An Instant Messenger Conversation About The Top Republican 2008 Contenders

When I signed on to consult for the Duncan Hunter campaign through TCV Media, I said that I didn’t intend to blog about the GOP contenders while I was consulting unless some big development occurred. Well, nothing big has broken, but last night, I was chatting with an anonymous blogger about how the race was shaping up and I thought, “Gee, this would make a pretty good post if I hadn’t said I wasn’t going to talk about the Republican side of the race.”

But, after thinking about it, I figured, “It’s my blog and my rule, so if I want to break the rule just this once, I’m allowed.” So, with that in mind, here’s the edited transcript of a conversation I had on instant messenger last night (The other blogger gave me permission to post it as long as she was just listed as anonymous). If it sounds a bit blunt or doesn’t go into heavy details, well, keep in mind that it wasn’t originally intended for public consumption:

Anon Blogger: Did you read Hugh’s post about McCain possibly being out of the big three soon?

John Hawkins: Yes. Although McCain is struggling, the truth is, Romney is struggling too and at a lower level than McCain.

Anon Blogger: I found it a little hard to believe too, but the trust issue is huge. That is his biggest obstacle.

John Hawkins: Rudy is taking off. It’s no longer the front runners, Rudy and McCain, it’s the front runner, Rudy.

Anon Blogger: I think Rudy is going to get attacked pretty hard here soon. Just a gut feeling.

John Hawkins: I think that they have been laying off of him because they figured he would implode eventually. Now they may feel they can’t wait any longer.

Anon Blogger: I think some are doing as I was with McCain. I didn’t want to beat up on him too much in case he became the nominee. It is one of those, “if you strike the king you better kill him” things.

John Hawkins: Heh. Well, I don’t worry about that sort of thing too much =D.

Anon Blogger: I agree about the implosion thing, but Rudy isn’t really known for huge gaffes, is he? Most of his negatives are out there.

John Hawkins: Well, to people like you and me they are. But, to everyone else, not necessarily.

Anon Blogger: Good point.

John Hawkins: I mean he is for gun control, illegal immigration, abortion, and there’s the messy divorce/adultery…

Anon Blogger: Many of his negatives with GOP voters aren’t necessarily negatives to the greater electorate.

John Hawkins: Yeah, but the primary voters tend to be particularly conservative.

Anon Blogger: I think the divorce/adultery thing is huge and not just with GOP voters. It is one of those “everyone can understand it” issues and I think that it will hurt him. It might not hurt against Hillary since her marriage is bizarre, but in the primaries it might.

John Hawkins: Rudy is as bad as Newt on that front in my opinion and people keep saying that is what keeps Newt from being a viable contender.

Anon Blogger: Newt has a huge problem with that and frankly, I think he is just too damaged from all those years Clinton demonized him. It isn’t fair, but that image Clinton sold of Newt stuck.

John Hawkins: I love Newt, but I’m not sure he’s viable. Honestly, I don’t think he’s going to run.

Anon Blogger: I agree.

John Hawkins: The McCain and Brownback people have been attacking Romney, but everyone has been giving Rudy a free pass.

Anon Blogger: Yeah, you are right about everyone attacking Romney. I never quite got that except that I guess McCain saw him as his biggest threat from the right.

John Hawkins: Romney is trying to fill the “conservative candidate in the race,” niche. McCain probably figured Rudy would tank eventually, so he saw Romney as his real competition down the road. Brownback looks at Romney as the guy he has to pass to take the “conservative candidate in the race,” slot.

Anon Blogger: I don’t think Brownback has a chance.

John Hawkins: Brownback has the worst political instincts of anyone this side of Bush.

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