Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tidbit: Israelis Rate Obama Worst-Ever President

So Lazar used it, and more Jewish Israelis told him that the Obama administration was “pro-Palestinian” (47%) than “neutral” (24%) or “pro-Israeli” (21%).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

No One Goes To Trump Rallies. They're Too Crowded

So the Donald was in town today and I was unable to see him. Of course, I would have had to arrive at 8 AM to maybe, just maybe, get admitted to an event that started at noon. I arrived after Trump left the building and they were still detouring traffic. I parked about a quarter mile away.

There were a lot of stragglers. Lots of old-timers in red "Make America Great Again" hats. I talked with a middle-aged woman who had arrived at 10 AM and was denied admission. She planned to see him Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Manchester because it seats about 10,000.

Some hecklers made it into the crowd and I respect them for their determination. The town hall was set up with press barricades. There was almost no room at all for spectators.

The sideshows are often better than the center ring. There was some pro-Palestinian group as well as  non-Zionist Orthodox Jews. Trump wigs seem to be selling almost as well as Trump hats. I saw a few media middleweights, Boston TV people and the like. I went to a nearby coffee shop and there were even more media types with notebooks and laptops.

Whatever else can be said for Donald Trump, he has boosted the local economy.

Cruz In New Hampshire

Hillary has 10 campaign offices in New Hampshire. Jeb has 5. Jet-setting Bernie Sanders has 17! 

Those are the big fish but even Kasich has 5 offices statewide, his headquarters plus four field offices. Chris Christie has two in-state offices, one in Bedford, one in Salem. Rand Paul opened a second office in Littleton on December 5, 2015.

I tried volunteering for the Ted Cruz campaign. The first time I dropped by headquarters was Saturday, January 2. Two things were immediately obvious: One, the location was remotely located, far removed from downtown Manchester. Two, the campaign shared a unit with Armstrong Hearth and Home and had second billing on the marquee.

531 Front St.

I met Ethan Zorfas, the Cruz point man in New Hampshire. He walked around talking on the phone. There was someone else there fiddling with a tablet or laptop. When Mr. Zorfas concluded his call, he was friendly and inviting. I asked if there was a seaside office that would be more convenient for someone like me and he said no. They want to run a lean campaign. They were staying away from downtown Manchester because they wanted more parking spaces.

The pictures above do not capture the ample parking in the rear of the building. Maybe a low rent HQ with lots of parking spaces is the way to go. We know the Cruz campaign is still financially viable but if volunteers have to commute 45 minutes--in my case, much longer for a lot of other would be volunteers--it dampens the enthusiasm.

I made a second visit to HQ, spent some time making phone calls and then received a series of personal calls on my cell that terminated my campaigning.

I have not since returned to Cruz headquarters. Still a political novice, I don't have a lot to compare to this campaign. For an assemblage of interesting people, Ron Paul 2008 might not ever be topped. There was real camaraderie there.

In 2012 I worked for Romney in the general election. We were not united behind a candidate or an ideology. IRS harassment of opposition groups was widely known long before Lois Lerner publicly confessed to a conspiracy and Barack Obama read about it in the newspaper. Between phone calls we would mention the crimes of America's most tyrannical president, all of which were soft-pedaled by the statist media. We were unified by fear and desperation. And of course the field office was a just a couple of miles from my home.

I detected an enthusiasm gap at the Cruz campaign. It seemed that the national campaign was not committed to New Hampshire. So I have not been networking or helping out the senator.

You will hear a lot of pundit silliness comparing and contrasting the Iowa and New Hampshire voter. If Cruz under-performs in New Hampshire, a state where his message could get a lot of traction, it will be due to a lack of effort by his brain trust. That is a shame because New Hampshire was in Cruz's grasp.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What rhymes with Grimes? Crimes?

I wrote a number of posts on this blog during the race for Kentucky's senate seat. The race pitted incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell against Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell won the race going away but one ad from that campaign fascinated me. The ad does not disparage Grimes it simply mocks her with the oft repeated question, what rhymes with Grimes?

Well what does rhyme with Grimes? Try crimes. From the Louisville Courier Journal; " A federal grand jury in Lexington has subpoenaed records of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and her father Jerry Lundergan in an investigation that relates to the finances of her political campaigns in 2014 and 2015."
An attorney for Grimes did tell the paper that the grand jury had subpoenaed her campaign records but as in the case of Hillary Clinton she is not the target of the investigation. There is always the possibility that the lawyer is speaking the truth. Jerry Lundergan is a former Democratic State Chairman who would not be above cutting a corner or two. He served as Grimes' campaign manager. His personal records and the records of two companies controlled by him have also been subpoenaed.

New Hampshire Predictions

Iowa went pretty much as I thought it would on the Republican side. Cruz over-performed and not surprisingly Trump under-performed. Yes, the ground game does matter. I can't take credit for predicting Rubio's close third place finish but I am not surprised either.

On the Democratic side, I thought Hillary would blow Sanders back to Brooklyn. They did have the ground game, political savvy and a lot of cash. If only they had a candidate worthy of support. I don't know how much longer Biden/Kerry/Brown/Gore/Bloomberg/Chelsea/Mondale/Carter/Dukakis can wait on the sideline. Anyone got a Kennedy friend on Facebook?

First the Democratic predictions. Sanders will beat Hillary decidedly and will hasten the "Dump Hillary" movement. Hillary's people are out in force and if lawn signs voted...The national Dems are all in for the Hillster and yes, she is spending money. Air game, ground game, you name it. She might even get out some of the Massachusetts voters who illegally voted for Obama in 2012 (excuse me if that matter is entirely anecdotal. No the Obama DOJ did not investigate.) The Dem leadership will make a maximum effort to help their preferred candidate and it won't be enough.

Now to the GOP. Trump will under-perform. He might win but not by 24 points. First, there is once more the ground game or lack thereof. The second factor is that he will not get as many independent (undeclared is the legal term) voters as he would if the Dems were not activating the Get Out The Vote  effort. If this were a Hillary coronation, Trump might get some of the undeclareds who will ultimately vote in the Democratic primary. Third, the bloom is off the rose. It's one thing to bash the media, the Dems, Hillary, Obama and plenty of others but you have to pull your punches when you take on members of your own party. You want to charm their would-be voters, not insult them. Duh! His shtick is starting to wear thin.

Cruz will do better than expected but not as well as he could have. If he loses New Hampshire it won't be for the reasons the pundits cite. Nope. It was not in Cruz's long-term strategy to spend a lot of time or money in New Hampshire. The national campaign never put much money into the Granite State and that might prove to be a mistake because he has a strong grass roots following here. Should he win both Iowa and New Hampshire the nomination might be his. It probably won't happen.

Rubio is the wild card. We might see Bush, Kasich and Christie try to bring him down but so what? If they haven't destroyed him by now, they won't bury him in the last six days. The candidates might snipe at him but I see Kasich/Bush/Christie voters going Rubio's way. Whatever else you might want to say about Rubio, he is an amazing retail politician. Bill Clinton says so.

Like Clinton, Rubio has chick appeal. Women who might not be interested in politics perk up when he speaks. Not everyone gets the "charisma" label but I have heard that word used to describe him. Rubio will probably get second place but he has an outside shot of winning New Hampshire.

A long overdue post is a report from the Cruz campaign. I hope to file that one soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reflections On Hillary And The Communist

It scares me that so many young people have fallen for Bernie Sanders. I take a conspiratorial perspective on his popularity. Leftists have conquered public education at the expense of the public and education. History, civics, economics, science, reasoning, critical thinking and much more has been thrown overboard to make room for the pursuit of popularity via competing sympathies. In this vacuum a flimflam artist like Sanders can work his magic.

Time passes. I understand that but don't we have vague memories of the Soviet Union, the Khmer Rouge, the National Socialist Party of Germany? The Cultural Revolution where people who wore glasses were executed? Fidel? North Korea? Why did we fight in Korea and Vietnam? No memories? Mental reset? Feel the Bern?

Which brings us to Hillary. The fact that she is in a dead heat with a protest-vote candidate shouts volumes about her viability. Her scandals are more far-reaching than most people imagine. We wonder about the FBI's course of action and why they have yet to recommend indictment.

It is possible that the FBI is being consumed by the enormity of Hillary's (can we call it espionage?) scandal. The White House knowingly exchanged emails and conducted official business with Secretary Clinton via her private email. So too, did high-ranking personnel at several intelligence agencies. No one blew the whistle? Everyone routinely mishandled classified data until Valerie Jarrett dropped a dime? Everyone had keys to the strawberries? Yes, Captain Queeg, they all had keys to the strawberries.

In light of Hillary's dismal performance in Iowa there is the distinct possibility that high-ranking Democrats might abandon her. In that case her legal woes will arrival sooner rather than later.

Jeb Spent $2,884 Per Vote In Iowa

This blog has shamelessly piled on the heap of ridicule leveled at Jeb Bush, Right To Rise USA, and Mike Murphy. We asked if Jeb would top Bloomberg's $174/vote. Fox News just calculated that Jeb spent $2,884 Per Vote In Iowa.

This is an epic failure. New Coke, Ishtar, the Edsel, the Spruce Goose...Jeb Bush will rival the greatest flops in history. When they construct the Gross Failure Hall of Fame, Jeb Bush and Mike Murphy will be the charter inductees.  Jeb's legacy might be a Trivial Pursuit question. "What GOP presidential candidate spent a record amount to capture sixth place in the Iowa Caucus in 2016?"

In fairness Bush did walk away with 1 delegate. But who knew that nine figures AND a Bob Dole endorsement would not secure a nomination? Strange days have found us.

Reflections On Iowa GOP Caucus

I am not surprised at Cruz's victory. He committed to the ground game in Iowa, something he has not done in New Hampshire.

Trump might be a victim of his own hubris. We all respect his unconventional approach but he seems to want to skip out on the dirty work. In other words, he doesn't want to do the dirty work. The ground game--ringing door bells, ride sharing, phone banking, networking--is not glamorous but if a candidate wants to win, he will commit to the ground game.

Trump seems to believe he is so popular that he doesn't have to pay attention to fundamentals. He might be right. It is hard work but you can pay someone else to do it and we all know the Donald has deep pockets. Still, Trump has neglected the details. Can he continue without the ground game? We shall see.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Right To Rise USA Pulls Anti-Kasich Video From Youtube

This blog has had its fun at the expense (as in nine figures) of Right To Rise, USA. In a yawning development, RTR has removed the video that swipes at our favorite son of a mailman. Scroll down if you wish to see an empty embed that once housed a pricey work of political genius showcasing a brilliance that will be forever lost on fools like me.

I guess John Who will have to cultivate name recognition on his own dime.

Rand Paul Jumps The Shark

Maybe Rand just sold out. About the best thing I can say about him at this stage of the game is that he did not squander as much political capital as Jeb Bush. Whereas Jeb started the game on third base but then ran clockwise, Rand started on first base. He didn't get picked off but he did wander into the stands and found himself in the air conditioned comfort of the CNN broadcast booth.

From the comfort of his CNN perch, Rand bashed Trump and stated that Cruz was qualified to be Prime Minister of Canada. Whereas his father could stay on message sometimes to his own detriment, Rand was supposed to be less of a pull-string talking doll. Livelier than the old man but...Ron Paul is a principled man who spoke about his principles. Someone else could win the beauty contest, the old man was talking the Constitution. Rand Paul, on the other hand, craves media approval above all else.

Our collective enemy is the mainstream media. Trump has played them like an organ grinder and has gained our respect in the process. Beltway fossil John McCain, in leveling a broadside against Trump, cited his participation on a Sunday morning talk show via telephone. To the very senior senator this was tantamount to telecommuting to a religious service. How dare he!

Meanwhile, Rand has sucked up to the enemy and has come out looking like a suck up. If he's going to live in their studio, they might as well put him to work. Given the high turnover at CNN and Paul's ever-dimming political prospects, maybe "Evenings With Rand" could brighten the spirits of emergency room patients and stranded air passengers.