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?

Barack Obama’s Biggest Issue… Big Bird

Bookmark and Share Since last week’s presidential debate, President Obama has used thirteen occasions on the campaign trail to focus on of all things… Big Bird.  With mocking tones and dimwitted characterizations, Barack Obama has been spending most of his time trying to get  to reelected by joking about Mitt Romney’s one time mention to cut money for things like Big Bird from the federal budget.  The remark was initially made during the first presidential debate and the the reference to Big Bird was a symbolic one in reference to funding of public broadcasting.  Meanwhile the President has so far made more than thirteen references to Sesame Street characters on the campaign trail but he has mentioned real issues like the terrorist attacks that killed 4 Americans in Libya zero times.

Now his campaign has dedicated its time, energy, and money to a 30 second commercial that centers around of all things… Big Bird. (See the ad below this post)

The ad is so utterly over the top that viewers initially mistake it for a parody from late night programming like Leno, or maybe the Cobert Report.

While the 30 second spot tries to follow a line of humor that mocks Romney for his intended cut of federal funding of PBS, the ad actually ends up seeming to go too far in trying to focus voters an issue that is too ridiculous for the President to be wasting our time with.  It is is so much ado about nothing that commercial’s silliness ends up backfiring and casting a shadow of silliness on his campaign and a shadow of doubt over the President and his priorities.

Dana Perino, George W. Bush’s former White House Press Secretary suggested that this new Obama ad probably came about after someone on the Obama campaign became over excited by the prospects of using the line that Romney is more worried about Sesame Street than Wall Street and so they turned it in to this ad.   But Perino also suggests that the ad is so absurd and over the top that it undermined whatever potential the Sesame Street versus Wall Street soundbite may have once had.    Perino is right.

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The Signs of the Times: The Eschatology of Ahmadinejad’s final Speech Before UN

The speech by the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the 67th UN General Assembly was religiously charged. Yet, there is no analysis of this in the media. What was interesting was not that he opened with praise to Allah, but that he closed with an Islamic eschatological vision that was the point of the various injustices and failures of capitalism (and communism) his speech outlined.

Here is what he said.

Ahmadinejad said “God has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named (inaudible), a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous.”

He then expounded further, “He will come to return all children of Adam, irrespective of their skin colors, to their innate origin after a long history of separation and division, linking them

What if Bush had made similar eschatological condemnations of the Islamic nations and world’s leaders in their face?

to eternal happiness and joy. The arrival of the ultimate savior, Jesus Christ and the righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars, but through thought, awakening and developing kindness in everyone. Their arrival will breed a new life in the cold and frozen hearts and body of the world.”

It is a shame that the media is so religiously illiterate that they thought this was just religious rant or doctrinaire speak. All the injustices and failures he talked of were simply setting the stage for an eschatological warning to the nations of the earth that we are on the verge that Islam will reign as a punishment. These are the signs of the times.

Curiously, though I do not say this in the spirit of conspiracy, the UN transcript I’ve quoted from says the name of the individual who will come with Jesus in judgment was inaudible – more illiteracy. In fact, I heard it quite clearly. His name is also stated in the official transcript from the Iranian government.

The one who will come that Ahmadinejad is referring to is the Imam al-Mahdi, who is not mentioned in the Quran. According to tradition, the Mahdi will appear to bring justice and truth to all, when the entire world will accept Islam. His death (before the day of resurrection) will bring turmoil, uncertainty, and temptation. There is not agreement over the Mahdi’s precise relationship to Jesus, but Ahmadinejad was clear that they will appear together. The various interpretations are a denial there will be a Muslim Mahdi, since the second coming of Jesus alone will fulfill this role. Others believe Jesus will return as a just judge, but he will die after forty years and be buried in a spot beside Muhammad’s tomb in Medina that has been reserved for him.

The Imam al-Mahdi is the divinely guided one, and is a concept developed by the Shiis and some Sunnis into that of a messianic deliverer who will return to champion their cause.

What is clear, and was clear in Ahmadinejad’s speech, is that the Imam al-Mahdi will appear when the world is irretrievably corrupt. We are witnessing the signs of this time. His reign will result in a time of natural abundance, justice, restoration of faith and of defeat for the enemies of Islam.

Apart from the US representative remaining absent and the Canadian delegation walking out, the Israeli delegation was not present. The speech took place on Yom Kippur. Was this as a result of the UN organizers diplomacy, or did their fabled tolerance fail them by not selecting another date?

It is strange that George W. Bush was constantly attacked by the US media for using religion in his rhetoric and bringing America to the precipice of intolerance. Yet, here in New York this speech is not analyzed in the religious sense in which it was intended. What if Bush had made similar eschatological condemnations of the Islamic nations and world’s leaders in their face? What if a future President Mitt Romney were to outline a Mormon eschatology? Yes, violent demonstrations and flag-burning across the Islamic world.

The Trainwreck that is Obamanomics

The Economy is off the rails

American capitalism is the engine room of the global economy. Sadly, the guy in the engine room doesn’t know how the machine works. All he knows is how to toot his own horn. This is the real difficulty of the next four years if President Obama wins another term.

What should worry you is that Romney and Ryan are making little headway in the polls. Obama has the advantage of being the incumbent. George W. Bush had the same advantage, and in spite of negative perceptions abroad and demonization in the media at home, he still won in 2004. Obama has a lot less against him.

Romney needs to focus on the economic issues, not get himself embroiled and lost in skirmishes on foreign policy issues. He needs to do two things. First, he needs to clearly spell out the trajectory four more years of Obamanomics will take us through.

Spell it out:

Step by step.

Failure by failure.

Cent by cent.

The Fraser Institute in Vancouver points out that Canada is more economically free than America. Where is America? Between Qatar and Kuwait. If that is not a warning bell then I don’t know what it is.

Obama sold himself on the economic issues in 2008, which made the economy even worse. Investors and businesses took even more drastic decisions in response to the Obama gloom rhetoric. Having set up the premise that the global economy was in a more severe state than it actually was, he set himself up as savior. He promised he would come in on wings of angels, as Hilary herself told us, to save the world.

And it worked! As an election promise, as a selling point, it worked. As a presidency, it has failed miserably. He got four years and he’s blown it. The engine is going off the rails.

Does this look like a competent driver to you?

The debt piles up. The jobless are piling up. The government is bloated even more. People, as Romney rightly said, are increasingly dependent, and voting for Romney would feel to them like turkeys voting for Christmas.

If Obama stays in situ, then the engine will break down beyond repair. America cannot afford the load he is trying to pull, and nor can the global economy.

Romney and Ryan need to focus. If they can’t get this message home, and if they can’t inspire America to get this engine moving again, then they don’t deserve the job in the driving seat.

Fraser report can be found here: http://www.freetheworld.com/release.html

9/11

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.

These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.

And no one will keep that light from shining.”

-President George W. Bush

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1 Year Ago Today, Paul Ryan Announced He Would Not Run for President

  Bookmark and Share  What a difference a year makes.

About a year ago the G.O.P. seemed to be in an endless and desperate search for a presidential nominee that had many wondering if Republicans would ever be able to find someone they could enthusiastically get behind.   The political world was still a buzz over Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Ames Straw Poll  which resulted in Tim Pawlenty ending his candidacy and withdrawing from the race.  We were also talking about the potential of Texas Governor Rick Perry who announced his candidthe presidential the day before Pawlenty dropped out of it.

Yet many Republicans were still holding out for someone else to surprise us with their candidacy and win us over.  The media’s talking points were that Bachmann was too nuts, Santorum and Cain were too dangerous,  Romney would not be able to overcome his creation of Romneycare, Newt Gingrich was too extreme and undisciplined, Perry was to closely associated to George W. Bush, and the others were just not known or liked enough to be in serious contention.  So many Republicans were looking for a White Knight.  We had urged people like John  Thune and Mike Pence to run but Thune decided to forego the race and Pence decided to run for Governor of Indiana.   Some were urging names like Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, and Chris Christie to come forward and save the day.  Others, including myself, were urging House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to run.

Then suddenly exactly one year ago today, Congressman Ryan released the following statement;

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”

Just days before this announcement, word was out that Ryan had been giving a run for President some serious consideration and many fiscal conservatives were buoyed by the prospects.  In one post entitled ” Heavy Hitters Urge Paul Ryan to Run for President“, White House 2012 detailed the high praise being offered for Paul Ryan’s potential candidacy from such political luminaries as Mitch Daniels,  Jeb Bush, Bill Bennett and Scott Walker.  And in that same post I wrote;

“If Paul Ryan were to be our Republican presidential nominee, he will begin a national dialogue that will consist of tough truths and sellable solutions, not bumper sticker slogans and hapless hyperbole. If Paul Ryan runs, the question will not be is he ready to do the job, the question will be is America ready for Paul Ryan. We already know that the guy who currently has the job was not ready for it. But I know Paul Ryan is.”

On this day a year ago, Paul Ryan released an announcement that put an end to all the speculation.  He would not be a candidate for President.  But a year later even though Ryan is not not running for President, his vice presidential candidacy is doing exactly what I indicated his presidential candidacy would do.  He has changed the narrative of this election by getting us away from the dialogue of distractions perpetuated by the left and President Obama, and thanks to his expertise, and credibility on matters of fiscal responsibility, Paul Ryan has gotten us to talk instead about those sellable solutions on the economy that he is now promoting on the campaign trail quite well.

In just one year the road to the White House has seen more twists and turns than  England’s famous Longleat Hedge Maze.  Names like Huntsman, Gingrich, and Bachman have become faded footnotes of a nomination contest that few remember with great detail.  Few recall the promise of the Perry candidacy that petered out within a moment of his momentary memory lapse.  Faded memories of the derailment of the Cain train over unproven sexual harassment charges have left most Americans asking “Herman who?”  And the past’s surpise surge of Santorum which was rolled back by the consolidation of support for the slow but steady momentum of the Romney campaign has people now wondering if the nomination contest was ever really close.  Now, one year ago to the day that Paul Ryan declared he would not be a candidate for President, Mitt Romney has taken that momentum he had in the primaries and increased its pace by getting Paul Ryan to run for Vice President.

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Paul Ryan Tackles Medicare Reform Head On at The Villages

See Ryan’s Complete Speech at The Villages in the Video Below This Post.

  Bookmark and Share  With no limits to the depths that Democrats will go in an attempt to maintain control of the behemoth federal bureaucracy that they seek to transform our nation with, the left has made the use of scare tactics a signature part of their election efforts.  Liberals have targeted the elderly since the 1980’s when they tried to campaign against Ronald Reagan and Republicans by trying to convince older voters that Reagan and the G.O.P. were going to destroy Social Security .  According to liberal’s the policies of Reagan and his fellow evil Republicans were going to force granny into such economic dire straits that she she would be placed on a steady diet of cat food.  The same attacks were used against George H.W. Bush in 1988 and ’92, Bob Dole in ’96, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 , and now Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 2012.

On many occasions Democrats experienced varying degrees of success with that strategy.  In 1982 and agin in 1986, they did exceptionally well among seniors by exploiting the fear of our oldest and most vulnerable goldenagers.  But that success was in part due to the G.O.P.’s poor political responses to those scare tactics.  But in 2012, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Some thirty years after liberals began warning us that Republicans were going to kill our grandparents, people of my age have seen Grandma and Grandpa survive the Reagan  years and the Administration’s of both Bush presidencies and not once was Fluffy forced to share her can of 9 Lives with them.  That real life experience alone has taken  a bit of the edge off the sword of lies leveled by liberals regarding senior citizens but in 2012, what really hurts the left is the addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket.  With Ryan onboard and upfront,  the G.O.P. and Mitt Romney have a silver bullet that is aimed right at the heart of this now old and tired liberal line of attack.

Ryan’s mastery of economics and matters of budget combined with his Kemp-like passion for conservative economic theory and principles makes him the preeminent voice for fiscal responsibility in the nation.  When discussing his economic beliefs, Paul Ryan demonstrates an innate enthusiasm for his ideas that conveys a wonderful sense of vitality for our nation’s future.  And no one can explain those ideas as well as Paul Ryan can.

Whereas Jack Kemp, the conservative giant who actually sold Reaganomics to Ronald Reagan, often spoke about conservative economic policies in technical terms that seemed to make his audience’s eyes glaze over, Paul Ryan’s approach to explaining economic growth and fiscal responsibility tends to generate the same type of enthusiasm for those ideas that he conveys when discussing them.    This makes it hard for the left to discount Paul Ryan’s strengths on the issue but making it even harder for them this is Paul Ryan’s personality and image.

For Democrats the problem with trying to make senior citizens fear Paul Ryan and the ideas of the Romney-Ryan Team is that when senior citizens look at and listen to Paul Ryan, they have a hard time visualizing Paul Ryan as the demonic figure whose hands are pushing Grandma off the cliff in her wheelchair.  When seniors see and hear Paul Ryan they don’t quite see him as the kid kicking their walker out from under them before running away and laughing.  Instead what they see is a smart, respectful, thoughtful, well spoken, humble, handsome, young man with a beautiful young family, and some pretty good ideas.  What they see in Paul Ryan is their own grandson, or at least what they wished their grandsons was more like.

That unavoidable impression makes it impossible for Democrats to find any success in the application of their now traditional senior citizen scare tactics.  In fact, this time around, their fear mongering will likely backfire.

Today’s senior citizens are not the same ones that Democrats tried to make fearful of Ronald Reagan.  The senior citizens who were voting during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush years, were of a generation that once voted in big numbers for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a political hero of their generation.  But the senior citizens voting in 2012 are of a different generation.  An increasingly large number of today’s seniors are the same people who voted in big numbers for Ronald Reagan, the political hero of their generation.   That also dilutes the left’s attempt to scare today’s senior citizens.

And it is part of the reason why the Romney/Ryan team’s bold decision to make many of the budget problems that lie at the heart of our national economic crisis, a main focus of the presidential campaign  is being well received.  The Republican ticket’s willingness to address the entitlement programs which under their current structures require more to be paid out than the government takes in, strikes at the heart of  the issue that should be in the forefront of this campaign….fiscal responsibility.  And instead of  resorting to fear tactics and the pursuit of a political strategy of distractions and shallow political platitudes,  Romney and Ryan have decided to elevate the campaign and its dialogue to that of a substantive, adult conversion that forces Americans to confronts our problems.   In doing so, this past Saturday, the Republican presidential ticket sent Paul Ryan to discuss the issue of Medicare at The Villages in Florida.

The Villages is an age-restricted, master-planned, retirement community that sprawls across the counties of Sumter , Lake, and Marion in the battleground state of Florida.  The Villages is a retirement community for people 55 years of age or older and according to the 2010 census figures, it boasts a population of 51,442  residents.  Given the demographics of that community, sending the liberal’s poster boy for senior genocide to The Villages to discuss aggressive reforms on Medicare might seem to be more like throwing Daniel in to the lion’s den than a campaign stop, but as seen in the video below, Paul Ryan proved that today’s senior citizens are driven more by a desire for changes that lead to real solutions than they are by some fictitious fear of the solutions that Democrats are hoping for.

In what can only be described as a well received explanation for both the need of Medicare reform and the reforms proposed by the Romney/Ryan ticket, Paul Ryan went to The Villages and offered an inspirational call to arms that demonstrated his generation’s need to preserve Medicare for the generations that precede it and follow it .   His speech also ushered in the end of an era, the end of the era of successful fear mongering of senior citizens by Democrats.  Paul Ryan’s ability to have American’s rationally discuss the issue of entitlements reforms actually takes that particular liberal scare tactic away from Democrats and finally forces them to be held accountability for their unwillingness to deal with such issues effectively.   As a result,  where liberals once may have been successful at scaring old people, with the seniors of today when people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and even President Obama, jump out of the bushes to scream “boo”, all they will succeed at doing is making themselves look foolish.

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Barack Obama’s “Irresponsible” and “Unpatriotic” Presidency

  Bookmark and Share  Together, the Romney/Ryan ticket’s concentration on their proposals to put our nation on a path to prosperity will force voters to have a national discussion on the economic crisis we are currently struggling through and the cataclysmic economic cliff we are close to falling off of.  As seen in the video below, that discussion will make it impossible for President Obama to avoid being held accountable for his actions and his words.

The message in that video  focuses on several incontrovertible points;

  1. In 2008, Senator Barack Obama called George W. Bush “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for accumulating a debt of nearly 4 trillion dollars.
  2. In 2008 that debt amounted to $30,000.00 owed for every man, woman & child in the nation.
  3. In 2012, President Obama has accumulated more debt than all 43 Presidents before him, combined.
  4. Now, in 2012, president Obama’s accelerated creation of debt  places a tax burden of more than $50,000.00 for every man, woman and child in the nation. That’s $20,000.00 more than under Bush.

Those undeniable points must force every voter to ask themselves whether or not they truly believe that in the next four years, President Obama’s liberal tax and spend  policies will produce results that are any different than the results they achieved during the past four years.

It also forces President Obama to have to explain whether or not he holds himself  to the same standards that he holds other to and if he does, can he explain exactly why voters should not conclude that his reckless accumulation of more debt than any President in history is anything but “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic”?

And while he’s at it, could President Obama please tell us exactly why in the name of all that is decent and good, Americans should reelect a President who is “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic?

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Does He Have Their Back?

In Barack Obama’s mind, black people listen to gospel music mixed with a sort of 70’s techno-rap.  At least that’s what I got out of his recent ad targeting one part of America based on their skin color.  Obama’s divide and conquer strategy relies on race politics and getting people to vote for him because they share the same color skin.  After all, that’s what worked in North Carolina in 2008 when 95% of blacks voted for him.

But recent polls are showing that Obama’s racial politics may not have the same decisive effect in 2012.  Already his support among black voters in North Carolina has dropped to the mid 70s.  Perhaps it has something to do with minorities questioning if Obama really does have their back. 

Unemployment among blacks has soared to the highest level in 27 years.  In fact, while unemployment among whites has dropped slightly, it continues to rise for blacks.  Guess when the last time the unemployment rate was below 10% for blacks.  During the Bush administration.

Obama wants blacks to have his back. Does he have theirs?

In fact, despite Kanye West’s claim that Bush didn’t care about black people, they certainly fared much better under a Bush administration than they have under Obama.  In fact, from 2002-2007, the number of businesses owned by people who identify themselves as black rose by an unprecedented and historic 60%.  That was more than triple the overall rate of business growth for that period.  Economically, blacks did much better than their white counterparts under a Republican administration.

Aside from economics, Obama has come down on the wrong side of several social issues for blacks as well.  Blacks still oppose gay marriage by a large margin.  In fact, while blacks were helping hand Obama California in 2008, they were also helping California define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to oppose abortion than whites, but there is still an odd disconnect where pro-life blacks are more likely to vote for Democrats.  On the other hand, Obama and Democrats have been intensely pro-abortion.  They have not paused their agenda at the doors of religious institutions, but instead are working to force religious groups to pay for some forms of abortion for their employees.

Democrats have pursued blacks aggressively with identity politics.  But in 2012 the tide may turn.  The key is a little bit of pursuit by Republicans.  In the past, Republicans have written off the black vote as a waste of campaign cash.  This time around, Republicans should take the time and money to win back a segment of America who should be the natural allies of the party of Lincoln.

Part of the issue facing Republicans is that the racist attacks on black GOP members is nearly as intense as the anti-women attacks on female Republicans.  While Democrats accuse Republicans of using racial codewords, such as “cool”, to describe blacks, Democrats have openly used racially offensive language against black GOP members in order to diminish their roles.  How does calling the President too cool compare to calling Allen West an uncle Tom?

If Republicans can deliver on what Obama promised, national unity and healing, then they have a good chance at defeating the identity politics of the left.

Will The Importance of Ohio in the General Election Determine Who Romney Nominates for Vice President?: The Herd Looks at Rob Portman

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Ohio Senator Robert Portman

Born Robert Jones Portman (1955-12-19) December 19, 1955 (age 56) Cincinnati, Ohio
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane Portman
Residence Terrace Park, Ohio
Alma Mater Dartmouth College (B.A.) University of Michigan (J.D.)
Profession Attorney
Religion United Methodist

Professional Experience:

  • Owner, Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio,
  • Attorney, Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey
  • Attorney, Patton, Boggs and Blow
  • Congressional Aide
  • White House Aide

Political Experience:

  • Associate Counsel to the President, 1989
  • Director, White House Legislative Affairs, 1989-1991
  • Won, Special Election, United States House of Representatives, May 4, 1993
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1993-2005
  • Senator, United States Senate, 2010-present

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Casual observers of politics may not be very familiar with the name Bob Portman, but in the world of economics Portman is highly regarded as a leading budget hawk, a reputation he established during his 6 terms as a Congressman and as a former Director of Management and Budget. His leadership has been marked by proposals for a balanced budget, fighting against irresponsible earmarks, attempts to put in place new transparency for all federal spending, and when he was Director of Management and Budget, for reducing the size of the federal deficit by more than half of its size at the time.

Prior to becoming the cabinet level Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Senator Portman held another cabinet level post as U.S. Trade Representative. There, Portman implemented and enforced trade policies that successfully reduced barriers to U.S. exports and increased enforcement of trade laws which helped to level the playing field for American farmers, workers and service providers. That is an accomplishment that could have significant appeal to many pivotal, farming oriented states.

Another point that could have vast electoral appeal is that under Portman’s leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought its first successful legal case against China.

Through it all, while Portman closely adhered to conservative orthodoxy, he still managed to establish another reputation for himself as a successful bipartisan leader and through his bipartisan efforts effectively maneuvered legislative initiatives through Congress which increased retirement savings, reformed the IRS and added over fifty new taxpayer rights, curbed unfunded mandates, reduced taxes, and expanded drug prevention and land conservation efforts.

Now entering his second year as United States Senator representing the important swing state of Ohio, Portman’s reputation and proven record could make him a prime target for Romney if he wants to balance the ticket with a solid conservative who has particular expertise with the budget matters that are playing such a critical role in this election, and who is not seen as an overly partisan politician, while at the same time can make the difference between winning and losing Ohio in the general election…….a factor which could very well mean winning or losing the presidency of the United States. It is that consideration which has led many political insiders to conclude that Romney will in fact pick Portman to be his rinning mate.

While too much weight is probably being placed on that for anyone to defintively state Portman will be the vice presidential nominee, the Ohio factor is certainly compelling.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election. The last time it did come very close to making the difference in the presidential election was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate. That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916. Kennedy and Johnson had no love for one another. In fact it was just the opposite. However, politics makes for strangebedfellows and so the Kennedy-Johnson alliance was born to insure winning the White House.

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

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

Given these facts and the fact that Republicans may not be able to win the White House without winning Ohio (no Republican has ever been elected President without it), Portman could be the only available favorite son from Ohio who could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney. Therefore, when it comes to Rob Portman being on the ticket, at some point the powers that be may decide that they can’t win the election without Portman helping to make sure they win Ohio. Personally I do not believe that Portman is as of yet popular enough in the Buckeye State to ensure a G.O.P. victory there but he also can’t hurt the chances of pulling out a G.O.P. victory there.

All things considered, Senator Portman is probably one of the safest, least controversial, and most logical choices for any Republican presidential nominee to select as their running mate and therefore, like Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree, John Thune, Portman becomes a leading contender.

Pros:

  • Portman might influence the results in Ohio by a margin that could deliver Ohio for Republicans and winning Ohio is practicial required in order for Republicans to win the White House
  • Could please conservatives who not yet sold on Romney
  • Portman corners the market for Republicans on the issues most critical in this election…. the economy
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • He is not a lightning rod for liberal attacks and his addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own

Assessment:

While Portman is viewed as one of the most likely people for Romney to pick for Vice President because of his probable ability to put Ohio in the Republican electoral vote count, I do not beliueve that Bob Portman has yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done by the Obama regarding his record. Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with, and loyal to Portman, that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn. Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire. But that is not the case with Rob Portman. At least not yet. And if Ohio is so pivotal, Team Obama will do all they can to assasinante the charachter of Rob Portman. And Portman’s short time as G. W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the basis for that character assasination.

Of course, Portman will easily and correctly be able to defend his record by making it quitre clear that most of his reccomendations whil Director of OMB were not followed up on by the Bush Administration, but in many regards, the Obama campaign will have the ability to create the false impression that Portman played a part in creating the current economic crisis.

Understanding that, it must also be said that the opposition will do the same with anyone who is nominated by Republicans. So from that perspective, Portman should not be denied the chance to defend his record, a record that is truly exceptional and could be incredibly helpful in allowing Mitt Romney to advance a powerful case for fiscal conservatism.

Ultimatley though, if fiscal conservatism and budgets are a selling point that Romney wants his running mate to well versed and experienced in, I see him more likely to select someone else. Possibly someone like Mitch Daniels who was also a Director of the Office of Management of Budget under G.W. Bush but has a stronger and nmore loyal following than Portman, and has his economic record as Governor of Indiana to point to when Obama tries to pin the Bush years on him.

Portman certainly is on the short list for Vice President and for good reason. But I do not believe that he will make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

S 2343 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Reid Bill)
Legislation (Nay), May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2107 – Authorizes Import of FDA-Approved Drugs from Canada
Amendment (Nay) May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill)
Amendment (Yea), May 24, 2012

More Key Votes

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Portman on The Issues

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

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

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

Today White House 2012 takes a look at  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

Born: April 7, 1949 (1949-04-07) (age 61), Monongahela, Pennsylvania

Spouse(s): Cheri Lynn Herman Daniels

Children : Meagan, Melissa, Meredith and Margaret

Residence : Governor’s Residence, Indianapolis, Indiana

Alma mater: Princeton University, Georgetown University Law Center

Profession: Businessman (pharmaceuticals)

Political Career :

  • Worked on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of William D. Ruckelshaus.
  • Interned in the office of then-Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar.
  • Worked on Lugar’s re-election campaign, joined then Mayor Lugar’s staff and soon became his Chief of Staff.
  • When Lugar was elected to the U.S. Senate, Daniels joined him in Washington as an administrative assistant and eventually as one of his top aides.
  • Daniels went on to become executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee,
  • He was also the campaign manager of three successful Senate campaigns for Richard Lugar.
  • In 1985 Daniels became a part of the Reagan Administration when he became chief political advisor and liaison to President Ronald Reagan.
  • In January 2001, Daniels accepted President George W. Bush’s invitation to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where He served from January 2001 through June 2003 and in that role after proving to be a real cutter of budgets, he earned the nickname “the Blade”
  • Daniels also served as a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
  • In 2004 and 2008, Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana.

(Click here for Mitch Daniels’ White House 2012 page)

By all rights, Mitch Daniels should have been the frontrunner, not just for Vice President, but for President. He has sailed Indiana through the tough seas of a terrible national economy and created a state that is one of the three best to do business in and for job creation. He came in to office with an $800 million deficit and by the time he was running for reelection in 2008, that deficit was turned in to a $1.3 billion surplus.

That is one reason why he won his 2008 reelection by an 18% margin. Not a bad margin of victory, especially when you consider the fact that at the same time, while a majority of Indiana voters pulled the lever for Barack Obama for President, Mitch Daniels received more than 20% of the African-American vote for Governor. That is an unusually high percentage of the black vote for any Republican, anywhere. But on top of that, the makeup of Mitch Daniels reelection victory was comprised of 51 percent of the youth vote, 67 percent of the elderly, 57 percent of independent voters and even 24 percent of the Democrats in the state. All of which means that Mitch Daniels has crossover appeal.

And like John Thune, Daniels has that Middle American appeal that can allow him to connect with Midwest voters, including and especially those in his own state of Iowa and neighboring Illinois and even the more important delegate rich state of Ohio.

While this Harley Davidson riding governor is understated and even meek, when he starts talking you know you are dealing with a man who like Newt Gingrich, is the smartest person in the room. But unlike Newt, Mitch Daniels’ homespun, midwestern, charm puts you at ease and makes you realize that while he is smart, he is not an elitists. He’s the type of guy who never forgets that he puts his pants on one leg at a time. While some like John Thune may be considered consistent conservatives, Mitch Daniels is consistent but comes across as more of a commonsense conservative. He has an uncanny dry wit, that will slowly rise and surprise you with a slew of knee-slappers. Mitch is both a policy wonk and people person. And what is probably most important of all is that his area of expertise is in the budget…….the budget that has now reached a crisis level, something which Mitch has repeatedly warned us about.

After coming close to running for President but deciding against it largely due to concerns about the pressure on his family, it is unclear if Mitch Daniels would suddenly believe that the pressure will be any less if he runs for Vice President. But you never know. Combine that with the fact that he would be a balancing force on any ticket, and has the experience and ability to lead our nation in the right direction and what you have is absolutely no reason why Mitch Daniels should not be on anyone’s short list.

Pros:

  • A highly successful, popular two term Governor
  • The favorite son of a state Republicans need to win the 270 electoral votes required to take control of the White House
  • His expertise on the economy and budgets will help dwarf any claim of expertise that the Obama Administration will boast
  • Has great appeal in the all important Midwest region
  • Executive experience
  • Considered a budget hawk
  • Has proven to appeal to African-American voters, even winning a majority of them in his state during the same 2008 election that saw Indiana voters elect Barack Obama President

Cons:

  • Daniels’ marriage, divorce, and remarriage to his wife may be come an issue and the Daniels’ are discouraged to seek higher office because of the lack of privacy that would come with such an office
  • Evangelicals were turned off by remarks Daniels made suggesting that social issues needed to go on to the back burner until we resolved our economic problems
  • Daniels is not a firebrand that typically fires up the forces
  • His position as Budget Director for G.W. Bush will provide the opposition with powerful rhetoric linking the economic downturn to Bush, Daniels and ultimately Romney.

Assessment:

Mitch Daniels is one of my prefered candidates for the job. The only thing that would make him the perfect composite for all that the G.O.P. could want their vice presidential nominee to be would if Mitch Daniels was actually Mitchie Danielsita, a Latina Governor of Florida or Ohio.  But shallow demographics aside, not only is Mitch Daniels one of the most responsible choices a presidential nominee can make, he would be a strong and effective voice on economic matters, and has a way of being able to bridge the political divide without caving on conservative principles. He is a solid, stable figure who is methodical, efficient and innovative.  Despite small pockets of criticism to the contrary, his credentials are impeccable and he is an extremely intelligent and likeable fellow. Mitt Romney may be inclined to pick Daniels for many reasons including his gravitas on the economy, his expertise in matters of budgets and his handling of Indiana’s budget, his strong and consistent anti-abortion record and his political demeanor. But criticism about Daniels comment suggesting that social issues must take a backseat to economic matters, may cause Romney to seek a running mate that could help bolster his own standings among social conservatives who still view Romney with great skepticism. Another hitch in this nearly perfect picture is Mitch Daniels relationship to the Bush Administration.  Having held that position, the left will paint him as the architect of the existing federal budget deficit and economic problem we’re in.  However Daniels served only 29 months as Budget Director and in that time most of the cuts Daniels proposed were not passed by Congress.  Such was the case in 2001.  when he helped craft the Bush tax cuts. At that time , the $2.13 trillion budget that Daniels submitted to Congress included deep cuts in many agencies in order to accommodate for those tax cuts.  But against Daniels’ own judgement, very few of the spending cuts were actually approved by Congress.     But try to explain that to the nation when President Obama is pumping a billion dollars into an effort that tries to deny those facts and to make Mitch Daniels the fall guy.

It’s a close call but if Mitt is not afraid of how the left will try to distort Daniels’ record during his time at OMB, Romney’s proclivity for playing it safe may just make Mitch Daniels his near perfect running mate.  I for one will be ecstatic if Mitt picks Mitch.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 1 – Authorizes the Use of Force Against Law Enforcement Officers in Certain Situations

Legislation (Sign)

March 20, 2012

HB 1269

Legislation (Sign)

March 19, 2012

HB 1149 – Prohibits Smoking in Public Places

Legislation (Sign)

March 19, 2012

More Key Votes

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Mitch Daniels on the Issues

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War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Florida Governor Jeb Bush

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

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

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

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

Spouse(s): Columba Bush

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

Residence : Coral Gables, Florida

Alma mater: University of Texas

Profession: Banker, Realtor

Religion: Roman Catholic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • His last name

Overall Assessment:

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

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

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Jeb Bush on The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform  Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
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How Will The Media’s Double Standard Play Out Regarding Obama’s Osama Ad?

Bookmark and Share   To mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden receiving his just desserts, President Barack Obama decided to air an ad which suggested that his all but officially nominated Republican presidential opponent would not have given the go to the operation that allowed SEAL Team Six to do the job that brought bin Laden down.

The ad entitled “One Chance”, is based entirely on one quote made by Mitt Romney in an Associated Press interview back in April of 2007, some five years ago. The ad shows an incomplete quote from that interview as it reads “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person…”.

On its own, those words may seem to suggest that bringing justice to Osama bin Laden was not a priority for Mitt Romney, but for the record, the inference created by Team Obama after some very careful and artful political editing is totally incorrect.  When asked by the Associated Press,“Why haven’t we caught bin Laden in your opinion?”, Romney offered the following response;

“I think, I wouldn’t want to over-concentrate on bin Laden. He’s one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He’s by no means the only leader. It’s a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person… Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is – it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates.”

In other words, Romney suggested that while the capture or execution of bin Laden was desired, the AP reporter asking the question should try to not lose focus on the broader War on Terror which involves many more people than just Osama.  Clearly though, Mitt Romney did not suggest that he would not pursued bin Laden or that he would not have approved of the operation that led to his death, as inferred by the President’s ad.

But the story here is not that a rival candidate and his political campaign took his opponents words out of context.  This is politics folks and if you don’t know it yet, politics is all about perception.  Truth has little to do with it and reality is merely what those we elect can convince the majority of voters of.  Sad but very true.  And besides, Mitt Romney already did a similar thing to President Obama back in late November of 2011, when one of his own ads used a statement by the President to mislead voters.  Back then, the Romney campaign used video of the President giving a speech in which viewers saw and heard the President say;

“If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”

The problem is that those words actually came from candidate Obama in 2008 when he was quoting something supposedly said by the McCain campaign.

Then Senator Obama’s full quote was;

“Senator McCain’s campaign said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”.

So I guess you can say that the President’s new ad was simply payback to Romney.  Or you might say it is just politics as usual.

Or is it?

The story here is not that politicians are playing politics.  The story is all about what President Obama is playing politics with.

By exploiting the efforts of the the mission to bring justice to the ring leader responsible for one of nation’s darkest days in history, with a deceptive, misleading, political campaign ad, President Obama has demonstrated that nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred in his attempt to hold on to power.  He could have been the better man here and accepted the nearly unanimous approval and credit he deservedly received for doing the right thing and allowing SEAL Team Six to do their job and not making a Bill Clinton-like call that allowed Osama to live another day.  He could have accepted that feather in his cap which Seal Team Six handed to him after they succeeded at their mission. But instead the President decided to suggest that only he was brave enough to make the decision that allowed our Special Ops forces to risk their lives and take down the most wanted man in the world.

President Obama deserved credit for making the right decision.  Afterall, I would have been the first to blame him if he made the wrong one.  The decision to go through with the operation was one of the only right decisions this President has made and as such, it could have been one of the few things he could legitimately get some praise for.  However, now that the President has taken the anniversary of the end of bin Laden’s rule of al Qaeda and used it to exploit the real heroes behind the event in such a nefarious and unscrupulous way, he now opens himself up to criticism for the one achievement during his Administration that most Americans can agree was good.

After this disgraceful interpretation of the effort to capture bin Laden I can’t help but wonder if getting bin Laden was really a priority on this President’s agenda for the nation.  It now seems to me  that it was merely a priority for his eventual reelection effort?  Afterall, President Obama was simply carrying out the search and search process for bin Laden that his predecessor, George W. Bush already had in place.  You do remember George W. Bush, the guy that President Obama blames everything on?  The guy who’s policies in the War on Terror and in Iraq and Afghanistan he criticized and contradicted but ultimately followed through on?  All of which begs the deeper question which is, does Barack Obama have his priorities straight?

Such criticism relating to the Osama bin Laden capture and kill mission might not have ever been raised had President Obama not been so willing to act so unpresidential and spike the ball after doing cartwheels on the field of play.  But the decision by the President and his campaign team to run this disturbingly tacky and dishonest ad in connection with such a sensitive topic, reveals to me that both he and his staff are nothing but disingenuous, tacky, and incompetent custodians of the Oval Office.  It also shows me that this President is scared.  So scared that he will go to any lengths to try and create a fictional national narrative that paints him in a positive light regardless of how dim, dismal, and debilitating he and his policies have been for our nation.

In the end, politicians taking politicians out of context is nothing new and the practice won’t come to an end anytime soon.  So maybe we really can’t attack either candidate for playing politics as usual.  But we can attack them for what they play politics with and for crossing any new lines that their lack of judgement allows them to.  This is just such an occassion.

Still, it would be nice to see the media do their job and hold President Obama accountable for his disingenuous conducts and deceitful distortions.  Just as we see here, when Communist Chris Matthews, the DNC bullhorn who moonlights as a responsible commentator on MSNBC, went after Mitt Romney when he took President Obama out of context this past November.  But who am I kidding?  Does anyone honestly expect the media to drop their liberal bias and give up their double stereotypical liberal double standards?

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CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

Lessons From History

There is a saying often attributed to Mark Twain that goes, ‘History does not repeat itself but it does rhyme.’ Any fools with a nostalgia for the late 70’s learned the truth of that in the past few years. Being President is about more than smiling and speaking in grand platitudes. It is a harsh reality of perpetual crisis both foreign and domestic – many of which the American people never really learn about unless they spin out of control.

We like to look at candidates for the office and project onto them the mantle of some previous President. It gives us a false hope of how they will handle the unknown future. Sometimes the candidates try on the mantle of a previous President themselves and try to convince us that they wear it best. Call me crazy, but Michele Bachmann doesn’t look convincing in her Reagan costume.

For all the best hopes of pundits and packaging of candidates themselves, rarely are the mantles draped upon candidates accurate. Obama is no Kennedy nor FDR as claimed in his campaign in 2008 nor a TR as he claims now. He’s a Carter. It’s no wonder he is seeking a different comparison.

The Republican field is not full of Reagans nor does it have a Jefferson or Jackson in its midst. However, if we look closely at the candidates, their records, the political reality of today and history – we may be able to figure out which President each would most likely resemble once actually in office. Here in short form is my take on who each candidate actually would be most like if elected:

Mitt Romney – Romney claims to be Reagan. Romney is not a hard core anything. He is a pragmatist. He has a track record of working across the aisle and changing his position to side with prevailing opinion. He is slick, managerial and focused more on accomplishing something than on getting what he wants. Gerald FordRomney strikes me as being most like Gerald Ford. Government would probably hit a few bumps with him in office, but he’d learn to navigate the prevailing political moods and generally make things better. He wouldn’t distinguish himself or ever really connect with the American people. Congress would get more credit for any success than he would and while no one would really hate him, few would champion him.

Newt Gingrich – Gingrich claims to be Reagan and Jackson. Newt is mercurial, knowledgeable, an insider who sees himself as an outsider, not the ally of many in his own party and has a drive to prove he is better than his reputation from Congress. He was written off by most, yet inexplicably manages to keep hanging around. Richard NixonGingrich strikes me as being most like Richard Nixon. He is likely to fight with his own party and even go against the popular will of the American public to do what he thinks is the right thing to do. He’d use use his ability to speak plainly to the people to rally just enough support to maintain his ability to assert his agenda. Yet, his insecurities and anger at a media that jabs at him would detract from an ability to even enjoy his successes. He would likely have difficulty maintaining an administrative core.

Ron Paul – Paul claims to be Jefferson. Paul is a stubborn yet principled politician who would rather be right by his own views than compromise on anything. He has no real friends in Congress and is the enemy of the very machine he would seek to operate. He is constitutionally astute. Andrew JohnsonPaul strikes me as being most like Andrew Johnson. He’ll fight not only the opposing party, but the leaders of his own in Congress. The machinery of the bureaucracy assembled by previous administrations would be his main target as it would be something he thought he could change. A long train of vetoes, overrides, wiggling free from Congressional attempts to wrangle him and generally four years of being right, but equally disliked by all.

Rick Perry – Perry claims to be Reagan. Perry is a man of great ego, personality and amorphous convictions. He surrounds himself with advisers who define most of his actions and control access to him. That limits his ability to see more than just one side of an issue and sometimes puts him in a predicament. George W. BushPerry strikes me as being most like George W. Bush. He’s as likely to expand government to be ‘compassionate’ as he is to cut some part of it. He would likely be often caught misspeaking as the policies of his staff would not be his own and his answers to questions about them would lack grounding. He’d make numerous gaffes that pundits on both sides would wonder how he could have ever been able to be so stupid, but those gaffes would come as a result of the bubble his advisers would keep him in.

Rick Santorum – Santorum claims to be Reagan. Santorum is a strong social conservative who believes in using the power of the federal government to dictate domestic issues that were previously State and local matters. He is a party man who went along with government expansion and big spending when his party committed it – although he claims he realizes that was a mistake and wouldn’t do it again. John AdamsSantorum strikes me as being most like John Adams. He would likely push his ideology fiercely and fail to see when he had gone too far. He would surround himself with advisers and policy makers who once worked for or around his beloved mentor (in this case Reagan) but lack the wisdom of that mentor to know when those advisers and policy makers had drifted too far from the will of the people. He would not understand why his administration would become unpopular and instead entrench himself further.

Michele Bachmann – Bachmann claims to be Reagan or Jefferson. Bachmann is a wannabe ideologue. She clings to the banner of the Tea Party, yet is easily dragged towards neoconservatism whenever she feels that she needs to sound tough. She is generally over-matched by the enormity of the Presidency even as a candidate. While she can spew soundbites, she is slow to hit the mark when thrown an unexpected question. Barack ObamaPolitical ideology aside, Bachmann strikes me as being most like Barack Obama. She would most likely struggle to find effective ways to get her big ideas turned into actual policies even with GOP control of Congress. She’d feel the need to embark on military adventures to prove she wasn’t weak on defense. She would reverse herself on executive orders and start issuing many of them as an alternative way to implement her agenda.

Jon Huntsman – Huntsman claims to be a Reagan. Huntsman has great executive experience and deeply understands the geopolitical and economic position of the Unites States in the world in relation to past, present and emerging world rivals. He is measured, reasonable and yet considered an outsider by even his own. Dwight EisenhowerHuntsman strikes me as being most like Dwight Eisenhower. He would likely chart a course that looked far more into the future than the leaders of Congress. He would be strategic rather than tactical in military and foreign affairs. He would challenge the status quo and risk rebellion from his own party when he put pet projects on the chopping block. He would be seen more as a fatherly President than a partisan one.

I could be very wrong in these associations, but I think they are fairly accurate. We just can’t really know until they sit in that office. But, we do have their histories and personalities as well as those of the men who already held the office and how that office changed them. From those, we can construct better guesses as to which President they will not repeat, but most rhyme with. In all cases, it is not the one they think they are – at least in my opinion.

In doing this exercise, my views of the candidates have changed a bit. Thinking not of who I would like them to be or who they sell themselves as, but who their history and personality most aligns them with has left me questioning my leanings in this race. I don’t accept the general media criticisms of our candidates or the wild histrionics by the champions of one candidate against opponents. However, viewing these candidates in an historical light and how their strengths, weaknesses and personalities would likely mix with the current economic, political and international reality does raise some new questions for me. Of Ford, Nixon, G. W. Bush, A. Johnson, J. Adams, Obama or Eisenhower, who could not only best beat Obama in 2012 but best address the foreseeable problems? Would stagnation and infighting in Washington be worse than misguided progress or the other way around? Is victory today and four years a stability worth backing a candidate that could probably be beaten in 2016? When there is no Reagan clone, on whom can we settle?

I don’t have the answers to those questions for you. They are for each of us to decide on our own when choosing a candidate. I don’t even have the answers for myself which is why I remain undecided and uncommitted. I’ve ruled out three of the seven, but have a long way to go before I get down to one.

Ron Paul: Foreign Policy Radical?

Below is a video with highlights from the 2000 Presidential Debates by George W. Bush on his foreign policy ideas. If I’m not mistaken, he sounds a lot like Ron Paul when it comes to being over-deployed, being overly involved in the internal affairs of other nations and getting into fights we have no exit strategy from. Who knew that George W. Bush was unelectable and completely impossible to sell as a candidate to the conservatives of the Republican party with such a weak, isolationist foreign policy?

I guess it doesn’t matter if you have a more non-interference based foreign policy (as George W. Bush campaigned upon and Ron Paul does now) so long as you are for other big government things like expanding Medicare, expanding the Department of Education, etc. as Bush campaigned and delivered upon. I wonder who the real conservatives are in this party if Bush could win in 2000, but Paul is unelectable in 2012?

Perry hopes we are laughing WITH him

Idea for a better Perry debate performance...

Following an awkward and frankly embarrassing stumble at the GOP debate in Michigan, Rick Perry made things all better by poking fun at himself on David Letterman.  Actually, if this was 2000 and Perry was running against George W. Bush and John McCain, this wouldn’t have been that bad a move.  On the other hand, even George W. Bush did well enough at the debates that whackos on the left thought he had a transceiver hidden between his shoulderblades.

Going on latenight television is not unheard of at all for candidates.  But for GOP’ers it usually doesn’t fare as well as for Democrats.  Letterman is pretty notorious for a left leaning slant.  Perry’s delivery was also reminiscent of his debate delivery.  So will his Letterman appearance make everything ok?  Or was this Perry’s falling off the stage moment?  My guess is the later.  But here they are, Perry’s top ten excuses for forgetting something like what departments he would eliminate as President:

10. “Actually there were three reasons I messed up last night. One was the nerves, two was the headache and three was, and three, uh, uh. Oops.”

9. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I think things went well.”

8. “Hey, I was up late last night watching ‘Dancing With the Stars.'”

7. “I thought the debate was tonight.”

6. “Hey, listen. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.”

5. “Uh, el nino?”

4. “I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.”

3. “I really hoped to get on my favorite talk show, but instead I ended up here.”

2. “Hey, I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.”

1. “I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.”

Well, don’t forget Mr. Perry: Republicans don’t want the candidate who can make them laugh.  They want the candidate who can beat Obama.

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