Trunkline 2012: Wednesday’s Summary of News from the Campaign Trail – 10/24/12

Today’s Trunkline 2012 brings to you news of a Democrat boss caught promoting voter fraud, a breakdown of Obama’s Benghazi lies, Romney receiving Jewish Weekly endorsement as another actor endorses him too,  why stocks continue to stumble, why Obama thinks he will win, Letterman’s disappointment with the President, and more interesting tales from the trail.

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Trunkline 2012: Trunkline 2012: Tuesday’s Tidbits from the Campaign Trail – 10/23/12

Tuesday’s Trunkline 2012 is packed with an array of tidbits regarding last night’s debate including several on polls that will make the left cry, as  well as some analyses of the debate from Charles Krauthammer and David Gergen.  But today’s news summary also includes reports of Republicans being more educated than liberals, the future of the Supreme Court in the next four years, the truth about Obama and Iran, 5 reasons for independents to vote for Romney, a very poignant letter that the New York Times refused to publish, and more;

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Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Wrap-Up of News from the Campaign Trail

Today’s Trunkline 2012 presents to you tales of trouble for our President regarding Benghazi and his reelection chances as well as other tid-bits such as the potential names in Romney’s future Administration, what Vice President Biden finds funny about breast cancer, na ew ad from the families of the victims of the Ft. Hood terrorist attack  makes a plea to the President ,  a look at the dignity and grace of the Romneys, video of the hysterical speeches offered by Obama and Romney at the Al Smith dinner, and as always, much more

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Trunkline 2012: Thursday’s Dust Ups from the Campaign Trail

Today’s campaign trail news summary features Bill Clinton claiming Romney is right, Eva Longoria’s twitter inspired need to resign from Team Obama, the liberal return to playing the race card, Romney’s rising tide in Ohio, the nation and early balloting, the gaffe that will haunt the President in  the third and final debate, a clue that al Qaeda is still very much on the run, Hillary Clinton’s apparent lack of interest in running for President in 2016, and much more

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Trunkline 2012: Tuesday’s Top Tips and Tidbits from the Presidential Campaign Trail

Bookmark and Share  Tuesday’s election news summary takes a look at tonight’s presidential debater drinking game, the need for Candy Crowley to keep her trap shut in tonight’s debate, Condoleezza Rice’s entry in to the campaign trail just as foreign policy becomes a bigger issue,  the increasing importance of Wisconsin in the Electoral College, the tightening race in Pennsylvania, Ross Perot’s endorsement, the president’s dislike for people, and much more from the campaign trail;

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Trunkline 2012: Thursday’s News and Views From the Campaign Trail


Thursday’s Trunkline 2012 election news wrap-up offers you the latest word on what Paul Ryan needs to do tonight, Joe Biden’s debate burden, the Obama campaign’s attempt to blame Romney for Libya being an issue, how the President is treating women like animals, jobless numbers being worse than thought, Jon Stewart’s ridiculing of the President over Big Bird, the Administration’s weak record on illegal immigration, and much more……

Deputy Obama 2012 Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter

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Trunkline 2012: Wednesday’s Word On the Campaign Trail

Bookmark and Share  Today’s Trunkline 2012 election news wrap-up includes headlines about Paul Ryan’s call to actress Stacey dash, Romney’s benchmark lead over Obama, Fred Thompson’s assessment of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech, President Obama’s promise to be nasty, voters trusting Romney on the economy more than the President, an Obama staffer helping Obama voters to vote twice in the election, and much more….

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Trunkline 2012: Tuesday’s Tidbits from the Campaign Trail – 10/9/12

Bookmark and Share   Today’s tidbits from the trail include news about Romney’s rise in the polls,  Obama’s supporters threaten to riot, the DNC ‘s cash shortage, the President’s obsession with Big Bird, Obama’s initial belief that he won the first presidential debate, his lies about Romney and his own record, the president’s declining support among African-Americans, 10 dates from Obama’s first term to remember, the continued fallout from the Libyan terrorist attack and more:

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Trunkline 2012: Monday’s Mentionables from the Presidential Race – 10/8/12

Bookmark and Share  The events shaping this day on the campaign trail in Trunkline 2012 includes stories about President Obama’s unfolding credit card fundraising scandal, new positive polling for Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney’s incredible foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute, the cable from Libya that detailed the threats to our consulate, an explosion of death threats against Romney on Twitter, the dispelling of liberal myths, continued fallout from Obama’s horrible debate performance and more interesting political snippets and tidbits.

  • Obama campaign’s foreign fundraising scandal reveals the illegality of tens of millions of small dollar donations to the Obama reelection effort
  • Romney’s proves to be more presidential than ever as he outlines an inspirational foreign policy vision for the nation in a speech at the Virginia Military institute
  • New White House 2012 Projection Has Romney Winning By 24 Electoral Votes
  • Dems less enthusiastic about Obama as poll shows that among those who are extremely likely to vote, Romney actually leads Obama 52 percent to 46 percent
  • Pew Poll Shows Romney Up By 4 Points
  • Libya Cable Detailed Threats
  • Debunking the liberal myth that Republicans want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess
  • Why Obama Will Lose All Three Debates
  • Twitter exploded with assassination threats against Mitt Romney
  • Continued fallout from President Obama’s disastrous debate performance
  • Just How Stupid Does The Obama Team Think We Are?

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Paul Ryan Delivered a Speech That Made Him the Leader of a Generation and Put Democrats on a Losing Playing Field

   Bookmark and Share  “Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different  from the last four years?”

That was just one of the many compelling arguments put forward by Congressman Paul Ryan as he delivered his vice presidential  nomination acceptance speech speech.  His rousing words presented voters with a clear choice between two diametrically opposed paths and visions for America. (See full text and complete video of the speech at the bottom of this post)

Ryan’s speech was a superb summation of the facts that was laid out in sharp but harmonious terms, and laced with good natured humor and dripping with a sense of sincerity and conviction that few contemporary politicians have the ability to convey when discussing politics.  His speech not only drove home a convincing and inspirational case for the Romney-Ryan vision for America, it also established an election agenda for voters that put Democrats on a losing playing field.

Paul Ryan began by proudly grabbing my generations mantle of leadership.  He became the first individual to define the purpose and mission of my generation, a generation that must prepare to care for the baby boomers and greatest generation before them and at the same time be sure to leave the generation to follow us with a nation that is as good or better than the America that the generations before handed over to us. Its a cause which has needed attention but which our current President and his policies of bankruptcy have failed to properly consider.  Last night, Paul Ryan not only prepared his generation for that mission, he became its leader.

 “I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this.  I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.” said Ryan.

Ryan’s message was strategically brilliant.  In addition to his smooth and genuine delivery, his eloquent and  forceful words formed a case for Republicans and against Democrats that was a harmonious mix of the factual failures of the Obama agenda and the fundamental truths of the Republican vision for our nation.  It left listeners with a compelling case for Republicans while simultaneously offering a scathing yet undeniably honest indictment of the President’s  policies.  And Paul Ryan did so in a way that lacked the malice and anger that often turns off an American electorate sick of the bitter and harsh rhetoric of today’s politic al discourse. In his speech Paul Ryan not only laid out a mission and responsibility for an entire American generation and a principled path for all Americans to travel down together as one nation, he also inoculated Republicans from the desperate and pathetic liberal class warfare strategy they are interjecting into this election.   After spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to define Mitt Romney as inherently evil because of his self-made successes in life, Ryan reminded of us the American dream and how up till now, that dream never resented success.  Ryan turned the the tables on Democrats by subtle demonstrating how contrary the Obama Administration’s campaign against success is to American life  and how success is a good thing that needs to be appreciated and held up as an example, not resented and looked down upon as a form of greed.  According to Ryan;

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not.  He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

One of the most powerful sections of Ryan’s speech came when he offered voters an assessment of the Obama Administration that encapsulated the contradictions between the ideological approach to government of President Obama, and the inherently American principles that have guided our nation to greatness.  It was a section of his speech that also captured the essence of liberal elitism which tends to believe that government knows better than the people.  It also hammered home the point that this election is a referendum on the reality that President Obama has created and that Election Day is day of reckoning which should hold President Obama and his Parry accountable for their record.  As Ryan put it;

“None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

In the final analysis, last night, Paul Ryan introduced himself to the nation in a way that gave voters confidence in his knowledge of the issues, understanding of our problems, and his ability to lead along side of Mitt Romney.  Strategically his speech also served as a direct appeal to the independent voters who will determine who wins this election.  Ryan’s remarks failed to paint the picture of the woman hating, radical leader of conservative extremism that the left is trying to portray him as.

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Full Text of Paul Ryan’s Speech

Congressman Paul Ryan

Republican National Convention

August 29, 2012

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this.

I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words.  After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression.  I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

They’ve run out of ideas.  Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that.  You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn.  It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida.  There she is – my Mom, Betty.

My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul.  Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life.  I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up.  We belong to the same parish where I was baptized.  Janesville is that kind of place.

The people of Wisconsin have been good to me.  I’ve tried to live up to their trust.  And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two.  Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account.  My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work.  Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed.  Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty.  Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life.  Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus.  It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule.  It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.

It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.

What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus?  More debt.  That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent.  You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that.  Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over.  That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money.  They needed more.  They needed hundreds of billions more.  So, they just took it all away from Medicare.  Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.  An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for.  The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville.  My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me.  Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today.  Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it.  A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice.  In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work.  Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it.  Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate.  We want this debate.  We will win this debate.

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.

It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new.  Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made.  He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.”  He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House.  What’s missing is leadership in the White House.  And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old.  The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time.  Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.  One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems.  How did the president respond?  By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing.  In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

My Dad used to say to me: “Son.  You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.”  The present administration has made its choices.  And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time.  But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died.  She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison.  She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business.  It wasn’t just a new livelihood.  It was a new life.  And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past.  Her work gave her hope.  It made our family proud.  And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing.  All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.  A lot of heart goes into each one.  And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place.  Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning.  Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them.  After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit.  What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less.  That is enough.  The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp.  What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair.   We need that same optimism right now.

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity.  Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side.  Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known.

President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.  But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.  Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now.  And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio.  When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life.  I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself.  That’s what we do in this country.  That’s the American Dream.  That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration.  A challenger must stand on his own merits.  He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I.  And, in some ways, we’re a little different.  There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies.  I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter.  Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by.  And we both know it can be that way again.

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not.  He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.Mitt and I also go to different churches.  But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example.  And I’ve been watching that example.  The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed.  We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope.  Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone.  And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.  The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society.  They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding.  They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms.  They are protecting us right now.  We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them.

The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders.  And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near.  So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard.  These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this.  Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again.  We can get this economy growing again.  We can make the safety net safe again.  We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country.  Join Mitt Romney and me.  Let’s give this effort everything we have.  Let’s see this through all the way.  Let’s get this done.

Thank you, and God bless.

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Ann Romney Delivered the Strongest and Most Effective Speech of the Night: See the Video

   Bookmark and Share  Under a theme of “We Built It”, the first night of the Republican convention successfully articulated its point that Barack Obama is out of touch with most Americans who value the principles which made this nation great and who understand that America’s greatness lies within its people, not its government. And while speaker after speaker helped to drive that point home, it was Ann Romney who stole the night with a speech that stunned listeners right out of the political settings of the convention and drew them in to a pleasant and even inspiring personal story that introduced her husband, Mitt Romney, to voters in a way and context that they have not before seen him in. (See the video and full text of her speech below this post)

Ann Romney’s carefully crafted speech immediately caught your attention thanks in large part to the startling difference in tone she struck from the onset.  Before she took to the stage, each of the speakers who preceded her delivered speeches filled with the type of political red meat that pumped up partisans want to hear.  But Ann Romney came out and in dramatic fashion, promptly filled the convention arena with an air of civility and sweetness that quickly captivated her audience as she  looked straight into the camera and said, “I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours. Tonight I want to talk to you about love.”

It was a sharp but brilliant transition from the ideological arguments that define a political convention to a more conversational dialogue about everyday life.  In this case, everyday life with a potential President of the United States.  It was a perfect introduction of Ann Romney to the nation that left viewers with a pleasant, positive and even endearing impression of her.  And it not only left viewers with a positive sense of herself, it also helped open a door to the creation of a fresh new impression of Mitt Romney.  Up to now, with hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads by the Obama campaign, Mitt Romney has been defined largely as a cold blooded, robber baron who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.  But Ann Romney’s convincing description of her life with Mitt, helped to turn the impression that team Obama has created of Mitt Romney into a false impression.  With great success, Ann Romney softened Mitt Romney’s image and pushed away the dark picture drawn by Democrats that depict him as a plutocrat with an easy, carefree, life.

She explained how when first married, she and Mitt moved into a basement apartment where they sat at a desk that was actually a door propped up on sawhorses and ate at a fold down ironing board that doubled as their kitchen dinner table.   And she assured people that success for her and her husband did not just fall into their laps.  In one of the most powerful moments in her speech, Romney looked into our eyes and stated But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success. He built it.”

And for those who may fall for the liberal class warfare tactics and try to motivate voters against the Romney’s by inspiring them to envy the Romney’s by describing their relationship as a “storybook marriage”, Ann Romney offered a one of her most poignant points of the night when she said;

“I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the story books I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those story books never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.”

Ann Romney’s speech had many potent lines.  But it was her delivery that made them convincing and ultimately the most succesful speech of the evening.  With grace and confidence one could not help but sense a genuine sense of honesty in her words….. words that lacked the type of partisanship which often spoil the otherwise honest assessments of a speaker’s topic of discussion.

Romney’s speech was exactly what was needed to attract independent voters who could live without the partisan political propaganda that conventions are made of.  Coming from Ann, every point she stressed seemed to be more logical than political.  While others addressed  the very real class warfare tactics that Democrats are trying to wage, they did so in harsh terms that has a tendency to make voters tune out and write off as being typical political rhetoric.  But Ann Romney broached that issue by addressing it on a personal level rather than a political level by putting it this way;

It’s true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked.  Are those really the values that made our country great?  As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success? Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, “Try to do… okay?”

With Ann Romney, gone were the harsh phrases and direct accusations of political treachery.  Instead she replaced them with an everyday approach to the issue that made one have to actually think about whether being successful is really a bad thing to be.

In her approximately 20 minute speech, the future First Lady touched upon every point the campaign needed to addres, but two things made it the best and most successful speech of the first night of the convention……… context and presentation.  It was the lack of overtly political and blatantly ideological context that she used when addressing those points that made each one she touched  believable and convincing to the larger group of voters outside the walls of the convention.  And that it was a truly well written, well delivered, well strategized political speech is suppose to do.

Full Text of Ann Romney’s Speech

Mrs. Ann Romney

Republican National Convention

August 28, 2012

Luce, thank you for that kind introduction.

I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party.

And while there are many important issues we’ll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts.

I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours.

Tonight I want to talk to you about love.

I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country.

I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.

And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done.

They are here among us tonight in this hall; they are here in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America. The parents who lie awake at night side by side, wondering how they’ll be able to pay the mortgage or make the rent; the single dad who’s working extra hours tonight, so that his kids can buy some new clothes to go back to school, can take a school trip or play a sport, so his kids can feel… like the other kids.

And the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy. Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.

I’ve been all across this country for the past year and a half and heard these stories of how hard it is to get ahead now. I’ve heard your voices: “I’m running in place,” “we just can’t get ahead.”

Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day, and know that they’ll make it through another one tomorrow. But in that end of the day moment, they just aren’t sure how.

And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it?

It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.

It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters.

You know it’s true, don’t you?

You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.

You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done.

You know what those late night phone calls with an elderly parent are like and the long weekend drives just to see how they’re doing.

You know the fastest route to the local emergency room and which doctors actually answer the phone when you call at night.

You know what it’s like to sit in that graduation ceremony and wonder how it was that so many long days turned into years that went by so quickly.

You are the best of America.

You are the hope of America.

There would not be an America without you.

Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.

I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!

And that’s fine. We don’t want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It’s all the little things — that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It’s all the little things that pile up to become big things.  And the big things  — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder.  Everything has become harder.

We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.

And that is where this boy I met at a high school dance comes in. His name is Mitt Romney and you really should get to know him.

I could tell you why I fell in love with him — he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous — girls like that, it shows the guy’s a little intimidated — and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren’t around.

That’s a good thing.  And he made me laugh.

I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms.

When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan.  There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way.

He raised a family. And he became mayor of our town.

My dad would often remind my brothers and me how fortunate we were to grow up in a place like America.  He wanted us to have every opportunity that came with life in this country — and so he pushed us to be our best and give our all.

Inside the houses that lined the streets of our town, there were a lot of good fathers teaching their sons and daughters those same values.  I didn’t know it at the time, but one of those dads was my future father-in-law, George Romney.

Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.

He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon. 

We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know?  We just didn’t care.  We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish.  Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses.  Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen.  Those were very special days.

Then our first son came along.  All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I’m still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.

I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.

A storybook marriage?  No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.

I know this good and decent man for what he is — warm and loving and patient.

He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one’s fellow man. From the time we were first married, I’ve seen him spend countless hours helping others. I’ve seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.

You may not agree with Mitt’s positions on issues or his politics. Massachusetts is only 13% Republican, so it’s not like that’s a shock.

But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President:

No one will work harder.

No one will care more.

No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!

It’s true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked.  Are those really the values that made our country great?  As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?

Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, “Try to do… okay?”

And let’s be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney’s success?

Of course not.

Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work.  He had the chance to get the education his father never had.

But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.

He built it.

He stayed in Massachusetts after graduate school and got a job. I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company.  I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work.  Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.

Today that company has become another great American success story.

Has it made those who started the company successful beyond their dreams?

Yes, it has.

It allowed us to give our sons the chance at good educations and made all those long hours of book reports and homework worth every minute.  It’s given us the deep satisfaction of being able to help others in ways that we could never have imagined.  Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point.  And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities.  They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.

They do it because there IS no greater joy.

“Give and it shall be given unto you.”

But because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives. The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes.  That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions, and retirement funds.  This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams.

At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others.  He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up.

He did it in Massachusetts, where he guided a state from economic crisis to unemployment of just 4.7%.

Under Mitt, Massachusetts’s schools were the best in the nation. The best.  He started the John and Abigail Adams scholarships, which give the top 25% of high school graduates a four-year tuition-free scholarship.

This is the man America needs.

This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail.

This man will not let us down.

This man will lift up America!

It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. Not every day since has been easy.

But he still makes me laugh. And never once did I have a single reason to doubt that I was the luckiest woman in the world.

I said tonight I wanted to talk to you about love. Look into your hearts.

This is our country.

This is our future.

These are our children and grandchildren.

You can trust Mitt.

He loves America. 

He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.

Give him that chance.

Give America that chance.

God bless each of you and God Bless the United States of America.

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Will Isaac Force Republicans To Cancel the Convention?

Bookmark and Share   Odds are that the convention won’t be cancelled but chances for it being severely altered are rising.

As Hurricane Isaac strengthens and plots a potential path of destruction aimed at the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Republican campaign for President finds itself captured in the eye of that storm as the schedule and fate of the Republican National Convention now becomes dictated more by wind speeds,  tidal surges and landfall timing than by the polling, performances and prime time speaking engagements that were suppose to shape the winning trajectory for the Romney/Ryan ticket in November.

On Sunday, as Isaac trekked across the Caribbean and entered the Southern Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, its potential proximity to Tampa, the location of the convention, forced G.O.P. convention organizers to essentially cancel the first day of the four day event.  It was a decision based on the priority of personal safety over  political performances.  And it was the right decision.  With over 50,000 visitors traveling to and from an arena that hangs on the edge of Tampa  bay as winds in excess of 65 mph swirled torrential rains around the heads of delegates and white caps of a tidal surge that was consuming the land convention goers stood upon, the chance of injury and even death is all too real to ignore.  For that reason, the cancellation of the first day’s events at the convention is not just good public policy, it is also good political judgment.

One could see a scenario where a line of 2,000 convention goers waiting to get in to a particular entrance at the Tampa Times Forum became ground zero for a freak accident that saw an electrical power line come down and electrocute those standing in an inch of water while in that line .   Or maybe that same line saw dozens in it struck by a store sign that was shredded off a nearby building by a strong gust of wind that carried it into the line of people filing in to the convention.   Such tragedy would not only have taken the headline away from the event those people were attending, Republicans would rightfully have to explain how they could be expected to safely run the nation when they could not even safely run  their own convention?

So Republicans made the right decision and by putting personal safety first, they also made the right political decision.

But now as the exact track and strength of Isaac continues to develop, even though Tampa and the Republican convention remains on its periphery and largely outside of the storms most violent conditions, it is anticipated to strike areas of the Northwestern Gulf Coast and right about when the prime time coverage of the convention is to begin on Tuesday night.

Isaac currently remains a tropical storm but as it meanders over ocean waters that approach temperatures in excess of 90 degrees and is expected to slow down and continue gaining strength from those temperatures, it is expected to become a hurricane with winds up 95 mph and a tidal surge that could range anywhere from 6 to 12 feet high.  Just as Isaac builds up to that strength its eye is expected to be fast approaching the Gulf Coast somewhere around Louisiana and Mississippi at the same time that Republicans begin to make their case for Mitt Romney.

While the convention itself will be taking place approximately 450 miles from ground zero for the landfall of Isaac’s eye, its participants will not be in any danger by any means but just as people like Ann  Romney are suppose to be praising her husband and pointing to the merits of his becoming their next President, a few million Americans from the coast of East Texas to the western panhandle of Florida will be experiencing the most damaging effects of Hurricane Isaac.  This does not create an appropriate setting for a national political celebration. Putting aside for a moment the paramount concern for life and property that will be in jeopardy, the Republican convention would find itself sharing a split screen that is displaying images of roofs being blown off of homes in New Orleans as a throng of jubilant convention goers waving flags and banners while wearing odd hats as they cheer the hard hitting words of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offering the G.O.P. keynote address.   The surreal dichotomy between the havoc of Isaac and the hoopla of Christie or other engaging Republican speakers would leave a negative impression on those witnessing the spectacle which could be extraordinarily detrimental to Republicans.

So it is with justifiable caution that Republicans are now prepared to augment their convention even more than they already have by cancelling the first day of its schedule.  it is all contingent upon exactly how powerful Isaac will ultimately be as it hits the Gulf Coast and how damaging its torrential rains will be in the days following landfall as the jet stream sweeps its waterlogged remnants over the Eastern U.S. from the Gulf states to the New England states.

The consideration of additional changes to the convention and even its possible cancellation is based upon worst case scenarios and it is the worst case scenario which plays a significant role in the predictions and public warnings issued regarding Isaac.  Hopefully the worst case scenario will not come to fruition.  But if it does, Republicans will be prepared to deal with it accordingly.   However, as the G.O.P. prepares for all the possible scenarios they know that no matter what, they will share the headlines with Hurricane Isaac.   That will ultimately have at least a minimal impact on the bounce that Republicans get out of their convention but it will not drastically alter the final outcome of the election.

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G.O.P. Unviels the Stage for Romney’s Nomination at the Republican National Convention

   Bookmark and Share   Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris today unveiled the final stage for the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  This stage is a first of its kind for political conventions that utilizes 13 LED Screens with high pixel counts that will collectively create a large-scale backdrop with video capabilities.

Chairman Priebus said,

“I am proud to present you a stage that is fitting of the historic event that will kick off right here just one week from today. Our convention will connect with people across America and around the world from right here on this stage – through speakers and these incredible screens behind me. On any given night almost 40 million people will be joining us through television but we are also making an unprecedented effort to connect with millions more through our ‘convention without walls’ – a pioneering digital program focused on engaging people, building a strong community and amplifying convention messages.

“I am excited. The convention team is excited. Our party is excited, and America is excited. We are excited because we are ready for a new direction in our country. This isn’t just an election we have coming up. Nominating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan here in Tampa at the 2012 Republican National Convention is the first step we are taking toward a better future for generations of Americans.”

Republican National Convention CEO William Harris said, “The stage is really incredible. We are using technology and digital capabilities that have never been used at a convention before. The high-tech stage brings this event to a whole new level and it will help people at home watching TV or watching us through YouTube online to be a part of the energizing experience here in Tampa.”

“A Better Future” Stage/Podium Facts & Figures

  • Approximately 318 production staff and crew built the podium totaling more than 30,000 man hours, 20,000 man-hours from the local production crew alone.
  • Some on the crew worked 16-hour days, and the main staff will work around the clock during convention
  • The team comes from 22 states.
  • The base crew began planning 1.5 years ago.
  • Set pieces are not made from disposable material like normal rock concertsthis set has all the highest quality material, incorporating the most advanced safety precautions.
  • Some set elements are so heavy that they had to be rigged from the ceiling to barely touch the rest of the set to keep the weight from crushing the podium.

PODIUM SCREENS

  • The Republican Convention is showcasing XL Video’s newest Pixled F-6 LED panels on world stage for the first time.
  • There are almost NINE MILLION total pixels in the screens and arena ribbons.
  • Screens are the backbone of the set. There are 15 LED screens total, 13 of which are on the stage. Screens are stacked in the space to create sense of depth.
  • They can form an unbroken panoramic image or be used individually to crate a collage effect.
  • The podium has a total of 2,402 square feet of LED screens, compared to standard 40’’ TV of 6.3 square feet.
  • The screens range in size from 8’6’’x 8’6’’ to 28’8’’x12’4’’. The largest screen is 381 square feet.
  • The stage/set uses three LED products:
  • Six center stage screens with 4 MM technology
  • Four screens with 6 MM technology
  • Canopy screens with 11 MM technology & Side screens with 11 MM technology
  • The set also includes live HD video feeds. The magnitude of this project required a 3-week installation
  • Screens are framed in 6’’ wood frames to keep screens from merging into one flat visual plane.
  • “Control Freak Systems” will be used to control the live HD video feed by combining TV truck feeds, cameras, video playback, graphics, social media streams onto screens. This includes 36 channels of HD Playback.

PODIUM DESIGN

  • The podium was designed with sense of “America’s Living Room.”
  • The design is based on a warm but modern approachtraditional American Prairie style architecture merged with modern technology.
  • The challenge was making a large-scale set that was also warm and inviting.
  • There are three canopy screens above the stage to frame it and contribute to its sense of intimacy. Mullions (vertical elements that form a division between units of a window) give the screens a feeling of skylight windows.  Angled side screens reinforce the design and showcase happenings to box seat guests.
  • Open frames and horizontal beams create a sense of architecture and balanced composition.
  • There are four tones of wood on the podium proper to provide texture and balance:
  • Frames: cherry wood faces with mahogany bevels
  • Steps: warm mahogany and threads of lighter cherry
  • Banding around stage: walnut and mahogany
  • Center of deck: warm light cherry

PODIUM LIGHTING

  • A custom-built gigabit fiber optic system is used to distribute data from the control panel to the individual lights using 14.79 miles of cabling and approximately 25,662 pounds of lights the  approximate weight of a U.S. Navy jet-powered drone.
  • There are 950 total lights including 267 incandescent lights and 390 arc lights.
  • The lighting system uses a color-mixing technology that creates an impression of texture.
  • State of the art fixtures include varillite, 30k, 3500k, 3500 spots, 3500 washes, PRG Best Boys, and Clay Paky Alpha Spot 700’s which produce the most crisp, clear lights.
  • The crew focused all of this lighting in the Times Forum in just six hours.

PODIUM SOUND

The convention acoustically treated 100% of the Times Forum ceilingthese are permanent improvements that will remain in the Tampa Bay Times Forum and allow for high-volume concerts, helping to attract future entertainment, business, and energy to Tampa.

The sound system contains 1.36 MILLION watts of amplifier power – compared to 300 watts used in a standard home stereo.

Total light and sound cabling equals 20.39 miles.

Sound system is made of:

  1. 159 JBL Line Array Speakers
  2. 22 Stage Monitor Speakers
  3. 202 Media Speakers
  4. 6 Digital mixing consoles
  5. 12 wireless microphones
  6. 80 standard microphones
  7. 348 press audio outputs

RIGGING

Certified rope access teams were hired to climb high beams and rig points to the highest parts of the Times Forum.

  • They rigged a total of 2,500 feet of trussalmost half mile.
  • 250,000 lbs. of lighting, audio and video gear are now suspended from the building’s roof.
  • There are 275 chain motors (rigging points).
  • The Times Forum’s 1,000 lb. Lightening Tesla coil suspended from the ceiling had to be moved to load
  • any materials onto the catwalk.

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Associated Press Confirms Romney Will Pick Paul Ryan for Vice President

Bookmark and Share   The Associated Press has confirmed White House 2012’s previous post which reported that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will nominate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan for Vice President;

According to Associated Press;

“NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate.       

A Republican with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Romney has chosen Ryan. The Republican spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to disclose the decision.       

Romney was expected to introduce Ryan during a rally Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va.”       

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Romney To Annouce Paul Ryan as His Vice Presidential Running Mate at 9:00 AM in Virginia

Bookmark and Share  Although it has not been confirmed that Mitt Romney will nominate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan for Vice President, we do now know that he will be making his announcement at 9:00 am this morning in Norfolk, Virginia and that he will doing so on the USS Wisconsin.

The announcement will come at the start of a 4 day campaign bus tour through four battleground states.  The “Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class” bus tour was first scheduled weeks ago but the exact itinerary had not been released until now and in that itinerary may lie the answer to who Mitt Romney will be picking as his running mate.

According to the Romney campaign the first event will take place at  8:45 AM EDT on the USS Wisconsin, which is docked in Norfolk.  According to the schedule, Romney will be taking a tour of the USS Wisconsin.

However, scheduling a “tour” of the USS Wisconsin, fifteen minutes before you are suppose to announce your vice presidential nominee might seem odd, unless of course the person who your are nominating for Vice President happens to be a Congressman from Wisconsin, such as Congressman Paul Ryan who has been rumored to be a top contender for the job on Romney’s VP short list.

For a list of other potential Romney VP nominees visit White House 2012’s VP Contender Page.

The latest White House 2012 poll regarding who readers would like to see Mitt Romney pick as his running mate found Marco Rubio heading the list with 23% of the vote, followed by Condoleezza Rice with 20%, and Florida Congressman Allen West at 18.%.   In that same poll, Paul Ryan finished in sixth place with 7%, behind Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who received 8% .  See complete results of that poll below.

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Who Do You Want Mitt Romney to Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share As the race for President seems to have entered a perpetual state of boredom that is filled with a bumper sticker mentality of shallow stump speeches that offer little insight and a whole lot of repetitive pot shots and one liners, concerned voters find themselves left with but one last intriguing question —- who will Mitt Romney pick for Vice President?

Rob Portman

Aside from the actual election results, the question of who Romney will pick for Vice President is perhaps the only moment of suspense remaining in the campaign.  And as such, who he picks could actually make more of a difference than it has in most of the presidential elections in our recent past.  In fact, according to a CBS News/New York Times  poll released last Wednesday, 74 percent of registered voters said that a candidate’s running mate  matters “a lot” or “somewhat” to their vote,(26 percent  said that it matters a lot, while 48 percent said that it matters somewhat). At  the same time, 25 percent said that it doesn’t matter at all.  However; that sentiment is often expressed at this point in every presidential election, but by the time Election Day rolls around, it is a sentiment that is usually proven wrong.  Yet in the case of Mitt Romney and this extraordinarily polarized electorate, who he picks could make the difference between winning and losing.With swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin at stake, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan  could add the percentage or two to the election result in their respective states that is responsible for putting Republicans over the top in the Electoral College.But with figures like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or New Mexico’s Susana Martinez also on the list of possible contenders, the combination of their being women and being representative of different minority groups, has the potential to erode an important part of President Obama’s base vote just enough to make a small difference in a multitude of states that Romney is currently considered less competitive in.

Marco Rubio

What Romney is thinking is anyone’s guess though and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The only thing we know for certain right now is that some names are less likely to be selected than others.  Take Mitch Daniels for example.  He’s a highly successful and popular two term, conservative Governor of Indiana who I originally hoped would be our presidential nominee.  With his command of matters of the budget and fiscal conservatism in general, he would be a perfect running mate for Romney in a campaign that will be based on fiscal responsibility.  Daniels also has crossover appeal and would be a perfect balance for Mitt.  Unfortunately though, Mitch  has agreed to become the President of Perdue University at the end of his term in January.  So he’s out.  Unless of course that decision was thrown out to throw us off the track?

Paul Ryan

The there’s Chris Christie, or at least there was.  He has supposedly been given the honor of delivering the highly coveted keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  That essentially means he won’t be delivering an acceptance speech at the convention.  Unless of course the rumors about his being the keynoter were intentionally thrown out for public consumption to throw us off the track?Another very striking contender was Virginia’s popular conservative Governor, Bob McDonnell.  With his national star rising from Virginia, another key battleground state in this election, his presence on the ticket could deliver a state that is practically a must win for Republicans.  But McDonnell has been named chairman of the Republican platform committee, a job that brings with it the type of contentious floor fights and baggage that automatically scratches him off of any V.P. short list.So those are is at least one name you can take out of contention and two which you can stop taking bets on.  Maybe.

McMorris Rodgers

But that still leaves us with a mix of both likely and unlikely contenders who can potentially be nominated to join Romney on the G.O.P. ticket.  They range from names such Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire, to Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and from Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to Tennessee’s former U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson and a host of names in between such as Florida’s Allen West and Jeb Bush, or South Dakota’s John Thune and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.  In one scenario, even a Blue Dog Democrat, North Carolina’s Heath Shuler has been floated as a game changing decision for Romney. Polls about who most Republicans want Romney to pick vary based on the audiences that frequent those platforms offering such polls.  For instance, the conservative site Town Hall is probably seeing it’s far right readers choose dark horse contender Allen West, while other more libertarian geared sites might find that Rand Paul is the choice that it’s audience most wants to see selected by Romney.But when it comes to less partisan entities that happen to do professional polling and are therefore far more accurate at polling than those who conduct online opinion surveys , there is one name that keeps emerging as the favorite among voters —– Condoleezza Rice.

John Thune

A Rasmussen Reports poll that was conducted between July 15-16, found  that 65% of likely U.S. voters share at least a somewhat favorable view of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while just 24% view her unfavorably. Those results included 29% who have a Very Favorable opinion of Condi Rice and 6% who had a Very Unfavorable opinion of her. Twelve 12% were undecided in the poll.  (To see survey question wording, click here).  Other professional polling surveys have had similar results and for good reason.Condoleezza Rice is regarded as a very respectable, likeable, admirable leader.  She is also viewed by most voters as someone who is guided more by personal conviction and ideology than Party and partisan politics.  Such a persona could do nothing but help the G.O.P.  and hurt Democrats.  This is especially the case when you consider the fact that as both an African-American and a woman, Condi Rice does have the potential to make significant inroads into a base vote that President Obama needs to keep in his column and that Mitt Romney desperately needs to peel off and bring his way.  Furthermore; Condoleezza Rice can help Romney with the all important independent vote that will essentially determine who wins in November.Whether Romney agrees with that assessment or not is anyone’s guess but I will state this.  If he doesn’t agree with that opinion, he’s a dope.

Condoleezza Rice

While I like many of the potential candidates for Vice President, I believe that Condoleezza Rice is the one person  who can bring everything that Romney needs to the ticket.  And I mean everything.  Not only does she cover the electoral aesthetics of being a women and being African-American, her presence on the ticket adds a degree of historic value that can benefit Republicans much the same way it benefitted Democrats in 2012.  Add Rice’s ability to articulate conservatism and the traditional American values of independence, freedom, personal responsibility better than practically anyone else other than Allen West and what you have is a running mate who is an electoral goldmine.But it’s not just the electoral politics that makes Rice such a good choice for Romney.  It is her ability to be a great President that makes her not just a good choice, but also a potentially good President.  And afterall, is that not what a Vice President is suppose to be? Few politicians have the experience and knowhow that Condoleezza Rice has and few Vice Presidents would be more immediately prepared to assume the office of President at a moments notice as she.Still, there are three things that stand in the way of a Romney-Rice ticket.

One is the fact that Rice herself has not seen fit to show any interest in the job.  Yet despite the lack of interest, her recent penning of an inspiring editorial in the Financial Times raises some question as to exactly how disinterested the former Secretary of State is in getting her country back on track.  Problem number two is Rice’s stance on abortion.  Rice does not support banning abortion.  She does however strongly support placing many restrictions on how its practice.  While that position may be tolerated by some on the right, it will not be acceptable by others, especially those who are already doubtful about Mitt Romney’s own committment to the right-to-life cause.

Lastly is the political fear factor that Romney and his consultants may have regarding Condoleezza Rice’s ties to the Bush Administration.  They may fear that teaming Rice with Romney will provide Team Obama with an unintended campaign theme that links Romney to the not so popular former President.   While such political fears are worthy of considering, political reality should lead Romney to realize that Condoleezza Rice brings far more positives to the ticket than negatives.  And Team Romney should also realize that if the Obama campaign wants to revisit Condoleezza Rice’s record, they will be entering in to a very dangerous zone.  Rice will be able to defend her record and the Bush record better than anyone else and she will also be able to remind the American electorate that it is President Obama who essentially carried out her policies in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he and his Vice President ran against those policies in 2008.

All things considered, I believe Condoleezza Rice would be the best choice for Romney and while I would certainly be gleeful over the selection of someone like Marco Rubio or even the man whom I believe Romney will ultimately choose, South Dakota Senator John Thune, I can’t help but believe that only Condoleezza Rice can provide the momentum, gravitas, and appeal that Romney will really need if he wants to win the independents, and undecideds who will decide who the next President is.

What do you think?  Cast your vote for Vice President here.

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A Romney Pick for Vice President That Would Change the Dynamics of the Entire Election

  Bookmark and Share  There are many good choices that Mitt Romney can make in picking a partner to lead our nation with.  But there is one strategic line of thinking that could lead Romney to a pick that would be so game changing that it will turn the 2012 presidential election in to an entirely different race than it it now is.

It is an option that does not seek to win by playing on the politics of ethnicity or gender. It does not seek to play on geographical politics or the assurance of winning any one particular state. It seeks to cross the divisions of sex, color, religion, class, geography and even the lines of political Party. It is a strategy that ignores the desire to pander to women on the basis of sex or Hispanics on the basis of ethnicity. It is a strategy that, if it focuses on anyone, it focuses on the small percentage of  independent voters in the handful of battleground states that will determine who will be elected President in November.

It is strategy that would shock the political world, put Republicans in control of the headlines and in charge of the political agenda that dominates the remaining weeks of the presidential campaign, and it is an option that seeks to do all that President Obama promised but failed to deliver………unite us instead of divide us.

It is a strategy that begins with Mitt Romney allowing all the speculation over who he will nominate to continue consuming the news cycles until the second day of the Republican National Convention. By allowing the buzz over who Romney will pick  to remain a hot topic, and even manipulating the media by allowing some certain names to leak out every few days, Team Romney is assuring that Team Obama will have to share any of their own campaign’s distractions and distortions about Romney with each media outlet’s desire to make sure that they are in the forefront of covering the biggest news of the election to date…….. who Mitt Romney’s running mate will be. Holding off on announcing who the nominee will be also insures a greater national focus on the Republican National Convention, an event that is so scripted that it is spells suspense “P-L-A-N-N-E-D”.

Allow there to be some suspense. Give the news all the help it needs to generate ratings for their stations by forcing them to use the suspense over Romney’s vice presidential pick by covering the convention from gavel to gavel.

Then on the evening of Monday, August 28th, the first night of the Republican National Convention, Team Romney announces that on Tuesday, afternoon, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, will be holding a rally outside of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the Democratic National Convention which will be held the following week.

This will immediately lead to an unfettered frenzy of speculation over Romney’s announcement of his vice presidential nominee and while this fevered pitch over who the nominee will be, provides the backdrop for the events and speeches at the first night of the Republicans national nominating convention, allow each speaker who comes before the national primetime audience to stress two things—- national unity and the united resolve to address the worst economy since the Great Depression, and to do so as one people, the American people, a people who have always valued a life of independence over a life of dependence.

With the stage now set, on Tuesday afternoon of August 28th, amid thousands of Republican activists who have been  rapidly mobilized  by the RNC and by local and state Republican organizations throughout the Carolina’s and neighboring states, an array of distinguished speakers begins to address the large audience in attendance and the even larger national audiences witnessing the event on every channel and internet stream available to them. Let each speaker fire up the audience with remarks about everything from the need for a President who unites us rather than divide us, to the need for an end to an Administration that is hell-bent on waging class warfare and a war on capitalism.

The long list of speakers at this rally would have two purposes.  In addition to preparing the crowd for Romney and to help set the tone for his announcement, it will help to throw the media off the scent. Have people like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Congressman Allen West there. Have Tim Pawleny, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio , South Dakota Senator John Thune, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman all there. Have New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayote and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal there. Even have Sarah Palin there to address the people and make it impossible for the media to determine who the nominee is based upon which one of them is jopining Romney at this announcement.  Let each of these fine people promote the Republican cause and most of all, make it impossible for the media to scoop Mitt Romney’s ability to capitalize on the shock value of his announcement.

Then comes the moment of truth. Marco Rubio steps up to the mic and after hammering home the theme of a nation tackling our problems together as one people, he introduces “the next President of the United States…. Mitt Romney.”

To the roar of the crowd, with a sea of signs and American Flags waving, Romney steps out on to the stage, hand in hand with his wife Ann, and the rest of his family behind him.

Romney thanks everyone for coming together on such short notice. He hits upon the theme of his campaign, one of which is that we the people are in this together and that the only way out of the depths of our dreary economy will not be found by splintering ourselves by sex, orientation, faith, color, or class and how we certainly can’t find economic recovery by dividing ourselves along Party lines. And in his own words Mitt Romney says the following;

“Today, America will take a step towards ending the traditional partisan political paradigm that has divided us. Today I propose that we bridge the political divide by demonstrating a willingness to solve our American problems with American solutions. Not partisan solutions that are based on foreign political ideologies.  But it is important to understand something. It is important to understand the difference between Party and ideology. Ideology is a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or program.  Political parties on the other hand, are typically motivated more by the desire to seek to influence government policy by consolidating power for themselves.   And in that search for power, we often see the issues and even ideology, take a back seat to each parties desire to dominate the process. 

But what if we the people, took the partisan power trip out of the equation?  What if our nation focussed on chosing an ideology instead of just one Party?  Today I come before you in an attempt to lead us based on ideology not Party. My ideology, the conservative ideology, seeks to retain traditional institutions and supports the most minimal influence and control of society through government.

This ideology is a basic philosophy that comes to us from the founding principles of our great nation. And these founding principles transcend Party lines. They lie at the heart of my vision for America, a vision quite different than that of our current President.

While our current President seeks to increase the size and scope of government, I seek to lead an America of less government, less taxation, less spending, and more freedom.  And that goal is not limited to me. It is the goal of millions of Americans. Including Democrats.

Democrats, like Republicans, have all suffered from the failures of the current Administration. Democrats, like Republicans, have suffered from the longest period of sustained high unemployment in history. Thanks to the liberal tax and spend ideology, like Republicans, Democrats have been forced to endure the weight of our national debt becoming so burdensome that it is now a national security issue. Democrats and Republicans are having to face the fact that for the first time in history, we are about to leave our children with a nation that is worse than off than it was for the generation before them.

That is why millions of Democrats are just as unhappy with the way our nation is going, as Republicans are.  That is why we are in this together. It is why I know the only way out of this is to work with all Americans. Instead of making the wealthy the enemy of the poor, we need to strengthen the system that built this country so that it can continue creating wealth and opportunity for all.  It is why instead of limiting our potential by focussing on consolidating partisan political power, I choose to work with Democrats and Republicans alike.

For too long we have seen both Republican Presidents and Democrat Presidents fail to reduce our debt.  For too long we have seen a government divided by Party, fail to unite the people behind the solutions that we need.  Today, I seek to unite us all by uniting the parties behind a vision for America, a vision that is shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.

I choose to break us out of  the boundaries of partisan politics that restrict us and limit us by focussing not on Party, but on the endless opportunities that the conservative ideology which founded this nation can provide for all Americans.  And I choose to lead by example. That is why today I am proud to keep my promise to you. I promised to pick a running mate who is conservative. And today I proudly deliver on that promise by nominating a conservative…… a conservative Democrat……….. North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler“.

Now back to reality.

Shuler,  a former first-round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft, who was taken by the Washington Redskins and  later played for the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders, is a competent campaigner and powerful speaker and while picking him to be Vice President is probably not in the cards for Mitt Romney, it is a choice that is well worth exploring.

The selection of a conservative Democrat as Romney’s running mate would be a game changing choice that upends every potential angle to the 2012 presidential that has been discussed to date. While much of the focus has been on Romney nominating a running mate who can fire up Republicans or increase his support among some key voting blocs such as women or Hispanics, by picking a conservative Democrat as his running mate, Romney will be focussing on the one group of voters that encompasses not only women, or Hispanics, but people of both sexes, all ethnicities, all religions, all states, and all colors……. independents. These voters are more important than any other single voting bloc. They are the only voters who reamin unpolarized and who will ultimately determine the winner of every battleground state that Obama and Romney will endlessly court. They are the voters who will determine who is elected President in November.

By picking a conservative Democrat, Romney will take control of the political agenda, capture the imaginations of voters, especially independent voters, and change the dynamics of the entire election.

The move would help breakthrough the polarization that has locked Republicans out of contention in many states that are now consideredd to be solidly in President Obama’s column.

It will also put President Obama on the defense.

In 2008 President Obama promised to be a uniter.  Yet in the years since then, we have seen him do nothing but divide us.  He has claimed Republicans are waging a war against women.  He has told the poor that we must target the rich.  He has essentially belittled entrepeneurs and claimed that government control is more valuable to the American people than American entrepreneurship.  And if this them versus us strategy of divide and conquer isn’t enough to demonstrate that he is anything but a uniter, since taking office, President Obama’s legislative agenda has been nothing but a display of totalitariansim and partisan politics. In addition to his unilateral appointment of an endless array of unelected and unnaccountable czars designed to circumvent Congress and the voters, President Obama has led by dicatating executive order s and the by getting legislation passed through entirely partisan deal making that were conducted behind closed doors.

By nominating a Democrat, a conservative Democrat, Romney will be able to exploit that record to the fullest.

Independent voters who consistently claim that the answer to our problems is having Democrats and Republicans work together will begin to at least find hope in Romney’s attempt to finally make that solution possible.

Picking Heath Shuler will not suddenly make liberals vote for Mitt Romney.  Indeed most Democrats won’t cross lines to cast their ballot for a Romney-Shuler ticket.  But given the extraordinary political polarization that we are experiencing at this juncture in our political history, nothing will make that happen.  However; by picking a Democrat as his running mate, Romney will help  to reverse the troubling polarizing that we are experiencing in this election cycle.  And by picking Shuler, Romney  will appeal to at least some Democrats, including those in his native state of North Carolina, a state Democrats are hoping to win but are quickly losing that hope in.  He will also be able to appeal to Democrats elsewhere and he can do so with far more success than President Obama and Vice President Biden would have if they were to campaign among Republicans.

Heath Shuler can campaign for the Republican ticket in blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and attract more Democrats to the Republican ticket than Obama and Biden would be able to among Republicans in redder states such as Indiana, Virginia,.  And in swing states like Ohio, and Florida, the appeal of Heath Shuler among Democrat voters could make the difference between winning and losing the election.

But how would Republicans take to the idea of Mitt Romney, a candidate whose conservative credentials they already call in to question, picking a Democrat, even a so-called Blue Dog, conservative Democrat?

Not very well and therein lies the downside to this strategy.

Many conservatives will initially feel betrayed.  They will claim that Romney can’t be trusted and that he is selling conservatives out.  However, by the time Heath Shuler accepts the nomination, thanks to the magic of politics, the power of symbolism, and the increased prospect of victory, many of those minds will be changed.

Shuler who is not running for reelection to his seat in Congress, has voted against Obama’s additional $825 billion economic recovery package.  He voted “No” on  on the 2008 $15 billion dollar bailout for GM and Chrysler and has supported Truth in Spending legislation that would force the government to show real costs vs. planned costs.  On the issue of abortion, Shuler is a staunchly opposes the practice and opposes any and all federal funding of the practice.   Such fine points may not prove that Shuler is as conservative as a Jim DeMint or a Rick Santorum.  But a look at the record shows that Shuler is certainly not a traditional Democrat and he is certainly not a liberal.  Shuler’s histroy also demonstrates that he has even been willing to stand up to his own Party and defy its liberal inclinations.  In 2010, after Democrats were brutally rejected and found themselves in the minority in the House of Representatives, Heath Shuler stood up for conservatism within the Democrat Party, and took it upon himself to challenge the liberal leadership of Nancy Pelosi by opposing her for House Minority Leader.  That in and of itself is a powerful image to use among conservatives.

Still, the truth is that promoting Shuler as a conservative based on the entirety of his record, especially in the area of taxes and the environment, will be a tough sell.  But not  an impossible one.

The question is, would the conservative base be willing to concede the need for political compromise on their presidential ticket in order to achieve a conservative victory?

Picking Shuler would be a big gamble for Romney.  It would force Romney to risk the support of the Republican base which remains leery of him and which he can’t afford to lose.  But polls currently show that Romney is consolidating that base behind him.  That consolidation of support may have more to do with a growing disapproval of President Obama among conservatives than out of a love for Romney  among conservatives.  However,  if  President Obama continues to demonstrate that his vision for America is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles, and Romney can hammer that point home along with the fact that President Obama’s policies have failed us, Romney will have wiggle room and picking Shuler will provide Romney with a perfect opportunity to move this election away from the proformer Democrat versus Republican paradigm and turn it into a referendum on two different ideologies and visions for America.   It would be a bold move that leave  a partisan President Obama defending his divisive tactics, party politics, failed record and tax and spend vision, against that of a bipartisan ticket united behind a vision of less spending, less government, and more independence.

Will Heath Shuler be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney?  Most likely not.  But it is an option worth exploring.

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