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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Santorum’

Why Rick Santorum won’t stop

April 13th, 2012

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This piece was originally posted on Politico.

“Irrelevant.” With one word, Sen. John McCain dismissed Rick Santorum’s role in the Republican presidential race.

Santorum’s response? “I’ve endured about eight months of people saying that,” he told The New York Times. “I’ve never been the party establishment’s candidate, and that holds true today and that’s nothing new.”

So why is he still running?

Santorum is a movement candidate. A movement is something people believe in and belong to. A campaign is something people support. Santorum claims to be carrying the flag for the conservative movement. “As conservatives and tea party folks, we are not just wings of the Republican Party,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. “We are the Republican Party.”

Are they? The Republican Party nominated McCain for president in 2008. He had run against the conservative movement in 2000 and was distrusted by the right. The Republican Party is about to nominate Mitt Romney for president in 2012. Romney is, first and foremost, a businessman. Definitely not a movement politician.

Movement conservatives like Santorum consider Romney an imposter. He signed a health care mandate into law in Massachusetts, for goodness sake. Nonetheless, conservatives have begun to coalesce behind Romney. Why? Because he looks like the only candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 is not 1976

February 3rd, 2012

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This piece originally appeared in Politico.

Newt Gingrich thinks he’s Ronald Reagan and 2012 is 1976.

In 1976, Reagan ran a tough, scrappy primary campaign. It was a conservative insurgency against President Ford, the titular, but unelected, leader of the Republican Party. Reagan never gave up, even after he lost Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Illinois. South Carolina did not have a Republican primary in 1976. Reagan came back to life by winning North Carolina in late March. He then started winning the late Southern and Western primaries. It was not enough to defeat Ford, but Reagan went all the way to the Republican convention.

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Newt Gingrich – Mr. Electability?

January 23rd, 2012

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This piece first appeared in The Huffington Post.

They say Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line. Not in South Carolina, they didn’t.

Newt Gingrich insisted that his victory in the South Carolina primary was an act of defiance of the nation’s elites. In his victory speech, Gingrich called it a victory for those “who feel that the elites in Washington and New York have no understanding, no care, no concern, no reliability, and in fact do not represent them at all.”

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Examining Newt’s Victory in South Carolina

January 23rd, 2012

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The early exit poll results reveal two crucial factors behind Newt Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina:

                (1) The Base

Gingrich consolidated the far-right base of the Republican Party. In South Carolina, 36% of Republican voters described their views as “very conservative.” Their support for Gingrich (47%) was greater than their support for Santorum (24%) and Romney (19%) combined.

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Plight of the Republican Presidential Race’s Zombie Candidates

January 19th, 2012

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This piece first appeared in The Daily Beast.

“We want Matt! We want Matt!” The first (and likely last) time a crowd has chanted my name, I was barricaded inside a hotel suite with the rest of the senior staff of Wes Clark’s presidential campaign. It was Feb. 10, 2004, the night of the Tennessee and Virginia primaries, and Clark had suggested (but not confirmed) that he would end his campaign if he failed to win either one.

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Happiness is Divided Opposition

January 11th, 2012

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This piece originally appeared in Politico.

Happiness in politics is a divided opposition.

That’s what Confucius would say if he were around to analyze the race for the Republican nomination. Jon Huntsman is probably saying it in Chinese.

By that standard, the happiest person around is Mitt Romney. He’s coasting to the Republican nomination on the strength of a divided opposition. In the Gallup tracking poll, only 30% of Republicans nationwide say Romney’s their choice. But look at the rest of the field: Newt Gingrich 18%, Rick Santorum 17%, Ron Paul 12%, Rick Perry and John Huntsman in single digits.

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