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

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

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“Death And Deceit In Benghazi”: The Timeline Behind the Obama Coverup (Full Video)

  Bookmark and Share   While most journalists continue to fail to ask the President and his Administration the hard questions about the circumstances leading up to and following the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Bret Baier of Fox News has put together an excellent report that proves the  President and his Administration have a lot to explain to the American people (see the special report in the video below).

The timeline established in this report raises several questions including some which deal with  the broader concerns of national security within an Administration that apparently went without ever knowing or acknowledging the fact that al Qaeda was establishing itself in Eastern, Libya, even though the Administration was being warned about it for more than two months.

The final presidential debate will be devoted to foreign policy, an issue which until recently has largely taken a backseat to the economic crisis that is confronting our nation.  But over the course of the past six weeks, events beyond our borders have reminded many Americans that what happens abroad creates ripples that eventually and inevitably impact on our own shores and citizens.  Pleas from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene in  Iran’s march towards nuclear capability have reached a fevered pitch.  Continued fallout from the lead-from-behind Obama strategy in regards to the so-called Arab Spring has turned into an Arab Winter that has led to an ongoing civil war in Syria that continues to destabilize an already unstable region of the world and threatens to turn in to a war between Syria and Turkey.   And in Libya the promise once seen in the final fall and demise of Moammar  Gaddafi  has turned in to an opportunity for al Qaeda related cells to kill our Ambassador and three members of his security detail and in to an opportunity for al Qaeda to establish another beachhead to launch future terrorist attacks from.

The ramifications of the events leading up to, and following the terrorist attack in Benghazi are turning in to two scandals.  The fist being the scandal of the obvious intelligence failures which made it possible for the killing of our 4 Americans in Libya on September 11, 2012.  How could the President never have been told about the activity level of al Qaeda in Libya that Ambassador Chris Stevens warned us about in cables to the Administration which he told us about two months prior to the attack that took his life?  Or is this something that President Obama might have known had he not avoided approximately 62% of his daily intelligence briefings since the beginning of the year?

Brett Baier’s timeline also raises questions about the Administration’s reaction to the terrorist attack… a reaction that is turning into the second scandal.

Given the clear contradictions between the facts outlined in this report and the statements made by the President and the Administration, this timeline shows evidence of  an Administration that is at best less than forthcoming with the truth and at its worst, trying to cover-up both the fact that there was such an extraordinarily severe intelligence failure and the reasons for that intelligence failure.

Could it be that President Obama knew nothing about Benghazi because since just the beginning of 2012 alone, he skipped out on  approximately 62% of his daily intelligence briefings?  While this is not a question asked in Brett Baier’s reports, it is a logical question when one consider all the facts and adds them in to the timeline laid out in this special report.

Whether or not Mitt Romney has the opportunity or desire to make these points in tonight’s presidential debate on foreign policy is anyone’s guess.  But what there is no need to second guess is the fact that since the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the president and his Administration have acted in ways that are raising more questions than answers.  In fact while they have not provided any answers , all their actions have raised nothing but questions.  If you take the time to watch this special report by Brett Baier entitled “Death and Deceit in Libya”, you too will begin to understand the true meaning of the phrase… “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.

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It Would Seem That Governors Have a Lot of Points to Make to President Obama

Bookmark and Share  Upon hearing about the brouhaha over a recent tarmac meeting between Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama, I couldn’t help but draw a connection between the now infamous photo of the Governor pointing a finger at the President’s face and a similar meeting between President Obama and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on the tarmac at an Indianapolis airport back in early May of last year.

 

Back in May, Governor Daniels airport exchange with the President was never fully disclosed but apparently it was a very pleasant meeting, something which could not be said of Brewer and Obama’s meeting.

According to Governor Brewer, a very thin skinned President Obama took it upon himself to tell Brewer that he was not happy with her recent characterization of the President in her new book “Scorpions for Breakfast”. In it Brewer discusses the issue of illegal immigration, which she and the President disagree upon.

The interesting thing is that according to Brewer, she was quite pleased that the President was in her state and came there to sincerely welcome him. But according to the Governor, the President would have none of that. Instead he told he was not pleased with her opinions and walked away from her while she was in the middle of a sentence.

Given the President’s attitude and his failed policies, it is hard to believe that there are not more pictures of Governors with their fingers in the Commander-in-Chiefs face. Obviously they have many points that the President seems to be missing and that he needs to get.

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Tonight’s Republican Presidential Debate: What Each Candidate Needs to Do to Seal the Deal

Bookmark and Share   Tonight’s Fox News Republican presidential debate in Iowa is going to be the most watched of all the debates that have been held up to this point in the 2012 election cycle.  With its timing making it the last debate before the  voting in Iowa begins, and the tightening of polls in the first caucus state, it could prove to be a pivotal lasting impression that will significantly influence many Iowa voter’s final decision.

So what do the candidates have to achieve in order to make this debate count?

First, they must avoid any gaffes.  There can be no forgetting of their domestic priorities or any carefree gambling away of tens of thousands of dollars.   Such embarrassing missteps and lapses in judgement must be avoided as best as possible.  While the candidates may only be human, voters hold their political candidates up to a standard that most mere mortals can not withstand.  American voters may forgive an American Idol contestant for hitting a wrong note and call in to vote for them twice to make sure they appear on the next episode, but when a politician hits a sour note, there is little if any mercy shown.  And a misstep in this debate will be rebroadcast between now and New Hampshire more times than the 1983 classic, A Christmas Story is re-aired between now and the new year.

Beyond that each of the candidates need to achieve different things in this debate:

Mitt Romney:

Romney needs to convince voters that he is conservative, gets things done, and in addition to proving that he is the most electable candidate to run against Barack Obama, he must also provide that special moment which gives Republicans good reason to want him to be the most electable candidate.  And he must do so in a way that is believable and seemingly natural.  Romney needs his Reagan moment.  The type of moment that had people saying “Go get ’em”, when in a 1980 debate, a moderator asked that Ronald Reagan’s microphone be turned off, and with a terse turn of his head and a glaring look of disgust in his eyes, Reagan stared directly at the moderator and angrily declared “I am paying for this microphone” .  Romney needs to pay someone ten grand to have someone set up a moment like that for him.

Newt Gingrich:

Newt must win people over with his ability to not only demonstrate that he knows how to apply conservative principles to government, he must again show that in addition to being  better at articulating the conservative cause and message than any other candidate on the stage, he is also far more electable than anyone expected he could be. Newt needs to publicly point out to his rivals, that despite the darts and arrows they have been throwing at him, he is still standing and that is in part due to his strategy to run a campaign of substance, on the issues, not on the flaws of his opponents.  Newt needs to stand up and say, “I have taken the fire you have all thrown at me and I will withstand the fire that President Obama will throw at me because I will continue to run a campaign on issues, ideas, and solutions, and the people will not fall for President Obama’s tactics of political distraction and personal destruction”. 

Ron Paul:

Ron Paul may not need to do anything much differently than he already has.  An apparently divided Republican base is giving him the chance to actually win Iowa, something which is now very possible.  But such a win may not help Ron Paul very much beyond Iowa.  Look at where it got Mike Huckabee in 2008.  But if Ron Paul wants to try to win Iowa and become a viable candidate beyond the Hawkeye State, he needs to appear, sound, and act presidential.  I am not suggesting that he drop his hadrcore conviction to isolationist policies and lack of drive for a decent national defense.  However I am suggesting that many voters may take him more seriously, even as a candidate to cast a protest vote for, if he acted more like a President than the crazy old man throwing stones at the neighbor’s cat to chase it away from his tomato plants.

Rick Perry:

This is a tough one.  At this point, Perry needs to build himself up and knock down Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich all at the same time.  He must also shine in a way that makes people believe he can hold his own against Barack Obama.  The best way for him to do that is to be as natural and confident as he is in numerous, scripted, 30 second ads and eloquently contrast the conservative failings of the two frontrunners with his record in Texas. “You guys want to talk about creating jobs?  Then let’s do that.  How many Americans lost their jobs when you and your investors got filthy rich while hurting ordinary workers by buying companies, jacking up their profits at the expense of workers and then reselling them, Mitt?  And Newt, how many jobs were created when your government shutdowns in the 90’s as Speaker of the House cost Americans over $1.6 trillion?  I am the only one on this stage who has actually shaped a government environment that has allowed businesses to flourish and for the free market to create jobs.  I am the only one on this stage who has actually limited government’s involvement in people’s lives and that’s a message that I can take to the American people as they compare my record to President Obama’s record”.  Statements similar to that in nature, may not make Perry the winner of the Iowa caucuses but they will help keep him in the race and give him the chance to reshape his image as the long campaign continues.

Michele Bachmann & Rick Santorum:

While all the candidates are trying to speak to the large evangelical vote in Iowa, these two need to aim their words far more directly at them than all their rivals.  If they intend to see their campaigns survive past New Hampshire, both Bachmann and Santorum need to surprise the political world with a Huckabee-like finish in the caucuses that is hammered together by a coalescing of evangelical voters behind them. Both of them must convincingly argue that they are consistent in their beliefs and their politics and that they are both reform minded conservatives who can defeat President Obama.  The problem is that Santorum and Bachmann are seemingly cancelling one another out.  So one of them must try to somehow land a knockout punch on the other.  The one who can take the other out in this debate, will make themselves quite competitive in the remaining weeks of the Iowa caucus campaign and will have the best shot of seeing their campaign last until at least South Carolina.  Consider Bachmann and Santorum as having to use this as a debate within a debate to win the caucus within the caucus.

Jon Huntsman:

Huntsman has written off every early primary state except for New Hampshire.  While Giuliani pinned his presidential hopes on Florida in 2008, in 2012, Huntsman is pinning all his on New Hampshire.  More specifically, he is pinning his hopes on beating Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.  Given that strategy, Huntsman is the only candidate on the stage who can afford to ignore Iowa voters and instead address New Hampshire voters.  That means Huntsman has to paint himself as a John McCain type of maverick, who is willing to go against the grain of his own Party and be the consistent conservative that mainstream Republican politicians are not.  Like Rick Perry, Huntsman must try to give answers that all lead back to his conservative management of Utah when he was Governor.  All of that is going to be a hard sell, but that is the only way he can go now that his campaign bought a one way ticket to New Hampshire.

flagline.jpg line image by truckthis

The  debate will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center Today, Thursday, December 15th from 9:00-11:00 PM/ET, in conjunction with the Iowa Republican Party.

It will be moderated by Special Report anchor Bret Baier on FOX News Channel (FNC) and live-streamed on YouTube.com/FOXNews, in addition to FOX News Radio, FOX News Mobile, and FOXNews.com.

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Romney Attack Ad Pulled Because of CNN’s Objections: See the Ad Here.

Bookmark and Share   In a previous post, White House 2012 addressed the situation involving an anti-Perry web ad posted on Youtube by Mitt Romney’s campaign.  The ad called “Ready to Lead” used clips of Perry from the recent CNN sponsored debate in Nevada and essentially made Perry look foolish and anything but “Ready to Lead”.

Not long after the ad appeared it was pulled from Romney’s Youtube page without explanation.

Now we learn that White House 2012’s original suggestion that the ad may have been pulled because of an innocent copyright conflict is indeed the reason for why the ad was pulled.   According to CNN,

“CNN did not consent to the use of its copyrighted material for this ad, and CNN objects to the use of its talent in any campaign ad.  We respectfully requested that the Romney campaign not use CNN material in their campaign ads and they complied.”

 According to National Review Online, Andrea Saul of the Romney Camp issued the following statement;

 “While the use of the CNN clips was fully within our rights under the law, we respect and appreciate the role CNN has played as host in debates over the last several months. For this reason, we are honoring their request to remove the video,” said Romney spokesperson

Meanwhile, a script of the pulled ad obtained through AD FACTS, gives us a look at just foolish Romney’s campaign tried to make Perry look, and may ad, that is not a very difficult thing to do.

  • CNN’s ANDERSON COOPER: “And welcome to the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian in Las Vegas.”
  • CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “And welcome to the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian in Las Vegas.” (Republican Presidential Candidates Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 10/19/11)
  • CNN’s JOHN KING: “It is Rick Perry’s moment of truth.”
  • CNN’s John King: “In presidential politics, it is Rick Perry’s moment of truth.” (CNN’s “John King, USA,” 10/11/11)
  • CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “Republicans need to believe that if they are going to nominate somebody, this person can stand next to Barack Obama on the stage.”
  • CNN’s Gloria Borger: “Republicans need to believe that if they are going to nominate somebody, this person can stand next to Barack Obama on the stage and go at him and do well at it.” (CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” 10/12/11)
  • RICK PERRY: “Was it — was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for.”
  •  Rick Perry: “Was it — was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade?” (Republican Presidential Candidates Debate, Orlando, FL, 9/22/11)
  • CNN’s RANDI KAYE: “Do or die for him.”
  • CNN’s Randi Kaye: “Some, tonight, say it’s do or die for him.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 10/11/11)
  • RICK PERRY: “Not whether or not we are going to have this policy or that policy. …We don’t need any plan.”
  • Rick Perry: “What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we are going to have this policy or that policy. … We don’t need any plan to pass Congress.” (Republican Presidential Candidates Debate, Hanover, NH, 10/11/11)
  • FOX NEWS’ BRIT HUME: “Perry did really throw up all over himself in the debate.”
  • Fox News’ Brit Hume: “They’re all — I mean, Perry really did throw up all over himself in the debate at a time when he needed to raise his game.” (Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 9/25/11)
  • RICK PERRY: “But the fact is, Americans understand faith.”
  • Rick Perry: “But the fact is, Americans understand faith.” (Republican Presidential Candidates Debate, 10/18/11)
  • CNN’s CAROL COSTELLO: “Rick Perry plunging in the polls, rolling the dice.”
  • CNN’s Carol Costello: “Rick Perry plunging in the polls, rolling the dice with a sharp attack against Mitt Romney and it got ugly and uncomfortable.” (CNN’s “American Morning,” 10/19/11)
  • NEVADA GOP CHAIRWOMAN AMY TARKANIAN: “He would just calm down. He seemed very agitated.”
  • Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian: “A lot of people that were sitting by me were hoping that he would just calm down. He seemed very agitated.” (CNN’s “American Morning,” 10/19/11)
  • REDSTATE’s ERICK ERICKSON: “Set the benchmark so low at the last debate.”
  • RedState.com’s Erick Erickson: “He set such a benchmark so low at the last debate.” (CNN’s “John King, USA,” 10/12/11)
  • RICK PERRY: “I mean we’ll wait until tomorrow, and see…”
  • Rick Perry: “I mean, we’ll wait until tomorrow and — and — and see which Mitt Romney we’re really talking to tonight.” (Republican Presidential Candidates Debate, Orlando, FL, 9/22/11)
  • FOX NEWS’ GRETCHEN CARLSON: “He doesn’t have his economic plan yet.”
  • Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson: “He doesn’t have his economic plan yet.” (Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” 9/22/11)
  • REDSTATE’s ERICK ERICKSON: “All he had to do is show up and smile.”
  • RedState.com’s Erick Erickson: “I mean, really, all he had to do is show up and smile at this debate, and the Perry folks would be a little bit feeling at ease this morning.” (CNN’s “John King, USA,” 10/12/11)
  • THE WASHINGTON POST’s DANA MILBANK: “He’s just a shadow of his former self.”
  • The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: “He’s just a shadow of his former self.” (MSNBC, 9/23/11)
  • CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “You cannot do that debate with other Republicans he’s going to have a hard time against Barack Obama.”
  • CNN’s Gloria Borger: “And if he cannot do that in a debate with his Republican contenders, with the other Republicans, he’s going to have a hard time against Barack Obama. That’s what people are looking for. And he hasn’t shown it yet.” (CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” 10/11/11)
  • VIDEO TEXT: “Rick Perry, Ready To Lead?”
  • VIDEO TEXT: “Coming Soon, www.careerpolitician.com

And here is a portion of the ad caught on CNN:

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Who Won The Iowa Presidential Debate? Vote Now

With the third debate now wrapped up, who do you think won it?

Vote  now!

If you haven’t had the chance to see the full debate, you can view it here.  And for a White House 2012 assessment of the debate’s winners and losers visit here.

 

 

 

Iowa’s Republican Presidential Debate. Who Won, Who Lost? See The Debate Here for Yourself

Bookmark and Share  Watch the Complete Debate Below

After last night’s debate, some believe that if Standard & Poors could have downgraded the Republican presidential field, they would have .  Many agree that no ground really shifted by any of the candidate’s performances.  My view is that some were hurt more than others but nobody other than Newt Gingrich really tapped into the anti-establishment sentiment that will go a long way in winning the nomination and the 2012 general election.  The problem is that many are unsure if Gingrich can really get himself back in the game and even if he does, popular opinion is that he would have the right message but is too flawed a messenger.  Ron Paul delivered his ususual, often impractica,l anti-establishement for anti-establishment’s sake message that answers no questions and has no solutions, but Rick Santorum offered an aggressive rebuttal of his old “say much, answer nothing” routine. 

For a better and more in-depth, White House 2012 assessment of the debate, see Friday’s post on the topic.

Five particular highlights you may really enjoy consist of the exchanges between Michele Bachmann and Tim Palwenty in their ongoing Minnesota mini-drama (that can be found 16:o5 minutes in to the video below and again at 39:00 minutes), the healthcare reform discussion (46:00 minutes in),  Rick Santorum’s attack against Bachnman and Paul in what he calls the “10th Amendment run amuck”  (53:05), Rick Santorum’s and Ron Paul’s exchange which highlighted the impracticality of Paul’s libertarian extremism (1:05:43) , and Byron York’s controversial question to Michele Bachmann about being submissive to her husband (1:19:38)

***On a more personal note, I don’t disagree with everything Ron Paul says.  I value his limited governement direction.  But I do not like his “no governent” direction, especially when it comes to his ignorance concerning the defense of our nation.  Furthermore; My admitted, often obnoxious criticism of Ron Paul is a result of the consistenlty obnoxious behavior of Ron Pauliacs.

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Sarah Palin Tells Chris Wallace What “President Palin” Would Do

Bookmark and Share   I have stopped predicting who will enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination. After seeing names like Pence, Thune, Barbour, and Huckabee, all shy away from a bid for the nomination and after being convinced that Mitch Daniels would run, only to find out that he won’t, I have stopped trying to figure out what any other potential candidates will do. This is especially so concerning former Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Pain is a master at throwing people off guard. She relishes her ability to befuddle the media that tries to follow her every move and she holds her cards close. However, in a rather extensive 25 minute interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Governor Palin sounded like someone prepared to challenge President Obama in 2012.

Palin came across as calm, cool, and in command of the issues. Her opinions were also presented in a way that made her come across as a  populist with a common sense conservative approach to the problems being denied by our President, but understood by the people.

In one of her brightest moments of the interview, Sarah hit Democrats and the President on the economy and said;

“Their [the Democrats]plans for bigger government, more federal control over our private sector, more regulation and burdensome mandates on the people, and on our businesses, its not working and we need to shift gears and change course.  And it is very noble of President Obama to want to stay at the helm and maybe go down with the sinking ship, but I prefer,…… many Americans prefer…… that we start plugging up the holes, powering up the bilge pump, and start to get rid of this unsustainable debt that is sonking our ship.”

Palin sounded most like a presidential candidate when host Chris Wallace asked the former vice presidential nominee, “What would President Palin do, specifically, to boost the economy?

Without any hesitation, Palin simply said that she “would go in the opposite direction of what these Democrats and President Obama have tried in these past 2 ½ years.” But as she continued her answer, at about 4 minutes, 10 seconds into the interview, she stated,

“What President Palin would do is cut the federal budget….making sure that we’re not crowding out private sector investment. And we will cut that spending”

Another telling point came when Wallace pointed out that Palin and Bachmann are both popular TEA Party figures as well as social conservatives and as such, asked Palin  if there was room for both her and Bachmann in the race, or would they split the same base of support between them?

Here , Sarah Palin gave a response that may have offered a “between the lines” interpretation indicative of her sense that she fully expects to become a candidate.

Palin stated;

“No, we have differences too. I have many years of executive experience too, and she has her strengths to add to the race. But no, yeah, there is certainly room. The more the merrier. The more competition, the better.”

That segment of the interview can be found at almost the very end of the video at about 23 minutes, 30 seconds in to it.

While I once leaned towards believing that Palin was not going to run for President, the last month has made me begin to think that she might actually go for it. For a while, she was suspiciously absent from the political scene as she laid relatively low. For me, that was a sign of Palin preparing for something big and trying to not overexpose herself too early. Now, while Palin vigorously argues that she is simply celebrating our American history, her recent bus tour for that  purported purpose, offers up an oddly timed, campaign-like experience, that affords her valuable attention.

Now we can add to that this nearly half hour long interview, an interview in which Palin talks about decisions that would come from a “President Palin”, and discusses room in the race for her and other candidates, so matter-of-factly, that it almost sounds as though she is welcoming candidates to challenge her for the nomination. But I am still not getting my hopes up.

The positive potential that I believe exists in a Palin presidential candidacy is endless. In 2008, I was part of a movement to nominate her for Vice President and became one of the happiest people in the world of politics when she actually was nominated. I believe it was the only smart decision made by John McCain and his campaign. However; I do admit that since then, Palin has been somewhat marginalized by a vindictive, liberal element and relentlessly brutal media. To a degree, her image was damaged and her negative ratings surpassed her positive ratings. But I also believe that if Sarah Palin can transition from playing the role of Republican cheerleader to Republican statesman, she could easily turn those ratings around. All Palin needs to do is come across a bit more Thatcher-like than pop star-like, and she could easily become America’s “Iron Lady”.

This latest interview was a step in that direction.

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Tim Pawlenty Could Stand To Gain While The Big Names Sit On The Sidelines

Bookmark and ShareThe 1st GOP Presidential debate is in the books. There are those who feel it lacked the “Wow” factor that it would have had if the top polling candidates had taken part. With Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin all declining to attend, the field was filled with candidates whose names are not well known on a national scale. Texas congressman Ron Paul is probably the exception to that statement but his public persona and Libertarian views have never played well to most in the GOP.

Of the remainder of the field that included former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative talk show host Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, it may have been Pawlenty that came out with the most to gain from the absence of the big name candidates.

Most of those polled said that they came away with a better opinion of Herman Cain than any other candidate. I agree. Cain came away as the non-politician’s politician but he is an unknown to most voters and will need much more than this debate to get the recognition he will need to mount a serious run. Santorum is known to a certain degree through his work on Fox News but has established himself as the social issues candidate so far in a time where the economy will likely reign supreme. Gary Johnson is the poor man’s Ron Paul and did little to move up the ladder in the debate and at points looked uncomfortable on the stage. Ron Paul is simply Ron Paul. Most Republican’s tend to agree with his economic stances and most independents with his social stances but he has difficulty communicating them in a manner that helps him in a conservative GOP primary.

That leaves Pawlenty, who did little to “Wow” the audience but came across as a solid candidate when put next to the CEO with little experience, the Libertarian’s with little communication skills and the evangelical social issue guy, as a possible challenger to the big name candidates who themselves have issues that will be exploited if and when they decide to enter the race. Romney has to answer for his health care program he implemented while Governor of MA. Gingrich has had marriage issues that have haunted him for years. Huckabee has issues regarding his stances on crime while Governor of Arkansas and Palin, well she has always incurred the wrath of the media and I expect if she decides to run in 2012 it will be no different.

So although he may have not brought the “wow” factor with him to South Carolina last Thursday night, it could be Tim Pawlenty who very well takes away the most from the debate. Although Herman Cain may have hit the “wow” factor it was Pawlenty who by reason of recognition stands to gain the most from the decision of the big names to sit this one out. If he stays on message and the more recognizable names continue to sit dormant, Tim Pawlenty has one up on the other candidates.

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Presidential Debate Criteria Set

Bookmark and Share On May 5th, Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party will be holding one of the first official Republican presidential debates and today they have released the qualifications that candidates must reach in order to be eligible to participate.

According to a press release from Fox News “Every potential debate candidate must meet all six steps of the … criteria no later than 5 p.m. [Eastern time] on Friday, April 29, in order to be eligible for participation in the debate”

All participants must:

  1. Register a presidential exploratory committee or have announced a formal campaign for president.
  2. File all required paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission.
  3. File necessary paperwork with the South Carolina Republican Party.
  4. Paid federal and state filing fees.
  5. Meet all constitutional requirements.
  6. Received at least an average of 1 percent in five national polls, based on the most recent polling leading up to April 29th.

According to South Carolina State GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd, so far those who expect to meet the qualifications and to participate in the debate include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania will participate.

One of the often mentioned names that has declined to participate is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

And in case you didnt notice, since Ron Paul has stated he will be participating, I guess that answers the question of whether or not he is running for President.

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Fox News Suspends Rick Santorum And Newt Gingrich

As announced by anchor Bret Baier late Wednesday morning, Fox News has ‘suspended it’s contributors arrangements’ with 2012 presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. for the next 60 days while they are in the process of deciding on a 12012 run at the White House. Both, Baier said, “have signaled possible runs for the presidency” and it “is Fox policy” for them to be suspended addressing concerns that once an official announcement is made, that the network would come under fire for ethics violations as well as campaign finance laws that may have been violated as the candidates were positioning themselves for a campaign.

Santorum has agreed to take part in Presidential debates and Gingrich is ‘exploring’ an exploratory committee. Both which Fox feels are signals that the two are planning on making runs in 2012.

The suspensions will be lifted on May 1 if the candidates notify Fox News that they will not be throwing their hat in the ring. If Fox is not notified by that deadline the contracts will be terminated.

What is sparking debate however is that Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, both Fox News employees and potential presidential candidates, were not suspended at this time because neither has made an official move towards a campaign. If that happens it is assumed that they will also be subject to the same Fox policies although Huckabee actually has his own show while the others are simply on the payroll as ‘contributors.’

If all 4 announce at some point there will be ample opportunity at Fox News for other conservative faces to get some air time. Taking applications?

Rick Santorum Warns Republican’s :You Can’t Fight The Sesame Street Lobby.

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Former Pennsylvania Senator and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stated Tuesday that the Republican’s attempt to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, who among others operates PBS and NPR, was largely futile due to the opposition that will be presented by the “Barney” and “Sesame Street” contingents who wholly support the CPB.

Republicans have named the CPB, which provides funding to public radio and television stations, as one of their proposed budgetary cuts

“When I came to Congress, I was one of the guys that said we gotta cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It wasn’t necessary anymore,” Santorum said. “The ‘Barney‘ contingent came out and the ‘Sesame Street‘ contingent came out, and these are programs that are popular among families and so they hit you pretty hard.”

NPR has come under fire recently for it’s firing of liberal correspondent Juan Williams for an opinion he gave regarding fear when seeing a person in Muslim garb on an airplane. The comment was made on the popular Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor. Williams firing was seen by many as retribution for his working with Fox News rather than his comments. The publicity surrounding the incident put NPR, and it’s public funding, back in the spotlight.

I for one am under the belief that if the programming is good and there is a solid base of listeners and viewers, there is no reason that the private broadcast corporations won’t pick them up. Regardless of the “Sesame Street Lobby” Republicans should continue to push for cuts of non-essential budgetary spending. If everyone loves Barney……he should be just as able to support a spot on MSNBC. Don’t they have an open time slot?

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The Season of Sarah

If you are a C-Span junkie like me, then tonight was a great night.  Palin backed TEA Party Candidate Christine O’Donnell gave a speech at the Family Research Counsel’s Values Voter Summit, fresh off a surprise upset win in Delaware.  Next up, cameras cut to Iowa for Sarah Palin’s keynote speech at the annual Ronald Reagan dinner.  The Values Voter Summit straw poll results will be released this weekend and Palin may receive higher marks than we would have expected even a week ago.

There is no question the momentum is on her side.  While the mainstream still does not like Palin, primary victories in Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada, New York, and Delaware have earned her the respect even mainstream conservatives had previously refused to give.  Of course, she has made some odd enemies along the way, including possibly Karl Rove and Charles Krauthhammer who are not yet believers.  November will be the ultimate testing ground.

Sarah Palin goes to Iowa

So with this recent success, and a much more polished presentation, is Palin ready to take another shot at the big time?  She indicated to Fox News that she is.  Most candidates don’t let the cat out of the bag two years ahead of time, but Palin said in a recent Fox News interview that, “If the American people were to be ready for someone who is willing to shake it up, and willing to get back to time-tested truths, and help lead our country towards a more prosperous and safe future and if they happen to think I was the one, if it were best for my family and for our country, of course I would give it a shot.”

These may seem like a lot of caveats, but for a potential candidacy statement two years before the election it is significant.  November will be the huge test to see if conservative primary victories can translate into conservative general election victories.  After that, we will have to see if Palin can keep Americans engaged without causing fatigue.  One thing is for sure, as she racks up the conservative victories and the left continues to flounder, Palin is looking less like a right wing radical and more like a mainstream possibility.

Setting Himself Apart

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Former Arkansas Governor and 2008 GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke out on NPR Wednesday against changing the 14th amendment. A stance that differs greatly from that of many high profile Republicans such as John Kyl (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The former Governor even went as far as to state, ” “You do not punish a child for something the parent did.”

As the nation takes a look at it’s immigration issues it is sure to be a hot button topic going into the mid-term elections and has no signs of slowing headed into the showdown in 2012. Huckabee’s split from the consensus of some of the most high profile members of his party certainly will set him apart from the rest should he decide to make a run at the GOP’s 2012 nomination.

In a time when many conservative voters are calling for an end to illegal immigration and an end to birthright citizenship, the Governor stated “”The question is: Is [an undocumented child born outside of the U.S.] better off going to college and becoming a neurosurgeon or a banker or whatever he might become, and becoming a taxpayer, and in the process having to apply for and achieve citizenship, or should we make him pick tomatoes?” “I think it’s better if he goes to college and becomes a citizen.”

Huckabee stated that he does not support amnesty but does not support repealing an amendment to the Constitution either.

It is a stance that sets him apart from many in his party and from the opinions of many of the conservative voters he will need to make a serious run in 2012. If it will help or hurt has yet to be determined. What has been determined however, is that Mike Huckabee is not going to tow the line on the subject. A decision that could end up hurting his chances should he decide to make another run at the White House.

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