Ok, so the caffeine has worn off now…
John was on AC 360 last night to provide analysis of how the GOP candidates are starting to get, well, a little testy with each other in their campaigns, trying to distinguish each other from one another… as there is no real front runner yet.
(screencap courtesy of All Things Anderson)
Anderson opened the discussion by saying, “Tonight, with caucuses and primaries getting closer, kind of, Thompson lashed out at fellow Republicans, not by name, but the targets were pretty unmistakable, Mitt Romney and Rudy Guiliani. And he did it right here in New York. “
John began with “It’s about 81 days until the first votes in Iowa, Anderson. The Republican race still has no clear front-runner. So, it’s getting more pointed and more personal.”
His report on this story, “Who is a ‘real’ Republican?” can be viewed here.
In the piece, Thompson is shown speaking to an audience saying “Some people think, seemingly, that we need to defeat the Democrats next year by becoming more like them.”
John points out that Thompson “didn’t name names… Yet, there is no doubt the target was Giuliani, the pro-abortion-rights, pro-gay-rights former New York City mayor.”
Giuliani, John says, prefers to emphasize terrorism and leadership over social issues and that staying above the fray won’t be easy.
What does McCain have to comment on about all this testiness?
“We also should examine people’s records as to whether they’re — quote — ‘real Republicans or not.’ ”
John continues that “The GOP race is wide open in part because none of the leading candidates gets perfect grades from conservatives.”
At the end of John’s piece, Anderson asked, “Now, John, last week at the Republican debate, it was all about attacking Hillary Clinton. Why now are they focusing on each other?”
John provided this analysis: “Well, they’re still attacking Hillary Clinton. But one subplot of the Republican race is, who would be the strongest candidate against the presumed Democrat, who is Hillary Clinton right now?
But another subplot is, who will be the leader of the party post- George W. Bush. This is a fascinating race between all these candidates who essentially want to redefine the Republican Party in the post-Bush era, and they have significant philosophical differences among them. They agree on most of the big-picture things, like Iraq, but they disagree on spending and taxes, some of the social issues.
So, it’s a fascinating fight, and it’s going to play out a lot over the next 80 days. “
Wow, at minimum 80 more days of this back and forth bickering?
[sarcasm] Lovely. Just lovely. [/sarcasm]