Republicans Unveil National Debt Clock Inside GOP Convention to Underscore Need for New Fiscal Leadership

Bookmark and Share   Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will unveil tomorrow a national debt clock mounted inside the convention hall of the Tampa Bay Times Forum – a compelling visual reinforcing the desperate need for new fiscal leadership in the White House.

The debt clock will be activated Monday at 2 p.m. when the convention convenes.

The national debt is at a record-high $15.9 trillion and has increased by $5 trillion during the Obama Administration. The last few years have brought the sharpest increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

“This clock reminds every delegate and every American why we are here in Tampa – because America can and must do better,” said Priebus. “Every American’s share of the national debt has increased by approximately $16,000 during the current administration.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the right leaders at the right time for America. They will turn this fiscal mess around, get people back to work and set our country on a strong foundation for generations to come,” Priebus added.

Upon his swearing in as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney inherited a roughly $3 billion budget gap. He led an effort to balance the budget and left the commonwealth with a rainy day fund of more than $2 billion upon leaving office.

Bookmark and Share

Gary Johnson Preparing to Bolt from the G.O.P. and Seek the Libertarian Presidential Nomination

Bookmark and Share  The Independent Political Report recently revealed that former Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be withdrawing from the race for the Republican presidential nomination,  and instead, begin pursuing the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

While this news is dramatic, it is really more personaly dramatic for Gary Johnson than it is for most American voters.  To them the real news is that Gary Johnson was running for President in any Party.

Johnson was one of the first candidates to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, but few ever knew.  His lack of nationalname ID and seeming lack of personality made it quite hard for Gary Johnson to ever really have a chance to catch on with the public.  In addition to scant media coverage of his candidacy, little to no interest in his candidacy gave few media outlets any desire to cover his campaign.  White House 2012 contacted Gary Johnson several times in an attempt to give him the opportunity for such coverage, but apparently, he decided that no coverage was better than any coverage by White House 2012.

Now it would seem that Gary Johnson has come to accept the vicious cycle of political anonymity that he exists in and is ready to to try to become a big fish in the little Libertarian pond, instead of being a Guppy in a big lake.

While news of any aggressive moderate or right of center candidacy can significantly harm Republican chances of defeating President Obama,  Gary Johnson’s third party candidacy will have little effect on the election even if he wins the Libertarian nomination.  Whereas such a campaign by Ron Paul could doom any chance of beating President Obama 2012, the same does not hold true for Johnson,  whose Libertarian bid for the presidency will only prove to generate the same kind of voter attention and enthusiasm that his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has generated.

In many ways, Johnson’s inability to run a campaign that could get his message out is a very sad state of affairs.

As a popular two term Governor, he became one of the few people to actually deliver on limited government and reducing the size of  government.  He is also one of the few elected officials who has actually governed in accordance with the fiscal conservatism that he preaches.  Compared to Ron Paul, Gary Johnson is actually a much better leader.  While Paul preaches, Johnson did what he preached.  While Ron Paul has accomplished little to nothing in his attempts to reform government, Gary Johnson has actually achieved reforms.

Truth be told, if I had the opportunity to elect Johnson governor of my state, I would.  He is a true small government, fiscal conservative.  However, like Ron Paul, he and his policies lack any merit when it comes to what is the federal government’s main constitutional repsonisibility…..foreign affairs and national security.  Sadly, this is a disqualifier.  It is also one of the reasons why no one has taken Gary Johnson seriously as a presidential candidate.

Ultimately, Johnson’s potential third party candidacy is the best thing for him and for the Libertarian Party, he is the next best thing to Ron Paul for them and it is probably what Johnson should have done from the very beginning.

Bookmark and Share

President Obama a one term president?

According to the CNN Poll of Polls, which is an average of the most recent national surveys, 45 percent of Americans approve of how the president is handling his job and 51% disapprove, a short term boost largely attributed to the recent success in Libya. 

It is now 364 days until perhaps the most economically important presidential election in generations both nationally and internationally. The president has already raised more money than all his GOP rivals combined. Obama hopes to raise nearly $1 billion for his 2012 re-election bid. There is no doubt, President Obama has enjoyed considerable success in the war on terror and in his pledges to drawn down American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan which many, believe to be politically motivated, rather than a matter of military decision making.

How would I rate President Obama’s re-election chances? I still see it as very much a 50-50 chance for the following reasons; while people may disapprove of his administration in many areas, President Obama is still personally very popular, especially among minority groups who are expected to have a big influence on the outcome in 2012. He will have considerable funds and the support of the liberal media on his side, which, cannot be under estimated and above all, it is the ability of the GOP to unite behind a credible and strong candidate that will ultimately have the biggest influence on the outcome in 2012. Don’t under estimate President Obama’s campaigning ability and rhetorical skills, he will prove an extremely determined competitor, and if his manages to get people to remember why they liked and voted for him in 2008, it will be difficult for any GOP contender to beat him.

President Obama following his many recent travels appears determined not to concede key swing states like North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico.  A year is an extremely long time in American politics, and things could change the odds in President Obama’s favour.  Economic growth could exceed expectations, and the unemployment rate could start to turn on a downward trajectory restoring some of the much shattered economic confidence in American households. My own personal belief is that the current administration seem incapable of making the fundamental policy shift in curbing spending and lowering taxes, to really deliver a boost to economic growth and this has only been further solidified by Democratic support for the Occupy Wall Street protests of recent weeks, and the attacks on the entrepreneurial spirit which has made America a great nation for the last century.

James Carville the famous and respected Democratic strategist coined the phrase, “It the Economy stupid” when former President Clinton was running against former President Bush Snr. amazingly, President Bush Snr. enjoyed an astounding approval rating of 89% just over a year before the election and went on to lose. In this coming election the phrase for the GOP should be, “It’s Jobs stupid.” A record number of Americans, 49.1 million are poor, based on a new census measure that for the first time takes into account rising medical costs and other expenses. External debt now stands as % of GDP at an incredible 101.1% and unemployment is at 9%, higher then even the biggest sceptic believed it would be following the stimulus plan. Unfortunately, President Obama’s economic team have only created uncertainty surrounding healthcare costs, tax and regulation over the last three years, these three factors alone are the biggest reasons why job growth in American has come to a standstill practically.

A Washington Post/ ABC polling today showed only 38% of American’s approved of President Obama’s handling of the economy against a disapproval rating of 61%. The reality is, if people took out President Obama’s personal appeal and focussed on his job performance and implemented policies during the first two years of his administration, the outcome of next years election would be a foregone conclusion with a GOP landslide. However, this election is going to be unlike any other. Personally, I believe substantively only Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich really have the experience, credentials and ability to beat President Obama in a head to head with the exception of Ron Paul who may benefit from a failure by the international community to resolve the debt crisis. It is important that the GOP nominee sells the message that they are the person capable of restoring America’s economic prospects and focus on facts.

The strategy to an Obama victory seems set to be played out in the Midwest states where President Obama still enjoys popular support and on portraying an “Under Dog” tag. The Democratic Party machine will unleash the fiercest and most personal attack campaign American electioneering history has witnessed. The president has already tried to use class divide and emotional scare tactics to frighten voters into supporting him, the one fact which cannot escape President Obama is his record.

Don’t believe the “Under Dog” status, President Obama will be the best supported and financed “Under Dog” in political history. The choice for American’s like previous elections, “Are you better now then you were four years ago come November 6, 2012”.

The eventual GOP nominee will need to focus on President Obama’s record, which is partly why, I believe Speaker Gingrich may be the best bet for the GOP nomination due to his factual, precise and eloquent communication skills. It promises to be the mother of all contests that is for sure.

Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright Moment

Bookmark and Share On Friday afternoon, at a meeting of the annual Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.,  Texas Governor Rick Perry found himself involved in a controversy not of his own doing.  Instead it was the man who introduced him to the evangelical audience that brought the controversy on  to Rick Perry.

At around 2:30 in the afternoon, in his introduction of Perry, Southern Baptist Convention leader Robert Jeffress, who recently endorsed the Governor, described Perry as “the most pro-life governor in the United States of America.” He also touched upon the gaffes made by Perry in the last debate by saying, “do we want a candidate whois skilled in rhetoric, or one who is skilled in leadership?”.  He went on to call him “a committed follower of Christ.”

But 45 minutes later, when speaking to reporters, Jeffress told reporters that Mormonism is a “cult” and that voting for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would “give credibility to a cult”.  He also stated that he endorsed Perry only as an individual, and that he would not tell his church members how to vote. But he further stated that he is planning to give a sermon this Sunday in which he talks about “how a  Christian should vote.” Jeffress added that among the criteria is that the person they vote for be a Christian.

According to a live blogger at the summit reporting for the Washington Post, Jeffress also told reporters that many evangelicals were afraid to talk about Mormonism but would have a hard time voting for a Mormon candidate.

At the same time Jeffress also confessed that as a pastor he was “not nearly as concerned about a candidate’s record on fiscal issues or immigration issues” as he is with their social conservative bona fides.

That however is a view which contradicts the political realities of the 2012 election. And as demonstrated by the highly motivated TEA movement, is not the most important aspect that they are seeking in a candidate.  In fact for many of them, it is just the opposite.  They are looking more for a Republican candidate who while having moral values, will stay out of people’s personal lives.

That fact was not missed by Governor Perry.  For he delivered a speech that focused less on faith and more on his record of job creation.

Despite the fact that the group he was addressing was gathered together to celebrate the fundamentals of the Christian faith and socially conservative values, Perry chose to make the point that he was running on a message of economic recovery.  Such was most likely a tactical campaign decision based on an attempt to not allow rivals to paint him as a religious fanatic who would take the same priorities as Jeffress, to
Washington in 2013.

Ironically though, the remarks made by Jeffress did little to help his endorsed presidential candidate.  In fact, Jeffress only did more to hurt Perry.

Evangelicals have no problem with Rick Perry.  They know all that Jeffress tried to convey to them about Perry at the Values Voters Summit.  However, Perry will have a problem with voters who are leery of having a President focused more on social issues than the economic and foreign affairs issues that the office of President was designed to addressed and which are in desperate need of being addressed properly.  For those people, Jeffress did little to win over any converts to Perry.   And at the same time, he pushed a very sensitive button regarding religious tolerance and bigotry.

But Jeffress is probably less concerned with getting Rick Perry elected than he is with selling a new book that he has coming out.

For his part, after Jeffress made his off the cuff remarks, Rick Perry had his campaign distanced the him from Jeffress.  They noted that it was the organizers of Values Voters Summit that chose Jeffress to introduce the Texas governor, not the campaign. However it was later confirmed that Perry approved of having Jeffress introduce him.  Based upon Jeffress’ longstanding and well publicized history of religious intolerance, Rick Perry should never have allowed Jeffress to have the opportunity to be an representative of Perry’s supporters.  Allowing Jeffress to introdcue him was indeed a big mistake.  Either that or Perry does not see much wrong with Jeffress’ intolernace and bigotry.

Perry spokesman Robert Black did released a statement that read “The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult. He is not in the business of judging people. That’s God’s job.”

Whether that is true or not, no one can’t know for sure.  All we can do is take Perry at his word.  But interestingly enough the words that Jeffress speak do happen to be suspiciously scripted.

According to CBS, during Jeffress’ post Perry speech comments, he claimed “I did not talk about my Mormon views” with Perry, and added, “I’m not insinuating that the governor shares those at all — he may not.” described himself as only an acquaintance of Perry’s.  “I did not talk about my Mormon views” with Perry.   He continued, “I’m not insinuating that the governor shares those at all — he may not.”

Jeffress then said the following words which rang some alarm bells with me;

 “I haven’t gone coyote hunting with him,”.

They were the very same seemingly unrehearsed words he spoke in an MSNBC interview  on August 14th  [see the interview below] .  Personally, it sounds to me as though there is a lot more coordination between Jeffress and Perry’s campaign than some are willing to admit.

In another interview, this one on Fox News Live, back in June of this year, Jeffress expressed his disappointment in Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run for President.  He also stated that without Huckabee in the race, Chrsitians may be faced with having to hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils.  Jeffress then claimed  to being non-partisan and then professed that he is  only concerned with “the next President being committed to eliminating the tide of un-Godliness and evil that is sweeping our country”.  He even admits  “while Romney may make a good President”,  but adds, “we better understand that if we vote for Mitt Romney we are not voting for a Christian”. 

Observe the video for yourself.  I believe you will find this religious leader to be preaching a level bigotry that is so obvious, that is actually offensive.  I can only say that thank God most true Chrsitians are not as ignorant, bigotted, and intolerant as Robert Jeffress is.  And when I write “intolerant”, I do not mean it in the politically correct sense which is to deny the truth.  I mean it in the sense of trying to defy logic and closing doors based upon perceptions, not actual facts.

 The only way for Rick Perry to really nip this in the bud is to do more than distance himself from Jefresss.  In many ways this could be Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright moment.  That is why Perry needs to denounce Jeffress for his prejudices and defend Mitt Romney for having what may be religious differences but are most certainly Christian values.  If he does do not do so, Mitt Romney could turn what initially seems to be a relatively minor verbal hiccups, into a major issue that he could turn around to his advantage.

In this day and age, for Americans to hold prejudices against a political leader because of their faith, is nothing other than an example of backwards thinking and a contradiction to the very constitutional principles that the G.O.P. is trying to stress the need for our nation to return to.

As for Robert Jeffress, I am sorry to say this, but he is an ass.

I say so not neccessarily because of his beliefs but because of his obvious insincerity and the mixed messages that he as a religious leader, sends.  Personally, I think he is more concerned with selling his new book than he is with either whom our next President is, or Jesus.

But how does Mitt Romney feel about it all?  We may get the chance to find that out on Saturday, when Mitt is scheduled to address the Values Voters Summit himself.  His approach to the evangelicals gathered there will be quite interesting, especially in light of the assault made upon him and his faith by Perry supporter Robert Jeffries.

Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News – 10/07/11

 Bookmark and Share

Bookmark and Share

Palin Will Still Be the Cause for the Next Big Media Driven Maelstrom of the Election

Bookmark and Share A day after Governor Sarah Palin made it official that she would not run for President in 2012, the leaders of Team Sarah sent out the following email to their extensive list of supporters.

Team,

We’re not retreating, we’re  reloading!

While the announcement that Governor Sarah Palin will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for the office of President of the United States came as a surprise and disappointment to many,  let’s not forget that we have all been called to “fight like a girl” in an effort to restore our country.  It’s a call to stand with Governor Palin and to continue fighting for the conservative values of smaller government, free markets, life, and family.

Team Sarah members will continue to march towards the 2012 elections advancing the values and principles that Sarah Palin represents in the political process.  We will join Governor Palin in the fight to secure many victories for commonsense constitutional conservatives at all levels of government.

The email seems to be representative of the sentiments possessed by most Palinistas.  While they are disappointed by the fact that there is no chance she will become President in 2012, they are not disappointed in her.

Palin’s supporters appreciate her seeming lack of ambition to hold political office.  That is why they understood the thinking behind her sacrificing the second half of her only term as Governor Alaska and did not hold it against her.  They understood that the political firestorm that came with the liberal assault upon her was going to make it easier for her successor to advance the agenda that she set, faster and further.  Palin’s lack of political ambition is what attracts most people to her.  They understand that her opinions and words are not driven by the political motives which are usually behind the  words and policies of your average politician.

That understanding and the enormous number of people who support Palin for her ability to articulate what they feel and think, and her desire to be honest and blunt about those sentiments, is the same understanding which gave birth to the TEA movement.  That is why for many, the two go hand in hand.  It is why Palin is a darling of the TEA movement.

It is also why Palin’s decision not to run, is likely to have as much of an effect on who will be the next Republican nominee, as she would have had if she decided to run for the nomination herself..

That is why pretty soon, the news will be dominated by another topic.

With names like Daniels, Barbour, Ryan, Christie, and Palin definitely out of the race, the endless speculation about who is running which kept many from getting behind any of the actual declared candidates, has finally stopped.  There is little talk about who can jump in and change the complexion of the race.  But with the front loading of the primary and caucuses actually forcing the first votes in the nomination process to begin taking place in as few as 12 weeks from now, the next media prompted maelstrom will be who Palin is endorsing.  There will be a similar media focus on who New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also endorses, but ironically and quite figuratively, the Palin endorsement will carry much more weight than Christie’s.  Her support of a candidate could open doors for candidates like Romney, Santorum or Gingrich, candidates who desperately need TEA activists to just consider them as viable choices.  Candidates like Herman Cain and even Rick Perry don’t need such an opening to the TEA movement.  They already have strong support from many sectors within the less spending, less government, more liberty cause.  But a leading candidate like Mitt Romney can ill afford Sarah Palin promoting one of his opponents.

That is why Sarah Palin is very likely to be pivotal in the Republican nomination contest. And probably more so in the nomination process than the general election contest where she will probably not be able to change the minds of those supporting or still considering supporting President Obama for reelection.

In the meantime, Palin holds the power to change the course of history.  If she so chooses, she can actually be a determining factor in who the next Republican nominee and subsequently the next President is.  Such an assertion is only made more evident by the above letter from Palin supporters which confirms their desire to stand with Sarah Palin through thick or thin.

Bookmark and Share

Even the “Average Joe” Knows President Obama Can’t Win in the Obama Economy

Bookmark and Share  Vice President Joe Biden is probably one of the G.O.P.’s best friends.  He has a real propensity for always saying the right thing ………..for Republicans.  His latest statements to verify that came Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum, an invitation only, two day forum for leading newsmakers at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event is sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute.

During an appearance at the forum, Biden stated that  the shaky economy has left many Americans in “real trouble“, and made clear that the Republican Party is strong enough to beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.  Note how he said “President Obama” and not “us“.  Joe may be dumb but he is not without an ego that would prohibit him from sharing the blame for the economy that he said will be responsible for the defeat.

According to Joe, a significant majority of the American people don’t believe the country is moving in the right direction. You think?  He adds that such a public perception is never a good place to be going into re-election (no kidding), regardless of whether it is the current administration’s fault or not.

Biden defended the Administration though when he suggested that the economy has still greatly improved under President Obama.  He states that he is  counting on voters recognizing how deep the recession was and how much the economy has improved under the Obama Administration.

To be fair, credit must be given when it is deserved.  Joe is right about the strength of the Republican Party going in to the 2012 presidential election.  However, honesty is not always welcome in politics, especially if you are a liberal trying to promote the benefits of unsustainable spending, increased taxation, and socialist policies.  For that reason, the Vice President is not likely to get a pat on the back and hear a sincere thank you from the President for his honesty.  Instead he might hear something more along the lines of “Way to go, Joe.  Thanks for the encouraging words”.

The episode does demonstrate one thing though.  It shows us that the Administration sees the writing on the wall.  So much so that even the “average Joe” can read it.  That means that the Obama re-election team is surely preparing a campaign based on desperate attempts to run an extremely negative campaign against the Republican ticket, regardless of whose names are on it.  If they understand that voters will have very little reason to support the Obama-Biden ticket for reelection, there only chance will be to make the opposition look worse.  That means that while the President will try to resort to discussing issues with little detail and great flowery, rhetoric, His surrogates and ad men will be attacking attacking the Republican ticket with verbal assaults that are based on personal matters, and far-fledged distortions of records.

This conclusion is only verified by Joe Biden.

His comments on the 2012 election at the Washington Ideas Forum offer us a glimpse of the Administration’s mindset.  They know that they can’t win on the one issue that is likely to dominate the election…… the economy.  Oh they will try to wage class warfare, they will incite the anger of their big union base and take advantage of the underprivileged.  They will even play the blame it on Bush card and try to morph the Republican presidential nominee into Bush.  But in the end, the American people understand that saying that sat upon President Truman’s desk and read, “The buck stops here”.   And the fact that no bucks are flowing in to the economy, will only make most voters more aware of who is responsible for that.
Bookmark and Share

White House 2012 October Power Ranking

Bookmark and Share     White House 2012 is out with this month’s ranking of the Republican presidential race for the White House.  The ranking reflects the combined  opinions of White House 2012 contributors and offers a look at where we believe the candidates or perspective candidates will place on Election Day based on current circumstances.

It is important to note that the last WH12 ranking was in August, not September, so the changes betweeen this ranking and the last show dramatic shifts for some candidates, such as Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.  Others have moved slightly or not at all.  Most interesting in this month’s ranking of the field is the lack of any place for Chris Chrsitie.  Obviously our contributors do not by into the media hype that the New Jersey Governor is reconsidering his reconsideration of rethinking a run for President, which he has said he is not ready to run for and does not want to run for.

 

Mitt Romney : Which is More Important? His Midas Touch or His Flawed Candidacy?

Bookmark and Share   Having already left the starting gate, the Republican race for the White House continues to run down a long and bumpy track that is riddled with twists, turns, high hills, steep declines, and blind spots. The biggest blind spot of all exists among the voters.  With them it seems as though the perfect candidate in 2012 is always someone else.   Once it was Mike Pence, then it was John Thune. For the longest time it was Mike Huckabee and then for For awhile it was Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan.  For some it’s Sarah Palin, for others it’s Chris Christie.  The only problem is that none of these people have expressed a willingness to make the committment necessary to become President.

Then Texas Governor Rick Perry did make that committment.  He immediately vaulted to frontrunner status as the next near perfect and everyone finally had  the perfect candidate.  But after one month in the race, he fell out of favor and people quickly started to again ask Chris Christie to become the perfect candidate.  Now they are again turning to Mike Huckabee.

In Iowa Michele Bachmann was the perfect candidate for a while.  She even won their Straw Poll.  Now after her first place showing there, Mitt Romney is leading in Iowa and Herman Cain came in first in Florida.

So now, Herman Cain goes from bottom tier candidate to top tier candidate and some claim that he is now the perfect candidate.  But for how long will that be?

Through it all though, there has been one candidate who ever since he entered the race, has held steady among Republican voters.  He has never been seen as perfect.  But he has also never been viewed as a certain loser like Ron Paul and he has never been seen as a candidate who had no chance of beating President Obama if he were the Republican nominee.

That candidate is Mitt Romney.

While Romney has been denied be seen as a strong frontrunner, since the 2008 presidential election, he has consistently been a frontrunner nonetheless.   And for good reason.

While the creation of Romneycare will always make Mitt a flawed candidate, the success of Romney’s record in and out of politics, makes him without a doubt, one of the most impressive and promising candidates running.  The problem is, that he is not perfect and will not ever be seen as perfect.

The greatest knocks against Romney are that he has flip-flopped on several issues including abortion, and his creation of Romneycare.  But on these issues, Romney has indeed redeemed himself in many different senses.

Mitt has has remained true to his conversion from being a pro-choice Republican, to being a Right-to-Life Republican and as Governor he did the following;

  • Vetoed legislation that would have provided for the “Morning After Pill” without a prescription.
  • Fought to promote abstinence education in the classroom.
  • Vetoed legislation that would have redefined in Massachusetts the longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation.
  • Supports parental notification laws and opposed efforts to weaken parental involvement.
  • Supports adult stem cell research but has opposed efforts to advance embryo-destructive research in Massachusetts and he has not supported public funding for embryo-destructive research.

On the healthcare issue, while Romney admits that his healthcare plan had some things in it that he would change, he also turns it into a powerful example of state’s rights that can be used with great strength against President Obama.  But in addition to understanding that state’s should have the rights to legislate based on their own needs and desires and not a federal mandate force them in to  a one size fits all federal bureaucracy, it is important to realize the biggest difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare.

Romney proposed universal insurance, not universal health care.

The difference is critical to not only the basic thrust behind the two healtchare approaches, it is essential to ideological purity.  What revolutionized the traditiona lstate health care sys­tem was that Romney’s plan attempted to empower individuals to buy and own their health insurance policies and keep these poli­cies with them regardless of job or job status.  ObamaCare goes beyond that, denying choices and creating a new humoungous federal bureaucracy that essentially allows bueraucrats to make healthcare decisions by determining what treatment Obamacare will allow one to get or deny them the opportunity to get it.  According to the leading conservative policy think tank, The Heritage Foundation, Romney’s plan “made significant strides in reforming their health insurance market, and other states can learn from the Massachusetts experience.”  Still it is clear that the plan leaves much to be desired.

Yet, many see the implementation of Romneycare in Massachusetts as a sign of Romney having a lack of limited government credentials and too much of a government-centric mindset.  This is where those within the TEA movement have the most difficulty with Mitt.

However, not only has Romney vowed to repeal Obamacare, he has promised to provide waivers that would allow all fifty states to be exempt from Obamacare.  This is a clear sign that Romney gets it.  Furthermore, given the strong doubts about Romney’s limited government credentials, one should easily be able to see that Romney will have to go out of his way to lead in a way that compensates for those doubts.  In other words, Romney’s hands are tied.  He will have little chance for political survival if he were to employ big government policies.

So it is safe to say that Romney not only gets it, he has no choice other than practicing limited government policies.

But beyond that, Romney’s overall record as a Governor, does support his being considered a worthy conservative.

Upon taking over Beacon Hill, Romney  issued an Executive Order reestablishing a Judicial Nominating Commission that reviewed resumes of applicants for state judicial positions and did so without any knowledge of the applicants  race, sex, or  political leanings.  The process, resulted in the selection of the judges based solely upon their qualifications as responsible interpretations of the law.  Furthermore; Romney appointed a chairman to the Judicial Nominating Commission that used the position to prevent the appointment of liberal activist judges who would legislate from the bench. That Romney appointee was Christopher Moore, a member of the Federalist Society, which fights against judicial activism. This helped move the courts of what is arguably one of the most liberal states in the nation, to the right.

Beyond his strict constitutionalist views, Romney has been a productive conservative on everything from illegal immigration, to economics.  He has fought for lower taxes,  practiced fiscal responsibility, been a longtime defender of Second Amendment rights, taken a hardline on border security, executing the War on Terror, and as Governor, he reformed government in ways that made it more efficient and effective as he cut wasteful programs, merged duplicate departments, and turned the state’s $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus without raising taxes.

But the most impressive example of Romney’s abilities still remain his turnaround of the 2002 Olympics in 2002.

Not only were the Olympic games a great example of his superior executive skills, as seen in the video below, it offered a great look at the character, determination, skills, positive attitude, and due diligence that is Mitt Romney. And in many ways, the Olympics of 2002 are incredibly analogous to the condition of the U.S. economy, the issue most critical to the election of a President in 2012.

In 1999 Romney took over what was a scandal-ridden Olympic organization committee that was in crisis, in debt, and in complete disarray, and turned it around by making it the most successful, well organized, and profitable Olympic games in history.

This was no easy accomplishment.  Romney’s massive operation, included the oversight, management and coordination of everything from the image of the Olympics, to the construction of the Olympic Village and top notch venues for Olympians to compete in, and even what was the most secure Olympics history.  After the events of 9/1/01, the Winter Olympics which took place only a few shorts month after that horror, suddenly became the place most vulnerable for terrorism in  the world.   With its worldwide audience, the high profile of the Salt Lake City Olympics made insuring it against acts of terror, the largest security operation of its kind .  And Mitt Romney coordinated it  all.

While Mitt points out that he did not do it alone, he is the person who hired the competent, committed people, that made it possible to turn the Games around and make them the most successful ever.  In the end, from both a sporting and business standpoint, the 2002 Salt Lake City set  broadcasting and marketing records with more than 2 billion viewers and 13 billion viewer hours.  Financially, Romney’s Olympic’s turnaround raised more money with fewer sponsors than any prior Olympic Games, and left Salt Lake Olympic Committee with a surplus of $40 million at the conclusion of the games.

Given Romney’s record, while he may be flawed, there is little to suggest that he is anything but conservative.  And beyond that, Mitt Romney is a by nature, a forward thinking, problem solver who does not seek quick, short term fixes.  He seeks to solve problems now and avoid them in the future.  He has done so be it in business or government.  Such leadership is lacking in the White House today, and not easily recognizable in the existing field of Republican presidential candidates.

This is why even though Mitt Romney has essentially been running for the presidential nomination since 2008, he is not trying to come on like gangbusters.  Romney’s campaign is one that is carefully pacing itself.  That is why while other candidates are bouncing back and forth in the polls, Romney has remained consistently towards or at the top.   All of this could ultimately mean success for Romney in  the Republican presidential race.  Romney’s steady position helps add to an impression of consistency, something which people like and trust.

Another thing to remember is this.  With a large field of Republican candidates that consists of a number of candidates who are splitting the hardcore religious right of the G.O.P., Romney can play safe and not move so far to the right, that he turns off Independent voters in the general election.  Instead he can remain, consistent and noncontroversial and benefit from a diluted concentration of a social conservative voting bloc that is divided among three or four candidates.   However, this does not mean that Romney will be a moderate Republican if elected President.

Case in point.  Back in 2009, I did not have a great deal of appreciation for Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie of New Jersey.  I was one of those New Jersey voters who has been fed up by moderate Republicans who try to be like Democrats for the sake of political expediency in a very blue state.  I had in fact favored an ardent conservative who challenged Chris Christie in a primary for Republican gubernatorial nomination.   During his campaign, Christie did little to prove to me that he would be a reliable conservative and that is what I wanted in a Governor. But not long after Chris Christie was elected Governor, I began to understand that if Chris Christie’s campaign sounded as conservative as his Administration actually proved to be, there would be no Christie Administration.

So it is reasonable to say that Romney is playing politics here.  Whether that is good or bad, elections are political and if you’re not willing to play politics, don’t  run for election.  That combined with the fact that Mitt Romney is no liberal and has a an incredible ability to lead, solve problems, and turn things around, allows me to keep the door open to him.   Be it Perry, Paul, Palin, or Ryan, Daniels, or Christie,  none of them are perfect and to keep waiting around for such a candidate will only get us a second term of a President who is as far from perfect as the sun is from the Earth.  And I for one am not going to wait light years to bring about the change we need.

This is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney, at least not yet.  But this is a reminder that Romney has given us no reason to believe that he won’t do as he says …………..

” I will press for full repeal of Obamacare, which will save hundreds  of billions of dollars. I will reduce the size of the federal workforce  and align the wages and benefits of federal workers with the private  sector. And I will set about the hard work of fundamentally  restructuring the federal government.”

If that is  not good enough for many Republicans, than they can throw their vote away on Lyndon LaRouche or Ron Paul.  As for myself, I believe there comes a time when one  has to start differentiate the rhetoric from the facts.  In doing so, I can see that Mitt Romney has a record that allows me to believe he will do what he says.  While he has not yet moved me enough to endorse him, I can tell you that I have closed no door on any Republican presidential candidate.  My door is open for all them to come right through and prove to me that they deserve my vote.  I just hope that many Republicans will leave the door open for Mitt Romney.  Not only is he the likely nominee, he is also the person who is most likely to be able to get this country back on track when 2013 rolls around.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Christie Delivers a Speech that Shows Why He Should Run for President and Confirms that He is Not Running for President

See the video of Christie’s speech below this post and for a complete transcript of the speech, click here.

Bookmark and Share   On Tuesday evening,  after delivering a keynote address on “Real American exceptionalism” for the Reagan Foundation at the Reagan Library, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively any speculation about his entering 2012 presidential race as a presidential candidate.

The speech Christie gave was a plain-spoken, smooth flowing, hard-hitting, presentation that demonstrated the wealth of endless potential that could be unleashed in America by combining Republican principles with the type of frank and honest leadership that comes only from people of true integrity.  Christie argued his case for the awesome power of the two when combined,  by linking the history of Reagan Republicanism and Reagan’s leadership, to Obama socialism and Obama’s lack of leadership.  He then essentially described how the two means do not lead to the same end.  He made this point further by also contrasting between what is getting done in New Jersey under his management, with what is or isn’t getting done in Washington, DC under President Obama’s mismanagement.

The speech was, to use a phrase that Christie used, “a parable of principle“, which offered a roadmap to true American exceptionalism.   As for the details of the speech, I am intentionally leaving them out.  That is because I wish not to deprive anyone of the opportunity to hear them or read them yourself, in Christie’s own words.  Hence the reason for the video and transcript provided for you within this post.

What I will tell you is that some of the most entertaining and heartfelt moments came during the brief question and answer period once the speech was over.

It was then that Christie laced his honesty with a unique mix of Jersey-style bluntness and endearing humor to stake out some well received positions and make viewers also understand why so many want him to seek the Republican nomination for President.

On that topic, while a Christie candidacy was first foremost on the minds of all who were listening, it was not the first question asked upon completion of  Christie’s keynote address.  The first question was on illegal immigration and his thoughts on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.   In his answer, Christie explained that while he believes that our borders must be secured, he did not believe that states and taxpayers had any responsibility to subsidize illegal immigrants.  And going a step further, the never shy New Jersey Governor took a swipe at Texas Governor Rick Perry.  “And I don’t think that’s heartless.  I think it’s common sense”, said Christie.

The second question  for the Governor came from a man who asked The Governor if he was considering a run for President.  To this Christie joked, that he was disappointed in the audience gathered before him.  He said that for that to be the second question and not the first, showed him that they were not demonstrating America exceptionalism.  He continued by explaining that he was not running and cited a video prepared by Politico.com as the best and most explanatory answer he could offer. The video spliced together a dozen or so different interviews from the past year in which Christie stated that he is not running and why.

But almost immediately following that answer, a questioner from the balcony was given the mic.   This person did not ask a question.  In very heartfelt terms, she instead made a request of the Governor and said “Please reconsider. We can’t wait till 2016.  Your Country needs you”.  To this Christie explained that he understood but he joked that while he is flattered and that while no politician’s ego is so small that they would demand people stop asking them to become the leader of the free world, he must keep answering “no”.  He went on to say ,“I’m just a kid from Jersey who feels like I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have the opportunity that I have to be the governor of my state.”  He added “That heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me.”

Christie’s appearance at the Reagan Library was truly powerful and ironically, he  sounded like  a presidential candidate.  He subtly drew similarities between his leadership as a Governor and Ronald Reagan’s as a President.  He also aggressively, but appropriately tore apart President Obama and successfully used the President’s own words against him.  And he even  took a shot at someone who would be opposing him if he were to run in the Republican primary.  That combined with the sudden public leaks and comments involving what was the most recent flurry of speculation about Christie and the presidency, I have come to believe that history will reveal that in late September of 2011, New Jersey Governor Christopher J. Christie was about to run for President of the United States.  But at the last minute,  [fill in the blank] was the determining factor that caused him to change his mind and not announce his candidacy.  Remember, you heard it here first.

That view may or may not be confirmed but upon the conclusion of Christie’s appearance at the Reagan Library, there are two things we all now know with certainty.  One is that Chris Christie is authentic.  He is the real deal.  Love him or hate him, you can rest assured that you are loving or hating the real Chris Christie.  The other thing that we now know definitively is that Chris Christie is not running for President in 2012.  Vice President is another story that we will begin to write about after we finish the chapter that reveals who the presidential nominee is.  So now, the only big name left available for speculation is Sarah Palin.

On a last note, I would like to make a personal admission.

As a resident of New Jersey who for the last twenty months has been living under the rule of Governor Christie, after listening to him at the Reagan Library last night, I can honestly tell you that for the first time in the fifteen years that this Brooklyn boy has lived the Garden State, I am proud to call it home,  and for the for the first time in my life, I am truly proud to tell people who my Governor is.

Bookmark and Share

Romney’s CPAC FL Speech. “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

Bookmark and Share    After his well received debate performance in Thursday evening’s Florida Republican Fox News/Google debate, Mitt Romney today delivered a casual but compelling speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee Florida conference. [hear speech below this post]

In his approximately 14 minute speech, Romney laid out the argument that his lifetime of private sector experience afforded him the knowledge and ability to make government work correctly.  He cited several examples of  how the state bureaucracy of Massachusetts operated before he took office and how it wasted time, money, and manpower on initiatives that he reformed for the better.  In general, Romney presented a case for his commonsense conservative touch and how it can effectively reform government, and limit it.

Romney also took the opportunity to lay in to his chief riva at the moment, Texas Governor Rick Perry.

After Perry used Thursday night’s debate to double down on his support for giving in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants and claimed that if you didn’t see it his way, you had no heart, Romney took advantage of his opportunity to address the large Florida CPAC audience and tried to place a nail in Perry’s electoral coffin.

Romney told the conservative activist’s;

“My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree on his position to give in-state tuition to immigration, you don’t have a heart,” Romney said. “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

While not your typical rah-rah speech, Romnney’s time addressing Florida’s CPAC conference was well spent.  He positioned himself as the man who possesses all the right conservative credentials, experience, and accomplishments, to effectively take on President Obama as the G.O.P. presidential nominee.

Bookmark and Share

In the Third Debate, Romney Wins,Cain, Gingrich and Santorum Shine. Rick Perry Bombs.

Bookmark and Share    Before we get in to the details, while White House 2012 is happy to provide you with one opinion of last night’s debate, we are also happy to provide you with both a complete transcript of the debate which can be found here and with a complete video version of the debate which is below this post.   Also, take the White House 2012 poll and let us know who you think won last night’s debate.

Now for the assessment;

With nine candidates and over 20,000 questions submitted by American voters, as one White House 2012 reader put it, last night’s Republican presidential debate was more of a Q and A than a debate.  Still, the forum did provide the opportunity for some engaging, albeit brief exchanges.  While most of those exchanges and some of the longest ones too, were between frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, others like Rick Santorum also took advantage of the those exchanges, land some punches, and score some points……….at Rick Perry’s expense.

Insofar as winners and losers go, if there was a winner, it would have to be Mitt Romney.  Not so much for the quality of his answers,  but for his performance and ability to use the rules of the debate to his advantage and his main rivals disadvantage.  One such example was Romney’s presence of mind while under pressure, to deny Rick Perry the chance to counter any of his verbal punches, by not mentioning Perry by name. 

One of the debate rules was that if a candidate referred to you by name, you would have 30 seconds for rebuttal.  On issues such as Social Security and immigration, while Romney laid into Perry’s record quite extensively, he would go so far as to look straight at Perry, but never mentioned him by name.  At the same time there, was no misunderstanding who he was talking about.  But Perry was left leaning against the ropes and unable to fight back.

As for Romney’s answers to the questions he was asked, the former Massachusetts Governor made no mistakes and never once departed off of the conservative line.  Throughout the debate, Romney offered decent answers that no conservative could have a problem with.  On that score, since he walked away from this debate without giving any Republican a reason to vote against him, he most certainly wins.  The only area in which Romney failed was his passing up of the chance  to break new policy ground and  prove himself to be a bold leader who will think outside of the box and be the anti-establishment hero that many are looking for.

 At the same time, not ony did Perry miss the chance to become that bold hero many are looking for, he walked away from this debate with less than he had when he first walked on to the stage.

At times, Perry seemed lost for words and when he tried to throw some body blows to his critics, he missed.  Such was the case when after Rick Santorum stated that he found Governor Perry to be soft on illegal immigration.  To that charge Perry could only say, “I’ve got one question for him. Have you ever even been to the border with Mexico?”

To which Santorum replied simply “Yes”.

For Perry, Thursday’s debate took him two steps back, not one step forward.  This was especially the case on the issue of illegal immigration.  On that Perry  threw out a remark that will leave a negative impression of him in the  minds of many conservatives for quite some time. 

When he and Mitt Romney engaged in debate over Perry’s approval of offering discounted in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal aliens,  Perry claimed  “If you say that we should not educate children (illegal immigrant children) who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” .  That remark seemed to cross a line, and not one with just the other candidates on the stage, but with the millions of conservatives in the American listening audience.  For many, it was the type of liberal attempt to make one feel guilty for the justified logic behind their own position.  Perry’s answer was a strange spin on another famous Texans attempt to be a “compassionate conservative”. however, while Perry’s slant on that phrase may have been compassionate,  it was not conservative.

But neither Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney let Perry get away with his claim.  In fact Romney swung a home run right over Perry’s head on the issue. 

“I’ve got be honest with you, I don’t see how it is that a state like Texas — to go to the University of Texas, if you’re an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? That’s $22,000 a year. Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me.” , said Romney.

But illegal immigration was not Perry’s only weakness last night.

Tell us who you think won the presidential debate

Right off the bat, Perry was asked about the number one issue in America today…….jobs. When asked where his jobs plan was? Perry answered, “Well, you will see a more extensive jobs plan.”    Sorry buddy, but telling voters that the dog ate your homework does not cut it in the real world.  Perry just looked stupid on that one. 

So we have our winner of the debate and the loser of the debate.  What about those in between?

Michele Bachmann had a few strong but routine answers but essentially, she was just there.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul.  While his cheering section hooted and hollered at his every word, his words were the same as usual and lacked the explanation of how he could successfully apply his libertarianism to government. 

Performing better than Paul, was former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.  Despite being a Republican libertarian who is little known, Johnson was able to do something that Paul could not.  he was able to point to actual accomplishments.  At times, he even provided answers that put him on an equal footing with some of his better known opponents such as Romney and Perry.  When asked why he would be a better choice as a libertarian-Republican than Congressman Paul, Johnson replied I’m not going to presume to make that assumption” , but he then went on to  to distinguish himself from Pau quite well……… 

“I would like to say that I do bring a unique perspective to this stage. I started a one-man handyman business in Albuquerque in 1974 and grew it to over 1,000 employees. I have run for two political offices in my life: governor of New Mexico and reelection. I promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. I promise to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue. And if anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.  Add to that, throwing out the entire federal tax system and replacing it with a consumption tax, the fair tax, which would absolutely reboot the American economy because it does away with the corporate tax to create tens of millions of jobs in this country.”

Johnson’s answer was strong and compelling.

In the  case of Newt Gingrich, he proved once again that he is ideologically the most true conservative and the most savvy.  But he did not distinguish himself as the one who could best institute his conservative concepts into government and he failed to overcome his biggest hurdle…..electability.   Interestingly though,  based on a question asked about picking a running mate from among those on the stage, most of the candidates chose Newt to be their wingman.

Herman Cain had a solid performance but not one that was strong enough to push those at the top of the field out of his way.

Perhaps the saddest performance came from Jon Huntsman. 

As in his first debate appearance, Huntsman tried to be funny, but as he waited for burst of laughter to ring out whenever he reached his punchline, crickets were heard.   It was very uncomfortable.  And to make matters worse, he really offered nothing worth while.  The most he seems tohave for us are boilerplate answers with hands extended outwards and a stiff delivery of bad attempts at humor.

All in all, given the understandable parameters of the type of debate we were presented, it was a worthwhile gathering that gave at least a brief sampling of the type of president each candidate would be or try to be.  However it set nothing in stone.  While Romney won, he has still not provided those who doubt his conservative credentials with the confidence they need to become believers.  While he did not say anything that conservatives can be unhappy with, he also did nothing to inspire them.  What will be interesting though is to see how much of a difference this debate has on Romney’s popularity among Independents.  In many state primaries, Independents and even Democrats are allowed to vote in the G.O.P. contest.   Being dissatisfied by President Obama, many of these Independent could show up at the Republican primaries to support the candidate that  they believe is most capable of beating the President. 

In that sense, I believe Romney helped himself immensely.  He certainly came off as one of, if not the most electable candidates on the stage.

Perry’s poor performance, while being a setback, was certainly not enough to knock him out of the race.  He is still very much in the race.  However, he must really be on his A game in the coming weeks.  He also needs to go in to the next debate much more prepared than he was for this one.

As for the others, they are essentially doomed to linger around the the back of the pack.  I think Michele Bachmann peaked with her straw poll win in Iowa and the rest is downhill from there.  Herman Cain will be able to hang in, but hanging out in the bottom tier is about all he is likely to do.  The only thing I believe we can expect from Huntsman is his withdrawal from the nomination contest.  Ron Paul is mired in the middle where he will remain not dead, but not exactly living either.  You might say that he is comatose. 

Were it not for an inability to raise money, I would have to say that after his debate performance, Rick Santorum would be able to emerge as a strong alternative candidate.  He is spirited and passionate, does not come off as scripted and is satisfactory to the G.O.P. base.  But money talks and Santorum just can’t raise enough money to really be heard. 

That leaves us with Newt Gingrich. 

I still can’t write Newt off.  He has great potential and the rebirth of his campaign that will occur when he unveils his new Contract with America could be very attractive to voters.  But even if that is so, Newt will still have an extremely high hurdle to jump in proving that Newt Gingrich, the man, is as good as Newt Gingrich’s  ideas.  If he can somehow prove that the messenger is as good as the message, he could give Romney and Perry a run for their money that will be expensive and exhausting. 

Now, the awards………..

Most Memorable Lines

Funniest Line of the Night:

“My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this President.” 

 – Gary Johnson

Sharpest Attack Line of the Night:

“He [Rick Perry] doesn’t want to build a fence. He gave a speech in 2001 where he talked about bi-national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I mean, I don’t even think Barack Obama would be for bi-national health insurance.” 

-Rick Santorum

 Most Sarcastic Line of the Night:

“I spent my life in the private sector. Not in government. I only spent four years as a Governor. (Turns head, looks at Rick Perry and says) I didn’t inhale” 

-Mitt Romney

 Most Logical Line of the Night:

“…sex is not an issue.  It should not be an issue. Leave it alone.  Keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.”

-Rick Santorum

Next Most Logical Line of the Night:

“….but I believe that it is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks, for doing nothing.  That’s why we had welfare reform.”

-Newt Gingrich 

Worst Line of the Night:

 “If you say that we should not educate children (illegal immigrant children) who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” 

-Rick Perry

Best Line of the Night:

“It’s important to remember, this month, in the Reagan administration, September 1983, we created 1,100,000 new jobs. Obama’s socialist policies, class warfare, and bureaucratic socialism, we created zero in August.”

-Newt Gingrich 

Bookmark and Share

And here is the debate in its entirety:

Trunkline 2012: Thursday’s News from the Race for the White House – 9/22/11

 
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Romney Picks Up Conservative Support From Congress

Bookmark and Share    Darrell Issa , the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced that he endorsing Mitt Romney for President. On the surface, the importance of the endorsement is undeniably significant. Issa is considered by many a leading Republican figure in the G.O.P., particularly among Conservatives. As a candidate in desperate need of conservative credentials, Issa’s support helps. But below the surface are two contradicting factors at play with the Issa endorsement.

While Congressman Issa is appreciated in conservative circles, how convincing his endorsement of Romney will be to many Conservatives is in doubt. What is not doubted though, is that Darrel Issa is viewed as an establishment politician and Mitt Romney is not in dire need of support from the establishment. What he needs is anti-establishment support. Particuarly from the TEA movement, a large, active portion of the electorate that is disenchanted with politicians and politics-as-usual. The Issa endorsement does not help Romney on this front.

On the flipside, Darrell Issa’s endorsement does have a significant numerical, if not ideological benefit.

The 172 delegates that California sends to the national convention make up for a tad over 7% of the entire Republican delegation in the country or over 14% of the number of delegates needed to win the presidential nomination. And with California being a winner-take-all primary, that is a significant accumulation of delegates for the winner. That makes Issa’s influence important in California where he may have sway over a significant number of republican activists and leaders in his California congressional district. This will go a long way in providing volunteers for Romney, and organizing his Get Out the Vote operation.

Ultimately, while Darrell Issa’s endorsement of Romney may not exactly be the catalyst for a surefire Romney win, it will make a difference in California, a delegate rich state that will boost any candidate’s chance at winning the nomination.

Bookmark and Share

Palin’s Presidential Write-In Candidacy

Bookmark and Share    Sarah Palin had originally indicated that she would make a decision about a run for President in 2012 by the end of September. Yet in a recent interview with Sean Hannity she seemed to indicate that her decision might not come until November. When asked about her intentions and after being reminded by Sean Hannity that crunch time is approaching soon, Governor Palin responded by stating;

“There is still time, Sean, and I think on both sides of the aisle you’re going to see people coming and going from this race,”

According to Palin;

“In the Republican race, in this primary, I think people are still going to be coming and going because there is still time. And I’m still one of those still considering the time factor.”

When Hannity asked she didn’t need to make a decision by November, her response was;

“You do, legally you do, because you have start getting your ducks lined up to have your name on these ballots.”

But probably the most telling comment she made during her interview was;

“This is going to be such an unconventional election cycle. … Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process.”

Trying to dissect Palin’s words is probably futile. The former Governor and Vice Presidential nominee is keenly aware that her every word is scrutinized, and from them are extrapolated some wild hypotheses . As such, she quite smartly, and intentionally throws out phrases that keep speculation about her front and center.

But there are several realities that can’t be denied. The most glaring one is that if Governor Palin intends to run, in order to get her name on the ballot in South Carolina and Florida, she must make her candidacy official and file the proper paperwork within the next 5 ½ weeks.

Or does she?

As Palin said in her interview, “Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process.”

When it comes to unconventional, Sarah Palin is the quintessential queen of unconvential. No politician is as unconventional as her. And while some suggest that her unpredictable nature makes her an unlikely political leader, it can not be denied that much of Palin’s popularity is based on her unconventional tendencies. It is what makes her the anti-establishment candidate at a time when the popular TEA movement that decided the 2010 midterm elections, is looking for an anti-establishmentarian figure to lead our nation.

So what could Palin have meant when after admitting that by typical legal standards, one would have to make a decision about the presidential election soon, but then suggested that this election is not going to be typical?

It is true that Palin would have to make her candidacy officially within the next several weeks if she intended to have ballot access in the South Carolina and Florida primaries. But it is also true that Palin could still win both those contests without appearing on the ballot. If an aggressive write-in effort were waged, Palin could actually catapult herself into frontrunner status and turn this election on its ear. That would certainly live up to her promise that we are about to enter into “an unconventional type of election process.”

To help make that promise come to fruition, Palin could remain an undeclared presidential candidate and continue to draw thousands to the appearances she she is already making around the country. But with a shifted focus on visits to Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, and a few additional words, she could be in this race until the Republican national convention concludes.

With all the talk about Republicans not being very confident or excited by any of the existing candidates, Palin can appeal to those dissatisfied Republicans, and TEA movement voters by remaining the anti-establishment Republican. She can simply suggest that if you really want to send a message to Republicans and Democrats alike, we should think outside of the box that the establishment has put us in and do not limit ourselves to the candidates that the two Parties offer. And then all Palin needs to say is……

“Write in the name of the person you want to lead this nation, don’t just mark off one of the names that the Party machine allows you to choose from”.

From then on, a movement will be born, a movement that will make writing Sarah Palin’s name in as a symbol of protest and dissatisfaction with the establishment……of both Parties.

In the end, Governor Palin may not be able to win the nomination solely as a write-in candidate, but it could also be that Governor Palin does not intend to be President. Such an effort could simply be an ingenious way for her to insure that her voice is heard and that she continues to influence politics in the way that she intends to………… by keeping the establishment on their toes and preaching the virtues of limited government and bountiful freedom.

Then again, no one can say that Palin would have to remain simply a protest vote. A strong write-in candidacy could actually provide Palin with enough delegates to significantly influence such things as who the next vice presidential nominee is and numerous planks in the Republican Party’s platform. And if this happens to be a very close nomination contest, she could even garner enough delegates to select who the next presidential nominee is.

But that’s not to say that Palin won’t be the next President herself.

If her promise of an unconventional election bears out to mean a Palin write-in candidacy, a strong showing in Florida or South Carolina as a write-in candidate could create enough waves to propel her ahead of the official candidates. If that were to happen, all bets are off.

Bookmark and Share

New Poll Shows Perry Has Lots of Work To Do

Bookmark and Share    A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Suffolk University has begun to raise doubt about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s electability outside of the South. According to the poll, Romney leads Perry by 33 points. Even more depressing for the Perry camp is that not only is the gap between him and Romney so wide, but he also trails behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul and even former Ambassador and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. According to the results, Romney takes 41 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 14 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finishes third with 10 percent, followed by Perry with eight percent, Sarah Palin who is not even an official candidate at 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Newt Gingrich at 4%; and Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer at or around 1%.

Perry’s fourth place showing in New Hampshire according to one poll which is not among any of the four that are typically used to gauge how a candidate is doing, is certainly not a sign that things are over for Perry, not even in New Hampshire. But it does suggest that Perry has a lot of work to do outside of the delegate rich South.

Between January and April 24th of 2012, 351 delegates are up for grabs from within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone. In that same time period, Midwest and upper-Midwest states will have 238 delegates in play. This means that unless Perry locks up the nomination with substantial early wins in at least South Carolina and Florida, followed by substantial victories in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota which are scheduled to hold their contests on the same day in February, than Mitt Romney can assure Rick Perry a long and drawn out battle that Romney could easily win.

Currently, while Perry’s strength lies in the South, Southwest and possibly even places like Iowa, Romney has a leg up on Perry in the Northeast, upper Midwest and West. For Mitt, states, like Michigan, which he won in 2008, and Wisconsin and Minnesota are strong territory for him. In the Northeast, states like new York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and others, make it the region that is strongest for him.

And then there is of course California, which is a winner-take-all contest that is closed to only registered Republicans. A win there in early February will earn the victor 172 delegates. That is equal to the number of delegates in play in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida combined.

What this means is that Rick Perry will need to quickly show some strength outside of Iowa and the South. New Hampshire would be the perfect place for him to do that. But asking Perry to win New Hampshire over Mitt Romney is like expecting Mitt Romney to defeat Rick Perry in Texas……..it ain’t gonna happen.

Still, coming in behind both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman is embarrassing for a so-called frontrunner. So Perry is going to have to work at New Hampshire. Even though a Southern strategy that would have him win the early states of South Carolina and then Florida can work, being blown out in New Hampshire will not allow Mitt Romney to stay in the game and survive until the states favorable to him allocate their delegates. At the same time, it must be realized that the earlier we decide who the Republican nominee is, the better it will be for the Party.

Until we have a nominee, the contenders will be beating up on each other. A protracted nomination contest will therefore only help to weaken the nominee up for President Obama to beat on. But a contest that wraps up the nomination decisively and early will allow everyone to focus on beating up on President Obama. As such, having a frontrunner for the Republican nomination blown out in New Hampshire, does not help anyone…..accept for Mitt Romney. Therefore if Perry wants to have any chance of securing the nomination early on in the process, he is going to have to do better in New Hampshire and demonstrate to voters that he can get votes outside of the South.

Bookmark and Share

Perry Calls Obama “President Zero” and Romney Calls Perry “Governor Sub-Zero” in Response

Bookmark and Share    Ahead of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Florida and the second debate appearance for Rick Perry, the Texas Governor has released a new a ad entitled “Rick Perry – Proven Leadership”[see ad below this post]. In it Governor Perry hammers President Obama on his economic record.

With depictions of barren land, boarded up homes, empty factories, and desolate scenes of decrepit urban ruin, Perry’s ad tags Obama as “President Zero”, a reference to his creating “zero“ jobs since he has been in office. But after the first half of the ad, a more optimistic tone is set with images of a happier, more pleasant America that include horses galloping through the surf , sun drenched cities, American flags, the statue of liberty, and happy factory workers shaking Perry’s hands. Perry’s point is driven home as you hear him describe the type of leadership that will lead to a thriving America as opposed to the ailing America that President Obama’s leadership has created.

The ad is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic, quick cutting imagery, and shaky shots done at angles, with jagged audio cuts, and a booming motion picture-like soundtrack that became a staple of Tim Pawlenty’s web ads that he ran during his short-lived presidential campaign. And that is for good reason. It was produced by Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old video prodigy who was once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Party.  Baino also did ads for the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 he  cut some spots for Hillary Clinton.

When Tim Pawlenty closed shop, Bainao was scooped up by Perry’s campaign earlier this month.

Lucas Baino

For his part, Mitt Romney, the man who is seen as Perry’s biggest rival (or vise versa depending on which side you’re on) issued a press release entitled “Governor Sub-Zero,”in response to Perry’s “President Zero”. In the release, Romney’s campaign alleges that that while the US economy produced zero net jobs in August, Texas produced even less. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul added

In his campaign’s latest video, Governor Perry criticizes President Obama for an economy that added zero jobs in August, yet Texas added even fewer and has over a million people unemployed,”

While Romney’s distortion is less accurate than the exaggerations of Perry’s ad, attacking Perry’s record right now is a political necessity. Perry’s three terms as Governor of Texas have outshined the accomplishments of Romney’s one term as Governor of Massachusetts. However, the better strategy for Romney might be to play Perry up as the career politician and himself up as a successful entrepreneur who understands how government works, or in most cases, doesn’t work. But in order for such a strategy to fly, Romney needs to exhibit anti-establishment positions and make bold proposals that don’t just tinker with out arcane tax code, but instead scrap it and do things like create a flat tax. In order for Romney.

Meanwhile, Perry’s ad effectively sets a tone and while it says more about President Obama than himself, it is a good indication that Perry’s campaign does know the issue that can get him votes.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: