I thought briefly about playing with the coincidence between yesterday's county filing deadline and today's humor holiday, but I couldn't think of the right non-candidate who woth both plausible and implausible at the same time. I still consider myself a funny guy:
So while I take the day off to get going on The Smallest Farm, here's our clips:
Given what happened to Romney here last time — and Sen. John McCain’s ability to win the GOP nomination after finishing fourth in the caucuses — can the early front-runner run a slimmed-down Iowa campaign that lowers expectations without at the same time alienating local activists and opinion-makers?So, it seems to be a given that the Mitt won't win here. Insert my standard bit: If Romney had belonged to Huckabee's church, he would have been the nominee.
“I think he should play in Iowa, but he maybe overplayed in the last go-round,” said Branstad, who will play an influential role in the 2012 presidential caucus should he win in November.
He added: “I don’t think you want to run against Iowa, [but] I’m not saying you’ve got to make Iowa the be all to end all.”
This move is likely designed to win over mainly Democratic votes, not Republicans... Toss in Alaska (Begich), which was also partially opened, and you are looking at Louisiana Landrieu, Florida (Bill Nelson), Virginia (Warner and Webb, North Carolina (Hagan) and South Carolina (Graham). As the links embedded in their names show, they are all proponents of offshore drilling. The coastal states with Senators opposed to offshore drilling will not receive any new drilling.Note, in this context, the absence of any West Coast.
Bowers also notes the left's dilemma:
Progressive groups can get as mad as they like when the Obama administration abandons them with policy moves like these. However, since President Obama is more popular among the membership of those groups then even the leaders of those groups, it is difficult for them to effectively fight back.The President remains the party's strongest asset, and he's committed to at least the fig leaf of centrism, even though Republicans refuse to play.
Speaking of which:
Republicans simply have not lost on an issue this big in decades. Media coverage features so many breathless political ups and downs that it's easy to assume each party tastes victory and defeat in equal measure. But as a matter of ideology, these overheated fights take place between the 45-yard lines on a field that conservatives shrewdly tilted to their advantage several decades ago. That President Obama could move the debate to the 40-yard line and win is something the modern GOP has never experienced.I like this on the surface level, which Joe Biden summed up better than anyone, and on the level of this bill is a first down, not a touchdown.