Scott to Replace Demint in the Senate as Hawaii Seeks to Replace Inouye

Senator-elect Tim Scott

After two weeks of speculation about who will replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made it official and appointed second term Congressman Tim Scott to fill out the remainder of Senator DeMint’s term. (See video below)

In an overwhelming show of unity and support for her decision, the appointment was made by Governor Haley during a late Monday morning press conference where she, Tim Scott, and Jim DeMint were joined by several Republican members of the South Carolina Republican congressional delegation, and senior South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham.

With praise from all, the decision to have Tim Scott fill out the remaining two years of DeMint’s term was celebrated as one which help ensure that South Carolinians continue to be represented by the same type of conservative values championed by Jim DeMint, who has been considered the most conservative member of both houses of Congress. But filling DeMint’s shoes will not be much of a challenge for Tim Scott who in less than two, already established himself a strong conservative voice. In his first term, Scott turned heads as one of the staunchest supporters of South Carolina’s free-rider-anti-union laws and as South Carolina’s Club for Growth’s scorecard gave Scott a B and a score of 80 out of 100, he is praised by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers, for his “diligent, principled and courageous stands against higher taxes. It well earned praise for his tireless advocacy for smaller government, lower taxes, and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington.

After winning the general election in 2010, Tim acted upon his desires to regain fiscal sanity in the federal government and to limit its size and scope by acting on such issues with immediately and with urgency. The first bill he authored would defund and deauthorize the President’s health care reform package. e was also named to the influential House Rules Committee, asked to serve as a Deputy Whip and sits as one of two freshmen on the Elected Leadership Committee. Then he confronted our nation’s outdated and cumbersome tax code by sponsoring the Rising Tides Act. That initiative would lower burdensome corporate tax rates that discourage job growth and allow for the permanent repatriation of overseas profits. The latter would encourage American companies to bring home more than $1 trillion dollars that can be used for investment and job creation.

In general, Tim Scott is a consistent voice for significant cuts in federal spending, and staunch opponent of measures he believes do not go far enough. Tim was an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which would do just as it says – cut spending, cap our spending moving forward based on how much we bring in, and add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also cosponsored two stand-alone bills that would create a Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted against raising our nation’s debt limit.

While Rick Scott is not the only member of Congress who holds such positions, he, like his soon to be predecessor in the Senate, he is one of the few who has been so consistent in those positions. However, while Tim may not be the only member of either house to hold those positions, he is the only African-American in the United States Senate and that distinction will make him a leading voice in the Party, within the conservative movement, and in the nation.

Hiram Revels

Being African-American, Scott will have an incomparable ability to respond to and discount the left’s persistent attempts to paint those who hold his beliefs and political ideology as anti-black. And for a Party that needs desperately to attract Hispanic and African-American voters, the ability to convincingly contradict such mischaracterizations is invaluable. Meanwhile, Scott takes his place in history as only the seventh African-American to serve in the Senate.

Coming before him were Hiram Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, who briefly represented Mississippi during Reconstruction.

Blanche K. Bruce

The The first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote was Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Brooke served two full terms during which he championed the causes of low-income housing, an increase in minimum wages, and promoted commuter rail and mass transit systems. He also worked tirelessly to promote racial equality in the South.

Following Brooke in the Senate were Carol Mosley Braun and Barack Obama who were both elected from Illinois. Braun was elected in 1992, a year that saw more women than ever before elected to political office. For Braun the distinction was and is that she became the first and only African-American woman ever to serve as U.S. Senator.

Edward Brooke

In 2006, Illinois elected Barack Obama to the Senate and in 2009, after becoming President of the United States, another African-American, Roland Burris was appointed to fill out the remainder of his term.

Scott is expected to be officially sworn in to the Senate on January 3rd, 2013 and he has already committed himself to run for election to a full term in the Senate. That race will take place in 2014.

Another Seat Opens as Daniel Inouye Passes Away

Senator Daniel Inouye

On the same day that one replacement is named to the Senate, another seat became vacant as Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate’s most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, died at age 88.

First elected to the Senate in 1962, Inouye’s tenure is second only to Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died in 2010.

Under Hawaii law, it is required that the appointee be of the same Party as the person they are replacing. As such the state’s Governor, Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, will appoint a Democrats successor to Inouye until a special election can be held. State law also requires that the Governor base his decision on a field of three candidates provided by the state Party. The appointee will then serve until 2014, at which point a special election will determine who serves the final two years of Inouye’s term.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

Some of the names being considered for submission to Abercrombie by the Hawaii State Democrat Party include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, 61, who was just re-elected to her second term the House in, and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. Other names include Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbar, the first Hindu-American elected to Congress and who is set to take office in Januar. Also on the list are former Hawaii governors, Ben Cayetano, 73, and John D. Waihee, 66. Odds are though that Hanabusa will get the nod. She is said to have been Inouye’s preferred candidate to take his place one day, and news reports following Inouye’s death have indicated that the Senator informed Abercrombie that Hanabusa should get his job.

Liberal Class Warfare Rhetoric…And Then There’s The Truth

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In what is sure to be a tough fought election full of scathing rhetoric, none has been more apparent in the last year then the class warfare being perpetrated for the most part by those on the left.

“Republican’s represent the rich. Republican’s support the rich. Evil millionaires and billionaires the lot of them.”
“Democrat’s represent the little guy. Democrat’s support the poor and downtrodden. Democrat’s are ‘one of you'”.

Basic political rhetoric that most often comes from those on the left. Especially when their fiscal record is as bad as it appears it will be heading in to the 2012 elections. They sure can’t run on the record but what they can do, and do effectively, is pit American’s against each other as they head to the ballot box using the ‘evil rich Republican’ vs. the ‘poor and middle class Democrat’ argument. An argument which I am about to prove false.

Using 2009 data from the 2010 Census, out of the top 20 states in median household income 14 of those states are Blue (Democrat), 2 are considered Purple (Center) and 4 are Red (Republican). The bottom 20 states in median household income are the exact polar opposite. Out of the states at the bottom of the income data 14 are Red, 2 are Purple and 4 are Blue. Median household income data by state

So, if the Republican’s support the rich and Democrats support the poor why is it that the richest states vote Democrat and the poorest vote Republican?

Because that’s what false data and rhetoric does. It attempts to paint a picture that isn’t always a fair and accurate one. Some politicians believe that if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth. That appears to be the case in regards to the class warfare being perpetrated as we head into November. The problem is as long as this false information has been perpetrated it apparently hasn’t weighed on the opinions of the classes who are supposed to be ‘at war’. The poorest states still vote Republican and the richest states still vote Democrat.

Don’t tell anyone. We don’t want the Democrats to have to change the perception they believe they have built over decades. We will simply just hope that they don’t notice the rich and poor aren’t listening.

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3 things Romney needs to get Right, and so far he only has 1 of them.

Romney Looks the Part, but does he have the ideas in place yet?

 

To win in November, Mitt Romney has to get three things right. First, he has to be a positive physical presence, showing Americans what an optimistic American face looks like. Second, he needs to show how the American Mind works to solve problems. Third, he must win over the undecideds and the Blue Dog Democrats.

He achieves the first with some ease. He does look like a president, and although a little stiff and awkward at times, he has a smile and positive outlook that is very American. Unlike his dour and aloof opponent, Governor Romney shows hope in his physical presence which America badly needs in its leader.

Why? Because the one thing that all nations need right now, not just America, is a positive and can-do Capitalist attitude to lift us out of this recession. Back in 2007, at this time, candidate Obama was painting the economy in apocalyptic terms, because he was going to arrive on wings, lifted by adulation, to solve the nation’s, and the world’s, woes. Don’t just take my word for it, even Hilary Clinton was saying as much.

Also back in 2007, the economy was in a punishing mood. We were living in a bubble that was only amazing in the sense that it took so long to burst. Living off too much debt and leverage, which are not bad things in themselves when used wisely, the spirit was a “can’t do” attitude. The basics of economic life were consigned to the trash, and individuals, companies and government contrived to live as if the economy can’t fail and we can’t be bothered to work to produce real wealth.

Hence, the misery that followed. Hence, the big disappointment that became President Barack Obama. Hence, the constant concern on the president’s face, disguising a man out of his depth. So, we need a can-do president, who believes there is enough of the American dream to fuel a new era of economic growth; which brings me to the second thing.

Rooted in the American dream, Romney needs ideas that get the people energized. At a time when Capitalism is under stress, the battle of ideas has to be won. Folks need to see what the future can look like under Capitalism, not holed up in OWS enclaves or rallying against the rich. No-one complained about the rich when the economy was going up; why pin all the blame on them when it goes down?

Unlike Europe, Capitalism has been the engine of America from the beginning. It is inseparable from the enlightenment and religious ideas which formed the nation. Capitalism is not just a theory. It is a realistic, though like humanity itself imperfect, instrument for managing the needs and wants of a people. Romney needs to go beyond trotting out the same ideas of small government and tax cuts, and all those things, because they are ideas that are not just familiar, they are falling on barren soil.

Romney needs to shape these old ideas – and bring in some new ones – to show a recession weary nation why there is reason to hope. This is not the hope that was on the way for John Edwards, nor the hollowed hope of the Obama presidency. It is not even a hope in a Romney administration. It has to be a hope in Capitalism and a hope in the nation itself, in other words a hope in America.

So, the third thing falls into place if the first two are achieved. If Romney can capture the imagination, rooted in a realistic vision about the nation’s economic needs and other policy options, then he will reach out to those he needs to win over to become Romney 45. He needs to show a picture of the future that is not about government filling gas tanks or paying mortgages, but hard working Americans taking care of their own business.

The Obama bubble burst a long time ago, even for many of his supporters, and especially for those independents, youth and Blue Dog Democrats who believed he offered a new hope. Romney has only a little time to raise up new thinking in his campaign, and show why the economic bubble burst under the Republicans and George W. Bush, and why the economic solution bubble burst under the Democrats and Barack Obama.

Romney has one of the things he needs, the physical presence, but he needs the second thing of right thinking if he is to get the third thing which will sweep him into the White House. It’s over to you Governor….

Democrat Primary Voter Tells Poll Worker That “Obama Can Go To Hell”

 Bookmark and Share  Today is New Jersey’s primary election day.  It’s not exactly one of the most intense primaries on the statewide level that we have ever seen though.

On the presidential side, New Jersey’s nearly last place in the primary lineup essentially made the contest meaningless in the selection of a Republican presidential nominee from the get-go.  But to make it even more meaningless, Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate still actively running for the nomination.  However, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were still on the ballot.

So given the largely symbolic nature of the New Jersey presidential primary, as a former regional coordinator for Newt Gingrich, I chose to cast a symbolic vote.  I voted for Newt Gingrich as my choice for President, but I voted for the Romney slate of delegates to the national convention.  I did so because even though I prefer Gingrich, I am confident in Mitt Romney.  He was my first choice for President in the 2008 primaries and I believe that if given the job, he will be an exceptional President.  My favoring Gingrich in this now symbolic primary came from my belief that Newt is more reform minded than Mitt and I like that.  But with Newt out, I am solidly behind Mitt Romney and if Mitt wins the presidency, I believe he will at least deliver a degree of reform.  The type of reform that would be defined by his change in the direction we are headed in under President Obama, ad at the moment, that’s good enough for me.  But my symbolic presidential primary ballot was cast the way it was to send a message  that will probably not be heard.  That message was that I want to see Romney buck the establishment more and be more open to enacting reforms of government and our tax code.

In the other statewide races, New Jersey Republicans got to pick a nominee to oppose incumbent, liberal U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  That race has barely been a contest.  It has pitted unknown Republicans David Douglas Brown, Bader G. Qarmout, and Joe “Rudy” Rullo, against long time State Senator and former Republican State Committee Chairman Joe Kyrillos.

The sad fact is that most New Jerseyans didn’t even know there was a primary for U.S. Senate, and the media nationally as well as locally has barely acknowledged that there was a primary because it has been projected from the start, that Kyrillos would be the nominee.  Kyrillos has the support of Governor Chrisite and the entire Republican establishment, including Mitt Romney, whose 2008 presidential campaign featured Kyrillos as its State Chairman.   Between that lock on the state G.O.P., access to significant fundraising and the combination of all his opponent’s lack of name ID and their own financial resources, made this hardly a race.

I will be supporting Kyrillos over the lesser of two evils, Bob Menendez, in the general election, but I won’t say which of the 4 U.S. Senate Republican primary candidates I voted for today.  That was another symbolic vote.

My vote for a Republican nominee for the House of Representatives was however anything but symbolic.

Here I cast my vote against a candidate much more than for the other.

The 4th District congressional primary was much like the statewide U.S. Senate race.  It wasn’t much of a race at all.  It received no attention because 18 term incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Smith was running for a 19th term and there was no reason to assume that he would not be able to win it the same way he won each of his previous elections.  But as for myself, even though it can be said that Chris Smith is a conservative, he is not the best that conservatives could or should offer.

Over the  years, Smith has became naturally complacent and on several recent occasions he has voted for such things as federal Cap-and-Trade policies and other liberal oriented schemes.  But more than that, after 32 years in the same office, Chris Smith has lost all prominence as a conservative leader.  The type of leader who is in the forefront of creating conservative solutions and advancing the conservative ideology.  He lacks innovation and has become a fixture of Washington, D.C.,  just another notch in the belt of Beltway politics.  If any T.E.A. movement sentiments ever existed, it needed to exist in this race.  But it didn’t and as a result the virtual unknown and under-financed candidacy of Terrence McGowan had no chance.  So come November when the ballot will offer me a choice between Republican Chris Smith and the Democrat’s sacrificial lamb, Brian Froelich, I will cast a write-in vote for a conservative Republican.  Maybe Terrence McGowan.

At the bottom of the ticket I supported the unopposed Republican incumbents for County Sheriff and Board of Chosen Freeholders who are almost certain to win reelection in my heavily Republican vote rich Ocean County.

All this made for a very blasé voting experience that left me feeling quite unproductive.  I knew that each of my votes were not imperative and would not determine who the inevitable nominees would ultimately be.  But that does not mean my voting experience lacked any excitement.

As I stepped toward my voting booth, an elderly woman had exited it and she was arguing with the poll workers who did not know what to do with the voting machine because even though the machine was set for her to cast her ballot, she refused to vote.  For the befuddled poll workers, this created a problem.  If she did not press the button to cast her ballot, they would have to reset the machine and fill out a complex series of forms and file a cabinet filled with red tape to account for the uncast ballot.

While the wayward voter discussed the matter with one of the poll workers who stood aside the voting booth, she stated from behind me, “I’m not voting for Obama.  He can go to hell”.

The elderly voter was a registered Democrat.  She came out to vote against President Obama.  But what she did not understand was that in her Party’s primary, President Obama was unopposed.  So when she stepped in to the voting booth, she was offended and refused to vote.

After I cast my own ballot, the voter was still airing her grievance  with the poll workers and so I interjected and explained that as a Democrat, she was being given the opportunity to nominate the people she wanted to represent her Party.  I further explained that if she was a Republican, she could join me in nominating who we wanted to represent us in the Republican Party and to replace the President with.

We soon took our conversation outside of the polling place where in the parking lot I explained the process to her further and also made her aware of the fact that even though President Obama was unopposed for the nomination, she could have written in a name, a fact that she found much more appealing than just walking away.  But she was still quite frustrated and went on to tell me that we have to get rid of Obama.

As we parted ways, I realized that I was much more pleased by my voting experience than I expected.  I had unethusiastically set out to cast a bunch of symbolic and protests votes that I knew would ultimately do more to make me feel good than make an actual difference.  But in the end what I walked away with was an optimistic feeling about at least the future results in the presidential general election because you know it’s not good for Democrats when a lifelong Democrat voter stands behind you at the ballot box and declares that their Party’s nominee should go to hell.

And if that wasn’t pleasing enough for me, as my partner and I got in our car to leave the polling place, he told me how he voted  It turns out that despite any prior discussion about how we would vote, he cast his ballot the same exact way that I did, and for the same reasons.  So who knows?  Maybe there are more people out there who took the time to cast similar symbolic and protest votes?  I know at least a few Democrats did.

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Examining Democrat Spin On Mourdock Win

Upon witnessing their voting ally, Richard Lugar, go down in flames Tuesday, Democrats wasted little time before issuing statements that implied that conservatives, by unceremoniously dumping Lugar, were actually hurting themselves.

In an email circulated Tuesday afternoon, DCCC spokesman Matt Canter wrote, “By defeating Dick Lugar and nominating Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party is poised to hand another strong pick-up opportunity for Democrats”.

Meanwhile, Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist said, “If the Senate race turns out to be a moderate Democrat and an out-of-step Republican, moderate voters who regret that they can’t vote for Lugar will help Donnelly.”

Others got into the act as well. Wednesday, Laura Litvan, for Bloomberg.com, wrote, “Yesterday’s victory by Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the Republican race improves Democrats’ odds of gaining the Senate seat in November.” She offered no evidence, mind you. In fact, she immediately jumped subjects.

And that’s the point. These double-reverse psychology assertions aren’t built on any evidence, they are just hollow statements based upon the assumption that there is a mass of Democrats waiting to rough up Mourdock in November. If the assumption is wrong, the statements are wrong. Of course, there may be a hoard of Democrats and moderates drooling at the thought of stopping Mourdock’s senate career before it starts. The problem is there is no evidence showing this is the case.

There are two polls in existence pitting Mourdock versus Democrat Joe Donnelly. One, prepared by Wenzel Strategies, shows Mourdock at 44% and Donnelly at 39%. The problem with this poll is that it was paid for by Mourdock fans. So, toss it out. The other poll, a bit more objective, has the race as a tie. But it was taken in March so it’s a little dated.

Interestingly, in my search for polling evidence, I did stumble on Jim Geraghty with The National Review, who quoted Gallop, “latest surveys in Indiana show President Obama’s job approval at 40.1 percent and disapproval at 52.2 percent; 44 percent of the state identifying as Republican (up from 39.6 percent in 2009), 39 percent of the state identifying as Democrat (down from 46 in 2009).”

Here’s something else to consider. Depending on who you ask, Democrats have numerous (anywhere from five to seven) critical elections they need to tend to this year — Bill Nelson, Florida, Jon Tester, Montana, Claire McCaskill, Missouri, and the Brown versus Pocahontas thing up in Massachusetts — to name a few. The reality is Indiana was never on the to-do list. So if things get dicey elsewhere, Donnelly will be among the first to have his funding cut.

So, we have a poll that shows Indiana’s population is surging Republican and it has high dissatisfaction with Obama. The conservative grass-roots element, because of the Mourdock primary, is already well entrenched in the state. If necessary, Democrats will sacrifice Indiana to tend to other critical elections. All this seems to add up to an advantage for Mourdock. So although Donnelly has an opportunity, to claim that it’s a quality opportunity is a stretch.

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It’s Tea Time In Indiana

Today is a good day if you’re a conservative because yesterday was a very good day. In a GOP open primary with significant symbolism, Indiana voters put it to incumbent Richard Lugar and the Republican establishment, badly. When results began trickling in last night, it became obvious early that not only was conservative candidate Richard Mourdock going to prevail, but it was going to be a rout.

A reality in politics is that it’s rare for an incumbent to get tossed aside in a primary. So rare, in fact, it seems the establishment and Lugar got caught sleeping at the wheel. Perhaps they forgot about the 2010 elections. Perhaps they felt invincible. After all, Lugar is a six-term Senator. Whatever the cause, it’s clear they only realized there was trouble brewing about a month ago. But opening the checkbook — Lugar and his buddies spent some $3 million to get their butt kicked — wasn’t enough.

The Mourdock win is all the more satisfying to conservatives when you consider the establishment solicited Democratic voters to come out and support Lugar. This sad ploy however, aside from infuriating conservatives, had no significant effect on the vote. The final result (61%-39%) is an ear-ringing slap in the face to establishment Republicans.

Listen carefully, can you hear the moans?

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Tea Party Wins Even If Mourdock Loses

Much has been made of the Richard Mourdock and Richard Lugar primary Tuesday in Indiana. But why? After all, it’s only a primary. It’s a Republican versus Republican primary to boot. And it’s Indiana. These are all correct descriptions of the GOP primary, but they tell only a small part of the story. More accurately, depending on your word preference, it is an establishment versus conservative showdown or a D.C. elites versus purists ideological fight or a Tea-party versus RINO clash. It is this that makes the Indiana primary of interest. But what happens when the final votes are counted? What happens if the conservative challenger Mourdock prevails over the establishment-supported incumbent Lugar? Well, not much, or quite a bit — it all depends on your point of view.

Interestingly, from the left’s perspective there is cause for concern. Yes, Democrats are watching this race. If you ask a Liberal or Democrat that’s on the boob tube about a Mourdock win you’ll hear the only talking point they have: if the new guy (Mourdock) wins it means Democrats have a good shot at keeping Evan Bayh’s seat in November. The statement has no substance of course, as that show-down is too far off for accurate analysis, but it is something to say that hides the reality.

And just what is that reality? The reality is the incessant whining and blubbering from the left over the loss of “moderate Republicans” or “rational conservatives” or “well-grounded Republicans” continues. You have to look a bit deeper for it — which I confess, probably isn’t worth your effort. But it is out there. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s only natural to mourn loss. When you promote a party that rewards the intentionally unproductive and you need “moderate Republicans” to justify it, if you lose those them, it hurts. When you hail praise upon a party that promotes nanny-state policies, and rely on “rational conservatives” to help your cause, watching them lose their seats is a concern. When you subscribe to a philosophy of European socialism and you’ve relied on “well-grounded Republicans” to assist you in passing these anti-capitalism and anti-American policies, you feel the pain when you watch them fall. But don’t fool yourself, Liberals and Democrats aren’t dressed in black for the fallen individual (think of Bob Inglis, Bob Bennett, Mike Castle, or the retiring Olympia Snowe). No, it is the loss of their vote that creates the pain (see The Moderate Illusion). That is the reality. And now they may lose Lugar’s vote, too.

A Mourdock win has a different meaning for the right. In fact, it has a different meaning depending on where you are on the right. For the Republican elitists, like their Democratic cousins, a Mourdock win will inflict undeniable pain. The establishment has been forced to put considerable effort into saving Lugar, a 36-year veteran. An all-star cast of Republican elitists (John McCain, Peggy Noonan, Eric Cantor, Tom Daschle, Mitch Daniels) was herded up and put on display endorsing Lugar. Super PACs and their cash got into the game. So desperate is the establishment, in fact, they resorted to soliciting Democratic voters (see Establishment Turns On Tea Party) to take part in the open GOP primary in hopes they will vote for Lugar. Will the efforts pay off? We will know Tuesday evening.

For conservatives, the real objective of getting a conservative politician seated in Congress can’t be met with a primary election. But you can’t win a war without winning your share of skirmishes and battles. The replacement of an undesirable Republican with a conservative Republican is a skirmish. However, the circumstances of facing the Republican establishment on one side and their Democratic cousins on the other, makes it a large and meaningful skirmish. A win for Mourdock Tuesday will be a valid accomplishment indeed. It will be a rich reward to those on the ground for their focus, organization, strategic thought and hard work.

It will also be another example that the grass-roots approach chosen by the conservative movement is correct and it will energize other conservative organizations across the country. Of course, it will also send a loud confirmation statement to the naysayers on both the left and the right that the conservative/tea party movement is alive and capable of significant influence. And yet, a Mourdock loss, assuming it’s not a massacre — and there is no reason to think it will be — presents little downside for conservatives.

Mourdock’s current threat to Lugar, win or lose Tuesday, just reinforces to establishment Republicans that they still have to look over their shoulders and that their chances for survival are better if they stay in the shadows. But the strong conservative efforts in Indiana have forced these Republican hypocrites out of their dark hiding places and into the sun-light. And a RINO hunt in daylight gives the advantage to the hunter.

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In The Conservative Crosshairs: Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar is a longtime senator from Indiana but hasn’t owned a home there since 1977. And it is this type of paradox, a political career’s worth, that has Sen. Luger in the conservative’s cross-hairs.

Sen. Lugar was born and raised in Indiana and graduated first in his class at Shortridge High School in 1950. He attended Denison University and went on to obtain a second Bachelors degree and a MA from Pembroke College, Oxford, England. He was also a Rhodes Scholar. He did a stint in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960 and achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Back in Indiana, he served on the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners from 1964 to 1967. He was elected mayor of Indianapolis in 1967 at age 35, and served two terms. In 1976, he was elected to the Senate and has been serving Indiana since. This feat makes him the longest-serving Senator in Indiana’s history. TheIndyChannel.com reported in March of 2009, Luger holds a 98% attendance record.

If we stopped here, we see a man that has met with success and has a nice resume. But the current political environment demands we look further into our representatives’ voting records, and it is here, the paradoxes of Richard Lugar begin to accumulate.

Lugar loves of pork, so much in fact, he voted against the Republican majority for a permanent ban on earmarks in 2012. He also voted for the Wall Street Bailout. And the Auto bailout. He has voted to raise the gas tax and he voted for the tax hike in 1990 under George H. W. Bush. Incredibly, he also voted for Cap and Trade, and the ethanol mandate. But there’s more.

DailyKos.com reported on April 9, 2012, Senator Lugar has an F rating from the NRA. He also has an F rating from Gun Owners of America. He is a longtime supporter of the DREAM Act, and even introduced his own version (S. 2205) in 2007. Clearly, this is not the type of voting record that earns one a nomination into the conservative hall of fame.

A final factor to consider is Lugar’s relationship with Obama, perhaps started during their visit to Russia in August, 2005. Lugar is on record praising Obama and his foreign policy in a speech at the National Defense University and Lugar was named an honorary co-chairman of the Obama-Biden inauguration. Many conservatives feel the relationship is a bit too chummy.

So now we know the real Sen. Richard Lugar. He represents Indiana but stays in hotels when he returns “home” to his Indiana constituency, because he hasn’t owned a house there for thirty years. He is a political porker and has no problem spending obscene amounts of money. Nor does he have a problem raising taxes to do so. He doesn’t like guns, he supports amnesty for illegals and plays in the sand box with pals like Obama and Biden. He is a member of that group of politicians that hide behind the label “moderate” (see my piece The Moderate Illusion) in hopes of being able to eat from both plates. Their objective is to perpetuate their careers, not perpetuate America. And that is why he is in the conservative cross-hairs. The RINO hunt is on.

Can the conservative movement really take down a six-term incumbent? Many think it’s a long shot. But polls show the primary race between Lugar and Richard Mourdock, the conservative challenger, is much closer than expected. Will Lugar survive? Or has the time come for this RINO to be put down. On May 8, the Indiana voters will let us know their decision.

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In The Conservative Crosshairs: Tim Murphy

Congressman Tim Murphy is a five term Republican from Pennsylvania. He is Co-chair of the Mental Health Caucus and GOP Doctors Caucus, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and serves as the Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy. And he has a target on his back.

The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a super PAC, has targeted Republican Rep. Tim Murphy for removal. From a conservative’s perspective, Murphy has a poor voting record during his five terms in office. In fairness, he represents the 18th District, which, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review leans Democratic as, “53 percent of registered voters are Democrats, 37 percent Republican and the rest are independent.” This means for political survival, Murphy must be a moderate, something he is not afraid to mention, “The only report card I pay attention to is what my constituents want,” Murphy said. “I represent a very diverse district. I don’t represent just conservatives.”

But the super PAC is none too pleased with Murphy’s vote for increasing the debt ceiling and supporting Obama’s “cash for clunkers” program. The super PAC has pledged to spend roughly $200,000 in support of young candidate Evan Feinberg.

From the area, Feinberg, 28, is in his first campaign. He does, however, possess a conservative background. He has worked as an aide for conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and did a stint with the Heritage Foundation. Even so, Feinberg has an uphill climb. The primary is April 24, 2012.

UPDATE: Murphy wins primary

Romney needs to call Obama’s Bluffet….

 

We know that the Bluffet, sorry Buffet, rule is a motif for President’s class warfare, and more warning shots will be fired when Congress returns today from a two-week recess to a test vote on the rule, which would impose a minimum 30 percent tax rate on income over $1 million. The Bluffett tax targets wealthier Americans’ investments rather than salaries.

Today is the day when this issue of class warfare kicks off for November in earnest, now that we know it will be Romney for the GOP and Congress gets to have a say on the matter.

President Obama, who pays less tax than HIS secretary (he filed tax returns showing he paid an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent on income of about $800,000 in 2011) says the government needs the revenue from the Bluffett rule, estimated at $47 billion over 10 years, to cover “a broad range of goals.” He also says “This is not just about fairness.” Well, he got that right, it is very unfair, but not in the simplistic moralistic way he is peddling.

He says “This is also about growth. It’s about being able to make the investments we need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. And it’s about whether we as a country are willing to pay for those investments.” In other words, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Fact is, do we really need government to do the investing, and where does the investment go? Into government black holes and deep pockets, rather than into businesses which create wealth. The Bluffet tax would not create wealth, it would merely enhance dependency. We would see a better rate of return on the $47 billion in business investment by the wealthy than we would from government. That is an awful lot of liquidity to take out of the markets, and I don’t see too many secretaries taking up the slack.

Of course, keeper of the Treasury keys Tim Geithner was out pushing the rule on Sunday, “Just because Republicans oppose this does not mean it’s not the right thing to do and not the right thing to push for,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Double negatives aside, we can say that just because Democrats think it is the right thing to do doesn’t mean it even begins to make sense.

If we look at the paying side of this, we see the rich targeted for this end up paying more. Simple. But for what are they paying? Increased revenue means increased expenditure, and so the things for government to spend on expands to meet the expanded revenue. More programs, more dependency and less reward for effort. What does the payer get in return? They get little benefit, and the wealthier they are the less they need what they are paying for.

Which means the sole purpose of the Bluffet rule is twofold, increased state powers and redistribution of wealth. Conservatives who attack Romney or the rich for their wealth are playing with the same deck as Obama.

Obama says, “If you make more than $1 million every year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do… Most Americans support this idea. We just need some Republican politicians to get on board with where the country is.” Of course, Obama doesn’t have to worry too much about his investments, because after leaving office, which cannot come soon enough, he will make a ton of cash for the remainder of his days. He doesn’t have too much to worry about…The rest of us do.

Have Republican’s forgotten the real objective?

Tuesday’s Illinois primary must provide the turning point in the Republican Party presidential race after a month of close primary races and smaller territorial delegate race allocations.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has risen unexpectedly to challenge front runner Mitt Romney during this period with some excellent results in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado

Santorum’s surge has been more about the natural divide within the GOP, as opposed to his ability at the stump or as a candidate. It is the natural divide between economic and social conservatives within the party.

Santorum has been stressing his blue-collar roots, but in his speeches he talks less about jobs and more about freedom, less about tax cuts and small-business incentives and more about the cultural differences he has with President Barack Obama. He talks about family and invokes God as the primary force in America success.

The political climate in America has turned toxic over the last two years, with an almost ineffectual government whatever branch you consider, hateful rhetoric from both sides of the political divide, and distinct lack of leadership. Santorum’s rise has been more down to playing on people’s emotion’s and fears, then possessing a clear vision for the country. Gingrich in my humble opinion had the best vision and policies for the country, but lacking the required finance and organisational structure combined with a long Washington career, Santorum saw an opening and aggressively courted the Christian vote who were nervous about Newt Gingrich’s past.

Santorum has also benefitted by not having the baggage of Newt Gingrich, and he hasn’t had a long political career for the Romney campaign to pick apart and use against him. There is no doubt his stable family background and personal story have made him a likable candidate.

So why has Santorum risen so well against Romney despite his organizational and financial advantages? The answer is social issues. Social issues have played well for the Republican Party in winning the popular vote in past presidential elections, and they provide a good comparison when highlighting economic issues.

The ObamaCare mandate and Sandra Fluke controversy surrounding religious institutions, in particular the Catholic Church providing employee insurance for contraceptive services, including abortifacient drugs and sterilization procedures invades most people’s conscience able rights under the First Amendment. Many consider this an attack on religious freedom and unacceptable and a clear breach of their constitutional rights.

This ideological attack on core American values and belief’s, has assisted Santorum’s rise and represented politicking at its worst by the Obama Administration. Social conservatives wanted a champion and they found it in Santorum. Can Santorum win the nomination though? My answer is no!

A Romney-Santorum ticket now presents the most formidable Republican ticket for a November General Election ticket to beat President Obama.

Today’s Illinois primary involves a state more focussed on jobs, economics and results which plays to former Governor Romney’s strengths.  A strong Romney victory tonight in Illinois needs to act as the launch pad for everyone to finally get behind one candidate and that candidate being Mitt Romney. Governor Romney with his non-Washington background, business experience and temperament may not be everyone’s first choice, but he should be everyone’s only choice at this point. This election needs to be more than about party, it must be about the future of the American nation. Romney is a man who can bring the solutions to Washington and not become part of its dysfunctional problem.

The Obama machine has played calculated politics during this entire GOP primary campaign. Aided by the mainstream media, and holding the advantage of the incumbency. They have introduced issues at strategic times to divide the GOP field and do their level best to portray them as a party in disarray, this title usually better reserved for the Democratic Party.

Republican supporters, independent voters and any individual who believes in American core values and economic strength, now need to now throw their support behind Governor Romney should he win in Illinois on Tuesday.

A contested convention is not good for the party and will deny the party the necessary finance needed to mount a serious challenge to President Obama in November. Republican Party supporters need to realise that beating President Obama is not the alternative, it must be the imperative.

The Obama Team have been doing their best to portray the Republican candidates as extreme. This election cannot be about being cool and the environment, this election needs to be about jobs and the economy. This election cannot be about blame and derision; it needs to be about leadership and unification for all. This election needs to be about reinvigorating the American spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, not creating a society of big government and social dependency.

Any right thinking person will always want to see the President of the United States succeed and nowhere was this more evident globally then when President Obama took office. Sadly, President Obama allowed Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and lobbyist’s to consume his presidency and dictate and drive the policy during his term in office. The hopes and dreams of a nation and beyond were not only disappointed, they are now very much at risk.

Romney with his business background, intellect and experience can restore the confidence and hope in the American people, this being, that the individual and not big government can deliver their hopes, dreams and future prosperity.

Romney and the Republican Party need to see the real objective as being defeating President Obama in November. This will not be easy, but good policy and party unity behind Governor Romney is now needed.

In order to win in November, Romney and Santorum need to build a vision that will provide a family orientated, positive and optimistic outlook for the American people. Winning is not about being the other choice, it is about being the clear and obvious choice that America now needs.

Ohio Made Super Tuesday a Superficial Nail Biter

 Bookmark and Share  While Rick Santorum’s Super Tuesday results were far better than predicted, they did little to make a difference other than in the headlines we will be reading and in the cable news teasers that we will be hearing.

While it is true that the results from the ten state Super Tuesday contest can allow one t0 go so far as to say that Rick Santorum came out a winner,  his clear victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and his second place finish in Ohio that was too close for comfort for  Mitt Romney, have undoubtedly established Rick Santorum as the other man in what seems to be a two man race and it will go a long way to energize both Santorum supporters and Romney haters.  However, the psychological perception, as undoubtedly important as it is, does not change the reality that Mitt Romney has created for himself and despite himself.

Although it is too early to establish precise electoral vote counts after yesterday’s returns, the combined results of the nearly 20 states that held binding contests to date, make it clear that Mitt Romney has a much clearer shot at the 1,144 delegates needed to win the Republican presidential nomination, than do his remaining rivals in the race. On Wednesday, Romney’s campaign chief, Rich Beeson, will make a rare public appearance designed to stress that if one does the math, Mitt is the only candidate left in the race who can realistically collect enough remaining delegates to win the nomination.  While mathematics does make it for possible for Santorum to win the nomination, reality does not because it dictates that Santorum would have to rack up at least 60% of all the remaining delegates.  To perform that well, Mitt Romney would have to be caught in bed with an underage boy and Newt Gingrich would have to be caught cheating on his latest wife, Callista and neither are likely to occur between now and the Republican National Convention in September.

Yet Santorum’s outperforming and Romney’s underperforming in many Super Tuesday states, ends nothing except the unlikely ability for Newt Gingrich to comeback.

For Newt, Tuesday’s win in Georgia, the state which he represented throughout his entire political career, was a gimme and barely enabled him to call himself a regional candidate.  Losing to Santorum and Romney in other Southern, Super Tuesday states, denied Newt even that title.

As for Santorum, he has become the last real hope for those who wish to deny Mitt Romney the G.O.P. nomination.  It will allow Santorum to continue raising decent amounts of money and will provide him with a small degree of momentum as we head in to the next contests of Kansas and Mississippi, two states that should be fertile territory for Santorum.  In between those two states, several American territories will be voting and Romney should easily win them, but Santorum’s anticipated strong showing in Kansas and Mississippi will most likely make Illinois the next major and possibly decisive contest to come up.  If Santorum does as well as expected in the next two states and manages to make Illinois as close as Ohio and Michigan were, or worse yet for Romney, was to defeat him there, the race will remain in flux for weeks to come.  At least until Texas on April 3rd, and ultimately the Mid-Atlantic version of Super Tuesday, on April 24th when Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island vote on the same day.

Still though, all the the numbers are on Mitt Romney’s side.

Santorum may be able to hang on much the same way that Mike Huckabee did in 2008 after Mitt Romney saw the writing on the wall and realized that the numbers were on McCain’s side.  But hanging on and winning are two different things.  Sure Santorum may go for a ride a little longer, but unless the small chance of brokered convention arises, he has no shot at the nomination.  And in a brokered convention, with the establishment clearly behind Romney, Santorum still has no chance at winning the nomination.  Even though the race is competeitve with Santorum doing far better than ever expected or predicted, any perception that the outcome of the nomination is in doubt is a deceptive one.

However; the  problem is that just having the numbers on your side does not mean you can win the one thing that that all this is for.  The presidency.

As I pointed out, Mitt Romney saw that John McCain had the numbers in 2008 and dropped out.  But Barack Obama went on to defeat McCain.  In 1996 after winning only 4 states, even Pat Buchanan saw that he could not defeat Bob Dole for the nomination.  But Bill Clinton defeated Dole.  Those defeats occurred because the eventual nominees won the nomination not because they inspired people, but because they were just more acceptable than the other choices.  A similar scenario exists now with with Mitt Romney.  But in some ways its even worse, because a substantial numbers of conservative oriented voters and anti-establishment types, just refuse to accept Mitt Romney.  At least so far.

Ultimately, Mitt Romney has to begin winning Republicans and Independents over because they like him, not because they don’t like his opponents.  If that is the formula Romney is banking on to beat Barack Obama with in November, then let us all just throw in the towel now because it won’t work.   With a billion dollars to spend, President Obama will have the ability to not only make people briefly like him, he will also have the ability to make people hate Mitt Romney, something which Romney seems to make easy to do.

Meanwhile, regardless of how exciting the results of Super Tuesday seem to be on the surface, below the surface is a reality that dictates a fate which gives the Republican presidential nomination to Mitt Romney.  And while Rick Santorum can tempt fate, no matter how promising he may look after Super Tuesday, he will not be able to change fate and we Republicans can only hope and pray that Mitt Romney eventually gives us more reason to vote him than just the fact that he is not Barack Obama.

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It’s “Super Tuesday,” only Romney and Gingrich can emerge to challenge Obama

It is “Super Tuesday” in the GOP race to select the Republican nominee for November’s general election against incumbent President Barack Obama. “Super Tuesday” represents the biggest polling day so far in what has been an intense and sometimes bitter GOP race and will see contests in Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska. There are 419 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the party’s nomination up for grabs.

The biggest fight of the day will see current front-runner Mitt Romney, and unexpected rival Rick Santorum battle it out in the State of Ohio. Romney’s new slogan of “more jobs, less debt, smaller government” is part of a broader strategy, to counter Santorum’s appeal for both working-class voters and conservatives. A win for Santorum in Ohio is crucial as his support and lead in the polls is gradually being eaten into by Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Santorum has most to lose of all the candidates going into Super Tuesday, a failure to meet expectations and grind out a significant state victory will only add to the resurgence of conservative rival Gingrich. Gingrich was applauded by many yesterday, for a string of brilliant appearances on the Sunday political shows. A Santorum victory in Ohio, would yet again, turn the race on its head, while he is also aiming for victories in conservative Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Romney has been gaining ground on Santorum in the Ohio polls all week, eliminating a double-digit lead for the former senator from Pennsylvania, with one poll giving Romney the advantage, one gave Santorum the lead and the third showed a virtual tie. Romney is expected to easily win in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Romney’s superior organization and establishment support, combined with his massively funded Super PAC, has enabled him to compete all across the Super Tuesday landscape and potentially pick up more than half of the 419 delegates up for grabs.

In the state of Virginia, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul made the ballot, as both Santorum and  Gingrich failed to meet the strict state criteria. This contest virtually guarantee’s a Romney victory in the state where he enjoys prominent backing in the shape of notable Republicans Governor Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the states 46 delegates.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has yet to win a state primary or caucus despite his fanatical ground level support, is finally expected to pick up his first wins in Alaska and North Dakota’s caucuses.

Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, seeking a path to a comeback, leads his home state of Georgia. Gingrich anticipates doing well in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio and intends to carry on in the race, even if he finishes third overall on Super Tuesday, behind former Romney and Santorum. Gingrich hopes a Georgia victory will kick off his Southern Strategy of taking Alabama and Mississippi on March 13 and possibly Kansas, resulting in his third comeback in the GOP race, as the conservative alternative to Romney.

Former Presidential candidate Herman Cain hailed Newt Gingrich’s promise to push the price of a gallon of gas under $2.50 as the new “9-9-9” of the presidential campaign, he said, that gives voters a concrete promise of action. Gingrich has estimated that Americans will see a whopping $16 trillion to $18 trillion in federal tax revenue from the energy explosion, wiping out the national debt in one fell swoop.

I expect Romney to meet his expectations and win Ohio. Santorum will just fall short in Ohio but while he has enjoyed a strong six weeks of momentum, the pendulum is starting to shift away from him. He simply cannot discipline himself on the campaign trail in terms of some of his rhetoric and his constant commentary on social issues is playing into Team Obama’s hands. Santorum has raised his profile and in my view, exceeded expectations in this race so far and I credit him for that. However, if anyone believes he is actually capable of beating President Obama in a general election they are delusional.

I believe Gingrich will exceed expectations by winning Georgia comfortably, but will turn in stronger than expected performances in some of the other states in contention today. Gingrich is the solutions candidate, anybody observing him deliver a master class on topic narrative with the liberal media on Sunday, can’t help but realise, he is the real alternative to Romney.

Santorum’s bid will start to flounder after today, Newt will surge again, and the only matter that remains to be seen is how Romney, will cope on the campaign trail once he comes out from under the “Mittness Protection Programme.”

Newt can win the race still however, it is Romney’s to lose at this point.

Romney Taking Heat Over Position on Auto-Bailout in Michigan

Throughout the media Mitt Romney has taken heat for his position on the auto-industry bailouts.  Voters are noticing, too, as recent polls show that Santorum has taken the lead in the state.  It comes at a particularly bad time as the Michigan primary is just weeks away.

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in the Detroit News criticizing the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers.  In it, he stands by his position at the time of letting the companies go through a managed bankruptcy, which was eventually done by Obama, and touts his Michigan roots as the son of former American Motor Company and Michigan Governor George Romney.  Romney goes on to blast Obama, calling the bailout and subsequent caving to union demands “crony capitalism on a grand scale”. Continue reading

The Republicans’ fading colours – The Spectator Magazine

Link to the original article:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/7648068/web-exclusive-the-republicans-fading-colours.thtml

 

Web exclusive: The Republicans’ fading colours

11 February 2012

CPAC Review essay by White House 2012 writer David Cowan published on The Spectator magazine website

 

Growing up in the 1960s, my primary school in Cambridge had an outdoor roofless boy’s toilets, and we happily enjoyed urinating up the wall. It was a sign we were getting further up the school when one day we were able to urinate over the wall itself — much to the annoyance of people on the other side. This memory came to mind this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington DC over the weekend, the annual gathering of some ten thousand political activists. This year CPAC was a pissing contest to see who was the most conservative.

The three Republican frontrunners, Santorum, Romney and Gingrich, in that order, sought to reach the base and convince activists about their conservative qualities. The themes they all offered were: what’s wrong with the Obama administration; a shopping list of what conservative policies would work better; an appeal to American exceptionalism; and a return to the founding principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The three candidates are looking for the right to fight an Obama administration seen as somewhat Carteresque, from failed election promises through to the ideological infighting. Obama, though personally liked (Ann Coulter joked he would make a nice neighbour, unless you’re Chinese, then he’d keep borrowing stuff), is seen as ineffective and evasive.

To reenergise America, the candidates laid claim to the mantle of Ronald Reagan, frequently invoking his name and sunny disposition. Yet herein lies the rub. Reagan defeated Carter with ideas for the economy and foreign policy, successfully combining a conservative vision and charm to appeal to swing voters. At CPAC 1974, Reagan gave his famous ‘bold colours, not pale pastels’ speech, asserting conservative principles. This weekend showed that some of the colours have long since faded.

Things were certainly off-colour last time I was here, back in 2009, as defeated activists sought to pick themselves up after Obama’s coronation. The biggest cheers then were for Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, as they offered succour. Newt entered to his incongruous theme tune ‘Eye of the Tiger’, but instead of entering stage right he walked in through the crowd, parting them Moses-like, shaking hands and hugging supporters.

The danger three years on is, of course, an election that will see CPAC 2013 take place after a second Obama inauguration. Expect then a sinking sense of what might have been. For many American conservatives a Republican failure this year will exacerbate what they fear most: n irreversible dependency culture and Europeanisation. Daniel Hannan flew into DC to warn on just this point, expressing his amazement to rapt delegates that while Europe is driving off the cliff they can see America in their rear-view mirror, overtaking them.

Back in 2009 something else happened at CPAC. Sarah Palin was slated to speak, but failed to appear either in person or via a hastily announced satellite link. This was the signal that Sarah was taking the celebrity high road, rather than the political low road. This year, however, she did appear as closing speaker to offer the benediction — but not the one most people expected. She did not endorse Gingrich, as he himself alluded to in his own speech by quoting her husband Todd. She called for unity, but convoluted as ever, Palin said ‘whoever our nominee is we must work together to get him over the finishing line, and then next year we will have a true conservative in the Oval office’ — only to go on Fox news on Sunday afternoon to say she is still to be convinced Romney that is indeed a conservative.

Despite this, and despite the Santorum surge, Romney will see this conference as mission accomplished — reinforced by the CPAC Straw Poll narrowly backing his candidature. Out of the three candidates it looks seemed that Romney pissed the highest this weekend. And, while still divided, all the delegates would agree about who should be standing on the other side of the wall, on the receiving end.

CPAC and Sarah Palin mark a turn to unity

 

A vintage fiery performance: Palin told delegates we'll keep our guns, God and Constitution, and Obama can keep the change.

The most remarkable event of today’s CPAC was Sarah Palin endorsing unity. Instead of showing her support for any one candidate, she called for unity, saying that whoever the nominee is the GOP must defeat Obama. Whoever the nominee is conservatives must work together, she told an ecstatic audience, and the nation will have a true conservative in the White House.

The unity message, great!

It followed the announcement that Mitt Romney had narrowly won the CPAC Straw Poll, following his mission to the conference to prove his conservative credentials. It seems it may be mission accomplished. Certainly Romney will be feeling a lot better about his appeal to the conservative base after today.

The other remarkable performance came from the ever-popular Daniel Hannan, British Member for the European Parliament. Warning America not to go down the European road, he was amazed that while Europe is driving off the cliff they can see America in their rear-view mirror and overtaking them!

After his talk, I had a good conversation with him, as we walked through the hotel, including a detour through the kitchens! I asked him if he endorsed any candidates? He, just a little coyly, suggested it was difficult to choose, but stressed it was important for the party to unite behind a candidate and get Obama, who earlier in the day John Bolton called the “first post-American President”, out of the White House.

Daniel Hannan warns America not to follow Europe down a path and off a cliff

Hannan also urged me to write that the GOP must stop having so many debates, as it is only serving to divide the party. He also said Republicans need to focus on the budget, not all the side issues that divide conservatives. With that he headed for the airport, though many didn’t want him to leave and asked if he could be made an honorary American instead.

This has been an important few days for conservatives, and may finally signal the road to unity. Romney should start to pull firmly into the lead, and though Santorum and Gingrich will no doubt continue, they will see their numbers dwindle.

The New York Times carried a report ahead of Sarah Palin’s speech that she didn’t think a brokered RNC would be a problem. This is just a liberal wet dream. The reality is, Sarah Palin has signalled this important moment, and shown that there is less stomach for infighting.

I picked up my media credentials on Thursday at CPAC fearful of a divided party that would succeed only in rolling out the red carpet for President Obama. After three days, I happily left making my way through the handful of sorry-looking OWS protesters feeling that I can see November from here.

Mitt Flashes His Credentials with a Smile: See His CPAC Speech in its Entirety Here

Will Romney show his conservative rivals the door?

Bookmark and Share  A smiling Mitt Romney came to CPAC today with one thing on his mind, the need to prove his conservative credentials to the base of conservative activists. Telling the audience that he knew many of them came to conservatism via Hayek or Edmund Burke, Romney said his path to conservatism was paved by family, faith and his work.

Romney said he believes “we are poised for victory in November”, but beating Obama is only the first step to saving America, which has suffered from weak leadership and a bankrupt ideology. Obama has created so much unnecessary pain for Americans, he told the audience.

Romney reminded listeners that America is made exceptional by the people, before making the obligatory attack on Washington. He said Obama is the poster child for arrogant government.

It has always been clear that Romney’s kind of conservatism is fiscal, and he argued “if you are not fiscally conservative, you are bankrupt”. He told a cheering audience that he will finally get rid of the deficit, and “as the first step I will eliminate Obamacare.”

Referring to his competitors for the nomination, Romney said GOP nominees are not different in opposition to Obama or conservatism, but by experience and judgement. He also distinguished himself by saying “I have never worked a day in Washington.” He then joked “I served in government but didn’t inhale.” He said he wants to take his experience to Washington, ending his speech by declaring “I will come to Washington, I will change Washington, then I will go home to the family I love.”

After his speech, Romney joined the crowd, no doubt to judge just how much this crowd has embraced him as a conservative.

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