Thursday, August 04, 2011

What is Fox News?

According to the impartial observers at Fox Business News, David Brock at Media Matters for America claimed earlier this year that Fox News is the "de facto head of the GOP." In fact, that was true in 2009-2010 when Fox fanned the flames of the Tea Party Movement and led the charge against Obama's health reform legislation. But I'm not so sure that Fox is still the only organizing force in the GOP at this point.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Lady Gaga to Speak at Rick Perry's "Day of Prayer?"

Before Texas governor Rick Perry became this week's Great White Hope for the Republican presidential nomination, he organized a National Day of Prayer for this Saturday.

There are a lot of questions associated with the event. Should Perry be inviting gay-baiting hate groups like the American Family Association? That question can also be asked about flame-throwing religious figures like John Hagee of "the Holocaust was a good thing because it brings us closer to the Apocalypse" fame.

Likewise, wouldn't identifying with the religious right undermine Perry with independents and moderates if he won the GOP nomination? According to Alex Castellanos:

One thing Republicans are going to demand this election is a candidate who can beat Barack Obama . . . The election is all about him. A candidate who establishes his identity on the fringe, talking about social and religious issues, when the economy is going over a cliff, risks marginalizing himself, becoming unacceptable to independents and unelectable. That would be the kiss of death.

And Alex Castellanos knows extremism, having made his career by doing racist ads for Jesse Helms during Helms' last Senate campaign.

Another problem is that Perry booked 65,000 seat Reliant stadium but only has 8,000 reservations. As Bobby Jindal could tell him, epic fails are real buzz-killers.

But the biggest question hanging over Rick Perry's Day of Prayer is whether Lady Gaga is going to make an appearance.

It certainly seems like Perry is teasing a Gaga performance.

"There will be folks who think it's [politics], that there are other motivations. But it's not about me," Perry said. "It's about Him," the exact same divinity Lady Gaga references in "Born This Way."

"It doesn't matter if you love him/or capital H-I-M."

Perhaps Perry had an inspiration while singing along with Gaga's lyrics (what rising politician doesn't think "you're on the right track baby, you were born this way?) and decided to put out an invitation to the hottest singer on the planet.

Now THAT would be a sensational way to launch a presidential campaign.

Clever of Perry to keep it a secret so long.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Nancy Pelosi Counterfactual

It looks like Nancy Pelosi came close to voting "no" on the debt limit proposal. If Pelosi had voted "no," i beliee she would have been obligated to run against Obama in the 2012 primaries.

Huntsman and the Prom Queen

A pretty dumb moment from Jon Huntsman. Yesterday, Huntsman claimed that the media only paid attention to Michele Bachmann because she was pretty.

In a long story running in this week's New York, Huntsman -- who recently abandoned his lackluster Mr. Nice Guy campaign in favor of taking direct swipes at his opponents -- suggested Bachmann, the only woman officially running for president, gets the attention she gets in part because she's good-looking. "She makes for good copy--and good photography," Huntsman told New York's John Heilemann. The quote came in the context of talk about Bachmann being "more an object of media fascination than a plausible nominee," as Heilemann put it.

Actually, I follow commentary on Bachmann's campaign fairly closely and there's none of the "librarian porn" fascination surrounding Bachmann that was the case with Sarah Palin. Actually, this is the first discussion I've seen of her standard-issue, politician look. I remember somebody commenting that politicians all look like class presidents or prom queens and Bachmann looks like she could have been queen at a home schooling prom.

But who besides Jon Huntsman, who really cares?

The main things about Bachmann's candidacy is that she has a constituency in the religious right and Tea Party factions, works very hard, has a potential path to the Republican nomination, and would lose the general election to Obama by about 25 points.

But why exactly is Jon Huntsman running?

About all I can see is that he has a career-killing resume as a moderate Republican, good hair, and an interesting story about growing up as a rock n' roll Mormon.

Not exactly presidential material there.