November 29, 2005


This race may feature an unusual GOP tactic (Peter S. Canellos, November 29, 2005, Boston Globe)

The Republican Party's presidential nomination process usually turns out like an election in a local Moose Lodge: The prize usually goes to the guy who was second the last time --the most proven, dues-paying candidate.

Over the past 40 years, every nominee has run for president at least once before, except in 1976, when the nominee was the incumbent (but unelected) President Gerald R. Ford, and in 2000, when the nominee was the son of the most recent former president, a big-state governor who had been a key adviser during his dad's four national campaigns. [..]

The Republican rulebook calls for the previous election's number-two finisher to demonstrate his loyalty by selflessly promoting the man who beat him. The most recent exemplar of this rule was Bob Dole, who lost a bitter duel for the 1988 nomination to George H. W. Bush, and who then loyally guided Bush's policies through the Senate.

Dole won the next open nomination, in 1996, and has remained close to the Bush family.

[Senator John McCain of Arizona] has not.

Not only has Senator McCain worked to stay in President Bush's good graces but Mark McKinnon has already signed on for '08 and it would be no surprise to see Karl Rove do so as well. As badly as Mr. McCain wants to be president, Bush/Rove want to make the GOP grip on power permanent and a McCain nomination assures that end.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 29, 2005 12:00 PM

Yes, and what a wonderful grip on power it is, with Cunningham, Abramoff, Rove (getting in on dirty pension deals in IL).

Here is a prediction, OJ. Maybe we can a bet a book of choice on it.

Who ever hires Rove in 08 loses. He peaked in 04, and quite frankly, should have done better.

The Gay Marriage Ballot Item in OH is the primary reason Bush is still president.

Posted by: Bruno at November 29, 2005 12:36 PM

Ohio is a Republican state--it was never losable.

The President was re-elected despite allowing 9-11 on his watch and being stuck in Iraq. He should have been LBJ.

Posted by: oj at November 29, 2005 12:41 PM

Rove is only considered a political genius because the left refuses to consider that W might actually be intelligent himself.

McCain only "ensures" that the GOP wins in '08, and even that is ridiculously premature. He is loathed by anyone of even a vague libertarian bent, and massively distrusted by the party base. He's never in his entire life shown that constructing a permanent governing coalition is something he's interested in, let alone capable of. Most worryingly, considering the potential foreign policy conflicts he might have to deal with as President, he appears to have learned all the wrong lessons from Vietnam...

Posted by: b at November 29, 2005 12:46 PM


You are correct on the Iraq issue, but off on OH. It is quickly (through corrupt Taftism) becoming like IL, once considered center right, now deep blue. Thankfully, it has a Blackwell.

Organization through patronage is tool of the left, and when Republicans use it (as in IL for 25 years) they eventually slide into hell.

You post on this quite effectively with your Malanga data and public pension largess. These two things are destroying Republicans in one quarter the time it took to corrupt Democrats.

I also think I'm on pretty sound footing when arguing that the marriage amendmemt had a huge impact. Could Bush have won OH with out it? Maybe, but it would have still been in the courts.

There is a rot in the party. What is the benefit of looking the other way? Power? I think both Testaments have a few choice thoughts on that matter.

1994 came after Perot drew 8+% new people back into the process. I don't see a down side to purging our party of its scum.

Note that that word is not being applied to McCain per se, but to those who seek power for its own sake.

Posted by: Bruno at November 29, 2005 12:53 PM

Well, the man does bring to mind "bull" something.

There're rumors that Bryan Dorgan-D, N.D. is going to get sucked into the Abramoff fiasco, due to some irregular tribal/casino contributions. The Dems seem to have never learned the lesson that running against corruption doesn't work well when your people are just as entrenched in working the system as the other guys. It only works when you bring in actual, real new people, like the GOP did in '94.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 29, 2005 1:27 PM

Ohio is not at all like Illinois. There has been a corruption scandal and Taft is indeed an idiot. But that is as far as it goes. The left had several constitutional election "reform" issues on the ballot this month and they all went down in flames by 25 to 30 points at the President's weakest point.

The Dem centers of power (Cleveland) are losing people and power. There is no Chicago dominating the state.

Right now, the GOP has all the statewide offices (except one SC justice) and 2/3 majorities in both houses. Did Illinois ever have such GOP control? After 2006, the GOP will probably lose some things but stil have comfortaable majorities and most state offices.

Posted by: Bob at November 29, 2005 1:29 PM


With the single exception of President Bill Clinton's reelection win in 1996, Ohio Democrats have gone zero-for-everything over the past 12 years. Republicans control the governorship and every other elected office in the executive branch, both U.S. Senate seats, 12 of 18 U.S. House seats, and both chambers of the legislature.

Posted by: oj at November 29, 2005 2:08 PM

RE Republican political patronage and why it is a bad system; see also: Jim Jeffords early career.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at November 29, 2005 2:44 PM

Aside from Dorgan, Harry Reid has been linked to Abramoff as well. So have some Dems in the House.

OH is nothing like IL. And, remember, the GOP in IL is probably more corrupt than Bob Taft ever hoped to be.

Blackwell may have to slay some country-club dragons to get elected, but once he does, he will be a force.

I doubt if McCain hires Rove - imagine what all his kissy friends in the media will say about that! But, if he seriously wants to be President, he has to deal with Bush and Rove in 2007/8.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 29, 2005 2:58 PM

jim - His kissy friends in the media admire ruthless Macchiavellianism, and they (falsely) believe Rove to be a ruthless Macchiavellian. If McCain hires Rove, the media will believe it is more evidence that McCain is invincible, and will likely say so.

Posted by: pj at November 29, 2005 3:50 PM

Bruno: Those anti-gay marriage questions didn't just happen to be on the ballot.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 29, 2005 4:48 PM

Giulianni/Rice in '08 baby!

Posted by: KRS at November 29, 2005 5:44 PM

OH and IL are very similar demographically and in city/rural make up (though Bob's point re: Chicago is a good one.)

The rest of you are arguing results, not demographics. Sure, OH HAS done things differently than IL, but arguing it is a Rep Lock in elections is too optimistic.

Saying it is "nothing like IL" is simply not accurate.

Arguing that "Reid & Dorgan did it too" isn't going to wash this time around. The MSM may not have the clout it once did, but with the blogosphere ticked about spending and corruption, Republicans are going to be out some key allies.

Posted by: Bruno at November 30, 2005 12:18 AM

the blogs are insignificant and OH is Republican.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 7:48 AM

Giuliani gets to McCain's right on the key pocketbook issues, and it's all over in the primaries. I expect Rudy to remind GOP voters of McCain's vote against Bush's tax cut, oh, maybe 492,981 times. Rudy then goes on to a fairly easy win against Hillary in the general and eventually gets himself re-elected.

But don't worry, Orrin! McCain will only be 108 years old in 2016.

Posted by: Casey Abell at November 30, 2005 9:09 AM

Only if he has a come to Jesus moment on abortion and gays--otherwise he can't win any Red states from McCain.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 9:22 AM

You think McCain will beat Rudy in SC? Not likely (at this point).

Posted by: ratbert at November 30, 2005 9:55 AM

Yes. The entertaining thing is that McCain will beat Rudy for the same reason W beat McCain.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 10:09 AM

Since when does McCain have any kind of strong image as anti-abortion or anti-gay? Most people think of him as a "moderate." Giuliani will have no problem getting to his right even on abortion.

All Rudy has to do is oppose partial-birth abortion and favor parental notification. To most GOP primary voters, that will make him seem well to the right of McCain. When was the last time McCain pushed anything pro-life?

The essential problem with McCain in the GOP primaries is that he likes his notices in the NY Times. So he just can't bring himself to move right on anything. He's afraid his media buddies might start saying nasty things about him. Big boo-hoo.

Giuliani doesn't give a rat's butt for the media. He already has Time's Man of the Year award. He doesn't need the media any more. So he can and will move to the right on everything, just as Bush did in 2000.

And just as Bush did in 2000, he'll clobber McCain. The only difference is that McCain will even lose live-free-or-die New Hampshire because of his idiotic vote against the tax cuts.

Posted by: Casey Abell at November 30, 2005 11:12 AM
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