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?

As I Asked Before, Does It Make Sense to Endorse the People You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share    Last week I was criticized for criticizing now former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson for endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination while at the same time seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination.  I made a bit of a stink about the stupidity of endorsing the candidacy of someone who you intend to oppose.

As it turned out, when Johnson made it official that he was changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian, dropping his bid for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, and seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, he did not come right out and endorse Ron Paul.  That made sense.

However, this week, one day before the Iowa Caucuses, Gary Johnson lived up to expectations and came out with the following statement.

“While Ron Paul and I are both libertarians, we don’t necessarily agree on every single issue.

However, on the overriding issues of restoring our economy by cutting out-of-control spending and the need to get back to Constitutional principles in our government, Ron Paul and I are in lock-step.”

….I am hopeful that in urging my supporters in Iowa to vote for Ron Paul in the coming caucuses, a victory for the principles we share can be won.”

Thank you Gary Johnson.

Thanks for redeeming me and my previous post on this topic.  You have helped make my questions more relevant than ever and it is my greatest hope that you will in eventually  decide whether you want to be President or whether you want Ron Paul to be President. Once you make that decision, maybe you will finally be able to do a little good for either yourself or Ron Paul.  Until then you are  just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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Paul’s Little Johnson: Does It Make Sense to Endorse Someone You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share  The question may sound silly but if reports are true, former New Mexico Governor and soon to be former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson is about to make it a very pertinent question.

In a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, Gary Johnson is expected to withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination, register as a Libertarian, and declare his intention to seek that Party’s presidential nomination.   Then he is reportedly going to endorse Ron Paul.

Given the lack of attention that Johnson has been able to direct to himself, the move is one driven by the desire to have some relevance in the 2012 election, something which up to now, Johnson has not been able to pull off.  It is an attempt at political survival that in Johnson’s case, is now highly unlikely to work.

Part of the reason Johnson did not gain any attention in the Republican nomination contest is due to his own lack of charisma and inarticulate messaging.  Johnson is about as inspirational as a pallbearer, but if that wasn’t bad enough, he was overshadowed by another very uninspiring figure……..Ron Paul.

As the two most Libertarian candidates in the field, not only are both men out of touch when it comes to their unrealistic and dangerous foreign policy stands that put them out of touch with mainstream America, they also have both tried to compete for the small but increasing Libertarian voting bloc within the G.O.P.  And it is that competition that ruined any glimmer of hope for attention that Johnson may have had because the cult of personality surrounding quadrennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, simply sucked what little oxygen that did exist in  Johnson’s campaign, right out of it.

Given the circumstances, if Johnson wants to continue with any kind of legitimate campaign for President, then seeking the Libertarian Party nomination is the only logical decision for him to make.  It is a decision which he should have made long ago.

But now come reports that Johnson is about to diminish even that small glimmer of political hope by coupling his announcement to seek the Libertarian presidential nomination with an endorsement of Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination.

This leads me to ask, is Johnson going to also endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination too?  Why not come out and also endorse Ralph Nader for the Green Party, Ross Perot for the United We Stand Party, Cynthia McKinney for the Socialist Workers Party, and Lyndon LaRouche for the “Only Other Living Candidate to Run for President as Many Times as Ron Paul Party” nominee?

In a previous post, I offered some praise of Gary Johnson and stated that based on his record of accomplishments as a governor, he was a superior candidate when compared to Ron Paul.  Ron Paul has done little more than preach and participate in acts of political hypocrisy for close to two decades.  But Gary Johnson actually put his Libertarian beliefs to work and applied them to state government.  I continue to stand by that belief.  However, if it is true that Johnson is changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian and subsequently announcing his quest for the Libertarian presidential nomination while simultaneously endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, than I have only one thing to say to Johnson………… Give it up!

I could respect Johnson for coming to the realization that because of his reckless foreign policy and national security sentiments, he is out of touch with Republicans and will therefore seek the nomination of a Party more in tune with his poor judgement on those issues.  But I cannot respect him if he is actually going to do so while endorsing someone who, if he wins the Libertarian, he will be competing against.  That is just plain stupid and is further evidence of just how poor Johnson’s judgement is.

Of course it is all probably just one big game.  Another round of political BS coming from another holier than thou politician who is too proud to to admit that they are not good enough, but too ambitious to not kiss the rear end of a fellow career politician.

Most of us know that Ron Paul will not be the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of where he finishes in next week’s Iowa Caucuses.  Not being  a stupid man, Gary Johnson probably knows this too.  So his endorsement of Ron Paul is most likely a gesture designed to entice those who are supporting Ron Paul during the Republican presidential nomination process, to turn around and support Johnson for President when Paul is out of the race.  The problem is that Ron Paul may not ever drop out of the race.  When he loses the Republican nomination, he might just turn around and run as an independent candidate or compete against Johnson for the Libertarian nomination.

If Ron Paul does either of the two, Johnson is dead meat.  How can he possibly wage a realistic race against the man he endorsed?

That is why, if these reports are true, and Johnson does announce his Libertarian presidential candidacy while also endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, I will be forced to label him a true political clown, because it all comes down to this, either you believe you are the best, most qualified, person for the job of President and believe that you can do a better job than all the others, or you don’t.  And if you don’t think you are the best person for the job, than you have no right wasting our time by seeking the position and whining about how you deserve time in nationally televised debates that already offer precious little time to legitimate candidates.

In many ways, the point is moot.  Gary Johnson did already endorse Ron Paul back in early December, as seen in this clip.  So whether Johnson reiterates this support for Paul during his announcement today, or not, I will congratulate him for finally  realizing that he has a snowball’s chance in hell at becoming the Republican presidential nominee and for deciding to give that campaign up.  But  I suggest that he make another decision too.  He should decide whether he wants to be President or whether he wants Ron Paul to be President. Once he makes that decision, maybe he will finally be able to do a little good for either himself or Ron Paul.  Until then he is just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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Gary Johnson Preparing to Bolt from the G.O.P. and Seek the Libertarian Presidential Nomination

Bookmark and Share  The Independent Political Report recently revealed that former Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be withdrawing from the race for the Republican presidential nomination,  and instead, begin pursuing the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

While this news is dramatic, it is really more personaly dramatic for Gary Johnson than it is for most American voters.  To them the real news is that Gary Johnson was running for President in any Party.

Johnson was one of the first candidates to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, but few ever knew.  His lack of nationalname ID and seeming lack of personality made it quite hard for Gary Johnson to ever really have a chance to catch on with the public.  In addition to scant media coverage of his candidacy, little to no interest in his candidacy gave few media outlets any desire to cover his campaign.  White House 2012 contacted Gary Johnson several times in an attempt to give him the opportunity for such coverage, but apparently, he decided that no coverage was better than any coverage by White House 2012.

Now it would seem that Gary Johnson has come to accept the vicious cycle of political anonymity that he exists in and is ready to to try to become a big fish in the little Libertarian pond, instead of being a Guppy in a big lake.

While news of any aggressive moderate or right of center candidacy can significantly harm Republican chances of defeating President Obama,  Gary Johnson’s third party candidacy will have little effect on the election even if he wins the Libertarian nomination.  Whereas such a campaign by Ron Paul could doom any chance of beating President Obama 2012, the same does not hold true for Johnson,  whose Libertarian bid for the presidency will only prove to generate the same kind of voter attention and enthusiasm that his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has generated.

In many ways, Johnson’s inability to run a campaign that could get his message out is a very sad state of affairs.

As a popular two term Governor, he became one of the few people to actually deliver on limited government and reducing the size of  government.  He is also one of the few elected officials who has actually governed in accordance with the fiscal conservatism that he preaches.  Compared to Ron Paul, Gary Johnson is actually a much better leader.  While Paul preaches, Johnson did what he preached.  While Ron Paul has accomplished little to nothing in his attempts to reform government, Gary Johnson has actually achieved reforms.

Truth be told, if I had the opportunity to elect Johnson governor of my state, I would.  He is a true small government, fiscal conservative.  However, like Ron Paul, he and his policies lack any merit when it comes to what is the federal government’s main constitutional repsonisibility…..foreign affairs and national security.  Sadly, this is a disqualifier.  It is also one of the reasons why no one has taken Gary Johnson seriously as a presidential candidate.

Ultimately, Johnson’s potential third party candidacy is the best thing for him and for the Libertarian Party, he is the next best thing to Ron Paul for them and it is probably what Johnson should have done from the very beginning.

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Ann Coulter Rips Newt, Endorses Romney

In case you wanted to see the laundry list of reasons to stay home in 2012 if Newt gets the nomination, an influential member of the media provided them in a weekly newsletter last night.  No, I am not talking about George Soros.  Believe it or not, Ann Coulter’s signature is on the blade firmly implanted in Newt’s back.  Newt has been anticipating mainstream media attacks since his turn at the top began, and so far he has been handling them beautifully.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t looking over his shoulder.

Coulter, normally a reliable Reaganite, dredged up every non-rightwing conservative thing Newt has done throughout his career, and added her own arrows in the unfair Freddie Mac attack on Newt for consulting work he did over the last decade before the financial collapse.

Coulter stated that “…everyone knows the nominee is going to be Romney.”  While highlighting Newt’s couch moment with Pelosi, Coulter ignored Romney’s liberal past transgressions aside from Romneycare, whose relevance she equated to Romney being a Mormon.  Romney is a great candidate, but to hear it from Coulter, you would think he is the only viable candidate Republicans can find.

Ann, let me take a moment to address  you as one blogger to another.  First of all, if you’ve been reading my blog then you would know that Romney very well may not be the nominee.  Second, if you have been reading the polls, then you know that Romney is not the only person on planet earth that can beat Barack Obama.  Third, if you’ve been reading Obama’s record, then shame on you for even accepting the premise that he is any more electable than even Gary Johnson.  And fourth, if you had been listening to Newt Gingrich, you would know that such unfair attacks like the one you leveled against him in your newsletter will not help to defeat Obama in 2012.

The reason for the rise and fall of Socially Conservative candidates in this race is that the non-establishment wing of the Republican Party wants a Socially Conservative candidate who can beat Barack Obama.  They thought they had it with Bachmann, but it became clear she could not beat Obama.  They thought they had it with Perry, but he turned out to be an embarrassment.  They thought they had it with Cain, but his ideas on taxes and his mishandling of media attacks are threatening his chances.  They have never thought they had that with Romney.  Romney has been the man for the establishment, and he has done very well.  But he is certainly not cleaner than Newt when it comes to his record.

I have a great deal of respect for Ann Coulter.  Most of the time I agree with her.  Today, my advice to Ann Coulter is come back to our side.  If someone is going to attack Newt, let it be the enemy, not those who should be his friends.  And let the American people decide whether they want Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich to take on the worst President in our nation’s history.  If you need some ideas of things to write about, shoot me an email at whitehouse2012blog@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to talk about Solyndra, Jon Corzine, Fast and Furious, Occupy Wall Street’s assassination attempt, Obama thinking Hawaii is in Asia, UNICEF’s US funded war on foreign adoption, the debt super committee, or a whole host of other topics your readers would rather read about than a hit piece on Newt Gingrich.

Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

No, if you believe his now former Iowa director Tina Goff and Kevin Hall who was in charge of coordinating for the Iowa straw poll in just over a month.  Jim Zeiler has also left the Iowa staff and Cain lost his New Hampshire director earlier this week.  When it comes to managing a campaign, things are not looking good for Cain.

On the other hand, Cain is looking good in the Iowa polls.  Most recently he came in second only to perpetual front runner Mitt Romney and remade Michelle Bachmann.

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

The problem is that Cain has not done or said anything to differentiate himself from Michelle Bachmann.  Going into this race he had perhaps set himself apart as a more “serious” candidate, and certainly took on early momentum from the TEA Party.  But Bachmann easily out-shined him in the debate and continues to make the right steps even in the face of extreme character assassination.  Bachmann’s successes have made her detractors appear to be less “serious”.

In the meantime, Cain is reducing himself to soundbite worthy quips and small government platitudes while his substance seems to be a foggy mirror of the clarity Bachmann has produced.  The result is that Cain is quietly slipping into the shadows where other candidate copies, like Gary Johnson (generic brand Ron Paul) and Jon Huntsman (Mitt Romney clone only the media is excited about) reside.  Bachmann is quickly taking the TEA Party energy.

In some ways, Cain brought this on himself.  His radio host style speeches leave little substance to hang one’s hat on and his brief handling of gay marriage in the debate has alienated him from the religious section of the TEA Party.  In addition, at times he has seemed clueless on some of the more detailed issues such as right of return for a Palestinian state.  This still puts him miles ahead in knowledge from someone like Joe Biden who wanted a three state solution for Iraq.

Cain does have one demographic that still turns out strongly in support of him, and that is the African American conservatives, moderates, and independents.  Many of these who helped turn Florida blue for Barack Obama and are now disenchanted with his policies are indicating strong support for Cain.  Whereas Iowa is turning out to be a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Bachmann, all important Florida may end up being a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Cain. Real Clear Politics shows Cain in second place to Romney in Florida out of current candidates, but large percentages going to Huckabee and Palin.  It will be interesting to see how those Palin and Huckabee supporters break by the time we reach Florida.  It won’t be for Mitt Romney.

If Cain can survive until Florida and then capitalize on it, losing Iowa might not be that big a deal.  Then again, perhaps he should talk to Rudy Guiliani about that strategy.

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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Airtime for the backups

Aside from Tim Pawlenty, going into last night’s debate I think most pundits considered these to be second tier candidates. After last night, I will admit that the perception that most of these candidates don’t have a viable shot probably hasn’t changed. However, there were clear winners and clear losers. Here is my take on the debate, which at times will be blunt and harshly honest:

Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty demonstrated why he is a top tier candidate. He was professional, studied, and Presidential. He took clean shots at Obama and did not make missteps. However, his answer to Cap and Trade may come across to the base as a weak answer. Cap and Trade is already widely unpopular with the TEA party and conservative right. It is almost as unpopular as humbling yourself before the media and admitting a mistake. I think it was the best answer Pawlenty could give, but it highlighted that unfortunate decision to initially support Cap and Trade. Pawlenty’s other disadvantage coming into last night was that everyone expected a polished performance. He will be judged at a higher standard. I was pleased to see Pawlenty show some charisma and get the crowd motivated. However, when it came to charisma, Pawlenty was not the candidate who stole the show.

Herman Cain

Cain provided the night with a dose of Donald Trump charisma mixed with Sean Hannity conservatism. Cain was unequivocal and commanded the stage. He was a crowd pleaser who handled each question without a gaffe or misstep. I think Cain’s performance brought many conservatives to believe that he could be the conservative answer to the straightforward, no nonsense approach that Trump had become so popular for. My prediction is that we will begin to see Trump wane in popularity now that the birther issue has run its course and Cain stands to benefit. We will see if Cain can capitalize on his performance.

If Cain’s popularity does grow, he will need to find answers to a lot of questions on issues that have not seen the light of the mainstream media yet. For example, Cain defended his support of the Fairtax by mentioning the concept of a “prebate” paid to every family at the beginning of the month for essentials. But is Cain prepared to face scrutiny on the prebate idea? The IRS paid out billions in fraudulent stimulus checks as a one time deal. Kiplinger says that the IRS estimates that 25% of earned income credit payouts were incorrect and fraudulent. Can the government cut a check to every family in America at the beginning of every month without an Internal Revenue Service, individual tax returns, and massive fraud? Also, getting rid of the IRS sounds nice, but who is going to make sure businesses remit the fairtax and prebates are paid out without a revenue department in the government? Perhaps we will see in the course of this primary if Cain is running on answers or populism.

Rick Santorum

Santorum did a good job as a whole, and will appeal to the same conservatives that Bush appealed to. The question is if Santorum can position himself as more likely to win than Obama. Santorum’s message resonates with social conservatives, and he made it clear last night that his message hasn’t changed. Will conservatives vote for Santorum? While presenting himself as a solid candidate, he did not say anything last night that distinguished himself or rocketed him into the top tier. Santorum’s win for the night was the fact that he showed up, while Gingrich, Huckabee and others did not. But he is still overshadowed by other conservative heavyweights, including Gingrich, Bachmann, Huckabee, and now Cain.

Ron Paul

Paul hasn’t changed since 2008. While he says many things that make sense to conservative constitutionalists and libertarian Republicans, Paul still comes across as the enemy of all things Democrat and Republican. This is great for wooing independents and libertarians, but will not win Paul the Republican primary. For most of the night, I felt myself agreeing with and cheering Paul, but he will once again be the martyr of the protectionist, states rights conservatives. They understand what Paul is saying, they just can’t figure out why non-Paul Republicans don’t. Here’s a hint, Ron Paul still comes across as abrasive, obnoxious, and anti-Republican. This man could be President if he could figure out how to sell himself and explain why what he believes would actually work. I spent a good part of the evening asking myself why Republicans don’t support Ron Paul, but the answer is the same as last time he ran. He is an uncompromising and radical philosopher campaigning in a world of soundbites, and soundbites are not kind to Ron Paul.

Gary Johnson

Picture a more abrasive and whiny version of Ron Paul, but without the name recognition. With Ron Paul in the race, who needs Gary Johnson? He did not distinguish himself, except to come down on the traditionally liberal side of Iraq, Afghanistan (supported it before he was against it), and drugs. His “cost/benefit” approach to drug legalization portrayed a dollars above principles approach to policy. Whether his views on the cost benefit of the war on drugs are right or wrong, such a calloused approach to a moral question will not win him a conservative majority. Johnson only made matters worse by dismissing the conservative majority in the Republican party as unnecessary in the primary and guaranteed to be loyal in the general election. He should ask John McCain if Republicans need social conservatives to defeat Obama.

Johnson’s moment of charisma showed itself in the form of scolding the moderators for not asking him enough questions, a move that screams “I am unpolished, second tier, and everyone knows it but me”. He will find his frustrations at not being taken seriously will continue to grow, mainly because he is not a serious candidate.

Summary

After last night, I think Herman Cain moved up, Santorum, Paul and Pawlenty remained unchanged, and Johnson moved down. Gingrich was probably hurt the most by not showing up, Romney was hurt the least. Gingrich could have used the exposure and chance to showcase his debate skills. Romney sofar has seemed to transcend any primary activity in early polls as an assumed front runner by most whether he shows up or not. Mitch Daniels was probably the most unfairly represented absentee at the debate itself. In the end, the only lasting effects of this debate will be a bump for Herman Cain.

The First Presidential Debate. How’d They Do?

Bookmark and Share The first Republican presidential debate of the 2012 election most likely did little to influence the electoral fortunes of any of its participants. The forum did however provide many concerned voters with a decent introduction to candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Gary Johnson. As for the fifth debate participant, Congressman Ron Paul, many already know him and for those who do, Paul provided the consistency of his mix of true fiscal conservatism and Libertarian isolationism.

If one had to name a winner of the night, that decision might range widely. Initially, Herman Cain seems to have had the most impact among viewers who got their first real look at him. As I predicted in a previous post, Herman Cain did produce some of the wow factor that he has come to be known for. But in the final analysis I would have to say that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty got the most out of the night. While each of the candidates were gaffe free, Pawlentys performance was poised, polished and presidential. He demonstrated a clear level of confidence and comfort that helped convey both a command of the issues and the capacity to be a formidable force as the 2012 presidential campaign moves forward. Igt wasn’t the showstopper that he needs to become an automatic frontrunner, but it was the type of performance that keeps him in the top tier of the field.

The opening question was thrown to Governor Pawlenty who was asked about the statement he made a month ago in which he called President Obama weak. Moderator Brett Baier asked the Governor if he thought President Obama still looked week after the successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden? Governor Pawlenty made sure to give the President credit for his decision but he added that moment is not the sum total of Americas foreign policy.

In a similar question, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum bluntly stated that all the things President Obama has done right in foreign policy are continuations of Bush policies He cited the Presidents continuation of the Gitmo policy, finishing the mission in Iraq, and continuing our efforts in Afghanistan, as proof of his point.

On Afghanistan, Herman Cain claimed to not necessarily be willing toannouncea final decision on the war in Afghanistan until he was in a position where all the facts that only a President is privy to, are before him. Pointing to his successful business career he added that he takes pride in making an informed decision. Cain did however make some good points in insuring that wemust define our mission in Afghanistan more clearly than it currently is.

As for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, they shared the position that the United States should pull out of Afghanistan no later than tomorrow. Paul did however go further by claiming that now that bin Laden has been taken care of, we should end our efforts in Afghanistan because it hasnt helped us or anybody in the Middle East. That statement will be seen by many as a slap in the face to the men and women who continue to keep the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the run and are insuring that Afghanistan does not again become a breeding and training ground for the type of terrorism that was responsible for 9/11 and triggering the War on Terror.

The sharpest exchange of the evening came when the issue of enhanced interrogation came up.

Tim Pawlenty offered support for such extreme measures and in an impassioned defense of his position, explained that if possible, the terrorists would havekilled not 3,000 Americans, not 30,000 Americans but 300,000 Americans if they could have on 9/11 and in response to that harsh reality, harsh policies may at times be necessary.

When all the candidates were asked to indicate, by a show of hands, if they would support the use of enhanced interrogation tactics under certain circumstances, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum raised their hands. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Congressman Ron Paul did not. When moderator Chris Wallace pointed this out, Ron Paul stated that such tactics dont achieve anything. To which Rick Santorum interrupted with Paul thats just not true. Santorum proceeded to argue that the information obtained through enhanced interrogation tactics of detainees at Gitmo was responsible for the information that led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. He then punctuated the point by reminding the Congressman we wouldnt have been able to make the raid in Pakistan had we not been in Afghanistan

At that point, Herman Cain chimed in and recalled the remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who two months after 9/11 said that the terrorists objective is to kill all of us, and in what turned out to produce one of the nights most rousing spontaneous round of applause added so yes I support using whatever means possible to protect the people of this nation.

On the economy, the budget and taxes, all agreed that President Obama is helplessly lost on the issue and generally agreed upon reforms to Medicare and reductions in spending. For his part, Herman Cain called for an elimination of all taxes in exchange for a 28% Fair Tax. Both Cain and Governor Johnson called for the elimination of all Corporate taxes.

In total, most all the candidates performed adequately. Probably the least inspiring though was Gary Johnson. Johnson seemed a little awkward and failed to distinguish himself from Ron Paul by demonstrating that unlike Paul, as a Governor, Johnson didnt just preach the virtues of his Libertarian-Republican philosophy, he actually implemented it. Beyond that, Johnson did find it necessary to at one point step out of order to remind the debates questioners, that he was there and that maybe they should not direct all their questions to just his four opponents.

For his part, Herman Cains first appearance to the nation, within the context of a presidential campaign, was a success. While it may not have been the breakout performance he really needs, the particular debate format he was kept to, gave no one a real chance to achieve such a thing. Ultimately, he proved himself to be exceptionally worthy of consideration for the job he is seeking.

Ron Pauls participation in the debate allowed him to offer his usual compelling arguments but continued to put forth his policy positions with a type of rigidity and extremism that make them seem unrealistic to most voters. And while there were some obnoxious yells from the crowd that are typical of some within the Paul fan base, he did little to expand his base of support and to pull himself out of his normal single digit or low teens election returns.

As for Rick Santorum, while he showed himself to be viable, the greatest benefit that he got from the debate was a definite shoring up of the social conservative base which at the moment, is all that is really keeping his fledging campaign in the game.

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Where They Stand. White House 2012’s Monthly Ranking of the Republican Presidential Contenders

Bookmark and Share For the fourth month in a row, Mitt Romney remains ranked number one on White House 2012’s ranking of the Republicanpresidential contenders. Each month a formula that combines the ranking of each member of White House 2012’s contributing staff establishes the final results. And they are as folLows:
  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Mitch Daniels
  3. Tim Pawlenty
  4. Newt Gingrich
  5. Sarah Palin
  6. Rick Santorum
  7. Mike Huckabee
  8. Ron Paul
  9. Gary Johnson
  10. Donald Trump
  11. Jon Huntsman
  12. Michele Bachmann
  13. Herman Cain
  14. Rick Perry
  15. John Bolton
  16. General David Petraeus
  17. Jim DeMint
  18. Rudy Giuliani
  19. Chris Christie
  20. Buddy Roemer

During the month of April, therewere notruly dramatic shifts from the previous month. The top ten remains largely the same with a few moves up or down for some.

Although not an announced candidate, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels continues to hold on to the number two spot, while Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty switch places asNewt drops a notchto fourth place and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty moves up oneto third. Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin holds on to fifth place and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorummaintains sixth place.

The most significant jump up in the ranking for any candidate, comes from to self-describedLibertarian-Republican and former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson. He moves up four slots to ninth place. Fairing the worst in the WH12ranking is conservative South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. DeMinthas repeatedly stated that he will not run for President, but with his intention to be a part of the process in order to shape the debate, there is still a perceived lingering chance for him to become a late entry in the race, especially if there does not rise to the surface a clear conservative choice in the field. But the chances of that are slipping as DeMintfallssix places, to 17th.

New to the WH12ranking this month is former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. Out of twenty slots, he comes in 20th. He may begin to rise a littleafter Thursday’s presidential debate in South Carolina on Fox News. With only a few of the possible candidates attending, this will probablybe one of Roemer’s only chances of getting noticed and for people to learn that he is running.

If there is anything to berealized from this month’s WH12ranking, it is that there have been no events or movements by potential candidates that have swayed people one way or the other. Thus confirming that the 2012 election is running on a later schedule than it did in 2008. Aside from the confirmation that Haley Barbour is not running and that Donald Trump is looking like he may run, little has changed the conventionalthinking regarding Mitt Romney’s tentative frontrunner status which is a natural result of his 2008 campaign for President.And there is nothing that has changed the ability for Mitch Daniels to be a significantly competitiveforce if he decides to run. At the same time, according to WH12’sranking, based upon the current pool of possible candidates, names like Gingrich, Santorum, and Palin seem to show that they have a good chance of also being competetive, top-tier candidates.

In the end, at this point in time, it is anyone’s guess who Republicans will have opposing President Obama in 2012. That lack of a solid and obvious choice simply creates more and more doubt as many speculate that some yet unnamed, late entries in to the race will surface. With some names having announced that they will definitelynot run in 2012, we are left wondering who those late entrants might be. Could Texas Governor Rick Perry be pulled in to the race? Will one of the dynamic, but still untested, new governors be drawn in to the nomination contest? Is it possible that any number of them can enter the race, such as Nevada’s Brian Sandoval, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker or even slightly more senior newbies like Virginia’s Bob McDonnell or New Jersey’s powerhouse, Chris Christie? It is possible but highly unlikely. Any one of them have a much better shot at ending up on the presidential nominee’s vice presidential short list.

Could a fed up Republican from the senate enter? That too is possible. Maybe someone like Wyoming’s Senator, Dr. John Barrasso, or Alabama’s Jeff Sessions decide there just isn’t a suitable candidate in the race and so they jump in themselves.While the chance is there, it is quite slim. If any name that has not yet been discussed becomes a surprise candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, expect it to come from somewhere outside of politics. Like from the ranks of successful entrepreneurs. Maybe some wealthy, virtually unknownname like that of former naval reserve intelligenceofficer John Crowley,will stepon to the stage and sucks the air out of the room. John Crowley is the highly successful owner of a biotech company. But his business was not based on money, it was based on love. Love for his children who had a disease so rare, that the biotech industry had no incentive to pursuea successful treatment for it. So against all odds, Crowley started his own biotech company. Not only did the risky move produce a succesful treatment that keeps his children alive, his company continues to make new breakthroughs within the industry.

In 2010, because the Crowley story was so powerful, it was made into a movie, “Extraordinay Measures” starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser.

A person like Crowley has the type of intelligence, personal fortitude and can-do spirit that is truly American and that American’s can truly appreciate. And Crowley’s ability to translatethat into political success can not be underestimated.

fortunatelyfor President Obama, Crowley is not likely to run for President. Instead, to the fortune of the state of New Jersey, John Crowley may be running for the United States Senate against Bob Menendez. But there are many other compelling success stories andexamples of true leadership that exist outside of the halls of Congress or governor mansions. So there could still be a surprise candidate who could shake things up, but the clock is ticking and the opportunity to be a viable candidate is dwindling. Short of that, this month’s White House 2012 ranking is the way we see the nomination going so far.

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Huckabee 2.0

Bookmark and ShareIn an interview with The Daily Beast’s John Avlon, Ed Rollins, the 2008 campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, believes that the former Arkansas Governor will again be running for the Republican presidential nomination. Rollins tells Avlon, “Personally, it’s my sense that he’ll go for it this time.”

Rollins adds “Governor Huckabee is considering a presidential race seriously,.”

Currently it seems like there is no political reason in the world for Huckabee not to run. Just about every major poll has him either in first place or within the top three. And except for Mitt Romney who has a an extremely tenuous, titular, hold on frontrunner status, there is no one candidate that is obviously holding the keys to the Republican presidential nomination.

Huckabee is also a perfect candidate. He is not only warm and affable, he is quick on his feet and he knows how to coin a catchy phrase and convey a true understanding of the people he is addressing aswell as, if not better than,any top notch political speech writer or consultant, . Funny, warm, easy going, quick witted, down to earth, a Republican who won a heavily Democrat state, Mike Huckabee has it all. He is so good that it makes it hard for you not to get behind him even if you don’t want to.

So on paper, Huckabee has to be viewed as a top contender and obvious name to throw his hat in the ring. But turn the page and Huckabee has a number of reasons to resist the temptation of a run for President.

On a personal level, Mike Huckabee is making more money than he ever has in his life and is in the midst of having a rather expensive dream home built for him and his family in Florida. He has a lucrative contract with Fox News, is pushing great sales of his latest book and does not have the national media and a dozen perspective Republican opponents, prying into his life and relentlessly attacking his every word and action.

Such will not be the case if he runs.

But that still has little bearing on one who has politics pulsing through their veins. Politics is like a blood disorder that has a mix of power, ego, and invincibility effecting the brain in a way that impairs judgment. And the only cure for it is the certainty inability to get over political liabilities. Take Nevada’s John Ensign, please. Until a little more than a year ago, the two term senator was going to be running for President in 2012. Like Huckabee, he had a lot of the right stuff. Until it came out that he had an affair with the wife of one of his staffers and his mommy and daddy were paying off a settlement with the aide.

Of cause the former minister, Mike Huckabee, has no such problems that we know of. But he does have his share of political baggage. And while the polls that have him high in the sky right do not reflect it, when Mitt Romney alone gets done with the Huckabee record, those poll numbers will not be so high. Then throw in Newt Gingrich, Tim Palwenty, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, and a number of other likely candidates, and what you have is a standoff between Huckabee and a negative insurgency of naysayers who will wear him down.

Then there is the payback factor.

In 2008, Mike Huckabee was the biggest thorn in Mitt Romney’s side. He chipped away at Romney in a tag team-like free for all with John McCain that helped assure McCain of the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney will not let that happen again and he will be gunning for Huckabee early. In fact, if Huckabee runs, his high standings in the polls will make him a key target of all the candidates. Each one of them will have Huckabee’s campaign in their crosshairs. Romney will just be the commander handing out the coordinates of all of Huckabee’s vulnerabilities, such as the paroles of violent criminals who raped and killed after Huckabee set them free, and his much to be desired record on taxes.

But are these weaknesses enough to flush out the politics that rushes through Huckabee’s veins? Probably not. Unless he knows that another candidate’s campaign has the silver bullet, the polls, the lack of an undeniable frontrunner, and the sick mix of power, ego, and invincibility will move Huck towards a run for the White House. Without that silver bullet, the only real way for Huck to get this out of his system is to go as far as he possibly can in the race and after being chewed up and spat out, retiring to his Florida estate with his tail between his legs.

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Gary Johnson Shoots the Moon in NH

Gary Johnson is in. He announced Thursday morning outside the New Hampshire statehouse that he intends to run on a platform of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cutting defense, Medicaid and Medicare by 43% each, raising the retirement age for Social Security, and legalizing marijuana.

Johnson stated that he has never supported the Iraq war, and while he once supported the war in Afghanistan, now believes that it is time to bring the troops home. AP reports that Johnson made the official announcement to about a dozen supporters.

Johnson is a relatively obscure candidate who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003. He received a mix reception at CPAC earlier this year and is generally viewed as outside of the Republican mainstream. However, he is sure to turn some independent heads. In addition to calling for a repeal of Obamacare, Johnson also called for a repeal of the Republican passed Medicare Part D prescription drug subsidy.

Johnson is not considered by most to be a contender, but he hopes to change that with a strong showing in libertarian leaning

Gary Johnson puts it all on the line in New Hampshire

New Hampshire. Johnson feels that New Hampshire can rocket him “…from obscurity to prominence overnight with a good showing in New Hampshire.”

It’s Not Wise To Fool Mother Nature, Or Conservative Bloggers Either

Bookmark and Share I know that White House 2012 is not exactly as big a deal as Politico or National Review. I get it. But White House 2012 does have a minimum, thats a minimum, of 500 readers a day.A slow day. And those readers are not the type who accidentally stumble upon White House 2012 as theysearch hard for every morsel of news they can getregarding the latestgoings on in Snookys life or how far off the deep end Charlie Sheen went today. The average White House 2012 reader is amtivated conservative ranging from the age of 22 to 68 and looking to hang their hat on a candidate who stands for conservative valuesfiscal and moral, and who can beat President Obama in 2012. The average reader of White House 2012 is looking for information and news on the potential candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination and they want to find reasons to vote for one of them.

Readers of White House 2012 are your motivated activists who bend the ear of neighbors, friends, and colleagues as they try to convince them that socialism is not working for America and that unless we do something, this country is headed for trouble unlike any it has seen before. They are the type of people presidential candidates, and people who care about the issues, want to get their message out to. And both I and White House 2012 are here to do that. Yet it appears that people like Sarah Palin, Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson,and others, are too good for White House 2012. I know, I know. Youre thinking “yes they are.” Maybe so. But it is the job of a good campaign and candidate to make you at least feel special even if you are not. Yet, I can only assume that they dont care. Despiteendless calls, emails, and letters to these campaigns, they dont even bother replying. They dont even take a moment to say, ‘Hey, you know, White House 2012 is not really big enough for us to devote the candidate’s time to. We hope you understand and heres a bumper sticker for ya. Thanks for asking.

As I indicated, I know I am not Carl Cameron, Candy Crowley, Charles Krauthammer, George Will or even the intern for the local Penny Saver, but I am a fellow fighter in the conservative cause that the contenders for President supposedly share with us. That is why to not even get a quote,an acknowledgement of a request for information, or an interview, is disappointing.

Maybe I am sensitive to this because as a former chief of staff and campaign manager to state legislators in New York and New Jersey, I know the value of constituent services and communications. I know how people look forward to a response to their inquiries or suggestions. I also know that the elected officials I served, served the people, and if they did not serve them right, they were out of a job. It was their job to answer every phone call and letter. It was their job to respond to every suggestion, comment, and wish that someone went out of their way to send to them. Of course the actual elected official could not respond to every communication himself, but that was what his staff was for. A good staff did not let any communication go unrecorded and without a response.

But apparently, those folks who are planning on, or have already begun to run for President, do not have good staffs in place.

There are exceptions of course.

When White House 2012 sponsored a presidential straw poll of New Jersey Republicans at a gathering of GOP activists, Rick Santorum responded to our request for either a message or material to be given to the straw poll voters before they cast their ballots. Hat tip to Matt Benyon at Rick Santorums campaign. Rick stayed on top of the request and delivered a great letter from Senator Santorum.

Another example is Fred Karger. Fred Karger is the first candidate to have made his run for President, official. Now I know he is not necessarily the most well known candidate, but he is working at it and he does have a busy and tight schedule. Yet in between his interviews with MSNBC and his campaign stops in New Hampshire and Iowa, he took the time to sit down with White House 2012 and tell us about himself and where he stood on the issues.

Now I dont expect Sarah Palin to pull up to my door and sit on the patio with me for an interview. But I do expect to get a response from her organization even if just through a fellow flunky like me.

Recently I contacted the Political Action Committee of Judge Roy Moore, the judge who was kicked off the bench because he refused to remove a statue of the Bible from his courthouse. Surprisingly, I received an immediate reply. Some unnamed respondent asked me several questions in two separate emails. After answering their inquiries, they wrote back Great Ill see what we can set up. That was three weeks ago. I guess Roy Moore is in far greater demand than I thought.

Whether that is true or not, I really cant say. But I can say this. With the exception of Rick Santorum and Fred Karger, these peoples organizations are not impressing me and the next time one of their campaigns calls my home asking me for money or with polling questions, perhaps I should respond the same way that they respond to me? Yeah that’s it. That’s what I’ll do. That sounds good but it means nothing and gets neither me nor their campaigns anywhere.

However what will get us somewhere is if Republicans learn how to maximize theblogosphere to their advantage. Just as President Obama did in 2008, you know, when he ran a campaign that crushed the G.O.P..

Repubican candidates would be wise to get on board with a plan that incorporates blogs like White House 2012 into their campaign plans and communications directories. There will come a time when they have a message or an issue that the lamestream media wont want to give much airtime, cyberspace, or ink to. And when that time comes, alternative conservative media sources like White House 2012 will come in handy. Maybe not just White House 2012 alone, but certainly the full force of a few hundred blogs like White House 2012. The question though is, will blogs like us respond to them when that time does come?

We most likely will. After all bloggers—–I mean beggers, cant be choosers. But it would still behoove the Republican contenders for President to make sure that their campaign’s find a proper role for theblogosphere to play in their efforts. It is better to have a few thousands alternative blogs pushing their messages than ignoringthem, or worse, pushing against them.

That is why I have sent a proposal to all the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. It is a proposal that finds a constructive place for theblogosphere in their campaigns. Unfortunately though, I fear it will receive the same kind of attention that my previous contacts to them did. C’est la vie, I guess. I’ll still be here. Waiting.

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Santorum Takes A Big Step Towards an Official Run for President

Bookmark and Share Earlier this evening in an interview with Fox News Greta Van Susteren, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced that after visiting 25 states and concentrating on Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four states to hold Republican presidential nominations contests, he is encouraged enough to create a presidential exploratory committee. The purpose of this committee will be to find out whether or not the resources to mount a competitive campaign for the Republican presidential nomination are there.

With a great deal of encouragement from several quarters of the Republican base, Senator Santorum has been buoyed by the reception he and his message are receiving and as he explained, with many other questions answered, the only one remaining is whether or not he will be able to raise enough money to carryhis message over the finish line. Santorum told Van Susteren that in last campaign for the United States Senate he raised over $31 million and 40% of that came from out of state donors. So he is optimistic about what his exploratory committee will find.

There is no word yet as to when Santorum expects to know if he will be able to gather the resources to take his effort to the next stage and declare his candidacy for President.

Two days ago, Mitt Romeny announced that he is setting up an exploratory committee to see if and when he too will run for President. Others who have taken that same step include Minnesota’s former Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Speaker of the HouseNewt Gingrichis anticipating making a similiar announcement soon. On Thursday in New Hampshire, at 9:00 am, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will beannouncing that he is an official candidate for the Republicanpresidential nomination.By the end of the month Missisppi Governor Haley Barbour and Indiana Governor MitchDaniels have promised to announce their own decision onwhether or not they willtake any steps to move closer to a run for the White House. The only otherRepublican contender who has already made his candidacy official is FredKarger a political consultant and gay activists fromCalifornia.

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Ron Paul Called “Horrific” By Dick Morris

Bookmark and ShareFormer Clinton adviser turned conservative political pundit Dick Morris called Texas Congressman and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul “horrific” during a radio interview with former Paul campaign economic adviser Peter Schiff.

Morris, who was on the show to discuss and promote his new book “Revolt: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal his Socialist Programs”, was obviously annoyed when Schiff turned the questions toward the current trends in the Republican party that Schiff stated he noticed at CPAC. Schiff asked Morris how he felt the large “Ron Paul/Gary Johnson” faction of the party would play in the upcoming 2012 GOP primaries.

“I strongly oppose Ron Paul,” Morris said. “I think he’s horrific. He wants us to end the War on Drugs. He wants us to end the War on Terror.”

“Do you think we’re winning the war on drugs?” Schiff interjected.

“No, because we’re not fighting it,” Morris replied.

“We’re not fighting it?” Schiff asked. “We don’t have enough laws against drugs?”

“No,” Morris replied. “We should drug test every high school student. We should drug test everybody that gets a student loan. Anybody that’s using drugs should not get a government student loan.”

Schiff responded that he felt there was something socialistic about the government giving student loans to begin with. Morris disagreed and became slightly hostile. “Peter, I’d like to talk about my book’ which is ‘Revolt: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal his Socialist Programs,” Morris complained. “You know what, Peter? You talk to yourself for the next 15 minutes. That seems to be what you want to do.” Morris then proceeded to hang up on Schiff.

Morris and his disdain for Paul is no secret however his response seemed more a reaction to not having the time to plug his book than anything else.

I’m sure Dick Morris is a very busy man. He seems to put out a new book every 3 months. But being a conservative pundit you would think the skin would be thicker. If all he is out to do is push his literary works, if they can be called that, Fox News should suspend him as a contributor and charge him for advertising. Although he doesn’t have to agree with all of Rep. Paul’s stances and ideas he would be smart to listen to some of them. They have been closer to reality than most of his own predictions have been (see 2010 mid-term elections).

And as far as forced drug testing on every high school student….it sounds like the same big government intervention that Morris claims to be against. But when your main concern is selling books, I guess small government is just a chapter.

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The Neapolitan Party

Early on in this race, we are starting to see a clear breakdown in the Republican party into three distinct flavors. The question will be whether one candidate can unite the party once the others have melted away.

Can Republicans compromise on one flavor?

The social conservatives are known for their stances on family values, morality, and for some, Christianity. They are the candidates that the Family Research Counsel and American Family Association would love to see win. They are openly supportive of the TEA Party movement and are popular among talk radio listeners and Glenn Beck fans. They are big on national security, small government, and spending cuts, but these stances are drowned out by their social values. They are often controversial and pull no punches in attacking the Left. This flavor includes Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Then you have the fiscal conservatives. They are proven businessmen. They have cut costs in government, they have balanced budgets, they have produced growth, and many of them have large personal fortunes. They have made the tough, controversial decisions having to do with the size of government, and they have produced incredible results. However, even though many of them are pro-life, pro-family, and generally socially conservative, this does not come out strongly in their campaigns. They are willing to work across the aisle, and sometimes alienate their own party by doing it. Social conservatives don’t trust them, but they enjoy a closet relationship with the TEA Party movement. They are strong on national security and foreign policy. These candidates include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump.

Finally, there are the libertarians. Although they may live socially conservative lives and oppose things like abortion on a personal and state level, they will die by the principle that such things are beyond the scope of the Federal Government’s regulations. They oppose foreign wars and take a very cynical approach to free trade, the UN, and other foreign entanglements. They oppose the war on drugs and would take a chainsaw to the Federal Government’s authority without hesitation. Secretly, many conservatives love them, but most would not actually vote for them. These include Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

And then there is Newt Gingrich. Newt can be credited with helping bring about one of our nation’s most prosperous times as he worked both across the aisle and strongly against a Clinton administration to balance the budget.

Newt can win the general. Can he win the primary?

Newt also is a dedicated social conservative, who despite his own personal family issues from a decade ago is a strong advocate for socially conservative issues. Newt also advocates for limited government, but certainly not anywhere to the extent that Ron Paul does. Gingrich is smart on foreign policy and thinks outside of the box.

His American Solutions website and conservative crusade starting from when he was considering a presidential run in 2007 have helped to codify and establish the conservative brand going into 2012. He has been a strong TEA Party ally without appearing to be a one dimensional TEA Party candidate.

Could Newt be the candidate who can unite enough of the Republican Neapolitan breakdown to win in 2012? He could certainly defeat Obama in a debate and would have a strong showing in a general election. The question is if he can get enough of the social conservative, fiscal conservative and libertarian Republicans to abandon their favorite in order to unite behind him in the primary.

White House 2012 Monthy Ranking of Republican Presidential Contenders

Bookmark and Share The White House 2012 ranking of possibe Republican presidential contenders for March is out and while there is much movement around from last month, most of the top tier contneders remain the same as they were in February and the staff of White House 2012 still has Mitt Romney leading in first place.

The White House 2012 ranking is established through a system that takes an average from the placement that the writers at WH2012 put the candidates in. Their placements are acombination of the ground game contenders are playing, their fundraising abilities, name ID, and a mix of individual expectations and prediction.

While theses standings do not reflect the desire of any one White House 2012 writer it is a measure of whereall the variables pace thesepossible candidates among the general Republican electorate at this point in time.

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