First Round of Guests Invited To Speak at CPAC 2013 Released

The American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Al Cardenas today announced the first round of speakers invited to appear at CPAC 2013 – the annual national Conservative Political Action Conference.

According to Cardenas
“As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of CPAC, we are excited to present a conference focused on our timeless principles but also explore and define the future of the conservative movement,” .

Among the many speakers invited to appear so far are:

Cardenas added;
“`
“Each of the invited speakers plays a critical role in the movement and we’re pleased to invite them to address the nation’s top conservative thinkers, policymakers, authors and media as well as thousands of conservative leaders, activists and students at CPAC 2013.”
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The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, to be held March 14-16, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, will provide three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional American values. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s Capital since 1973, and it now stands as the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country. For additional information, visit our website at conservative.org/cpac2013, on Facebook at facebook.com/CPACNews, or on Twitter at @cpacnews and #CPAC2013. Media registration (including bloggers) will be available on February 1, 2013.

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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And that’s time

In a short hour and a half, made up of minute responses and thirty second followups, the GOP candidates once again took the stage to answer questions from semi-respectful moderators.  In a debate most looked forward to by Ron Paul fans, Paul received very little time. We have seen pretty much all there is to be seen about candidate style, and many of these questions were repeats.  So here are the winners and losers:

The Good

Mitt Romney won this debate.  His answers were calming, yet clear and determined.  He portrayed the very stature Americans are looking for in a Commander in Chief, and he highlighted American Exceptionalism.  This area is a strong suit for Mitt, and one that does not involve any sort of past flip flops or policy changes.  His answers should give him a bump among social conservatives who are inspired by terms like American Exceptionalism.

Newt at one point had to school the moderators on war versus criminal law.  In some ways this debate seemed frustrating for Newt, but that is an aspect of him his followers often like to see.  Newt brings the fight to the moderators and to the left and usually wins.  Many of his answers were right on, but others were somewhat vague.  One thing that Newt will lose points for is how loosely he called for covert operations in countries like Iran and Syria.  This is something Newt has brought up as a policy in debates and speeches in the past, but is something better left unsaid.

Jon Huntsman did well in the debate.  The question on a tradewar with China is a favorite of most media moderators because it gives them a chance to toss Huntsman an easy softball.    Foreign policy hits many of Huntsman’s strong points without touching many of the issues that conservatives hate him for.  It won’t matter though, Huntsman is done.

The Bad

Santorum did pretty well.  He has the unfortunate bad luck of being a candidate on the back end of two long wars and sharing a policy that sounds eerily like Bush’s.  On the other hand, Santorum seemed to be saying that we need to keep funding Pakistan and being their friend because they have a Nuke.  True or not, Santorum is not going to win American hearts saying implying that we must borrow from China to pay off Pakistan to be our friend.

I have a feeling that media moderators purposefully cut Paul’s debate time short on debates like this to get his supporters riled up.  Get ready, we are going to hear about that for the next week or so.  Paul didn’t do bad for most of the debate, but some of his stances are really not correct.  The idea that the United States must capture a citizen who has declared war on the United States and bring them in to face civilian court, or that non-uniformed terrorists have any sort of rights under US law is wrong and violates precedent.  Gingrich and Perry were absolutely right on those counts.  Paul’s supporters were being their typical selves in the debate as well, to the point where the mods had to admonish them to be respectful.  They are another liability of Paul’s with the overall GOP.

Herman Cain reminded me a lot of Rick Perry in recent debates.  Without 9-9-9 to fall back on, Cain was slow in responses, vague, and seemed as though he would happily defer to a future self, surrounded by knowledgeable generals and advisers.  That’s great, but that is not leadership.  In that respect, Huntsman showed up Cain, and even Gingrich, when he said if a nuke was loose in Pakistan he would secure it.  Cain really did not give a performance that screamed “I am a leader”.  Instead, each response sounded like “How can I answer this without ruining my campaign”.

The Ugly

Michele Bachmann continues to be unimpressive and unmemorable.  She scored some points rebutting Ron Paul, but seemed to spend most of the night trying to get the moderators to let her respond to other candidates.  She also seemed to get less time.  However, I will give her a great deal of credit for her answers on ways to trim military spending without hurting the military.

Rick Perry still doesn’t debate well.  And once again he found himself as the butt of several jokes, made both by the moderators, himself, and Senator Graham.  Perry’s idea of zero based budgeting for foreign aide is a great idea, but the only reason it’s his is because he got to say it first.  Gingrich and Romeny both articulated it better when Perry was done.

But allow me a Newt Gingrich moment to say this.  The real loser was Barack Obama.  The candidates made it clear, once again, that every single one of them would run foreign policy better than Obama.  Several drove home the point that Obama had a range of good choices and bad choices and made all the bad ones and none of the good ones.  The only ambivalent candidate who actually seemed to end up on Obama’s side for some things was Ron Paul.  This is one of the aspects of Newt Gingrich’s leadership because he has focused these debates on defeating Barack Obama, and when Newt sets the tone the other candidates usually follow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Draft (fill in name here) for President

Bookmark and ShareAs the Republican presidentialcontest begins to sort out who is running and who isnt running, public anxiety over who can actually be a viable candidate to run against President Obama, mounts. At the moment, there is a great deal of chatter about how the G.O.P. has no one who can mount a credible challenge to President Obama in 2012. Such an assertion is ludicrous, but natural. Without any single name to naturally gravitate towards as the logical leader and face of the opposition to the President, it is easy to believe that misconception. But it is important to remember that recent history shows us that the existence of an undeniably obvious nominee for the Party opposing an incumbent President is rare.

While there are always names that may seem to have the inside track for the nomination, at this early stage in the game, you usually do not have a name that is the clear frontrunner and logical candidate to lineup behind.That’s the case for republicans right now.And it is that sentiment which has forced many who are opposed to a second term for President Obama,to goon the hunt for the perfect candidate. Such pre-primary activity is a natural manifestation of the desire to insure that the incumbent President is not reelected. History has been laced with efforts to draft popular figures to run for the Oval Office.

Perhaps the most famous and one of the only truly successful draft efforts in American electoral history was that of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. That effort actually began in 1948 when Democrats believed that President Harry S. Truman had no chance of getting elected. An active duty General, Ike had believed in being non-partisan when it came to politics, so for Democrats, having him carry their mantle was quite possible. And when it seemed as though Republicans might nominate General Douglas MacArthur as their candidate for President, Harry Truman himself offered to run as Eisenhowers vice presidential running mate if he would accept the Democrat Partys nomination.

Four years later Republicans who had not held the White House in twenty years and Democrats who had noincumbent to run for reelection for the first time in 16 years, clamored for a nominee who could easily win the presidency in 1952. Republican standard-bearerThomas Dewy had been the Partys nominee twice and twice he was defeated. As a result, Dewey was not inclined to run for a third time and Republicans were not inclined to let him run as their nominee again. But Governor Dewey and Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge worked to persuade Eisenhower to run for the Republican presidential nomination through an organization called “National Citizens for Eisenhower”. Up till then, the closest name that Republicans had to a frontrunner was Robert Taft.

Senator Robert Taft

Taft was the establishment’s choice, but a schism between isolationist Republicans, represented by Taft, and internationalist Republicans who wanted someone else, gave the draft Eisenhower movement much momentum. At the same time, the spread of Communism was an issue of most importance and it was the one issue most responsible for Eisenhowers willingness to accept a run for the White House.

Ike believed in the use of diplomacy to contain the red menace in Europe. But Taft had a McCarthy-like belief in weeding out subversion at home. Things finally came to a head behind closed doors when Eisenhower told Taft that he would absolutely refuse to run if Taft agreed to collective security of Europe. But Senator Taft refused and so Ike allowed the draft movement to proceed. He also decided that if he would accept any nomination it would be the Republican nomination. This he determined when he realized that he was not in synch with the Democrats big, central government, liberty eroding approach to all the issues facing the nation.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

By early January of 1952, Eisenhower made it clear that if he was offered the Republican presidential nomination, he would accept it. And so without Eisenhower even knowing, Henry Cabot Lodge placed Eisenhowers name on the New Hampshire Republican Primary ballot. But Eisenhower still did not campaign. In fact he told people that he did not believe that support for him was a popular as many tried to claim.

Then in February, a Draft Eisenhower for President rally was held in New Yorks Madison Square Garden. The event was expected to draw a whopping 16,000 people to it. But those projections were wrong. An overwhelming 25,000 people showed up. A month later, General Eisenhower won every single delegate in the New Hampshire primary as he defeated Robert Taft by 50% to 38%. The rest is history.

The next closest example of a draft effort, came in 1964. The effort itself though, actually began in 1961.

With the defeat of Nixon in 1960, the Republican Party began its long, contemporary evolution towards the right. The leaders of the Republican Eastern establishment seemed to have exhausted its hold on to the type of influence it had been wielding. And at the same time a growing number of conservatives were beginning to organize. These numbers first took root within the ranks of the National and State Young Republican organizations. but while all this was happening, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater began serving as the Chairman of the Republican Senate Re-elect Committee. In this position he traveled thousands of miles, spoke before tens of thousands of people and quickly became the most popular face of the growing conservative movement.

By the time 1961 approached, with no clear choice for the 1964 Republican Presidential nomination, Conservatives itching to take the Party over from the liberal establishment, began to organize and think about who their candidate for President would be. Among a small group of political insiders, the consensus was Barry Goldwater. But Goldwater refused to run. He did not believe that he could win and he did not want his family exposed to the rigors of such a national campaign.

Then in June of 1961 Time magazine placed Goldwaters picture on their cover and did a story on his growing national popularity. They wrote;

“Goldwater is the hottest political figure this side of Jack Kennedy…. No Republican is more in demand. Since March, Goldwater’s Washington office has received more than 650 written invitations for the Senator to put in an appearance, plus hundreds of telephone requests. Goldwater’s mail runs to a remarkable 800 pieces a day…[and] visitors crowd around Barry Goldwater’s fourth floor suite in the Old Senate Office Building hoping to earn a passing hand clasp or a hastily scrawled autograph.”

This added to the motivation that a small group of activists already had. F. Clifton White, William A. Rusher, and Ohio Congressman John M. Ashbrook, began a process that combined tens of thousands of conservative contacts and began to organize a process that would get them in to Republican Party leadership positions. The most important of these positions were those of delegates to the 1964 Republican National Convention. This behind the scenes, group of three, eventually became a group of 22 and continued to grow from there. Soon it became known as the Suite 3505 Committee. 3505 being the address number of its New York City office.

Congressman John Ashbrook

After intense networking of Young Republicans, women s groups, and conservative oriented voters of all kinds, the expanded executive committee of this group concluded that Barry Goldwater was their only real choice for President in 64. But Goldwater still rejected the notion. So the committee quickly became an official draft organization that would seek to force Goldwater to run. It expanded and created state committees and between petitions, publicity and aggressive persuasion, Barry Goldwater decided on November 20, 1963 to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Two days later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This changed everything. Kennedy was a friend of Goldwater and the two had come to look forward to a sincere campaign that would test their ideologies. Goldwater also knew that with President Johnson now as his opponent, his own Southern base would be undermined. Two weeks after President Kennedy was assassinated, Goldwater announced that he would not be a candidate. However, The draft movement that had been in place never stopped and on December 11th, 1964, with polls showing Goldwater to be the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, he reentered the race.

Both of these draft movements teach us lessons that are relevant to todays approaching presidential election.

The draft efforts of 1952 and 1964 were both successful in getting the person they intended nominated. But both campaigns involved figures who had some sort ofundeniablyobviouspopularity. For Eisenhower it was popularity among the general population. For Goldwater, it was popularity among a growing movement within the population. Each provided momentum but equally as important, each had a candidate that was at some point in time willing to run. So the question is, can a successful draft effort be waged for the 2012 election?

It is clear that the G.O.P. is not in a position to use 1952 as a model. There is no single figure who is as popular among both Democrats and Republicans as Eisenhower was. But there are some parallels to 2012 that can be drawn from the 1964 draft Goldwater effort. Here we have a comparison that can be made between the emergence of the Conservative wing of the G.O.P. in the 60s, and the rise of the TEA Party movement of the past two years.

But there are two important distinguishing factors that come with this comparison.

The organization of the Conservatives movement in the 1960s involved coordination from within the political establishment, four years before the next presidential election. This allowed for an expedited path to organizing the movements ability to takeover the Party from within and, to elect Party officials and delegates to the National Convention. The TEA Party began on the outside of the establishment and even though it now has a few of its own on the inside, they have much less time to organize than did the effort of 1960. But perhaps the most important of all differences is that unlike the case with Conservatives in 64, the TEA movement has no one person that it is solidly behind. In 64 the Conservative movement had Barry Goldwater as their clear favorite, the consensus candidate. The Taxed Enough Already movement lacks that clear consensus choice. Is it Sarah Palin? Is it Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Allen West, Marco Rubio, or someone else?

Sarah Palin is the one contender with whom a draft movement could possibly be most successful. But even if all the right pieces were to fall into place and a successful 1964-like Barry Goldwater draft effort helped make Sarah Palin the Republican presidential nominee, that draft model failed to win the general election.

Draft efforts that are based only upon movements within a particular segment of society are able to influence the smaller electorate of partisan politics, but they have less of a chance to influence the vast majority of the larger electorate as a whole. This is not to say that the TEA Party movement cant influence the nomination of a Republican candidate that can win the presidential election. They can. But that influence can not come through a draft effort that labels the nominee as the TEA Party candidate. Just as it did not work when Goldwater was labeled the Conservatives candidate. Being a conservative candidate and being the Conservatives candidate create two vastly differently images. The latter is a direct negative connotation implying that one is owned by a particular group. The former indicates ones own sense of conviction. It may be shared with others, but it is not owned by others.

Probably one of the most successful draft campaigns that Republicans could run is one which seeks to make General David Petraeus our nominee. Like Eisenhower he is not seen as particularly partisan, he is not viewed as being owned by any Party or movement, and at a time when our nation is waging one war, possibly getting involved in another, and winding another one down, the choice of a General as our nations leader carries a certain populist logic.

Then again, the sense of the electorate is that our economy and the national budget are our most immediate top priorities. Who would be a natural candidate to draft given that consideration?

If Donald Trump were not such a dangerously fowl mouthed, often irrational and egomaniacal, loose cannon, he could have been a strong draft pick. Were it not for RomneyCare, Mitt Romney with his private sector, managerial, and business experience, would have been another perfect fit for solving economic problems. But we all knew that Romneyhas beenrunning for a long time now, so a draft effort was never even needed for him. In factfor all intents and purposes, he should be the frontrunner without a draft effort.

Governor Mitch Daniels

The person perfectly suited for a successful draft campaign based on the economy would be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. As a former budget director he earned the nickname The Blade” and his leadership inIndiana, particularly on the state budget, is unmatched. Indiana is one of the most solvent state’s in the nation and its economy has been one of the strongest of all during the current economic malaise. Of course for Mitch Daniels, there is already a very active draft effort underway.

Students For Daniels has aired commercials in Iowa, organized college campuses on state levels, created an active and effective website and maintained a degree of pressure that is all good. But Mitch Daniels seems reluctant to make a decision to run and as such, the draft effort begun by Students for Daniels would need to quickly expand beyond students if it is to achieve its goal. But even then one must ask, could a person like Mitch Daniels attract a crowd of 25,000 to Madison Square Garden as the draft effort for Eisenhower did in 1952? Its unlikely.

Truly successful drafts are rare and at this stage in the game, it is unlikely that such an effort would be very productive. Although there are a handful of names that I believe are worthy of draft efforts and have an ability to generate popular support, many of those names are clearly unwilling to run. Two personal favorites of mine include Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. But with 17 months or so to go, it may not be possible to coordinate the type of effort that could generate the national euphoria for their candidacies that would be necessary for them to accept the nomination. Paul Ryan is quite satisfied with the extraordinary power that he wields as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and while Marco Rubio is a sort of new phenomenon, he clearly intends to pace himself. Rubio does not want to be a flash in the pan.

That is why, all things considered, the Republican Party is probably best left to a process that involves the unforced participation fo candidates. We will be best suited by a contest that allows the eventual nominee to have to earn his or her popularity based on their ability to demonstrate the courage of leadership, their innovative solutions to our problems and the capacity to translateconservatism into the practical application of government. A contest that allows for suchabilities to be publicly tested through a hard fought campaign, can truly make those who currently believe that a viable candidate is not on the horizon, begin to believe that the right person has been right in front of eyes all this time.

Political campaigns have a way of producing heroes. Some quickly fade when the campaign ends, others linger on as trusted elder statesmen. But either way, the winner of those campaigns earn themselves at least a temporarydevout following and the 2012 primary process will be no different.

In the mean time, we the people, still seek that perfect candidate. And that search has produced no lack of current draft efforts. Here are just some that can be found:

2012 Draft Sarah Committee

Draft Jim DeMint for President in 2012

Draft Paul Ryan for President

Chris Christie for President

We Need Michele

Draft Cain 2012

Draft Allen West for President 2012

Jeb Bush 2012

Draft Rudy Giuliani for President

Students for Daniels

Draft Rand Paul for President

Draft General David Petraeus for President

Draft Michael Bloomberg 2012

Draft Lou Dobbs for President

Should Trump Run

Draft Gates 2012

Draft Mike Huckabee for President 2012

Draft Jesse Ventura

Draft Dick Cheney for President

Draft Marco Rubio for President 2012

Judge Andrew Napolitano for President

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Republican Morning Memo for Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Why Haley Barbour isn’t running

How Haley Barbour’s moves shakes up the 2012 field

Nate Silver, “Schmuck of the Week”. And it’s only Tuesday

Santroum says health law fueled his possible presidential run

With gas prices on the rise, Pawlenty hangs energy policy around Obama’s neck

Surprise! Ron Paul to begin his third campaign for President today in Iowa

President Obama tries to make his campaign seem like the underdog rather than the incumbent

Jim DeMint. Not running for Prez, but headed to New Hampshire to make sure that a Republican President is elected

The potential First Spouses. A look at the spouses of the potential Republican presidential candidates

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The Neapolitan Party

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

Can Republicans compromise on one flavor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White House 2012 Monthy Ranking of Republican Presidential Contenders

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

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

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

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Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.

 

Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at u4prez.com

Thursday’s 2012 Republican Presidentail News Roundup

A roundup of todays tidbits from the campaign trail;

Bookmark and ShareThursday, February 3, 2011

For previous Trunkline 2012 daily tidbits visit here

Republican Presidential Candidates to Attend Spending and Jobs Summit in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share The New Hampshire chapter of the fiscal conservative watchdog group Americans for Prosperity has announced that they will be sponsoring a summit on spending and jobs. Invited to this event are Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Atlanta radio talk show host and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, South Dakota Senator John Thune, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

DeMint had previously stated that he was not interested in running for President in 2012, but as of last week has changed his mind and is now willing to look at a run for the White House as a means to insure that he plays a role in the nomination process and the agenda that the GOP debate is centered around. Without any explanation, the New Hampshire AFP has stated that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has no been invited yet.

The event is planned for April 29th and will be centered around a dinner reception at which the New Hampshire AFP organization will name Ovide LaMontagne as their Conservative of the Year. LaMontagne was the TEA Party backed candidate for the republican nomination to replace retiring Republican Senator Judd Gregg. LaMontagne ran a close race but failed to defeat his opponent, Kelly Ayotte. Ayotte went on to win the general election in November.

This unofficial presidential summit on jobs and spending in America will take place approximately one before a WMUR/CNN/Union Leader sponsors what they call a presidential debate.

Currently, Mitt Romney is a seemingly strong frontrunner in New Hampshire. But his hold on frontrunner status is a tentative one that is largely due to an as of yet established field of candidates for him to run against, and the fortune of seeing the most conservative of New Hampshire voters split their support among a host of potential conservative rivals such as Gingrich, Palin, Huckabee, Santorum and other names that many hope ultimately decide to run for President.

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Romney’s best hope: a wide field

After winning the New Hampshire straw poll and coming in first in current polling of 2012 primary hopefuls, someone might think that Mitt Romney is on his way to represent the Republican party in 2012. They could be wrong.

Mitt was a top contender in 2008. His message of fiscal conservatism and business smarts made many Republicans wish the primary had turned out differently towards the later half of 2008 when the economy was in the tank, gas prices were at $4 a gallon, and every other campaign ad had video of John McCain announcing that the economy was not his strong suit.

Now, with the economy in nearly the same condition two years later, Romney’s poll numbers shouldn’t be a shock. In fact, he has led the Republican field for much of 2010 and would beat Obama in 2012 according to more than one 2010 poll.

 

New Hampshire shows Romney has found his niche

So why would I think that Romney might not be the Republican contender in 2012? 24% of Republican support will not win in a narrow primary field. Consider Romney’s closest competition in the recent Rasmussen poll: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich. Even his 35% in New Hampshire is ominous with other placing contenders being libertarian right winger Ron Paul, TEA Partiers Pawlenty and Palin, old school conservative Rick Santorum, TEA Party conservative constitutionalists DeMint, Bachmann, and occasional right wing radio host Herman Cain.

Although the entire field in the New Hampshire straw poll is very promising, the candidate who is perhaps closest to Romney’s brand and image would be The Donald, who got 1% of the vote.

If Family Values conservatives and the TEA Party faithful are able to coalesce around one specific candidate, it will not be Romney. In fact, in the Family Research Council straw poll earlier this year, Mike Pence won with Huckabee coming in second. Romney may have easily won in the northeast, but out in Iowa he is polling just behind Huckabee.

As the former governor of Massachusetts, fair or not, Romney has a history. He wasn’t always pro-life. He had his own version of universal healthcare that passed in Massachusetts. Romney has not helped his conservative credentials by avoiding identification with the TEA Party and keeping a low profile in the 2010 wave of conservative electoral victories.

Romney had a strong showing in New Hampshire. But what will happen in the rest of the country when the field narrows? what about when Mike Huckabee drops out of the race, or Sarah Palin? What about Ron Paul, Jim DeMint, or Mike Pence? Will Romney be the fallback choice of their supporters? Or will it be Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour or some other conservative who has inserted themselves into the current popular right wing movement in this country? 35% will only get him so far.

Jim DeMint & the Potential “the Less We Do, the Better” Presidency

Jim DeMint

Senator DeMint

Bookmark and Share    Jim DeMint recently brought the Senate to a halt after threatening to hold all legislation unless it was pre-approved by his office. Initially, he claimed that his reasoning for the unprecedented maneuver was strictly for the purpose of insuring that he and his staff had the chance to fully read through proposed bills before voting on them —- a technicality that seems to be lost on people like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who not long ago told the people that we needed to pass the healthcare bill so that we can see what was in it.

The move was one that did not help to counter the propaganda of Democrats who paint Republicans as “the Party no”. But in many ways Jim DeMint is on to something here.

While Democrats try to gain traction out of calling the G.O.P. “obstructionists”, DeMint takes a head on approach when addressing the word and description by explaining that there is a lot of liberal legislation that needs to be responded in the negative and that obstructing detrimental legislation is a positive thing.

But as it turns out Senator DeMint, in an interview on the daily Focal Point’ radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association, revealed that there was more behind his reason for preventing the Senate to forge ahead with business as usual.

While talking about the move with host Bryan Fischer, the Senator stated “this idea that government has to do something is not a good idea.” He went on to say “the less we do, the better”.

The sentiment was further expressed in the following exchange:

FISCHER: “Do you think some kind of gridlock is possible and what do you think will happen if that ensues?”

DEMINT: “Well I had a group of businessmen tell me the other day “if you can just stop the tax increases on us and then have two years of gridlock, that would be the best thing that could happen for business because at least we would know what to expect.” Right now they don’t know what the government is going to do to them next. So this idea that government has to do something is not a good idea. So I think the less we do, the better except maybe to dismantle some of the federal programs that are making it harder for America to be competitive”.

 

In a different interview, when DeMint was asked about the issue of obstructionism he responded;

DEMINT: “The problem is secretly passing bills without reading them, without debating them, and without voting on them. Over 90% of the bills that come through the Senate are never voted on, never debated, they pass by unanimous consent. I’ve never heard one person across America want more bills to pass more quickly.”

Senator DeMint’s position may seem harsh to those who believe that the government, especially the federal government, must do more….regulate more, control more and tax and spend more, but an increasing number of Americans are coming to see that the less the federal government does, the less things get screwed up. And the fact that Jim DeMint is willing to come out of the political closet and essentially say so, is not only brave, it is commendable.

But Jim DeMint goes beyond just talking the talk. His recent efforts to stop action in the Senate demonstrate that, ironically,  he is a man of action.

As indicated by the trends being seen as we head into the homestretch of the 2010 midterm elections, most Americans might actually appreciate a government shutdown. Under the current makeup of the House, Senate and Obama Administration, it might be the only way to save some money and put an end to reckless spending and the fact that Jim DeMint seems willing to go to such lengths is encouraging.

Doing nothing may not exactly make for a very successful platform for a presidential candidate to run on but if Jim DeMint is willing to keep addressing the issue he, will certainly continue to gain favor with the conservative base of the Party and help force whomever the eventual Republican nominee for President is to at least adopt a minimalists federal platform that will give states more rights and help keep the federal government slim, trim and out the way.

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Jim DeMint…… President or Kingmaker?

Jim DeMint headshot

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

Bookmark and Share   Jim DeMint is up for his first reelection bid this November, but his race is hardly a serious one. Not that Jim DeMint isn’t taking it seriously, he certainly is. But due to Jim’s popularity in South Carolina, Democrats never took this race seriously. That is why when a destitute man who was brought up on charges related to pornography ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate against deMint, he won. So now a virtual unknown and by all indications, unqualified individual is in a race against DeMint that is hardly a contest of wits, no less than a race of ideas.

But the fact that Alvin Greene, the Democrat in this race, got the chance to challenge DeMint is testimony to the solid support that DeMint has received from his fellow Palmetto State voters. In his first term in office, Jim DeMint has proven himself to be a solid conservative leader. He is a movement conservative who is never missing from any battle that involves social and fiscal conservativism. His solid record is in perfect sync with the majority of South Carolinians. So much so that that Democrats never even tried to unseat him and instead allowed their nomination to fall into the hands of the  mentally challenged Alvin Greene.

Still no one can take an election for granted like Democrats did before they found out who their nominee was. So Jim is campaigning hard. But with the luxury of what is currently a 42 percent lead over Alvin Greene, Jim DeMint is sharing his clout among other conservatives. His Senate Conservatives Fund raised $4 million in the current election cycle, an amount greater than any other Senate leadership political action committee.

Some of that money has been used by DeMint in shaping the current class of conservative candidates that are running in November’s elections. More so than any other Senator, Jim has gone out on a few limbs and endorsed underdogs who were not the establishment’s choices. In most cases he supported TEA Party candidates and those whom he felt best represented conservative values as opposed to Party line allegiances.

He endorsed and donated over $58,000 to the candidacy of Washington state’s Dino Rossi who recently became incumbent Democrat Patty Murray‘s senate opponent.

14 months ago Jiom DeMint was one of the first Republicans to publicly endorse the young anti-establishment,  former Florida Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio, against the incumbent Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Crist was the hands on favorite for the US Senate nomination and the establishment’s choice for the nomination. But when the young, conservative Marco Rubio took to the stage, DeMint threw his weight behind the better candidate instead of the establishment candidate, a man who has since turned his back on those republicans who supported and is now running against the GOP

Some of the largest donations DeMint has made have gone to; Marco Rubio, $421,000, Tea Party backed candidate for the US Republican Senate nomination, Ken Buck of Colorado, $375,000, $312,000 to former Nevada state legislator and Tea Party backed Sharron Angle, and $217,000 to Salt Lake City lawyer and Tea Party backed Senate candidate Mike Lee. All were underdogs in their respective races for their state’s Republican senate nominations, and all won. Other DeMint backed winners include Republican Ron Johnson in Wisconsin and Rand Paul in Kentucky.

The Rand Paul endorsement came after DeMint’s boss in the senate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out and endorsed Paul’s opponent.  Being that Kentucky is the state that McConnell represents, his making a choice between Paul and his opponent Trey Grayson was not unusual. But DeMint’s endorsement of Paul, a day after McConnell’s endorsement of Grayson, was seen as a slap in Mitch McConnell’s face. But that did not stop DeMint from intervening in the Kentucky race and providing the kind of financial and public support that made Rand Paul the eventual nominee over McConnell’s choice for the job.

After defying McConnell the privilege of his preferred nominee in his own sate, many believe that Jim DeMint is preparing for a challenge to McConnell’s leadership role in the Senate. The idea is not unrealistic. McConnell has been a weak leader. While he has managed to keep Republicans from wandering off the reservation and remain in lockstep opposition to the Obama/Pelosi/reid regime’s agenda, McConnell has failed to offer bold alternatives that would allow Senate Republicans to run for cover from the charge of being obstructionists and the Party of “no” with no ideas. 

DeMint however campaigns against the Democrat leadership by taking a hard-line that claims the liberals leading the Democrat Party are taking us down a road to socialism.   But he also offers alternative solutions. Between that and his ability to sure up the conservative base, DeMint could give McConnell a run for his money in a leadership challenge. This is especially the case if many of those whom DeMint endorsed become freshmen senators in January of 2011. And if enough of them get elected to allow Republicans to take back control of the senate, you can more than likely count on many of those new faces to support DeMint for Senate Majority Leader.

Of course DeMint could forego a leadership battle and parlay the support of his newfound senate friends into support for a presidential bid.

That will be a tougher goal to achieve though.

DeMint is just right for the majority of the electorate in South Carolina and the  Southen U.S., but his conservative credentials might be too hard for many in the rest of the nation to swallow. The left will have a field day with his hard-line record. Still he could make quite a difference in the race for for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidency itself.

If DeMint ran in the GOP primaries, South Carolina would, for the most part be out of play. This would diminish the chances of Republican like Romney, Barbour, Palin and Gingrich, to begin to lock up the South in the South Carolina primary that is normally a precursor to primaries in Florida and then the influx of the rest of the Southern states on Super Tuesday.

Outside of the South though, DeMint may not be able to play as well as well as a candidate like Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, but he can leave a candidate like Barbour tattered as he enters contests against someone like Romney in the Northeast and Midwest.

DeMint’s greatest chance for success in the Republican presidential process could come in helping to choose who the next President is.

If DeMint comes out and endorses a candidate such as Romney, that endorsement could go a long way to help him do far better than he did in the South last time and it could make the difference between winning and losing the South Carolina primary.

No matter what though, Jim DeMint has positioned himself as one of the most influential Senators in the game of electoral politics that there is these days. His ability to raise money and sway conservatives makes him a very real contender for the GOP presidential nomination and without a doubt a kingmaker in waiting.

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