The Frontrunner

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McCain wins the Most Important State Ever. A humiliated (and relieved?) Rudy Giuliani, rumored to be stepping down and endorsing McCain tomorrow, is now quoting Teddy Roosevelt, and congratulating his competitors. Including Ron Paul: "He won the debates!"

The one thing we've learned tonight: There will never, ever, never, never, ever be another "late state strategy" in presidential politics again. At least until 2112.

UPDATE: Rudy's loser speech—filled with "self-government," school choice, broadsides against "the central government"—is better than anything I've heard from him all season. As was Fred Thompson's. Maybe when the rest of them lose they'll suddenly sound half-good, too? Certainly the still-ticking Romney sounds both horrid—"before they have babies they should get married"??—and kind of teary-eyed.

Anyway, while the corpse is still warm, enjoy one last time David Weigel's profile of Giuliani in our December issue.

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NEXT: Super-Villain Team-Up: Rudy Hearts McCain

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  1. I have mixed feelings about this, but it’s still kinda sad to see Rudy’s stunning reversal of fortunes.

  2. I’m starting to read this blog exclusively for the prog references.

  3. Paul didn’t do so well in the redneck counties.

    So much for the paleo “redneck outreach.”

    He did a bit better in places where people are more educated.

  4. I have mixed feelings about this, but it’s still kinda sad to see Rudy’s stunning reversal of fortunes.

    I’d say its absolutely beautiful and satisfying to see Il Duce go down in flames.

  5. “The Frontrunner” meaning “The Horse Race.”

    “John McCain solidified his status as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination”

    It’s The Race that’s important from now on.
    Fuck The Ideas.
    It’s all over.
    I retire to bedlam.

  6. Hit and Run can never have enough Rush references for my taste.

  7. That Wikipedia entry is much better than the album, btw.

  8. That Wikipedia entry is much better than the album, btw.

    and here I was just starting to think you were cool 😉

  9. I am starting to feel bad for all of those anti-Rudy comments on my blog.

  10. Cesar,

    I really don’t like to see anyone lose. One would have to be an absolute asshole for him/her to get no sympathy from me, like the other Duce.

  11. Actually, Matt, if you’ve ever looked at the main Wikipedia entry on Rush, it’s one of their “featured articles,” which is their Editor’s Award they give to only about 1,855 of the over 2 million articles on the site. Whether you like them or not, it’s really a great piece and example of what Wikipedia can be when folks in the know take entries seriously.

  12. And yeah, 2112 is over-rated as an album. But the SONG is still one of the great “Fuck Yous” in the history of rock and roll, as the entry on the album notes.

  13. Third party time! With McCain as the nominee, it is almost a done deal…and I don’t mean Michael (McCain lite) Bloomberg.

  14. The fact that he dry-humped a mass grace for six years to become President makes him loose just about all sympathy from my view. But I can understand where you are coming from.

  15. Does McCain actually have any redeming qualities? Just asking.

  16. Let’s hope now that the Libertarian Party gets its act together and nominates a decent “Ed Clark style” candidate for ’08. The List of potential “real worlders” includes: Gary Johnson, Ed Thompson, Wayne Root, and Bob Barr.

    Please Libertarian Party, DO NOT NOMINATE ANY MORE LOSERTARIANS like Kubby of Phillies.

    Nominate someone all libertarians can support.

    Wayne Root seems like the best choice for you all. But Barr or the others will do just fine too.

  17. So does Rpaul really have 4 delegates? Who gets Thompsons 5?

  18. Dodsworth, I’m not a New Yorker. Other than the smoking thing I don’t know much else about him. How bad is he? I’m not disagreing with you. I just honestly don’t know.

  19. The Republicans screwed Bob Barr out of his seat.

    Maybe he’d be willing to return the favor.

  20. Is Bob Barr running?

  21. Isn’t Bob Barr for the drug war?

  22. Mr. Nice Guy:

    There is plent of other reasons to object to McCain. For one thing, he’s the guy who thinks it is funny to sing Beach Boys songs about bombing Iraq. He’s a mad bomber.

  23. So Dondero, how do you feel about the reports of your guy Rudy endorsing McCain as early as tomorrow?

    You must be near tears right now.

  24. Go Away Eric. Your candidate lost.

  25. Bloomberg raised property taxes big time, hates the second amendment (even more than Rudy) and has brought suit against gun manufacturers in other states. He’s a health nazi not just on smoking but trans fats and takes a wimpy Huckabee-like “we broke it” position on iraq.

  26. Derek, I feel like shit, how do you think I would feel? I note most of the Giuliani people I’ve been talking to are leaning towards Romney now. So, Rudy may just manage to piss off all his strongest supporters.

    McCain is such a squish.

    Libertarian Party, PLEASE!! GET YOU’ALL’S ACT TOGETHER AND NOMINATE WAYNE ROOT FOR PRESIDENT!!

  27. Go away Phil, your candidate got 3.1% of the vote.

    Where’s all the Ron Paul talk here? Cat got y’all’s tongues?

    My guy Rudy got 5 times as many votes as Ron Paul. My other guy Romney got 11 times as many votes as Paul.

  28. Let me guess–Wayne Root supports the war?

  29. On a brighter note it looks like Issue 1 will pass. That will cut property taxes. This is something all libertarians can support.

  30. Eric:

    Ron Paul is getting 11 percent in a third party match-up, even without McCain. He has the LP nomination for the asking though I prefer Gary Johnson. I, and many others, will fight tooth and claw to keep a McCain me too hawk like Root from getting the LP nomination. Two pro-war candidates (Hillary and McCain) are enough for November.

  31. “Bloomberg raised property taxes big time, hates the second amendment (even more than Rudy) and has brought suit against gun manufacturers in other states. He’s a health nazi not just on smoking but trans fats and takes a wimpy Huckabee-like “we broke it” position on iraq.”

    So he isn’t likely to take many (if any) votes from either conservatives or libertarians.

    By the way the person who wrote what I put in quotes is not me. 🙂

  32. Hey Eric –

    We can just say that Paul didn’t campaign in FL. And that he beat Giuliani in every state he campaigned in.

    I don’t want to hear any objections to that argument, considering Giuliani felt free to claim that all the other states didn’t count since he “wasn’t really trying” in those states.

  33. Is Root the guy Neil Boortz is supporting?

  34. Fine Dodsworth. Fight Root if you please. Just don’t count on getting any libertarian Republican support for your LP nominee.

    Bob Barr, Wayne Root, Gary Johnson and Ed Thompson all have the opportunity to get disenchanted GOPers like me, who can’t stomach John McCain. Kubby and Phillies cannot get that support. They’ll be laughed at by mainstream libertarians.

    But go ahead and nominate a Losertarian like Steve Kubby if you want. Just don’t expect to get anymore than Badnarik’s 350,000 votes.

  35. Isn’t Bob Barr for the drug war?

    I don’t think so. This sounds like it could have been written by Sullum.

  36. Hey Fluffy, what about Wyoming, ‘eh?

    Your boy Paul was “going to win Wyoming for sure.”

    Not a single delegate from that State for Ron Paul.

  37. Dodsworth, Ron Paul said very explicitly in our local newspaper here in Houston last week that he would not run on the Libertarian Party ticket, but rather as an Independent.

    I tend to think he’ll run a combination of Independent and Constitution Party in some states.

  38. Eric:

    What? You’d support Barr? Barr is against the war. How could you vote for him since you apparently believe that Islamic Caliphate will prevail unless we keep at war in Iraq forever.

  39. Cesar, don’t like Wayne Root, fine. Just pick someone for the LP with a track record. How about Ed Thompson? Don Gorman? Bob Barr?

    The LP has over 500 elected officials as Town Councilman, Mayors and such. Any one of them would be better than Losertarians Steve Kubby or George Phillies, neither of whom has ever been elected dog catcher.

    Please Libertarian Party, pick a mainstream Libertarian this time. Not a Badnarik/Harry Browne type extremist nutball fringe Losertarian.

  40. Eric:

    Oh….and Johnson (who you support) is also against the war and supports the man you love to hate, Ron Paul.

  41. First I’ve heard Barr is opposed to the War. Which War, Afghanistan or Iraq, or both? And is he mainstream Anti-War, or nutball fringe Anti-War?

    Big difference.

  42. Which War does Johnson oppose, Iraq or Afghanistan, or both? And is he opposed to all War and a pacifist like Ron Paul, or is he reasonable on the issue?

  43. Oops. Missed this part of the article I linked:

    However, unlike many of the drugs occupying space on the federal Controlled Substances Act, anabolic steroids pose no real danger to anyone other than the users.

    That does makes it sound like he supports laws against drugs.

  44. Bob Barr would be cool if hes changed his position on the drug war.

    And Dondero, Barr is for withdraw last time I heard.

  45. The Libertarian Party has the opportunity to gain Pro-Defense, “Fiscally conservative/socially tolerant” Republicans who were backing Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani. The LP could blow it by nominating an extremist. Or, the LP could win over votes of these Goldwaterites by nominating a reasonable Libertarian.

    Which will it be Libertarian Party?

  46. Go away Phil, your candidate got 3.1% of the vote.

    My candidate didn’t go from a nationwide first-in-the-poles position to also-ran in every contest this year including the one he staked his entire candidacy on.

    Ron Paul came from obscurity and raised over 30 Million.

    Ron was never going to win the nomination, but he has been wildly successful in getting his message heard by people of all political persuasions.

    Rudy just fucked everything up. End of story.

  47. Uh, little help?

    I don’t know if I’m mainstream Anti-War, or nutball fringe Anti-War.

    I don’t own any puppets, but I want to prosecute Bush.

  48. I want to prosecute Bush.

    Good luck with that. If Nixon didn’t end up in jail, no ex-president will.

  49. Fine Dodsworth. Fight Root if you please. Just don’t count on getting any libertarian Republican support for your LP nominee.

    “Libertarian Republicans” aren’t exactly a group you can claim to speak for anymore, Eric.

  50. I had also heard that Barr was against the drug war, or at least scaling it back (like decrim of the MJ)

  51. If you stare longingly at your signed photo of Cindy Sheehan, you might be nutball fringe Anti-War

  52. I say fringe anti-war is the ANSWER Krewe. You know, not only were you anti-war in 2003, but you actively defended Saddam Hussein and said what a great guy he really was.

  53. “Libertarians” aren’t a group you can claim to speak for Franklin, since you’re a leftwing Anarchist America-hater.

    Oh, and as for me speaking for “Libertarian Republicans,” my Libertarian Blog just got 4400 unique visitors the other day. How’s your Blog doing?

  54. The Republicans screwed Bob Barr out of his seat.

    Maybe he’d be willing to return the favor.

    Wrong again joe
    Dems in GA were responsible for the redistricting “screwing Barr out of his seat”. Barr was too much of a pussy to attack Linder in the Primary so he lost.

    If you want to comment on GA politics learn something. I can ignore your Max Cleland distortions ’cause that is the common hallucination your Democrat Party kool-aid produces.

  55. OK, I met and handful of those people in college.

  56. “Ron Paul came from obscurity.” Really? A former two-term Presidential candidate. A guy who has been in Congress for 15 years+? You call that “obscure”?

  57. Go Away Eric. Your candidate lost.

    Not possible, he just switches before the ship completely sinks. If Romney decides to cut his losses like a good businessman in the near future, leaving McCain, Huckster, and his disgruntled former employer…well, at the very least he’ll have to change his blog’s name.

  58. Wow, sucking up to John Linder.

    The Democrats were going to redistrict somebody’s seat away, but the Repubicans served up Barr on a silver platter.

    Is that what you call someone with Bob Barr’s class? A pussy?

    Georgia Republicans, such class acts.

  59. Look, SIV, we know you can make up whatever stories you like to tell yourself about the spotless Republican Party.

    Do you think Bob Barr, Former Republican, feels like he got a square deal from the party?

  60. Dondero Rittberg says: Don Gorman 4 LP Prez

    Uh, here in New Hampshire, Don Gorman was destroyed 5:1 by a local conservative in a special election for the NH House. Plus, I hear from locals around here that GOP stalwarts are spreading rumours about his character, that he’s a “town drunk” where he comes from. Stick a fork in Gorman.

  61. Oh, and as for me speaking for “Libertarian Republicans,” my Libertarian Blog just got 4400 unique visitors the other day. How’s your Blog doing?

    4,400? That’s pathetic, actually. And I don’t currently have a blog and have never had an exclusively (or even mostly) political blog. But, as it happens, I could get 2,000 visits just blogging about a horror movie.

    Besides, as far as visitors go, lots of people visit zoos, too, but none of them claim the monkeys speak for them.

  62. joe

    You are fucking nuts and a moron to boot.
    Where di I defend Linder? Barr fucked up.
    He chgose to run against Linder while another Republican, Phil Gingrey won the “safe Democrat” gerrymandered district Barr was too m,uch of a pussy to compete in. Why are you such a Barr fan?, I like the guy except for his drug war militancy while in office, He started the impeachment proceedings against Clinton–well before Ken Starr was involved.

    The Republicans did nothing to “screw him out of his seat”, you fucking made that up.

  63. Eric has a point about the LP running non-candidates. Third-party candidates need notoriety, some sort of inherent appeal and hopefully some bucks if they want to make it anywhere. I mean, Badnarik is a gentleman and a scholar, but he had none of the aforementioned characteristics.

    What was with those faces Rudy was making in Boca?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzt6ZJYss-0

  64. Speaking of town drunks, my dad was the town drunk.

    Sometimes that ain’t so bad. But New York City?

  65. The GA Dems redistricted arr out of office, in large part, because of the Clinton Impeachment.

    After Gingrich Bob Barr was the national Democrat Party GA boogeyman.

    What is your obsession with revisionist GA political history?

  66. Why are you such a Barr fan?

    He demonstrated his superiority to his former colleagues during the PATRIOT ACT, post-9/11 period.

    And whether you want to admit it or not, there were hard feelings about how the state party treated Bob Barr.

  67. Check out this interview with Mitt Romney on a Florida AM radio station this morning. The host gets pissed off and tells his listeners Romney just lost his vote. It’s pretty entertaining.

    On the Bob Barr thing… the LP targeted him in that election as part of their “Incumbent Killer Strategy”. I have no idea what effect it had.

  68. I, for one, am glad Giuliani bit the dust. The guy was a hack and a dangerous one at that. Giuliani, Clinton, and Huckabee all scare me.

    And as for Mr. Dondero – I for one never supported RP and thought he never had a chance but to think Romney is a libertarian is proof that you are delusional – oh and that fact that you think 4400 unique visitors is … ah … well … relevant… haha … 4400 visitors… thanks for the chuckle.

  69. McCain has admitted that he doesn’t know too much about economics, yet the economy is the dominant issue to a lot of voters, even moreso than the war. Why did they vote for him? It’s really confusing.

    Also, I have a feeling that if the economy is thrust into the spotlight (via recession) Hillary is going to wipe the floor with him.

  70. .. as much as I’d like to see the LP draft Gary Johnson, I’d much rather see him run for the Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici .. Johnson could do a lot of good from that position ..

    .. Hobbit

  71. I’m going to ask you again, SIV: Do you think Bob Barr, Former Republican, feels like he got a square deal from that angelic Georgia Republican Party?

    And you shouldn’t swear so much. You certainly are keyed up.

  72. Bingo,

    Because the economy is pretty good if you’re a Republican retiree in Florida. Your personal economy is doing just fine, and you’re pretty isolated from the national economy.

    They’re probably the 9% of the public who think the economy is excellent – Republican retirees in Florida.

  73. And whether you want to admit it or not, there were hard feelings about how the state party treated Bob Barr.

    They didn’t want him to run against Linder in what was mostly Linder’s pre-gerrymandered district. He didn’t want to run in the new district as it was drawn “safe democrat” but a newcomer Republican took it anyways.

    Barr could have beat Linder if he demagogued the VAT tax scheme (John Linder wants to eliminate your mortgage interest deduction)Instead he ran a token losing campaign.

  74. At least Paul got more votes than Giuliani, who is even now collecting his consolation prize.

    I don’t think any libertarian could support Romney. Giuliani, of course, is no libertarian, and he’s proven to be an incredibly lousy campaigner. However, whatever I may think of Giuliani, the only possible endorsement left for him was McCain.

  75. I’m going to ask you again, SIV: Do you think Bob Barr, Former Republican, feels like he got a square deal from that angelic Georgia Republican Party?

    I don’t know how he feels. He was a lighning rod for National Democrat criticism and a fundraising boogeyman for his central role in the Clinton Impeachment. He was perceived, and probably thought himself, that he was poison among conservative Dems and some independents.

    He wasn’t “thrown over” for his strong position on civil liberties.

  76. So, if Rudy endorses McCain, is he hoping for a cabinet position (as if McCain could win)? Attorney General maybe?

  77. So, if Rudy endorses McCain, is he hoping for a cabinet position (as if McCain could win)? Attorney General maybe?

    I think I just threw up a little

  78. Eric Dondero: I still don’t understand all the Dondero hate (with the extended caps lock Dondero action) even though you call people pussys. It’s like nobody’s ever been called a pussy in the heat of battle. That said, I really don’t understand how Romney advances libertarian ideas more than Ron Paul. As I said in the other thread, this is a nomination sequence and the more support Ron Paul gets, the more libertarian ideas get a national spotlight, even if the candidate deviates from strict libertarian ideals.

    Is there a particular issue, a certain breaking point that makes supporting Ron Paul as an ideas candidate unappealing? Is it your position that Mitt Romney is advances libertarian ideas more than Ron Paul at the nomination level?

  79. “The GA Dems redistricted arr out of office, in large part, because of the Clinton Impeachment.”

    SIV-Are not both houses of the GA legislature Rep? How did the Dems redistrict anyone out of office w/out the GOP GA blessing?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_House_of_Representatives

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Senate

  80. Lamar,

    Romeny never fired Dondero. Paul has. Draw your own conclusion.

  81. Yeah, I’ve been in that position. Still, explaining why I hated X made me realize certain things that I was espousing things that were incompatible with my core beliefs. Perhaps there is still some good left in the libertarian lord vader.

  82. Rudy for Secretary of Defense…

    Remember 9/11!!!

  83. I thought I was done kicking Dondero’s ass.

  84. Fruitcake, 9/11, and terrirists…Oh my!

  85. Go Steve Kubby!!

  86. MNG

    Dems held the GA legislature when the districts were re-drawn.

  87. Could American politics get any more depressing?

  88. Hah. A month ago Giuliani was the “mainstream libertarian” candidate. Now it’s Romney. Who will it be next month, Dondero? Maybe you should have a poll for your 4400 unique viewers.

  89. Guys,
    I may have to turn in my libertarian membership card. I had to call the city fire department to my house tonight and the conversation I had with the doc about it sounded like an Onion article.

    I just hope I don’t start talking like other ex-libertarians.

  90. Could American politics get any more depressing?

    Pig, The answer is yes.

    Imagine a world where Giuliani was the front runner, and Ron Paul was a backwoods doctor no one had heard of. Imagine a world where there was no Internet to bypass the MSM.

    The old paradigm of public choice theory, that organized special interests can overcome disorganized and scattered opposition, is falling by the wayside. Widespread grass-roots efforts are increasingly easy to spark.

    Look at Ron Paul, who is polling much higher than he would be if he had run this campaign 15 years ago.

    Look at Dodd’s torpedoing of the FISA bill, which was the result of a ad-hoc campaign by interested observers (by the Kossacks if I recall correctly).

    Witness the evisceration of SCO in the SCO/IBM lawsuit carried out by Groklaw, where every press release, every court filing, every financial report put out by SCO was analyzed mercilessly by volunteers.

    We are entering an era where skullduggery will be increasingly difficult. Where there are fewer and fewer dark corners to hide in.

    The days of a few gatekeepers controlling everything are almost over. There will be gatekeepers in the foreseeable future, but their positions will be a lot less secure.

    The next few decades will suck, but I think that the next century will see a repudiation of much of the social engineering that dominated 20th century politics in the U.S.

  91. “McCain has admitted that he doesn’t know too much about economics, yet the economy is the dominant issue to a lot of voters, even moreso than the war. Why did they vote for him? It’s really confusing”

    people are not looking for a policy wonk, or a genius. by most estimations, the two most intelligent presidents in recent memory: carter and nixon.

    smart =/= good president.

    you don’t need to know a lot about economics to get those people who are concerned about the economy to vote for you. as long as your basic philosophy is in line with a voter, he trusts you to appoint the econ nerds to make policy.

    also note that bush has a friggin’ harvard MBA. doesn’t mean he’s been particularly great for the economy.

  92. “There is plent of other reasons to object to McCain. For one thing, he’s the guy who thinks it is funny to sing Beach Boys songs about bombing Iraq. ”

    it was Iran not Iraq.

    ba ba ba ba bomb iraq doesn’t work.

    ba ba ba ba bomb iran, otoh is catchy and i can dance to it. i give it a 9!

  93. I think Eric Dondero Rittberg really did get thrown into a Mexican prison last year, and that all these posts are being done by a pimply fourteen year old in his parent’s basement. I wonder if I call that number he keeps giving out, his mom will answer?

  94. A “mainstream libertarian” like Giuliani? If the only kind of “libertarian” who can win is the Unitary Executive/Gitmo/Abner Louima kind, then what’s the fucking point? Might as well randomly pick any other of the “libertarian” candidates, like Hillary, Obama, or McCain. Same difference.

  95. Giuliani could become the next Cheney. You know, a VP who’s there because he makes us feel like he’s personally running around giving the boot to the terr’is’s. (And if he doesn’t give you that impression he probably creeps you out.) He even has the same roundish body shape.

    McCain / Giuliani ’08 would be a really defense-focused ticket, and that barely worked last time around. Additionally, it would really lack appeal to the base, but on the other hand it might present an interesting option for moderates who don’t like Clinton or Obama but would be turned off by the other, more traditionally conservative, Repub candidates.

  96. Ventifact,

    I’m already fading away from the straight talk express. McCain/Giuliani would probably send straight to “write-in” town.

  97. tarran: i really hope you’re right.

    it is terribly gratifying to see mr. 9/11 go down in flames.

    uh, you know what i mean.

  98. “before they have babies they should get married”

    Huh?

    This is bad advice how?

    Look I am in no mood for government forcing marriage on pregnant women…but the fact remains people raised by two parents rather then one fair far better in the world then those raised by one.

  99. “Look I am in no mood for government forcing marriage on pregnant women…but the fact remains people raised by two parents rather then one fair far better in the world then those raised by one.”

    I agree with you, but I’m curious, does this extend to homo parents?

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