Friday, November 18, 2011

Counting Hits

Good data today from Eric Ostermeier over at Smart Politics about who is attacking who in the GOP debates this fall. The whole thing is worth looking at, and the big headline is that no one is hitting Newt; as they count it, there hasn't been a single attack on Newt Gingrich in any of the last seven debates (via Goddard).

Well, it's an excellent study, but I'll make a small dissent on the coding. From the most recent encounter:
MITT ROMNEY: I don't think you are going to find somebody who has more of those attributes than I do. I have been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me, I will get in trouble, for 42 years.
(LAUGHTER)
ROMNEY: I have been in the same church my entire life.
Gosh, is there anyone in the GOP field who is well known for changing wives -- and churches -- all the time? I seem to remember one candidate who sort of fits that profile...maybe Mitt could remind us?

7 comments:

  1. What about "I got the idea for the individual mandate from you, Newt"?

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  2. Ostermeier suggests that Newt's GOP rivals are "afraid" to attack him. That wasn't my impression. I just thought they didn't see any point to it. Up to now most people didn't expect Newt to capture the lead in the race, and even now few people are expecting him to win the nomination. Santorum hasn't been much attacked either, though the fact that he has at all is probably at least partly a reaction to his own aggressiveness toward the other candidates, something Newt has largely refrained from. In short, Newt is viewed as a long-shot by the others, and isn't giving them much trouble (so far, anyway). So there's little to be gained from going after him. Why waste a good attack on a breath in the wind?

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  3. JB, flag on the play.

    The question was about Romney's perpetual weakness: he's a flip-flopper for political expedience. And he answered it by saying "I'm a very constant guy." The line after this is: "I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years."

    Maybe Mitt downloaded a program that allowed him to respond to the flip-flopping question in a way that killed two birds with one stone. I don't know; they're doing amazing things with computers these days. But if this was an attack on Newt, it was pretty subtle.

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  4. Matt, when i heard the line i thought he was getting a dig in at Newt as well as anti-flip-flopper. being somewhat cynical i assumed the reason he "made the mistake" of saying 25/42 was to make it stick in memory. But perhaps Mitt isn't so over programmed. He just blended in his Bain talking point and messed up his marriage talking point.

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  5. Well, this sets up as one for the ages. Romney vs. Gingrich. Neither with a principled bone in their body. Either would sell their grandmother out if it benefited them.

    It don't get much better than this.

    It's like Frazier vs. Ali, or more properly, the anti-Frazier vs. the anti-Ali, in the anti-thrillah from... um... Dubuque.

    But there's one guy who may backdoor benefit from this final showdown, and I do believe this is the final showdown. Can you guess who that guy is? Little squeaky voiced fellah? ;-)

    But that assumes these 2 unprincipled hacks claw at each other savagely, in equal proportion, in an almost calibrated way, such that both are hurt and neither helped, and they find no reason to seek truce. We deserve to see that anyway, just on general principles.

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  6. Anon: just to quibble and poke fun, I wouldn't characterize Romney and Gingrich as "either would sell the grandmother out if it benefitted them."

    Rather, I think that describes Romney perfectly: calculate benefit, do action. Principles simply don't exist.

    Whereas I tend to think Gingrich is more firmly committed to selling his grandmother, and then he tries to benefit from it.

    /snark

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  7. MJ, you think Paul stands any chance to benefit from this final showdown, if that's what it does turn into?

    I've never been much of a Paul fan, but I gotta admit, Paul vs. Obama is about the only general election matchup of interest and consequence.

    And if Paul happened to win, it'd be fun watching the Congress overriding his vetoes, one after another. You want bipartisanship? Well here ya' go, sportsfans!

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