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Morning Fix: Scoring the Sanford Saga



South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted an extramarital affair on Wednesday. Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images

The decline and fall of Gov. Mark Sanford over the past 72 hours is one of the most painful -- yet strangely compelling -- events of in recent political history.

Any time a politician who is a national figure with aspirations for the presidency falls, there are people beyond that individual who see their own fortunes rise and fall as a result.

Who are the biggest winners and losers in the strange case of Mark Sanford, whose admission of an extramarital affair followed a five-day disappearance in which he misled his staff to believe he was hiking the Appalachian Trail but was in fact in Buenos Aires visiting his mistress?

Our first thoughts are below, but as the Sanford situation continues to evolve today we reserve the right to revise and extend our list.

WINNERS

Tim Pawlenty: Slow and steady appears to be winning the Republican presidential nominating contest right now. Tpaw hasn't done anything spectacular as of yet but the collapses of Sanford this week and Nevada Sen. John Ensign last week create ample room for Pawlenty to rise. With Sanford presumably out for 2012, there is also a slot in the field for a candidate who represents the fiscal conservative wing of the party. And, Pawlenty has to feel pretty good about his positioning on that front.

John Ensign: Who would've thunk that Ensign's affair would be yesterday's news so soon after it was revealed? Ensign now looks like a public relations genius for the (relatively) bloodless way that he got his own affair out and hasn't been dogged too badly by a steady drip-drip of further revelations. That's not to minimize the damage done to Ensign by his affair; he is out of the 2012 field and is likely to face a serious reelection test that year as well. But for the moment, the blinding national spotlight is off of him.

Andre Bauer: South Carolina's lieutenant governor is now in a win-win situation. If Sanford stays in office, then Bauer's willingness to raise questions about where the governor was during his five day absence makes him a perfect foil for the embattled chief executive. If Sanford resigns, Bauer steps into the office -- giving him a major leg up in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary.

Haley Barbour: The Mississippi governor was going to ascend to the chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association in 2010 no matter what Sanford did in Buenos Aires but the South Carolinian's resignation as chair allows Barbour to get a jump on that job. It also leaves Barbour as the only son of the south seriously considering a run for president in 2012, a not insignificant thing when you consider how much of the Republican party base lives in that region of the country.

The State/Peter Hamby: It would have been very easy to dismiss Sanford's five day lacunae as nothing more than someone in a stressful job looking for a little peace and quiet. And, it would have been easy to stop asking questions when Sanford's office put out a statement Monday night making clear that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. But, people like the reporters at the State and CNN's Peter Hamby didn't stop there -- they pushed to get more information and that information led to the unraveling of the Sanford mystery. Kudos.

LOSERS

Republican Party: Just when a series of polls showed support for President Obama's policies -- particularly on the economy -- had slipped slightly, comes the brutal one-two punch of Ensign and Sanford. Do the extramarital affairs of these two men mean that Republicans as a whole have a fidelity problem? Of course not -- no more than the affairs by former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and former senator John Edwards (N.C.) mean that about Democrats. But, the effect of the Ensign and Sanford stories is to draw national attention to the foibles of a party already struggling with its own identity. Last week and this one are now totally lost from a message standpoint for Republicans as all that anyone in the political world wants to talk about is the affairs. Not good.

Nikki Haley: The South Carolina state legislator's candidacy for governor in 2010 was almost entirely hinged on being seen as the heir to Sanford's outsider appeal. As late as Tuesday evening, Haley was prominently touting Sanford's kind words about her candidacy on her campaign Web site. (A Sanford picture was removed by Wednesday morning.) Haley tried to put some distance between herself and Sanford on Wednesday with her statement on the affair ("While Governor Sanford and I have long shared a political philosophy, today's revelations go well beyond politics," she said) but it will be very hard for her to find running room in a Republican primary already crowded with well known candidates.

Tom Davis: Sanford's repeated reference to this state senator from Beaufort during his press conference was meant as a compliment -- the guy apparently had stood by Sanford through thick and thin -- but from a political perspective it did poor Davis no favors. The last thing any elected official wants is to be closely associated with another politician who is in the process of blowing up his own career.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail: For all the married men out there who enjoy hiking some part of the Appalachian Trail, Sanford's use of the path to cover up his clandestine trip to Buenos Aires creates a major problem. No longer will a few days spent hiking the Trail and getting in touch with your inner self be looked at so innocently. (Somewhere Bill Bryson is grimacing.)

Thursday's Fix Picks: Sometimes, when you cover politics, you just wind up shaking your head in amazement.

1. The Sanford e-mails.
2. Balz analyzes what Sanford means.
3. No one is paying any attention to the Texas governor's race (yet).
4. Gerlach out, Toomey looks to have field to himself.
5. Transformers 2!

Biden, LaHood to Announce EconStimPack Achievement: Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will announce later today that all 50 states as well as the five U.S. territories have dedicated at least 50 percent of the transportation dollars allocated to them in the economic stimulus package -- well ahead of the June 29 deadline. "This is a testament to the fact that we're putting money out there quickly and helping to get the economy back on track," said LaHood in a statement on the achievement. This sort of announcement is evidence that the Obama administration knows how critical the success -- politically -- of the recovery act hinges on people being persuaded that the $787 billion in the stimulus package is not just being spent but spent wisely.

Bouchard Scores Major Endorsement: Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land will end her gubernatorial exploratory committee today and endorse Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard's bid, according to a strategist close to Bouchard. Land and Bouchard will appear together at two stops -- one in Grand Rapids and the other in Troy. Land's support is an early boost for Bouchard, who lost badly to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in 2006, because she hails from the Republican-rich western part of the state and has impeccable social conservative credentials. Bouchard will still face a tough primary fight against state Attorney General Mike Cox, Rep. Pete Hoekstra and businessman Rick Snyder in 2010.

Maloney, Gillibrand in Dead Heat: A new Quinnipiac University poll showed Rep. Carolyn Maloney and appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand running in a dead heat in a hypothetical 2010 Senate primary matchup. Twenty seven percent of the sample chose Maloney while 23 percent opted for Gillibrand, who was appointed to the Senate by Gov. David Paterson (D) following the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Nearly half of the sample (44 percent) said they were undecided in the race -- evidence that neither Gillibrand nor Maloney are particularly well known statewide. What the poll makes clear is that if Maloney can raise enough money to introduce herself to voters across the state -- still an open question -- then she can be competitive with Gillibrand. Both women lead Rep. Peter King (R) by double digits in hypothetical general election matchups, according to the Q poll.

A GOP Candidate in N.H.?: Have Republicans finally found a candidate for the seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg (R)? Maybe. The Fix hears that Fred Tausch, who is sponsoring television ads in the Granite State touting a group he founded to restore fiscal discipline in Washington, is leaning heavily toward running, according to sources in the state. Tausch, an investor based in Nashua, has already signed on two former staffers to Sen. John Sununu (R) -- Will Wrobleski and Jeff Grappone -- to help guide his bid. Democrats have unified behind Rep. Paul Hodes as their candidate. New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) is also purportedly considering a candidacy.

Thompson for Simmons.....: Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson (R) is wading into the Connecticut Senate primary on behalf of former Rep. Rob Simmons. Thompson, who ran an abbreviated campaign for president in 2008, called Simmons a "man of integrity who is uniquely qualified for this job." Simmons, who spent six years representing an eastern Connecticut district, is running against former ambassador Tom Foley and state Sen. Sam Caliguri for the Republican nomination. Sen. Chris Dodd (D) is seeking a sixth term in 2010, a bid beset by questions regarding his ties to failed mortgage giant Countrywide among others problems.

....Foley Inks a Manager: Meanwhile, in other Connecticut news, Foley has signed Gregg Keller, a Missouri political operative, to manage his Senate campaign. Keller managed former Sen. Jim Talent's (R-Mo.) 2006 bid and worked as national coalitions director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2008. "Gregg is a respected leader and manager who has a keen sense for the tempo needed to run a successful campaign," said Foley of the move.

Say What?: "Republicans want real health care reform not another government takeover that Americans simply cannot afford." -- RNC Chairman Michael Steele on health care in a statement NO ONE in the political world noticed yesterday.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 25, 2009; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Governors , Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Chatting Sanford
Next: Nominating Time for Fix Political Hall of Fame

Comments

Maloney is a good smart woman but has no chance against Gillibrand - Maloney is really yesterday's news. Kirsten is for the rest of the state from Montauk to the Adirondacks - Schumer can handle the city.

Posted by: ckrugman | June 26, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Tausch has absolutely no chance of becoming the nominee for the NH US Senate seat being vacated by Sen Judd Gregg (R-NH).

He has his own fortune so could run as an independent but will not be nominated by the Republicans in NH ..

Why You Ask? Because he is an OBAMA Supporter! He is trying to back away now but too little too late!

Front runners right now would be Sean Mahoney or Ovide Lamontagne...

Posted by: nhinsider | June 26, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

@drindl: I don't think Peggy Noonan is sane any more often than Krauthammer (who, beieve it or not, is rational about one day a year). Kathleen Parker is much more so, her sanity quotient is almost favorable, whereas Brooks is the first to read every time he does a column. He's picked up an interest in cognitive psych and he's a brilliant man, and a very gifted writer; unlike George Will, Brooks' columns progress in an orderly fashion and if he does go to asides he weaves them into the main point, while Will is just trying to sound intelligent.

Sometime your stomach is good and settled, try reading a Will column and "storyboard" it .. 99% of the time he's actually rambling.

I like David Brooks. I get the feeling that a conversation with him would be an intense experience, AND a pleasant one.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 26, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I noticed some good bumper stickers at http://www.UpYoursObama.com - But I can not guarantee their authenticity!

Poor Iranian Protesters... they are completely knocked out of the news cycle now!

Posted by: FRedStatescom | June 25, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

MARK SANFORD SAY'S..."WHEN OUR PRESIDENT KEPT REPEATING, REPUBLICANS OLD AND TIRED ARGUMENT, I THOUGHT HE WAS REFERRING TO AMERICAN WHITE WOMEN".

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

It's true that Brownback has some respect now from what there is of mainstream R's. But he will find, like McCain, that if he caters too much to the crazies that he will lose that too.

Yes, there is Brooks, chrisfox, who sometimes sounds sane, and now even peggy noonan and kathleen parker sometimes, but few others. And they all realize i'ts going to be a long time before they win another national election.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

It's when your horse (or dog or whatever you race) is so far ahead of all the others and so close to the finish line, all you have to do is say "shoo!" to cross the line first.

Posted by: nodebris | June 25, 2009 2:32 PM

************************************************

Learn something new every day. I always thought you shoo things or people out of or away from places, but not in. But there it is.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, the GOP is in complete disarray right now. The hard-right is dominant but by no means in control. Don't be surprised if that changes quickly. The GOP can't win without shifting back toward the center, but that CAN happen.

Posted by: bigbrother1

==

David Brooks is the only conservative in print I know of whose head isn't firmly out of sight up his own rear end, and Brooks says that the GOP has to lose two or maybe even three more presidentials before the lesson sinks in. I believe him. He's betting on three, based on their reaction to their first loss.

I mean, come on, they're still talking like Palin has a shot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

THE PRESIDENT HAS A HEALTH PLAN THAT WOULD PREVENT THOSE SKIRTS AND THONGS FROM BUNCHING UP IN A REPUBLICAN MALES CRACK.

CALLED BIPARTISANSHIP...

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

bigbrother1 wrote: "Neither one makes any sense, but that's language for you."

It's when your horse (or dog or whatever you race) is so far ahead of all the others and so close to the finish line, all you have to do is say "shoo!" to cross the line first.

Posted by: nodebris | June 25, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You might be a scaredy-cat if ... the president of France is talking tougher than you are.

Posted by: king_of_zouk
-------------------------

THIS DUDE HERE ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAVE HIS SKIRT AND THONGS BUNCHING UP HIS CRACK.

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

“Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed.”

Fitzgerald — who announced the charges — said, “We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period.” Posted by: drindl
----------------

IS SWAT READY? WE NEED TO GO AND HAVE A CHAT WITH THIS CHAP...

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin - sorry, I just had to do some work - Mark, your post about those 4
boys is so right (back around 1240).

Chelsea Clinton has and will still pay a terrible price for her parents' "marriage", the one bent around their political careers.

Those 4 boys will have this cancer infecting their desire to love and be loved forever.

I wish it were not true, but therapy has a very limited effect on mitigating the damage of family traumas.


Posted by: shrink2 | June 25, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS ARE BONAFIDE IDIOTIC BUMBLING FOOLS.

THE PARTY OF INSTIGATION, AGITATION THAT NO ONE LISTENS TO.

HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?

OBAMA ON THE REPUBLICAN MATTER!

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Brownback is just another winger prototyp- just another crazy ideolgue

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 2:04 PM

Perhaps, but perhaps that is how the GOP wants to represent itself these days. We'll see. They could go just about anywhere from here.

If they do want to become an extremist party, Brownback has the clear advantage over Palin since he at least commands some respect outside the extremists themselves.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Jindal gave more than a bad speech >>>......... clearly if you can't give an empty, flowing promise packed teleprompter call to hope, you are not quailified......................to be the Lib empty headed candidate. the thinlking side of the aisle prefers experience and gravitas. Posted by: king_of_zouk"

If I read that right, even KOZ has given up on Jindal. Lacking in BOTH experience AND gravitas.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 25, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

you might be a scaredy cat if you spend your whole life in your mom's basement on a blog while talking big tough talk but never quite managing to look for a job.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Rightwing hero Hal Turner pushes up the rhetoric a little too far, and thankfully, the FBI is listening. This winger obssession with inciting murder of judges is getting really dangerous and the feds are right to be concerned:

'Today, FBI agents went to the New Jersey home of white supremacist blogger/radio host Hal Turner and arrested him “on a federal complaint filed in Chicago alleging that he made internet postings threatening to assault and murder three federal appeals court judges in Chicago in retaliation for their recent ruling upholding handgun bans in Chicago and a suburb,” according to a statement released by the Justice Department. A summary of Turner’s dangerous tirade against the judges:

Internet postings on June 2 and 3 proclaimed “outrage” over the June 2, 2009, handgun decision by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, further stating, among other things: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed.” The postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.

Turner’s posts also “referred to the murder of the mother and husband of Chicago-based federal Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow in February 2005,” saying, “Apparently, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court didn’t get the hint after those killings. It appears another lesson is needed.” In the Justice Department statement, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald — who announced the charges — said, “We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period.”

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Folks, it's "SHOO-in," not "shoe-in."

Posted by: nodebris

*******************************************

Thanks. I always wondered about that. Neither one makes any sense, but that's language for you.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Winners: Argentinian ladies and melons

Losers: Republicans and D-bags

Posted by: hiberniantears | June 25, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

IT'S FUNNY WHEN BEEEOTCH MADE REPUBLICANS START TALK ABOUT TOUGHNESS.

MCCAIN NEEDED A MOOSE EATING BEEEEOTCH TO DO HIS DIRTY WORK.

ONE DAY THE REPUBLICAN MALE WILL START WEARING PANTS AGAIN.
------------------------


Even the French condemned the Iranian government's "brutal" reaction to the protesters -- and the French have tanks with one speed in forward and five speeds in reverse.

You might be a scaredy-cat if ... the president of France is talking tougher than you are.

Posted by: king_of_zouk

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Brownback is just another winger prototyp- just another crazy ideolgue"

Yesterday in a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) “became at least the third Republican” to announce that he will vote against Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court:

Mr. President, judges do not make law, and under no circumstance should they be under the impression that they do. Judge Sotomayor sees judges as lawmakers — as both umpire and player. [...]

I wonder how Alexander Hamilton would respond. I think he would wholly disagree with that interpretation. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor’s writings and statements lead me to believe she is a proponent — a clear proponent — of an activist judiciary. I cannot support her nomination. I will vote “no” when it comes before the full Senate.'

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I watched and listened to the whole Sanford 'confession' and thought omg,it's Jimmy Swaggert redux.

Posted by: rawreid | June 25, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

sanford toast --

'Following the surprising news that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford had an affair with a woman in Argentina, Fox News’ right-leaning “All-Stars” declared yesterday that Sanford’s political future is in serious trouble. “I think he’s toast,” said the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer agreed, saying “I think he is toast politically”:

KRAUTHAMMER: And resigning from the Republican Governors’ Association chairmanship is not going to do it, and the reason is that there is a dereliction of duty here. I know that’s the titillation of the reason for it, but even apart from that, he is the governor of the state.

The governor of the state is chief executive, and if there is a disaster in the state, and this guy is incommunicado, he is nowhere to be seen and he doesn’t transfer authority to his lieutenant governor who calls out the National Guard, you cannot recover from that. I think he doesn’t last a week in the office of governor.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The lunatic fringe on the right is now the mainstream. These people are constnatly p*ssing themselves in fear over the wackiest conspiracy theories ever:

"On Fox News this morning, Bachmann repeated her determination to break the law. She also suggested that the Obama administration could use the Census data for nefarious purposes — including the imprisonment of Americans in concentration camps:

BACHMANN: If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up."

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

As for Jindal running in 2012, I think he really wants to. He has a 2012 team but insists its not authorized. Check his travel records. Until the current legis session started (2 months ago) he was all over the country raising money for repubs and himself. As far as his qualities as Governor--he has controlled (from the gov's office) this legis session with an iron fist, Refusing to let sunshine laws he pressed on the legislature apply to his own office, refusing to block tax breaks for upper income folks, refusing to accept
stimulus money for worker's comp while cutting money for higher ed, health care and the arts. He also backed a law to let creationism be taught in science classes. Oh yeah, a real winner.

Posted by: rawreid | June 25, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Already embroiled in an ethics probe now entering its tenth month, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, received more bad news Wednesday night as the House ethics committee announced it would look into Caribbean trips taken by the veteran lawmaker and four other Democrats. In a statement released late Wednesday night, (snip) announced that the panel had voted to create a four-member investigative subcommittee

Wanted, the first honest Lib ever recorded.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

1-800-759-0070 IS THE NUMBER FOR THE 700 CLUB. NO WONDER SANFORD COULDN'T GET THROUGH. IN CASE OF EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 1-800-GODHELP, EXT. NOW.

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos appeared on Thursday's Good Morning America to bizarrely assert that Democrats have a harder times surviving sex scandals than Republicans. While discussing South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, he breathlessly claimed, "We've never seen anything like this before" and never mentioned his former boss, Bill Clinton, who escaped impeachment conviction after being caught in a sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky.


chrissuxcox, is that your real identity. I don;t know of anyone quite that clueless.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know much about him, so typically refrain from comment. What do you think his path to the nomination is? See howlless's post at 10AM for a quick summary of Romney's likely plan of attack. Point: Can Barbour win primaries outside the south? What if the field includes Romney, Huckabee & Palin? Posted by: bsimon1 "

Barbour has all the support he needs, right now to get the Republican Nomination. Provided he is working on his own nomination, he needs to get the laying on of hands from the Conservative hierarchy of the RNC. The primaries are built around the assumption that the "REAL Conservatives" can coalesce on one candidate before the primaries begin. Whenever they do, their guy wins, because the primaries are winner take all, and most of the big delegate states vote early. Since there will be LOTS of willing wannabees running, 20% to 25% of the Republican votes in any primary gives the top man all of that states delegates. Whenever the Conservatives have decided on their man, they do all the wood chopping and fuel hauling required, so the chosen one can mail in his campaign and get the votes. Meanwhile, moderates and untrustworthy voters can be sent off to vote in the open Democratic primaries, (Ala Rush and his vote Hillary, we can beat her, or was it vote Obama, we can beat him?) You reduces the number of voters and make sure YOUR voters show up.

Again, if Barbour is really running, he is the man to expect.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 25, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Folks, it's "SHOO-in," not "shoe-in."

Posted by: nodebris | June 25, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

What? No props for Argentina?

This guy should be their Tourist Agency spokesman.

Posted by: clownking | June 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

When he cuts them off, the next reporter should not facilitate the deception but should continue the line of questioning until the president is forced to explain how the he can back a radical plan that will force millions of Americans to lose their current health plan and see it replaced with an inferior plan and yet not admit to what he is pushing.

The American people will not support this plan if they understand it. The MSM’s job is to bring attention to this deception. The fact that the president is doing the best he can to avoid answering the question would have been an irresistible cue to White House press corps of old.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Tapper was trying to raise the most obvious question of all: The president has promised the American people over and over again that they can keep their health insurance if they like it, but it is quite simply enormously and purposely deceptive of him to do so.

The president has to change the subject, has to dissemble and deflect, because the truth, if understood by Americans, will doom the centerpiece of his takeover of American medicine.

Tapper pointed out that employers provide insurance to most Americans, and if the federal government offers employers a cheaper way to provide health insurance, vast numbers of those employers will dump their employees into that government system.

The government won’t force the employers to switch, but employers will switch, and the president’s promise will be as bogus as a three dollar bill. When this massive disruption occurs, President Obama will stand back and say he had nothing to do with it –that employers made the switch.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

They're not going to learn anytime soon

Posted by: chrisfox8

********************************************

No, not anytime soon, apparently. But that apparently is everything. Politics can and do change very quickly. Not very long ago the Dems were nearly as clueless as the Reps are now. Nearly.

To be fair, the GOP is in complete disarray right now. The hard-right is dominant but by no means in control. Don't be surprised if that changes quickly. The GOP can't win without shifting back toward the center, but that CAN happen.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse


note to zouk:

moderates in Lebanon won elections 3 days after Obama's speech. sorry you didn't notice.

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/06/22/090622taco_talk_hertzberg


Don't underestimate the Power of Nixon on the GOP brand. The original "bad boy" of the Republican Party, he is truly the gift that keeps on giving, thanks to his racist, anti-feminist and anti-semitic remarks caught on tape:

http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/002996.html


don't quit your day job, z.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 25, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR GOV. SANFORD IS POSSIBLE–REMEMBER DAVID AND BATHSHEBA

Gov. Sanford can have a bright future and even evict Obama from the White House.

Gov. Sanford's abrupt absence is consistent with a contemplated suicide, since there is no need to tell anyone where you are if you do not intend to return.

Lets ignore contemporary examples of recovery (Ted Kennedy) and go back in history.

In the Bible David not only committed adultery with Bathsheba–David had her husband killed.2 Sam 12.David took 3 acts Gov. Sanford needs to do:

1. Acknowledge this is sin. Adultery is prohibited by the 10 Commandments. No Dem moral equivocation of whether this is “sex” or what the meaning of sin is.

Realize Americans do hold Republicans to a higher standard than alleycat Dems.

2. But Sanford only sinned against God and his wife–not the Dems.

SHUT UP about this family matter in public--its NONE
of their or anyone elses business.

David wrote Psalm 51 after his affair:

Ps 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Read the whole Psalm.

3. Trust that God can use you and wants to restore you. David wrote:

Ps 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Ps 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Ps 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

David went on to became the greatest King of Israel, a man after God’s own heart. (I Sam 13:14).

Go and do likewise.

Posted by: JaxMax | June 25, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

mark-in-austin

It was not entirely sarcastic when I advised the lonely to run for office. I have worked on many campaigns and around politicians most of my life. In that time, there was a governor with the worst constant body odor possible that had some hot girls chasing him. We had a legislator who was a decades long falling down drunk in his 50's, who attracted a very pretty 20 something. There was the very sleezy state legislator (make your skin crawl type) who always had 4 women with him at all times. For whatever reason proximity to power, even low level local power seems to act as a magnet. The guilty are both Republican and Democrat. Absolutely, no barrier to fooling around occurs whether you declare yourself for family values.

Posted by: merrylees | June 25, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

John McCain was the most moderate candidate the GOP has nominated for president in a long time.

==

McCain was the most conservative candidate who had a shot at the nomination. He's still one of the very most far-right Senators. Who could they have run who was MORE conservative?

The bimbo he chose for VP.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

c_e_daniels: I agree the McCain was relatively moderate, though he WAS upstaged by the ultra-conservative Palin. And that move almost certainly caused the wide margin of Obama's victory.

My original sentence you mention was unclear. What I meant was that the GOP has moved further to the right since McCain's loss, much to the surprise of a lot of political news-junkies who expected a concerted shift to the center. There are numerous reasons for this rightward lurch, but it is a source of concern for those in the GOP who want to win elections again.

America is a centrist country still. It can shift a little right or left but it never shifts very far. The Democrats own the center now. The Republicans need to take it back to win again. Pretty simple.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES??? I'm so VERY sick of this story. It's not like there aren't OTHER VERY IMPORTANT STORIES going on.

Get on with actual news coverage.

Posted by: islvoter | June 25, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Yet my question remains: Has our sententious new president learned anything from the unforeseen violent culmination of the Iranian elections? Frankly, I doubt it. He reminds me so much of our most recent sanctimonious pontificator, President Jimmy Carter, who at first attempted to end the Cold War by lecturing Americans against their "inordinate fear of communism." Then the Soviets became more aggressive. Finally, Carter began the military buildup for which his successor took justifiable credit. President Ronald Reagan knew the value of a strong military in support of resolute diplomacy.

Neither Carter nor Obama has any sense of the linkage of the two, and now it looks as if the Obama administration is going to cut back on our military, even as the dangers to world peace grow.

At the heart of our new president is, it seems to me, ambivalence. Within him exist opposite attitudes. What we have seen during the protests in Iran is not a clear sense of geopolitics, but uncertainty. President Obama has not had a clue as to what to do. His White House aides are actually claiming that his muddled Cairo speech before the Iranian elections inspired the young demonstrators. "We're trying to promote a foreign policy that advances our interests, not that makes us feel good about ourselves," an anonymous Obama administration aide told The Washington Post. That is precisely the opposite of the truth.

Increasingly, it is apparent that we have not only a very unseasoned president in the White House but also a very weak one. At a surprisingly early point in his presidency, Obama's program is in disarray. On health care, he is under fire from the left and the right. His cap and trade policy is in trouble. This week, The Hill reports that "congressional Democrats are largely ignoring President Obama's $19.8 billion in budget cuts." His Democrats on Capitol Hill are intent on cuts that he has not asked for, some of which shave funds for his priorities.

Let the mainstream media purr on about this president's mastery of government. My sense is that he is out of his depth. His dithering over the Iranian protests is but one bloody example.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

bigbrother1:

1996: "we weren't conservative enough!"

2006: "we weren't conservative enough!"

2008: "we weren't conservative enough!"

They're not going to learn anytime soon

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: Interesting points re Pawlenty and Barbour.

My belief that Obama is a shoe-in is not based on blind hope (haw haw) but on basic political math. Historically, an incumbent president (even if they're not terribly popular) only gets unseated if certain factors exist, and none of those exist for the GOP at the moment.

On the other hand, nothing is guaranteed, and should the economy take a serious dive in the next three years, Obama could be in trouble, no doubt. But to take advantage of that the GOP will need a charismatic and centrist (or centrist-seeming) candidate. I see limited potential for that at the moment, but I acknowledge that this also can change.

Check out Martin Gottlieb's "Campaigns Don't Count." While he may overstate his case, his political math schema is worth getting to know because it seems to work pretty well.

I did warn chrisfox that the GOP will probably be a majority party again someday, didn't I? While I have my opinions (and you yours) I try not to kid myself about political reality, which is what we're talking about after all.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The only reaction to Obama's Cairo speech in the Middle East is that the mullahs probably sighed in relief upon discovering that the U.S. president is a coward and an imbecile.
I think the fact that their Muslim brethren are now living in freedom in a democratic Iraq might have made the point that "change was possible" and "this little prison" is "not the whole world" somewhat more forcefully than a speech apologizing for Westerners who dislike the hijab.

Obama -- and America -- are still living off President Bush's successes in the war on terrorism. For the country's sake, may those successes outlast Obama's attempt to dismantle them.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

But liberals rushed to assure us that Obama's weak-kneed response to the Iranian uprising and the consequent brutal crackdown was a brilliant foreign policy move. (They also proclaimed his admission that he still smokes "lion-hearted" and "statesmanlike.")
Liberals hate America, so they assume everyone else does, too.
So when a beautiful Iranian woman, Neda Agha Soltan, was shot dead in the streets of Iran during a protest on Saturday and a video of her death ricocheted around the World Wide Web, Obama valiantly responded by ... going out for an ice cream cone. (Masterful!)

Commenting on a woman's cold-blooded murder in the streets of Tehran, like the murder of babies, is evidently above Obama's "pay grade."
If it were true that a U.S. president should stay neutral between freedom-loving Iranian students and their oppressors, then why is Obama speaking in support of the protesters now?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Even the French condemned the Iranian government's "brutal" reaction to the protesters -- and the French have tanks with one speed in forward and five speeds in reverse.

You might be a scaredy-cat if ... the president of France is talking tougher than you are.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox - When I search for something on google and click on one of the results, I just get a blank page with the tab displaying "Jumping" and the URL being from upsalepoint.com. Do you know what's going on?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 25, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

bigbrother1:

I respect some of your opinions but disagree about a "push to the right" by the GOP. John McCain was the most moderate candidate the GOP has nominated for president in a long time.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | June 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama ran the most disciplined campaign in modern political history, defeating the two best political machines out there.

>> chrissuxcox

More liberal revisionism. He also was the only candidate who ever walked on water, who ever cured the sick, who ever stopped the tides from rising, blah, blah blah. If only we all were as smart, as good looking, as visionary, as fair, as even tempered, blah, blah, blah.

McCain ran a terrible campaign, along the lines of bob dole. Erratically zigging and zagging, irritating the right, cozying up to the left, which was forlorn. He was pronounced DOA before it even began after acting like a Lib most of his life.

hillary was always pretty much the girl you settled for when the good ones wouldn't have you. she also ran a terrible campaign, lying, stealing, posturing, claiming experience, etc. the only reason meessiah won was that the timing of the economic downturn was in his favor, even though he had not a clue what to do. same as McCain but hiding out to avoid the questions, same as today.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox, we're not really counting on your vote unless you should have a political reawakening and a ephinany.

==

You're trying to portray the Democrats as racist and anti-gay more than the Republicans. You're not only barking up the wrong tree, you're insulting my intelligence.

Big tent my a$$-boils. Your party is for racist swine still enraged about desegregation. No effing thanks, not ever.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Who dump their wives and children in pursuit of young women and men and hot sex.

>>>>>>>>>>

I agree!! Stop acting like Democrats.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

It's too obvious that he's driven by ambition and really has no ideas.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

why do Libs' criticisms apply more to their own imbeciles?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Believing Obama is a shoe-in, is a good prescription for getting your butts kicked in 2012.

==

Hope springs eternal.

Obama ran the most disciplined campaign in modern political history, defeating the two best political machines out there. What the hell makes you think he's gonna get cocky in 2012 and try to cost to reelection?

You need to pull your head out of the sand.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Jindal gave more than a bad speech

>>>.........

clearly if you can't give an empty, flowing promise packed teleprompter call to hope, you are not quailified......................to be the Lib empty headed candidate.

the thinlking side of the aisle prefers experience and gravitas.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox, we're not really counting on your vote unless you should have a political reawakening and a ephinany.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

No matter how you try to spin it, Cc, the big loser in all this is the repubican party. No matter who you are, it's hard not to get turned off when you see this steady parade of men who put their own hedonistic pleasure first, constantly and without shame. Who dump their wives and children in pursuit of young women and men and hot sex.

Who lie, who care nothing about their constituents, who are selfish and arogant and abusive. You can count on one hand the number of r's in leadership positions who haven't done dark and shameful to their families. And that IS the R party today.

All you've got is Mitt the master job outsourcer, Huckabee who seems okay until you look into his crazy apocalyptic End Times religious beliefs, and Jindal, who just isn't ready for prime time and maybe never will be. He is smarter than Palin certainly, but he is rigid and unlikeable.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Bigbrother: Pawlenty just strikes me as the likeable nerdy kid, but he does not project any leadership. Maybe other republicans feel different. Another thing about running, you have to be able to recruit the best political talent and money. Clearly Barbour and Romney are well ahead in this area. Barbours knows every political insider and every sugardaddy out there. Believing Obama is a shoe-in, is a good prescription for getting your butts kicked in 2012.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD: Jindal gave more than a bad speech. He gave countless people, some of them with shows on national TV, a reason to mock him mercilessly. And they did. And those associations have not been broken.

Jindal looked like a child, moved like a robot, talked like a 4th-rate motivational speaker and came across, to be blunt, as a weenie. There were immediate and unflattering comparisons to a character on The Office. And the GOP was very angry with him when it was over.

Plus, he's made no indication of interest in running.

Like Cillizza sometimes, you need to separate your political desires from political reality. You may like Jindal for a host of valid reasons. But that doesn't mean that he has any pull in the party. Because he doesn't anymore. He blew his audition about as badly as he could have, and it will be some time before he tries again.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Divorce lawyers around here often tell their clients "you are divorcing your spouse, not your kids" in an effort to help them understand that a successful and appropriate divorce still leaves the kids with two caring parents.

It is the Father's Day connection that I cannot comprehend in another father.

I will pray for the four boys although I do not know them. I will hope that their mother, although she is surely wounded, will not be vindictive in the presence of the boys, who will continue to need as much affection and guidance as ever. And I hope that Sanford works mightily to restore the relationship with his boys.

If you did not get the implication of my previous reply to merrilees, I do not, from experience, hold pols to my own standards of marital conduct. That would be truly naive. But running off from the kids on Father's Day weekend seems to me to be fallout from an act of rage.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 25, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Charmers like Huckabee or salesmen like Romney are not entirely powerless. And it's their battles that will shape the opposition (and future majority - you know it will happen someday) party for the next 5-10 years at least.

==

I think Huckabee's charm would have carried him a long way in 2000 when "who would you rather go to a BBQ with" was the big issue. I don't think charm will carry him all that far in 2012. The shenanigans of the GOP have alerted American voters to the GOP's extremism and they'll be attentive to it now, and Huckabee will raise a lot of red flags in that regard. He's an extreme social conservative, and that is not going to play well outside the base.

Nice guy. Funny charming guy. But an anti- anti- anti- guy.

Romney, sorry, I can't take him seriously. Maybe it's my personal loathing of the while CEO/MBA/market forces thing, but all I see in Romney is a guy centering his tie and yakking about the marketplace and business business business, and as Gail Collins said, when Romney is on TV people start fishing for the remote. It's too obvious that he's driven by ambition and really has no ideas.

To the point: there has yet to be a SINGLE SOLITARY INDICATION that the GOP will move to the center. On the contrary, the purges and pogroms continue.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

So much for Sanford becoming the Republican JFK as Rush had hoped. JFK (or the other Sixties icon MLK) would have never publicly admitted to or discussed his numerous extramarital affairs, much less cry about it on TV. How pathetic and unmanly. Another example of how American political culture has been Oprahized and feminized. The French have a better way. When President Mitterand's mistress was in a published photo of his funeral, the scandal was not Mitterand having a mistress, but the magazine publishing the picture. Just think how this country would have been different for the worse if FDR, JFK, and MLK had been disqualified from public life by the public exposure of their extramarital affairs.

Posted by: markthurt | June 25, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ahh geez.....can you see the whole Sanford family in your mind....sitting down for dinner 'round that big dining room table in the Gov's mansion....waited on by a few black servants.....hands all joined around the table.....asking Jesus' blessing....the head of the family saying grace....holding his wife's hand ... their 4 sons...heads bowed.....

==

This was pretty funny the first time. But with this, what, twelfth repetition the luster is wearing off.

Come up with something new.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox: Regardless of your opinions on the current GOP (most of which I share), the topic that Cillizza started and many are continuing is about the nomination battle within the GOP.

It's safe to say that without an extraordinary disaster of some sort (and even if the stimulus plan goes badly), Obama is a shoe-in for a second term. Something (like the economy or war situation) will have to get and stay MUCH worse for any GOP candidate to have the slimmest of chances.

But that said, the debate within the GOP and its members is still interesting. It will be interesting to see if the GOP sustains its push to the right after its big losses, or whether it will face up to political reality and move toward the center a little. It will be interesting to see how the different candidates interact with the party at large.

Respect your enemy (unless it's Palin, then there's no point). Charmers like Huckabee or salesmen like Romney are not entirely powerless. And it's their battles that will shape the opposition (and future majority - you know it will happen someday) party for the next 5-10 years at least.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

merrylees' sarcastic post is actually absolutely correct. I have run local campaigns. Even local candidates are often people you would recognize as seeking adoration, and even in local races, many admirers appear and throw themselves at the candidate. Texans will remember when Ben Barnes was elected LG at 26 and the bumper stickers were printed in Austin, snide about his escapades.

Even losing candidates get "groupies".

Not only that, but political campaigns attract lots of relatively normal, civic-minded, young people. For the younger local candidates its like striking oil. But so many of the young campaign workers find each other that it is better than a dating service.

At least, that is how it is in TX.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 25, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Jindal goes by a diminutive version of "Robert" to run from "Piyush."

I can't see a majority of Americans punching the chad for a "Bobby" even if he did have a brain and accept the theory of evolution.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Ahh geez.....can you see the whole Sanford family in your mind....sitting down for dinner 'round that big dining room table in the Gov's mansion....waited on by a few black servants.....hands all joined around the table.....asking Jesus' blessing....the head of the family saying grace....holding his wife's hand ... their 4 sons...heads bowed.....

Could he embarass his wife and kids anymore? What a pig.....

Some men have no shame or concept of honor. He should resign and completely disappear from the public eye for a few years..

Posted by: toritto | June 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Jindal made an utter fool of himself a few months ago and will have to do serious work to rehabilitate his image outside Louisiana."

Jindal gave a bad speech. That's not something that requires serious work. Pretty much only the hard core partisans even remember now.

Of the field, any Republican is a big underdog to Obama now, but Romney and Jindal are two that I could see closing the gap if they get some breaks. Jindal has all the evangelical qualities that Palin has and can excite the base, but is also very smart. I'm not sure how the whole Catholicism thing would affect him, though. The age thing might as well since if Jindal runs in 2012, I believe he would be vying to be the youngest President ever.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 25, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

John Ensign: Ensign now looks like a public relations genius for the (relatively) bloodless way that he got his own affair out and hasn't been dogged too badly by a

(steady drip-drip of further revelations).
------------------------------

DON'T WORRY, IF ENSIGN PLANS ON RUNNING IN 2012, WE DO HAVE THE TAPE.

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For all the people who feel they are part of the lonely hearts club forget about signing up for dating services, run for office. Evidently it is a fine place to meet and greet the warm and giving people of the world. You can have many opportunities to fiddle and get paid while you do it. You can be boring as mold, unattractive, out of shape and a pervert, but still romance will find you. You should forget about posting your profile and desires for a perfect mate, get out there and run for office, love awaits you.

Posted by: merrylees | June 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I deduce that Obimbo was a winner in this story. It took the press's eyes as well as the stampede of fools that vote D, away from the issues of the day - Obambi's weakness, Obimbo's failing policies, Obambi's loser health care infomercial, Obimbo's star treatment and empty suit rhetoric, Obimbo's spending, Obambi's cowering in the basement, afraid to speak, even though his teleprompter was loaded for Moose. Posted by: king_of_zouk
---------------------------

just like his counter parts, hates to see a intelligent, sophisticated, organized black man run shyd.

SURPRISE.....

it's not like the Pres. just leaves his post and flies off to Argentina for some side action.

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to include yourself under "losers" as one of those who found it "very easy to dismiss Sanford's five day lacunae as nothing more than someone in a stressful job looking for a little peace and quiet..."

Posted by: AHermit | June 25, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: One more question. Why do you think that Pawlenty is not a serious contender at this point? He gets talked up as a contender and seems credible. Has he been sending other signals?

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought this post by CC was one of his shallower ones. To say that some contenders for the 2012 nomination benefit because two of them have self-destructed is trite. It ignores the reality that the GOP is terribly tarnished and that the steady succession of flameouts, meltdowns, and over-the-top extremism is hurting the entire party, hurting it bad, and that the remaining contenders are stunningly uninspiring.

Palin is an idiot, full stop. Romney has nothing to offer but his ambition to be president, and he's boring. Pawlenty is dull as dishwater and isn't really much of a leader. Huckabee? You must be joking. Barbour? You really think Americans are gonna vote for another far-right old fat guy with a southern accent? Come on.

And every day another Republican alienates another big swath of the electorate with some swinish racist remark.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

was Sanford seeking advise from an Argentine lady on South Carolina business?

As Sanford claims, his wife was his manager for years.

But replaced an American for an Argentine for advise on S.C.?

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"polling shows that the Israelis believe Obama is Pro-palestinian."

I know I'm being hopeful here, but do you have a source for this? I'd love to take a look at that poll.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 25, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Drind have you ever had a non-partsian thought?"

This is like the Pot asking the Kettle if he has ever not been black.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 25, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Its not to late to switch, we are a big Tent Party.

==

You're a pary of racists and incompetents.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I deduce that Obimbo was a winner in this story. It took the press's eyes as well as the stampede of fools that vote D, away from the issues of the day - Obambi's weakness, Obimbo's failing policies, Obambi's loser health care infomercial, Obimbo's star treatment and empty suit rhetoric, Obimbo's spending, Obambi's cowering in the basement, afraid to speak, even though his teleprompter was loaded for Moose.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yea I Know, I was totally disappointed with Clarence Thomas vote.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Drind have you ever had a non-partsian thought?

==

Have you ever had an original one? Something that didn't come from a Reagan applause line?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Sanford could have atleast spit out that pubic hair he had in his mouth before he got in front of the camera.

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Bigbrother within the GOP, Barbour is very well liked and respected. In close primaries, this will help him. Not sure if he could win nationally. It would have to be favorable political terrain for him to win it all, but its not out of the question.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Palin's message of fiscal conservatism

==

Oh for god's sake she can't even pronounce it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Whiny, bigoted, ignorant and hysterical
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

drivl conducts a self assessment.

Feed your cats.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes:

You realize, of course, that you have just equated the NEA with Justice Thomas, who, in dissent, said that the strip search was reasonable and proper. An interesting perspective, coming from a conservative such as yourself.

BTW, I agree with the majority (and you) on this decision.

Posted by: mnteng | June 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Chrisfox, I doubt many american jews view the settlements as criminal. A large portion of american jews have family in Israel and polling shows that the Israelis believe Obama is Pro-palestinian. You should be upset with your liberal collegues from yesterday. They were blogging away with rumors that Sanford went to Argentina because of the large Gay community. They clearly believe being Gay is a social disease. You have far more bigots in the dem party than GOP. Its not to late to switch, we are a big Tent Party.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: We mostly agree here. I think that Huckabee, Barbour, Romney and Pawlenty are the current serious GOP contenters and that Brownback has a shot if he wants it.

Palin wants to be a serious contender and she IS making moves in that direction, but she is simply not a serious national candidate and I doubt she will get anywhere. In any case, the GOP can't afford to go there (I think this is also true of Barbour, but less drastically). But if you have reasons why you think this isn't so, I'd like to hear them.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

That everything around them can be explained as some magical equillibrium of "supply an' demand."

Posted by: chrisfox8


the voice of utter ignorance chimes in.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ladies, what if your cheating husband was on national television giving details of how he met his mistress from another country.

Reminiscing about the email chats, sun tan curved body, Sanford is just plain brain dead...

lets be clear, the dude called them (sparks) and not (flameouts).

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Drind have you ever had a non-partsian thought?

Posted by: vbhoomes


how about a single intelligent one.

And now we have the anti-semite chrissuxcox polluting the space as well.

If we get Obamacare, maybe they'll take their meds.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"You have 4 candidates who are making all the moves to run: Palin, Huckabee, Romney and Barbour."

The Fix is right to include Pawlenty in that list, making it 5.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

After that, the Republicans need to find a new center mass to rally around, which will probably be economic, but not supply-side. No one's going to fall for that scheme again.

==

I wouldn't be so sure of that. I bet if you were to stand in a line of unemployed at the state offices you'd hear despairing people sighing about how their predicament reflects "gotta compete inna global marketplace."
We've had thirty unrelenting years of "economic" BS fed to us in a steady stream, and people have come to accept it as real. That everything around them can be explained as some magical equillibrium of "supply an' demand."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Are there any signs that Brownback is considering this run?"

I have no idea. Since he ran last time & is running for an executive job in 2010, he came to mind when you mentioned the plains states.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Barbour and Huckabee are certainly the big GOP winners today in the aftermath of Sanford's spectacular (flameout).

sanford refered to them as being (sparks) and not (flameouts).

lets be clear, the dude called them (sparks) and not (flameouts).

Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Off topic but a big Atta boy to SCOTUS in ruling in favor of the girl who was strip searched at school. It was scandalous conduct by the school. But then what would you expect from NEA.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know Mark, unless things are really hunkydorie around 2012, I think Obama will have trouble getting reelected. He's going to lose a significant amount of Jewish voters

==

You're talking through your hat. American Jews see Israel and its criminal settlement policy in precisely the same light Obama does. Support for Israel is at an all-time low among Jews living outside of it. Stop getting all your information from right-wingers, they lie a lot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Bigbrother; Jindal and Guilani will not be running in 2012. Nor I doubt will Newt, like last time, Newt will pretend he's getting ready to get in because he just loves the attention it brings. You have 4 candidates who are making all the moves to run: Palin, Huckabee, Romney and Barbour.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

cedaniels: Palin, Guiliani and Jindal are not serious GOP contenders at this time.

Palin is seen mostly as a hare-brained laughingstock, not a budget balancer (please). Her nomination would be the most self-destructive thing the party could possibly do.

Jindal made an utter fool of himself a few months ago and will have to do serious work to rehabilitate his image outside Louisiana.

Guiliani squandered what little credibility he had some time ago, as he showed in his previous run for the nomination. And he is simply not conservative enough for today's GOP.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Drind have you ever had a non-partsian thought?

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

BSIMON: Palin(probably Palin) or Huckabee will win the Iowa caucas because of the social conservatives run the state GOP for intent purpose. Romney will win in NH with Barbour coming in 2nd. Barbour will win SC and Romney Michigan. After that, I don't know. I would be happy with either Romney or Barbour. I would never vote for Huckabee.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Palin's message of fiscal conservatism, evidenced by a balanced state budget and low taxes at a tough time, along with an appeal to the social conservatives to whom Sanford tried to appeal, seems now to have one less direct competitor"

Yes, please do run Sarah Palin against Obama. What a blessing that would be for Democrats. Save us a lot of time and money, because she will simply self-destruct on a natioanal stage. Whiny, bigoted, ignorant and hysterical vs. calm, intelligent and rational.

I know which way 80% of the country will go.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This is an easy question to answer.

The winners are the tabloid press, which have seen their style of sex scandals and sensationalistic stories about celebrities emulated by nearly all of the mainstream media. With their enhanced credibility, maybe some people will really believe Elvis or aliens have been sighted.

Losers are the mainstream media and the Republican party.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 25, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 11:18 AM |

If Sam Brownback wins the Kansas governorship in 2010, is there a path for him to the Pres nomination?

************************************************
An excellent question.

IMO, yes. Brownback has been laying low for a while and that has served him very well during the recent GOP debacle. If he wins the Kansas governorship he can appear both fresh-faced AND experienced come 2012, a neat trick.

As for his politics, he shouldn't have any trouble being sufficiently conservative for today's GOP. But, as with Huckabee, this will probably be a big negative in a general election. Huckabee has genuine charm (very dangerous to underestimate) but I don't know about Brownback on that front. That could make the difference.

Are there any signs that Brownback is considering this run?

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

WHILE ANOTHER GOP HYPOCRITE DANCES THE SOUTH OF THE BELT-BUCKLE TANGO...

DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW ARE BEING STOLEN AT THE GRASSROOTS.

AND REPORTERS TRYING TO EXPOSE IT HAVE THEIR CAREERS AND LIVES TAKEN APART BY A COVERT GOVERNMENT 'MULTI-AGENCY PROGRAM.'

And once again, sex, lies and video distract the mainstream media from exposing a covert American genocide/politicide.


• Anti-Vigilante Journalist Assaulted by PA Cops: A Set-Up?

http://groups.poynter.org/members/blog_view.asp?id=190108

OR

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "Gestapo USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

You are correct that Tim Pawlenty benefits from this ordeal, but I also believe that Jindal, Palin, Romney, Huckabee and Rudy benefit.

Jindal for the same reasons that you indicate Pawlenty is aided. Palin's message of fiscal conservatism, evidenced by a balanced state budget and low taxes at a tough time, along with an appeal to the social conservatives to whom Sanford tried to appeal, seems now to have one less direct competitor. Romney benefits since he had a very tough time winning in the south. Huckabee because he is very appealing in the deep south, although his economic message differs somewhat from current GOP dogma (kind of Pat Buchanan circa 1992). Rudy since his multiple marriages may be less of an issue.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | June 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Hiking the Appalachian Trail" just jumped up there with "wide stance" in the public lexicon, I think.

Posted by: blert | June 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

bigbrother1 writes
"I don't think the GOP can afford a Southern candidate for national office this time around. Better to take someone from that narrow strip up the middle of the country (Kansas and the Dakotas) that they still hang onto firmly."


If Sam Brownback wins the Kansas governorship in 2010, is there a path for him to the Pres nomination?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Good analysis here, Cillizza. Ensign is looking positively classy for taking the public initiative the way he did.

But you need to remember that these sorts of scandals hurt Republicans more than Democrats because of the hypocrisy factor. A party that is focused on dictating personal behavior cannot have its leaders displaying the very behavior it condemns, especially when it's down in the polls. This is a simple political fact, C.

And while Barbour definitely benefits in the short term from Sanford's flame-out, you have to wonder about the long-term relationship between the GOP and the South. If it isn't there already, the GOP is perilously close to being confined to the political ghetto that the South has become. I don't think the GOP can afford a Southern candidate for national office this time around. Better to take someone from that narrow strip up the middle of the country (Kansas and the Dakotas) that they still hang onto firmly.

Considering that the GOP is not going to actually become more moderate in the next few years, they need someone who can sell their extremism. Huckabee and Pawlenty are the only ones I'm seeing who have a ghost of chance. And even their chances are very slim indeed.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 25, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Barbour and Huckabee are certainly the big GOP winners today in the aftermath of Sanford's spectacular flameout. This in turn means that the American people are the biggest winners of all, because neither of these dangerously extremist Southern windbags will be able to command any votes outside of the Deep South. Therefore President Obama will win reelection in a landslide in 2012 and another Democrat will be carried into office in 2016.

The hypocritical bigoted Republican party is philandering its way out of national relevancy for the next 30 years. And that is good news for our country.

Posted by: dee5 | June 25, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't find the story either PAINFUL or COMPELLING! A right-wing BIGOT who treated monogamous gay couples as subhuman while sanctimoniously blaring about the sanctity of marriage turned out, yet again, to be a philandering hypocrite. I relish the story!

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 25, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"I think some of you are seriously underestmating Haley Barbour, at least as far as the GOP nomination."


I don't know much about him, so typically refrain from comment. What do you think his path to the nomination is? See howlless's post at 10AM for a quick summary of Romney's likely plan of attack. Point: Can Barbour win primaries outside the south? What if the field includes Romney, Huckabee & Palin?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Sanford makes the Republican Party a BIG loser because he is a further distraction to the bulk of the party while the Grover Norquist/Haley Barbour crew continue to set up one more leveraged nomination.

The Conservatives aren't going to change, and they know how to win the Republican slot on the General election ticket. You get exactly ONE candidate that the rightmost 20% of the party will rally behind, and hope for five or six other candidates to eat up the bulk of the Republicans who bother to show up AND VOTE REPUBLICAN in the primaries. Winner take all and over by Valentine's Day. Provided that it is actually Barbour's candidacy they were talking about, by President's day the Republican National Committee will have committed political suicide.

If the Republican Party really wants to survive, it is going to have to change its primary formula to either spread out the process so that fiscal problems winnow the field before the excess of moderate candidates kills them all off.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 25, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

bradcpa writes
"I want to thank you for bringing up the Texas Governors race because it really got me thinking about our changing demographics. We should talk about that more. What are the Republicans going to do when Big Red (Texas) turns to Big Blue? As a moderate I am wanting to see a counter balance to the liberal wing of the Democratic party, yet Republicans seem blind to the fix they are in."


I agree, but I think its bigger than Texas. Demographic changes are a huge but mostly uncovered story in politics. There has been some coverage - over at 538, for instance - but by and large political analysis relies heavily on prior results without accounting for underlying demographic change. I suspect that such changes are impacting the rules in ways that go unnoticed. For instance, here in MN anyway, the suburbs used to be all white. But now many immigrants are moving out of the cities and establishing enclaves in the suburbs, exurbs and even rural areas. When election results don't match expectations based on prior results, the 'analysts' often chalk it up to one-time events, and don't look for underlying shifts within the electorate. The demographic story will probably get more coverage after the 2010 election, in conjunction with the census & in anticipation of redistricting.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Call this a teachable moment, but even with ABC's best-laid plans to kickstart the debate about health care reform and not allow the "Prescription for America" special to become an "infomercial," as many have complained - the president spent more than twice as much time as his questioners vaguely answering or not answering the questions asked of him. But the network consistently presented the event as part of the need to fix a "broken system."

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This so crazy I am actually surprised. It seems to me like the far right wing is out to kill the Republcain party. Seriously.

"WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican senators on Wednesday made public their strategy for combating the Supreme Court nomination of appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor, questioning whether she believes the Bill of Rights applies to all Americans.

In particular, a quartet of Republican senators told a news conference that Sotomayor has challenged whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, which they said contrasts with what the Supreme Court ruled a year ago.

"Judge Sotomayor earlier this year rendered an opinion that held that the Second Amendment was not a fundamental right," noted Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

To Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Sotomayor's opinion amounts to a challenge of whether the Constitution still applies in the United States.

"It's a very important question that goes much beyond the question of bearing arms, but whether or not we still are a constitutional republic," he said.

Invoking the sensitive gun-control issue amounts to a call to the political right to mobilize against Sotomayor's nomination, and was the clearest signal to date that Republicans intend to mount a vigorous campaign against her."

This is really scary and weird stuff. The only thing that seems to matter to the R base is sex and violence.I guess it's all the video games they play all day in the basement. But to the rest of the country, it's just nutty tinfoil hat paranoia.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I think some of you are seriously underestmating Haley Barbour, at least as far as the GOP nomination. For one thing, he was the best RNC Chair we ever had and has a lot of goodswill from the republican faithfull. Plus watching on the Sunday news shows while he was the Chair, I observed a lot of folksy charm. The kinda of guy who says" I don't know anything about that, I'm just a good ole simple country boy" while he outwits and out maneuvers his opponents.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Sanford is an exemplar of the current far right ideiology -- which is chacterized by a rigid orthoxodoxy and a lack of human feelings, compassion on empathy. Indeed, these qualities are not only lacking in these people -- but demonized. This is why they cannot bond with their families but feel free to pursure one narcisstic pleasure after another.

Look at them -- Rush, Gingrich, Gilmore, Guiliani, Vitter, Wide Stance, Foley, Ensign and now Sanford. It's not an aberation, it's a pattern

what the modern conservative movement has done is elevate the individual's 'rights' and 'freedoms' above all else -- the family, the community, the country. Which is why it's destroying the Republican party. It is a celebration of greed, selfishness and narcissicism.

Posted by: drindl | June 25, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris - I want to thank you for bringing up the Texas Governors race because it really got me thinking about our changing demographics. We should talk about that more. What are the Republicans going to do when Big Red (Texas) turns to Big Blue? As a moderate I am wanting to see a counter balance to the liberal wing of the Democratic party, yet Republicans seem blind to the fix they are in. They actually believe all the hot air of talk radio and Fixed News. To this day most do not understand what Karl Rove was trying to do with immigration reform.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 25, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the 2012 primary campaign has already begun here in New Hampshire. Haley Barbour showed up yesterday.

Posted by: newengland1 | June 25, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Chris-

Can't believe how wrong you are in your Winners list. You're usually more on the ball than this.

Firstly, T-Paw ain't no winner. Seriously- what GOP primary voter whose first choice was arch-conservative Sanford is now going to run to the mushy, boring Pawlenty? Nobody, that's who.

The winners in the primary field are exactly two: Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin, in that order. Those are the logical landing places for Sanford's voters. Barbour? Let's see if he runs.

By extension, one of the big losers is Mitt Romney, because now there's one less candidate to split the votes of the religious right. Romney needs that vote to stay disunified so he can win Iowa, then ride his big McCainless NH win through the southern primaries to the nomination.

Posted by: howlless | June 25, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

In Texas it is all in the Demographics. Texas is going to blue in less than 10 years. As of 2007 36% of the population in Texas is Hispanic (yet they are 50% of all births). You add the 12% black population to the 20% (about 10% of total vote) of the white population that is liberal. Compare the 55.5% McCain got in 2008 to the 61.2% Bush got in 2004 and you see why Rove and Bush were pro immigration reform. You cannot afford another drop like the last one. I expect Texas go Republican by 2% in 2012 but after 2012 .... Katy Bar the Door.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 25, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"Pawlenty seems like a decent guy and an able Gov. but he just doesn't come across as a leader."

He certainly seems like a nice guy & he projects a calm competency. In reality, however, the competency is missing. When Gov Pawlenty first came to the Gov's office in 2003, the budget was a mess; largely due to the Repubs & Dems working together to circumvent IP Governor Jesse Ventura, who had a knack for creating strange bedfellows in the state legislature. Since 2003, the state budget has been a mess. Gov Pawlenty has utterly failed to have any kind of lasting impact in establishing some fiscal sanity to the state budget. The 2010 election for his replacement will likely be comparable to the 2008 Presidential election, where both candidates are distancing themselves from the prior administration.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 25, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse


Which party do you believe is more hypocritical?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=5611


.

Posted by: usadblake | June 25, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The country in general and and the GOP in particular would have been better off had it been Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter rather than Sanford and the lady in Argentina.

However true that "hope springs eternal in the human breast", the Republican nomination in 2012 won't be worth spit. They've got the best possible candidate for that one in Sarah Palin.

Posted by: winger1 | June 25, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

BradCPA and I are both in Austin. We both see KBH whipping Goodhair in the primary b/c [in part] open primaries work heavily to KBH's advantage [Brad and I will vote for her]. We also see no D primary of statewide import - only Tom Schieffer is likely to run for gov on that side. Brad, Mike Conwell says that Schieffer is not exciting to the "base".

Both Brad and I are Sharp supporters in the special election for Senate. I have no problems with Bill White but think he is unknown outside Houston and is such a sleepy campaigner that he cannot overcome that by campaigning. But there is no doubt that he has been a terrific, perhaps a model, big city mayor, engaging the powerful private enterprise of H-town to volunteer for the public good many times over.

For either strong D to win the special, which will not have a runoff unless we have changed our age old rule unknown to me, three or more Rs will have to run in the special.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 25, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

How sad. Now Republicans are even outsourcing their affairs to foreign countries.

It's going to be a long exile from the White House for Republicans. Barring some major disaster, Obama will get reelected in 2012. If he's successful, it's likely we'll have another Democrat elected in 2016 (my prediction is Mark Warner).

Reagan built the Republican coalition with three groups: defense hawks, social social conservatives, and free marketeers. Their issues dominated politics for three decades, but the coalition is starting to splinter because of both demographics and missteps.

The first to lose their luster were the neo-con defense hawks during the Bush administration due to their misdeeds after 9/11. The free marketeers are trying to slough off the wreckage of the economy. That leave the social conservatives, who will probably dominiate the primary process one last time in 2012.

After that, the Republicans need to find a new center mass to rally around, which will probably be economic, but not supply-side. No one's going to fall for that scheme again. Social conservatives and neo-cons looking for the next Cold War will fade simply because older voters who follow those positions will start dying off. We may not see another viable Republican candidacy for president until 2024, in much the same way that Clinton was the only viable Democratic candidate from 1968 to 2008. (I don't count Carter. He only won in '76 because of Watergate.)

With Huntsman in China, Sanford and Ensign shamed, Barbour looking like the next Cheney figure, Palin unelectable outside Alaska, and Pawlenty and Crist distrusted by the social conservatives, Mitt Romney will probably be the Republican figurehead for 2012. Hopefully Mitch Daniels will come off the bench for them in 2016. That would make it more interesting.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 25, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"The DNC has been tracking his every move since he embarassed Chairman O with his rejection of porkulus funds."

Please, he didn't embarass anyone other than himself with that move. Anyone with half a brain knew that it was a political stunt to beef up his Fiscal Conservative Street Cred. He knew he was term limited and wouldn't have to answer to SC voters, and he knew that the State Legislature (who would have to answer to voters) could overrule his descision, which they did overwhelmingly.

It was transparent.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 25, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing how human these politicians turn out to be. Too bad they don't realize it until they are caught. (At least, some do. Larry Craig is in complete denial.)

Barbour would be a terrible candidate. He's about as Southern as you get and has no appeal outside of the South. Hope he gets it!

Posted by: gtinla | June 25, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

He was seperated, all he had to do was be honest about it. He wasn't hiding anything from his wife, his coverup was the mistake that cost him... pretty dumb.

The DNC has been tracking his every move since he embarassed Chairman O with his rejection of porkulus funds. Anybody with a dozen brain cells could tell you he would get caught. They didn't uncover this... but they would have eventually.

And on Fathers' Day Sunday, when he's got 4 young boys-

I for one am glad nobody will be talking about a presidential run for the guy, I've seen enough of his judgement to know we'd be much better off with someone else.
He was never going to beat Palin, Gingrich or Romney anyway.

I hope it was worth it, Gov… I pray for your family.

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | June 25, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I think most people in Texas are still trying to digest the end to the legislative session, but things will get very interesting by the end of the year. I know a lot of moderate Democrats are so feed up with Perry that they are looking at voting for Hutchinson in the Republican primary. Living in Austin that can be of some concern if we get an important local race because in Travis county races are decided in the Democratic primary but I think I will pass on it because I can support Sharp still in the special. 2010 looks to be interesting in the Lone Star State as the demographics move the state from Red to Blue. That change should not take place in 2010 but I look to 2012 making Texas a battleground state and John Cornyn in for really tough race in 2014.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 25, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Winners: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber

No one has heard this many "Evita" References since that Madonna movie a decade ago.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 25, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Buenos Aires should be listed among the winners. A great and hot city just got a little hotter. And kudos to you Chris for visiting it last year and with your wife!

Posted by: TommyBarban | June 25, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Now I get what GOP stands for.... Grand Old Philanders actually it should be GOH... Grand Old Hypocrites.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 25, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

In the NH senate run.. Isn't Jeb Bradley running for senate?

(he lost twice to Porter Shea)

I know he said he was going to run--- does anyone know what happened?

Posted by: newagent99 | June 25, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Until the republicans stop dictating to americans who should and should not be allowed to marry, what consenting adults should and should not do in the privacy of their own homes and which god we must pray to, then no republican will ever be elected to the presidency again, let alone an overweight religious wacko wind bag from Mississippi. What a party of losers.

Posted by: dem4life1 | June 25, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't know Mark, unless things are really hunkydorie around 2012, I think Obama will have trouble getting reelected. He's going to lose a significant amount of Jewish voters that he will have to make up somewhere else and polling indicates independents are jumping ship. Of course a lot depends on next year elections. He will be lucky in away if republicans take control of least the House, that way if things are not going well, he can blame the republicans,ala Clinton.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Since when isn't Huckabee a "son of the South"?

Posted by: Judy9 | June 25, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Thanks for mentioning one of my favorite books. Bill Bryson's adventures along the Appalachian Trail in "A Walk in the Woods" were so funny that, as I listened on tape, I had to pull over to the side of the highway because I was laughing too hard to drive.

Posted by: mikedow1 | June 25, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Add to vbhoomes' short list two senators who do not look old and fat and who are personable and never embarrass themselves: Thune and Corker. Corker may be too "moderate" for the Norquist-CFG-social authoritarians to swallow, but he makes a better VP for Romney, for example, than would Barber. The Rs may have to look at one their elected hispanics as VP of course, as they have lost the footing with chicanos, especially, that GWB and McC had.

The news that the highway stimulus is being spent and the increase in non-defense capital purchases - highest since late 2004 - are good signs among mixed signals. I think that a year from now we will be able to look back and say the bottom was the Spring of 2009. If that happens, any R prez nominee is probably a sacrificial lamb in 2012. Elected Rs should not publicly hope for doom the way some talking head sympathizers do, for they will not appear to be prophets. They will appear to be part of the problem.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 25, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh for heaven's sake, does anyone really think that, absent a catastrophe, the American people are going to put an overweight, aging white guy with a magnolia and molasses Mississippi drawl into the White House? Especially one who was a high powered DC lobbyist before running for governor? Barbour may run--but he can't win the general election. Romney is far more appealing to the broad public, but he's so nakedly opportunistic that he's not likely to beat the incumbent.

In fact, the guy with the best chance of beating Obama, Governor Huntsman of Utah, has been coopted by being named ambassador to China. As a liberal Democrat, I found his approach to governing to be remarkably pragmatic and free of the usual "family values" blather, even though he is, like Romney, a Mormon.

Posted by: jhpurdy | June 25, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Sanford's affair underlines the major problems Republicans have. Because they have so closely tied themselves to social values (to the exclusion of nearly everything else, incidents like Sanford, Ensign etc leave the GOP with nothing but a heap of hypocrisy....

Can't see Pawlenty gaining much ground. He has no presence at all....

And I'd add to the winners the public who hopefully don't have to listen to the family values nonsense anymore...

Posted by: RickJ | June 25, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

It's sad that there is no mention of his wife and family under the 'losers' in this debacle. Politics again reigns supreme. Blah.

Posted by: MisterHate | June 25, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

carpentray; the dems response that we are not hyprocrites because we have no moral values is a weak argument.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Another of those all morally correct republicans fall from grace. For a party that is trying to reestablish itself from major loses, they are not doing so well. I think they may have to try a new approach as the having affairs does not seem to be doing it.
Bill Clinton should be having a heck of a laugh over all these clowns getting caught.

Posted by: carpenterray | June 25, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Potential Winner: a Republican media strategist was quoted yesterday (sorry I can't remember which one) about who the Republicans would tap to be leaders in the next generation. He suggested in what sounded like an off-hand remark "the Junior Jaycee President from Memphis is in the running for a nomination." - who is that person? They could be a potential winner :)

Posted by: jpostonday | June 25, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

The governor should resign or be impeached. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?p=1930

Posted by: carlyt | June 25, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty seems like a decent guy and an able Gov. but he just doesn't come across as a leader. I will bet anything that the GOP race will be between Barbour and Romney, with the loser being on the bottom of the ticket.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 25, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

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