Doesn’t that sound like the name of a 70s buddy-cops TV show? But it’s not; I’m going to analyze the results of the Michigan primary.
Firstly, I was of the impression that facts were, well, facts. But here are the “facts” as reported by foxnews.com, cnn.com, and msnbc.com.
foxnews.com: Romney 42, Huckabee 21, McCain 19, Thompson 6
cnn.com: Romney 42, Huckabee 22, McCain 19, Thompson 6
msnbc.com: Romney 42, Huckabee 32, McCain 13
foxnews.com: Clinton 190, Obama 103, Edwards 18
cnn.com: Clinton 190, Obama 103, Edwards 51, Kucinich 1
msnbc.com: Obama 25, Clinton 24, Edwards 18
So, depending on who each news agency wants to win and by how much, that’s who’s winning (and by how much).
Secondly, it is tiring how stupid news agencies think we are. They not only report the news, but they report the way we should talk about it. So before yesterday the story was “if Romney can’t win he’s finished!” Now the story is “there’s no clear front-runner among Republicans,” which I’ve also see presented as “the GOP is adrift.” Actually, I think Romney is emerging as the front-runner. Two strong second-place finishes to two very different candidates, combined with a strong victory in a state that said its main issue was the economy (and with the war in Iraq going well, the economy will be the issue of the general election; witness how suddenly yesterday we went from “maybe we’re heading for recession” to “we’re in a recession RIGHT NOW!!!eleventy!!!”), makes him the candidate to beat right now.
Thirdly, I am still amazed by the idiots who tell exit-pollers that the president should agree with them on religion, and I’m glad to see those idiots are being marginalized. According to the foxnews exit poll, only 24% of yesterday’s GOP voters thought that was very important, and Huckabee only won that crowd 37% to 29% over Romney.
Anyway, here’s what I think: I think Huckabee and McCain will be marginalized when we move to closed primaries in states with thinking people (seriously, there are people in this country who think it is very important that a president agree with them on religion?!?!), and of the remaining candidates, Thompson doesn’t seem to have a following and Giuliani looks like he’s quit running and might be out of money. I understand thinking you will get a big boost out of California and New York, but you have to do something until then.
A guy at work with whom I talk politics asked me, “So who do you like among the Republicans? You don’t seem to like Huckabee or Romney or Giuliani.” Which, again, seeing as I’d consider myself a Romney supporter if I had to pick someone to support, and seeing as I talk a lot of politics with this guy, is bad news for the Robot. The last time anyone won a general election by just not being the other guy was 1964. Romney should get a different game plan and maybe actually try to excite his supporters. (Maybe he can activate his “excite” program by saying, “Engage crowd exciting protocol. [beep] Protocol engaged.”
Lastly, I read this quote to my wife last night and asked, “Do you have to say meaningless phrases when you run for president?”:
"Tonight proves you can’t tell an American there’s something they just can’t do because Americans can do whatever they set their hearts on, and tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism," Romney said to a raucous crowd of supporters in Southfield, Mich. "The lobbyists and the politicians realize that America now understands that Washington is broken and we’re going to do something about it.”
Beyond the singular/plural problem in the first sentence, what does this actually mean? “Americans can do anything”? “Lobbyists and politicians are bad”? It reminds me of the classic campaign quote from Kodos: “As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.” (Incidentally, Kodos lost that election.)