Rick Perry & Newt Gingrich Battling at the Bottom

With two and a half days left until the caucus process in Iowa begins, the wheels on the Perry bus may be about to spin off. Four days ago, I made the predictions that Gingrich would finish “4th, maybe 3rd” and that Perry would finish 5th.

Governor Perry

After seeing a lot more news since the 27th, I believe Gingrich and Perry are wrangling for 5th place, with the loser to receive 6th place, both possibly being surpassed by the flailing Bachmann (my hope is Gingrich gets number 6 trophy, a tad above Huntsman who said “no” to Iowa). BTW, Romney is at 77.2% in Intrade to become the GOP nominee and at 50.0% to win the Iowa caucuses.

Today’s Martin & Haberman article in Politico seems to provide outstanding insight into the pre-game infighting within the Perry team. Getting ready for the Perry moonwalk:

But even as they hold out hope that Perry can find a way back into contention, some of his advisers have begun laying the groundwork to explain how the Texas governor bombed so dramatically in a race that he seemed to control for a brief period upon his entry in August.

Their explanations for the nosedive come against the backdrop of a campaign riven by an intense, behind-the-scenes power struggle . . .
“There has never been a more ineptly orchestrated, just unbelievably subpar campaign for president of the United States than this one,” said a senior Perry adviser.
The failure to get on the Virginia ballot earlier this month, a plight shared with Newt Gingrich, has been a fresh a source of embarrassment for some of the Perry strategists.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a strategist. “At least not at this level for this serious of a candidate. You see a campaign like this for Herman Cain, you say, ‘Well, that’s what you’d expect. But for a governor from one of the biggest states in the country and someone who can raise a ton of money? It’s mind-boggling. I’m more offended by that than losing.”

(emphasis added) — [the entire article is very insightful into presidential campaigning]

Remember all the hyperbole when Perry joined the race — about how he had never lost an election? The first thought I had when I heard that statement was that he might not know what he was getting into when running for President.

“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” — Richard Kline

“Romney comes closer to Ronald Reagan in his speeches than any other candidate”

Reagan Speech, The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Roger Simon of Politico is the first writer I have seen to compare Governor Romney’s rhetoric to that of President Reagan, though I have always thought Romney’s optimistic, visionary style of speaking was Reaganesque. Simon describes Romney’s warm reception yesterday at an Iowa gathering to hear him speak, leading up to his comparison to President Reagan:

“I love this country,” Romney goes on. “If president, I will do everything to keep America strong and be the hope of the earth.”

He takes questions, and the first one comes from a man who says he has voted for Republicans for 40 years, but once they get to the White House, they always give in on conservative principles. He wants to know if Romney, too, will give in.

“This is not the next step on my political career,” Romney replies. “I don’t have a political career. The reason I am in this race is because of the lessons I have learned: I’ll use all my energy and passion to get America right again.”

Which does not exactly answer the question, but the crowd likes it anyway. Although some conservatives feel Romney is not conservative enough, Romney comes closer to Ronald Reagan in his speeches than any other candidate.

As Reagan did when running his 1980 campaign, Romney talks about American goodness and decency and exceptionalism and how it can all disappear if Republicans choose the wrong nominee or the country chooses the wrong president.
“Being president is about judgment, sobriety of character and the wisdom to make decisions we can’t even contemplate today,” Romney says.

[emphasis added]

Quotes by Ronald Reagan:

“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Dick Morris Says Romney is ‘Reaganesque’, Romney Adds Michigan Staff, Fundraiser in Atlanta

While one presidential campaign has lost its staff, Mitt Romney continues to add staff.

Prior to his stirring visit to Michigan these past couple of days, Romney already had illustrious campaign staff in place in The Wolverine State:

WASHINGTON – With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney headed to Michigan for events this week, he announced his in-state campaign staff on Tuesday.

Lori Wortz, a consultant who previously served as chief of staff to former state Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus, joins the campaign as senior advisor, and Rob Macomber, who served as director of candidate and party assistance for former state Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis, takes over as state director.

Lauren Rakolta joins the campaign as finance director in the state. The daughter of John Rakolta — the head of Detroit-based construction firm Walbridge Aldinger who served as a national chairman for the Romney campaign in 2008 — Lauren Rakolta worked as a fundraiser for Romney’s 2008 run and his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor. Bryce Sandler, who was finance director for former U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, comes on as deputy finance director in Michigan.

(emphasis added)

After the CNN GOP presidential debate next Monday (6/13/11) in New Hampshire, Romney will head to Atlanta, Georgia for a private fundraiser:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in Atlanta next week for a high-end fund-raiser in the backyard of two of his rivals, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

[...] It’s loaded with business types. Tickets are $5,000 per couple (photo included) or $1,000 per head for general admission.

The event is at a private residence. [...]

Hosts include Attorney General Sam Olens; former state House leader Mark Burkhalter; and John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises and current chair of Metro Atlanta Chamber. Long-time Romney supporters Eric Tanenblatt, Mark DeMoss and Ric Mayfield are part of the shindig – but the freshest name may be that of Heath Garrett, former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

(emphasis added)

(Click on image to enlarge.)

I was surprised yesterday! There’s been a shift in attitude toward The Gov from a used-to-be Romney naysayer. I can’t predict the permanency of the shift, but the contrast is so stark it is worth mentioning. FOX News commentator and political strategist, Dick Morris (former campaign advisor to Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee; Huckabee says Morris is a personal friend), formerly dismissive of Romney, now calls him ‘Reaganesque’. This change is significant in its potential to initiate more balanced coverage for Romney on FOX News.

Yesterday, on FOX and Friends, Morris sang Romney’s praises. He explained that he [Morris] spoke at last week’s Faith & Freedom Coalition; while there he talked with all the GOP presidential candidates except Herman Cain (Gingrich was a on a cruise). He said he was very, very impressed with Gov Romney; he called Romney’s remarks at the podium a ‘fantastic speech‘ that reminded him of Reagan. While Romney was speaking he thought to himself this guy could take Obama. He further said he was not impressed with Tim Pawlenty; Herman Cain could be a phenomenon. Morris concluded by saying he came away very impressed with Romney.

Later in the day, Morris was on the The O’Reilly Factor (FOX News) and repeated his praise for Romney, “Reaganesque. Absolutely incredible.” He also added that he thought Michele Bachmann was charismatic at the Faith & Freedom gathering. (Bachmann recently hired Ed Rollins, Huckabee’s 2008 campaign manager, to lead her yet-unannounced presidential campaign.)

In the following video, Dick Morris recounts his visit to the Faith & Freedom Coalition in Washington D.C. (June 3-4, 2011) where he saw Romney, Bachmann, Trump, Paul, and Pawlenty speak. F&F analysis begins @2:24. Although Morris’ flippped-flopped-flipped statement on Romney’s pro-life belief is wrong, take a listen:

Morris is closely affiliated with Tea Party Patriots.

Speaking of FOX News, Romney tops their most recent poll.

I like the way John Ellis from Business Insider (noting the Washington/ABC poll showing Romney ahead of Obama) sums up the 2012 presidential race thus far:

Romney on a Roll

Nothing causes politicians to look anew at a presidential candidate like a poll that shows him or her winning. Romney is beginning to look like a winner.

The Republican field for 2012 is basically set. The candidates who will compete in the primaries next year are the ones who are in the race now. It’s possible that Texas Governor Rick Perry will join the race this summer. And a minor candidate or two might also get in, for whatever reasons.

But the field is the field. And Romney — in terms of executive experience, intellect, quality of character, work ethic, discipline — is clearly the class of the field. Now that he’s “beating” President Obama in a major national poll, a lot of Republicans are starting to look at him with renewed appreciation.

(emphasis added)

► Jayde Wyatt