Saturday, 18 June 2011


*With thanks to Danny.


  1. She probably won't even stand for the nomination never mind win such a race.

    Too many possible candidates. You have Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Bachman (total looney, she makes even Sarah Palin look credible and moderate!!)

    I personally shall be waving a 'conservative' (moderate, lower case) for Newt Gingrich

  2. She's a good warm-up act though Dean. :)

  3. LOL! Gods help us if either of those two get into anywhere near the presidency.

    But it isn't very likely, they cannot appeal to the independent voters, they swing the elections.

    The Republicans realise this, and the Tea Party insurgency is dying away already. Full of contradictory and empty promises. Romney, Gingrich or Pawlenty will win; representing the triumph of moderates and th establishment GOP

  4. Interesting Dean. I think Danny should comment on this as he's pretty clued up on these matters, but for what it's worth here's my two uneducated cents:

    Gingrich hasn’t a chance. He was playing away from home, just at the time he was trying to have Clinton impeached for...playing away from home. OOOps. Some republicans won’t care about that hypocrisy, but some will worry about how it will sit with the swing voters.

    And his excuse for it was he loved his country too much... Double ooops. You have to be quite a Newt fan to buy into that rubbish. He did it because he's a dirty old man and he found a dirty younger woman.

    I'm wondering if even the worst of our lying cheating deviants could manage an excuse like that.

    Mitt Romney has this big problem of being a Mormon, which might sit badly with the fundamentalist branch of the GOP, particularly in the southern states. I think he'd have to carry them too. Northern conservatism is different from the southern brand

    Tpaw has more of a chance as far as I can see.

    Of course Michelle and Sarah are good for a laugh, but both are barking... As SR says, a warm up act.

  5. Tris has it spot on. But I'll add a bit more (which I'd already written)...and go back over some of the same ground. Not better, but incomparably longer. ;-)

    Dean.....I see you have your ID and avatar back. Congratulations and welcome back!

    With "ONLY" 17 months left until November, 2012, the interminable American presidential election process is shifting into high gear for the Republicans. (Mr. Obama gets a free pass to the Democratic nomination this time of course.)

    At this stage in the process, it's all about looking good, being noticed, and garnering GOP campaign money which is on the sidelines. And (rather oddly) it's a lot about New Hampshire. This is a state so small and obscure that if it were invaded and conquered by a foreign power, would have trouble getting the President down in Washington to even notice. But the first voter test of any election season (except at least one informal caucus state) is the New Hampshire presidential primary. Thus the immortal American political phrase....."The Road to the White House Begins in the Snows of New Hampshire." So a successful president must, once in his career, go to New Hampshire and pretend that he cares about that state and its people.

    So we recently had the first Republican "debate" among seven announced GOP candidates (four of them "serious" candidates) in Manchester, New Hampshire. The result (if you're keeping score this early in the game):

    Mitt Romney: Looked presidential and didn't do or say anything too foolish. Still the odds on front runner.

    Newt Gingrich: The ex-Speaker of the House whose political career has already come and probably gone. He's a university professor who should shine in this venue. But he didn't. He's probably just in it for the fun now. His entire top campaign staff just quit because they couldn't stand his wife who had taken him on a cruise of the Greek Islands. Serious presidential candidates don't vacation (take a holiday) in the Aegean when they could be telling New Hampshire voters how much they love them. A few more baubles from Tiffany's are obviously in order for Mrs. Gingrich to ease the pain of never being the White House First Lady.

    Tim Pawlenty: A former Governor of Minnesota, a well regarded GOP moderate, who should be a serious candidate. But he came off in Manchester as something of a wimp. He must do better if he's going to attract any serious Republican campaign money.

    Michele Bachmann: A Congressman from Minnesota, and (along with Palin) one of the famously crazy Tea Party ladies. But (unlike Palin) one who has followed professional political advice, and actually managed to look not all that crazy in the New Hampshire debate. Of course she's campaigning for the very same votes on the right wing of the GOP as Sarah Palin, who continues to act as crazy as ever....while being coy about a possible presidential run.

    The man to watch (who wasn't there, yet), Jon Huntsman: Until recently, Mr. Obama's Ambassador to China. Very smart, very presidential...very impressive. Perhaps it'll come down to a race between Romney and Huntsman, unless Pawlenty can get his act together. Dean is right. Surely the mainstream GOP will ultimately triumph over the Tea Party faction.

    So stay tuned. The New Hampshire primary is "only" seven months away. And then it'll only be another ten months to the general election. ;-)

  6. Thanks for that Danny.

    I'd forgotten about Newt being "newtered" by his campaign team walking out on him. Isn't this wife the one he was messing about with (when she wasn't his wife) because he loved his country soooooo much? If I were her (and the presents from Tiffany's were still likely to be forthcoming) I'd make sure that his love of his country never got THAT strong again, especially as she isn't getting any younger.

    I heard someone describe Bachmann as Sarah Palin with brains, but someone else pointing out not tooo many more brains.

    I loved the idea of the great (?) and the good (ha ha ha ha ha) all turning out for meetings in the freezing weather of this tiny insignificant state that no one has ever heard of, when there's a whole raft of southern places to go to where the weather in January is agreeable.

    How weird are Americans?

  7. Tris....To answer your question directly....VERY weird! ;-)

    Yes, it was indeed Newt's overwhelming love of country which caused him to woo Mrs. Gingrich Number 3 while still married to Number 2. (Same thing happened to 1 and 2 of course.) And indeed it does seem as though Number 3 now has him on a very short leash.

    And as for your comment about brainpower among the Tea Party ladies, and Dean's comment about Michele Bachmann. It's correct to point out that Michele Bachmann has a reputation for being even crazier than Sarah Palin. But she shows some good political sense too. She has hired some very experienced mainstream GOP campaign professionals who had her well prepared for the Manchester debate. She actually didn't look all that bad.....and thus she confounded all expectations. Suddenly she looks more like the serious far right candidate than Palin does. Palin doesn't listen to anybody. And that's why she'll never be the GOP nominee. In fact, I don't think she intends to actually run.

  8. PS: I wondered if Palin's latest craziness, and the theme of the cartoons about mangling history, was much reported in Scotland and the UK.

    Palin's game (I believe) is that she must APPEAR to be a possible presidential candidate, thus staying firmly planted in the media limelight, without actually troubling herself to do the work that such a thing requires.

    So she's been on some sort of bus tour of New England (sort of a family holiday) to steal attention away from the serious candidates campaigning in New Hampshire. And she spent a day or so in Paul Revere country in Boston.

    Paul Revere, you may recall, was the guy who made the famous (and poetically romanticized) "midnight ride" from Boston to Concord crying "The British are Coming" (so the story goes). The "British" being British Army regulars who were there to confiscate patriot "GUNS" and arrest revolutionary leaders. And Paul got his signal to ride from lanterns hung in the "BELL" tower of Old North Church. Every American school child over the age of six has this story sorted out.

    Now enter Sarah Palin....newly arrived from the Alaskan tundra. She was asked what she had learned that day. She looked squarely into the camera and said that she had learned about Paul Revere who rode his horse while ringing a BELL and firing a GUN to WARN THE BRITISH that they'll never take away American liberty.

    I swear to God...that's what she said! Paul warned THE BRITISH! She only knew a few words of the famous story, which she had fashioned into an entirely different narrative. If only she had actually listened while touring the Paul Revere sites. Or, for that matter, spoken to any six year old school child about the subject before making her media statement.

  9. Danny,

    Bachman can take advice from the legion of overpaid spinners in east-coast political US. Great, but that will make not one WHIT of a difference with those independent voters (more than ever before btw). Obama appealed by being something else, something different.

    Bachman is the same ole same ole. Nothing new, just fresh spin. And the educated class professionals (what we call in UK 'middle class', diff terminology from US appreciated) voters are too clever for that.

    It comes down for the GOP to Newt, Gingrich or Romney. Don't take my word for it ... ask the GOP leadership and bankrollers ... they put their money where their mouth is, and few of them back this silly Tea Party 'insurgency'.

  10. Does any of it really matter as it stands?

    Simply slicing and re-dicing permutations of "the same ol'" selection of vegetables with the tumshies and neeps on the menu for the cattle elsewhere on the global reservation: A cattlemen stitch-up, for the most part, behind closed, cigar smokey doors in cowboy boots or city-slicker dress shoes (Tammany Hall style) all to sustain a YOOSA version of imperial Rome via the Munroe Doctrine.

    "Skulls & Bones" and "Bullingdon Club" et al collisions of collusion: The USA as Rome to Europe's (or jockeying Albion's snotty) Athens or vying Greek city states; the rest, the barbarian buffalo hunting grounds and proto-superman-Ayran-"Germanic" "lebensraum" ("Go West [and everywhere], young man").

    The Greeks at Westminster simply await the conclusion and subsequent fiats.

    "Bizness" as usual until the left-field unexpected...

  11. Dean,

    You’re spot on about Bachmann, whose political ascendancy has been a fascinating story. An almost unknown Congresswoman (member of the House of Representatives) from Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District, she burst onto the national scene in 2008 through a television appearance on a popular political interview program. She then famously charged that Obama had anti-American associates, and that the media should undertake a penetrating expose to find out which members of Congress are anti-America and which ones are pro-America.

    Not surprisingly, this didn’t go over all that well with her colleagues in Congress, or with seriously thoughtful people of either party. But it was catnip to the Tea Party. She soon became an ally of Sarah Palin as the voice of the Tea Party. An ally then, but a potential political rival now for those Tea Party votes.

    An irony of the labyrinthine world of presidential politics is that candidates must try to appeal to the extreme wings of their party to win votes in the low turnout presidential primaries (passionate people, who will turn out and vote in a block), and then they must immediately shift their stance to appeal to the broad center of the political spectrum where all the independent voters are, and where general elections are actually won or lost.

    And so Dean back to your point. The professionals can remake the public face of Bachmann such that she seems less crazy than Palin, but it certainly won’t get her the GOP nomination. In the GOP, the Tea Party is a sideshow. It won’t even decide the Republican nomination, much less the general election. That said, the Republicans must somehow reconcile the need to choose a moderate candidate with the need not to totally alienate the Tea Party vote.

    BTW, the Iowa caucuses actually predate the New Hampshire primary. The Iowa GOP is very conservative, and Michele Bachmann was born in Iowa. So she could well defeat Mitt Romney there.

    As things stand now, it’s Mitt Romney’s nomination to lose. But Pawlenty could get his campaign going. I think Newt Gingrich has already self-destructed. But the new man to watch is President Obama’s former Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman. He’s smart, articulate, and looks like central casting could have sent him over to play a President. You’ll be hearing a lot from him. He’s another wealthy Mormon BTW. He served with distinction as the 16th Governor of Utah, and has served under presidents of both parties, going back to Reagan. He’s a distant cousin of Mitt Romney, and once dropped out of high school to play in a rock band. Now THERE’S an interesting story….and, as a GOP moderate, he’s a poster boy for the great political center of American politics.

    I’ve read that no American president has ever won reelection when the national unemployment rate was over 7.4 percent. It’s currently over 9 percent. So Mr. Obama could have trouble with Huntsman. Even Romney for that matter.

  12. David: yes, same ol', same ol', different same ol' dependent on the country, but that's all. Business as usual.

  13. Dean: I don't think anyone thinks that teh Tea party is going to produce a president, and saide show or warm up act is just what these two mad women are. I'm sorry to sound patronising to women, but they are both the glamour and entertainment of this campaign. (It's nothing to do with their sex, the tea party doubtless has nut job men in it, and probably some that don't need ironing! It's just that on this occasion the loonies are both female.)

    The important thing is that there are a lot of votes out there in tea party land, and somehow the moderates who realise that general election votes are won in the broad centre, centre right, have to find a way of accommodating this large fringe into their support, without gaining any kind of reputation for nut jobbery that might stick with the general public!

    I hope Sarah stands though. I miss her ill-informed, blustering pronouncements hidden in sentences from hell...

  14. Danny...

    As usual you explain everything so clearly. I'm actually looking forward to your commentary on the campaign and the election, far more than any coverage the BBC churns out.

    I suppose, given the unemployment statistics, which of course could change dramatically between now and the actual election, we could be looking at one of these people as the most powerful man (or woman) in the western world within the next two years.

    And from a Scottish point of view the person who tells the UK prime minister what his attitude to virtually everything is.

    So onward and upwards in that "great country of Sarah's", where you can see Russia from your back bedroom window. Let's hope for an exciting and informing campaign, and trust that the people of "this great country of hers" will make the right choice.

  15. BTW Danny, The mangling of the Paul Revere story was pretty much what she did with everything when she was McCain's running mate.

    Education, employment, foreign affairs and hot digedy healthcare was all mangled up in to some great melting pot of gibberish and then dished up with a liberal (if I can use that word) garnish of "in this great country of ours" and a rash of "mavericks", and "hockey moms" and other such homespun Alaska tundra stuff...

    It was absolute nonsense; a godsend to Mr Obama and Tina Fay ... and incredibly funny for the rest of the world to watch, but something of an embarrassment, I would have thought for “that great country of hers”.

    David Cameron has a reputation for not having much of a grasp of his own policies, never mind the general state of things, but at least he has the ability to cover it over with spin and suave (most of the time). But she was like a music hall / vaudeville turn.

  16. Tris....YES! Her version of the Paul Revere story certainly did bring back memories of the 2008 campaign. A Godsend for comedians! You'll recall that BBC4's "News Quiz" plays a second or so of the Hallelujah Chorus every time the name Sarah Palin is mentioned.

    Since she'll never get within shouting distance of the White House, it IS pretty funny. As for American embarrassment, that bar is still set pretty high after eight years of Dubya.

    "Like a music hall/vaudeville turn." Couldn't be better said.

  17. Will any of them want the job?

    The Collapse of Nations All By The Hand Of Corrupt Bankers

    World debt is unpayable, especially that of the US, UK and the euro zone. The only solution is collapse. There can be no saving the system. It is only a matter of time and what the catalyst is. It could be Greece.

  18. LOL Danny...I think the New Quiz had every right to pay the Hallelujah Chorus for our Sarah. They have a great to to be grateful to her should Saturday Night Live!!

    How we laughed!

  19. CH:

    We should write everything off and start all over again.

    In fact: Recommencer à Zéro

  20. There is no eurozone collapse imminent. Long live progress.

  21. Dean said...

    There is no eurozone collapse imminent. Long live progress.

    Is your wallpaper extra cushioned Dean?

    Why the World Isn't Getting Smaller

    Then there's the rise of populist politics not only in the U.S. but throughout the rest of the world. Anti-E.U. political parties are gaining support around Europe, and despite the recent overthrow of several Middle Eastern strongmen, nationalism is on the rise in places like China, Brazil and Russia.

  22. ...and Scotland