The Rethuglican Duhhh-bate

From Perry Bacon Jr. at POST POLITICS at The Washington Post:

New Jersey governor and almost-2012-candidate Chris Christie made headlines with his decision to endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Tuesday, on the eve of a presidential debate. Here’s a look at the potential impact of his endorsement.

Why it won’t matter:


Polls suggest, despite the clamor in Washington and New York about Christie, that he’s not that well known or extremely popular among Republican voters. A Washington Post/ABC News poll last week suggested a majority of Republicans either didn’t have an opinion or didn’t want the New Jersey governor to run for president.

So it’s not clear how many voters will be persuaded by his endorsement.

tommyboyblacksheepOriginal DVD cover

Many Christie backers had already decided to endorse Romney once the New Jersey governor opted against running.


Why Christie’s endorsement will matter:

1.  Christie’s sharp comments while endorsing Romney are likely to be remembered. His pointed criticism of Perry for embracing pastor Robert Jeffress, who made controversial comments about Mormonism, won’t help the Texas governor, who is eager to move on from that issue. And Christie tried to distance Romney from the health-care law the latter signed in Massachusetts from the federal one that conservatives hate.

2.  Christie’s endorsement could push others toward Romney who would have more sway in the primary process. The endorsements of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad or South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley would help Romney in those early states, and those governors no doubt are aware of Christie’s decision.


3.  Individual endorsements may have limited impact. But a group of political scientists has found that the number of endorsements by party leaders is often a strong indicator of who will win a presidential primary.


It’s a classic chicken-versus-egg question: Do voters follow the preferences of party leaders or are party leaders anticipating the voters when deciding whom they endorse?


On a night when Texas Gov. Rick Perry had the most to lose, Governor Perry might have lost the most.

The Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire Tuesday night was, if nothing else, an opportunity for the Texas governor. Losing support in the polls and replaced by Herman Cain as primary challenger to perpetual front-runner-by-default Mitt Romney, Perry had a chance to change the momentum.


In the end, however, he looked like the candidate most likely to have left the iron on at home. By the end, pundits across the cable-TV landscape were wondering whether Perry had the fire to run for president, so muted and disengaged was his performance.

It was the most notable development of a night lacking in notable developments.


Meanwhile, the debate, which was confined to economic issues, played to Cain’s strengths as a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. The event could have been titled: The Republican Presidential Debate – An Evening with Candidate Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan.

He defended his proposal to establish 9 percent rates for sales, payroll, and business taxes (repeatedly), and his opponents questioned it (repeatedly).


By the old maxim that no attention is bad attention, it was a night of free advertising for Cain. It also somewhat disguised the fact that Cain appeared to have little else to say.

Meanwhile, the other candidates settled into roles that are becoming about as familiar as a comfortable pair of carpet slippers.

Rep. Ron Paul was once again the group’s grenade-thrower, but switching his target from Perry to Cain. He mocked Cain’s choice of a “good Federal Reserve chief” (Alan Greenspan) and accused Cain of calling Fed critics “ignorant.”

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich persisted as Greek chorus, seemingly trying to interpret other candidates’ answers for viewers and promoting peace among the participants by reminding them of the darker cloud – President Obama.

Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Sen. Rick Santorum played to the persona as earnest but seemingly unelectable, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman kept alive his streak of making jokes that the audience didn’t get – this time an inside joke with Romney about their Mormon faith.

But it was Perry, who needed to recast his fading image as perhaps out of his depth in debates, who was served least by the status quo. In a debate about the economy, he refused to unveil his entire economic plan, instead only returning to a single note: expanding energy exploration in the US.

For a Texas governor, it was hardly a policy stretch.


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32 responses to “The Rethuglican Duhhh-bate

  1. John Erickson

    “It was the most notable development of a night lacking in notable developments.”
    Isn’t that the official motto of the 2012 GOP campaign?

  2. Cain thinks if he asserts something enough times, it magically becomes true. I’m bored with him.

    I guess Romney will get the nomination, and the nuts will be uninspired to vote.

    • It’s a little bit funny that the evangelical bigots will have to decide if they hate blacks or Mormons more. 🙂

      • i don’t think herb ever thought he could actually win. i think he was just another bored rich guy who wanted more attention. he’s in wayyy over his head, but he’s too arrogant to admit it. if mittsie doesn’t ask him to be veep, maybe his ego will force him to run as a third party candidate. that would be awesome.

  3. What all these bone heads have to say, doesn’t amount to much, if anything at all. None of them are worthy to be in the White House.

    • christie said that gov little ricky goodhair not distancing himself from jeffress disqualifies him from being president, because it’s beneath the office. i’d love for someone to ask him if not standing up to the mormon church leaders for their racism is presidential. mittsie never said a word about how blacks were treated by mormons. he hates bigotry, but only when it’s directed at himself.

  4. jean-philippe

    More details on Christie endorsing Romney:

  5. Cheer to me for keeping my streak alive of not watching this events … although I may be interested in one if the top contenders were not invited, thus give others a chance to talk! Meanwhile, Christie’s endorsement helps the flow of money … and I appreciate the treatment on your nines! That’s the first time I’ve noticed it!

    • i had no intentions of watching the duhhh-bate, but there was nothing else on, and i realized that i get bloomberg on cable. you really didn’t miss anything, except some of the faces that gov little ricky goodhair made when he didn’t know the camera was on him. he looked like a kid at the adults’ table who didn’t understand anything that was going on, except for when he just looked pissed when a joke was directed at him.

  6. elizabeth3hersh

    Missed the debates (again) but did see the snip of Huntsman joking that he thought Cain’s 9-9-9 plan was the price of a pizza. I have an issue with Cain’s 1) declaration that homosexuality is a “choice” and 2) his assertion that God “called” him to run for president. What’s that? Oh, it’s God calling me to the Neiman Marcus web site (again!). Ciao!

  7. Pingback: Herman Cain 2012 President » » The Rethuglican Duhhh-bate

  8. I had better things to do than watch the debate. I was interviewing candidates for the Coffee Party USA Board of directors. Recording of interview at the link.

    I’ll be doing it again tomorrow.

    Yes, you can actually hear my voice as the host.

  9. I can hear the campaign song playing now!…Number Nine…Number Nine…Number Nine…….but the Pizza Party will be as mediocre as his retail product. We raisins all await the unvailing of the 9999 plan that word has it will include ponies. And as we watch King Parry ride off into the sunset just remember that down in Texas ignert is still a two syllable word.

  10. jeb

    A debate? I didn’t know and I was so busy watching the baseball playoffs that I missed this rare and exciting event. Curse the bad luck. Oh well, maybe I can catch one of the next 300 they’ll have between now and January.

  11. Snoring Dog Studio

    I actually feel a heck of a lot better these days knowing that Perry will have to head back to his infamous ranch and deal with the huge problems Texas is facing. Buh, bye!

    • i wonder if herb…i mean, herman, has been placed in first place as a distraction while the gov little ricky goodhair campaign hits the reset button. little ricky has plenty of money, so he’s not going away for a while, and the base continues to hate mittsie, so who knows what will happen?

  12. 😆 That pic of Perry is classic.
    He was looking very tired at the debate.

  13. jeb

    Someone sent me this link. The Batshit impression is particularly funny:

    • i had only seen the romney one and a little bit of the bbb one. thanks so much, jeb. i laughed so hard! i’ll confess that, when i heard that jimmy fallon was getting his own show, i couldn’t understand why, because i didn’t think he was very good on snl. i’ve only watched once or twice, but i’ve seen quite a few videos of some of the stuff on his show, and i will heartily admit that my misgivings were ill-placed. he’s very funny.