October 13th, 2012 | By Benjamin Soldaat
The first debate saw a sunken President, that in his own words was “too polite,” and a revived Romney on the offensive for the first time in this campaign. The Vice-Presidential debate saw Biden on the attack – but there was sense that he overdid it. Rolling eyes and contemptuous smiles are what sometimes become the seeds of defeat.
Debates are about managing expectations, but they are also about playing to those expectations perfectly. Can’t be too aggressive than the expectation, can’t be too passive, can’t be too disagreeable, can’t be a relentless “agreer” either. As Al Gore found out in 2ooo, debates are about meeting that balance of expectations.
Obama faces the worst of all situations. He was seen as too weak, too absent in the first debate. He must come roaring back on the attack.
September 30th, 2012 | By Benjamin Soldaat
From the NYP:
‘It’s a further lowering of expectations ahead of the first debate in Denver next week. Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse tells Fox News he thinks Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will win.’
‘ “Mitt Romney has had a lot more time to debate, the president has not debated in the past four years in terms, of a campaign debate. I think the president will hold his own, but he’s not known for sound bites. And these are 60 second, 90 second responses.” ‘
Plausible dribble. Now for Romney’s turn:
‘ Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie predicted Romney will do “extraordinarily well” in Wednesday night’s debate.
But, Christie predicted after the first debate, “this whole race is going to be turned upside down.” ‘
It will be turned upside down.
March 13th, 2012 | By Adrian Scott
At this point it is beyond pointless to decry the state of the Republican race. I’ve been meaning to post something for a number of weeks, but this race has had a curious inability to arouse my GAS (military parlance). What can be said about it? In July I was enthusiastic about a Rick Perry entrance. Please don’t judge me and try to remember what he had going for him at the time: a proven record at winning elections, solid conservative positions and a thriving Texas economy. Well, we all remember what happened there. After casting about for a bit, I finally settled on Newt Gingrich: flawed to be sure, but what could be more compelling than a story of grace and forgiveness? To boot, he was the only Republican on the stage who had orchestrated and won national campaigns, and the only one with significant conservative accomplishments nationally – think three balanced budgets and welfare reform.
February 14th, 2012 | By Benjamin Soldaat
Ever since Ginrich’s downfall in Florida, Santorum has surged to the front runner position – once again. Romney’s strategy has been simple and well played: don’t attack more than one enemy at once. It worked for Napoleon, Germany, and Israel. Fighting a multiple front war is usually a bad idea. Instead all of these countries when they are/were successful tackled one enemy at a time in succession.
That brings us back to Romney, who, in succession, has trained his fire on Perry, Cain, Ginrich (multiple times), and now Santorum. It’s as if we’ve entered a rotating series of conflicts, with foes dying and subsequently re-appearing later on to challenge Kingdom Romney.
Except that the other kingdoms are tattered countries without any gold, populated with Kings with either bad advisers or Kings with notorious “zany” tendencies.
February 2nd, 2012 | By Matthew Campbell
Do endorsements matter in a competitive contest like the one we’re witnessing this year within the Republican Party? You bet they do, although the result might not always be as planned! Take, for example, today’s surprise announcement by real estate mogul and The Apprentice star Donald Trump that he was going to be endorsing
Newt Gingrich Mitt Romney. News that The Donald’s support of Candidate Romney had all of the trademarks of practically every peep that Donald Trump has made regarding politics during the past twelve months. The Republican-turned Independent-turned Democrat-turned Independent-turned Republican has made a public spectacle of himself by openly debating whether or not he would enter the Presidential race as either a Republican or third party candidate, all while offering blistering criticism of the GOP and its official presidential candidates (including his now-favourite, Romney!) in a fashion that is most unbecoming of a successful, decisive business leader.
January 26th, 2012 | By Benjamin Soldaat
Santorum’s biggest problem is the same as Gingrich’s: not enough money, not enough manpower.
The feats that both campaigns managed to muster in Iowa and in South Carolina are breathtaking given that they were unlikely victories in the GOP nomination. Who would have guessed that Gingrich would have made yet another comeback in this race? And Santorum’s last minute rise in Iowa was predicted by just who?
They’ve been running similar campaigns: appealing to anti-Romney votes including social conservatives, and defense hawks along with some passive courting of the Tea Party along the way. The problem is Romney’s been around longer, he’s fund-raised more, and, he’s managed to keep himself far more disciplined than either Santorum or Gingrich.
Gingrich’s campaign may be far more in debt than Santorum’s but it is surging.