Newt’s Risky Statute of Limitation Strategy

 Bookmark and Share    Back in 1999 and 2003, I was living in Brooklyn, where I was born and raised.  It was an exciting time to be a Republican in Brooklyn and the other 4 boroughs of New York City.  Rudy Giuliani was running for Mayor and the city G.O.P. was on the verge of electing a Republican mayor for the first time in over a generation. 

But Rudy lost in 1989.¬† It was very close, but a loss nonetheless.¬† However there wasn’t much time wasted before preparations began for Rudy to run¬† in 1993.¬†

That second campaign saw a correction of¬†course¬†which¬†assured that mistakes made the first time around, were not made a second time.¬†One of those changes dealt with Rudy’s image.¬† The campaign of the¬†hard nosed, steely nerved, former prosecutor¬†with a tough on crime reputation that preceded him, started to market¬†Rudy as a softer, nicer candidate than he was in 1989.¬† So in ’93, out came campaign literature featuring, warm toned images of a smiling Rudy Giuliani.¬† The words spoken were more subtle and the images were softer.¬†

That year, Rudy won and the rest is history.

That same kind of softening of his image is what we saw Newt Gingrich begin to do when last Wednesday, he used a debate on national security to make clear that he did not want to use U.S. immigration policy as a tool used to break up and destroy families.

The move is a¬†risky one among the conservative faithful of a Republican Party whose electorate is tired¬†of games being plaid with ineffective¬†immigration policies and an unwillingness to enforcement¬†effective¬†anti-illegal immigration policies.¬† It seemed to be antithetical to the hardline, “deport their asses”¬†thinking, that many of us have towards illegal immigration.¬† However Newt’s position¬†was a strategic move designed to position himself in the general election.¬†

Newt’s position¬†is that those illegal immigrants who have gone undetected for¬†so many years now that they have established their roots and become productive members of¬†communities, should not¬†see their lives¬†destroyed by tearing their families apart.¬† He did not offer amnesty and did not suggest that these people be pushed to the head of any line for legal immigration.¬† But he was accused¬†of doing so.¬† And understandably so.¬† The issue is not quite¬†as clear cut¬†as many of us wish it to be.¬† The difference is that Newt is acknowledging the fact that¬†it is not so clear cut.¬† Others like Michele Bachmann are not.

The truth is that those who have assimilated¬†into our society after years of the federal government’s unwillingness and inability to enforce its own laws, should not suddenly be uprooted because¬†the federal government is now suddenly willing to play by ¬†its own rules.¬† As with many crimes, there is a statute¬†of limitations.¬† Such¬†¬†statutes are meant¬†to¬†balance the substantive right to justice with the notion of¬†procedural fairness, and in truth, those illegal immigrants who have been here for¬†ten, twenty, and thirty years, and have become a part of our society and created new lives, with new families of their own, would be seeing a change in procedures that at this point in time can only be seen as unfair.

Newt’s position is not amnesty, it is a logical extension of jurisprudence through an understandable statute of limitation.

If the United States suddenly intends to finally get serious about its immigration laws, sobeit.¬† I’m all for that.¬† Let us first secure borders and then let us enforce our laws and make it clear that the United States is closed to illegal immigration.¬† That is what Newt Gingrich sees fit to do as well.¬†

As with everything else in politics, it is not quite as simple as that.  You still have to somehow find a way for those who fell through the cracks to become citizens.  But Newt is willing to address these issues.  Others in the G.O.P. are not.

If Newt can articulate this approach effectively, conservatives, especially social conservatives, will come to see that he is taking a conservative approach to the issue, one which encompasses all aspects of conservative beliefs, such as the preservation of families and communities.   If he can explain his position properly, conservatives will see that Newt is willing to address the problem of illegal immigration, but not just some of it.  All of it. 

Yet Newt’s seemingly compassionate view of long term¬†illegal immigrants is still conservative and it is quite different¬†than the position¬†on in-state tuition¬†discounts that Rick Perry supports.¬† Newt’s¬†policy is not one that rewards illegal immigration with economic benefits paid for at the expense of taxpayers.¬† It is one that accepts reality and realistically deals with it.

However, in a politically charged atmosphere that only allows one to score points with soundbites, Newt’s position¬†may be¬†a hard sell among conservatives.¬† But if he can convince them that his approach is a realistic one to a very real and very complex problem, Newt will be better positioned if he does become the nominee.¬† Justas Rudy was in 1993.

In the general election, when the Republican presidential nominee is painted as an evil, cold-hearted, fiend, Newt will have his leverage.  He will be able to point to his preservation of families and his understanding of the problems that face us, as evidence of a man of both heart and mind.  Like Rudy in 1993, when he won , Newt is smoothing out the seemingly hard edges of conservatism.  He does so at the risk of being painted too soft but the Republican base will be doing itself a disservice by not recognizing the difference between liberalism and logic.

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“Rudy Rules Out a Run for President. Says It’s Too Late For Me”

Giuliani at a campaign event in Derry, New Ham...
Image via Wikipedia

Bookmark and Share¬†¬† In an announcement¬†that was overshadowed¬†by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for President, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced to an audience in Long Island that he will not for President in 2012.¬† He added;

“if it’s too late for Chris Christie, it’s too late for me”.

For several months now, Giuliani has stated that he was thinking about making a second run.

He briefly ran a dismal race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.¬† However, despite having exceptional favorable numbers and even leading in many polls, Giuliani’s campaign was a flop.¬† Much of that was due to the fact that he decided to ignore the earliest state contests and try to make¬†Florida his presidentiaql launching pad.¬† Rudy wound up¬†in the back field when all was said done.

Rudy never really seemed to be¬†very interested in becoming President.¬†¬†Ever since he raised the possibility of¬†running in 20012,¬†he¬†treated the idea as an afterthought, not a priority.¬† To maker matter worse, in what could only¬†have been seen as a dislike for Sarah¬†Pa;in’s conservatism, back in January, Rudy¬†indicated that if Palin ran, he would.¬† Trying to make sure that someone else does not win, does make one a good a choice to be¬†the leader of free world, yet that is exactly why Rudy considered running.¬† He just doesn;t like Palin’s politics, so he contemplated becoming a candidate so he could do just that.

So I am glad Rudy won’t be running.¬† Who needs Rudy when we have Jon Huntsman?

And here is some news for Rudy.  None of us sitting on the edge of seats waiting for your decision.

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Is Paul Electable? Only As GOP Nominee

He came in behind Michele Bachmann.¬† And don’t be fooled, Ron Paul was actually trying in Iowa.¬† So is Ron Paul really a top tier candidate now?¬† Jon Stewart seems to think so.

Actually, Ron Paul probably would win in a head to head with Barack Obama.¬† For a second tier candidate, he polls pretty well in head to head matchups with Obama.¬† The problem is, in his own party primary he comes in a consistent fourth at best.¬† Add Perry, minus Pawlenty, no change for Ron Paul.¬† Real Clear Politics has Ron Paul in sixth place right now behind two candidates who aren’t even running.¬† And I hate to say it, but Guiliani doesn’t have a shot.¬† Still, he outpolls Paul in the GOP primaries.

Is the lack of media attention really because we are afraid of Ron Paul winning?

Is Paul electable?  Sure.  As the GOP candidate he would make up for lost Republicans he has alienated with independents he appeals to.  Unlike McCain who went after fiscal liberal independents, Paul would go after social and national security liberal dependents.  He would actually take these away from Obama.

Shoot, I’d vote for Ron Paul over Obama.¬† But I’d also vote for half the Democrats over Obama at this point.

Www.dailypaul.com has suggested that half the Republicans want a third party.¬† That’s great, throw in half the Democrats and half the Independents, get them to agree on Paul, and you might have a case for a third party Paul run.¬† As it is, polls show Paul would only play spoiler as a third party candidate.

So is it a big deal that Ron Paul came in second behind Michele Bachmann in Iowa?¬† I’m going to say no.¬† Now, if he wins the Iowa Caucus, that might be something to talk about.

Christie and Giuliani and Ryan and Palin, Oh My!

Bookmark and Share   Four More Possibly Entries Into the G.O.P. Presidential Field Keep Things In a High State of Flux

 
As the time for when it will be too late to enter the presidential race approaches, four names remain the main focus of speculation. They are Sarah Palin, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and now House Budget Committee Chairman, Congressman Paul Ryan.

Yesterday reliable source Stephen Hayes confirmed that Congressman Ryan has been and is considering a run for the White House. Despite statements to the contrary from Ryan at the beginning of the year, Hayes, who has been investigating the story for over eight months, determined in July that Ryan was now considering it. This change of heart can be associated to a recent statement he made in which he indicated that he has‚ÄĚ yet to see a strong and principled articulation of the kind of limited government, opportunity society path that we would provide as an alternative to the Obama cradle to grave welfare state.‚ÄĚ

Today the unreliable MSNBC source that is Jonathon Alter tweeted that he has discovered New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is conducting focus groups in preparation for a possible run for President in 2012. Aides to the Governor have denied the rumor and I tend to believe them. Christie may very well be conducting focus groups but that could easily be in reference to the type of strategy that he intends to use for the selling of his legislative agenda and the state legislative elections that are being held this year in New Jersey. With newly drawn district lines, both houses of the state legislature are up for election and for Republicans, winning control of at least one of the two houses will go a long way in passing Christie’s agenda in the two years to come.

Still though, it is not unrealistic for Christie to be mulling over the possibility of a presidential run.

He has been courted by business groups and political leaders throughout the country including one recent delegation from Iowa, where the first presidential nomination contest takes place. He has also been skewing his language lately in a way that would have him seem less partisan than he has been in the past. This is not to say he has moderated his positions but he has framed his positions as being the result of non-partisan, good government,  leadership, rather than partisan political leadership.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has himself said that he considering a second go at the Republican presidential nomination. However it is clear to me that Rudy is far too indecisive to even be considered. For whatever the reasons, ever since Rudy left elected office in 2001, he has come close to running for United States Senate and then abandoned his first senate race against Hillary Clinton. Then he toyed with running for Governor, first against Eliot Spitzer than against Andrew Cuomo and in between he toyed again with the idea of running against either Chuck Schumer or Kirsten Gillibrand for the U.S. Senate. And in 2008 his run for President was so half hearted and pathetic that it could not be taken seriously. In fact Rudy has toyed with running for elective office so much that it would seem he is more interested in playing than leading.

Furthermore; if Rudy did not learn from his last failed attempt for the White House that a late start does not help, than I doubt he has learned enough to make another run any better than his last.

However, this time around , Rudy believes that the more Republicans who run for the nomination, the better his chances of winning because he will have a greater ability to distinguish himself as a moderate, a point he made in this interview with Piers Morgan. In the end though, the only way that Rudy will run is if Sarah Palin runs.

Rudy truly dislikes Palin and her politics, he has said so. And from what I gather, any attempt to run by Rudy would motivated solely by his desire to go after Palin. He has so much as said that if Sarah Palin runs for president, then, hell, he might as well throw his hat in the ring, too.

This does not a President make.

But Rudy probably won’t run. First because he is not as committed to the prospect of being President as one should be. And second, because Sarah Palin is not likely to run.

Palin has made no visible moves that are indicative of the early beginnings of a campaign. She is also doing quite well as a positive motivational force and making good money at the same time. This combined with the fact that she knows how much her and her family would have to sacrifice at the mercy of a national media opposed to her, makes the prospects of a presidential candidacy for Palin unlikely. Another factor is Rick Perry. Perry and Palin have become friends of sorts and now that the Texas Governor is in, I believe there is a high probability that she will endorse him.

But this is not set in stone either. If circumstances change and if Perry’s prospects are shot down and¬†Palin believes she would be the only truly viable conservative TEA movement candidate, she will enter the race. This is unlikely but possible, especially given the fact that of all the possible Republican names being thrown around for President, she is the only one who has a national following so large and so motivated that she can afford a late entry in to the race.

With an infinitesimal number of variables at play in the evolving presidential race, it would unwise for me to make any predictions. But the only reference to wise that has ever been made regarding me is to mouth, so I will go out on a limb here and make my prediction. Of Ryan, Christie, Giuliani and Palin, the only one who is still likely to get in to the race is Paul Ryan. At least that is what I hope. In fact it is my hope which is probably what most accounts for this prognostication. But as they say, hope springs eternal.

UPDATE:  Just as I wrote, Jonathan Alter is in fact an unreliable source.  As of this evening, Alter tweeted the following:

“Re my Christie screwUp: sources doing own focus groups that they made seem Christie semi-authorized. Wishful thinking.”
 
Leave it to MSNBC first to hire a socialist like Alter, and two to try pass Alter off as credible.

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Rudy Feels a Sense of Urgency Regarding His Decision to Run for President

Bookmark and Share    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is said to be preparing for a second run for theRepublican  presidential nomination.

 Although no one is confirming that a final decision to run has been made , anonymous sources close to Giuliani but unauthorized to speak for him, have indicated that the anticipated announcement of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy, has the Mayor feeling a sense of urgency in keeping his options open. That urgency stems from a fear that Perry’s entry in to an already crowded field of candidates will make it harder for Giuliani to hire good political talent for his own possible campaign in New Hampshire. It is for that reason that Rudy has been contacting many of New Hampshire’s Republican politicos. Whether any of them have committed themselves to work for Giuliani if he runs is not yet known,

Part of that concern has Wayne Semprini, the man in charge of Rudy’s New Hampshire campaign in 2008, contacting potential staffers in an attempt to assure the Rudy campaign of at least at a few experienced staffers, As for himself, Semprini confirms that the mayor is still considering a run but if Rudy does run , Semprini  will again stand with Rudy .

The only thing that is certain at the moment is the fact that Rudy will not be making any announcement, one way or the other until after the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Rudy does not want to be seen as tying the somber and emotionally charged anniversary to his political ambitions. Back in 2001, Rudy’s presidential prospects began to get quite real in the wake of his masterful handling of the crisis in New York City when he was its Mayor,

It is also said that the Giuliani camp wants to get a feel for how Rick Perry’s candidacy is received and how it shakes up and shapes up the existing field.

In recent months, I have not taken the thought of another Rudy presidential candidacy seriously. In past WH12 articles on the topic, I have even made fun Rudy‚Äôs presidential prospects. His last campaign was so poorly planned and managed that I do not believe he really wants the job of President but would instead like to be a political player and would like to either be the vice presidential nominee or be given a cabinet position. Rudy‚Äės heart is not in to running. If it were, he would have taken Hillary Clintons‚Äės Senate seat or when she left office he would have taken it from from Kirstin Gillibrand or The Governor‚Äės mansion from Andrewm, “Son of Mario”, Cuomo. But he didn‚Äėt.¬† Instead he has consistently thumbed his nose at running for statewide office and sparing us from the likes of Chuck Schumer.¬†¬†But now we are suddenly suppose to believe that he wants to run for President in all fifity states.? Sorry but I don‚Äėt think so.

That doesn’t mean he won’t do it. He very well might, but mark my words, if he does run, it will not be for his own presidency, it will be for the presidency of the man or woman who he can help cinch the nomination by swinging how ever many delgates Rudy may win, to the candidate that needs them to make it over the top. That arrangement will then make Rudy a kingmaker that will require many people to kiss his ring and beg for some political mercy from him once he gets the position he wants. For Rudy, the way I see it, he wants to either be Vice President or head of the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security or mybe Secretary of State. Of course another dream job for any good Italian boy from Brooklyn and Queens is that of Ambassador to the Holy Sea in Vatican City.

But other than that, I do not see Rudy’s run for President as a sincere effort to win the White House. Having worked for Rudy, I do know that while he is arrogant enough to think he is the best man for the job of President, I also know that he is not stupid enough to expect to win the Republican nomination under the current circumstances .  But kingmaker is not out of the question and Rudy knows that that is where he can have a big effect on the 2012 presidential race.

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Rudy Giuliani: A Better Democrat Presidential Candidate Than Republican Presidential Candidate?

Giuliani in drag and the way social conservatives see him

Bookmark and Share¬† As Rudy Giuliani continues to pretend that he can be a viable candidate for President on the Republican ticket, on Sunday during CNN‚Äôs State of the Union, he told Candy Crowley ‚Äúthe Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states‚ÄĚ.

While Giuliani claimed that he believes marriage should be between a man and woman, he stated that the libertarian streak of the Republican party should want to avoid ‚Äúgetting involved in people‚Äôs sexual lives.‚ÄĚ

The former New York City mayor and failed 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination told Republicans to ¬†‚ÄúStay out of it,‚ÄĚ and added. ‚ÄúI think we’d {Republicans} be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots and our idea of a strong, assertive America that is not embarrassed to be the leader of the world.‚ÄĚ

While there is a degree of truth in Giuliani’s remarks, the social conservative base of the G.O.P. will not appreciate hiss lack of defense of what they would consider family values. However during the interview, Giuliani did clarify that in trying to make sure that families stay strong, he believed marriage should be preserved as a union between a man and a woman. He went on to state that he disagreed with New York State’s recent legalization of gay marriage but added that it was based on a democratic vote and can live with it.

While Rudy supports civil unions, he also believes the issue should be left up to each of the fifty states to decide for themselves.

Rudy‚Äôs position on the issue is one which highlights what is essentially one of the G.O.P.‚Äôs most pressing ideological questions. If Republican conservatism is based largely on liberty and limited government, should a limited government actually make decisions that do not allow those who live in relationships that involve an alternative lifestyle to have those relationships receive equal treatment by the law and under a judicial system that is suppose to be blind to our differences? Or is the primary responsibility of Republican conservatism the mission to defend ‚Äútraditional‚ÄĚ family values regardless of how much government must get involved¬†in¬†attempts to¬†do so?

Sooner or later, the Republican Partyis going to have to make this decision. However, in the case of Rudy Giuliani, it is not likely that he will be able to do much to sway the Party in his direction. Answering that question will likely require the leadership of truly respected conservative leaders who are more trusted by the right than the left. It will also require the generational influences that account for the progression of cultural change that accounts for the societal changes that are constantly evolving.

In the meantime, the G.O.P. as a whole must somehow keep itself forging ahead while trying to reconcile its limited government beliefs with its desire to involve government in legislating family values. All while applying the basic American tenet of creating laws that defend equality. Until this reconciliation is achieved the G.O.P. will risk losing a significant minority of followers and future followers to the libertarian cause.

As for Giuliani, the reality of the current G.O.P. would indicate that he might have a better chance of defeating President Obama in a race for the Democrat presidential nomination, than he has at winning the Republican presidential nomination.

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Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

No, if you believe his now former Iowa director Tina Goff and Kevin Hall who was in charge of coordinating for the Iowa straw poll in just over a month.  Jim Zeiler has also left the Iowa staff and Cain lost his New Hampshire director earlier this week.  When it comes to managing a campaign, things are not looking good for Cain.

On the other hand, Cain is looking good in the Iowa polls.  Most recently he came in second only to perpetual front runner Mitt Romney and remade Michelle Bachmann.

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

The problem is that Cain has not done or said anything to differentiate himself from Michelle Bachmann.¬† Going into this race he had perhaps set himself apart as a more “serious” candidate, and certainly took on early momentum from the TEA Party.¬† But Bachmann easily out-shined him in the debate and continues to make the right steps even in the face of extreme character assassination.¬† Bachmann’s successes have made her detractors appear to be less “serious”.

In the meantime, Cain is reducing himself to soundbite worthy quips and small government platitudes while his substance seems to be a foggy mirror of the clarity Bachmann has produced.  The result is that Cain is quietly slipping into the shadows where other candidate copies, like Gary Johnson (generic brand Ron Paul) and Jon Huntsman (Mitt Romney clone only the media is excited about) reside.  Bachmann is quickly taking the TEA Party energy.

In some ways, Cain brought this on himself.¬† His radio host style speeches leave little substance to hang one’s hat on and his brief handling of gay marriage in the debate has alienated him from the religious section of the TEA Party.¬† In addition, at times he has seemed clueless on some of the more detailed issues such as right of return for a Palestinian state.¬† This still puts him miles ahead in knowledge from someone like Joe Biden who wanted a three state solution for Iraq.

Cain does have one demographic that still turns out strongly in support of him, and that is the African American conservatives, moderates, and independents.¬† Many of these who helped turn Florida blue for Barack Obama and are now disenchanted with his policies are indicating strong support for Cain.¬† Whereas Iowa is turning out to be a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Bachmann, all important Florida may end up being a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Cain. Real Clear Politics shows Cain in second place to Romney in Florida out of current candidates, but large percentages going to Huckabee and Palin.¬† It will be interesting to see how those Palin and Huckabee supporters break by the time we reach Florida.¬† It won’t be for Mitt Romney.

If Cain can survive until Florida and then capitalize on it, losing Iowa might not be that big a deal.  Then again, perhaps he should talk to Rudy Guiliani about that strategy.

Seven Versus One

The debate is over and there is a clear loser.¬† Whether by pact or we just got candidates this good, Obama was the only one with a target on his back last night.¬† Even Pawlenty wouldn’t take the obvious bait to attack front runner Mitt Romney.¬† The result was a debate of seven on one, and the One wasn’t there to defend himself.

The other loser in last night’s debate was CNN’s John King who amidst annoying grunts failed to turn the candidates on one another.¬† Even when he tossed Palin’s name out as an easy target for Republicans seeking to moderate, the response came from Tim Pawlenty and it was perfect.¬† Joe Biden has failed in every aspect as a Vice President, his views on Iraq were completely wrong, and Sarah Palin would be a better president than Biden or Obama.

Can Bachmann break through media created stereotypes?

The candidates handled tough hot button issues amazingly well also.  The shining example here was Michelle Bachmann who deflected an easy gotcha by making it clear that the role of the President and the role of the states in determining the fate of gay marriage is not equal.  She provided a balanced states rights view, while promising to protect the states from the courts if it came to that.  The other good answers on gay marriage were Ron Paul, leave it to the church and get government out, and actually Rick Santorum who explained that a constitutional amendment would require the approval of 75% of the states, something opponents rarely mention.  Cain appeared to struggle the most on the muslim staff question.

While there were no clear winners, I believe this debate showed two classes of candidates.¬† Michelle Bachmann led her class of fired up TEA Party approved candidates fighting for principled social and fiscal conservatism with unmeasured attacks against Obama and willingness to take heat for their views if deemed controversial.¬† Cain is included with this group, although he appears now more as a TEA Party candidate who jumped in feet first and now is searching for substance beyond catchphrases and buzz words.¬† He did not find that moment last night.¬† Ron Paul’s anti-establishment libertarianism may catch up to him this year when all the Revolution liberals realize that he does not support any federal entitlement programs.¬† Santorum failed to set himself apart as anything but a sacrificial lamb for 1st term George W. Bush style conservatism.¬† While they all performed well, Bachmann outshined this group.¬† Given the TEA Party’s success in 2010 and their conservative appeal, I would not write this group off.

The other group becoming apparent are the “intellectual”, restrained conservatives in Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.¬† Their answers would not pass a soundbite test, but they were clear, well thought out, and flawless.¬† At the same time, these three touted socially conservative views and credentials which should make each one palatable for any Republican voter.¬† Newt was in a tough place and would need to be the only shining candidate last night to pull his campaign out of the rubble.¬† His performance was near flawless and enough to start the rebuilding process, but not good enough to bring him in from the dog house.¬† And while he may be right about ensuring that America is on board with the Paul Ryan plan, he is sure to take more heat for some of his comments last night.

Tim Pawlenty was perhaps the closest thing to a winner last night.¬† He made a great case for his pro-life record, perhaps settled some social conservatives with his call for his stance on homosexuality, connected with union and blue collar America, and magnanimously skipped a golden opportunity to play John King’s game and trash the front runner.¬† While the left-wing media rakes Pawlenty over the coals for his choice, conservatives should take a much closer look at a candidate who knows the enemy.

Mitt Romney will remain the front runner after last night.¬† The campaign has been nearly effortless for him sofar, and he made no mistakes that would cause him to lose his front runner status last night.¬† But he shouldn’t get too comfortable.¬† With Huntsman entering the race and with Rick Perry and Rudy Guiliani mulling Presidential runs of their own, the space Romney and Pawlenty occupy could get real crowded real quick.

In the end, the field last night did what they had to do.  They stayed focused on the economy and Obama.  They did not bite on questions obviously designed to turn them against each other and other Republicans.  They agreed with one another publicly and showed that any one of them is better than and can beat Barack Obama in 2012.

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?

Why Doesn’t Rush Like Daniels?

Rush Limbaugh has had his finger on the pulse of mainstream conservatism and mainstream media for decades. When the media said only McCain could beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, Rush was sounding the alarm. So why is Rush now sounding the alarm on Mitch Daniels?

Daniels has received some pretty glowing endorsements, or as glowing as a Republican can get, from the Washington Post and others. He has been described as the candidate in 2012 who has a serious shot at beating Obama. No doubt, Rush is hearing echos of the media love McCain received right up until the end of the 2012 primary.

Best hope of the Right? Or the Left?

In many ways, Daniels has brought this on himself. Instead of going to CPAC and announcing that if a bill cutting off all abortion funding came across his desk he’d sign it, Daniels appealed to fiscal conservatives across the country calling on a truce on social issues so that we could solve our debt crisis. When he did sign the bill banning funding even for Planned Parenthood in Indiana, for the most part it was ignored by the media. When Obama was being praised for killing Osama Bin Laden and Daniels was taking questions on Obama’s foreign policy, Daniels admitted he wasn’t ready to debate Obama on foreign policy.

Remember when McCain said the economy was not his strong suit? Trust me, if Obama has his way the economy will not be a debate topic in 2012. Foreign policy will be. By continuing Bush’s foreign policies, Obama has found something he can campaign successfully on. By wavering on foreign policy, Daniels is certainly not setting himself up as the candidate who can beat Obama.

On the other hand, Daniels has been slowly and methodically implementing his very conservative (both socially and fiscally) agenda in Indiana. After cooling off a showdown with unions in Indiana when Democrats walked out, Daniels has quietly passed many of the same provisions including limiting teacher’s union negotiating to wages and wage related benefits. Compared to the messy protests in Scott Walker’s state over the issues, Daniels is enjoying anonymity in his war on public unions. Indiana has been one of the few fiscally sound states under Mitch Daniels.

Perhaps Daniels would be a great conservative President. It’s difficult to tell at this point if he is a silent leader who could change our country for the better, or if he represents everything that was wrong with McCain, Thompson, Guiliani and the rest of the 2008 Republican class.

The Neapolitan Party

Early on in this race, we are starting to see a clear breakdown in the Republican party into three distinct flavors. The question will be whether one candidate can unite the party once the others have melted away.

Can Republicans compromise on one flavor?

The social conservatives are known for their stances on family values, morality, and for some, Christianity. They are the candidates that the Family Research Counsel and American Family Association would love to see win. They are openly supportive of the TEA Party movement and are popular among talk radio listeners and Glenn Beck fans. They are big on national security, small government, and spending cuts, but these stances are drowned out by their social values. They are often controversial and pull no punches in attacking the Left. This flavor includes Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Then you have the fiscal conservatives. They are proven businessmen. They have cut costs in government, they have balanced budgets, they have produced growth, and many of them have large personal fortunes. They have made the tough, controversial decisions having to do with the size of government, and they have produced incredible results. However, even though many of them are pro-life, pro-family, and generally socially conservative, this does not come out strongly in their campaigns. They are willing to work across the aisle, and sometimes alienate their own party by doing it. Social conservatives don’t trust them, but they enjoy a closet relationship with the TEA Party movement. They are strong on national security and foreign policy. These candidates include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump.

Finally, there are the libertarians. Although they may live socially conservative lives and oppose things like abortion on a personal and state level, they will die by the principle that such things are beyond the scope of the Federal Government’s regulations. They oppose foreign wars and take a very cynical approach to free trade, the UN, and other foreign entanglements. They oppose the war on drugs and would take a chainsaw to the Federal Government’s authority without hesitation. Secretly, many conservatives love them, but most would not actually vote for them. These include Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

And then there is Newt Gingrich. Newt can be credited with helping bring about one of our nation’s most prosperous times as he worked both across the aisle and strongly against a Clinton administration to balance the budget.

Newt can win the general. Can he win the primary?

Newt also is a dedicated social conservative, who despite his own personal family issues from a decade ago is a strong advocate for socially conservative issues. Newt also advocates for limited government, but certainly not anywhere to the extent that Ron Paul does. Gingrich is smart on foreign policy and thinks outside of the box.

His American Solutions website and conservative crusade starting from when he was considering a presidential run in 2007 have helped to codify and establish the conservative brand going into 2012. He has been a strong TEA Party ally without appearing to be a one dimensional TEA Party candidate.

Could Newt be the candidate who can unite enough of the Republican Neapolitan breakdown to win in 2012? He could certainly defeat Obama in a debate and would have a strong showing in a general election. The question is if he can get enough of the social conservative, fiscal conservative and libertarian Republicans to abandon their favorite in order to unite behind him in the primary.

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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Rudy Takes Subtle Swipes at Palin as He Considers Another Run for President

Bookmark and Share CNN reports that Rudy Giuliani once again confirmed he is considering a run for President in 2012, especially if Sarah Palin runs.
In an interview on “Piers Morgan Tonight”, that will beairing on Monday, Giulianialso sharply criticizes Sarah Palin for using the term “blood libel” in her video response to unfounded accusatuions chargingher withresponsibility for the recent Arizona shooting massacre. According to Giuliani, the term is too closely related to Jewish genocide to have been used inreference to her situation.
Regarding his possible run for President, Rudy opines that the more Republicans who run, the more he can contrast himself from all of them and the better his chances of winning will be. See a clip from the interviewhere.

The former New York City Mayor also indicates that if Sarah Palin runs, so will he.

Sounds like fightin words to me.

Apparently he not only seems to see the sharpest contrast of all to be the one that exists between him and Palin, it also sounds as though he has a big problem with her.

Could Rudy be trying to pick up the mantle for the Nelson Rockefeller wing of the G.O.P.? And if so, is he really banking on the ability of the establishment political class and the liberal wings of the Party to overpower the anti-establishment, TEA Party influenced and conservative wings of the Party? Either way, perhaps the best way for Rudy to approach things is via a more conciliatory tone that seeks to forge a path of common ground for the G.O.P to stand on.

One thing is for sure though. Hereto now, none of the possible Republican contenders have dared to ruffle the feathers of Palin admirers. None except for Rudy. He seems quite desirous to do so. Perhaps its way of distinguishing himself from the field early? But no one ever claimed Rudy was a particularlygreta campaigner and political strategist. His 2008 campaign effort provided us with a textbook example of how not to run for President. If he is seriously considering another run for the Oval Office in 2012, hopefully he hasfreshened up on that textbook. From the sounds of it, he hasnt.

Meanwhile a recent straw poll of New Hampshire State Republican Committeemembers places Rudy in 14th place with 2%. Palin stands infourth place with 7%. Neither received numbers worth crowing about.

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Rudy Ready To Run for Prez Again? Did He Ever Really Run for it Before?

Bookmark and Share The Page Six gossip column of the New York Post cites anonymous sources as claiming that former New York City Mayor and 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudy Giuliani, has assembled his past top advisors for a look at another go at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. It additionally claims that he has scheduled a trip to New Hampshire.

If true, the first thing Rudy would need to do is get a new team of top advisors together, not use the same ones who proved to make his last bid for the nomination seem like a campaign for a local school board position. The second thing he would need to do is campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada , not just Florida.

Based upon Rudys last half hearted and half assed run for the nomination, I find it hard to believe that he is trying again. But politicians egos never die and I am sure that Rudy is a legend in his own mind and believes that if anyone can beat Barack Obama, he can. But thats not saying much right now. At the moment anyone who can talk and add has a shot at defeating our economically challenged Commander-in-Chief. But that will change. Most U.S. Presidents are reelected more often than not and if President Obama is anything, he is a good campaigner, especially when it comes to rhetoric.

So if Rudy really is gathering his team together to take a look at running for President again, he better take a good long and hard look. And he better understand that being Rudy Giuliani alone is not enough. He will have to prove that he is willing to fight real hard and then somehow prove why he is more qualified than people like Haley Barbour, Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels and Newt Gingrich. At the moment, I cant think of any reason why he is more qualified. While he was undeniably a godsend for New York City and turned it around unlike anyone could have ever imagined, New York is unique. There, you are considered a conservative if you graduate from private school and the issues and problems directly confronting the five boroughs of New York City require a skill set and focus that is quite different from those that are borne of the collective problems and needs of the 50 states.

For now, I will take the Page Six column of the New York Post with a grain of salt. Wayne Semprini does.

Semprini is New Hampshires former state G.O.P. Chair and a close friend and political advisor of Rudys. When he was contacted about the rumor by New Hampshire reporters, he stated that he was unaware of either any trip to New Hampshire by Giuliani or any future campaign in New Hampshire by Giuliani. Semprini reportedly said, Maybe he is just going skiing.

In the end, you cant rule out a run by Rudy, but if he is really still interested in electoral politics, why did he not first try to run for U.S. Senate or Governor in New York . The state really needed a good candidate to run against either Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand or Andrew Cuomo. As far as I am concerned, he let both New York and the G.O.P. down by not stepping up to plate and challenging any one of them and his last campaign for president was hardly a campaign at all. So why should I trust him to effectively challenge Barack Obama now?

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