Shoot

This upsets me:

Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told 850 KOA Newsradio in Denver that he’s not planning to be on the Republican ticket with John McCain.

In an interview with Dave Logan and Lois Melkonian on The Ride Home, Romney was asked about being number two on the ticket.

He said, “I think there’s some great people he could choose from and I expect he will do that. But I don’t plan on being part of the ticket.”

I know all the bobbleheads are talking about Pawlenty or Crist for McCain as VP, but for some reason I still think he is going to pick Huckabee. I think people are radically underestimating how important it is for McCain to be surrounded by people he likes. Part of the reason his campaign has gone off the rails is because he feels comfortable with a bunch of people who are really leading him astray. For whatever reasons, McCain has become quite comfortable with the fetid bilge that is the right-wing Rove retreads, and that is why his campaign has gone off the rails:

In recent days Senator John McCain has charged that Senator Barack Obama “would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign,” tarred him as “Dr. No” on energy policy and run advertisements calling him responsible for high gas prices.

The old happy warrior side of Mr. McCain has been eclipsed a bit lately by a much more aggressive, and more negative, Mr. McCain who hammers Mr. Obama repeatedly on policy differences, experience and trustworthiness.

By doing so, Mr. McCain is clearly trying to sow doubts about his younger opponent, and bring him down a peg or two. But some Republicans worry that by going negative so early, and initiating so many of the attacks himself rather than leaving them to others, Mr. McCain risks coming across as angry or partisan in a way that could turn off some independents who have been attracted by his calls for respectful campaigning.

The piece goes on to state they “learned” from the Clinton campaign, and are not waiting to drive up (or attempt to) Obama’s negatives. maybe, but I think it is more than that. McCain is now comfortable with Schmidt and the new staff, and is, as always, insular and thickheaded when he is in his comfort zone. He doesn’t realize the damage he is doing to himself because the people he is surrounded with all are telling him this is what needs to be done. You would think at some point he would begin to realize he is damaging his greatest asset, the media subservience he has enjoyed so far, but he has not yet begun to recognize that problem.

So that is why I think he is going to choose Huckabee. He is comfortable with him, and with McCain, that is all that matters.






53 replies
  1. 1
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    I am having a real cognitive dissonance moment here before.

    I thought going negative had become the modus campaignus for Republicans.

    Suddenly they disapprove.

    Oh, my head. The pain.

  2. 2
    KRK says:

    Didn’t Huckabee just compare McCain to the ’96 Dole campaign? (Making neither McCain nor Dole very happy.)

  3. 3
    tomjones says:

    The only media McCain is in danger of alienating is the tabloids. He scooped them on the Britney-Paris-Obama connection, in the new commercial complete with ominous-sounding voiceover narration.

    And the poor tabloids? All they have is the John Edwards love child and Brangelina.

    LEAVE JOHN McCAIN ALOOOOOOOOOOONE.

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    i’d assume that all those people he’s surrounded by would recognize that Huck has huge downsides with everyone but the GOP base. but, i’m not as dumb as the average GOP strategist, so what do i know…

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    Pawlenty or bust!

    Note that ol’ Mitt can recognize a sinking ship when he sees one. It will be the height of hilarity to see all the ways he throws McC…er…speaks badly of McCain in his (Romney’s) 2012 campaign.h

  6. 6
    Incertus says:

    i’d assume that all those people he’s surrounded by would recognize that Huck has huge downsides with everyone but the GOP base. but, i’m not as dumb as the average GOP strategist, so what do i know…

    If he’s actually being considered, that’s why. McCain hasn’t really closed the deal with conservative Christians. They’ll vote for him now, but only to the extent that they’re voting against an ebillmuslimmm!!!one They’re not really excited about it. Huckabee might motivate them.

  7. 7
    Echo without Bunnies or Men says:

    Oh please pick Huckabee, please please pleeeeze! I want to hear McCain talk about why his running mate thinks the Earth is only 6000 years old.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    Didn’t Huckabee just compare McCain to the ‘96 Dole campaign? (Making neither McCain nor Dole very happy.)

    No, it’s cool. They’ve got a pill that cures that now. Just ask Cindy.

    I know all the bobbleheads are talking about Pawlenty or Crist for McCain as VP, but for some reason I still think he is going to pick Huckabee.

    I’ve still got my money on Crist. No way he just got married for shits and giggles. McCain / Gay Republican in ’08!

  9. 9
    Delia says:

    Now, now. I was just over on Americablog and picked up this little tidbit of an interview from FauxNews, where, apparently, Huckabee has a gig, and it seems the man is saying mean things about McLame, comparing him to Dole and saying he’s too angry and frustrated. Now you know how angry and frustrated the Maverick gets when people say mean things about him. I don’t think he’ll take kindly to this.

    Oh, and another thing: remember how the Huckabees had their gift registry for something or other at Target? Well, Johnny’s empathizing with the poor and out-of-work by running around in $520 Ferragamo loafers. I mean, the two of them just wouldn’t match up when they did campaign events.

  10. 10
    Brian says:

    I’d also guess that if he chooses Huckabee, it’s because he has some internal information showing he needs some reassurance from that part of the party. Look at the maps from 2000 and 2004. For all of the talk of him allegedly wanting to compete in California and Minnesota and New Jersey, he doesn’t need any of those states to win. It’s probably a lot easier for him to shore up his chances in Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, and North Carolina with Huckabee than it is for him to try to take New Jersey with someone else.

    That said, I am not really sure I have any good suggestions about who he’s going to pick. I still think it’ll be far more of a political pick than a policy selection, but while my money says it’s going to be Sebelius or Kaine for Obama, I wouldn’t place any bets on McCain’s choice.

  11. 11
    DFD says:

    I agree with Incertus. If he chooses the Huckster he’ll do so in order to get the evangelicals all a twitter with excitement. Joe Blow won’t really care who second fiddle is but the base will.

  12. 12
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    Yeah I think Huckabee’s “Dole/angry” comments just nixed him, assuming he actually had a shot.

  13. 13
    lurker says:

    I wish I could believe this IS a bad campaign strategy for McCain, but it’s essentially the same approach Republicans have used for years and it has worked before.

    The only way this can be helpful to Obama is if the media start writing articles about “What happened to McCain” that lay out a narrative about McCain lying and smearing.

    IMHO, Obama has to go after McCain, hard, and has to do a much better job rebutting the smears. He also has to go after McCain on policy and make it clear that McCain represents the past and, as Clinton put it in 1992, “more of the same.”

    Unfortunately, I think that the BS troop visit smear hurt Obama this week politically. He could have kept his bounce going had he pushed back earlier and then pivoted to his positive message. Instead, the Obama folks have not responded well on the troop message, had the absurd Milbank quote to contend with today, and are out there complaining that McCain hasn’t run a clean campaign. Don’t complain – counterpunch!

  14. 14

    If Huckabee has DQed himself from McCain’s veep slot with his comments, we should all be getting down on our knees and thanking Star Wars Jesus. Huckabee is far and away the best choice McCain can make for the slot, because he excites the religious Republican right, who currently have only “Obama might be worse” to motivate them.

    Romney would have been a disaster in the veep slot, so it is too bad he doesn’t want it.

  15. 15
    greynoldsct00 says:

    McCain/Huckabee 2008 – A Fried Squirrel in Every Popcorn Popper!

  16. 16
    Andrew says:

    I still think McCain needs to pick someone younger, and more dynamic. Like Nixon’s corpse.

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    The piece goes on to state they “learned” from the Clinton campaign

    learned what? how to run a shitty campaign and lose? they appear to know what they’re doing in that arena.

  18. 18
    calipygian says:

    I am dying to see Crist on the ticket. I would fully approve of the GOP smashing a barrier like that, putting a gay man on the ticket.

    It would be as world historic as Obama for President.

  19. 19

    Yeah, Huckabee nixed that when he said:

    Well, I think he missed an opportunity. Instead of having some fun with it and showing sort of a buoyant ‘hey, do what you’ve got to do, let Obama go play basketball, I’m solving problems.’ Do it with tongue and cheek. Frankly, I thought he looked more like Bob Dole in the last days of the 1996 campaign saying ‘look at the record, look at the record,’ and there was some anger and sense of frustration there. He shouldn’t show that. He needs to show that nothing is getting to him, it’s rolling off his back, and I think he missed an opportunity to do that last week.

    I’d love to see Romney just to up the Dbag quotient. Maybe Marc Cuban can be director of communications.

  20. 20
    Mark S. says:

    I think Huckabee is the best choice. McCain has absolutely no chance if evangelicals stay away from the polls in large numbers. McCain then could do what he should have been doing since March: running towards the center. (That’s not to say that I think he will win, just that this gives him the best shot).

  21. 21
    4tehlulz says:

    McCain’s campaign is pretty much fucked at this point. There is no point playing it safe with someone like a Pawlenty; he really needs to roll the dice to generate any excitement with the party, so since Huckabee as eliminated himself (gg gov), he has little choice but to go with Sarah Palin.

    Yes, she has a scandal, but the media will go “LOL Troopergate Clinton did it too!” and go there, as opposed to actually getting into details. Her upside potential to the campaign (relative to Jesus Crist, Mittens, or Traitor Joe) has to be tempting.

  22. 22
    The Moar You Know says:

    Huckabee nixed that when he said:

    Well, I think he missed an opportunity. Instead of having some fun with it and showing sort of a buoyant ‘hey, do what you’ve got to do, let Obama go play basketball, I’m solving problems.’ Do it with tongue and cheek. Frankly, I thought he looked more like Bob Dole in the last days of the 1996 campaign saying ‘look at the record, look at the record,’ and there was some anger and sense of frustration there. He shouldn’t show that. He needs to show that nothing is getting to him, it’s rolling off his back, and I think he missed an opportunity to do that last week.

    And thank goodness. Huckabee is hated by the CorproCons, but if he’d somehow managed to clinch the nomination I think we’d be in deep shit right now.

    That’s a very preceptive comment he made. I hope the McCain camp keeps ignoring him.

  23. 23
    w vincentz says:

    In my humble opinion, McSameol’ will make a very important decison, his VP. See, the way I predict it is this…
    Ol’ Johnnie will develop an urgent “health problem” about three weeks after he gets the GOP nomination (and the polls show his negative campaigning has gained no traction). He’ll “graciously” withdraw for his health related issues.
    His VP will then be the nominee for the GOP so the impending landslide might be lessened. It won’t.
    Johnnie gets to go to the shuffleboard court, and his VP will own the overwhelming GOP loss. Obama and at least twelve Senate seats go Dem.
    Then, Johnnie McOldshit will attend Ken Copeland’s tax exempt megachurch and have a “miraculous healing” so he can come back and run again in 2012 with Libershit as his new VP. Then, he’ll campaign in a wheelchair with a blanket covering his whithered legs (sympathy votes) and he’ll win south Florida (with huge camaign contributions from AIPAC and other Israel 527’s.
    Go get ’em McCrappy! 2012 or bust!

  24. 24
    CFisher says:

    Like Nixon’s corpse.

    I would vote for re-animated gargantuan Cyborg Nixon.

  25. 25
    jrg says:

    The only media McCain is in danger of alienating is the tabloids. He scooped them on the Britney-Paris-Obama connection, in the new commercial complete with ominous-sounding voiceover narration.

    No kidding. Even though the GOP supports legislation that would allow Paris to keep all of daddy’s inheritance (while those of us who work for a living pick up the tab), and Britney Spears wholeheartedly supported the Bush/McCain clusterf*ck in Iraq, somehow it make sense to tie Britney and Paris to Obama.

    I find it astounding how stupid conservatives are. The fact that they can be tricked into believing that Obama has anything at all to do with Britney or Paris speaks volumes.

    Why are the Dems so polite to “low information voters”? Maybe it’s time to start calling these people out as the dumb asses they are, and stop sending federal pork their way. There is no point in trying to appease these morons: if you’re literate, they are going to consider you as an elitist, regardless of any desire you might have to help them, so why try?

  26. 26

    New CNN Numbers! Obama 51 McCain 44 … This is excellent news!! For Hillary!!!

    /Ok, I’ll see myself out.

  27. 27
    Zifnab says:

    I am dying to see Crist on the ticket. I would fully approve of the GOP smashing a barrier like that, putting a gay man on the ticket.

    It would be as world historic as Obama for President.

    Fingers crossed

  28. 28
    chopper says:

    I find it astounding how stupid conservatives are. The fact that they can be tricked into believing that Obama has anything at all to do with Britney or Paris speaks volumes.

    interesting ad. paris hilton? what does mccain have against young rich skinny pretty blonde heiresses? shit, he dumped his first wife for one FFS.

  29. 29
    gbear says:

    There is no point playing it safe with someone like a Pawlenty

    Pawlenty may be a safe choice for the evangelical crowd, but when you start looking at what his policies have done for the state of MN, he’s pure Grover Nordquist drown-government-in-the-bathtub material. He’s like McCain in that he’s gotten a pretty easy ride from the press here but when pushed, he tends to start calling people ‘stupid’ and ‘morons’ pretty fast. He’s also a guy that had a bridge collapse and kill over a dozen people while he was holding the line on transportation spending (he’d vetoed a gas tax increase not long before the bridge went down). I wish McCain would pick him just to get him the hell out of here.

  30. 30
    Cris says:

    Part of the reason his campaign has gone off the rails is because he feels comfortable with a bunch of people who are really leading him astray.

    Another similarity he shares with Bush.

  31. 31
    rob! says:

    i don’t want him to pick Huckabee because Huckabee can be charming…i think he’s insane, but he comes across as an “aw shucks” guy sometimes, which might modulate the Angry Old Man shtick that McCain’s been trying out.

    i want McCain to pick a usual GOP hack for VP, so when Obama’s pick filets him at the debate, you won’t feel sorry for the guy, the way some people might with Huckabee.

    i think all of this will boomerang, big time. i think McCain is showing the country all he–and the GOP–have to offer: anger, fear, negativity.

    keep it up, John, please keep it up.

  32. 32
    ThymeZone says:

    New CNN Numbers! Obama 51 McCain 44 … This is excellent news!! For Hillary

    Yes, and it now looks like the recent Gallup trainwreck in which they bascially made up an unverifiable demo called “likely voters” and thereby floated a huge swing over a few days’ time, is going to be a major embarrassment for them, if the GOS diaries are right. The fact is that McCain is stuck in the low 40’s in the polls and trending either down, or flat. And the national number does not tell the electoral story, which is starting to look pretty bleak for the Mister Magoo team.

    This recent spate of absurd negative advertising is not going to propel the old geezer to victory. But, I hope he keeps it up.

  33. 33
    calipygian says:

    The fact is that McCain is stuck in the low 40’s in the polls and trending either down, or flat. And the national number does not tell the electoral story, which is starting to look pretty bleak for the Mister Magoo team.

    Given that the one thing on the planet that would make K-Lo’s cold, dead nether regions moisten besides a Jesus shaped vibrator made out of consecrated communion wafer dough is a John McCain one-term pledge, I wonder if the Magoo team is deliberately throwing the election in order to get a jump on all of those plum think tank jobs they are going to have to take during an Obama administration.

    If John is going to pledge one term because he’s already a fossil, why bother?

    Its a campaign going through the motions.

  34. 34
    TR says:

    paris hilton? what does mccain have against young rich skinny pretty blonde heiresses? shit, he dumped his first wife for one FFS.

    POTD.

  35. 35
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Note that ol’ Mitt can recognize a sinking ship when he sees one. It will be the height of hilarity to see all the ways he throws McC…er…speaks badly of McCain in his (Romney’s) 2012 campaign.h

    McCain’s problem now is that his ship is leaking and taking on enough water that potential VP’s aren’t sure if they want to be on board when it goes under. They all are looking past McCain to 2012, not just the Mittster. The smart ones have to know that Obama will be taking on more crap to deal with than any US President of the last 30 years. Why not let the black guy take care of the cleanup on aisle 3 (and 6 and 7 and 8, and the meltdown in the frozen food section), and then they can sail in and have easy pickings in 2012.

    After all, how much fun will it be to be a GOP President if (after the Chinese take away and cut up our credit cards) you can’t even afford to cut taxes and there isn’t enough money left in the budget that you can start another war?

    McCain’s VP search is starting to feel like McGovern’s in 1972 – they’ll end up with the guy who was desperate to take the job after everybody smart already said NO.

  36. 36
    jake says:

    I hope they’ve placed K-Load on 24 observation and removed all sharp objects from her immediate vicinity.

  37. 37
    carsick says:

    I think he’s comfortable, the Bush family is comfortable, the conservatives are comfortable, and Ralph Reed is comfortable with Rob Portman. I just don’t see Huckabee wanting VP any longer or McCain wanting him.

  38. 38
    zoe from pittsburgh says:

    Huckabee might be a good ol’ boy BUT he also suppposedly has something else in common with McCain– a nasty temper. I’m looking forward to the day where Obama really ticks McCain off– hopefully in the middle of a debate– and McCain loses it while Obama just stands there with a warm smile on his face.

    Overall I think the conventional wisdom regaring VP picks has been, well, too conventional. I think people might eye their VPs picks with a much closer eye than usual because both of them seem to have a greater risk of needing to be replaced. (McCain’s age and Obama’s racist threat level.) Is America ready for a Southern Baptist preacher for president? I really don’t think so. I think it’s going to be Pawlenty or Romney, not Huckabee.

  39. 39
    binzinerator says:

    McCain’s problem now is that his ship is leaking and taking on enough water that potential VP’s aren’t sure if they want to be on board when it goes under.

    For me this would explain why Huckabee did the Dole/angry thing. Getting the McCranky VP is going to be like getting herpes. Huckabee doesn’t want to catch it. Gotta keep himself clean for 2012.

  40. 40
    mellowjohn says:

    does this mean that if crist isn’t the v-p nominee that the wedding is off?

  41. 41
    carsick says:

    chopper,
    That was the best laugh moment I’ve had today. It’s too good not to use (*cough*cough* steal).
    Something like this:
    “What does John McCain have against Paris Hilton? She’s a young, rich, skinny, pretty, blonde heiress…just like his wife, Cindy.”

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    So that is why I think he is going to choose Huckabee. He is comfortable with him, and with McCain, that is all that matters.

    I know people who would absolutely squeal with delight if McCain chose Huckabee. These are people who seriously believe that the government should be more overtly Christian, and who had severe reservations about McCain in this regard. The faith and family values aspect of Republicanism is far, far more important to them than economic or free trade ideology.

    I think that this ticket would give McCain a strong appeal to those hard working white men who voted for Hillary, and also those women who are opposed to abortion.

    On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal and Hugh Hewitt Republicans would not be amused with the Huck as the VP choice, even if the Huck tones down the populism.

    By the way, Huckabee’s folksiness would offset McCain’s churlishness.

    Lieberman, on the other hand, would be jealous that his John may have found another boyfriend.

  43. 43
    gbear says:

    Part of the reason his campaign has gone off the rails is because he feels comfortable with a bunch of people who are really leading him astray.
    Another similarity he shares with Bush.

    Bush was so far astray before he even got into politics that I’d bet it’s all they can do to keep him from running off on a 3 month bender right now. Has he ever held a job for eight years before?

  44. 44
    Dreggas says:

    The piece goes on to state they “learned” from the Clinton campaign, and are not waiting to drive up (or attempt to) Obama’s negatives. maybe, but I think it is more than that. McCain is now comfortable with Schmidt and the new staff, and is, as always, insular and thickheaded when he is in his comfort zone. He doesn’t realize the damage he is doing to himself because the people he is surrounded with all are telling him this is what needs to be done. You would think at some point he would begin to realize he is damaging his greatest asset, the media subservience he has enjoyed so far, but he has not yet begun to recognize that problem.

    Wasn’t this also part of Hillary’s problem? Mark Penn anyone? Go negative anyone?

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    She’s a young, rich, skinny, pretty, blonde heiress…

    that’s marryin’ material!

  46. 46
    Jay says:

    Huck is an oppo researcher’s dream! Bring him on…

  47. 47
    Jay says:

    Here’s what I meant, btw:

    http://tinyurl.com/55uo3n

  48. 48
    cleek says:

    If he’s actually being considered, that’s why. McCain hasn’t really closed the deal with conservative Christians. They’ll vote for him now, but only to the extent that they’re voting against an ebillmuslimmmone T..

    yeah, but Huck will alienate more squishy centrists than he’ll bring in. the GOP already has the evangelicals even if they’re grumbly about it (ain’t that right Mr Dobson!). but McCain needs the non-retarded middle, and Huck’s creepy hard-core god-bothering ain’t gonna help. the guy wants to make the Bible the law of the land for Christ’s sake! wives “graciously submitting” to their husbands! 6000 year-old earth!

    i’d love it if McCain picks Hick or Muck but that’s just too much to hope for…

  49. 49
    cleek says:

    what does mccain have against young rich skinny pretty blonde heiresses?

    nothing, these days. that’s the problem.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    Hick or Muck

    Huck or Mitt.

    +3

  51. 51
    The Moar You Know says:

    Is America ready for a Southern Baptist preacher for president?

    The following was on the front page of Yahoo.com’s news section this morning:

    “Woman claims Cheeto resembles Jesus hanging from cross”

    The dumbing down of America is complete. I think we’re ready.

  52. 52
    AnneLaurie says:

    Note that ol’ Mitt can recognize a sinking ship when he sees one. It will be the height of hilarity to see all the ways he throws McC…er…speaks badly of McCain in his (Romney’s) 2012 campaign.

    Huckabee may be smart enough to keep away from the Great ReThug Conflagration of 2008, but don’t bet on Willard. I live in Massachusetts, and the only difference between Dubya and Romney is that Mitt has better hair and no history of substance abuse. The man is so absolutely, completely, unstoppably convinced that he is entitled to the Presidency, if McCain’s people float an offer in his general vicinity, Mitt will be on-stage in heels & a tiara before anyone in the RNC has time for second thoughts.

  53. 53
    PanAmerican says:

    Discussions on the VP choice in Camp McCain go something like this:

    We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell them stories that don’t go anywhere. Like that time I took the ferry over to Shelbyville; I needed a new heel for my shoe. So, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on them. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah, the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have any white onions, because of the war; the only thing you can get was those big yellow ones.

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