Michigan Primary Results

The Republican race remains a wide open affair after Mitt Romney’s victory. Romney, Huckabee, and McCain now all have victories, and the race is becoming more a race for accumulating delegates than individual victories. We will know soon whether Fred Thompson can win in South Carolina to become a credible candidate, and whether Rudy Giuliani’s strategy of waiting for Florida and Super Tuesday. So far Giuliani and Thompson are doing more poorly than Ron Paul.

Romney’s victory might be written off as being due to being a favorite son as his father was once governor here. While that certainly helped, it is not enough to explain his victory, especially as the older voters, who would have remembered his father, went for McCain.

The most important factor in Romney’s victory, beyond the fortunes spent on advertising, was that he did the best at convincing voters that under him Washington could fix Michigan’s economic problems. That is hardly a traditional Republican message, as Ross Douthat has discussed. David Brooks wrote:

In Michigan, the full corporate Mitt was on display. His campaign was a reminder of how far corporate Republicans are from free market Republicans.

Hillary Clinton beat uncommitted, but not that impressively. I wonder how many additional anti-Clinton votes were not even counted as write in votes for Obama and Edwards were discarded. The big losers were the Michigan Democrats who were willing to break party rules to have an early event, and then have it become irrelevant. Now that the campaign appears like it could go on even beyond Super Tuesday, a later primary with participating candidates would have been far more significant.

It is difficult to evaluate the results of the Michigan primary as those who turned out might not be a representative sample. It might be a bad sign for Clinton that exit polls show blacks supported uncommitted over Clinton by a 70-26 percent margin. As was the case in earlier contests, Clinton did more poorly among younger voters, more educated voters, and more affluent voters.

Fighting to Transform Politics, Not to Lose

Cross posted from The Carpetbagger Report:

Having three of us guest blogging for Steve is bound to create a different atmosphere here than usual over the weekend, allowing for a variety of impressions of the same events or articles. Steve M. started off with his views of Francis Wilkinson’s op-ed in The New York Times.

Steve M. certainly has a point in his disdain for this op-ed. Wilkinson writes, “If Mr. Huckabee and Mr. McCain continue to set the tone for the Republican side, Mrs. Clinton would find it hard to escape the partisan past she unwillingly symbolizes.” From what I know of both Huckabee and McCain, it would be a serious mistake to believe they have buried the hatchet. More likely they are just holding back for just the right moment to stab their Democratic opponent in the back.

It is probably true that Huckabee and McCain would run a less negative campaign than the demagogic warmonger Rudy Giuliani. Mitt Romney has already been planning to run against Hillary Clinton by the ridiculous tactic of equating her with France. Even should McCain or Huckabee win the nomination it would be incredibly naive to believe that the right wing noise machine is going to just pack up and shut itself down. A democratic candidate must be able to respond to their attacks.

I’ve never been a great fan of Hillary Clinton, but I must admit I did respect her for not mincing words when interviewed on The Today Show back on January 27, 1998:

Matt Lauer: “You have said, I understand, to some close friends, that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here.”

Hillary Clinton: “Well, I don’t know if I’ve been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this — they have popped up in other settings. This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

There were also times during the campaigns of 2000 and 2004 where the old Clinton war room sure would have come in handy.

If Wilkinson really advocates unilateral disarmament this would be a terrible mistake. However I see more in his op-ed and there is an element of truth in what he says. To build a new majority, as opposed to scraping by with a narrow win along the old red/blue divide, a Democratic campaign must concentrate on why people should vote for them, and not just what was wrong with George Bush. As Wilkinson wrote, “If this fragile moment endures, the next president will be the candidate whose person and politics make the sturdiest bridge across America’s political divide.” (more…)

Yet Another Political Position Quiz

Electoral Compass is yet another site which asks a series of questions and then matches them with the candidates. As with many of these sites, it is entertaining but has limitations which prevent it from actually making the decision for you. Many positions can be altered by a change in wording. There is no attempt to prioritize the issues. I might disagree with a candidate on some issues which wouldn’t affect my vote, but other issues might completely rule out a candidate.

After taking the test you see where you line up on a spectrum of both social and economic issues. Questions on Iraq and terrorism are included in the test, but it would be more revealing if they were along a third continuum. One notable finding is that the Democrats and Republicans are clumped into two very discrete groups. Among the Republicans, Ron Paul is less socially conservative, but remains much less conservative than any of the Democratic candidates. Of course if they included questions on legalization of all drugs and prostitution the results might be quite different. Paul also falls right in line with the other Republicans on economic issues, but a true test would show real distinctions here.

All the Democrats are significantly more liberal on social as well as economic issues than any of the Republicans. This helps shoot down the idea that Rudy Giuliani is a social liberal. He is the most socially liberal Republican after Ron Paul in this study, but not by very much. Fred Thompson comes in as the most conservative candidate, and the furthest from my views on this test.

I won’t knock the test very much as it did tell me to vote for Barack Obama. He is shown as being a little more socially liberal and economically to the right than the other Democrats who are lumped closer together. One useful feature is that after taking the test you can compare your answers to the answers of the candidates. For whatever it might mean, I once took a different test which advised me to vote for Gravel. As he’s not included on this test I could not determine if a different set of questions would provide the same result.

The Significance of the New Hampshire Primary

The conventional wisdom is that Iowa sends a message but New Hampshire chooses the nominees. While candidates have survived a loss in New Hampshire, nobody has survived a loss in both New Hampshire and Iowa since we’ve had the current pattern. This appears like it will hold for the Democrats, but the Republican race remains in doubt.

Considering the dynamic of this year’s race, I felt that if either Obama or Clinton would win in Iowa they would go on to win the nomination. Besides providing additional momentum, Iowa served as a measure of whether the campaign models of each campaign would be successful. Obama showed that he could bring in new voters in records numbers, which should continue in future states. The record turn out being reported today might indicate that Obama is continuing to pull in more voters. Most likely Obama will win big and be unstoppable, with many Democratic leaders reportedly being on the verge of jumping on the bandwagon. Any other outcome than a clear Obama victory would create some question as to the outcome.

Edwards’ populist policies are unlikely to receive much support in New Hampshire. Should he manage to repeat his second place finish as in Iowa it could eliminate Clinton as a serious candidate. Edwards would then get his desire for a two-way race against Obama, but his chances would not be very good.

The Republican race is less predictable as the Iowa winner is not expected to repeat in New Hampshire. Iowa had a strong evangelical base for Huckabee to propel him to victory, but he does not have this advantage in New Hampshire. While not expected to win, the number of votes he does receive might give some clue as to whether Huckabee can exceed expectations. With South Carolina coming up next, Huckabee is in a good position to regain any lost momentum from his expected failure to win in New Hampshire.

The main race among Republicans is between John McCain and Mitt Romney. McCain is expected to win, but Romney has been advertising heavily and a come back cannot entirely be ruled out. If Romney loses in New Hampshire his chances for winning the nomination will become quite poor. McCain will be the front runner should he have an impressive win in New Hampshire, but he still has considerable opposition from many Republican groups.

One question regarding the Republican race is whether the fiscal conservatives and mainstream Republicans will unite behind a single candidate to try to stop Huckabee. In a divided race Huckabee can go all the way, but there is no clear consensus candidate to oppose him. The big question of out New Hampshire is whether McCain can unite the fiscal conservatives behind him with a victory.

McCain is not only fighting against the other Republicans but is fighting against Obama for independent voters who supported him in 2000. Obama’s success this year might reduce McCain’s vote among independents, and perhaps even cost him a clear victory.

New Hampshire might be Ron Paul’s last chance to receive any meaningful attention. With a libertarian tradition, Paul could conceivably pull in more voters in New Hampshire than in the states to follow, but he might also suffer from Obama’s support among independents. Most likely New Hampshire will provide further evidence that Paul’s on line support does not translate to a meaningful number of votes in the real world.

Giuliani and Thompson don’t appear to be significant players in New Hampshire, raising questions as to whether they can survive by waiting for later states. They might be able to pick up some momentum by exceeding expectations even with a respectable third place finish. An upset second place finish might turn out to be almost as valuable as a victory, similar to Bill Clinton’s second place finish in 1992.

Clinton Losing Lead in National Polls

The national polls are a virtually worthless means to predict who will win the nomination, but as they do receive attention I feel that today’s landmark should be noted. After Obama had a sound victory over both Clinton and Edwards in Iowa I felt confident he would win the nomination unless something unexpected should happen to totally shake up the race. As predicted, he quickly moved to a substantial lead in New Hampshire, and I figured the national polls would soon follow. Today Obama has moved into a tie with Clinton in the Gallup poll, erasing an eighteen point deficit. Edwards also moved up from the last poll and is closing in on Clinton.

Huckabee is in first place in the Republican polls, followed by Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, Romney, and Paul. The Republican race is less predictable. While I wouldn’t predict a Huckabee victory for the nomination based upon these polls, I wouldn’t write off his chances either. Assuming McCain wins in New Hampshire as expected, I think he has the best chance of winning but he still will face some obstacles. Giuliani’s chances fall the longer he goes without a victory, and Romney’s chances will fall significantly assuming he fails to win in New Hampshire. Ron Paul remains at 4% where he generally falls, showing that there is neither any meaning to his internet support and fund raising and no significant benefit. No amount of money would make Ron Paul appear to be a credible candidate.

Rasmussen’s tracking poll also shows Clinton’s lead evaporating nationally.haven fallen from 17% to 4%. Even that lead won’t last much longer.

Factchecking Republicans on Bill Clinton and Military Spending

The second of two reports from Factcheck.org on the Republican debate which I find worth quoting in whole debunks the common Republican claim that we currently face problems because Bill Clinton drastically cut back on the military:

Rudy’s Historic Rewrite

Giuliani falsely blamed President Clinton for cuts in the military that happened mostly under a Republican administration:

Giuliani: Bill Clinton cut the military drastically. It’s called the peace dividend, one of those nice-sounding phrases, very devastating. It was a 25, 30 percent cut in the military. President Bush has never made up for that. We – our Army had been at 725,000; it’s down to 500,000.

Actually, most of the cutting to which Giuliani refers occurred during the administration of George H.W. Bush. At the end of fiscal year 1993 (which was Bush’s last one in office), the Army had 572,423 active-duty soldiers – a far cry from 725,000. In fact, to get to that number, one has to go back to 1990, during the first gulf war. Moreover, Clinton’s cuts in the military, while large, were nowhere close to 25 percent to 30 percent. Between 1993 and 2001, the Army went from 572,423 to 480,801, which is a decline of 16 percent. The entire military went from 1,705,103 to 1,385,116, a decrease of 18.8 percent.

Compare that with the far larger cuts made during the first Bush administration: In 1989, the military stood at 2,130,229 and the Army had 769,741 soldiers. By 1993, those numbers had declined by 19.9 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively.

And as we’ve pointed out before, it was the first Bush administration – specifically then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney – that began bragging openly of the peace dividend.

David Brooks Describes the Two Earthquates in Iowa

One of the peculiarities of the campaign recently has been that often I’ve found that David Brooks has been making more sense than Paul Krugman on the op-ed page of The New York Times. I’ve noted many times in the past that Brooks often does make sense as long as he can get past the obligatory pot shots at Democrats which characterize so many of his columns. As he avoided such attacks on Democrats, today’s column does raise many good points. On Obama’s victory he writes:

Obama has achieved something remarkable. At first blush, his speeches are abstract, secular sermons of personal uplift — filled with disquisitions on the nature of hope and the contours of change.

He talks about erasing old categories like red and blue (and implicitly, black and white) and replacing them with new categories, of which the most important are new and old. He seems at first more preoccupied with changing thinking than changing legislation.

Yet over the course of his speeches and over the course of this campaign, he has persuaded many Iowans that there is substance here as well. He built a great organization and produced a tangible victory.

He’s made Hillary Clinton, with her wonkish, pragmatic approach to politics, seem uninspired. He’s made John Edwards, with his angry cries that “corporate greed is killing your children’s future,” seem old-fashioned. Edwards’s political career is probably over.

Obama is changing the tone of American liberalism, and maybe American politics, too.

If Obama can receive such flattery from a columnist who is frequently hostile towards Democrats, imagine the coverage he will receive from the rest of the media. This is one of many reasons why I see Obama as an overwhelming favorite to go all the way. Certainly Iowa is only one contest, and Clinton has considerable resources to continue fighting. Brooks does write, “Iowa won’t settle the race, but the rest of the primary season is going to be colored by the glow of this result.”

The “glow of this result” will make it extremely difficult for Clinton to make a comeback in New Hampshire, where Obama was closing the gap even before the results out of Iowa. Should Obama win in New Hampshire and then South Carolina he will appear even more unbeatable. Edwards might hang around like he did in 2004 even after Kerry’s victory was inevitable, but if his populism couldn’t sell in Iowa he will have a tough job everywhere else. I expect an increasing number of his supporters to move to Obama, further making a Clinton comeback unlikely.

Brooks also writes about how Huckabee’s victory shows that the Republican Party has changed, but does not feel he can win the nomination:

Will Huckabee move on and lead this new conservatism? Highly doubtful. The past few weeks have exposed his serious flaws as a presidential candidate. His foreign policy knowledge is minimal. His lapses into amateurishness simply won’t fly in a national campaign.

So the race will move on to New Hampshire. Mitt Romney is now grievously wounded. Romney represents what’s left of Republicanism 1.0. Huckabee and McCain represent half-formed iterations of Republicanism 2.0. My guess is Republicans will now swing behind McCain in order to stop Mike.

Brooks makes the same predictions I have, but I’m much less confident about the predictions of the Republican outcome compared to the Democratic race. New Hampshire is important in the Democratic race as it might quickly answer the question of whether there is a possibility of a Clinton come back. New Hampshire will help clarify the Republican race but is unlikely to settle it. An impressive showing by Huckabee in a state without a large evangelical base would establish him as a legitimate national contender. A second loss by Mitt Romney will make it unlikely for him to come back. McCain could establish himself as a leader in the race by winning in New Hampshire, but he has too many negatives among many Republicans to win without a fight. Rudy Giuliani needs to hope that nobody is dominating to leave any room for his strategy of waiting for the larger states to vote. Fred Thompson also need to do something quickly or face becoming ignored. New Hampshire is one of the states where Ron Paul could do best, but if he fails as badly there as in Iowa he will quickly fade back into obscurity.

Obama!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqoFwZUp5vc]

With about 98% of the vote in from the Iowa caucus, I project Barack Obama will be elected the next President of the United States.

Sure, a lot can still happen between now and November, but baring a major change it is difficult to see any other result. Edwards’ populism won’t sell in many states outside of Iowa, and having lost her aura of inevitability, support for Clinton is likely to hemorrhage. Dodd and Biden both withdrew, and Richardson performed too poorly to be a serious candidate. As for the general election, the record turnout of 227,000 in a state that went for George Bush is just one sign of the advantage the Democrats have. Some questioned the model used by The Des Moines Register that estimated 200,000 attendees but this number was greatly surpassed. By comparison, the turnout in 2004 was 125,000.

Not only did Obama win the caucus, he “won” in the post-caucus speeches. Clinton’s speech sounded like a speech of the Democratic Party past. John Edwards’ speech was the Dean scream put to words, showing yet again Edwards would never be elected president. Barack Obama gave the speech which would be expected not only by the leader of the Democratic Party, but by the president of all the people of the United States. The Republicans might be able to beat Hillary Clinton. I believe they would have beaten John Edwards. They will have a hard time beating Barack Obama.

Mike Huckabee also gave a good speech, but it was the speech of a skilled pastor, not a president. While Obama’s victory in Iowa will probably propel him to winning his party’s nomination, the Republican nomination is still in doubt. Huckabee did show he could win beyond the evangelical vote, and considering the flaws in all the Republican candidates he might be able to win the nomination. This is certainly a serious blow to Mitt Romney. The conventional wisdom a few weeks ago was that a victory for Huckabee would open up the race for Giuliani. With John McCain surging in New Hampshire, Giuliani could be forgotten by Super Tuesday. The one difficulty McCain might face in New Hampshire as a result of tonight’s results is that the independents might vote overwhelmingly for Obama, taking away potential votes from McCain.

In looking at Giuliani’s prospects, it is also hard to take anyone seriously who could not even beat Ron Paul. The Ron Paul fantasy has ended. As I’ve noted many times before, Paul’s enthusiastic supporters could help him do better than his 4% standing in the national polls, but not by enough to be meaningful. Making a lot of noise on line, and having a successful rally in The World of Warcraft, is not the same as getting real people to vote for your candidate. I’m sure it won’t be long before the Paul supporters develop a conspiracy theory claiming that Paul really won but had the vote stolen. Back in the real world, Paul has the money to remain in the race as long as he wants, and he might even do a little better in New Hampshire, but he is purely a protest candidate with zero chance of winning.

Obama’s support among independents will make it harder for a third party to harm the Democrats by dividing the vote. Michael Bloomberg is much less likely to run against Obama, as has been suspected since the two met for breakfast in November. Ron Paul might still decide to run as a third party candidate, with some rumors suggesting he might be planning to run as the candidate of the theocratic Constitution Party, which is closer to Paul’s current views than the Libertarian Party. It is hard to see Ralph Nader or the Green Party seriously hurting the Democratic Party led by Obama.

Bloomberg Criticizes Potential Opponents

Despite his denials of plans to run for president as an independent, Michael Bloomberg sounded like he was campaigning against his potential opponents in a press conference yesterday:

With unusually dismissive language, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg offered tart assessments of his potential presidential rivals at a news conference on Wednesday, suggesting they are offering meaningless bromides rather than serious answers to the problems confronting the country.

On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Bloomberg delivered his critique in language that was both sharp and coy, and likely to draw more attention as he prepares to head to Oklahoma for a conference that is widely viewed as a possible launching pad for a third-party presidential bid.

At one point, Mr. Bloomberg appeared to take aim at his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, saying that candidates need to explain how they will fight terrorism.

“‘I’m going to be tougher than the next guy’ is not an answer to what you would do,” the mayor said at the news conference, which was officially held to announce a drop in teenage smoking rates but veered toward the Oklahoma trip in response to a question by a reporter.

On health care, Mr. Bloomberg took a veiled swipe at former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who signed a measure requiring residents to obtain insurance or face penalties but has since distanced himself from some parts of the legislation.

“One guy had a plan that we don’t know if it will work, but then he walks away from his own plan,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

And on trade, the mayor seemed to be taking a dig at Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying, “Some people are in favor of free trade and then walk away from it.”

There has been speculation that Bloomberg would be less likely to run should Obama win the Democratic nomination since they met last month, especially considering Obama’s support among independents. In reading the report I noted that Obama was not specifically criticized. Bloomberg did say, “Don’t say, ‘O.K., Bloomberg’s criticizing A, B or C’ on either side. It’s all of them, and I think that’s the frustration you see among a lot of independently minded people from both sides and the middle of the aisle.” The fact remains that he always seems to leave Obama out of his criticism of other candidates.

Bloomberg’s statements further fueled speculation about a possible presidential run, especially coming so soon before the bipartisan meeting planned for Monday. Those involved have repeatedly said that the meeting is not planned to promote a third party bid but this is the result which would be the most significant. Christie Todd Whitman, in a recent interview on NPR, stressed that her concern was reducing partisan gridlock, but reducing conflict between the two parties is not very likely during a presidential election year. I do hope that this helps further her efforts to increase the influence of moderates in the Republican Party, but this also does not appear very likely.

Peggy Noonan’s Fairly Reasonable Assessment of the Candidates

Peggy Noonan reviews the candidates from both parties based upon whether she finds the candidates “reasonable” as opposed to whether they share her ideology. As a result of looking beyond ideology, I must say that Noonan does a far more reasonable job of assessing the candidates than I would expect from a conservative columnist at The Wall Street Journal. She is also far more reasonable than some of the liberal bloggers who are distorting what she wrote.

Looking at the Democratic race, Noonan starts with Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, writing “They have been United States senators for a combined 62 years. They’ve read a raw threat file or two. They have experience, sophistication, the long view. They know how it works. No one will have to explain it to them.” She also briefly mentions Bill Richardson as being a reasonable choice. She finds Barack Obama to be reasonable, even if having some reservations which aren’t totally unreasonable:

He has earned the attention of the country with a classy campaign, with a disciplined and dignified staff, and with passionate supporters such as JFK hand Ted Sorensen, who has told me he sees in Obama’s mind and temperament the kind of gifts Kennedy displayed during the Cuban missile crisis. Mr. Obama is thoughtful, and it would be a pleasure to have a president who is highly literate and a writer of books.

Is he experienced enough? No. He’s not old enough either. Men in their 40s love drama too much. Young politicians on fire over this issue or that tend to see politics as a stage on which they can act out their greatness. And we don’t need more theatrics, more comedies or tragedies. But Mr. Obama doesn’t seem on fire. He seems like a calm liberal with a certain moderating ambivalence. The great plus of his candidacy: More than anyone else he turns the page. If he rises he is something new in history, good or bad, and a new era begins.

Noonan finds problems with Hillary Clinton which do make sense, although I can’t agree with her ranking of Clinton compared to Nixon:

Hillary Clinton? No, not reasonable. I concede her sturdy mind, deep sophistication, and seriousness of intent. I see her as a triangulator like her husband, not a radical but a maneuverer in the direction of a vague, half-forgotten but always remembered, leftism. It is also true that she has a command-and-control mentality, an urgent, insistent and grating sense of destiny, and she appears to believe that any act that benefits Clintons is a virtuous act, because Clintons are good and deserve to be benefited.

But this is not, actually, my central problem with her candidacy. My central problem is that the next American president will very likely face another big bad thing, a terrible day, or days, and in that time it will be crucial–crucial–that our nation be led by a man or woman who can be, at least for the moment and at least in general, trusted. Mrs. Clinton is the most dramatically polarizing, the most instinctively distrusted, political figure of my lifetime. Yes, I include Nixon. Would she be able to speak the nation through the trauma? I do not think so. And if I am right, that simple fact would do as much damage to America as the terrible thing itself.

I also agree with her assessment of John Edwards, writing, “All the Democrats would raise taxes as president, but Mr. Edwards’s populism is the worst of both worlds, both intemperate and insincere.” It would have been better if she went into further detail about how Edwards is not qualified to be president, and she is being kind in limiting her description of an opportunistic phony such as Edwards as merely being “insincere.” Joining Noonan in looking at character over ideology, with the exception of George Bush we have rarely seen a candidate so unfit to be president have such a real shot at the job. Bob Shrum elaborated more than Noonan in calling Edwards a “lightweight,” a “hyper-ambitious phony” and “a Clinton who hadn’t read the books.”

Unfortuantely Noonan couldn’t resist one trivial shot in writing, “Also we can’t have a president who spent two minutes on YouTube staring in a mirror and poofing his hair. Really, we just can’t.” This line, which does weaken the column, has been taken out of context by some bloggers suggesting that this one throw away line is characteristic of her entire column. James Joyner also notes that Glenn Greenwald is inaccurate in his criticism. The YouTube video is hardly the major reason why Edwards should not be president, and is not Noonan’s major objection. While out of place in a column of this nature, the video shouldn’t be totally ignored either. The video actually does capture the shallowness of John Edwards, which is the real issue as opposed to Edwards not being a “real man.” Sure it is possible that any candidate might look foolish if videotaped while combing their hair, but it is no coincidence that such a video has come to represent John Edwards specifically.

On the Republican side, Noonan considers John McCain, Mitt Romney, Duncan Hunter, and Fred Thompson to be reasonable. My view of Romney as reasonable has declined the more I see him campaign. While both Edwards and Romney have changed their views out of political expediency, and both appear “insincere” to me, Noonan is far more forgiving of Romney. She also considers Rudy Giuliani to be reasonable. While I disagree I’ll give her a pass on that one as she also writes, “He is reasonable but not desirable. If he wins somewhere, I’ll explain.” As long as she realizes that Giuliani is not desirable it is possible we agree on him.

Noonan doesn’t elaborate as to why she doesn’t consider Huckabee to be unreasonable in this column, but did express her views of him in a column I discussed a couple of weeks ago. Huckabee is also notable for being one of only two candidates left in the race who are foolish enough to admit they don’t believe in evolution. The other, Ron Paul, is not mentioned but few would expect Paul to be considered in any review of candidates based upon being reasonable, with some of the reasons noted in a post yesterday following his discussion of a possible third party candidacy. Not surprisingly, she also left out Alan Keyes, and on the Democratic side she left out Kucinich and Gravel.