June 9, 2015

Bush Shakes Up Campaign Staff

imgresAfter a 6-month exploratory phase has left Jeb Bush flush with cash but sinking in early state polls, the former Florida governor has reshuffled his political team just one week ahead of his official campaign launch.

Dave Kochel, the top Iowa operative successfully wooed away from Mitt Romney’s camp, moved to Miami to serve as campaign manager.  Instead, Danny Diaz, a hard-charging consultant, will take the job, hoping to refocus the flagging Bush effort to establish himself ahead of his rivals. Kochel was informed of the change just one week ago.

The campaign reshuffling comes amid reports that Bush, who long suggested he’d run a “joyful” campaign, is preparing a bare-knuckle negative campaign to tear down his chief rivals. Sally Bradshaw, Bush’s longtime adviser and former Chief-of-Staff, cited the gains of Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio as particularly worrisome.

For their part, the Bush team has denied any internal strife, claiming Diaz and Kochel are both well suited to their respective roles. The campaign also claimed they’ve raised more than $100 million in the first 6 months, a figure they’ve shied away from but are now embracing amid reports of donor angst and staff struggles.

Still, Bush is facing a tougher race than he ever expected, and this last minute change signals both an awareness of the difficulty he faces and a struggle to find a path forward against a group of younger, more exciting opponents than confronted by establishment frontrunners of the past.

May 1, 2013

RUMOR: Ted Cruz Considering Presidential Run

Robert Costa has the scoop:

Freshman senator Ted Cruz is considering a presidential run, according to his friends and confidants.

Cruz won’t talk about it publicly, and even privately he’s cagey about revealing too much of his thought process or intentions. But his interest is undeniable.

“If you don’t think this is real, then you’re not paying attention,” says a Republican insider. “Cruz already has grassroots on his side, and in this climate, that’s all he may need.”

“There’s not a lot of hesitation there,” adds a Cruz donor who has known the Texan for decades. “He’s fearless.”

Read the full story here.

  9:20 am
2016, Rumor Mill, Ted Cruz  

December 4, 2012

Fox News and General Petraeus

There is a rather interesting article in today’s Washington Post by none other than Bob Woodward that details a conversation between General David Petraeus and Fox News contributor Kathleen T. (Troia) McFarland back in 2011.  Woodward’s piece also contains a digital audio record of the conversation in which Ms. McFarlan tells Petraeus that the Fox News head, Roger Ailes and uber-boss Rupert Murdoch, wanted him to run for president in 2012 and that they would bank roll and run the campaign.  The Woodward revelation is offered here without assessment or comment [other than to say that I had some interaction with Ms. (Troia) McFarland during the Reagan Administration].   Race readers can draw their own conclusions concerning its significance, especially the concept of news organizations attempting to recruit presidential candidates.

October 23, 2012

Trump’s October Surprise Revealed?

According to New York Magazine, The Donald’s “October Surprise” is divorce papers which were drawn up for the Obama’s but never filed:

For a while today, it seemed like Donald Trump’s “big … very big … very big” bombshell revelation about President Obama, which he has promised to unveil on Twitter tomorrow, might be an anonymous rumor that Obama sold cocaine in college, but Trump’s right-hand man, Michael Cohen, has denied it. Trump’s scoop is “substantially more important to the American people,” Cohen told Daily Caller. Or … is it?

Douglas Kass, a Florida-based investor who appears on CNBC’s talkshow ‘Squawkbox’ where Trump is often a commentator, tweeted to his 48,000 followers: ‘High above the Alps my Gnome has heard that Donald Trump will announce that he has unearthed divorce papers between the Prez and his wife.’

There is no mention as to why the Obama’s would have supposedly considered divorce.

Take this with about a truck load of salt, OK…

  6:46 pm
Rumor Mill  

September 28, 2012

Counting Chickens

A lot of Republicans have become alarmed in recent days, and a lot of Democrats elated, by media and poll reports showing Barack Obama with a growing lead in the presidential race. These reports, and their conclusions are based almost entirely on poll results, most of which are plainly (and transparently) overweighted with Democratic voters (weighting based on 2008 turnout). There is no indication whatsoever, even by the most optimistic partisan analysts that the turnout in 2012 will resemble 2008. If anything, it is much more likely to resemble 2010 when the voter intensity was on the Republican side.

There is a double edge to the consequences of these faulty polls. The intended consequence is to demoralize Republicans and conservatives, and to stampede undecided and independent voters to the liberal side. The unintended consequence, however, might well be to make Democratic voters overconfident and to diminish their energy in the remaining days of the campaign.

As I have pointed out many times. pollsters can “play around” with the numbers, either out of bias or ignorance, rather freely when the election is many months or weeks away. Sheer self-interest and survival instincts reduce this tendency, however, as the election itself approaches. No pollster wants to be humiliated by being on the record with a ridiculous poll just before the election.

I am speaking here of media polls, that is, polls that are conducted primarily to be very public news events. There is another kind of polling going on simultaneously by campaigns themselves, usually referred to as “internals,” which are rarely reported, but which serve as guides for candidates and their campaigns about how they are doing. These are much more expensive polls, and are weighted very realistically. No campaign is going to pay a lot of money for an internal poll that gives them a false picture.

There are many more media polls, particularly state and national ones, in 2012 than in previous cycles. The all-important sample number varies widely. The weighting (which is simply adjusting the raw results) of a poll sample by party varies even more erratically. Many pollsters and their polls are paid for a by a political party. It is clear that reporting poll numbers has become part of the “warfare’ of a political campaign. In my opinion, few polls should be taken very seriously because few polls are successfully trying to avoid the bias that comes from bad weighting, inappropriate technological inquiry procedures (such as using only land-line telephones and not cell phones), or from the statistical consequences of repeated sampling to get a response.

One of the few national polls which seems to be trying most fastidiously to reach an accurate result is Rasmussen. Their methodology seems to be the most energetic to avoid a distorted result. While Gallup and other national polls are showing a 4-6 point margin for Obama currently, Rasmussen is showing it be either an exact tie, or depending on the day, a one-point margin for either Romney or Obama. These are simultaneous polls, so someone has it wrong.

Whether or not Mr Romney has fully “sold” his point of view to voters can be debated, as can the impact of his “47%” video remarks, but there has not yet been any real evidence presented that his campaign is “falling behind.” It might be true, on election day, that he will fall short, and that Mr. Obama would be re-elected. Similarly, there is no real evidence yet that the president’s campaign is certain to fail. The presidential debates are ahead, and I suspect that they will be more significant than usual in this campaign cycle. Voters already know Mr Obama, but many do not know Mr. Romney, especially standing next to and confronting his opponent,

Finally, the current poll distortion, if it is that, offers a greater danger to the Democrats than to the Republicans. With less than six weeks to go, a mood of overconfidence, provoked by currently reported poll numbers, could easily be transformed into utter panic for Democrats, if, as election day approaches, the polls are reversed favoring the Republicans. As any experienced political observer will tell you, momentum is a huge force just before and on election day.

Every pollster, good or bad, will say that a poll is only “a snapshot in time.” But there are snapshots, and there are snapshots! That is why good cameras cost more than cheap ones.

No one should think this campaign is over, nor that it is in a final trend, nor that the information they are receiving via polls is accurate. Much more lies ahead, including most importantly, what we will see when the two presidential candidates are in front of us together.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

August 29, 2012

Report: Clint Eastwood Traveling to Tampa

Mystery speaker revealed? Via Townhall and Hot Air:

A well-placed Republican source tells Townhall that Oscar-winning director and actor Clint Eastwood will travel to Tampa, Florida to attend Mitt Romney’s nominating convention this week.

As the news media scrambles to identify the so-called “mystery speaker” scheduled to address GOP delegates on Thursday evening, some have speculated that the iconic Hollywood figure could fit the bill. Our source — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — could not confirm if Eastwood is, in fact, the intriguing “to-be-announced” speaker, but stated unequivocally that the Dirty Harry star will arrive in Florida late on Wednesday or early on Thursday, and will return to southern California on Friday.

  10:10 am
Conventions, Rumor Mill  

July 18, 2012

VP RUMOR MILL: Pawlenty’s Website Taken Down for Updating

Well, this is certainly interesting…

Visitors to www.timpawlenty.com this week only found a white screen with the message “Please come back later.” Maybe Pawlenty is relaunching his website? Or maybe the Romney camp has taken over and is rebranding it?

In this day and age, reading tea leaves has gone digital. It may be nothing – but then again, why else would Pawlenty completely take down his website and leave the tantalizing “Please come back later” up as a teaser?

Maybe the site goes live on Friday with the big “America’s Comeback Team” branding…?

  10:13 am
Rumor Mill, Tim Pawlenty, Veep Watch  

July 16, 2012

The Race 4 2012 Rumor Mill – “Back End” Edition

Just had a 3 minute convo with “The Eagle”….

July 23rd & 24th was seen to be cleared for a roll-out for VP, and for the most part they still are clear, and this was seen by The Eagle’s contacts on July 8th and was reported in The Rumor Mill on July 10th. Now The Eagle is telling me dates of July 19-20-21-22 have also been cleared….even in GOP DC land.

The Eagle told me if these cleared dates are not for a VP roll-out then Matt Rhodes should be replaced. The Eagle says the chatter is very heavy on a early roll-out because of all these cleared dates being so close to Mitt ‘s trip, and the Olympics, that if not used for a VP roll-out than the calendar is not being used to
anywhere near full capacity.

The Eagle says the dates in the campaign July 19-24 do have marks in them…but they are open in the sense that none of the VP candidates have anything scheduled on these dates,.and neither does Mitt,or Ann,or major Fundraisers,or,well,you get the point. There is nothing major that can not be changed or folded into a VP roll-out schedule on these dates.

I was thinking July 23rd and the 24th were too early, now it may be that these two dates are the back dates of the VP roll-out.
I thought “The Eagle” was jumping the gun on his July 23rd and/or 24th proclamation, but now it looks like “The Eagle” only saw part of the puzzle, or was told only part of the puzzle.

Could this be true? A VP roll-out this week? Only time will tell…


-Gregory J. Flugaur can be contacted at flugempire@yahoo.com.

  5:50 pm
Rumor Mill, Veep Watch  

July 11, 2012

The Race 4 2012 Rumor Mill – Mark These Dates on Your Calendar Edition

I had dinner with “The Eagle” the other night. We talked about life while we ate some chicken wings and finished off a couple bottles of Coronas. Our conversation was brief because of family duties. But the conversation centered around July 23rd & 24th:

The Eagle: Mark these two dates down on your calendar, July 23rd & 24th.

Greg: Repeat please?

The Eagle: Mark down July 23rd and 24th. Something is going down on one of those two days. It will not happen after the 25th, because, well, it can’t.

Greg: What in the heck is this about? What is going down on the 23rd or 24th of this month?

The Eagle: I got a guy who said those two dates are clear

Greg: I have no idea what that means. Is this something about the VP pick? Is there an announcement planned on the 23rd or 24th of this month?

The Eagle: There is no way I can say anything more, because if I could, I would have told you already. But there will be something going down, something big enough on one of those two days that you know, well, you’ll just know.

Greg: Well it can’t be the VP selection because that is too early. And it doesn’t make sense because they haven’t made their decision on the VP yet. And even if they had they would not know when the roll out would be, or how it would be.

The Eagle: I have not told you that this is about the VP thing, but I can only promise you it’s of importance, and you will be very interested on what goes down on one of those two dates.

Greg: Is there some scandal going to be broken on one of those two days? Are we talking Fast & Furious stuff, like a memo, or an email is going to be produced at a Congressional hearing, or something?

The Eagle: Maybe, but all I can say it’s a planned type of thing. The thing is planned, or is in the process of being planned. Those two dates pop out because they are clear.

That’s it, that’s all I got.

I have no other details on what this July 23rd or July 24th could be all about. For many of you, this Rumor Mill will come up short. I do acknowledge that sentiment and share the same feelings. However, I could not just let this information stop with me and not have it pass on to our readers here at race42012.

Feel free to speculate on what you think The Eagle could have possibly been alluding to when stating, “Mark down July 23rd and 24th. Something is going down on one of those two days”.

But stay tuned and stay close to Race42012. Especially on those two days…


-Gregory J. Flugaur can be contacted at flugempire@yahoo.com.

  2:00 am
Rumor Mill  

July 5, 2012

YAVA (Yet Another Veep Article)

Articles speculating on what is happening in the great Romney VP process are a dime a dozen these days. So what’s one more?

This one is from Real Clear Politics. It paints a fairly decent picture on Mitt’s decision process and tries to use that in figuring out the state of his search for a VP running mate.

Mitt Romney may be tight-lipped about his vice presidential short list, warning that only he and longtime aide Beth Myers know who is on it, but a close examination of the campaign’s activity suggests four contenders have risen through the ranks: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell may be considered wild cards, and Romney has said he’s thoroughly vetting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, though the first-term lawmaker’s status appears unchanged.

Final short lists tend to have three names: Barack Obama’s trio included Joe Biden, Tim Kaine and Evan Bayh. John McCain’s final three were Romney, Pawlenty and Joe Lieberman, though Sarah Palin ultimately leapfrogged them all.

In this case, though, the presumptive Republican nominee has a reputation for gathering copious amounts of data to make his decisions, and that’s why a pick out of leftfield, like McCain’s choice of Palin, is unlikely. Romney doesn’t rely on his gut; he deliberates. That was true when he was considering this presidential run and asked his team for game plans and each member of his family for their input.

And for years, insiders have praised his preparation, saying that he plays the role of a devil’s advocate. Those who work for him now after logging time on McCain’s 2008 campaign say he was the smartest, most prepared surrogate for the Arizona senator. Senior House Republican aides say that when he started working with them on several initiatives before the midterm elections, he challenged some of the material they offered to him for preparation. In other words, he was a tough sell who needed more than talking points and wanted to see data. In this way, he and Portman are like-minded, but it shows that each of his potential running mates will undergo a thorough testing on various fronts.

The article goes on to mention three traits that appear to be important to the Romney team:

  • Readiness for office. Is the candidate prepared to slip behind the big desk in the Oval Office?
  • Chemistry with Mitt and Ann Romney. Does the candidate work well with the ticket topper and his wife?
  • The ability to fly solo. Can the candidate do well without Mitt there holding his hand?

The article then judges all the potential running-mates using these three attributes. When you do that, Portman and Pawlenty appear to have the inside track. They both have executive experience. They both have appeared with Mitt and Ann, and both have soloed on Mitt’s behalf and done well.

Ryan fails the first test. He is a mere Congressman with little executive experience. His ability to take over if something happens to Mitt is definitely suspect.

Jindal fails the second. He has the executive experience to be sure, and he has soloed on Mitt’s behalf, but he has yet to do a joint Romney/Jindal event. If that doesn’t change in the next few weeks, then cross Bobby off the list.


  1:05 pm
Rumor Mill, Veep Watch  

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