Friday Political Thread: Special Apologetic Edition


When you start blogging presidential debates, the expectation arises that you will blog all of them. But some weeks there are four presidential debates (or forums) tumbling one after another like drunk clowns skittering out of a Mini. And sometimes these debates break out during travel or vacation days. I think we know what kind of a week this was.

As a general rule I don't plan on live-blogging interest group-sponsored debates that aren't on national TV, unless I'm in the room when they're happening. And I don't plan on blogging presidential forums where candidates field questions without engaging with one another. Nonetheless the AFL-CIO, Logo and ABC News debates deserved their own threads and some coverage, so here it is:

– The Democrats played ball and participated in an AFL-CIO forum, but the federation declined to endorse a candidate. Could the endorsement of the AFL-CIO still swing the Democratic primary?

– What does the LOGO forum, and the willingness of Democrats to show up for it, say about the march of gay rights?

– A running pundits' joke after the last couple Republican forums was that Fred Thompson "won" them by staying above the fray. You didn't hear that joke so much after Sunday's debate—you heard more about Romney's one-liners, Giuliani's continuing strong performances, and Mike Huckabee's inevitable break out of the bottom tier. So by delaying this long, has Thompson already blown his chance?

And a question about this weekend:

– Mitt Romney will win the Iowa Straw Poll, but who will come in second? Third? If Ron Paul doesn't make it to the top 3, as his campaign staff has speculated, should he quit the race?