1. A missed opportunity…

    It was a chance encounter. Today I was walking down Broadway with a colleague from law school to meet our professor at her office. As I crossed 54th Street, I glanced to my right and saw Jon Huntsman walking toward us. We reached the corner a half step before him, and I managed to say, “Good afternoon, Governor.” Huntsman saw me, nodded, and gave a faint smile in acknowledgement. No one broke their gait, my friend and I crossed in front of him, and within a few seconds we were far apart, perhaps never to meet again.

    I never told Mr. Huntsman that I respected his service to our country. I never told him that I thought that he should be our party’s nominee. I never told him how angry it made me today when I had to begrudgingly cast a vote for his robotic and aristocratic rival, Mr. Romney.

    I never told him that he’s the first candidate I ever donated money to—$10 may not have made much difference, but it was a lot of money coming from a law student without gainful employment. (I never told him that his staff still hasn’t sent me the ceramic mug I purchased for $15 via his campaign website.)

    I never told him how irritated I was that Saturday Night Live didn’t write his character into its last cold opening, even though he was the only candidate to appear on the show.

    I never told him that I too regret his decision to “raise his hand” during the Iowa debate. I never told him that I completely agreed with his recent criticism of the party’s failure to accommodate dissenting opinions. I never told him how important it is to still have reasonable voices like his in the party, particularly in the current political climate. 

    So I missed my opportunity today to tell him anything substantive. I spent the next few minutes explaining to my friend that we had just passed the only presidential candidate I had ever been enthusiastic about and that I didn’t even stop to shake his hand.

    Sometimes it’s tough to be a Republican in New York City. Young liberals regularly object when they discover that I am a registered member of the GOP: “You’re too smart to be a conservative!” “But, you’re not crazy!” I often have to justify myself with lengthy explanations.

    But these days I think it might be even tougher for a reasonable candidate to justify himself as a Republican. Huntsman’s campaign was certainly flawed, but his biggest problem seemed to be that he was the reasonable man in an unreasonable field. During the campaign, right-wing commentators painted Huntsman as a liberal, merely because he was civil and didn’t engage in unreasonable attacks on the President. The mainstream media did this too, tagging him as a moderate because he didn’t share some of the irrational or intolerant beliefs of his fellow GOP candidates. They assigned front-runner status to imbeciles and lunatics—even entertaining the presidential aspirations of Donald Trump—rather than focusing on a conservative ex-governor that didn’t fit neatly into their narrative. And even though Huntsman is no longer in the race, the media still portray him as the odd man out.

    I hope Jon Huntsman has a future in the Republican Party. Political realignment may be necessary if reasonable voices can no longer find a home in the GOP.

    (Source: jvbrewer)

     


  2. I’ve already voted, I voted absentee. And thank God it’s a secret ballot.
    — Jeb Bush, who has yet declined to endorse any of the GOP candidates for President ahead of Tuesday’s Florida primary.
     


  3. Nooooo!

    Now what am I going to do with this mug?

    (Source: The New York Times)

     

  4. In case you didn’t hear, Romney won New Hampshire easily. 

    Next on States That Have A Disproportionate Influence On The Selection Of Our Nominee, South Carolina.

    (Previously…)

    (Source: CNN)

     

  5. Congratulations to Rick Santorum for his statistical tie with Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses. I hope he enjoys this victory, because it likely will not last.

    It’s worth noting that Romney did no better in Iowa tonight (25%, 30,015 votes) than he did in 2008 (25%, 30,021 votes), and the other candidates are arguably weaker this time around. However, the number that matters going into the next primaries really has nothing to do with votes in Iowa—it’s cash on hand

    Romney has loads of cash on hand. Santorum doesn’t. The only other GOP candidate who has cash comparable to Romney’s is Rick Perry, but he will likely drop out after his fifth place finish in Iowa. The party’s last presidential nominee, Senator McCain, is reportedly set to endorse Romney tomorrow, so it seems the Romney campaign already has damage control in the works.

    Tonight’s results obviously signal that the GOP voters are still exploring alternatives to Mitt Romney, but with only a week before the New Hampshire primary, it’s unlikely that there will be any surprises. But who knows, maybe Huntsman’s efforts in New Hampshire, like Santorum’s in Iowa, will prolong this already tortured nomination process.

     


  6. But Mr. Gingrich represents a new kind of Catholic, one very different from the Kennedys, who were Democrats, political liberals and cradle Catholics shaped by the Irish immigrant church. To a Kennedy-era Catholic, divorce was a sin, labor unions were a virtue and anti-Catholic bigotry was a staple in many Protestant circles.

    Mr. Gingrich is a culture wars Catholic for whom the church seems a logical home for conservative Republicans. Generations removed from the Kennedy years when Catholics predictably voted Democratic, this is a new era in which conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have joined forces in what they see as a defining struggle against abortion, same-sex marriage and secularism.

    There is no “new political era” for Catholics. Catholics are not a unitary voting bloc—they have split their vote in every presidential election since the late 1960s, and alternately favored Democrats and Republicans. (E.g., in 2004, 52% of Catholics voted for Bush, while in 2008, 54% of Catholics backed Obama.) 

    Moreover, if any GOP candidate represents “culture wars” Catholics, it’s Rick Santorum, not Mr. Gingrich. Santorum was once described by an aide as “a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate,” and he has actually engaged in the so-called “struggle” against abortion and same-sex marriage, while Gingrich’s record as Speaker did not prioritize social issues.

     

  7. Bachmann attacking Gingrich again, this time on abortion.

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  8. Santorum criticized Romney on his same-sex marriage record. This is the part of the debate where the candidates are trying to out-conservative each other.

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  9. Mitt Romney did not enjoy being called inconsistent. He didn’t fare terribly well with these questions.

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  10. Jon Huntsman implied that immigrants no longer view America as a land of opportunity. So is the illegal immigration issue just a red herring?

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  11. Michele Bachmann’s note cards are all over the place tonight.

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  12. Ron Paul is crushing Michele Bachmann on Iran. Crushing her. I’m not even confident he’s correct, but he’s definitely winning this exchange.

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  13. Ron Paul is seriously afraid we’re going to attack Iran.

    He also called the Iraq War “useless” on the date we officially withdrew our troops from Iraq. 

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)

     

  14. Michele Bachmann’s philosophy about judicial appointments honestly scares me.

    (Source: live.foxnews.com)