ThinkProgress catches Romney surrogate Rudy “A Noun and a Verb, and 9/11” Giuliani being just a tad too candid from the safe confines of Fox News.
BILL HEMMER (HOST): David Axelrod made the claim Mitt Romney is doing his best to exploit this. Is there argument to be made there? How was this handled on?
GIULIANI: He should be, he should be exploiting it. I mean, there is real chance, there is a cover-up here. They’re trying to run out the clock. Hillary Clinton appoints a commission that will investigate. They will not report until next January or February.
The appropriate course of action would naturally be to come to conclusions before bothering to conduct any investigation, following the lead of Darrell Issa.
Meanwhile, Fox Nation has apparently outsourced its content provision to Babelfish:*
In the third-from-the-bottom paragraph in the Washington Post’s article — the 17th paragraph — on its new poll out this morning, showing President Obama leading, 49 percent to 46 percent, among likely voters:
Partisan identification fluctuates from poll to poll as basic orientations shift and with the sampling variability that accompanies each randomly selected sample of voters. In the current poll, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nine percentage points among likely voters; the previous three Post-ABC polls had three-, six- and five-percentage-point edges for Democrats. The presidential contest would now be neck and neck nationally with any of these margins.
The Romney campaign’s recent hire of Richard Grenell was met with a little controversy for a couple of reasons—for one, he had a bit of a mean sense of humor on Twitter (although that was easily deleted, if not entirely forgotten) and for another, he was openly gay. It looks like it was the latter detail that lead to Grenell’s resignation today, as Jennifer Rubin reports:
Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.
In a statement obtained by Right Turn, Grenell says:
I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign.
This is really quite disappointing. The last week or so has focused attention on Romney’s foreign policy views, and Grenell might have been able to, well, do the thing he was presumably hired for and help the campaign craft a consistent message if the social conservatives could actually bring themselves to view a person based on his merits, not his identity, and if the Romney campaign wasn’t—how should I put this?
I’m reluctant to slag on Jon Huntsman because he seems to be the least insane and / or smarmy member of the current GOP field, but damn:
Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman has snagged an endorsement in a key battleground state - Jeb Bush Jr, the son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Rumors of a “major” announcement from the Huntsman campaign have been circulating through Florida for days, leading many to speculate that the former governor himself would throw his weight behind Huntsman. It was his 28-year-old son, however, who accepted a position with the campaign and detailed his support in a statement released Wednesday.
“In 2008, Florida and the presidency went to Barack Obama because he offered hope,” Bush Jr wrote. “To defeat the President in 2012, we need a candidate who will offer solutions. That man is Jon Huntsman.”
This is a major announcement? Gyad, I hope he keeps the “Blanket” Jackson endorsement under wraps for the next few months, or the 2012 election will lack all drama.
PS: In 2008, the Bushling picked Giuliani. So Huntsman’s got that going for him…
Combining a Mike Gravel-style campaign ad strategy and a Giulianian focus on winning states that start with an “F” and end with a “lorida,” the Huntsman 2012 campaign is a juggernaut:
“How cool is it to be making history: the first Republican presidential campaign to be headquartered in Florida,’’ the former ambassador to China told more than 100 people gathered to see him at a downtown Orlando office building.“Florida is where this race is going to be won by the Huntsman campaign.”
Jeebus. Didn’t anyone warn Huntsman about launching a campaign in Orlando during the “Tot Mom” trial?
Helisetting Republican Heartthrob Chris Christie and America’s Ex-Husband, Rudolph Giuliani, are meeting over lunch today to discuss RUDY’s jumping into the race, despite Rudy’s many, many,many liabilities. Since we are real swells here at Rumproast, here, forlorn Freepers, this one’s for you:
And yes, Vargöns Musikkår’s version was definitely the best of the lot. It’s skitbra!
Alarmingly, my former mayor, who once went through a costive New York like a dose of salts, could turn out to be a tonic a sufficiently amnesiac America might feel like taking, although, like Our Sarah, he is powerfully drawn to money and easy adulation versus all that unremunerative public service. He certainly wouldn’t have folded like a T-Paw given the opportunity to garotte the big bland Mormon that John King presented Pawlenty.
Thanks to Republicans’ mistrust of Rudy’s flexibility on fetal citizenship, and his wonderful Floridian miscalculation last election cycle, we probably won’t have to worry about Democracy’s End of Days at the hands of the irascible Bunkerboy and his delightful dog-killing wife, but considering the current lot of declared Republicans managed to make Michele Bachmann look viable, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on America’s mayor, just in case.
One of the most spectacular failures in presidential-primary history concluded on January 30, 2008. That was the day Rudy Giuliani, fresh from his 15 percent, third-place showing in the Florida Republican primary, appeared next to John McCain and announced he was dropping out and endorsing his former rival as the best man for the job. “Obviously, I thought I was that person,” Rudy said at the time. “The voters made another choice.”
No one—not John McCain, not Bill Clinton—walked away from the 2008 presidential campaign as diminished as Rudy Giuliani. He entered the campaign with one of the most valuable brands in American politics and drove it straight into a tree. It’s hard to chronicle all the embarrassments: the Kerik indictment, the stories about taxpayer funds spent for his then-girlfriend Judith Nathan’s security; that bizarre cell-phone call he took from Nathan during a 2007 speech to the NRA.
And then there was his cockamamy campaign strategy, in which he sat out the Iowa caucuses, skipping a contest that riveted the world for a month, and competed halfheartedly in New Hampshire and South Carolina. By the time he made his infamous last stand in Florida, hoping that weeks of appearances at NASCAR tracks and Little Havana parades could make up for the ground he’d lost, it was too late.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a last-minute no-show at the wedding of his former roommates—a gay couple—yesterday.
It was a disappointment for Queens car dealer Howard Koeppel and his longtime lover, Mark Hsiao, who tied the knot in a double-ring ceremony before 10 guests in Westport, Conn.
The couple famously let the ex-mayor crash at their luxury $2.37 million three-bedroom Manhattan apartment while he was going through a nasty divorce with Donna Hanover in 2001. Later, Giuliani married the “other woman,” Judith Nathan.
“Rudy and Judith were both invited with a beautiful written invitation by mail,” said Koeppel. “His secretary called Thursday and said he was not able to come to the wedding and wished us all the best.”
He didn’t even have the balls to call his friends personally to decline. No problem. I’m sure Giuliani’s new wingnut fundamentalist BFFs will put him up in grand style when the third Mrs. Giuliani throws his ass out. Not.
And the world turns for the ongoing soap opera that is the Republican Party these days.
What have they been up to?
Well, Newt Gingrich (good old Newt!) is all ZOMG!! ZOMG!! Obama shook Hugo Chavez’ HAND! Quoth the Newt:
“Frankly, this does look a lot like Jimmy Carter. Carter tried weakness, and the world got tougher and tougher, because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators – when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead,”
Not wanting to be left out, Senators, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Ensign of Nevada,put their 2 nanocents worth in saying that for Obama to greet Chavez was “irresponsible.”
By now being accustomed to the teapot tempests that follow his every move, Obama addressed the issue at a press conference:
“It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States,” Obama told reporters at a news conference. “I don’t think anybody can find any evidence that that would do so. Even within this imaginative crowd, I think you would be hard-pressed to paint a scenario in which U.S. interests would be damaged as a consequence of us having a more constructive relationship with Venezuela.”
I know there are two days of potential failure to go, so perhaps this is premature. But here is my list of top 10 epic political fails of 2008. Discuss!
#10—PUMA Movement: A “movement” in the same sense and level of importance of “bowel movement,” PUMA might be rated #1 if entertainment value and copious evidence of failure were the chief criteria. However, in my poll, consequence counts too, so PUMA struggles into the top 10 at the bottom slot. And only because I personally found them amusing. By rights, the “Bratz” vs “Barbie” kerfluffle should edge them out.
#9—Joe the Plumber: Like a cockroach scrambling for purchase in a swirling toilet, John McCain latched onto the sturdiest-looking turd in the bowl as his campaign foundered. He chose poorly. Not only did bullet-headed lunk (not) Joe the (not) Plumber say wingnutty shit that alienated the McCain supporters with triple-digit IQs (both of them!) and leave McCain in the lurch at rallies, he subsequently disavowed his erstwhile patron and made the world’s worst amateur porn flick.
#8—Fred Thompson’s GOP Presidential Candidacy: Gravitas bestowed by a rumbling baritone voice and numerous flinty-eyed performances on film and TV? Check. Confirmation of virility ostentatiously conveyed by decades-younger wife? Check. Actual vigor and energy? Not so much. The Great GOP Hope clearly preferred a scotch and a nap to campaigning. Oh well.
#7—Mitt Romney’s $35M Investment: Romney’s chief credential is his financial acumen, but what does it say about his investment prowess that he blew $35M clams on his own crappy campaign and failed to convince anyone but Hugh Hewitt of his inevitability? His campaign stunk like a stream of runny dog shit flowing from atop a Country Estate Wagon. But lefty bloggers had the Five Brothers Blog to ridicule for a few precious months.
#6—Paultards: At least their heroine Ayn Rand managed to write some crappy books that inspired a future Fed chairman to enact economy-wrecking policies. Ron Paul supporters’ only accomplishments of note were to fund a stupid blimp and organize flying monkey swarms to derail GOP internet discussions. However, their rEVOLution blimp alone entitles them to primacy over the PUMAs, who couldn’t even gas up the Mini-Winnie RV of Haka Doom.
#5—Giuliani’s Electoral Strategy: What the fuck was that all about? After focusing solely on states that start with an “F” and end with a “Lorida,” Giuliana got his ass handed to him in the state by both McCain and Romney, who each received twice as many votes as Giuliani did. A noun, a verb and 9/11 only go so far.
#4—L’affair Edwards: I long suspected Edwards of being a self-aggrandizing phony. But his focus on poverty during the primary season struck me as at least partially authentic and admirable—and remember, this was before Great Depression Part Deux struck and made it more likely that many of us will join Edwards’ displaced mill workers in the breadline. But then he had to go put a camera-toting chippie on the payroll and get ambushed in the toilet of a fancy hotel while visiting his love child. Idiot.
#3—George W. Bush: The opposite of King Midas (Gnik Sadim?), everything he touches turns to shit. He’s topped my political fail list for the better part of a decade now, and his attempts to salvage a legacy at this late hour are as contemptible as they are pathetic. Digby said it best: “They need accept that the best they can hope for is to end up among history’s inept clowns instead of history’s villains. It’s not much, but it’s all they’ve got.”
#2—Sarah Palin: Oh, I’ll admit, she had me worried at first. On paper, she looked good. But then she opened her piehole, launching 987,693 punch lines and finally dooming the McCain campaign. The only question now is whether the sticky little starbursts she coaxed from the (ahem) hard right will congeal into a resolve to repeat the epic fail in 2012. Let’s hope so.
#1—John McCain: To be fair, McCain had Bush around his neck like a millstone, but whose fault is that? If McCain truly possessed the principles and honor on which he bases his personal mythology, he could have set himself up as a credible opponent to Bush ages ago and had a real shot at winning this year. But he defended the indefensible. He said dumb things and stuck to them. He needlessly alienated a sycophantic press corp. He squandered the unearned good will he’d spent decades deceitfully amassing. So he’s the top loo-hoo-hoo-ZER of 2008 in my book.
Two promising developments on the McCain campaign via the Political Wire; first:
“In one of his first moves to centralize control of McCain’s political organization, Steve Schmidt has tapped Rudy Giuliani’s former campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, to be McCain’s new political director,” a top campaign adviser tells CNN.
“Until last week, McCain had no political director at headquarters—highly unusual for a general election campaign. Mccain’s campaign instead relied on 11 regional campaign managers—a structure many Republicans in and outside of the McCain campaign, including Schmidt, considered unworkable.”
So Team McCain is imposing a basic campaign structure…in July. I guess those folks who were wringing their hands about the long slog of the Democratic primary giving McCain a huge headstart were right, huh? Oh, and picking Giuliani’s former campaign manager is such genius—I mean, Giuliani’s campaign was so darn successful. Schmidt should dispatch emissaries to all Tennessee Picadilly Buffet locations to round up former Fred Thompson staffers and press them into service. Second bit of news:
Bloomberg says the prerequisites for Sen. John McCain’s running mate are clear: “a Washington outsider with solid economic credentials who isn’t associated with President George W. Bush, can fill the vice-presidential attack-dog role, help win Western and Midwestern states and cut into Democrat Barack Obama’s fundraising advantage.”
“One candidate fits the bill: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.”
Yes, by all means, please put Mittens on the ticket. Having a representative of a religion many evangelicals perceive to be a satanic perversion of True Christianity on the ballot will surely galvanize a base that is already iffy on McCain. Teaming up with a dude who once strapped his dog to the roof of his station wagon for a family trip will certainly inspire animal lovers nationwide to metaphorically strap themselves to the roof of the Straight Talk Express. The Five Brothers blog would inevitably be revived, inspiring comedy gold with fresh rounds of mockery. And most importantly, the Mittmentum would secure Utah’s coveted 5 electoral votes for Team McCain. Let’s get this done!
Giving Senator Barack Obama new momentum, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, the United Food and Commercial Workers, endorsed him on Thursday. Another giant, the Service Employees International Union, was on the brink of backing him.
The endorsement of the service employees, which with 1.9 million members is seen as the nation’s most politically potent union, would be considered a special boon. Members of the service employees’ board were casting votes by e-mail and fax on Thursday night, and two top S.E.I.U. leaders said an Obama endorsement was likely.
The two unions did not make endorsements until now largely because they were so torn among Mr. Obama, John Edwards and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. But with Mr. Edwards out and Mr. Obama winning eight straight contests, many of the top leaders of the unions decided it was time to back him.
It looks like that Giuliani-like “come and get me” strategy is really paying off for Hillary…
Jeffrey Goldberg is a self-described “erstwhile optimist” regarding the future of the Middle East and he’s penned a well-laid-out and even-keeled nutsheller for The Atlantic about the many different ways that region can head after we threw a stink bomb into the middle of it. It’s highly recommended if you need to get your head around that mess and amidst all of that good learnin’, he’s managed to tuck in a few gems like this:
Nor were neoconservative ideologues—who had the most-elaborate visions of a liberal, democratic Iraq—interested in the Kurdish cause, or even particularly knowledgeable about its history. Just before the “Mission Accomplished” phase of the war, I spoke about Kurdistan to an audience that included Norman Podhoretz, the vicariously martial neoconservative who is now a Middle East adviser to Rudolph Giuliani. After the event, Podhoretz seemed authentically bewildered. “What’s a Kurd, anyway?” he asked me.
Neowrong, time and time again. I don’t think history will ever forgive us for turning our foreign policy over to those wrong-headed fucktards.