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New Hampshire Love Fest Open Thread/Tweetathon

Place your bets. Curse your fates. State your true druthers. Make new fearless predictions. Pretend you knew all along how things’d turn out. Vape ’em if you got ’em.

Variety, possibly just the right organ for covering this campaign, has an excellent report, including the following on P—-Gate or P—-Ghazi:

Trump hesitated for a beat after a female member of the crowd yelled “he’s a p—” while Trump was discussing his surprise at Cruz’s hesitation during Saturday night’s ABC News Republican debate when asked for his views on water-boarding as an interrogation tactic. But Trump repeated the woman’s comment, referencing female genitalia, and then made a show of “reprimanding” her for the benefit of reporters in attendance. “Ma’am, you’re reprimanded. Can she stay? This is a serious reprimand…for the press,” he said.

“This is our final love fest,” he told the crowd. “Tomorrow will be an even better one. You have to get out and you have to vote no matter what.”

From: Donald Trump Calls Ted Cruz a ‘P—–,’ Repeating Insult From Crowd | Variety

Otherwise, the valiant @trumwill, who is also a member of the OT Live Tweet or Die List has placed his bet for the finish on the R side:

Trump 31%, Cruz 21%, Kasich 17%, Rubio 12%, Bush 8%, Christie 5%

Fox has already posted my R prediction:

For the Ds, I’ll say Bern Rate: 61, HRC 39, and both declare it a yuge victory.

And here’s our Twitterklatch – if it’s slow for you just go to https://twitter.com/OT_Tweep/lists/live-tweet-or-die in your browser or Tweetdeck!



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104 thoughts on “New Hampshire Love Fest Open Thread/Tweetathon

  1. Rs:
    Trump 30
    Kasich 17 (OK, so I’m letting “things I would find hilarious” creep into my predictions here)
    Rubio 15
    Cruz 12
    Bush 9
    Other: change

    Ds:
    BERN BABY BERN: 58
    Clinton: 42

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  2. My uneducated guess:

    Trump 29 (Thanks NH!)
    Bush 15 (The surprise “winner”)
    Kasich 14 (enough to stay in the race a bit longer)
    Rubio 12 (He cries robot tears at his event)
    Cruz 10 (God hated him, or NH, he isn’t sure yet)
    Other losers: What’s left

    Bernie: 55
    Clinton 44

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  3. I predict that when the final votes are tallied tonight we will find that New Hamphshirinaninians will have voted, in order, for:

    1. Donald Trump, on the condition that from now on he refers to everyone he talks about as “a total pussy.”

    2. Ben Carson, as a prank, just to see the look on his face.

    3. Their local restaurants serving anything — anything — that doesn’t somehow include maple syrup as an ingredient.

    4. Redrawing their borders into something more interesting looking, in the hopes that everyone in America won’t keep confusing it with Vermont when trying to find it on a map.

    5. Josiah “Jed” Bartlett

    6. Being spanked, because they have been very, very naughty.

    7. Changing the official state motto to, “Bet You Didn’t Know Jumanji Was Filmed Here!”

    8. A Crock Pot inexplicably filled with Lil’ Smokies

    9. Collectively agreeing that everyone, from now on, will pretend that Dan Brown is from some other state.

    10. Moving to California.

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    • If the “establishment” players in their smoke-filled rooms decide to back Kasich rather than Rubio (whose palilalia is apparently a manifestation of even deeper issues) – well, I don’t see that as a bad thing.

      Any Republican winning would be IMO bad for the country, since I don’t see a way for that to happen while not keeping the Senate, and there are just too many bad ideas coming out of Congress for a same-party President to veto, even if they didn’t have a veto-proof majority. Kasich (and Trump!) are the best of a very very bad lot in that seat of power.

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        • The problem is that there are still too many cooks in the kitchen for the GOP. Cruz, Bush the Jebber, Rubio, and Kaisch can stick in for the long haul. Rubio, Cruz, and Bush can fight it out for Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and other Latino(a) heavy states. Kaisch has an advantage in the Midwest and maybe states that are more Cavalier conservative like the Carolinas.

          Everyone knows that Trump is a probably a disaster for the GOP but no one can go against him

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          • This wouldn’t really be a problem for them if Cruz weren’t universally hated within the party, as he would be the clear choice to rally around. Instead, it looks like Rubio and Bush will keep their slapfight for establishment support going until well after it becomes irrelevant.

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            • Autolukos: if Cruz weren’t universally hated within the party, as he would be the clear choice to rally around.

              Not to single you out, but this cliche is tiresome. Leftists and liberals are quite partial to it, of course, because they hate Cruz for what he stands for, and it pleases them to think that someone who stands for things they abhor is naturally also personally abhorrent.

              Cruz is, no doubt, hated by some and disliked by many, but he is clearly not “universally hated.” He has his friends within the party, and they can be found easily enough. He also has the support and affection of significant numbers of voters. To the extent that the fiercest “hatred” comes from the “Washington Cartel,” including his fellow members of the upper elected officialdom, he wears their scorn as a badge of honor, as it were.

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              • Fair enough but I think Autolukos has a point. Lots of people might like Cruz because they perceive him as crusader, true believer, and not part of the Washington Establishment as you noted. This helps and hurts him at the same time. Cruz would probably have been touted as a clear alternative to Trump if he did not turn so many people off. There are lots of accounts where Cruz’s careerism and nature prevented him from getting friends and endorsements. Bush II disliked Cruz so much that he called him “Theodore” in a dismissive tone (Theodore is not his name) and Cruz was denied a position in the Bush admin.

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                • Yeah, if Cruz weren’t hated and reviled he’d be picking up endorsements on the “least bad alternative to Trump!!” movement that’s gripping the GOP. {And the idea that he’s anti-establishment makes no sense. He’s GOP orthodoxy all the way down. He’s not anti-establishment so much as the Establishment is anti-Cruz.}

                  Personally, I find him repulsive.

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              • He has his friends within the party, and they can be found easily enough.

                “Universally” is slightly strong, but his lack of endorsements speaks for itself, as did the high-profile attacks going into Iowa. Notably for the current situation, winning in Iowa failed to move the needle: his support within the party is not significantly expanding from the small faction that has backed him from the start.

                He also has the support and affection of significant numbers of voters. To the extent that the fiercest “hatred” comes from the “Washington Cartel,” including his fellow members of the upper elected officialdom, he wears their scorn as a badge of honor, as it were.

                Right; he’s embraced the fact that he’s not very well liked among the elite, which is an advantage with many voters. It doesn’t change the fact that the elite is not very inclined to rally around him, which is keeping the Rubio and Bush campaigns, in particular, on life support as they try to rally the elite.

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                • Seems to me that’s all about right – fair warning, though, I have been proven to know nothing. My objection to the cliche aside from its being, as you concede, exaggerated, is that it distorts the picture. As little as the “Cartel” trusts or likes Cruz, Cruz is still a party man, and, if Cruz becomes the candidate of overlapping So-Con and True Conservative factions, to marry Trump instead would risk exploding the coalition. I think Cruz also has a better chance than Trump does at the Neo-Con section of the Cartel, the ones who have mostly been running the FP shop for the last generation or two, if their bright beamish boy cannot rally and the “establishment lane” remains suicidally split.

                  So, Cruz has a path, in my view, and even an argument for being the best “unity candidate,” especially if you view Trump as representative of a legitimate faction of the real party.

                  Too bad Cruz is a Canadian, but you can’t have everything. Depicting him as “universally hated” makes his path harder to see, so may lead to analytical error.

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                  • But that’s the point about ‘universally hated’ – an exaggeration for sure, and not the literal truth, but if Cruz hadn’t spent all of his short career alienating the *maximum* number of people possible (rather than just what was required for a meteoric rise in contact sport politics), his shot as the anti-Trump unity candidate would be a slam dunk by now.

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                    • Not sure if there’s ever a slam-dunk for True Cons in the “rigged game.” Even the affable and telegenic Reagan had to fight and claw his way to the top, along the way taking on and severely weakening an incumbent president. The affable and telegenic Huckabee also showed how hard it is for a Social Con to earn the trust and respect of the rest of the party.

                      Cruz is arguably a lot more authentically True Con than RWR or Huckabee. He’s also different from Barry Goldwater, who ran as an ideological purist during a period when the precursors of today’s Social Cons were mainly camped in the other party to the extent they were politically active at all. He compensates for his lack of affability and personal attractiveness somewhat by being smarter, or so it’s said, than all of the rest of them put together. He also has a smart “high tech” Obamian-wannabe-campaign.

                      Philip Klein, in the Washington Examiner, prematurely dubbed Cruz the true front-runner. It’s more an “if Cruz can win SC argument.” Unfortunately for Cruz, both Bush and Rubio have advantages in SC, too.

                      So this Saturday’s debate might even more bloodily important and importantly bloody than the last debate!

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              • No, he’s not universally hated (I mean a woman did decide to marry and reproduce with him) but I’ve rarely seen a politician who’s been so despised by so many people in both his past and present lives. Most people tend to be turned off by the guy who thinks he’s smarter than anyone else who ever lived. Plus, he’s got a strong creepiness factor about him. He’s awfully reptilian. I always expect his forked lizard tongue to dart out of his mouth during debates.

                I’ve read that there are quite of few members of the GOP establishment who’d support Trump over him should he emerge as the only viable anti-Trump. If true, that says, for most people, to spend more than five minutes with Cruz is to dislike him. Intensely. Plus there’s that whole Christian dominionist background that discomforts non-fundamentalists.

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                • Michelle: I mean a woman did decide to marry and reproduce with him

                  “Even Hitler had a girlfriend – why can’t I?”

                  Just had to say that. I really do get what you’re saying. All the same, I really dislike it. As a loathsome person myself, I have to dislike anti-loathsome prejudice. I also dislike the cruel nicknames for Hillary and all assessments of her physical attractiveness or lack thereof, which are not merely sexist, but something even worse, even if just about and non-coincidentally as unavoidable as many of the impulses that seem to be driving Trump’s support.

                  As for the Establishment, if its members are willing to flirt with Trump, I think that mainly means that the Establishment is Establishmenting. They are facing the fact that they might have to live with him as nominee and even, now conceivably, Chief Exec. They’d sell their mothers into slavery if that’s what it took to gain a new King’s favor, so it doesn’t mean much about their feelings about Ted if they’d sell him into slavery, too.

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                  • I’m not fond of name calling myself but I’m not sure how else to describe the vibe emanating to Cruz other than reptilian. And, while maybe it shouldn’t, physical attractiveness does play a role in elections.

                    As for the establishment endorsing Trump over Cruz–some of it may be they think he’s got a better shot at getting elected but my impression is that a lot of it is driven by “anyone but Cruz” animosity.

                    I don’t count Cruz out of the game. I still can’t believe anyone as clueless as W won not only the GOP nod, but also two elections, so ability to pick political winners is limited.

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            • I think the current thinking is different than the not-too-long-ago thinking. Back then, a bunch Heavy Hitters put their money and endorsements behind Jeb! on a certain expectation (most-electable Establishment guy to back). The Koch’s et al put their money/endorsements behind Walker. No one put their money behind Rubio, Cruzer, Perry, Fiorina, Jindal, Kasich, etc etc.

              Along comes Trump, and slowly the thinking changes from supporting a preferred candidate to merely finding a good-enough candidate to take him down. Now the GOP is playing catchup to an interloper rather than leading and being chased, but window for establishing an effective anti-Trump campaign has closed. For now.

              Bush was a mistake (as it stands right now). Walker was a mistake. Cruz is hated and reviled. That leaves Rubio, the one candidate almost everyone agreed had the best chance in the general, but who was viewed as too soft on immigration and too wet-behind-the-ears (among other things) to win the primary, and was rejected early by all the big players. And all the current indecision around the structural mayhem means Trumpmentum becomes more entrenched.

              What a mess.

              (I hope Trump wins!)

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        • He decided to bunk Republican opinion and do the right thing with the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, so definitely yes. Still very right-leaning but he probably will not be an unmitigated disaster like the others.

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  4. Feelin’ the Bern. Take that Madeline Albright.

    I’m also happy to see that the odious weasel known as Ted Cruz is battling it out for third with Jeb! and Rubio.

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    • I assume you’re joking – and not just with the suggestion at the end – but Superdelegates can change their votes. The technical term for them is, in fact, “unpledged” delegates. They could, conceivably, award the election to someone who had lost the cumulative popular vote, which would likely mean, say, the governor or congressional delegation of a state that had voted for Sanders, or voted for him by a lot, choosing to support HRC instead, but that… wouldn’t be a good look.

      During ’08 some die-hard HRC supporters hoped that HRC would stage a large enough popular vote comeback as to give the Super-Ds an argument for tipping the nomination to her instead of to the big O. All by itself, it’s kind of a crappy argument unless overwhelming, but in combination with visible momentum, strong poll numbers, and maybe “The Whitey Tape” or something, it might have been good enough. Instead HRC surged near the end, but not by a ton, the Dems were always very unlikely to invite a rebellion from O’s base, and there was no Whitey Tape or something.

      So if the Revolution is Revolting in high gear by the Summer, a few S-Ds could open the door. A few influential defections from the Clinton ranks could lead to a wave, especially since anyone who didn’t change his or her vote would risk the firing squad or Siberia after the glorious triumph.

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      • Could happen. Just not gonna.

        If he wins it will be with 90+% of superdelegates who have expressed support for Hillary to date (I’m not sure what percentage have announced so far) supporting her until he has mathematically secured the nomination with pledged delegates. It’ll be nothing like ’08.

        (If that were to happen, then between that point and the convention, yes, you’d have a lot of superdelegates moving toward the nominee. But it would only be because he would be regarded as truly the presumptive nominee at that truly. And even then it would be a more limited number than we might expect, because in that scenario I suspect she would stay in it past that point damn near up to the convention. She’d be fighting to keep the SDs and floating arguments about how he didn’t really have it sown up. (And they’d probably be colorable args.))

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        • I make no predictions, and I don’t presume that any particular scenario is likely or nearly likely to develop, but, all the same, I disagree that Sanders would have to be the “presumptive nominee by pledged delegates” for the Super-Ds to switch or begin to switch – which would, as Jaybird notes, be a nearly impossible task if we put the latter all or nearly all on HRC’s side, in other words up until the moment that Sanders-pledged > (HRC-pledged + SuperDs).

          Again, just speculatively, if Sanders-pleged > HRC-pledged, and Sanders-vote > HRC vote, or even if Sanders ~= HRC-pledged, so that a “fair” and “democratic” division of the SuperDs would produce a Sanders win or at least put the issue in doubt, also meaning that there would be numerous states where SuperDs supporting HRC would be bucking their own constituents, then the SuperD firewall would collapse.

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          • Fair enough.

            The party went all-in to try to give it to her; I think they’ll stick with that plan hard until they most literally have officially failed to make it happen. Moreover, they’d be switching to a guy who is a Democrat only so that he could run a real race for president, not as a spoiler. He’s a more recent Democrat than Trump is a Republican. I think they’ll switch to him literally when they can no longer stop him from being the nominee by staying with Clinton, and not a moment sooner.

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            • Not that it matters. Polling for the next spate of primaries is not terribly friendly to Sanders, which is not going to do fun things for his viability.

              Winning NH is, of course, far better than losing it. But he’s going to lose SC just as badly as Hillary lost NH, and I don’t think he’s got many friendly states coming up.

              But that’s pretty boring news-wise, which is one reason we always hear breathless speculation about brokered conventions and floor fights. So much less boring than looking at polls, calculating numbers, and thinking “Eh, winning gives you a boost, but how much? I guess we’ll check the next set of polls in a week….”

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  5. Happy to see that Bernie did great. He now has more elected delegates than Hillary does, and is doing better than her in every head-to-head matchup against a Republican candidate.

    He’s got a week to build on this momentum for Nevada, and two weeks to build on it for South Carolina. It’s worth remembering that Obama was behind in South Carolina early in the Democratic primary, so there’s definitely the possibility of things shifting.

    I don’t expect the superdelegates to shift until or unless Bernie gets a majority of all the elected delegates – he’ll have to win this thing with voters. The most I can say is that the superdelegates won’t outright steal the primary election from him if he wins it at the ballot box.

    First thing I thought when I saw the news of Rubio’s fifth-place finish was, “North is going to be thrilled.” On the downside, this means Trump could really be the Republican nominee, which is terrifying.

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    • Your first thought was correct; I was and am over the moon.

      With regards to a Trump nomination I still maintain that it is highly unlikely. I think Rubio remains the favorite (and that makes me unhappy). I think Cruz is more likely to win than Trump is. If, in the unlikely event, Trump did get the nod I would be very pleased. Trump is both one of the hardest nominees for the GOP to win with and also the GOP theoretical candidate Liberals would have the least reason to fear as Chait lays out here: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/why-liberals-should-support-a-trump-nomination.html

      As for Uncle Bernie, I retain general affection for him. He’s done invaluable work however the election turns out. If he wins that will be amazing and good for him; if he looses he’ll have held H’s feet to the fire which both is highly needed to keep her on her best behavior in office and to sharpen her up for the general. I never desired a Clinton coronation. All that said, if you look at the breakdown of his support in Iowa and NH there’s some serious obstacles for him to overcome: his minority support is a serious one but even more serious in my mind is his bad divide between independant voters and established Democratic voters (he wins the first handily and looses the latter equally handily). There are many closed contests ahead of him. What will he do if his most supportive constituency can’t weigh in?

      I agree emphatically that the Superdelegates are a non-story. Unless the count is extremely close they will certainly move to the candidate who wins the most elected delegates. The Democratic Party is not suicidal.

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      • I don’t want a guy who openly foments hate against minorities, and is bombastic enough to start a war out of pure ego, to get anywhere near the American presidency. The liberal conventional wisdom is gambling with far more than I’m comfortable with, if it wants to bet that Trump is faking. Wanting him to win even a primary is on a par with supporting France’s Fronte Nationale.

        Some of history’s worst figures obtained high positions as a result of no one regarding them as a serious threat.

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        • I grant your point on those issues and they are salient. That said Trump has, policy wise, landed considerably to the dovish side of the GOP clown brigade. Short, perhaps, of Rand Paul he was the least hawkish candidate on stage. He openly denounced Iraq as a fiasco and a mistake, called out Bush W on his failures and refused to say he would rip up the Iran nuclear deal (he claimed he’d renegotiate it granted but that leaves a lot of wiggle room). Trump is certainly not desirable as President but I assert that he is both A) most likely to lose the general and B) least likely to be a hawkish conservative in the unlikely event that he won.

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          • North: That said Trump has, policy wise, landed considerably to the dovish side of the GOP clown brigade.

            Not sure how much of that is wishful thinking or how much of it is cultivated disinterest in what Trump and his people actually say and think. Their problem is not with killing people, but with wasting time, money, and American lives in killing them correctly or disposing of the corpses thoughtfully. Or did you miss the part where he promised to obliterate ISIS quickly? Do you think he’s going to achieve that through precise surgery, or by caring overly much about who gets caught in the crossfire or what’s left over afterward?

            Could be that Trump would be smart about avoiding war. Could be that he could find war the best and only way to divert himself and others from his failures, or even to solve them temporarily. The one thing he isn’t is “dovish” even compared to the Republicans who fit your template better. Or did you also miss the part recently where Trump’s response on waterboarding was to proclaim his determination to come back with something much worse, and to call Ted Cruz a “pussy” for showing any hesitation in regard to the legal niceties?

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            • On torture he’s bad, which puts him in the same company as the rest of his peers. On war he’s made a lot of noise; Trump makes a lot of noise in general; but on specific policy (assessment of Iraq, promises vis a vis Iran, etc) where his peers have been hawkish he’s at least been muddled and has been willing to call the failures of past policies out as failures. That puts him to the dovish side of the pack by my own reckoning though I grant that Trump is also a severe unknown considering his general incoherence. Still, I’ll take incoherance over clear adherance to bad policy when choosing an opponent; especially if that incoherence comes with a significantly higher probability that the GOP will not come within sniffing distance of the White House.

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          • To be brief and blunt: I don’t believe it’s justifiable for we white folks to back a gamble that, if lost, will endanger the lives and safety of many people who are not us.

            And I don’t believe that’s hyperbole. We’ve seen numerous examples over the last several years of cops and vigilantes deciding non-white people are dangerous and killing them as a result, even when they’ve committed no crime. A white adult with a semi-automatic is a God-fearing American patriot, but a black kid with a toy gun is a threat. If America ends up with a President who is saying that hispanic immigrants are a bunch of thieves, rapists, and murderers, and that Muslims are a load of terrorists, that’s not just ugly, that’s words that will get people of colour beaten and killed, and force many more of them to live in constant fear.

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            • A white adult with a semi-automatic is a God-fearing American patriot, but a black kid with a toy gun is a threat.

              How much does the president have to do with that sort of thing?

              I ask because I compared that statement to who was president when the things it described happened.

              Is the idea that if it’s this bad now, imagine how bad it’d be if Romney was president and it’d be another chunk worse if Trump was?

              Also: how much weight should we put on the lives lost by a vigorous foreign policy? I ask because it looks like a serious hawk is probably going to be nominated by the Democrats. Like, an even bigger hawk than Obama.

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              • The President doesn’t have a lot of direct authority to change the way policing is done, so far as I’m aware. But hateful rhetoric from the top political authority in the country is going to have an effect on attitudes. Things are bad, but they can get worse.

                We should definitely put a great deal of weight on the lives lost by an aggressive foreign policy. It’s definitely a factor in my preferring Bernie over Hillary. However, while Hillary is – as you say – a bigger hawk than Obama, she is less hawkish than any Republican in the race: for starters, every single one of them wants to throw out the negotiated agreement with Iran, whereas she does not. She’s likely to get the US more deeply involved in the Syria conflict, but so would every Republican candidate. And any Republican candidate would be warmongering against Iran and possibly Russia at the same time, and would also undo all the good Obama’s done in reestablishing relations with Cuba.

                Trump may or may not be less hawkish than his Republican opponents, but he’s certainly more hawkish than Hillary. And in terms of war, a man as arrogant and bombastic and ignorant as Trump would be extremely dangerous in the presidency.

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