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Peeking Out From the McCain Wreckage: Mitt Romney
New York Observer ^ | November 6, 2008 | Steve Kornaki

Posted on 11/07/2008 6:20:56 AM PST by Leisler

Facing reporters the day after she and John McCain went down to defeat, Sarah Palin professed not to be thinking much about the next presidential election.

“2012 sounds so far off,” she said.

Of course, that’s exactly the kind of answer that any potential presidential candidate is supposed to give now and for the next two years or so – until the 2010 midterm elections signal the more formal start of the next White House campaign cycle.

And make no mistake: the race is very much underway, and it has been for some time. In fact, there’s already been a poll, conducted on Election Night by pollster Neil Newhouse. It found that among Republicans, 33 percent believe Mitt Romney should be the party’s new leader, with 20 percent choosing Mike Huckabee and 18 percent for Sarah Palin. (Granted, the poll wasn’t actually asking who should be the 2012 G.O.P. nominee, but it’s good enough for now.)

That’s probably a fairly accurate representation of the Republican race at this early stage.

Romney essentially began his 2012 campaign the instant he dropped out of this year’s contest. Instead of pulling the plug with a subdued press conference, Romney tried to use his withdrawal to curry favor with the party base, dramatically announcing at the February Conservative Political Action Conference that he didn’t want “to be a part of aiding a surrender to terror” by weakening John McCain any further.

Then, after months of bloodying McCain as a traitor to the conservative cause (even though Romney had defined himself in Massachusetts in opposition to the conservative wing of the G.O.P.), he abruptly threw himself into McCain’s effort in a transparent effort to win the No. 2 slot on the G.O.P. ticket – which would have given him a significant leg up in 2012 (or 2016, had he and McCain won). But the Romney-for-VP effort fell apart because of McCain’s lingering distaste for Romney and his spineless opportunism and because some conservative leaders in the party – whose minds were also on 2012 – aroused McCain’s suspicions by aggressively and publicly pushing against Romney’s competitors for the running-mate gig, most notably Joe Lieberman.

Still, even though he didn’t get his wish, Romney has emerged from the 2008 campaign as the early ’12 front-runner. He has solid support among the conservative base, though he struggled to connect with some religious conservatives because of his Mormon faith. But because of his corporate background and style, his youthful energy and his impressive communication skills, Romney has the ability to sell himself as a more mainstream (read: less threatening to moderates and independents) conservative than other candidates who pander to the Christian right. With this potential and the support and name recognition he already has in place, Romney is the clear G.O.P. leader.

That said, Romney dodged a big bullet these past few months, because his ’12 preeminence was initially jeopardized when McCain chose Palin as his running-mate. Palin immediately connected with the culturally conservative heart of the Republican Party, a subset of the Republican base (which also includes more traditional economic conservatives who don’t dabble in the kind of resentment politics that defines cultural conservatism). That bond was only reinforced during the fall campaign, with cultural conservatives rallying to Palin’s defense against what they convinced themselves was a concerted push by the liberal media to destroy her.

The threat to Romney was that Palin would expand on this intense base of support during the campaign, creating the kind of broad appeal for herself that Romney can still potentially achieve. Had she done that, she would have supplanted him as the ’12 front-runner.

She got off to a solid-looking start. A week after McCain picked her, Palin delivered a mesmerizing convention address in which she showed poise, polish and humor. In the week leading up to her speech, Americans had heard Democrats tirelessly raise questions about her experience, but her command performance set their concerns at ease. Polls in the wake of the G.O.P. convention found most independent voters buying into the Republican line that Palin was being unfairly singled out for criticism. They were warming up to her and she was a clear asset for McCain.

But she couldn’t keep it up. Instead, she spent the rest of the campaign systematically undoing all of the good she did for herself with that convention speech. The Sarah Palin that voters saw on the campaign trail this fall – and in interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric – confirmed to independent and mainstream Republican voters that Palin was in well over her head. By Election Day, she had become Tina Fey’s impersonation of her, and just 30 percent of voters believed she was qualified to serve as president.

Palin, therefore, emerges from this race as a tremendously polarizing figure. She retains a large and fanatical fan base among cultural conservatives – one that would make her a factor in any G.O.P. primary campaign, and a contender in some states, like Iowa. But she has also alienated much of her party and most independents; it is difficult to envision her assembling a winning coalition in a ’12 campaign for the G.O.P. nomination.

That leaves Romney sitting pretty (for now, anyway) and suggests that Palin might be a bigger threat to Huckabee, who dealt with the same kind of ceiling this spring that Palin now faces (virtually no appeal beyond religious and cultural conservatives). As of now, Palin and Huckabee will be scrapping over the same basic turf in ’12. Obviously, this would hurt both of them – and help Romney enormously.

But, as Palin said on Wednesday, 2012 is a long way off. She and Huckabee can both try to use the next few years to broaden their appeal. Huckabee has been hosting a late night variety show on the Fox News Channel for a few months now, and Palin could be in line for a television offer of her own at some point.

There will also be other candidates in ‘12, any of whom might emerge as the new front-runner, or at least alter the dynamics in a way favorable to Romney, Palin or Huckabee. Newt Gingrich, for instance, is plainly itching to run. A governor or two, along with a few senators or House members, will also inevitably toy with the race, and some of them will enter.

But for now, it can be said that Romney will get what he wanted the day he dropped out back in February: another shot at the nomination


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: gop; mormonism; rino; rnc; romney
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He's back! Our favorite flip flop, liberal, Hillarycare, illegal hiring, Utah bailout, Detroit bailout, life long 'real' conservative.
1 posted on 11/07/2008 6:20:58 AM PST by Leisler
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To: Leisler

McCain was in losing mode when Palin bucked their defeatism. McCain, probably on the advice of staffers, gave up Michigan. Palin said, “Send me!” I never thought McCain was a loser (thought a lot of things about him, but not that.) but I think he had a loser mentality advising him. These are the same rats jumping the ship the day before the election leaking stuff about Palin. Rats like these are professional political staffers who, when their candidate begins to go down, are looking for their next job. Part of that process is to NOT let the blame for the loss be pinned on them. Thus the Palin blameshifting.


2 posted on 11/07/2008 6:21:43 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Ping!


3 posted on 11/07/2008 6:21:58 AM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" --Patrick Henry)
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To: Leisler

Romney? An other faux Republican for 2012? Now I’m REALLY depressed.


4 posted on 11/07/2008 6:22:54 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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33 percent believe Mitt Romney should be the party’s new leader

You have got to be kidding.

5 posted on 11/07/2008 6:22:59 AM PST by sionnsar (Iran Azadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY)|http://trad-anglican.faithweb.com/|RCongressIn2Years)
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To: Leisler

I promise to sit out or vote for any democrat instead of Romney


6 posted on 11/07/2008 6:25:03 AM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: Leisler

No more “liberal Republicans” and RINOs! Have we forggoten this Tuesday already? Mitt can take a hike! Bah...


7 posted on 11/07/2008 6:25:14 AM PST by SolidWood (Sarah Palin - Everything that is Sweetness and Light! WE STAND WITH HER!)
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To: Leisler
My fervent prayer is that his wife Anne, seeing how much money Mitt has lost in the market, plus his “investment” in going no where in this years contest will look at Mitt and say...

“Honey I love you, but all I can say to another run is please see a mental health ptrofessional...”

8 posted on 11/07/2008 6:25:33 AM PST by ejonesie22 (Stupidity has an expiration date 11-4-2012)
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To: Leisler

ROFLOL, liberal mitt is back, LOL


9 posted on 11/07/2008 6:26:20 AM PST by org.whodat ( "the Whipped Dog Party" , what was formally the republicans.)
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To: Leisler

BTTT


10 posted on 11/07/2008 6:26:54 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Leisler

Great idea!!! Let’s nominate another outsourcing, open-borders, job-killing, globalist RINO, and see if we can lose with 20%, or 10%, or maybe 5%.


11 posted on 11/07/2008 6:27:07 AM PST by meadsjn (Socialists promote neighbors selling out their neighbors; Free Traitors promote just the opposite.)
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To: Leisler

What utter scum that man is. 33% may like him as ‘leader’, but what nobody realizes is that the other 67% are not only against him, but will actively work to see him defeated.

If Mitt Romney somehow manages to slime his way into being the standard bearer for our party, I myself will actively work to bring about his defeat.

Mitt Romney represents everything that is wrong with our party and everything that has left us dying in a ditch after this election. The very idea that he even thinks for one second that he should be the leader of the party shows a lot about the kind of man he is.

Much like Bush, Romney is a pretend conservative. Pretend conservatives are what got us to where we are and are what will completely destroy us if allowed.

Mitt Romney is welcome in the GOP, as far as I’m concerned. But he should never be in a position of power within the party.


12 posted on 11/07/2008 6:27:24 AM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (One good thing about 11/4: I no longer have to pretend that I like John McCain.)
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To: Leisler
I like Mitt; wish he had been McCain's 'pick' for VP. Just speculating on Fox News 'who' will be Fed Chairman; it was offered that given Obama's 'progressive' (Marxist) leanings; that he will choose a Fed Chair of like mind.

Cam only hope that Romney gets in the spotlight now with better antidotes for what ails us. Not that anyone save some Repus will listen; but people need to hear better solutions.

13 posted on 11/07/2008 6:27:33 AM PST by cricket (America's Freedom Rings! T hank You ~ U..S.A. Military~)
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To: Leisler

The press chose McCain for us. Now they are already trying to choose our nominee for 2012 for us.

Fool us once shame on them, fool us twice....


14 posted on 11/07/2008 6:27:39 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, Call 'em what you will, they ALL have Fairies livin' in their Trees.)
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To: ejonesie22
“Honey I love you, but all I can say to another run is please see a mental health ptrofessional...” And there is no way in hell I’m going to fire the new gardener when I just started learning his language.
15 posted on 11/07/2008 6:27:55 AM PST by org.whodat ( "the Whipped Dog Party" , what was formally the republicans.)
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To: Leisler

Go away Mitt. Another RINO will never get my vote. NEVER


16 posted on 11/07/2008 6:28:02 AM PST by 444Flyer ("We must obey God rather than men!"-Acts 5:29)
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To: Leisler

Good.


17 posted on 11/07/2008 6:28:48 AM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: Leisler

18 posted on 11/07/2008 6:29:47 AM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: Leisler
Until this becomes apparent, it's just heresay.
19 posted on 11/07/2008 6:30:46 AM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: Leisler

Romney can go eff itself. I’m not supporting any faux conservative who directed its minions to trash the real conservative, Sarah Palin.

I’m done with RINOs and faux conservatives. Supporting the “moderate” (read: liberal) McCain got us nothing but ashes and the anti-Christ obama.

I’m only voting for and contributing to real conservatives in the future.

Palin/Jindal 2012 - Dethrone the anti-Christ!


20 posted on 11/07/2008 6:30:47 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: DBCJR

the obvious answer is the DC “staffer class” are not friends to those outside of the beltway country club.

In their eys the blue zones rule, the red zones serf.


21 posted on 11/07/2008 6:31:11 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Leisler

This election re-emphasised something that some (me included) forgot: IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!!

I didn’t think Bush I would have lost to Clinton. He did. I really thought Palin/McCain were going to put it out; they didn’t. McCain would have really only managed a Jimmy Carter like 5-8 states without Gov. Palin. However, I still maintain she’s been Quayled. However, I don’t think the attacks are from the Romney camp. Until it can be proven I will not accept it is from Romney.

Which brings me back to IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!! To defeat the Dems, we must do what must be done. If that means going with a Romney as a person with an economic background, so be it.

Neither Ronald Reagan or many of the people who voted for him are on this planet any more. It sucks to admit it, but that is the reality. The Republican Party must change if it is going to be relevant again. Otherwise, it will go the way of the Whigs and Federalists.


22 posted on 11/07/2008 6:31:58 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (The countdown to 01/20/2013 has started......will it matter?)
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To: 444Flyer

and I said I would never vote or volulteer for Mccain.

Of couse it was ENTIRELY the fault of Palin...


23 posted on 11/07/2008 6:32:24 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: DBCJR

McCains staff is not going to say McCain was responsible. Obviously, their not responsible, because they need to find a new host to latch on to. So, who's left?

24 posted on 11/07/2008 6:33:04 AM PST by Leisler (Obama is going to give us all Unicorns!)
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To: Leisler
There is a remake of “Willard”, about him playing with rats.
25 posted on 11/07/2008 6:33:54 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Obama, Change America will die for.)
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To: GOPsterinMA
Yep. This election was always going to be about the economy. It sure would be reassuring to have a person with Mr. Romney's expertise now. But, of course, he's a RINO, she's a RINO, everyone’s a RINO. To heck with the country.
26 posted on 11/07/2008 6:34:53 AM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: Leisler

Unless the GOP becomes a party of real conservatives, I am not interested.

The old guard has to go NOW.


27 posted on 11/07/2008 6:34:56 AM PST by dforest (Is there any good idea out there that Obama doesn't lay claim to anymore?)
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To: Leisler

Just say no to Northeastern liberals for the GOP nomination.


28 posted on 11/07/2008 6:35:07 AM PST by KoRn
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To: Leisler

Mitt Romney won’t even see the light of day in 2012. By that point, with all that will happen between now and then, a lightweight, ‘get-along’ soft, quasi-’conservative’ like Romney will be dismissed in a heartbeat.


29 posted on 11/07/2008 6:35:49 AM PST by raptor29
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To: Leisler

“He has solid support among the conservative base, though he struggled to connect with some religious conservatives because of his Mormon faith.”

Pure Utter BS!

He is a liberal puke that only the Rocky-Feller wing can stand. The other 60% of the base hate his liberal guts.


30 posted on 11/07/2008 6:38:09 AM PST by Beagle8U (FreeRepublic -- One stop shopping ....... Its the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: GOPsterinMA

I am not sure Governor Palin has been Quayled. She drew huge crowds to hear her speeches. She could be a great resource for the Republicans in the next few years. Watch her help with fund raising and help elect Republicans in 2010. Quayle was never able to that after the 1992 defeat.


31 posted on 11/07/2008 6:39:34 AM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: GOPsterinMA
Mitt has a good, solid economic experience and philosophy that has gotten the Republic in the state it is. Financial, unimaginative, debt based, morally and ethically unchallenged.

Warren Buffet, the socialist, has shown more moral and ethical understanding and criticism of American corporate values, such as they are, then Mitt ever has.

Mitt has been an corporate/financial wimp, doormat, silent.
Now was it political philosophy ignorance? Did he see and know and not speak out?

He's toast.

32 posted on 11/07/2008 6:40:33 AM PST by Leisler (Obama is going to give us all Unicorns!)
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To: Leisler

No Romney, he is a divider, not a uniter for conservatives.

His support of the Socialist Bailout Bill should be the killer for all thinking conservatives.


33 posted on 11/07/2008 6:41:01 AM PST by SoConPubbie (GOP: If you reward bad behavior all you get is more bad behavior.)
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To: P-Marlowe

“Romney? An other faux Republican for 2012? Now I’m REALLY depressed.”

Here we go again. This is exactly the kind of juvenile whining that guaranteed the GOP loss this year.


34 posted on 11/07/2008 6:41:23 AM PST by Buck W. (If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.)
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To: P-Marlowe

Go away Mitt... go away all the RINOS.... WE ARE REBUILDING FROM GROUND UP!!!!!!!!!


35 posted on 11/07/2008 6:42:12 AM PST by pollywog (I will lift mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord...Ps 121)
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To: Leisler

Puke. No more white men retreads! And I’m not so sure it should be Palin. But Romney is just a little too smooth, too coifed, and overexposed already on TV. Go somewhere else. You can find a good candidate by their current deeds and their record. Romney is over.


36 posted on 11/07/2008 6:42:21 AM PST by Galtoid ( .)
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To: meadsjn

Great idea!!! Let’s nominate another outsourcing, open-borders, job-killing, globalist RINO, and see if we can lose with 20%, or 10%, or maybe 5%.


You said it first...and I agree.

The GOP cannot win with a Globalist liberal...havent we learned anything from McCain? Economic liberalism is a sure loser

The Obamaniacs will immediately label Romney as “Bush” and its over. The conservative base will be leery of his past liberalism

Sarah can mobilize the base...which most GOP candidates fail to do. Also, giving Sarah more than 2 months to have an impact will be a big help


37 posted on 11/07/2008 6:43:18 AM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (2010: A RINO Purge Odyssey)
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To: Leisler

I would have voted for Mitt if he’d been the nominee this time, but he seemed to be absent all during the campaign when McCain could have used his help.


38 posted on 11/07/2008 6:43:58 AM PST by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: Leisler
Hasn't this country had enough of the Ivy league leftist indoctrinated twits to last us a while?
39 posted on 11/07/2008 6:44:40 AM PST by Earthdweller (Socialism makes you feel better about oppressing people.....)
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To: sitetest
I’m not supporting any faux conservative who directed its minions to trash the real conservative, Sarah Palin.

I there any proof of that yet or is it just speculation?

I'm asking because I'd like to know.

40 posted on 11/07/2008 6:44:50 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Election '08, the year McCain defined the word "dilemma")
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To: SoConPubbie
Well, to his credit, he was the first to offer the Auto Workers Union a 25 billion dollar bailout for their self caused problems. Then of course was the 1/2 billion bailout of the Utah Hack Olympics, so, Mitt is consistent.
41 posted on 11/07/2008 6:44:50 AM PST by Leisler (Obama is going to give us all Unicorns!)
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To: Leisler

Romney will be a repeat of McCain. He couldnt beat McCain in the Primaries despite a massive cash advantage and look at how little enthusiasm McCain generated in the General election.


42 posted on 11/07/2008 6:46:12 AM PST by igoramus08 (Democrats caused Fannie and Freddie to collapse and this Economic Crisis and Recession)
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To: Leisler

Once beaten for the nomination, Romney became The Invisible Man of this election.

Of course, that was purposefully done. He thinks that by remaining in hiding, he has preserved his credibility to again be a candidate in 2012.

I believe he will be soundly disappointed. Then again, if he wants to waste another $23 million or so of his own money, fine with me... :)

- John


43 posted on 11/07/2008 6:46:27 AM PST by Fishrrman
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To: Leisler

He needs to go back to Massachusetts, and stop hiding behind back-stabbing cowards.


44 posted on 11/07/2008 6:46:58 AM PST by fetal heart beats by 21st day (Defending human life is not a federalist issue. It is the business of all of humanity.)
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To: indylindy
The old guard has to go NOW.

BTTT!

45 posted on 11/07/2008 6:47:00 AM PST by johnny7 ("Duck I says... ")
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To: Leisler

Romney is done and will not be a factor in 2012. Mark my words.


46 posted on 11/07/2008 6:47:10 AM PST by rintense (I don't wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul~ TobyMac (are you listening Obamabots?))
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To: Leisler

This is classic staffer behavior. Happens with every loser. The problem is that the MSM & SNL had charicatured Palin and she was an easy mark.


47 posted on 11/07/2008 6:47:33 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: Earthdweller

They seem to be everywhere.


48 posted on 11/07/2008 6:47:53 AM PST by Leisler (Obama is going to give us all Unicorns!)
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To: org.whodat

“ROFLOL, liberal mitt is back, “

I’d take liberal Mitt over outright Marxist, Socialist, America hating Obama anytime.


49 posted on 11/07/2008 6:48:40 AM PST by LottieDah (If only those who speak so eloquently on the rights of animals would do so on behalf of the unborn.)
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To: fetal heart beats by 21st day
I think his dear old home state is California now. Or New Hampshire, or Michigan, or Utah.

Somewhere. Floating. Who knows?

50 posted on 11/07/2008 6:50:03 AM PST by Leisler (Obama is going to give us all Unicorns!)
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