Romney Wins Michigan – Mostly Hot Air

Mitt Romney won his home state of Michigan, however when one looks at the factors, this might not be as big of a win as the media wants you to believe.

Factors influencing the race are it is Mitt’s home turf, this father was govenor of MI for three terms, his father was President of AMC so the old timers from the auto industry know the name and probably home that Mitt can bring some manufacturing back to the US, Mitt has teamed up with terrorist supports for Hezbollah, which in Michigan is a large minority of voters especially in and near Dearbornistan, and lastly the DailyKOS made the campaign to get democrats to cross lines and vote for Romney to increase Republican bitterness, guess they are hoping the Republicans launch some Hillary/Obama tactics… The last factor is very important as MI was a loss for the Democratic rivals since they all, but Hillary, pulled out of the Primaries, leaving Hillary with an empty win and the Non committed a hanging count for later wild card usage…

Considering all of these factors you would think Romney could have at least pulled out a 50%-60% win, not a mere 39% with the closes rival at 30%…

I am curious as to how many democrates actually crossed lines to bolster Romney… I am also curious as to how many Dearbornistan Hezbollah sympathizers voted for Romney…

 Mitt Romney could only savor his Michigan primary victory for so long before having to start all over again Wednesday with the rest of the GOP presidential candidate mix in South Carolina.

Having won his second state in the Republican race for the White House, the Michigan native, who has emerged as the delegate and raw vote front-runner, was scheduled for a busy day beginning in Bluffton, S.C., and continuing until Saturday’s Republican primary.

Romney was beaming Tuesday night after winning the affection of home state poll-goers, pulling out an upset against rival John McCain by appealing to the Republican base with a strong economic and values message.

With 100 percent of the voting in, Romney earned 39 percent of the vote over McCain with 30 percent. Mike Huckabee had 16 percent while Ron Paul polled at 6 percent. Fred Thompson had 4 percent and Rudy Giuliani was at 3 percent.

“Tonight proves you can’t tell an American there’s something they just can’t do because Americans can do whatever they set their hearts on, and tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism,” Romney said to a raucous crowd of supporters in Southfield, Mich. “The lobbyists and the politicians realize that America now understands that Washington is broken and we’re going to do something about it.”

Democratic delegates are not being seated at the national convention and most of the party’s candidates withdrew from the Michigan race, leaving Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel the only active contenders on that ballot.

With 100 percent of precincts in, Clinton had won 55 percent compared to 40 percent for “uncommitted,” 4 percent for Kucinich and less than 1 percent for Gravel.

The win put Romney in a strong position heading into Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Florida’s primary on Jan. 29 and Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

“It’s incredibly validating for the campaign,” said a senior Romney campaign official, adding that Romney is content to let his opponents — McCain, Thompson and Huckabee — go at each other as they vie for the top spot in South Carolina.

“We’ve been in the middle of all the fights so far. We’re going to let them fight for awhile. Second, third or even fourth is fine for us in South Carolina. We will be strong in Florida, regardless,” the official said.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney’s message on the economy resonated with Michigan voters.

“We feel very good, very optimistic about the turnout we’ve had,” he told FOX News, adding that the governor’s message appealed to voters “who want to see somebody who can bring together economic conservatives, social conservatives and national conservatives, but also who’s the leader for the future, who’s going to bring the Republican Party back, who’s going to help bring Michigan’s economy back and the American economy back.”

McCain called Romney after the race to wish him congratulations. He then addressed supporters in South Carolina, where he and Huckabee arrived Tuesday afternoon rather than facing their expected defeats in Michigan.

“For a minute there in New Hampshire, I thought this campaign might be getting easier, but you know what? We’ve gotten pretty good at doing things the hard way, and I think we’ve shown them, we don’t mind a fight,” McCain told supporters in Charleston.

But as if there weren’t enough ill will between the two camps, McCain’s concession speech was stepped on by Romney’s delivery of his victory speech. The campaign’s two managers apparently tried to choreograph the appearances, but the Romney camp mis-timed their candidate’s arrival. McCain was coming out to make his speech as Romney’s brother was making the introduction for his sibling. As the networks went to cover the Romney remarks, McCain was cut off, leaving his camp none too pleased with the outcome.

On a different note, Huckabee, who spoke to his backers before the two other candidates got tangled up in airtime, was upbeat despite his third place finish and noted that he was outspent 50 to 1 in Michigan.

“I congratulate Mitt Romney, he won a great race. He worked hard, of course he has a great base there … So it looks like I won Iowa, John McCain won New Hampshire, Mitt Romney won Michigan, but ladies and gentleman, we’re going to win South Carolina,” he told supporters from Lexington, S.C.

“We put a flag in the ground here Saturday. We’re going to make it real clear that the first in the South primary is going to give their support to the first in the South candidate, who understands that his nation needs leadership and leadership that comes right from the earth and right from the heart of the people,” Huckabee continued.

According to an analysis of presidential advertising by the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Romney put at least $20 million of his personal fortune into his bid, campaigned in the state more than his rivals and spent more than $2 million in TV ads in Michigan. McCain paid for more than $740,00 in ads and Huckabee spent more than $480,000.

Giuliani’s campaign also issued a statement congratulating Romney.

“We congratulate Mitt Romney for wining his home state of Michigan. It’s clear after tonight that while the race remains fluid and competitive, our strategy remains on track. Rudy is going to continue to campaign aggressively in Florida and after the energy we’ve seen on the trail this past week, we’re confident that we’ll be successful on the 29th,” said senior adviser Tony Carbonetti.

Giuliani did not compete in Michigan, and has been saving his big day for Florida. A RealClearPolitics average of polls in Florida showed a tie at the top with McCain and Giuliani at 21.3 percent, Huckabee at 18.3 percent and Romney at 17 percent.

In South Carolina, Huckabee leads with 26.5 percent compared to McCain with 22.8 percent, Romney at 16.8 percent and Thompson at 10.3 percent. Giuliani has 6.8 percent and Paul is at 5 percent in that spread.

Thompson offered congratulations to Romney, but tempered his effusiveness by saying Romney tailors his message to each audience, and that kind of positioning leaves him vulnerable. In fact, Thompson, who also didn’t campaign in Michigan, said all the other candidates are flawed.

“I have drawn distinctions myself between not only Mitt Romney but John McCain,” Thompson told FOX News. “But it’s not a matter of who you’re attacking, it’s a matter of who’s the one consistent conservative and has the record to back it up in this race, and you’re talking to him.”

Low turnout appeared to help Romney in Michigan’s 2008 Republican presidential primary race, as the more committed party types braved frigid temperatures despite a night of snowfall that made traveling hazardous on Tuesday.

Only about 20 percent of eligible voters showed up at polling stations across the state, with about 12 percent of them voting in the GOP primary. All registered voters can participate in either party’s primary.

Compared to the 2000 GOP Michigan primary when more than 1.3 million people voted, and nearly 550,000, or 41.5 percent, of those votes went to George W. Bush, only about 868,000 showed up to vote Tuesday, or 65.5 percent of the 2000 vote. Romney received nearly 338,000 of those votes.

According to FOX News exit polls, of those voting in the Republican primary, 25 percent were independents and 68 percent were Republicans. Of self-identified Republicans, 40 percent favored Romney compared to 25 percent for McCain.

The independents liked McCain, going for him 34 percent to 23 percent for Romney. Of that group, 20 percent support said they supported Paul and 15 percent chose Huckabee.

The biggest driver for Republicans to go to the poll was the economy. Slightly more than half — 55 percent — of those polled said the economy is the most important issue to them. Of those voters, 41 percent voted for Romney compared to 29 percent for McCain and 14 percent for Huckabee.

Romney also won conservatives, especially those who say they’re “very conservative.” Forty-five percent of those went for Romney compared to 25 percent to Huckabee. McCain came in third among this category here with 11 percent.

The news is not all bad for McCain. For one, it appears that Romney’s attacks on McCain as a “Washington insider” incapable of bringing real change did not resonate with voters. While 30 percent said Romney is the candidate to bring about change, a close 28 percent favored McCain for that task.

As to the candidate’s character, the most important aspect for 44 percent of Michigan GOP primary voters was whether the candidate “shares my values” while 28 percent prioritized someone who says what he believes and 21 percent thought experience was the most important quality in a candidate.

In that contest, values voters sided with Romney 30 percent to Huckabee’s 27 percent, with 17 percent going for McCain and 10 percent for Paul.

As for those who made up their minds going into the voting booth, 39 percent said they voted for Romney while 25 percent went for McCain and 23 percent chose Huckabee.

FOX News’ Carl Cameron, Megyn Kelly, Jake Gibson and Sharon Kehnemui Liss contributed to this report.

Liberal Doves Wary Of NEI Conclusion On Iran’s Nuclear Program

Wow another news story I never thought I would see happen… It appears that Bush’s assertion that Iran is a danger is not overblown….

Some experts fear the intelligence estimate will sap international pressure to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons.

By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 7, 2007

WASHINGTON — The new U.S. intelligence report that says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 is suddenly raising concerns among the political center and left, as well as conservatives who have long called for a hard line against the Islamic Republic.

Moderate and liberal foreign policy experts said that U.S. intelligence agencies, possibly eager to demonstrate independence from White House political pressure, may have produced a National Intelligence Estimate that is more reassuring than it should be on the potential risks of the Iranian nuclear program.

Isfahan

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The report, made public Monday, contradicted the Bush administration’s assertion that Iran has been secretly working to build nuclear weapons. It also found that Tehran, which says it is enriching uranium solely for civilian energy purposes, appears to have a pragmatic view and has responded to outside pressure and economic sanctions, in contrast to characterizations by administration hawks.

For years, President Bush’s anti-Tehran vitriol has drowned out the more circumspect voices in the U.S. foreign policy establishment who nonetheless agree Iran poses a concern. But with this week’s report, many experts worried that the pressure they believe is needed to counter Tehran now may dissipate.

Iran expert Ray Takeyh, a former professor at the National War College and National Defense University, said that although his own politics are left of the president’s, he agrees with Bush that Iran’s nuclear program is a continuing threat.

“The position I take is that President Bush is right on this,” said Takeyh, now at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Takeyh, who has long argued for engaging Iran in diplomacy, said the intelligence report was too easy on Tehran by not objecting to the uranium enrichment program, which many Western governments have alleged is meant to build the knowledge base to eventually develop nuclear weapons. The American intelligence agencies, in effect, accepted Iran’s contention that the enrichment is for peaceful purposes, Takeyh said.

After the report’s release, Bush pledged to maintain pressure on Iran and lobbied for international support. On Thursday, French and German leaders meeting in Paris said they favored continued pressure, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not commit herself to backing harsher United Nations sanctions sought by the United States.

The new U.S. intelligence estimate has made any new economic sanctions unlikely, most analysts agree, since it has given nations such as Russia and China a reason to give the benefit of the doubt to Iran, their ally and business partner. As a result, experts of varying political affiliations in Washington believe that efforts to successfully apply pressure on Iran have been hurt by the report.

At the same time, they say, it is questionable whether the Islamic Republic has been responsive to international pressure, as the report suggests.

Sharon Squassoni, a former government nuclear safeguards expert now with the generally liberal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, noted that the intelligence report said Iran suspended its enrichment program in 2003 and later signed an agreement allowing U.N. inspections.

But, she said, the portion of the report made public was silent on the fact that the Iranians reversed both actions in 2006.

The ability to develop fissile materials is the most important element of a nuclear weapons program, she told reporters.

Gary Samore, who was a top arms control official in the Clinton White House, agreed that the National Intelligence Estimate did not adequately emphasize Iran’s continuing efforts to enrich uranium and build missiles.

The halting of the weaponization program in 2003 is less important from a proliferation standpoint than resumption of the enrichment program in 2006,” said Samore, director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Samore said the report undermined Bush’s warnings about Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons and left Tehran in a strong position, allowing it to develop its enrichment capacity without a substantial challenge from the United States and its allies. The secret weaponization program is “on ice,” he said, but Iran preserves the option to resume that when it wishes.

Though American intelligence officials believe Iran has been enriching uranium at a concentration that could only be used for civilian energy purposes, analysts fear that the same basic technology could eventually be used to kick-start a weapons program.

Anthony Lake, who was a national security advisor to President Clinton, found no fault with the intelligence report. But he said a key message was the importance of taking action.

While we’ve got more time, we’ve got to use the time, because the enrichment activities are continuing,” Lake said in an interview.

The new report repeats a number of the same cautions and conclusions in its last major assessment, in 2005, when the agencies reached the vastly different conclusion that Iran was determined to develop nuclear weapons. But the new report stresses the more recent findings that cast doubt on Tehran’s determination to build a bomb.

As a result, conservatives have denounced the report.

John R. Bolton, the hawkish former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has called for a congressional investigation of the report, which he said is flawed.

In a Washington Post op-ed column Thursday, Bolton alleged that many of the officials involved were “not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department” brought in by J. Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence.

Norman Podhoretz, the right-wing commentator who has advocated a U.S. military strike on Iran and who is a foreign policy advisor to Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani’s presidential campaign, accused the intelligence community of purposefully “leaking material calculated to undermine George W. Bush.”

paul.richter@latimes.com

Liberals Kick Hillary While She Is Down

Wow, I never thought I would see the day that Liberals would be upset with Hillary. With the Iowa caucus coming up and Barak Obama taking the lead in the Democratic poles, her flip flop politics have now come under fire from her own side. I think this may be more of a surprise than the Hugo Chavez story. I really cannot believe this article yet, it could mean there is hope for Liberals after all…

What is odd, is that her policy changes for votes has been the typical MO for the Democratic party for years. I guess they learned from Kerry/Edwards, that it does not work.

Now someone needs to tell George Bush to take a firm stance again and stop his flip flopping because it makes Conservatives look like Liberals…

I can’t wait to see Hillary’s response to these adds, she cannot use the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy theory this time, so I guess her only card will be the Gender Card…

The Democratic fight is starting to look like my son’s Pokemon game…

I think the last sentence of the article would read better if it said she was in a three way with…

I imagine this groups ads will be tracked back to Obama… Here comes Hillarichu vs O-Bama-Ramadan…

WASHINGTON  —  Liberal activists plan to begin airing a television ad against Hillary Rodham Clinton in Iowa this week, the first non-Republican negative ad aimed at a Democratic presidential candidate.

The group, Democratic Courage, has accused Clinton of making policy decisions on the basis of polls, not convictions. It planned to introduce the ad Tuesday.

Glenn Hurowitz, the group’s president, described the spot as a modest buy that would run on cable only, meaning it won’t be seen as much as ads by Clinton and rival Barack Obama, who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads in the state.

Democratic Courage is a political action committee, financed by contributions of no more than $5,000 per person.

“We are concerned that she wouldn’t be the best candidate in the general election or the best president because she is so easily bullied by the Republican attack machine,” Hurowitz said.

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain have all run ads putting Clinton in a negative light.

Hurowitz said the group does not plan to endorse any candidate, though he said it may run a negative ad against another Democrat in the field. He would not identify who that would be. He said the extent of the group’s advertising would depend on the amount of donations its first ad generates.

Clinton is in a virtual three-way tie in Iowa with Obama and John Edwards. The Iowa caucuses are only one month away.