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Post-Cain Stuff

Post-Cain Stuff

In the wake of Herman Cain’s suspension of his campaign, lots of movement:

  • Michele Bachmann claims to be picking up Cain supporters.  Just stop it.  Just stop it.  This is the same thing you pulled over the summer about Palin planning to endorse you.
  • Rick Santorum seems like a nice guy, someone who is very genuine.  But his train will not be leaving the station.  If Newt’s endorsement of Dede Scozzafava over Doug Hoffman is a disqualifier, why isn’t Santorum’s endorsement of Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey?
  • One issue Newt is going to have is hard feelings from his days as Speaker.  Apparently he was tough on people, and they remember.  My view:  Boo hoo, get over it and focus on beating Obama.
  • The L.A. Times is digging into Bain Capital, and starting to do to Romney what Teddy did so well (for the record, I think it’s a distortion, but unfortunately for Romney, one which works in 30 second commercials).
  • A bunch of Iowa polls show Newt in the lead.  Take nothing for granted.
  • Perry staff feels it’s well positioned, but organization is not enough.  Karl at HotAir asks whether Perry can stage a comeback and concludes it’s not likely.

Completely off topic, this headline at Instapundit (Legless Man Denied Wheelchair) reminded me of the best headline ever.

Update:  Byron York, The insider-outsider divide over Newt Gingrich:

There’s a deep and growing divide in the Republican world between those who are able to reconcile themselves with — to wrap their heads around — the possibility of Newt Gingrich becoming the GOP presidential nominee, and those who are not.  It’s becoming increasingly clear that it is Washington insiders who are having the most trouble imagining a Gingrich nomination, while Republicans outside Washington aren’t having a problem.

The insiders — Tom Coburn, Peter King, Guy Molinari — complain about slights to them by Newt, while the outsiders remember the triumph of the Contract with America, balanced budgets, welfare reform, the end of big government as we know it. So Newt is an infighter and tought as nails — good.  Bruised egos need not apply.  See post earlier today, “Gingrich may be a lightning rod, but he also embodies the revolution like no one else”.

Some more views:

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Comments

Aside from Meghan McCain, does anyone think Bachmann is going to get a second look?

Much of Cain’s Iowa operation decided to go work for Perry…

Perry’s down, but not out. He has a lot of money still and has always been a solid fundraiser. Where Gingrich and Romney have histories of being on both sides of most issues, Perry has been much more consistently Conservative. Being the sitting Governor of arguably the most successful state in the union over the past decade is a major advantage as well.

Quote of the day on Perry, “I don’t have to convince myself that he’s a changed man in order to feel good about my choice.”

Personally, I was for Perry while he was saying things like, “I’ll work to try to make DC as inconsequential in your life as I can.” He gradually lost me in the debates, and now I’m for Newt. At some point Perry will have to debate Obama – who will push for lots of debates (whereas, if Newt’s the nominee, Obama will flee from debates as fervishly as he avoids responsibility). The media were in a mad rush to portray Perry as stupid, and then he went into debates and gave them more ammunition than they could ever have imagined in their wildest dreams.

I am wondering whether we should attempt to deconstruct, with hindsight, Gingrich’s resignation as speaker in 1998. Coburn has some long-standing personal disagreements with Gingrich, and it might be argued that it is Coburn who is the “divisive” individual. House politics can be complicated.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to janitor. | December 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    For a conservative GOP candidate, harsh judgments from Coburn are a plus. Coburn in many ways is 2-3 footsteps from a true RINOism.

      Oh, please, this kind of mindless nonsense that is terribly destructive. Sen. Coburn is as conservative a person as ever sat in the US Congress. He had a 100 percent rating by the American Conservative Union last year — that is, he voted on the conservative side of key issues ALL the time. And his lifetime rating is 98 percent!

      So how can such a Senator be 2-3 steps short of being a RINO? It is just absurd. “RINO” had simply become a meaningless epithet.

      Based on their actual records in Congress, Coburn is significantly more conservative than Gingrich, notwithstanding the latter’s current claims.

      So does that mean Gingrich is ONE STDP short of being a RINO?

        ThomasD in reply to JEBurke. | December 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

        Coburn has certainly said the right things in the past, but exactly how much has he done to roll back leviathan?

        Right now he’s an example of what happens when one lingers in the Senate – you get co-opted for the sake of ‘comity.’

        Let us sincerely hope Coburn keeps his pledge not to run again for Senator.

        Maybe Newt (or anyone else not to their liking) would be worse than our current ruling class DC denizens, but clearly it is well past time for them to go, and there is only one way to find out.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to JEBurke. | December 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm

        Yes, right, Tom Coburn: Captain Conservative. The conservative who lauded and defended Nancy Pelosi to his constituents. The conservative who told his constituents not to watch biased FOX News, to watch CNN for balanced reporting. The conservative who slammed the Tea Party. The conservative who left the Gang of Six, but jumped right back in to lend bipartisan support to an abomination of a deficit reduction plan that, among many great sins, would have permanently enshrined Obamacare forever, and in doing so, our Great Conservative completely undermined the one deficit reduction plan on the table that could have worked, the Cut, Cap & Balance plan. Obama lauded Coburn as a Republican he could work with. Well, yeah, I guess so.

        Tom Coburn was a conservative when he had reelection to worry about. He’s not running again, so no worries there. The real Tom Coburn is emerging and, like I said, he’s just a few steps away from RINO.

Henry Hawkins | December 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I currently support Gingrich, but I keep one eye on Perry. In terms of his positions, I agree with most of them and could swallow what few problems I see. However, in a race where the MSM will be going into hyperdrive in support of Obama, the GOP candidate will have to have two qualities in particular: (1) willingness and skill for political infighting, and (B) excellent communication skills to offset the massive built-in Democrat advantage in the media.

Can/will Perry fight? Can Perry get his/our message out to the voting public despite the inevitable hurricane of negativism and mud from the usual MSM suspects?

Convinced he could do both, I would support Perry readily.

Cain – and Gingrich’s status as also-ran, brought a certain life and joie de vivre to the debates. Gingrich had nothing to lose, and he was happy to say everything that needed to be said, throwing caution to the winds. Cain brought a nice tone to the forums, and the two played well together – there was respect, and humor, and they were the two who commanded the room, a leadership quality the others lack.

One thing is certain – things will be more grim now. Cain’s humor will be missing, and Gingrich now has something to lose. Will he be able to keep the tone that has got him this far, or will it get brittle.

I hope, for his and our sake, that he continues to think of himself, not as frontrunner, but the guy who gets to lay it on the line, consequences be damned.

That’s what is needed.

    Aarradin in reply to Rose. | December 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Gingrich has made several statements recently that make it clear that he is very aware of the fact that his ‘cheerfulness’ and the positive nature of his campaign (offering solutions rather than attacks), as well as his focus on Obama rather than the other candidates have “resonated” and are largely responsible for his rise.

    Given that, I’d be shocked to see him go negative.

    Perry needs to do the same thing. If he wants to get back into the fight, he needs to give people a reason to vote FOR him and get excited about his candidacy. He’ll never recover by spending half his time attacking Romney and the rest attacking Gingrich.

The Professor waves off what Republicans who served with Gingrich in the House by mocking them (“boo, hoo, get over it”).

In this case, he’s referring to Senator Tom Coburn’s testiony that Newt was a lousy leader and an untrustworthy colleague and a man of unsteady character. He’s not the only one. Another former Representative has said he could never vote for Gingrich because he loves the country too much. This sort of feeling does not arise from having been peeved about this or that 15 years ago.

So here’s the thing: The peak of Gingrich’s career was his service as Speaker. That’s where the accomplishments he crows about came from (including all that working across the aisle). That’s where he came to know Washington so well, which he also touts as an asset. So why would it not be considered a serious matter for serious consideration by serious people that his Repubican colleagues could not stand him, came to detest his leadership, and in a once-in-history step banded together to oust him as their leader?

It’s as if Bill Clinton had publicly said, don’t vote for Al Gore because he’s bombed as VP, and Democrats paid him no heed (boo, hoo, Bill, get over it).

    janitor in reply to JEBurke. | December 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I’m unsure of the Clinton-Gore analogy. Coburn was a relative newbie when he and others elected in ’94 started taking sides, convinced that Gingrich was veering from conservative agendas, while Gingrich arguably was trying to keep things together with a longer-term vision in a difficult political climate with Democrats gaining ground. Clinton was very good at divide and conquer. There was infighting, attacking and agendas of various kinds going multiple ways. It’s hard to know what was “behind the scenes”.

At this point…I plan to write in Sarah Palin, just for shits and grins, since NONE OF THE ABOVE is a valid ballot choice. They all suck giant green monkey balls.

Mitt? Too slick…thinks it’s his turn.
Newt? Too much history…Dede S is just a symptom of his poor choices in the past.
Michelle? Too many bumbles.
Rick P? Ditto
Ron? His dedicated followers are absolute loons.

Who would I rather see run? Paul Ryan. Sarah Palin won’t run becaus the media frenzy would take away from the message. So I’ll write her or Mr. Ryan in.

Rich Vail
Pikesville, Maryland
The Vail Spot dot Blogspot dot Com
Herman? He was hounded out by liberal media. It’s a shame really. I like him the best.
Rick S? See Newt…

    Aarradin in reply to Rich Vail. | December 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I really like Bachmann right out of the gate.

    She really turned me off with her vicious, and usually untrue, attacks on the other candidates. We expect that kind of thing in the general election from Democrats. From Republicans, we expect better.

    Cain: Really liked having a successful businessman in the running. LOVED the way Cain exposed the racism of the Left, simply by virtue of his existence. From the start though, not ready for primetime. Clueless on foreign policy, in particular, but it was amazing how many issues took him by complete surprise (not referring to the attacks that took him down, I mean real issues). I’m glad we’re not going to have to defend the ‘9’ that stood for a 9% national sales tax though – that’s a HUGE loser in the general election.

    “Who would I rather see run?” You’re dead on with Palin. The media and the Democrats (redundant, I know) would make it a personal election between O and Palin. Obama’s comprehensive disasater over the past four years wouldn’t come up. Paul Ryan is fantastic, but the D’s would Mediscare, Mediscare, Medicare all the way to the ballot box.

    We have a good bench for next time around though. 2016, or 2020, we have Mike Pence (who’ll have one or two terms as Governor of Indiana by then), Mike Lee, Rand Paul (stronger than dad on the Constitution, but without the isolationist streak), Toomey from PA (who may have 4-8 years as VP by then), Marco Rubio (though his citizenship could preclude the run).

    What will the D’s have next time around? Cuomo? Schumer? Hillary will likely be too old, she’s looking run-down already. Wiener roasted himself. Who are their stars? Anyone?

      Darkstar58 in reply to Aarradin. | December 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      “I really like Bachmann right out of the gate.

      She really turned me off with her vicious, and usually untrue, attacks on the other candidates. We expect that kind of thing in the general election from Democrats. From Republicans, we expect better.”

      Exactly

      Well, I didn’t jump for joy over her to begin with because, to me, she has always seemed like she had no real position other then “eliminate Obamacare” and she has always seemed to dodge tough questions and get off on talking points when asked to explain statements. That stuff is okay if its early and she is able to grow.

      Instead, she became a pitiful looking attack-dog jumping on all the other candidates as soon as they make a statement acting as if she is somehow so high and mighty in comparison. (and she is still stalking the other candidates even to this date! What was it, all of 2 mins after Cain announced he was stepping out that she was releasing a statement? I was literally watching it live when the reporters said “the Bachmann campaign has released the following statement…” and I’m like, geez, he’s still on the damn stage Michele!)

      At this point she seems much more like a Right-Wing version of Obama then a true leader for the country. I don’t want someone whose going to be constantly sticking her nose into everything that happens where her main objective is to make herself feel good by providing empty attacks or misplaced comments on the brave people willing to step up to the plate with actual solutions she herself seems to fearful to provide.

      Please Michele, step aside and start supporting everyone instead of just destroying the Republicans chances of getting elected by undercutting all the more-serious candidates in your sad attempts to try and make yourself relevant.

    boone in reply to Rich Vail. | December 5, 2011 at 8:42 am

    If Palin wants to be president, I would call not running a pretty big bumble.

Hey, Professor, the 1998 anti-Newt rebellion was not a few guys with bruised egos. Half the Repubican caucus stood ready to vote publicly against Newt. And the guy who stood ready to oppose him in the caucus was a personal friend!

This is hardly ancient history or a matter of youthful failures overcome. Just 13 years ago, when Newt was 55 years old and at the high point of his career, he so alienated so many of his friends and allies that they undertook something unprecented in the history of the United States and forced a Speaker of the House to resign. Compare that to Democrats in 2010 in the wake of an historic defeat voting to keep Nancy Pelosi as their leader.

Your trying to characterise the anti-Newt revolt as some little squabble with a few malcontents will not wash. It is up to Gingrich to explain why his failure at one leadership position merits election to an even more powerful one.

    Darkstar58 in reply to JEBurke. | December 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    You have to remember that most of it stemmed from the Democrats insisting the Government Shutdown hurt the Republican party, despite no evidence what so ever showing it did. In the following election, the Republicans lost 8 seats in the House (pretty close to meaningless really considering there were 435 members up for election, where Republicans had 38 more chances to loose a seat then the Dems) and gained 2 seats in the Senate (going from a 53 to 55 seats total) while witnessing Clinton win almost exclusively because of Perot running as a 3rd candidate. (the expected results would have been 270 Dole to 278 Clinton without Perot involved.) Overall, hardly a complete “repudiation of the Republican Party after Newt shut down the government,” despite Democrats still claiming that very thing to this very day.

    The Republicans have been bickering for the last 15 years over this nonsense with no factual evidence which backs it up, while Newt has been the status-qoe and RINO Republicans fall-guy for shutting down the Government instead of accepting an expansion of Government ever sense.

    Its the Establishment/RINO republicans and Liberal Media who hate Newt most; and that should tell else something right there…

At this point am I the only one who takes delight that many “Inside the Beltway GOPers” don’t like Newt? To my way of thinking that’s one of his greatest strengths. Or maybe it’s only because I can think and reason for myself and am not dependent on the opinions of others for my view.

I’m also a little puzzled that so many can’t “forgive” him of cooked up wrongs for which the victims don’t actually condemn him.

    JEBurke in reply to 49erDweet. | December 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    On the other hand, since Gingrich is the ultimate Washington insider who has spent 40 years in Washington and over the past dozen years was paid millions of dollars by various Washington insiders to woo other Washington insiders, what’s with the animosity toward Washington insiders who might just know something you don’t about their pal

The Bryon York link is no good. This one works: The insider-outsider divide over Newt Gingrich.

Cassandra Lite | December 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

So the insiders have a similar entitlement mentality to the OWS crowd. Worst political class ever.

The Professor asks why if Newt’s support of Dede Scozzafava in the upstate NY special election a while back is a disqualifier, why isn’t Rick Santorum’s support for Arlen Specter in the 2004 also?

I don’t happen to think that Newt’s endorsement of Dede is in any sense disqualifying, but it was kind of wierd, so let me take a shot at distinguishing them.

In 2004, Specter, a flat out liberal, was challenged by the conservative Toomey. Ideological conviction might have told Santorum to stay out of the primary race, but then, like him or not, at that point in time, Specter was not only a long serving, INCUMBENT Republican Senator but Santorum’s other half in representing their state. What’s more, as untrustworthy as Specter was, when Specter won the primary, TOOMEY endorsed him too. So did President Bush and a very long list of other Republicans. Specter subsequently turned coat on the GOP but the situation that faced Santorum back in 2004 was one where Republican leaders were striving to keep Specter from jumping ship, at least on some key issues. (None of this is in any way a defense of Specter.)

In the upstate NY race, it was a special election to fill a vacant House seat. Dede was the GOP candidate but because it was a special, she had been selected by a small group of party committeemen, not voters. She was not an incumbent Repubican member of Congress. And because she was a liberal and chosen in a narrow process, a conservative, Doug Hoffman, ran against her (and the Democrat) on the Conservative Party ticket with an excellent chance to win. His candidacy overnight became a cause for many conservatives nationally and Hoffman got wide support from movement conservatives and some GOP elected officials.

Along came Newt — the ONLY national figure associated with conservative Republicnism to endorse Dede, with a warmly enthusiastic statement to boot. Given the nature of the race — no incumbent and two liberals vs. a conservative — no one would have noticed had Newt said nothing. Certainly, there was no pressure to rally behind a Republican incumbent, as in Pennsylvania and Dede had little chance to win. The obvious way to beat the Democrat was to elect Hoffman would have ca

The Professor asks why if Newt’s support of Dede Scozzafava in the upstate NY special election a while back is a disqualifier, why isn’t Rick Santorum’s support for Arlen Specter in the 2004 also?

I don’t happen to think that Newt’s endorsement of Dede is in any sense disqualifying, but it was kind of wierd, so let me take a shot at distinguishing them.

In 2004, Specter, a flat out liberal, was challenged by the conservative Toomey. Ideological conviction might have told Santorum to stay out of the primary race, but then, like him or not, at that point in time, Specter was not only a long serving, INCUMBENT Republican Senator but Santorum’s other half in representing their state. What’s more, as untrustworthy as Specter was, when Specter won the primary, TOOMEY endorsed him too. So did President Bush and a very long list of other Republicans. Specter subsequently turned coat on the GOP but the situation that faced Santorum
back in 2004 was one where Republican leaders were striving to keep Specter from jumping ship,
at least on some key issues. (None of this is in any way a defense of Specter.)
In the upstate NY race, it was a special election to fill a vacant House seat. Dede was the GOP
candidate but because it was a special, she had been selected by a small group of party
committeemen, not voters. She was not an incumbent Repubican member of Congress. And
because she was a liberal and chosen in a narrow process, a conservative, Doug Hoffman, ran
against her (and the Democrat) on the Conservative Party ticket with an excellent chance to win.
His candidacy overnight became a cause for many conservatives nationally and Hoffman got wide
support from movement conservatives and some GOP elected officials.
Along came Newt — the ONLY national figure associated with conservative Republicnism to endorse
Dede, with a warmly enthusiastic statement to boot. Given the nature of the race — no incumbent
and two liberals vs. a conservative — no one would have noticed had Newt said nothing. Certainly,
there was no pressure to rally behind a Republican incumbent, as in Pennsylvania and Dede had
little chance to win. The obvious way to beat the Democrat was to elect Hoffman.

So why did Newt intervene to help Dede? Beats me. That’s Newt being Newt.

Michele Bachmann is a principled, Tea Party conservative. Indeed, she has been a leading light in that movement.

I am surprised and very disappointed by the efforts to dismiss her candidacy, especially by otherwise intelligent people on the right whom I respect.

We have seen other candidates who are, frankly, less of a track record of being principled conservatives than Bachmann pushed to the front (reasonably so at the time) — Perry, Cain — only to see them implode.

Bachmann understands what does and does not make an economy work. It is highly unlikely that she has skeletons in her closet of the type Cain had – and certainly not the sort of heavy baggage that Newt Gingrich has. She does not flip flop back and forth on basic issues like climate change, as Newt has.

So that leaves Romney. But his Mormonism will post a difficult challenge come the general election (once the primaries are over, Democrats will pull out all the stops. You haven’t heard anything yet.) But we can’t let Dems choose our candidates for us, so let’s set that aside. Let’s look simply at Romney’s signature piece of legislation — Romneycare.

Need I say more?

Professor Jacobson, I do respect you, but you’ve got some reason for opposing Bachmann at this point that goes beyond the examples you have cited. You claim that she (or her campaign, to be more accurate) has claimed to have support that she does not, and/or has unfairly attacked others. But the examples you have given are fairly mild. If we are being intellectually honest, and I know that you are indeed intellectually honest, you could easily find several examples of far greater errors by Romney’s campaign and by Gingrich’s campaign.

So I’m not buying these dismissals of Bachmann. It makes little to no sense, and I think our country can ill afford it at this time.

I was not in any candidate’s camp at the outset, but from what I can see of how the campaigns have played out, the last man standing on the GOP side is a woman — a good, strong, principled, articulated Tea Party conservative. So today I do support Michele Bachmann, and I hope she sees some upward momentum in the polls. Our country needs her.

    boone in reply to S. Browne. | December 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

    You do realize that Bachmann is stumping hard for Romney’s VP, and lobbing grenades in the tent to get there. I used to like her, but frankly find her toxic now.

And by the way, since when is it a disqualifying breach of etiquette for a candidate to criticize their opponents during the primary season? How is any candidate to gain traction in a field of candidates if they do not point out that they have something their opponents are lacking?

I’ll admit did not like how Tim Pawlenty went after Bachmann in one of the debate shortly before he dropped out. I’ve cringed to see some of the face-offs between Romney and Perry. So even i can agree that some attacks on competing candidates are over the top.

But if Perry had not had serious brain freezes on several occasions, his rather blunt attacks on Romney would not have disqualified him. Is Bachmann being denied the same latitude to make criticism of fellow candidates that we normally allow more traditional candidates? I don’t know. I just think that torpedoing her candidacy for daring to say a discouraging word about a candidate against whom she is running is a bit much.

Again, let’s focus, people. We need a strong, principled conservative in the White House, plus control of the Senate. That’s it.

Romney is not the Oval Office half of that equation. Gingrich warmed my heart greatly when he was Speaker of the House. He is a wonderful, shining light — except when he is making PSAs with Nancy Pelosi or criticizing conservatives. It’s his inconsistencies that worry me.

    Darkstar58 in reply to S. Browne. | December 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    And by the way, since when is it a disqualifying breach of etiquette for a candidate to criticize their opponents during the primary season? How is any candidate to gain traction in a field of candidates if they do not point out that they have something their opponents are lacking?

    Newt hasn’t attacked a single person that I have seen, and its a huge part of why people are supporting him now.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I don’t think I have seen Bachmann answer a single question without turning the topic into an outright attack against at least one of her competitors. Similarly, if one of the other candidates says something a little questionable, you can bet she will be the first to comment — quite likely only moments after it happened.

    Michele is not really running a campaign to win on her platform — I could barley tell you what she stands for despite my seeing her on news programs probably at least once a day (I see her much, much, much more then, well quite possibly all the other candidates put together) Instead, she seems to be running on a “I’m not them” platform, turning every question she is asked into a way for her to describe one of the others plan and for her to try to punch holes in it. Its disgusting to watch, and frankly has had me loose every ounce of respect I had for her.

    And because of the above I started thinking about who she really is. I mean, this is a candidate who has claimed she started the Tea Party… This is a candidate who, for some reason, decided she would create a “Tea Party Caucus” – as if the Tea Party needed to be yet another one of the countless caucus no one respects with a self-appointed strong leader that no one has ever wanted them to have. I mean, this is a self-appointed “Tea Party darling” who hired Ed Rollins (40-year political insider with Amnesty pushing fame) to run her campaign, where he instantly came out and gave us this beauty of a quote:

    “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins told Brian Kilmeade on his radio show, Kilmeade and friends. “She got the Vice Presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.

    Michele Bachmann and others [have] worked hard, she has been a leader of the Tea Party which is a very important element here, she has been an attorney, she has done important things with family values.”

    In the end, I’ve come to what I feel is probably the most realistic assessment of Michele Bachmann based off what she has provided to us — she is a media whore willing to step all over anyone in her way if she can get the chance to hear herself talk and possibly get some people to praise her.

    She is not a “Tea Party” candidate – she is a “Me Party” candidate; and its beyond disgusting…

That’s a pretty blatant mischaracterization of the Hot Air article on Perry, which says a comeback is not likely IF his campaign doesn’t CONTINUE to improve. Which means he is on course for a comeback.

Not much different than referencing an article that Newt has no chance if he decides to sit on the couch with Nancy Pelosi again during the campaign, and summarizing the article as saying Newt has no chance.

Coburn is all sensitive about being pushed around by Newt as a member of the Limbaugh House of ’94. Funny how the Senator from Oklahoma doesn’t get bent out of shape by Obama. I posted this at Althouse:

Jonathan Alter wrote about Coburn’s deliberate interference in the 2008 Presidential campaign in his book, “The Promise: President Obama, Year One”:

“Now it was time to force McCain to compound his mistakes. Tom Coburn, the right-wing Senator from Oklahoma who struck up an odd friendship with Obama when they were both freshman senators in 2005, called to suggest that Obama and McCain issue a joint statement in support of Paulson’s bailout.** Obama liked the idea and wanted to propose it first before McCain (who had also heard from Coburn) got the chance. if McCain jumped with him, it would take the issue off the table. He knew that if McCain agreed to a joint statement, it would prevent him from campaigning against the bailout, which was McCain’s last, best hope for winning.

** In the senate in 2006, Obama and Coburn sponsored the so-called Google-for-Government bill that required the posting of government contracts on the internet. They and their wives had dinner together and liked to joke that Obama could muss Coburn’s hair, but Coburn had no way to muss Obama’s.”

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