Road to the White House, Buddy Roemer Edition
On Wednesday, June 27th, I will be participating in the sixth edition of WKXL News Radio’s (103.9 FM, 1450 AM) Road to the White House series at 12:00 p.m. at the Barley House (Main St., directly across from the Statehouse). Our guest will be former Louisiana Governor and Congressman Buddy Roemer (Herman Cain has canceled). I will once again join Chris Ryan and Ovide Lamontagne for the hour-long taping featuring Gov. Roemer. The show will be broadcast on WKXL on Thursday morning at 10 a.m., and again at 6 p.m. I hope to see you at the live event on Wednesday afternoon.
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Early Bird Special
I hope Texas Congressman Ron Paul is retiring from his 14th district seat only because, well, he is 75 years old and has had a long and distinguished career, and not because he thinks that doing so in order to focus all of his energy on winning the presidency will make a difference in his chances of earning the Republican nomination. The latter was the rationale that Paul gave in posting his retirement announcement on Facebook yesterday, and I am sorry to say that it won’t make a difference in the outcome of the presidential race.
Sacrificing the relative security of one’s own political incumbency, in order to demonstrate an extra special commitment to seeking the presidency is a time-honored tradition in our electoral system, kind of like walking a tightrope without a net below to catch you. Unfortunately, candidates often resort to this artifice when they are looking to inject a little energy into an otherwise flagging campaign, and thus it can sometimes smack of political desperation. In Congressman Paul’s case, however, I don’t view it as a desperate maneuver, but as more in keeping with the generally quixotic nature of his ongoing quest for the presidency. I have no doubt that Paul will continue to be a singular voice in this campaign cycle. I just hope he can enjoy his retirement, as well.
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Will You Sign My Yearbook?
You can catch me Monday morning as a guest on New Hampshire Public Radio’s The Exchange. As part of the show’s 15th anniversary series Exchange Yearbook, we will be taking a look at the 2004 presidential primary (John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards, etc.), as a springboard for a broader discussion of how the primary process has changed over the past 15 years. You can listen to the show live here at 9 a.m. (top menu), and I will also put up a link to the podcast when it becomes available.
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Gaming the General
It sure sounds like one candidate is already keeping an eye firmly trained on his ideological positioning for the 2012 general election. At least that was my initial reaction yesterday when I read former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s conciliatory comments towards organized labor at a New Hampshire town hall meeting.  Combine those remarks with Romney’s recent refusal to sign a sweeping anti-abortion pledge, and one could certainly argue that Romney is not only attempting to draw meaningful distinctions with other candidates in the Republican field (especially the movement conservative crowd), but is also minimizing the distance he would need to tack to the ideological center as the party’s nominee. In addition, to the extent that Romney is looking for a New Hampshire win to catapult his candidacy through the rest of the primary schedule, these moves also make sense in a state with a Republican primary electorate that includes a fair number of moderates and independents.
I’m also tempted to argue that these moves represent an acknowledgement by the Romney campaign of the potential threat posed by former Utah governor, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, who is essentially fighting for the same piece of the Republican primary electorate in New Hampshire. But Huntsman’s weak post-campaign kickoff polling numbers in the state seem to suggest that this is less of a priority for the Romney camp, at least for now. Still, there is a preemptive quality to these moves that will likely help Romney should Huntsman eventually pose a more immediate threat to his clear frontrunner status in the Granite State.
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