Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Hampshire and the Nomination

One of the traditional voices in American politics whose judgement I respect is Republican consultant Mike Murphy (who managed John McCain's presidential campaign in 2000). He was on Meet the Press today. Here is an excerpt:

MR. RUSSERT: Give me the nominees of the party.

MR. MURPHY: Oh, man. Obama.


MR. MURPHY: And the Republican one’s a lot looser, and it could go—it could still get unraveled. But if you put a gun to my head in the hot seat, I’d have to say John S. McCain.

The Clintons are fighters and will not give up easily. However, Obama seems to be doing what Howard Dean hoped to do in 2004. Interestingly TC has learned that almost all of the New Hampshire Dean team from 2004 are working for Obama.

On the Republican side it is clear that the party establishment can't stand Huckabee and will do all it can to defeat him. At the same time it isn't clear (as Murphy's comment reveals) that they will embrace McCain. In fact the Republican process looks decidedly scrambled. Ordinarily the nomination process is quite Darwinian forcing out candidates early. However, if the early primaries and caucuses go in different directions (already Iowa has supported Huckabee while Wyoming went for Romney), TC holds out hope (albeit faint) that the race might go all the way to the Republican Convention in Minneapolis in the first week of September thus forcing the eventual winner to start the fall campaign exhausted from the nomination battle.

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