Once upon an election cycle, there was a little chub of a man who was called “The Architect” and “Boy Genius” for his part in masterminding George W. Bush's road to the White House. However, what really stuck to Karl Rove was Dubya's nickname—Turdblossom, as in a flower that grows from dung. In our mind, that's a far better symbol of the dirty, beautiful blood-sport of politics.
Today, Rove is the founder of Crossroads GPS, a so-called Super PAC currently bent on smearing President Barack Obama and Massachusetts candidate for U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren. He'll also be played by Paul Dano (the preacher kid from There Will Be Blood) in the upcoming flick College Republicans. With Rove back in the news, we dedicate to him this second series of our column, wherein we rate candidates' and campaigns' sweetest and stinkiest behaviors.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul has once again proven he's the master of metrics that don't really matter, with a win on Monday at the San Diego County Republican Party's Straw Poll.
In September, the congressional representative from Texas won the California Republican Party's straw poll with almost 45 percent of the vote, though Republicans representing other candidates complained that Paul's campaign had essentially bought the straw poll by sending busloads of supporters to the event. This time, his campaign really did buy Paul's victory, since that's how the “Chicago-style” straw poll worked.
According to the promotional materials circulated by San Diego GOP Chair Tony Krvaric, one ballot cost attendees $10, but a voter could buy the “Solyndra Special” three votes for $20.
Paul picked up 112 votes, 40 percent of the 367 cast, at a cost of between $760 and $1,120. Newt Gingrich came a close second with 83 votes ($560-$830), and Mitt Romney came in third with 64 votes ($440-$640). The big winner might have been former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a libertarian-leaning advocate for marijuana legalization, who beat out Rep. Michele Bachmann, John Huntsman, and Rick Santorum.
We'll award Paul 38 blossoms to match the minimum number of Solyndra Specials he would've had to purchase to win. We'll also issue Santorum a pint glass of santorum ( just Google it) for being the only candidate not to score a single vote.
On Veterans Day, District attorney Bonnie Dumanis not only met First Lady Michelle Obama, who was visiting San Diego with the president; she also posted to Facebook an image of herself in an embrace with Lady O—a sly move for a Republican candidate for mayor trying to court cross-over voters. We award her 115 poppies, one for every fan who left a “like” on the post.