Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

Suffolk Stops Polling Presidential Race in Fl, NC and VA. Says Romney Is Certain to Win All 3

 Bookmark and Share   Since 2002, the Suffolk University Political Research Center has conducted polls and survey analyses with a 96% record of accuracy in predicting outcomes in Massachusetts, key battleground states, and nationally.  As such, Suffolk is considered far more reliable than not. So it should come as a surprise to those who believe that Barack Obama will defeat Mitt Romney handily when a reliable polling outfit like Suffolk announces that it is so clear to them that Romney has locked up wins in three key battleground states so securely that they are discontinuing any future polling of the presidential election in those states.

Pollster David Paleologos, the Director of the Suffolk University Research Center recently declared to Bill O’Reilly on his Fox News show “The Factor”, that his organization will not be taking anymore polls of the presidential election in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.  According to Paleologos, a look at the existing polling data in those states indicates overwhelming evidence of the depth of Romney’s support in those states as compared to the president.  Paleologos adds, “we’ve colored those states red.” (See the video below)

This is an extraordinarily significant development in the race for President. Polling is a lucrative business and a decision such as the one Suffolk has made here would not have been made unless they were absolutely certain with of the results they now predict.  It signals the beginning of what White House 2012 has predicted to be Romney’s winning of the presidential election in the Electoral College by a much larger than margin than many believe possible.  Currently White House 2012 has Governor Romney defeating President Obama by 281 electoral votes to 257, but with with a stated expectation of soon putting New Hampshire and Nevada in Romney’s column, White House 2012 is sure that that Romney’s electoral vote count is on the rise.

If it is indeed true that Mitt Romney has a lock on Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, President Obama finds himself facing an election that is totally different from the one he was running prior to last week’s presidential debate.  If those three states are solid for Romney, the number of paths that are available for the President to piece together the 270 electoral votes he needs in order to win reelection, are greatly reduced and it makes his need to deny Romney a win in Ohio almost essential to his reelection effort.  Meanwhile multiple polls from a range of independent survey outfits are now showing Mitt Romney to either be ahead of the President in Ohio or nearly tied with him.  These polls also show Romney pulling ahead in other battleground states and nationally.

But the decision by Suffolk to stop polling the presidential race in Fl, NC and Va, is a surefire sign that the race is over for President Obama in those states.  Pretty soon his own internal polls will probably make that inconvenient truth evident to his own campaign.  We will come to realize when they have reached that same conclusion as we soon begin to notice a lack of visits by the President to Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia and a noticeably larger amount of his time spent in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and a few states that up to now, the President was so far ahead in that he did not to waste his time visiting.  Those states include Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, three states which the Romney-Ryan ticket is cutting in to the Obama-Biden tickets once double digit leads.

As early as two weeks ago, an analysis of polls and other factors by White House 2012 had reached almost the same conclusion that Suffolk did about Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.   In fact, in White House 2012’s Electoral College Projection we stated that we no longer consider North Carolina a battleground state.  As for Florida and Virginia, White House 2012 has projected them to be red for Romney but we have not yet been confident enough to suggest that President Obama will at some point become more competitive in those two states again.  So far though, Suffolk’s polls and decision are o confirm that White House 2012 is doing a good job at analyzing the electorate.  In fact it just so happens that White House 2012 and Suffolk are independently in agreement with one another.

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Internal Polls Have Romney Ahead in at Least 2 Pivotal Swing States

  Bookmark and Share   According to Breitbat editor Mike Flynn, the Romney campaign has internal polls that now show the Romney-Ryan ticket ahead of President Obama in two important battleground states… Ohio and New Hampshire.  According to two tweets posted by Flynn  on his Twitter feed, Romney’s internal polls have him beating the President in New Hampshire by 3.0%, and an almost unimaginably wider margin of 4.5% in Ohio.

If these numbers are true, this would suggest that my own estimation of a Romney victory that will be much bigger than most people think possible, could be shaping up.   Especially if Mitt Romney is ahead in Ohio.

While I have sensed that this race is not quite as close as most polls indicate, my inability to totally discount the preponderance of public polling numbers that are out there has been leading me to conclude that in 2012, the G.O.P. may win the White House without Ohio for the first time in history. Part of the reason for that opinion has been due to the available polling data.  The other part is my knowing that President Obama is going to do everything possible to win the Buckeye State for himself.  Doing so would leave Romney with significantly fewer paths to victory.  But aggressive campaigning by Romney in several other key states, specifically Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada and of course Virginia and Florida, has led me to conclude that while Team Romney has by no means written off Ohio, they are actively working on Plan B…. the plan to win the election without Ohio if necessary.

But if these leaked internal polls are accurate, Mitt Romney is currently on his way to being able to carry out his preferred plan of winning the election with Ohio and the way I see it, if he can do that, Americans will be stunned to find out on November 7th that Romney beat President Obama by far more than anyone predicted.

If the Romney-Ryan ticket can win Ohio, that bodes quite well for additional victories in swing states like Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire.  Given the make-up of Ohio, it is very good bellwether of the sentiments that exist in those aforementioned states.  Furthermore, a lead in Ohio would also indicates that Nevada is quite winnable.  Even more stunning is that it could be a sign that Romney is in contention for wins in other states like Wisconsin, which according to most polls is currently slipping away from the G.O.P. presidential ticket.  No matter what though, a lead in Ohio would significantly turn the tables on the Obama-Biden ticket by suddenly making them the ticket with fewer paths available to them to reach the magic number of 270 in the Electoral College.

Unfortunately for Romney backers, the reliability of this second and now third-hand information is not enough for us to hang our hats on yet.

While all campaigns conduct internal polls, they do not spend much time publicly talking about them or releasing the data and information contained in them.  By law, if a campaign releases any numbers from their internal polls, they must release the entire poll.  However, as is always the case with politics, campaigns can and do find ways to see that certain tib-bits somehow leak out for public consumption without being caught.  In this case,  no one can be sure of where or how Mike Flynn got hold of these numbers.  But if he did somehow get a look at the Romney campaign’s actual internal poll numbers for Ohio and New Hampshire, the news contained in his two tweets changes the narrative of this election by turning President in to the underdog in the race.

If the numbers Flynn released are actually from the Romney campaign’s internal polls, you can rest assured that they are accurate.  Mainly because of Neil Newhouse, the man who put those numbers together.

Neil Newhouse is Romney’s chief pollster and globally, one of the best pollsters around.   He is a co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs survey research firm that has been described as “the leading Republican polling company” in the country and in 2011 he was named “Pollster of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants for his work on Scott Brown’s winning Senate campaign in Massachusetts.

At Public Opinion Strategies, Newhouse developed a culture and approach to winning that is practically unsurpassed as he successfully helped political candidates win tough campaigns and scored hard-fought successes in the public affairs arena for some of America’s leading corporations and associations.  Through his polling efforts Newhouse has been a master at taking accurate polls and using the information derived from them to successfully tailor the type of winning messages that have allowed his candidates to get elected.  So if Neil Newhouse’s polling does actually have Romney up by as much as 3.0% in New Hampshire and 4.5% in Ohio, chances are that the vast majority of public polls which are basing their models on outdated 2008 turnout models, are offering us a very misleading perception of just how tight the election will actually be.

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First Reliable Post Debate Polls Shows the Momentum Behind Romney

  Bookmark and Share   Rasmussen Reports has released the first major polls for the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia since Romney’s masterful debate performance on Wednesday night.  The surveys seem to indicate that the first presidential debate has provided Romney with some of the forward momentum that previous polling indicated he needed in those states as Romney closes the gap in each of the three states to within either a percentage point behind or ahead of President Obama.

While all of this is good news for Mitt, the best news of all is in the Ohio numbers.

  • FLORIDA:    Romney 49% – Obama 47%
  • OHIO:            Obama 50%   – Romney 49
  • VIRGINIA:  Romney 49% – Obama 48%

Up to now, White House 2012 has largely concluded that Mitt Romney was likely to become the first Republican to win the White House without winning Ohio.  Barack Obama knows that without Ohio, Romney has significantly fewer paths leading to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.  For that reason, the Obama-Biden ticket has targeted Ohio and made it the key to their own reelection effort.  So far they have done so with success by exploiting the President’s bailout of the auto industry which in one way or another, employs a significant number of Ohioans.  But these new numbers may now show that the Obama strategy to deny Romney Ohio is going to be tougher than heretofore believed.  Apparently, Romney’s debate performance swung at least some minds in his direction.  But the apparent turnaround in Ohio and Obama’s struggle to deny Romney the state is a problem for the President that is only compounded by the fact that the latest Rasmussen poll now also shows Romney ahead in Virginia and Florida.

If this trend continues, the tables can quickly turn and President Obama can find himself the one losing the number of paths available to reelection.

On Monday, when these and other polls are figured in to the  RCP average of polls, White House 2012 will be updating its own Electoral College projection which currently gives Romney an 8 vote lead over President Obama.  (See the current WH12 Electoral College Projection here.)

The White House 2012 Electoral College projection is based upon a formula which uses the average margin of error in all the polls that Real Clear Politics uses to reach its average of polls.  This formula compensates for what we believe is the undercounting of the Republican voter that most polling outfits are using by basing this election on the 2010 turnout models.  Under this formula, White House 2012 currently adds 3.7% to Romney’s RCP average in each of the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Virginia….  the six  states we believe are still undecided.  North Carolina which is considered a swing state by the mainstream media, is not considered such by White House 2012.  We believe that Romney will win North Carolina and have put that state and its 15 electoral votes in Romney’s column.

As indicated in the map below with blue states being for Obama and red states being for Romney, most other states are clearly in the column of one candidate or the other.   A few exceptions could present themselves though in the coming weeks.  White House 2012 suspects that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico could open up and become much more competitive for Romney than it currently is.  If that happens, WH12 will consider them toss-ups and apply the 3.7% formula to their RCP average.

 

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With Democrats fleeing the Democrat convention, the DNC has turned to local popular mayors.  Now, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be providing the keynote address.  Not too long ago, Obama mistook Mayor Castro for a Whitehouse intern.

Along with Senator Claire McCaskill, several other prominent Democrats are skipping out, including nearly every Democrat from West Virginia.

Mayor Alvin Brown, D-Jacksonville, FL

But even among popular Democrat mayors, Obama is struggling to gain traction.  I have noted before how Mayor Alvin Brown of Jacksonville has been notably absent from Obama’s visits to the city.  Jacksonville.com reports that even if Mayor Brown was in town, he wouldn’t have been at the event.  While stopping short of endorsing Romney, Brown has stated that he intends to steer clear of the election and not get involved at all, including offering no endorsement for Obama.

He had no such inhibitions as a staffer for the Clinton Whitehouse.

Then again, Clinton and Obama are two completely different kinds of Democrat.  Clinton was a liberal, but he knew how and when to moderate.  Clinton understood that not only did business owners “build that”, but they were essential to a growing economy.  Brown understands the same thing and has been growing Jacksonville by going out and bringing business to town.  He hasn’t tried to grow the city through wasted stimulus spent on friends and campaign supporters, and in fact he has refused to raise taxes. Instead, he has cut the size of local government to close budget gaps.
If Obama had any illusions of bi-partisanship, support for businesses, or winning Florida, Mayor Brown is the type of person he would want to pursue for things like making key speeches at the convention.  Yes, Castro is more popular in San Antonio.  He got 82% of the votes (totaling about 34,000).  Brown on the other hand, with about 97,000 votes, only barely eked out a victory over his Republican challenger.  Or perhaps Obama believes that Texas is a more attainable prize than Florida.

Obama has already lost the Reagan Democrats, but he may also be in danger of losing the Clinton Democrats.  They won’t vote for Romney, but if they don’t vote for Obama, he’s sunk.

Democrats Registering Zombies and Aliens to Vote

Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?  Well, nevermind that.  Are you ready to combat zombie voters?  I’m not talking about Occupy Wall Street, the video game generation, or the ACLU.  I’m talking about actual registered and very dead voters.  Voter Participation Center in Virginia is sending out hundreds of thousands of pre-filled voter applications to targeted Virginian voters who typically vote Democrat.  According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, those groups include minorities, single mothers, their pets, dead people, and illegal aliens.

The Romney campaign has called for an official investigation, but the state attorney general has deferred to the state board of elections.  In other words, don’t expect too much action before the election.

Meanwhile, Governor Scott in Florida has won a major victory by finally getting the Department of Homeland Security to turn over their records on who may be registered to vote and here illegally.  The administration had fought tooth and nail to stop this information from falling into the right hands.  Scott has already made himself a major enemy of liberalism by pushing several “freedom” destroying concepts such as drug testing welfare recipients and state workers.  Fortunately for Obama, there are judges in place who have struck down these laws and are ensuring that tax payers will continue to fund drug use among welfare recipients and state workers.    Otherwise they might clean up and Obama would have no hope of winning the state.

The amazing thing about the voter applications being distributed in Virginia is that Voter Participation Center has already filled out the forms they are sending out.  Somebody actually put those pet names on the registration forms and mailed them.  Although this detail is missing in the news story, I wonder if they checked the box for Democrat as well?  Pre-filling the forms is Technically illegal.  Then again, so is voting from beyond the grave.

No Silver Lining – Obamacare Taxes the Poor

We passed the bill, and even now we are still finding out what is in it.  When Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass the 2,700 page healthcare bill to find out what was in it, that’s because nobody really knew.  Turns out they missed something big.  If a state can’t pay the $2 billion to set up a state run health insurance exchange and passes on that portion of the law, the federal government cannot provide the poor in that state with health insurance tax credits.  In other words, if states spend their limited resources on teachers, roads, police, firemen, and libraries instead of building one of Obama’s bureaucratic insurance exchanges, the poor not only don’t get help buying health insurance, but then have to pay the penalty tax for not buying health insurance.

If $695 in penalty taxes is enough to bankrupt a homeless person, than you can count Obama’s claim that no one would ever face bankruptcy for medical reasons again as one more broken promise.

There is a provision for the federal government to set up a national exchange for states who don’t or can’t spend the money to build their own.  However, a simple mistake in the law, or possibly an intentional penalty, only allows for federal tax credits to individuals in states with state run exchanges.  Perhaps Obama thought that by the time the law was implemented states would be able to shell out an additional $2 billion to pay for it.

Personally, I support Governor Scott’s decision to use that $2 billion to keep Florida from having to lay off teachers in our already hurting school districts.

Add this unforced error to Obamacare and there are few silver linings left for most Americans. Families can keep their kids on their health insurance up to age 26, but in many cases these “kids” are either old enough to be out on their own or are still students and could actually get student health insurance plans for far cheaper than the cost of being added on to their parent’s plan.  At the same time, the cost of adding 25 year olds to family plans has helped raise rates for everyone.  There is the tax credit for small businesses, but a tax credit for businesses with 15 or fewer employees who make less than $50,000 but can still afford to provide health insurance and pay an accountant who knows how to figure the credit are few and far in between.

When the health insurance taxes are fully implemented and the price of health insurance shoots high enough, no one will get health insurance until they get sick.  In states that can’t afford exchanges, the poor won’t get insurance either.  The very problem Obamacare sought to fix, that of middle class and poor “free-loaders” who either can’t afford insurance or decide not to buy it, will be made infinitely worse by Obamacare.

One more thing to add to this mess is that many states can’t afford the Medicaid expansion either.  Liberals are scratching their heads trying to figure out why states would forgo more Medicaid money.  But it’s like this: picture if someone with a million dollars in debt invited you to have steak dinner with him at the most expensive restaurant in town.  The two stipulations are this, first you have to pay half, second you have to then do the same thing for every dinner for the rest of your life.  And if this man with a million dollars of debt can no longer afford his half, you’re stuck with it.  Would you accept the offer of “free” steak?  State’s can’t afford their half of the Medicaid expansion, and they certainly know Uncle Sam can’t afford his share either.

In the end, Obamacare is bad news for the majority of Americans.

Gay Marriage and Equality

In the land of liberalism, portraying Obama’s timid conversion to gay marriage support as the sort of principled, bold action that no other executive would ever take (kind of like choosing to go in and shoot Bin Laden) is a trump card.  In fact, Obama is now playing his conversion up for all it’s worth, acting as though he’s the Martin Luther King Jr. of the homosexual movement.  Cash-wise, it’s paying big dividends.

However, reality may soon kick in.  While Obama’s conversion is symbolic, it doesn’t change anything anymore than when Dick Cheney came out in support of gay marriage.  Obama himself admitted that he still prefers to leave the issue up to the states, which puts his view in company with most other conservatives.

Obama thinks he’s so original

In addition to nothing changing policy wise, and Obama filling his campaign advertising with gaudy rainbows, Obama is in danger of losing votes in several swing states who have amended their constitutions to protect the definition of marriage.  For example, Colorado, California, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Virginia are among the states that have defined marriage in their constitutions.  Perhaps Obama’s coming out of the closet won’t lose him California, but it will have an effect in North Carolina and Florida where traditional marriage won with super majorities.

There is a debate brewing in the country now over how Obama has framed the gay marriage issue.  Is gay marriage a requirement for true equality in our country?  There are two issues that conservatives must be clear on with this question.

The first is the question of legal rights.  Can homosexuals be considered equal if they don’t get the same tax treatment, however favorable or unfavorable, as traditionally married couples?  By the way, as a tax accountant I’ve been able to save some gay couples more money by filing them both as single than I would if I had to file them as married filing jointly.  Just sayin’, in case you are reading this, homosexual, and think you are missing out on all sorts of great tax benefits because you can’t file jointly.

The question about equal legal rights can easily be defeated by testing if the individually truly cares about equality or is just using that argument to advance their agenda.  Ask them if they support a progressive tax system.  The progressive tax system that taxes rich and middle income earners at higher rates than the poor is a staple of liberalism, and a clear antithesis to equality.

The other question is whether the government should be telling homosexuals what marriage is and isn’t.  What many call the government defining marriage, others call the government banning all other forms of marriage.  But what is in a definition?  Fortunately, we have a prominent liberal Democrat who has demonstrated the importance of words and their definitions.

If you’ve heard the name Elizabeth Warren, then you know what I am talking about.  Warren, the liberal candidate who said the rich should pay higher taxes because they only reason they are rich is that the government gave them education and roads, lives what she preaches.  She gave herself a leg up both in school and career by claiming she is a Cherokee Indian.  Harvard touted Warren as adding diversity to their staff. Turns out she is about 1/32 Cherokee, and her ancestry has more Indian killers than actual Indians.

But that brings up an interesting question: can we all call ourselves Cherokee Indians in order to achieve equality and have a better shot at employment at Harvard?  Is it the government that is banning me from being a Cherokee Indian?  Perhaps you find that argument offensive.  Let’s back up about 60 years when there was a true battle for equality taking place in our country.  Should blacks have been given the right to be called white in order to achieve equality?  Of course not.  There is no need to redefine the word “white” in order to achieve equality.  Same with the word “marriage”.

Still, now that the war on women angle has failed, as has the war on the poor, the next play is the war on equality.  Be prepared to be accused of opposing equal rights for all if you are a Republican.  Suddenly the candidate who admits he was forced into revealing his gay marriage support has become the champion of equal rights simply by endorsing redefining marriage.  Romney will need to find ways to connect with the voters who have overwhelmingly voted to protect marriage in every state they’ve been given a chance, and he will need to win this debate.

Editors Note: As with any post on Whitehouse12.com, the opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the author and represent the site only in as far as they represent the views of this particular author.  These views may not be representative of the site as a whole.

The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Florida Governor Jeb Bush

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

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

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush 

Born: February 11, 1953 (age 57), Midland, Texas

Spouse(s): Columba Bush

Children : George Prescott, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr

Residence : Coral Gables, Florida

Alma mater: University of Texas

Profession: Banker, Realtor

Religion: Roman Catholic

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

I know, I know, not another Bush.  But you know what?  Get over it.  Take a look at the record, not the name.  If we are so prejudiced that we can’t get over a name, then we have much bigger problems than we realize.  Besides, we elected a man whose middle name is Hussein, for Christ’s sake.  So you can live with the name Bush again.  And if you are capable of getting past the name, you will see that Jeb is probably the most truly conservative of all the Bushes to come before him and of all the politicians out there today who claim to be conservative.

Beyond having an exceptional record during his two terms as Governor Florida, Jeb is experienced, innovative, articulate, steady handed and politically savvy.  And he would be sure to deliver Florida to the Republican side of the electoral ledger.  That in and of itself is enough to get him a spot on someone’s ticket.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election.  The last time it did make a difference was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate.  That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led  attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won be stopped.  In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally.  But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P.  candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent.  Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why Jeb Bush must be considered as very real potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

If Marco Rubio, the perceived favorite of most Republicans, holds true to his word and refuses to accept any nomination for Vice President in 2012, Jeb Bush will be the only figure from Florida whose “favorite son” status is so powerful that he could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney.  Therefore, when it comes to Jeb being on the ticket, never say never.

That stated,  not only do I believe that Jeb has no deep desire to be Vice President or President, at least not in 2012, I also believe he is more likely to become the next Secretary of Education than he is to become the next Vice President.

Jeb’s work on behalf of education is unprecedented.  He has delivered innovation and exceptionalism to educating our children and the next generation of Americans to enter the American workforce.  And if the next President does not intend to abolish the Department of Education, Jeb Bush will do the job justice.   Jeb probably won’t run for President or accept the vice presidency until he has fulfilled his role as Educator-in-Chief.

Pros:

  • Bush can go a long way in helping to carry Florida, a major swing state that the G.O.P. can not afford to lose
  • Jeb Bush’s presence on the ticket would help energize a large segment of conservatives who are unenthusiastic with Romney
  • Bush has been vetted far more than most other candidates
  • Has executive political experience
  • Is articulate, passionate, and a seasoned campaigner and vote getter
  • Is a proven vote getter among Hispanics
  • Will be a prolific fund raiser for the presidential ticket
  • His record on economic issues as Governor of Florida will allow a Romney-Bush ticket to espouse the the type of masterful economic stewardship for the nation that Bush practiced in the Sunshine State.

Cons:

  • His last name

Overall Assessment:

Despite his last name, Jeb Bush is probably one of the finest choices there is but since politics is more perception than  reality, Jeb’s last name will probably preclude him from being selected even though his record and personal political history would make him the strongest choice that Romney could make for Vice President.  Unfortunately, the Bush name is something that Republicans are too afraid of having to contend with so Jeb is most likely not the one to expect to see running in November. However, in 2012, the selection of a Vice President and where that vice presidential choice comes from, could effect the election far more than it has in the past and if it is determined that winning Florida is the key to winning the election and that the only way to win it is by having a favorite son of the state on the ticket, then Jeb is a very real option.  Especially if Marco Rubio refuses to accept the nomination.

Ultimately I do not believe that any Republican is brave enough to pick Jeb Bush because of their fear that the Bush name will hurt them.  And that is shame.  But while I am pretty sure Jeb Bush won’t be on the Republican ticket in November, I am quite certain he will be in the cabinet of the next Administration.  Most likely as Secretary of Education.

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Jeb Bush on The Issues

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

View Marco Rubio’s CPAC 2012 Speech in its Entirety

Bookmark and Share   As one of the opening speakers at the 2012 CPAC event, Florida Senator Marco Rubio demonstrated why he is the future of the G.O.P. and the nation.  He offered a speech that marked with a wonderful mix of  humor, sharp criticism and hard facts that highlighted the differences between the left and right and the exceptionalism of our nation which stems from the conservative ideology that founded it.

One of the best lines comes when Rubio related to the crowd in telling of how as a freshman in the Senate, he was initially floored by being in the presence of so many respected, prominent, national leaders and at times could not believe he was there, in the presence of all of these powerful people.  He then recalled how six months later he couldn’t help but wonder how those same people ever got there.

Rubio’s speech was hard-hitting and accurate and he delivered it so fluidly and naturally that one could not help but tell that they were listening to a future President of our nation.

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Romney May Not Get All 50

Gingrich Shows Some Fight

Don’t count him out yet.  Newt Gingrich is fighting for his slice of Romney’s 50 Florida delegates.  According to RNC rules, no state can hold a winner takes all primary before April 1, 2012.  Florida was warned of this back in December.  This means that Newt could cut into the 50 delegates that Romney is expecting from his Florida win.  If this works for Newt, Romney’s delegate lead will be cut about in half.  But Newt faces an uphill battle, fighting an RNC and RPOF stuffed full of Romney supporters.

Romney Supporters as Annoying as Paul’s?

After the Florida primary, it might have been nice for there to be some healing in the state after one of the most negative campaigns in Florida’s primary history.  Instead, the theme from Romney’s supporters is that Newt should stop whining about the negative campaigning and his supporters should fall in line with the presumptive nominee.

If you think that is bad, Romney’s number one cheerleader, Ann Coulter, is now praising Romneycare as a constitutional, conservative solution to healthcare.  In fact, Coulter is now saying that “The problem isn’t health insurance mandates.”  Perhaps someone should tell that to Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General and Romney supporter who is leading the fight against Obamacare in the courts based on the health insurance mandate.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the whole “states have the constitutional authority to take away your rights, the fed doesn’t” argument, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to agree that Romneycare was a good idea.  Perhaps Coulter is trying to set up the future conversations for the presumptive nominee.  But are most Americans going to be ok with the argument that it as ok for Romney to take away their rights and force them to buy health insurance because it was on a state level?  Personally, I’d like to see less government intrusion in my life on every level.  Coulter used to feel the same way.  What happened?

If Romney wants to win in 2012, he has to get his supporters to change their message.  Romney needs to start focusing on Obama and reassuring conservatives that he is in fact principally opposed to Obamacare and the health insurance mandate, not simply offering it pandering lip service.  And for goodness sakes, he has to stop making Newt supporters his enemies.  He’ll have quite enough enemies in the general election without turning off fellow conservatives.

Romney & Florida an expected success – Can he stand up to the Obama machine?

As I sat up watching the results come in from the Florida primary last evening, two things came to mind once the result was called for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Firstly, was I surprised by the result or margin of victory? No! The second question is more crucial, what does Mitt Romney stand for?

Dealing with the first question, Romney’s victory in the Florida Republican presidential primary was inevitable and has got him his front runner status back for now. The manner of his victory though should concern Republican supporters going forward. In order to win any general election, Romney or any GOP Nominee will need to win over independent voters.  A recent Gallup showed 40% of Americans defined themselves as independent voters compared to 27% who said they were Republicans and 31% who said they were Democrats.

Romney’s victories in New Hampshire and Florida and his second place finishes in Iowa and South Carolina have come on the back of some of the most vicious, and down right nasty attack ads in presidential campaign history. Romney has tried to hide behind the manner in which his campaign has been conducted, saying he has no influence or connection with his Super Pac in this campaign, technically and legally true.

Those pro-Romney supporters have tried to point to his two debate performances as the reason for his Florida victory. Yes, he did have improved performances against a somewhat timid Gingrich in those debates. The truth is Rick Santorum was the stand-out candidate in my view for both debates. Romney’s performances were better, but hardly outstanding or presidential winning performances.

The real other factor in this presidential primary season has been the change in party rules and campaign financing schemes with the arrival of the Super Pac machine. Romney, as I previously wrote, simply carpet bombed Gingrich under a barrage of bitter, nasty and out and out negative attack ads in Florida, like he did in Iowa. What the conservative media commentators won’t tell you is that Romney’s Florida victory came because he overwhelmingly won in all seven of the media markets. The results were much different outside those media markets with Gingrich’s appeal and support proving a lot more solid.

The stats reveal a staggering effort on his behalf with Romney’s campaign and the pro Romney Super PAC “Restore Our Future” outspending Gingrich and his supporting Super PAC by a 5 to 1 ratio in the week leading up to the Florida Republican primary election on Tuesday, this involved a total of 12,768 television ads. According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, 99% of them were attacks on Newt Gingrich. In the same period, Gingrich and his supporters bought just 210 TV ads. While the majority of them slammed Romney, some were positive advertisements for Gingrich.

Romney and his Super PAC combined to spend nearly $9.9 million on ads aimed at attacking Mr. Gingrich during the week that lead up to the Florida primary on Tuesday. CMAG concluded that, with 92% of the total TV ads going on the attack, the Florida primary set a new record for negativity. The total Florida spend was believed to be a combined total of $17.7 million for Romney versus $5.1 million combined for Gingrich.

I make no secret of my admiration for Gingrich, yes he is a controversial figure and has had personal issues in the past. The reason for my admiration of Gingrich, Santorum and indeed Ron Paul for that matter is that I can tell you what each man advocates, and where they stand in terms of economic policy, job creation, social values and foreign policy.  This brings me to the second question, what does Mitt Romney stand for?

I’ve tried in recent months to see the appeal and unique quality that the GOP establishment have touted in Governor Romney, but I’ve simply failed to find it. I even tweeted asking my followers the question, what does Romney actually stand for? The silence spoke volumes. Romney may be championed by his supporters on a lot of fronts and maybe very justifiably so. However, as I’ve been saying for well over a year, this is the most crucial presidential election in over fifty years. Make no mistake, America’s economy and role in the world is very much under threat, and in very real danger of being lost forever.

On a personal level, Romney seems a decent and likeable enough person. He’s polished in his appearance, has a great family background and has been very successful as a businessman. All these credentials should be very appealing when looking for a candidate yet, I still find myself asking what does Romney stand for?

My big concern about Romney is that he’s great at attacking and deriding President Obama and the other candidates on their records in political life. What Romney won’t stand up and firmly say is this is what I stand for with real passion and conviction. Romney, regardless on what side of the political divide you come from, has a long and tailored record of changing his position on issues, and not being able to defend them strongly when challenged. Gingrich strategically in my view made a fatal flaw in attacking Romney on his business record in New Hampshire and it hurt him in the polls there. I don’t believe in knocking success or the role of capitalism. I do believe however that Gingrich made an error in not focussing on Romney’s record as Governor instead when he wanted to attack.

The Romney team are trying to establish their campaign around Romney being a successful businessman. We hear very little mention of him being a successful Governor of Massachusetts. This brings me to the question, if he isn’t championing and pointing to his record as Governor of Massachusetts everyday on the campaign trail, why do GOP supporters believe he will be able to deliver and perform as President of the United States. Romney will have to decide to run as Romney the successful Governor & businessman, not be selective in what he runs his campaign on. The Obama machine will not afford him that luxury should he emerge as the nominee.

Romney doesn’t under take many interviews, he avoids the Sunday political shows like the plague and when he is challenged in interviews, he has shown himself to be prickly. I don’t doubt the man’s abilities as a businessman, but I want more then rehearsed lines, staged interviews and someone who has won the nomination by simply buying their way to it with attack ads. I want steely conviction and a determined dog like spirit, someone who is prepared to lead and fight for the ordinary person on all levels.

The questions American’s and others should ask is the following, what is Romney’s vision for America and how does he intend to get us there? Simple.

If his vision and message is right, then there’s a second question, has Romney demonstrated that he has the ability to be outspent on a 5-1 ratio and attacked himself and win?. It is on these two questions that I believe the GOP and establishment need to be certain before they coronate Romney  as would be nominee.

As President Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

 

Florida Chooses Safe and Electable

In a repeat of 2008, Florida is betting on electability.  The only difference is that this time around Mitt Romney is the one who has been deemed “electable”.  After pouring millions of dollars into off the wall, and in some cases outright dishonest, advertising portraying Newt Gingrich as a disgraced philanderer, hated by anyone who worked with him, Mitt got one huge point across.  Newt can’t stand up to a multi-million dollar smear campaign.

The argument for Mitt in Florida seems to be, “if Mitt Romney can do that to Newt, imagine what Obama would do”.  The implication seems to be that Obama has more money and could even be dirtier and more dishonest than Romney was.  That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Mitt Romney.

Romney made a bit of his own gamble.  He won Florida with a scorched earth campaign that pulled out all the stops.  Frankly, most Floridians have a sour taste in their mouths.  Forgiving Mitt and getting excited for him may end up being a tough pill to swallow for Newt supporters, and Santorum/Paul supporters are pretty well disgusted with both candidates. McCain used some of the same tactics against Romney in 2008 and many Floridians had a hard time getting excited for McCain.

Had Gingrich performed well in the last debate and won Florida, this race would be close to done.  Instead, Romney is now back in front and has a clear path to the Republican nomination.  He is once again the presumed nominee.  At what cost?  That is the question leaving Florida.

In an interesting development, Romney garnered more votes than Newt and Santorum combined.  Just further proof that Florida conservatives surrendered to electability.

My Endorsement

In the interest of full disclosure, today I voted for Newt Gingrich and I am officially endorsing him for President.  Newt has one thing the other candidates lack, bold accomplishable ideas.  Newt’s 15% flat tax plan is the best tax plan of the remaining candidates.  Unlike Paul who talks about how we should leave the Middle East alone, Gingrich actually has a viable American energy plan that would help us avoid the next war in the Middle East.  Newt has a proven track record of being revolutionary and putting better policies above political games.  He leashed Clinton and accomplished welfare reform and balanced budgets.  Newt also has the determination and vision to argue the 14th amendment in the abortion debate to protect the unborn.

I have forgiven Newt for his personal past, as I think all Christians should.  Newt testified against Freddie Mac, against giving them money, and in favor of reforming them.  Mitt Romney has a funny idea of what lobbying is.  I also have no issue supporting a conservative who has made enemies among establishment, middle of the road Republicans.  We used to call moderates RINOs before we started consistently nominating them.

Don’t get me wrong, I will support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.  I’ll even get a yard sign and show up at rallies like I did with McCain.  But Newt is my first choice, and Romney has greatly disappointed me with the way he ran his Florida campaign.  Shame on Mitt Romney for not having enough bold ideas and vision to keep him from having to resort to negative campaigning to get elected.

Hard Landing

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Newt Gingrich is limping out of Florida with no momentum, little money and not much to be happy about. After his substantial victory in South Carolina and visions of soaring to the moon, Newt has crashed back to earth. His supporters are pinning his loss on negative ads from the Romney side, but that argument is just sour grapes. The truth is that Newt hurt himself more than Romney did and very likely hurt the conservative cause in the process.

First, let’s dismiss the argument that negative ads are what sank Newt. That was true in Iowa. Conservative voters abandoned him and voted instead for Santorum. In New Hampshire without the attacks, the conservatives split fairly evenly between Gingrich and Santorum. In South Carolina, even with negative attacks, Newt won solidly. In Florida, Gingrich still won the conservatives – his voters did not run to Santorum as in Iowa. The negative ads didn’t bring Gingrich down. He secured his base, but it was a smaller base than in South Carolina. Hence, he lost.

To the moonHis real weakness was an inability to steal moderates from Romney. He only has himself to blame for that. His debate attacks were exposed as little more than stunts and his boasts exploded like over-inflated balloons. His image as a man with great knowledge and serious solutions backed by past experience suffered greatly. When he was caught with flagrantly incorrect ‘facts’ during the debates, it weakened trust in his criticisms of Romney. When his big spending promises in each State he’s campaigned in were called out during the debates, it weakened confidence in his ability to have real solutions. When his great claim to fame of balancing the budget was admitted to be false because it was done by robbing Social Security, it undermined his claim to be the experienced fixer the country needs. Gingrich didn’t just have some bad debates, he collapsed during them. His strong supporters may not see that nor admit it, but those who are not Newties were able to see it and the exit polls confirm it.

The real disservice Newt did in Florida was convince people that he is the only conservative who can beat Mitt. As a result, when Newt started to implode only voters who were shaky for Mitt stayed with him rather than go with another candidate. The race was viewed as being between Mitt or Newt and undecided voters found themselves with little choice than to support Mitt under the circumstances. Even if you add together the Gingrich and Santorum votes, Mitt still wins. That isn’t because of negative attack ads on Newt, but rather the inability of Santorum to gain undecided voters because they felt the only candidates who could win in November were Mitt and Newt. That two man view is something only Newt has been pushing and for which he must take the blame when his campaign stumbles resulted in an overall conservative loss.

Newt will likely double-down on his themes. He’ll say that he’s the only conservative that stands a chance. He’ll say that only he has the experience needed. He’ll whine about negative attacks. He’ll launch new attacks of his own which will likely be as weakly supported as his most recent ones in Florida that backfired. As I wrote after his loss in Iowa when he lost his temper and started his attacks on capitalism, Newt is his own worst enemy and his own undoing.

46 States to go…or so he says.

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John McCain Wants the Presidential Candidates to Stop All These Silly Debates

Bookmark and Share   While defending Mitt Romney, his choice for President, in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press,  failed 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain told host David Gregory that he wishes the Republican presidential candidates would stop participating in all the presidential debates that are taking place.

According to McCain, the debates “are driving down our candidates favorable ratings” and are making it harder whoever the nominee is to defeat President Obama in November.

The statement begs the question, is John McCain losing his mind, or has he already lost it?

McCain’s objection to the presidential candidates having as many as 19 debates in the last 8 months is both dumb and a quintessential example of establishment thinking.  Only a true established member of the political class would take issue with politicians having to discuss the issues and defend their records and policies in front of an audience comprised of the American electorate.  The political elite may not like being held accountable in a forum that is not scripted so tightly that it allows for a one way conversation of the candidate telling the voters what they think the voters want to hear, but voters do appreciate having the opportunity to see their potential President have to think on their feet.

Furthermore; even if John McCain is correct in his assertion that all the debates are responsible for driving down the favorability numbers of the G.O.P. candidates, then so be it.  If it is true that the more the candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination talk, the more they less people like them, then we do not deserve to win the presidency in November.  If we as a Party can not find a true leader based upon the realistic expectation that they can effectively articulate our cause and the solutions to our problems, than we deserve to lose.

But what it comes down to is that John McCain can’t actually believe his own words.  He can’t really be suggesting that debates are a bad thing.

What McCain is really suggesting is that Newt Gingrich survived this campaign and surged in it because of he outperformed the man that McCain is supporting……Mitt Romney.  And it is clear to McCain that had there not been 19 debates, Mitt would not have been dominated by Newt on 19 different occasions.    So here is Senator McCain actually calling for fewer debates because they are not helping his hand picked choice for President win voters over.

What it comes down to is this.

McCain’s call for the debates to stop is offensive and counterproductive.  It is typical establishment, inside-the-beltway, thinking that is designed to shelter the political class from those whom they seek to govern and it is quite arrogant and antithetical to democratic process.  It is the type of thinking that could only come out the mouth of a from a person who has spent over thirty years in the bubble that is Washington.  They are certainly not the words or thoughts of a so-called “Maverick”.

I will concede that it is quite unfortunate that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have resorted to attacking one another with distortions that are absolutely over the top.  I feel it is a shame that Newt Gingrich saw fit to travel down the same low road that Mitt Romney and the establishment led us down and that Mitt Romney finds it impossible to build himself up without first tearing down everyone else down.  However I will not go so far as to say that the answer is to stop the debates and limit the discussion to sanitized forums which do not allow candidates to raise and debate legitimate issues before the American people.

To his credit, Mitt Romney has not taken the same position as his establishment surrogate, Senator John McCain.  So while I will not hold McCain’s ignorant and offensive comments against him, but as someone who can easily support Romney if he is the nominee, I would like to suggest to him that he stop trying to embrace the political establishment so tightly.  Instead of using the Dole’s, McCain’s, and Tom DeLay’s of the political world as a ladder to which he can climb to power with, Mitt Romney should be running away from the establishment and building himself up as a candidate of independent, conservative thought, who brings to the table something that the establishment doesn’t……real life and business experience.

Whether Mitt realizes it or not, the establishment support he is receiving is not helping him among the voters he needs most.  The anti-establishment voters who are far removed from the political class and who are disdainful of Beltway politics.  Another thing that Mitt should realize is that the more the political establishment attacks Newt Gingrich, the more the anti-establishment coalesces around Gingrich.

In other words, Mitt Romney should tell surrogates like McCain to shut the hell up.

While he might think that the public pitches that Washington insiders are making on Romney’s behalf are helping him in places like Florida, he should realize that every time the establishment wins, the voters rally behind the anti-establishment candidates.  So even if Romney does wins Florida, if he does so through a strategy that employs tactics designed at assassinating the character of Newt Gingrich through the political class, then the voting class will lash out against him somewhere else, primarily in Minnesota, Missouri, and Arizona, which hold their nominating contests in late february and early March.

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Santorum Shines, Paul Respected

The only thing worse than endless political ads is political ads being tossed back and forth in a debate format with no fact checker.  Well, almost no fact checker.  Romney himself got caught when he tried to famously disavow any political negativity coming from his side only to discover that he had indeed approved an attack ad against Gingrich.

What was lost in the mix was serious debate.  The average listener might think that Romney and Gingrich’s stance on immigration actually differed.  What we discovered instead is that they really are basically the same, making their attacks on each others immigration policy pretty funny.  In fact, they all seemed to have the same view on illegal immigration except for Ron Paul who seemed to be saying that the problem is we have a bad economy and if we had a good economy we would all want illegal immigrants to come here and take the jobs Americans won’t.

Of course, with Paul sometimes it is difficult to differentiate his “this is what I would do as President” with his “this is the way things ought to be” with his “this is the way things are” rhetoric.  It keeps him safe with both the radical constitutionalists and the ignorant populists in his base.  Of course, I myself am a radical constitutionalist, but most of Paul’s constitutional rhetoric falls under the “this is the way things ought to be” column.  I couldn’t have any alcohol last night because of an early morning medical procedure Friday morning, but if I had a drinking game it would have been how many times Paul redirected a question by making his answer about the war, how bad the fed has made the economy, or how small a constitutional government should be.  The immigration question got both the war and the economy.

Paul did receive a great deal of respect from the other candidates.  It was the sort of respect Romney showed to Bachmann early on in the race.  It was that sort of “you have no shot of winning, but I would really like your supporters to like me down the road so I’ll smile and pat you on the back” respect.

Gingrich fell into a trap that I warned about a few months ago.  He has big ideas, but he has also become more and more of a states rights conservative.  Gingrich’s problem is communication in small soundbites.  I understood that he was speaking about encouraging private ventures to establish a moon colony, but the three candidates up there either willingly or ignorantly seemed to think he was talking about NASA doing it.

Gingrich also dropped the ball on something he has done very well at in previous debates, not taking media bait.  Blitzer played Romney and Gingrich all night long.  In fact, it was Rick Santorum who had to bring the debate back to the issues.  Unlike the early debates where Gingrich ran the show and the other candidates followed his lead, this time it was Santorum who reminded the other candidates what the debates and this whole process is all about.  Because of it, Santorum shined last night.

Mitt Romney has hired Bachmann’s former debate coach and it shows.  He laid down persistent attacks, mostly inaccurate, and was distracted from the issues all night.  Newt attempted to rebut, but his responses were too involved for the average American viewer.  Romney easily turned Gingrich’s responses on their head.  A good example was when Newt brought up Romney’s investments in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  I think Newt’s point was that Romney shouldn’t be attacking him for doing consulting work for Freddie Mac when in fact Romney himself is making money on Freddie Mac stock.  In the end though, both sides lost that debate and viewers were left with a disgusting taste in their mouth.

I said that Jacksonville, Florida would be the most important debate of this election if one candidate could shine like Gingrich has in the past debates.  In the end, Gingrich saw his shadow and this primary will continue far beyond Florida.  And unfortunately, it will continue to get nastier.  The candidates have already said many things about each other that they will not be able to take back in the general election.  So in the end, Santorum won the debate, but the Republican party was the big loser.

 

Obama Raised Taxes on Buffet’s Secretary!

Populism Gone Wrong

Last night, Warren Buffet’s secretary occupied  a place of honor as an invited guest of the Obama’s to the State of the Union address.  She got to sit with the First Lady, sort of like the Iraqi woman who was invited by Bush and showed off her ink stained finger for voting.  So what exactly did Buffet’s secretary symbolize?  The downtrodden middle class who somehow pay more taxes than billionaires like her boss Warren Buffet.

There is one glaring problem with Obama using Debbie Bosanek, Buffet’s secretary, as a prop for class warfare.  As Paul Roderick Gregory with Forbes Magazine calculates, Buffet’s secretary makes at least $200,000 a year.  Fortunately, she can still call herself part of the 99% because at $200,000 a year, she only made the top 3% of income earners, not the top 1%.

But here is the best part: Obamacare raises taxes on individuals making more than $200,000.  Because of Obamacare, starting next year Warren Buffet’s secretary will pay an additional 3.8% on investment income, and an additional .9% in Medicare taxes for a total tax hike of 4.7%.  And if Obama gets his way and the Bush tax rates are eliminated for individuals who make more than $200,000, Obama will have effectively raised Buffet’s secretary’s taxes by 7.7%, or possibly as much as 9.6% if she is in the highest tax bracket.

Good job, Mr. President.  Thank you for that ever-so-perfect State of the Union prop.

Speaking of Buffet

In case you were wondering why Obama canceled the Keystone pipeline, a move the Washington Post called “insanity”, we may get some clues by following the money.  According to Bloomberg, Obama supporter Warren Buffet stands to profit big time from cancellation of the pipeline.  Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway owns the rail companies who will transport the oil in lieu of a pipeline. Crony capitalism at its best, at the cost of thousands of American jobs.  Oh yeah, and for you environmentalists who opposed the pipeline, what sort of impact do you think transporting that oil on trains will have on the environment?  Maybe you should re-think this one.

Jacksonville TEA Party Straw Poll Picks Newt

In the first ever Angie’s Subs Caucus, TEA Party members from across the Northeast gathered at Angie’s Subs in Jacksonville, Florida to discuss local and national politics and have a straw poll.  323 votes were cast and the winner was Newt with 138 votes, or 43%.  Second place?  Ron Paul, gaining 26% of the vote.  Romney finished third.

Thursday, Jacksonville will be hosting the last debate before voters in this key state hold their primary.  Recent polls have wavered back and forth with Newt erasing a double digit deficit to now have a slight lead in most polls.

Rubio Flexes Influence

Newt Gingrich pulled an add calling Mitt Romney “anti-immigrant” after Marco Rubio called out the ad as deceptive.  What this shows is the incredible respect the current Republican godfathers have for the 2010 class.  And this is well deserved.  Marco Rubio, Alan West, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and a host of Republican governors including Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and others, represent the type of conservatism that the TEA Party loves, but that also resonates with Americans.  Part of the reason the 2012 Presidential field has been disappointing for some is because the giants of 2012 pale in comparison to the greatness of the younger Republican generation.

 

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