Misc 2008 Commentary

— Do you know what we have at the top of the food chain on the Republican side for 2008? A conservative when it’s convenient (John McCain), a Johnny-Come-Lately conservative (Mitt Romney), and not a conservative (Rudy Giuliani). Quite frankly, the conservative wing of the Republican Party isn’t well represented by any of these guys.

— Speaking of Mitt Romney, after Allen lost, he made a real effort to claim the mantle of the “conservative candidate” in the race. Because he sounded good and perhaps more importantly, because a lot of people desperately want an alternative to McCain and Giuliani, Romney managed to get a little traction and pull into the three slot.

However, now that it has come out Romney referred to himself as a moderate, distanced himself from Reagan, and was opposed to the Contract with America back in 1994, he can no longer credibly fill the role as the “conservative candidate.” Moreover, he has a record of flip flopping on abortion, minimal “war on terror” credibility, and the ever present “Mormon question” hovers over his candidacy and seems to make it unlikely that he can be elected.

Put it all together and it looks like Mitt Romney has probably peaked — way too early and with far too little support to have a chance to win the nomination.

— For a while now, some of us have been saying that, Hillary isn’t anywhere near as strong a candidate as some people seem to think. Her latest performance in Iowa would seem to support that contention:

“KCCI released on Thursday the results of The Research 2000 Iowa Poll, which was conducted from Dec. 18-20.

The poll consisted of telephone interviews of 600 likely Iowa voters and has a margin of error of no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points.

…The poll asked Iowa Democrats which candidates they would vote for if the 2008 Democratic caucus were held today.

The top three candidates were Sen. John Edwards at 22 percent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama at 22 percent and Vilsack at 12 percent. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York came in fourth at 10 percent.”

“Lil Mrs. Invincible” got crushed not just by Barack Obama, but by John Edwards and she finished in 4th place. That’s not too impressive for a candidate that’s supposed to be a front runner, especially when you’re talking about Hillary, who already has near universal name recognition. What it means is that a whole heck of a lot of Democrats know Hillary well, know she’s supposed to win, and still said, “not interested.”

Additionally, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Hillary’s recent admission that she wouldn’t have voted for the war knowing what she knows now was a direct result of early internal polling numbers from Iowa. Hillary tried to run as a faux-hawk for as long as she could because she thought it would be useful in the general election, but she may be starting to worry that it’s all slipping away from her. Time will tell.

— I was surprised to hear Fred Barnes, who’s a real squish on illegal immigration, saying nice things about Duncan Hunter on the Beltway Boys. Here’s Barnes:

Personally, I hope he gets a lot of those conservative voters because I suspect that Gingrich and Tancredo aren’t running, and unless an impressive governor jumps in soon, from what I’ve seen, Hunter looks to be the only candidate who could potentially gather enough support over the next few months to compete with Rudy and McCain.

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