Heads up, Kentucky! The GOP race is about to get surreal

Some quick GOP delegate math. Here’s where the Republican candidates for president stand in the delegate count:

. Delegates Needed to win % of remaining
. Mitt Romney 415 729 47.31%
. Rick Santorum 176 968 62.82%
. Newt Gingrich 105 1,039 67.42%
. Ron Paul 47 1,097 71.19%
. Remaining 1,541

So, obviously, this shows that Mitt Romney is in the best position to get enough delegates to avoid a brokered convention where some dark horse … (wait, this is the GOP) … some white knight who hasn’t been in the race will come in at the last minute and be the compromise candidate.

But it appears there aren’t enough “winner take all” primaries to ensure that Romney will have enough. That means he has to make a deal. It’s simple math. If he needs a few votes, he’ll have to get Gingrich or Santorum or Paul to turn their delegates over to him.

Daily Kos lays out the possibilities:

Santorum could offer his delegates up in exchange for being the veep nominee himself. Gingrich could … nevermind. He’ll hoard his pittance of delegates and declare himself emperor in his own mind.

I suspect Romney would never make a deal that would put Man on Dog or the Serial Adulterer in the number two spot on the ticket. Their negatives are outrageously high, and in a general election, they would only bring down the ticket, which already will be down because of Romney at the top.

But Kos gives us this gem:

If Ron Paul has enough delegates to push Romney over the line, he could trade them for VP nominee Rand Paul.

All I can say is, “Oh,no!”

Because this is a deal Romney would be willing to make. Rand Paul got into the Senate on the last election cycle. The voters of Kentucky were super pissed off that Obama was president, so they rejected the obviously better Democratic candidate (who I might add ran a terrible campaign) for the guy with the crazy pseudo-libertarian ideas. I still don’t get what Rand Paul is about. (Full disclosure: I did volunteer work for Jack Conway in that election and as a Kentucky resident voted against Rand Paul.)

And now, the realization has struck that Rand Paul is a legitimate contender to run for vice president of the United States. Because in this meritocracy we call the 21st century GOP, a person, no matter how dim or feckless, can succeed based on the generosity of his rich parents. (George Bush the Dumber; Mitt Romney the son of an auto executive/governor.) Need I say more?

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The GOP presidential race: The end is not near

Looking back at Super Tuesday, here’s what we saw.

As of 11 p.m. last night, Gingrich won Georgia. No big deal, that’s his home state. The down side is he stays in the race. A loss there would have ended his candidacy.

Romney won Vermont, Virginia, Massachusetts and Massachusetts. Vermont and Virginia were no surprise. That’s his territory. Virginia was a surprise in that in a two-man race between him and Ron Paul (the Serial Adulterer and former senator Man on Dog didn’t qualify for the ballot), Paul pulled in 41%. That tells you that outside of New England, at least 41% of Republicans are going to vote against Romney no matter what.

Rick Santorum won Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Pretty handily in all three cases.

The big state is Ohio, and with 88% of precincts reporting, Romney is slightly ahead of Santorum 38% to 37%. It’s too close to call.

That Santorum is still in the race is unbelievable. You would think that Republicans would realize that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly voted Santorum out of office when he ran for reelection to the Senate. There’s a reason for that, folks. Find out why.

But the fact that he can win Ohio has to be devastating to the Romney campaign. Not to mention a complete descent into madness in that state. But, they did elect a governor who rejected federal disaster aid after last week’s series of devastating tornadoes, so why even bother to guess what Ohioans want. As an Ohio native, I am dumbfounded.

So I again have to reassess my view of where the Republicans are headed. I once asked if the worst case scenario was “Will they charge ahead full speed and drive that bus off the cliff and into a river of hungry crocodiles.”

Then I modified that to: “Will they charge ahead full speed and drive that bus off the cliff and into a river of hungry crocodiles next to a nuclear plant during an earthquake just as the tsunami wave reaches 50 meters.”

Now it’s: “Will they charge ahead full speed and drive that bus off the cliff and into a river of hungry crocodiles next to a nuclear plant during an earthquake just as the tsunami wave reaches 50 meters carrying a school of piranhas being chased by great white sharks.”

Sad to say, but it looks like there’s no end in sight.

Iowa and the Death Star dumpster dive

Setting: Trash dumpster, the Death Star. Characters: Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca.

Leia: It could be worse.

(A onimous growl echoes through the dumpster)

Han: It’s worse.

(Star Wars: A New Beginning)

The above is the first thing I thought when I read this:

With 96 percent of precincts reporting at 11:40 p.m. Eastern, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) was in a virtual tie with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, leading him by just 79 votes. Both of them hovered around 24.6 percent of the total, with Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) close behind at 21 points. It seemed possible that this year’s winner — whoever it turns out to be — would finish with the lowest percentage total of any GOP winner in Iowa’s modern history, sinking below Bob Dole’s 26 percent in 1996.

Senator Man-on-Dog, Governor What-do-you-want-me-to-say, and Congressman Ayn Rand Sr. These are your front runners for the GOP nomination for the president of the United States of America. The most powerful man on the planet. Someone must have dropped LSD at the Tea Party.

Ron Paul isn’t a racist, homophobic anti-Semite … to a point

Here’s a bizarre column from a former Ron Paul staffer named Eric Dondero. According to his bio box, he’s:

Fmr. Senior Aide, US Cong. Ron Paul, 1997 – 2003
Campaign Coordinator, Ron Paul for Congress, 1995/96
National Organizer, Draft Ron Paul for President, 1991/92
Travel Aide/Personal Asst. Ron Paul, Libertarian for President
1987/88

And he’s defending the Texas congressman. Imagine if he was trying to stab him in the back:

Is Ron Paul a “racist.” In short, No. I worked for the man for 12 years, pretty consistently. I never heard a racist word expressed towards Blacks or Jews come out of his mouth. Not once. And understand, I was his close personal assistant. It’s safe to say that I was with him on the campaign trail more than any other individual, whether it be traveling to Fairbanks, Alaska or Boston, Massachusetts in the presidential race, or across the congressional district to San Antonio or Corpus Christi, Texas.

He has frequently hired blacks for his office staff, starting as early as 1988 for the Libertarian campaign. He has also hired many Hispanics, including his current District staffer Dianna Gilbert-Kile.

One caveat: He is what I would describe as “out of touch,” with both Hispanic and Black culture. Ron is far from being the hippest guy around. He is completely clueless when it comes to Hispanic and Black culture, particularly Mexican-American culture. And he is most certainly intolerant of Spanish and those who speak strictly Spanish in his presence, (as are a number of Americans, nothing out of the ordinary here.)

Is Ron Paul an Anti-Semite? Absolutely No. As a Jew, (half on my mother’s side), I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened too over the years, or in my personal presence that could be called, “Anti-Semite.” No slurs. No derogatory remarks.

He is however, most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.

Again, American Jews, Ron Paul has no problem with. In fact, there were a few Jews in our congressional district, and Ron befriended them with the specific intent of winning their support for our campaign. (One synagogue in Victoria, and tiny one in Wharton headed by a well-known Jewish lawyer).

On the incident that’s being talked about in some blog media about the campaign manager directing me to a press conference of our opponent Lefty Morris in Victoria to push back on Anti-Jewish charges from the Morris campaign, yes, that did happen. The Victoria Advocate described the press conference very accurately. Yes, I was asked (not forced), to attend the conference dressed in a Jewish yarlmuke, and other Jewish adornments.

There was another incident when Ron finally agreed to a meeting with Houston Jewish Young Republicans at the Freeport office. He berated them, and even shouted at one point, over their un-flinching support for Israel. So, much so, that the 6 of them walked out of the office. I was left chasing them down the hallway apologizing for my boss.

Is Ron Paul a homo-phobe? Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era.

There were two incidents that I will cite, for the record. One that involved me directly, and another that involved another congressional staffer or two.

(I am revealing this for the very first time, and I’m sure Jim Peron will be quite surprised to learn this.)

In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly Gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim’s Gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim’s home/office as a “base.” Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps “sternly” is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: “Just do what I say NOW.”

The second incident involved one or two other staffers many years later at the BBQ in Surfside Beach. I was not in direct presence of the incident. But another top staffer, and I believe one of our secretaries, was witnessed to it. This top staffer adores Ron, but was extremely insulted by his behavior, I would even say flabbergasted to the point of considering resigning from his staff over it.

“Bobby,” a well-known and rather flamboyant and well-liked gay man in Freeport came to the BBQ. Let me stress Ron likes Bobby personally, and Bobby was a hardcore campaign supporter. But after his speech, at the Surfside pavilion Bobby came up to Ron with his hand extended, and according to my fellow staffer, Ron literally swatted his hand away.

Again, let me stress. I would not categorize that as “homo-phobic,” but rather just unsettled by being around gays personally. Ron, like many folks his age, very much supports toleration, but chooses not to be around gays on a personal level. It’s a personal choice. And though, it may seem offensive to some, he has every right in my mind to feel and act that way.

It goes on like this.

Seems it’s time to just give the nomination to Romney already.

Infamy!

The deadline for the inclusion on the ballot for the Virginia GOP presidential primary has passed, and, amazingly, the only two candidates to qualify were Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Now this is a major primary, and any candidates serious about competing for its votes on Super Tuesday would have had a sophisticated enough campaign organization to make sure the required number of signatures were collected and verified.

But of the seven candidates who are seeking the GOP nomination, only four filled out the necessary paperwork. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry came up short.

Which should tell you something.

1) Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann don’t have any organization in Virginia, which should be an indication that their national organizations are weak, so they really shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore. Any future debates should dump them.

2) Rick Perry, who was the perceive GOP darling at one time, couldn’t get the required number of signatures. He’s pretty much out of it.

3) The serial adulterer really wasn’t serious about getting the nomination to begin with, and when he found out he actually reached frontrunner status, he scrambled and tried to get the required votes. And now, like a sore loser, he’s complaining about a process that was long ago established:

Gingrich’s campaign blamed the Virginia rules for his failure to qualify and said he would mount a write-in campaign instead.

“Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot. Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates,” Gingrich campaign manager Michael Krull said in a statement. “We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Dude! Rules are rules. Mitt and Ron figured it out. You’ve got no excuse.

Here’s the topper. On the Gingrich campaign page on Facebook, Krull said this:

Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days – but in the end we will stand victorious.

This is what happened in December 1941:

The similarities are striking, aren’t they?

The news, as interpreted by Ron Paul

Here’s what the chatter will be when Ron Paul becomes the next “Not Romney.” (Everyone else has had a chance, right?) From the Weekly Standard:

Though particular articles rarely carried a byline, the vast majority were written in the first person, while the title of the newsletter, in its various iterations, always featured Paul’s name: Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Political Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, and the Ron Paul Investment Letter. What I found was unpleasant.

“Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks,” read a typical article from the June 1992 “Special Issue on Racial Terrorism,” a supplement to the Ron Paul Political Report. Racial apocalypse was the most persistent theme of the newsletters; a 1990 issue warned of “The Coming Race War,” and an article the following year about disturbances in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was entitled “Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo.” Paul alleged that Martin Luther King Jr., “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours,” had also “seduced underage girls and boys.” The man who would later proclaim King a “hero” attacked Ronald Reagan for signing legislation creating the federal holiday in his name, complaining, “We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”

That’s just a sample. Take a look at the Weekly Standard article for the AIDS conspiracy theories and the shots at Israelis and Jews in the newsletters from which Ron Paul made a least a million dollars.

Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars. Ed Crane, the president of the Cato Institute, said Paul told him that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for the Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto.”

There’s a reason why he didn’t get invited to the Republican Jewish Coalition this month, while other GOP candidates with crazy ideas did.

Ron Paul’s ‘Let them die’ answer

In the last GOP debate (the CNN/Teabagger “Ameri-gasm” as Jon Stewart put it), Ron Paul was the one who received the question, “Would you let a sick young man without health insurance die?” (A paraphrase, but really the essence of the question.) Ron Paul proceeded to give a convoluted answer, so the viewers where left wondering what he meant.

Turns out, his answer was “Yes.” Why? Because it happened to the person who was responsible for Paul running for president.

Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul’s former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer’s example, the 49-year-old Snyder was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder’s surviving mother, who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Snyder’s death in 2008. Here’s the link.

So:

1) Ron Paul not only talks the talk. He walks the walk.

2) Ron Paul’s answer to the question was total garbage. Here’s the example. Charity didn’t help Snyder. The “church hospital” didn’t save an American who suffered from pneumonia. And because he didn’t have health insurance, his bill was an unpayable $400,000.