberal Keene, and count the Paul signs along the way.

Posted by: droppedasachild | October 9, 2007 5:11 PM

If I was the conspiracy theorist type, I'd almost wonder if Bartlett planted out there to boost Giuliani and put down the other candidates.

Guiliani is probably the most electable of the Republicans right now, so it wouldnt surprise me if the powers that be were trying to put him in posiition to represent the party next year.

Posted by: tfrance99 | October 9, 2007 5:10 PM

He conveniently leaves out Ron Paul and discusses Huckabee. LOL!! Paul is the only true conservative in the race and the only real Republican. The establishment, including the repugs want Clinton so they continue business as usual which includes the looting of We the People in favor of the elites. Includes NAFTA, etc. that clinton I started. Nice democracy - two royal families without class or decency thus perfect for the White House. I wish I would be here to read what history says about both of these crime families and the state of US Democracy in the years 1990 - present. What a joke. PERIOD

Posted by: giant1 | October 9, 2007 4:59 PM

Bruce Bartlett has about as much credibility with grass-roots conservatives as does his ex boss, George W Bush, the architect of the repudiation of conservative principles for the GOP these last 8 years.

For the libs on the site, about the only thing Bush has done right these last eight years are tax cuts, prosecuting the war on Islamic fundamentalists, and most recently S-CHIPS veto. I doubt Bartlett had anything to contribute to those actions anyway.

Bruce, you should just fade away. We aren't going to nominate RINO's like Guiliani or McCain.

Posted by: deeprock7 | October 9, 2007 4:57 PM

Sorry to burst your liberal bubbled heads, but the Democrats wrote the book on stealing elections. You libs can't stand it if you don't win and act like small children on the playground at recess kicking sand in each others face...pitiful, shameful and childish...I ought to know, grew up in one of the most one sided(Demo)party state in the country. Reading this blog gives the overall picture of the mean spirited, anti-religious, anything goes liberal view point and it should be reading for all who want to know how far down the road our once proud and morally upright citizenry have fallen. If the likes of the Clinton duo are the best the Democrats can prop up to lead this country we are doomed....socialism is just around the corner and our freedoms will be history.........

Posted by: POOKIESMOMMY | October 9, 2007 4:51 PM

This is interesting. Bartlett seems to feel the Dems need some help trashing the Republicans candidates. From an ex Administration official who has depended upon loyal, steadfast Republicans who kept his ship afloat, this is truly a disgusting display of public disloyalty. No wonder so many have turned their backs on this Administration.

Posted by: Timothy1 | October 9, 2007 4:38 PM

I have a job.
I don't post to many forums or blogs.
I am an old school, pre-neocon, republican.
I am college educated.
I will vote for Ron Paul.
He's being marginalized by the media. Try listening to the man instead of the rhetoric.

Posted by: theodoreobrien | October 9, 2007 4:28 PM

Oh, the hypocrisy and irony.
There is he, one of the chief enablers of the absolute WORST President EVER in the history of the United States of America, and he's CRITIQUING THE KOOLAIDE DRINKERS?

Pardon me while I double up in laughter, because if I DON'T, I'll melt into a crying jag.

What planet do these people actually live on?

Posted by: mommadona00 | October 9, 2007 4:26 PM

Ron Paul is the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, that offers anything beyond 'more of the same'.

I can understand why that raises the hackles of so many who don't give a damn that America is going down the toilet at the hands of Big Government Republicans.

Posted by: finnerty | October 9, 2007 4:25 PM

No personal income tax anyone.
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.
He voted against the REAL ID Act

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Posted by: kc6404 | October 9, 2007 4:19 PM

Fair Tax anyone?

Posted by: alisonhynes | October 9, 2007 4:14 PM

Oh, I forgot, which is fitting for this other, last point.

Dear Ron Paul,

You're the best and don't believe the polls and the lack of media attention. You are doing great and you appeal to normal, sane, balanced individuals, not just a fringe element.

the Deaniacs

Posted by: dsstanton | October 9, 2007 4:10 PM

Someone commented that he wondered if Bartlett represented the thinking within the Bush administration. What thinking?

The solution to the polution of the democraps and repulsives is to vote every crooked one of them out of office. This criminal class is destroying this country with it's corruption, lying, un-American behavior. The Republicans and the Democrats are selling out the Constitution and The Sovereignty of the nation. Out, every single one of them, no exceptions.
They are the right and left wing of the socialist party. They use different methods and a different message to continue their spoilage of our country. They are the enemy of freedom and individual thought.
Please help save America. Don't vote for the republicans or the democrats.
Death to tyrants.

Posted by: thenewyorktomesisacomicbook | October 9, 2007 4:07 PM

Bartlett: Rudy has best message...this is going to be the season of Republican pragmatism at the ballot box...after fears of losing the WH on the heels of an embarassing loss of Congress?

Oh? Sounds to me like someone's been listening a bit too much to Sean Hannity. I mean, am I the only one who thinks Sean Hannity has sold his conservatism down the river in his inexplicable promotion of Rudy the Lib? I saw him last night practically pulling his hair out trying (failing) to convince conservatives Dobson and Coulter that Rudy would be just fine. Neither James Dobson nor Ann Coulter agreed with Hannity's incessantly annoying Rudy-peddling. It's rather quite humiliating even watching Hannity cheer for Rudy.

And now Bartlett is "leaning" his way too? My thinking is that they love Rudy b/c he's just as stubborn (probably more) as Bush. And obsessed with 9/11. I mean, the only thing clearly conservative about Rudy is his hawkish talk about national security. Otherwise, the former Democrat looks very much like Hillary, his fellow NY bureaucrat.

In other words, Hannity, Bartlett, and probably every other neo-conservative nutter out there is backing Rudy, in effect making Rudy the nearest thing this cycle to an incumbent candidate.

Hopefully voters will identify this and move on because of the entire field of frontrunners, there are two candidates who have apparent drives for the WH based on improvement, not power: Romney and Obama. These two guys have clear differences in philosophy and method, and record and accomplishment for that matter, and hopefully voters will also find this out.

But for now, hopefully we primary voters will largely stay uninfluenced by the cheerleading of Bush sychophants who are obviously trying to get behind Rudy and push him to the nomination based on ridiculous "reasons" like: Rudy can beat Hillary (pomp, claim) and the date 9/11 and the word terrorism (fear).

Posted by: dsstanton | October 9, 2007 4:07 PM

I think as much of Bartlett a I do those he badmouths.

Posted by: fredlapides | October 9, 2007 4:01 PM

I guess we'll never know what Mr. Bartlett thought about Congressman Ron Paul. Mike Huckabee? He isn't even a contender. He only raised a little over a million in the 3rd quarter, while Ron Paul raised nearly 5.1 million. What's that tell you? Paul is a contender, Huckabee is not.

Posted by: jason28allen | October 9, 2007 3:57 PM

"Can all of you Ron Paul folks just get jobs. Until you can somehow prove that you are not the same dozen unemployed "musicians" from Austin who were convinced Kinky Friedman was a good idea and that 9-11 was an inside job, bombarding message boards with pro-Ron Paul messages will not help his chances with the real voters."

I'll chime in as well. I'm also a real person, not a musician, and I don't think 9/11 was an inside job. I do like Ron Paul, mainly because I have some idea that he will do what he says as opposed to telling me what I want to hear. Being a man of your word is pretty high in my book.

Posted by: gymbrall | October 9, 2007 3:57 PM

As a FULLY EMPLOYED college graduate, I have had no faith in the government until Ron Paul came around. I will speak for a large majority of young twenty somethings like myself, Ron Paul has more support than all you sheep think. I reside in NJ and i see far more Ron Paul signs and bumper stickers than any other candidate. Why don't you check out the results of the straw polls across the country. Paul places first in the majority. Instead of listening to the mainstream media, why don't you read for yourselves and stop electing corporate puppets into office.

Posted by: wfdurock | October 9, 2007 3:55 PM

Let's see -- why didn't he mention McCain who also embodies "Dud" and "Flip-Flopper" too. Add to that a "has been", "Keating 5 thief & apologist", "sycophant", "pretend independent", "Shrub Bush, Dick Cheney @ss-kisser", "Warmonger", "speaks with forked tongue out of both sides of his @ss" too -- but that would have been too long for the headline.

What a complete LYING "will-do-and-say-anything-to-be-president" sycophant both McCain and Bartlett have been.

Hey, wait, that means Bartlett is the perfect embodiment of, representative and operative for the repugneocon party. And it means McCain IS the perfect candidate to represent the republican party!

Ergo, McCain should hire Bartlett!


Posted by: andfurthermore1 | October 9, 2007 3:53 PM

"The duds do not come any dumber than this:

"In Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson continued to attest to the existence of WMDs in Iraq. "We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, [Saddam Hussein] clearly had had WMD," he said; Thompson ended his speech by asking for applause." (Harper's Weekly Review)"..
Yes, except we did find WMDs. Over a metric ton of nerve gas, plus assorted other arms. Ooops, that's right, the libtards have to have the RIGHT WMDs.

Posted by: fmossjr | October 9, 2007 3:49 PM

Putting aside all the amateur gonzo journalism and crude name-calling, let's look into the future: The 2008 match will be between Clinton and Giuliani. Giuliani will win.

Posted by: yorkvillewalkup | October 9, 2007 3:47 PM

"Can all of you Ron Paul folks just get jobs. Until you can somehow prove that you are not the same dozen unemployed "musicians" from Austin who were convinced Kinky Friedman was a good idea and that 9-11 was an inside job, bombarding message boards with pro-Ron Paul messages will not help his chances with the real voters."

Ummm...I guess I would be a "Ron Paul folk"....I'm an employed software engineer who strives to be a free thinker. I believe I am also a "real voter". I don't bombard message boards with pro Ron Paul messages. However, I do tend to gravitate toward the candidate who so far does not appear to be a cardboard cut out.

Posted by: josephmolloy | October 9, 2007 3:43 PM

This is good news for Romney. Helps to create distance from the incompetent Bush Admin. I think that the "Mormon thing" is being purposely overblown by both the Bush Admin. and Beltway media because Romney is really an outsider with his own agenda and a new team. He will easily take down Guiliani w/ steady criticism of his positions on illegal immigration and abortion. The typical Southerner votes as a conservative first and evangelical Christian second.

Posted by: PoliticalCowboy175 | October 9, 2007 3:39 PM

Al Gore did not carry his home state of TN.
Edwards did not carry his home state of NC.
Hillary cannot carry Bill's home state of AK. Hillary cannot carry her adopted state of NY if Rudy is nominated. Perhaps the rest of the nation has to wake up and listen to those who know something we don't. Can Harry Reid carry NV? NOW I KNOW WHY THE GOP CAN'T WIN IN 2008!

Posted by: j-jacobs | October 9, 2007 3:32 PM

As a registered Republican for almost 40 years, Ron Paul is the only candidate on either side of the aisle that I can agree with. Period. The others are all just "politicians" in the worst sense of the word. I would go further and tell you what's wrong with each of them, but it just raises my blood pressure and makes me grit my dentures.

Posted by: countydump2000 | October 9, 2007 3:29 PM

Republican voters understand character. Mitt Romney is the only front runner with a sterling character, and conservative postions on all the important issues.

Christians in the south will overcome thier prejudices to vote for a Mormon - a church-going, God-fearing, Christ-worshipping, tithe paying, service-oriented, honest, decent, intelligent, man.

Conservatives can put their faith in Rommey who will lead this country to greater health and prosperity - and safety.

Posted by: Bellamia | October 9, 2007 3:29 PM

Yada, yada, yada... What matters is who's nominated for the republican, democrat, and libertarian platforms, and you know that each of these 3 parties already has someone in mind. Unfortunately a write-in campaign has never really taken hold, and Perot was the last third-party choice who had a fighting chance and look what happened to him. Both the dems and repubs have a tough decision to make. Hillary is the obvious choice poll-wise for the dems, but southern voters, and a lot of men in general will not vote for her, and I've even heard a lot of dem women voters saying they would not vote for her, so if the repubs nominate the right person, that could be IT for the dems, OR if say someone like Ron Paul runs as a third party (since he WILL NOT get the repub nomination) that might make things VERY interesting, like say, a three-way SPLIT.
Then once again, the electoral college could be used to declare a "winner." In fact, the repubs are looking very closely at the Electoral College; look what they tried to do in Calif for example. I bet the repubs HOPE the vote gets split so they can steal the election again, or at the very least have a helluva good shot at stealing it since they are so experienced at that already...

Posted by: acacia72 | October 9, 2007 3:23 PM

If Bartlett thinks Huckabee can't win because of his name, how does that bode for a candidate who is black or female? The next election is the Republicans to lose because their candidates are all white men. Americans are too way too conservative to vote anything else into their highest office. I am a Democrat and I'm telling you (Republicans)the White house will be yours for at least 8 more years. I can only hope the more liberal Giuliani is your man! Dave from PA

Posted by: templedave | October 9, 2007 3:21 PM

The currently crowded GOP field of presidential candidates is the reason the Democrats are raising more money and think they have the presidency "in the bag". The GOP membership is keeping their powder dry until they know where to aim. The political climate will change dramatically after Feb 5 (Super Tuesday) when the small fry will be dismissed and the certainty of Hillary being nominated is reality. Then the stakes become greater and the public will be more tuned in and we will hear of all the Clinton scandals such as Sandy Berger stealing 9/11 documents (Hillary just added this felon to her staff). When the Dems say the current admin is corrupt, they are simply spewing propaganda through the media outlets they own. The real news will be clear to the Independent voter and as election day nears, not only will Hillary fade day by day but that 11% approval rating of the Dems in Congress will also cause major losses. The American electorate is so sick of both parties that I will flatly predict that we arrive at divided government again. That works for me!!!

Posted by: j-jacobs | October 9, 2007 3:20 PM

Long walks in Paris?? That speaks volumns right there. For your unsolicited info, Mike Huckabee, from my home state, has had to deal with the Clintonitis aspect for many, many years. He knows where all the secrets are buried on Hillary and Billary and will make use of them if necessary, I hope.
Making light of someones given name is just typical of the hate, destroy mentality of the left. Don't like Bartlett for coming out like this but rest assured he will have no place in the next Republican administration...sometimes the right is honest(?) to a fault. And Hillary counting on Arkansas to vote for her is a joke...we have not forgotten what her derelict husband did to the states reputation, thus the last two elections put Arkansas in the red column!!

Posted by: POOKIESMOMMY | October 9, 2007 3:18 PM

Coloradodog is a fine example of the anti-Mormon bigotry Romney faces in this country. He just makes up a charge against Mormonism and then expects Romney to address it. Kind of like "when did you stop beating your wife, governor."

I hope people will vote or not vote for Romney based on how well his platform reflects their own beliefs and values rather than based on whether they like his religion or not.

Posted by: drflykilla74 | October 9, 2007 3:14 PM

If more people knew about Dr. Ron Paul, Congressman from Texas, defender of the US Constitution, and "The Man", we wouldn't be wasting our time on limp gonads like Thompson and his trophy bee-otch. Oh yeah, Ron Paul suporters do have jobs. The more debates that occur will only improve Paul's exposure and catalyze him forward in the primaries. The bushies are all worried because Paul would try them as war criminals. Look, neo-conservatives are not conservatives. They are democrats who have hijacked he Republican party. God help us all.

Posted by: mtt_drudge | October 9, 2007 3:13 PM

I am in West-Central Florida and I am seeing Ron Paul bumper stickers and yard signs EVERYWHERE. I have also seen 2 or 3 Obama signs. Zero for Rudy, Mitt, John, Hillary, etc. VERY interesting how Dr Paul has supposedly no support. We are being played for suckers here and all of the "freedom-loving" Republicans better wake up and smell whats happening to our "democracy". BTW - Keep your guns cause you're gonna need them to stay free whether Rudy or Hillary "win" the "election".

Posted by: lux_devoid | October 9, 2007 3:10 PM

I hope Guiliani gets the nomination. He's the only Republican that doesn't leave a Fundamentalist Christian taste in my mouth.

Posted by: toomuchpork | October 9, 2007 2:58 PM

Oh ye of little faith. The last time that I looked, the American people were the ones that elect a President, NOT the media, NOT the supposed Polls and NOT the so-called political experts.

We have a GOP candidate running that takes NO contributions from special interest groups only from the American people like you and me.

We have a GOP candidate that has won the majority of straw polls AND ALL of the Presidential Debates.

We have a GOP candidate that KNOWS history, economics, global relations and every aspect of the Federal Government that a true leader should know.

We have a GOP candidate that believes in the Constitution, Freedom and our right to smaller government and privacy and most importantly, he knows how to and can fix the huge problems that Americans face today.

We have a GOP candidate that has a voting record that stands behind everything he says.

We have a GOP candidate that has one of the largest grassroots movements supporting him that this country has ever seen in its history.

We have Ron Paul who ISN'T making promises that he can't keep. His message is Freedom and a better future for all Americans and Ron Paul CAN and WILL win the Presidency of the United States because he believes in "We The People"

Posted by: mackaarina | October 9, 2007 2:56 PM

We need Ron Paul in the White House. The solution is small government not in the everday lives of Americans. He is the only person in this race not promoting government solutions for personla problems. What happened to the individualist spirit in this country? It has been replaced by politically correct, freedom hating, government programs designed to stiffle expression and personal choice. WE NEED CHANGE. RON PAUL 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: joschutz | October 9, 2007 2:53 PM


You seem to know the election results of next year, more than 12 months ahead of time. Please tell me your hourly rates or how much you're charging, I have some lottery tickets I need help filling out.

Nobody knows what will happen next year, but with the GOP having lost the independent vote, and the Hispanic vote... I'm sorry to say, but it's not looking too good.

No party in this country from here on out can win with just the white vote.

Posted by: cire82 | October 9, 2007 2:49 PM

Bartlett says Huckabee sounds the most articulate, yet considers his the name too "hick" to win? I don't get that. If someone is able to quantify someone as articulate, would that person discount all which that person says because his name is too country? Granted someone who doesn't watch anything about politics 24/7 might feel that way, but is that the typical analysis Bartlett believes American voters make?

Posted by: tcsi | October 9, 2007 2:43 PM

So if one of them were a Jew and this fellow said ... Too Jewish - would he have a career left?

Of course not.

But wait - Jews don't have disproportionate power in America do they?/// -- so he could say "he's too Jewish"???/ --

well, no he couldn't - not if he wanted to work again.... so I guess JEWS DO HAVE more power than, say, white southerners?

Mormons... and there are more mormons than Jews in America.

So which is it?

Jews DO control content in America - or they don't???

don't worry... even my question will be edited out - because jews have, er, uh,

How is it that Jews have so much power????

Posted by: cwardnm | October 9, 2007 2:41 PM

You Democrats who are (over)confident of victory in 2008, does the name Michael Dukakis ring a bell? How about Al Gore..., John Kerry... or Howard Dean, maybe? Democrats are masters at "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory".

I fully expect Guilian to beat Hillary in 2008. Then I guess you Democrats can spend your time after that accusing Republicans of "stealing the elections" again.

Posted by: tfrance99 | October 9, 2007 2:35 PM

This is not to endorse Romney, but I believe the Mormon religion thing is being WAY overplayed as being a negative. (I am not a Mormon). When push comes to shove, Catholic, Protestant (Mormon, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbytyrian, independent, fundamental, reformed, etc, etc), or Jewish, the social/political ideologies are so different in most of this divided country, that they will trump religion*.

(*Except for any major religion who's ultimate goal is to take over the world and force their ways on everybody else....the keyword here is "force"....I can only think of one religion that fits that scenario in TODAY'S world.)

Posted by: lw5555 | October 9, 2007 2:33 PM

Bartlett acknowledges that: "Authenticity is going to be a very important principle in this campaign." He's right of course. Americans are sick and tired of being lied to by the (alleged) President and Vice President (and their cronies) that Mr. Bartlett worked for during the last 7 years.

Having just agreed with Bartlett's statement, his judgment on what makes a good political candidate must nonetheless be seriously questioned after his efforts to support a President have resulted in one of the most, if not THE MOST unpopular President and Vice President in the history of the country. Of course, Bush's and Cheney's massive failures are NOT primarily Bartlett's fault (but rather Bush's and Cheney's). However, Bartlett continues -- unlike most of the political world -- to speak of them as good and successful politcal leaders. So his judgment is obviously horribly impaired. Of course, such impairment should surprise nobody since it is a job requirement with Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: law1 | October 9, 2007 2:32 PM

Can all of you Ron Paul folks just get jobs. Until you can somehow prove that you are not the same dozen unemployed "musicians" from Austin who were convinced Kinky Friedman was a good idea and that 9-11 was an inside job, bombarding message boards with pro-Ron Paul messages will not help his chances with the real voters.

Posted by: uptownmatt | October 9, 2007 2:32 PM

Gee a liberal newspaper takes things out of context about the GOP candidates! Gee the democrat side you have a flip flopper focus group driven congentital liar,a communists marxist witch lesbian or A sexual Hillary with no plan at all, but will lie and say what ever it takes to win , A Malato Muslim light weight junior senator who acts cool, probably he is cool in his own mind, and the Robin Hood and the Breck girl one term senator who's wife is his attack dog on Hillary hm, I will prefer what ever the LIBERAL LYING MEDIA says about the GOP 10000000000000000000000000 times over any Demonrat candidate! Isn't Hillary Zalinisky her hero she is using his communist plan to win the election? What about Waxman going after free speech? Didn't Hitler do the same in 1936-40 ,he took over the media, then killed all though by intimidation to people who did not bow to him, Frau Hilllary Hitler it's sounds familar, she does agree with Carter about the Jews!

Posted by: dcsdcs222000 | October 9, 2007 2:29 PM

This is in-depth analysis? Anyway, unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that "there's not a dime's worth of difference between" Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protestors, banning books like "America Deceived' from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great country.
Last link (before Google Books bends to gov't Will and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Posted by: Reader11722 | October 9, 2007 2:28 PM

What we,America,really need is a candidate who can unite the country.None of the democratic candidates can do that.Joe Lieberman might but he didn't come close last time he ran. Newt played an important role in balancing the budget. He is very smart.He had some marital problems not as bad as the Clintons.
We need to stop all of the negativism from the far left.

Posted by: 1uncle | October 9, 2007 2:26 PM

As George Will said, "Where's my man Ron Paul?"

Posted by: kevinsouthwick | October 9, 2007 2:26 PM

1. Ron Paul cannot win the Republican nomination. He's a Libertarian, running under the GOP flag.
He CAN run as an Independent, and be a "spoiler". (A throw-away vote for the angry, immature, frustrated, illogical, temper-tantrum voters.)

2. To all the Bush-bashers: The shrub isn't running again. All of our anti-Bush rhetoric will make little difference in the next election. It will continue to be a battle of Ideologies.

3. No matter which Republican runs, nothing will galvanize the GOP base and get out their vote more than the anti-Hillary vote. She is viewed worse than John Kerry, to GOP voters. (Do the math).

I don't particularly like any of the candiates in either party. Whoever I end up voting for, I will be holding my nose and voting against the worse of the 2 final politicos.

Posted by: lw5555 | October 9, 2007 2:22 PM

I love comments like pKrishna43 posted calling Bush the First Dud, The First Hick and the First Clown. If he's all that, why didn't the Democrats defeat him in 2000 & 2004? Oh that's right, it was fixed! I disagree with Bush on a lot of things but he is none of those things. Huckabee is the only real conservative in the bunch.

Posted by: wshaver | October 9, 2007 2:22 PM

Why are the liberals and the Neocons so afraid of Thompson. Could it just be that he is a true conservative and will win based on that concept. Hillary is a frightening idea from the start. Guiliani is about as bad, but not quite. Romney won't get the southern votes based on idealism, the bad kind. Huckabee come from Clinton's state and I can't risk another Arkie like Clinton. Thompson is a good solid choice. Quiet, self assured, positive thinker. Ron Paul is the liberals best hope and I won't go along with them on this one.

Posted by: Jakeson | October 9, 2007 2:18 PM

I am sick and tired of the media giving a tool box credibility. As if this pilsbury dough boy has any real significance on the election cycle. I guess Thompson, Huckabee, Romney and McCain are all really upset about being dissed by a retard. Ron Paul is going to win the nomination anyways, just watch!

Posted by: mtt_drudge | October 9, 2007 2:16 PM

Bartletts got a few things right and a number of things wrong. Giuliani can never win the South or West. He's Pro-Amnesty, Pro-Pfhag, Pro-Abortion and Anti-Gun. Romney is a Morman. I keep waiting to see his clone on the stage with him in Black Pants, White Shirt, a Backpack and a Bicycle. I'll stick with Fred Thompson.The Press jumps on every negative of Thompsons just as if they want Giuliani to be the road kill for the Klinton Machine. Kinda' makes you wonder if the fix is in.....

Posted by: eteeuwe | October 9, 2007 2:15 PM

Giuliani cheated on his wife and destroyed his family. And this is the Republican's best hope?

Posted by: eric70 | October 9, 2007 2:13 PM

really? this is news. good grief - like anyone paying attention couldn't tell you some of this stuff.

thanks mr. bartlett - your grasp of the obvious is inspiring.

Posted by: fountainesque | October 9, 2007 2:11 PM

What about Dobson's threat not to support anyone who is not totally against abortion. What does this do to Giuliani? Between Dobson and the Archibishop who threatens to deny Giuliani communion because of his politics, let's hope these hateful Christian extremist nut-cases split the Republican vote like Nader did to the Democrats.

As for Romney, he must clarify his position on his Church's use of electroshock to "cure" gays and the dogma of people of color being "marked by God" in the Mormon pre-existence.

As for the Democrats, like Republican voters in the South who won't vote for a Mormon, joe-six-pack probably won't vote for a woman or a Black man either so where does all this leave us?

Posted by: coloradodog | October 9, 2007 2:10 PM

Bush and the Bushies have been wrong, wrong, wrong about everything (except how to steal elections) so why should we listen to one of them on candidate-viability. Doesn't matter who they nominate so long as they "fix" California electoral vote. And if that fails, I expect they are working on a "Constitutional" brief for nullifying untoward election results.

Posted by: tcement | October 9, 2007 2:06 PM

This guy was the main character on the 40 year old virgin. Give me a break, can we find anything elso to talk about. The man is nothing less than a war criminal.

Posted by: mtt_drudge | October 9, 2007 2:06 PM

It is over, it is Hillary-Obama Time. The Republicans by over-spending shot themselves in the foot and wll not be trusted by Reagan Democrats anymore. The Republicans got elected in 1994 because they proposed to lower taxes, control spending and reduce bloated Government Programs. Bush got elected on the same issues and made good on his lower taxes but overspent. Reagan had America go from $900 Billion Debt to $6 Trillion, Gingrich/Clinton lowered it to 5 Trillion, then Bush & Republicans pushed it back up to over $9 Trillion. Bush got re-elected over fear of Terrorism. The fact is the Republicans were more wasteful than any Democrats in the 1900's. I will never vote for them again.

Posted by: agmines | October 9, 2007 2:05 PM

Huckabee's name is too hick to be prez? we have a guy named Bush who lives in Crawford, TX in the White House right now. And wasn't Clinton from Hope? pretty weak criticism if you ask me.

Posted by: ajacobs6 | October 9, 2007 2:04 PM

This is a guy, Dan Bartlett, whose boss has an approval rating below 30% and he's giving advice on the best GOP nominees? How hilarious is this guy. Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate with a chance to beat Hillary. The others are all George Bush clones.

Posted by: gab200176 | October 9, 2007 1:59 PM

I guess bartlett would know how to recognize a hick dud after his long proximity to benito bush

Posted by: michaelleger1 | October 9, 2007 1:58 PM

Oh dear - I kinda liked Huckabee -- right up till one part of Bush's brain said he most reflected Bush's so-called values - that's a 'negative' for Huckabee - as most of the nation now sees that Bush's value system is the opposite of what it should be - he's deceitful, unhonest, incompetent, immaturily cocky rather than brave and he has the ethics of a low-down slimey greasy used car salesman.

Posted by: kec132 | October 9, 2007 1:57 PM

What everyone doesn't realize is that Mitt Romney reflects the values that conservatives hold dear. He wants a constitutional amendment to protect marriage, he's great on taxes and growth, he's for a strong military, he's lived the life of a good family man. His abortion position has always been pro-life. He just told Massachussettes that he wouldn't change their law as Governor since they would never agree to it there anyways. He kept his word, but now says its time to get it fixed nationwide.

Romney is our nation's best hope in 2008.

Posted by: politicsmaninacan | October 9, 2007 1:53 PM

Dan Bartlett's comments should not be mentioned in any kind of space in the WP. Why quote an insurance salesman speaking about a contrary corporate customer? Bartlett has blood on his hands as well as Bush. It is infantile for even a blog WP writer to write this story without a second graph placing the background of the dutiful creep you are basing as story on. Sorry. Am I an Angry Leftist? No. I am an American who believes in the Constitution. This has nothing to do with poor Fred Thompson or all the other Republican clowns denying their mothers and their conscience to be elected president. If you think Hillary is sick-making, just take a look at the Republican crew!

Posted by: walden1 | October 9, 2007 1:49 PM

Either that, or he is positioning himself to be a part of the Giuilani campaign team...

Posted by: JMEnglish | October 9, 2007 1:49 PM

Bartlett Must forsee then a Giuliani/Huckabee ticket.

Posted by: JMEnglish | October 9, 2007 1:48 PM

I was rather enjoying all these astute comments on the pathetic field of candidates until I read the Condi comments. My breakfast is threatening to come back up. Go ahead and add Condi to the ticket. She has about as much cache as Bush, Cheney, or Rummy. All the dems would have to do is run a TV spot of her sputtering about the Bin Laden memo she ignored in 2001. Maybe Zogby found excitement among 41 percent of Republicans, but they are going to have to look under rocks to find any more.

Posted by: cdavidj | October 9, 2007 1:39 PM

What a hoot! Dan Bartlett trashes the Republican candidates. Guess he thought his remarks were off the record.

Posted by: jerseymissouri | October 9, 2007 1:33 PM

In the end expect "Momo" Giuliani and his neocon gangsta friends to carry the day... I mean someone's gotta bomb Iran, right ?

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 1:31 PM

Wonder what Bartlett thinks of his erstwhile boss, the first Dud, the First Hick, the First Clown of the last seven years.

Posted by: pKrishna43 | October 9, 2007 10:49 AM

My sentiments exactly, DUMBYA, the biggest DUD OF ALL!!!!

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | October 9, 2007 1:31 PM

Read how Bush sides with Mexico over the U.S. when it comes to rapist/killers. The GOP should distance itself from Bush and Bartlett. Get back to them when the war crimes tribunals start.

Posted by: grunk | October 9, 2007 1:29 PM

Then you have Mitt the "stepford candidate"... about as real as anything you see at Madame Tussaud's wax museum

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 1:18 PM

This is just another example of the media and the Republican's underestimating Ron Paul's stance in the race.

Who else has raised 5 million dollars from private donors at a 40 dollar average? None of the Republican candidates. He has the highest hits on the internet and has won the last two debates. He also crosses party lines .

He vows to end the war which is unpopular with roughly 76% of the country. A stance that most Democrats have turned from in the past month. Hello Hillary and Obama?

He also sides with 50% of the country on the abortion issue. Which I think most people believe isn't just fluff, being that he was the sponsor of the HR 300 bill. Which doesn't make abortion illegal it just puts it in states hands.

And thirdly, who wants to earn 35% more of their income from his plan to abolish the IRS? I think that would be everyone. Oh and by the way that tax is not represented and is illegal. It doesn't pay for anything but the enormous debt that our government has increased by putting our money in the hands of a privately owned central bank. That has decrease the dollar to the lowest in US history.

Ron Paul 08' and I'm a Democrat.

Posted by: wheresyuros | October 9, 2007 1:16 PM

And how about those war stories grandpa McCain loves to tell the youngins'... "see that light at the end of the tunnel children, it's called the straight talk express"

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 1:12 PM

Interesting to see one of the President's mouthpieces denigrate the chances of the other serious candidates (and Ron Paul's not a serious candidate, but perhaps if you type his name into another 50 message boards you'll feel better about it) except the one that's pretty much guaranteed to lose to Hillary (Rudy "Did I tell you what I did on 9-11?" Giuliani). This coming after other pieces about the President's legacy and his comparing himself to Truman (being followed by Ike).

I'm pretty sure that whoever wins the next Presidency (either party) is going to spend the first two years telling us how the idiot and his weirdo vp screwed us all. I'm starting to think Bush wants the Dems to win next year. He knows he's going to be held accountable in posterity, so at least when the critics start howling, the republican partisans left over will have to take his side and shift blame onto the following administration.

Posted by: enkidu1 | October 9, 2007 1:11 PM

The fact that Bush got elected twice means virtually anybody can be President. Heck, Bush would back Vincente Fox for President if he could.

Posted by: grunk | October 9, 2007 1:11 PM

It is apparent that the Post likes Rudy's position on social issues such as abortion and family values.Another case of the Post digging up news that supports their position.
I like Romney. He has been a great executive, lives family values,wants to win in Iraq and close the borders. I am a traditional Catholic, but I know from experience that Mormons have a good ethical moral code that they try to follow. Believe that traditional Catholics, Christians and Jews will support him, when they realize this.I agree with Dr. Dobson. Republicans with principals need stand up in the primaries.

Posted by: aeba | October 9, 2007 1:04 PM

It all fits together.
President Bush is a dud.
The Republican presidential candidates are duds.
The Republican party is a dud.

Being a dud must be "catching."

Posted by: janye1 | October 9, 2007 1:03 PM

MY impression of the Republican field are... zzzzzz zzzzzz ...

huh? wha? Oh, I guess I dozed off.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | October 9, 2007 1:01 PM

Fred Thompson has all the ambition of a tired old coon dog.

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 1:01 PM

Bartlett is clearly biased. Rudi doesn't stand a chance in the presidency, he's just a clone of President Bush who the Republicans hope that trend sticks that way past 2008.

It's not going to happen. Rudi will choke just like the Yankees did last night.

Posted by: deathmuzeta | October 9, 2007 12:57 PM

"So Giiliani is strong because he doesn't/won't discuss his own positions? LOL!"

Yeah-- kind of like the frontrunner on the Democratic side of the race, huh? She's the master of glossing the talking points so as to say absolutely nothing that could put off any potential voters. Maybe they're both on to something.

Posted by: Shadow7705 | October 9, 2007 12:55 PM

Dr. NO!, DR. NO! Dr. NO! Dr. NO!

Talk about Ron Paul! Ron Paul!

Dr. NO, Dr. NO!, Ohhhhh Talk About DOCTOR NO!!!!

Uh, NO!

As it stands, Dr. NO is simply a Spoiler!

He has good Ideas-I LOVE THE FLAT TAX!!!!

BUT, he has the WORST reputation among FELLOW Politicians as being a BUTT-HEADED Stubborn OBSTRUCTIONIST!-Hence Dr. NO!

Please, REALIZE, him winning would mean a FOUR YEAR LAME DUCK!-Hence-He will NEVER WIN!

So PLEASE! Stop with the SPOILING, and try to get on board!

I believe, that with Ron Paul's support, the Idea of a team of experts, backing two dignified and hard to assualt Statesmen, can keep the Congressional Lawyers OUT of a Position this Country cannot afford to let them steal!

Cripes, the thought of the judicial appointees scares me to death!

Posted by: rat-the | October 9, 2007 12:54 PM

Why does anyone think Giuliani can beat Hillary Clinton? Giuliani already lost to Hillary Clinton... oh yes he withdrew because he had prostate cancer or so his story goes. I am sure that publicized sexual indiscretions, the way he behaved towards his ex wife and flagging polls had nothing to do with it...

His campaign was on self destruct before the cancer anyway. Anyone really think he would have left the race if he had had a 20 point lead? A few strong speeches after September 11th and the fact that crime went down while he was in office isn't going to be enough to elect a former NYC mayor as president.

Hillary Clinton has the strongest resume and best run campaign out there. The only candidate that stands a chance against her is Ron Paul because he has legitimate grass roots and growing support and isn't just repackaging the same positions that Hillary has in Republican sounding rhetoric.

Hillary is as pro war as any other Republican candidate and Hillary has now proposed the same unfair health insurance mandate that Romney signed into law in Massachusetts with "bipartisan" support. Giuliani would be the ultimate "me-too" candidate alongside Hillary Clinton and has just as high negatives, but less support.

If the republicans choose one of the leading contenders now, then they will be making the same mistake that the Democrats did in '04 by picking another candidate based on an overhyped underwhelming resume rather than one that can offer America a real choice.

Republicans can't win by trying to out slick, slick Willie's estranged wife. Hillary has built the complete package for herself and is a real believer in the power of government to make people better. Hillary needs to be attacked directly for this belief in authoritarian principles and the best person to do that is a strong libertarian candidate.

Even if Hillary is unbeatable, then the republicans need to choose Ron Paul in order to position the party on a strong libertarian base for the next congressional election. Else they are going to face disintegration under the onslaught of the Democrats newly focused political machine. And America is going to be left with ever more "pragmatic" authoritarianism by default.

Posted by: poreilly | October 9, 2007 12:40 PM

The current admin wants the Dems to win so they can pin the inevitable failure of Iraq on a Democratic President. Bush's people see that as the only way of salvaging his legacy.

As Kanye West might say, Bush doesn't care about Republicans (at least not those in the party holding office) as evidenced by the last election cycle, the veto of sCHIP (due to his recent conversion to fiscal conservatism), his failed immigration policy and his continued blind optimism RE Iraq. They're going to throw current Republicans under the bus in order to blame the whole thing on the Dems to buttress Bush's legacy.

Posted by: Indyssent | October 9, 2007 12:35 PM

So Giiliani is strong because he doesn't/won't discuss his own positions? LOL!

Posted by: DROSE1 | October 9, 2007 12:31 PM

Bartlett is just bitter because there is no strong GOP candidate to carry on the Bush legacy of bankrupting the USA and starting more wars.

Posted by: DesertLeap | October 9, 2007 12:31 PM


This guy Bartlett's had one job his entire life: working for the Worst. President. Ever. And we should care what he thinks about the GOPs trying to succeed his boss?


Posted by: TeddySanFran | October 9, 2007 12:27 PM

A Condi/Bean ticket would truly be exciting... can't think of anything better to charge that would really charge the GOP base... now that's a winner

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 12:17 PM

Seriously I hope Ron Paul lands bigtime on these gangsters come New Hampshire. Any true American should love to see this.

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 12:10 PM

The duds do not come any dumber than this:

"In Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson continued to attest to the existence of WMDs in Iraq. "We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, [Saddam Hussein] clearly had had WMD," he said; Thompson ended his speech by asking for applause." (Harper's Weekly Review)

Posted by: Mithras | October 9, 2007 12:09 PM

Is Bartlett right that Huckabee's name is a problem? What a sad commentary if he is. As a Repub hater I'm a little afraid of him but I think he might be too religious for one thing. Would enough people, especially after 8 years of shrub, really want a President who says things like "I'm pretty sure there's duck (or maybe it was deer) hunting in heaven and I can't wait".

Posted by: newageblues | October 9, 2007 12:06 PM

The latest Zogby poll shows 41% of the Republicans believe that Sec. Condi Rice brings excitement to the GOP field. This shows that in spite of her NO NO NO, I won't run, she still has dynamic support.
This lays the foundation for her to become the VP for whomever is the GOP candidate.

The Democrats and liberals have already tried to undermine diplomatic efforts in North Korea and the Israel/Palestinian meetings. They keep saying the Bush Administration ignores diplomacy while the record in the Washington Post alone shows a clear trail toward success in the coming months.

The Condi Factor will help the GOP win the White House. That is just the truth in spite of all the name calling from the Democrats against Condi Rice. With 41% in the Zogby poll (taken during the last weekend in September); it is evidence of people staying on board to see a winner for 2008.

Posted by: dbu2709399aolcom | October 9, 2007 12:03 PM

How about Duncan Yo-yo or Tom "Bomb Mecca, Medina, Mexico" Tancredo ?

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 12:03 PM

wow- W's alter ?ego i can see why he likes Bartlett, he can pick out the petty issues that Bush can understand- while relating them to larger themes e.g. his take on Romney and why Huckabee has not caught on are probably very accurate and that sort of thinking is a lot more prevalent than of people realize.

Posted by: jacade | October 9, 2007 11:59 AM

Bartlett is possibly the reason the President does not have a clue!

The guy is Lost in the Space between his ears!

Another Bibble-Thumping Evangelical NO DOUBT!

Oh. I think(NOT!) that a Babtist Minister is the BEST GUY!-He's like another BUSH!


Not a WORD about the Friggin Invasorios!

"Ohh, I think Romney will have problems in the South-They won't vote for a Mormon"

Earth to Bartlett, Earth to Bartlett-You are leaving the realm of Reality! Can you hear us, You are leaving the realm of Reality-No Response...

Bartlett-You Moron(Not Mormon)-I support Romney, I have no problem with his being a Mormon-I have problems with Evangelicals who are lost in their simple-minded idealisms!

And I live in Austin, Texas!

The Republican Party needs to stay as far away from IDIOTS like Bartlett as they can get! HE does not have a friggin CLUE!

Hint to the Republican Candidates-Listen to the RAT!

TEAM UP! Yes, Mitt will support different issues based on SOUND JUDGEMENT-Idiots call that Flip-Flopping-I call it being "OPEN-MINDED!"

Get the Legal Expert, The Military Expert, The Immigration and Labor Law Advocate(The INVASION HAS TO BE TURNED AROUND! & THE INVASORIOS SENT PACKING!), and the Medical Expert, BEHIND the OPEN-MINDED Statesmen, Mitt Romney and Thompson!

Learn from the Exhausted and BURNED OUT Bush Staffers! The Job is TOO Much for anything less than a TEAM EFFORT right now!

We need a GROUP that will be ready for the UNFORSEEN!

Hola-Dr. Rudy McRomsonedo! Tambien?!!


Posted by: rat-the | October 9, 2007 11:58 AM

Really, does anyone believe that Momo/Huckleberry Hound can out tough guy Clinton ?

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 11:56 AM

Why isn't Bartlett serving in Iraq? He's a big supporter of the Iraq War, and he's under the maximum enlistment age.

Posted by: kirk | October 9, 2007 11:54 AM

None of them will work, when 70% of the public has a count down timer until GWB leaves Washington along with Dick C.

Posted by: jrubin1 | October 9, 2007 11:50 AM

Analysis... a smiling Hillary beats angry old men of the GOP

Posted by: longwalksinparis | October 9, 2007 11:48 AM

I second vigor's comments. Peter Baker is a shill for the White House.

Posted by: Bob22003 | October 9, 2007 11:40 AM

The Repubs are famously a 'three legged stool' of business/fiscal conservatives, lifestyle conservatives and foreign policy conservatives. The present administration has kept the last two happy; the 'neo-con' wing got their Iraq/Saddam war and the 'theocrats' have Roberts and Alito.

The leading Repub candidates continue to back the 'neo-con' approach to foreign policy but seem willing to jetison the 'values voters' while moving toward the fiscal conservative position. (Although Mr Romney continues to court 'values voters' Mr Bartlett correctly disparages his chances.)

No present Repub seems to have the magic glue to fix the winning Repub coalition except the distant but tantalizing Mr Huckabee.

Among the Dems it is interesting that a large majority are willing to be Hillary voters even if they have to hold their noses in order to approach the voting machine. This is a reversal for the left-siders.

In short, the Repubs are toast and the real question for conservatives is who gets the remains of their party.

Posted by: crazylucy38 | October 9, 2007 11:37 AM

George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld killed the GOP chances for 2008. Then along came Katrina, the Gonzales politicization of the DOJ,and billions of dollars in contract frauds in Iraq. Pile on the Blackwater issue, the veto of children healthcare and the erosion of constitutional rights--say goodbye to the Republican Party.

Voters have an opportunity to insist on competence over cronyism, truth over deception and governance over corruption. The GOP candidates are not raising money because they have taken the taxpayers for a ride for the past seven years.

It does not matter what Bush advisors say as they collect money from speeches. The public was fooled once, but is now waking up to news that does not come from the mainstream media pundits.

The Internet media will make it hard for pudits to nominate and elect the next president. The best sign of trouble is that Ron Paul can raise more money than John McCain. Maybe conventional thinking, coventional media and conventional polling reflects just how out of touch Washington insiders are.

In 2008, ordinary middle class people will clog the wheels of the political machinery. GOP contenders will wish they had talked to minority voters, included at least one woman in the field of candidates. The party of old white men does not represent 21st century America. We have moved so far ahead on them.

Posted by: arizona7 | October 9, 2007 11:25 AM

The intellectual capacity of the GOP voter is evident by the fact that Huckabee cant do well because his name is too "hick".

Posted by: areid45 | October 9, 2007 11:19 AM

Having read this, shouldn't the Huckabee campaign use this to their advantage, maybe with a populist slant? Like turn it into a slogan - "This is America, where even a regular guy with a name like Huckabee can get elected president."

Posted by: johnc_80 | October 9, 2007 11:17 AM

It really is shameful that Ron Paul doesn't even have his name mentioned in an analysis of the Republican candidates. I realize his chance to win the nomination is slim, but this is as much a product of newspapers and commentators continuing to say he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

Dr. Paul deserves genuine consideration from the mainstream media. Although I don't necessarily agree with all of his policy, he is the only candidate from either party who doesn't spew out partyline mantras whenever he opens his mouth.

That's refreshing and Dr. Paul deserves a real look, and this starts in the media.


Posted by: randrobins | October 9, 2007 11:01 AM

"Wonder what Dan Bartlett has to say about Congressman Ron Paul?"

I think he was focusing only on candidates who actually stand a chance at getting nominated.

Ron Paul is interesting because he could play a spoiler role in the general election (i.e. Ralph Nader) in new battleground states (such as my dear old Virginia) if he decides to run as an independent after the nomination. He's a libertarian-style small-government Republican against an unpopular war in the age of big-spending corrupt Republicans supporting a war whose goals are getting harder to define much less justify. Republicans don't want his name to see the light of day.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | October 9, 2007 10:55 AM

It is a Republican freak show, pure and simple.

Posted by: NM11 | October 9, 2007 10:54 AM

"The only top-tier candidate Bartlett did not criticize was Rudy Giuliani, whom he credited with the 'best message...'"

Lemme see.... So, what could this possibly be all about....? You don't suppose the White House has it figured that a Hillary v. Giuliani race would be desireable, do you?

I'd be concerned, but the GOP is freakin' DOOMED in '08.

Posted by: mobedda | October 9, 2007 10:54 AM


I think a 114% fundraising increase from this quarter to the last means Congressman Paul does stand a chance at winning. Especially because his support comes from people on both sides of the aisle.

Rudy Giuliani is going to have a hard time getting anyone but die-hard Republicans to vote for him when his response to nearly everything is "9/11!!!" People are tired of the fear-mongering.

Posted by: ralphd | October 9, 2007 10:52 AM

Wonder what Bartlett thinks of his erstwhile boss, the first Dud, the First Hick, the First Clown of the last seven years.

Posted by: pKrishna43 | October 9, 2007 10:49 AM

When a life long Repulican insider starts putting out comments like this, You know there is major desention in the party. But I have to agree with him. When the ACLU asked the Republicans for a debate these four decided not to come because of fund raisers. Definetly shows where their intrests lie. All of them also rely of babble and retoric at these debates so who really knows where they stand. Finally do they even have a platform on what they will do if elected? No 2008 will definetly be a disaster for the Republican Party.

Posted by: stealth694 | October 9, 2007 10:43 AM

Well, I'm convinced. I don't think we should vote for any of them. Interesting that Mr. Bartlett thinks Mr. Huckabee is the best candidate because he's most like Bush... Uh, Bush has like a 30% approval rating, are you trying to win this thing or not? As for being the most articulate candidate, huh, well I suppose somebody who's spent 14 years listening to Bush knows from articulate, but I'm not positive that's going to be enough.

Posted by: Jenn2 | October 9, 2007 10:38 AM

It gets worse Mr. Bartlett. Notwithstanding Giuliani's front runner status, it is difficult for me to imagine that he is going to set the GOP on fire assuming he is nominated.

For one thing he is battling an unsettling reality that the GOP is desperately trying to ignore. In virtually every poll taken recently, there is a general feeling on the part of the public that the War on Terror is bogus. They just don't see it in the same terrifying way that they saw the possibility of a nuclear attack from the old Soviet Union. They tend to see it more in the way the rest of the world sees it: As a problem where each country uses its own intelligence, law enforcement and judicial procedures to address and not as some monolith force carrying out what one prominent neoconservative (Norman Podhoretz) preposterously calls World War IV.

It is difficult to latch on to the concept that we are in WWIV when the only nation that seems to believe that is our own.

Posted by: jaxas | October 9, 2007 10:34 AM

"Wonder what Dan Bartlett has to say about Congressman Ron Paul?"

I think he was focusing only on candidates who actually stand a chance at gettting nominated.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | October 9, 2007 10:30 AM

About Thompson Bartlett could also have said that, next to his obviously trophy wife, Thompson looks like the walking dead. And don't he, Guiliani and McCain also share divorces? The Democratic candidate is going to nail these guys on family values.

Posted by: dotellen | October 9, 2007 10:29 AM

hmm interesting...

"And while he no longer formally speaks for the president, Bartlett spent 14 years channeling Bush and remains virtually his alter ego, so his views could be seen as a revealing look into the thinking within the president's inner circle."

& Mr. Baker writes the misdirection play article:
An Exit Toward Soul-Searching
As Bush Staffers Leave, Questions About Legacy Abound

so perhaps this 'article' is Mr. Bush & his 'friends' writing for the Washington Post.

and that would make this a deniable endorsement of Rudy Giuliani by the
White House.

The newspapers are supposed to help blow away the smoke not exacerbate the issues.
This is collusion.

Posted by: vigor | October 9, 2007 10:28 AM

Wonder what Dan Bartlett has to say about Congressman Ron Paul?

Posted by: grannymiller | October 9, 2007 10:23 AM

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