View Allen West’s Entire CPAC 2012 Speech

Bookmark and Share  Florida Congressman Allen West delivered a speech filled with lots of red meat for conservatives and raised the roof on CPAC in a way that few others can do.  In both the content of his speech and the delivery of speech, Allen West proves that he gets it and makes you wonder why others don’t, including those who are running for President.

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A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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ACU Announces Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain to Address CPAC 2012

For Immediate Release: January 20, 2012

Contacts: Kristy Campbell, (202) 347-9388, KCampbell@conservative.org

 

ACU Announces Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain to Address CPAC 2012

ACU Preparing to Host 39th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced former Presidential candidates U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain will both be featured speakers at CPAC 2012 – the 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. America’s largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists will be held Thursday, February 9 – Saturday, February 11, 2012, in Washington, DC.

 

“We are proud to welcome Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain to CPAC 2012 next month in our Nation’s Capital. Congresswoman Bachmann is one of the House Chamber’s fiercest advocates for constitutional conservatism, and Herman Cain remains a favorite among many of our supporters across the country. Both are great additions to our exciting CPAC agenda,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “In less than one month, the American Conservative Union looks forward to hosting 2012’s premier venue for highlighting and advancing conservative leaders, principles and polices.”

 

Every year, the ACU brings thousands of grassroots conservatives and conservative leaders together in Washington, DC for three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional values. Based on this year’s theme, “We STILL Hold These Truths”, CPAC 2012 will feature grassroots training and strategizing to strengthen the conservative movement and ensure conservatives have the resources and tools necessary to defeat the Obama agenda in November.

 

CPAC 2012 features an all-star line-up that also includes former Governors Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, Ann Coulter, Senators Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Laura Ingraham, Congressmen Jim Jordan, Steve King, Paul Ryan and Allen West, Colonel Oliver North, former Senator Rick Santorum, Governors Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker and many more.

 

The American Conservative Union is America’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization and was founded in 1964. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s Capital since 1973.  Admission tickets and hotel accommodations for CPAC 2012 are going quickly. Online registration for CPAC 2012 ends February 3, so reserve your space today at www.cpac.org.

 

 

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Herman Cain Resurfaces with the Promise of an Unconventional Endorsement

Bookmark and Share   Moments ago, in a Fox News interview, Herman Cain resurfaced and shed some light on his future role in the 2012 presidential election.

Cain told viewers that he does not intend to endorse any candidate any time soon.  He states, “If I were to make an endorsement now, it might split the vote”.  He claims that in addition to not wanting to do that, he also does not want to do anything that prevents voters from remaining engaged in the process and educating themselves about candidates.

But the Herminator does promise to eventually issue what he called “an unconventional endorsement”.  He added that after running an unconventioanl campaign, an unconventional endorsement is only appropriate.

During the interview Cain admitted that in the end he will support whoever is the Republican nominee and as for his own political future he states that because of his accelerated age, he believes his biological clock will preclude any future run for president and he is not positioning himself for any future cabinet position.  However Cain did promise to remain active through his new political organization which is headquartered on the internet at The Cain Solutions website.

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Trunkline 2012: Monday Mentions from The Republican Presidential Race – 12/26/11

Bookmark and Share  Twas the day after Christmas and not a creature stood still on the campaign trail and Trunkline 2012 is here to tell you about each move they made with news on everything from Ron Paul’s newsletter problem, Perry’s faith based pitch to voters, and Virginia’s next move on Gingrich and Perry,  to a last word on Herman Cain and more.

“The United States should stand with our allies to support the Nigerian government in the aftermath of the attacks. The terrorist activities of Boko Haram are particularly worrisome for the United States because of the organization’s affiliation with Al Qaeda.”  –Rick Perry on the Christmas Day bombing in  Nigeria

  • Tweet of the Day:

BorowitzReport   Andy Borowitz

 Ron Paul may benefit from Iowa’s unique caucus rules, which allow people from other planets to vote.

Attacking fellow Republicans could leave the GOP facing a wipe out in 2012

Congress’s rating is at an all-time low, the Payroll-Tax Cut Extension has ground to a standstill, and due to some in the media and Republican Party establishment deciding, they want Mitt Romney as their nominee over everyone else, an open “negative smear campaign” led by a political action committee with close ties to the former Massachusetts governor, has been unleashed on Speaker Gingrich in the last few weeks. All these actions and the forced withdrawal by Herman Cain from the presidential race has only convinced me of one thing, the pundits and establishment figures are dictating the GOP nomination, not the ordinary voters.

Any candidate who has led the Republican field, with the exception of Romney, has come under an avalanche of attacks which has damaged their fund raising and campaign capabilities considerably. I have arrived at one very clear conclusion, if Republicans don’t shift their focus from continuing the dire and frequent mistakes in Congress or on the campaign trail behind them, and start focussing on addressing the very real problems facing the nation in 2012, it will be a foregone conclusion that President Obama will be re-elected. More worryingly, the Democrats may hold onto the Senate and make gains in the House of Representatives come November 2012.

The election and America needs a candidate who can provide solutions, address the deficit issues and restore confidence in the American economy. I always maintained, if America truly wants the transformational leader needed to repair the damage after a decade of war, and three years of poor policy and a weak economy, then the Republicans need to cease the attacks on each other and focus on policy.

Many will point to Mitt Romney’s private sector accomplishments and yes, they are impressive however, Romney has stayed away from the media for most of the campaign up until recently. Furthermore, he has been great at highlighting what President Obama and the other candidates represent however, he simply has not been convincing at telling people what he stands for. He’ll say, private sector experience, creating jobs, and family however, is his jobs plan the most robust on the campaign? I would argue no, and by some considerable difference.

Romney has refused to urge the group “Restore Our Future” to halt the attacks on Gingrich, saying that the law prohibits his campaign and such groups to coordinate. “I’m not allowed to communicate with a super PAC in any way, shape or form,” Romney said. “If we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house.”

A fired-up Gingrich read Romney’s remarks to reporters and then promptly labelled them “baloney.” He again urged Romney to demand that the negative spots be taken down. Gingrich said Restore Our Future “was created by his former staff and funded by his personal wealth.”

I admire the former Speaker in his efforts to stick to the Republican 11th Commandment of not attacking another candidate. One has to consider, in view of the intensity and nature of the attacks on Gingrich in recent weeks, was it the DNC or someone within the GOP who scuttled Herman Cain’s campaign? If one reflects on the evidence of recent weeks, I would say any impartial person would have to seriously question the source of the allegations against Herman Cain which forced him to abandon his campaign and surmise that perhaps they didn’t originate from the Democratic Party Machine.

I watch a number of the American channels here in Europe over the internet or on Satellite on a daily basis. What has surprised me is how many positive Romney stories have been run by Fox News with little or no negative inferences when compared to the coverage of Gingrich in recent weeks. I even mentioned in an article the other day that Fox appears to have become the Romney channel. I’ll say one thing, if their biased coverage continues, I will vote with my feet and stop watching it with an ample amount of others channels to choose from.

I want the Republican Party not just to win the presidential campaign in November 2012, but to win majorities in the House and Senate. The party is in danger of losing sight of the bigger picture by not stepping in to cease the attacks between candidates. They need to develop their messaging as a vision for rebuilding America, that messaging has to be based on issues, policy and an ability to deliver, not effective media consultants or engaging in a personal smear contest. Ideas and solutions have to be the mantra of the Republican Party going into 2012. If you show voters a clearly defined path to economic restoration and might, they won’t be interested in personality; it has to be about substance.

President Obama and the Democrats want nothing more then a long, damaging GOP primary contest. He can’t run on his record and with the money available to his campaign, President Obama will win a negative and personal attack campaign easily and four more years. Furthermore, Romney has not really had the level of scrutiny or attacks that other GOP front runners have encountered in this campaign. Am I convinced he can rise above a similar level and intensity of attacks that Bachmann, Cain, Perry and Gingrich have experienced and beat President Obama? I do not believe he can. Romney has had an easy ride up to this point and my biggest fear is he wins the nomination only to crumble too easily in a general election race.

2012 is about more than the presidential race, it is about getting a strong leader and effective working government who can lead the country back to greatness. If you allow smooth talking and large media buys dictate your thinking then perhaps the prediction of the Chinese century being the 21st Century is not too inaccurate after all.

The Real Reason Romney is Stuck in Neutral

Bookmark and Share    Mitt Romney went in to this campaign with everything going for him.  While his two major criticisms, flip-flopping and RomneyCare were hurdles, they weren’t and aren’t insurmountable obstacles.  Especially since he had far more going for him than working against him.  He was the next-in-line which the G.O.P. traditionally nominates for President, he had an extensive fundraising operation, high name recognition, experience in elected politics, the private sector, and in campaigning for President, as well as one of the most well organized and most professional campaign operations of all the candidates.  He already had a base of support and network of political operatives and connections in place since 2008, and most of all, Romney has the talent and ability to be a good President.  He is a genuinely talented manager and problem solver, a man who has proven that he can manage crises, a track record of achieving all the goals he sets out to, and offers a reasonable, conservative vision for the nation.   And while he may not be the most passionate speaker presidential politics has ever seen, he is certainly an articulate and above average speaker.

He also had the lead over all his potential rivals going in to this election.

So why is Mitt Romney now having trouble sealing the deal?

You may think it is because the conservative base distrusts this former blue state governor who has changed his positions on four or five issues.  But that is not it.  Such problems did not prevent Joh n McCain from being nominated in 2008.  You may think it’s because someone better came along and proved they are more conservative, more electable, and have a better managed campaign than Romney.  But that’s not it. Newt Gingrich is running a very under-managed campaign and if you listen to many conservatives, Newt is suddenly not a real conservative.  So it would not explain why he is the new frontrunner.

While those factors are a part of Mitt’s problems, none of them are the real reasons why Romney is now in trouble.  The true source of Romney’s problem stems from his unwillingness to take any chances in this campaign and his inability to offer bold new ideas and reforms.

So far, Mitt Romney’s campaign has done nothing to appeal to the electorate’s desire for reform.  Especially reform of the process and the way that Washington, D.C. does business.

Instead, everything that Mitt Romney has proposed, every program he has outlined, and every statement he has made, seems to have been designed to make himself out to be exactly what a vast majority of the electorate is not looking for……..another establishment politician.

In this highly charged TEA movement environment, the establishment is the first thing people want to get to rid of.  They have come to understand that the establishment will never deliver change.  Yet in every way, shape, and form, Mitt Romney has been selling himself as the establishment candidate.  This is one of the major reasons why Romney has found himself, like Ron Paul, stuck at a ceiling of support which he has not been able to break through.

As someone who supported and worked for Mitt Romney in 2008, I looked for every reason I could find for supporting him again in 2012.  I like to be consistent and I pride myself on having one thing that is very rare in politics…………….loyalty.  However, in the end, while I found many good reasons to support Romney and many reasons to believe in him, I found that my loyalty to the strength of our nation and the preservation of our American values through the political process, was stronger than my loyalty to any one politician.  And I am of the opinion that what this nation needs is not only someone with a conservative vision that is based on the conservatives principles that are at the heart of the G.O.P. and our nation’s founding, but someone who is bold enough to stand up to the status quo and say that if democracy is going to continue to preserve freedom in the 21st century, we need to modernize our democratic processes and practices.  Practices and processes that preserve freedom by adopting ways to allow our economy to grow at a decent rate.  practices and processes that will allow America to compete int the burgeoning Asian markets and improve the quality of education in our nation so that future generations can compete in the the future world economy.  I know that if we intend to preserve our founding principles, we need a leader who will stand up to the political class and remind them that it is the people who tell them what to do, not the other way around.

Such bold new leadership has not yet been offered by Mitt Romney.  Instead his campaign shows nothing other than the very same establishment qualities that people are tired of.  At the same time, Newt Gingrich, despite once being the ultimate political insider, is showing his willingness to oppose the establishment.  Newt Gingrich has bold news ideas.  He has a record of reforming not just government, but the rules governing the politicians.  When Newt became Speaker of the House, part of his Contract With America forced members of Congress to live by the same rules they make for others.  And a long the way, he made enemies in Congress.  But that is not necessarily a bad thing.  With approval ratings at around 9%, many voters might view those who members of Congress of consider to be their enemies, in a very positive light.  The more the establishment dislikes Newt, the more the anti-establishment electorate likes them.

Yet while Newt is being criticized by many of his fellow colleagues from within the political establishment, Mitt Romney is getting more and more endorsement from the establishment. While certain names like South Dakota Senator John  Thune may help Romney in certain states like Iowa,  on a national scale, the long list of Members of Congress endorsing Mitt is merely confirming that Romney is the establishment candidate.  And for now, that hurts Romney, more than it helps him.

For me, the tipping point which led me away from Mitt Romney and towards Newt Gingrich, was the day when Romney released his 59 point economic recovery plan.

The plan is a solid pro-growth, conservative proposal that would create jobs, free up the free market, and help us get the American economy back on track.  But the Romney plan did little more than tinker with traditional conservative economic ideas and tweak some regulations .  This for me was not enough.  We need a leader who is willing to do more than tinker and tweak things like our arcane tax code.  And we need leaders who are not going to put forth a typical bureaucratic program of 59 bureaucratic measures that are designed to do one thing………stregnthen our economy.   But Mitt did not show himself to be such a leader.  So I looked elsewhere and like many others, I liked what I saw when I looked at Newt.

Had Mitt Romney indicated the slightest anti-establishment sentiment, I may have stuck with him. But he hasn’t.  Which is why, when Herman Cain dropped out of the race, Newt Gingrich, not Mitt Romney picked up his supporters.   It is why the TEA movement has not rallied behind Romney, and it is why Mitt Romney is in trouble.

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Debunking Newt Mythology

Ok, hold on a minute.  Let’s talk about Newt.

The left has gone all in on Newt.  After three years of seeing that the Democrats have an empty hand with Obama, they have put all their chips on the table and dared us to run Newt.  And as usual, we are folding.  Same thing happened in 2008 when the left and the media scoffed at Mitt Romney and said that the only candidate who could ever beat their guy was John McCain.  Believe it or not, we listened.  For the smarter party, Republicans sure can be stupid.

Now the left is saying it will be a cake walk if we run Gingrich and the only serious candidate who can beat their guy is Romney, or maybe Huntsman, although they seem to have figured out that one is a hard sell.  So why are we listening again?  Ann Coulter came out slamming Newt and endorsing Romney.  George Will has attacked Newt Gingrich.  And what for?

Newt got $1.8 million from Freddie Mac.  Not really, it was actually Newt’s company.  But he did it by lobbying.  Well, again, no.  Newt did not lobby for Freddie Mac, but his company did provide consulting services to Freddie Mac.  Now, I am a businessman and a lot of what I do involves consulting.  Does that mean I can never run for President in case one of my clients does something bad someday despite my advice?  Maybe.

Let’s take it out of the business realm.  Pretend you own a garage and you fix cars.  If George Soros drives up and asks you to change the oil, will you turn him away?  Are you a liberal if you change his oil?  What about Bernie Madoff before he was caught?  Are you part of his illegal pyramid scheme because you changed his tires?

It would be one thing if Newt counseled Freddie Mac on how lose billions of dollars, get bailed out, and pay everyone huge bonuses.  But if you are looking for that smoking gun, you are looking at the wrong person.  Try Franklin Raines, Jamie Gaerlick, etc.  Enough with the guilt by association.  Newt did consulting for large businesses, and they paid his company rates that large, multi-billion dollar businesses pay for high level consulting.

Ok, but Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi.  Yes, he did.  He also had debates with Cuomo, Kerry and Sharpton.  Newt Gingrich is not going to implement cap and trade to prevent global warming.  That’s about as crazy as saying Mitt Romney is going to support partial birth abortion.  Seriously, you have my word that neither of those will happen.  Newt wasn’t endorsing Nancy Pelosi any more than Al Sharpton was endorsing Pat Robertson.  If Sarah Palin stood next to Michelle Obama and did a PSA saying its good for kids to have a healthy diet, would you suddenly think that Palin supports federal government takeover of school lunches? Newt has fought vigorously against cap and trade.

Well, what about Newt supporting a healthcare mandate?  When Hillary was pushing Hillarycare, which would take responsibility away from people, Newt signed on with the Heritage Foundation’s alternative that included an individual mandate. After researching it, Newt backed off that position.  He never implemented it for an entire state, or for anyone actually.  Newt is not going to implement a healthcare mandate on the entire country.  Guess what, neither is Romney.

In fact, let’s talk Romney for a minute.  Mitt Romney is pro-life.  He opposes gay marriage.  He makes Huntsman look like Hillary.  He supports tax cuts for the middle class and not raising taxes on employers and producers.  As much as Romney has been painted as the liberal in this bunch, he was the most conservative viable candidate in 2008 after Fred Thompson dropped out.  He may not be a card carrying TEA Party member, but he has said himself that he supports the TEA Party and shares all of their goals.  By the way, I never got a card either.  I really don’t think they issue them, even if Bachmann has one.

Why did Romney lose in 2008?  It all came down to two reasons.  Number one, Romney was not moderate enough to get the “independents”.  He was too conservative.  Only John McCain could beat the Democrat in 2008 by reaching across the aisle and not being so extreme.  Reason number two, the infamous time-table for withdrawal charge.  Romney said that when the time came to draw down the troops from Iraq, he supported a time-table for an orderly withdrawal.  His opponents turned that into Democrat style cut and run.  No matter how many times he tried to explain that was not what he believed, that became the mantra.

What about Rick Perry?  Why aren’t we going around saying that Rick Perry is going to implement cap and trade because years ago he was a Democrat working on the campaign of the future Nobel prize winner and global warming snake oil salesman, Al Gore?

The only person we have to actually worry about doing half the crazy stuff he’s been accused of thinking is Ron Paul!

So let’s not let people choose our candidate for us.  Research what you hear about candidates.  Just because George Will thinks you are too dumb to vote doesn’t make it so.  Each of the candidates left have some great ideas, and each one will do a far better job at running this country than the current President.  Did Cain have some foreign policy gaffes?  Shoot, the last three years have been an Obama foreign policy gaffe.

Part of this election cycle that Romney has skipped sofar has been the knife in the back from the right and the dare to run that candidate from the left.  Considering how well Newt is handling this complete onslaught from the right and left, wouldn’t you rather have him going up against Obama than the candidate that no one is vetting?  McCain got plenty of vetting after Romney dropped out in 2008.

This is not an endorsement of Newt.  I will make an endorsement of a candidate after the Jacksonville, Florida debate in January.  But this is a serious question to our party.  Why do we have to self destruct again?

Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review-12//4/11

Bookmark and Share ****Cain gone, Newt Ahead in Iowa, Coming in second: Ron Paul?? *****

With Cain gone, the field is looking more and more like Gingrich/Romney.  Meanwhile, liberal pundits and even some conservatives seem to be praying that Newt’s rise will be as long lived as Bachmann’s, Perry’s and Cain’s.  Is it really Santorum’s turn?  How about Ron Paul’s?

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Trunkline 2012: Saturday Political Opinions and the Cinema Politico Movie of the Week: 12/3/11

Bookmark and Share  Saturday’s Trunkline 2012 offers you a , uh, eh, ahh, well I guess the best way to put it is a unique movie of the week feature along with the main news of the day involving Herman Cain, and tidbits about Newt, Mitt, on of the Rick’s, our presidents corruption problems, a preview of tomorrows TV news programming, the weekly Rpublican national message, and more

C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” the director of the Obama’s National Economic Council, Gene Sperling, is interviewed by The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib and The Economist’s Greg Ip —- NBC’s “Meet the Press” RNC Chairman Reince Pebius, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod —-CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs  —-ABC, “This Week”: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.),  former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum —-CNN, “State of the Union”: Reps. Ron Paul of Texas and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota,  Arizona Sen. John McCain and former White House budget director Alice Rivlin and former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin —-“Fox News Sunday”:   Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)discuss how to shrink the ballooning federal deficit. And Michele Bachmann gets interviewed.

  • White House 2012′s Cinema Politico: This week’s feature presentation is Crude Independence

First-time director Noah Hutton captures the change in Stanley, North Dakota, after a historic 2006 oil discovery. Crude Independence is a rumination on the future of small town America and a tale of change at the hands of the global energy market.…

It’s an odd and bizarre flick but it’s free 

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Reaction To Herman Cain’s Decision To Suspend His Campaign

Bookmark and Share   Herman Cain’s poll numbers had fallen in to the single digits, so his withdrawal from the race for the Republican presidential nomination may not have any immediate and dramatic effect on the overall numbers for any of the other candidates.  It would seem that Newt Gingrich had already picked up the numbers that Cain lost.  But the remaining five to eight percent of Cain’s supporters have yet to pick a new team to side with.  Those staunch supporters will likely follow Herman Cain’s lead when he makes a promised endorsement of one of his rivals. 

But in the meantime, to say that those supporters are disappointed is an understatement.

Many of those who have come to support Herman Cain are a part of the newly reinvigorated civic minded group of individuals who come from the TEA movement.  They are people who had been turned off by politics and tuned it out.  Until President Obama tried to deliver on his promise to reform America.  Obama’s attempts to control every aspect of our lives from how much a private business can pay us, where a private business can do business, where we get our healthcare from and when we can get it, to the air that we breathe and the food that we eat, have alarmed these dissatisfied Americans so much that they came to realize that the direction our leaders try to take our nation in can not be ignored or allowed.

These people are not like politics and do not  like politicians.  They are reform minded and want dramatic changes in the process and policies of our federal government and they do not trust the establishment any more.

Then came Herman Cain.  An independent, successful businessman, who has challenged the establishment and tried to provide the solutions that the establishment can’t or won’t.

Between his fascinating and poignant personal story,  his oratory skills, homespun style, common sense thinking, and anti-establishmentarian tendencies, Cain captured the imaginations and hopes of these people.  And while he did not always rise to the occasion, he did offer the promise of a change from business as usual.  It helped him win the hearts and minds of many of these Americans and now that the Cain train was forced off the tracks, they are left angry at a process that dashed their hopes and they are left searching for a new leader to pin their hopes on. 

Immediate reaction to the Cain announcement seems to indicate that Cain’s support will continue to overwhelmingly go to Newt Gingrich. 

A sampling of the reactions to Cain development are expressed by messages sent to White and through white Hose 2012.  In an open letter that one Cain supporter, J.C. Stephens, sent to Mr. Cain through White House 2012, he writes;

I knew last night there was an update to come today about the campaign. The thought that you might stop your bid for the White House did cross my mind for a moment but I thought you would be able to fight through to the end.
I do understand and praise you for putting your wife and family first . I am however greatly saddened that you have made this decision.

I believe you are a man of character and just what we’ve needed for this country since Ronald Reagan.

I don’t know what more to say other than I hope you will return to the race for President and go on to the White House in 2012.

Sincerely,
J.C. Stephenson

Marji states to White House 2012 readers;

People…do you not remember..we had a President of the Unite States look the people in the eye and Lie, lie, lie….”I did not have……..”. The news did nothing…this man they are trying to put him on the cross. I wonder how much she got paid to ruin this man’s life. When are you going to wake-up!!! The news people are doing the voting for you so they can get the one in the White House now re-elected. Obama does not care for us or our country…he is selling us down the drain for pennies….Look..look at what is around him…the company he keeps!!! Wake-up and pray….the greatest country on earth and he hates it.

In another open letter to Herman Cain, Nina Flora writes;

Mr. Cain

I just want to express my deep concern for you, your wife and your family. I for one just do not believe the allegations and do hope you as you said recently get to the bottom of this. It is so sad that a person can say whatever they desire to defame a person’s character, hurt the family and just walk away with no proof. I always thought the person being accused had a right of confronting their accusers, I do also realize when in the position you were in that there is not time to do all this and “run for president” I am so very disappointed in our leaders “plural”. We have now people in our country in leadership who have no honesty, integrity, and loyalty to our loved country. I admire your desire to make some badly needed changes and do wish you all the best and our prayers.I know this was a plan to destroy you. You are in my prayers.

Nina  is now leaning towards Newt Gingrich but tells us she likes Rick Santorum because she thinks he is particularly honest   Nina says” I think Newt is very smart and actually does care for our country, he is a strong personality capable of standing up for us, his past does not bother me..if a person changes..they change and have a right to acceptance”  She adds ” but just wait , if he becomes the Republican candidate, they will crucify him just like Cain and Sarah Palin”  Nina goes on to tell us;

“I am sorry that Cain was maligned…but that is also part of the problem..just wait and see who is the upcoming candidate and see what liberals, MSNBC, CBS and all the liberal media do next to ruin them..These medias are simply evil and vindictive and want their “bosses” the liberals and all other anti-american entities to be in control.”

An appreciative Steve Moran of  California, shows some fighting spirit with some enthusiastic encouragement of Mr. Cain’s new mission;

Amen! Thank you for pressing forward Mr. Cain to represent “We the People” and to clear your good name. You are a true patriot and I pray that you are in the Cabinet of the new Republican administration in January 2013 to help to briskly cleanse Obama’s anti-constitutionial corruption, to eradicate his heretical socialist policies, and to, once again, restore America to the hill top so that her exceptional, unflickering shining light may unapologetically beam brightly for all the world to see in 2013, and for many generations to come. God bless and stay the course.

When asked where he will go from here Steve tells us he has has not yet decided who will now support but stated that is leaning towards Newt Gingrich because he is “largely aligned with Mr. Cain on the salient issues vital to the re-establishment of de facto conservatism in America.”  Mr. Moran also tells us that who Herman Cain endorses will totally influence who his vote goes to though.   “I value Mr. Cain’s opinion immensely, and his future endorsement will have a profound effect on the candidate that I support”, said Moran.

He adds “I had hoped that they [Gingrich and Cain] would run together as President and Vice President, with either in either position”

As for those who just a day ago were Herman Cain’s rivals for the nomination, reaction to the end of Cain’s campaign is somber in tone but filled with praise for the former presidential candidate.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson released the following statement;

“I have no doubt Herman Cain will remain a significant voice in the dialogue about the many important issues we face.  His rejection of business-as-usual in Washington has been a valuable part of this campaign,  and clearly resonates with a great many Americans.  I wish him the best.”

Newt Gingrich tweeted the following message;

“I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend and I know he will continue to be a powerful voice for years to come.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry stated;

“I know this was a difficult decision for Herman Cain, his family and his supporters. He helped invigorate conservative voters and our nation with a discussion of major tax reform. Anita and I wish him and his entire family all the best.”

Others like Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Jon Huntsman have also issued their well wishes and commended Herman Cain on what all agree was a job well done.  And a job well done it was.  One of his most significant accomplishments was his courage and ability to force the rest of the Republican to all agree on making tax reform a major staple of their campaigns and in turn a major issue on the American political agenda. 

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Herman Cain Suspends His Presidential Campaign

Bookmark and Share   Amid a  festive atmosphere that ironically included a barbecue, Herman Cain, who has been continuously grilled about the fate of his campaign in the wake of new allegations about a 13 year long extramarital affair, stepped off his campaign bus with his wife Gloria at his side and ended the suspense by declaring he was suspending his campaign for President.

The announcement came at what was originally billed as the grand opening of his campaign headquarters.

Cain opened his announcement by stating how proud he is of how far he and his supporters have come.  And while talking about his decision to run in the past tense, he reminded voters that he was inspired to run because the politicians in Washington have failed us.  He thanked those who supported him and shared his concerns. 

Cain stated that his campaign and supporters proved that money matters less than the message and told supporters that they showed the world that we the people are still in charge of this country and that you do not need a distinguished pedigree to run for President in America.  He told supporters that with a month to go till the Iowa Caucuses, he is one the of final four in the polls and added that it is a sign that you can come from humble beginnings and still be President.  Cain declared that proving that a common man can lead this nationwas the greatest gift that he and his campaign have given people.

Cain stated that he has made mistakes and is the first to own up to his mistakes and despite how the political elite feels he handles those mistakes, he does it his way.  Then Cain admitted that the media fury which has spun the false allegations against him hav hurt his wife, his family, himself, and the American people because it cretaes distractions that prevent the American people from being provided with solution.

Standing with his wife behind him Cain reiterated his claim that all the accusations were false and that he and his wife are at peace with themselves, their family and themselves.  Then he announced that his campaign was going on to plan B which is a suspension of his presidential campaign because of the continued distraction and hurt on him and his family.   But he promised that he will not be silenced and will not go away.  So his plan B. was to move ahead with TheCainSolutions.com with which he will show that people are in charge and promised to make sure that the biggest reforms our nation has ever seen.  Cain cited energy independence and his much touted 9-9-9 plan.

Cain wrapped up by saying that plan A was to change Washington from the inside, but plan B is to change it from the outside.  Then he declared that he will endorse one his rivals very soon.

With his campaign suspended, Herman Cain may now have more an impact on the 2012 presidential than ever before.  His campaign concludes at a point in time when the race seems to be shaping up as a two-man contest between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.  If Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich, Newt will find himself in the catbirdseat. 

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Watch the Livestream of Herman Cain’s Annoucement. Wiill He Stay in the Race?

Bookmark and Share   Sometime between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm EST , Herman Cain will be announcing the fate of his quest for the presidency of the United States. His campaign has provided a livestream of this event which is actually suppose to be the grand opening of his campaign headquarters.

Expect Cain to announce that he will  not allow himself to be pushed out of the race.  Do  not expect a mea culpa or any announcement declaring that he is pulling the plug on his presidential ambitions.  Few have ever done such a thing after providing a livestream of their fall while having a barbecue for those at the announcement.  And that is exactly what is happening outside the new headquarters for the Cain campaign in what is reported to be a very festive atmosphere.  However, it is reported that Herman Cain’s campiagn team is not optimistic.

Watch the livestream of the announcement here or by clicking on the image below;

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Bachmann’s Gamble

Michele Bachmann believes she is the best candidate for the job.  She should, she’s running.  However, unlike the two front runners, Bachmann has chosen not to differentiate herself based on ideas, but instead to attack the front runners as being more liberal as she is.  Her most recent target is Newt Gingrich, but she can also be traced to the fall of Rick Perry.

The two front runners, and Herman Cain, have done a very good job of not attacking other candidates.  The “attacks” between Romney and Gingrich over the last week have amounted to points scored on differentiation in back ground and complementary assessments of each others abilities with subtle hints as to who is better because of it.

So why does Bachmann think that attacking the other GOP candidates is a winning proposition?  Simply put, she does not believe Barack Obama can win.  In Bachmann’s mind, the GOP candidate could be Tom DeLay and Obama would still lose.  Technically, she should be right.

The administration got the best news it’s had in three years this past week.  Enough people dropped out of the job hunt to join Occupy Wall Street that unemployment (which only measures who is looking for a job) fell to 8.6%.  Now, Obama’s justice department has released a new round of incriminating documents on a Friday night to avoid the media cycle and Obama is skipping town for an extended Christmas/New Years vacation that us working schlubs could only dream of.

But Bachmann’s faith in Republicans’ will to vote for the lesser of two evils is unfounded.  Just look at how quickly Republican supporters are backing off of Cain after the most recent affair allegation.  Sure some of it is fears over electability, some of it is dislike for his 999 plan and foreign policy, but a good portion of it is different standards.  It’s the kinds of standards that make Republicans resign for tapping their toes in the men’s room while Democrats can shove a cigar in their young intern’s….well anyway.

Bachmann’s gamble is that since Obama is going to lose anyway, Republicans need to take this glorious opportunity to choose the best candidate for the job (Michele Bachmann) and not settle for a RINO (Mitt Romney), a crony capitalist (Rick Perry), or a flip flopping environmentalist (Newt Gingrich).  Instead, we should choose the TEA Party image of perfect conservatism, the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan mixed with Sarah Palin: Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann seems to think her negativity will make her be the first candidate to be a front runner, lose it all and end up in 5%ville, and then rise from the ashes a second time.  She needs to be careful that it won’t accomplish that for Obama instead.

Cain’s Area 51 Response to Tabloid Reporting

Herman Cain may not be able to salvage his campaign after issuing a notice that he is reconsidering his run.  Nothing says you have skeletons in your closet more than jumping in front of the closet door and shouting “Ok, I’m done!” when people get close to it.  And it’s truly a shame.  Whether or not the accusations are legitimate, so far there is no credible evidence that they are.

Ginger White adds to the list of financially troubled, gold digging, sue happy women from Cain’s corporate past who have been bankrupt, sued their work place for frivolous sexual harassment claims, and of course have failed to provide any evidence of the alleged misconduct.  Her husband said her claims “wouldn’t surprise me, either way”.  If you’ve worked in the corporate world, haven’t you known that person that you decided right away you better leave your office door open when he or she comes in to protect yourself?

The mountain of accusations has come down to one woman, without even a hotel receipt to show for it, claiming that Cain grabbed her crotch in a car while taking her back to her room, one woman who claims Cain dared say she was as tall as his wife, and a woman with no money and several eviction notices who Cain thought was a friend, but who also has had about a month now of hearing why the other accusers might be financially motivated because of book deals.  I mean, imagine how much she could sell her autographed book she got form Cain that says something about friends being friends forever and everything else being bonuses?  We all know what that means.  He might as well have said “had a great time being friends with benefits”.

So suddenly every mainstream newspaper in America is reporting Cain’s affair like the black and white tabloids say that aliens exist.  The only problem is, Cain is getting ready to put electric, barbed wire fences up all around area 51.

Herman Cain has not been impressive in his handling of things like this, but let’s face it.  He is an amateur when it comes to smear politics.  He can’t even do it himself.  The poor guy has been nothing but respectful to most of his opponents, with the one exception being when he rashly called out Rick Perry and his former staffers for kickstarting the story since only they knew those sexual harassment claims existed.  So Cain’s decision to hold off and see if things blow over or not could just be a rank amateurish blunder.

That said, my evaluation is that Herman Cain may choose to continue, but the continuation will be short lived.  He has contributed a lot to this election process, but at this point his blunders have just made him a distraction from the main event.  If I had to predict, I would say that Cain will drop out, and will endorse the person who ends up becoming the GOP candidate.  Shortly after dropping out, the affair stories will quickly evaporate leaving only his most staunchest supporters and detractors wondering if they were ever actually true.

It is no White Christmas for Herman Cain

The news comes this evening that The Herman Cain campaign is “reassessing” its strategy following the allegation by Ginger White that she and Mr. Cain had been involved in a consensual relationship over a 13-year period.

Cain initially made the allegation public to Wolf Blitzer in an interview on CNN’s – The Situation Room. Shortly after the announcement, a statement from Cain’s lawyer said, “White’s claims of a consensual affair between two adults is not a legitimate news story.”

It should come as no surprise that Cain is reassessing his campaign as although the allegation does not involve sexual harassment like the previous claims, in many ways Cain’s lawyer’s statement is far from a complete denial or strong rebuttal.

Cain’s campaign team as I expressed in previous articles, totally mismanaged the original allegations from the three previous accusers. I do not believe it was the nature of the allegations that harmed Cain, but the fact, that his team got it so badly wrong in their crisis management of the affair which caused him damage.

Cain had just seemed to put his campaign back on a solid footing when he undertook a disastrous foreign policy question and answer session, which showed him all at sea when trying to answer a question on one of the year’s major foreign policy issues. This clip of his failed interview dominated an entire news cycle and only was also reinforced by his standard and sometimes weak replies during last week’s national security CNN debate.

I believe Cain has brought a considerable amount to this campaign. He has shown America that a black conservative politician can challenge for the GOP’s nomination. He has delivered the catch-phrase and intelligent 9-9-9 plan which had everyone talking on both sides of the political divide and his charisma, humour and common sense has made him a national figure. I believe that the opposition were gravely concerned about a Cain nomination and run off against President Obama, as it would have impacted a lot of their strategy for the 2012 campaign.

Cain would have been able to counter many of the messages which commentators expect the Obama machine to come forward with in the run up to next November’s election. Cain is very much the symbol of the American Dream experiencing southern state segregation, coming from a poor family and rising through hard work and studies to run some of America’s largest and most successful organisations.

Cain’s appeal was largely due to his business expertise and understanding of the economic challenges facing America. Next years election will see the eventual GOP nominee trying to make the election about the economy whereas, Team Obama will try and make it an election based on social and class warfare, as he can’t run on his domestic and economic record.

The revelation surrounding this alleged extramarital affair is sadly, I believe, one straw too many for the Herminator. It is hard to see many social conservatives being able to overlook the cloud hanging over Cain’s personal life and support him in time for Iowa and New Hampshire.

There is also the impact all these personal attacks and allegations are having on Cain’s own family, nobody deserves to be treated in such a fashion and again ability seems destined to be ignored in favour of rumour and innuendo. I feel for the whole Cain family, I really do.

Cain is due to spend tomorrow in Ohio before appearing on Fox News’s Neil Cavuto show for a one to one interview. It is believed a final decision will be made by Cain within a couple days about whether to go on.

A big factor in Cain’s decision will be money. Cain feels an obligation to those who have supported his campaign financially and it is believed he currently holds $9 million in his campaign war chest.

Personally, I would advise Cain to consider his family at this time. I don’t believe the allegations however; other supporters or admirers will prove much harder job to convince then I. Cain has had an excellent run and exceeded many people’s early expectations. Cain has seen what is involved being in the media spotlight of a national campaign. He should thank his supporter’s for all their support and bow out to focus on his family and proving all these allegations as being false. There is a remote chance should he prove the current allegations false, that he may be approached for a Vice President slot, if time and opportunity coincide.

I would like to see Cain respectfully drop out now and throw his support firmly behind one of the other candidates. I am sure Mr. Cain and his team know that after such a dreadful six weeks, winning the party nomination on this occasion is now firmly beyond him. He has raised his profile considerably and even if a V.P. role doesn’t come his way, he can spend the next four years becoming more involved in politics at a national level and prepare the way, all going well, for a stronger and less controversial run in 2016.

Is the Cain Train Still Running?

Bookmark and Share I began writing this post three days ago.  The thinking behind it came to me when I suddenly realized that we had not heard anything substantive, from or about the Cain campaign in almost two weeks.  I  began to think that in the case of Herman Cain, no news is bad news.  After he vaulted to the top of many polls because of the Republican electorates willingness to go for anyone but Romney, Cain was hot and it looked as though he was about to establish himself as the man to beat.
 
Then came one, two, three, and even four accusations of sexual harassment. 
 
For a brief second, it seemed that things might fall apart for Cain, but after news hound Gloria Allred got involved and after the accusations seemed to be a bit flimsy, Cain not only recovered, he benefitted from a brief backlash against the media coverage of anonymous allegations from over a dozen years ago, which never made it in to the judicial system where Cain could have had a proper hearing.  As it was, Republican voters were getting tired of the media telling them that Mitt Romney was going to be their nominee whether they liked it or not.  Which is how Herman Cain become so popular to begin with.
 
He was the perfect anti-establishment candidate in an electorate that is as anti-establishment and opposed to the political class as ever before.  Cain never held elected office, he had some novel ideas, a common sense approach to problems, was willing to go against the politicians, and never held an elected office that could have qualified him as a politician.  So he was the perfect vessel for TEA Party-like, anti-establishment voters to send their message through.  Add to that the fact that Herman Cain was a passionate, articulate, and creative speaker and what you had was the perfect candidate for the times. Add to that Sarah Palin’s decision not to run and Herman Cain was a lucky man.
 
So Herman Cain benefited from a combination of a lack of elected offices, a history of talent, and good timing.
 
But with that benefit came responsibility.  The responsibility to prove that he was worthy of the support that naturally gravitated towards him under the circumstances. 
 
The problem is, Herman did not prove he was deserving of the support.
 
Instead he demonstrated that when he had more than two minutes to answer a questions, he didn’t know what he was talking about.  And as for his campaign, instead of demonstrating that he could solidify and build on the popular support that did come his way, it proved to be inept, incompetent, and interestingly ill-equipped to cope with politics.
 
And the odd thing is that Herman Cain is nothing like his presidential campaign. 
 
While Herman Cain worked hard to go from very humble beginnings to become a highly learned, highly successful businessman, and conservative leader, his campaign for President had a humble beginning and after a brief anomalous bounce in the polls, went from promising to disappointing.
 
Which brings us back to what finally put Herman Cain back in the news this week.
 
The initial accusations of sexual harassment seemed to have faded away.   No thanks to his campaign, its fading away was a good thing.  But what we began to see was that without scandal to force the media to focus on Cain’s presidential campaign, there was nothing for the media to report about Cain.  Such media silence was a tragic loss of opportunity for Cain’s campaign.
 
They had the opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and issue bold new policy initiatives and plans that would have grabbed the headlines for Cain based on content of issue, not on spaciousness of scandal.  Herman Cain had the chance to solidify the support he was getting when people rallied around him in his defense.  He had the opportunity to increase his support by demonstrating to voters that in the face of politics as usual, he was the man who could get things done and focus on the issues, not the distractions.
 
Instead, Herman Cain and his campaign, initially extended the life of the sexual harassment charge scandal by mishandling his reaction to it for the first five days and then dropped off the political map.
 
Now as it turns out, we finally hear some news related to Herman Cain’s candidacy.  But what we hear is not something we like.  It is an accusation of a 13 year long, clandestine, extramarital affair. 
 
Whether it is true or not does not even matter.  Afterall, after the Kennedy’s and Clinton’s, the nation is numb to such personal matters.  But what does matter is the fact that Herman Cain and his campaign failed to gain the limelight for nearly two weeks but finally do so after the prospect of a new scandal arises.   Had it not been for his recent accuser, there would have been nothing else to report on regarding Herman Cain.  There would have been no new economic inititaives or possible solutions to peace in the Middle East coming from Cain to report on.  There would have been no new evidence to prove that Cain does know his P’s and Q’s when it comes to foreign affairs.  Nothing constructive would have come out of the Cain campaign and that is a sad statement on the effectiveness of Herman Cain’s presidential campaign.
 
As I stated at the beginning of the post, this account was in the making several days before his latest accuser surfaced.  The fact that there was finally something to say about Cain’s campaign because she surfaced, simply punctuates the point.
 
Before today, I was wondering if the train Cain was still running.  I  But as  have been standing at the station waiting for something to report on about him.  But every time I looked down the track, I saw nothing on the horizon.  But as of today, I think I have my answer.  While I know better than to never say never in politics, I have come to conclude that service on the Cain line has been discontinued.  And it is not because of shaky accusations.  It is because the Cain train has been unable to drop off any real issues whenever it makes a stop on the campaign trail.  Even in politics, soundbites only get you so far.  Good candidates need to run on more than slogans, they need some real issues and substantive policies to run on and unfortunately, after a good start, when it comes to issues, the Cain train’s been running on empty.  After building up so  much initial speed, it’s just taken awhile for the forward momentum to come to a stop and  force the Cain train to come to an end. 
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