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  • February 02, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    The sliver of humanity who care about such things are currently fascinated by the resignation of US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, apparently to pursue a campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination.

    The conversation has mostly centered around the question of why in God's name Huntsman would run, when his relatively moderate positions, combined with his late start and other factors, would seem to make his quest rather quixotic.

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  • February 02, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    OK, I have not yet grabbed the new paperback edition of Mitt Romney's "No Apology," since I have the hardcover (which I reviewed last February along with my analysis of his 2012 remake) and I could read the new introduction online.

    But now I'm going to have to get the paperback, so I can go through and see if he's altered the text from the original.

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  • January 27, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    There's a spate of headlines zipping around the national politicojournosphere that Mitt Romney is considering "skipping" the Iowa caucuses in his quest for the 2012 campaign.

    I am writing to ask my fellow journos and pundits, wherever they may be, to resist echoing the ridiculous verb "skip" in discussing this. If Romney spends less of his resources on Iowa this time (as I have long suggested he will), it will be because he believes he can't win there, and doesn't want to be seen as trying and losing.

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Neal" asks:

    What do you think of Bob Massie's candidacy?

    Massie of Somerville, the 1994 Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, is running for US Senate. I think he's got a real chance of appealing to liberals in the primary, but the big question is whether he can build a serious organization (including fundraising) -- which may depend on who else enters the race (and how long it takes them to decide).

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Mat Helman" asks a lengthy multiple-choice question; I will address each potential answer as they are presented:

    Among the GOP Presidential contenders, which personal life blemish would have the biggest negative impact on: A) GOP primary voters, and B) general election voters:

    1) Former MA Gov. Mitt Romney strapping his dog to the roof of his car for a drive to Canada.

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  • January 12, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Herman Cain announced his 2012 Presidential exploratory committee formation today, the first (somewhat) significant candidate to do so.

    Most importantly, this forces polijournos like me to decide between "Is Cain Able?" "Yes He Cain?" "A Cain Mutiny in GOP?" "Raising Cain" and "Cain-Do Spirit" for our headlines.

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  • January 07, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein


    Michele Bachmann

    David S. Bernstein: I invited you to have this email conversation about the 2012 GOP Presidential campaign because you and I both follow politics, but from different angles. I, of course, am an award-winning journalist for the Boston Phoenix. You are a political scientist in San Antonio with a PhD from UCal-Berkeley, who blogs at plainblogaboutpolitics.


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  • December 20, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    A year ago, I wrote about the best-selling conservative books of 2009 (article here, reviews here). I suggested that Obama's victory had been great for what I call the "movement conservative marketplace," helping produce a record number of top sellers.

    I have also argued that anybody interested in following Republican politics -- including the likely actions of the coming GOP-controlled House of Representatives, and the 2012 Presidential nomination process -- needs to keep abreast of what's in the top-selling conservative books, as well as what's being said on conservative talk radio, television, web sites, and elsewhere.

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  • December 14, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Mitt Romney has an op-ed in today's USA Today, criticizing the big tax deal working its way through Congress. This puts him at odds with Tim Pawlenty and other potential Presidential prospects, who have criticized portions but said that the overall compromise is worth passing. The Senate in fact passed the bill overwhelmingly yesterday; dark-horse ultra-conservative Jim DeMint was one of only five Republicans to vote no; potential Prez challenger Jim Thune of South Dakota voted yes.

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  • November 22, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Just casting around with the old noggin....

    --As bored political journos and commentators start talking 2012 GOP Presidential chances, we've seen a bunch of back-and-forthing about whether Mitt Romney can lay claim to the critical perception of "next in line" for the nomination, and about just how critical that perception is.

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  • September 20, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    With the completion of the 2010 primaries, and the latest 2012 meat-market (the Values Voters Conference), now's a good time to update my rankings of the 25 most likely 2012 Republican Presidential nominees!

    Note that two of my dark horses, Mike Pence and Jim DeMint, have gotten big recent boosts. Pence won the VVC straw poll this weekend, and DeMint has emerged as the hero of what we might call the "Christine O'Donnell wing" of the party.

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  • June 10, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    I've been getting poked and prodded by folks about my extreme lateness updating these rankings -- nice to know you care! Sorry for the lengthy delay. I've been a little busy, and these rankings require a huge investment of time and resources; there's a whole team that compiles research, and a devoted data center to run the complex algorithms.

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  • April 15, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    A couple of month ago I suggested that Mitt Romney may be plotting a path to the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination that avoids the South, where he has little chance of winning -- or more broadly, what I've called a "Bllue State strategy." My circumstantial evidence included his book tour, which included very few stops in Southern states; his decision to skip the Southern Republican Leadership Conference; and his PAC, which in 2009 contributed mostly to candidates in blue states outside the South.

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  • February 10, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I have my first big "Romney 2012" feature of the cycle. Too soon? It's never too soon!

    In the piece I suggest that Romney is using the publishing of his new book (my review of which will be online later today Update: is online now!!!) to relaunch himself for the 2012 Presidential nomination campaign.

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  • January 12, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Since the start of 2009, I’ve been updating these rankings every two months. (Most recently here.) I’m going to stick with that schedule for now -- but things are going to really start heating up. After all, we’re just a year away from Romney, Pawlenty et al declaring their candidacies.

    How can I know when they’ll declare? I’ll explain.

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