Since WWII, the only two Presidents who lost re-election bids were Bush I and Jimmy Carter. (LBJ withdrew from the 1968 race because his role in the unpopular Vietnam War doomed his chances.) Carter was turned out primarily because of his utter fecklessness over the Iran Hostage crisis, although his mishandling of the second oil crisis and the ‘economic stagflation’ that resulted may also have done him in. In any event, his was a uniquely poor Presidency.

Bush I was penalized by Ross Perot’s entry into the race. The 1992 results were Clinton 43%, Bush 38%, Perot 19%. The majority of Perot’s votes would have gone to Bush, so absent Perot, Bush I would have been re-elected around 52-48%.
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They may claim to be fair and balanced, but that doesn’t mean they are always right. Well maybe they lean to the right, but they are not always correct!.

A funny boo-boo by someone in the graphics department produced a slightly skewed version of the location of nations in the Middle East:

Egypt is where?!?

Someone really screwed the pooch on that one!

Is this really the best his district can do? Really? You’re proud to have him as your Congressman, VA-8?

Here’s an interesting look at a potential Romney campaign, version 2012.

Seriously, how bad a candidate do you have to be to lose to Harry Reid? How did this man win reelection? This guy is a complete embarrassment in every way.

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Paradigm shifts


Filed Under Races 2010 on Jan 26 

Although President Kennedy’s inaugural speech in January 1961 is more famous (“Ask not what your country can do for you….”), President Eisenhower’s farewell speech from January 1961 contained many themes and ideas that could still be thought of as being quite relevant, even today.

Excerpts follow:

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Epic Fail-edit

A few life times ago, I spent a few years working on a railroad – all the live long day and night. During those years I witnessed and was part of a few train wrecks. No, I didn’t cause any of them. That’s a filthy lie. It was sub standard track. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But I digress. Where was I? Train wrecks.

One of the most dangerous types of train wreck is where the engineer is unaware (for whatever reason) that part of his train has derailed and he continues to plow ahead at track speed whilst his train drags on behind him tearing up tracks, grade crossings, buildings, and passing cars. Sometimes this results in many miles of destruction before the train is finally stopped.

Looking back on the first half of what will hopefully be the only term of Team Obama, I can only echo the comments of the fictional US Marshall Sam Girard (played so ably by Tommy Lee Jones) when he looked out on the famous train wreck scene from The Fugitive:
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Candidates like Mitch Daniels rarely win nominations.

They never win Presidential elections, where good looks, a velvet tongue, and rock star branding almost always trump competency, intelligence, and character. Just look at the last three guys we’ve elected.

Even more of a kiss of death is this article from Politico, which tabs Daniels as the favorite of the pundits, talking heads and policy wonks. And if you are wondering why this is the kiss of death, take a gander the candidates from the past that these political nerds had a crush on in the past:

Bruce Babbitt. Paul Tsongas. Ross Perot. John Anderson. Lamar Alexander.

Not exactly a murder’s row of memorable candidates.
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Former Virginia Senator George Allen is expected to announce today that he will be running for the Senate once again. Allen lost his seat to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006 by less than 10,000 votes.

Update: this morning Allen sent a video message to his supporters announcing his 2012 candidacy for the US Senate.

One of the pivotal moments of that race, is of course the infamous “macaca moment,” where Allen was caught on camera using an ethnic slur to describe a Webb volunteer at a campaign stop. Allen apologized and maintained that he was not aware of the meaning of the word and said he never would have used it had he known its meaning.
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Barney Frank is probably not on many people’s list of favorite U.S. Representatives around here. However, it appears that he is taking the lead on cooperation with House Republicans as they try to alter a small provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that was passed over the summer. To be fair, Frank was never really supportive of the original provision, pushed by Dick Durbin in the Senate, on limiting fees that credit card companies and banks could charge merchants. The Bloomberg article also notes that,

“The interchange issue has created unorthodox battle lines in Congress, with some Republicans who side with large merchants voting for the rules, and Democrats, unconvinced by the argument, voting against.”

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That’s right folks, PD co-founder Stephen “Scrubb” Fountain turns 40 today. I know he’d love a little ribbin’ from you!

Happy Birthday, Old Timer! Hope you got the case of Metamucil I sent last week.

Rudy Giuliani says the door is still open to a presidential run:

“I will take a look at 2012. It’s really a question of: can I play a useful role? Would I have a chance of getting the nomination? Those are things I’ll have to evaluate, you know, as the year goes along,” said Giuliani, in an interview Thursday on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.”

Raise your virtual hands if you think Rudy has prayer of competing in 2012.

While I suspect most here do not sympathize with his politics, and more than a few have expressed their disdain for the Kennedy clan as a whole, I think it would be remiss not to mention the 50th anniversary of one of the more significant inaugural addresses of the 20th century.

There really wasn’t enough of a Kennedy administration to really assess what kind of President he was and could have been. There were certainly mistakes, perhaps none bigger than the Bay of Pigs invasion, which nearly and perhaps should have crippled his entire agenda. But like any great boxer, Kennedy picked himself up off the mat, shook off the cobwebs, and went right back at his opponents.
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Joe hangs ‘em up


Filed Under Races 2012 on Jan 20 

On Tuesday January 18th, 2011, word came that Joe Lieberman wouldn’t seek re-election to the Senate in 2012. At the end of his current term, he will have been in the Senate for 24 years.

His is an interesting career. He remains the only prominent national Democratic elected lawmaker to speak out forcefully against President Clinton in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal. He said on September 3rd, 1998:

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Please welcome Stephen Meehan to the pond. Play nice with the new guy!

The Oval from USA Today is reporting that Obama “is on a political roll.” Jackson cites Obama’s rising approval ratings and a new McLatchy-Marist survey that says Obama is crushing any and all potential GOP candidates, particularly Sarah Palin. I’m not as shocked by this as I am by the fact that everyone up till now had been basically counting Obama out of the race.

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Welcome to the latest edition of's 2012 Power Rankings, the original tracking service of the race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips. The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to

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The year 2011 will define Palin, but neither as a Fox News personality, nor as the hostess with the mostest walking us through the wilds of Alaska. No, 2011 will be the year she defines herself as a potential candidate for President of the United States. The you betchya’s and why donchya’s are starting to age like a fine loaf of bread, and six out of 10 Americans say they wouldn’t even consider voting for her. Worse, her year started with the media suggesting she was responsible for the Tucson shootings, then griping that she inserted herself into the story by responding to their accusations. On the other hand, Palin tolerated Kate Gosselin’s company for an entire afternoon, people. An entire afternoon! Don’t count on her taking her ‘prom hair’ back home.


While the media isn’t following him around to see where he buys toilet paper like Palin, Mittens had a pretty solid year, doing the good little soldier bit for the GOP all while applying touch-up to his personality flaws, particularly his penchant for getting a bit prickly when challenged in a debate setting. While Romney hasn’t gotten the love (cough) from the media that Palin has, he’s doing all the things a serious candidate for the Republican nomination should, like trying to spin his biggest anchor, RomneyCare, into something that won’t sink him.

3 Mike

He took a job on Fox News (seems to be a prerequisite for 2012 candidates) and moved to Florida. These moves seemed to indicate he’s not running. Then you look at the polls, which he’s consistently topped or been near the top since Obama took office. Still, the question of whether or not Huckabee will run remains the unanswered question of our time – well, that and how anyone thought giving Joy Behar her own show was a good idea.

Newt’s friends say he’s serious about running in 2012. His daughter said he’s serious about running in 2012. Newt said he’s serious about running in 2012. Basically, he’s suggested a presidential run about as many times as Brett Favre’s said he’s retiring. But Favre apparently means it this time, so maybe that’s a sign that Newt is ready to come off the bench. Or it could mean he’s had his head bounced off the turf a few too many times over his past personal indiscretions. Whether or not he runs, Newt at least looks like he’s putting the pads on.


The Paul family celebrated another of their clan in the hallowed halls of the Capitol with son Rand’s successful bid to become senator from Kentucky. Dr. No and his sidekick are so fiscally conservative that they’re sharing a condo in D.C. Anyone else see the possibilities of a fundraiser disguised as a reality show here? Wire that condo up with a bunch of webcams and charge $3.99 an hour to see the Paul boys streaming live. It may not be as exciting as a condo with a few Kennedys and a case of scotch, but it should make for some interesting viewing. Sorta.


We’ve been a little hard on T-Paw in the past few editions of the Power Rankings. We’ve called him vanilla ice cream. We said that an appearance on ‘Sesame Street’ would cause a pandemic of narcolepsy among children. We even revealed that he once had a mullet. So our New Year’s resolution is to cut Pawlenty some slack, at least for this round, and try to say something positive. As soon as possible. Deadline: Iowa.


Just last month, DeMint said on Fox that he is totally out of the GOP race in 2012. Hey, remember when that Senator-elect Obama guy said in November 2004 that he wouldn’t be a candidate for president in 2008? That’s pretty much where the similarities end, but you get the point. DeMint has super conservative cred, and he’s a darling of the Tea Party. He’s from the south and has helped the GOP maintain a united front against the Obama administration. DeMint has also repeatedly praised Sarah Palin, including comparing her to St. Ronald Reagan, so does that mean he won’t run against her?
Make no mistake, Rick Santa … Santini … Santana … whatever, the dude’s running for president. In the past year and a half, he’s made seven trips each to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. That could just mean he likes corn, maple syrup and barbecue, but let’s be serious here. Santorum is undoubtedly a major underdog here, and in the past he’s been all about the social issues, which have been stuck on the backburner since the economy tanked. Seems he’s banking on a recovery, but if that happens, is there any Republican who can beat an incumbent?
9 Mike
Quick history quiz! Name the last sitting member of the House to be elected president? The last, and only, was James Garfield of Ohio. But even then, before he was a rep, he was governor of the Buckeye State. That doesn’t preclude Pence, one of the nation’s most respected fiscal conservatives, from making a run. But lately it looks like Pence realizes he has about a good a shot at winning the nomination as Mike Gravel has of beating Obama in ’12, because the rumor mill says he could run for governor of Indiana, which could set him up quite nicely in 2016.


Yes, we know we’ve ranked him 54. And yes, we mean it. He of the kajillion dollar comb-over has made noise about running, and maybe he will. But Trump running for the nomination generates about as much excitement as the guy who ran for governor of New York under the banner of ‘The Rent is Too Damn High’ party. Don’t plan on voters telling him, “You’re hired.”

Steny Hoyer’s time as the House’s second in command is complete. But he didn’t accept his demotion quietly. Instead he delivered a psychological evaluation of TEA Party activists. Dr. Hoyer’s diagnosis: “My presumption is they have unhappy families.” 

Thank you Dr. Hoyer. Your keen insight has revealed the true mental state driving the TEA Party. TEA Partiers hate their mothers. They have low self-esteem due to incessant emotional and physical abuse suffered at the hands of their domineering fathers. Likely as not they want to wed their siblings, or perhaps their family pets. The root causes of their familial dysfunctions are limitless. But obviously TEA Partiers were forced to eat too many Brussels sprouts when they were young.  Read more

All of us get those infamous forwards from our friends and family that go all over the internet. You know the ones, that have 43903480 email addresses listed and the subject looks something like “FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD: Something pseudo witty here.”

My personal favorites are the alleged answer to a question on a chemical engineering on whether hell is endothermic or exothermic and the alleged response to Bill Gates’ criticism of how General Motors does business.

The latest one I received is from my uncle in Virginia Beach and presents a pretty solid, if idealistic, plan to reform Congress:

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It’s D-Day for the RNC. Is there anyone who still thinks Michael Steele can survive and keep his job as RNC Chairman? If not Steele, then who wins?