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Ky. Primary Day: Can Both Parties Avoid Runoffs?

Kentuckians head to the polls today, marking the first primary of the 2007-2008 election cycle. (And, yes, we are more than a little excited.)

Gov. Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky
Ernie Fletcher, Kentucky's first Republican governor in three decades, appears likely to win the party primary today. Does that guarantee Democrats will regain the governor's mansion this fall? (AP Photo)

The lion's share of attention has been on the governor's race, where both parties are hosting spirited races.

Let's start on the Republican side. Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) has proved surprisingly resilient despite a first term marred by ethical scandals and a serious challenger in the form of former Rep. Anne Northup (R).

The most recent poll, which was conducted for the Louisville Courier-Journal, showed Fletcher at 41 percent with Northup as 26 percent. Businessman Billy Harper, who has dumped more than $5 million of his own money into the race, took 10 percent.

If Fletcher can win 40 percent or more of the vote, he would avoid a June 26 runoff -- a scenario that was unthinkable just a few months ago when Northup announced her candidacy.

At that time, Fletcher was fighting to keep the political establishment from sprinting away from him amid signs that the damage he had sustained during investigations into violations of the state government's hiring policies and an alleged illegal patronage system in his first term made him nearly unelectable. Northup, who had lost her reelection bid in the Louisville-area 3rd District last November, appeared to be the perfect antidote to Fletcher. She quickly won the support of Sen. Jim Bunning (R) and seemed to also enjoy behind-the-scenes backing from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), the unquestioned godfather of Bluegrass politics. (McConnell remained publicly neutral.)

But to Fletcher's credit, he was able to change the dynamic of the race through a series of creative ads that painted him as the victim of a bullying campaign by state Democrats. His ads also painted Northup as not sufficiently conservative on issues like taxes and school prayer.

The incumbent also appeared to benefit from a sense of loyalty that Republican voters have toward the first Republican elected to the Kentucky governor's mansion in more than three decades. There is a sense, as one unaffiliated operative put it, that Fletcher led Republicans to the promise land and, as a result, they need to stick by him.

The fact that Harper stayed in the race and spent heavily from his own pocket complicated Northup's attempts to consolidate the anti-Fletcher vote. If you add Northup's 26 percent and Harper's 10 percent in the Courier-Journal poll, the race is 41 percent Fletcher/36 percent Northup/Harper.

Northup's message of electability didn't seem to catch on as her campaign had hoped. She even ran a commercial with a fictional Democratic attack ad (very meta isn't it?) that tried to show Republican voters what they were in for if they nominated the incumbent. But primary voters typically vote with their heart not their head, so appeals to electability didn't gain much traction.

While Fletcher seems likely to win without a runoff, observers in the state say turnout is expected to be somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of all registered Republican voters, so anything could happen. And pro-Northup strategists note that in past Republican primaries suburban Louisville -- the former congresswoman's base -- has turned out in higher numbers than the rest of the state. Obviously, if Fletcher can't win outright tomorrow he would face a much stiffer test in a one-on-one match-up with Northup next month.

On the Democratic side, a runoff seems more likely. The Courier-Journal poll showed former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear leading the pack with 27 percent followed by 2003 candidate Bruce Lunsford. Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry (that's right, there are two former LGs running in the Democratic primary) took 13 percent and state House Speaker Jody Richards was fourth with 7 percent. Beshear released a poll of his own, conducted by Fred Yang (one of the best in the business), that showed him ahead of Lunsford 35 percent to 23 percent -- well within reach of the 40 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff.

As he did in 2003 before abruptly dropping from the race at the last minute, Lunsford is spending freely out of his own pocket. He's given his campaign more than $4 million and as of last week he had outspent Beshear roughly five to one.

Henry appeared ready to go out in a blaze of glory, putting up ads late last week that attacked Lunsford (for throwing out the elderly from his nursing homes to turn a profit) and Beshear (for opposing the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools). But Henry abruptly removed the commercials -- saying they were inconsistent with the kind of campaign he wanted to run.

If Henry and Richards slide down into the low double digits or even high single digits, Beshear could escape a runoff. But with six candidates in the field -- two thirds of whom can lay claim to some sort of political base -- a runoff between Beshear and Lunsford looks like the most likely outcome.

Either Beshear or Lunsford would start a general-election campaign against Fletcher as the favorite. Most Republicans privately believe that Fletcher as the nominee means they will lose the governor's mansion in the fall. Of course, most people wrote Fletcher's political obituary the day Northup announced...

Here's the full ballot for today's Bluegrass State primary. See where Kentucky ranks in the most recent governor's Line.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 22, 2007; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

Flether ran a masterful campaign. He gave his staff a pardon from legal issues, then worked out an agreement with state AG Greg Stumbo (a Democrat, and Lt. gov. candidate) to rid himself of legal problems and has now won the Republican nomination for Governor. Now it's just governing and winning the campaign in November. The liberal media thought Fletcher would lay over and die when they came at him for doing what's right for state government and living for the Lord! Fletcher squared his shoulders back and took the fight right back to those against him. He's going to continue governing well and win 4 more years! Go Fletcher!

Posted by: reason | May 24, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

http://www.kentucky.com/454/story/77350.html

"Steve Beshear, who lost a bid for governor 20 years ago to a candidate pushing creation of a statewide lottery, captured the Democratic nomination for governor yesterday as the most ardent supporter of expanded gambling in the race.

Beshear, a Lexington attorney who was lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1987 for Gov. Martha Layne Collins, convincingly turned back five challengers in the Democratic primary and avoided a runoff election by winning more than 40 percent of the vote."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

cool

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

LYNCHBURG, Virginia (CNN) -- A first-year Liberty University student was arrested in what police said was a plot to detonate explosive devices Tuesday, the day of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral.

Mark David Uhl's intended target is unknown, authorities said.

ABC News reported the youth told authorities he had made the bombs -- which were found in his car -- to stop protesters from disrupting Falwell's funeral.

Police received a call about 11 p.m. Monday from one of Uhl's family members, who said they had talked with him and he had "mentioned some explosive devices he had made," said Maj. Steve Hutcherson of the Campbell County, Virginia, sheriff's office.

Authorities found in Uhl's vehicle "what appeared to be about six explosive devices" that had detonation devices with them, Hutcherson said. The homemade devices were canisters with some kind of liquid inside.

Uhl, 19, from Amissville, Virginia, was arrested at the home of one of his friends in Campbell County, near Lynchburg, Hutcherson said.

He was being held without bond in the Campbell County Adult Detention Center on suspicion of manufacturing explosive devices.

Posted by: oh look, it's william, the terrorist | May 22, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks like both will avoid a runoff, if Beshear can hold on. He's at 42% with 87% reporting...

Posted by: Michael | May 22, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Looks like both will avoid a runoff, if Beshar can hold on. He's at 42% with 87% reporting...

Posted by: Michael | May 22, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

If Northup fails to slip into a runoff with Fletcher tonight, her political career is likely over. The fact that Fletcher is above 40% in polls again makes the Democrats relevant. There's a chance Beshear could win this primary outright, but Lunsford's likely to push him into a runoff. Before all the candidates announced, I had tagged Beshear as the likely frontrunner, but was uneasy about that choice due to Beshear's yesterdayness. Soon after I became completely confused. I bet Fletcher would rather run against Lunsford. Though Lunsford could buy the undecided vote, I doubt that his base would turn out for him. They only would if they're fervently anti-Fletcher and Lunsford could convince them that he's not as bad as Fletcher. Beshear, in a general election, may have learned from his past mistakes or he may make more, and give Fletcher a narrow win. A Beshear-Lunsford runoff would test whether the influence of cash could outweigh the distrust of Lunsford, and I do not know who'd be in front. If Henry can make it to the runoff with Beshear, Beshear will win over the corruption-tainted former Lt. Governor. I'd be interested to see Richards outperform and slip into a runoff with Beshear, which would be competitive. But if both Beshear and Fletcher win outright, the Governor is in serious trouble. Fletcher may become another unpopular incumbent to turn things around. California Gov. Arnold Schwartzennegger seemed to be in trouble until he reinvented his image and St. Treasurer Phil Angelides proved to be a weak challenger. St. Sen. Tom Kean Jr. made one hell of a run at appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, but NJ's blue tint mixed with the wave caused Kean to come up 10 points short. In my state, Sen. Bill Nelson was easily beatable but won a landslide (to date he's the highest ranking Dem I've voted for, but that should change) against the loathed "election rigging" Rep. Katherine Harris (as she's perceived) but ran a crappy campaign anyway. With only 30% saying he's doing a good job, Fletcher should bust his ass trying to get his voters out no matter who he's against, but must react differently to different challengers. If he runs against Beshear, $ and a smear campaign are his best bet. If it's Lunsford he faces, he just has to minimize the differences between the two, which will hamper Lunsford's ability to turn out his base (Stumbo's on the ticket to placate the left, but running mates can't always secure constituencies, and Stumbo may be hurt by choosing to run with Lunsford.), and therefore Fletcher will be able to come out on top. For Henry, Fletcher just has to spend more, turn out his base, and argue that Henry's "more corrupt." I've been eyeing this race for months, as you know Chris, and this one should be exciting.

Posted by: J Perez | May 22, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If Northup fails to slip into a runoff with Fletcher tonight, her political career is likely over. The fact that Fletcher is above 40% in polls again makes the Democrats relevant. There's a chance Beshear could win this primary outright, but Lunsford's likely to push him into a runoff. Before all the candidates announced, I had tagged Beshear as the likely frontrunner, but was uneasy about that choice due to Beshear's yesterdayness. Soon after I became completely confused. I bet Fletcher would rather run against Lunsford. Though Lunsford could buy the undecided vote, I doubt that his base would turn out for him. They only would if they're fervently anti-Fletcher and Lunsford could convince them that he's not as bad as Fletcher. Beshear, in a general election, may have learned from his past mistakes or he may make more, and give Fletcher a narrow win. A Beshear-Lunsford runoff would test whether the influence of cash could outweigh the distrust of Lunsford, and I do not know who'd be in front. If Henry can make it to the runoff with Beshear, Beshear will win over the corruption-tainted former Lt. Governor. I'd be interested to see Richards outperform and slip into a runoff with Beshear, which would be competitive. But if both Beshear and Fletcher win outright, the Governor is in serious trouble. Fletcher may become another unpopular incumbent to turn things around. California Gov. Arnold Schwartzennegger seemed to be in trouble until he reinvented his image and St. Treasurer Phil Angelides proved to be a weak challenger. St. Sen. Tom Kean Jr. made one hell of a run at appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, but NJ's blue tint mixed with the wave caused Kean to come up 10 points short. In my state, Sen. Bill Nelson was easily beatable but won a landslide (to date he's the highest ranking Dem I've voted for, but that should change) against the loathed "election rigging" Rep. Katherine Harris (as she's perceived) but ran a crappy campaign anyway. With only 30% saying he's doing a good job, Fletcher should bust his ass trying to get his voters out no matter who he's against, but must react differently to different challengers. If he runs against Beshear, $ and a smear campaign are his best bet. If it's Lunsford he faces, he just has to minimize the differences between the two, which will hamper Lunsford's ability to turn out his base (Stumbo's on the ticket to placate the left, but running mates can't always secure constituencies, and Stumbo may be hurt by choosing to run with Lunsford.), and therefore Fletcher will be able to come out on top. For Henry, Fletcher just has to spend more, turn out his base, and argue that Henry's "more corrupt." I've been eyeing this race for months, as you know Chris, and this one should be exciting.

Posted by: J Perez | May 22, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If Northup fails to slip into a runoff with Fletcher tonight, her political career is likely over. The fact that Fletcher is above 40% in polls again makes the Democrats relevant. There's a chance Beshear could win this primary outright, but Lunsford's likely to push him into a runoff. Before all the candidates announced, I had tagged Beshear as the likely frontrunner, but was uneasy about that choice due to Beshear's yesterdayness. Soon after I became completely confused. I bet Fletcher would rather run against Lunsford. Though Lunsford could buy the undecided vote, I doubt that his base would turn out for him. They only would if they're fervently anti-Fletcher and Lunsford could convince them that he's not as bad as Fletcher. Beshear, in a general election, may have learned from his past mistakes or he may make more, and give Fletcher a narrow win. A Beshear-Lunsford runoff would test whether the influence of cash could outweigh the distrust of Lunsford, and I do not know who'd be in front. If Henry can make it to the runoff with Beshear, Beshear will win over the corruption-tainted former Lt. Governor. I'd be interested to see Richards outperform and slip into a runoff with Beshear, which would be competitive. But if both Beshear and Fletcher win outright, the Governor is in serious trouble. Fletcher may become another unpopular incumbent to turn things around. California Gov. Arnold Schwartzennegger seemed to be in trouble until he reinvented his image and St. Treasurer Phil Angelides proved to be a weak challenger. St. Sen. Tom Kean Jr. made one hell of a run at appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, but NJ's blue tint mixed with the wave caused Kean to come up 10 points short. In my state, Sen. Bill Nelson was easily beatable but won a landslide (to date he's the highest ranking Dem I've voted for, but that should change) against the loathed "election rigging" Rep. Katherine Harris (as she's perceived) but ran a crappy campaign anyway. With only 30% saying he's doing a good job, Fletcher should bust his ass trying to get his voters out no matter who he's against, but must react differently to different challengers. If he runs against Beshear, $ and a smear campaign are his best bet. If it's Lunsford he faces, he just has to minimize the differences between the two, which will hamper Lunsford's ability to turn out his base (Stumbo's on the ticket to placate the left, but running mates can't always secure constituencies, and Stumbo may be hurt by choosing to run with Lunsford.), and therefore Fletcher will be able to come out on top. For Henry, Fletcher just has to spend more, turn out his base, and argue that Henry's "more corrupt." I've been eyeing this race for months, as you know Chris, and this one should be exciting.

Posted by: J Perez | May 22, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

the latest KY poll on the governor's race is actually the SUSA poll from 05/18/2007 - 05/20/2007.
http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReportEmail.aspx?g=9999b19d-5503-4ef2-a41a-8908dab403b6

Fletcher is leading Northup 44% to 34% with Harper playing spoiler at 17%. Fletcher is getting the same % as he did in the previous SUSA polling. Looking at the crosstabs, Northup is winning heavily in the Louisville parts of the state but Fletcher is winning everywhere else which protends to a Republican bias against politicians from Louisville. She/McConnell should have done everything to get Harper out of the race but it looks like Fletcher will get his 40% to avoid a runoff.

Beshear has surged ahead after Miller dropped out and endorsed him. He has an outside chance of getting 40% but most likely, he and Lunsford will head to a runoff. Fletcher has terrible approval numbers from Democrats and independents so the Democrat should be favored should Fletcher be the Republican nominee.

Posted by: gomer | May 22, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

the latest KY poll on the governor's race is actually the SUSA poll from 05/18/2007 - 05/20/2007.
http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReportEmail.aspx?g=9999b19d-5503-4ef2-a41a-8908dab403b6

Fletcher is leading Northup 44% to 34% with Harper playing spoiler at 17%. Fletcher is getting the same % as he did in the previous SUSA polling. Looking at the crosstabs, Northup is winning heavily in the Louisville parts of the state but Fletcher is winning everywhere else which protends to a Republican bias against politicians from Louisville. She/McConnell should have done everything to get Harper out of the race but it looks like Fletcher will get his 40% to avoid a runoff.

Beshear has surged ahead after Miller dropped out and endorsed him. He has an outside chance of getting 40% but most likely, he and Lunsford will head to a runoff. Fletcher has terrible approval numbers from Democrats and independents so the Democrat should be favored should Fletcher be the Republican nominee.

Posted by: gomer | May 22, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I am able to post half of all posts now. Have I run everyone else off? do you tire of my obnoxious ways? Believe me, if anyone else would talk to me I would do it, but life has not been fair to me. since I have nothing else rewarding in my life, I will continue to flood this site with ascerbic nonsense.

I promise to obsess about zouk on only 50% of my input. We Libs need a villian to focus our attention. Otherwise we run around investigating and shouting all day long and never get anything done. but we forgive Pelosi and Reid for this because the normal rules don't apply to Dems. "Failure to lead" only applies to cons, we ignore criticism.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing better to do than post teenage comments here all day. Beavis and butthead don't come on until later and I have seen them all several times.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I want to leave an irrelevant comment too

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"Ky. Primary Day: Can Both Parties Avoid Runoffs?"

Based on the turnout so far, no. Each candidate has a roughly equal number of relatives and this is going to apparently split the as-received vote.

OK, I'm just kidding. I think.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 22, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Today's expected "anemic" turn out -- less than 15% -- may skew things a bit!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | May 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

www.wsws.org
www.takingaimradio.info
otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.globalresearch.ca

http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/061

Greg Palast, Author of Armed Madhouse(New York Times bestseller), on How Rove May Have Already Stolen the 2008 Election

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

People ask me: Are they going to steal the 2008 election? No, they've already stolen the 2008 election. We still have a chance of swiping it back, but the reason I've expanded and put out the new edition of Armed Madhouse is to tell you how they will steal in 2008, and what to do about it. That's one of the main new things. Plus a special chapter on New Orleans and my bust down there.

-- Greg Palast

* * *

You might say, since the 2000 election, BuzzFlash and Greg Palast have shared many a foxhole in the fight for democracy. He's a workaholic, like we are -- and he doesn't flinch one iota in investigating the powers that be.

One of the things that makes Palast such an incredible asset is that he is in the I.F. Stone tradition of his doing thorough research. As much as he's built up a Sam Spade sleuthing persona, it is grounded in his ability to shift through large piles of documents and data that most modern reporters would just look at and cry, "No way, I've got to meet someone for a daquiri."

Mainstream jounalism in D.C. is built on the "easy story," as in the one that is handed to you by the Executive Branch. Actually, Palast doesn't work in D.C. much at all. He is out traveling around the country -- and world -- doing actual investigations into what is really going on.

That's the reason he is the person whom BuzzFlash has interviewed the most times over our seven year history.

Besides, we just love that fedora hat he's always wearing. Just the right touch.

And Greg always has something controversial and eye-popping to share, whether you agree with him 100% or not.

So enjoy, another BuzzFlash interview with Greg Palast.

* * *

BuzzFlash: You're having incredible success with the new expanded paperback edition of Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans -- Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild. Of course, the electronic voting machines and how they function is a very significant issue, but your specialty has really been how the Bush/Rove GOP political machine keeps persons who are likely to vote Democratic or Independent from voting.

Greg Palast: Yes. People ask me: Are they going to steal the 2008 election? No, they've already stolen the 2008 election. We still have a chance of swiping it back, but the reason I've expanded and put out the new edition of Armed Madhouse is to tell you how they will steal in 2008, and what to do about it. That's one of the main new things. Plus a special chapter on New Orleans and my bust down there.

Of course, I was very flattered that the first review of the new edition of Armed Madhouse was written by Karl Rove and the Rove-bots -- it was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee -- I can't make this up. On February 7th, the Rove team, which had been writing several e-mails screaming about Armed Madhouse and "that British reporter," Greg Palast, were gloating that no U.S. media had picked up my stories. And they had a .pdf file attached. Of course, the reason my book was subpoenaed is that it has to do with the US prosecutor firings. The prosecutor firings were 100% about influencing elections -- not about loyalty to Bush, which is what The New York Times wrote. The administration team couldn't tolerate appointees who wouldn't go along with crime. In the book I present the evidence that Karl Rove directed a guy named Tim Griffin to target suppressing the votes of African American students, homeless men, and soldiers. Nice guy. They actually challenged the votes and successfully removed tens of thousands of legal voters from the voter rolls, same as they did in 2000. But instead of calling them felons, they said that they had suspect addresses.

BuzzFlash: In which election cycle?

Greg Palast: 2004. And in 2006 and 2004, they challenged tens of thousands of black soldiers. They stopped their votes from being counted when they were mailed in from Baghdad. Go to Baghdad and lose your vote -- mission accomplished.

BuzzFlash: How did they do that?

Greg Palast: By sending letters to the homes of soldiers, marked "do not forward." When they came back undelivered, they said: Aha! Illegal voter registered from a false address. And when their ballot came in from Fallujah, it was challenged. The soldier didn't know it. Their vote was lost. Over half a million votes were challenged and lost by the Republicans -- absentee ballots. Three million voters who went to the polls found themselves challenged by the Republicans. This was not a small operation. It was a multi-million dollar, wholesale theft operation.

They're right that I'm a British reporter, because I put this story on British TV, not on American TV, which won't touch it. [BuzzFlash note: Palast writes for British papers and reports on the BBC, but he is a product of the San Fernando Valley and the University of Chicago, 100% American.] But our election was a complete, total fraud. This is grand theft -- no question. It's not a dirty trick; it's a felony crime.

For the rest of this interview please go to:

http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/061

Posted by: che | May 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

'zouk' annd 'normal' don't belong in the same sentence -- unless there's a 'not' in it...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey, it's not about how BIG the gun is. It's how you use it. Lots of people who have small guns live relatively normal lives. Just ask Zouk!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

nope, only just saw the mccain ref and thot it was worth mentioning to my fellow political junkies...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

to |, I got that far...notice
"[rifle or double entendre]"
in my post. I still want to know if there was an underlying KY ad, or was it only a reference to McCain calling attention to Romney's rodent hunter?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | May 22, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

" She quickly won the support of Sen. Jim Bunning (R) and seemed to also enjoy behind-the-scenes backing from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), the unquestioned godfather of Bluegrass politics. (McConnell remained publicly neutral.)"

And that's the crux of the problem: it made perfect sense at the time to oppose Fletcher. It doesn't now; it probably will in the general when the D's tar and feather Fletcher with the corruption brush they wielded so well in 2006. He's not a "victim of a bullying campaign by state Democrats" he's a crook who silenced potential witnesses to his crimes. There is, and will be, a lot of traction out there for this concept as the national mood sours on the shenanigans orchestrated by the WH.

"But primary voters typically vote with their heart not their head, so appeals to electability didn't gain much traction."

I'd amend that to say that "REPUBLICAN voters vote with their heart all the time" which is why they are so easily manipulated by unscrupulous hacks who play on their emotional heart strings. And then scr*w them after they are elected (hey, abortion is still pretty much legal, isn't it?).

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 22, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

size of gun = size of male member, mark. get it?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Ooh Nasty, I am suffering from such a want of info that I cannot piece together your otherwise entertaining post.

Did some KY candidate criticize the size of another's gun [rifle or double entendre]?

Did McCain's triple play on Romney seem to you to be an attack on the size of Romney's varmint gun [16 guage, perhaps]?

Please, I want the background to the joke explained, even if it kills the punch line for me!

Posted by: Mark in Austin | May 22, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Mitty is so out of it that he doesn't even know that calling yourself a 'rodent hunter' is an insult to your own manhood... are republicans really ready to elect such a precious, effete, massachusetts flip-flopper?

I mean, how much do you want to bet he drives a volvo and drinks half-caf latte?

Posted by: cassandra | May 22, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I want to be the first to Thank the republican voters in Kentucky for giving us the Governor's mansion back by voting in Fletcher again.

Posted by: Andy R | May 22, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

'You know things have gotten serious in a campaign when the candidates are insulting the sizes of each other's guns. And you know, in a crowded field such as the one for the Republican Party's nomination for president, the candidate who's winning is the one who isn't playing the game.

Take, for instance, the verbal assault unleashed by Senator McCain of Arizona yesterday against the former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. Asked by this reporter during a conference call what he made of attacks on the immigration compromise he engineered last week, Mr. McCain didn't hold back.

"In the case of Governor Romney, you know, maybe I should wait a couple of weeks and see if it changes, because it's changed in less than a year from his position before," the senator said of Mr. Romney's position on immigration. "And maybe his solution will be to get out his small-varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn."

It was a one-two-three punch. A hat trick. First, a right hook at Mr. Romney's various flip-flops on social issues (abortion, gay rights, etc.). Second, a slap shot at Mr. Romney's now famous exaggeration of his status as a "lifelong hunter" (which he had to clarify: "I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter, small varmints, if you will."). Third, a perfect strike on Mr. Romney's having once hired a landscaping company that employed illegal immigrants.'

When you insult the size of someone's small GUN, you are saying something else altogether. Wonder if Mitty's a macho enough guy to know what McCain's talking about? Nah, I think Mitty Hairboy is too much of a pretty boy to get it.

Posted by: oooh, nasty | May 22, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

It depends on what you mean by "courage": Broder criticizes Iraq war policy decisions, but describes invasion as "courageous" - Broder concluded: "History will record that both of them saw the threat to the West posed by terrorism and responded courageously. The wisdom of their policy and the conduct of their governments are not likely to be judged as highly." I have to take issue with the notion that somehow Bush and Blair were "courageous." That's utter nonsense. There was nothing "courageous" about launching an invasion of a country under false pretenses. There was nothing "courageous" about doing so with absurd and overly-optimistic assumptions, without a strategy for success. There was nothing "courageous" about abject dishonesty about what the war was about, what it would cost, and what it would produce.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

By March 2005, Fletcher's approval rating reached 52%, according to a Louisville Courier-Journal poll; a Survey USA poll around the same time found his approval rating below 40% and lower than that of every other governor in the nation at the time save for two.

After Fletcher issued pardons to members of his administration for violations of state merit system laws in mid-2005 (see next section), polls indicated his approval rating had decreased even more. Fewer than 20% of respondents said that they planned to vote to re-elect Fletcher in 2007, and 73% disapproved of the pardons Fletcher issued for members of his administration.

A Courier-Journal poll released in mid-September found Fletcher's approval rating at 38%, tying the low rating previously reached by his predecessor Paul E. Patton.[2] Another poll released by SurveyUSA in February 2006 found his approval rating at 35%, with 57% disapproving.

Posted by: fyi baghdad today... | May 22, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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