The show is on in South Carolina these days. I have only been to South Carolina one time for a few days and I loved it! The people are warm and the barbeque is awesome!
Juana Summers gives an outstanding view into the Huntsman stump in her Politico article today. His frequent speaking of Chinese is the topic (the entire article is great); excerpts:
I wonder what the Donald thinks?
“I didn’t think the Mandarin thing worked at all. I thought it was ridiculous,” said Donald Trump, a harsh critic of China, on Fox News. “And frankly, I think Huntsman’s stance toward China is — it’s almost like he’s an Obama plant.”
In Huntsman’s case, it’s not just the television talking heads who found his use of Chinese in the debate politically tone-deaf — and perhaps even a bit contrived.
“They played the clip several times, and I was watching the audience react to it. The Chinese was off-putting for some folks. During the Chinese, the dials just shut down,” he said.
Speaking a foreign language to an audience in which only a handful of those present speak that language is an obvious form of bragging and is brash in my opinion. “Off-putting” is the key word from the article.
Oh, and did you hear yesterday that Mr. Gingrich told the world yesterday that “in the end” the voters will choose him as the conservative alternative? Every time Gingrich speaks, it reminds me of a little boy that runs in front of a TV when the family is watching a really good movie together, knowing that all eyes are on the TV. Gingrich has an insatiable need to be seen and heard. I believe he knows time is short for him before his final moment of irrelevance arrives.
Taking questions from the crowd, Romney was asked by an elderly woman: “Do you believe in the divine saving grace of Jesus Christ?”
“Yes, I do,” Romney said, giving a simple answer to a question that went to the heart of his Mormon faith.
But Romney used the opportunity to extol the virtue of religious tolerance. “Our president will be president of the people of all faiths,” he said. As the crowd applauded, he added: “I happen to believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and my savior, but I know other people have differing views and I respect those views and don’t believe those qualify or disqualify people for leadership in our nation.”
Would you like a pick-me-up for the weekend? I needed one out of South Carolina. Well, Jim McTague of Barron’s brought it today in his column (you need to read it online from the beginning — made my week!). Clips:
Most of us savor a modicum of drama in our ho-hum lives, so I forgive the pundits for trying to spice things up by making the Jan. 21 South Carolina GOP primary sound as crucial for Mitt Romney as the Battle of the Bulge was for the American Army in 1945. Nevertheless, I’m not swallowing the hype.
Mitt Romney will cruise to victory—despite his Mormon religion, which puzzles many and offends some, and despite an expensive, cynical and cinematic attack on his stint as an investment banker by America’s Biggest Sore Loser, Newt Gingrich.
Mr. McTague continues on Gingrich:
The flip is no mystery: Much as nature abhors a wounded animal, the American electorate dislikes political losers. Despite his gift of a saber-sharp debating tongue, Gingrich finished near the bottom in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney, who always looks as relaxed as a curled cat, broke the tape in both races. Straggler Gingrich is being abandoned in favor of front-runner Romney. Gingrich should brace himself for another round of humiliation.
Here are some other reasons that South Carolina’s Republicans will go with Romney. First, despite the vocal discomfort of leaders of the state’s large evangelical Christian community with Romney’s Mormonism, it will be no big deal for most voters. Consider this: Conservative talk-radio host Glenn Beck, a Mormon, is heard on 12 South Carolina stations. Beck drew large, enthusiastic crowds when he visited the state a couple of years ago for book signings. This tells me people will pay closer attention to Romney’s politics than to his religion.
SECOND, ROMNEY WILL WIN because Gingrich made a mistake in airing a nasty television attack ad about Romney’s career as an investment banker at Bain Capital. Gingrich would have us believe that it was “bane” capital. The $3.4 million ad campaign, which depicts Romney as a ruthless corporate pirate who made a fortune buying up companies and throwing employees onto the street, is essentially financed by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who made a $5 million donation to Gingrich. That’s a problem, because gambling is taboo in South Carolina. The state has some of the strongest anti-gambling laws in the nation east of Utah, and it appears to be stubbornly proud of them.
Under a literal reading of the gambling statute implemented in 1802, any game employing dice, including Monopoly, is illegal. Card games are illegal, too. Recent attempts to modernize the law and permit charitable raffles and some other forms of gambling have met with strong opposition from religious groups, who view gambling as sinful. If you want to gamble in South Carolina, you have to board a cruise ship in Charleston or Myrtle Beach and sail into international waters, just like on the old television series Mr. Lucky. Gingrich will be associated with Las Vegas, and this will turn off voters.
Romney will win again. Gingrich will exit, stage left, tail tucked between his legs. So will the tangle-tongued Rick Perry. Niche players Ron Paul and Rick Santorum may hang on for Florida simply for the ego trip.
That’s the wrap on South Carolina for the morning.
How much longer do we have to listen to the Gingrich whine?
“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.” — Lord Jeffrey
“Firmness in enduring and exertion is a character I always wish to possess. I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint and cowardly resolve.” — Robert Burns