FRC Says No Rice Please

In their Monday email, the Family Research Council rained on the Condoleeza Rice parade.  Describing her as a “non-starter”, Tony Perkins said that she is not pro-life, pro-marriage or a strong defender of religious liberty.  Perkins also noted that the Family Research Council would only accept a candidate who was strongly pro-life, not just someone who “checks the ‘pro-life box'”.

Will FRC stop promoting Mitt Romney if he chooses Condoleeza Rice as his VP?  No.  They supported Bush even though Cheney supported gay marriage.  But now is the time to use their leverage as a group representing a large segment of fundamental Christianity and steer Romney towards a more socially conservative choice.

Condi is a great and extremely qualified candidate.  But Romney should carefully consider the promises he has made regarding his VP selection process.  If he is looking to shake the Etch-a-sketch image one of his staffers foolishly gave him, than now is a perfect time to take a principled stand.  On the other hand, Romney may do the calculations and figure he will pick up more independents with Condi than he would lose from his base.

A Dog Eat Dog Campaign

By now, no doubt, you have heard how Mitt Romney is a cruel animal hater who put his dog in a kennel on the roof of their station wagon for a family trip in 1983.  The story has been running since 2007 and has been ramped up in recent weeks by comedians and animal rights groups.  Apparently, “dogs are not luggage” T-shirts are all the rage.

What we did not know until recently is that while Romney has questionable ways of transporting his K-9 friends, Obama apparently has better taste when it comes to dogs.  Literally.

I’ll be honest, at first glance at the various headlines, I thought the story was that Obama ate dog food as a kid.  After all, growing up in private school and a half a million dollar Hawaiian house and eventually going to Harvard can make someone very poor.  And then you have those pesky Republicans out there who seem bent on making people eat dog food by subjecting them to abject poverty.

But no, it turns out Obama actually ate dog.  Not so much as a result of poverty, but more as a traditional food served by his stepfather.  Big deal.  Seriously.  Yes, there will be plenty of jokes and puns, but the only people who should be concerned are the crazy dog lovers who think dogs are equal to people, Muslims and Jews whose laws forbid dog eating, and our friends at PETA.  As of this point, I haven’t heard if PETA has made a statement about Obama’s childhood pet’s unseemly demise.  Of course, obviously it’s not fair to call those dogs family pets, but after all this is politics.  Since when did fairness have anything to do with it.

Once you get over the shock of the “Man Puts Dog On Car Roof” headline and think about things like conditions in any dog humane society where they are kenneled the majority of each day, putting dogs in kennels in Airplane luggage holds, and some of the other things people subject their poor pets to in order to get them where they are going, what Romney did doesn’t seem so bad.  In fact, my wife still tells the stories of when they would put their family dog in a duffel bag in order to sneak her into “No Pets Allowed” hotels on family vacations.

People muzzle dogs, attack electric shock collars to their necks, etc.  Haven’t you heard of choke-chains?  In the grand scheme of things, rigging up a station wagon roof kennel with a wind shield for a family vacation should endear Romney to crazy, inventive US dads across the country.  Eating dogs probably won’t help Obama relate any better to the average American.  At least not any better than pictures of him riding in the back of his limousine with his dog.

Romney Taking Heat Over Position on Auto-Bailout in Michigan

Throughout the media Mitt Romney has taken heat for his position on the auto-industry bailouts.  Voters are noticing, too, as recent polls show that Santorum has taken the lead in the state.  It comes at a particularly bad time as the Michigan primary is just weeks away.

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in the Detroit News criticizing the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers.  In it, he stands by his position at the time of letting the companies go through a managed bankruptcy, which was eventually done by Obama, and touts his Michigan roots as the son of former American Motor Company and Michigan Governor George Romney.  Romney goes on to blast Obama, calling the bailout and subsequent caving to union demands “crony capitalism on a grand scale”. Continue reading

The Myth of the Obama Recovery

Depending on how you read the jobs report, you might think we are well on our way to economic recovery.  At least if you read the headlines.  Well, we should be.  In three short years, this President has increased the debt more than any President in the history of our country combined.

What do we have to show for it?

Think about it.  Think of all that we have accomplished with the last $6.3 trillion in debt.  We won two world wars, at various times brought unemployment down to 4.4% (most recently under the economic policies that supposedly got us into this mess), fought five other major wars, four major undeclared conflicts, and assisted in several other wars, gave hundreds of billions back in tax cuts, sent a man to the moon, maintained a shuttle program, bought over half the land in the country, rebuilt after a civil war, implemented civil rights, built socialistic retirement, healthcare and welfare systems, helped produce 5% and higher GDP growth, built every crumbling and non crumbling bridge in the United States today, and created a massive bureaucratic infrastructure covering roads, education, homeland security, and our entire regulatory system.

So what has Obama done with $6.5 trillion in debt?  He has brought 5.7% unemployment down to 8.3%.  Oops, I meant up to 10% and then down to 8.3%.  We have managed to get GDP just over 2% for a fleeting couple quarters.  We did continue two major conflicts which accounts for almost a trillion of Obama’s $6.5 trillion in debt.  But he didn’t do anything to stop the conflicts, and in fact started another one in Libya.

A lot of that money went in to funding failed green energy projects, such as Solyndra, which were owned by Obama’s supporters.  A lot of money went towards bailing out Wall Street and making the United States a shareholder in failed companies like Citigroup, GM and Chrysler.

One of Obama’s large debt contributions was in the form of extended unemployment benefits to make the victims of his economic policies comfortable enough to not complain.  This year when he runs on a platform of how he cut taxes, be assured that no member of the media will ask him about the taxes he has forced states to collect to fund their own broke unemployment compensation funds, and pay interest on federal loans of unemployment funds, all of which has been passed on to business owners of every size.

The amazing thing is that in his term so far, Obama has spent the equivalent of more than one full year of United States private sector GDP.  Nearly half of that has been in the form of debt.  Stop and think about that for a minute.  And yet, with more debt than every other President combined, Obama is ecstatic with an 8.3% unemployment rate?  There is something seriously wrong with this.

But it gets worse.  There is unemployment and real unemployment.  What’s the difference?  The 8.3% represents only people who are still looking for a job.  If you counted the same number of people who were looking for a job in 2007, the unemployment rate would be at 10.3% and that hasn’t changed  since 2009.

Ezra Klein at the Washington Post notes this disturbing trend which seems to show little variance in the unemployment rate when you consider people who have stopped working.  That means that with $6.5 trillion in new debt, more than all other Presidents combined, Obama hasn’t managed to increase job growth, he has just managed to increase the number of discouraged workers who are willing to settle for his extended unemployment welfare program.

In fact, although Obama will be running on the myth of jobs saved and created, in actuality there are 2.4 million fewer people working today than there were when Obama signed the stimulus in 2009. The number of people who have jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is down to 139 million from 141 million in 2009.

For those keeping score, it was 127 million in 2001.  Do the math.

White House 2012′s Morning Memo: Tuesday’s Election News Briefing for 11/21/11

Bookmark and Share  This brings us a campaign trail filled with everything from Newt’s call to privatize retirement accounts (Social Security), to this past Saturday’s Thanksgiving Family Forum, Mitt’s unfavorability ratings on the rise, Ron Paul still blaming America first, and Rick Santorum addressing the expected failure of the Supercomittee.  And of course more.
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Is President Obama “Nervous”?

Bookmark and Share  I was preparing to write a brief post on how President Obama and his strategists have seemed to resolve themselves to running against Mitt Romney in the general election.  And then the Romney campaign released the following online ad;

The ad does demonstrate that Team Obama certainly does seem to have Romney on their mind.  So much so that you can make the argument that they have been preoccupied with Romney.  But such preoccupation with Romney could be premature.  While Mitt is looking more and more like the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, it is far from definite yet.  And it is not like the Administration has not been wrong about this before.

Four years ago, Obama’s closest advisors deemed Utah Governor Jon Huntsman to be the Republican who could give him the most trouble in 2012.  That is one reason why they appointed him Ambassador to China.  They had hoped that his active participation in his Administration’s first term  would prevent him from challenging the President for a second term.

Well that didn’t work.

As we know,  Huntsman resigned midway through the President’s first term and is now running for President.  But contrary to the original thinking of the White House, Huntsman is far from becoming the greatest threat to Obama’s reelection that Republicans  can produce.

That said, it is still worth it for Romney to highlight the fact that it seems as though President Obama “is nervous” about running against Romney.  At some point, the electability argument will begin to carry more weight than it does right now.  For that reason, it is to Romney’s advantage to create impression of being the Republican with the best chance to defeat the President.  Even if hardcore conservatives are unwilling to be swayed by the “electability” angle at the moment, it will eventually have an impact on some of them and even a subtle, subliminal impression of electability, will help Romney in tight primaries and caucuses.

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Is It Too Late?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my Party for another term as your President.”

Bookmark and Share    Last week White House 2012 asked readers if they believed  that there was a Democrat who could challenge President Obama and snatch the his party’s nomination away from him. In that poll, 49.15% of respondents indicated that they believed Hillary Clinton could do that while 25.42% feel that no one can take the nomination away from him at this point. That was followed by other names that readers felt could beat the President which included 8.47% for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, 5.08% for former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, 1.69% for Howard Dean, and 10.17% who believe that other Democrats could take the Democratic nomination away from President Obama.

At the moment, the President is so vulnerable that even the most optimistic of liberals must be having doubts about President Obama’s reelection chances. In many ways it does seem that his prospects for reelection are dimming each day. With increasing bad economic indicators, high unemployment numbers, low consumer confidence, and nothing to show for his effort except for a national debt that he brought up to crisis levels, no one is willing to suggest that Barack Obama is the person best suited to lead America in the right direction for the next four years. This is reflected by numerous national polls which demonstrate that President Obama is now at the lowest approval ratings that he has ever seen. On Monday Rasmussen reported that the President is approved by only 22% of those voters who are currently not yet committed to him or any particular Republican candidate who is running for President.

With the writing on the wall, President Obama has even realized that he must really work some magic to turn both the economy and his approval around. Yet his latest attempt failed to pull any rabbits out of the hat and was nothing more than a regurgitated version of his previous stimulus packages which only achieved the first ever downgrading of our national credit rating. After his big roll out of this plan before a special, nationally televised, speech to a joint session of Congress, most people simply yawned and asked themselves……. “didn’t we hear him say this before?” And now that President Obama has fired his big guns with his new jobs bill, it would seem that he has nothing left in his arsenal.

Oh sure the President can continue to position himself through an attempt to wage class warfare. And he can try to position himself in a way that will allow Republicans can be blamed for the economy because of their lack of support for his jobs plan. But such maneuvering still won’t help him. At some point people see through the posturing and at some point they will not deny where the buck stops and why it is not making its way in to their pockets.

That is why there are some who are beginning to wish that President Obama would decline the nomination to a second term.

This suggestion recently appeared in of all of places, The Chicago Tribune, one of President Obama’s hometown newspapers. In 2008, Barack Obama was the first Democrat that the paper endorsed in its 161-year history. Yet in the particular article, columnist Steve Chapman wrote;

“Obama might do his party a big favor. In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket.”

Chapman who supported Obama also noted the following;

“Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, “it’s going to be impossible for the president to win.” Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: “Panic.”

Then there was a Monday morning article that appeared in the Washington Times which had the headline Liberals Vow to Challenge Obama in Democratic Primaries. According to that piece, so-called progressive leaders and more than 45 liberal leaders (both terms mean Democrats) want to recruit six candidates to challenge President Obama for the nomination in order to give a greater voice to liberal positions on everything from the military to poverty.

So it would seem that no one is really pleased with Barack Obama. His base feels he has not gone far enough, his opponents believe he has gone to far and those who are in the middle just don’t approve him of anything that he’s done. Such a situation does make it look as if Democrats would be better off running someone other Barack Obama in 2012. With him at the top of the ticket, not only do Democrats improve their chances of losing the White House, they will find themselves likely to lose control of the Senate and unlikely to gain any ground towards retaking control of the House. This would be a trifecta for Republicans that would set liberals back for a decade or more and spark the type of talk about the Democrat Party that Democrats themselves brought up regarding Republicans in 2008. After taking control of all three federal legislative branches, many on the left claimed that the G.O.P. was going the way of the Whigs.

Such setbacks could leave an incredibly negative legacy that will truly damage the  progressive, liberal Democrat agenda.  For that reason, the question of stepping down has to be at least considered. When President Lyndon B. Johnson saw his base divided and his popularity pummetting, not only considered not seeking reelection in 1968, he took advantage of not running.

While history still questions exactly al the reasons why Johnson decided not to run for reelection, it is clear that he was not entering the ‘68 campaign in a position that would have allowed him to win any popularity contests. He was even receiving a significant challenge from liberal Eugene McCarthy. Although Johnson did not actively campaign against McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, McCarthy still embarrassed Johnson by coming within 7 percentage points of defeating the incumbent President. But by that point in 1968, it was too late for Democrats to turn their electoral fate around, regardless of who they ran at the top of their ticket.  By November, not only did Democrats lose the White House, they lost seats in the Senate and the House. From the look of things now, President Obama will be costing Democrats far more seats  in 2012 than they lost in ‘68. And to make matters worse, the losses will be so severe that the G.O.P. will be able to repeal the President’s single self described, greatest accomplishment….. socialized healthcare.

No matter how you look at it, President Obama is doing no one any good. He is not helping his own Party and more importantly, he is not helping America. Which is why WorldNetDaily columnist Joseph Farah offered his own unique strategy. Farah suggests that Sarah Palin challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. He writes that “the idea would be for Palin to win the Democratic nomination with mostly Republican and independent votes.”

By getting Republicans and Independents to change their Party affiliations so that they can vote in Democratic primaries and caucuses, Farah believes Palin could beat Obama or at the very least, cause him to spend some of his ample war chest before the general election. According to Farah,

“Personally, I believe most Americans would lose interest in the Republican contest and focus their political money, time and energy on the Palin-Obama race.” He adds, “I think it’s a sure-fire recipe for saving America by making sure Obama is not even a viable option in the general election. He might be forced to run as a third-party candidate, a write-in or not at all! “

While Joseph Farah’s Rush Limbaugh-like 2008 launch of Operation Chaos which compelled Republicans to vote for Clinton over Obama in the Democratic primaries, such a scheme for Palin is unlikely to work. But Democrats should be able to turn to someone other than Sarah Palin to save them. Right now President Obama is a rudderless ship steering the United States into the thick ice. Republicans are more than willing to change the course before the hull of our ship of state is pierced and the water starts filling in. And right now most voters agree with the need to change course. The only people who do not believe so are the diehard Democrats. Unless one of them is willing to admit that the ice is straight ahead and the wayward Captain must be removed from the helm, the American voter will be forced to do so in an electoral mutiny that will throw many Democrats overboard come Election Day 2012.

Of course there is always the chance that Republicans can simply blow their chance to prove themselves. They could get off topic and begin to make Barack Obama look like the rational candidate running. But the G.O.P. will have to really screw things up to do that. Still I do not past it past the ability of the Republican political establishment to shoot it self in the foot, However; is hoping that the other guy screws up more than you really a good strategy? It’s time for us to stop the hoping that President Obama wants us to keep doing and it’s time that someone start the doing that we need. Since 2008, Americans have moved far beyond hoping for change and are now demanding big changes. Whoever can prove that they will provide real change in 2012, will win. For Democrats, the best way to show that they are the the agents of change is to change the top of their ticket.  But we all know that  four more years of the same we’ve seen is not the kind of change that anyone is hoping for.

Until and unless a Democrat is willing to come forward and say “I must save the Party and the nation from Barack Obama”, only President Obama can spare us from any more of his failures. And while many may view the chances of President Obama declining a run for a second term as thin to none, they should remember that few anticipated Lyndon Johnson’s announcement that he would refuse the Party’s nomination for President in 1968.

Back then President Johnson, was delivering a speech regarding the war that was raging on in Vietnam. But at the very end, he shocked the nation with the following words;

“Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.

With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.”

 Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my Party for another term as your President.”

Given the seriousness of our national debt and budget problems, problems which our own Secretary of Defense defined as a national security issue, is it that hard to see President Obama do the same as Johnson? Can any one not see President Obama say the following after delivering another speech about the economy?;

“I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that preventing us from making the hard decisions that are required to reduce our debt and get our economy back on track.

With America’s working force sidelined, with America’s future being challenged right here at home and abroad, with our hopes and the children’s hopes for propsperity in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.

 Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my Party for another term as your President.”

President Obama does not need to actually mean those words. He does not need to believe those words, but by saying them, he will give his Party a fighting chance in 2012 and as a lame duck President, he will create the opportunity for liberal leadership to come out of Congress,fill the void that he has created, and allow for a new voice to offer a viable liberal vision for his Party.

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Prosser Win Confirms Conservative Sentiments

Democrats in Wisconsin may want to think twice about continuing to pursue recall votes against Republican Senators who just saved their state by making some tough choices. In fact, Wisconsin is showing that despite major blowback, the country is ready for a party to step to the plate and make those tough choices.

Justice David Prosser

It seemed like Prosser would have an easy election after taking more than 50% of the vote in a non-partisan primary against pro-union, liberal Kloppenburg. But after unions within and outside of the state poured millions of dollars into Kloppenburg’s campaign, it seemed like the state-wide election for Wisconsin Supreme Court would be closer. In fact, union cabbies offered free rides for union voters to the polls. Wisconsin liberals were organized for America and the Prosser/Kloppenburg election became a referendum on Scott Walker.

In fact, a Kloppenburg victory would have swayed the state Supreme Court to a 4-3 Liberal court. Walker’s union busting, budget saving legislation would be a footnote in Wisconsin history.

Walker had made the tough conservative choices. The city was nearly shut down as union members were bused in from other states to crowd and trash the capitol. Democrat Senators fled the state to shut down the legislative process and kindergarten teachers were sending death threats to Republican Senators while staying home with fraudulent sick notes from liberal doctors. On the blogs and comment sections across the web, Democrats were thanking Scott Walker for 2012 on a silver platter, and I even saw one comment talking about how they would get their revenge on the “scabbers”. It felt like a choreographed fight scene from Newsies.

The lead in the Prosser/Kloppenburg election kept changing and kept everyone on the edge of their seats throughout the night, and with a lead of about 200 votes Democrats claimed victory the next day. A recount was possible, but it seemed as though the left was right. Going after public unions to cut a $3 billion state deficit would be the end of the Conservative tidal wave that swept the country in 2010. It was a dark night.

But the next day, we discovered that the AP vote total did not include all the votes. Prosser had actually won by a very comfortable 7,500 votes. If you want to know how significant the Prosser win is, just Google his name. You will find as many stories as you did about Iraq a couple months after the surge strategy started. When stories about successful Republican politicians or policies disappear from the mainstream media, you know they are significant.

This was a statewide election where the same Wisconsin voters who elected Scott Walker came out again and elected Justice David Prosser. Anyone who thinks 2010 was a fluke and that an Obama re-election is a forgone conclusion should look at the national union mob that was re-defeated in Wisconsin.

Americans are ready to cut spending and deal with the deficit.

Surprising Results in Evangelical Poll

The Barna Group is perhaps the most respected Christian Evangelical research group. That makes their recent poll findings particularly startling when it comes to who Christians might support in 2012.

Perhaps not the results you expected

In a poll of Catholic and Protestant Christians, the candidates with the highest negatives were Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. This is especially surprising considering the incredible support these two have put behind traditional family values.

Newt’s unfavorable ratings in the mid 40’s very likely relate to his nagging marital infidelity issues from 16 years ago. While most political bases find such things to be easily forgivable, the Christian base is not so forgiving nor will they defend Newt’s actions. This could make a Christian grass roots support base difficult to build.

Palin’s highest negatives are even more surprising. When it comes to Evangelical Christians, most pundits would consider Palin to have that category wrapped up going into this race. However, this poll is reminiscient of the Family Research Counsel’s straw poll that put Palin behind Romney, Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in a straw poll won by non-contender Mike Pence.

This is not a mainstream media poll and it was not reported by mainstream media. Perhaps the message to Sarah Palin coming from Christians is that whether they agree with her or not, they don’t want her to run. At any rate, without the Christian vote, she does not have a prayer.

Perhaps what I found most surprising was the favorable rating for Mitt Romney. I don’t think anyone was shocked to see Huckabee do well in a poll of Christians. Romney on the other hand struggled to get Evangelicals to vote for him in 2008 due to his liberal history and Mormonism.

My suspicion is that many Christians have resigned themselves to the possibility that they will not be voting for their favorite candidate in 2012, but instead will be voting for the best candidate who can defeat Barack Obama. When this poll is viewed in that light, it makes sense that front runner Mitt Romney would get high ratings; as would Huckabee who Christians love but acknowledge will likely not even run.

George Barna suggests that no matter who the Republican candidate in 2012 might be, they will be “bloody and half-poor” coming out of the primary.

 

 

What do you think? Are you a Christian or values voter? Leave a comment and tell us if you are planning on voting for the candidate who most represents your values, or a candidate who is not Barack Obama but can beat him.

Hung Out to Dry

If ever there was a time for conservatives to stand up for Sarah Palin, now would be it. Palin is certainly a front runner for the Presidency, even as a TEA Party outsider in the Republican Party. This makes her an easy target.

Oops, did I say target? The absolute ridiculousness with which the left has attempted to tie Jared Loughner to Sarah Palin should have every Republican up in arms. The ease with which Loughner’s actual political leanings and mental stability can be documented should add fuel to a conservative fire that overturns years of a subtle left-wing bias in the media. It should be pretty obvious right now which way the mainstream leans.

So why aren’t conservatives standing up for Palin? When given the chance to stand up for Palin and shred the media’s unjust attacks, Newt Gingrich stated that Palin is the one who needs to be more careful about what she says. Immediately left-wing bloggers seized on Gingrich’s words and reposted them with glee.

Shortly after the Tuscon shooting, left-wing loudmouth Keith Olbermann associated Loughner with Palin. Though he obviously put his foot in his mouth, speaking out of ignorance, mainstream Republicans did not respond. Finally Palin did.

The result? Palin was attacked by the left for responding. But she was also attacked by the right. Ross Douthat, supposedly a conservative New York Times columnist (yeah, I hear they found bigfoot and UFOs too), echoed the establishment complaint that Palin’s response was unpresidential. I wonder if anyone ever confronted Andrew Jackson, blood flowing from an open wound, gun still smoking, fresh from winning a duel (or losing as he did on one occasion) that he was acting unpresidential.

This one was a slam dunk. Loughner was a druggie, fed on 9/11 conspiracy theories and hatred of women in power. He didn’t listen to talk radio and certainly wouldn’t have followed the details of Palin’s TEA Party successes this past fall. Republicans had a chance to take on the the lies that were coming out and show the country exactly how the left had chosen to politicize the shooting. But they didn’t.

I have tried to reconcile the lack of conservative response. The person who came closest to defending Palin and the TEA Party movement was the President himself when he called on Americans not to blame each other or point fingers.

Most likely, mainstream potential candidates are trying to avoid putting themselves in a situation where they face the same grueling attacks that Palin has. Possibly, some establishment candidates may be secretly satisfied to see their stiffest competition for the 2012 primaries knocked out as a result of the media’s unnecessary roughness.

Dark Horse Potential?

From George Washington to Teddy Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, the US has a long tradition of the “war hero” President.  In most cases, this has been beneficial for the US.

So why not have a candidate who has stayed out of the political rancor of the last three elections, has a blank political slate, has served both President Bush and Obama, and has succeeded once already in a war that was pronounced unwinnable?  It should also help that he has a Masters of Public Administration and Ph.D. in International Relations from Princeton.

I am speaking about the highly decorated four star general, Gen. David Petraeus.  Even the Moveon.org attack ad in the New York Times from a few years ago has done nothing but bolster Gen. Petraeus’ popularity among most in America.  After the last few White House occupants, Petraeus seems to carry an air of honor and earned respect that seems almost unworthy of this highest post.

General David Petraeus

Gen. Petraeus is certainly qualified.  So why isn’t he showing up in any media chatter or straw polls?  Probably because among all the candidates who have claimed they have no interest in running, his claim sounds the most sincere.  When asked about it in a 2007 Foxnews interview, Petraeus offered what he called a “Shermanesque” response.  Sherman was the popular Civil War general, who when asked if he would run for office responded by saying “I will not accept if nominated, and I will not serve if elected”.

Was Petraeus simply participating in the time honored tradition of denying Presidential ambitions until the time is right?  I tend to feel that was sincere, but only time will tell.

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