Patterico's Pontifications


Steve Jobs Dies

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:19 pm

Hot Air has a nice quote from Jobs about death. Sample:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Follow the link for more.

Palin Out

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 4:37 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Traffigeddon! What will bloggers do?


Will Perry Change Course?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 3:07 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Amid poor debate performances and slumping poll numbers, the answer to be found from McClatchy is “probably not”:

In 2006, [top Perry consultant Dave] Carney hired four Yale University researchers, known as “the eggheads,” to rigorously study traditional campaign techniques. The result was a dramatic change in how the Perry campaign operated, said Sasha Issenberg, a journalist who in August released an e-chapter, “Rick Perry and His Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America,” that’s part of his upcoming book, The Victory Lab.

“They ran these large-scale political versions of drug trials,” Issenberg said, that measured the impact of radio and TV ads and personal appearances. “They found that when Perry traveled somewhere there was a bump in the polls, in volunteer sign-ups and contributions.” TV ads, in contrast, had only a “short-lived” impact. The findings led Carney to send Perry to small markets such as Lubbock in settings with more glad-handing opportunities.

Carney also limited Perry’s debates: He had only four debates in the last 10 years and refused to debate the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Bill White.

Carney also made sure that Perry didn’t meet with any newspaper editorial boards. The result: Perry didn’t get any endorsements from any major Texas newspapers, but he still easily defeated White.

Although McClatchy used examples from the 2010 general election, Perry also fended off challenges from the moderate establishment Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and the Ron Paulian Debra Medina in the 2010 GOP primary. (Indeed, Perry trailed Hutchison badly in early polling.)  Chris Moody describes Perry’s prior campaign as a scene from Moneyball:

At a campaign retreat before Perry’s 2006 re-election campaign, the eggheads basically told a group of consultants and strategists that their techniques were little more than a waste of time. It was like “going into the Catholic church telling everyone that Mary wasn’t a virgin, and Jesus really wasn’t her son,” Carney tells Issenberg.

“Either the eggheads are right or you’re right,” Carney told one consultant. “We’re going to prove it out, and plan our campaign and allow these guys to develop experiments for everything we do.”

Last night Issenberg emailed Politico’s Ben Smith* that Perry’s campaign seemingly remains skeptical of national media opportunities and “[o]ne of the things Carney detests about campaigns is when they lurch tactically and lose sight of their broader strategic plans.”  That’s apparent from Carney’s recent email to McClatchy at the initial link:

“This campaign is built to win delegates for the RNC convention in Tampa in 2012,” Carney said in response to McClatchy Newspapers’ questions via email. The Republican National Convention will be the week of Aug. 27. “We have been in the race for, like, six whole weeks, while some have been in the race for, like, six years. That is our focus.

“As the governor has said, we will get better every day. Our message for getting America working again and our record of job creation will be the foundation of our campaign’s success.”

The Perry campaign philosophy is also a subtext of the scoop Team Perry gave to HotAir’s Ed Morrissey regarding their Texas-size fundraising in the third quarter:

Perry had 49 days in which to raise funds, rather than the full 92 days of the quarter, a rate of about $349,000 a day.  The final debate in September didn’t hurt Perry’s fundraising rate, either.  In the 42 days prior to the Orlando debate, their rate was $323K per day; in the eight days following the Orlando debate, that escalated to $478K per day. Perry’s on-line operation did well, too, drawing in $1.1 million — despite, as my source says, not driving contributions with their on-line ads.

Best of all for the Perry campaign, the burn rate in the first seven weeks was negligible.  The campaign has $15 million cash on hand from its $17.1 million haul.  Team Perry wanted 18,000 contributors in this quarter, and finished with over 22,000.  More than 60% of their contributors donated $250 or less, which means that they can keep going back to them for more money.

Ed highlighted that the news was intended to send the message that Perry isn’t going away anytime soon.  But Team Perry is also saying that the fundraising accelerated after Perry’s widely-criticized debate performances.  That the campaign specifically broke out that data is meant to send a message to those who are focused on the debates.  That the campaign has spent a small percentage of what they have raised suggests they still believe a lot of traditional campaign spending is wasted.  Are they right?  Issenberg asks key questions on that score at the end of a NYT interview.

*HotAir link provided to observe Patterico’s Politico boycott.


Romney vs Not Romney: Inside the Numbers

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 4:00 am

[Posted by Karl]

The latest WaPo/ABC News poll showing Rick Perry slumping and Herman Cain booming while Mitt Romney’s standing does not move tells the overall story.  But the internals of that polling and statewide polls from PPP showing a Cain lead highlight how the Romney vs Not Romney dynamic plays out in the historical context of GOP politics.

On paper, Rick Perry would be the likely GOP nominee, by the combination of resume, regionalism and ideology.  However, the WaPo poll reveals that Cain’s gain comes at Perry’s expense in the South, while Romney dominates outside the South.  Perry’s slump is also steep among those aligned with the tea party movement.  Finding Cain leading in North Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia, PPP’s Tom Jensen observes:

The thing fueling Cain’s lead in all of these states is strong support from the furthest right segment of the Republican electorate.  Cain is at 35% with ‘very conservative’ voters and has a 14 point lead over Perry with them in North Carolina. In Nebraska he’s at 36% with them, putting him up 22 points over Gingrich and Perry.  And in West Virginia he gets 25% with them, giving him a 9 point edge on Gingrich and Perry.

Although the conventional wisdom is to attribute Perry’s slide to his debate performances, these polls should suggest his problem runs deeper than that.  I would suggest it is not performance, but content that is driving Southerners and conservatives away from Perry.  The debates are just one avenue through which these groups are learning that Perry is perhaps not as conservative as they thought on some issues, and has defended his position on those issues in ways that insult conservatives.  Thus, the base of the base is now gravitating toward Cain.

However, Jensen also has the broader context:

This most conservative group of Republican voters has been shopping for a candidate all year.  They’ve gone from Huckabee to Trump back to Huckabee to Bachmann to Perry and now to Cain. I would expect their support for Cain to be pretty temporary. One thing that’s been very clear through all these twists and turns though- they’re not going to support Romney.

How well Cain holds up to the level of scrutiny given to a top-tier candidate remains to be seen.  I would still say the same about Perry, who has been getting that scrutiny with much less time in the race than Cain.  Unsurprisingly, Allahpundit is pessimistic about both leading flavors of Not Romney:

Cain doesn’t have the cash or the name recognition to go the distance with Romney. All the good news for him lately will help solve the latter problem, but probably not the former. Perry has the money and the high profile needed, but I can’t tell right now if voters who have soured on him will give him a second chance.

You know who doesn’t have to worry about money? Mitt Romney, who will be picking up a bunch of Gov. Chris Christie’s rejected suitors, including Republican uber-fund-raiser (not to mention part-time Joan Rivers impersonator) Georgette Mosbacher and billionaire John Catsimatidis.  Not Romney will need a big wallet.

As for whether voters will give Perry a second look, no one can say for sure.  If Cain holds up under the usual vetting, Perry may not get the opportunity.  But the WaPo poll notes that 37% definitely would not vote for Romney now, down from 57% four years ago — which suggests many voters do not write candidates off entirely.  Moreover, Romney is still attacking Perry, which may tell you he thinks Perry remains a viable Not Romney threat.  Mitt watched John McCain go from next-in-line to dragging his own luggage through the airport to beating Romney in 2008, so who can blame him for being thorough?

Instant update: I think Allahpundit, writing about the new CBS poll, has a sharp take on Perry’s position. Also, pollster Mark Blumenthal notes that in the CBS poll, only 19% have made up their mind on which candidate to support.


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