Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: New Hampshire

First debate overview: A bunch of GOP colleagues get together to criticize President Obama

GOP New Hampshire Debate CNN Santorum, Bachmann, Gingrich, Romney, Paul, Pawlenty, Cain 6-13-11

President Obama was the big loser in Monday night's New Hampshire Republican debate, the first with the frontrunner.

Obama, of course, wasn't there. The Democrat and his wife were on opposite sides of the country doing -- guess what? -- a packet of political fundraisers. She was in Los Angeles rounding up Hollywood cash and he was in Miami for a trio of moola events, en route to another fundraiser in Puerto Rico today.

In New Hampshire the existing field of seven Republicans had different missions going into the 120-minute rhetorical tussle. There was a bothersome hectic air about the show. Being TV, host John King was constantly stressing time, time, time, as if there weren't 14 months until the convention and 512 days until the 2012 election. And who cares if Anderson Cooper's show starts late?

So the candidates had a whole 60 seconds to explain various stands plus 30-second responses. Any depth was accidental. (The full two-hour transcript is available here. Good luck with that.)

For Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, it was....

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Mitt Romney surges as GOP debate season opens

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Detroit June 9, 2011

Mitt Romney has broken from the pack of Republican presidential candidates, who've been languishing with GOP support in the teens or worse for months.

The summer's Republican debate season opens in New Hampshire tonight (on CNN) with more major candidates in attendance; look for them to aim a lot at Romney. A new Gallup Poll out this morning finds that about one-in-four Republicans now support the former businessman and governor for their party's 2012 nomination.

The new survey reports that Romney's party support has surged from 17% in late May to 24% now.

Of Romney's possible party competitors, only one (Sarah Palin) records support in double digits; her numbers edged up from 15% to 16% during the same period, perhaps due to her highly-publicized bus tour and despite groSarah Pal;in on her One Nation Bus tour 6-1-11wing belief that the unorthodox former Alaska governor will not be an actual candidate this time.

Romney's 8 point lead over Palin is the largest lead Gallup has found since it began surveying the 2012 GOP field last fall.

With Palin excluded from the poll, Romney's lead over the GOP field more than doubles to 17 points, 27% to second place Herman Cain's 10%.

Even with Palin polled, other Republican wannabes trail her and Romney badly with Cain's support increasing from 8% to 9% to pull ahead of perennial candidate Rep. Ron Paul.

The Texan's support faded from 10% all the way down to 7% since May, which will both puzzle and infuriate his fervent supporters, who loyally believe the 76-year-old, 11-term congressman has a realistic chance of winning the GOP nod.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum both scored 6% in this poll, the same percentage that Pawlenty had in May but Santorum's support jumped from 2%.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has also yet to announce but will participate in tonight's debate, came in with 5%, the same as in May. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich's support dropped from 9% to 5% following the recent resignation of most of his senior staff in a strategic disagreement.

Trailing them were former Gov. Gary Johnson (the same 2% as in May), former Gov. Jon Huntsman (1%, down from 2%) and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose name was volunteered by 1%.


Sarah Palin was right about Paul Revere

Elisabeth Hasselback blames Sarah Palin for lack of Romney coverage

Romney says Sarah Palin is one of best things to happen for his campaign

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Rebecca Cook / Reuters (Romney in Detroit, June 9); Gary Hershorn / Reuters (Palin on her One Nation bus tour).

Sunday shows: Pawlenty, Ayotte, Hoyer, Ryan, Shelby

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Jon Corzine, Robert Reich and Jonathan Karl, with George Will, Peggy Noonan, Jake Tapper and Donna Brazile; also with Torie Clarke, Cecilia Attias and Claire Shipman on empowering women.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Austan Goolsbee, departing Obama economic advisor.

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.S.).

CNN's Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Ann Coulter, Andrew Roberts, Chrystia Freeland, Henry Kissinger, David Ignatius and Eliot Spitzer.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.), former Gov. John H. Sununu and former Sen. John E. Sununu with Philip Rucker and Neil King.

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), with Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus debates Democratic National Colmmittee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here now to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share this item with friends.

Photo: Cheryl Senter / Associated Press (Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New  Hampshire).

Sarah Palin is the best thing to happen to Mitt Romney, he says


Sarah Palin may not be an official candidate for president, but she's definitely on Mitt Romney's radar. On Monday's Piers Morgan talk show on CNN, the former Massachusetts governor says the former Alaska governor is a plus to his campaign, despite the fact that her "One Nation" bus tour may have stolen some of his spotlight last week.

On the same day that Romney officially threw his hat into the racefor the GOP nomination for president in New Hampshire, Palin and her traveling road show pulled up just minutes away from him, distracting, at best, reporters who wanted to see what the hockey mom would say next.

Romney told Morgan that he didn't see it as a distraction. Her appearance in New Hampshire "really didn’t ruin my day," Romney said. "In a lot of respects it’s the best thing that could happen to me," he added.

"I think Sarah Palin is generating enthusiasm and interest in a campaign this year. That’s a good thing,” Romney explained. "She has a lot of energy and passion and bringing it to our race is positive for us."

Palin told Chris Wallace of Fox News on Sunday that she didn't mean to steal Romney's thunder.

"I think there’s a curiosity factor there still that’s in play. I don’t know. But I apologize if I stepped on any of that PR that Mitt Romney needed or wanted that day. I do sincerely apologize. I didn't mean to step on anybody's toes," she said.

A Rasmussen survey released Monday revealed that Romeny was viewed by likely voters as the most-qualified GOP presidential hopeful, while Palin came in as the least-qualified. Of those polled, 63% of said Palin was unqualified.

Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul tied for second behind Romney in regards to being qualified. Romney was viewed as qualified by 49% of those polled, Pawlenty and Paul were seen as qualified by 27% of respondents.


Sarah Palin claims Paul Revere warned the British

Piper Palin shares her mom's hot and cold attitude toward the media

Mitt Romney leads in Iowa poll, Sarah Palin a close second, Ron Paul dips to 7th

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington on June 3. GOP White House hopefuls courted Christian conservatives at the conference. 

Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Sunday shows: Palin, Paul, Barbour, Goolsbee, Cain

Sarah Palin

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Austan Goolsbee, Martin Regalia, Chrystia Freeland, with  Herman Cain, Mark McKinnon, Dee Dee Myers, Jonathan Karl and Marwan Muasher.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

CNN's Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Nathan Myrhvold, Jeffrey Sachs, Kenneth Rogoff and Essam El-Erian of the Muslim Brotherhood.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Paul, Alice Rivlin, Goolsbee, Anita Dunn and Ed Gillespie.

Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), with Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Kimberley Strassel and John Podesta.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Preempted this week by NBC Sports coverage of the French Open.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here now to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share this item with friends.

Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters (Palin).

Breaking Urgent Flash Really Rush: Mitt Romney is running for president, again, still

Republican Mitt Romney Announce his presidential candidacy in Stratham NH 6-2-11

Mitt Romney announced today what most sentient Americans have known since August of 2008, the former Massachusetts governor is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

This became quickly obvious long ago when John McCain's Hail Sarah pass was ruined by McCain's own backbiting staff and then completely blown up by the Wall Street meltdown, not to mention eight years of accumulating anger over George W. Bush policies and his lazy decision to keep Dick Cheney as political partner, instead of grooming a young heir apparent for four years.

So, with no Hillary Clinton pantsuits to mock, the country was doomed by its own self-proclaimed progressive news media to focus on the credentials of the female GOP candidate -- the important stuff, you know, her frameless glasses, alleged wardrobe desires, whether her hair was up or down on any given day, and, of course, red shoes or not. What deleterious impacts her political ambitions had on her poor, oddly-named children. And the possible divorce there rumored by no one trustworthy.

Instead of superficial campaign stuff like the Real Good Talker's blank resume, absence of reform credentials, bald ambition and Chicago machine heritage.

According to Republican tradition, next year's nomination should go to....

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Sarah Palin and her 'One Nation' bus tour, coming to a town near voters soon

Sarah palin at an alaska radio station

Sarah Palin, who admitted recently that she had the fire in the belly to run for president, now has a bus tour to go with it.

The Republican former governor, who wandered all over Alaska in a motorhome last year for her Discovery Channel reality series, will do the same starting Sunday at a biker rally in Washington.

According to Scott Conroy at, an essential daily read for politics fans, the tour will, of course, involve members of the Palin family and first focus on the Northeast. That's a seemingly unlikely place for RepSarah palin one nation Busublican political kickoffs, unless you can say 'the first primary state of New Hampshire is a whole lot nicer in June than January.'

The trips could last for weeks and are guaranteed to attract many media trailing along in the bus exhaust fumes. Like the NASCAR race she attended last year, Sunday's annual ...

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How Jon Huntsman is introducing himself to New Hampshire voters -- and you

Simple commencement addresses can be tricky for politicians to give well and for their aides to write.

The point of the graduation ceremony, of course, has nothing to do with the politician. Likely no one in attendance will remember a single word uttered during the ceremonies.

The politician is there to lend import to the school (at the cost of a mere honorary degree and hopefully not at great length) and to the families also celebrating the end of tuition bills from that institution.

So, the politician must shine the light on graduates and their ecstatic families, while casually revealing something positive about himself, without appearing to hog the happy moment's spotlight.

To be honest, however, that happy spotlight is the only reason the politician is there, especially in places like, say, New Hampshire as the Republican primary season gets rolling.

Former ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was at....

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Ron Paul: Why his silly campaign launch today really matters for 2012

Texas Republican Representative Ron Paul opens his Iowa campaign office 5-10-11

Ron Paul.

Today is the big day. Well, a big day anyway.

Ron Paul, the 12-term Republican representative from Texas, appeared on one of those morning news shows that mixes the weather, singers, weather, authors, weather, actors, weather, the scary kidnapped child story and the occasional animal tale.

Paul conversed with that little guy with the precisely-tousled hair who used to work for Bill Clinton. And 48 hours after Paul opened his Iowa caucus campaign headquarters -- News Bulletin -- he "revealed" to "Good Morning America" his candidacy for president of the United States.

Here's why Paul and ABC did this together: It seems like news. Real news is hard to come by on Fridays. Especially "exclusive" access. Less competition for a bigger headline. It also saved Paul ballroom rent money and got....

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Donald Trump still wants Iraq's oil, calls Fox analyst a 'sad fool' for disagreeing


Donald Trump believes in the old adage "to the victor belong the spoils" so much that he is willing to disparage syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer while standing his ground.

The real estate mogul has established on several occasions that if he were president and the United States was involved in foreign wars with oil-rich countries, he would "take" their oil after the conflict ended.

Fox News analyst Krauthammer told Fox host Bill O'Reilly that he considers conversations like that "nutty" and "unserious."

"Look Bill, that kind of talk is the stuff you expect at a guy at a bar at closing time with slurred speech," Krauthammer said on "The O'Reilly Factor."

"Charles doesn't like the idea of us taking the oil," Trump told "Factor" producer Jesse Watters on Wednesday in New Hampshire. "We won a war. We're in a war. We spent $1.5 trillion on this war. We lost thousands of soldiers, great military people, and thousands and tens of thousands are wounded. And I say take the oil. Because what's going to happen is Iran is going to take the oil the day we leave."

Trump continued, "Iran's not taking the oil, not if I'm president. And Charles said 'that's impractical'. So honestly, Charles is a fool. He's a fool. I mean, I want to be respectful. He was very nice on the phone. But he's really a fool."

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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