Monday, November 19, 2007

Maybe The "Conventional Wisdom" Is About To Get The Snot Knocked Out Of It

One certainly hopes so, in one way or another. We’ll discuss the possibilities. But consider Ramesh Ponuru’s Rudy Wins the Pundit Primary , to be published in the December 3, National Review. It discusses how the punditocracy has lined up behind Rudy Giuliani in a considerably lopsided way: a couple for Thompson, a couple for McCain, talk-show host Hugh Hewitt for Romney…and the rest for Rudy. Perhaps the consensus of these heretofore “experts” sheds some light on the endorsements of social conservative political veterans. If you have learned anything from politics in recent decades, it’s that you want to be with a “winner.” And winners are determined by this insular clatch of “experts”: you just have to listen to the right people.

Hewitt for example, has staked his reputation (and one wonders what else) on the “fact” that “it’s a 2-man race,” between Giuliani and Romney. Today, Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke marveled at the movement of Mike Huckabee in Iowa, so that he’s now in a position to actually win in Iowa! So, what do the “experts” say now?

Well…you discount Iowa. Giuliani and to a considerable extent McCain are already doing this, hoping to hold a profile through a sure sound defeat. Fred Barnes wondered, “So, where does (Huckabee) go from there? (Iowa)” Barnes mouthed aloud the consideration of whether Huckabee could actually compete for the nomination. Kondracke assured us that he could not. He ‘s in single digits in very secular New Hampshire and in South Carolina, they noted. So, we might as well be talking about the parting of The Red Sea. Now, never mind that the one responsible for that is still around. But this may be a good example: these guys know what all the “experts” say in their traditional way of sizing these things up.

Anyway, how can “experts” discuss Huckabee’s prospects in South Carolina with no reference to the facts that:

1) a former SC governor and another late governor’s family are leading Huckabee’s SC campaign. And

2) A few months ago, when Huckabee’s poll numbers were even worse, he trounced the rest of the Republican field in Republican straw polls of two of SC’s largest counties. I’m no one, in terms of being a media celebrated expert. But, that’s the point:

All these supposed experts know is that Huckabee trails even Thompson in South Carolina polls.

Houston, Texas is a city of over 3 million people. Thursday night, we had a meeting gathered from those paying close attention to the Huckabee campaign.. There were maybe 15 of us. We can all see that something big and significant is happening. But at least 90% of even Texas voters, have no idea what Mike Huckabee is about. Most don’t even know he’s running for president. But, the few who pay attention to such things know.

A Texas poll today, would show Huckabee far behind here, too. But like in South Carolina, people with their ears to the political ground, know that something is happening. I don’t need any experts to tell me that if Mike Huckabee finishes 1st or 2nd in Iowa and in the top 3 in New Hampshire, he wins South Carolina hands down. And, what the polls say today doesn’t mean a thing. And by the way, if that happens and he’s in the race through February, he wins the Texas primary in March, too. And it matters neither what polls say today, or that Texas’ feckless Republican Governor Rick Perry has endorsed Rudy Giuliani. The only way that Giuliani could finish even second in Texas is if there are more than two people left that include two who will have already been considered hopeless, and I wouldn’t even bet on that.

So yes, the “experts” are perched on a wire and on borrowed time. In ten years, to whatever extent they matter, it won’t be to inform the masses about what’s happening. The conventional wisdom is already an anachronism and will soon be recognized as such…right before they go find a real job. There are six weeks yet to go, but already im place to do very well in Iowa. To stop that now will require not slowing him down, but knocking him back with negative attacks, which are surely coming. But in the new environment, misleading mud will not stick like it used to and could easily backfire: the shriller and riskier it gets, the more we know that Romney is desperate and willing to be risky. Huckabee does need to be certain to get his certain voters out in New Hampshire But if he does, he could pretty much run the table in the South, Florida being the biggest challenge, where he would still be favored. and finish at least in the picture.

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