Full Video of the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate in Danville, KY

Bookmark and Share  For those who may not have seen the debate for themselves, White House 2012 proudly posts a complete video of the event.  For an assessment of the one and only 2012 vice presidential debate, click here.  For a complete transcript of the debate click here.

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Ryan Wins Debate as Biden’s Bizarre Laughing Grabbed the Spotlight

  Bookmark and Share    The first and only vice presidential debate consisted of substantive questions that were occasionally met with equally substantive answers, at least in the case of a well prepared Paul Ryan.  Unfortunately the content in the answers were overshadowed by the awkward, bizarre, and often discomforting laughing fits that Vice President Biden consistently launched in to for the first three quarters of the forum. (See video of the full debate here)

Each time Paul Ryan offered an answer to a question, ol’ Joe reacted with a disturbing, uncontrolled, obnoxious, laugh that often made him look like the crazy guy on the bus that mother’s shield their children from.  At one point, Biden’s grimaces and forced cackles made him a perfect candidate for Jack Nicholson’s role in a remake of Stanley Kubric’s “The Shining”‘.   All that was missing was a wild eyed Biden writing “Redrum” across the desk that he sat behind on the stage of debate.

In between Biden’s exaggerated and disrespectful, chortling and snickering, the two men did ignite fireworks as they hammered each other on such issues as Libya, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, taxes, and Medicare.

The sparks flew immediately after moderator Martha Raddatz asked the first question on the hot button issue of the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11.  Raddatz essentially asked if there was a failure of intelligence leading up to the attack.  For his part Biden, never directly answered that question but he tried to claim that the Administration knew everything it needed to know and acted responsibly and appropriately to the circumstances leading up to the attack, and in the response to the attacks in the days following them.

Congressman Ryan took the opportunity to hammer the Obam-Biden ticket on the issue as he launched in to a familiar but well stated criticism of the way Benghazi was handled.

“It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack,”

 Ryan said;

“This Benghazi attack would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it’s indicative of a larger problem,” adding that Obama’s policy toward the Middle East is “making the world more chaotic and us less safe.”

Ryan also charged;

“What we are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy,”

Laughing Joe responded “Not true,” and added;

“With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey,”

The Vice President continued his attack on Ryan’s remarks by also falsely suggesting that proposed Republican cuts in embassy security of $300 million were the reason for the lack of security that made the attacks possible.  Biden further lied by claiming that the Administration knew of no requests for additional security in Benghazi.

Paul Ryan came back by making it clear that we now know there were requests for additional security but the  requests were denied by the Administration.

One of the best lines of the night came from Ryan who reminded voters of just how often Biden puts his foot in his mouth.  After the Vice President tried to distort Mitt Romney’s past controversial remark at a fundraising about 47% of voters, Ryan fired back;

“With respect to that quote,  I think the Vice President very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way”

To which a still laughing Joe responded”

“But I always say what I mean”.

For his part, throughout the debate, Paul Ryan was articulate, knowledgable, convincing, respectful, confident, and firm.  As for the Vice President, he was quick but disingenuous, as he performed in a way that was childish, disrespectful, arrogant, smarmy and at times goofy .  While Biden often made remarks that contained a perfect working class pitch to his base, between his demeanor and attempts to interrupt Ryan a total of 82 times, any possibly strong statements made by the Vice President were overshadowed by his disrespectful, cocky and often flippant attitude.  All of which was compounded by his disconcerting, wacky fits of laughter.

It was clear to me that after President Obama’s disasterous debate performance last week, several strategic decisions forced the Obama-Biden campaign to approach this debate in a way that was intended to make Ryan seem like he did not know what he was talking about and that his ticket was detached from reality.  So they decided to have Biden go on the attack.  Then they also decided to try to take advantage of Biden’s lengthy political career and advanced age as compared to the younger Ryan who was only four years old when Biden was first elected to the Senate.  They had hoped that by laughing at Ryan, Biden would look like the experienced elder statesman who was facing off against the clueless, young punk.  The strategy could have work were it not for two things.  The first being that Ryan knew what he was talking about and lacked the type of arrogance that could have allowed him to fall into that trap.  The second problem with the Biden strategy was that Biden’s laughing was taken to a level so exaggerated and flamboyant, that it came off as unnatural , dismissive, and inappropriate.   In the end, the strategy backfired on Joe and his ticket.

In the final analysis this debate did not reveal anything new to us about the candidates or their positions.  But it did go a long way in  leaving voters with  another negative impression of the Obama-Biden ticket and another positive impression of the Romney-Ryan ticket.  And while  Joe’s shots at Paul Ryan did whip up liberals who were already voting for Obama, he failed to make the case for why another four years of Obama-Biden will be any better the last four.  As for Paul Ryan, his steady demeanor and performance combined with his command of the issues, went a long way in convincing the all important independent and undecided voters that the Obama-Biden ticket is failing us.Bookmark and Share

Last Night WAS a Game-Changer…you’re hearing it here first!

Just google “presidential debate not a game-changer” and you’ll find there lurking the liberal media’s true response to the debate. But, as James Carville said on CNN, “Obama just debated with a chainsaw” and lost. Chris Matthews went on yet another crazed rant, while Bill Maher tweeted his disgust, no doubt wondered what he had wasted a million dollars on. President Obama and the liberal media were severely beaten up last night.

A significant victory for Romney in first debate

Had Romney lost the debate, the liberal media would have been quick to place an RIP tombstone on their coverage of his presidential campaign. This is the headline they’ve been building up to in recent weeks. Romney is unknown, lackluster they said. Last night, they learned some unknowns about the President and if they didn’t know it before they realized that teleprompter-less he is the lackluster one.

Mr Obama’s arrogance was that he assumed the RIP sign was already set in stone. Perhaps he thought he only had to do a Clint Eastwood and debate with an empty chair. Or, was he just trying to give a performance to make Jeo Biden look good next week? All sorts of excuses were offered on Twitter under the hashtag #ObamaDebateExcuses, and if this doesn’t give the comedians great material to take the plank out of the eye of their election humor, then I don’t know what will.

Joking aside, Obama found Romney on the top of his game and ready to show the electorate his strengths. What was surprising was not the fact Romney won, but the scale of his victory. CNN released a poll that gave the Governor a 67% win vote on the night.

Of course, Romney had to win, but what will put the wind into the sails of his campaign is the scale of victory. Charles Krauthammer, who I so often agree with, said this was no game-changer, but I have to qualify his statement. True, there is no immediate real game-changer, but if Romney wins on November 6 the suddenly wise media will look back on last night and say “yep, that was a game-changer.”

 

 

Militantly and Radically Pro-Abortion

Barack Obama cannot win on the economy.  So he is shooting the moon and betting it all on social issues.  The problem is that most Democrats are not as militantly pro-abortion as Obama is.  In his testimony before the Illinois senate, Obama delineated between a child and a pre-viable fetus.  What was his delineation?  “A child, a nine month old child, that was delivered to term”.  Are you paying attention, preemies? You were not a human being entitled to human rights (nevermind constitutional rights) until you reached that magical 9 months.  What is not a child in Barack Obama’s mind?  “A fetus, or a child as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb” (speaking of a child who survived an abortion).

Do most Democrats actually believe that a baby is not a child until it is nine months old and has been delivered?  Is a baby born at 8 months really still part of its mother’s body??  If you are a pro-choice Democrat, or even consider yourself pro-abortion, are you this militantly radical?

In 2002 when Born Alive passed the House and Senate and was signed into federal law, the Senate unanimously supported it.  Obama was not in the Senate at the time.  But when the Illinois Senate voted on Born Alive, Obama opposed it four times.  Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Chris Dodd, Patty Murray, and other canonized saints of liberalism voted for Born Alive, but Obama opposed it.  It is unthinkable that the President of the United States believes that babies born alive and completely outside of the mother’s womb should be left alone to die or be killed at the hands of another doctor because they survived the brutality of an abortion execution, but this is what our President believes.

Melissa Ohden is an abortion survivor in a powerful new Susan B. Anthony List ad that challenges Obama on Born Alive.  Ohden is one that Obama tried to sentence to death with his militantly pro-abortion views.  Will Obama voters be able to look Melissa Ohden in the eyes and tell her that women’s rights means her death?  Thank goodness Melissa Ohden has passed the magical 9 months requirement to be a living human being!

Obama’s war on the unborn will lose him independent votes if Republicans are not afraid to point it out.  One of Obama’s first acts in office was reversing the Mexico City Policy, which had been put in place to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions overseas.  With Obamacare, despite all his promises that it wouldn’t, taxpayers are forced to fund abortion regardless of conscience or religion.  I wonder if Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson ever feel guilty for how cheaply they sold the unborn when they gave Obama their votes on Obamacare in exchange for government kickbacks.

Barack Obama is far too radical for his own party on abortion.  He is far too radical for independents too.  Pro-lifers must focus on Obama’s militant radicalism and highlight it from now to the election.  And Democrats must ask themselves, even if they are pro-abortion, if the living breathing newborn baby was in their hands after a botched abortion, would they kill the baby or leave him or her in a medical waste trashcan to die?  Would you?  Obama thinks he would.

The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.  In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.  Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.  Why jump in front of a train wreck?  Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.  Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.  Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.  The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.  Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.  He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.  If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.  But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.  Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.  However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.  Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.  While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.  Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.  But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.  Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.  Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.  Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.  We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.  There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.  In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.  That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.  However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.  Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.  He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.  Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.  As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.  Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.  But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.  And there are a few to choose from.  Rubio would lock of Florida.  Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.  Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.  Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.  Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

The Veiled Message in Clinton’s Endorsement

A highly strategic political game is being played out right before our eyes between the leader of the old-school liberal Democrats and the leader of the new-school socialist Democrats.  When Bill Clinton atoned for his sins in a New York City joint fundraiser with Obama, all I heard was “This Obama guy is no Bill Clinton”.

We got the message…

Don’t misunderstand Clinton when he calls Romney qualified and praises Romney’s business record.  Clinton is not giving up on his party affiliation.  If anything, he is trying to convert his party back to what it was before Obama.  Dick Morris is likely right when he insinuates that Clinton doesn’t want four more years of Obama.  But Clinton doesn’t necessarily want to see his party fail.  Nor does he want to lose the power and influence he has amassed for himself in the DNC.  He just wants to see Obama fail.

That is why Clinton’s endorsement was not a call to support Obama, but a veiled warning to stay home in 2012.  Clinton reminded the crowd that he is the one who gave them four balanced budgets.  Contrast that with Obama who has increased the deficit by a trillion and a half dollars every year in office, and whose wildest dreams of a budget won’t balance even ten years after he leaves office.  Every Obama budget has been voted down bi-partisanly as outlandish to both Republicans and liberal Democrats.  Nothing says “vote for the guy who’s added $6 trillion to the deficit” like an endorsement from someone who’s record is the polar opposite.  Clinton flaunting his budget record in his Obama endorsement was no mistake or gaffe.

Now, Clinton is not a deficit hawk.  He is not pro-austerity, and he certainly is not a conservative.  Anyone who has been alive long enough knows that it was Newt Gingrich who dragged Clinton kicking and screaming into those balanced budgets.  But Clinton’s perception of himself is as a non-socialist compassionate liberal who cut spending and saw it work.

Clinton cannot support Romney.  First, Clinton is not a conservative.  He opposes Romney on social issues.  He doesn’t really agree with Romney on fiscal issues.  Second, Clinton has no higher ambition at this point than to maintain what he has: his life as a Democrat celebrity.  An actual endorsement of Romney would destroy the Clinton dynasty.

But at the same time, Clinton knows what works and what doesn’t.  Even he can look at the Obama record and see what danger our country is in if the new-school socialist Democrats win.  Setting aside Clinton’s personal and racial beef with Obama, he understands what Obama’s out of control spending will do to the Democrat party’s legacy, and by extension his own, if Obama is given another four years to outspend revenues by over a trillion a year.

If Obama is smart, he will find a way to keep Bill Clinton in whatever corner of the country he has kept Joe Biden for the last four years.  However, don’t count old Slick Willy out yet.  Obama may be about to get schooled by the original campaigner-in-chief.

 

Trunlkine 2012: Pop-Up Politics from the Campaign Trail– 10/27/11

Bookmark and Share  Flow charts dominate Trunkline 2012 while Janet Napolitano gives our enemies a pass, conservatives plead for help to survive Joe Bidenism, Rick santorum tries deliver a tear to oue eyes and a upper cut to Herman Cain, Republican hopefuls brace for Iowa Poll results, TEA Party group takes advantage of civic minded voters, Lanny Davis bets Obama beats Romney, Romney invests heavily in digital media, CNN consducts push polls for Romney, while Gary Johnson (who?) and Buddy Roemer (who?) call out Rick Perry on his excuses for ducking debates,.  That’s the dust that gets kicked up on today’s campaign trail in Trunkline 2012.

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Where America is economically 1,000 days into the Obama Administration

Today marks 1,000 days of President Obama’s administration and the race for the GOP nomination is in full flight with the American economy facing perhaps its biggest challenges since the great depression.

As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently told a Florida radio station, ”The U.S. election in November 2012 will be a “referendum” on the Obama administration’s handling of the economy.”

So what is the economic report card for the Obama Administration’s first 1,000 days.

  • Since President Obama took office, the National debt has increased by $4.3 trillion with America now borrowing $4.2 billion each day, to keep the country going. The total National Debt now stands at $14.9 trillion dollars.
  • 6.5 million jobs have been lost in the private sector and 290,00 in the Public sector, in last three years.
  • Four million bankruptcies have occurred during this period.
  • The unemployment rate has been above nine percent for 840 of the 1000 days, and the average unemployed worker has been without a job for more than 9 months.
  • 2.4 Million Homes have been foreclosed on.
  • Health Insurance premiums have increased by on average 13%.
  • 1 in 6 American’s are now officially classified as poor largely due to rising unemployment and 49.9 million American’s are uninsured, the biggest in more than two decades.

In fairness, the President has done some good work by extending the Bush era tax cuts and unemployment benefits. He also saved the automobile industry which regardless of your political view, is a hard fact to deny.

What we have seen from the Obama Administration though is bigger government, more regulations, and massive amounts of government spending in the hope of stimulating the economy. The trouble is that it simply hasn’t worked, as the numbers have shown. President Obama Promised that his $787 billion stimulus would save or create 3.3 million jobs by the end of 2010.  It simply hasn’t, in fact, his stimulus bill has caused nothing but problems with states now seeking more money to keep teachers and other public sector workers on the payroll, President Obama calling for an additional $35 billion funding bill today for the states. There has also been the wasted billions on green energy projects and the no so ready, shovel ready job projects.

The President has been touring the country over the last month, trying to sell his $447 billion jobs package or as most people call it, Stimulus II. It was defeated in the Senate last week on a bi-partisan basis. I actually don’t blame the president entirely for the state of the economy. I blame those academic advisors and special advisors he brought into his administration in the early days. They applied their theories without really having the practical experience of working in the economy ironically, a lot of the criticism’s which people are labelling against Herman Cain and Mitt Romney at present is based on their having real life experience. Where are President Obama economic experts 1,000 days down the road, they’ve abandoned the sinking ship.

The two big strategic mistakes President Obama did make in his first 1,000 days are as follows; firstly, he should’ve waited until his second term to pursue and implement his signature piece healthcare legislation “Obamacare”. The first mistake he made is what President Bush Snr (41) made, if you don’t look after the domestic economy, you can have all the success in the world on every other front however, people want jobs and want to know they are better off now, then they were four years ago. President Obama should’ve focussing on getting the economy right in his first term and leaving Obamacare until his second term.

The second mistake President Obama has made strategically in his first 1,000 days is not moving to the center and working with the Republican Congress after the mid-term election defeat. In 1994 when the Republicans won control of Congress under the Contract of America with Speaker Newt Gingrich, then President Bill Clinton knew in order to get re-elected, he had to work with the Republicans and move to the center. President Clinton did and worked effectively and in fact, gained the upper hand winning over independent voter by the time the next presidential election came around in 1996. It is Independent voters that decide the outcome of elections not the respective party faithful.

President Obama with all respect may be the only person who believes he has done a good job on the economy. Beyond that, he may be the only person who believes his current rhetoric and embracing of protests against entrepreneurs and successful and hardworking people, will get him re-elected next year and win over independent minded voters although I sincerely doubt it.

The eventual GOP nominee needs to emphasise the best of American traditions and empower the private sector, liberalise the markets and stimulate the education system to restore America’s economic engine. It will require strong leadership, collaboration and the involvement of expertise from both the public and private sectors until the economy is back in good health. It will require sacrifice in the short term and there will be no short term fixes.

Above all, it is clear that the rhetoric going into next years election is going to be based on class warfare and aimed at dividing people something President Obama promised he wouldn’t do. It is a very sad day when a president resorts to that tactic in order to win an election.

I would hope that any GOP nominee has the courage and conviction to refrain from engaging in such low level politics and be a president for all the people regardless of creed, colour or religion.

Electing Democrats in 2012 Will Be Really Difficult with Leaders Like Wasserman-Schultz

Bookmark and Share   This morning on Fox News, Democrat Party Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an under-liberal congresswoman from Florida went out of her way to articulate that people do not elect leaders to create jobs.

Debbie is partially right.

Republicans understand that politicians and governments do not create jobs, at least jobs that are sustainable and produce the type of profits  that lead to creating more sustainable jobs. Meanwhile Democrats like Wasserman Schultz and President Obama believe that government is the entity that needs to create jobs. This ignores the fact that more government jobs simply create more government spending, and requires more funding through additional taxation.

However, this morning, Schultz defied both actual logic and liberal logic.

When Fox News host Gretchen Carlson punctuated a point by stating that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believes that with a Republican President, the nation can create jobs, Wasserman Schultz laughed and stated, “that’s not why people elected leaders though”.

That should come as news to her liberal colleagues and it sure as heck contradicts everything she claimed in her years of liberal service prior
to today. As shown in the video below, Wasserman Schultz is on record claiming that creating jobs is the only thing people want from their leaders.

But liberal hypocrisy aside, Wasserman Schultz is right, but for all the wrong reasons.

People should not elect their political leaders to create jobs.  However, one of the reasons they should elect a political leader is for their
ability to allow government to create an atmosphere that allow the American people to create jobs through the free market. That is a point which Democrats and President Obama have not been able to comprehend. It is also why the unemployment rate is stuck at an historically long sustained high of 9.1%, why our economic growth has slow to stagnant, and part of the reason why our debt is at a record 70% of our GDP and growing higher every day.

Meanwhile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz keeps proving that she is probably one of the G.O.P.’s best friends in the world.

While she is a veritable fount of stupidity and contradiction, she is an accurate representation of liberal thinking and therefore a perfect
representative her Party, which as its national chair, Wasserman Schultz certainly is. I’m hoping that in an attempt to at least keep a portion of the women vote, President Obama dumps ol’ Joe Biden and puts Debbie on the Democrat ticket as his vice presidential running mate. Such a move would help expedite what is already a precipitous demise of the left and their Party as we approach 2012.


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Even the “Average Joe” Knows President Obama Can’t Win in the Obama Economy

Bookmark and Share  Vice President Joe Biden is probably one of the G.O.P.’s best friends.  He has a real propensity for always saying the right thing ………..for Republicans.  His latest statements to verify that came Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum, an invitation only, two day forum for leading newsmakers at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event is sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute.

During an appearance at the forum, Biden stated that  the shaky economy has left many Americans in “real trouble“, and made clear that the Republican Party is strong enough to beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.  Note how he said “President Obama” and not “us“.  Joe may be dumb but he is not without an ego that would prohibit him from sharing the blame for the economy that he said will be responsible for the defeat.

According to Joe, a significant majority of the American people don’t believe the country is moving in the right direction. You think?  He adds that such a public perception is never a good place to be going into re-election (no kidding), regardless of whether it is the current administration’s fault or not.

Biden defended the Administration though when he suggested that the economy has still greatly improved under President Obama.  He states that he is  counting on voters recognizing how deep the recession was and how much the economy has improved under the Obama Administration.

To be fair, credit must be given when it is deserved.  Joe is right about the strength of the Republican Party going in to the 2012 presidential election.  However, honesty is not always welcome in politics, especially if you are a liberal trying to promote the benefits of unsustainable spending, increased taxation, and socialist policies.  For that reason, the Vice President is not likely to get a pat on the back and hear a sincere thank you from the President for his honesty.  Instead he might hear something more along the lines of “Way to go, Joe.  Thanks for the encouraging words”.

The episode does demonstrate one thing though.  It shows us that the Administration sees the writing on the wall.  So much so that even the “average Joe” can read it.  That means that the Obama re-election team is surely preparing a campaign based on desperate attempts to run an extremely negative campaign against the Republican ticket, regardless of whose names are on it.  If they understand that voters will have very little reason to support the Obama-Biden ticket for reelection, there only chance will be to make the opposition look worse.  That means that while the President will try to resort to discussing issues with little detail and great flowery, rhetoric, His surrogates and ad men will be attacking attacking the Republican ticket with verbal assaults that are based on personal matters, and far-fledged distortions of records.

This conclusion is only verified by Joe Biden.

His comments on the 2012 election at the Washington Ideas Forum offer us a glimpse of the Administration’s mindset.  They know that they can’t win on the one issue that is likely to dominate the election…… the economy.  Oh they will try to wage class warfare, they will incite the anger of their big union base and take advantage of the underprivileged.  They will even play the blame it on Bush card and try to morph the Republican presidential nominee into Bush.  But in the end, the American people understand that saying that sat upon President Truman’s desk and read, “The buck stops here”.   And the fact that no bucks are flowing in to the economy, will only make most voters more aware of who is responsible for that.
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Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

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

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

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. President, Are You A Flake?

As Michelle Bachmann approaches the top of the Republican field, she is facing even more intense scrutiny.  In the same week as Obama’s medal of honor gaffe, an unlikely interviewer has proven among the most unfair to Bachmann.  Chris Wallace of Fox News asked her directly: “Are you a flake?”

Is Bachmann a serious candidate? Iowa seems to think so.

Wallace was giving credibility to those who seem to hold this bias against Bachmann, whether he realizes it or not.  But an even more serious question is if Wallace would ask any other candidate that?

Joe Biden could have been living in a cave for the last two and a half years and no one would have known it.  There is a good reason for that.  Biden had more gaffes per month in his campaign than Bachmann has had in a lifetime.  And Obama, the great orator, is not immune either.  From following his teleprompter off a metaphorical cliff on more than one occasion to making his appearances before the British royalty look like something out of a comedy movie, Obama has embarrassed himself over and over again on both national and international stages.

I don’t recall Bush ever having to sit down to have a beer with a cop because he put his foot in his mouth.

Bachmann’s answer was brilliant, giving Chris Wallace her history as a tax attorney, state senator and House representative, her education history and her family history.  Remember the good old days when we got to compare Bush and Kerry’s college transcripts to see who got more Ds?  And Obama, for being a Harvard constitutional law professor really doesn’t seem to know anything about the constitution.

So what is it about conservative women that seems to earn them “flake” status in the media, even as an acknowledged and valid perception?  Is this sexism pure and simple?  Palin and Bachmann seem to be treated interchangeably in the media, especially on the conservative side.  Remember George Will saying Palin was unpresidential because she watched her daughter in Dancing with the Stars?  Funny how Obama is amazingly Presidential when he not only kisses babies, but rocks them to sleep on the campaign trail.

 

Seven Versus One

The debate is over and there is a clear loser.  Whether by pact or we just got candidates this good, Obama was the only one with a target on his back last night.  Even Pawlenty wouldn’t take the obvious bait to attack front runner Mitt Romney.  The result was a debate of seven on one, and the One wasn’t there to defend himself.

The other loser in last night’s debate was CNN’s John King who amidst annoying grunts failed to turn the candidates on one another.  Even when he tossed Palin’s name out as an easy target for Republicans seeking to moderate, the response came from Tim Pawlenty and it was perfect.  Joe Biden has failed in every aspect as a Vice President, his views on Iraq were completely wrong, and Sarah Palin would be a better president than Biden or Obama.

Can Bachmann break through media created stereotypes?

The candidates handled tough hot button issues amazingly well also.  The shining example here was Michelle Bachmann who deflected an easy gotcha by making it clear that the role of the President and the role of the states in determining the fate of gay marriage is not equal.  She provided a balanced states rights view, while promising to protect the states from the courts if it came to that.  The other good answers on gay marriage were Ron Paul, leave it to the church and get government out, and actually Rick Santorum who explained that a constitutional amendment would require the approval of 75% of the states, something opponents rarely mention.  Cain appeared to struggle the most on the muslim staff question.

While there were no clear winners, I believe this debate showed two classes of candidates.  Michelle Bachmann led her class of fired up TEA Party approved candidates fighting for principled social and fiscal conservatism with unmeasured attacks against Obama and willingness to take heat for their views if deemed controversial.  Cain is included with this group, although he appears now more as a TEA Party candidate who jumped in feet first and now is searching for substance beyond catchphrases and buzz words.  He did not find that moment last night.  Ron Paul’s anti-establishment libertarianism may catch up to him this year when all the Revolution liberals realize that he does not support any federal entitlement programs.  Santorum failed to set himself apart as anything but a sacrificial lamb for 1st term George W. Bush style conservatism.  While they all performed well, Bachmann outshined this group.  Given the TEA Party’s success in 2010 and their conservative appeal, I would not write this group off.

The other group becoming apparent are the “intellectual”, restrained conservatives in Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.  Their answers would not pass a soundbite test, but they were clear, well thought out, and flawless.  At the same time, these three touted socially conservative views and credentials which should make each one palatable for any Republican voter.  Newt was in a tough place and would need to be the only shining candidate last night to pull his campaign out of the rubble.  His performance was near flawless and enough to start the rebuilding process, but not good enough to bring him in from the dog house.  And while he may be right about ensuring that America is on board with the Paul Ryan plan, he is sure to take more heat for some of his comments last night.

Tim Pawlenty was perhaps the closest thing to a winner last night.  He made a great case for his pro-life record, perhaps settled some social conservatives with his call for his stance on homosexuality, connected with union and blue collar America, and magnanimously skipped a golden opportunity to play John King’s game and trash the front runner.  While the left-wing media rakes Pawlenty over the coals for his choice, conservatives should take a much closer look at a candidate who knows the enemy.

Mitt Romney will remain the front runner after last night.  The campaign has been nearly effortless for him sofar, and he made no mistakes that would cause him to lose his front runner status last night.  But he shouldn’t get too comfortable.  With Huntsman entering the race and with Rick Perry and Rudy Guiliani mulling Presidential runs of their own, the space Romney and Pawlenty occupy could get real crowded real quick.

In the end, the field last night did what they had to do.  They stayed focused on the economy and Obama.  They did not bite on questions obviously designed to turn them against each other and other Republicans.  They agreed with one another publicly and showed that any one of them is better than and can beat Barack Obama in 2012.

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