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Unraveling Strategies and Quarrels Over 527s

Michael D. Shear reports on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's strategy -- "Win Iowa and New Hampshire by wooing fiscal and social conservatives, and use that momentum to overwhelm the competition in the primaries that followed" -- and how it's now at risk. "With less than two weeks before Iowans vote, that strategy is in danger of unraveling because former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has seized the conservative mantle and has emerged as the front-runner," he writes.

Anne E. Kornblut and Perry Bacon Jr. report that "Obama continued his attempt to undercut Edwards over the use of independent "527" groups, which are playing an increasing role in the campaign....'My attitude is that if you can't get your former campaign manager and political director to do what you'd like, then it's going to be hard to get the insurance companies and drug companies to do what you want,' Obama said. Edwards aides struck back by noting that their candidate, unlike Obama, has never taken money from lobbyists or PACs."

Joel Achenbach reports from Iowa on the conflict between the season and the times: "The presidential campaign and the holidays are tripping over one another. It's a little awkward. Many people don't want the sacred tarnished by the profane. At a subconscious level, everyone understands that red-meat politics doesn't mix with tinsel and mistletoe."

Howard Kurtz, also on the ground in Iowa, finds that "Every voter I spoke to at political events here was undecided, even though they had seen their favorite candidates two or three times. That means much of what has been written about Iowa could turn out to be screamingly wrong." Sridhar Pappu takes a look at the life of a Hillary Clinton field organizer.

And in Opinion, Peter Wehner, a deputy assistant to President Bush from 2001 to 2007 and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, casts a skeptical eye on Mike Huckabee. "Some of us -- in my case, a political conservative and evangelical Christian -- are getting a queasy feeling when it comes to the presidential campaign of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and much of it has to do with his use of faith in this political campaign," he writes. "If you look closely, a disturbing pattern emerges." Wehner wonders whether Huckabee is "playing the Jesus card" in order to win "earthly power."

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 24, 2007; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Today at The Post  
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Next: Last-Minute Candidate Shopping in Iowa

Comments

Iowa and New Hampshire will make it clear the Americans are fed up with the last 25 years of National politics and they're going to throw out everyone associated with it. Watch all the Republicans leaving early so they don't get crushed in '08. Watch what's happening on the ground, not in the Washington press. The best ground crew will take it to the bank!

Posted by: thebobbob | December 25, 2007 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Romney will be poison for the Repubs if he ever makes it to the general. He's got a facile explanation for every one of his gazillion shifts in position, but when you stand back and take a look at him as a whole, you see someone who makes HRC look like a pillar of constancy. He's a classic investment banker - say or do anything to get the deal closed. But if the GOP wants to nominate him, be my guest, He's going to make a very attractive target for the Demo candidate. He has

I'm a Demo, hut McCain concerns me. I think he'd be a difficult match for HRC, where character comparisons are going to work to her detriment. An Obama-McCain contest will be fascinating, I have no idea how it would play out, but of all the major candidates, these two are most apt to try to make it a battle of ideas.

In either case (HRC or Obama), I believe that age will play an unpredictable role in the outcome. If things stay relatively calm, youth and a new start may trump his experience, but if there's another crisis, all bets are off.

Posted by: zoot1 | December 24, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention. Romney is the only one with enough money to make it a contest as well.

Posted by: hheadlee | December 24, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Love to see the liberals absolutely freaking out about Romney. Negative endorsements? "Romney must be stopped" This is great entertainment this early in the race. The DNC has completely lost its discipline with 30% more attack press releases on Romney. Huck, McCain and Giuliani lose half the base in the general, Thompson can't make it to the finish line. Romney is the only guy that can win and the D's are trying to take him out before he becomes a huge problem for them. Wake up R's don't lose this race before it even begins.

Posted by: hheadlee | December 24, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with Mitt Romney?!

Posted by: JakeD | December 24, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

obama is now going negative over edwards, as he did with clinton.

when will the media cover THAT story.. that its been obama going negative First...despite his saying he won't.


It does seem that the WaPo want the gop choice-Barak, to get the nomination.

McCain might just make it to the white house in that case.. God Forbid it's the arse Romney

Posted by: newagent99 | December 24, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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