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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Barbecue blitz

With all due respect to the political pundits trying to find news on an otherwise boring August day, Mitt Romney did not win the Iowa straw poll because he used an orthodox approach to campaigning.

Well, actually there is some truth to that characterization. Just like the old-time ward bosses in Chicago, this "victory" was bought at the price of $35 a head, a bus ticket and all the barbecue you can eat.

Closer to the mark is this observation from The New York Times:

For all the hoopla and hype — there were news crews here from around the globe — the political significance of this event was questionable. Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, like Mr. McCain, said he would not compete in the poll, citing the early advantage that Mr. Romney had built.

In addition, this was not exactly a textbook case of American democracy in action. It cost $35 to cast a vote, and most of the campaigns picked up the cost of the voting tickets. Mr. Romney dispatched a fleet of buses to bring in his supporters.

But our man Myth was on, telling reporters he was "pleased as punch" to have snagged the hearts and minds (or at least the stomachs) or Iowa Republicans willing to be bought for a song.

Myth is following the old school script in a year when that script's viability is being tested by ever-earlier primaries and caucuses not to mention YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. Then there is Thompson Tease (Fred, not Tommy We Hardly Knew Ye).

There is a reason the guy who plays a New York lawyer on TV has a strong following even as he plays it far too cutely. The GOP field is causing dyspepsia for the Hard Right -- what with Rudy's three marriages, Mitt's one and the disintegration of the Straight Talk Express.

It is worth noting that the two favorites of the GOP Ayatollahs -- former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback -- collectively squeaked by Romney.

Now of course two beating one is hardly a viable political option. But it reflects just how much resistance there is among the key players in the GOP to Romney and his flip-flops.

On the other hand, Thompson's flirtations -- and the fact he is on a third campaign manager before he has even formally declared his campaign -- are starting to wear. And I have always firmly believed Giuliani will wear out his welcome in time.

That, rather than his barbecue blitz, is the strongest thing Myth has going for him.

Help us all.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even Fox is saying Romney spent around $800 per vote. firedoglake puts it closer to $1200. Brownback spent about $150 and Huckabee around $60.

August 14, 2007 9:01 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Best darn candidate ribs can buy :-)

August 18, 2007 2:02 PM  

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