I have spent most of this week launching my new book, Real Change.
So far, the reaction has been terrific, and a lot of people have been buying it.
The section on the “Platform of the American People” — a change agenda in which every goal has the support of a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents — seems to attract particular interest.
As you may or may not know, a lot of a modern book tour is electronic. Instead of flying from city to city, you find yourself on radio or television. For instance, on Thursday alone, in addition to a television interview, I did 18 radio interviews.
A Chance to Gauge the Political Landscape
When you are electronically visiting around America, you get to talk off air with the local talk-show hosts. It is an education in itself.
For example, the radio hosts in Miami I spoke to agreed that Mayor Giuliani has a much bigger campaign in Florida and a much bigger radio presence than anyone understands. They think the presidential nominating race in Florida is totally up for grabs on the Republican side.
Explaining the Michigan Results — With a Little Help From My Friends
Fox News’s Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes helped launch Real Change on Monday night on their show. Then they asked me to come back Tuesday night for their special edition after the Michigan primary.
Beforehand, I was fortunate to be able to ask three friends – Michigan Congressman Dave Camp, Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis and great local GOP activist Joan Jackson — what they thought was happening and why. They made me sound a lot smarter Tuesday night. Thanks to them I was able to explain how the combination of Mitt Romney‘s reminding people he was a Michigander by telling stories of growing up in Michigan and his commitment to restoring economic growth to a state which has been ravaged by high taxes, anti-business regulations and a growing bureaucracy had hit home with the Republican voters.
At a crisis point in his campaign, Gov. Romney was able to pull out a key victory when he needed it most.
Interestingly, some 70% of the African-American voters in the Democratic primary voted for uncommitted. That means they voted against Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only major candidate on the ballot, which could be a warning of what will happen tomorrow in South Carolina and beyond.
Up until now, Sen. Barack Obama has been getting the votes of the upper-middle-class, white, reform-wing of the Democratic Party — the people who voted for Gene McCarthy in 1968, Gary Hart in 1984 and Bill Bradley in 2000. If he starts combining those with the African-American vote, he will have an absolute majority in the Democratic Party and be the nominee.
Coming Saturday: A Test of the Power of Unions in the Democratic Party
On Saturday, you will see a sign of the power unions have in the Democratic Party. The largest caucus voting sites will be in the big casinos, which are unionized. They will let their workers off for an hour to go vote. Non-union casinos will not have the same voting privilege. In effect, the dominance of the Culinary Workers Union (60,000 members in Nevada) created a unique, sweetheart deal.
When the Culinary Workers were expected to endorse Sen. Clinton, this “special arrangement” seemed fine. When they endorsed Sen. Obama the day after the New Hampshire primary, it was suddenly seen by the teachers’ union (which is supporting Clinton) as an unfair “special deal.” They went to court to try to stop it, but failed.
Now you have union fighting union in an increasingly bitter contest.
Expect to see a lot more of this intense infighting as the race gets more difficult, especially if Sen. Obama begins to gain a clear advantage over Sen. Clinton.
Will Romney Repeat His Wyoming Win in Nevada?
Watch Nevada Saturday to see how Gov. Romney does. A few weeks ago he won Wyoming while no one was competing and picked up 13 delegates. This week, while everyone else is competing intensely in South Carolina, he is going to try to repeat his Wyoming performance in Nevada. Gov. Romney is the only person with the resources to compete in every state. Week by week he is picking up delegates. It reminds me a little of Goldwater in 1964: steadily winning small states while no one was looking and then suddenly emerging with a massive number of delegates.
Had Enough of Politics? Try Real Change
In the middle of all these political events, if you get a chance, take a look at Real Change, and let me know what you think of the proposals for moving from the world that fails to the world that works.
By the way, it is also available in audio format for pre-order at Newt.org if you would like to listen to it in your car or on the road. I am especially proud of this version because Callista did the audio and it came out very well. Give it a listen if you get the chance.
P.S. — You can view more of Callista’s pictures from the Real Change tour at the newt.org photo album.