About that article.
Joe lost me at this:
When Sean Hannity asked Palin whether being in a reality show diminished her standing to be president, the former half-term governor mocked Reagan’s biography, dismissing him as “an actor.”
Sounding like every left-wing politician and media elitist who ridiculed Reagan for decades, Palin sneered that she could be president if the actor from “Bedtime for Bonzo” managed to do so.
Reagan biographer Peggy Noonan dismissed the remark as “ignorant, even for Sarah Palin.” Noonan reported that Reagan loyalists were outraged that Palin would stoop to using the old left-wing jab. The Gipper’s former speechwriter then used her Wall Street Journal column to strike back.
Palin wasn’t mocking Reagan — she worships Reagan. She was mocking the people who mocked Reagan, and implicitly making a comparison.
Same comparison John McCain was making, the other day.
Scarborough, if you can’t figure that out — you either aren’t trying, or you have bought into the MSNBC groupthink.
Look, there are very good reasons to think that Palin can’t do it — the 67% of American who think she isn’t qualified for the job, for starters.
But I haven’t seen anyone who makes conservative critiques of Obamaism that capture the public’s attention like hers do, and until I do, sorry, I’m going to give Sarah Palin every consideration.
I want another candidate — I do not want to have to vote for Sarah Palin in the primary. But that other person is going to have to earn my vote. Otherwise, it goes to Sarah.
Apparently that’s Stephen Harper’s line:
OTTAWA – A “buoyed” Prime Minister Stephen Harper is calling Monday’s federal byelection wins an endorsement of his government’s economic and anti-crime agendas. …
“For the past two years our government has focused on Canadians’ No. 1 priority — to protect and create jobs and continue to strengthen the Canadian economy,” Harper said in a release.
“Our government is also taking action to tackle crime in order to protect Canadian families.
“Voters in the federal by-elections chose to endorse our government’s actions on these fronts by sending two new Conservative MPs to be their champions in Ottawa.”
If I was Stephen Harper, I’d be planning an election for the spring. Here’s some reasons why: …
• Even if they don’t manage a majority, the Conservatives would have to stumble badly not to retain power. That would almost certainly be the end of Ignatieff. After two failed leaderships and no obvious rising stars in the wings, the Liberals could find themselves broke, leaderless, dispirited and exhausted. Seldom have the Conservatives had an opportunity to so thoroughly incapacitate their historic rivals. It won’t last forever.
Thrilled with taking out a safe Liberal seat, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are ripping in to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and boldly predicting more wins in Ontario and the coveted Toronto area.
“This is a time of reckoning for Mr. Ignatieff,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Tuesday after former top cop Julian Fantino’s by-election victory in Vaughan.
A time of reckoning?
Gosh. They’re acting like yesterday was Ignatieff’s Outremont.
Was it? I thought not. But I guess we’ll see how the pols play it.
1. Harper has gotten the vote share he needs to start winning more 905 seats (and the odd 416) with good candidates.
2. He has those good candidates, so the Tories ought to be on the cusp of a majority in 2012.
3. BUT! The NDP vote is in trouble — as in 1993, they appear finally to be heading Liberal again.
4. This puts us in some odd cross-currents — basically, the electorate is dividing up into pro- and anti-Harper camps. Not unlike the coalition days, but that no longer puts the CPC into healthy majority territory.
5. All of that being said, I don’t want an election soon.
Well, I always want elections. Still do. But I see strategic benefit in holding off till October 2012.
The last one became a second liveblog.
Well, the Tories held the MB seat they expected to, Dauphin, easily.
But the other two seats were close. The Liberals picked up Winnipeg North in a bit of a surprise upset. And the Tories picked up Vaughan in a closely-fought by-election for their star recruit, Julian Fantino.
All predicted narratives are dead — Harper’s got his two seats, Ignatieff is surprisingly lively, and Layton — okay, Layton had a bad night.
I don’t think we’ll see a general election in 2011. Maybe spring 2012, or possibly even fall 2012.
Could a Harper minority parliament outlast a Chretien majority one? Stranger things have happened.
Update: A thought — did Layton lose his mojo once he propped Harper up in September 2009, rather than fight the snap election that Ignatieff wanted?
Another thought — we can now lay to rest the “worse than Dion” meme about Ignatieff.
He outperformed expectations in stealing that Winnipeg seat. The Conservatives are on offense, sure, but the Liberals have a lot of fight left in them…
11:03 PM: Well, tonight looks to give us a surprise or two.
It looks like Fantino’s going to win in Vaughan for the Tories, with just over 50% of the votes — but not with a huge margin of victory.
It’s also looking like Lamoureux is going to pull off a narrow upset in Winnipeg North for the Liberals.
Finally, Sopuck ran away with it in Dauphin for the Tories.
If this holds — good night for the Liberals, even if they lose their seat in Vaughan, and a good night for Prime Minister Harper, who laid a lot on the line tonight. Terrible night for the NDP.
What does this signify? I suspect that it shows the electorate polarizing into pro- and anti-Harper camps. If he holds a narrow majority of the 905 — well, he’ll still be on offense. (Big if.)
11:18 PM: Fantino’s fallen below 50%. His lead is holding at around a thousand votes, tho’.
Could be a depressing night of victories for the CPC… We’ll see.
11:22 PM: Or will there be victories other than Sopuck’s? Fantino’s lead now down to 400 votes.
11:27 PM: Can Fantino lose this? Lead down to three hundred someodd.
If the Liberals hold Vaughan and pick up Winnipeg North — big night for Ignatieff.
11:52 PM: This is insane. Fantino’s lead keeps on dropping.
11:57 PM: Okay, lead back up to 474 votes, with 260/284 polls in.
12:14 AM: Fantino up on Genco by 669, with 14 polls left of 284.
12:22 AM: Back up to 49%? With an 800 vote lead? Pulling away again.
12:27 AM: Am starting to think that 49% is the magic number for Tory star candidates in ridings in the City of Vaughan — that’s what Peter Kent got in 2008, too.
12:33 AM: Everyone’s calling it.
Less of a victory than people thought — and yet, at the start of the night, I’d've considered this a big victory. 49% isn’t chump change. That’s what the Tories need to get a majority, next time out.
1:03 AM: CPAC abandoned us.
And Fantino won the way he campaigned — he didn’t show up. Hilarious. Would’ve been nice to see a victory speech…
8:20 PM: Well, polls close in seventy minutes.
Near as I can tell, the two Manitoba ridings are safe — one for the Tories, the other for the Dippers. The only action tonight is in the GTA and Quebec.
How so? Well. First, Quebec — a francophone provincial riding is up, and there’s a real possibility that Charest’s forces may eat Pauline Marois’s lunch.
If they do, Mme Marois may not survive a leadership review this spring — which will let Gilles Duceppe springboard back to provincial politics.
If that happens — all bets are off. I think both the Tories and Liberals benefit — the Tories can hold and perhaps expand their Quebec City beachhead, and the Grits can pick up some more Montreal-area seats. As the Tories are on the verge of a majority, that helps them more.
Second, Vaughan. Basically, I see three possible outcomes:
A. Liberal hold. If this happens, it’s a slap in the face to Prime Minister Harper, who did actually campaign in Vaughan — this is the first time a sitting PM has intervened in a by-election since Brian Mulroney campaigned hard for his old law school buddy, a fellow named Lucien Bouchard, back in 1988. If even Fantino can’t win it for the Tories, well, the PM is sucking wind in the GTA. Expect an election in 2011, and Harper will be fighting for his political life.
B. A narrow Tory win. If this happens, well, status quo — the Liberals can argue, correctly, that Julian Fantino is a star candidate and a favourite son of the Italian-Canadian community. The Tories can say, well, why weren’t you able to recruit him. True enough, but not really a terrifying event for the Liberals — more just a disappointment.
C. Tory landslide — near 50% or more for Fantino. If this happens, it’s Ignatieff’s Outremont. His leadership will be damaged, possibly irreparably. No election in 2011 — indeed, very possibly no election till October 2012, at which point Stephen Harper will be on offense, gunning for his majority. (Doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll get it; just that, as in 2008, it will generally be expected that he will remain prime minister through the next parliament.)
So, there’s a fun evening ahead for us!
8:37 PM: One of the Liberal bloggers following tonight’s action has kindly collected the links to Elections Canada’s live results pages for each riding.
8:41 PM: On that note — Quebec’s tight –
Dionne, France (P.L.Q./Q.L.P.) 354 39,38 %
Simard, André (P.Q.) 353 39,27 %
Beaulieu, Gérald (A.D.Q.) 165 18,35 %
Brophy Nolan, Frédéric (P.V.Q./G.P.Q.) 14 1,56 %
Proulx, Serge (Q.S.) 13 1,45 %
The plot thickens…
8:53 PM: Huh –
Dionne, France (P.L.Q./Q.L.P.) 1 231 36,24%
Simard, André (P.Q.) 1 231 36,24%
Okay, clock, keep on moving forward. I want Vaughan results…
But wow, if Marois ends up flaming out in QC — the game changes.
That’s the quality of analysis you get here, dear readers!
9:12 PM: Okay, I’m amused by the reader commentary over at Vaughan Today.
They’re saying the possibility of a Tory victory shows the rise of fascism and racism in Canada.
First off, the most racially diverse caucus in the 40th Parliament is the Conservative Party caucus. Second, Mike Harris won several downtown Toronto seats in ’95. Third, Rob Ford is mayor-elect of Toronto.
You may not like Team Blue, but if they did win a suburban Toronto riding, it’s not at all out of the ordinary. Al Paladini held that seat for Harris’s people, and it’s a seat that needs to go blue for a Harper majority.
9:24 PM: Interesting set of questions from the Pundits’ Guide.
9:29 PM: Last minute of play in the by-election! (Vaughan.)
9:31 PM: And now we wait. CTV Newsnet has live coverage; I bet CP24 does, too.
This’ll be fun.
9:37 PM: First results not till 9:45 PM. Fantino not speaking till at least 10 PM. (That he gave a time — does he expect an easy win?)
9:39 PM: Elections Canada results will be here.
9:42 PM: David Akin — “Fact that #CPC allowed Powers to tell us that @pmharper is personally invested in campaign leads me to suspect #CPC knows it won #Vaughan”
Yes, if Harper doesn’t pick up that seat tonight, it’s a bloody nose for him.
9:47 PM: The CBC has apparently called the Quebec provincial by-election for the Pequistes.
So maybe Gilles will be staying in Ottawa. Alas.
9:50 PM: Interesting. CP24 is claiming a *huge* lead for Fantino. Do we believe it?
Meanwhile, Elections Canada has him up 65-55 over Genco.
9:54 PM: Now Genco up 112-107. Ack.
9:56 PM: Genco up 283-256.
I said it before, I’ll say it again: if Fantino loses tonight, it’s a bloody nose for the PM. Possibly even a spring election.
10:02 PM: Okay, Fantino up 913-891, with 15 polls in of 284. Relief.
10:06 PM: Interesting: 20 polls in, Fantino up 51%-45%. Polarizing — people are voting either pro- or anti- Fantino.
Means we could see the Tories break 50% and it not be a landslide… That screws up my punditry.
Still, a win’s a win — and the corollary is that a loss is a stab to the heart for Harper.
10:11 PM: Fantino extends lead — 52%-44% with 45 polls in, just under a 500 vote lead.
10:15 PM: It’s actually damn close in Winnipeg North.
What if the Tories win Vaughan narrowly and the Liberals come close to knocking off the NDP in Winnipeg? (Or do it?)
I don’t know how to spin that one. Polarized electorate, maybe — pro- and anti-Harper. Which is what the PM wants, mind you.
10:22 PM: So thus far we see a PQ hold in Quebec, a Tory landslide in Manitoba, a Tory lead in Vaughan, and a surprisingly strong Liberal challenge to the NDP in Winnipeg.
10:27 PM: Liberals pull ahead in Winnipeg North!
Fantino maintains ~5 pt lead in Vaughan.
Landslide continues in Inky Mark’s old riding for the CPC.
10:30 PM: Okay, Dippers back in front by 11 votes. Neck and neck.
10:35 PM: CP24 is pissing me off. No, Fantino does _not_ have a lead of over 50%. He has a lead of ~5%, with a vote total hovering just over 50%.
Which is good — a win with over 50% is more than you could ask for. But no landslide.
The opposition is alive and kicking.
10:41 PM: If Fantino wins Vaughan, even over 50%, but Lamoureux wins Winnipeg North for the Liberals — Canadian politics gets a lot more interesting.
In other words — Harper has his path wide open to a majority, but Ignatieff is alive and kicking.
11:00 PM: No resolution tonight. Looks like the Tories have a solid win in Vaughan, but the Liberals will have a still-more-impressive upset win in Winnipeg North.
Bob Sopuck is chopped liver in Dauphin, but what the heck — he’s an MP in government. That’s not nothing.
Tatiana Gfoeller, Washington’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, recorded in a secret cable that Andrew spoke “cockily” at the brunch with British and Canadian business people, leading a discussion that “verged on the rude”. …
The dispatch continued: “His mother’s subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to ‘these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National [sic] Guardian, who poke their noses everywhere’ and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped.”
She said the talk turned at another point to allegations of corruption in the post-Soviet state: “While claiming that all of them never participated in it and never gave out bribes, one representative of a middle-sized company stated that ‘it is sometimes an awful temptation’.
“In an astonishing display of candour in a public hotel where the brunch was taking place, all of the businessmen then chorused that nothing gets done in Kyrgyzstan if President [Kurmanbek] Bakiyev’s son Maxim does not get ‘his cut’.
“Prince Andrew took up the topic with gusto, saying that he keeps hearing Maxim’s name ‘over and over again’ whenever he discusses doing business in this country.
“Emboldened, one businessman said that doing business here is ‘like doing business in the Yukon’ in the 19th century, ie only those willing to participate in local corrupt practices are able to make any money … At this point the Duke of York laughed uproariously, saying that: ‘All of this sounds exactly like France.’”
I share the takeaway:
He then capped this off with a zinger: castigating “our stupid (sic) British and American governments which plan at best for ten years whereas people in this part of the world plan for centuries.” There were calls of “hear, hear” in the private brunch hall. Unfortunately for the assembled British subjects, their cherished Prince was now late to the Prime Minister’s. He regretfully tore himself away from them and they from him. On the way out, one of them confided to the Ambassador: “What a wonderful representative for the British people! We could not be prouder of our royal family!”
Q. Why was this possible?
A. Well, post-9/11, the going theory — a correct one! — was that the information necessary to discover the plot was in US government hands, but compartmentalization prevented analysts from making the necessary connections. It was therefore thought to be a good idea to give low-level analysts access to multiple agencies’ databases.
Q. What are the likely effects of it?
A. Well, many, many leaders are not going to want to speak candidly to US diplomats — as their off-the-record comments will be liable to be published. American diplomacy will become that much less effective. Compartmentalization will make a comeback — the post-9/11 increased access to data across agencies will be sharply cut. American intelligence capabilities will be cut sharply. With American diplomacy hobbled and intel capabilities smashed, the government will be more reactive than proactive. Another 9/11 will be more likely; military solutions will become that much more attractive, given the decreased effectiveness of other options.
It’s really an own goal for the types who run Wikileaks — the people they hate will be strengthened, and the people they are probably closer on the page to — Obama’s sort — will be weakened.
Life’s funny that way. Sick sense of irony.
Well, you’d expect him to praise her, no? Because if she gives Obama a pasting in 2012, McCain stands vindicated.
It didn’t get nearly as much play as it should have, but Obama’s June 2009 meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah ended with the monarch flying into a tirade and more or less telling the President to get a grip. This was the Riyadh meeting that Obama took on his way to his insulting and failed Cairo Speech, the better to prepare himself by visiting “the place where Islam began.” The sit-down was such a disaster that Dennis Ross was hurriedly brought into the White House and given a broader role, yielding the impression that the President wanted a Middle East adviser who kind of understood something about the Middle East – and didn’t think he had one.
There were two theories on why the meeting went so badly. …
On the other side you had Middle East experts like Dan Diker, who insisted on One Jerusalem Radio’s Omri Ceren Show that the Saudis gave Obama a bruising lecture on what they actually care about, and it wasn’t the Palestinians. Under this theory King Abdullah expected to talk about militarily confronting Iran, and he couldn’t believe it when Obama kept reciting bromides about the earth-shattering importance of the Israeli/Arab conflict and his enthusiasm for solving it. That was a regular public topic between the two – Obama’s first talk with Abdullah focused on Gaza and the President later emphasized his abiding support for Saudi Arabia’s “Israel Has To Commit Suicide” plan – but the King kind of thought he was dealing with a serious person who could separate spectacle from policy. Instead he got the equivalent of an International Relations graduate student enamored with pseudo-sophisticated “insights” he’d gleaned from Arab media outlets. Ergo, meltdown.
But I don’t know if he’s Jimmy Carter.
I mean, Carter at least tried to rescue the hostages…
Update: Okay, Stacy McCain has le mot just –
Dude. When it turns out Saudi royalty is on the same page with Bill Kristol vis-a-vis the need to bomb Iran, you know Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime is in trouble.
Update again: This guy‘s tweeting the juicy bits.