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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, January 19, 2008

... not the guy who laid them off

Making predictions the day of the South Carolina primary and Nevada caucuses is a foolhardy venture, but I've been called worse in my life. So as Myth goes for gold in the Silver State...

Conventional wisdom
says religious, military and economic conservatives each have a separate dog in the increasingly Democratic-looking circular firing squad campaign. John McCain has the military minded, Mike Huckabee the religious right and Myth Romney is the man for the economic conservatives.

But that overlooks a magnificent line crafted by the Huckabee campaign:
"I believe most Americans want their next president to remind them of the guy they work with — not the guy who laid them off."
Gee, who could he be referring to?

Romney clearly is the choice of the old-time country club GOP set -- he is one of them, his pandering to the other wings notwithstanding.

But in a race where none of the factions seem to have what it takes to close the deal, the candidate who can siphon the most support from one of his foes stands the best chance of emerging on top.

The arrival of Ed Rollins to the Huckabee campaign coincided with the emergence of a second front to complement the evangelical vote that seems locked into the former Arkansas governor. Rollins is known as a bare-knuckled brawler, and the emergence of the economic populist streak in Huckabee's message is a clear sign of that.

Both sides claim to disdain the populist message -- and Al Gore didn't do well with it in 2000, while it's not working for John Edwards this year.

But neither of them had an audience like the working- and middle-class Americans who comprise the evangelic movement. And neither of them had as juicy a target a Willard Mitt Romney, scion of a capitalist automobile manufacturer and venture capitalist who has raked in enough cash in his career to self-finance his campaign whenever needed.

If George H.W. Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth, Myth Romney had a silver tea service, delivered straight from Plutocrats 'R Us.

Let's not forget Romney's South Carolina efforts were a bust, despite the early time, attention and cash he lavished on the state. That's why he headed west to Nevada. (And isn't it interesting there's no one else in the AP picture of Romney in his plane?)

Huckabee has a good chance to snag a substantial portion of the economic conservative voter who worries about the next paycheck, not what Wall Street is doing. South Carolina is the first test of the strategy.

If it fails, I'll have Eggs Benedict on my face in the morning.

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Anonymous instant eye said...

Since you linked recently to my blog---here's my take on the next round of contests..


...steve sbraccia...

January 19, 2008 1:23 PM  

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