Archive for February 5th, 2008

by Pete Talbot and Rebecca Schmitz

Since we’ve been here (a little over a hour), we’ve heard several speeches. One or two individuals were allowed to speak on behalf of each of the candidates. Most received polite (or in the case of Ron Paul, enthusiastic) applause but one: Kim Handy. Ms. Handy, speaking on behalf of Sen. John McCain, loudly announced “[smooching the microphone] Will the next speakers for Mitt Romney and Ron Paul please KISS: Keep it short, stupid! We have yet to vote!”

Needless to say, that didn’t go over very well.

Right now, the delegates have voted. Party officials, including our friend Carol Minjares of Missoulapolis, are tallying the votes. The alcohol is flowing and there’s a long line at the ersatz nacho bar.

In the meantime, a lot of the Ron Paul supporters seem to be college kids. They’re all carrying signs emblazoned with their political savior’s name. They were the ones who booed the loudest at Kim Handy. I can’t remember most of the content of the speeches on behalf of Mitt Romney, but two far-right Republican friends of mine (I know, I’m surprised too) here told me disapprovingly Mitt’s “playing the Reagan card”. They feel any mention of Ronnie on his part rings hollow.

On the dry erase board numbers are tallied, like a primary school election. Ron Paul has a dramatic lead with Mitt trailing. McCain and Huckabee are minor blips.

Much of the crowd has left but the faithful remain.

Mike Huckabee just got his first vote. And there was much rejoicing.

A Ron Paul supporter (one of the college kids) stood on the dais and exclaimed, “We haven’t officially declared a war since World War II and we haven’t won a war since World War II!” A guy standing next to me wearing a “Mitt Romney ’08” shirt muttered, “He must be a Dumb-o-crat.”

Mitt Romney’s ahead statewide, but so far here in Missoula Ron Paul’s the man. There’s a lot of cheering and sign-waving going on. “YEEEEEE-AAAAH!” just erupted from a knot of college students.

Final total from Missoula: Paul 45, Romney 42, McCain 7 (ouch!) and Huckabee 3. Boy that Conrad Burns…his influence really went over big in Missoula.

All the Paul supporters gathered on the dais for a group photograph. They were smiling and waving their signs. The rest of the crowd here? Not so much. There are a lot of exasperated expressions here tonight. And we’re loving every minute of it.

It looks like Mitt has won Montana. An elderly gentleman near me, after seeing the results on the overhead projection screen, just said, “Gallatin County went for Romney? I was sure all those college students would put Paul ahead.” He turned to a young guy next to him and said, “Are you a Paul supporter?” “Yes…” the youngster replied, “are you accusing me of something?” They’re now arguing over the direction of the GOP and the nation.

by Pete Talbot

Where’s Denny Rehberg?

The Montana Republican caucuses are the biggest thing that the state GOP has going for it these days and Rep. Rehberg is missing. Earlier, Denny was not-so-subtlety pushing Rudy Giuliani. Whoops! Denny also wrote off John McCain as having no chance. Whoops again! And here I thought he was politically savvy. I wonder which way Denny is leaning now.

Bad choice

Conrad Burns is lending his name to the McCain campaign, which is too bad. Except for his unwavering support of the Iraq War, I think McCain is the most thoughtful of all the Republican candidates. Having Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger initially heading up the McCain effort spoke to McCain’s centrism. Having Conrad heading up his campaign tells me that maybe McCain isn’t so thoughtful after all.

Ron Paul for President

So who’s it going to be in Missoula County? An informal poll by Carol at Missoulapolis has Ron Paul with 80% of the vote! Now I don’t think RP is going to win it here in Missoula because, remember, it’s the vetted party faithful doing the voting. What the Missoulapolis poll does tell me is that there are computer savvy, hardcore, grassroots supporters for RP and he’ll have a presence in the outcome.

Anyway, here are my predictions for the Missoula County GOP caucus:

Romney 29%
McCain 28%
Paul 23%
Huckabee 18%
Other 2%

4&20 contributor Rebecca Schmitz and I will attempt to update our valued readers with results from the caucus.

Interest Rates

by jhwygirl

The interest rate on my account went from 5% to 4.50% in late September.

December 20th it dropped to 4.25%.

January 29th it dropped again to 3.8%.

Today it dropped to 3.55%.

Any predictions for next week?  Next month?

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