Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

New Sleep Disorder Hits American Voters

There are widespread reports across America that voters are suffering from a newly discovered sleep disorder called INROMNEYA. Symptoms are that folks cannot sleep at night for fear that President Obama will win another four years, but Governor Romney is not doing enough to help voters feel rest assured that he will win office and introduce real change.

INROMNEYA is derived from the Latin “Romnus”, the name of the Roman god of success, with the incorporation of the prefix “in” to show contradiction. Voters are being asked the two

Another INROMNEYA Voter Faces a Sleepless Night

litmus questions of INROMNEYA: “Do you experience difficulty voting?” or “Do you have difficulty going to vote?” To which many who voted for Obama in 2008 and said “yes, we can!” are now answering “No, we can’t!”

There is fear among the Governor’s supporters that he may not be able to bed down the economy and nurse voters back to health. Meanwhile, the Obama spin doctors are offering newly patented lies every day to try and help INROMNEYA sufferers.

However, many voters who have tried the newly patented lies have experienced a side effect sickness called Oblamia, which involves throwing up the lies when meeting INROMNEYA sufferers. This leaves both parties feeling nauseous, and leaves behind a very distinctive odor. Some Oblamia sufferers have even reported cases of Mad Biden’s disease, whereby the sufferer starts to drool at the mouth and then bark like a mad dog.

Paul Ryan-again-in-2016, says if Obama wins then we’ll be 2016 and deeper in debt, enough to keep anyone awake!

One international expert, Dr. Poll, says “we may just have to ride this one out, and let the disorder take its course.” However, Dr. Ron Paul-the-other-one-its-got-bells-on-it, says all the diagnoses are wrong and speculative. He explains that voters are not actually awake and lacking sleep, but sleep-walking into the election.

Someone, wake me up when November comes…..in 2016.

 

 

Republican Convention to Show Video Tribute to Ron Paul

   Bookmark and Share  During a 10 AM press conference call, Romney Campaign Strategist Russ Schriefer announced that the convention will be having a video tribute to  perennial presidential candidate, retiring Texas Congressman Ron Paul.   (audio of the entire press conference call can be heard in the video below this post.)

According to Schriefer;

Congressman Paul’s people came to us and said they would like to do a short tribute to him and we said absolutely, it would be a good time to do that.” 

Schrieffer noted “that while Governor Romney and Congressman Paul certainly disagree on many issues” they have “a lot of mutual respect between the two of them”.  Schriefer also stated that Senator Rand Paul will be speaking at the convention on Monday night and then made a point of stating that the Romney campaign looks forward to his speech.

With approximately 177 delegates and about twice as many when including alternate and unbound delegates, the often raucous and obnoxious Paul fanatics could try to disrupt the convention.  Attempts to get the G.O.P. to adopt such things as their isolationist foreign policies and reckless cuts in defense strategies could cause delegates to stage various protests.  So the Romney campaign’s willingness to show a tribute to Ron Paul is most likely a gesture to those delegates.  But it will also help to leave the door open for tens of thousands of other diehard Ron Paul libertarians who up to now, have vowed to oppose Mitt Romney.  By embracing the efforts of Ron Paul by paying honor to his decades in the House, the Romney campaign is giving at least tacit approval to many of the economic efforts the Congressman has been in the forefront of.   And under Mitt Romney, the G.O.P. is seriously considering some of Ron Paul’s big ideas such as a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, issues of Internet freedom, and even  opposition to indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.  Combined with Romney’s willingness to publicly credit Ron Paul for his contributions to the conservative movement, that may be enough to make discerning pauliacs who realize how disastrous a second Obama term would be, to consider casting their vote Romney instead of adding it to any anti-Romney vote total.

According Schriefer;

“We feel we’re in a good place.  We know that not everybody is going to agree with us all but we know that as the Republican Party, we’re going to unite and beat Barack Obama in November.”

During the press conference call, Schriefer outlined what he hoped the overall accomplishment of the convention would be and the sub-themes of each day and how they will drive a complete messages by the time the convention is over.  Monday will discuss how Americans can do better by addressing the failures of the Obama Administration over the past four years and the things that Mitt Romney will do to make things better. Tuesday will carry the theme “We Built It”.  That involves showcasing the fundamental philosophical differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney which is that while President Obama believes in government, Mitt Romney believes in entrepreneurship and the individual.

The third night of the convention will operate under the theme ” We Can Do Better”.  That theme will focus mainly on what Mitt Romney will do as President and the final night will tell Mitt Romney’s story under the banner of “We Believe In America”.  Schriefer states that on Thursday night, Romney’s story will be told in a way that will convince Americans that Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified to take on the problems that this country is facing at this time.

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Ron Paul Announces He Will End Actively Campaiging for President

 Bookmark and Share Texas Congressman and three time candidate for President Ron Paul, has officially declared an unofficial end to his third race for President.

The announcement came in a statement released on Ron Paul’s official 2012 presidential campaign website and in it Paul carefully avoided to declare that he was ending or suspending his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.  In fact the statement Paul highlighted a phrase contained in his statement.  It read;

“We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.”

The announcement comes at a time several weeks after most everyone else has taken for granted  that Mitt Romney, Ron Paul’s only remaining active opponent, is the Republican nominee.

Paul used his announcement to deny defeat and make excuses for why he was unable to win.

According to him, “success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have” but went out of his to add that in his opinion, he did win a degree of “electoral success” which he claims that his  critics denied were possible.

While it is true that Ron Paul did have some electoral success, it is also true that in this case, success is relative to his past two races for President, but his campaign was far from successful when compared to the reality of the race that he ran.

Throughout this long nomination contest, Ron Paul did almost win a barely contested, non-binding caucus in Maine but that’s it.  Aside from Maine, despite statements by Ron Paul which often claimed that more people attended his campaign events than did the campaign events of other candidates, in the end he won a grand total of 104 delegates to the Republican National Convention.   And while it is true that Ron Paul’s fundraising did exceed that of all the other Republicans in the race except for Romney, it is also true that when one breaks down the more than $36 million that Ron Paul raised, he paid $345, 243.00 for each of the 104 delegates which he won.  That is compared to Mitt Romney’s $90,530.00 per delegate, Newt Gingrich’s $173,016.00 per delegate and Rick Santorum’s $77,951.00 per delegate.

So it is no wonder why Ron Paul finally admitted that it would take too much money for him to win.  Based upon what it cost him to win just 104 delegates, it would have cost him more than $3.2 billion dollars in order to win the 1,144 required to win the nomination.  $3.2 Billion!

At that rate of spending, to win just the Republican nomination, Ron Paul would have needed to spend more than 3 times the $1 billion that President Obama intends to raise to win reelection to the White House.   Talk about money in politics.

Yet through it all, Ron Paul still remains a legend in his own mind as he promises to continue trying to get more delegates in order to influence the Republican Party platform at the national convention in September.  According to Paul, it is all a part of his “campaign for Liberty”.

The problem with Paul’s “campaign for Liberty” though is that it is based on several severely flawed beliefs which fail to acknowledge that any true campaign for Liberty must include the willingness to defend Liberty and despite his denials, Ron Paul failed to ever acknowledge the foreign threats that do exist.

Paul preferred to focus solely on the very undeniable and very real self inflicted, domestic threats to Liberty that Americans have allowed our federal government to put in place.  Threats such as irresponsible taxation and spending and the Nanny State mentality that attempts to make the federal government act as each American’s caretaker from cradle to grave.

I truly appreciate Ron Paul’s Paul Revere-like warnings of the latter but it is his denial of the foreign threats mentioned in the former which frightens me.

Ultimately, the number of delegates that Ron Paul accumulates will probably not make a much of difference, at least not on foreign policy, and national security and defense.  On those issues, most American’s believe in a better safe than sorry approach and most of them refuse to fall for Paul’s pitch for such things as allowing Iran to have nuclear capabilities because they are not a threat to us.

On such issues, 104 delegates out of the 2,286 delegates in attendance, will not be enough to change the platform positions of a vast and overwhelming number of Republicans who understand that the United States can not relinquish its leadership role on  the world stage to others.  However, paul’s delegates could make the difference on several economic planks in the platform, such as calls for the elimination of several federal agencies or cabinet positions.

Ron Paul’s full statement read as follows:

“As I reflect on our 2012 Presidential campaign, I am humbled by the supporters who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. And I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We will not stop until we have restored what once made America the greatest country in human history.

“This campaign fought hard and won electoral success that the talking heads and pundits never thought possible. But, this campaign is also about more than just the 2012 election. It has been part of a quest I began 40 years ago and that so many have joined. It is about the campaign for Liberty, which has taken a tremendous leap forward in this election and will continue to grow stronger in the future until we finally win.

“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.

“Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom are fighting and need your support.

“I hope all supporters of Liberty will remain deeply involved – become delegates, win office, and take leadership positions. I will be right there with you. In the coming days, my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help, so please stay tuned.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul.”

Considering Ron Paul

The perception of Ron Paul for many citizens is that he’s a bit out there, the crazy grandpa or the far-out old guy that’s running for the presidency. These are, of course, silly labels used by sillier people. However, because of the shallow and repetitive talking points in this dreadfully long primary season, for intellectual stimulation, I have been forced to take a look at Ron Paul. I simply can’t perpetually write about Romney the businessman, Santorum the preacher, or Newt, the man with baggage. As a conservative, a little more right than most, I have some rock-solid reasons you could jump on the Ron Paul band-wagon. Here’s reason number one.

Ron Paul wants to decrease the size of government. I believe in small government. So Mr. Paul and I easily reach agreement here. I question government’s intent and motivation regarding all things. It is filled with hypocrisy, saturated with corruption and it is administered by, for the most part, self-serving people who value their future more than the country’s. Would it be so bad to thin them a bit?

When I was young, being a government employee was not the celebrated career it is now. It was commonly known then that the government hires virtually anyone, no matter the true competencies of the individual. And it fires virtually no one, regardless of the level of incompetence. The practice still exists, it’s just hidden better from the public. For example, in Dayton, Ohio, you can score a 58% and 66% on a two-part exam and still become a police officer. I’ve been long out of high school but doesn’t that equate to an F and a D minus? But it gets better. These scores were decreased from 66% and 72% — obviously completely outrageous requirements. Interesting situation that you can fail your test yet get job, a pension and a gun. And, perhaps most tragically, we expect these flunkies to make quality decisions while on the beat. It’s absurd. More specifically, it’s government. And you may have heard, Congress in 2010, actually passed Obama-care before major sections were written. We’ve just recently learned the costs of Obama-care have doubled. How trust-worthy are these people? The politicians that pass these types of legislation are not concerned about you, me or the quality of the country. They are concerned about their re-election, nothing more. We could clean a few of these folks out and improve things a bit, don’t you think?

I also doubt the government’s ability regarding all enterprises. And since Ron Paul wants to do away with several government agencies, we again see eye to eye. Most would agree the government was slow to react to the BP spill. It seems common knowledge now that government was the real disaster during Hurricane Katrina. Recall in 2009 when the government had to announce it was 30% off on vaccine projections. Have you heard of the Benjamin Isherwood and the Henry Eckford naval vessels? Some $600 million was flushed.

Mr. Paul has said he would do away with the Department of Education. Promoted and politicized by the National Education Association (NEA) a labor union, and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979, it began operating on May 16, 1980. The point here is that it’s not very old. America existed, give or take, some 200 years without it. Do we really need it? In 2008, William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, outlined 20 concerns regarding US education. Among them was that, “American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science. Our advanced physics students rank dead last.” More recently, DegreeResearch.com reported in 2010 that 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year, some 7,000 per day. Do you feel these types of statistics are impressive? Ron Paul doesn’t. Nor do I.

The Department of Energy, another target of Ron Paul, is a similar situation, being relatively young (1977). The Department of Energy’s fiscal 2012 budget request was for $21 billion. Yes, that’s with a “b”. With that kind of funding, how can we have any energy problems at all? Apparently, some folks aren’t doing their jobs. So, I agree with Mr. Paul, let’s dump it.

Of course, these examples are just water drops in a sea of government ineptitude. I can go on and on and on. Google the subjects and you can read for months.

In my life, the only thing I’ve seen the government do well is perpetuate itself. And it does that by force, by deceiving the public and stepping on the Constitution. Name a program and you can find horrifying incompetence. Name an agency and you can find disturbing short-sightedness and waste. Name an institution and you can find corruption and the exploitation of the citizenry. Only the most absurdly naive are blind to this and only those with an agenda try to deny this.

Ron Paul wants to shrink government. He says he’ll eliminate the departments of Energy, HUD, Commerce and Education, as well as a few others. As a citizen, observing the changes in American society over the last 30 years or so, I’d support Ron Paul in his quest to shrink government. To me, it’s clear government doesn’t need to be small, it needs to be infinitesimal.

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Is Mitt Bouyant? Or Santorum Sinking?

The day before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is looking good.  It’s looking like he will take the key state of Ohio and could take Tennessee.  Both of these are very close races.  But Romney’s ascendency back to the top is marked by Santorum’s dive in the polls, and Newt’s resurgence again.  Newt will win Georgia, which has the most delegates of any Super Tuesday state.  Newt is also now tied with Santorum and within one point of Romney in Tennessee according to one poll.  Just last week, Santorum was looking good in both Ohio and Tennessee.

If Santorum is suddenly seen as faltering, we may see the polls seesaw back to Newt on fears of unelectability.  However, at this late stage that may serve to only help Romney, unless Santorum loses big time.  If Santorum comes in third in Tennessee or Ohio and Gingrich easily wins Georgia, the shift back to Newt could be significant.

Consider this, if Santorum was not in the race and his voters went to Newt, Newt would sweep Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.  On the other hand, the same could be said for Santorum if Newt dropped out and his votes went to Santorum.  In either case, Romney is the beneficiary of the social conservative split.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul is fleeing from social issues as he descends back into below 10% irrelevancy.

This could be short lived however, as Republicans revisit the myth that social issues are losers in elections.  As I pointed out the other day, a one dimensional economy candidate is going to struggle against Obama.  Republicans are more likely to be inspired to go to the polls for a bold conservative, and Romney is all pastels.  If Santorum falters tomorrow and Newt remains on message, this one could be far from over.

Santorum’s Campaign Against Himself

Bookmark and ShareBeing a political junkie I do spend time checking out the campaigns of any and all candidates I can manage to follow in local, state and federal races. It’s not necessarily the politics I enjoy as much as the campaigns themselves. I enjoy strategizing and predicting where, why and what candidates do or will do in their campaigns. I even follow those from the “D” word persuasion. As they say, know thy enemy.

There are moves that baffle pundits and followers alike in each and every campaign. No candidate is above or beyond making a move or even a gaffe now and then that leave some scratching their heads in disbelief. As the 2012 GOP candidates rumble through what has been a very tough primary process so far there is one candidate that has stood out to me, at least the past couple of weeks, as being stuck in a perpetual ‘WTF?’ moment. That man is former PA Senator Rick Santorum.

The first issue the Senator got caught up in is what I like to refer to as the social issue wheel of doom. If it was intentional on the part of the Obama administration and the Democrats is up in the air (as a campaign junkie I would like to believe it was intentional) but Santorum took the bait hook, line and sinker. Don’t get me wrong, social issues are important to the Republican base. They are especially important to the evangelical portion of that base to which the Senator appears to be the favored candidate. A base that is well aware of the Senator’s stances on all of the social issues they hold dear. It is because of that that I am baffled as to why a candidate with the experience of Rick Santorum would let himself get caught in the social issue whirlpool? He doesn’t have to convince the part of the GOP base that is concerned with social issues that he is their man. There may be a few Newt supporters out there that he can try and turn but if social issues were number one with them they probably have already moved to the Senator’s camp. The only thing getting into a discussion about Rick Santorum’s stance on social issues can do is turn off the independent voter that any nominee will need to beat the President in November.

Again, I state that social issues are important in any GOP primary. But doesn’t the Senator already have that vote locked in? Wouldn’t he be better served to go after the moderate republicans who are more concerned with fiscal issues and the size of government than to be preaching to the choir who has already named him choir leader? Recent Rassmussen polling has him behind Obama by 2 points nationally while rivals Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, yes Ron Paul, were polling up on Obama.

Although I disagree on many things with the Senator he does have some ideas that would 100% be better than the solutions, or lack thereof, being offered by the current Democrat administration. Every candidate in the GOP field would be light years better than what we have now. What I want in the GOP nominee is someone who can go head to head with the machine that will be the Obama campaign come November. In all fairness the Senator has stated that simply because he holds a personal belief, does not mean he will force that belief on the American people if elected President. I believe him. However in the soundbite world in which we live that information will not be stated or considered by the general electorate and most certainly not by his opponent. In an era of bumper sticker campaigns it is probably not a good idea, fair or not, to allow bumper stickers to hold your personal belief on the case of rape and abortion. The “JFK’s separation of church and state speech made Rick Santorum throw up” t-shirt will probably be a good seller at the Democrat convention.

The social issue wheel of doom aside what seemed to get the ire of even the social base Republicans was his Michigan robo calls for the Democrat vote. In watching the Senator’s Facebook pages and posts today he has been catching the normal flack from the Romney, Paul and Gingrich supporters but what surprised me was the blowback that was there from those that seemed to be supporters (or former as some pointed out) of the Senator. Now I am aware that I said he needs to reach out to the moderates to win in November. However, in reaching out to the Democrats he handed Mitt Romney the steering wheel of his campaign. I mean in all honesty when Michael Moore comes out and says he is going to vote for you so Romney doesn’t win…..you just kicked yourself in the proverbial junk. Romney’s people are already printing posters which point out that the Democrats are scared of him. Scared enough to vote for Rick Santorum who they feel will be an easy win for Barack Obama.

And after the social issue wheel of doom I fear they will be right. And Rick Santorum has no one to blame but his campaign against himself.

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Reality Check

As we head into Michigan and Arizona, the Republican party needs a reality check.  Fortunately, here it is:

Rick Santorum

The media is doing their best to paint Santorum as some sort of radical conservative religious whacko.  Hardly.  Santorum on social issues is saying what most Republicans are thinking.  The thing is, conservatives are scared to death of Obama winning re-election and many will gladly sacrifice what they believe to take the candidate everyone is telling them can win.  But here’s the thing, Obama’s economy has about a 26% approval rating and any Republican looks amazing economically next to Obama.  If Obama wins, it will be because he runs an incredible marketing campaign, race bates, and paints his opponents as somehow more socially radical than he is.  It won’t be because Obama saved the economy, unless moderates and independents are even more gullible and stupid than we thought.

What should keep Republicans up at night about Santorum is his passion on Iran.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon.  I think they will use it on Israel if they do.  But America is not ready to commit to another war.  I think we would have to see another 3,000 US civilians die on one day before the majority of Americans get the stomach for what Santorum has been talking about.  That includes what he has talked about with central America.

Mitt Romney

Romney is uninspiring by design.  His economic plan is a mixture of timid populism.  In the end, what he is running on is his record of creating a great deal of personal wealth and success, as well as his management skills.  But Warren Buffett, another populist, has also made great personal success through good management, and I think he would be a terrible President.  If this election were solely about the economy,the DNC would be looking for a new candidate and Romney would already be the GOP candidate.  The fact is, as long as Romneyites continue to downplay social issues, they will continue to loose the support of the majority of conservatives who actually care about social issues.  Believe it or not, many Americans on both sides of the aisle hold the value of their social and religious issues higher than the economy.   For example, many pro-lifers would sacrifice a great deal of wealth to stop the murder of the unborn.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Mitt Romney is the fact that even his economic plan has been as malleable as his social stances.  What was supposed to be Romney’s conservative strength has instead turned into calls to raise the minimum wage and tax the rich to redistribute to the poor.  In each case, this was a reaction from the Romney campaign to criticism from the left.

Newt Gingrich

Newt is the smartest candidate and he has the best ideas.  It is no secret that I believe this.  But Newt is easily destroyed by opponents and the media.  He has tried to run a cheap campaign with little or no ground game, which makes victory as visionary as a base on the moon.  Part of Newt’s problem is that now his electability is questionable instead of Santorum’s.  Newt isn’t going to win anything until he re-establishes himself as the only electable anti-Romney.  Every time Santorum wins another state, Newt’s chances dim even more.  Get ready for things to start looking real bad as Santorum wins Arizona and maybe Michigan.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Newt Gingrich is how easily he is destroyed by negative campaigning and how weak his campaign structure is.  If Newt can’t beat the unelectable Santorum and uninspiring Romney in every state, how would he propose to beat Obama?

Ron Paul

No one ever thought Ron Paul would win, except maybe his 10% who also think that being obnoxious will win people over.  However, it has been noted that Paul seems to have a cozy relationship with Mitt Romney.  Perhaps Paul also thinks only Romney can beat Obama.  Or, as some have suggested, maybe Paul has a secret deal with Romney to secure a VP slot for him or his son.  Actually, a Romney/Rand Paul ticket would be an incredibly smart idea and might be the only thing that can bring the extremes of the Republican party back together.  The only thing, of course, other than Obama himself.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Ron Paul is his Iran policy.  Yeah, maybe we aren’t ready to go to war in Iran like we did in Iraq.  But I also don’t think most Americans are ready to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that Iran isn’t a threat.  I think fewer Republicans have an appetite to continue the World America Apology Tour under a different name.

Barack Obama

The real reality check for Republicans should be a refocusing on Barack Obama.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who support him.  After Solyndra, Fast n Furious, reversing Mexico City policy, forcing religious organizations to provide abortion pills, Obamacare, and everything else Obama has done, there are actually cars on the road with Obama 2012 stickers on them.  Somehow, Obama still has a shot in this race.

What should keep Republicans awake at night about Barack Obama is that despite all that he has done to this country and to the rule of law and constitution, there are people who still support him.  The media refuses to vet Obama, even ignoring his radical social positions on abortion.  Meanwhile, in desperation Santorum is releasing economic plans that are going ignored by the party and media.  GOP candidates are doing a great job of getting their message out.  Unfortunately, their message is that each other suck.  Let’s hope that Republicans will find a way to inspire the entire base, and expose Obama on fiscal AND social issues.

Too Bad The Debate Won’t Matter

It is way too late in the game for the groundswell of Santorum supporters to turn back and take a gamble on Newt.  At stake is handing the Republican nomination to an establishment Republican with a liberal tax plan, timid economic plan, and nothing more than a strong business reputation to run on.  But after last night’s debate, the choice for the Republican nominee is as clear to me as the day I endorsed him.

I was proud of Newt for making a supremely important point in the debate over contraception.  The issue isn’t a debate between someone who wants to keep birth control pills legal and someone who wants to ban all contraception and chain women to the kitchen sink.  The debate is between someone who voted to make it legal for doctors to kill babies after they are born and the eventual GOP candidate who simply wants to protect religious organizations from having to pay for abortion pills.  The radical here is most definitely Obama and both Newt and Mitt pointed that out.

Santorum struck out more than once.  He came across as arrogant, angry and mean.  He has already taken a great deal of heat for dismissing unprincipled votes as “taking one for the team”.  This is the opposite of what anti-establishment Republicans are looking for.  I will give Santorum one very good mark though for making clear that when he talks about what is wrong with the family in America, he id not proposing that we use the government to solve it.  I mentioned that a couple days ago as something Santorum has not done a good job making clear.

Romney did a poor job connecting.  He has put up a conservative facade, but his opponents consistently poked holes in it.  In the end, he will keep his diehard supporters and establishment Republican allies, but he continues to disappoint.

Ron Paul continues to live in a time machine fantasy world where we supposedly can ignore what Iran is doing because we made them do it in the first place and ignoring them will make them go away.  Ron Paul does not seem to understand that on a scale of rationality, radical Islamic terrorists make the communists and fascists seem like Locke and Des Cartes.  Mutual guaranteed destruction is no great incentive for peace when offered to suicide bombers.

Unfortunately, Newt does not have the ground organization to convince Santorum voters to switch back.  But after last night’s debate, we may be kicking ourselves for a long time for overlooking him in 2012.

Is a Romney/Paul Ticket in our Future?

After the most recent Republican presidential primary debate, the Santorum campaign beganfloating rumors that the Ron Paul and Mitt Romney campaigns had teamed up to take out the socially conservative politician.  The rumors come at a time when the Michigan campaign is heating up ahead of its February 28th primary election and the candidates are competing for every vote.

Following Wednesday’s Republican debate, Santorum suggested that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had teamed up in their attacks against Santorum, telling reporters that “You have to ask Congressman Paul and Governor Romney what they’ve got going together, their commercials look a lot alike and so do their attacks”.
Rick Santorum’s top campaign strategist took the rumor even further, suggesting that the two have a “tag-team strategy” and an “alliance”, and even went as far as to suggest that Romney was planning on taking Ron Paul on as his vice presidential running-mate.  Ron Paul has said in the past that despite significantly different foreign policy positions and disagreement over the Federal Reserve, he and Romney get along well.
The Mitt Romney campaign responded by denying that there was any coordination between the two campaigns, his chief strategist Stuart Stevens telling reporters that “I think that’s a sort of whiney silliness…to say ‘people are ganging up on me’ in a debate where there’s only four people in the debate and they’re raising questions kind of speaks for itself.”

What if Santorum Wins Michigan?

Rick Santorum is polling just slightly ahead of Romney in Romney’s home state of Michigan.  This is significant for more than just that reason.  Michigan is a blue state that has seen what the Democrat party can do to an economy.  So why is Santorum leading billionaire successful businessman Mitt Romney in a state that is starving for economic turnaround?

If Santorum does win, I think one thing it will demonstrate is how much Romney hurt himself with his scorched earth approach to his competitors. Romney has not set himself up as a policies or ideas candidate.  Instead he has set himself up as the “not the other guys” candidate.  Romney has correctly calculated that Ron Paul supporters would rather see four more years of Obama than vote for someone who has insulted Ron Paul.  So he hasn’t.  On the other hand, Romney knows conservatives will suck it up and vote for him if their guy loses.

What Romney didn’t seem to calculate was what effect his being the presumptive nominee and Ron Paul’s disappointing finish in Iowa and South Carolina would do.  Or what vetting Newt to death would do.  Now Social Conservatives, unburdened by the fear of a Ron Paul ascendency and no longer split now that Newt has descended into irrelevance, are freer than ever to vote their conscience.  It’s no longer about electability.  If you want to know what Social Conservatives with nothing to lose look like, look at the polls in Michigan.

But here is where it gets interesting.  Romney may be on the verge of losing Maine to Ron Paul.  Santorum is capitalizing on the mandatory abortion pill provision Obama has decreed.  Newt is all but finished with no momentum and the March 1 debate canceled.  Suddenly, Santorum is looking more viable than ever.  If Mitt loses Michigan, we could see the impossible: Barack Obama versus Rick Santorum.

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.

Conservative Formula Plays Out

Imagine if you single-handedly picked Presidents.  The choice is up to you.  No need to consider electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, spoilers, or anything else.  Your choice is it.  Now, imagine you live in Montana, Minnesota, or Colorado and delegates aren’t rewarded based on your primary vote.  It’s pretty much the same situation.

The result?  Ron Paul got his standard 10-20% of libertarians and conservatives seeking radical constitutionalism, Romney got his standard 30-40% of fiscal conservatives who want a strong businessman, and the social conservatives split the rest.  Except in states where electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, and spoilers don’t matter, Newt Gingrich barely registered.  Instead, Rick Santorum, deemed unelectable from day one, swept bigtime.  It’s like “What’s My Line” where the points don’t matter.

Social Conservatives demonstrated what they really want, and it ain’t Mitt or Newt.  Mitt Romney is striking out with Conservatives, first with support of increasing labor price floors, then with information about his imposing abortion coverage on private companies like Obama is doing now.  Both of these are huge question marks on Romney’s record.

But Newt hasn’t done much better, with most of the country now thinking he was Freddie Mac’s number one lobbyist and had more sex partners than your average Mormon.  Romney has succeeded in dragging Newt down, and Newt hasn’t helped himself.

So does Santorum have a shot?  Probably not, but he does have something Iowa didn’t really give him: momentum.

Now Santorum can face the Romney attack machine for a while.  It started with the Donald saying that since Santorum lost in Pennsylvania he can’t possibly win the Presidency. Of course, that is a pretty funny standard to be judged by when it comes from a multi-billionaire business-owner who has declared bankruptcy four times.  I would think Trump would be able to relate to Santorum’s tenacity.

The problem with Santorum is that he doesn’t have that Presidentiality  that stupid, ignorant, and independent voters look for in a President.  He doesn’t have the hair or the chin.  Oh, and as Scarlett Johannson pointed out, he is unelectable because he wears sweater vests.  What Johannson underestimates is how many people out there who would take a bag of rocks wrapped in a sweater vest over our current President.

I pick on independents, but social conservatives aren’t much better.  When delegates are back on the table, don’t hold your breath for another Santorum sweep.  That would require conservatives looking themselves in the mirror and asking what they actually want in a President, not just who can beat Obama.  Tuesday’s message was loud and clear.

Rick Santorum’s Triumphant Trifecta Turns the Political Tables Yet Again

Bookmark and Share   In what proved to be another stunning turn of events in the ongoing Republican race for President, underdog Rick Santorum pulled off a truly stunning victory in not one, but three separate electoral contests across the nation.  Tuesday’s non-binding primaries and caucuses in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri were essentially beauty contests.  Quirky state Party rules do not allow for these contests to actually award any of each state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention.  That is left to a series of other events in each of the three state’s unique presidential electoral nominating process.

Nevertheless, all three of Tuesday’s election contests do bode well for Santorum’s chances of receiving a sizeable number of delegates when the final stages of the allocation process does take place and in the mean time, his clean sweep of Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri have provided voters with another tremor in the 2012 election cycle.  It certifies this election as one which has broken the traditional mold created by past elections which usually allow Republicans to have a clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination at this stage of the game.  Even more astounding about the results of yesterday’s contests  were a number of factors that also include geography, money, and timing.

After big back to back wins for Mitt Romney in Florida almost two weeks ago, and another big win in Nevada this past Saturday, Romney should have established  a degree of momentum that added to a sense of inevitability regarding his becoming the eventual nominee.  Add to that the undeniably sizeable, professional, and well financed organization that Romney has and you had no reason to believe that Romney could lose one , let alone three, nomination contests that took place hundreds of miles away from one another on the same day.  The mere fact that Romney’s abundant resources provided him with the perfect opportunity to dominate in three different races in three different regions of the country at the same time, should have made it much more difficult for his underfinanced Republican rivals to compete against him in all three states very effectively.  Yet despite being out-organized, out-campaigned, and outspent by Romney, Rick Santorum who has not won a contest since Iowa back in January, not only beat Mitt, in one state, he did so in all three states and even more dramatic than that, he did so by wide margins that would seem to indicate that Romney was not even competitive. That inludes Colorado where Sanotrum won by anywhere from 5 to six percent of the vote.  Technically, a win by more than 5% in any election is considered a landslide.

The results were so stunning and such a boondoggle for Santorum that it left the rest of the field with absolutely no ability to put a positive spin on the results.

Ron Paul:

Aside from a second place showing in Minnesota, Ron Paul underperformed and remains a true non-entity in his plight to capture enough delegates to have some relevance at the Republican National Convention.  Of course I could be forced to eat my words if a very close brokered convention allows Ron Paul’s handful of delegates to adopt some sort of dangerous foreign policy or national security plank in the G.O.P. platform or to even determine who takes both the top spot and second slot on the Republican ticket in September.  Until then though,  Ron Paul has once again become a sidenote in another presidential election and will remain so until he can win a state, something which seems to be totally impossible for him to do.

Newt Gingrich:

Tuesday’s results were nothing but embarrassing for Gingrich.  He went from establishing himself as a comeback king and giant slayer in South Carolina, to being about as successful as the Hindenburg.  Being beaten by Romney would have been bad enough for Newt but to be beaten by Mitt and overtaken by Sanotrum and even losing to Ron Paul in one case, makes it hard for Newt to to try to maintain some staying power as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.  It also makes it nearly impossible for Newt to raise the kind of money that he will need to compete effectively during the three weeks leading up to the Michigan and Arizona primaries, not to mention the all important Super Tuesday gaggle of contests that follows soon after that.   Newt’s pathetic performance in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota  now leaves him in the middle of an electoral desert and while I will not write him off, I will admit that any roadmap out of the desert for Newt must include some major stumbles and wrong turns by his opponents.

Mitt Romney:

There was absolutely no reason for Mitt Romney’s poor showing in all three state’s on Tuesday.  Unless of course voters just don’t like him and unfortunately for him, the evidence would seem to indicate that that is indeed the case.   While Romney had everything working for him in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota, his rivals had everything working against them.  Yet Mitt Romney failed to move closer to the nomination and ceded valuable ground to what is a very sizeable sector of the Republican electorate that seems to be more interested in denying Romney the nomination than they are in  accepting a clear alternative to Romney.  This now puts Romney closer to his moment truth.  He can either forge ahead by aiming his fully loaded negative guns on Rick Santorum, as he did with Newt Gingrich, in an attempt to win the nomination by default, or he can finally stop trying to play it safe and be a leader who puts forth a number of bold reforms in a concise conservative agenda that addresses the desires of the conservative electorate whose shoulders he wants to be raised to victory upon.  This means no more singing of  the national anthem to waste time that could be used to address the policies that support the meaning behind our anthem.  It means no more platitudes about policies and conservativism, or attempts to impress the nation with his wife and sons standing loyally behind him.  It means now is the time for him to step up and show us exactly why and how he can be the leader we are looking for instead of trying to convince us of why everyone else is not the leader we are looking for.

As for Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator has been given his own Newt Gingrich-like opportunity for a second comeback.  I am not certain if the opportunity was because he has actually been impressing voters with his policies and leadership potential, or if he is simply the beneficiary of a vote that is protesting the perceived inevitability of Romney’s nomination.  Either way, it is most definitely another chance for Santorum to establish the type of momentum that could catapult him to the nomination.

Doing so though will be an uphill battle.  Santorum’s newfound opportunity will be riddled with a barrage of assaults upon his record, a record that can easily be distorted and challenge his image as a consistent conservative.  Romney, Gingrich, and Paul will almost certainly transform Santorum’s prolific return of earmarks to the people or Pennsylvania whom he represented in the United States Senate into the record of big spending, big government liberal.   Santorum’s conservative credentials will also be challenged based upon his one time support for liberal Republican Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter in a primary against the more conservative Pat Toomey.

None of this will be impossible for Santorum to overcome, but it will help prevent him from gaining the head of steam that will be required for him to capture any sense of inevitability regarding the nomination for himself.  But at the same time, Santorum’s string of victories make it certain that inevitability still eludes Mitt Romney too.

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Florida Makes History Again. Now What?

Bookmark and Share   As is the norm for Florida, the Sunshine State has again made electoral history.  For the first time, the Republican winner of the South Carolina primary, lost the Florida primary.  What it means in the long term is uncertain, but what it means in the short term is quite apparent.  Nationally, Republicans have no real clear favorite for President yet.

Still,  Mitt Romney’s win was significant and he deserve credit for orchestrating it.  He spent $17 million to do it, but he did it and in the end, especially with 50 delegates now in his column, that is all that matters.  However, while Romney once again becomes the frontrunner for the nomination, you will have to forgive me if do not declare this race over yet.

With little more than 5% of the delegates allocated so far, there is no denying that the race is not over yet, but it was made even more obvious to me after hearing Romney deliver his victory speech, and after Gingrich and Santorum gave their concession speeches.

In his speech, Mitt Romney rose to the occasion and sounded enthusiastic, but humble, and most of all, he sounded presidential.  He delivered a speech that allowed people to truly begin to get comfortable with the idea of him being the candidate who can take the fight to President Barack Obama and beat him.  He didn’t seal the deal, but his Florida victory speech helped make people more willing to accept the now almost inevitability of his being nominated for president.  And now back in the frontrunner position, Romney offered not only a brief glimpse of the potential that exists in his carrying the Republican banner,  he even took some steps to put the ugliness of the intraparty battle for the nomination behind him by eloquently making the point that “a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us.”

But in his facing the fact that he came in second place to Romney with at least 15% less of the vote than Romney, Newt Gingrich offered a speech which oozed of defiance and held a true thirst for not just beating Barack Obama, but for bringing about the type of reforms that Americans want, but as of late, have not often come to see in either Republicans or Democrats.  He also provided some of the best reasons for his candidacy to date.

While limiting his negative attacks to calling Romney a Massachusetts moderate, Newt introduced what was seemingly a very heartfelt, personal contract with the American people, a spin on the now famous 1994 Contract With America that he spearheaded and guided through Congress.

Newt’s personal  contract consists of two parts.  The first part is conditional and it requires that the people elect conservatives to Congress.  If they do that, Newt promises that before he takes office, he will request that on January 3rd, 2013, the new Congress stays in session and immediately repeals Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes Oxley, three bills that are being viewed as among  the most  detrimental legislative initiatives effecting our economy.  Gingrich vows that if the American people elect strong conservative majorities to Congress, those three measures can be repealed by Congress and on the day of his inauguration, he will sign the legislation to rid us of those massive government burdens.  The problem there is that unless it is veto proof majority, President Obama will have the opportunity to veto it before Gingrich has the opportunity to sign it.  So Newt might want to hold back on his request for january 3rd vote on those issues.

The rest of Newt’s personal contract is a promise to promptly enact a series of constitutional executive orders that will consist of immediately abolishing the existence of all White House czars, an  immediate order to commence construction of the Keystone Pipeline project, an executive order opening the American embassy in Jerusalem and essentially acknowledging that divided city as Israel’s capital, another executive order which would reinstate the Reagan policy that did not allow  federal money to fund any abortions, anywhere in the world, and last but not least, he promised to enact an order that repeals any and all of the anti-religious acts enacted by the Obama Administration in what Newt described as the President’s war on religion.

Newt’s speech was far from a concession speech, but what it did do was offer voters some good reasons for why Newt should not give up.  With a room full of supporters waving signs that reminded voters that there are 46 more states which have yet to vote, Newt demonstrated that he still has what it takes to continue contesting this election.

The other speech of note came from third place finisher Senator Rick Santorum.

Even though Santorum placed a very distant third with only 13% of the vote in Florida, his speech actually provided a good rationale for his own continued participation in this race.

Knowing full well that he was not going to have a strong showing in Florida, Santorum elected to make his primary night remarks from Nevada, where he is campaigning in advance of that state’s Caucus which takes place this Saturday.

Taking advantage of the very rarely traveled high road in their primary contest, Santorum exploited the bitter battle between Romney and Gingrich by looking like the adult in the room who had his eye on the real prize…….defeating President Obama.

He stated that he was not going to criticize the personal and public successes achieved by both Gingrich and Romney as they have done to one another.  Instead he declared that republicans deserve better, and that he was going to focus on the issues important to the American people.  However, Santorum did argue that Newt failed at taking the momentum he had coming out South Carolina and converting it in to establishing himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.  According to Santorum, Newt proved to make himself the issue and the American people do not need a President who is the issue, but rather a President who can address the issues and solve the problems surrounding them.

All three speeches were actually quite good and they all provided a solid foundation and legitimate reasons for this nomination contest to remain competitive.  The problem is that Santorum and Gingrich will still have to find the resources it takes to convince voters that it really isn’t over.  If Newt can finally stick to the themes he struck in his speech in Florida, themes based on his being the anti-establishment candidate and a true conservative leader capable of achieving very real and very bold reforms, he can survive long enough to see another victory, but it may not happen for another month or more and the longer he goes without a victory, the harder it will be for him to achieve one.

Right now, the only thing we can be certain of is that Mitt Romney is the one in the catbird seat tonight.  The real problem I see here though is that Romney is still the candidate which for numerous reasons, many Republicans seem to be settling for.  Such uninspired support makes it quite possible for someone like Newt to turn things around by actually inspiring people and causing voters say, you know what?  I don’t have to settle for Mitt. We can do better.”

Until Mitt Romney is willing to stop playing it safe, and proves that he too can be a bold leader, he will remain vulnerable to being overshadowed by the boldness of Newt Gingrich’s vision and red meat agenda.  For Mitt it is now a judgement call and a gamble.  Does he continue to play it safe and rely on his giant campaign war chest to suppress the amount of support Gingrich and  risk the possibility of Newt turning things around again?  Or  does he step out of his safety zone and make an attempt to prove that he is more than just a wealthy Republican establishment candidate?

My experience with Romney leads me to believe that he will continue to play it safe with the expectation that Newt will be do just the opposite and a loss it all by taking one too many risks.

On a final note, yes I know that I did not mention Ron Paul and that I did not include his concession speech.  And no it is not because I am afraid that if I give him any ink, people will flock to his side and elect him President.  The reason I did not include Ron Paul is because he has yet to become a significant factor in this election and because he said absolutely nothing new in his speech following his single digit, last place showing in Florida.

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Santorum Shines, Paul Respected

The only thing worse than endless political ads is political ads being tossed back and forth in a debate format with no fact checker.  Well, almost no fact checker.  Romney himself got caught when he tried to famously disavow any political negativity coming from his side only to discover that he had indeed approved an attack ad against Gingrich.

What was lost in the mix was serious debate.  The average listener might think that Romney and Gingrich’s stance on immigration actually differed.  What we discovered instead is that they really are basically the same, making their attacks on each others immigration policy pretty funny.  In fact, they all seemed to have the same view on illegal immigration except for Ron Paul who seemed to be saying that the problem is we have a bad economy and if we had a good economy we would all want illegal immigrants to come here and take the jobs Americans won’t.

Of course, with Paul sometimes it is difficult to differentiate his “this is what I would do as President” with his “this is the way things ought to be” with his “this is the way things are” rhetoric.  It keeps him safe with both the radical constitutionalists and the ignorant populists in his base.  Of course, I myself am a radical constitutionalist, but most of Paul’s constitutional rhetoric falls under the “this is the way things ought to be” column.  I couldn’t have any alcohol last night because of an early morning medical procedure Friday morning, but if I had a drinking game it would have been how many times Paul redirected a question by making his answer about the war, how bad the fed has made the economy, or how small a constitutional government should be.  The immigration question got both the war and the economy.

Paul did receive a great deal of respect from the other candidates.  It was the sort of respect Romney showed to Bachmann early on in the race.  It was that sort of “you have no shot of winning, but I would really like your supporters to like me down the road so I’ll smile and pat you on the back” respect.

Gingrich fell into a trap that I warned about a few months ago.  He has big ideas, but he has also become more and more of a states rights conservative.  Gingrich’s problem is communication in small soundbites.  I understood that he was speaking about encouraging private ventures to establish a moon colony, but the three candidates up there either willingly or ignorantly seemed to think he was talking about NASA doing it.

Gingrich also dropped the ball on something he has done very well at in previous debates, not taking media bait.  Blitzer played Romney and Gingrich all night long.  In fact, it was Rick Santorum who had to bring the debate back to the issues.  Unlike the early debates where Gingrich ran the show and the other candidates followed his lead, this time it was Santorum who reminded the other candidates what the debates and this whole process is all about.  Because of it, Santorum shined last night.

Mitt Romney has hired Bachmann’s former debate coach and it shows.  He laid down persistent attacks, mostly inaccurate, and was distracted from the issues all night.  Newt attempted to rebut, but his responses were too involved for the average American viewer.  Romney easily turned Gingrich’s responses on their head.  A good example was when Newt brought up Romney’s investments in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  I think Newt’s point was that Romney shouldn’t be attacking him for doing consulting work for Freddie Mac when in fact Romney himself is making money on Freddie Mac stock.  In the end though, both sides lost that debate and viewers were left with a disgusting taste in their mouth.

I said that Jacksonville, Florida would be the most important debate of this election if one candidate could shine like Gingrich has in the past debates.  In the end, Gingrich saw his shadow and this primary will continue far beyond Florida.  And unfortunately, it will continue to get nastier.  The candidates have already said many things about each other that they will not be able to take back in the general election.  So in the end, Santorum won the debate, but the Republican party was the big loser.

 

Ron Paul Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech

Bookmark and Share  Following President Obama’s third State of the Union address, three time presidential candidate Ron Paul issues a scathing assessment which accused the President offering rhetoric that contradicts with his policies.

In his statement Paul also criticized President Obama for perpetuating what he called establishment Republican policies and for neglecting to address balancing g the federal budget and bringing transparency to the federal reserve.

Ron Paul’s Rebutal to the President’s SOTU

“Tonight, President Obama once again showed that he does not represent the fundamental change this country needs. Instead of offering solutions to the problems our country faces, the President was intent on delivering a campaign speech, further dealing in the typical Washington political gamesmanship that has gotten us exactly nowhere close to improving the lives of the American people.

In a speech where much of the rhetoric was devoted to job creation, it was strange that President Obama would brag about his job-destroying national health care plan, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank bill, which, contrary to the President’s claims, guarantees future taxpayer bailouts of large institutions. Unfortunately, President Obama’s ‘job creation’ policies amount to little more than continuing to allow government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, which is a recipe for continued economic stagnation.

President Obama claims to want an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. Yet he remains committed to the same old system of debt, deficits, bailouts, and cronyism that created our economic problems. The President speaks of giving us energy independence from unstable nations, yet he refuses to allow the type of development needed to achieve this goal, while at the same time his administration hands out favors to the politically connected – those given to the likes of Solyndra, who fail to produce jobs or energy but succeed in ripping off the taxpayers.

Of course, President Obama refuses to even mention the role the Federal Reserve plays in creating an economic system where some are denied a fair shot or even to support my efforts at bringing transparency to the Federal Reserve. Also not mentioned by President Obama is the very crucial need for reining in spending and balancing the federal budget. What is called by some ‘the greatest threat to our national security’ seems not to be of great importance to this President, although I, like many Americans, believe it to be cause for immediate measures, like the $1 trillion in spending cuts that would take place in my first year as President under my Plan to Restore America.

In the area of foreign policy and civil liberties, President Obama’s rhetoric may be different, but the substance of his polices – as shown by his administration’s defense of the TSA’s treatment of my son, Senator Rand Paul, is hardly ‘change we can believe in.’ No wonder more and more Americans, especially young people, are rejecting the phony alternatives of Obama and establishment Republicans and embracing my campaign to Restore America Now.”

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