Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Final GOP debate predictions

Predictions for tonight's CNN Republican debate:

There will be the four remaining candidates. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. John & Mike will be kind and cordial with each other, gently pointing out one or two differences they might have; otherwise it will be like Mike is campaigning for John's VP spot, and John's leading Mike on that he has a shot of getting it.

Ron Paul will be largely ignored, but any unconventional position he takes will be met with one-liners from the other guys, most likely rehearsed.

John & Mike will team up on Mitt, taking shots at his wealth, his flip-flop on positions, and his negative attack ads.

Mitt will say "Washington is broken" at least five times.

John will perpetuate his dishonest assertion that Mitt was for timetables. (Man, that makes me sad he's doing that.) Mitt will dig at John for being for amnesty.

Advice for John: Resist the urge to get in pot-shots at Mitt. As the front-runner now, you need to act above the fray, like you've already sewn up the nomination. Be magnanimous. Focus on how your presidency would be different than Hillary's. Be ready with specific economic plans/ideas. You should also add some positive messages to your answers. Lately you've been focussing on "there will be more wars" and "those jobs aren't coming back."

Advice for Mitt: Ignore Mike. He's going to be on you all night. Focus on the positive and try to inspire. Namedrop. Spend more time on your differences with Hillary than John. Exit polls show your base consists of conservatives and people worried about the economy so give them something to cheer for.

Advice for Mike: Drop out. John's not going to pick you as Vice-President. Okay, you want to stay until Super Tuesday because it looks like you can still take a couple states like Georgia and Missouri. Do something that shows you're running for President, not Vice-President. Just singing John's praises while focussing all your vitriol on Mitt will not cut it.

Advice for Ron: You've been fun, but it ain't gonna happen. Drop out after Super Tuesday when you don't win a single state, then endorse a candidate so your passionate 5% following have somewhere to compromise go.

Now in a few hours, we can see what will actually happen.

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