December 29, 2011 |
A year ago, soon after the Tunisian uprising, I demonstrated my powers of prediction in a column about the democracy movement in the Arab world. The revolution in Tunisia, I wrote, "arose from local circumstances that don't foretell what will happen anywhere else. " Three weeks later, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak fell, and the Arab Spring was in full bloom. This brings me to the subject of today's column: A confession of my year's errors and omissions (along with a mention of one or two things I got right)
December 14, 2011 |
And the winner is ... Mitt Romney! Not in Iowa's much-watched caucuses, which, of course, don't take place until Jan. 3. Instead, Romney was the victor in a little-noticed but no less hotly contested bid for the affections of one 69-year-old Cedar Rapids housewife: a quilter, grandma, baker of knockout chocolate chip cookies and lover of autobiographies and the Grand Old Party. Joni Scotter, the subject of a January profile, is one of just 20 or so Iowa Republican uber-volunteers -- loyalists valued not just for their commitment to a candidate but for the statewide network of friends and followers they can harness.
December 4, 2011 |
Herman Cain's unlikely and ill-fated presidential campaign proved that one rule is immutable even in this rambunctious campaign year: Political outsiders may be an attractive alternative to career politicians, but all the fresh approaches and folksy charm in the world can't make up for inexperience and untenable baggage. Ending days of intense speculation, the Republican presidential candidate announced he would suspend his campaign, a legal maneuver that allows him to request federal matching funds.
November 1, 2011 |
Looking back on the events of 2011, who do you think has more regrets for his bad decisions, Hosni Mubarak or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? I guess you have to give it to Mubarak. After all, the guy gave up a cushy gig ruling Egypt just so he could be (justifiably) prosecuted from a sick bed while his cronies retained power. All Pawlenty did was blow his entirely plausible shot at the presidency. But one thing is clear: Both men misread their moments. Let's hop into the way-back machine.
October 23, 2011 |
The Mitt Romney bandwagon is getting crowded in New Hampshire, and a top Republican here says it's a credit to the GOP front-runner's deliberate approach in the state. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu became the latest boldfaced name to endorse Romney, an announcement that came on the front page of the Sunday Union Leader. Sununu will join Romney on Monday when he files his paperwork with the secretary of state's office to become an official candidate in the New Hampshire primary.
October 11, 2011 |
After watching the ups and downs of the Republican presidential campaign from the sidelines since mid-August, Tim Pawlenty voiced second thoughts Monday about his decision to pull out of the race after a third place showing at the Ames straw poll. Speaking at the unveiling of his official portrait commemorating his time as governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty said it was “the wrong call” to invest so heavily in the Iowa straw poll, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Pawlenty placed far behind Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the Ames contest.
September 22, 2011 |
Thaddeus McCotter is abandoning his campaign for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2012 and endorsing Mitt Romney, he told the Detroit News on Thursday. What's that? You've never heard of Thaddeus McCotter? Well, that's the main reason he's now a former candidate. The wonky, guitar-playing Michigan congressman barely, if ever, registered in national polling after formally becoming a candidate in July. He finished 10th with 35 votes at the Iowa Republican Straw Poll in August, just 4,788 votes behind fellow member of Congress Michele Bachmann.
September 13, 2011 |
Is it too late for Mitt Romney to ask Tim Pawlenty to endorse Rick Perry instead? On Monday, the former Minnesota governor and, until the Iowa straw poll, presidential contender endorsed Romney's presidential bid. As best I can tell, reaction from rank-and-file Republicans does not suggest that a resulting tectonic shift in the polls toward Romney is imminent. According to legend, Josef Stalin asked, "How many divisions does the pope have?" Upon hearing the Pawlenty news, no doubt Perry said something similar, albeit with a Texan flavor.
September 12, 2011 |
Just weeks after abandoning his campaign for president, Tim Pawlenty is injecting himself back in the race with an endorsement of Mitt Romney. The expression of support for his former foe is a quick turnabout for the former Minnesota governor, who earlier this summer lampooned Romney over his healthcare reform plan, which Pawlenty called "Obamneycare. " It also comes as the GOP race for president has entered a newly competitive phase between Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, and Rick Perry, the current governor of Texas.
August 16, 2011
Say what you will about the Iowa straw poll — and we could say plenty, including that it's the political equivalent of Groundhog Day, that its results don't predict outcomes in the state's winter caucus because its participants are an unrepresentative sample of voters, and that it's a cynical way for Iowa's Republican Party to raise money — but you can't say it's insignificant. Just ask Tim Pawlenty. The former governor of Minnesota dropped out of the GOP nomination race Sunday after a disappointing third-place finish in Ames, behind Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.