The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.  In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.  Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.  Why jump in front of a train wreck?  Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.  Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.  Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.  The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.  Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.  He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.  If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.  But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.  Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.  However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.  Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.  While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.  Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.  But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.  Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.  Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.  Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.  We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.  There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.  In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.  That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.  However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.  Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.  He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.  Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.  As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.  Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.  But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.  And there are a few to choose from.  Rubio would lock of Florida.  Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.  Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.  Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.  Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

Romney Names Possible VP Picks to Head His Hispanic Leadership Team

 Bookmark and Share  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced the leadership team of  his Hispanic Steering Committee, “Juntos Con Romney”.  The steering committee will largely help guide the Romney campaign’s efforts among Hispanic voters and leading that effort will be its National Chairmen, Former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Former Attorney General of Puerto Rico Jose Fuentes, and Former Administrator of the Small Business Administration Hector Barreto.

Other prominent Hispanic leaders from across the country serving on the leadership team include his national Advisory Board members, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL),  Former Sen. Mel Martinez (FL),  Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA),  Former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL),  Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL),  Rep. Raul Labrador (ID),  Rep. Quico Canseco (TX),  Former Interior Secretary and Former Rep. Manuel Lujan (NM), State Rep. Anitere Flores (FL),  George P. Bush,  Rudy Fernandez,  Josefina Carbonell, and  Cari Dominguez.

Romney also announced that the honorary co-chars of  Juntos Con Romney are Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, all of whom are on White House 2012’s long list of possible vice presidential choices for Romney.

The addition of Rubio as an honoracry chair comes just days after Obama chief political advisor, David Axelrod, declared that if Romney chose Marco Rubio to be his vice presidential running mate, it would be “an insult to the Hispanic community”.

From my perspective, Republicans having Rubio on their side or their tiicket is not an insult, it’s simply an injury to Democrats that they will have to try to endure.  But the left is getting used to injuries. The recent defeat of them and their agenda in Wisconsin have helped to highlight the fact that they have been injured quite a lot lately.  The Hispanic-American community which has  unemployment levels and child poverty levels that are far above the national levels is just one of many groups that Democrats are slowly being hurt by.

Contrary to David Axelrod’s contention that Romney joining forces with a respected Hispanic such as Rubio would be an insult to Hispanics, it would seem more likely that many in the Hispanic community are instead  insulted by the Obama economic policies and the liberal culture of dependency on the federal bureaucracy, and the lack of opportunity that the Obama Administration has created for people of all backgrounds to improve their lot in life.

In the wake of Romney’s announcement about Juntos Con Romney, the campaign released the following statement from Senator Rubio which belied those facts.  According to Rubio;

No community values entrepreneurship and small business more than the Hispanic community.

“Unfortunately, President Obama’s failed policies of new regulations, higher taxes, and Obamacare and his anti-business rhetoric have hit Hispanics especially hard. Big government really hurts those who are trying to make it.  And with unemployment still abysmally high, the Obama economy is crushing Hispanics’ dreams for their children to live a better life.

The Hispanic community cannot afford four more years of double-digit unemployment and higher levels of poverty. Mitt Romney will stop the attacks on job creators, encourage entrepreneurs to chase their dreams, and bring good jobs and a better future to all Americans.” said the Florida Senator.

For his part, One of Romney’s new steering committee national chairmen, Former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez ,stated;

“The Hispanic community has been especially hard-hit by President Obama’s policies.  Instead of spurring economic growth and creating jobs, President Obama has only expanded government and hurt job-creation. We need a leader who will bring back jobs, help small businesses, and ensure that the American Dream remains for future generations. Mitt Romney has a proven record of creating jobs both in the private sector and as governor. Together with Mitt Romney, we will be able to do what President Obama has failed to do: fix the economy, create jobs, and get our country on the right track again.”

The Hispanic vote is seen as a an importgant part of the Romney formula for victory in November.  As the fastest growing population in the nation,  if the G.O.P. fails to make significant inroads with a substantial portion of the Hispanic vote,  that community’s influence in several key states such as Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and New Mexico, could put the all important winning number of 270 electoral votes out of Romney’s reach.

Meanwhile, each of the honorary national co-chairs that Romney appointed to his Hispanic steering committee represent some of the G.O.P.’s brightest stars, and not only will they help to advance Romney’s agenda among Hispanic-Americans, each would bring their own positive aspects to the Republican presidential ticket if they occupied it with Romney.  Which makes it easy to understand why each of them were sought out by Romney and why each of them must also be considered potential Romney running mates.

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CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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View Marco Rubio’s CPAC 2012 Speech in its Entirety

Bookmark and Share   As one of the opening speakers at the 2012 CPAC event, Florida Senator Marco Rubio demonstrated why he is the future of the G.O.P. and the nation.  He offered a speech that marked with a wonderful mix of  humor, sharp criticism and hard facts that highlighted the differences between the left and right and the exceptionalism of our nation which stems from the conservative ideology that founded it.

One of the best lines comes when Rubio related to the crowd in telling of how as a freshman in the Senate, he was initially floored by being in the presence of so many respected, prominent, national leaders and at times could not believe he was there, in the presence of all of these powerful people.  He then recalled how six months later he couldn’t help but wonder how those same people ever got there.

Rubio’s speech was hard-hitting and accurate and he delivered it so fluidly and naturally that one could not help but tell that they were listening to a future President of our nation.

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Obama Raised Taxes on Buffet’s Secretary!

Populism Gone Wrong

Last night, Warren Buffet’s secretary occupied  a place of honor as an invited guest of the Obama’s to the State of the Union address.  She got to sit with the First Lady, sort of like the Iraqi woman who was invited by Bush and showed off her ink stained finger for voting.  So what exactly did Buffet’s secretary symbolize?  The downtrodden middle class who somehow pay more taxes than billionaires like her boss Warren Buffet.

There is one glaring problem with Obama using Debbie Bosanek, Buffet’s secretary, as a prop for class warfare.  As Paul Roderick Gregory with Forbes Magazine calculates, Buffet’s secretary makes at least $200,000 a year.  Fortunately, she can still call herself part of the 99% because at $200,000 a year, she only made the top 3% of income earners, not the top 1%.

But here is the best part: Obamacare raises taxes on individuals making more than $200,000.  Because of Obamacare, starting next year Warren Buffet’s secretary will pay an additional 3.8% on investment income, and an additional .9% in Medicare taxes for a total tax hike of 4.7%.  And if Obama gets his way and the Bush tax rates are eliminated for individuals who make more than $200,000, Obama will have effectively raised Buffet’s secretary’s taxes by 7.7%, or possibly as much as 9.6% if she is in the highest tax bracket.

Good job, Mr. President.  Thank you for that ever-so-perfect State of the Union prop.

Speaking of Buffet

In case you were wondering why Obama canceled the Keystone pipeline, a move the Washington Post called “insanity”, we may get some clues by following the money.  According to Bloomberg, Obama supporter Warren Buffet stands to profit big time from cancellation of the pipeline.  Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway owns the rail companies who will transport the oil in lieu of a pipeline. Crony capitalism at its best, at the cost of thousands of American jobs.  Oh yeah, and for you environmentalists who opposed the pipeline, what sort of impact do you think transporting that oil on trains will have on the environment?  Maybe you should re-think this one.

Jacksonville TEA Party Straw Poll Picks Newt

In the first ever Angie’s Subs Caucus, TEA Party members from across the Northeast gathered at Angie’s Subs in Jacksonville, Florida to discuss local and national politics and have a straw poll.  323 votes were cast and the winner was Newt with 138 votes, or 43%.  Second place?  Ron Paul, gaining 26% of the vote.  Romney finished third.

Thursday, Jacksonville will be hosting the last debate before voters in this key state hold their primary.  Recent polls have wavered back and forth with Newt erasing a double digit deficit to now have a slight lead in most polls.

Rubio Flexes Influence

Newt Gingrich pulled an add calling Mitt Romney “anti-immigrant” after Marco Rubio called out the ad as deceptive.  What this shows is the incredible respect the current Republican godfathers have for the 2010 class.  And this is well deserved.  Marco Rubio, Alan West, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and a host of Republican governors including Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and others, represent the type of conservatism that the TEA Party loves, but that also resonates with Americans.  Part of the reason the 2012 Presidential field has been disappointing for some is because the giants of 2012 pale in comparison to the greatness of the younger Republican generation.

 

Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 11/01/11

Bookmark and Share    Newt gets one endorsement while others begin to contemplate doing the same, Iowa voters discuss the caucus process, Perry begins campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire but through recorded television spots, Romney and Cain tied in Florida, Herman Cain gives Politico hit piece legs, GOP presidential candidates chime in on South Carolina immigration laws, Young Democrats go after Ron Paul and Democrats of all ages promise tyranny. That and more gets kicked up on campaign trail this Tuesday.

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Perry Polls Well in Florida

A recent Florida Times Union poll has Rick Perry up by 9 in Florida.  Florida will be a key early state in the primary and of course could be the key to the Presidency in the 2012 general.  How solid is Perry’s lead?  As solid as the opinion of a 20 year old.

Perry took 67% of the young vote, ages 18-29.  The only other candidates to take any of this demographic were Newt Gingrich with 10 points and Ron Paul with 13.  10% of young voters remained undecided.

2010 election map: TEA Party favorite Rick Scott won Florida.

Perry won most demographics except notably seniors and blacks.  Romney carried seniors by a couple points and Perry got 0% of the support from blacks.  Support among blacks was carried by Mitt Romney with 37%, followed by Cain with 31%.  This was a bit of a shock in a state where blacks tend to come out to vote for black candidates regardless of party affiliation.  In fact, many in this demographic have come out saying they voted for Barack Obama and now support Herman Cain.  Romney’s ability to break into this demographic could be very helpful in the general election.  Perry got 0% of the black vote, while Santorum of all people and Huntsman picked up 14 and 18%, respectively.

Ron Paul did not crack the top five in the poll, and Huntsman eeked out a very weak 1.3%.  Surprisingly, even after ending up in the same boat as Perry on illegal immigration in the last debate, Huntsman got 0% of the Hispanic support while Perry ran away with 48%.  Bachmann also did well with the Hispanic vote.

In Florida, it is Perry’s game for now.  But this poll was taken right after the last debate and does not reflect the fallout from Perry’s Merck connection.  Fair or not, that is the same type of loose connection/unfair accusation that sunk Mitt Romney in Florida in 2008.  Just days before the Florida primary, John McCain accused Mitt Romney of supporting a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.  the result was a swing of a couple points that gave McCain the edge in the end.  Perry may not have forced retardation causing vaccinations on 11 year olds just for a $5,000 campaign contribution, but among Florida voters perception is sometimes reality.  This is especially true among young voters.

The minority split between Romney and Perry is not a great sign for Republicans in Florida for the general election.  It is difficult to win Florida without support in the I-4 corridor and the southern part of the state which have large Hispanic constituencies.  At the same time, when a Republican can’t garner support among blacks, but the opposing candidate is black, central-north and north Florida go from solidly Republican to only tenuously Republican.  The fact that Perry scored a 0% with blacks and Romney scored a 0% with Hispanics shows that both front runners need to do some work in Florida to ensure a shot at victory in the general election.

I can think of an easy solution for Romney or any other Republican candidate to nearly guarantee victory in Florida.  Make Marco Rubio your VP pick.

Marco Rubio Saves Former First Lady Nancy Reagan in Fall

Bookmark and Share  On Tuesday at the Reagan Library, before Senator Marco Rubio delivered a powerful speech on the role of government in our lives, he escorted former First Lady Nancy Reagan down a long aisle in between the packed to capacity audience.  Along the way, the First Lady, frail and walking with a cane, misstepped and was falling until Senator Rubio caught her and safely brought her back to her feet (see the video below).

Mrs. Reagan is now 90 years old and not very long ago endured hip surgery, so one can easily understand how this happened with the First Lady.  Thankfully though, Senator Rubio truly saved the day.  Had a a person with slower reaction been escorting the First Lady, it could have been a much different story.  But the real story here is the calmness and coolness of Rubio immediately after the incident.

As if there wasn’t already enough pressure on Rubio knowing that the eyes of the political world were on him during this, his first major speech outside of his home state of Florida and the confines of Washington, D.C., and just moments before he was to deliver his speech, the First Lady who he was escorting, collapses and he catches her in his arms.  That is enough to fluster, if not jolt anyone.  Yet Rubio proved that there is not much which rattles him.  Once he was at the podium, you never would have known what had just happened.

During the live simulcast of the speech, the camera filming the event was in a fixed position, so it did not capture the moment, but other sources did.    See for yourself how Rubio handled the incident.  Now I am favorably prone to Marco Rubio, so I don’t want to call him a hero who saved the day by saving the former First Lady from certain injury.  Others could have easily done the same.  But few others would have been able to refocus and deliver the type of speech he gave, quite as well.  For a young freshman Senator, Rubio is already more seasoned than most.  This was just an another example of that fact.

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From the Reagan Library, Marco Rubio Delivers a Powerful Speech on the Role of Government in our Lives

Bookmark and Share   On Tuesday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was the featured speaker at the Reagan Library.   His topic of discussion was the role of government in our lives.

The speech was both factual and inspirational.  It also demonstrated why Marco Rubio is considered to be one of the brightest stars of the G.O.P..  I am of the opinion that he is a future President.  In fact many have wished for Rubio to run for the office of President now, in the 2012 election.  But the young Senator has made clear that he is not even considering that as a possibility. When pressed on the issue, Rubio practically blushes with a sense of shyness over the idea.

At one point, he was asked what he would do if his mother told him to accept the vice presidential nomination.  With boyish charm, Rubio looked down and laughed and then quickly shot back “are there any other questions you have there?”  He then said that he wouldn’t want to be the Vice President for anyone who would want to live for 8 years in the White House. 

As for Rubio’s speech itself, it was a frank discussion of conservative Republican  ideological beliefs that essentially dictates that it is the people who control their own destinies, not the government.   Yet Rubio also declared:

“We have the opportunity to within our lifetime to actually craft a proper role for government in our nation that will alow us to come closer than any Americans have ever come, to our collective vision of a nation where both prosperity and compassion, exist side by side.”

Other memorable points Rubio made included his argument that;

“Poverty does not create our social problems. Our social problems create our poverty”

He further argued that  to achieve that, there were certain principles that we had to embrace which were absolutely true.  One being ;

The free enterprise system does not create poverty. The free enterprise system does not leave anyone behind. People are poor and people are left behind because they do not have access to the free enterprise system.  Because something in their lives or in their community, has denied them access to the free enterprise system.”

Rubio also declared that ;

“the cause of  conservatism is not to leave people behind. Conservatism is about empowering the people.”

In its entirety, the speech was a perfectly clear explanation of the ideological differences which put liberals and conservatives on diverging paths and it went to the heart of what makes many of us Republicans. And a such, it is a speech for both liberals and conservatives to hear.  For the left, Marco Rubio presents a compelling case for limited government while allowing them to understand why the right sees it that way.  For conservatives the speech is worth hearing because it will reinforce their sense of committment to the cause.

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See Marco Rubio’s Speech at the Reagan Library Live

See Marco Rubio’s live streaming webcast from the Reagan Library.

The topic of  of discussion is the role that should pay in our lives.

Clickthe image below to see it live :

McDonnell, Christie, and Rubio Make Romney’s Short List for Being Palinized

Bookmark and Share    At a private $1,200 per plate fundraiser in the home of Virginia State Senator Jeff McWaters, Mitt Romney declared that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are on his short list of possible running mates. The remark was essentially an innocuous statement of the obvious. For many conservative voters, Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio are on the short list of preferred candidates for President not just Vice President. Unlike many of the leading Republican candidates for President, including Romney, much of the conservative base of the G.O.P. are excited about the promise of Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio.

So for Mitt to suggest that he would consider all three men for the job of Vice President should not come as a surprise. The surprise would be that he wasn’t considering them. Such a surprise would also be a sign of some problematic political instincts. Any Republican who is serious about winning the White House in 2012, would be crazy not consider the governors of New Jersey and Virginia and the Senator form Florida.

However, would any of the three want to tie their future to Mitt Romney? Or for that matter would any of them want to tie their futures up with any of the current Republican presidential candidates?

If anyone of the three men in question were seeking the nomination, there would be none of the current chatter about a perceived lack of enthusiasm for the Republican field. Each of them would energize the base, excite those within the TEA movement, and even appeal to more independent minded Republicans. But Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio are not looking to be flashes in the pan. They are each in this for the long haul. Each of them are focusing on the still relatively new jobs that they have gotten and neither of them want to be palinized or quayled.

Those of us who were following Sarah Palin prior to her being picked as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, while we were pleased to see McCain pick her for Vice President, we were not pleased by the price she paid for accepting the nomination. After feeling threatened by the energy Palin brought to the otherwise lackluster ticket, the left pounced on her relentlessly. Combined with her relatively short political record and her inexperience with the constant political game paying of national politics, Palin’s image was not helped by the assistance she provided the G.O.P. in 2008. The same could easily happen with Marco Rubio who has not been in the U.S. Senate for even a year yet and Governors Christie and McDonnell who have served just about as much time in their current positions as did Palin when she was nominated.

As for Chris Christie, just yesterday, he again confirmed that he does not feel that the time for him to run for President is right and that he is personally not ready for to pursue the job. Ironically, he made that statement in Iowa, the hotbed of presidential politics which holds the first presidential nomination contest. But Christie was there as a guest of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a forum on education, not to run for President.

In the case of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, back in February, when asked “What if the Party’s nominee.. came to you and said ‘for the betterment of your party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate’. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?”, McDonnell replied, “Probably”. But other than that, the Virginia conservative has shown no interest in possibly giving up his job prematurely.

In regards to Marco Rubio, here is a young conservative who became the youngest Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and after being term limited, ran an incredible come from behind, against all odds, anti-establishment, race for the United States Senate. Before doing so, many urged him to wait. They asked him to pay his political dues and get in line in order to allow the traditional succession of the political hierarchy to tell him when it was his turn. Instead Rubio told the political hierarchy to get behind him. Eventually they did. Now Rubio’s future is still tied to no one. That is one reason why although he is a leading force in support of the principles held by the TEA Party movement, he did not join the Senate’s TEA Party Caucus. This was a bright strategic move that allowed him to create some distance between him and the type of hyperbolic rhetoric that the mainstream media uses regarding those connected with the TEA Party. While he adheres to the TEA Party agenda and in many ways leads it, the left does not have the opportunity to describe him as a radical, card carrying member of the TEA Party Caucus.

So Rubio is looking out and while being on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee in 2012 will undoubtedly be most beneficial to the chances of the Party’s winning the presidency, it may not be so beneficial to Rubio and the nation. The chances of being palinized for the sake of the vice presidency is not worth the risk. Win or lose, either way, for a talent like Rubio to be wasted on the vice presidency would be a conservative political travesty. And I believe Rubio knows that he is a future President, not a future Vice President.

Nonetheless, those who are running for President in 2012 need all the help they can get right now and not attempting to recruit the help of Rubio, McDonnell, and Christie would be stupid. The only question I have is why Mitt did not include New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on that list. In my estimation, each of those women are on a plane equal to that of McDonnell and Christie and almost equal to that of Marco Rubio.

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Rudy: Fresh Candidate or Romney Clone?

Some are convinced that Rudy is ready to step into the 2012 primary.  But is Rudy going to bring something fresh to this race?  Or will he simply join the race as one more fiscal conservative who will turn off social conservatives and join McCain as one more perfect GOP candidate who goes down to the Left?

Rudy is focusing on New Hampshire and recently used an opportunity in that state to rip Romney for Romneycare as the “inspiration” for Obama’s own unconstitutional healthcare mandate.  The idea for the Rudy camp seems to be that he lost last time because he bet the farm on Florida and was crowded out by Romney and McCain.  Will things be different this time around?

This time, Rudy is betting the farm on New Hampshire and perhaps a game changing late entry.  Even if Rudy Guiliani pulls off an upset in New Hampshire, will that mean he represents the GOP?  Hardly. Rudy will need to contend with the Southern/Midwest social branch of conservatism, and if 2010 is any clue, he may very well lose Florida again.  Both Rick Scott and Marco Rubio captured the swing state on a complete social and fiscal conservative platform.

More likely, Rudy will capture the fiscal conservatives who can’t abide Romney’s weak explanation of his healthcare plan, and Romney will capture fiscal conservatives who are not as socially liberal on issues like abortion as Rudy Guiliani.  Could this provide an opening for a strong social conservative even in New Hampshire?

Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.

 

Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at u4prez.com

Republican Presidential Contenders React To President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share Under an atmosphere that frowned upon the slightest hint of disagreement much more than in State of the Unions gone by, many potential Republican candidates for President had reactions to the Presidents address whichshowed that they were not timid in their desire to make clearwhere theyparted ways withthe President.

The often abrasive John Bolton who threatens to run for President for the purpose of focusing the nations attention on to international threats to our security Tweeted;

With no foreign policy victory of his own & many failures, bizarre that Obama would take credit for restoring America’s leadership in world.

Leading conservative deficit hawk, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint sent out a Tweet stating;

Our debt crisis demands spending cuts, not a freeze. When a car speeds toward a cliff, you hit the brakes, not cruise control.

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence sent out the following the email that described the Presidents speech as frustrating. In it he also sent a post SOTU interview he did with PBS.

Dear Fellow American, In last night’s State of the Union address,




President Obama called on Americans to take control of our destiny and take responsibility for the deficit.
He outlined plans to increase American competitiveness through education, infrastructure and innovation. And he encouraged members of Congress to put their differences aside and work together to restore this country to prosperity and greatness.So how does President Obama plan to achieve this transformation? More spending!

You and I both know that more spending and more borrowing is not the answer to get the economy moving. To hear the President call for more of the same stimulus spending that failed to turn our economy around for the last two years was very frustrating. That’s why I hope you will stand with me as I call on our leaders to give the American people a new direction.

Sincerely,

Mike Pence
Member of Congress

On his Free and Strong America PAC web site, Mitt Romney had the following statement posted;

President Obama knows where he wants to go, but he has no idea how to get there. Under President Obama’s economic leadership, more Americans have lost their jobs than any time in modern history. The on-the-job economic education of the President has cost American families almost a trillion dollars in failed stimulus schemes and, unfortunately, he’s still failing the course. Rhetoric, however soaring, does not put pay checks in pay envelopes at the end of the week. You can’t build a high speed rail system fast enough to outrun the President’s misguided regulations, higher taxes or lack of focus on jobs. Hopefully he is learning. American families are depending on him.”

South Dakota Senator John Thune issues a press release in which he decalred:

“After presiding over a staggering 21 percent spending increase during his first two years in office, the President’s proposal to simply keep spending at its current level for the next five years is too little, too late. In just two years, the government has grown at 10 times the rate of inflation.

“The president called for new spending, although he repeatedly called it investment,’ but this is nothing more than increased Washington spending in the style of the failed stimulus. With a $14 trillion national debt that is growing at a trillion dollars every year, we should reverse the out of control spending we’ve witnessed the past two years and begin to save taxpayer dollars.”

Herman Cain issued a statement that described the state of the nation as“fragile” and claimed that when the President spoke of “investment” we heard “spending” and when he spoke of job creation, we heard “but not in the private sector”. http://on.fb.me/gXSmwL

Ron Paul was unimpressed and in an interview seen below, said that he really didn’t hear anything he liked. He stated that he heard nothing regarding any real new cuts but did hear about more government programs.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told theNBC’s Today Show that there were “some good things” in the speech, but the president missed an opportunity “to take the deficit more seriously.” Obama “showed no leadership on that,” .

Freshman Florida Senator Marco Rubio told reporters “I had hoped to hear the president outline real solutions to fundamentally tackle our national debt crisis and help clear the way for urgently needed job creation,” “Instead, we heard him talk about more ‘investment,’ which is what most Floridians I know would simply call more government spending.”

Michele Bachman provided her Tea Party response to the State of the Union which was addressed here in a previous White House 2012 post. While it had plenty of visual props and offered some compelling factual comparisons, her performance lacked the poise and effectiveness of Paul Ryan’s official Republican response to the State of the Union address. That speech which can be seen here, was quite effective and offered a convicncing rationale for the challenges that they will present to Democrats as he and his fellow Republicans try to approach fiscal responsibility in ways that differ from the President and his Party.

In general, Republicans all heard the same things in President Obama’s State of the Union. They heard little that would dramatically tackle our national debt, curb government overreach and spending and very little in the way of inititatives that would help improve the near term condition of employment and the stagnant economy.

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Romney and Rubio Make Republican Ripples Across the Pond

Rubio speaking at CPAC in February 2010.

Rubio speaking at CPAC in February 2010.

 Bookmark and Share  The United Kingdom pays close attention the politics of the United States and the piece offered here by the U.K.’s Telegraph, is a good indication of just how astute our conservative friends from the other side of the pond are when it comes to the existing American political atmosphere.

Mitt Romney

Some of the most notable points made clear in the article include how Marco Rubio is probably the candidate who best represents all that is turning the tide towards Republicans in 2010 and that Marco is a very likely future President. Another point mentioned is one which I always address——the tendency for the G.O.P. to select the next in line as their presidential nominee and that based upon that history, along with his endless campaigning, Mitt Romney is the candidate whom is the “likely next in line”.

It should also noted be noted that at the moment, the U.K. is ahead of the curve when it comes to the prevailing ideological winds in global politics.  Afterall they went Conservative earlier this year with the elction of Prime Minsiter David Cameron.

Click Here To See The Telegraph Article

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Marco Rubio Gets the National Spotlight

Bookmark and Share         This past Saturday, Republicans used Marco Rubio to respond to the President’s weekly radio address. The move was one  which took advantage of gaining some earned of “free” media for what is one of the mosthotly contested Senate races in 2010, while at the same time providing the opposing opinion to the one offered by President Obama.

Marco Rubio

The Party that responds to the President’s message normally tries to do whatever they can to make their rebuttal as newsworthy and powerful as possible. This is hard to do since most Americans pay little attention to this weekly tradition. Most of the time, Americans only hear a snippet of the President’s address and the opposing Party’s response, when they contain something controversial enough for the major news outlets to carry. So what is the Parties normally do is incorporate some local color that gives reason for regional and local news carriers to mention the address and response.

In this case, Republicans used Marco Rubio.

The move successfully helped Rubio to capture some brief headlines in the South and Florida specifically. That in and of itself made this week’s Republican response to President Obama, all the more worth while. It earned Rubio some free publicity and helped people get familiar with his name as well as is helped to create an impression of Rubio as a figure of national stature.

But beyond perceptions, were the content of Rubio’s response to the President’s address.

While the address is far from being an example of legendary oratorical skill, it hit the nail on the head when it comes to the catastrophic handling of America’s economy by the current ruling Democrat regime in Washington, D.C..

Rubio’s response to the President spoke of American exceptionalism and the potential for its demise in the face of an Administration and Congress that has turned its back on the free market and relies on selling our children’s futures to make up for the past and get through today.

The address also gave a glimpse into the style and substance of Marco Rubio himself. This is something that is quite important in one of the most closely watched races in the nation and will be an important factor in helping to determine who wins that election in Florida.

Rubio’s senate race has many ramifications. If he can hold on to it for Republicans, it could throw control of the US Senate into Republican hands. If he fails to win it, there is no chance of that happening .

But in addition to that, it is my contention that if Marco Rubio wins his race for the U.S. Senate, he will automatically become a potential candidate for President. Maybe not in 2012. But anytime after that.

Don’t believe me? Well how many of you thought in 2006 that Senator Barack Obama would be President by 2008? The answer to that is, at least, most of you.

In the case of Marco Rubio though, there are many underlying, politically strastegic similarities between him and Barack Obama. Both men are young, energetic, forward thinking and ideological rocks. Both men have compelling personal stories.  And  both men have demonstrated a tendency to grab opportunities when ever they can instead of waiting for them to be offered to them.

While Barack Obama has demonstrated his deep conviction to liberal values, Marco Rubio has shown his deep sense of faith in conservative values. While Barack Obama was the son of an Ethiopian whom abandoned him to his American mother who passed away and left him to be raised by his Hawaiian grandparents, Marco Rubio was raised in a stable family environment but born to Cuban exiles who fled to America to create a better life for their children. And while Barack Obama knocked his opponent off the ballot to get a seat in the state senate and then grabbed a vacant and virtually vacant seat in the U.S. Senate to then oppose the likely candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President, Marco Rubio demonstrated a similar impatience for positions of influence but achieved them through more ethical and traditional means.

Rubio was a member of his local Miami council, then ran for the state assembly and eventually became the Speaker of the Florida State Assembly, the youngest one ever. After being term limited, he soon decided to run for the United States Senate by opposing the popular Governor and establishment’s choice for the Republican nomination. Rubio was running such a great race that the Governor dropped out of the primary race and switched Parties in order to survive till Election Day.

In addition to those similarities, like Obama, Rubio can be an eloquent and powerful speaker and like Obama, Rubio has the ability to attract minority votes, Hispanic votes, the largest growing segment of the population in America.

For all those reason alone, Rubio can easily be seen as a future option for Republicans. But the other reasons for his viability as a contender begin where the similarities between Rubio and Obama end.

Unlike Obama, Rubio is a fiscal conservative who believes in less government and less taxes. Unlike Obama, Rubio does not believe it is America’s place to apologize for our exceptionalism and unlike President Obama, Marco Rubio believes in the free market, has a plan to cut federal spending and the national debt and unlike President Obama, Marco Rubio believes in personal responsibility, not federal control.

In essence Rubio has the perfect mix of similarities with and differences from President Obama…… a mix that could make him the right President at the right time.

Does this mean we will be saying President Rubio anytime soon? Probably not within the next 6 years. But you never know.

If Rubio does win his race for the United States Senate, he certainly could make a realistic run for the Republican Presidential nomination and he could use the Obama model to do so.

He is fresh, young and new. He can’t be tarred with the transgressions of poorly constructed past legislation and he can energize and appeal to a coalition of minority voters that may not otherwise be inclined to support a Republican. Rubio also comes from an important state in President elections. It possesses one of the highest electoral votes in the nation and is often considered a swing state.

All of these factors must be considered when contemplating the viability of possible candidates for President and all of these considerations work in Marco’s favor.

Which brings us to another option……..Vice President.

There is a reason why it is typical for a presidential nomineeto have first a long list and then a short list for Vice President. The long list includes all realistic possibilities in an attempt to insure that no truly good choice is overlooked. The short list is the one that has narrowed down those choices to the ones who best fit all of the following general prerequisites:

  • Competency
  • Level of confidence voters have in candidates abilities
  • Ideology
  • Regional & Electoral College influence
  • Ability to energize your base
  • Appeal to Independents

Of all these considerations, depending on who the presidentially actually is, Marco Rubio has more potential than many others. So much so that I would have to say that Rubio at least makes it to the nominees “short list”.  But it all comes down to the biggest word of all…… “If.”

“If” Marco Rubio is elected to the U.S. Senate November, both his potential presidential candidacy and his potential vice presidential candidacy will become very possible in 2012 and beyond.

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