Chris Christie Shoring Up His Value as a Vice Presidential Running Mate

Bookmark and Share    In advance of the delivery of his second State of the State address, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie’s team has released a new web ad that credits him for having begun to turn the Garden State around.

It’s the type of stuff, that fits in well with any campaign’s desire to tap in to a similar theme for the nation and its economy, which much like New Jersey, is in desperate need of a comeback.  This is not to say that the ad is meant to establish the groundwork for a Chris Christie vice presidency.  Afterall, regardless of national politics, Chris Christie does need to make sure that his image in New Jersey remains one that will be worthy of reelection come 2013.

Either way, the web ad helps promote an image of Christie that can’t hurt either his chances for being picked as a vice presidential running mate or for eventually being reelected Governor.

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Final Republican Presidential Debate Before Iowa Sees Many Homeruns and Few Strikes

Bookmark and Share    The final debate before the Iowa Republican Caucuses proved to be a mature, substantive exchange of views that allowed voters to get a good sense of each candidate’s political instincts.  Each one executed strong, solid performances, which validated their place on the stage and in this race.

Of course some performed stronger than others and from my vantage point, the strongest was Newt Gingrich, who at times found himself in the hot seat.

During the second twenty minute segment of the debate, Newt drew a great deal of criticism for his having made $1.6 million in consulting fees from FreddieMac.  On this issue, Rep. Michele Bachmann repeatedly condemned Gingrich’s business transaction with FreddieMac as an ultimate example of influence peddling.  To this Newt charged that Bachmann simply did not have her facts straight and reiterated the fact that he did not participate in any lobbying activities that could be construed as examples of improper influence and conduct.  While Gingrich’s need to defend his consulting for FreddieMac did account for his most uncomfortable moment, the rest of the night was his.

Newt’s finest moment came when he lambasted President Obama in an eloquent and stinging rebuff of the President’s opposition to the Keystone pipeline project.  On that issue Newt pulled off a successful triple play as he ingeniously tied Obama to a failed domestic energy, jobs , and national security policy.   Newt began his response to the Keystone XL oil pipeline project question in a most amusing , selfdeprecating manner while simultaneously mocking his closest rival in the nomination contest, Mitt Romney.

He began his answer by stating that since he has often been accused of  speaking too bluntly, he was “watching his words” and “editing” himself before answering that question.  He then added:

“I’m very concerned about not appearing to be zany,”

The phrase refered to remarks made by Mitt Romney who had earlier in the week refered to Newt as “zany”.

From there, Newt proceeded to hit several home runs during the night with proposals designed to restrain extraneous power of the judiciary,  and continued with strong  calls to put an end to  immigration lawsuits against Alabama, Arizona, and South Carolina and  and a particularly rousing call to cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities.

With a mix of Humility, humor, and history,  Newt produced what was probably his strongest performance yet and at the very least, helped stem any recent fall in the polls he has seen since last week.

Also pulling off a strong debate performance was Mitt Romney.

Mitt scored some high points with creative characterizations of Obama policies such as his “pretty please” foreign policy and references to Obama’s record job creation as something which suffers because the President has not lived in the real world and how “to create a job it helps to have created a job” .

Romney had his own share of discomfort when Chris Wallace pressed him on his changing positions on abortion and gay marriage.  But Romney responded by admitting that while his position on abortion had evolved to that of a pro-life belief he argued that  he has alweays been a supporter of the sancticy of marriage to be that of a union between a man and a woman, and that as a Governor he has done nothing but work to preserve both the sanctity of marriage and life.

Beyond that brief exchange that had Mitt on the defensive, the rest of the night saw him deliver one of debate appearances of the season.

While Gingrich and Romney stood out, the rest of the field was strong but unspectacular and did not achieve the type of results they needed to catapult them in to any kind of game changing position.

Rick Santorum was smooth and professional but unremarkable.

Rick Perry overcame his image as an incompetent debater and had some scripted but well delivered funny and memorable lines including one comparing himself to Tim Tebow, the second year NFL quarterback who draws criticism for his strong Christian faith and praise for his strong come from behind string of victories on the field.

Jon Huntsman was again, just there.  While nothing he said was counterproductive,  he seems to remain stuck in neutral.

Michele Bachmann was on her game but she essentially came out of this debate as the negative candidate.  Her relentless attacks on Gingrich, particular when she tried to claim that Newt was an enemy of the unborn, seemed to at times be overboard, and a display of far fetched examples of political stretches of the truth.  While she held her own and demonstrated herself to be a consistent conservative, she probably hurt herself more by  coming across as overly aggressively in a contest where voters are beginning to believe that the most important thing is to beat Barack Obama, not necessarily another Republican.

Place goes to Ron Paul.

Paul had a consistent positive pitch when it came to his sincere faith in fiscal conservatism and purity.  However he lost the bulk of Republican primary voters when he was pressed on his dangerously ignorant foreign policy and national security views.  This was especially the case when Ron Paul basically denied the dangers of Iran and of their potential capacity for the utilization of nuclear weaponry.  It was here that  Rick Santorum, once again,  unleashed a powerful rebuttal to Paul’s incompetence in the area of the federal government’s primary constitutional responsibility.

Overall, the debate was probably more entertaining than informative but it did give voters a glimpse at the potential strengths and weaknesses of each candidate in these final few days leading up to the Iowa Caucus.

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Tonight’s Republican Presidential Debate: What Each Candidate Needs to Do to Seal the Deal

Bookmark and Share   Tonight’s Fox News Republican presidential debate in Iowa is going to be the most watched of all the debates that have been held up to this point in the 2012 election cycle.  With its timing making it the last debate before the  voting in Iowa begins, and the tightening of polls in the first caucus state, it could prove to be a pivotal lasting impression that will significantly influence many Iowa voter’s final decision.

So what do the candidates have to achieve in order to make this debate count?

First, they must avoid any gaffes.  There can be no forgetting of their domestic priorities or any carefree gambling away of tens of thousands of dollars.   Such embarrassing missteps and lapses in judgement must be avoided as best as possible.  While the candidates may only be human, voters hold their political candidates up to a standard that most mere mortals can not withstand.  American voters may forgive an American Idol contestant for hitting a wrong note and call in to vote for them twice to make sure they appear on the next episode, but when a politician hits a sour note, there is little if any mercy shown.  And a misstep in this debate will be rebroadcast between now and New Hampshire more times than the 1983 classic, A Christmas Story is re-aired between now and the new year.

Beyond that each of the candidates need to achieve different things in this debate:

Mitt Romney:

Romney needs to convince voters that he is conservative, gets things done, and in addition to proving that he is the most electable candidate to run against Barack Obama, he must also provide that special moment which gives Republicans good reason to want him to be the most electable candidate.  And he must do so in a way that is believable and seemingly natural.  Romney needs his Reagan moment.  The type of moment that had people saying “Go get ’em”, when in a 1980 debate, a moderator asked that Ronald Reagan’s microphone be turned off, and with a terse turn of his head and a glaring look of disgust in his eyes, Reagan stared directly at the moderator and angrily declared “I am paying for this microphone” .  Romney needs to pay someone ten grand to have someone set up a moment like that for him.

Newt Gingrich:

Newt must win people over with his ability to not only demonstrate that he knows how to apply conservative principles to government, he must again show that in addition to being  better at articulating the conservative cause and message than any other candidate on the stage, he is also far more electable than anyone expected he could be. Newt needs to publicly point out to his rivals, that despite the darts and arrows they have been throwing at him, he is still standing and that is in part due to his strategy to run a campaign of substance, on the issues, not on the flaws of his opponents.  Newt needs to stand up and say, “I have taken the fire you have all thrown at me and I will withstand the fire that President Obama will throw at me because I will continue to run a campaign on issues, ideas, and solutions, and the people will not fall for President Obama’s tactics of political distraction and personal destruction”. 

Ron Paul:

Ron Paul may not need to do anything much differently than he already has.  An apparently divided Republican base is giving him the chance to actually win Iowa, something which is now very possible.  But such a win may not help Ron Paul very much beyond Iowa.  Look at where it got Mike Huckabee in 2008.  But if Ron Paul wants to try to win Iowa and become a viable candidate beyond the Hawkeye State, he needs to appear, sound, and act presidential.  I am not suggesting that he drop his hadrcore conviction to isolationist policies and lack of drive for a decent national defense.  However I am suggesting that many voters may take him more seriously, even as a candidate to cast a protest vote for, if he acted more like a President than the crazy old man throwing stones at the neighbor’s cat to chase it away from his tomato plants.

Rick Perry:

This is a tough one.  At this point, Perry needs to build himself up and knock down Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich all at the same time.  He must also shine in a way that makes people believe he can hold his own against Barack Obama.  The best way for him to do that is to be as natural and confident as he is in numerous, scripted, 30 second ads and eloquently contrast the conservative failings of the two frontrunners with his record in Texas. “You guys want to talk about creating jobs?  Then let’s do that.  How many Americans lost their jobs when you and your investors got filthy rich while hurting ordinary workers by buying companies, jacking up their profits at the expense of workers and then reselling them, Mitt?  And Newt, how many jobs were created when your government shutdowns in the 90’s as Speaker of the House cost Americans over $1.6 trillion?  I am the only one on this stage who has actually shaped a government environment that has allowed businesses to flourish and for the free market to create jobs.  I am the only one on this stage who has actually limited government’s involvement in people’s lives and that’s a message that I can take to the American people as they compare my record to President Obama’s record”.  Statements similar to that in nature, may not make Perry the winner of the Iowa caucuses but they will help keep him in the race and give him the chance to reshape his image as the long campaign continues.

Michele Bachmann & Rick Santorum:

While all the candidates are trying to speak to the large evangelical vote in Iowa, these two need to aim their words far more directly at them than all their rivals.  If they intend to see their campaigns survive past New Hampshire, both Bachmann and Santorum need to surprise the political world with a Huckabee-like finish in the caucuses that is hammered together by a coalescing of evangelical voters behind them. Both of them must convincingly argue that they are consistent in their beliefs and their politics and that they are both reform minded conservatives who can defeat President Obama.  The problem is that Santorum and Bachmann are seemingly cancelling one another out.  So one of them must try to somehow land a knockout punch on the other.  The one who can take the other out in this debate, will make themselves quite competitive in the remaining weeks of the Iowa caucus campaign and will have the best shot of seeing their campaign last until at least South Carolina.  Consider Bachmann and Santorum as having to use this as a debate within a debate to win the caucus within the caucus.

Jon Huntsman:

Huntsman has written off every early primary state except for New Hampshire.  While Giuliani pinned his presidential hopes on Florida in 2008, in 2012, Huntsman is pinning all his on New Hampshire.  More specifically, he is pinning his hopes on beating Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.  Given that strategy, Huntsman is the only candidate on the stage who can afford to ignore Iowa voters and instead address New Hampshire voters.  That means Huntsman has to paint himself as a John McCain type of maverick, who is willing to go against the grain of his own Party and be the consistent conservative that mainstream Republican politicians are not.  Like Rick Perry, Huntsman must try to give answers that all lead back to his conservative management of Utah when he was Governor.  All of that is going to be a hard sell, but that is the only way he can go now that his campaign bought a one way ticket to New Hampshire.

flagline.jpg line image by truckthis

The  debate will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center Today, Thursday, December 15th from 9:00-11:00 PM/ET, in conjunction with the Iowa Republican Party.

It will be moderated by Special Report anchor Bret Baier on FOX News Channel (FNC) and live-streamed on YouTube.com/FOXNews, in addition to FOX News Radio, FOX News Mobile, and FOXNews.com.

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Mackinac Straw Poll Shows Michigan is Still Romney Territory

Bookmark and Share    While the big news of this weekend is Herman Cain’s incredibly strong first place showing in the Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll, a straw poll in Michigan announced Mitt Romney its winner.

Out 681 votes cast from among 1,800 attendees gathered at the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Romney garnered 346 votes or 51 percent. The candidate who came closest to Romney was Texas Governor Rick Perry who captured 16.8% with 114 votes.

On Saturday, both Perry and Romney had forgone the opportunity to address the P5 Straw Poll in Orlando, Florida and instead opted to address the Mackinac event.

Perry did speak to P5 participants during a Saturday morning breakfast event. And before voting began in that contest, a pre-recorded video message by him was seen by all.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he has made it a policy to not compete in straw polls this year because he would prefer to invest the large amount of resources they require in the actual election rather than contests that have no bearing on the delegate count needed to win the Republican presidential nomination. In 2007, Mitt Romney spent more than $1 million in the Iowa Straw Poll, which he won. But he went on to lose the Iowa Caucuses to Mike Huckabee. Four years later, Romney does not want to divert the time and money from his 2012 campaign to such beauty contests.

Unlike Herman Cain’s win in Florida, Romney was widely expected to win the Michigan event, just as he is expected to win the Michigan Republican presidential primary in 2012. Romney is a native of Michigan and his father was a popular Governor of the state. Romney also won the Michigan primary in the 2008 election cycle.

Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference every two years at historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.. The event allows Party activists to discuss ideas, learn how to articulate the Republican message, and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state—and the country. The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier Republican events in the Midwest.

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Palin Watch: Waiting for Sarah Palin

Bookmark and Share    From our friends at Conservatives4Palin.com, we learn of a very special BlogTalkRadio show that will be packed with Sarah Palin aficionados from throughout the blogosphere, all to discuss how pro-Palin forces should use their time between now and when Sarah announces her plans regarding the 2012 presidential election. 

The show whic takes place today, will be hosted by Roderic Deane, host of  the aptly named “Roderic Deane Show”   and it airs today, Sunday, September 25, 2011 from 11:00am to  1:00pm Central Time  (12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time)

Guests will include dedicated Palin activist Peter Singleton, Adrienne Ross of the Sarah Palin Information Blog, Ron Devito of SarahNET, O.P. Ditch of Vets4Palin, and Stephen K. Bannon, the director of the Sarah Palin documentary “The Undefeated”.

According to Roderic Deane, “Sarah Palin told us to keep our powder dry and that we would know soon enough about her plans.”   He adds “In the meantime, how do we choose to wile away the in-between?”  Sunday’s broadcast entitled “Waiting for Palin” will address that question.

Below you will find the link and to the show and it’s program schedule:

The Roderic Deane Show – Live Source: BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rodericdeane/2011/09/25/the-roderic-deane-show

Show Schedule:

Hour 1:    Introduction and monologue (15 minutes)
Peter Singleton  – Co-Coordinator of the Iowa chapter of O4P (Organize4Palin) (25-30 minutes)
Ron Devito – US4Palin blogger – Coordinator of    NY4Palin, an O4P affiliate (15 minutes)
Hour 2:  Adrienne Ross – MotivationTruth blogger, contributor to the Conservatives4Palin blog (15 minutes)
Stephen K. Bannon – Producer and Director of the Sarah Palin documentary “The Undefeated” (25-30 minutes), O.P. Ditch – Vets4Sarah.net organizer – Major participant in the Maryland chapter of O4P (15 minutes)

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Yes We Cain! Herman Cain Wins Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share  From a pool of 2,657 registered Presidency 5 voters in Florida’s presidential straw poll , Herman Cain pulled off a significant victory by a significant margin, upsetting both favorite Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

The Final vote was as follows:

 
 

986 votes  –  37.1%   –   Herman Cain

428 votes  –  15.4%    –  Rick Perry

372 votes  –  14.0%   –   Mitt Romney

289 votes  –  10.9%   –  Rick Santorum

276 votes  –  10.4%   –   Ron Paul

224 votes  –    8.4%    –  Newt Gingrich

  60 votes  –    2.3%    –   Jon Huntsman

  40 votes  –    1.5%    –   Michele Bachmann

 
Herman Cain’s upset victory was a direct result of Perry’s poor performance in Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in which he argued that those who did not believe in offering in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants, did “not have a heart”. 
 
Those remarks, combined with good showing by both Romney and Cain, put Cain’s victory in to motion.  During the past two days of Republican electioneering in Friday’s CPAC-FL conference and today’s Presidency 5 convention,there was a clear sense that participants were changing their minds from Perry to Cain and Romney.
 
In addition to that, unlike Perry and Romney, Herman Cain stayed in Florida since Thursday’s debate and attended today’s Presidency 5 event where he delivered a speech that tore the rough of the convention center.  His speech struck at the heart of the limited government cause and beyond that, it conveyed to the audience, that he truly gets the need for real changes in the way government does business.
 
Cain’s vote which was more than twice the size of Perry’s second place vote total, is a strong sign that both Perry and Romney have a long way to go if they intend to win.  The sentiment expressed in Florida today, was a definite indication that the G.O.P. is still looking for a hero and that neither Romney or Perry fit that description yet. 
 
However, Herman Cain just might.
 
He is the perfect anti-establishment candidate.  And that is what voters want.  They do not want politics-as-usual.  On top of that, Cain has an uncanny and quite natural ability to inspire conservatives with his words and tap into their hope for a responsible figure who can be a citizen leader, not a career politician.
 
But the P5 participants are a very Southern evangelical sampling of Republican activists and many of them are also quite familiar with Herman Cain.  Many have made him a part of their lives every weekday via his Atlanta based radio talk show which is widely heard in that region of the U.S..   This gave Cain the perfect opportunity to be the vessel for which voters could send their protest vote through.  That is  not to say that Herman Cain did not earn today’s victory in his own right.  He did.  In his speech he not only demonstrated the capacity to lead, he provided inspiration to a movement that seeks the type of change that is meant to restore liberty to America.  He also showed the career politicians that politics-as-usual will not be good enough this time around.
 
If  Herman Cain can parlay this straw poll win into future victories remains to be seen.   Not long ago, Minnesota Congresswoman Michel Bachmann won the famous Iowa Straw Poll in Ames.  But by her 40 vote, last place finish in Florida, it is safe to say that her Iowa Straw Poll results did not get her very far.
 
One thing that this win is sure to do for Herman Cain, is propel him from back tier candidate, to serious contender.  In addition to raising his name ID, this victory will help him raise money and inject a sizeable dose of dollars into his campaign war chest.  What will also be interesting is whether or not South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s recent claim that she will be endorsing someone who is a true business person, is a reference to Herman Cain or Mitt Romney. After today’s surprise win by Cain, one has to wonder.   
 
An endorsement of Cain by Governor Nikki Haley, is not likely but if it did happen, it would place Herman Cain in a position to win back-to-back primaries in South Carolina and Florida………….a scenario that few have imagined, up till now. 
 
On the flip-side of the coin, the man who probably faired worst in this contest was Ron Paul.
 
Paul’s fans are usually good at hijacking straw polls with ringers brought in from all over the place.  But Presidency 5 is unlike Iowa and other straw polls.  Participants in P5 must be certifies as registered Republicans through their county organizations.  Such certification allows for a more accurate measure of Republican sentiments  than do other forums which do not create conditions similar to actual primary contests.
 
But regardless of anyone else, today belongs to Herman Cain.  Today he stunned the political world and put himself on the map.  There’s a new candidate in town as of today and he promises to make sure that voters don’t just rollover for the perceived frontrunners.  As of today, Herman Cain is going to ensure that the Republican who is nominated president, earns the nomination. 
 
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Who Won Thursday’s Fox News/Google Debate in Florida and Why?

Bookmark and Share  With nine candidates and many questions asked by American citizens through Youtube, who if anyone do you think won Thursday’s Fox News/Google Debate in Florida?

Click here to take the poll

Then leave your comments explaining what made candidates winners and losers in this most recent debate. Or join the debate about the debate on White House 2012’s Facebook discussion page.

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Perry Picks Up Another Conservative Governor’s Endorsement

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

Bookmark and Share   In a day that saw little known long shot presidential candidate, Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter drop out of the race and endorse Mitt Romney then saw powerful California Congressman Darrel Issa endorse Romney as well, Texas Governor Rick Perry once again stole the thunder from Romney. Perry proudly accepted the endorsement of social conservative Kansas Governor Sam Browonback

In a statement released by Brownback, the Governor stated;

“I have known and worked with Rick Perry for over twenty years. He is the right leader for this moment in history,” said Gov. Brownback. “Now more than ever, America needs a President who knows how to create jobs and stop Washington’s runaway spending. Rick Perry balanced budgets in tough economic times, signed the largest tax cut in state history and helped Texas become the national leader in job creation. On the most important issues of our time, his record of leadership serves as a blueprint for America’s renewal.”

Brownback is one of the most appreciated social conservates in the nation and his endorsement will go a long way in helping Perry solidify that important base vote of the Republican Party for himself.   Yet Brownback’s support of Perry may hurt Mitt Romney more than it helps Rick Perry. While Kansas does not have a very significant Republican delegate count, Romney’s inability to claim additional conservative credentials by pointing to Brownback as a prominent supporter.

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Mitt Romney Wants Sarah Palin to Run for President

Bookmark and Share    In an interview with USA Today’s Susan Page, Mitt Romney states that he hopes Sarah Palin runs for President.

According to Romney;

“I think it would be a good thing if she did. She would make the race that much more exciting, bring more people to watch the debates, and I hope she gets in.”

Romney is totally correct on those points.

Palin’s entry into the race would have an incredibly positive affect for Republicans in the 2012 election. It will especially take a lot of ink away from President Obama.

However Romney does not mention the real reason why he would like Palin to run.

With Sarah Palin in the nomination contest, candidates like Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, will have their vote totals suppressed by Palin’s candidacy which will absorb much of their support. And while she holds down the vote totals of candidate like Bachmann and Perry, Romney has a good chance to see his establishment conservative vote totals surpass all others and wrap up the nomination earlier rather than later.

Of course, with Palin running, there is also a good chance that Romney will lose…………..to her.

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Barack Obama, Spinning More Than Music

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You’re invited to the Barack Obama Blunder-Bus Tour

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Heavy Hitters Urge Paul Ryan to Run for President

Bookmark and Share   A day after the prospects for a presidential run by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan were heightened by reports that the Congressman is in fact seriously considering the idea, some of the most influential names in Republican circles have come out in support of the idea.

Few candidates, declared or undeclared, have brought out the type of open public support and encouragement that Paul Ryan is receiving. While candidates like Mitt Romney , Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry receive high public praise from colleagues and elected officials, none of them have received public commitments to their campaigns from people such as former and incumbent governor’s , former presidential cabinet members and powerful incumbent members of Congress.

On the news that Ryan is nearing a decision, people such as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and former Director of National Drug Control Director Bill Bennett, have all indicated their extensive depth of support for Paul Ryan and his candidacy and have urged him to take the plunge.

Governor Mitch Daniels told The Weekly Standard;

“I don’t think it’s a secret that he was strongly encouraging me to try. I’ve been strongly encouraging him to run as well. He has all the qualities our party needs to be emphasizing in these elections.”

He can explains—

“and is willing to explain—in plain English why today’s policies are a disaster for the middle class, and he has the smarts to go toe-to-toe with the people who are saying misleading things about the proposals that he’s put out there.”

Former Governor Jeb Bush states;

“Paul Ryan would be a formidable candidate. I admire his substance and energy. Win or lose, he would force the race to be about sustained, job-creating economic growth and the real policies that can achieve it.”

Meanwhile Scott Walker, the freshman Republican Governor of the state that Ryan represents a portion of is urging Ryan to run and publicly stated that;

“Paul Ryan is one of the most courageous people I know,”

and added

 “Now, more than ever, we need a president with courage. We need leaders who care more about the next generation than they do about the next election. That’s Paul.”

These three names alone are immensely important to have on one’s side.

All of these men are widely embraced as conservatives and reformers by both establishment and anti-establishment forces alike. Walker, in particular. His courageous and controversial stands against the abuses of big unions and his difficult budget cutting choices have made him a particular favorite of conservative TEA movement activists.

Another influential figure to be on Ryan’s side is the man who under Ronald Reagan was appointed to serve as the first National Drug Policy Director ……Bill Bennett.

Early Wednesday morning, Bennett emailed the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and of Paul Ryan wrote;

“There are many talented candidates in the race already, but there is always room for a man of Paul Ryan’s intellectual depth, temperament, talent, and conviction.”

Bennett will be soon be visiting Ryan while he is on vacation with his family in Colorado. The two are old friends and Ryan considers Bennett a mentor of sorts.   From all indications, Ryan’s mentor is likely to help the Congressman conclude that it is in fact time for him to take the mantle of leadership and run for President.

Others who have been offering praise of Ryan include Speaker John Boehner who calls Ryan a “natural candidate” and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan. Jordan is a leading conservative and the head of the Republican Study Committee. According to him, Ryan would be “an asset to the race. When Paul talks about Cut, Cap, and Balance as a key to solving America’s debt problem, people get it.”

But praise is nothing new for the sensible young conservative Congressman from Wisconsin. Ryan has been consistently receiving glowing reviews for his work, personality, sense of commitment, and skills, for a long time now. That is part of the reason why at 41, when Republicans recently took control of the House, Paul Ryan became one of the most powerful peope in the nation after being appointed to the leadership position of Chairman of the critically important House Budget Committee.

And in just a matter of weeks, after taking on that responsibility, Paul Ryan led his committee to settle upon a budget brave enough to touch all the third rails in politics and comprehensive enough to deal with such things as entitlement reforms and all of the issues which the recent debt ceiling debate pushed off on to a select committee of 12.

If Paul Ryan decides to run, he may face a hill too steep to overcome. He does not have the type of immediate fundraising capacity of a Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. He does not have the name recognition of a Sarah Palin or Rudy Giuliani. Not yet anyway. But given a chance, this relatively fresh and undeniably young face will have a profound effect on the Republican presidential race. Ryan is the little engine that could and he has the potential to catch the American public’s imagination in a way that Barack Obama did among liberals when he was running for President in 2008.  But at the same time, Paul ryan has the ability to appeal to our senses and our logic.

Paul Ryan has the ability to be an unpretentious, conservative Republican version of JFK, minus Camelot, nepotism, and philandering. He offers youthful vision, and has the ability to create a narrative regarding our nation’s problems that mixes honesty with hope and reality with resolution. Paul Ryan is decisive and dedicated. He is savvy, serious and sincere. He is a man of great humility and respect. But most of all, Paul Ryan is one of the few American politicians who is willing to speak the truth about the greatest problem facing our nation today ——– our out of control budget and debt. And unlike any other candidate, he has the knowledge, judgment, capacity, and willingness to share the truth about our budgetary mess and articulate the difficult decisions that we have to make, without any smoke, mirrors and false hopes.

If Paul Ryan were to be our Republican presidential nominee, he will begin a national dialogue that will consist of tough truths and sellable solutions, not bumper sticker slogans and hapless hyperbole. If Paul Ryan runs, the question will not be is he ready to do the job, the question will be is America ready for Paul Ryan. We already know that the guy who currently has the job was not ready for it. But I know Paul Ryan is.

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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” 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.”

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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30 Years Later and America Again Needs Leaders Who Can Create Another Economic Recovery Tax Act

Jack F. KempBookmark and Share     Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut Act of 1981. The bill’s official legislative name was the Economic Recovery Tax Act. The legislation was authored by Jack Kemp in conjunction with Senator William Roth. Both men were co-sponsors of the legislation but Jack Kemp was the main architect and  the man  credited for  “selling Reaganomics to Ronald Reagan.”    Then Congressman Jack Kemp, had introduced the Economic Recovery Tax Act in the House, several times before  the 1981 legislative session, but Democrat Congressional leaders and a Democrat President failed to move on it.

But once Reagan became President, he took the initiative to act on it and successfully pushed The Kemp-Roth bill through Congress. Were it not for Reagan, the economy-saving legislative initiative may never have passed, but were it not for Jack Kemp, it may never have existed in a way that was quite as strong and definitive as it wound up being.

The Kemp-Roth Tax Cut amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and was responsible for encouraging the economic growth through:

  • The reduction of individual tax rates;
  • By expensing depreciable property; and
  • Creating incentives for savings and other small businesses.

The main features of the Act were responsible for:

  • Reducing the tax rates by 25% over three years;
  • Accelerating depreciation deductions;
  • Indexing of individual income tax parameters;
  • Excluding income of two earner married couple by 10 %;
  • Reducing windfall profit taxes; and
  • And expanding provisions for employees stock ownership plans.

Once enacted, the days of malaise that existed under the old tax code during the Carter years, turned into the days of rejuvenation. It took a while to actually turn the economy around but it didn’t take as long as many predicted and once the economy did turn the corner, it took off.  Once it began in November of 1982,  and lasted 92 months without a recession until July of 1990, and set a  record for the longest peacetime expansion ever.  This histroy of so-called Reaganomics greatly contrats the Obamanomics of today.  While the Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth during  the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has only  produced less than half that at 2.8%, and to add insult to injury, the last quarter came in at at a dismal 1.8%. growth  After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more.  After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed.

This makes it quite clear that one of the two policiers did better than the other

The Kemp-Roth based plan that created Reaganomics  amounted to one of the most successful economic experiments  in history.  The recovery rstarted in officialyl officiaslly statreted in November 1982,  when the tax increases of the 1990 budget deal killed it.  What is so striking about Obamanomics is how  so utterly antithetica to the Kemp-Roth plan  pursues the opposite of every one of these planks of Reaganomics.  Instead of reducing tax rates, President Obama is committed to raising the top tax rates of virtually every major federal tax.  As already enacted into current law, in 2013 the top two income tax rates will rise by nearly 20%, counting as well Obama’s proposed deduction phase-outs.

As a result, while the Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth over the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has produced less than half that at 2.8%, with the last quarter at a dismal 1.8%.  After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more.  After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed.

You may be asking yourself what this topic has to do with a site that is covering the 2012 presidential election.  If  so, the answer is simple.  In the 2012 presidential election, the G.O.P. needs to emerge with a nominee who embodies the thinking, persistence,  and courage of  Jack Kemp. 

While Kemp was never a President,  in addition to being an accomplished Congressman, he was a successful Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H. W. Bush.  His most notable accomplishment in that position was his  much touted Urban Enterprise Zone policy which encouraged development in blighted neighborhoods through tax and regulatory relief to entrepreneurs and investors who launched businesses in those blighted areas. This in turn made great strides in bringing back communities that had previously been written off.   

In its entirety, all of Jack Kemp’s work had a positive influence on  our nation that was as great as any President and it all stemmed from his sense of conviction to conservative fiscal policies, his faith in the individual more than government, and his belief that the free market was the true engine of our economy.  And it is that type of thinking that our nation needs more of and now more than ever.

Today our nation is being led by a man who is most likely well intentioned but assuredly misguided.   He and his Party, the American liberal party,  truly believe that government is the economic engine that creates jobs, makes products, and produces sales.  They do not grasp the fact that anything the government does costs, more than it makes and that what it makes is not their money but our money……the taxpayers money.  They do not grasp the fact that we can not continue to spend more than we have and take more from the people than make.  We can not keep on taking from Peter to go give to Paul. In time Peter will go broke and soon after, Paul will too.  Many of us realize that that time is already upon us.  Now we just need a leader like Jack Kemp who understands that and a President like Ronald Reagan who can get government to adopts that thinking.

Jack Kemp is no longer with us , but if he was I am sure he would repeat the following words that he once spoke

“Every time in this century we’ve lowered the tax rates across the board, on employment, on saving, investment and risk-taking in this economy, revenues went up, not down.”

And he would be right.

We need more leaders like Jack Kemp today, but until one is found we have the Kemp legacy to help guide us, and hopefully we will soon have leaders who will see that light that Jack Kemp, William Roth, and Ronald Reagan once shed upon us with their faith in less government, less spending, less taxation, and more freedom.

Today however, on this thirtieth anniversary of the signing in to law of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), I ask that you pay homage to Jack Kemp by visiting a Facebook page that has been dedicated to him, his life, his work, and his legacy. Please visit the Jack F. Kemp Facebook page and press the “like” button. Show your appreciation for him, his leadership and his belief in people more than government, and the free market than the government bureaucracy

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Will Announce His Candidacy on Saturday

Bookmark and Share  Rick Perry is running. 

Carl Cameron reports that officials have confiormed that Texas Governor Rick Perry will officially decalre his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination this Saturday, August 13th. 

The three term governor will not announce an exploratory committee or any testing-the-waters phase.  Instead he is going to jump right in to the race.  As stated by White House 2012 in a previous post, Perry is sure to make a big splash, but the ripples will effect the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Tim Pawlenty is still questionable.

Those three will probably pose the greatest challenge to Perry.  Unless of course Sarah Palin decides to jump in to the contest too.

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Romney Shows Some Passion in Exchange with Liberal Iowa Hecklers

Bookmark and Share    A group of liberals set out early this morning to stake territory right in front of a makeshift stage where Mitt Romney was going to speak. The group has been identified as think-tank called Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Some reports identified them by the name Scrap the Cap . Whatever you call them, they were nothing but as rude as a bunch of Ron Paul fanatics in the back row of a debate.

In the footage below, Mitt Romney can be seen handling one liberal relic from the group who refused to give Romney the chance to speak and answer the question he was being asked. After a long lasting tirade from the questioner, Romney answered the question which essentially was how he would save Social Security and Medicare without reducing benefits.

Once Romney made sure the liberal heckler was finished he said,

“good, now I will give you my answer and if you don’t like it you can go vote for someone else.”

And what was Romney’s response,

 “You ready for my answer? I’m not going to raise taxes”.

The exchange continued as at least three more members of the liberal think tank asked questions. In the Fox News video put together for you by White House 2012, Karl Rove offers an excellent critique of Romney’s handling of the situation. On balance, I gave him an A+. Romney showed that he was human and can be angered, but still maintain his composure. More importantly, he demonstrated some passion. And it is that passion that voters need to see more of if he wants to remain the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

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What Is Best for the G.O.P. and More Importantly, the Nation?

Bookmark and Share    Several months ago, President Obama had announced the execution of Osama bin Laden, and a debt weary nation seemed to be hopeful that our economy was on the verge of coming back. Some were beginning to believe that President Obama was shaping up to be another unbeatable incumbent come election time.

Since then, things have changed dramatically. All the economic indicators that were expected to produce numbers indicating a turnaround for the economy, have consistently underperformed all reaosnable measures of a healthy economy. An ongoing military effort in the mottled mission of Libya continues, the largest number of casualties in a single day of our longest war in history have been seen, Middle East strife in Syria as well as Egypt weigh heavily on international affairs, the quadrupling of our debt has forced our credit rating to be downgraded, the stock market is dropping to a point of being declared a bear market, gas prices have soared, unemployment remains more than a percentage point above the 8 % that President Obama promised it would never rise above, talk of a double-dip recession is remerging, and in general, no one is happy.

So now suddenly President Obama is again looking like a Jimmy Carter, one-termer …….a President who instills no confidence in the people, the markets, the economy or anything else. A President who lacks leadership and is controlled by circumstances far more than they controls circumstances.

But as quickly as things went from good to bad for President Obama, they could again change from bad to good. That is the nature of politics. But for Republicans, which condition is best for them to confront the President in during the 2012 election?

Are Republicans better off facing a President Obama who is severely wounded and hanging on to the doorknob of the Oval Office by his fingertips? Or a President Obama who has some clear positive results to hang his hat on? The answer may seem obvious but it is not.

When voters, particularly Republicans, are facing an incumbent President who is serving in times of great dissatisfaction, they often tend to go to extremes and produce a nominee  that is at the total opposite end of the Democrat incumbent President’s  ideology. In other words, they tend to nominate an extremely conservative presidential candidate. The best and most recent examples can be found in the 1964 and 1980 presidential elections.

In ’64 a troubled nation that was in the midst of riots and war protests and was embrking on the expansion of the welfare state, nominated Barry Goldwater to run against incumbent Lyndon Johnson. Goldwater lost big. But one must also consider the fact that in that election, Johnson was representing the legacy of a martyred President who was abruptly taken away from us by an assassins bullet. Nonetheless, political dissatisfaction did force Republicans to nominate an extremely conservative candidate who was as contrarian to Lyndon Johnson as possible.

In 1980, again a weary nation faced foreign strife that held Americans hostage, was in the midst of an energy crisis and had a crumbling economy with double digit unemployment and extremely high inflation (but as bad as it was, we still didn’t see our credit rating downgraded). In that election, Republican voters turned to Ronald Reagan, probably the most conservative voice of the day. That year Reagan won.

Depending on how bad things are in the nation under a President of one ideology, the futher to the opposite end of the ideological spectrum they go in the oppsoition leader they seek. So if President Obama remains critically wounded, does that mean the G.O.P. will nominate the most conservative candidate running? Will it turn to Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry or draw Sarah Palin into the contest and nominate her? If President Obama’s approval and the economy stabilizes, will Republicans nominate a more seemingly moderate voice like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty?

And of those two scenarios, which is better?

Is the G.O.P. better off nominating a candidate that is perceived as an extremist? Will such a conservative be able to defeat even a severely damaged President Obama? Or is the Party better off nominating a moderate voice and hope that the dissatisfaction with President Obama is so high that voters will still flock to ABO…… Anyone But Obama?

I do not have the definitive answer to those questions.  Given the infinitessimal number of factors that play a role in any given election and the endless number of different logisitcs between one election and another, I am not sure anyone can have a definitive answer to those questions.   But I  have a feeling about them. I believe that Barack Obama’s presidency has been so far to the left that in the minds of most Americans, it has highlighted an abundant degree of liberal thinking that is so antithetical to American democratic principles that people are willing to lurch quickly and sharply to the right in an attempt to take corrective measures that get the nation back on track and restore balance. Perhaps that is why many voters are still waiting for a voice that seems to be more conservative than the ones that are currently in the race.  It is certainly why Republicans regained control of the House in 2010.

How this dynamic will play itself out  is uncertain. That is what elections are for. If we knew who would win, we would forgo the process and save ourselves a lot of time and money. But in the interim, each of the most viable Republican candidates for President are seeking to prove themselves to be more conservative than the next.   That leaves the last question which is, can a nominee be too conservative?  Under the current TEA movement atmosphere, one can be too socially conservative but they can’t be too fiscally conservative. And there in lies the moderation that is key to winning the general election.

No matter what,  moderation of some sort is required to win the general election. For the most part, the independent voter does not want an ideological animal for President, they want a person with good  judgement and while ideology is important, it is not desired by them in extremes.  Richard Nixon’s saying is true. In the Republican primary you run far to right but in the general election you run to the middle. From the way things look right now, the G.O.P. candidate won’t have to run very far to the middle to beat President Obama, but for the sake of our nation, the G.O.P. must prevent President Obama from winning reelection. I believe the key to being successful at that lies within a G.O.P. that will be conservative enough to respect the Constitution.  That means they will stay out of our bedrooms, respect states rights, support a limited federal government, stand up for a strong national defense, and push for a government of less spending and more liberty.

That is easier said than done, but if the message is articulated right, American voters will be willing to give that messenger a chance and leave President Obama behind.

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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’s 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‘s heart is not in to running. If it were, he would have taken Hillary Clintons‘s Senate seat or when she left office he would have taken it from from Kirstin Gillibrand or The Governor‘s mansion from Andrewm, “Son of Mario”, Cuomo. But he didn‘t.  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‘t 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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