Saturday, November 17, 2007

GOP Presidential Scenarios...

I was reading a Nov. 5th article by Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard that states that only two of the GOP Presidential candidates have credible scenario to win the nomination.

Those being Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney. In his article, Barnes lays out the scenarios as so...

Guiliani's scenario: It begins with where Guiliani has been placing his focus...which has been select early primary states. While Iowa (Jan. 3rd) has not been a Rudy focal point, he has been campaigning hard in New Hampshire (Jan. 8th) and currently leads in South Carolina (Jan. 19th).

Guiliani has been pushing hard in Florida (Jan. 29th), and is doing well in all of the big states that will have elections on Super Duper Tuesday (Feb. 5th). Basically, Guiliani is looking to at least stay competitive early on, then break out from Florida and blow out the field on Super Duper Tuesday.

Romney's scenario: Romney has put his eggs into the early primary basket, especially Iowa and New Hampshire, and leads in both states in most polls. Romney also has an advantage in Michigan (Jan. 15th), where his father was once governor...and as Barnes points out, the other GOP candidates have practically ignored the state. Romney's plan is simple, win early and ride the momentum (and his deep pockets) from there.

Barnes also points out that no candidate in either party has ever won both Iowa and New Hampshire and still lost the nomination since 1972, when Democrat Edmund Muskie did just that.

Other Candidate Scenarios: Barnes also sees that John McCain and Fred Thompson have possible "winning scenarios", but both involve some help via some kind of serious misstep by Romney and/or Guiliani. McCain has been gaining in New Hampshire and is solid in South Carolina, but is lacking funds to make any kind of national push from there. Thompson has a shot at winning in South Carolina, but is not doing well at all in Iowa or New Hampshire. He would need a South Carolina win and a sweep of all the southern states on Super Tuesday to have a shot at the nomination...and even then, he would need some good showings in other states.

Barnes also believes that if Ron Paul were to run as the Libertarian candidate for President, he would gain more votes than any Libertarian candidate in history...not enough to be President, but plenty of votes nonetheless.

Any way you slice it, we're coming up on some interesting months for the GOP.

Fabio Slams George Clooney, Podium Laughs Heartily

More from the world of entertainment...

Recently, George Clooney and Fabio had a bit of an incident at a restaurant. Apparently, Clooney was having dinner at the restaurant and Fabio was attending a charity dinner at the same restaurant. Photographers were randomly popping by to take pictures of Fabio and his guests at the dinner.

Meanwhile, Clooney got all riled up thinking that the photographers were taking pictures of him (wow, talk about self-absorbed). Clooney began shouting insults at Fabio's guests, go so far as to call one of the women a "fat cow", which prompted Fabio to confront Clooney. Fabio showed Clooney that the photos taken were not of him, but of Fabio and his guests. Clooney settled down for a moment, before starting with the insults again. Fabio then got up to confront Clooney again, and Clooney fled immediately.

Did I mention that Clooney was described as looking "drunk and belligerent"?

Fabio recounted the evening for OK! magazine, and said this about Clooney and his actions...

“You have to be a low-class, scumbag to start calling a woman a name. If you’re a man, you should never. You should be a gentleman. These women were with me and as a man I defend them. He was lucky he ran out of the restaurant. He’s not even half a man.”

WOW! Talk about laying the smackdown on George! I often have a laugh at Fabio's expense...but I think he would have honestly knocked Clooney's salt-and-peppered head clean off his shoulders.

The Podium has always conceded that George Clooney is a very good actor. However, the Podium has also always had questioned Clooney's personal character. Looks like we had good reason to do so.

Harris for Senate...?

Adam Sharp over at Whackjob poses an interesting scenario that points out the advantage of a Paul Harris run for John Warner's soon-to-be-open Senate seat, and how a well-run Harris campaign would give Dem darling Mark Warner fits.

I can't say I know much about Paul Harris, but it seems like I should at least go and find out more about him.

Legislative Hullabaloo Over ICE Costume Flap

Julie Myers, currently the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has climbed very far against difficult odds to get to where she is. She did not have incredible amounts of experience in the field of immigration enforcement, but she has done a magnificent job of reigning in the ICE and making it a more efficient entity.

She is currently up for nomination to be permanently appointed to the position. However, that nomination is looking a bit cloudy.

At the agency's Halloween party, she and two other officials gave a "most original costume" award to a white employee who came in wearing a prison outfit with dreadlocked hair and darkened skin. This was leaked to the public soon afterwards, and Myers issued an immediate apology.

Now, reading that description, one would get a sense of racial insensitivity by the employee and by the judges (including Myers). However, I begin to wonder what this costume looked like. I mean, was he trying to look black? Or, was he trying to look like someone who hadn't had a haircut or their hair combed in years...and had been running away and hiding out in the woods, where dirt would have darkened their skin.

Think about it for a second. None of us have seen what this costume looked like, so we can only go by the simple descriptions.

Now, we don't know what's going to happen with the nomination process of Myers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry "Weasel" Reid (D-Nv.)hasn't scheduled any hearings or votes on her nomination. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) was a Myers supporter, but now believes it would be better to go with "non-controversial" leadership. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.)both believe that Myers is sincere in her apology, and would still make an excellent director of ICE. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is pretty much using this as icing on the cake as to why Myers should not be nominated, although McCaskill was staunchly against her nomination in the first place.

Myers received praise and endorsement from the National Association of African-Americans in the Department of Homeland Security for her efforts and commitments to black employees of the DHS. Apparently, even black people who work for Myers find her to be a fine candidate and not of a racist bent.

This shouldn't really be made into such a larger issue, especially when the supposedly offended parties aren't offended...Myers' record as acting director of ICE should prove as

Friday, November 16, 2007

Imagine That...

Yesterday, I blogged about how Ron Paul may be this generation's Barry Goldwater.

Today, Paul gets endorsed by Barry Goldwater, Jr.

Am I good or what ;)

(h/t Below The Beltway)

Music Supporting The Troops

This is a nice change from the usual anti-military entertainment industry crap.

John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) has been put together a compilation album that will be a musical "Thanks" for our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The CD is entitled, simply "CD For The Troops".

The artists on this album are some pretty big names in their genres: Billy Joel, Brooks and Dunn, Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Josh Groban, Los Lonely Boys, Melissa Ethridge, the Neville Brothers, Sarah McLachlan, the Lt. Dan Band, Montgomery Gentry, The Fray, and of course Five for Fighting.

While I have to admit that there are some names on that list that aren't really my cup of tea in terms of music (I'm not a huge Josh Groban or Five for Fighting fan, same goes for the Neville Brothers), but I think I will at least make a few trips to iTunes this weekend and show a little extra support for the ones I do like and purchase a few more songs. It's my way of saying "thank you" to these artists who decided to say "thank you" to our brave men and women of the military.

Chichester: Dems Will Keep Taxing, Keep Things in the "Center"

Retiring RINO Senator John Chichester, who is most famous for leading the charge that supported Mark Warner's tax increase a few years ago and attempting to raise taxes again this year, stated that it will be the Democrats who will "keep things in the center and keep the bipartisan spirit".

Right, because increasing taxes and creating new reasons to spend money and then further increase taxes is really what Virginia wants.

Thank God Chichester is gone.

This "Kill The Payday Lenders" Stuff Has Gotta Go

Whatever happened to just running an honest business with intent to make a profit? Isn't that part of capitalism?

Well, it long as you're not a payday lender.

I don't understand why people want to ban payday lending, or cap their interest rates at a set percentage. Simply put, there isn't a very valid argument for this.

This op-ed at The New Dominion makes me laugh. To quote this person...

It’s incomprehensible to me how any company can be so unconscionable as to charge $15 in interest per pay period, even when one is paid weekly, on every $100 borrowed. Talk about usury!

So that means they're only making $15 gross for every $100 lent if a customer pays them back on time. Considering you have employees to pay, office space to rent, and utility bills...that's not really a lot of money per customer. To put it in perspective, if I'm a payday lender, and I lend out $25,000.00 in payday loans, and all of my customers pay me back on time, I make a gross profit of $3,750.00. Let's remember that lending money to people is a risky business, as you don't know that they're going to pay you back.

Plus, IT'S ONLY $15!!! Geez, that's 1 less case of beer, or 3 less of those $5 scratch-off tickets, or 2-3 less extra value meals at McDonalds!

Where the added profit comes in is regarding the people who are irresponsible enough not to make a payment.

Now, if you have a legitimate reason/hardship as to why you cannot repay your debt, that's perfectly understandable, and there should be a system in place to work that out. However, many times, people run to payday lenders because it's quick and easy cash, and don't plan on budgeting for repayment.

But then again, is the inability of the customer to budget their money for repayment of a debt the fault of the lender?

Unlike many people who pass judgment on payday lending, I've actually USED payday lending on more than one occasion. Life throws you curveballs, and sometimes you don't have the funds available at that moment. I always knew that, when I got the loan, I would have to pay it back...and I budgeted accordingly. Sometimes, that may lead to taking out a smaller loan when you repay the first one, and you "stair-step" yourself back into a normal budget. It worked for me, and I can assure that I am not financially affluent by any means.

Stephen Winslow, whom I agree with on many issues, used to run a payday lending store. Now, he rails against the industry as some kind of source of monetary evil. He likes to use the fact that he had seen a couple of his customers go through bankruptcy, and one couple get divorced, and he blames payday lending for it.

Personally, I believe that if you're declaring bankruptcy or getting a divorce, an unpaid payday loan is not the real source of your problems. Your financial or marital life was probably struggling before you took out the loan.

Congrats Zen!

Daily Whackjob's resident beatnik hippie liberal (who is probably more moderate than that description implies) is about to become a father. Click here to to leave your best wishes on the impending birth of his child!

Congratulations zen!

Obenshain Now Challenging Virginia GOP Leadership

Sen. Mark Obenshain has joined Del. Bob Marshall and Sen. Ken Cuccinelli in challenging current GOP leadership.

SWAC Girl has Obenshain's letter to current Senate Party Leader Walter Stosch here.

I'd like to see Obenshain step into a leadership position within the party. He's a pretty reasonable man and a solid conservative who is very popular in the Valley and is considered to be a possible candidate for Attorney General in 2009. I've been impressed with Sen. Obenshain since watching his debate with Rodney Eagle during the 2003 campaign on TV 3.

Now, the question remains, if Stosch steps aside as party leader...will it be Cuccinelli or Obenshain? Or will it be anyone else?

Gilmore, Pace, Cantor, Saxman, oh my!

The RPV is encountering problems dealing with the "Mark Warner factor". Namely, they can't agree on a candidate. The history of this is as follows...

- Tom Davis was originally thought to be the de facto challenger for John Warner's open Senate seat. He decided against it (probably gearing up for a run against Jim Webb in 2012). Smart move given the fact that Davis faces a pretty stiff challenge in either Leslie Byrne or Gerry Connolly for his current Congressional seat.

- Jim Gilmore has pretty much decided to run.

- Amongst mil-bloggers and a few others...Peter Pace has been floated as a potential candidate, and there is a "draft Pace" movement going on, but Pace hasn't really made any statements either way.

- As I blogged recently, Eric Cantor is being petitioned to be drafted or to run outright against the Blue Warner. I believe Cantor once dismissed the idea, but didn't completely shut the door on the idea, as well.

- Now, I'm hearing that Delegate Chris Saxman is a rumored potential candidate.

Who else will join the fray?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

MSM At It Again

The whole CNN/John Cena/WWE controversy has drawn the ire of a lot of wrestling fans, including myself. I didn't bring it to this blog because it was wrestling-related, and this is a political blog.

However, Q and O has posted the clip that CNN broadcasted of their interview of John Cena, which appears to show Cena admitting to steroid use. Then, they shows the video of the entire conversation, which takes on the OPPOSITE meaning when played in full context. This has actually proven to be quite a scandal for CNN, as it exposes obvious lies in journalism.

Of course, this harkens back to when 20/20 made Mick Foley look like a callous buffoon by clipping his comments to make it look like he endorsed violent, dangerous backyard wrestling. Foley's recount of the story in his book Foley Is Good really exposes how they make these kinds of clips.

Of course, the liberal media has always had a problem with professional wrestling being portrayed in anything but a negative light.

Hillary Campaign Tries to Bully Wolf Blitzer, Wolf Stands Firm

Hillary Clinton is looking to get back on track at tonight's CNN Democratic Party debate after a shaky outing the last time the Dems debated.

As an article at DC Examiner seems to show, the Clinton camp is a bit worried, and are making some hidden threats towards Wolf Blitzer, who is moderating tonight's debate. For example, the article states...

“This campaign is about issues, not on who we can bring down and destroy,” a senior Clinton aide told cyberjournalist Matt Drudge. “Blitzer should not go down to the levels of character attack and pull ‘a Russert.’ ”

Although I'm not the biggest Tim Russert fan, I didn't feel his questions were not really character attack, but a pressing line of questioning that we are only starting to see in these debates. Blitzer responded with his own statements...

Blitzer, who said he had not been directly contacted by the Clinton campaign, called the New York Democrat “a sophisticated, strong politician.” But he also issued his own veiled warning.

“If she can’t handle the heat during a Democratic contest, wait until the Republicans really start going after her,” he told TV Newser. “If she’s the nominee.”

Absolutely correct, Mr. Blitzer. He goes on to make even more sense...

“I think Russert was doing his job,” he said. “He was trying to follow up and be Tim Russert. He asks tough questions. That’s what people want. I admire him.”

Finally, Blitzer took issue with Bill Clinton’s complaint that six “boys” — a reference to the other Democratic presidential candidates —ganged up on one “girl,” his wife.

“Hillary Clinton is the front-runner,” Blitzer said. “No matter if it’s a boy or girl, there’s a tendency to gang up on that person. It’s a natural phenomenon.”

Another on-point statement. She's the front-runner, so she's the one wearing the biggest target on her back.

(h/t Drudge Report)

Is Ron Paul Pulling a Barry Goldwater?

Is the GOP getting "Goldwatered" all over again?

Allow me to explain.

In 1964, our nation was in a different place. We were still in the midst of a Cold War. However, we were also in a period of an expanding government supported by Republicans and Democrats both. We were coming off of a boom period of the 50's, and were still riding a good wave of growth. Also, in 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson rode a wave of popularity, big promises, and the emotion people felt by the assasination of John F. Kennedy.

Opposing Johnson in the 1964 Presidential election was Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was considered to be extreme, crazy, and "too far-right" for the nation. Goldwater was a proponent of smaller government, fiscal conservatism, and strong national defense. While most of the nation either laughed or scratched their heads at Goldwater's proposed policies and stances on issues, Goldwater had a rabid base of support that believed in what he was standing for.

Goldwater lost in the largest electoral landslide in history.

However, after Johnson's mediocre "Great Society" and escalation of Vietnam, to Nixon's Watergate issues, to the sluggishness of Gerald Ford's presidency, and the malaise and listlessness of Jimmy Carter's tenure...Goldwater's policies and stances became front-and-center in the form of a man who believed in them and improved upon them.....Ronald Reagan.

Is Ron Paul doing the same thing within the Republican Party? Is he planting the seeds for an ideological shift that will lead to an event similar to the Reagan Revolution?

Think about it. Paul has a rabid base of support, a growing amount of interest in his ideals, and a somewhat-radical change of direction and policy. Is Paul planting the seeds for a more-libertarian GOP that will become a popular mainstream philosophy? Will it take another term or two of big-government politics for people to accept a change in direction and philosophy like what Paul is promoting.

The other question is...if not Paul himself, who would play Reagan to Paul's Goldwater?

This whole scenario is interesting, if nothing else, and could foreshadow a shift in American political thought and direction.

The Abstinence Uproar

(cross-posted at Daily Whackjob)

Governor Tim Kaine cut federal funding that was provided to schools that promoted abstinence-only sexual education. Conservatives (of the social variety) have been spewing various amounts of outrage. Many state this is promoting immoral behavior, encouraging promiscuity, and so forth.

However, let's be realistic here. Teenagers have been trying to find ways and reasons to have sex since the beginning of recorded history.

Should we have sex-ed programs that stress and promote abstinence? Of course! Anyone who says "we should encourage teens to have sex as early and as often as possible" would be nuts! That's something that the vast majority of us would agree with. However, we have to be smart about this and realize that abstinence-only hasn't exactly proven to be a big hit or a successful deterrent to teens doing...well, "it".

Parents should have the ability to opt their children out of sex-ed classes, and most people also agree with that.

I also believe we teach sex-ed at too young of an age. I remember being in the 3rd grade, all of 9 years old, doing diagrams of the different parts of a penis and a vagina. Even though I do believe that kids these days "grow up faster" and learn more at an earlier age than previous generations...there is no need to augment the rapid decrease in time that a child has to simply be a child. I'd say that 5th grade (normally 10-11 years old) is a good time to start with sex-ed, but go with the basics (anatomical differences, etc...)

Anything earlier than that is the responsibility of the parents to decide if their kids are mature enough to handle the subject matter at hand.

Let's be fair about this, as well...promote abstinence from the start. However, starting in late middle-school and high school, lay it out there that if you choose not to abstain from pre-marital sex, one should use protection. Teach the mechanics, talk about the risks of unsafe sex, especially with multiple partners. Talk about STD's, et cetera...pretty much common-sense stuff.

On the issue of homosexuality, I believe that children should be taught what it is and that it exists...but no moral "Yes, it's OK" or "No, it's wrong" stamp should be placed on it. There's too much gray area in terms of how people feel about homosexual relationships that to have the public schools approve or disapprove of it, that would be wrong and exclusive.

The point of my idea is that you wait until the kids are mature enough to handle the subject matter before the schools get involved. Also, I believe that this idea of mine allows for a fairly universal form of objective morality (promote abstinence or at least "waiting" until you're older, teaching safe sex habits...the things we all generally agree on). At the same time, it reduces the effect the curriculum has on the more subjective aspects of people's morals. (whether or not being gay/lesbian is OK, whether or not abstinence is the only way, etc...)

Obviously, I'm not an expert on this subject. I'm just simply attempting to apply common sense to an issue that people take so many different sides on.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Draft ACBG!!!

That seems to be what's going around the conservative blogosphere this week. Draft ACBG!, or "Any Candidate But Gilmore!"

That is understandable. Despite Jim Gilmore's resume as a former Governor of Virginia and presidential candidate, his name leaves a sour, "car tax flavor" taste in the mouths of many.

A while ago, not long after Gilmore announced his intentions to run for Senate, there seemed to be a burgeoning "Draft Peter Pace" movement, which I thought would've been interesting if Pace had decided to run. If Pace had run, he would have been able to sit back on his long military career and wouldn't have the political baggage of Gilmore's Car Tax Pledge or Mark Warner's tax hike.

If elected, Pace would've been an interesting person to have sitting in the U.S. Senate...considering Harry Reid, Pace's biggest critic, would be the Majority Leader (barring a huge momentum swing in next year's elections). It would make for some interesting dramatics.

Now, sparked by an open letter by the Mason Conservative, there is currently a Draft Eric Cantor movement. Cantor is one of the more prominent Republicans in the House of Representatives, and is seen by many right-wingers as part of the party's future.

Bearing Drift has a petition up to draft Cantor. Renaissance Ruminations, Scott's Morning Brew, and other blogs have shown support for a Cantor run. It will be interesting if the support for Cantor, or any other "draft them" candidate, will lead to an announced candidacy.

Meanwhile, I'm here at The Podium taking notes...I need a candidate to endorse next year. If anyone wants to make a case for any candidate or potential candidate, do so in the comments below.

Having Fun With the Blog Readability Test...How Does Your Blog Rate?

While my blog came up as "genius" level reading, let's see how some of Virginia's other blogs stack up, just for fun. Mind you, this is a fun little "test" that measures the amount of intelligence to understand what is being posted in the blog. And yes, I have too much time on my hands right now, lol.

In Virginia...

Daily Whackjob - Junior High School
Virginia Virtucon - High School Level
Raising Kaine - Junior High School
Republitarian - Elementary School
Not Larry Sabato - Elementary School
Cobalt 6 - Elementary School
Black Velvet Bruce Li - Genius Level
Barticles - High School Level
Bearing Drift - Junior High School
Mason Conservative - Junior High School
West Of Shockoe - Elementary School
Democratic Central - Junior High School
SWAC Girl - Junior High School
Spank That Donkey - Junior High School
Anonymous Is A Woman - College Undergrad Level
Leslie Carbone - Genius Level
Va Federalist - Junior High School
Below The Beltway - College Undergrad Level
Sic Semper Tyrannis - High School Level
Ox Road South - Elementary School
Richmond Democrat - Junior High School
Waldo Jaquith - High School Level
Vivian J. Paige - High School Level
hburg news - High School Level
The New Dominion - High School Level

National Blogs of Note...

Huffington Post - Junior High School
Michelle Malkin - High School Level
Little Green Footballs - College Undergrad Level
DailyKos - High School Level
MyDD - College Undergrad Level
Red State - Junior High School

The National blogs kinda cancelled each other out, but interesting stuff on the Virginia side...

Take the test here.

Sedition in Olympia, Washington

It's one thing to protest the war, it's another thing to stop military shipments from reaching our troops in Iraq so they can be well-equipped to defend themselves and survive in harsh conditions! So much for these anti-war protestors claiming to be "for the troops", they won't even allow the troops to get the equipment they need!!! Blocking convoys, pouring cement over railroad tracks, doing everything they can from stopping these shipments from heading to our troops...and the police are doing NOTHING!

This is beyond protesting, this could be very easily considered to be treason...and the cops are letting these people go without charges!?!?

THESE PROTESTORS ARE PUTTING AMERICAN LIVES EVEN MORE AT RISK! Yet, the liberal media and blogosphere PRAISE these people as being heroes and patriots???

I have my issues with the what's going on in Iraq, but for the love of God...the troops in Iraq have done nothing to have these sniveling little opportunists cut off their supply line!

Michelle Malkin reports on this treasonous activity.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


"I am so smart, S-M-R-T...I mean, S-M-A-R-T"

cash advance

Democrat In Trouble Over "Buckwheat" Comment...Blames Eddie Murphy

I kid you not.

The whole controversy stems over a comment by Louisiana State Representative Carla Dartez. Rep. Dartez was speaking to Hazel Boykin and thanking her for her "get out the vote" efforts. Boykin is the mother of Jerome Boykin, President of the NAACP in Morgan City, LA.

Dartez wrapped up the conversation with the phrase "Talk to you later, Buckwheat."

Now, both Boykins are working hard to ensure Dartez isn't elected as she faces Joe Harrison in a runoff, since Dartez only won with a plurality of the vote a week ago.

Dartez's reason for using this line: She bought an Eddie Murphy tape a few days ago, and Eddie used the name Buckwheat.

Basically, she simply said that since Eddie Murphy said it, so it's O-Tay! Err, OK!

You know, I guarantee that you won't see the "macaca"-style moral outrage from Democrats on this one. I wonder why.

Open Thread: Who Should Be The Next Senate Minority Leader?

Who should the GOP select to be the next minority leader in the State Senate?

What do you do if you're the GOP? Do you go with someone who has hung tough in a blue area, like Ken Cuccinelli? Do you go with someone from a more rural area, like Mark Obenshain? Do you go with a hard-line conservative or a moderate?

Who do you think should be the new minority leader in the Senate?

McDonnell, Allen Throw Support Behind Fred

As many blogs have reported already, Attorney General Bob McDonnell and former Senator and Governor George Allen have both endorsed Fred Thompson and will apparently co-chair his campaign in Virginia.

Virginians for Fred Thompson will have a live blog with McDonnell and Allen today at 12:15.

Allen, despite his loss last year to Jim Webb, still carries some weight and support amongst Virginia conservatives. Bob McDonnell is a pretty popular figure in Virginia and is a top candidate for Governor in 2009.

Many people believe that the support of McDonnell and especially Allen is Thompson's way of courting social conservatives in Virginia, especially with Thompson's room-temperature relationship with social conservatives right now. Time will tell if this will help Thompson in the long run.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ron Paul Creeps Into The Top Tier...What Does It Mean For Other Candidates?

That's what the poll aggregator at Real Clear Politics has shown.

Ron Paul has begun to make the top 5 into a top 6 in the GOP presidential primary race. He is currently pulling in an average of about 4 percent in recent polls. Paul has even scored as high as 6 percent in the most recent Rasmussen Reports polls.

What does it all mean and who is affected by it.

Of course, it's a big show of growing support for Ron Paul and libertarian idealism all-around. The idea of a laissez-faire, "consitutional origins" approach to both fiscal and social issues appeals to many people as a different approach to government. Paul's stance on cracking down on illegal immigration also attracts the interest of voters who support the revamping of immigration laws and stronger border security.

Other Republican top-tier candidates are affected in various ways, and I'll break it down for you...

Rudy Guiliani - Guiliani's campaign actually receives a positive boost from this. Guiliani, while considered a moderate, also has an image of "not George W. Bush" to a lot of GOP voters, which seems to be some of the driving motivation of a good portion of the Republican base. He's had a good record on crime and has good opinions on immigration and border security, and is considered by many to be pretty conservative fiscally. Those who support Paul's approach to social issues also like Guiliani because he's not a social conservative. Basically, Guiliani is a mainstream candidate for those not aligned with the Moral Majority/Christian Coalition bloc...despite his ringing endorsement from Pat Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition. Guiliani should actually be positively affected by the rise of support by Ron Paul.

Fred Thompson - Fred, despite a record of fiscal conservatism, corruption-cleaning, and strong defense positions...he doesn't bode well by Ron Paul's increase in voter interest. Paul actually takes away from a good amount of Thompson's base, because Paul incorporates a mostly-libertarian ideology...which parallels a lot of federalist ideology, and that is Thompson's way of thinking. Also, it seems that the pro-gun community is split between Thompson and Paul as frontrunners. If you don't believe me, check out the AR-15 forums and you'll see what I mean, the"November Primary" there currently shows 203 total votes cast...and 187 of those votes went to either Thompson or Paul. Thompson receives a negative effect from Paul's increase in support.

Mitt Romney - Mitt's in a dogfight for that second-place spot with Thompson and John McCain. However, Romney's supporters are not anything like Ron Paul's supporters. They're looking for a more activist federal government than most other candidates and lean closer to Guiliani than most other candidates. Given that Paul erodes the conservative bloc, and not the moderate bloc of the Republican Party...Romney may nudge into that "runner-up" position over Thompson and McCain, so he receives a positive effect from this.

John McCain - McCain is on the "comeback trail" after the combination of his support for the Shamnesty Bill and the introduction of Fred Thompson into the race had everyone leaving McCain's campaign for dead. However, McCain has regained traction as the horrid Immigration Bill he co-sponsored has become part of the past for many voters. His re-emergence has made the 2nd place spot in the race even more unclear and has been part of the reason why Guiliani has established a larger lead in the polls than he had a few months ago. McCain, however, is drawing some of his votes from a base similar to Thompson and other conservatives, despite his "maverick" status. However, McCain has his own base of supporters that don't conform to any of the other candidates, which should offset any losses incurred by increased support for Ron Paul. In the end, McCain will suffer no real effect.

Mike Huckabee - Huckabee had been making waves recently, and started nipping at the heels of the top-tier candidates after strong showings in the Iowa straw poll and a string of impressive debate appearances. This has also led to an increase in fundraising numbers. Huckabee straddles a fence between Guiliani/Romney voters and Thompson/McCain voters...and therefore has snatched up support from all of the candidates in the top tier with the exception of Guiliani. However, much of Huckabee's support has also come from supporters of second-tier candidates who were looking for someone outside of the "status quo". With Ron Paul now rallying support, some of the more fiscally conservative voters who supported Huckabee may defect to Paul. Huckabee will still be "in it", but will suffer negative effect from a Ron Paul surge, especially in pure momentum.

First Huckabee, now Ron Paul, is there anyone else that is looking to surge from the second tier?

1st Congressional District Convention...

Rob Wittman pulls out the nomination over heavier favorites like Paul Jost.

Podium-endorsed James Bowden made it to the 4th ballot before being knocked out by a surge of Dick Black voters (why people would rally behind Black instead of Bowden is beyond my comprehension, but oh well).

I can't say I know much about Rob Wittman, I'll have to look him up and see how he stands against the Democratic Party nominee, Phil Forgit.

Ben at NLS has a really good report and analysis of the convention. Virginia Virtucon's coverage of the convention was set to be really awesome, until their internet connection completely botched and they were unable to blog the whole event...but read their post anyway, especially to get a sense of what it was like to attend the event.