Thursday, December 27, 2007

"[Huckabee] has to Win Iowa. If he does, he will be the Favorite . . . for the Nomination"

PJB: Is It Down to Mitt and Mike?
posted by Linda
by Patrick J. Buchanan

Not since 1952 has the nation entered a presidential year with greater seeming uncertainty as to who will face off in November.

Early that year, Tennessee Sen. Ernest Kefauver upset Harry Truman in New Hampshire, relieving the nation by dashing Harry’s hopes for another four years. The Republican race would be a titanic struggle between the Eastern Establishment’s Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and “Mr. Republican,” Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, the conservative paragon.

Splitting the primaries between them, Ike and Taft fought all the way to the convention, where Ike’s Texas delegates were seated and Bob Taft’s booted.

How important was that race? Ike would win and serve two terms. His young running mate, Richard Nixon, would be twice elected president. A dark horse for that GOP nomination, Gov. Earl Warren of California, who threw his support to Ike at a critical moment, would be named chief justice. Out of that Republican race would come the Eisenhower era, the Nixon presidency, the Warren court.

And though the 2008 GOP race may seem wide open, it is already probably down to three candidates, could be over by Jan. 4 and will probably be down to two by Jan. 9, the morning after New Hampshire.

The front-runner since spring, Rudy Giuliani, is close to toast.

By dropping out of the Iowa Straw Poll in August, Rudy ceded Iowa and the cornucopia of publicity the winner receives. He is running far behind in Iowa, sinking in New Hampshire and certain to be skunked twice by Jan. 9. If so, he will lose Michigan, then South Carolina, where he is already far behind, and Florida, his firewall, where he is now slipping behind both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

If Rudy is 0-4 going into Florida, he loses Florida. If he is 0-5 going into the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday states, his national lead will be ancient history. In some national polls, it has already vanished.

The same holds for Fred Thompson. Though Iowans were eagerly awaiting his appearance at the straw poll, Fred, too, took a pass. And though he seems ideally suited to the party, he is running so far behind in New Hampshire and Michigan it is hard to see how he survives to reach home base, South Carolina. There, he is already behind Romney and Huckabee. In New Hampshire, Fred is behind Ron Paul.

Wisely, he is headed for Iowa to put all his chips on a strong showing, hoping Romney and Huckabee will do to each other what Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean did: rip each other out of contention.

If Fred does not make a strong showing in Iowa, a prediction: He will drop out and endorse John McCain, who has a shot at repeating his 2000 win in New Hampshire. For McCain has the endorsement of the Manchester Union-Leader and Boston Globe, and Rudy is pulling out of the Granite State, ceding the moderates to McCain, hoping he will stop Romney there and keep his own fading hopes alive.

If Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire, drop the curtain for Rudy, Thompson and McCain – and they know it. For if Mitt wins in New Hampshire, none of the three beats him in Michigan, they will not beat him in South Carolina, and they will not beat him in Florida.

Can McCain, who kicked away what seemed a near-certain nomination by embracing the Bush-Kennedy amnesty and stiffing the Iowa Straw Poll, win? Not impossible. If he can win New Hampshire and make himself the national alternative to Huckabee, a desperate GOP establishment might rally to him for lack of an alternative.

But McCain’s fate is not entirely in his own hands. He needs an assist. He needs Huckabee to defeat Romney in Iowa, where McCain will be waxed, then to come back and beat Romney himself in New Hampshire. Two losses by Romney in states where he has invested millions would put his campaign on life support.

But if Romney wins Iowa, he will win New Hampshire and Michigan, and go into South Carolina 3-0. If Romney wins the first two, he is almost surely the nominee. For that would eliminate Rudy, McCain and Thompson, leaving the only man able to stop him in South Carolina, a twice-defeated Mike Huckabee and his Christian prayer warriors.

So, two weeks out from Iowa, here are the odds.

Rudy and Thompson each 20-1. John McCain 6-1. He has to win New Hampshire, and even if he wins there, he would be an underdog. Grass-roots conservatives do not like him and would prefer Huckabee.

Mitt Romney 3-2. If he wins Iowa, he is almost unstoppable. If he loses Iowa, he has to come back and beat McCain in New Hampshire. Then it would a Mitt-Mike race through Feb. 5.

And Huckabee? He has to win Iowa. If he does, he will be the favorite in South Carolina and for the nomination, as well.

Looks like a Mitt-Mike race, with Iowa and New Hampshire giving us by Jan. 9 the two candidates from whom the nominee will be chosen. And isn’t that how it usually is? Iowa and New Hampshire choose for America.

[http://buchanan.org/blog/?p=901]

1 Comments:

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Mitt, Mitt, full of cash.
Will you let me keep my stash?
Savings, Yes, but paychecks, No!
Just another politico.
Hope for tax reform, I see,
Will be voting HUCKABEE!

Huckabee puts his listeners at ease, and reassures them, articulating clear concepts in a natural, easy style (no doubt something well-cultivated as a pastor). He’s not as “mechanically-scripted” as Romney, nor angry or demanding, like a Ron Paul, and his large brown eyes, peering through a humble demeanor, draw a striking contrast to a unconvincing, tired-looking Thompson. One can easily imagine sitting comfortably with Mike over a cup of coffee at the Main Street Cafe. He is what leadership looks like - an adroit public speaker, communicating his message in life-like, cogent terms, with compelling examples like when his then-11-yo daughter entered into the "Comments" section of a Visitors Book after visiting the Yad Vashem holocaust museum: “Why didn't somebody do something?

Huckabee is all about calling his listeners to "do something," to awaken them to their own empowerment, and summon them to action in order that "Main Street," and not "Wall Street," will prevail in guarding the values and beliefs upon which the Republic was founded.

Most importantly Mike Huckabee is ONE with the FairTax grassroots movement. While many - like Romney, and others, who are invested in the current income tax system - seek to demagog the well-researched FairTax plan, its acceptance in the professional / academic community continues to grow. Renown economist Laurence Kotlikoff believes that failure to enact the FairTax - choosing instead to try to "flatten" what he deems to be a non-flattenable income tax system - will eventuate into an irrevocable economic meltdown because of the hidden aspects of the current system that make political accountability impossible.

Romney's recent WEAK response to FairTax questioning on “This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulos” drew a sharper contrast between Huckabee and all other presidential front-runners who will not embrace it. Huckabee understands that what's wrong with the income tax can't be fixed with "a tap of the hammer, nor a twist of the screwdriver." That his opponents cling to the destructive Tax Code, the IRS, preserving political power of granting tax favors at continued cost to - and misery of - American families, invigorates his campaign's raison d'etre.

Of the FairTax, Huckabee asserts that it's...

• SIMPLE, easy to understand
• EFFICIENT, inexpensive to comply with and doesn't cause less-than-optimal business decisions for tax minimization purposes
• FAIR, FLAT, and FAMILY FRIENDLY, loophole-free, and everyone pays their share
• LOW TAX RATE is achieved by broad base with no exclusions
• PREDICTABLE, doesn't change, so financial planning is possible
• UNINTRUSIVE, doesn't intrude into our personal affairs or limit our liberty
• VISIBLE, not hidden from the public in tax-inflated prices or otherwise
• PRODUCTIVE, rewards - rather than penalizes - work and productivity


A detailed benefits analysis of the plan (from The FairTax Book) explains Huckabee's ardent advocacy:

For INDIVIDUALS:
• No more tax on income - make as much as you wish
• FairTax is paid on retail goods and services when purchased new, not used

• You receive your full paycheck - no more deductions
• Every household receives a monthly amount, or "prebate"
• "Prebate" is "advance tax payback" for monthly consumption to poverty level
• FairTax ensures poverty protection, being less regressive than income tax
• Increased household income preserves real purchasing power against any higher prices

• Reduction of pre-FairTaxed retail prices (due to reduced costs; increased competition)
• 29.9% mark-up yields 23% FairTax portion of new price tags
• FairTax portion of new prices reveal true cost of gov't to consumers

• FairTax is captured on illicit forms of income, when spent
• Parasitic income tax filing industry eliminated
• No double taxation on goods and services
No more IRS or FILING OF INCOME TAX returns
• Savings is bolstered with reduction of interest rates


For BUSINESSES:
• Corporate income and payroll taxes revoked under FairTax
• Business compensated for collecting tax at "cash register"
• No more tax-related lawyers, lobbyists on company payrolls
No more embedded (hidden) income/payroll taxes in prices
• Reduced costs. Competition - not tax policy - drives prices
• Off-shore "tax haven" headquarters can now return to U.S
No more "favors" from politicians at expense of taxpayers
• Resources go to R&D and study of competition - not taxes
• Global "free (and equitable) trade" becomes possible for currently-disadvanted U.S. exports
• U.S. exports increase their share of foreign markets


For the COUNTRY:
• 7% - 13% economic growth projected in the first year of the FairTax
Jobs return to the U.S.
• Foreign corporations "set up shop" in the U.S.
• Tax system trends are corrected to "enlarge the pie"
• Larger economic "pie," means thinner tax rate "slices"
• Initial 23% portion of price is pressured downward as "pie" increases
No more "closed door" tax deals by politicians and business
• FairTax sets new global standard. Other countries will follow


Passionately supporting FairTax, Huckabee understands that, if elected President, Congress will have to present the bill for his signature. His call to action goes beyond his candidacy: Main Street will have to demand that their legislators deliver the bill.

(Permission is granted to reproduce, in whole or part. - Ian)

 

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