If someone’s looking for me to say something negative about Sarah Palin, why, that’s not going to come from me. I mean, did you see what she did to the halibut the other night on her show? Yeah, I’m not in for that …Presumptive 2012 candidate Mitt Romney • Dodging the issue of what he thinks of Sarah Palin by ripping on her fish-clubbing skills. Slick, Mit, slick. He was on Jay Leno (boo) talking about himself (boo), and was sounding awfully presidential. Will he run for president? Is water wet? source (via • follow)
Why this matters: As one of the earliest states to hold its primary (only Iowa votes first), New Hampshire is critically important in determining presidential nominees. Although he won the state in ‘08, some had worried that the presence of Tea Partiers might thwart his chances this time around. But if this poll is any indicator, Romney can relax: the very same people surveyed here also just elected a Tea Party activist to head the state GOP. Seeing as he probably won’t win in socially-conservative Iowa, New Hampshire is crucial if Romney wants to be the Republican nominee for President. This poll suggests he might have a fighting chance. Some other notable results:
» But take this with a grain of salt: Encouraging as these results may be to Giuliani, he still finished thirty (30) points behind Romney, which is an awfully steep deficit to overcome. And New Hampshire’s not exactly a deep red state, so it’s expected that they’d favor a moderate like Giuliani over someone like Mike Huckabee (who tied with Tim Pawlenty for third)). Still, just about nobody in the media has been taking a potential Giuliani candidacy seriously, so this second place showing is, if nothing else, a surprise.
» Some more odd bits from the poll: PPP took the interesting step of asking respondents to rate the Brothers Bush, Jeb and George W. both, against Obama in a hypothetical 2012 race. The results? Jeb would get trounced by fourteen points (paging Rich Lowry!), while the Constitutionally-ineligible former President would only lose by four, meaning he’s actually a more formidable candidate than Mitt Romney. In addition, the GOP could defeat Obama by two points if they nominated a “moderate Republican candidate,” so all they’ve got to do now is set their time machine to 1952 and they’ll have a slew of strong contenders to choose from.
You may have noticed that the president and his people spend more time talking about me and Massachusetts health care than Entertainment Tonight spends talking about Charlie Sheen.Mitt Romney • Trying to get a whip-dash burn in on Obama while being hip and of the moment. Romney was in New Hampshire today making the kind of inroads a presidential candidate might make. Which, of course, means that he has to eventually talk to the elephant in the room – he health care plan he enacted, on which the federal plan was modeled. Romney’s take? He was dealing with problems “unique to Massachusetts” with his plan, and Obamacare is ”Misguided and egregious.” Because hey. As long as I look good and I can take credit for something, it doesn’t matter what you do. source (via • follow)
» What to make of this: By and large, the takeaway here is that the Republican field is very weak, and there’s no clear favorite (Huckabee and Romney could perhaps be considered “co-favorites”). Trump has done well in a few polls, but this is more likely due to a) boredom on the part of primary voters, and b) Trump’s recent media blitz. It’s difficult to imagine a candidate with such toxic approval ratings winning a national election; he’d have to win over an additional 18% of voters just to break even. That being said, 26% of voters in the PPP poll haven’t yet made up their mind about Trump, giving him lots of room to grow. Still, we agree with Christian Heinz over at The Hill, who noted that Trump’s numbers illustrate “the tremendous thirst for a new, charismatic candidate” in the GOP primary. Charismatic? You betcha. Electable? We’re not so sure.
You’ve got to be able to walk into a gas station, a restaurant, or a bar and be able to shake hands and communicate. It’s street level politics, if you will. He’s just very polished. He’s an individual that’s successful, but at the same time, I don’t know how much he wants to sit around and hang out.South Carolina State Rep. Nathan Ballentine • Speaking about Mitt Romney’s electoral prospects in the Palmetto State, a matter now looking more imminent with Romney’s newly formed presidential exploratory committee. Romney got trounced in South Carolina last time around, finishing in fourth behind John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and “lazy like a fox” Fred Thompson. If his campaign chooses to cede South Carolina, and invests their resources elsewhere, they may be playing with fire; no Republican has lost the South Carolina primary and won the nomination since the first one, back n 1980. source (via • follow)