Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review – 11//27/11

Bookmark and Share Sunday’s Trunkline 2012 offers you a wrap up of the Sunday news show discussions, reaction to Newt’s Big New Hampshire endorsement, a new ad pushing for the drafting of Sarah palin for President, suggestions that President Obama should worry about Jon Huntsman, Ann Coulter calls for the shooting of Occupiers, supposed conservative dilemmas, and as usual, a lot more interesting tidbits than just that.

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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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Morning Memo: Election News from the Campaign Trail for April 22nd, 2011

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Election News: Trunkline 2012 Evening News Summary for April 14, 2011

Trunkline 2012 Republican Morning Memo for Thursday, April 14th

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

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Trunkline 2012: Wednesday Tid Bits From the Campaign Trail

A roundup of todays tidbits from the campaign trail;

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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Can the Libyan No-Fly Zone Tear the G.O.P. Apart?

Bookmark and Share The recent decision by President Obama to have the United States intervene in the civil war taking place in Libya has the potential to unleash a bruising and divisive debate within the G.O.P. that may very well play itself out in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. For many Republicans, nearly a decade of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have begun to divide the Party almost as much as they divided the nation years after they began. The question of America’s role in the world has always inspired sharp opinions. In 2000 it was Governor and presidential candidate George W. Bush who himself famously stated his desire to make sure that the United States was not in the business of nation building. But then, after 9/11, it was President George W. Bush who created a Bush Doctrine that settled on a policy of preemption.

The circumstances that surrounded Afghanistan and Iraq were unique and there was no question that the leaderless wasteland of Afghanistan was a breeding ground for the terrorist attacks that brought the United States in to a dangerous new reality. Iraq was more complicated. While Saddam Hussein did not directly have any fingerprints on 9/11, whether you want to discount it or not, evidence demonstrated indirect involvement through Hussein’s support of terrorism and the entry in and out of Iraq by known Al Qaeda operatives. Furthermore, despite the lack of a discovery of a hard discovery of WMD’s in Iraq, evidence did in fact make it clear that Saddam had used, was developing and did at least at one point have WMD’s and was willing to use them. There is even evidence that before Operation Iraqi Freedom hit the ground and after a devastating earthquake in neighboring Syria, Saddam shipped his WMD’s out of Iraq under the auspices of shipments of humanitarian aid to Syria. Imagine that..Saddam Hussein and humanitarian assistance.

But no matter where you personally stand on the merits of our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two wars have given rise to a level of war weariness that transcends Party affiliation. Within the G.O.P. itself, many Republicans have been attracted to Congressman Ron Paul, who touts what is essentially an isolationist position that would have the United States close its eyes and place its hands over ears while yelling “Im not hearing you.” To a degree Ron Paul is right. But only to a degree. 9/11 should have proved to us that the United States cannot ignore events that take place elsewhere. Today’s world is far too small to think that a ripple someone else will not eventually find its way to our own shores. But over overreaction can be just as bad as too little action.

And that is where the debate within the Republican Party begins.

We are already beginning to see the emerging field of Republican presidential candidates go to their respective corners of the political boxing ring on the issue. Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, John Bolton and Rick Santorum have jumped on the President for too much inaction in Libya. After the French took the lead in support of rebels opposing Moammar Gadaffi, Mitt Romney has attacked President Obama for relinquishing America’s leadership role in the world to the French. Romnney also recently said I support military action in Libya. I support out troops there in the mission they’ve been given. But let me also note that thus far the President has been unable to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy,” . Romne added “He [President Obama] calls for the removal of Moammar Gadaffi but then conditions our action on the directions we get from the Arab League and the United Nations.”

But Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, has seemingly broken ranks with his potential Republican opponents. On the involvement of the United States in military action to create and enforce a no-fly zone over the skies of Libya, Barbour said “I think we need to be cautious about being quick on the trigger,”. But Barbour has gone even further by suggesting that we must reevaluate our commitment in Afghanistan. According to him “What is our mission? … Is that a 100,000-man army mission?”.

Barbour connects his lack of interest in military intervention to fiscal responsibility, an argument that will have plenty of legs with a national electorate that has come to realize that our national debt is itself becoming a major risk to our national security. But while Barbour is framing American military and foreign policy on economic grounds, potential candidates like Sarah Palin suggests that we have a responsibility to promote freedom and the benefits that come to all from it, when she poignantly tells “We should not be afraid of freedom.”

At the moment, most of the developing G.O.P. presidential field is content with supporting the United States involvement in the creation of a Libyan no-fly zone, and to criticize the President for both, not acting on it quicker and not having a clearly defined end goal after its creation. But as Haley Barbour shows, that view is not unanimous and as Americans become increasingly weary of deficit spending, “nation building”, and policing the world, Barbour’s unwillingness to get on the no-fly zone bandwagon may distinguish himself from a field of potential candidates whom the electorate may see as leading us into foreign entanglements that cost more than they are worth.

The debate has the potential to divide the G.O.P’s predominantly fiscal conservative base into unbridgeable factions of neo-cons and libertarian Republicans. Such a division already exists, with one side led by Ron Paul and the other largely led by the Republican establishment. But should this emotional divide grow further apart, it could mean the difference between winning and losing the presidency in 2012. Haley Barbour could be positioning himself as the catalyst for compromise that could at least temporarily unite the two sides. And such a compromise over this existing division will be necessary. And not just for the political victory of the Party, but for the strength and security of the United States.

The future of freedom and our nation relies on our nation’s ability to effect positive change in the world that we live in instead of it being effected by the negative influences of the forces opposed to freedom. But as President Benjamin Harrison said; “We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.” While those words are quite true, can we take them to the extremes that Ron Paul does? Ron Paul believes we caused 9/11 and brought it upon ourselves. Such thinking cost him more votes than it got him and it suggests that America has no role to play in defending freedom or even the allies of freedom.

But is it possible for a Republican to rise to the occasion of true leadership by carefully articulating when it is necessary for American use of force in the world?

Until such time as such a Republican rises, the debate that was largely marked by the 2008 exchange between Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani that is seen below, has the ability toput the Party asunder.

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And while we are on the topic be sure to click here and take this week’s White House 2012 which asks whether it is wise or not for a potential Republican candidate to support American involvment in the creation of a No-Fly Zone over Libya

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