Monday, February 21, 2005

Condi 2008--winning Iowa/NH

Some nuts and bolts...suppose Condi is running in 2008--how exactly would she win?

The GOP nomination: Iowa, NH
Iowa would certainly be the shakedown cruise. If it's really true that her campaign skills are poor, we'll find out very soon. Given the fact that she's been doing talkshows every Sunday morning for the last four years, I expect her to do very well in the debates--although I don't expect Reaganesque stump speeches.

The three candidates with the greatest name recognition would be Condi, McCain & Rudy. I assume here that Jeb is out it for 2008 (although I think he'd do well in Iowa if he ran). Condi will have the best foreign policy credentials of any of the three; she will be the only one of the top candidates who won't need on-the-job training to lead the war on terror. Neither McCain nor Rudy has had to deal with foreign leaders, manage a war, or make any of the tough decisions on the War on Terror. When it comes to national security, Condi will trump any candidate in any party--and trump them in spades.

And I think Condi has a secret weapon for the primaries: Rush. Now this man clearly has a serious crush on her. Not to mention the fact that he seems to loathe McCain only somewhat less than he loathes Michael Moore. And Rush is not going to back Rudy, who is simply a New York liberal who is tough on terror and crime. That leaves Condi among the major candidates. I think Rush will be doing pro-Condi broadcasts every day throughout the primary season, and that will make it tough for either Rudy or McCain to knock her off.

More important than Rush, count on W to back her strongly: he can't do it openly, but I think W will make it clear to friends and associates that he is strongly behind her candidacy. As I've mentioned in other posts, there is good reason to think that W is looking to her as his successor.

In any case, Condi will campaign in Iowa as one of the top three candidates--and she may well be the frontrunner as early as November, if not earlier.

Problems? Yes: the Iowa GOP is very pro-life. Condi will need to solidify her pro-life credentials. If she doesn't, she will compete with Rudy for dividing up the non-pro life vote, and in the Iowa GOP primary that's not very large. If she does solidify her credentials, she will carry Iowa over McCain (whose grassroots support seems to wither by the week).

New Hampshire is very tough to read since NH's relationship to the Iowa results are complex. But if she carries Iowa, she can carry NH too. From there it would be on to the South where I think Condi will do well: she carries herself like a Southern gentlewoman, and I think the NY media will be amazed at her ability to pick up those guys with Confederate flags and gun racks that Dr Dean has talked about.

One other thing: once Condi wins her first primary, the MSM will puff Condi almost every chance they get. Yes, they will mention the glitches in her resume that have sometimes troubled them as long as she's a way of getting at W. But the biggest bias of the MSM is a bias for a good story. And "black woman as GOP nominee" is the best story in the primaries. Once she wins a primary, they will give her heavily favorable press throughout the primaries, only getting seriously critical after she clinches the nomination. She will be the #1 story (Hillary's coronation on the other side will be parallel, but secondary). And we will be flooded with Condi-Hillary stories from January on.


At Monday, 21 February, 2005, Blogger Chris said...

Praiseworthy, and I suspect that by the late Summer of 2007, Condi will have nailed down all of Bush's contributors and his Dad's Rolodex. Trust me, all of the Rangers and Pioneers will be told to whom they should donate. In addition, Condi will have set up a vast web networking operation along the lines that Dean and Kerry set up for shock fundraising and organization. She is nothing if not meticulous.

NH and Iowa are important, but it's South Carolina that will be the bellweather. She'll have to go into SC early and often in 2007 and be organizing for a shock push after a New Hampshire victory.

Yes, the MSM will be pushing her by this time. They WANT a Clinton Restoration. However, what is more important is that they want a catfight. A hair pull means huge ratings.

At Monday, 21 February, 2005, Blogger GrenfellHunt said...

Chris, bingo! I'm with you!

Since we're four years away, in principle anything can happen, but the basic trajectory seems clear. W seeks a successor, and his pick is Condi--barring something totally unforeseen. Karl Rove is probably looking even now at what he has to do to put Condi in the White House. I don't know if Rove is as high on Condi as the president is--but the opportunity for him to a) destroy the Democratic base; and b) write himself even more deeply in the history books than he is already...well, both of these are going to be awfully tempting.

Thanks for stopping by!

At Monday, 21 February, 2005, Blogger Tom said...

No Reaganesque stump speeches?

At Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, Blogger Chris said...

Here's the thing, Tom. She can speak. She's good on her feet. She's been giving prepared speeches for the past four years, but if she has to, she could quickly convert to stump mode.

The "stump" speech is a 20 minute affair that every politician has to master. A presidential aspirant has to know how to turn on an arena full of supporters. Condi can do that, but she has to be a bit more like Mrs. Thatcher than like Ron. There was only one Ronnie.

Condi did this in 2000 for Bush, during the "W stands for Women" campaign, where she and Laura basically flew around the country doing stump for GW. During this cycle, she gave prepared "campaign" speeches on American foreign policy to vital interest groups in swing states.

At Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, Blogger Chris said...

Oh, yeah Tom. Just reread that speech. She uses the sharecropper stories all the time. It's great copy. She really likes talking about how her past shaped her present. White audiences eat it up, and black audiences are reminded that she hasn't forgot where she came from.


Grenfell: I happen to believe that Karl Rove is the single individual who is pushing the underground campaign to get Condi nominated. He and Bush are interested in building a permanent Republican majority. Condi is the agent to do that, for the reasons both of us have suggested. I do not believe that Condi's charge at CPAC, where she came in one point behind Rudi, was an accident. I do not believe that the buttons, the presence, etc., was accidental, either. Bush cannot afford to show his hand this early.

At Friday, 02 December, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's also a straightforward way for Condi to shore up her executive credentials before 2008. in 2006, perhaps shortly before the november midterms and after the scooter libby thing has long since blown over, cheney will step aside for "health reasons" and cheney will be made VP (and heir apparent)


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