Monday, July 30, 2007
In Dana Point, California for the American Trucking Association's meeting (I know, it's a whirligig existence, init?). The luncheon speaker today was Howard Fineman, Newsweek’s Chief Political Correspondent, Senior Editor and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief. Since I don't really follow tv news or read Newsweek much, I'm not really familiar with this particular pundit, but once he got past the hack jokes, he was pretty good. (Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are summoned before g-d. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah, Hillary says "I think you are sitting in my chair". C'mon, just because it's old doesn't make it vintage.) I asked him if he thought the Republican nominee was going to come from the current pack, and why he thought Bush/Cheney/Rove had done such a poor job of succession planing. He reckons that Bush will probably ultimately favor Thompson, but that the old man likes Romney-- because Bush pere is tight with Romney's coreligionist, Brent Scowcroft. Okay, whatever-- the more interesting part was the second part, which made some sense to me. After brushing the Cheney part lightly aside ("He figures he's already been president for eight years, who needs more?" Budda-bump.), he opined that for Bush it was never about the Republican Party-- it was personal. He wanted to avenge a perceived wrong to his father, and he wanted to show that he wasn't the fuck-up that people reckoned him. He likened Bush to Nixon in that regard-- Nixon was for Nixon, not for the Republicans-- he thought the Republican Party had been screwing him over for his entire life. (I'd add that just because he was paranoid didn't mean he was wrong.) For Rove, who thought himself the second coming of Mark Hanna, there was a miscalculation as to the potency of the immigration question. It wasn't so much that Rove didn't have a plan-- it's just that the plan didn't work. I have a little bit of a problem with that-- I don't see any evidence that anyone was being groomed, at any time-- but it may be that they just got caught short on their timing.
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