Analysis of the CNBC GOP debate from across the Big Pond

Bookmark and Share  Sitting down to watch the CNBC GOP debate last night, the first thing that struck me was the aggressive style of questioning from the hosting panel. There was one gentleman, Jim Cramer, who clearly either drank too much caffeine or was a tree short of a forest on the evening in the manner he was asking  his questions. To be fair, I didn’t like the question regarding character thrown into the debate by Maria Bartiromo who was only doing her job. The debate was meant to focus on the economy and after almost two weeks of the Herman Cain affair, nothing objective or constructive could be obtained by posing such a question. I enjoyed her tussle with former Speaker Gingrich during the night and to their credit, both provided the night’s best moments.

The Texan boot size error by Governor Rick Perry was certainly a major faux pas, but to his credit he took to the morning shows today and openly admitted it. It was unfortunate, as up to that point in the debate, I believe Perry was actually putting in his best debate performance of the campaign so far. Yes, this mis-step will hinder him for the news cycle however, Perry should look to the positives and hopefully his experience of the military and managing the Mexican border will assist him in this coming Saturday’s debate. One major factor that may work in Perry’s favour indirectly is his recognition factor is sure to shoot up. Expectations going forward in debates couldn’t be lower at this stage, and Perry only needs one strong performance to knock the ball out of the park so to speak, time will be the biggest decider, if this is possible.

The winners in my view were as follows:

Speaker Gingrich provided a mixture of charm, assertiveness and clarity that the other candidates couldn’t match. Speaker Gingrich did have a difficult moment when questioned about his $300,000 consultancy payment for lobbying work connected to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapse in 2008 , he claimed that his advice was ignored. This may come back to haunt him and scrutiny is certain to follow in the coming days, but his back and forth with Maria Bartiromo was entertaining and in fact, made Speaker Gingrich raise his game in comparison to previous debates. The clear winner on the night.

Governor Mitt Romney put in another presidential like performance with the exception of stumbling over how long he was married to his wife, but he recovered brilliantly. Romney brought the audience to a rapturous applause when the panel tried to put him on the spot over whether he would hire Herman Cain. Romney delivered a brilliant rebuff to Bartiromo when she asked, why he made no mention of housing in his 59 point plan. Romney replied saying it’s simple, because it is a Jobs Plan not a Housing plan, an excellently executed response. Romney as in previous debates was firm, quick minded and authoritative in his delivery, another strong performance.

After two difficult weeks, Herman Cain delivered a good strong performance considering, the intense pressure he has been under in the lead up to the debate. He managed to deliver a good retort to Bartiromo when asked abut his alleged indiscretions and went back to his core message of 9-9-9 and emphasising why politics needs a fundamental change.  He had some good lines, referring to Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy,” and two of the problems with the Dodd-Frank Bill, these being Dodd and Frank. While they made for good sound bites and were well received by the audience, Cain needs to have another policy area to build back his credibility. The 9-9-9 plan is good however, if he doesn’t come out with an in-depth and demonstrable knowledge ability in another policy area, he is in danger of being perceived as a one trick pony.

The remaining candidates found it difficult to break into the debate on the night although, Jon Huntsman delivered a good response on the housing crisis,” Lost in all of this debate is the fact that there are people tuning in tonight who are upside down in terms of the financing of their homes, are feeling real pain, people who probably heard today that they lost a job. These issues are very real.”

Representative Ron Paul was very good on discussing the economic issues outlining his five point plan and how he would cut $1 trillion straight away in spending. He really does have some excellent ideas on the debt crisis and economy. It is a shame that his statements on Iran in the last debate where polar opposite to most common thinking. Paul may be able to retrieve himself in Saturday’s foreign affairs debate. A good performance.

Senator Rick Santorum attempted to break into the debate, but just couldn’t turn the tide of attention away from the leading four. Santorum’s biggest problems in these debates is not just time allocation, he has developed a habit of talking in the past-tense, instead of the future tense. I do like some of his ideas. He needs to project his forward thinking ideas more into the remaining debates to match his retail politic efforts in Iowa. Maybe, just maybe, he might be able to surprise a few people there. A tall order at this stage of the race though.

Representative Bachmann actually had some new ideas and messages last night saying her everyone-pays-something plan is part of the needed reconfiguration of the tax code. She promised a big performance last night, sadly, it just didn’t materialise. Overall though, it was her best debate performance since the CNN debate to date. Bachmann needs a big performance and soon. Should Bachmann fail to gain some attention, she may be out of the race even before we arrive in Iowa proper.

The big question remains with only 60 days to the Iowa caucuses, who will be the alternative to Romney? I think it will be between Gingrich, Paul and Perry and possibly Huntsman, if he can finish in the top two in New Hampshire.

You’ve noticed no Cain that is correct. My view is based on his campaign’s inability to deal with a known on-coming crisis effectively and nothing to do with the allegations. I think Cain has lit up this campaign with his unconventional approach and straight talking approach. I just can’t see him winning the nomination or beating President Obama following the damage of the last two weeks. Cain needs another unique moment to save his campaign in my view.

Overall, I thought most of the candidates did well against some tough questions which is how it should be. The only criticism of the night was in the manner the questions were posed, not the content of the questions.

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New Poll Shows Perry Has Lots of Work To Do

Bookmark and Share    A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Suffolk University has begun to raise doubt about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s electability outside of the South. According to the poll, Romney leads Perry by 33 points. Even more depressing for the Perry camp is that not only is the gap between him and Romney so wide, but he also trails behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul and even former Ambassador and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. According to the results, Romney takes 41 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 14 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finishes third with 10 percent, followed by Perry with eight percent, Sarah Palin who is not even an official candidate at 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Newt Gingrich at 4%; and Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer at or around 1%.

Perry’s fourth place showing in New Hampshire according to one poll which is not among any of the four that are typically used to gauge how a candidate is doing, is certainly not a sign that things are over for Perry, not even in New Hampshire. But it does suggest that Perry has a lot of work to do outside of the delegate rich South.

Between January and April 24th of 2012, 351 delegates are up for grabs from within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone. In that same time period, Midwest and upper-Midwest states will have 238 delegates in play. This means that unless Perry locks up the nomination with substantial early wins in at least South Carolina and Florida, followed by substantial victories in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota which are scheduled to hold their contests on the same day in February, than Mitt Romney can assure Rick Perry a long and drawn out battle that Romney could easily win.

Currently, while Perry’s strength lies in the South, Southwest and possibly even places like Iowa, Romney has a leg up on Perry in the Northeast, upper Midwest and West. For Mitt, states, like Michigan, which he won in 2008, and Wisconsin and Minnesota are strong territory for him. In the Northeast, states like new York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and others, make it the region that is strongest for him.

And then there is of course California, which is a winner-take-all contest that is closed to only registered Republicans. A win there in early February will earn the victor 172 delegates. That is equal to the number of delegates in play in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida combined.

What this means is that Rick Perry will need to quickly show some strength outside of Iowa and the South. New Hampshire would be the perfect place for him to do that. But asking Perry to win New Hampshire over Mitt Romney is like expecting Mitt Romney to defeat Rick Perry in Texas……..it ain’t gonna happen.

Still, coming in behind both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman is embarrassing for a so-called frontrunner. So Perry is going to have to work at New Hampshire. Even though a Southern strategy that would have him win the early states of South Carolina and then Florida can work, being blown out in New Hampshire will not allow Mitt Romney to stay in the game and survive until the states favorable to him allocate their delegates. At the same time, it must be realized that the earlier we decide who the Republican nominee is, the better it will be for the Party.

Until we have a nominee, the contenders will be beating up on each other. A protracted nomination contest will therefore only help to weaken the nominee up for President Obama to beat on. But a contest that wraps up the nomination decisively and early will allow everyone to focus on beating up on President Obama. As such, having a frontrunner for the Republican nomination blown out in New Hampshire, does not help anyone…..accept for Mitt Romney. Therefore if Perry wants to have any chance of securing the nomination early on in the process, he is going to have to do better in New Hampshire and demonstrate to voters that he can get votes outside of the South.

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Perry Calls Obama “President Zero” and Romney Calls Perry “Governor Sub-Zero” in Response

Bookmark and Share    Ahead of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Florida and the second debate appearance for Rick Perry, the Texas Governor has released a new a ad entitled “Rick Perry – Proven Leadership”[see ad below this post]. In it Governor Perry hammers President Obama on his economic record.

With depictions of barren land, boarded up homes, empty factories, and desolate scenes of decrepit urban ruin, Perry’s ad tags Obama as “President Zero”, a reference to his creating “zero“ jobs since he has been in office. But after the first half of the ad, a more optimistic tone is set with images of a happier, more pleasant America that include horses galloping through the surf , sun drenched cities, American flags, the statue of liberty, and happy factory workers shaking Perry’s hands. Perry’s point is driven home as you hear him describe the type of leadership that will lead to a thriving America as opposed to the ailing America that President Obama’s leadership has created.

The ad is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic, quick cutting imagery, and shaky shots done at angles, with jagged audio cuts, and a booming motion picture-like soundtrack that became a staple of Tim Pawlenty’s web ads that he ran during his short-lived presidential campaign. And that is for good reason. It was produced by Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old video prodigy who was once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Party.  Baino also did ads for the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 he  cut some spots for Hillary Clinton.

When Tim Pawlenty closed shop, Bainao was scooped up by Perry’s campaign earlier this month.

Lucas Baino

For his part, Mitt Romney, the man who is seen as Perry’s biggest rival (or vise versa depending on which side you’re on) issued a press release entitled “Governor Sub-Zero,”in response to Perry’s “President Zero”. In the release, Romney’s campaign alleges that that while the US economy produced zero net jobs in August, Texas produced even less. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul added

In his campaign’s latest video, Governor Perry criticizes President Obama for an economy that added zero jobs in August, yet Texas added even fewer and has over a million people unemployed,”

While Romney’s distortion is less accurate than the exaggerations of Perry’s ad, attacking Perry’s record right now is a political necessity. Perry’s three terms as Governor of Texas have outshined the accomplishments of Romney’s one term as Governor of Massachusetts. However, the better strategy for Romney might be to play Perry up as the career politician and himself up as a successful entrepreneur who understands how government works, or in most cases, doesn’t work. But in order for such a strategy to fly, Romney needs to exhibit anti-establishment positions and make bold proposals that don’t just tinker with out arcane tax code, but instead scrap it and do things like create a flat tax. In order for Romney.

Meanwhile, Perry’s ad effectively sets a tone and while it says more about President Obama than himself, it is a good indication that Perry’s campaign does know the issue that can get him votes.

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Set to Endorse Rick Perry for President

Bookmark and Share   On a day that began with what seemed to be big news about Tim Pawlenty endorsing Mitt Romney for President, Texas Governor Rick Perryquickly moved to bury that story by allowing sources to leak the pending endorsement of him by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Sources state that the announcement will be made before this evenings TEA Party/CNN Republican presidential debate in Florida. The same sources state that Jindal will be attending the debate as a guest of Governor Perry.

The news quickly stepped allover Tim Pawlenty’s  endorsement of Mitt Romney. Romney had been getting some mileage out of having a formal rival for the nomination who was a popular Governor, suddenly throw his support behind him. But the news that Jindal, a popular incumbent Governor was throwing his considerable clout behind Perry quickly changed the story of the day. But beyond today, Jindal’s endorsement will still have much more weight than does Pawlenty’s.

While Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination contest because of a lack of popular support, Bobby Jindal turned down a run for President that did have popular support. Instead, Jindal is seeking reelection to his second term as Governor of Louisiana. More important still is the fact that as a sitting Governor, Jindal has the influence and control over the state Party apparatus that can help sway the outcome of a statewide Republican primary. This is especially the case when it comes to the all important Get Out the Vote Operation.

Jindal’s endorsement also could be a signal of a solid South that lines up behind Perry.

While Pawlenty’s endorsement of Romney does little for any regional strength to the Romney camp, Jindal’s endorsement of Perry has a great deal of influence in the South. Particularly with neighboring states such as Mississippi and Arkansas. It will even have a positive effect on the all important nearby state of Florida.

The Jindal endorsement should not come as a surprise. In the past, the Louisiana Governor has had nothing but praise for his neighboring Governor. Jindal has particularly commended him for always being a friend for Louisiana to count on during the slew of natural disasters that Louisianans has had to deal with. The real surprise would have been if Bobby Jindal didn’t endorse Perry. But as with al things, timing is critical and in this case, Perry’s timing was impeccable.

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Can Perry Win by Describing Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme? Ron Johnson Did? What Do You Think? Take the White House 2012 Poll

Since last week’s G.O.P. presidentia debatem the first one which Texas Governor Rick perry participated in, there has been

consternation about his calling Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme”. The description even compelled Mitt Romney to declare victory in the debate and to suggest that Parry all but lost the presidential nomination.

The truth though is that an important part of Perry’s Ponzi Scheme description seems to be constantly left out by his critics. That part is where Rick Perry states that is a Ponzi Scheme for future generations. On that he is right. Furthermore; Perry points out that his desire to reform Social Security does not change it for those who are already being funded and for whom the funds exists. The same goes for those who expect to be on it in the relatively near future. His changes are directed for future generations for which the money will not be there to fund under the current system.

Nonetheless, the truth Perry speaks about the “future” of Social Security has been controversial. Fir that reason, this week, White House 2012 asks readers if it is possible for Governor Perry to win the nomination with his opinion of Social Security. To participate in the poll click here or just vote in the poll question box in the top portion of the column to the right of this blog.

As to the question itself, whether Perry’s view of Social Security is risky or not, it should be understood that despite the issue being a political third rail that the left electrifies with propaganda designed to scare senior citizens, it is possible to address the issue of Social Security reform in a campaign and still get elected.

In the recent 2010 midterm elections, underdog Republican businessman Ron Johnson successfully defeated once heavily favored liberal Senator Russ Feingold.

After a hard fought campaign in which the issue of Social Security was often raised, Johnson and the left once again tried to use their Social security scare tactics. Johnson, who like Rick Perry had once referred to Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme, put out the following ad.

Ron Johnson a, is now Senator Johnson and Russ Feingold is now a shocked and angry former Senator.

So don’t write off Rick Perry.  If he plays his cards right and deals with the issue of Social Security reform properly, his Ponzi Scheme definition could help him.

A Two Horse Race

Bookmark and ShareWith the 3rd major Republican primary debate in the books there are 2 candidates whom have begun to distance themselves from the pack. Mitt Romney looked and sounded presidential as he took shots from and at the man who has unseated him as the early polling frontrunner, Texas governor Rick Perry. Perry was the self described ‘pinata’ as he wore the target as the newest candidate and he did not disappoint, handling well the shots coming at him as well as throwing some shots towards his main opponent.

There were other candidates on the stage but the debate quickly became the Romney/Perry show.

Rick Santorum didn’t do anything to hurt himself but certainly didn’t help himself either. He looked as if he were either miffed that the debate was becoming about the 2 top candidates or that he had just sucked on a lemon. Newt, always the smartest guy in the room, had some good answers but again went after the record of the media instead of the records of his opponents. Michelle Bachmann didn’t have the opportunity that she did in the first two debates to showcase her TEA party credentials and didn’t do anything to stand out. She has simply been overshadowed by the entrance of Perry. Herman Cain stuck to his buisness leader guns but is quickly fading away as he fails to have the power or ability to shine above the other candidates. Jon Huntsman was doing a good job until he got led into his global warming stance which is a quick turn off for most GOP primary voters. Ron Paul did something he normally shy’s away from and took some shots at fellow Texan Perry but again fell prey to his lack of communication skills and undoubtedly hurt the small amount of momentum he gained in Iowa.

In my opinion Romney looked more presidential, whatever that means, and remained calm and well spoken. Romney deserves the win in the 1st head to head showdown between himself and Rick Perry. Perry handled the expected barrage of shots across his bow from his opponents and came out strong in the beginning. As the debate went on Perry seemed to fade and Romney still stood out. Perry also made some bulletin board comments that his opponents, and especially liberals, will pin up and go after every time he speaks. For that he gets the 2nd place finish. The polls in the next week will be interesting. Will Perry hold onto his entering momentum….or will Romney have gained back the spot he has held since the beginning?

It would be hard pressed for any conservative who is voting Republican to deny that after this debate there are 2 candidates that distanced themselves from the rest. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

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Rick Perry Picks Up Important Endorsement for President

Bookmark and Share   Early in the evening on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry picked up a valuable endorsement in a critical early primary state. Republican Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Dean Cannon, endorsed Rick Perry for President. One of the major stated reasons for Cannon’s endorsement was Perry’s highly successful record of job creation in Texas.

A statement released by Cannon read;

“America is at a crossroads. Time and time again, President Obama’s agenda has damaged the confidence of the private sector and made it harder – not easier – to create the jobs Americans desperately need,” Cannon said in a statement. “The President has failed, and it’s time for a different approach.”

“Governor Perry knows that we must reduce government spending. You cannot tax your way into prosperity, and you cannot borrow your way out of debt. Governor Perry’s record of creating jobs and cutting spending is exactly what we need to get our country back on track, and I am excited to support his campaign to get America working again,”

For his part. Perry declared:

“I know that with Speaker Cannon’s help, we will win Florida’s primary, the Republican nomination, and ultimately, the Presidency. “

How much weight Cannon’s endorsement will directly have among Florida voters statewide, is questionable but indirectly this endorsement means much. In addition to opening up the coffers of deep pocketed Floridians who want to remain well connected to the political process in Florida on the state level, Cannon’s decision will also influence the decisions of other local Florida state legislators who want to remain in the good graces of their leader. This will in turn provide Perry with a wealth of volunteers from the local, grass root Republican organizations which each state legislator controls or at least holds significant sway with. After Cannon’s endorsement, those legislators who endorse anyone else are in essence going against the will of their leader. Rightly or wrongly, that doesn’t play well for them. Legislative leaders have long memories and they have a way of making sure that certain bills never see the light of day, if you what I mean?

So while nationally, few know who Dean Cannon is, he could be a critical player in influencing who the next President of the United States is.

In addition to being one of the earliest states to hold a presidential nomination contest, Florida also has the third largest delegation count and is seen as a prelude to the results of the rest of the all important South. As such, it can either solidify a candidates frontrunner status, or take it away from them and give someone else the opportunity to claim that mantle and the momentum that will come with it.

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Is It Wise For Rick Perry To Campaign on Making Government Inconsequential?

Bookmark and Share    When Rick Perry ended his presidential announcement by vowing to work hard to make government inconsequential in our lives, he set in motion a bumpy national drive down the road to the White House. Those words were chosen very carefully. They were reviewed by conservative test groups. They were compared to other similar tag lines and they were settled upon only once a team of talented strategists armed with positive research results to support their opinion, agreed that they were the right words to speak if Rick Perry wanted to win a plurality of the Republican vote.

Publicly stating that you want a job so that you can work hard to make sure that less is done with it is quite bold and a big risk. But not when it comes to the Republican presidential nomination. Republicans want government to do less. They want it to mange less of their lives, make less decisions for them, create fewer limitations and regulations on their lives, and take and spend less of its money. Indeed, as made evident by the rise of the Taxed Enough Already movement, quite a  number of Americans have come to echo this sentiment. So it can be said that Rick Perry’s call for a government that is as inconsequential in our lives as possible, is a good way to win the Republican presidential nomination. The quote is powerful phraseology that allows Republicans and voters fed up with government, to understand that Rick Perry gets it.

But will the collective thought process of the American general electorate get it in November?

That is the risk that Rick Perry takes in his bold statement.

Perry is banking on the thinking that after seeing an extremely activist, liberal government in action, they have come to understand that government can in fact go too far and do too much. It is essentially an ideological argument. And while the argument has been settled by the Republican and conservative base vote, it has not yet been completely established by the general electorate as a whole. But supporting Perry’s position is some yearly polling done by the nonpartisan Gallup organization.  It has shown that except for three years in the early 2000’s, most Americans identify themselves as being conservative.

Recently, in a years worth of nationwide surveys, Gallup found that there are more self-identified conservatives than liberals in every single state in America. The study even found that Rhode Island is the state with the largest number of self professed liberals at 29.3%,  but even there, 29.9% of the population define their political persuasion as conservative.  That’s a .6% lead over liberals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more registered Republicans than Democrats but it does demonstrate that the conservative brand has far more positive connotations than the liberal brand does and is much easier to sell than the liberal ideology.

Based upon his powerful statement, Rick Perry is willing to bet that those numbers will hold up next Fall when the American electorate has a choice between possibly him and President Obama.

Rick Perry seems to be ready to make the 2012 election an ideological battle, a referendum between libertarian conservatism and socialist liberalism. Based upon the numbers, on its surface the gambit is a good one.  Or is it?

It did not work for Barry Goldwater in 1964, but it did work for Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988. Then again, in 1964, Barry Goldwater’s conservatism was up against a relatively strongly positioned Lyndon Johnson. In 1980 Ronald Reagan’s conservatism was running against the not so well positioned, wounded presidency of Jimmy Carter. and in 1988 George H. W. Bush was opposing a weak candidate with a poorly run campaign.  Under the circumstances, President Obama is probably closer to the Carter position than the Johnson position.   Yet President Obama is actually hoping to make the 2012 election a referendum on ideology.

Doing so will take the focus off of his record, which based on its results, will surely lose. So the distraction of ideology is just what the President wants. And he is probably correct in wanting it that way.

While most Americans identify themselves as conservative, they are also compassionate, hence former President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign introducing himself as a “compassionate conservative”. It is this compassion that President Obama hopes to distract us from his record with and if allowed to do so, he could win. It is for that reason that President Obama will not let the electorate ever forget Rick Perry’s quote to make government inconsequential, if Perry were to be his opponent. President Obama would appreciate the chance to try to paint conservatism as selfish and greedy ideology that is heartless and inconsiderate and therefore not the America we want to live in. He will paint the conservative ideology as the one of and for Wall Street and big business and the liberal ideology as the Party of the people, the Party that has your back.

To be sure, the Democrats will do this under any circumstances. Their appeals to our emotions rather than our logic is the key to their success and it often works. But Rick Perry is confident that the liberal extremism of the Obama Administration has been a lurch so far to the left that it has given the American public ideological whiplash. He is hoping that the extremist activism of the Obama government has highlighted such an abundant degree of liberal thinking that the American people clearly see how antithetical liberalism is to American democratic principles that voters are willing to lurch quickly and sharply to the right in an attempt to take corrective measures that restore balance and gets the nation back on track. That is exactly why in the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans picked up historic gains in the House.

If things keep going in the direction they are, President Obama’s last hope may be a Hail Mary pass to the emotions that tries to distract the American people, but if Rick Perry can keep the electorate’s eye on the ball, he will be able to intercept the ball and it run it back for a touch down.

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Rick Perry Makes it Official and Steps in the Race as a Responsible Libertarian

Bookmark and Share    The announcement of Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy (see the announcement in the video below) on the same day that the field of opponents were dealing with the Iowa Straw Poll, has met mixed with mixed criticism. Some have suggested that timing the announcement for the same day as the major event in Iowa was poor judgment. Most of those who say that though, come from Iowa.

But insofar as the other 49 states go, I fail to see how Perry’s move will hurt his chances in them. At the same time, with his relative late entry into the race and a virtually non-existent organization in the Hawkeye State, Perry’s decision to announce his candidacy while the Straw Poll was taking place, was smart. It assured that whoever won the Straw Poll would have an asterisk next to their win which states “The win was achieved before Rick Perry entered the race”. This diminishes the victory, which went to Michele Bachmann.

As it relates to the Republican presidential nomination, under the set of circumstances that Perry is confronting, this announcement was technically perfect and in every way.

In addition to diminishing the effect of Bachmann’s win in Iowa. The location of Perry’s announcement and the venue used to do it at were politically shrewd for at least two reasons. First, he chose to make his announcement at what is the third annual Red State Gathering. It is a convention of sorts for conservative activists and attending it this year were 500 highly motivated activists. The gathering is sponsored by the blog “Red State“, which is one of the most widely read right of center blogs there is,  and is widely considered one of the most influential voices of the conservative grassroots . That means that the conservative blogosphere has been and is a buzz about the potential and promise of a Perry presidential candidacy. In addition to that, Perry’s willingness to embrace hardcore conservative activists like those who follow Red State, shows guts, and an unwavering devotion to the conservative cause. Few if any mainstream politicians would choose to introduce their candidacy from something that is so politically partisan that it would call itself “Red State”.   While many haven chosen to announce their candidacies in front of some Norman Rockwell-like backdrop of a farm in Iowa or picnic ground in New Hampshire, Perry came right out and held no punches regarding  his commitment to conservatism and willingness not to hide from it. That sends a strong, positive signal to the Republican base.

The second thing about the location of the announcement was that it took place in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina is currently seen as wide open with no clear frontrunner. And while Michele Bachmann has the inside track on the Iowa Caucuses, after that the race turns to New Hampshire where Mitt Romney is expected to come out on top. After those two states, the race turns to South Carolina which has a Republican electorate that is closer to that of Iowa’s Republican demographic than New Hampshire’s. This makes South Carolina  more fertile for Bachmann than it is for Romney. But New Hampshire’s Republican base is not great turf for Bachmann and after a win in Iowa, a bad showing behind Romney and anyone else in New Hampshire could begin to convince voters that Bachmann may not be all that electable.  This all means that South Carolina could be a cakewalk for Perry.   If so, that will have a big effect on nearby Florida which holds its primary soon after. And with its compliment of 99 winner-take-all delegates, the third largest delegation of all states, Florida could be the state that finally determines who the real frontrunner is as the nomination process moves on from there.

But there was much more that was right about Perry’s announcement on Saturday.

While all of the candidate’s are using TEA Party talking points, Rick Perry’s talk about not exchanging “less freedom for more government” and “time to get America working again” seemed much more convincing than the others who have spoken similarly. Perhaps what makes him more believable than the others on these issues is his standing as Governor of the “Lone Star” state a state known for independence, and the fact that he has ruled over a state that has recently accounted for nearly 40% of all new jobs in that nation?

Be those the reasons or not, in his speech, Rick Perry demonstrated an ability to connect with voters and to electrify a room quite naturally. Nothing was forced in the way that Tim Pawlenty often seems to do, or stretched as Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann seem to do. With Rick Perry it all seems natural and genuine and based on his record, you can understand why.

In the final analysis, Perry’s announcement was a good start and as for the timing, South Carolina’s popular Governor and a national TEA Party darling, stated:

“I think his timing was brilliant. I think to turn around and do this the same day you’ve got the Ames Iowa poll really just lets us all know that it’s game on time for all the candidates and I love that,”

But there was much more to Perry’s announcement than the timing. The words he spoke rang quite true with the conservative base that will be decisive in the nomination process. Perry struck critical chords in lines such as these;

“The people are not subject to the government, the government is subject to us.”

And his closing line;

“I will work every day to make sure that Washington DC is as inconsequential to your lives as possible.”

That line in particular could be a key to Perry’s winning over of conservatives and those in the Taxed Enough Already movement. It was extraordinarily bold and in direct contradiction with the liberal logic that pushes government to be one of the biggest consequences in our lives. The left may try to use that line against Perry if he is the nominee, but in the Republican nomination process that will get you to the general election, that line demonstrates that Perry gets it and when pieced with all his other initial stances it makes him an adult version of Ron Paul……… a  “responsible Libertarian“, an image that can unite both the conservative base and the growing libertarian Republican base.   It shows that Perry is not only in touch with the right and the TEA movement, but that he is one of them and a part of the  movement. 

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Will Announce His Candidacy on Saturday

Bookmark and Share  Rick Perry is running. 

Carl Cameron reports that officials have confiormed that Texas Governor Rick Perry will officially decalre his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination this Saturday, August 13th. 

The three term governor will not announce an exploratory committee or any testing-the-waters phase.  Instead he is going to jump right in to the race.  As stated by White House 2012 in a previous post, Perry is sure to make a big splash, but the ripples will effect the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Tim Pawlenty is still questionable.

Those three will probably pose the greatest challenge to Perry.  Unless of course Sarah Palin decides to jump in to the contest too.

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Make Checks Payable to “Perry for President Campaign”. Perry Prepares to Make It Official.

Bookmark and Share    The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has obtained an email from Gene Powell, a key Perry supporter and  one of  Texas Governor Rick Perry’s appointees to the University of Texas board of regents.  In it Powell claims that that the Governor  “is expected to announce his presidential plans shortly after the Ames Straw Poll this coming weekend, and his supporters are already soliciting contributions for the campaign.”

The email states 

“We expect that announcement in a week to ten days” and according to the Post, it  tells people to start writing checks today.

Powell’s missive also claims that the first Perry fundraiser will be held in San Antonio on September 1st.  It adds  that checks should be made out to the “Perry For President Campaign.”

Perry adviser David Carney denies that a final decision about Perry’s president bid has been made and he claims that the timeline indicated in Powell’s email is “not hard and fast”.  Translated in to non-bureaucratic language, that means Rick Perry is running but they have not yet determined exactly when the right time to make it official is.

Perry is one of two names that many voters have been waiting to hear a decision from.  The other name is Sarah Palin.  Palin has recently stated that she has not yet come to a final decision on a race for President.  According to her, she is waiting to see what the full field of Republican candidates have to offer and suggested that if the Republican field does not offer a suitable conservative, she may just run. 

Perry’s now probable entry in to the race may just be enough to answer Palin’s question.  Few candidates can compete with the Texas Governor’s conservative credentials, especially on fiscal matters, the economy and among the religious right who make up a large portion of the Republican base and whom Perry recently courted at a statewide prayer rally that called upon Americans to pray for our nation.

Perry’s entry in to the race will produce one of , if not the biggest splashes we have seen so far in the 2012 political waters.  His fundraising capability is seen as vast enough to compete with such people as frontrunner Mitt Romney, and his record on the number one issue of the day…..the economy, is to say the least, impressive.  Texas is one of only three states which has actually gained jobs since the recession began and under Perry it continues to have one of the few truly balanced budgets as well as a large rainy day fund.  And all without raising taxes. 

While Perry’s record as Governor of Texas may be enough to propel him to the White House, it is also one of the things that could keep him from winning the Oval Office.  For many voters, Rick Perry is seen as Bush-lite.  Perry was former Texas Governor George W. Bush’s Lieutenant Governor before Bush left Texas to become President. 

The most interesting shifts that Perry’s addition to the race will immediately has will be how he effects the poll numbers of Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney.  Up to now, Romney has been the longstanding frontrunner but ambivalence about his conservative credentials have allowed Minnesota Congresswoman to gain significant early ground.  Which one Perry initially takes support away from could be very telling and in the case of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty whose campaign is stuck in perpetual stagnation in the back of the field, Perry’s entry in to the race could be the death knell. 

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Rick Perry Discusses His Possibe Run For President With Neil Cavuto

See the interview below this post

Bookmark and Share   Fox News’ Neil Cavuto conducted the first interview with Texas Governor Rick Perry since he indicated that he is considering a run for President.

In it Perry claims that six weeks ago a presidential run was not on his “radar” but after conversations with several people he trusts, including his wife, he has come around to giving the possibility a good look.

The interview was one of many candidate-like opportunities that Perry took advantage of on a trip to New York City. The trip was made for the purpose of delivering a speech to the Manhattan Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner. Donald Trump was originally scheduled to deliver the events keynote address, but he pulled out after rejecting his own for President. But Perry maximized the impact of his trip to the Big Apple by taking advantage of several opportunities to address some major New York based media outlets that have broad national reach. That includes the Wall Street Journal of which Perry requested to meet with its editorial board.

In the video of Neil Cavuto’s interview with Governor Perry (see below) to invite him to speak to them, Perry replied;

I think it’s the right thing for them to do to pick the Governor of state that’s got a great story to tell. When you look at we’ve done, seriously on the job creation side, you said in you’re opening, ‘what’s the secret’, the fact is it really is not a secret. You just keep those taxes low and your regulatory climate fair and balanced”.

He added that tort reform which protects from frivolous lawsuits also goes a long way in creating the right climate for job creation and a strong economic climate.

Generally, the clip below gives a good indication as to why Perry is seen by many as the strongest candidate left that can possibly run against President Obama.

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Governor Perry Seeks Sit Down With Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Before Giving a Speech to NY Republicans

Bookmark and Share   Texas Governor Rick Perry is in New York today to give a speech to New York City Republicans. He’s filling in for Donald Trump who was originally scheduled to deliver the speech but after pulling out of the race for President, also passed on the speech. A conservative addressing New York City Republicans is like a vegetarian trying to convince people at a rodeo to give up meat. Still, New York has a large Republican delegation to the Republican National Convention and a win its relatively early primary can give a candidate a decent lead in the nomination contest. But the news that Perry is filling in for Donald Trump at this event is not as major as the revelation that while in New York City, Perry has requested a meeting with the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

Such a sit down could have an impact on a potential Perry presidential candidacy that is 100 times more important than the speech he will give to the Republican gathering later in the evening. Furthermore, the request for an interview with a leading newspaper that is world renowned for its professional economic analysis and coverage, is not likely meant for the purpose of discussing prayer in schools or abortion. Perry’s request is most definitely intended for the purpose of discussing the economy or some specific issues related to it. Such an interview is also likely to highlight Perry’s superior stewardship of the economy in Texas, a stewardship that has made Texas number in job creation and created the most business friendly environment of all the fifty states. The latter being of particular interest to a publication like the Wall Street Journal.

With far too many potentially promising Republicans presidential hopefuls bowing out of the race for President, I hate to speculate about the chances of another one jumping in to the race, yet as pointed out by WH12 several months ago, the chances for a Rick Perry running for President are good. There is absolutely nothing that we know of which offers Perry a reason why he can’t run. In fact, it is just the opposite. And after Monday’s presidential debate still leaving many looking for a conservative hero, Perry may now have even more reason to run. That is probably one reason why Governor Perry wants to speak to the WSJ today. Coming from the WSJ editorial board, a positive assessment of his ideas for job creation, taxation, balanced budgets, and the creation of a regulatory environment that is pro-growth instead of pro-suffocating, has legs that can take Perry far in a race for President. And apparently Rick Perry knows it.

Perry knows that if he were to run, his conservative credentials in the primary and caucus contest will be unassailable. So he need not over emphasize them, especially since he knows that in a general election, those same unassailable conservative credentials will be used against him by President Obama among the broader electorate. So Perry is wise to try to speak to the WSJ on the main topic of the approaching presidential election…….the economy. That is where the election is on track to be won or lost. If Perry can seal the deal on his ability to turn around the national economy and make it run as strong as the Texas economy, not only will that earn him another feather in his cap among the Republican primary voters he needs to win the nomination and who want a candidate they believe can beat the President in November of 2012, it also takes the edge off of what would be President Obama’s attempts to distract voters in the general election by painting Perry as a right wing radical.

So it appears to me that while Perry may not actually be running for President, he is certainly making sure than he can win if he decides to run.

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Perry – Martinez 2012. That’s the Ticket!

Bookmark and Share    The general lack of enthusiasm that Republicans have regarding the current crop of presidential candidates, inspires one to hypothesize about who would be the best candidate for the G.O.P. to run. We are forced to ponder who the strongest candidate could be,  who has the ability to really inspire the G.O.P., and we are even compelled to think about what a strong ticket in 2012 would look like. For me a strong candidate would consist of any combination of names like Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Allen West, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and from Ohio, Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman. This is not to suggest that I do not believe that the G.O.P. is unable to hammer together a strong ticket in 2012 from among any of those who are currently running. We will. Come November of 2012, we will have gone through a campaign that gives us many reasons to feel good about those on the ticket and to want to vote for them. This will especially be the case when the choice its understood that the choice comes to them or the Obama-Biden ticket. As for my list of preferred choices, that is now mere fantasy.  It has become an unrealistic list of options. The people I listed are definitely not running, so in 2012, a ticket comprised of any two of those names on it is just no going to happen.

However, with a few names still considering entry into the 2012 Republican presidential contest, at this point in the process, the Republican field of presidential contenders that we will ultimately have to choose from is still evolving. As such, there is still room to discuss the merits of a truly strong hypothetical presidential ticket that could actually come to fruition and is worth trying to put together. It is a ticket that would be topped by a name that could excite the Republican base enough to make that person an immediate frontrunner and would even have a good chance to wrap up the nomination relatively early in the season. It is also a name that would probably provide TEA Party movement activists with plenty of reason to enthusiastically choose over President Obama in the general election.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

That person is Texas Governor Rick Perry.

I know, I know……….. The initial reaction to that consideration is a slew of superficial remarks and glib jokes referencing G.W. Bush and another Republican from Texas in the White House. But exaggerated references of that comparison would be just that………..exaggerated, superficial jokes. The reality is that unlike Mitt Romney, the man who currently has a very tenuous hold on frontrunner status, Rick Perry does not bring any of the doubts about his conviction to limited government that Romney brings to the table with RomneyCare. More so than other top-tier candidates like former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry brings with him an unapologetic record of conservatism. A record that has none of what Pawlenty described as faux pas and lapses in judgment on such things as a push for Cap-and-Trade measures.

In an assessment of a potential Perry presidential campaign that I prepared for Rick Perry’s WH12 page many months I ago, I wrote the following:

If Rick Perry were to run, he would become an automatic top-tier candidate. Along with a solid record of positive achievements, he has the All-American looks of the Marlboro Man and his personality is one that emanates confidence and optimism with charm and a down to earth, can-do, American spirit. This makes for a candidate who can maximize the impact of a well run campaign, and Perry has the ability to assemble a team that can run a top-notch campaign. He also has the fundraising mechanism and ability to finance a top-notch, well run campaign.

In my opinion, that assessment is as true today as it was last year when I originally wrote it. But it is the economy which makes that opinion even more relevant today than it was back then. That issue provides good reason for voters to focus on Perry.

The economy continues to be President Obama’s Achilles heal. As it keeps proving to move in the wrong direction, the Obama reelection effort is looking like a house of cards as the economy undermines everything from his approval ratings to his ideology. But for Rick Perry, a comparison between the way he runs the economy in Texas, to the way President Obama runs the nation’s economy, provides a strong contrast between the two men on many different levels. Not only do their different approaches show contrast between success and failure, they magnify the impact of many themes which will be essential to making the Republican case against President Obama. The most critical themes being the ability to bring our economy back, and the way the two men think. One thinks like an American while the other thinks like a European Socialist.  Guess which one thinks like an American and which one thinks like a European Socialist?

While Barack Obama believes in government control and largess, his approach to the economy is producing stagnation, inflation, extremely high unemployment, little consumer confidence, and an anti-business, no growth environment. On the other hand, Governor Perry’s approach to the economy has produced a state that leads the nation in exports, business growth, and job creation. And under Rick Perry’s stewardship, Texas has cut taxes and spending and balanced its budget with a surplus left over.

This difference between the two records is as sharp as night and day. It also belies the differences between the two men in a way that clearly demonstrates two different views of America, and two diverging directions for America. And when you consider the fact that most Americans believe the nation is currently headed in the wrong direction, it becomes undeniably obvious that Governor Perry holds the compass that we need to trust.

More than any of the other likely choices for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry’s record shows the sharpest contrast between a leader who believes in the American people and their free will, and a leader who believes in having the government control the people and their lot in life. It shows a clear difference between a leader who wants to unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit and a leader who wants the entrepreneurial spirit replaced by government subsidies. A great example of this can be seen in the video below. Imagine an ad similiar to this touting Perry’s record, compared to an ad trying to tout President Obama’s record on the same points.

Perry has just about everything Republicans want and need in a candidate, including a friendly personality that exudes strength, confidence, decisiveness and the ability to easily relate to and connect with voters.   In the end, when you factor in all of the above, any negative references to former President George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry having both governed Texas, becomes an  insignificant sidebar to the real issues in a head to head match up against President Obama

If he decides to run, I do believe Governor Perry will win the nomination. And if he does win the nomination, as we look towards the general election, the question becomes who would be a wise choice to complete the Republican presidential ticket?

There is an extraordinarily long list of exceptionally good people who could balance a Perry ticket. There’s Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and any one of the names that I previously listed as candidates whom I wish were running for President. Then there are other interesting possibilities like Tim Pawlenty , Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or maybe even Herman Cain. One very daring, outside-of-the-box, but still very real choice, could be the extremely fiscal conservative governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuno. All of these candidates bring certain unique strengths to the ticket. But one possibility shines brighter on my radar screen than others.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

It’s New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Governor Martinez, is the first woman Governor of New Mexico and the first Latina Governor in the United States. These qualities bring a very real degree of both ethnic and gender balance to the ticket. Not only can Martinez appeal to women, she has the ability to make significant inroads into the already large and fastest growing ethnic minority in the nation, Hispanics.

The Hispanic population is growing much faster than any other demographic. There are currently 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, or around 16 percent of our nation’s 308.7 million population. Between 2000 and 2010 that was an increase of 35.3 million more Hispanics. This figure accounts for more than half of U.S. population growth during that same time period. Moreover, while overall population growth in the South, the region where Republicans run strongest, increased by 14 percent, the Hispanic population in the South increased by a whopping 57 percent.

These numbers mean that if Republicans want to remain competitive, they must appeal to the Hispanic community far better than they have up to now. And while it is important to understand that the Hispanic community is not nearly as monolithic in their politics as the African-American community proved to be in the 2008, it is still clear that the G.O.P. must insure that they work hard at trying to win over a significant numbers of Hispanic voters if they intend tocontinue being viable in many states. Martinez can help expedite that process.

But in addition to the superficial characteristics which play an inordinate, but very real role in politics, Martinez is a tough lady who is right on the issues has a clear vision  for her state and our nation,  is committed to traditional vaues, and as seen in the video below, has the ability to articulate her vision with clarity and confidence. More so than even Sarah Palin, Martinez has a Thatcher-like persona which so far lacks any of the negative impressions that the lamestream media and liberal intelligentsia has been able to wrongly burden Palin with. 

Once a Democrat, Martinez has been a Republican since 1995.   In addition to a law and order background as a Republican elected District Attorney, Martinez is a fiscal conservative and although she has only been in office since 2010, she has made significant changes in the way that her state governs. Since coming in to office, Martinez has established such things as a moratorium on all state vehicle purchases, prohibited all state agencies from hiring lobbyists, limited the claim of executive privilege to help promote a more transparent government, and has created a small business friendly task force. On the legislative end she has reinstated the death penalty and signed an executive order rescinding sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico while protecting victims and witnesses of criminal acts.

It is on that issue, illegal immigration, which Martinez could prove to be the G.O.P.’s most powerful asset. While the economy is sure to dominate the 2012 election, illegal immigration will not be far from the top. On that issue a Perry-Martinez ticket would have more credibility on that issue than any other previous presidential Administration. And with Martinez articulating the Party’s position on illegal immigration, the left will have a hard time trying to paint the ticket as being anti-Hispanic. The fact that Perry and Martinez are both border state governors who have directly dealt  with the border security problem, will give themn an upper hand in convincing people that they truly understand the problem and how best to solve it. Together, a Perry-Martinez ticket would have a real opportunity to lead on the issue of illegal immigration and border security.

That will more than compensates for the argument that some may have against a Perry-Martinez ticket because they are both from neighboring Southern states. The fact that they are both border state governors and therefore have firsthand knowledge of, and experience with the issues surrounding illegal immigration, will appeal as much to a voter concerned about the isuue in New Hampshire or Illinois as it does to a voter in Arizona or Oregon. And besides, in this day and age, the regional balance strategy is greatly diluted by a society that is brought closer together by the internet. Furthermore; as we saw in 1992, the selection of a ticket made up of individuals from neighboring Southern states is not necessarily a bad thing. It worked for Clinton-Gore, twice. And in the case of New Mexico, it has become a Democrat leaning swing-state which  in a close election,  its 5 electoral votes could mean the difference between the 270 electoral votes it takes to win  the White House, and losing losing the White House.

Initially some may be prone to compare the selection of Susana Martinez by Perry, to the selection of Sarah Palin by McCain. They may try to do to Martinez, what they did to Palin. But those who do will be surprised to find people will see through such an attempt and it will backfire on them. If the left tries to depict another strong conservative woman as an ignoramus that does not belong in politics, they will prove themselves to be partisan and sexist hypcrites with biases as bad as those which claim to oppose. Such treatment of Martinez will go a long way in demonstrating that the left and their mainstream media only believe in strong women who are liberals, while at the same time suggesting that strong conservative women should be in the kitchen, not the Oval Office. The media already confirmed this liberal thinking when they covered the liberal wife of a President who was running for her Parties nomination and showered her with complimentary descriptions such as strong willed, determined, brilliant and experienced, but did their best to depict a conservative female Governor as some sort of caricature.

While there are many very promising options for someone like Rick Perry to pick from, I believe that few would be as potent as Susana Martinez. But first things first. Will Rick Perry run for President? I have given up on predicting who will or will not run. But the way I see it, there is no announced candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, whose record and personality should prevent Rick Perry from running. If the decisive factor for Perry is whether or not the current Republican field has a void that he can fill, than Perry’s decision should be a positive one. If that’s the decision he makes, it is only a short amount of time before we need to convince him that Susana Martinez is the right person for the job of Vice President. And that’s a decision that shouldn’t require a great deal of convincing.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Could Be Surprise Late Entry in the Presidential Race

Bookmark and ShareIn reference to Texas Governor Rick Perry, back in January, White House 2012 wrote , “Governor Rick Perry has in the past, stated that he will not run for President. He probably meant it at the very moment of each specific time he said so. But politics is as changeable as the weather. A slight shift in a weather front could turn a sunny forecast into a cloudy day and for politicians the most modest alterations of political reality could change their mind on a dime.”

That statement was presented upon our disclosing that Governor Perry had apparently begun to do some polling outside of Texas. What those polls indicated are unknown. By law, the Governor and his camp,are not obliged to release those results unless they make any public reference to them. So far, no one from Team Perry has made any mention of them. Now, nearly four months later, Real Clear Politics reports that sources close to Governor Perry claim thathe sees a void in the Republican presidential field that he believes he can fill. In light off this sentiment, the Governor anticipates being called upon to seek the Republican presidential nomination. It is further reported that Perry has been examining the political environment within Iowa which holds the first in the nation presidential caucus.

Perry has repeatedly stated that he has no interest in running for President. But as noted by White House 2012, politicians can change their minds quite quickly. In Perry’s case though, it may not be so much a change of mind, as it is a change of chances. With all the talk about a so-called “weak” Republican field, Rick Perry, or at least those around him may feel that he has the record and personality that could fill what they see as an existing void and dominate the field. Such thinking would not be very far fetched. While I disagree with the notion that the still emerging Republican presidential field is weak, I do not deny that there is room for someone with natural and immediate star qualities to enter the race. Rick Perry has such star qualities. He is excellent on the campaign trail, easily likeable, and possesses a conservative record of successful policy initiatives and governance in Texas.

On the economy, Perry has presided over a state economy that is one of the strongest in the nation. He has cut taxes and spending and balanced its budget with a surplus left over. His strong positions on states rights once prompted him to evoke thoughts of secession, a thought that appeals to many who are fed up with a federal government that they see treading on their rights. His lead in opposing oppressive and constitutionally questionable federal EPA laws will also provide him with some mileage.

Perry is one of the few incumbent office holders who has a record that can still appeal to the anti-establishment, sentiments possessed by much of the TEA Party and the anti-government mentality that has often been the key to Republican electoral success (i.e.: Ronald Reagan). The only other potential candidate that can approach Perry’s appeal to both the political establishment and anti-establishment Tea Party elements, and who has a record on the economy as strong as Perry, is Indiana’s Mitch Daniels. That fact could account for these new murmurings from the Perry camp.

Mitch Daniels should be making his decision regarding a run for President any day now. If for some reason he declares that he will not be running in 2012, Perry may end up being the strongest possible surprise entry in to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest.

For months now, pundits and politicos have suggested that there may be some surprise entries in to the race. Conservative South Carolina Jim DeMint has gone so far as to say that he fully expects a surprising late candidacy to come from within the ranks of Republican Governors. Many have, and still continue to suggest that that person will be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I contend that short of a massive national draft effort unlike anything we have ever seen before combined with a total rejection of every Republican who winds up running for the nomination, Christie will not be running in 2012. Rick Perry however is a different story. If there is going to be any surprise late entry in this race it will be Perry. This will be even more likely to happen if Mitch Daniels surprises us by not running.

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Bookmark and Share On Friday, Texas Governor Rick Perry made for a very animated speaker who addressed the conservative Republican in a manner more conversational than oratorical. Yet what he may have lacked in poetic rhetoric, he more than made up for in a hard hitting discussion that struck at the heart of what troubles conservatives. As he put it, we are most bothered by an overly controlling federal government and deeply concerned with the federal governments willful neglect of their responsibilities.One such responsibility that he brought up was controlling our border. Perry said

Border security is one of Washington, D.C.s essential responsibilities. Yet they continue their record of abject failure in that area.

Perry also spoke of his love of the 10th Amendment which so poetically declares a faith in the government closest to the people is truly the best government. He added that a constitutionally limited government is one of the most critical aspects of our nation and of freedom. In one of his most eloquent remarks, Perry stated;

Our responsibility is to unite in ending the federal binds that tie our hands together and return to the visions of our founders.

He added;

We must handcuff the big spenders by simplifying our tax code and adopting a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Along the way, Governor Perry, like several others who spoke before CPAC, held up Texas as

the one state in the nation all others should aspire to.

This was in large part due to its status as the state that stands as number one in job creation, a distinction that the rest of the nation is sorely in need of improving. Perry also took the opportunity to promote Texas, or rather his leadership in Texas, by comparing his record to the liberal record of our federal government and that between all their regulation, taxation and spending, tell the federal government, enough! and urged everyone to pick up their cell phones and text 95613 Fed UP and he will keep you tuned in to what were doing in Texas.

Perrys speech was well received and well delivered but I could not help but notice one thing. I can see onesuperficial but stillproblematicimagethata potential Perry presidential campaignis likely torun in to. There were many times when I could not help but see a lot of President G. W. Bush in Perry.Aside from the understandable and obvious similarities in syntax and accent, Perry exhibited mannerisms that just made him eerily similar to the former President. One especially noticeable mannerism was what I would call the Bush shrug. Now for me this is not a problem, but for more moderate and even left leaning voters, this may be a silly draw back.

But then again, I have seen Perry deliver many speeches in a more statesman-like style, His recent State of the state Address is one example. When he focuses on his delivery, he doesnt come across quite so Bush-like. He might want to consider that when and if he campaigns outside of the South, where unfortunately George W. Bush is more of a liability than a benefit. For them, its bad enough that Perry is from Texas.

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Possible Third Party Candidacy Could Make Palin the Perot of 2012

Bookmark and ShareIf you haven’t caught on yet, Sarah Palin marches to the beat of a different drummer. And while she is committed to the principles of the Republican Party, she is not totally committee to the Republican Party. For her, when it comes to Political loyalty, it stops when her principles are lost in it. That is after all how she went from being the Mayor of Wasilla, to becoming Governor of Alaska and even becoming the 2008 Republican nominee. This is a woman who spotted corruption in Alaska after being appointed to the position of Oil Commissioner. She then rooted out the corruption and when it got to the point where she saw the hands of Alaska’s Governor involved in it, she resigned her post and opposed him in the Republican primary for Governor. This despite the fact that the Governor she challenged was the same man who appointed her to her position.

This loyalty to principles rather than politics was in large part the reason she was selected by John McCain to be his vice presidential running mate and despite what some may think, it is the same type of loyalty that she maintains today. This is why Sarah Palin opposed so many of the Party establishment’s candidates in 2010, by supporting their challengers in Republican primaries. Sarah Palin is not one who wishes to be defined by her Party, she prefers to define it. In 2010 she helped to do so by rallying TEA activists to the side of insurgent candidates. In 2012 she could do the same thing. Or she could try to rally them behind herself in a bid for the Republican nomination.

But like many of those who consider themselves to be TEA movement activists, Sarah Palin remains reluctant about the politics that elected Republicans will play in their new roles of power. Like many in the TEA Party, Palin is hoping that the G.O.P. holds firm in opposition to the Obama agenda and on a return to states rights, fiscal responsibility, limited government and a focus on the Constitution. Sarah is watching and waiting to see what they do. She is also watching and waiting to see who will run for the Republican presidential nomination and what each one of them will say. This is perhaps one of the reasons why she is coy about being a candidate for the Republican nomination herself.

If the Republican controlled House fails to demonstrate to the voters who put them in to power, that they are true to their words, many of those voters will turn their back on the G.O.P. as quickly as they did with Democrats prior to the 2010 midterms. If that happens, Palin will have a small window of opportunity to do one of three things. She could forego a run for President and simply continue to be an advocate for the candidates she supports and a cheerleader in the TEA movement. She could run for the Republican presidential nomination and try to convince Republican voters that she is the outsider who could bring conservative principles back to the Party. Or she could simply say the hell with the Party and run as an Independent.

Either one of the latter two are a big risk. But the biggest risk of all would be to run for the Republican presidential nomination. While Palin is popular, to many she has become a known quantity that they believe is too erratic and too controversial. Even among Republicans, her favorable to unfavorable numbers are poor. In addition to that, the G.O.P. presidential field is going to be a crowded one and an expensive one. Between Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour alone we are talking about possibly well over one hundred million dollars. Last time around, Romney spent $70 million of his own money and more on top of that with contributions. Then throw in the likes of Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and possibly Mitch Daniels and what you have is a costly and bloody battle that becomes hard for anyone to get their message out in.

For these reasons, I believe Sarah Palin can bide her time and see where all the chips fall before she commits to anything.

If the G.O.P. fails to live up to their promises and voters once again become disappointed in them, would it be in Sarah Palin’s best interest to spend upwards of $50 or $60 million to try to win a nomination of a tarnished Party that she spends a year tying herself closer to? While I do not doubt that Sarah could hold her own in the primaries, I am not confident in her being able to actually win the nomination. And if she doesn’t win, does anyone think the winner will tap her to be their running mate and run for Vice President a second time? I doubt even Sarah would accept such an offer herself.

Ultimately, Sarah Palin is probably going to be wise to lay back and see how the G.O.P. presidential field shapes up. Then after taking in to account all the variables, determine if the field has an opening in it that she can fill and decide if she really wants to link herself further to the Republican Party.

If the G.O.P. falls short of their promises, all things considered, Palin might be better off to continue marching to a different drummer by running as a well-financedIndependent candidate for President. She would start off with a very energized TEA Party base, a base that can get her name on the ballot in all 50 states. And then she can deliver a Reaganesque message about her not leaving the Party, but by abandoning its principles, the Party left her and millions of other Americans.

A public decision to run as an independent could probably come as late as March of 2012, when there may very well be a Republican coming close to getting the nomination, if they haven’t already. Based upon who that nominee is, Palin could fine tune the themes of her own campaign and pick up and run with all the issues that the Republican nominee fails to run with. Of course if this were to happen, President Obama would win reelection. If Palin pursued such a course, she would do just what Ross Perot did to George H. W. Bush in 1992. Perot’s third Party candidacy was one of the most successful of its kinds ever mounted and its success was responsible for electing Bill Clinton President,

In that 1992 election, President Clinton received 44,909,806 votes (43.0%), G.H.W. Bush received 39,104,550 votes (37.5%), and Ross Perot collected 19,743,821 (18.9%) of the vote.

It is with great clarity that we see how Ross Perot took enough votes away from President George H. W. Bush to allow Bill Clinton to defeat him.

Ross Perot’s Reform Party successfully elected Bill Clinton the President of the United States, and back then, that Reform Party was at most, as large as the TEA Party is now. While the TEA Party movement rose form the streets, The 1992 Reform Party rose from the mind of a wacky millionaire and revolved around him. Without Ross, there was no Party.

That is not the case with the TEA Party. Though it is a large and active movement which does not have any one leader representing them, they could easily get behind one person who runs a campaign that represents their ideals. As a so-called darling of the TEA Party, Sarah Palin could quite easily be that one person. The question becomes, would she do so as a Republican who keeps them in the G.O.P. or will she do so as an Independent, third Party candidate who siphons them away from the G.O.P.?

If Palin ran for the Republican nomination, she could easily be overtaken in what will be a large and aggressive field. And if in the end, she lost the nomination, she will not have the resources and time left to mount a meaningful third Party candidacy. This would leave her a beaten, wounded, defeated candidate, without the same stature and platform that she had prior to entering the race.

If Palin ran as a Third Party candidate, she would spend much of her money on just insuring that she gets on the ballot in all 50 states by gathering all the right signatures in all the right ways. But with the strong grassroots of the TEA Party movement behind her, this will be easier for her than it was for Perot. And as a third Party candidate, she will be able to spend more time directing her campaign to the national electorate rather than just the Republican voters. This will enable her to win over a significant number of voters who will commit to her candidacy early. Many of them will be Republicans, even more of them will be TEA movement members and Republicans who feel disenfranchised by a Party that they believe left them. The area where Palin will have the toughest time is with Independent voters. Aside from Democrats, this is where her numbers are weakest. But a carefully crafted campaign and softening of her image could force them to give her a second look, especially since she would be representing no political Party, something that most Independents find very attractive.

A third Party candidacy would not be likely to get Sarah Palin to the White House. But her chances of doing that as the Republican candidate are actually only slightly better. But by running as a third Party candidate, Palin is insuring that she is in the game until Election Day and that she has a place in all the presidential debates. This insures her ability to shape the debate and force the Republican candidate to the right, where they should be. In fact, if Sarah Palin were to announce a third Party candidacy early enough in the primary season, that could wind up being the catalyst for the creation of a strong, solid, conservative in the Republican primary, as opposed to her having a diluting effect by splitting the conservative vote within the Republican primary.

In some ways, a third Party candidacy by Sarah Palin could do some good for the Party. It would force them to really reaffirm whether or not they are the Party of Reagan or Rockefeller. It would force them to stick to their guns instead of abandoning ship. Of course it would also help Barrack Obama get reelected.

It Is for this reason that Republicans must treat Sarah Palin with kid gloves. While she may be a lighting rod ridiculed by the left, she is also someone who helps Republicans with the very base that abandoned the G.O.P. in previous years. And if they want to win the presidency in 2012, they can’t afford to have that base wander off the path or stay at home again. The smart candidate for the Republicanpresidential nominee will try to out Palin, Palin early. While Mitt Romney has been keeping the TEA party at arms length, others like Pawlenty are embracing them. Possible presidential contender, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, has been shaping a very TEA Party-like agenda for his state. Strategies like this could pay off big. For the right candidate, it could help make them a Palin-like alternative to Sarah, without carrying any of the baggage that Palin has been saddled with.

In the end, Palin has many options available to her but those Republicans who want tomake a serious run for Presidenthave little choicebut to get Sarah Palin on their side.

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