Chris Christie’s Republican National Convention Keynote Address

   Bookmark and Share  After officially nominating Mitt Romney for President during the afternoon session of the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wrapped up the evening session with a keynote address that electrified the Tampa Times Forum Arena with a  clarion call to all Americans who believe our nation can do better (see video and complete text of the speech below this post).

In his speech, without mentioning any names, Christie masterfully addressed the shortcomings of President Obama and his policies.  At one point he described the President as having a desire to be loved that runs deeper than his desire to take on the tough issues.  “That’s what we need to do now.  Change polls through the power of our principles. Change polls through the strength of our convictions. Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth”, said Christie.He added; “Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice.  Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth”.

Christie’s address was an incredibly strong statement of conservative principles that made it clear that Americans can no longer standby and be satisfied with the status quo of politics-as-usual.  He cited multiple examples of his leadership in New Jersey that demonstrated how by touching the traditional third rails in politics, New Jersey was energized, not burned.

The New Jersey Governor’s well presented case was a little heavy (no pun intended) on himself and light on Mitt Romney.  While he spent most of the speech referring to himself on more than 30 occassions, he mentioned Mitt Romney about seven times.   Atill, Chrsitie helped set a tone for the coming weeks of the election that places Democrats on a losing playing field.

Full Text of Christie’s Speech

The Hon. Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey

Republican National Convention Keynote Address
August 28, 2012
This stage and this moment are very improbable for me. 

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans. 

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight. 

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother. 

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable. 

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer.  She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger.  Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives.  Dad grew up in poverty.  After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s.   With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.  Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing.  She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day.  And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings.  She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to.  She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish. 

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore. 

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old. 

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade. 

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth. 

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.  She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love. 

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership.   In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved. 

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times. 

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path. 

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues.  And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough. 

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.  

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid.  We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it. 

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey. 

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things. 

There were those who said it couldn’t be done.  The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow. 

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit.  Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes. 

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy. 

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful.  Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it. 

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice. 

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised. 

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth.  History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America. 

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats. 

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities.  Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government. 

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government. 

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them. 

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements. 

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren. 

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren.  So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election. 

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. 

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense. 

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children. 

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers. 

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles. 

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party. 

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing. 

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades,  a spiraling out of control deficit,  an education system that’s failing to compete in the world. 

It doesn’t matter how we got here.  There is enough blame to go around. 

What matters now is what we do. 

I know we can fix our problems. 

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results. 

The people have no patience for any other way. 

It’s simple. 

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses. 

Leadership delivers. 

Leadership counts. 

Leadership matters. 

We have this leader for America. 

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction.  And now he has a running mate who will do the same. 

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey. 

It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House. 

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real. 

This moment is real. 

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.  

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge. 

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo. 

I have faith in us.  

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history. 

There’s only one thing missing now.  Leadership.  It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. 

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls. 

That’s what we need to do now.  

Change polls through the power of our principles. 

Change polls through the strength of our convictions. 

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth. 

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation. 

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world. 

Now it’s our time to answer history’s call. 

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we. 

What will our children and grandchildren say of us?  Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century. 

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. 

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one. 

This is the American way. 

We have never been victims of destiny. 

We have always been masters of our own. 

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you. 

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you. 

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling. 

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us. 

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States. 

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness. 

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Democrat Primary Voter Tells Poll Worker That “Obama Can Go To Hell”

 Bookmark and Share  Today is New Jersey’s primary election day.  It’s not exactly one of the most intense primaries on the statewide level that we have ever seen though.

On the presidential side, New Jersey’s nearly last place in the primary lineup essentially made the contest meaningless in the selection of a Republican presidential nominee from the get-go.  But to make it even more meaningless, Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate still actively running for the nomination.  However, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were still on the ballot.

So given the largely symbolic nature of the New Jersey presidential primary, as a former regional coordinator for Newt Gingrich, I chose to cast a symbolic vote.  I voted for Newt Gingrich as my choice for President, but I voted for the Romney slate of delegates to the national convention.  I did so because even though I prefer Gingrich, I am confident in Mitt Romney.  He was my first choice for President in the 2008 primaries and I believe that if given the job, he will be an exceptional President.  My favoring Gingrich in this now symbolic primary came from my belief that Newt is more reform minded than Mitt and I like that.  But with Newt out, I am solidly behind Mitt Romney and if Mitt wins the presidency, I believe he will at least deliver a degree of reform.  The type of reform that would be defined by his change in the direction we are headed in under President Obama, ad at the moment, that’s good enough for me.  But my symbolic presidential primary ballot was cast the way it was to send a message  that will probably not be heard.  That message was that I want to see Romney buck the establishment more and be more open to enacting reforms of government and our tax code.

In the other statewide races, New Jersey Republicans got to pick a nominee to oppose incumbent, liberal U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  That race has barely been a contest.  It has pitted unknown Republicans David Douglas Brown, Bader G. Qarmout, and Joe “Rudy” Rullo, against long time State Senator and former Republican State Committee Chairman Joe Kyrillos.

The sad fact is that most New Jerseyans didn’t even know there was a primary for U.S. Senate, and the media nationally as well as locally has barely acknowledged that there was a primary because it has been projected from the start, that Kyrillos would be the nominee.  Kyrillos has the support of Governor Chrisite and the entire Republican establishment, including Mitt Romney, whose 2008 presidential campaign featured Kyrillos as its State Chairman.   Between that lock on the state G.O.P., access to significant fundraising and the combination of all his opponent’s lack of name ID and their own financial resources, made this hardly a race.

I will be supporting Kyrillos over the lesser of two evils, Bob Menendez, in the general election, but I won’t say which of the 4 U.S. Senate Republican primary candidates I voted for today.  That was another symbolic vote.

My vote for a Republican nominee for the House of Representatives was however anything but symbolic.

Here I cast my vote against a candidate much more than for the other.

The 4th District congressional primary was much like the statewide U.S. Senate race.  It wasn’t much of a race at all.  It received no attention because 18 term incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Smith was running for a 19th term and there was no reason to assume that he would not be able to win it the same way he won each of his previous elections.  But as for myself, even though it can be said that Chris Smith is a conservative, he is not the best that conservatives could or should offer.

Over the  years, Smith has became naturally complacent and on several recent occasions he has voted for such things as federal Cap-and-Trade policies and other liberal oriented schemes.  But more than that, after 32 years in the same office, Chris Smith has lost all prominence as a conservative leader.  The type of leader who is in the forefront of creating conservative solutions and advancing the conservative ideology.  He lacks innovation and has become a fixture of Washington, D.C.,  just another notch in the belt of Beltway politics.  If any T.E.A. movement sentiments ever existed, it needed to exist in this race.  But it didn’t and as a result the virtual unknown and under-financed candidacy of Terrence McGowan had no chance.  So come November when the ballot will offer me a choice between Republican Chris Smith and the Democrat’s sacrificial lamb, Brian Froelich, I will cast a write-in vote for a conservative Republican.  Maybe Terrence McGowan.

At the bottom of the ticket I supported the unopposed Republican incumbents for County Sheriff and Board of Chosen Freeholders who are almost certain to win reelection in my heavily Republican vote rich Ocean County.

All this made for a very blasé voting experience that left me feeling quite unproductive.  I knew that each of my votes were not imperative and would not determine who the inevitable nominees would ultimately be.  But that does not mean my voting experience lacked any excitement.

As I stepped toward my voting booth, an elderly woman had exited it and she was arguing with the poll workers who did not know what to do with the voting machine because even though the machine was set for her to cast her ballot, she refused to vote.  For the befuddled poll workers, this created a problem.  If she did not press the button to cast her ballot, they would have to reset the machine and fill out a complex series of forms and file a cabinet filled with red tape to account for the uncast ballot.

While the wayward voter discussed the matter with one of the poll workers who stood aside the voting booth, she stated from behind me, “I’m not voting for Obama.  He can go to hell”.

The elderly voter was a registered Democrat.  She came out to vote against President Obama.  But what she did not understand was that in her Party’s primary, President Obama was unopposed.  So when she stepped in to the voting booth, she was offended and refused to vote.

After I cast my own ballot, the voter was still airing her grievance  with the poll workers and so I interjected and explained that as a Democrat, she was being given the opportunity to nominate the people she wanted to represent her Party.  I further explained that if she was a Republican, she could join me in nominating who we wanted to represent us in the Republican Party and to replace the President with.

We soon took our conversation outside of the polling place where in the parking lot I explained the process to her further and also made her aware of the fact that even though President Obama was unopposed for the nomination, she could have written in a name, a fact that she found much more appealing than just walking away.  But she was still quite frustrated and went on to tell me that we have to get rid of Obama.

As we parted ways, I realized that I was much more pleased by my voting experience than I expected.  I had unethusiastically set out to cast a bunch of symbolic and protests votes that I knew would ultimately do more to make me feel good than make an actual difference.  But in the end what I walked away with was an optimistic feeling about at least the future results in the presidential general election because you know it’s not good for Democrats when a lifelong Democrat voter stands behind you at the ballot box and declares that their Party’s nominee should go to hell.

And if that wasn’t pleasing enough for me, as my partner and I got in our car to leave the polling place, he told me how he voted  It turns out that despite any prior discussion about how we would vote, he cast his ballot the same exact way that I did, and for the same reasons.  So who knows?  Maybe there are more people out there who took the time to cast similar symbolic and protest votes?  I know at least a few Democrats did.

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Veepstakes. Today’s Potential Nominee — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at House majority leader, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Born: September 6, 1962 (age 47), Newark, New Jersey

Spouse(s): Mary Pat Christie

Children : Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget.

Residence : Mendham Township, New Jersey

Alma mater: University of Delaware, Seton Hall Law School

Religion: Roman Catholic

Profession: Attorney

(Click here for Christie’s White House 2012 page)

Governor Christie decided not to run for President in part because he felt that this was not his time and also because he wants to see through with his committment to the people of New Jersey who elected him three years ago. Logic would dictate that those same reasons would apply to accepting a spot on the presidential ticket as Vice President. But stranger things have happened and if Christie seems to be the magic elixir for an apprehensive electorate that wants a strong fiscal conservative who seemingly stands up to the establishment, then the pressure to run will be put on Christie. In the end I still don’t see him being nominated for Vice President by Romney nor do I see Christie accepting the nomination if Romney did pick him. Besides, it should also be noted that even if he were on the ticket, Christie is unlikely to have the ability to deliver New Jersey’s electoral votes to Romney.

But for reasons that are obvious, he will be at least said to be on the short list.

Christie’s popularity among conservatives nationally is high.  His say it like it is, shoot from the hit approach to the tough issues is something that many people find refreshing in politics and those who see it that way like Chris Christie a lot.  But those who do not see it that way find Christie to be a blowhard and a bully.  Those on the right think the New Jersey Governor is a no-nonsense leader who is more concerned with getting government spending under control, lowering taxes, and as someone who would rather say “no” because because it’s proper public policy than say “yes” because its politically expedient.

On the other hand, those on the left see Christie as an insensitive, and abrasive thug who likes to call people names and is unconcerned with with the needs of working class Americans.

I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusion because if you’re on the left you will believe the latter and if you’re on the right you will believe the former and nothing I say will change your opinion.  But that might be just one of the reasons why Christie will not be on the presidential ticket.  He is a polarizing figure who you either love or hate and as such, it is hard to say which way independent voters will fall on Christie as a voting bloc, and that independent voting bloc is critical to winning the election in November.  If Christie proves to poll well with independent voters, and that somehow his number two spot on the ticket has the ability to win enough of them over to influence their voting Republican in key battleground states like Ohio and Florida, then Christie could be  a must for Romney.  But that is not very likely in 2012.

Pros:

  • His hard hitting, say it like it is, approach is viewed as politically courageous and refreshing.
  • He is far from what anyone can call a career politician
  • He has positive national name ID
  • Christie might be able to appeal to independent voters who like his blunt style
  • He would energize much of the conservative base and even some of the T.E.A. activists
  • He could make Joe Biden look like a comedic sidekick
  • Christie’s presence on the ticket could force the Obama-Biden campaign to invest more time and money in New Jersey, a state they anticipate winning easily

Cons:

  • He has only been in office for almost three years
  • Even if he is on the ticket, Christie may not even be able to carry New Jersey for Romney
  • Christie has not been fully vetted yet and under intense scrutiny his clean record may be tarnished by some minor political indiscretions
  • Conservatives leery of Romney will not appreciate what some may consider to be two Northeast Moderates on the ticket
  • Independents might tend to see Christie as too abrasive

My Assessment:

Christie is certainly a viable option. However his two most appealing qualities, his bluntness and his newness on the political stage, may just be the very same things that cause Mitt Romney to look elsewhere. That in addition to both men being known as Governors from the liberal Northeast, could make several other candidates from outside of the Northeast much more attractive to the Romney campaign. But Christie’s ability to inspire and energize the base might just be what Mitt Romney needs to help avoid any McCain-like voter apathy. In the end, I think Romney will pass on Christie and go for a running mate who is safer, lacks Christie’s confrontational political personality and who has a much stronger and more proven ability to win over independent voters.

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Recent Key Votes

S 1 – Authorizes Same-Sex Marriage

Legislation (Conditional Veto)

Feb. 21, 2012

S 317 – Relating to Contractors

Legislation (Pocket Veto)

Jan. 17, 2012

More Key Votes

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Chris Christie On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Chris Christie Introduces the Establishment’s Fear of Gingrich In To the Presidential Race

Bookmark and Share   In a Sunday morning interview with NBC’s David Gregory, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed to be doing his best to help establishment Republicans remain in the driving seat.  The interview with Christie consisted of a discussion about the results of South Carolina’s primary, which saw Christie’s prefered choice for President, Mitt Romney,  lose to Newt Gingrich. According to Christie those primary results  will not make that much of difference as the nomination battle rages.  According to the New Jersey Governor, one of the reason for that is because Newt Gingrich has “embarrassed” the Republican Party, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney never has.  He went on to claim that the former speaker just didn’t have the experience needed to be President.

But Christie’s remarks were based less on truth and more on an immediate need for Chris Christie to do his job as a surrogate for Romney and out of need for self-preservation.

Following Romney’s devastating loss to Gingrich in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Christie is apparently grabbing for straws as he searches for anything that he can throw at Newt and make stick.  But why?  What is the real reason behind Christie’s vitriol?

It is a simple fact that the establishment, or status quo,  of any institution naturally tries to preserve itself.  So it is only logical that in politics, the establishment of any Party will try to do the same.  It is the main reason why change, true change, is hard to come by in politics.  In the case of establishment Republicans, Newt Gingrich is the one realistic candidate remaining in the Republican nomination contest, who represents real change and as such, the establishment wing of the Party is not compelled to enthusiastically embrace his candidacy.  Going with Gingrich would cause them to risk losing the traditional perks that the system grants to the political powerbrokers and as an idea based reformer, Newt is a threat to the process, a process which is stacked against change.

But another political reality that the establishment is facing is the bigger electoral picture in 2012.

Establishment Republicans want not only to maintain the status quo of the political process, they want to increase their sphere of influence of that process.  That control comes about by increasing the number of Republicans who are elected to office……all elected offices.

When it comes to Chris Christie, that electoral concern is largely the main reason he came out and endorsed Mitt Romney for President.

While the focus right now is on the presidential race, in the next few months, elections for other offices will quickly consume some of that focus.  In 2012, control of the United States Senate is already beginning shape the presidential race and that is already playing out in New Jersey more than anywhere else in the nation.

Although there is little public interest in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race, the top of the ticket will make all the difference between winning and losing for Republicans.

Incumbent liberal Senator Bob Menendez is up for reelection to his second full term in the Senate.  He was first appointed to fill the vacancy that was created by then Senator Jon Corzine, who in 2005, became Governor.  In 2006, Menendez was subsequently elected to his first full term in the Senate.

Currently, Menendez is in decent political standing among New Jersey voters.  According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 45% of state voters believe to be re-elected while 38% believe otherwise.  And he beats a generic, unnamed Republican candidate by as much as 11%.

Typically, incumbents are in trouble if their reelect number are under 50%, but this is New Jersey, a state that brought Frank Lautenberg back to life, out of retirement and back in to the Senate where he does little more than keep his senate seast warm while he nods off in it. However, while the opportunity to pick Menendez off will be an uphill battle, the possibility does exist.  And therein lies Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for President.

In a state as blue as New Jersey, Mitt Romney can do relatively well.  While Newt Gingrich’s description of Romney as a Massachusetts moderate may work against Mitt in Peioria where conservatives can’t find anything too favorable about either Massachusetts or moderates, in Trenton, both are positive things which can only help Mitt among a Republican electorate which is generally slightly to the left of the national Party.   This becomes an even more important factor in New Jersey when it comes to defeating Bob Menendez.

Given Mitt’s perceived moderate image, he is expected to have much longer coattails than the more conservative, abrasive, hard-hitting, Southern Republican that is Newt Gingrich.  That conventional thinking is playing a critical role in New Jersey.

Although it is not official, Republicans are expected to nominate a longtime Republican State Senator by the name of Joe Kyrillos, for Bob Menendez’s Senate seat.  By New Jersey standards, Joe Kyrillos is considered a right of center Republican, but he is also the ultimate political insider.  In 1988 he became one of the state’s youngest members of the Assembly, where he served two consecutive terms and then promptly went to the State Senate where he remained since 1993.  Along the way, Kyrillos also spent some time as the state Party Chairman.

In addition to that, Joe Kyrillos happens to be a good friend of Chris Christie and served as Christie’s 2009  gubernatorial state campaign chairman.  Joe Kyrillos also coincidentally served as Mitt Romney’s presidential state campaign chairman in 2008.

This web of connections is all the evidence one needs to understand why Christie endorsed Romney and why he is now aggressively attacking Newt Gingrich.

But what Americans must begin to accept is that the circumstances which are forcing the establishment to rally around Mitt Romney in New Jersey are the same forces which will be forcing the establishment to rally around Romney and attack Newt Gingrich in many other states.   It is all being driven by self-preservation.  None of it is based on the issues, or reforms, or even beating Barack Obama.  It is based upon the establishment’s hope to maintain the status quo, something which can best be achieved by insuring that Mitt Romney defeats Newt Gingrich.

The good thing is that the establishment is not in good graces with a vast majority of the electorate that has taken on very anti-establishment attitudes.  This is one reason why despite the endorsement of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Romney lost to the anti-establishment candidate, Newt Gingrich.  In fact, to a large degree, the more incumbents that endorse Mitt Romney, the more the anti-establishment opposes Mitt Romney and supports  Newt Gingrich.

While those circumstances won’t help Newt Gingrich very much in a state like New Jersey, it will help him and the Republican tickets in a many other critical states.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich has the ability to tap into the anti-esatblishment sentiments that swept Republicans in to power in the House by historic proportions during the 2010 midterm elections.  That anti-establisment energy is minimal in New Jersey, where in 2011, state legislative elections did not produce any gains for New Jersey Republicans.

In 2012, to take control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans need to hold on to the 10 Republican Senate seats that are up for reelection and pick of 4 of the 23 Democrat seats that up for election.  At the moment Republican’s chances for success at taking the majority of senate seats are quite good.  So much so that it is even realistic to consider the chance that Republicans can actually pick up the 13 senate seats that would be required to meet the magic number of a filibuster proof 60 seat majority.

But in order for the G.O.P. to do either, a strong Republican ticket will be required.  The question is who will account for the strongest ticket?

The establishment assumes that a moderate candidate like Romney will do just that.  However; I am of the belief that a more radical, anti-establishment candidate will provide the strongest ticket and in states like Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin, tapping in to the same TEA Party-like energy that accounted for dozens of new Republicans getting elected to the House, will find that the chance to pick up each of the Democrat Senate seats up for grabs in those states will be enhanced by the “say no to the status quo” style of Newt Gingrich, far more than the “go along to get along style” of the “Massachusetts moderate”,  Mitt Romney.

Furthermore, in a state like New Jersey, where Chris Christie is hoping that his friend Joe Kyrillos can unseat Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, I am afraid that such a goal will be impossible regardless of who is at the top of the ticket, at least not with Joe Kyrillos as the standard bearer.

So what it comes down to is this.  Will Republicans be better off defending the status quo, or will they be better off staying the course that increased their numbers in 2010, when opposing the status quo proved to be the key to victory?

I believe I know the answer.  That is why I endorsed Newt Gingrich for President long ago.  Unfortunately Governor Christie does not agree.  Quite disappointingly, he is playing the role of political insider and pursing political self-preservation over proper public policy concerns.  And it is why he has chosen to go after Newt with guns blazing.

In his attempts to disqualify Newt Gingrich, he told NBC’s David Gregory that he thinks;

“Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time“, and explains “whether he’ll do it again in the future, I don’t know. But Gov. Romney never has.” 

Christie added;

“We all know the record. He was run out of the speakership by his own party. He was fined $300,000 for ethic violations. This is a guy who’s had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment to the Party.”

The saddest thing about those comments is Christie’s blatant attempt to support his political opinion with lies.

While it is true that Newt has never really taken the easy way out by simply  playing the political game in order to hold on to power, Christie is actually lying when he continues to promote the myth that Newt was fined $300, ooo.  The truth is that Newt paid for the investigation into one of 84 false accusation that his political opponents tried to burden Newt with.  In the end, all of the accusations were dismissed, but Newt was still stuck with a bill for the investigation of one charge which found that his lawyers had filed papers erroneously.

But Christie’s attempt to play the role of political hitman causes him to ignore these facts and that is quite disappointing.

Up to now, Chris Christie has been an impressive, hold no punches, play no games leader.  But apparently even he is not immune from the game of politics when it concerns his the interests of the status quo and his insider buddies.

Meanwhile, even though Newt may not be “safe” choice for the republican presidential nomination, he is the bold choice and I am willing to take bold new leadership over insider politics and tired old political games.  I want republicans to win and achieve real change, not to win and simply maintain the system that needs to be reformed.

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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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Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 11/29/11

Bookmark and Share   Today’s campaign trail turns up a Trunkline 2012 with news about Herman Cain’s reasessment of his campaign, a look at who would benefit and who would be hurt if Cain drops out of the race, the new draft Sarah Palin for President ad, Bachmann blasting Newt, why Chris Christie shouldn’t be President, and much more including two new Trunkline 2012 features, the Daily Tweet and the Daily Quote.

 “The president acts like a politician running for office, not a sitting leader. That has had a poisonous effect on the country.”-Rick Santorum in an interview with the Nashua Telegraph

  • Twitter of the Day:

ConservativeNDC A.K. Baker

“The current Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama’s America looks like.”

CNBC versus the GOP

Last night the GOP candidates went into hostile Michigan to face a hostile set of moderators who were booed into sticking to economic issues by the crowd after an unfair detour against Herman Cain.  In all, the night turned into somewhat of a circus.  Hopefully, the GOP will shun CNBC in the future, as this was the worst and most unprofessional case of moderation we have seen.    But aside from that, let’s get to the winners and losers.  First up…

It floored me when they tried to ask if companies should be making a profit or growing jobs.  Excuse me, but how the heck do you create jobs if you aren’t making a profit?? Gingrich’s response was beautiful. Watching the moderator rolling her eyes when Gingrich said a 30 second answer on healthcare was ridiculous was fun to watch.  But my favorite answer of Gingrich’s was on education, where he offered a real life example of a real life solution that addresses the issue of education that is getting exponentially expensive with much cheaper results.  As someone who works full-time, is a full-time grad student and has been in college for a decade following various business and religious pursuits, I connected with Gingrich’s answer and could not agree more.  This morning Neil Boortz in a morning phonecall to WOKV implied that Republicans needed to worry about who could beat Obama, not who would be the best President speaking of Newt Gingrich.  Bull.  Gingrich keeps winning debates because he is the smartest man on that stage.  And he made a joke out of those bombastic, rude moderators.

Rick Santorum did well.  This doesn’t mean anything, he still can’t win.  But he did highlight his leadership on things like medical savings accounts and gave viewers no reason to mark him down.  He has struggled in debates, but performed well last night.  Ron Paul also did a good job.  He avoided saying anything outlandish and produced a solid, constitutionalist approach.  Bachmann did well, but was once again forgettable.  Huntsman also did pretty well, though his attempt at “answer this in 30 seconds?” humor sounded like a lame, screwed up retelling of a good joke.

Mitt Romney needs to understand his precarious position.  He is stuck at 30%.  The rest of the GOP voters are looking for not-Mitt-Romney as their candidate.  His smoothness, economic savvy, and gaffe free debate performances have gotten him this far (along with a great deal of establishment money).  He needs to figure out how to get himself the rest of the way.  He has to find a way to make Social Conservatives trust him. Mitt, if you are listening, make a major statement in favor of state personhood amendments.  Consider that step one to breaking into the 40s in the polls.

Herman Cain also has hit a roadblock, but it is a policy roadblock.  I think many viewers were left with the feeling that if nuclear missiles were airborne from China heading for the US, President Cain would be on the phone with the Chinese President telling him how his bold plan, the 9-9-9 plan, could solve their problems by growing China’s economy.  9-9-9 is to Herman Cain what Windex was to Tula’s family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  This one dimensionalism will leave him open to a Gingrich rise.  On the other hand, Cain did very well defending himself against accusations which are more and more looking like racist smears from the Axelrod/Democrat machine.

Rick, Rick, Rick.  By the way, if you want to see the sexism of the left, just watch how long Perry’s crash and burn stays in the media cycle and blogosphere compared to a Palin or Bachmann gaffe.  Talk about not being ready for primetime.  I think Perry likes to start talking and get rolling, and that’s why he sometimes forgets what he was talking about mid-sentence.  No excuses.  You are running for President of the United States.  Running before you secure the ball is how you lose games.  Running your mouth before you have your answer and grasp on the issues is what makes Presidents say stupid things.  E.g. Barack Obama talking about police officers who arrested his professor friend.

Time to thin the herd

All is not lost!  Yes, it was an ugly night for several GOP candidates.  Newt’s frustration with the format is certainly understandable.  It made for great television, but it was a bad debate.  However, there were some glimmers of hope, starting with the Vegas Champ…

Newt Gingrich.  I didn’t give Newt the win last time because I didn’t think his campaign would see a boost.  After this debate, I think it will.  Newt once again is the adult in the room.  He puts himself above the fray and really acts as a second moderator.  Voters should give Newt a second look.  Give Newt seven debates with Barack Obama and Obama might even drop out of the race before November.  I would love to see these debates as more candidates drop out and more time is given.  Newt has been so supportive of other candidates that his questions of other candidates carried a great deal of weight and were therefore more devastating.  Cain will not survive the 999 barrage, look for Newt to pick up steam.  Newt’s statement on faith put him squarely in the majority of conservative thought.  Newt’s biggest slip up was on appearing weak on states rights.  Another candidate who performed well, but likely won’t see much change because of it was…

Mitt Romney.  Romney was once again the big punching bag, and once again hit back.  He continued to defend his healthcare program as a state program and did pretty well.  But here Newt hit him hard on the big government aspect of it.    Romney kept his cool when being shouted down by Rick Santorum and talked over by Rick Perry.  Romney screwed up on Cain’s 999 plan trying to argue that Cain’s plan would add federal taxes to state taxes.  Excuse me, Mr. Romney, but you already pay bushels of apples and oranges.  Don’t feel bad, every candidate but Cain and Newt seemed to forget that 999 would eliminate our current tax code.  In the end, especially with no Huntsman, Romney’s got his support base solidified and did nothing to hurt that. Unfortunately, this is the last good report on a candidate performance in this review.  Although, it wasn’t terrible for everyone, especially…

Michele Bachmann.  Michele, Michele, Michele.  First, Obama took us to Libya, THEN, he took us into Africa!  Oops, Libya is in Africa.  But again, if Joe Biden can be VP, we shouldn’t be too hard on Bachmann for her frequent misspeaks.  Aside from that, she did well in another forgettable performance/turned stump speech.   As a tax litigation attorney though, I am disappointed in her evaluation of Cain’s 999 plan.  A VAT because every corporation in the manufacturing process pays 9%?  What does our current corporate tax do?  Same thing.  Shame on you Michele.  But most people won’t figure that out, so you’re good.  We will see if the media picks up on Bachmann’s idea of a $1 poor tax.  Bachmann won’t see any uptick from this debate.  Another candidate with no uptick or downtick…

Ron Paul. Paul is good on state’s rights.  The other candidates would do well to learn some things from him.  On the other hand, we heard a lot of the same platitudes and fuzzy one liners that leave us scratching our heads about if Paul actually has a viable plan.  Get rid of the income tax?  Oh, ok.  Is that like repealing Medicare part D?  Would be nice, but not a priority?  Paul came out with a new economic plan that cuts a trillion in spending.  Worth taking a look at, but didn’t get much play last night.  He will maintain his small support base, but with his vagueness and legend over substance approach this debate won’t give him a bump.  But at least he won’t lose support, like…

Herman Cain.  Cain gave the media some pretty good quotes last night.  Would he shut down Guantanamo to negotiate with terrorists?  Kinda sounded like it.  Apples and Oranges?  Cain, that is simply not Washington speak.  Cain looked amateurish.    He is an amateur though, so he may get a pass for the inability to articulate his 999 plan in a way that Americans can understand and latch on to.  Fortunately, his opponents weren’t much better.  In fact, only Newt seemed to have a clue how 999 works, but he wasn’t about to throw Cain a bone.  Cain right now is riding on populism, but poor debate performances can sink that ship (Bachmann, Perry).  In fact, I think it did sink two ships last night, starting with…

Rick Santorum.  Rick continues to be an advocate for the family.  He continues to present strong conservatism.  But his discussion with Romney early on just set a bad tone.  He reminded me of an angry teenager.  It was unprofessional and amateurish.  It’s been good to have Santorum in these debates for the most part, but after last night he needs to drop out and endorse a social conservative who can still beat Romney.  You’re not going to win, Rick Santorum.  At this point you are hurting more than helping.  But at least Santorum did better than…

Rick Perry.  Geez.  I don’t want to sound politically incorrect, but Perry seemed…slow.  Can we still use that term?  When Romney was answering and Perry was slowly drawling over him and droning on, I couldn’t help but laugh.  But it got worse as the night went on.  Perry, who gave instate tuition to illegals and opposes a full border fence, went after Romney for hiring a landscaping company that hired illegal aliens.  And that wasn’t the only 2008 unfair attack that Perry dug up.  Even when Perry made a good point (We need to uh, look at, uh the…darn, which amendment was it again?  Oh yeah, tenth amendment for uh…issues) it was lost in translation.  Perry was put in his place over and over.  It was a complete dud.  Even his distancing from Pastor Jeffers was not believable.  The best we got from Perry was a promise that next week he will have a tax plan. The good news is that even Rick Perry had a better week than…

Barack Obama.  Rumor has it, after a bunch of his tour supplies were stolen, that his teleprompter is currently being interrogated by Iranian sponsored Al Qaida terrorists in Mexico.  Although, there have also been alleged sightings of his teleprompter in Zuccoti park, smoking a joint and displaying a message about being overworked and underpaid.

Poll Proves President Obama to Be Weak Where He Should Be Strong

Bookmark and Share    A new Quinnipiac Poll shows that 52% of New Jersey voters disapprove of the job that President Obama is doing and 43% approve of his job performance.  It is his lowest approval rating in the Garden State yet.  A breakdown of the polls shows that  Democrats approve of his job performance 77% to 19% percent. Disapproval is 88% – 10%  among Republicans, and the most important and lethal number is his 60% – 34% disapproval rating among independent voters.

Quinnipiac also notes that there is a large gender gap as women have a 50% to 45% approval rating of the Presidents job performance, while men disapprove  60%  to 36%.

Still though, the poll finds that voters are split 47% to 48% on whether President Obama deserves reelection.

However; one should take note of the polling history pertaining to New Jersey’s 2009 gubernatorial election.

At this same point in that election, almost a year before it took place,  a similar Quinnipiac Poll found that New Jersey voters disapproved of Governor Jon Corzine’s job performance by 51% to  40%.  It was his fourth negative score that year. Democrats approved of the Governor 60% to  31, while Republicans disapproved 75% to 19%,  and independent voters gave him a thumbs down by 52% – 38%.

Those numbers are better than President Obama’s number are and Jon Corzine went on to be  soundly defeated by Chris Christie.

The only difference is that President Obama’s job approval among Democrats is higher than Jon Corzine’s approval was at this same point in his election.  That shows that New Jersey Democrats are still more enthusiastic about Obama than they were of Corzine.  But aside form that, President Obama’s disapproval among New Jersey Republicans, and more importantly, New Jersey Independent voters, is substantially higher than Corzine’s were.

All of this simply confirms that at the moment, President Obama is indeed in trouble.

These poll numbers come from a very blue state that is in the bluest region of the nation for…….. the Northeast.  If the majority of voters  in a state like New Jersey disapprove of the job that the President  is doing, than you can rest assured that similar sentiments exist throughout the region.  So it only follows that President Obama will have to actually spend time and money campaigning in state’s like, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and even New York.  That will give the President less time and resources to dedicate to winning battleground, or swing states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.

The last time a Republican presidential candidate won New Jersey was in 1988, when George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.

With 14 electoral votes, if New Jersey does not soon be safely in President Obama’s column, it will dramatically increase the number of electoral college equations needed for Republicans to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.  Following conventional wisdom, giving Democrats and Republicans the state’s they traditionally win and leaving states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and several others undecided, if New Jersey is a tossup,  President Obama will have 15 different ways to reach a winning combination of electoral votes.  Republicans would have 45 winning combinations available to them.  And for those who really like suspense, there would be 7 scenarios whereby there could be a tie in the electoral college.

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Is It Too Late?

Some very wise political analysts wrote that things have changed since 1992 when Bill Clinton got into the race late and managed to win. The need to build a national campaign network, raise money and meet the demands of 24/7 campaigning without making a single mistake are hurdles that put late joiners at a serious disadvantage. Mitt Romney has been raising money, performing in debates, bringing in endorsements and satisfying local political committees necessary for the early primaries. He can do it because he has a network in place to do most of the work for him, leaving him free to focus on interviews, debate prep and meeting with the big donors. Gov. Perry, as a relative late-comer, is floundering by comparison. The overwhelming demands on his time in places he has no network and from people with whom he has no intermediaries have strained his ability to focus on improving his debate abilities. His big lead has slumped and he is at risk of simply fading away. By the time he gets a full national campaign in place, his mistakes may have made him irrelevant. Soon Herman Cain will face the same problems. These were the reasons various pundits said Christie should definitely not get into the race. It was too late, even if he had changed his mind.

But is it too late? Being in early and ahead in the polls is no guarantee of success. The pages of campaign history are littered with the failed campaigns of big names, with national support and early planning. Perhaps the right question is not whether it is too late, but rather is it too soon? It is clearly too late to get into the race and compete against the established campaigns. There is not enough time to get a national campaign up and running effectively between now and the early primaries while simultaneously engaging in frequent televised debates. But, that doesn’t mean it is too late to get into the race at all. It just means it is too early to be a late entrant.

Look at the poll numbers Perry pulled in just due to hype. Christie saw the same, although he ended up not running. Cain made one great debate appearance and his numbers shot up. However, Perry and Cain now have to find a way to sustain that popularity for months before it can translate into votes. Just ask Michele Bachmann how that straw poll victory is treating her now. Frankly, getting in early opens the door to constant attacks by a vengeful media and the inevitable mistake that will get blown out of proportion just to have a news story to report. Romney and Paul are somewhat immune to these problems because they were already attacked in the last election and there just isn’t much new to attack them with. Their names are already out there and they have a base of support in place, so they don’t need the big performance to gain a position in the rankings. They just need to not trip over themselves and wait it out until the primaries get closer and they start spending the piles of money they built up. Everyone else has an uphill battle and has as much to fear from sudden success as from a major mistake.

With so many primaries happening so close together and so early in the year, a late entrant could ride the newcomer media hype to a handful of early victories. Then, by absorbing the staff and network of candidates who are forced to drop out, basically walk into a national campaign with enough time remaining to still effectively raise funds for the general election in November. This would not work for just any random candidate, but there are some big names who stayed out who have the skills, policy knowledge and connections to pull it off if they time it right. A December entry could steal the nomination.

I’m not saying that is what should happen, will happen or would be desirable. It is just that the old logic that there is a time after which a new campaign cannot succeed is very likely no longer valid. Like it or not, the media does manipulate public opinion in elections. Playing the media against itself may be a better strategy than traditional campaigning. After all, then Sen. Obama had nothing to offer on policy or experience, but the media carried him to victory. The media may be generally against conservatives, but they just can’t help themselves from hyping anyone new. Even if the hype is full of negatives, it raises the recognition of that candidate and usually results in a rise in the polls – at least until the hype dies down or the candidate withers under the spotlight.

A well-timed late entrant would face significant challenges, but could play the media hype into a surge in the polls just in time for it to translate into real votes. I’m sure Rick Perry wishes the early primaries had been in August when he was the talk of the town. Had they been, he’d probably be in this against Romney alone instead of falling back into a still crowded pack. The lack of consensus on a candidate and the infighting between them during the debates could be justification enough for one of the big names that decided not to run many months ago (when Obama looked stronger) to reconsider and come in to ‘unify the party against Obama’. While such an entry would never work if it came this month or in November, it could potentially play in December – especially if the field doesn’t slim down between now and then.

Second Thoughts?Who could pull off this last minute capture of the early primaries and the nomination? There are two that immediately come to mind: Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels. Conversely, two names that couldn’t pull it off are Sarah Palin and Chris Christie. They both bowed out too recently to change their minds so soon. Barbour and Daniels could be ‘drafted’ back in if they plan such an effort. They are not the only ones, but the ones with the best name recognition (Daniels) and existing connections (Barbour) to generate the necessary media hype and channel it into sudden victories. With the voters still divided, no real excitement for the ‘inevitable candidate’ and a compressed primary schedule, there may never be a better time than December to capture the race without having to face the withering pressure of public scrutiny of every minor decision they ever made. With so many of the big names that got out early still sitting silently and not endorsing anyone, one has to wonder if they are pondering the same thing I am. But, only one could pull it off. If two jumped in, they would both lose. If Barbour and Daniels go to dinner, Romney should start to worry.

Welcome to the top, Herman Cain

The most recent debate is over, and Herman Cain is discovering what Rick Perry felt like when he was the front runner.  The way the debate went, there was clear recognition of Cain, Romney and Perry as front runners.  The other candidates almost seemed to be helping in the vetting process as though they were seeking to help Americans choose from one of those top three.   So here goes, the latest debate in retrospect.  And the winner is…

Romney back in the driver seat

Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney had some good news today.  He picked up an endorsement from Chris Christie, which is huge.  He also had some bad news.  Rush Limbaugh questioned Romney’s conservatism compared to other candidates and gave the death knell that took down Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.  Rush called him the Republican establishment candidate.  Still, Romney was his usual comfortable self.  His adopting the Trump doctrine on China will help build that portion of his base.  Cain did Romney a huge favor by asking him about his 59 point plan and giving him the chance to explain it and expound on it.  In fact, the questioning session turned into an opportunity for the other candidates to seem to vet the apparent front runner candidate.  Romney’s own question to Michele Bachmann was very gracious and showed the kind of class that simply makes Romney likeable.  Romney’s answer on Dodd Frank was pure gold.  He was polished and Presidential.  Romney still has to get a little bit stronger on his conservative stances and lose a bit of that obvious shine in order to pick up more of the anti-politician minded rightwing, especially the TEA party.  But for this debate, Romney managed to edge out…

Newt Gingrich.  Newt Gingrich is the best debater.  As the best debater, Newt spewed pure common sense.  His best was when he bluntly spoke about how absolutely stupid the debt commission is.  His answers put him above the fray and he maintained his mantra that any candidate on that stage would be better than Obama.  However, Newt did not get enough face time.  He took no arrows, shot no arrows at the other candidates, but simply did not have enough chances to speak to make a difference.  Newt has won several of these debates, but winning these debates is not enough for him at this point.  He must so completely knock each debate out of the park that everytime a front runner falls he is there to pick up the pieces.  In this case, he did not even mention his campaign’s new contract with America.  It was a lost opportunity.   So far he has not accomplished what he needs to do in these debates.  I can’t give him first, no matter how well deserved.  But as a representative of the Social Conservative flavor of this party, he did outperform…

Cain has his work cut out for him

Herman Cain.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan finally got the inspection it deserved.  A striking moment was when Rick Santorum polled the audience on who wanted a new 9% sales tax, and who thought a 9% flat income tax would stay at 9%.  Not a single hand in the audience was visible.  Santorum hit the nail on the head.  The result is Cain will be in trouble after this debate.  He must now find a way to explain his plan in a way that resonates with Americans.  He made a good start when he talked about how the 9% sales tax would replace a 15% payroll tax, which of course we all pay.  If he can hit that point and solve the question of how to prevent future Presidents from turning his 9 9 9 plan into a 35 35 35 plan, he can salvage his front runner (by my calculations) status.  Cain took a huge hit on the federal reserve when Paul questioned him too.  Later when he spoke about fixing the Fed, Paul made easy work out of Cain.  Still, his likeability level and pure down home realness will keep him afloat for at least one more round.  At this point, if Cain falters I predict voters will finally give Newt Gingrich a second look.  Another candidate they might be looking at is…

Rick Santorum.  Rick Santorum did very well.  He made a key point when he said he did not support the bailout.  He called out Cain’s 9 9 9 plan and struck a very strong blow on it.  He exposed Cain’s naivete beautifully.  But that was the extent of Santorum’s stunning performance.  Like Gingrich, he simply did not get enough other face time to make a huge difference.  No one is afraid of him becoming the front runner any time soon, so there wasn’t much interest in him among the debate moderators.  While Santorum did not make a strong case for himself as President, he certainly gave voters a lot to think about with the latest rising star in Herman Cain.  That may be his purpose at this point.  There is very little chance of his campaign being successful.  Almost as little chance as…

Jon Huntsman.  Jon Huntsman did not do bad for the most part.  His answer on China will not connect with Americans and for a good reason.  Being nice to China does not sell when as Romney pointed out we are already losing to them because they are cheating.  Two debates ago I said Huntsman’s campaign is over.  Nothing changed with the debate tonight.  Feeling our pain because he helped run the family business and was a good governor is so cliche at this point, it’s really forgettable.  But not as forgettable as…

Michele Bachmann.  Michele Bachmann did well.  She spoke on Obama’s failures and conservatism.  But mostly she was forgettable.  At one point, it sounded like she said she raised 28 children, 22 foster and 5 biological.  I could understand, with that many kids, how easy it would be to get the math wrong.  But it’s not good when that’s what sticks out in my mind.  No highlights, no major gaffes, and in fact her role in Congress became even more forgettable when Gingrich asked why the House has not made any move to repeal Dodd Frank or Sarbanes Oxley.  I was left wondering where her actual leadership has manifested itself.  The exchange with Romney was her one saving grace, proving that at least she is not one dimensional unlike…

Popularity off the debate stage won't save these candidates from earning low marks in this debate.

Ron Paul.  Ron Paul did ok.  He made it pretty clear he isn’t a fan of the fed.  But on the fed, especially Bernanke, Newt stole his thunder.  What else did Paul speak about?  Again, another forgettable candidate.  Paul fans, don’t hate me for saying that.  Step outside of the movement for a minute and ask yourself if he truly made a splash.  Did we hear anything new about Ron Paul that would make us want to make him in charge of everything the President of the United States is responsible for?  No, but I’d be happy to see him head up the Fed audit once we get a President who has that as a priority (which apparently is not Herman Cain).  But even Ron Paul did better than…

Rick Perry.  Rick Perry came across as a something between a walking cliche and a deer in the headlights.  He simply does not debate well.  He again was slow in his responses and his wording did not connect.  He came across as very unprepared once again.  His good answers were copies of other candidates, and his bad answers seemed to drag on with his drawl.  I’ve said before that I would love to see Newt Gingrich debate Obama.  I would not love to see Perry debate Obama.  I’m not sure I would be able to watch.  Can Perry turn things around?  Possibly.  I’m not ready to give him the Dead Candidate Walking title along with Huntsman just yet.

“You’ve Got Mail”. Chris Christie Fundraising Email For Romney Hits

Bookmark and Share    Hours after winning one of the more coveted endorsements that a Republican candidate for President can get, the campaign of Mitt Romney has fired oof persoanalized emails to an extensive list of supporters and potential supporters [see the email below this post].

The email makes a direct appeal for voters to support the Romney campaign with a financial donation. 

In his message, Chrsitie focusses on the economy and credits Mitt Romney as the presidential candiate who can fundamentally change the economy and reverse the past three years of the Obama policies that have failed us.

Support Mitt Romney

Anthony,

This is the most important election in generations. Whether we are able to fix our economy and
get our country on the right track will have ramifications for decades. We cannot afford to continue on our current path.

Mitt Romney has a life history of coming into struggling organizations and turning them around. Right
now, we need someone like him in the White House to fundamentally change our economy and reverse three years of failed policies. Unlike our current President, Mitt Romney understands the economy from the inside out.

Chris Christie stands with Mitt

Fixing the economy will not be easy, but Mitt has shown throughout his life that he has the leadership ability and expertise to lead our country toward a recovery.  Republicans should recognize the importance of this election and realize that if they are serious about regaining the White House, Mitt Romney is the only candidate to back.

I hope you’ll join me and stand with Mitt today http://mittromney.com/donate

Best,
Chris Christie

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View Chris Christie Announcing His Endorsement of Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share   In advance of tonight’s Washington Post-Bloomberg TV Republican presidential debate on economic issues, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie traveled to New Hampshire to appear with Governor Romney and announce that he was endorsing Romney for President. [See video and transcript below]

“I’m here in New Hampshire today for one simple reason: America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead American, and we need him now. So that’s why I’m here.

If you look at Governor Romney’s experience — his experience in the private sector, running businesses, turning them around, going in there and telling the people the truth about what needed to be done, and then coming up with a plan to get it done, and you look at his experience as an elected official, we know that he brings the best of both to what we need for America right now.

He brings that great, private sector experience and he brings the experience of governor of Massachusetts, knowing how government works. Not a legislator, trying to figure out how to use executive power, but an executive who’s used executive power and will use it to make Americans’ lives better.

That’s why I’m endorsing Mitt Romney for president of the United States.”

Click here for an analysis of what was behind Christie’s endorsement and what it will mean in the presidential election.

Meanwhile, less than hour after the endorsement was passed on to the public, Romney’s campaign organization did not miss beat as they promptly posted the following page on the Romney for President website;

Click on the image to see a larger version of it

It is a whopping request to join Chris Christie in supporting Mitt by making a donation to his campaign.  Clearly, as was indicated by WH12 in a previous post, Christie’s endorsement does more than just help firm up Romney’s frontrunner status, it is worth a ton of money too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chris Christie Endorses Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has just landed the first jewel in the Quadruple Crown of Republican endorsements.

One week after declaring that he is definitely not running for President in 2012, it has been revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be endorsing Mitt later today at an event in New Hampshire.

This announcement comes a day after Romney received the endorsements of former senators Judd Gregg Of New Hampshire and Mel Martinez of Florida.  Both men have significant influence with different critical voting blocs within the respective states.  But Chris Christie’s endorsement goes far beyond any one state.  In fact, it may ironically have little bearing on the nomination in Christie’s own state of New Jersey, where the Republican presidential primary is held in June and is one of the very last primaries contests to be held.  But Christie’s endorsement is likely to have a big effect in the Northeast and beyond.

Many Republicans have become enamored with Christie because of his relatively fiscal conservative policies, willingness to take on unions, and most of all, because of his refreshingly open, honest, and blunt political dialogue.  That bluntness has allowed many Republicans and Independents to trust Christie as a political leader who says what he means and means what he says.  Such a perception will go quite far with many voters if they hear Christie offering high praise of Romney and see him committing himself to Romney’s candidacy.

Christie’s endorsement will not only give Romney an overall image boost, it will also open up a new channel of money that will flow right into his campaign treasury.  Many big donors who have had been urging Christie to run for President have been keeping their powder dry, but now with their man behind Romney, their money will also soon back him.

The most surprising thing  about this announcement is not that Christie endorsed Romney.

Romney provided Christie with a great deal of support during his 2009 race for Governor.  On top of that, the next Republican U.S. Senate nominee from New Jersey is likely to be a state senator named Jope Kyrillos.  Kyrillos is a good friend of Christie’s and was his 2009 campaign chairman.  In 2008, Kyrillos was also the New Jersey state chairman of  Mitt Romney’spresidential campaign.  So the ties to Romney and Chrsitie are many and tight.  The really surprise here was that the announcement came so soon.  While it took Christie many, many months to be sure about his own presidential candidacy,  he apparently did not find it hard to decide that Romney was the right man for job.  But the decision to make the endorsement public now, was probably more Romney’s than Christie’s.  It signals Romney’s awareness of the fact that if he does not consolidate his support early and rack up early victories, he risks losing the Republican nomination if it remains too competitive for too long.

With Christie’s endorsement in hand, the next important jewel in the Republican Quadruple Crown of endorsements will come from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who’s early state primary is a critical prelude to Florida and the South.  A win in South Carolina,be fatal to some candidates and  would expedite Romney’s road to the White House.  Haley has recently gone out of her way to state that she will be endorsing a businessman for President.  That could mean Mitt Romney or Herman Cain.  But it’s important to remember that as he was for Christie, Mitt was a big help to Nikki Haley in her run for Governor last year.

Then there is Florida’s Marco Rubio.

Like Nikki Haley, Rubio is a darling of the TEA movement, but he is considered everyone’s number one choice for Vice President.  If possible, President Obama would even dump ol’ Joe and put Rubio on the ticket as his number two man.  Rubio is seen as a bright, level headed political leader, with solid conservative credentials and with his Cuban background, has the ability to open doors for the Republican Party to the Hispanic community.  And Florida is also an important, delegate rich state that by winning, would make Romney a clear early frontrunner for the G.o.P. presidential nomination.

The fourth and in may ways one of the most important jewels in this endorsement crown is Sarah Palin.

Her endorsement will force anti-establishment and Tea movement activists to at least reconsider their support of Romney.  Many have been unwilling to do so because of his Massachusetts healthcare plan.  But with Sarah Palin’s seal of approval, many of those skeptical of Romney will at least have some cover when it comes to voting for Romney.

Other important endorsements of note for various specific reasons,  include Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Haley Barbour.Bookmark and Share

The Field Is Set: And Herman Cain Could Win

Sarah Palin has now announced she will not be running.  It appears the 2012 GOP Primary is ready to kick off.  So you heard it here first: barring a major disqualifying gaffe, Herman Cain will win the 2012 primary.  Here’s why.

Cain passes on the right to pull even with Romney

Ok, seriously.  No one knows at this point how this  is going to go down.  Candidates surge and fall, as Rick Perry has proven.  I don’t really know that Herman Cain is going to win the primary.  But he does have a clear path to victory.  Right now it is his race to give up.

But wait, isn’t Romney leading the polls??  Yes, but as I pointed out in my last blog Romney’s majority is an illusion caused by a split vote among social, TEA party candidates.  As Perry continues to fade and Cain continues to pick up his supporters, you will see more polls like the most recent CBS poll that shows Cain and Romney tied.  Perry’s demise is all upside for Cain while Romney maintains his solid base of support.

So why Cain?  Why didn’t Bachmann, Gingrich, or Santorum gain any momentum from Perry’s fall?  Perry dropped 11 points in this CBS poll while Cain jumped 12 points.  Gingrich and Santorum both got small bumps, but are still considered unelectable and still cannot shake their baggage from the last 20 years.  Santorum continues to come across as an unelectable champion of family values with a support base that loves what he says and believes but won’t vote for him because they’d rather have Obama gone than lose with the most socially conservative candidate on the stage.  For Gingrich, conservatives have already written the USA Today, Time Magazine and New York Times headlines in their heads about his failed marriages, hypocrisy in the Clinton impeachment, global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, and other things from his decades in the spotlight.

Bachmann, with a relatively small public history, is a different story.  Although her message, naivete on some issues, and ability to stir a TEA party crowd mirror Herman Cain, she somehow comes across differently.   While Herman Cain gets away with announcing that no future President will raise the rates on his 999 plan, Bachmann promises $2 a gallon gas and becomes the laughing stock of the mainstream media and even conservatives.  Bachmann tells stories of raising her kids and foster kids and is seen as homely and amateurish.  Cain tells stories of him and his brother sneaking drinks from the Whites Only drinking fountain as kids and the story simply tugs at anyone’s heart strings.  Bachmann embellishes Perry’s Merck connection and the potential health risks of the HPV vaccine and the media drags her through the coals on it.  The media tried to make hay out of Cain’s comment about blacks being brainwashed into voting Democratic and the story was dead on arrival.

Perhaps the greatest difference that speaks to American hearts is that Cain is not bitter or angry.  Yes, he is the first to tell us that Obama’s policies are destroying the country.  But he does it with an air of policy sincerity, not partisan gamesmanship.  Cain doesn’t seem to have a racist bone in his body, to the extent that some Democrats seem to think he is racist against blacks.  Cain simply comes across as a successful American who believes in America and in every American’s ability to become whatever they want to be.  Cain brings back with sincerity something that politicians have been falsely touting for years: a sincere belief in the American dream and the ability of Americans to achieve it.  His simple, Reaganesque faith in the American people and freedom will be enough to preserve his seat as the top social conservative.  As other social conservatives call it quits, Cain will continue to swallow up their supporters and surpass Romney.

Just a month ago Cain was barely on the radar.  With Perry’s self-destruction and the Florida straw poll, Cain now has the potential momentum to carry him through.  The key will be surviving early Romney primary wins until the race narrows to just Cain and Romney.  From there he can coast to GOP victory.

Watch Video of Chris Christie’s Full Press Conference Reaffirming He Won’t Run. Positive Public Reaction Results From It.

Click Here To See The Press Conference

Bookmark and Share  In what was a press conference regarding a 2012 run for President, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively answered that he is not running.  Christie stated that due to the numerous requests that he seek the Republican nomination for President, he did in fact reconsider his earlier decision not to run.  In questions asked after the Governor’s statement, he did reveal that the reconsideration process was already going on last week, prior to his giving a speech at the Reagan library.  The Governor said that the inundation of legitimate requests from people inside and outside of politics forced even his wife to believe that they must reconsider his previous decision.  In one instance, Christie told the assembled audience about a Federal Express delivery that came to his children at his home address.   The package was an appeal to them from a farmer in Nebraska who urged the Christie kids to sit down with their father and tell him that it was okay to dedicate himself to a run for President because our nation needed him.  The appeal stated that by doing so, his children would go down in history for their actions that led their father to run for President.

Christie made clear that the decision was his and his alone.  Members of his family had approved of a decision to run, but left the decision to him.  In the end Christie said he decided against running because he just does not feel that the time is right.  He added that he made a promise to the people of New Jersey to stay here and clean up the mess they are in and that is what he intends to do.

“The people of New Jersey elected me to do a job and I am just not ready to walk away”,  said Chrsitie.

According to the Governor, he just did not see any condition which made him feel right about leaving office as Governor of New Jersey.  He confirmed that he made his final decision last night, before going to bed .

When asked by a reporter if his decision had anything to do with some publications indicating that he was not as conservative as some believe, the Governor stated that it had no influence on his final decision.  He said that if anything, once he saw the knives come out and that people were aiming for him, he knew he could win, so that had nothing.

Christie also indicated that he saw a great deal of irresponsible coverage on whether or not he was running.  He stated that there were many things reported as news which were and could only have been speculation.  Whether or not this puts an end to such speculation remains to be seen.

While reaction to Christie’s final decision did bring about some public disappointment, it also seemed to have met with widespread understanding, approval,l and respect.  In a LiveStream/Facebook chat room that was conducted during a live broadcast of the Christie speech, John Mandler of New City, NY wrote,

 “NJ needed him to stay, and he needed to stay to keep faith with those of us who elected him in 2009. He is a greater man for staying the course.”

Other comments from people outside of New Jersey included;

Brandon Riggins, Columbus, OH……

“He’s going to finish up his term as governor, and for that he has earned (even more) of my greatest respect.”

Daniel Casey, Southbridge, MA……

“It sounds like he thought about it seriously and ended up doing the right thing. I respect him even more.”

Jon Maxwell of  Rockwall, Texas put the onus on New Jerseyans and suggested it was up to them to urge Christie run when he wrote…

“Can he serve NJ better by serving as President and helping the nation as a whole, or better as Governor? It’s up to you, NJ.”  

Reaction in New Jersey was also positive but Valerie Brooks-Klein of Trenton, NJ, concurred with Jon Maxwell and wrote,

“I think he needs to serve the entire country. NJ would benefit as well as the rest of the country.  Its time for us to share him.”

Other New Jersey residents were not sas generous as Valerie was when it comes to sharing Chrsitie;

Tammy Case,Red Bank, NJ……

“I respect Governor Christie’s decision to stay in NJ and accomplish the goal he set out to complete.  Once this is done then we can share him..An honest dedicated Politician how often do we get one of those. Amazing Governor.”    

Joani Boucher, Edison, NJ……

“While I believe Gov Christie would make a great President, I’m so glad he’s going to stick around and clean up the mess made by the former Governor’s of NJ.” 

And then there was this was Robert Frank Koscinski of Colonia, NJ……

“We do have the coolest Governor!!!”

At one point during the presser, a string of questions about Christie’s weight were raised by reporters in the context of how much of factor it would have been in the presidential race and in regards to columnists who wrote that his weight would be a problem if he ran for President.  To that Chrisite replied that those who wrote such things know nothing about politics.

For those who do believe his weight would be a problem, as a New Jerseyan, I have just one thing to say.  He ain’t heavy.  he’s my Governor.

If you’re only in your twenties, you may not get that but for those of you who have  been around long enough to know but not too long to be unable to remember, I refer you to the  popular music ballad, “He Ain’t Heavy.  He’s My Brother”, written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song went on to become a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970.

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