Presidential roundup 2012/02/06: Nevada, Newt, narcissism

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Some links of interest regarding the presidential campaign:

Newt Gingrich had to know that he was not going to finish first in Florida and Nevada, so why not be prepared with statement that puts a positive spin on the results in preparation for likelier victories in the south on Super Tuesday? Stacy McCain chalks it up to Newt's narcissism:

The characteristic trait of the narcissist is his inability to accept responsibility for his own failures. Everybody likes to believe that they deserve credit for their successes, but no one wants to believe that they are at fault when they screw up. This is normal. Yet the damaged ego of the narcissist makes it impossible for him to acknowledge his own contribution to his failures. He cannot even admit to himself that he is at fault, which is why he attempts to focus blame on scapegoats.

And so when Newt starts pointing the finger, blaming others for his failures, portraying himself as the victim -- of Goldman Sachs, "money power," George Soros, "the elite media," Mormons (!) and a "blatantly dishonest" opponent -- even his supporters ought to recognize these unseemly eruptions as symptomatic of Gingrich's narcissistic tendencies.

Why do you think I warned you against jumping onto his bandwagon?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks Newt should have stuck with what was working for him:

Newt Gingrich's post-Nevada caucus speech included about three minutes of inspired moments about issues and ideas in his usual imaginative and intellectually robust style. So why does he not just stay with that -- given that he often seems more dynamic and glib than Romney in his attacks on Obama, and not long ago gained ground despite the attacks against him? Instead, he now turns ad nauseam to the tired reasons why he loses -- yes, including lots of Mormons in Nevada -- and ends up as Richard Nixon not going to get kicked around any more.

Hanson offers Newt a history lesson for perspective:

I don't understand why he thinks now losing to Romney in 2012 is solely due to Romney's innate deviousness in a way McCain beating Romney in 2008 was not -- given that Romney was about the same in both 2008 and 2012. Gingrich seems oblivious to the fact that McCain's style and history gave him advantages over Romney's money and hardball in ways Gingrich's own proven liabilities apparently do not.

Of course, it was McCain's Turn in 2008, and in 2012, it's Romney's Turn. The "It's His Turn" phenomenon partly reflects, on the part of Republican state and local leaders in places like New Hampshire and Florida, a preference for the familiar and a desire to get on the winning team early, but it also reflects four years of political capital building -- attending fundraisers for state and local parties and candidates, and collecting IOUs to be redeemed when the primaries roll around. Newt could have been doing that for the last 14 years, as the man who led the first Republican takeover of the House in 40 years, but I suspect he hasn't done much of it.

The Nevada Republican Party finally has all the results in from its 1800 precincts, and Romney, as expected, finished first without about 50% of 32,961 votes cast. Turnout in this binding caucus poll fell far short of 2008, when Romney won 51% of 44,315 votes cast in a non-binding caucus poll (for entertainment purposes only, as they say when they publish sports book odds in the paper). Unsurprisingly, Ron Paul's best showing was in the Kingdom of Nye, Art Bell's home county, home to Area 51.

According to the Green Papers, Nevada's delegates will be bound proportionally to the poll result, with no minimum threshold. They calculate the result to be Romney 14, Gingrich 6, Paul 5, and Santorum 3. The BatesLine delegate count:

Romney 73
Gingrich 29
Paul 8
Santorum 3
Uncommitted 2 (Huntsman's NH delegates)

Romney still needs 971 delegates for the nomination, and no one can clinch the nomination before April 24.


Buzzflash asks, "Why didn't Ron Paul's caucus strategy work in Nevada?" Likely answer: You can't win unless you have more supporters than everyone else, no matter how stealthy or strategic you are:

The Paul and Romney campaigns were the only ones to have a legitimate ground game in Nevada. The fact that Paul didn't easily outstrip Gingrich, who lacked Paul's months of preparation, doesn't bode well for his long-term strategy.

This news is likely to shock a few Ron Paul supporters: A Bilderberger is the biggest donor to Ron Paul's associated super PAC.

The largest donor to a SuperPAC supporting Ron Paul is Peter Thiel, the sort of ultra-wealthy, super-national figure Paul and his supporters love to hate.

Thiel -- who gave $900,000 to the pro-Paul group Endorse Liberty -- made his fortune as the co-founder of PayPal; he was also an early investor in Facebook, and is now a major player in the world of high-tech venture capital. He's also a devoted libertarian and devoted Republican: He hosted a fundraiser for the confrontational gay conservative group GOProud at his grand apartment off Union Square in 2010.

Thiel is also a member of the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group, the elite, invitation-only conference that's the frequent subject of conspiracy theories.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 6, 2012 8:25 AM.

Tulsa County GOP precinct caucuses tomorrow (mostly) was the previous entry in this blog.

Santorum coming to Tulsa, OKC on Thursday is the next entry in this blog.

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