May 31, 2023

Mitt Out Of Luck (or “Goodbye-Rudy Tuesday”)

The bad news for the GOP is that they lost all the Republican hairdressers tonight. Mitt Romney was the best potential hair apparent the Grand Old Party has had since their impossible 1988 choice between the fabulous coiffures of Jack Kemp and Pete DuPont, and what could have been the best hairstyle of any Republican nominee ever (with the exception of Wendell Willkie [pictured at right], who won a then-record 22.3 million votes against the indomitable Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940, without pushing a single handsome hair out of place).

Instead, the man leading the GOP into the 2008 campaign, is a balding 71-year-old with stark-as-snow whitewalls which had already turned blindingly achromatic on his return from Viet Cong captivity some 35 years ago, and has been falling out strand by strand ever since.

The Romney Campaign suffered a devastating blow to the solar plexus last night in Florida. With Ginormous John Holmes-Sized Tuesday coming up next week and most of the polls in those pivotal states skewing towards John McCain–especially when Rudy drops out today and endorses his buddy, McCain, and Huckabee continues his slavish coveting of the Vice Presidential slot by staying in the race and preventing Mitt from gaining any votes in his absence–Mitt Romney needed to make a statement by coming out of the Sunshine State with a victory.

Not bloody likely. It’s a full-on “Fuck Mitt” strategy right now among the GOP survivors. Never mind Pat Buchanan, who’s been consistently wrong in his primary prognostications (and not surprising, as brother of Romney’s campaign chair Bay Buchanan), who Tuesday night predicted a surge for Romney which went south right along with Romney’s Florida deficit.

But Buchanan’s grousing isn’t surprising, regardless of his sister’s connection to the Romney campaign. It’s the party faithful who still aren’t entirely on board with the idea of a McCain candidacy. He’s old (they all remember Dole ’96, who was falling off stages and would soon be shilling for erectile dysfunction meds, running against vital, far-too-virile Bill Clinton), he’s too cozy with the USA Welcome Mat/here’s-40-acres-and-a-pickup pro-immigration crowd, and his Jesus bonafides are as suspect as those of any Godless Democrat.

Their dread is rather surprising. McCain’s ascent isn’t great news for Democrats, especially if the tenuous trend towards Hillary as the nominee continues. Polls show every Democrat beating Mitt Romney like a pinata. Obama still beats McCain handily, but only a Hillary-McCain matchup bodes ill for the Dems, with most numbers showing a dead heat between the two, given the margin of error.

But November is a long way away, and Lord have mercy on any pol or pundit who dares underestimate the Clinton guile and wile.

Case in point: The Florida Pledge. Hillary didn’t get to be a Clinton just by silently acquiescing to a lifetime of finding Bill on top of strange women in the backseat of the family sedan. As mentioned earlier in this blog, the Democratic Party has attempted to continue its tradition of shooting itself in its electoral feet by penalizing Florida and Michigan and refusing both states’ right to allocate delegates as punishment for moving their primaries up in the season’s calendar. In protest, several Democrats agreed not to campaign in Florida, including Hillary. Still, Hillary continued to do non-campaign campaigning for Florida and was rewarded by winning the state with 50% to Obama’s 33%.

What made this Clinton Smart (and Clinton Sleazy)? Well, come the Democratic Convention in Denver in August, one of the first votes the delegates will take is whether or not to seat the excommunicated Florida and Michigan delegations, and chances are pretty damned good that they will. The Democratic delegates in Florida and Michigan who weren’t counted aren’t going to be pledged to the state’s winner, but…forced to choose, they might well be disposed to cast their vote to whatever candidate cared the most about their state, even when their delegates were in the party dog house. Hillary was on MSNBC last night simultaneously congratulating herself on honoring the Democratic pledge not to campaign in Florida and celebrating her Florida victory.

If it’s a close delegate count for the nomination, this could be Barack Obama’s undoing. On the other hand, it might not be a close delegate count, depending upon what happens this morning, as John Edwards has just announced an appearance in New Orleans and what might be the end of his campaign–and a probable endorsement of Obama (“Probable”? I’m being far too cautious. After the bile that’s been spat between the Edwards and Clinton camps, John Edwards would sooner urge his delegates and supporters to line up for Tonya Harding than he would Hillary Clinton).