Pawlenty Pandering To Palin

Bookmark and Share

When it comes to name recognition on a national level for potential 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls there are 2 distinct levels: Those who are household names amongst the Republican party such as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and those who have a long way to go to reach their level of notoriety. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is one of those candidates looking to get his name known on a national level and with recent comments has picked a good starting point. Former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin and her passionate throng of supporters.

When asked in an interview with ABC’s Nightline on Thursday about his intentions to run for the White House the 2012 GOP hopeful said, Ive got a long way to go to get people to even know my name, much less worrying about whether I could beat, you know, the force of nature that is Sarah Palin.” If she wanted to compete for the presidency, I think she has the tools to do it, he said. You dont know whats going to happen two years from now in politics.

The former Governor refused to speculate on his chances in a head-to-head contest with the well known former VP candidate but dismissed talk that he as well as other Presidential hopefuls were afraid to speak out against Palin for fear of alienating her large base of very passionate supporters. I dont think its fair to say people are afraid of her, he said. Its fair to say she is somebody whos got a lot of influence and can use it for good, if she chooses to. although he didn’t speculate on Palin’s chances in 2012 he called Palin a remarkable leader and a friend.

With his autobiography, “Courage To Stand” set to be released next Tuesday, there has been much talk of a Pawlenty candidacy in 2012. The former Minnesota Governor has been hitting the early caucus and primary circuit while stumping for Republican candidates during the mid-term elections. He made the decision to not run for a third term as MN Governor, fueling the speculation that a 2012 run was in the works. Pawlenty has said he will most likely decide whether hes running for president in March or April. There is no doubt in my mind Id be prepared to be president, he said, adding that he had a very clear vision of what presidential leadership ought to look like in tough economic times. I think its precisely because of these times that I might be interested in running, he said. I believe the countrys in big trouble and we need a change in that direction.

With his book release set for early next week it is apparent that Tim Pawlenty is making his move to gain the name recognition that the early front runners enjoy. Although she is lagging behind in most of the early polling, Sarah Palin does command a large following of supporters and holds a substantial amount of influence over their political decisions. If you are wanting to take your name to a higher level in Republican politics, hitching your cart to the Palin horses could be a way to quickly move down the road to the national spotlight. With all of the negative press Sarah Palin is subjected to, a few kind words could be all it takes to harness her supporters.

Bookmark and Share

White House 2012 Joins The Steve Wark In The Morning Show

Bookmark and ShareWhite House 2012,editor-in-chief Anthony Del Pellegrino (aka:Kempite), will be a guest on The Steve Wark in the Morning Show, KMZQ, AM670, “Nevada’s number 1 station for talk”, on:

Monday, January 3rd, 2011, at 8:00 am (PST), 11:00 am (EST).

The discusssion will range from the shaping Republican presidential race to the top freshmen legislators to look out for in the soon to be sworn in 112th Congress.

Join in the discusion. Call in at 702-866-6700

Bookmark and Share

Democrats Strategy – Crazy or Crazy Like a Fox?

Bookmark and Share

As the mid term election campaigns enter the final two weeks, as a student of politics I have been confused as to what exactly the Democrats strategy is. The President has spent time in states in which the races seem well in control of the Democrat candidate until this week when he will hit Missouri and Nevada to stump for candidates in races that are within reach including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The party, the President and the pundits have spent countless hours with speeches, tv shows and commercials attacking tea party candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware in a race in which she has never been truly competitive. There is only one candidate who is running on the policies enacted by the Democrat controlled Congress and White House and that is Harry Reid who has no choice as Senate Majority Leader. The others are simply either failing to mention their support for the Democrats policies and their own voting records or are touting their votes against the policies of their party.

All but forgotten as a strategy is the Bush bashing that boded so well in 2008 as the public grows weary of the excuse that it’s the ‘other guys fault’ when Democrats have had control of Congress for 4 years and the White House for 2. As I watch the campaign unfold I have only two deductions I can make to justify the political death the Democrats willingly seem to be marching straight in to:

1. They have fallen so far out of favor with the voters by jumping in so deep with the rhetoric in 2008 that they simply don’t have the answer to the tsunami they see making landfall on November 2nd.

2. They purposefully do not want to win.

The first scenario seems to be the most likely but do not count out the second. It is the only strategy that actually makes sense. With the economy sluggish, unemployment rising, the debt and deficit out of control and basic public sentiment souring on the ‘Hope and Change’ that were promised it makes sense that losing a chamber of congress may allow the President and the Democrats to renew a scapegoat that they have lost in George W. Bush. I know it sounds a bit conspiratorial but if the policies enacted by the Democrats continue to fail who is there to blame if they retain control? As they have found, the public is holding them accountable for the issues the country is facing. They hold the entire enchilada. They own health care. They own stimulus, omnibus and every major spending bill but TARP and they bought the uncertainty surrounding the countries tax rates by leaving town early without addressing it. They need someone else in the picture to blame because honestly they are the only ones in the game.

It makes perfect political sense to not put all of your eggs in one basket, as they have found out. Simply put – they need another basket. A Republican basket.

The strategy of owning it all, including the blame has proven a tough road. the fix – sublease the House of Representatives to the GOP. Have someone to help carry the load and the blame if it all falters. The President’s excuse that the Republicans were blocking everything that may have worked fell upon deaf ears. The voters understood that the Democrats had full and complete control. Now maybe that excuse will have some merit with voters as the President heads to 2012.

Are they crazy or crazy like a fox? I believe it to be the latter. The Democrats have proven to be crafty campaigners. I find it hard to believe that they forgot how so soon following their greatest accomplishment.

Bookmark and Share

Keep The Caution Out Of The Wind

Bookmark and Share

As Republicans prepare for what polls are showing will be big gains in congress this November, they need to heed a warning. Do not throw caution to the wind. A takeover of the House is almost a given. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s wishful thinking, all signs point to the GOP gaining enough seats to put John Boehner in the Speaker’s seat and most congressional Democrats are preparing for it as well. But with a whirlwind getting ready to sweep them in, the Republicans must not fall for false hope of being able to make a huge impact right away.

If the scenario plays out where the GOP gains control of the House and the Democrats keep control of the Senate the GOP may become the perfect scapegoat that Obama and the Democrats have unsuccessfully been trying to brand them as. The ‘party of no’ mantra has played out and the strategy has failed as Democrats enjoyed large majorities in both chambers and the American people brushed aside the thought that the Democrat majority was helpless. The Democrats are paying for that strategic failure now but if the GOP is not careful, the strategy could play out beginning in January.

A Republican House and Democrat Senate would almost certainly bring about a political and legislative stalemate. A stalemate that the President would be able to shine a spotlight on from his place on the bully pulpit. Although the American public failed to believe, and rightfully so, that the minority party could block anything it would not be difficult to point to a divided legislature and the Republican house as a roadblock if both parties and both chambers battle it out come January.

So heed this warning. Learn a lesson of over promising and under delivering from the Democrats. Understand that it will be a difficult and divided legislative session. Understand that the ‘party of no’ branding will be thrown out to the public and your owning he House will lend it some credence. Do not believe your own campaign hype and do not think that your power is a mandate and that your support will remain. Keep the caution out of the wind.

Bookmark and Share

What Now?

Bookmark and Share

As the polls continue to show Republicans gaining support amongst the voting public and the TEA party making surprising strides in many primaries the question arises – Where does the GOP go from here?

With many conservative TEA party backed candidates poised to hold seats in Congress is it possible for the establishment Republicans to welcome them and work as a cohesive unit to promote the shared agenda of less taxes, less spending and less government? If there is one thing the old guard and the new lions have in common it is the platform of less, less, less. The dividing point however is the confidence that the voters have in the old guard to stick to the task of doing so. It is that lack of confidence, brought on by the deficit and debt spending of the GOP controlled congress during the Bush administration, that has brought on the meteoric rise of the TEA party candidates and the ouster of established GOP candidates in primary elections.

With that lack of confidence leading a new group of conservatives into the GOP power grid, the Grand Ol’ Party must now fight to instill confidence in the independents that they are moving in that direction in order to be successful in the general elections not only in 2010, but to ensure it continues into 2012. The TEA party conservatives have found success with one simple message: Less taxes, less spending and less government. The GOP establishment must embrace this message and show that they are serious about these issues and cohesive with the TEA party candidates before the voters will have confidence enough to continue to give them their votes into 2012. But any relationship is a 2 way street and the GOP/TEA party relationship can be no different.

As the Democrats go into attack mode, unwilling and unable to run on their votes for the highly unpopular stimulus and health care bills, the TEA party must instill confidence that they are not the far right fringe that the Democrats and the media are trying so hard and spending millions of dollars to paint them as. Taking a page from the Glenn Beck rally’s strategy book, the signs and idealistic t-shirts must go. Whether it be a few far right supporters that take advantage of the situation to get out their message of hate or whether it be plants by the left put in the crowd to give the appearance of radicalism, if they remove the opportunity all together then there will be nothing to debate but the issues. The first amendment is the backbone of our society and I am not suggesting that anyone’s rights be infringed. What I am suggesting is that the main message of less taxes, less spending and less government must be the only message if they expect to compete in a general election forum. In a general election the voting audience is different. They can go either way. The TEA party activists must realize that any opening for the other side or the media to push their message that the GOP is being taken over by far right radicals needs to be eliminated. Their message can win. If it is the message that the public sees.

So what now? Although they have been battling each other in the primary races, the GOP and the TEA party must now embrace each other in order to win in the big show. The GOP must embrace the TEA party to instill confidence in potential voters that they are serious about cutting taxes, spending and the size of government. A confidence that they have lost. The TEA party must embrace the GOP to instill confidence that they are not the far right radical fringe that many believe them to be.

What is known is that the voting public is disillusioned and disappointed in the policies of the Democrats and the White House. Will the Republican establishment work with the new conservative influx of TEA party backed candidates and embrace their ideas? Will the TEA party tone down it’s non-platform rhetoric as it did at the Glenn Beck rally and remove the radical public appearance?

It is yet to be seen but it must be done if they both expect to gain the confidence of the American voter.

Bookmark and Share

Pawlenty’s Catch 22 In The Hawkeye State

Bookmark and Share

Giving your opinion on the decision’s of judges when you’re the Governor should be the norm in a political landscape in which legislating from the bench has become a hot button topic for many. However, when that critique is aimed at a state that you re not the Governor of, it may become political ammunition. When that state happens to be the state that kicks off the run for Presidential aspirations, it may be toxic. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty may have found himself in a catch 22 over comment made regarding the possible ousting of 3 Iowa Supreme Court justices who recently ruled that Iowa’s law banning gay marriage was against the state constitution.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pawlenty said he would need to study the justices’ record before deciding whether to join the effort, but that voters have the right to remove judges if they disagree with their rulings.

“The notion that judges stand for election is embedded in the Iowa Constitution. It’s embedded in the Minnesota Constitution,” Pawlenty said. “It’s the right and privilege of the citizens of this state and my state to weigh in on whether they like or don’t like the job that a judge is doing and to agree or disagree with him.” Asked about a campaign organized by Sioux City business consultant Bob Vander Plaats – who failed in his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination – to remove the justices, Pawlenty stressed that he supports limiting marriage to one man and one woman. “I think the law should support that, and to the extent you have judges inserting their personal views to change that, I don’t like it,” Pawlenty said.

While this may help Pawlenty in his bid for the Republican nomination, it is a position that could come back to haunt him if he should be his parties nominee in the general election. In a primary he will be vying for the conservative vote that propels the Republican party. The general election tends to be about not who can get the vote of their own party, but who can get the vote of the undecided voters. As party voters usually support their parties candidate regardless, the independent voter, one not bound to party politics or candidates, becomes key to winning in the general election.

Hence the Catch 22 that Governor Pawlenty may have unwittingly thrust himself into. Should a candidate who is not well known outside of his own state and party throw himself into a position of taking a position on a hot button topic so early into the process? Let alone in the state which will have the all important first voice of the election? Not to mention a state in which his standing as the Governor of a neighboring state leaves many Iowan’s scratching their head as to why the Governor of Minnesota would make public his opinion on the affairs of their state.

The question will be asked and to that point the Governor’s statement will become a topic of debate should he decide to run in 2012. But for a candidate who received a mere 1% in recent polls to weigh in on a state issue of a border state that happens to hold the early key to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, maybe the question didn’t need answered in the manner in which it was. As many Iowan’s simply hope Minnesota keeps it’s opinions to itself, many independent voters may have already made up their mind before an official candidacy has had a chance to kick off.

Bookmark and Share

Pawlenty Announces Book Release Date

Bookmark and Share

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s upcoming book has a release date set as Jan. 11, a week after he leaves the governor’s mansion. The Governor has been seen recently in Iowa, spending time stumping for state GOP candidates and at the Iowa State Fair in a meet and greet campaign mode in what can be seen as an attempt to get his name into the mainstream in Iowa ahead of the 2012 caucus.

Is the January release date to coincide with a Presidential announcement? That is yet to be seen but an aide says it’ll come with a national book tour, which has become a sort of proto-campaign for many candidates. The book “will focus on his life, his experience as a conservative governor in a liberal state, and his vision for America,” the aide said. It may also answer questions as to the Governor’s intentions towards running for the highest office in the land.

The book, entitled “Courage to Stand” is slated to give more of an auto-biographical view of the Governor rather than have any real substance of what he would do as President of the United States. Given his 1% showing in a recent Iowa poll, that may be the exact strategy he needs to raise his profile to a public enthralled with the mainstream, easily recognizable names such as Romney, Palin and Gingrich. Although it will probably not be tearing up the New York Times Best Seller List it will afford Pawlenty the opportunity to reach a much more diverse audience much quicker than he could by hitting the stump. It also may personalize the Governor in an age in which media soundbites and social networks rule the roost.

Will the book lead to a Presidential run in 2012? It may be too early to tell but the timing, and the story are exactly what an unknown Governor needs to get his name in the national spotlight.

Bookmark and Share

From Sea To Shining Sea (or Iowa to New Hampshire)

Bookmark and Share    After spending time in the early caucus state of Iowa, shaking hands and kissing babies at the state fair, former PA Senator Rick Santorum has made his way to the first primary state of New Hampshire as he continues to test the waters as the only candidate to ‘officially’ throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination.

The possible GOP presidential candidate will attend a fundraising event Saturday for a New Hampshire Republican state senate candidate and will serve as the keynote speaker at the Manchester Republicans Candidate Fair, according to a spokeswoman for Santorum’s political action committee. “I sort of feel in some respects I’m being pulled along in this,” Santorum told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday. “I’m still seriously going through this process. And at this point I’m very encouraged by everything that’s happening.” Santorum added that “there seems to be support on the ground at least to consider this. The response has been surprisingly positive.”

The former Senator told a Pittsburgh television station last week that he was testing the waters for a Presidential run. After making his announcement, the candidate made the trip to Iowa, his third, to campaign for state candidates and hang with potential voters at the Iowa State Fair in order to get his name out in order to compete against the possible candidates in 2012 that have national name recognition such as Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. In a somewhat predictable progression, Santorum left Iowa and headed for the early primary state of New Hampshire.

For the former Senator to make a serious run he is doing what may be his only option. Getting out amongst the voters to heighten his profile. He is sure to face better funded and more recognizable names should he dive head first into the process to garner the GOP nomination in 2012. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll released last week indicated that Santorum was the pick of two percent of Republican voters when it comes to their choice for their party’s next presidential nominee. Santorum was last among a list of potential GOP White House hopefuls listed in the survey.

It may be a long road ahead in the political career of Rick Santorum. A road that he seems, at least now, to be ready to travel down.

Bookmark and Share

Florida GOP Features Barbour. And Super Tuesday Heats Up

Bookmark and Share Florida is a critical state in both the Republican nomination process and the presidential election process. Having one of the four largest electoral votes in the nation, this makes Florida one of the two “must haves” in the Super Tuesday primaries of the South. So what happens politically in Florida, echoes nationally. So the recent decision by the Florida’s state Republican Party to have Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour deliver the Keynote address at their annual dinner in September is having a ripple effect in Republican circles.

Now that Florida’s Republican Governor became an Independent and is running for the U.S. Senate, the slot that would have normally been reserved for the state’s top elected Republican, came open and it would seem that Haley Barbour had did not hesitate filling it.

The move is a sign that Barbour is carefully and methodically lining up support for a run for President.

Since Charlie Crist left the Party and is now campaigning against the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, it would be natural for organizers of the annual dinner to have selected Marco Rubio as their Keynote Speaker. In fact it would have been a smart move. Yet the Florida GOP has Barbour speaking instead.

Why?

Well as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, when Charlie Crist switched parties, Barbour was in close communication with state Party leaders and he has remained in touch with them. So much so that he twisted a few arms to get this much coveted speaking engaging before Florida’s Republican elite.

The move was a smart one by Barbour. Although the numbers change based on the number of Republicans officials elected to office and population, Florida sends approximately 60 delegates to the Republican National Convention.That’s just a mere drop in the bucket when you compare it to the approximately 1, 191 needed to secure the presidential nomination. But of the 822 delegates that come out of the South, that is substantial in early counts. But what’s more is the timing of Florida’s primary. It normally takes place after South Carolina but before the bulk of the South votes for the nominees on Super Tuesday.

This makes the timing of Florida’s primary even more important than its delegate count. If a candidate does poorly in South Carolina, a comeback in the big Florida primary could provide a candidate with the type of momentum that they could use to sweep the South in the weeks to follow.

Barbour knows this. That is why he swooped into to that slot as keynote speaker. To get this “invitation”, he pulled quite a few strings with Republican state Party officials and apparently Florida Republican officials like what they see in Barbour because they jumped at the chance to have their strings pulled by him.

People don’t want to be associated with losers as much as they want to be associated with winners. If Barbour was a loser, the Florida GOP would not have just sent upplumes of white smoke that signal a decision like they do at Vatican upon the election of a Pope. If Barbour was not about to seal the deal with Party leaders, the Florida GOP would not have signaled to contenders like Romney, Pawlenty, Palin, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich and others, that a favorite son of the South is about to be tapped for bigger and better things.

Of course this has set contenders like Romney and Pawlenty, off on a frenzied attempt to contact current and potential Florida supporters to make sure that that they can keep the door open for their chance to win over the Party power hitters before Barbour is able to close the door on them and lock up Florida before the race even begins.

No matter what though, right now Haley Barbour isconstructing the foundation for his candidacy and creating the playing field on which all other contenders are being forced to play catch-up with Barbour on.

Bookmark and Share

Come On T-Paw. Just Say It Already.

Bookmark and Share    Although he contends he is not making an official decision until 2011, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is making the rounds at the Iowa State Fair and the talk is turning to the struggling economy. Seen by most political experts as a prelude to a primary run, a trip to Iowa for a man that was a finalist to be John McCain’s running mate in 2008 is definitely a soap box from which to get put his message. The Democrats have no clue how to spur the economy.

On why he believes Democrats have struggled creating jobs: “It’s pretty tough to be pro-job and anti-business. That’s like being pro-egg and anti-chicken. It doesn’t work so well.”, the Governor said when questioned about the struggling job market in what the President himself has labeled “The Summer of Recovery”. A summer which has seen a slow recovery turn into what may be a backward slide with the most recent job numbers shocking most analysts who expected a minor down tick and instead received an increase in applications for benefits. The Governor also spoke out regarding President Obama’s handling of the economy, “First of all he is clueless on a number of key issues on our time, including our economy,” Pawlenty said of the president on Fox News’ “Hannity” program on Monday. “We need to be growing this economy, lightening the burden for…the people that can get the economy going. Instead he is layering on burdens. And then, No. 2, he doesn’t have the depth of experience to run a large complex organization particularly in a time of crisis and its getting away from him.”

For a Governor who is ‘unsure’ of his political intentions for 2012, a direct verbal jab at the President of the United States would seem to be an indicator of things to come. With trips under his belt to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina who does T-Paw think he’s kidding? Get a jump on the crowd Governor. Hit while the hittin’s good. Headed into the mid-term elections at a time where the opposition party is highly unpopular and the administration losing poll points like the Detroit Lions lose football games, go ahead and get the ball rolling. Announce your intentions and ride the wave through to 2012. As a lesser known candidate on a national stage getting the drop on the growing unpopularity of Democrat policies and the failure of the stimulus to create the “Summer of Recovery” would be a major coup. Getting into the fray after a major national player such as Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin would only appear as a tag-along and not as taking the lead. Grab the bull by the horns and let the world know who Tim Pawlenty is.

Come on T-Paw……just say it already. “I, Tim Pawlenty, hereby declare my candidacy for President of The United States.”

Bookmark and Share

Jeb Bush. Secretary of Education or President?

Bookmark and ShareOver time, probably both.

While a third Bush presidency is probably not in the cards for 2012, it is not entirely out of the question in the future.

Yet if the potential crowded pool of talented Republicans do not actually come to the surface and run for President, Jeb Bush could actually throw his hat in the ring in 2012 and believe it or not, be a very viable candidate…… over time.

Once the shock of his name wore off and after what he had to say finally sunk in, Jeb Bush would be able to challenge people like Palin, Pawlenty, Paul, Barbour, and Romney and give them a run for their money……… over time.

However; with the wealth of talent that will undoubtedly fill the Republican field of candidates, it will actually be difficult to convince people that we need another Bush, so soon after the last one. And Jeb is not actually making any attempts to indicate that he is interested in running for President in 2012.

Instead, Jeb has been crisscrossing the country and discussing education in America and how to improve it.

The issue is one which he is most passionate about. As governor of Florida, Bush instituted the nation’s first statewide school voucher system, mandated standardized tests in Florida’s public schools, eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public schools based on a statewide grading system.

Since leaving office as Governor of Florida, education has been the issue Jeb has dedicated his life to. He started out by creating an institute named the Foundation for Excellence in Education and since then, in addition to speaking out on the issue and organizing forums on it, Jeb has been touring the nation as he studies innovative programs, learns about the tools educators need to successfully teach students and develops new ways to deliver quality education to the nation’s students.

The latest stride Bush has taken in this area has been an effort that would bring about a more intricate integration of future technology innovations with current technology in public education. Called the Digital Learning Council, Bush and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise have joined forces to create a panel of education experts that will help move digital learning to the forefront of education and away from the niche role they believe digital learning plays today.

The 60-member council includes Shafeen Charania, director of education product group marketing for Microsoft; Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va.: John D. Couch, vice-president of education at Apple Inc.; and state officials and members of education think-tanks.

According to a news release from the new group, more than 2 million K-12 students take courses online, and 1.5 million home-education students take online courses, but that barely scratches the surface of what is possible through technology.

In an interview with Education Week, Former Governor Bush told Education Week magazine that digital technology’s disruptive nature for good has not been applied to our education system. If you look at how technology has improved our lives, it has only been an accessory in education. The blueprint created by the Digital Learning Council will move us towards a more customized learning environment where more students learn at their maximum pace.

This latest initiative to enhance education in America is just one of many Jeb has taken since he firstbecame Governor of Florida back in 1998. In total, his record on the issue is impeccable and to date, he has done more to improve education in America more than most people of the day. And interestingly enough aside from demonstrating a great government model for teaching and learning, much of Bush’s work has demonstrated how we can improve the quality of education through private sector initiatives, as much, if not more, than government initiated demands.

Jeb’s efforts in the area of education are truly keeping him busy. He has turned the cause into a fulltime job. But it is a job that can certainly set him on the path to other employment opportunities.

Being aBush brother, timing may not allow him to become President in 2012 and he knows it, but a smart man can take time and turn it from an enemy, into a friend. And that is what Jeb is doing to the time he has. Currently, time is on his side. And should the next President in 2012 be Republican other than him, expect Jeb to be a member of that person presidential cabinet.

If the next President does not do away with the Department of Education, expect them to tap Jeb Bush, education’s best friend, to become Secretary of Education and once the President who appoints him to that position is no longer in office, anticipate former Governor and Cabinet member Jeb Bush to become the President after them over time.

Bookmark and Share

Home and Abroad

Bookmark and Share
Last week Gov. Haley Barbour was visiting neighboring Alabama and received the unofficial endorsement of Gov. Bob Riley.  That effectively removed a potential challenger from the 2012 field.  It wasn’t headline news.  Out of Alabama or Mississippi, it wasn’t news at all – except perhaps here.  Here we look at more than the spotlight grabbing stories that make mediocre candidates temporarily look like contenders.  We look at the things that hint at what’s going on under the surface of the real contenders.  Haley Barbour is one of those.

Haley Barbour is the front-runner, even though most Americans don’t yet know who he is and he is polling in the single digits.  It will be awhile before he officially enters the race and makes his record known to the voting public.  The only overt action he’s taken recently was the mailer to Republicans in Iowa.  In the mean time, he’s building momentum behind the scenes.  It is that effort that will build into the kind of real support that wins elections.

The major media is not covering the announcement of an “understanding” Gov. Barbour worked out with the Panama Canal Authority.  Barbour and members of the Mississippi State Port Authority traveled to Panama and worked out an agreement that would bring more shipping to the Port of Gulfport.  This agreement is more than just a good news story for Gulfport or Mississippi.  It tells much about the forward thinking, follow through and savvy of Haley Barbour.

Barbour plans ahead rather than just reacts to the present

Barbour has taken some criticism for spending $600 million of Hurricane Katrina relief money as part of a $1.6 billion expansion of the Port of Gulfport.  The expansion wasn’t needed then and that money could have been used to rebuild other things.  Barbour isn’t a reactive thinker.  He didn’t look to only put back what was lost, but rather to turn disaster into opportunity.  He knew that the Panama Canal would be expanded in a few years to accommodate larger ships.  He knew that the Port of Gulfport would need to be expanded in order to handle the traffic of an expanded Panama Canal.  So rather than build to the past, he built for the future and then did the work to ensure that future became a reality.

It would have been easier for Barbour to do as his critics suggested and simply put the money into subsidized insurance for gulf coast housing.  After all, he’ll be out of office long before the benefits of his efforts pay dividends.  Had he simply handed the money out to people, he could have gained popularity and praise right now.  He didn’t do that.  He knows that pouring money into insurance subsidies doesn’t fix the underlying problem nor does it do anything to make people self-sufficient.  Bringing in more jobs and a stronger economy will do more to solve problems than subsidizing them.  It doesn’t matter that the benefits will come after he has left office.  He’s doing the right thing rather than the politically expedient thing.  That’s real leadership.

It is stories like this of what Barbour has done and is doing that explain why he is so successful.  It is this kind of thinking and leadership that gains the praise and support of the people and networks necessary to run a successful campaign and, more importantly, a successful administration after winning the campaign.  That network is growing based on the sensible and forward thinking policies of Haley Barbour.

It was announced at the end of last week that Gov. Barbour will be the key note speaker at the Florida GOP “Victory Dinner” in September.  The major media picked that story up because Florida is a consequential State in the 2012 electoral math.  That was the focus of their reporting.  That may be important in 2012, but it isn’t the story today in 2010.  The story is that the Florida GOP tapped Barbour when they needed a key note speaker who would bring in the big donors and energize the party prior to entering the home stretch of the 2010 campaign season.  Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and other Florida GOP figures are going to be lined up behind Barbour and many will owe Barbour some thanks after he helps get them funded and on to victory.  The State’s electoral votes may be important in 2012, but equally important is sidelining any potential challengers from Florida and locking out current challengers from gaining the support of that State’s party machinery.

Just as he did with rebuilding after Katrina and negotiating with the Panama Canal Authority, Barbour is sowing the seeds that will grow into tomorrow’s harvest by his efforts in Florida this year.  He has already done so in Alabama, New Jersey and Virginia just to name a few.  He’s not looking at getting into the spotlight today.  He’s not even looking at the delegate or electoral math of 2012.  He’s looking at having the support in place to be able to effectively govern after a 2012 victory.  I say that not to imply that Barbour is taking anything for granted nor that he thinks he’s got the election in the bag.  I say it because it shows how Barbour is different and why that difference will win the election.

Haley Barbour is a leader who plans ahead.  He has learned that preparing to govern effectively is more important than focusing on winning.  It requires building coalitions of support that tend to not only be there for the future, but also help in the present.  People recognize a real leader.  When the people of the United States get the chance to meet Haley Barbour, they’ll recognize the leader in him.  They’ll recognize it by not only what he says but also by the fact that so many people they have grown to trust and lead will be working with him.  In the end, that will make the difference.  The major media is missing that story and completely missing what makes Haley Barbour so different and why he has been and will continue to be so successful.

Bookmark and Share

Sarah Palin; Leader or Cheerleader?

Bookmark and ShareSarah Palin can continue to be a rising star. Or she can plummet like a meteorite. I am one of those who sees the potential for her to be a star that continues to grow as bright as the sun. I believe she has a record and solid foundation in being the anti-establishment politician with the ability to tap into the prevailing sentiment of the day which is less government and more personal responsibility.

However; I have been disappointed in what is becoming an extremely commercial image. She is becoming more of a commodity than a leader. That is a dangerous position for Palin to put herself in. I believe that if she has any ambitions for national elected office, she must soon start looking more like the elder statesman than a cheerleader.

While she can continue to make lots of money and cheer on Conservatives to aid the cause, the truth is that while Sarah is energizing the Conservative base, that’s all she is doing. Let’s face it, given a good Republican candidate to vote for, most Republicans and Conservative will vote for that candidate. But to win countywide, citywide or statewide elections, you need Independent and some Democrat votes too. Sarah does not attract those votes to those whom she endorses. Many Democrats and too many Independents don’t take her serious, and if Sarah simply continues to act like a cheerleader, when the halftime show is over, the audience is just going to start paying attention to the rest of the game and leave Palin standing on the sidelines.

I have yet to see any sign of Palin broadening her base. I fail to see where she reaches out to those beyond the Conservative ranks and while her motivation of the Republican base is important, she needs to also expand the base and that Palin is just not doing. If she would just do something like present her own economic recovery plan and her own ideas for tax reform, maybe people would  begin to see Sarah as a much more substantive figure than some see her as today.

It is great that Sarah Palin’s stated mission is electing “good Conservatives “ to office but if you want to lead, you must be a leader. You must put forth the ideas, proposals and plans that can help give solid solutions for Conservatives, and others, to rally around.

Instead Sarah Palin is simply repeating anecdotal and philosophical platitudes that, while sounding good and inspirational, leave you hanging and after a moment of reflection, make you wonder……”but what’s the plan that will allow us to do all those things and achieve all those goals?”

As someone who joined with Adam Bricker, the creator of the original draft Sarah Palin for Vice President movement in 2008, I am confident that Sarah has the capacity to lay out those plans and lead, but she just isn’t doing that.

Sarah Palin has much to offer. She can and often does convey a necessary sense of being one of us, someone who genuinely understands our frustrations with an overreaching government and overbearing bureaucracy that at times seems too ridiculous to have any faith in. She takes strong stands and she does so unapologetically. On the issue of abortion she is uncompromising. On spending she is a deficit hawk and on national defense, she is polar bear——-strong and self sufficient when left to themselves but ominous and brutal when threatened. Her short record as Governor of Alaska was a solid one and her decision to resign was an example of politically uncharacteristic self-sacrifice. While some accuse her of giving up and being a quitter, unlike other political leaders such as Charlie Rangel, Palin made the decision she believed was best for her constituents, not her career. Instead of putting the people of Alaska through a relentless tabloid and legal circus based on frivolous lawsuits that would have distracted from the issues and forced the state to incur undue legal costs, she stepped down knowing full well that her Lt. Governor was more than capable of carrying forward the torch that she lit.

Few politicians would make such sacrifice. But that’s Sarah. She does what is best for the people, not politics and politicians.

But if Sarah really wants to do some good for the people, then she must start leading the people down the path of common sense conservatism, not just talk about it.

Give those “good conservative” candidates that she is trying to elect , something to get elected on. Lead them, don’t just cheer them on.

Until Sarah starts offering that leadership, she will fail to establish the statesman-like image, that she will need if she wants to be taken seriously as a presidential contender. Right now Sarah is in a very precarious position. She can be like the pet rock of the 70’s, a big hit that quickly faded into undistinguished and unremarkable history, or a Reaganesque figure that changes the course of history.

Bookmark and Share

Waiting in the Wings

Bookmark and Share
One name that came up often as a running mate for John McCain was Tom Ridge. Last year his name came up to run for the U.S. Senate when Arlen Specter (D-PA) switched parties from Republican to Democrat. He would have had the backing of the party machinery had he taken the offer, but he turned it down rather than face a primary battle with Pat Toomey who had already declared his candidacy. Recently his name has come up as a potential Presidential candidate. Ridge says he has no plans to re-enter politics…unless the party asks him to.

As a pro-choice moderate Republican with ties to the Bush administration, Ridge is positioned in much the same way that John McCain was in 2008.


McCain and Ridge

With many of the leading candidates coming from a more traditional conservative viewpoint, the party members aligned with Bush policies are still looking for a candidate who will champion that philosophy. The War on Terror often overshadows the Bush administration’s other major activities: a massive expansion of the federal government’s role in education through No Child Left Behind, a massive expansion of Medicare through the Prescription Drug Benefit and a series of other big government programs that attempted to steal the Democrats’ issues and control them. Ridge, being more moderate, is more open to those kinds of big government programs than most of the current contenders for the nomination.

Yet all is not smooth between the former Bush administration and Tom Ridge. After Bush was re-elected, Ridge resigned. He later accused the administration of pushing him to raise the terror alert status in 2004 before the election when it was not warranted; basically an accusation that terror concern was being used for political gain. Many of those who championed Bush and McCain are still supportive of Ridge, despite his accusations. In some ways, a man who criticized a President who is still a punching bag isn’t such a bad thing. It makes him look far more different than he really is, a sort of new ‘Maverick’ for 2012.

Ridge does have an attractive resume for consideration. He grew up fairly poor in veterans housing, his father having served in the U.S. Navy. He graduated with honors from Harvard which he was able to afford by working construction jobs in addition to an academic scholarship he’d earned from high school. After his first year of law school, he was drafted and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Vietnam War earning multiple decorations before suffering a ruptured appendix and being discharged from the service. His hearing in one ear was also permanently damaged and he has worn a hearing aid ever since. After returning from Vietnam, he completed his law degree from Dickinson School of Law. After 8 years of private practice, he became an Assistant District Attorney and then two years later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in the House for 12 years before being elected Governor of Pennsylvania. A popular Governor, he was reelected in 1998. He resigned near the end of his second term as Governor to become the first Secretary of Homeland Security. He has never lost an election.

With conservatives split between multiple contenders as they were in 2008, the possibility that the former Bush faction of the party might draft Ridge isn’t unrealistic. With funding and support split across several conservatives, a perceived moderate could easily raise money and rack up some primary victories from a solid group of Republican moderate voters and former Bush supporters. Like McCain in 2008, Ridge could easily become the favorite of the media and thereby gain free exposure while his opponents buy ad time trying to convince conservative voters why one of them is better than the others.

There won’t be any of the usual tell-tale signs of a run. With Ridge sitting things out unless the party ‘drafts’ him, all the work on setting up a Ridge campaign will be done through re-starting the McCain network. Keep an eye on McCain’s donors from 2008. If their money isn’t going to one of the current field of candidates, it could very well mean they are planning to work together on behalf of a single alternate candidate. Ridge tops the list of people to whom they would turn. Keep an eye also on McCain after the 2010 elections and see if he starts re-connecting with his former network. As unlikely as is may sound today, Tom Ridge stands a better than average shot of becoming the 2012 Republican nominee. After all, no one expected McCain to win the nomination either.

Bookmark and Share

Romney Raises Cash Fast & Spends It Wisley

Bookmark and Share    This week Mitt Romney launched a phone bank operation through his Free and Strong America PAC. It is for the sole purpose of asking known supporters to make a financial contribution to his PAC. 

It is an example of just how close Mitt has been holding his supporters to him since 2008.  The phone banks are being conducted by actual live callers who are well-trained volunteers and the pool of people they are calling come from lists that have been carefully culled through and compiled by all of his former 2008 state campaign chairs.  Since

Free & Strong America Membership Card (front)

 2008 these supporters have received 6 mailings.  One included their enrollment in the Free & Strong America PAC as a member, along with a credit card-like membership card.  

Every aspect of Free & Strong America PAC has been used to hold on to his supporters.  Even Mitt’s Free & Strong America website works well at this with such things as essay contests and other interactive events.

But beyond holding on to what he’s got, Romeny is using Free & Strong America to build on that base and he is doing it with style, smarts and efficiency.

Free & Strong America Membership Card (rear)

To date Free & Strong America has endorsed over a hundredand fifteen candidates in this 2010 election cycle and contributed over $350,000 to them since the beginning of the cycle. And more endorsement and contributions are to come. Just the other day, Mitt Romney’s Free & Strong America PAC endorsed five North Carolina candidates and boosted their war chests with a combined total of $15,000 in Romney campaign contributions.

The newly initiated phone bank operation that Romney is running is of course designed to replenish his Free & Strong America PAC, something which never stopped and never had a tough time doing since he  dropped out of the Republican presidential race in 2008.

July’s mandatory financial filings with the FEC show that in the second quarter of this year, Romney raised a total of $1,834,689.71. The combined first and second quarter fundraising total for Romney was $3,438,978.41. This is a significant amount of money for an off-year fundraising machine.

The nearest that any of Romney’s potential Republican presidential rivals have come with their PACs so far this year was Sarah Palin with SarahPAC which ended the same reporting period with more than $1 million on hand after receiving more than $865,800 in contributions during the second quarter of the year.

Both potential rivals donated a relatively similar percentage of their haul to fellow Conservative candidates who are running this November. But Palin’s $87,500 in contributions were split up between candidates throughout the nation, while Romney’s $350,000 in donations went mainly to a regional concentration of candidates in the South, along with a $30,000 contribution to New Hampshire‘s state Republican Party organization.

The spending habits between the Romney and Palin political action committees, demonstrate the difference between a campaign organization that is practicing shrewd political strategy and a potential campaign organization that is merely following traditional strategies.

All presidential contenders use the midterm elections to demonstrate their generosity by giving candidates some much-needed financial support in the hopes of having those same candidates swing their support and volunteers back to them when it comes time for the nominating primaries and caucuses.

Having the advantage of running in the primaries and caucuses before, Romney has established that he was weakest in the South where he failed to rake in any significant victories during the 2008 race. So now he is using his political action committee money to shore up his base in the South, a region that if he expects to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, he will need to draw a few victories from.

Palin on the other hand, is probably going to be reasonably competitive in the South, at least initially. So while she must not ignore it, she would  probably serve herself well by doing what Romney is doing but mainly in areas like the Northeast and Midwest. Instead, Palin’s less substantial financial donations are  much more spread out and in truth, will probably not bring her as much of a return on the dollar as Romney’s strategic donations will.

Romney is very wise to spend his money the way he has so far and he will have to be.

While his campaign will be able to continue to raise plenty of money and keep outpacing people like Palin, Pawlenty, Johnson, and others for the near future, there is a great risk that people like Haley Barbour will be able to dry up some of the resources that Romney is currently drawing from and find his fundraising strength eclipsed by Barbour, and if he runs, Newt Gingrich too.

Barbour’s fundraising prowess is probably better than any potential candidate in 2012. As the former Republican National Committee  Chairman and well-connected political guru who joined forces with Newt Gingrich in ‘94 to successfully orchestrate the Republican Revolution  that gave both houses of Congress back to the GOP for the first time in 40 year’s, Barbour is a master at raising money. During the past year that he has been chairing the Republican Governors Association, he has broken all of its previous fundraising records within that organization and when he starts focusing on raising money for his own PAC, Haley’s PAC, you can expect Barbour to be  just as successful with that effort as he has been with the RGA.

As for Newt, well he could end up really hurting Romney, especially if Barbour is also in the race. In just the second quarter filing alone, Newt raised over $3.2 million between his 527 called American Solutions for Winning the Future and a PAC that he started by the same name. The 527 acts as a school of politics that trains candidates and of the $3.2 million it raised, after holding several seminars throughout the nation, especially in New Hampshire and Iowa, it has $1 million in cash left on hand. His PAC however has only raised $61,000 since he started it which was only during the most recent quarter of this year. But you can expect Newt to start focusing his fundraising efforts on his PAC in the coming months and anticipate him pulling in amounts similar to the totals he raised for his 527.

So Romney’s financial edge may be short-lived and if he plans on collecting as much money as he can for the primaries and caucuses, now is probably his best chance to get as much of it as possible and as shrewd as Mitt is with money, he is certainly spending it wisely by investing most of his contributions in the South where he can not afford to receive another dismal delegate count in 2012.

Bookmark and Share

We’re Here and the Race Is On!!!!!

Bookmark and Share  Welcome to Whitehouse 2012. Here you will find an online resources for coverage of the 2012 presidential election.

The race for President in 2012 is already underway and Whitehouse 2012 will start covering it and delivering to you all the latest buzz, details, analysis and links you need to stay informed and making your own educated decision as to whom is the right man or waoman to replace President Barack Obama.

On the each page you will find links to the left and to the right. Each one is a clickable entrance into a a new world of prospective and information.

On the left you will find links to the existing websites associated with the Republican presidential contenders and other sites of interest as well as a link to the Republican Party’s platform, and the contributing staff of White House 2012.  Mike, Jsmashmouth, IkeFriday and Kempite are your hosts and in addition to their coverage of the candidates, in this section you will also find their personal White House 2012 page which is a mélange of their thoughts, concepts, opinions and an open window into the mind of today’s contemporary conservative.

On the right side of the page are  links to the White House 2012’s biographical pages of all the contenders. There you will find videos of each candidate, their political careers, access to their voting records and an initial analysis of each individual  potential candidate by Kempite.

At the top of each page are easily marked tabs that take you to the Home Page which offers the latest news and editorial editorial posts. You will also find tabs for a detailed description of White House 2012, information on the contributing staff , a central page  that lists all the contenders, and two special sections called “ The Other Side” and “Where They Stand

The Other Side” will offer a weekly perspective of the shaping race and events surrounding it, from a Democrat. And in the “Where They Stand” section you will be offered White House 2012 consensus of how the candidate would stand if the convention were held today.

I hope that White House 2012 can become  a must stop for those interested in making an informed decision during the republican primary process. It is a collection of data and opinions that could offer you some new insight into the 2012 race while also letting you know who’s doing what and who is making up the most ground in the race for President.

 Bookmark and Share

 

%d bloggers like this: