Failing the competence primary; Update: VA GOP chair statement added

posted at 8:55 am on December 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Candidates for office face many tasks, but a few of those are basic to their mission.  One of the most basic is understanding and meeting the requirements to get onto the ballot in the first place.  Presidential candidates don’t do this themselves, of course; they hire a staff to handle these basic functions, and the performance of their staff becomes a test of the candidate’s competence and executive performance.  Unfortunately, at least two of the Republican presidential hopefuls flunked this test in Virginia, and I write in my column for The Fiscal Times today that this amounts to a competence primary on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

Both campaigns have claimed some level of victimization, but both Virginia Republicans and the facts don’t support them:

Gingrich and his supporters have argued that he and Perry have been victimized byunreasonable ballot-access rules and by a change of enforcement prompted by a court case this year.  They claim that the Republican Party had never verified signatures in the past, a claim disputed by a contemporaneous account in 2007 by Erick Erickson, a conservative activist and now a CNN commentator.   Erickson included an e-mail from the state GOP informing the campaigns on December 14, 2007, that the party would do “a hard count for number of signatures based on correctness of form” three days later – a process to which Erickson objected at the time as needlessly stringent.

It’s also disputed in an e-mail to me by a Republican Party official at the county level in Virginia (as it happens, a Perry supporter). The official claimed that signature verification has taken place for at least a decade, saying, “This is not Chicago politics.”  Furthermore, Mitt Romney’s campaign sent volunteers to “target rich” party events over the last several months to get signatures in a common, “pitch and catch” process in the state.  He has never seen representatives with petitions for either Gingrich or Perry at these events, where party officials will usually sign petitions for all candidates regardless of whom they support in order to ensure a meaningful primary for Virginia.  Nothing significant has changed in Virginia law on petitions in the past decade, except to make it easier to get signatures by reducing the requirement for Social Security number collection to a voluntary choice.

Remember Fred Thompson?  A popular figure among Republicans, his campaign performance underwhelmed voters who initially flocked to his side in 2007 when he jumped into the race late in the cycle.  Like Perry, Thompson raised a lot of money fast — $21 million for 2007, which will probably end up being quite a bit less than Perry in 2011. With less time than Perry and a campaign that seemed lethargic all year, Thompson still managed to qualify for the ballot in Virginia.  For that matter, so did Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic side, who ended up with a grand total of 1,625 votes in the Virginia primary in 2008, a fraction of the number of required signatures to have qualified for the ballot in the first place.

Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman also failed to qualify.  In my column, I attribute that less to executive incompetence than a strategic deployment of very finite resources.  Bachmann and Santorum will be finished if they can’t win, place, or show in Iowa, and Huntsman will be out if he can’t win or place in New Hampshire.  Kucinich managed to qualify even with a small campaign war chest, but Kucinich is more analogous to Ron Paul — a protest candidate marching to the beat of his own drum.  Clearly, Perry had the resources to get on the ballot in Virginia, and Gingrich has lived in Virginia for the last 12 years and couldn’t afford to ignore his own home state.

The Washington Examiner’s Steve Contorno report also disputes the notion that Gingrich, Perry, and the rest of the Republican field got stymied by new processes.  Instead, it’s clear that the campaigns simply didn’t get the job done (via Instapundit):

There is speculation that Gingrich and Perry were rejected because Virginia Republicans used stricter criteria to judge the validity of voters’ signatures, including checking each voter’s current address. The blog Ballot Access News reported that the GOP gave candidates a free pass in previous elections but checked the petitions more diligently this year after Mike Osborne, an independent candidate for state delegate, sued the party over its procedure for verifying signatures.

However, state party officials insisted nothing changed from previous election cycles. Gingrich and Perry simply failed to meet the standard, they said.

Chris Woodfin, third district GOP chairman, said Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures and Gingrich turned in only a few more than the bare minimum, making it likely that just a few disqualified signatures would prevent him from getting on the ballot.

“I didn’t hear from a lot of these campaigns until the beginning of December or after that. They had since July 1,” Woodfin said. “Some other people might have sympathy for them. I don’t.”

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Virginia GOP tightened its standards because of the lawsuit last year.  Shouldn’t the campaigns have been in contact with the state party early in this cycle to get a handle on the requirements?  It’s called due diligence, and either way it’s very clear that neither campaign did their due diligence in regard to Virginia.  That speaks directly to executive competence.  Perry has never run a campaign outside of Texas, and Gingrich has never run a campaign outside of his own district in Georgia while serving in the House and hasn’t run at all for more than a decade, and it shows in both cases.  They both showed up late, didn’t bother to determine the task requirements, and ended up failing where Mitt Romney and Ron Paul succeeded.  Perry can’t claim a lack of resources, and for Gingrich, Virginia is his home state, and has been for twelve years.

In my conclusion, I argue that this matters strategically for the GOP:

This takes us back to the competency issue.  If Republicans choose to make executive competence an issue, the failure to understand Virginia ballot law will not speak well of the executive competence of either Gingrich or Perry.  With Gingrich taking hits from former House colleagues on the issue of his managerial competence as Speaker, this is a primary test that Gingrich very much needed to pass.  For Republican voters in Virginia and around the nation, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul won the competence primary in the Old Dominion, which has to have some impact on the calculus for the rest of the primaries.

It matters even more in the sense of trust.  If these two campaigns were this sloppy about a Super Tuesday primary state, how can Republicans trust them to run a general-election campaign against the Barack Obama re-elect campaign machine?

Update: Via commenter Swamp Yankee, here’s the notice that the VA GOP published to inform campaigns of the petition requirements, among others, to gain a ballot slot.  This went out in March of this year.  A few choice quotes, emphasis mine:

Must be signed by not less than 10,000 qualified voters in Virginia,  including at least 400 qualified voters from each of Virginia’s eleven congressional districts, who attest that they intend to participate in the primary of the same political party as the candidate named on the petition.

Because many people who are not registered to vote will sign a petition, it is recommended that 15,000 – 20,000 signatures be obtained with at least 700 signatures from each congressional district.

Must provide the true signature, the printed full name and the full resident address of each qualified voter and the date each signed the petition.

Virginia Republicans handed candidates a road map.  Petitions could be gathered from July 1 forward, and yet only two of the candidates proved they could follow a map in more than five month’s time.

Update II: The chair of the Republican Party of Viriginia, Pat Mullens, posted a statement on Facebook late last night defending the RPV from accusations that it played favorites in the certification process:

First of all, I am neutral in the Primary. As the Party’s leader I think that it’s important I ensure a level playing field, not take a side. Plus, any one of our nominees will be better than the current occupant of the White House. Our Country is spiraling downward, economically and socially, and we need to be united to win in November, 2012.

Second, the Republican Party of Virginia merely certifies petition signatures. We don’t set ballot access laws. Those laws are set by the General Assembly, not by the RPV.

The candidates for President all knew the laws set by the Commonwealth of Virginia that they needed to abide by to get on the ballot. We can’t change the rules mid-game to right what may or may not be a wrong. The law is the law.

Lastly, this is a personal opinion. Virginia is the cradle of Democracy. The ballot access laws should be modified and streamlined to allow greater participation. We can’t do anything about 2012 at this point. But I do intend to appeal to our General Assembly and elected leaders to bring Virginia’s ballot access more in line with other states — simpler and streamlined with greater access. I think it’s important that the people in Virginia get to vote for the candidate of their choice, not be restricted.

One more thing — Rick Perry sued Virginia, RPV and me today, so I probably going to be told by our lawyers I can’t say anything more about this. It’s not usual that I’m sued by someone I like, but politics is strange, huh? :}

The laws that govern the petitions were documented in March by the RPV to any candidate looking to access the ballot in Virginia, as shown above, but the law is accessible to anyone regardless of whether the RPV made it easy as they did in their March circular.  They even stressed that the usual rate of bad signatures would probably mean collecting a ratio of 3:2 or 2:1 to ensure that enough legitimate signatures were collected between July 1 and mid-December to qualify for the ballot.  I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.

Update III: A few people have pointed to this undated announcement from Pat Mullins as a kind of “smoking gun” to prove that the rules changed late in the game.  However, all this memo does is explain exactly how Virginia law requires the RPV to certify petitions, and doesn’t change anything at all.  State law allows them to assume that a submission of more than 15,000 signatures amounts to enough signatures to assume the 10,000, but otherwise the signatures must be checked against state law, in subsection 24.2-506, which states (emphasis mine):

The name of any candidate for any office, other than a party nominee, shall not be printed upon any official ballots provided for the election unless he shall file along with his declaration of candidacy a petition therefor, on a form prescribed by the State Board, signed by the number of qualified voters specified below after January 1 of the year in which the election is held and listing the residence address of each such voter. Each signature on the petition shall have been witnessed by a person who is himself a qualified voter, or qualified to register to vote, for the office for which he is circulating the petition and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition.

Each voter signing the petition may provide on the petition the last four digits of his social security number, if any; however, noncompliance with this requirement shall not be cause to invalidate the voter’s signature on the petition.

Note that the 15,000 threshold is actually less restrictive than the party’s suggestion to get as many as 20,000 to ensure qualification.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

HotGas’s incessant Romney bashing has made them irrelevant to the national discussion. Same goes for the high-school grad Rush druggy Limbaugh and Mark Christine-ODonnel-or-youre-liberal Levin.

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Actually, name-calling posts from people like you who prefer schoolyard taunts to soberly trying to wade through the issues are what’s making Hot Air irrelevant.

Congratulations on doing your part so well.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Relax gophergirl…

:)

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I’m just having a crabby day :(

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Sheesh. You Romney supporters are a friggin’ parody of sentient beings capable of rational argument.
besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I can’t speak for anyone else (although it’s evident that Swamp_Yankee fits the bill), but I present sentient arguments. Indeed, keeping up with the food theme which is so fitting for the holiday season, I’ll move on from “goose/gander” to proof/pudding. Every comment was “sentient”, open-minded, and fair. I’ll make it easy for you and list every comment I made on this topic other than the single comment I made today:

Buy Danish on December 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM
Buy Danish on December 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM
Buy Danish on December 24, 2011 at 10:26 AM
Buy Danish on December 24, 2011 at 10:30 AM
Buy Danish on December 24, 2011 at 10:41 AM

One final food related comment: “Eat crow”.

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

If you (are trying but) can’t get 10,000 signatures over a six-month span in a state of 4 million voters with open primaries, you probably shouldn’t be running for national office.

The Schaef on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Hey genius, 3 of the 7 didnt even try to get on the VA ballot. 2 of the 7 were too stupid to get on the ballot. That isnt Mitt Romney’s fault. Get back to the fries and shakes. No, I dont want my order supersized.

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

But those 3 that did not bother to even try jumping the fiery hoops VA set for them didn’t find it difficult to get on the ballot for other states, right?

And those 2 that were supposedly ‘stupid’ have also had no problems securing signatures for ther states or for their own long and distinguished political careers, right?

But it is their fault and not that of the stand-alone state, right?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I can’t speak for anyone else (although it’s evident that Swamp_Yankee fits the bill),
[snip]

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Hey Buy Danish, let me use your post as an opportunity to make a minor correction. And no, I’m not targeting you, as everyone does it, but it’s just “fingernails on the blackboard” to me:

CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF SLANG

FILL THE BILL verb [late 19th century] (originally U.S.: 1) To suit ideally, to satisfy. 2) To work out, to be effective. [theatrical use, ‘to excel in conspicuousness, as a star actor whose name is “billed” to the exclusion of the rest of the company (Slang and Its Analogues by Farmer & Henley – 1890-1904)

Please help spread the word, to satisfy my OCD :-)

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:03 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Exactly.There is no tomorrow.

lynncgb on December 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

RINOs will NOT – and I repeat – will NOT hesitate to pull the lever for Obama
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

With that coming from a guy who confesses to be happily looking forward to joyously “pulling the lever for Obama”, you might notice a problem there.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I’m just having a crabby day :(

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

It will all work out fine.

Take a break, go play the piano or take lessons if you don’t – anything that can take your mind off the primaries for a while.

And come back refreshed.

We need your usual cheerful self here. :)

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM

If you (are trying but) can’t get 10,000 signatures over a six-month span in a state of 4 million voters with open primaries, you probably shouldn’t be running for national office.

The Schaef on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

If the rules changed late in the game, that’s a different story. Right now, it looks as if the enforcement directive may have changed very late, though this needs better confirmation. It’s one thing for VA to recommend 15,000 signatures, but it’s another to require 15,000 signatures to avoid having your 10,000 checked against the voting rolls.

It’s easy to just yell “incompetence,” but I think the situation is more complex, and I wish people would wait a bit before drawing conclusions.

If it were just Perry, that’s one thing, but it’s Gingrich, too being disqualified.

That’s an effective governor + one very smart man who managed to force Bill Clinton to cave on welfare.

I suspect it’s not as cut and dried as some would have us believe.

I think Ed may want to investigate a little more, as well.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Here’s the way that nearly all lawyers and judges look at the laws and rules for any situation.

If the laws or rules were changed in the slightest bit from the start of the process, to the end of the process, then the benefit of the doubt goes to the challenger, I.E. the one filing the lawsuit.

It does seem that some things were changed from the March letter that was sent out to those candidates who were running at the time (Perry didn’t get it because he didn’t get in till August). My bet is that a judge will rule under equal protection under the law to allow the sigs to be included as long as they are VA residents.

In the end though I don’t think VA will really matter in the big picture at all. What will start to matter is the states after April 1st that are all winner takes all. Then you’ll start to really see someone pile up a majority.

Ronaldusmax on December 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM

With that coming from a guy who confesses to be happily looking forward to joyously “pulling the lever for Obama”, you might notice a problem there.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Nope, there’s no problem at all.

RINOs don’t want conservatives in power and will vote for Dems, if need be, to ensure that outcome.

Meanwhile, they expect conservatives to fall in line like good hobbits and vote for RINOs vs. Dems.

Well this conservative here says No More!

Myself and others will also vote for the Dem to ensure we have no more Boehners, McConnells, Snowe, Collins, Scott Browns,… and certainly no Romney!

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I would rather have the next 4 years of fail
Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Eh, I’ll take a pass on the whole “let’s destroy the country to save it” thing.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

That’s not what I typed.

You must have a low opinion of your countrymen if you think 4 more years of Obama can destroy this country. This country is made up of “We The People” We loan our power to our elected officials, we don’t surrender our power to them.

Apparently not enough Americans understand that their country doesn’t equal their government. We The People – are self governing if you surrender to (A) corrupted system, well Thomas Jefferson stated it best, People get the government they deserve.

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I suppose that the political thing for Romney to do is to sit tight and see if the VA GOP reconsiders.

But if it were me, seeing as how I have some high-up connections that could be construed as favoritism, I would call for my own signatures to be checked as well. That would demonstrate integrity, and impress voters like cane_loader, who don’t prefer Romney, but are receptive to him, and erase suspicions of a hinky petition.

Of course, if some Romney folks did pull some shenanigans, then of course Romney won’t do this. I sincerely hope Romney is on the up and up. I want a president with some integrity.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:14 PM

The blaring fire-alarm to me if how VA can just admit that Ron Paul got less than 15,000 signatures, but they weren’t checked by the computer? How can this be allowed to stand? Even a third-grade journalist could bite on that one….

If that’s allowed to stand, then I have no doubt that the VA GOP is corrupt, through and through, and it casts Romney’s eligibility in doubt, as well.

If Romney’s legit, and Paul is allowed to slip through, then Romney’d better come out and call for a recount, before the facts come to light.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:16 PM

But those 3 that did not bother to even try jumping the fiery hoops VA set for them didn’t find it difficult to get on the ballot for other states, right?

And those 2 that were supposedly ‘stupid’ have also had no problems securing signatures for ther states or for their own long and distinguished political careers, right?

But it is their fault and not that of the stand-alone state, right?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

“Fiery hoops”?????????????

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

I guess to a 2nd grader, algebra seems super hard. To a 4 year old, long-division is a “fiery-hoop”.

Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory wants to working on restoring our economy and dealing with the struggles of the world stage. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

I will pass on the person who mastered cheerleading at Texas A&M but really struggled with Botany….and cant keep THREE WHOLE THINGS in his head at the same time.

Same goes for Fannie/Freddie’s $1.6MM “historian. HA HA HA HA!!!

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Your comments are so erudite, Jailbreak… you are a definite asset to Hot Air.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:28 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

The whole cheer leading political brands is a sham. It’s not Democrat vs Republican, it’s not even Conservative vs Liberal.

It’s all of U.S. vs the statists.

These political people put on a good show while they rake in the $$$ in their rigged game behind the scenes. Half of our lawmakers are millionaires, wow talk about the majority of Americans being represented/ 47 Million Americans are on food stamps.

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Good article:

Virginia Must Change Its Election System
by Terence P. Jeffrey
12/28/2011

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=48402

IndeCon on December 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM

In the end though I don’t think VA will really matter in the big picture at all. What will start to matter is the states after April 1st that are all winner takes all. Then you’ll start to really see someone pile up a majority.

Ronaldusmax on December 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Then Romney has it in the bag. Much of the states after April are in the Northeast.

haner on December 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM

besser tot als rot

Hey, thanks for telling me I have “exposed tactics.”

There, I pulled my pants up some. Better now?

Appreciate when someone lets me know that my besser tot als rot crack is showing and other people can see it.

HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

You should appear on the Ricky Perry Comedy Hour!

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Appreciate when someone lets me know that my besser tot als rot crack is showing and other people can see it.

HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

You should appear on the Ricky Perry Comedy Hour!

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

You’re a stellar addition to the debate, as well. Welcome to HotAir. Please wipe after you’re done using us.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Then Romney has it in the bag. Much of the states after April are in the Northeast.

haner on December 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM

I think it quite likely that Mitt will win Iowa. If he does, then indeed VA will be a formality. The race will be won in January if Mitt wins in Iowa. Then the wrongly self-named “RightMan” and the other PBHO piss boys can go campaign for their hero, Barack.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Alright then. Say hello to no more conservatives ‘ever’. Because, and here’s something I’m not entirely sure your brain has comprehended, there are very logical and very reasonable complaints people have against candidates like Perry and Gingrich that, if they’re not super conservative, will cause them to vote for someone else.

So, here’s the dilemma of the situation you’re presenting. Either we nominate ‘qualified’ conservatives like Perry and Gingrich and never win an election because the middle, and even a good chunk of the center right (in cases of Perry, those who prefer economic to social issues, and in cases of Gingrich, those who prefer social to economic issues) to either 3rd Party candidates or the Democrats.

On the other hand, if you all continue to throw temper tantrums every time your preferred O’Donnells, Perrys and Gingrichs aren’t accepted with open arms by people who don’t move in lockstep with the Hyper conservative wing of the party (gee, I guess it’s okay to go in lockstep with you guys, because it means we have brains, but to make a choice of our own as to which candidate we support other than the almost disastrously flawed conservatives makes us tools) and you guys refuse to vote or, even more idiotically, form a third party that siphons away votes from the Republican Party, the GOP will never win another Presidential election, House or Senate majority until one side gives up and, really, if the hill you want to die on is ‘If you pick Romney instead of Perry, then we’re leaving’ I don’t see either side giving up for some time.

So, please, stop talking about how you’re trying to help conservatism’s cause because, really, the action you’d take, if it were copied by more than the smallest iota of the most insignificant percent, would kill conservatism in America for a generation.

WealthofNations on December 28, 2011 at 2:55 PM

This really smells on so many levels. We are witnessing the republican establishment cooking the books to keep the good old boys in power and with Romney as the annointed one. Gawd! they are becoming just like democrats. It’s bad enough being in the district of columbia where we republicans are outnumbered 10 – 1 but Virginia! If the people of Virginia aren’t given all of the options to vote for in the primary just so Romney gets the nomination by default, then I’m changing my registration to Independent. I’ve had it with these political shenanigans and using Obama as the boogey man to slip in a RINO, yet again, who will do everytyhing in his power to discredit conservatives, yet again. Maybe a third party candidate wouldn’t be such a bad idea this time. I mean if we’re going to commit political suicide anyway. very depressing – I hope Perry succeeds or even Ron Paul wins – anybody but Romney!

mozalf on December 28, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Good article:

Virginia Must Change Its Election System
by Terence P. Jeffrey
12/28/2011

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=48402

IndeCon on December 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Very interesting, from above link:

Today Virginia’s political system is beginning to resemble New York’s in 1996.

To get on the Republican primary ballot in New York that year, a candidate needed to submit signatures from 1,250 registered Republican voters in each of the state’s 31 congressional districts or signatures from 5 percent of registered Republicans in a district if that number were less than 1,250.

But that was not all. Only a registered Republican living in the district or a notary public could collect signatures; they could gather signatures only between Thanksgiving and Jan. 4; and signatures could be challenged by opposing campaigns.

As The New York Times reported then, petitions could be disqualified for technicalities — for example, if they were bound “with paper clips instead of staples.”

Early in 1995, virtually the entire New York Republican establishment — including then-Gov. George Pataki and then-Sen. Alfonse D’Amato — endorsed then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas for the Republican presidential nomination. They made clear that they wanted to lock other candidates out of New York’s primary and award Dole New York’s delegates without giving the grass roots of their own party any say in the matter.

“New York State’s party chairman, William Powers, vows to have the party’s full complement of 33,000 committee people out circulating petitions for Mr. Dole, which will make it hard for other candidates to find Republican field workers,” The New York Times reported March 30, 1995. “Candidates who try to provide voters with a choice by circulating nominating petitions will also be tortured by ballot-wise lawyers ready to raise every nit in New York’s nitpicking election law to get their petitions declared invalid.”

IndeCon on December 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I can’t speak for anyone else (although it’s evident that Swamp_Yankee fits the bill), but I present sentient arguments.

One final food related comment: “Eat crow”.

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

On what planet is calling someone a whiner a sentient argument?

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM

1. I don’t share your certainty about what is going to happen over the 12 years following the 2012 elections;

What? If Romney is elected in 2012, there is a near certainty that he will run again in 2016. There is also a near certainty that the Democrats will nominate a statist (when do they not?). If Romney wins again, the scenario replays itself in 2020. If Romney loses, we have to pray that the GOP can make another miraculous recovery in 4 years (i.e., we have to hope for another president as bad as Obama) so that they can field a credible non-statist candidate in 2024. Pretty simple logic and doesn’t require any major assumptions.

2. Adding to the uncertainty I have about those 12 years is the question of what the house and senate will look like during those years, and we should pay attention to that in 2012 as well as the presidential race;

Regarding congress: maybe you are right about them reigning in Romney, but with McConnell in the Senate, I seriously doubt it will happen. Also, look at the GOP congress under Clinton and the GOP congress under Bush. Which was better?

3. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t think that Romney, as much as I don’t like him, will appoint supreme court justices anywhere near as bad for our country as Obama will. Just look at who Obama appointed when he knew he had a reelection coming up.

Look at who Romney nominated to the bench. Only 25% of them were Republicans (to say nothing for conservative). I suspect we can expect more Souters and Stevens from him. Maybe you think that he thought it would be too hard to get them confirmed in Mass. Does he think it will be any easier as President? Has he heard of Bork?

4. I sincerely believe that Obama intends to destroy the America we once knew and loved. He has stated that he will use his presidential power in that regardless of the will of the people as expressed through elections of house and senate members. Again, look at what Obama has done in this regard even though he knew he was facing reelection. Once that limiting factor is removed he will really get to work finishing the job, as he sees it.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

To a certain extent, I agree with this. But most of what Obama is doing is done by executive order and executive regulation. Recently Congress has been blocking his most extreme legislative overreach. The executive orders and regulations can be undone by the next president.

I want this country back on the right track by the time that my kids are entering the work force and I don’t see any way that a Romney presidency gets us there. I’d rather hope for the chance to get on the right trajectory in 2016.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Appreciate when someone lets me know that my besser tot als rot crack is showing and other people can see it.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I’m sorry to have hurt your feelings by not paying enough attention to you. Maybe your mommy can kiss your booboo and make it all better.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I don’t know what I’m more disappointed in, the incompetency of several of our candidates or the vehemently rude and aggressive comments in the forums.

I realize that Ed points out that Santorum, Bachman, and Huntsman ALSO didn’t qualify for the ballet in Virginia and that this is “likely” because of an allocation of assets. But does it strike no one as odd that of the current seven candidates running for the GOP ticket, five of them didn’t get on the ballot? I don’t blame the RPV, or to be honest, any of our candidates. I do think that perhaps the requirements in Virginia are excessive.

I personally have no idea whom I’m going to vote for as of yet, mostly because LAST election cycle I didn’t get to choose anyway because the candidate I most wanted to support BAILED after losing Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida. I’m sure a bunch of independents and democrats will be allowed to influence this election as well, pushing their ideal candidate forward with no intention of voting for him or her. I know we need to choose the correct candidate, but we also need to remember that the REAL problem is sitting at a desk in the White House and if we don’t elect someone who abides by fiscal conservative principles our country faces economic ruin. Let’s try to remember that our differences at this point are secondary to getting that fool out of the White House.

eyesights on December 28, 2011 at 4:08 PM

That is smart power right there.
If you can’t manage to get on a ballot, you have no business becoming president.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I am not sure if anyone pointed this out to you or not Ed – but the reason for accusations of favoritism is that Romney’s petitions were not verified only those of Paul, Perry and Gingrich. For some reason the GOP decided 15,000 means no counting required, not sure how that matches up to state law. What I find most laughable about Mullen’s statement is that he is “neutral.” He is as neutral as any establishment moderate who’s best pal (Lt. Governor Bill Bolling) is the chairman of ROMNEY’s VA campaign structure. There are two things at discussion here as far as I am concerned 1) Was VA law followed for ALL candidates by the GOP, or only for some. If Romney’s were counted, and met the standard, then everything is on the up and up – but that is a big IF. 2) Residents of VA need to have some serious discussions with our elected officials about requirements to get on the ballot here in VA, and who is responsible for verifying signatures, so on and so forth. This is in house business, that needs to be sorted out before the next go round. Unfortunately for Gingrich and Perry, it won’t help them much. At least this fiasco is helping to expose the mess that is RPV – bunch of egotistical jerks who know nothing, but boss people around like they know everything … can you tell I am not a fan?

Govgirl on December 28, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Competence primary my ass. The whole thing smells rotten. It’s the people of Virginia who are losing out the most, though. If I were a Republican voter in VA i would be ticked off that more candidates weren’t on the ballot.

bitsy on December 28, 2011 at 4:33 PM

On what planet is calling someone a whiner a sentient argument?
besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM

It was an accurate observation not an “argument”. What followed was the “argument”. But hey, if you want to play this idiotic game, what sort of “sentient” argument is stereotyping Romney supporters?

P.S. I don’t suppose you read my comments on the ballot kerfuffle. Gawd forbid you be disabused of your preconceived notions.

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 4:58 PM

So let me get this straight..

RINOS are somehow bad.

but when so called “conservatives” (probably liberal trolls like Right Man) categorically state they are not voting for Speaker Boehner, or Romney, or other Republicans..

that is somehow conservative?

once again, Right Man proving he is the stupidest and most hypocritical poster on this site.

I mean even logically his positions are nonsensical and hypocritical- no wonder he backs Perry!

AirForceCane on December 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

as for the other idiot “conservatives” like besser tots-

ever heard of something called the SUPREME COURT?!!

you know, the top appellate court in the country where the PRESIDENT nominates Justices?!!

but sure, I know that you have everything covered, and by 2016 everything will be fine with 8 years of Obama and a democrat controlled Senate.

again, the idiocy from these so called paleo-conservatives is astounding. please just become democrats, you support their aims at this stage anyway.

AirForceCane on December 28, 2011 at 5:52 PM

AirForceCane on December 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

He’s not a right man at all. He’s a liberal troll. We know this because he stated that he’ll gladly stay home and help Obama get elected over Romney because he’s butthurt his guy didn’t win.

1punchWill on December 28, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Morrissey’s temporizations and multiple after-the-assertion justifications are disgusting. Almost as much a letdown as incompetent candidates and venal RINO party officials.

rayra on December 28, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Via Drudge:
“Gingrich: Campaign worker’s signature fraud cost slot on Virginia ballot”
“Last week his campaign acknowledged they used paid volunteers to scramble to get the required 10,000 signatures but fell short after the former House speaker and Virginia resident boasted his campaign was submitting as many as 12,000-14,000 signatures.

On a campaign stop at an Algona chocolate store, the former House speaker said the “mistake” occurred because one of their workers committed fraud.”

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 7:01 PM

My guess is that he had to pick what would be better use of his limited resources and my Super Tuesday it would be too late for him if he doesn’t get some early buzz. Actually a pretty smart move on his part.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Smart? What if he did catch on? He’s locked out of a Super Tuesday state. Would this not be the first place you’d start? This should go to the question of competency just as much as with Gingrich or Perry, imo. I know it won’t, but it should. But then I don’t agree that Perry and Gingrich’s campaigns were incompetent in the first place, so there ya go.

Not going to push the point here though- people have a way of justifying whatever their candidate does and criticizing the ones they don’t like, without much regard to the facts. I have noticed that. lol

kg598301 on December 28, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Yes, he did fail the competency test and he knows thats not his strength. Do you hear Santorum whining?

nonpartisan on December 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Who would he whine to? He didn’t file a single signature, so of course he didn’t get any thrown out.

kg598301 on December 28, 2011 at 7:17 PM

cane_loader

At least I’m not a snooty fellow who uses big words like “erudite.” Heck, I can’t even spell “erudite.”

besser rot whatever

My mother died of Alzheimer’s at age 84 in 2001. Such a classy person you are.

Jethro Perry/Hop-a-Long Cassidy 2012!

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Shouldn’t the campaigns have been in contact with the state party early in this cycle to get a handle on the requirements? It’s called due diligence, and either way it’s very clear that neither campaign did their due diligence in regard to Virginia. That speaks directly to executive competence.

When does “due diligence” in 50 states become unmanageable? Probably when late changes are sent by email and require significant resources – exactly the situation in Virginia.

This seems more like Ed trying to defend the indefensible. Sort of a failed competence test for a blogger.

WhatNot on December 28, 2011 at 9:31 PM

When you have run for President before, and have signatures from previous years on your 2008 petition, it’s no big deal being told you need 50 percent more signatures in a matter of weeks. You just go through the old petition and ctrl-c ctrl-p. This is how Romney (and possibly Paul) did it.

Being told you have a matter of weeks to gather half again as many signatures as you got in the past three-four months or so is another matter entirely.

Sekhmet on December 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM

You know, as a long-time lurker who has just started commenting, I’d just like to note that some of us may need to take a break from politics. It has been so disappointing to see thread after thread devolve into mud-slinging and personal insults. You may care very deeply about these matters, but that in no way justifies the viciousness some of you have displayed today. If this is what Hot Air has become–a series of reflux-inducing brawls–then I’m not sure I can continue to read it. Ed, Allah: it’s time to step in.

Nom de Boom on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Ed your being snowed by the VA GOP. First off only 10,000 signatures are required. Both Perry and Gingrich turned in over 11,000. I’ve seen more quotes from prior GOP participants saying they never did a rigorous count than you’ve put forward saying, “Yes we did!”

IMHO this was rigged. That the guys who rigged it swear it wasn’t is meaningless. These rules are there just for this purpose. If the Party bosses want to toss someone out it gives them the tools to do so. I think you’re being naive accepting their story as fact.

rcl on December 28, 2011 at 11:49 PM

The laws that govern the petitions were documented in March by the RPV to any candidate looking to access the ballot in Virginia, as shown above, but the law is accessible to anyone regardless of whether the RPV made it easy as they did in their March circular. They even stressed that the usual rate of bad signatures would probably mean collecting a ratio of 3:2 or 2:1 to ensure that enough legitimate signatures were collected between July 1 and mid-December to qualify for the ballot. I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.

If you believe the Perryistas (who are indistingushable in this case from the Wisconsin unionistas/Democrats/Government “Accountability” Board, though I repeat myself), ignore the law.

Steve Eggleston on December 28, 2011 at 11:12 AM

What a despicable thing to say. You should be ashamed of yourself for that comparison.

Malachi45 on December 29, 2011 at 1:58 AM

I think Ed is missing something here. The issue is that the Virginia GOP didn’t add the extra requirement of needing to reach 15,000 signatures in order not to be checked until last month–that’s the kicker. I think Moe Lane did a very good job describing the issue here.

You don’t change the rules in the game when the game has already started, much less so far into the game. Therein lies the inequity of the whole situation.

I think the Virgina GOP should add a one month extension for ALL GOP candidates to get their necessary signatures in, then they can be hard and fast. It wasn’t right for them to add such a significant requirement so far into the process. It wasn’t fair to the candidates, and by extension, it isn’t fair to the party voters. Everyone loses when this occurs…

ilvgsus on December 29, 2011 at 2:48 AM

Malachi45

You should really check the phone book and find a local chapter of “Anger Anonymous.” There is a solution to your problem. They even helped George Costanza once.

I find my posts quite entertaining – I don’t mind at all being an audience of one.

Heck, sometimes I think I’m as funny Gov. Perry trying to put his boots on the correct foot after some jokester erased the “R” and the “L” printed on the heels.

Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Watch some Stooges – that always cheers people up.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Still not funny.

Malachi45 on December 29, 2011 at 2:54 AM

Once again , you don’t like the two choices – follow Rush’s suggestion:

5 letters P A L I N

ChuckTX on December 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5