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Super Tuesday Too:
Reflections on the OH and TX Primaries

Posted By Joe Carter On March 5, 2008 @ 12:48 am In Democrats,Politics,Republicans | 42 Comments

The Longest Two Months– While it seems like an eternity has passed, the Iowa Caucus was only 60 days ago. Fortunately this is the last of the significant primaries and the race has been decided on one side and all but determined on the other.
Congrats to McCain — If winning makes you look smarter, then campaign manager Rick Davis appears to be a genius. He laid out McCain’s Path to Victory in December [1] and found a way to make it a reality.
Thanks, Governor Huckabee — I have many reasons to be thankful for Governor Huckabee’s inspiring Presidential run. But there are three other groups who should also be grateful for Mike Huckabee: social conservatives who lacked a voice in the primaries, supporters of John McCain, and Republicans.
If the Republican’s hold the White House next year, Huckabee will deserve partial credit. By winning in Iowa, Huckabee derailed Romney’s campaign and prevented the Massachusetts Governor’s long march toward an inevitable electoral debacle. Huckabee also managed to keep many conservative evangelicals and other members of the traditionalist wing of the party engaged in the race. Their support for McCain may be listless, but Huckabee gave them hope that it may be too soon to give up on the GOP.
An Inevitable Obamination? Maybe Not. — After the Florida primary [2] I wrote, “An Obama/Anyone ticket would be a disaster for McCain.” I still pessimistic enough to believe that it’s likely, though I’m hopeful that the abomination of an Obama presidency is not yet inevitable. I’m even starting to see signs that such a disaster may be averted. The reason: people are starting to listen to what Obama says.
Take, for instance, his NAFTA-bashing which has caused our neighbors to the north to worried about the “rhetoric of protectionism.” [3] Even Andrew Sullivan, who swoons at the mention of Obama, said the NAFTA pander was “Not his finest hour.” [4] (Yes it’s a tepid response and yes we all know that if Obama wins that Sullivan will spend the next four years regretting his support (as he did with Bush), but still, any relenting from his incessant Obamafawning is a huge concession.)
Obama has an uncanny ability to inspire in people an audacious hope for the impossible (Example [5]: “The philosophy guy said that he almost always votes for Republican, but he’s for Obama this time, although he can’t quite explain why. His hope is that Obama will govern like a Republican.”) But I’m hopeful that such people will set aside such nonsense and eventually realize that while Obama sounds like a cross between Cicero and The Rock, what he’s saying is nothing more than rehashed discredited liberalism.
Rush to Idiocy — So Rush Limbaugh is urging people to vote for Hillary [6]. Hugh Hewitt [7] is aghast (“If Hillary ekes out close wins, stays alive, gains the nomination and the White House, will Rush hold the Bible at her Inauguration?”) but I can’t say that I’m really surprised. Rush is an entertainer and for all the hype about his ratings, his audience isn’t that large by show business standards (he has half the audience of Fox’s reality show Moment of Truth [8]). He needs a Clinton presidency to remain relevant and give people a reason to tune in to his daily gasbaggery.
Still, I refuse to believe it worked. I refuse to believe that Republicans in Ohio and Texas are voting for Hillary in the primary because some radio clown told them it was the optimal strategy. I refuse to believe it because (a) the fact that McCain is the nominee shows that Rush is not that influential and (b) Republicans can’t be that stupid. (While I’m certain about (a) could I be wrong about (b)?)
I agree with Lars Walker [9]: “It seems to me that if you love this country you’ve got to hold the electoral process in a kind of reverence. The fact that there are cynical people out there who game the system doesn’t justify us, the people who say we believe in moral absolutes, in pretending to belong to a different party so we can sabotage its nomination process. If they did it to us, I’d be angry about it.”
Say it ain’t so, Republicans; say you didn’t stoop that low.
The Most Significant Number — In 2004, Ohio proved to be the key state for President Bush’s reelection victory. In a tight race, Bush beat John Kerry in the Buckeye State by 118,457 votes [10]. So how does it look four years later? With 81% of the precincts in Ohio reporting, the Democratic candidates received 1,745,199 votes while the Republicans received less than half that amount — 867,000.
If the GOP is relying on a victory in Ohio to shift the Red-Blue divide toward McCain then we’re in serious trouble.


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URLs in this post:

[1] Path to Victory in December: http://www.johnmccain.com/strategyupdate/

[2] Florida primary: http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/2008/01/citizen-mccainr.html

[3] “rhetoric of protectionism.”: http://www.canada.com/globaltv/national/story.html?id=686cf52b-6285-4f43-8818-2518b53989cf&k=66082

[4] “Not his finest hour.”: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/02/obama-nafta-and.html

[5] Example: http://noleftturns.ashbrook.org/default.asp?archiveID=12191

[6] urging people to vote for Hillary: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,334669,00.html

[7] Hugh Hewitt: http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/247b75fd-4c92-4470-b2de-f42d8812f216

[8] Moment of Truth: http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/ratings-fox-the-moment-of-truth-premieres-huge-numbers-6456.php

[9] Lars Walker: http://brandywinebooks.net/?post_id=1467

[10] 118,457 votes: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/29/politics/29ohio.html

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