Wednesday, January 16, 2008

what it all means, v3.0

What a night in Michigan, eh?

Here's what I have to say: THANK YOU! Romney's unexpected win--not so much the win itself, but the margin--sends the two least-supportable (in my world) GOP candidates down the ladder a rung, and will hopefully provide a little more long-lasting bounce to a campaign that is truly worth watching.

Big winners: Romney (duh) and Giuliani, who is "this" close to having had the dream scenario turn into reality for him in these pre-Super Tuesday states. Ru-dee still needs to get in gear and start turning some FL polls in his favor (and I'm telling you, a stop to NV wouldn't hurt!), but at least there's still a table for him to get a place at, if you know what I'm saying.

More about Romney: there was such strategic brilliance in what he did in Michigan. I wrote last week that Romney didn't HAVE to win MI--and then the candidate pulled advertising in SC in favor of the Wolverine state. When he did that, MI became vital to his campaign going forward, and he took control of the state. Seriously, who thought after New Hampshire that Romney would take Michigan by 9? That move--but more especially the result--shows Romney's strength as a candidate: big thinking, and the willingness to do something outsiders consider brash. There may never be a bigger display of Romney's non-Washingtonness than what he did in Michigan.

Not happy: McCain. While this is definitely not a death knell, this does hurt. He apparently is polling better with conservatives this year than he had in 2000--I don't know how, but there are some numbers out there to back this up--so he isn't dead-in-the-water after last night. But I think that Michigan exposed McCain's weakness on the economy, and that's not something that will play well in South Carolina. Does anything become "must win" for him now? Not in the immediate horizon. Ultimately, last night represents a failure to push farther ahead, but he is still in the race.

hurting: Huckabee. After last night, he must be smarting. He cannot finish behind Fred in South Carolina--period.

loser: strangely enough, this title goes to someone who wasn't even on the ballot. What were Obama's people were thinking about when they decided to skip out on this contest? What a stupid blunder. Take this message home, young people and others who form the "core" of Obama's support: he is more beholden to party machinations than he is driven to actually fight for you. His "message" (as much as it is a message) of hope ABSOLUTELY should have been played in front of the recession-suffering people of Michigan, but the "savior" was nowhere to be found. Why? Hey, I know all the "reasons"--but they're crap. Bottom line: a man who is supposed to signify a "different" kind of politics should be taking that message to every corner, nook and cranny that can be found. FINALLY we see substance from the Obama campaign; unfortunately, it shows the candidate to lack any type of strategic thinking ability. Instead of potentially celebrating a victory today (let's face it, Clinton didn't wow the electorate there), I think Obama may have just unwittingly delivered a death blow to his campaign.


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