Gingrich’s big, hollow win in Georgia

Many news outlets are reporting Gingrich’s win in Georgia’s Super Tuesday primary as distinct and expected. It was supposed to prelude Gingrich’s “March on The South.” However, at closer analysis, last night may have been the warm-salt watered gargle of the proverbial fat-lady singing for Gingrich’s bid for Presidency.

With Gingrich’s last win in South Carolina, the understood strategy seems to have been gathering strength in all Southern states and staying in the game. These states of the most concentrated number of delegates and will give any candidate more bang for their political buck. He was expected to win big in Georgia and polls projected Gingrich was surging in Tennessee as late as Monday. To be seen as a Southern victory, Gingrich would have needed to beat Romney in both states. He would also have needed to beat Romney by a high home-state percentage to obtain base support bragging rights. Instead, Gingrich lost Tennessee to Rick Santorum (he simply won’t step-aside as Gingrich suggested). Though this may not have been a death-blow, coming in behind Mitt Romney certain has to hurt. This indicates chinks in the Gingrich amour, even in Southern states. Under-performing in a state like Tennessee, a neighboring state to Georgia, suggests Gingrich will have a more difficult time than anticipated trekking through the South. He will have to fight against the ultra-conservative appeal of Santorum (from this point known as The Yankee) for the “anti-Romney” voters. If he performs this way in Mississippi and Alabama, that Yankee may destroy Gingrich’s campaign in the same way Sherman burned Atlanta. Santorum could rename his Southern campaigning “The Neo-Yankee March to the Sea.”

The bad news doesn’t stop there for Gingrich. Although he won Georgia’s primary, the less than spectacular results suggest he under-performed in that state as well. With 76 delegates up for grabs, he stated prior that he needed to win Georgia in order to maintain relevance. Since two nomadic candidates were competing in “home” states where they have held high-profile public office—Romney as former Governor of Massachusetts and Gingrich as former Congressman in Georgia— both were expected to win big (garner at least 50% of the vote or better) and gain momentum. This was especially important for Newt Gingrich as his campaign is marred by debt and could use a third wind. While Romney won decidedly  in Massachusetts by over 72%, Gingrich’s Georgia win was only 47.2%, less than the 50% needed to appear as a solid bet. In order to make Romney’s performance pitiful in Georgia, he needed to keep him below 20% overall and in most major voting congressional districts. Gingrich was unsuccessful. Romney obtained 25.9% on average (right on target). This allows him to take at least 13 delegates from the state. Gingrich walks away with 46. There are still 15 delegates unallocated. Based on elections reporting, Romney stands to gain a few more delegates, making this win in Georgia even more hollow for the former House Spea

The next Southern battles occur March 13 in Alabama and Mississippi. Based on the above results, these contest may just continue hammering the slow nail in Gingrich’s presidential-hopeful coffin.

Limbaugh Apologizes; Can GOP Get Back On Message?

Moments ago, radio host Rush Limbaugh released a statement apologizing to co-ed law student and part-time women’s rights activist, Sandra Fluke. The talk show host caused an national uproar by labeling her a “slut” because of her congressional testimony requesting the government pay for her and others birth control. He also suggested she upload porn. In his brief statement, Limbaugh admits “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Limbaugh also scoffs at the absurdity of the nature of this discussion during such a crucial election cycle, stating “ if this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level”.

Many view this as a continued GOP attack against women. This has become a new battle cry for liberals offended by remarks from former Sen. Rick Santorum and others who have been said to speak irresponsibly and insensitively about women’s issues.

This denotes a  problem for the GOP.   The amount of women within the party, according to Gallup Poll, is down and has been trending this way for the last decade.  However, women are not being swayed by the Democratic party either.  The former female Republican is now opting to become an Independent. While the U.S. Population is 313,120,595 million, women account for 157 million. Thus, women are the majority. 85.4 million of these women are mothers and66.6 percent of female citizens have reported being registered to vote. This demographic is crucial to any party if they intend to make gains or seek national office majority. It is of great concern amongst many analyst that the Republican party is focusing on a new aged revival of social crusades and abandoning the message of economic reform that has been said to be both key and crucial to the 2012 election cycle.

Candidates tell Georgia to kiss their grits;CNN cancels Super Tuesday debate

Georgia is being bombarded by stump speeches, campaign fundraisers and rallies by the four leading GOP candidates Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul. No surprise, Georgia has a hefty 76 delegates at stake. The delegates will be divided according to the rules of the state GOP. Thus, there is something for everyone to gain in their fight for the hearts and minds of Georgia voters.

While all of the rallies and kumbaya politics sounds warm and fuzzy, this penchant for the positive seems to have left a bad taste in the mouths of GOP’ers around the state. Georgia will not be on these candidates’ minds as Romney, Santorum, and Paul have all formally declined appearing at the CNN Super Tuesday Debate to be held March 1 in Atlanta. These candidates appear to give the cold-shoulder to both Georgia and Ohio whose states actually have the largest delegate counts up for grabs Super Tuesday and partnered together for this event. With only Newt Gingrich on board, it seems this event will more than likely be canceled.

Should Georgia GOP’ers be offended? R.C. Hammer, a Gingrich spokesperson, tweeter this response earlier “@MittRomney spits in Georgia’s face and cancels Atlanta debate appearance. #CNN.” If this is indeed how it appears Georgia’s primary voters, they will have the chance to spit back Super Tuesday.

Do you think it is a smart move for any of the leading candidates to skip this debate? Have you heard enough and already know who you are voting for? We will know the answer in a few weeks.

GOP Leaders call for minority outreach from CPAC: Just fuzzy talk?

At this year’s CPAC convention, this popular gathering of conservative voices heard many battle cries. Within the battle cries for unity, there was, as Andrew Breitbart described, a “dog whistle” blown. It is a cry that has been heard before for several years. Leaders emphasized the need to extend grassroots outreach to minorities, particularly Blacks and Latinos.

According to the latest U. S. Census report, more than 50 million Hispanics call America home. This accounts for one-sixth of the total population. Blacks account for almost 12 percent of the population. In 11 key battleground voting areas, minority youth are now the majority—of which 17 percent are from mixed-race families. By2042, it is projected that the minority will be the majority. Yet, during the last decade of election cycles, the Republican votes have decreased by approximately 10 percent with Hispanics . Most strategist believe it will be impossible to compete in the 2012 Presidential election without at least 40 percent minority support based on these latest numbers. The voters’ demographic and Congressional districts are changing before our eyes.

These numbers could not have been more reflected than the 2008 Presidential election. Pew research indicated a 70/30 Hispanic voter split favoring the Democratic party for executive office and a 60/40 split for Congress. 95 percent of Black voters cast their ballots for Obama in 2008. These numbers should scare the GOP. Indeed, it has made them proactive. However, the result isn’t to connecting; it is fear-mongering. Granted, many of the fear-mongering can be attributed to fallacies spewed by the Democratic party about Republicans, but there has not been much done to set the record straight. To the White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, the tactic maybe to ignore these communities because they are not convinced they would vote straight Republican. While Democrats would convince you Republicans would go out of their way to halt the Black vote, the Republican response  has been to (seemingly)  not encourage it.  The Southern strategy, as some call it, has been lightly veiled in poorly coded verbiage throughout this election cycle. In large delegate states, it may be a detriment in the general election.

Other GOP leaders have decided to take a more direct approach by going into these communities and informing them of how Republican economic policies and core, conservative values mirror what works best in allowing those communities to thrive. The GOP has heard this message before time and again. Each election cycle, we hear much talk about what will be done to reach urban and minority voters. The key to outreach is allowing others to connect with your message. This requires identifiable, well-qualified faces in leadership positions. Though there are a few shell organizations here and there whose mission is to bridge this gap, the effectiveness of these organizations can be seen by the results (or, in this case, lack there of).

The success of these organizations are heavily contingent upon their leadership. The minority ambassadors for the Republicans to Hispanics are impressive. Marco Rubio appeals to a large and varied audience. Republican Presidential candidate,Mitt Romney’s family has a long history of missionary service within Latin America. The Latino National Republican Coalition also does direct, grassroots outreach and organizing for Hispanics around the country successfully.

On the other hand, some Black Republican Councils merely serve as networking events with other black conservatives. Often, the leaders are jockeying for appointed positions within the party and take no true interest in outreach initiatives. It is merely another affiliation to place on their resume. Instead, they safely preach to the choir. They seemingly care more to safeguard their perceived status. Outreach and membership growth is not a priority.

The GOP ambassadors to the black community leave much to be desired. Black conservatism has risen by at least 10 percent from 2004 to 2008. By many accounts, the numbers may be far greater. However, minstrel politics with Amos and Andy style shucking and jiving for the very audience, (conservative WASPS) who will already vote Republican creates myths and deep disdain from black voters. While the black experience is not one unified experience, the Black community would appreciate being approach with respect. Instead, Blacks see polarizing figures who come across as if they are completely disconnected from Black American culture and the Black American voter. This is not about using The King’s English or dressing properly. This is about having a person look at you, hear what you say and try to connect with you on a human level. With GOP Black ambassadors, this is a missing ingredient.The GOP continues to present the “untouchable overachiever”.  The reason why Obama did so well with everyone, not just the black community, is because he is the seen as the “brotha done good.”  He is portrayed as the smart guy who cares about all people.  It is difficult to see where any of the high-profile Black Republican ambassadors have this same urban appeal with a conservative twist.

Will the GOP FINALLY listen? Will the GOP truly do the work necessary to empower all communities by simply doing the grassroots outreach work? Ironically, some have done so and it isn’t from where one might expect. The Tea party, after having voted in the highest number of black representatives into Congress since reconstruction, has openly put forth a strategy for minority outreach. These events will occur in places such as Texas,  Atlanta and Virginia in the coming months. Often accused of racism, The Tea Party is actually quite diverse. There is not just one Tea Party, with one message. They have many messages. Those messages go beyond race and ethnicity. The one that resonates with most is taxation and economic policy. In most cases, The Tea Party recognizes that the face and brand of the party needs to be re-tooled if the values they hold dear are to survive in a political environment. If all factions the GOP are not on one accord and truly perform minority outreach, we will read about this crucial time in books published years later and realize we watched the demise of the Republican Party.

Obama ruled eligible to be President by Federal Judge

The expected decision by Federal Judge Malihi to determine whether or not President Obama would be eligible as a candidate on the Georgia ballot has been released to the public.  Judge Malihi has ruled in favor of Obama and he will be on the Georgia ballot.

Clich here to read the final decision.

Transcripts released from Obama Georgia ballot eligibility case, decision expected soon.

The transcripts of the Powell, Swensson and Allen vs Obama case are now available to the public (click transcripts” to view).  This case was heard in a Federal Circuit Court in Atlanta last week.  All arguments were heard, though President Barack Obama and his representing attorney were not present at the hearing.

Based on the ruling, Obama may be kept of off the Georgia ballot.  Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, informed Obama’s attorney via letter (click “letter” to view) that he would proceed based upon the court’s ruling and the boycotting the court appearance is done “at your own peril.”

Do you think the burden of proof has been met my the plaintiffs?

The default judgment is expected to be released before February 4, 2012.

Democrats face dilemma as Obama may be kept off the ballot in Georgia

  Bookmark and Share   President Barack Obama’s Georgia supporters may be disappointed come election day.  Five men challenged Obama’s eligibility to be a presidential candidate on the Georgia ballot arguing he is not a “natural-born citizen.”  This has been the stance of those now called “birthers” since former democratic presidential candidate and now secretary of the state, Hillary Clinton, brought forth the issue in 2008. Former Congressman and current Georgia Governor, Republican Nathan Deal, was notably outspoken in questioning Obama’s birth eligibility.  December 10, 2009, a letter arrived at the White House impugning Obama’s eligibility to be president from Deal.  GOP Presidential teaser Donald Trump also jumped on the birther bandwagon in 2011.  When Obama finally produced a birth certificate, many thought this case was closed.

David Weldon, Kevin Powell and Carl Swinson are a few of the plaintiffs who, with the help of The Liberty Legal Foundation, have successfully challenged Obama’s eligibility.  Obama filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.  This motion was challenged by The Liberty Legal Foundation.  The motion to dismiss was denied by Judge Malihi.  All parties are ordered to appear in Federal Court on January 26th at 9 am.

The Liberty Legal Foundation states this is a bold step because “this ruling ensures that the Georgia court will be the first court to address the substantive Constitutional issue of eligibility.  All other courts that have heard challenges to Obama’s Constitutional qualifications to hold office have refused to address the substantive issue and have dismissed on procedural grounds.”

The ramifications of this court possibly ruling against Obama and keeping him of the Georgia ballot would be significant.  For Georgian democratic candidates, it may leave them stranded.  Voter apathy may increase and turn the democratic base completely off from the election process.  Voter turn-out is crucial for democratic candidates.  Voter turn out tends to be higher in presidential elections than in non-presidential election cycles.  If voters believe they are not able to vote for their presidential candidate, they may not show up to the polls. This would improve the chances of an already republican stronghold to become a republican superpower.

Although Obama certainly does not need Georgia to be re-elected, not having an incumbent president on he election ballot may give democrats the rallying cry they have been hoping for to galvanize support and overtake local, state and congressional majorities.  Calls of disenfranchisement and discrimination could unite supporters and revive leadership and increase democratic presence in state and local legislature.

The hearing is open to the public.  The location is the Justice Center Building, 160 Pryor St, Atlanta, GA Courtroom G40 on the ground floor.

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Architech of Massachusets Healthcare calls Romney a liar

This morning on CNN, M.I.T. professor of economics  Dr. Jonathan Gruber stated Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is  “a liar” with regard to Obama’s national healthcare law and Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare.   In an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he openly expressed his discontent with Romney’s attempts to mislead the public and distort the effects of the healthcare law.  How would Gruber know?  He is the core architect of Romney’s healthcare bill.  He used his extensive knowledge of supply side economics to compile a theory into practicum.  While no direct answer has been given to the complex issue of creating affordable healthcare, his approach is self-described as a “spaghetti tactic.”   This requires  “throwing all things possible at the wall and seeing what sticks.”

Gruber states that based on the large reduction of uninsured persons in the state and lowered cost, Obama selected him to design the same on a national level.  Gruber says that Romney is purposely misleading the public.  When asked to discuss the misleading statements he pointed out two particular issues that visibly annoyed him most.

As in other  publications and his interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Gruber discusses his current disdain with Romney’s political amnesia.  He states Romney’s claim that the bill national law raises taxes is a complete fabrication.  He insists it will work in the same fashion as it has in Massachusetts.  Gruber points out that most of the Massachusetts program was paid for by the federal government, not the state.

Romney often attempts to distance himself from what many in Massachusetts have called part of his legacy.  He says the largest distinction in the Massachusetts law and the national healthcare law is that there is no individual mandate required by the state of Massachusetts.  “Not true,” said Gruber.  The state and federal law both have individual mandates.  Gruber suggested and stands by the need for an individual mandate reasoning that it eliminates the “free rider” issue when ill, uninsured individuals turning to emergency rooms for treatment.

Part of the motivation to separate himself is political.  Another would be the not often discussed negative issues that resulted from the law he governed.   As with the Obamacare, the healthcare law in Massachusetts has not been free of controversy.  Boston Medical Center sued the state because the bi-product of the state sponsored universal healthcare law placed the hospital in dire financial straits.  The hospital stated that it was only reimbursed for about .64 per every dollar it spent caring for the poor.  It left them in a deficit of $38 million dollars.  Gruber feels that these issues can be corrected by removing the pay-by-fee service doctors currently charge patients and move toward a more universal fee to stabilize pricing and services.  In order to get to these issues, the state had to first accept the starting process.  For Gruber, the starting process is universal healthcare.  He touts how well it has worked in the stated, even with a few outliers.  One thing he is clear about is Mitt Romney’s full understanding of the law and how it works in Massachusetts.  He is also poignantly aware that Romney is, in his opinion, purposely not being forthright about his role, his design and his approval of all parts of the law, how it works and why it would be beneficial nationally.

Gingrich: Too liberal for today’s GOP?

As the battle for Iowa concludes in a few short weeks, we see our republican presidential hopefuls take lessons from Rocky.  All are in overdrive, wanting to be the first to take their winning message to all primary voters and win the nomination.  We have seen polls and debates.  We have heard all commentary from every political pundit.  As the primaries approach, none of the aforementioned will supersede the voice of the voter. 

The road to  the nomination will be bumpy without the tea party seal of approval.  As each front-runner has been subjected to the tea party litmus test (and failed), we find our new front-runner, Newt Gingrich, must  now measure up to the standards of the hardcore conservatives.  Openly, we know he is the smartest guy in the room.  His knowledge of history and policy are his strengths.  His experience as House Speaker also is appealing.  He has Southern ties.  In fact, Gingrich and Cain are both from Georgia.  Being from the South allows the true base of the party to feel as if they are truly electing an individual representing their ideals, principles and values. 

Make no mistake, Gingrich is not a tea party republican.  Detrimental or not, Gingrich has liberal connections that would make a tea partier think their drink had been spiked with bourbon.  The dirty laundry has been aired from marital dramas.  Plenty of time has passed allowing one to reconcile his “morality” with regard to family values.  What one may find disconcerting is his peculiar relationship with Rev Al Sharpton.  The civil rights leader and media personality also known for his attack bigoted attack against Mitt Romney’s faith and being caught on FBI surveillance facilitating a drug deal on behalf of Don King, decided to support and promote an education initiative by Barack Obama and the Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  The irony would be that Rev. Sharpton only has two years of post high school education.  Credibility to the initiative was brought by New Gingrich.  Yes, THE Newt Gingrich.  Current republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  In 2009, these three seemingly unlikely amigos toured the country to promote Obama’s desired education innovation for public schools.  Here, Gingrich and Sharpton discuss Race to the Top.

 Fast forward to May of 2011, Gingrich adamantly tells Georgia republicans Obama is “the food stamp President.”  He states he has the full intention of being  a “jobs” President.  He reminds us daily of Obama’s short-comings.  One of his Sharpest criticisms has been public and post-secondary education.  Will this ring as authentic to the hardcore tea partier?

During the National Security debate last Tuesday, Gingrich was highly criticized for his “humane” discussion on illegal immigration.  Gingrich stated: “If you’ve come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home. Period. If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.”  He suggests a third solution.  One that allows illegal immigrants that fall into this category not avoid deportation but not have a path to citizenship or right to vote.  Some conservatives call this amnesty.  Some liberals call this 21st century apartheid. 

It is clear that Gingrich has the ability to reach across party lines and negotiate.  This is an attribute quite desirable during a general election.  However, core constituents do not want to question if their fundamental values will be abandoned or “sold-out” once their candidate begins occupying the Oval Office.  Gingrich seems somewhat enigmatic.  He is polarizing because he is free-thinking.  In a general election, these would be seen as moderate ideals.  Yet, this trait may label him too liberal.  As the race continues, tea partiers will continue to ask themselves if he is authentic enough to win their vote.

Cain’s strong numbers baffle all but voters

Cain still polls strong

When discussing republican presidential candidate and front-runner Herman Cain, the reaction one receives is contingent upon with whom you speak.  When listening to established political pundits, the are miffed.  They are shocked at his seemingly sudden rise.  They have no explaination for it.  They attempt to explain it based on their previous experience with campaigns and elections.  The best explaination is actually under everyone’s nose.  The flaw in their theories is that they seem to, yet again, under-estimate the strength of the tea party.   Now is the first time we have had to contend with the tea party in a presidential election.  One year ago, the 2010 elections threw many state governments and even The House of Representatives, a curve ball.  Many seats were not only taken by republicans, but taken by tea party backed candidates.  Being a tea party backed candidate is differentiated by passing the tea party litmus test and maintaining that high score when pop quizes are administered by the voters.  So now, let’s see how Cain has such strong support and why his numbers will not change…unless he fails the litmus test.

All republican candidates have been given the tea party litmus test.  All republican candidates seek the approval of the tea party, knowing they are the key to clinching their primary win.  While mainstream media sees the tossing of support from several other candidates as flickle and fluid, there actually is a method to what seems to be madness.  The tea party litmus test consists of three commandements.  The components are as follows: The first component is that thou must be authentic.  You can’t be too closely attached to anything mainstream, status quo or business-as-usual.  The further you are from it, the more you appeal to a tea party voter.  This includes all media, political contacts, previous work experience, legislation and associations.  It will all be scrutinized thoroughly.  The second tea party commandent is thou shalt not tread on my constitional rights.  This includes implied, direct and covert actions.  Anything that could appear as a violation of individual constitutional right and order will be condemned and so shall the candidate.  The third and final commandment is thou shall not raise taxes.  When they say no increase, they mean no increase.  Staying on budget, cutting waste and directing influence away from Wasington is central to this decree.

Now that we know the commandments, let’s analyze how each former front-runners took the tea party litmus test and failed.  When support shifts towards a candidate, they are taking the tea party litmus test.  If they maintain it, they are passing.  If not, they fail and it will never return.  Mitt Romney has always been seen as a front-runner.  However, most primary voters are seeking an alternative to him.  Why, you may ask?  Romney fails the tea party litmus test because he violates two commandments.  Tea party voters do not see him as authentic.  He is seen as an establishment crony.  He cannot shake the stigma of Romneycare (essentially making him public enemy number one to tea pary voters).  He has run and lost before both as governor and as a presidential nominee.  Many say this gives him the perception of a loser. 

The tea party voter will want the Romney alternative.  Initially, all support went towards Michele Bachmann.  Though we love the fact that she has a large family and is described as a tea party darling, she is not able to pass the litmus test because she violates the first commandment.  Though seen as an outsider, this is not the type of environment where voters are forgiving of those in Congress.  In fact, voter’s dislike Congress more than they dislike Obama.  So, away went Bachmann.

Rick Perry threw his ten-gallon cowboy hat into the ring and support shifted to him immediately.  Mainstream media said his debates are what sunk him.  That may be partially true.  The debates are where he failed the litmus test because he broke all three commandments.  Requiring young women to be vaccianated for cervical cancer violates “thou shalt not infringe on my constitutional rights” and “thou shan’t be linked to mainstream or big business.”  Fair or not, it is held against him by voters.  It took away his authenticity.  His stance on the education of illegal immigrants violates the third commandment.  This is seen as waste of tax-payer funds.  These voters don’t care for any rationale behind it.  It is of no consequence.  So, once discovered, support waned immediately.

Now, we have Herman Cain as the front-runner.  Despite  what could have been a scandal for most candidates, he still stays at the top of the polls.  This is because he has kept all three commandments so far.  Since the story broke from a mainstream media outlet and the accusers remain annonymous, most put no creedance into the story.  Even if they had revealed themselves, it would not have mattered.  Unless it comes from a trusted, conservative outlet, it will do little to sway Cain’s support.  The fact that it is rumored to have been leaked by a Perry or Romney consultant just bodes well for Cain.  Those candidates have violated the first commandment already.  Therefore, no one will listen.  The more media gaffes Cain makes, the more authentic he becomes to voters.  This just solidifies his public image to the voter and frankly, they like it.  In addition, he has no record in public office that would have allowed him to violate the second or third commandments.  Essentially, as long as he and his policies line up with the three commandents, he may very well ride this wave to the end.

Cain train gains steam

After last week’s republican presidential

Cain is all smiles discussing the strides made throughout the last 10 days

debate, many felt they began to witness the fall of Perry and the rising of Cain.  Delegates in Florida shocked the country by overwhelmingly voting Herman Cain as winner of their straw poll.  Why is this so shocking?  It’s arguable.  Some say it was the Florida seniors citizen’s response to Perry labeling social security a Ponzi scheme.  Others say it is because Herman Cain’s supporters are well-known for passion and intensity.   They are determined to spread the doctrine of this leader to all within earshot.  Perhaps it is both of these things and more. 

So, how did we get here?  How did we get to a place where relatively unknown Herman Cain is now polling in a virtual  three-way tie with Perry and Romney? Just a few weeks ago, it was rumored the former radio host and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza was considering abandoning his bid for the Whitehouse.  Rick Perry was the Republican golden child.  Then, Perry had to debate.  With poor showings at the last debates, it allowed Cain’s momentum to gain some traction. Perry reportedly dropped 10% on poll rankings.   All of a sudden it seemed the political god’s had thrown Cain grace.  Front runner Rick Perry found controversy.  The Washington Post reports that the orignal name of his family ranch is “Niggerhead.”  Though it has been painted over and renamed, many still say it is visible and may be reflective of Perry’s sentiments towards minorities.  Perry refutes the validity of the report. Perry says the issue was resolved decades ago and is not reflective of his feelings nor the sentiments of his family and upbringing.  This allowed people who normally would not weigh in on Perry’s general electability to become extremely vocal about their concerns, doubt and discontent. 

Cain is familiar with controversy.  He was heavily criticized for stating he would not hire any muslims in his cabinet if elected president.  His solution for illegal immigration (said jokingly) is to build a medieval style moat around the borders and fill it with alligators to discourage illegal entry into U.S.  He also was criticized for saying Black Americans have been brainwashed against conservative principles  and the political process.

Cain has now taken charge and leads an offensive to stay in the top-tier.  He has been one of Perry’s strongest critics.  He blasted him over the inappropriate use of “niggerhead.”  He also questioned if Perry is “too liberal” for the Republican party.  He eludes  the same about possible fresh-meat candidate Chris Christie.  He suggests that both Perry and Christie have weak stances toward immigration.

It seems that  the Cain train has not only left the station but is full steam ahead.  Now that he is in the top-tier, his campaign seems determined to keep him at the top.  With increased visibility, curiosity is escalating about the brash, “tell it like it is” businessman.  His largest hurdle has been name recognition.  With plenty of time between now and the primaries, Cain seems focused on making sure familiarity gap barrier is breached.

Why The Tea Party Debate Matters

Picture From The First Tea Party Sponsored Presidential Debate

Sizing Up At The First Tea Party Sponsored Presidential Debate

Bookmark and Share    On September 12, 2011, The Tea Party co-sponsored a G.O.P. Presidential Debate in Tampa, Florida.  Though there have been and will be many more opportunities to see the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls duke it out for the top spot as the Party nominee, tonight’s debate bares particular importance.  The Republican party has not had to gauge the temperature of constituents so disgusted and so organized.  If any Republican hopeful wants to make it into the Whitehouse in 2012, they will have to go through the tea party. 

Nothing made this more evident than the mid-term elections of 2010.  After the disappointing passage of Obama’s healthcare bill, the Tea Party started to swell.  Understanding there would be more power staying in the Republican Party than leaving to become a third-party (as shown by the Libertarian Party),  the Tea Party hand-picked and back candidates all over the country to run for congress, state, and local elections all over the nation.  They did so successfully, particularly in the South (which matters because of the importance of the South Carolina primary).  Several incumbent, career politicians found out they were going to become unemployed during state primaries all summer of 2010.  It was a reminder to all of a great political-insider mantra: all politics is local.  Primary winners for the Republican Party spanned the gambit.  Sarah Palin  became the unsung superhero for the Tea Party movement; endorsing candidates all over the country with Tea Party power in her utility belt.   From dark horse Christine O’ Donnell with The Wicca scandal, to new comer Allen West becoming the first black Florida congressman since reconstruction, the Tea Party voters made the difference in these political contests.  In primaries, they were the deciding factor.  If a candidate can’t strategize past a primary, strategizing for a general election is in vain.

Why is this so? Essentially, the Tea Party vote is significant enough to hijack primaries.  With Republicans winning majority in The House of Representatives in the last election cycle, crypt-keeper reminiscent, RINO Republicans and the status quo took note.   With the corruption perceived corruption of campaign finance and lobbyist, the equalizer is still our constitutional right which equates one man to one vote without regard to socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity or creed. The 2012 primaries will be referendums by Tea Party supporters on who would best serve as the next POTUS.  The Tea Party can no longer be dismissed.  They are the voice of reckoning.  No matter what one’s sentiment is toward tea party issues, activists or voters,  the truth of the matter will be this:  the candidate that can garner and sustain Tea Party support throughout the primary will most likely be the candidate that meets Obama in the general election.  Debates that tout tea party connections and involvement will serve as the litmus test for all the contenders.

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