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Romney’s Gaffe Tour

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I agree with David Kurtz at TPM:

First and most important, talking up the innate superiority of the Israelis over the Palestinians isn’t, by any definition, a gaffe. That’s real, with real geopolitical consequences. He didn’t misspeak (and I’m not sure one can “misspeak” about such things anyway), and his initial claim to have been misinterpreted has been trumped by his decision to reiterate all the same points to the conservative audience at National Review.

Second, it’s hard to imagine Romney’s gaffes, missteps, and flat-out egregious mistakes happening if he had a different, i.e., solid, foreign policy team advising him. (Ignore the silly, DC-centric focus on whether his press team mismanaged the ensuing uproar.) Romney has no core foreign policy team. It’s also a team without a core. No surprise since it serves mostly to check the box of various conservative foreign policy constituencies. David Rothkopf can and does explain this part of it a lot better than I. Go read him.

The easy flourish to conclude with here would be drawing a heavy black line from Mitt’s team not having a core to Mitt himself not having a core. Maybe that’s true. But Romney is not the first presidential nominee to wind up saddled with an advisory team that is designed for political reasons to reflect the various constituent parts of his party instead of designed to get the real, difficult work done in service of the nominee. So you don’t have to reach the ultimate conclusion about Mitt’s own core — unless and until he fails to fix his team.

By |2013-11-03T17:15:56-04:00August 1st, 2012|Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on Romney’s Gaffe Tour

What's going on – News Roundup

Friday Morning News Roundup
  • I continue to be amazed at how Senator Ronald Burris has gone from political genius to a national embarrassment. Now it appears that former Governor Rod Blagojevich hired Ronald Burris, II, as senior counsel, for the state’s Housing Authority in mid-September. This worked out very well since the young attorney had just been slapped with a $34,000 tax lien and a mortgage company had foreclosed on his house. I remember the senator saying something about there was no quid pro quo. Maybe I was mistaken.
  • New York Governor David Paterson has changed his top political staff and hopes of changing his fortune.
  • Well, this was a shocker — John McCain, in front of a conservative audience has warned that America could lose the game that it has currently going in Iraq.
  • It appears that President Barack Obama is planning on pulling out all combat troops from Iraq by August of 2010. The big question is what will be the residual force?
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has opened an exploratory committee looking into her chances at running for governor of Texas, said the strangest thing on CNBC. “Every major tax cut we’ve ever had in history has created more revenue (for the treasury).” This may not be the stupidest thing that has ever been said, but it is stupid nonetheless. Not one of President Bush’s tax cuts increased revenue. As a matter of fact, President Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 decreased revenues so dramatically he quietly increased taxes in 1982 and again in 1983. I guess when you’re a senator, or a politician for that matter, facts don’t matter.
  • A new Government Accountability Office report reveals that companies that have been banned from doing business with the United States are continuing to do business with the United States.
  • Jesus’s General has come up with a new T-shirt that he is selling — “Palin/Plumber 2012 — EMPOWER THE STUPID!

Keith Olbermann has an excellent summary of Governor Bobby Jindal’s speech. Watch:

By |2009-02-27T00:29:25-04:00February 27th, 2009|Countdown, Iraq, Obama administration, Senate|Comments Off on What's going on – News Roundup

New Polls

I’m not putting much stock in national polls. Instead, I’m trying to keep my eyes on statewide polls. For what this is worth, Senator John McCain seems to have cut into Senator Barack Obama’s lead. Let’s see what the polls show when the race really starts in two weeks.

By the way, many commentators are trying to make a big deal out of Obama’s performance over the weekend. As you recall, Obama and McCain were invited to the mega-church, Saddleback. Obama stood in front of a conservative audience. The audience was polite but clearly sided with McCain. As expected, McCain gave answers that were cut and dry while Obama gave answers that were more nuanced. There were no unexpected questions. Obama’s performance was a little wooden. McCain’s performance was… John McCain. I suspect that Obama will perform better down the stretch.

By |2008-08-21T00:48:37-04:00August 21st, 2008|Election 2008|Comments Off on New Polls
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