Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Electoral and Rumsfield Reflections

Just some random thoughts....

1.The Republican (esp. moderate Rep.) losses in the Northeast. The last strands of the Rockefeller-Dewey Republicans dying out.

2.The South now Republican, the NE Democrat. The electoral battlegrounds shifting to West and Midwest--particularly South and Rocky Mt.West

3.Virginia as a split ("purple") state between blue-dem north and red-rep south.

4.Joe Lieberman is now the most powerful man in the Senate. He is the deciding vote. [Assuming Webb wins in the recount, which I assume he will].

5. I still think the strongest ticket for the Republicans come 2008 is something like a Gingrich-Romney ticket. Giuliani is interesting but apparently has some catching up to do on the Rep. machine end of things (fundraising, operatives, etc.). Allen is toast. McCain could have a difficult time with social and libertarian conservatives for his immigration/campaign reform and maverick style. I still think Romney is a heir apparent for a round later (hence VP) but maybe with the speed increase factor there is no heirdom.

6. The strongest argument I can think of--and I'm not sure how convincing it is--of why Barack Obama should not run in 2008: Bush will not have completed the substantial/complete drawdown-withdraw of Iraq. The next president will likely be left with the unfinished problems of Iraq, an almost nuclear Iran, and North Korea. The next president will likely only be a one-termer (McCain or Gingrich are both too old to be two-termers). This country has not had two consecutive 8 year term presidents since Madison and Monroe (#4s and #5!!!). I'm not sure the country will want another 8 year presidency.

7. Still a moderately conservative country. Many of the Democrats elected reflect that shift towards the center.

8. Arguably the two most fascinating candidates who ran the best campaigns in the country--Michael Steele (R) in Maryland and Harold Ford (D) in Tenn, both African American, both moderate/conservative, both lost sadly.

9. Hillary Clinton gave a horrible press conference announcing her Senate victory. Bill was awkwardly standing behind her; I was more focused on him than her frankly. She tried to give a populist fist-wringing base-thumping speech sqwaking over the top of cheering fans. Real failure and if she wants to go presidential, she can not have any of that bush league type stuff. She is not Bill. It's not fair in some ways to compare them--he was along with Reagan, JFK, FDR, the greatest/most charismatic PR prez in the 20th century. I think she is very astute, but I do not sense her motivating people. Particularly as a person born in 79, she to me is just more Boomer bs. The election would all be about re-hashing Vietnam, lib. feminism, sexual revolution, and all the crap I'm so tired of. Barack's greatest asset is that he does not trigger any of those buttons.

Rumsfield's Dismissal. Better played than Bush has done previously...this may be the hand of Joshua Bolton. Don't know. It was clearly in the works. Don't know much about Gates, except that military people seem to know/respect him. I thought Lieberman was going to get the nod.

Either way the Baker-Hamilton Report will come out. The Dems keep silent (basically) until that emerges. That plan or something akin to it through dialogue with Biden, McCain, Graham, Warner is going to initiate within the next 2-3 months I would say. Rumsfield could never have been at the helm for this. Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice, Hadley have all failed our president in my mind. So I would rather see him go the Senate/foreign policy minds for a way forward. That's why I think Baker is an excellent choice.

I'll try to find a Zakaria op-ed I saw recently that lays out what I think is the best prognostication of what will be the next phase in Iraq.


At 2:35 AM, Blogger Arshad said...

Regarding Rumsfield resignation
"Pride is the common forerunner of a fall. It was the devil's sin, and the devil's ruin; and has been, ever since, the devil's stratagem, who, like as expert wrestler, usually gives a man a lift before he gives a throw! " (South)
Good riddance!


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