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Friday, November 04, 2005

Draft Tim James?

I've been told that there is a movement among some in the GOP to encourage Tim James to enter the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary.

James' name was mentioned much earlier in the cycle, but as Riley's approval's rose and a Moore bid became more likely, James seemed to lose much of the impetus for a campaign. Though James, a developer and son of Fob James, ran relatively poorly in his first political effort in 2002 (9% in the GOP gov primary), the logic seems to be that he could bridge the gap between Bob Riley and Roy Moore.

This is the same rationale a Harri Anne Smith campaign would use should she ever decide to divulge her plans. It is a sound argument on its face, but it would take an extremely fortunate series of events for either Smith or Tim James to be propelled to the nomination. And while it is possible (if unlikely) for a candidate not named Riley or Moore to emerge with the GOP nomination, their success hinges on being the only alternative. More specifically, a field with two alternatives to Bob Riley and Roy Moore will actually contain no viable alternatives at all. There is simply not enough oxygen in the Republican primary for four viable candidates.

I consider a Smith campaign much more likely than a James bid at this point, but if they both should run a Riley/Moore runoff is almost assured. And while I, as a political blogger, would enjoy it, a nasty, ideological runoff is a prospect that should keep Republicans awake at night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to disagree with your dismissal of James. He has a LOT of personal money thanks to his toll bridge in Baldwin County (we are talking multiple millions). He was also very very strong in opposition to amendment 1 and on social issues. It is believed that Moore was committed to endorsing James in '02 IF James had gotten to a more viable posotion in the polls. In any event, it is very possible that James possesses some correspondence from Judge Moore expressing Moore's confidence in James' ability to be an "outstanding governor" (Moore's phrase).

I think you can't dismiss a multimillionaire who has experience in a statewide race.

5:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also heard that James may have been close to getting an endorsement from Moore in "03 - they were spotted together on numerous occasions as the primary approached at "Down the Street" restaurant (Roy's fave) in Montgomery.

My question would be: why would James not support Moore now?

5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James has a committment from several big out of state groups concerned about Moore and his effect on the national GOP. Look for Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform to help James.

5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so sure that a third or fourth candidate will ensure a Riley/Moore runoff. Riley's numbers have been under 50% for some time (Katrina being the exception). I think Riley would lose in a three or four way race. I think Riley's support would crumble if a viable third alternative entered the race. Because of Amendment 1, I think much of Riley's support is more anti-Moore, than pro-Riley.

12:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can anyone say "government corruption?" havent we had enough corruption with siegelman. james is a garbage deal, road, bridge deal away from jail. His only claim to fame is the lucky sperm club. like bush, he was born on 3rd base and thinks he hit a triple. I hope the RNC has enough sense after the tom delay deal to keep the james family in the closet.

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