Out With The Old. In With The New.

ImageLast week should have been a wake up call for the GOP.  They received more positive press than they have in a very long time on the heels of Senator Rand Paul’s 13 hour ‘fillibuster’ in which he ranted and raved against the vague policy of the use drones on American soil.

Standing with Senator Paul and lending their assistance to the filibuster were a couple of the newer members of the GOP Senate.  Most notably Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  Young Senators who seem unafraid to take on the establishment.  The next day the ‘establishment’ was markedly upset and doing what they could to disparage the younger Senators stand against an administration who felt the need to not only not define a very dangerous policy, but who refused to answer simple questions regarding it when asked.  I am of course speaking of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

What, I asked, would drive 2 influential Senators such as McCain and Graham go on the offensive against members of their own party who had taken a very popular stance and received more positive press for the Republicans than they have had in a couple of years?  Could it be jealousy?  McCain and Graham were both at a dinner with President Obama at the time of the filibuster reportedly trying to iron out a compromise to end sequester spending cuts.  Were the established GOP lead dogs upset that they were upstaged by their younger counterparts?  Whatever the reason for their attacks and name calling the day following the filibuster one thing became clear.  The old dogs need to retire to a shady spot under the porch if the GOP is to ever shed the “Old white man’s party” perception that it has. 

Youth and newness can be a good thing for a party that needs to do some serious reputation rebuilding after years of a war of rhetoric for the public perception that they have been losing and losing badly.  I find it reprehensible for Senators with the clout within the party that McCain and Graham have to try and make illegitimate the best positive polling the party has had in recent memory.  I have to wonder.  Are they dumb, senile or so full of themselves that they feel the need to take shots at their own when the spotlight is shone elsewhere within the party?

Regardless of the reasoning for their name calling outbursts, what happened with the filibuster should serve as notice the the GOP leadership.  There is a youthful movement within the party.  That movement is part constitutionalist, part libertarian, part tea party and part conservative.  If you don’t come to grips with it and learn to embrace what it brings to the table in regards to helping erase the perception of the ‘old white man’s party’ then be prepared to stare at the outside of the White House for a very long time.

Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

Conservative Formula Plays Out

Imagine if you single-handedly picked Presidents.  The choice is up to you.  No need to consider electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, spoilers, or anything else.  Your choice is it.  Now, imagine you live in Montana, Minnesota, or Colorado and delegates aren’t rewarded based on your primary vote.  It’s pretty much the same situation.

The result?  Ron Paul got his standard 10-20% of libertarians and conservatives seeking radical constitutionalism, Romney got his standard 30-40% of fiscal conservatives who want a strong businessman, and the social conservatives split the rest.  Except in states where electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, and spoilers don’t matter, Newt Gingrich barely registered.  Instead, Rick Santorum, deemed unelectable from day one, swept bigtime.  It’s like “What’s My Line” where the points don’t matter.

Social Conservatives demonstrated what they really want, and it ain’t Mitt or Newt.  Mitt Romney is striking out with Conservatives, first with support of increasing labor price floors, then with information about his imposing abortion coverage on private companies like Obama is doing now.  Both of these are huge question marks on Romney’s record.

But Newt hasn’t done much better, with most of the country now thinking he was Freddie Mac’s number one lobbyist and had more sex partners than your average Mormon.  Romney has succeeded in dragging Newt down, and Newt hasn’t helped himself.

So does Santorum have a shot?  Probably not, but he does have something Iowa didn’t really give him: momentum.

Now Santorum can face the Romney attack machine for a while.  It started with the Donald saying that since Santorum lost in Pennsylvania he can’t possibly win the Presidency. Of course, that is a pretty funny standard to be judged by when it comes from a multi-billionaire business-owner who has declared bankruptcy four times.  I would think Trump would be able to relate to Santorum’s tenacity.

The problem with Santorum is that he doesn’t have that Presidentiality  that stupid, ignorant, and independent voters look for in a President.  He doesn’t have the hair or the chin.  Oh, and as Scarlett Johannson pointed out, he is unelectable because he wears sweater vests.  What Johannson underestimates is how many people out there who would take a bag of rocks wrapped in a sweater vest over our current President.

I pick on independents, but social conservatives aren’t much better.  When delegates are back on the table, don’t hold your breath for another Santorum sweep.  That would require conservatives looking themselves in the mirror and asking what they actually want in a President, not just who can beat Obama.  Tuesday’s message was loud and clear.

Time to Stand

Bookmark and Share    One of the greatest problems plaguing the political scene is cowardice. More particularly it is ideological cowardice. It is an admitted fact that candidates run to the fringe during primaries and then run to the center for the general election. That is considered good politics. Unfortunately, it makes for bad government.

The level of disgust with our elected government is astonishing. If it were just political partisanship, we could expect that approval ratings would be somewhere around 50%. Yet that is not the case. Approval ratings have dropped into the single digits numerous times for Congress and into the 30s for Presidents. Clearly the people are disappointed even in their own party’s elected officials.

The reason is simple. Politicians are cowards. They are for something one second and against it the next. Recently we’ve seen an uptick in the “I’m for it, but not for how it is being done” or “These are special circumstances that require measures I wouldn’t normally support.” They are two different ways of saying, “I don’t want to look like a flip-flopper but I want to be on the side of political expediency.” It is as if almost our entire elected government has become filled with Arlen Specter clones.

It is difficult to find a candidate that you can really believe will do what he or she claims. It is difficult to find a candidate that consistently speaks from an ideological foundation that is firm. The one thing all our “greatest” Presidents had in common was their willingness to stick to their principles and govern as they promised. Granted there were some Presidents who were equally consistent and failed, but at least the people knew what they were getting and they could decide whether or not to support those men. Today we treat ‘political conversion’ or ‘position adjustment’ as some sort of normal behavior.

Let’s look at this from another perspective. Is it normal to convert from Catholicism to Islam and then again to Lutheran? Such a thing would be considered absurd. But how are ‘political conversions’ any different? Sure, decades ago someone might go from Democrat to Republican because the parties themselves were transformed – BUT the reason for the change in party affiliation was based on a desire to be in the party that represented that person’s UNCHANGED positions on issues. Such changes are more like a member of the Episcopal Church becoming a Lutheran because that person did not support changes in the Episcopal Church doctrine (such as ordaining gay clergy). The person’s beliefs never changed, but the group to which he belonged changed in a way that was incompatible with those beliefs. That is not what is happening in politics today.

What we have today are people who are claiming to have changed their beliefs or to have found exceptions to their beliefs. That’s like a man saying he’s straight, but another guy at the gym was unusually attractive and in that extraordinary circumstance it made sense to have gay sex. Be it abortion or government bailouts or foreign affairs, it seems that ‘anything goes’ is the new normal. Whatever the political winds of that day happen to be, so too are that candidate’s “convictions”. It is disgraceful.

What will a candidate do if elected? Who knows? Maybe their record will shed some light on that and maybe it won’t. Maybe their previous positions will shed some light on that and maybe they won’t. It all depends on which parts of those they agree with today and which ones they see as ‘mistakes I’ve learned from’. Of course, today’s convictions may be tomorrow’s ‘mistakes I learned from’.

These ideological void candidates are not the only problem. We, the people, are equally to blame. We are cowards ourselves when we fear our beliefs might bring us criticism. We allow critics of our beliefs to bully us into silence about them rather than be labeled ‘extremists’. We end up supporting a candidate based not on what they truly believe and whether that matches our beliefs, but rather on who we dislike least of those ‘who can win’. We sell ourselves out first and then are upset when the person we supported does the same thing. We feel betrayed that the candidate that didn’t really share our views governs in a way that is contrary to our views instead of in the way promised during a campaign.

I have been one of those cowards this year. I have strong ideological beliefs. Yet, I refused to support the candidate that most reflects those views because I didn’t think he could win. I bought into the lie that we should support the one who can win over the one who is right. I took the side of those who refused to support Goldwater in ’64 and Reagan in ’76. I tried, in vain, to find another candidate who could serve as a ‘good enough’ choice and that ‘could win’ according to the pundits. I was an ideological coward.

Today that changes. Today I set aside my indecision between candidates I don’t really agree with who pundits say can win and throw my support behind the candidate with whom I am in the most ideological agreement. Maybe he can’t win the nomination. If he doesn’t, then I’ll support who does as any of them are better than Obama. But, this is my vote. This is my party. This is my ideology.

My endorsement for the 2012 Republican Nomination goes to Congressman Ron Paul.
Congressman Ron Paul

I fully recognize Ron Paul’s limitations. He has never been a chief executive. He’s not supported by the leadership of his party. He’s not a great speaker. His foreign policy scares the establishment. All those things were said about Barry Goldwater in 1964 but history proved that he would have been far better than what we got. His campaign sparked a movement that eventually brought us Ronald Reagan and the Republican Revolution of 1994.

We live in a different world than in the days of Reagan. An evil empire is not our chief concern and primary security risk. Today we face isolated terrorist cells around the world and the threat of economic destruction through control of energy, currency manipulation and cyber attack. Our national debt is greater than our GDP and our economy is built upon pushing money around more than actually creating anything of real value. Our entitlement system has grown so precariously huge that it threatens to bankrupt us within the foreseeable future.

There is only one candidate who sees that these issues are the greatest threats facing us. There is only one candidate who will use the power of the Presidency to force real cuts in spending and not just in the rate of spending growth. There is only one candidate who will rethink the old Cold War era military thinking and re-position us for responding to the threats of the 21st century. There is only one candidate who has been ideologically consistent for decades and who has correctly predicted the problems we are faced with today. There is only one candidate who won’t be corrupted by polls or pundits or lobbyists. There is only one candidate who believes more in governing within the confines of the Constitution than in finding excuses to circumvent it. There is only one candidate who put his life on the line for his country. There is only one candidate for me.

That candidate is Ron Paul and he has my endorsement and support.

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As I Asked Before, Does It Make Sense to Endorse the People You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share    Last week I was criticized for criticizing now former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson for endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination while at the same time seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination.  I made a bit of a stink about the stupidity of endorsing the candidacy of someone who you intend to oppose.

As it turned out, when Johnson made it official that he was changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian, dropping his bid for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, and seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, he did not come right out and endorse Ron Paul.  That made sense.

However, this week, one day before the Iowa Caucuses, Gary Johnson lived up to expectations and came out with the following statement.

“While Ron Paul and I are both libertarians, we don’t necessarily agree on every single issue.

However, on the overriding issues of restoring our economy by cutting out-of-control spending and the need to get back to Constitutional principles in our government, Ron Paul and I are in lock-step.”

….I am hopeful that in urging my supporters in Iowa to vote for Ron Paul in the coming caucuses, a victory for the principles we share can be won.”

Thank you Gary Johnson.

Thanks for redeeming me and my previous post on this topic.  You have helped make my questions more relevant than ever and it is my greatest hope that you will in eventually  decide whether you want to be President or whether you want Ron Paul to be President. Once you make that decision, maybe you will finally be able to do a little good for either yourself or Ron Paul.  Until then you are  just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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Thanksgiving Family Forum Review

The GOP candidates faced something Saturday night that they haven’t seen in a long time, a friendly moderator.  In a round table discussion without buzzers, all but one of today’s contenders shared personal stories, tears, and their faith.  It was a very personalizing debate where Americans got to see these candidates discuss the issues facing family values voters.  So here is the official review:

Newt Gingrich opened up and shared a real personal side of himself with the audience.  He personalized the healthcare debate in a way that would make pro-Obamacare liberals rethink centralized health planning.  He also was the most genuine in sharing his failures with the crowd.  His failure and the resolution of turning his life around through God’s help is exactly what resonates with this crowd. He presented solutions on judicial activism without betraying a sort of militant anti-homosexuality that will be a turnoff to some states rights conservatives who shy away from a marriage amendment, but in a way that should satisfy pro-amendment conservatives who see the courts stampeding over states rights on marriage.

Rick Santorum had a chance to connect with audiences and take enough time to overcome some of the perception of irrelevance that comes with mainstream media consumer based debates.  This will help him especially in Iowa where social conservatives are searching to an anti-Romney with a clean record.  Santorum helped his changes in Iowa, although even if he wins in Iowa he will probably not take any other states.

Herman Cain played to his strength: being real.  Although there are questions about Cain’s foreign policy know how and tax plan, one thing that has made him endearing to Republicans is his realness and his ability to connect on that personal level.  He may have harmed himself though when as a failure he pointed out that he spent too much time working to the top of the corporate ladder and not enough time with his family.  That is a regret that will not resonate with most Americans, and for those who it does it will not be seen as a good thing.

Michele Bachmann did well, but was once again forgettable.  Her answer on schools was good by itself, but was a shadow of answers given by other candidates.  She must find a way to distinguish herself if she hopes to be relevant again.  Perry tried to make himself relevant, but his tax plan was trumped by Gingrich’s flat tax.  Santorum has not been able to make himself relevant again.  Bachmann’s best shot recently at making herself relevant has been apparent support for a $10 surtax on all Americans to make sure everyone is paying something in.  That is not a defining plan that will rocket her back to relevance.

Ron Paul was able to be personal and share his faith, which is important for him among social conservatives.  However, it may also be damaging among libertarian voters.  Paul showed support for DOMA, which will hurt him with libertarians.  His advocacy for moving issues like gay marriage to the church and family are admirable, but naive like his foreign policy.  Paul does not seem to understand the militancy of some liberal homosexual groups.  Paul also hurt himself with his greatest failure, suffering sports injuries that kept him from playing football in highschool.  Honestly, if someone told me that in a job interview I would probably only continue the interview out of politeness.

Rick Perry had a typical bumbling debate performance.  At one point he said “We’ve all heard that saying…” and I was afraid he might forget what it was.  When he talked about his greatest failure, I think he was saying he impregnated his wife (possibly not his wife at the time?) and had to drop out of veterinarian school.  Overall, unimpressive.

The biggest loser was Mitt Romney.  Mitt will not win this election with just the establishment and fiscal conservatives.  This was a must attend debate if he hopes to win over any social conservatives of family values voters.  Then again, if Mitt could not stand toe to toe with these candidates on family values, perhaps it is best that he didn’t show up.

Other no shows, Gary Johnson, Fred Kargar, Buddy Roemer, and Jon Huntsman.  Let’s be honest, who cares.

Social Conservatives Split As Predicted

Months ago, I laid the framework for next year’s primary election with my blog entitled “The Neapolitan Party“.  In it, my theory was that Republican voters would fall on three lines, Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, and Libertarian.  Cain’s rise and Perry’s fall is continued proof that this template is accurate.  It also is bad news for Mitt Romney.

An untrained eye might see Perry’s recent fall in the polls and Romney reclaiming front runner status as great news for the Romney campaign.  But the numbers tell a different story.  Romney is not losing or gaining votes from Social Conservatives.  Perry and Cain are moving these votes back and forth.  Eventually the race will come down to Romney and the top Social Conservative.  At this point, that top Social Conservative will likely win.

Can Romney increase his support among Social Conservatives enough to win?

Romney will get Huntsman’s voters when Huntsman drops out of the race.  Paul and Johnson voters  will either go to Romney, stay home, or vote third party.  But the rest of the candidates are passing support back and forth between them based on who has the best chance of beating Obama.  This is why Santorum and Gingrich continue to fail to gain traction.  When they drop out, their votes will go to the top Social Conservative.

Romney’s best hope may be for Perry to regain his momentum.  With the attacks leveled by Bachmann and Santorum against Rick Perry, some of their jaded supporters may gravitate to Romney if and when they fall out of the race.  Others will see Perry’s illegal immigration stances and choose Romney as the lesser of two evils.  However, I believe that Romney may not be able to recoup enough supporters from other Social Conservatives unless he seriously steps up his Social Conservative message.  Romney has done well to endorse TEA party objectives and move more to the right socially, but trust is still an issue.  On the other hand, Cain is a very likeable and trustable candidate.  Libertarians are wary of him because he used to be a board member of a Federal Reserve bank.  But the libertarians who would not vote for Cain because of that have far more reasons to not vote for any other viable candidate.

The other factor that could change this would be last minute polling of who would beat Obama.  If it comes down to Cain and Romney, but polls show that Romney would have a better chance of beating Obama, that could be a game changer.

Believe it or not…Ron Paul could win

Ron Paul is notorious for stacking and winning straw polls.  So his latest victory at the Republican Leadership Conference comes as no big surprise.  In fact, national front runner Mitt Romney came in fourth behind Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann and John Huntsman, if that tells you anything.

But this time around it just may be too early to write off Ron Paul.  In the past he was rarely taken seriously as anything more than an ultra-libertarian issues candidate.  This time, his issues speak to America’s condition as an overbloated bureaucracy in debt up to our ears, in a new war with no meaning, a weakened currency, and a whole lot of social issues that would be a lot easier to live with if the government didn’t have to take a stand either way.

Third time a charm?

Unlike 2008, we are now wrapping up the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are no longer playing such a perceived crucial role in America’s defense.  Instead, we are now bombing our allies in Libya and fighting both sides of a civil war at a cost of a million dollars a day.  Unlike 2008, we are living with an administration whose deficits every year have nearly matched the entire 8 years of the Bush administration.  We have a Federal Reserve that seems out of control, especially after printing $500 billion to buy US debt under QE2.  And lastly, we have a weakening dollar which is helping to drive up commodity prices and inflation.

But in addition to the issues being more conducive to a Ron Paul candidacy, many of Paul’s liberal grass roots liberal supporters haven’t figured out yet where stands on the issues.  It never ceases to amaze me how many Obama voters would have made Ron Paul as their number one choice if given the opportunity.  My amazement stems from the fact that no two candidates could be further from each other when it comes to worldviews and ideologies.  Ron Paul’s anti-establishment, bring the troops home (something Obama promised and failed to deliver) and social libertarianism on issues like gay marriage seem to be his liberal aesthetic.  But this could give him the momentum he needs to be taken seriously.  Why?

Because there is no Democrat primary.  New Hampshire is a semi-open primary, meaning that the voters with no party affiliation can vote in either the Democrat or Republican primary.  This is sure to help Ron Paul this year as social liberals who would normally vote in the Democrat primary have the opportunity to use their vote to help decide the Republican nominee.  South Carolina is another early state with an open primary.

Many Republicans find Ron Paul to be abrasive, sometimes outright annoying, and he never seems to answer the question he was actually asked in a debate.  But with no Democrat primary this time around, it might not be Republicans who make the final decision on Ron Paul.

For Republicans, There Are No Favorite Sons or Daughters Except for One ……Gary Johnson

Bookmark and Share  Public Policy Polling, a left leaning outfit, has put out some interesting results from a survey of how well the Republican presidential contenders are liked by the voters in their own states. The surprising winner here is former two term, New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The losers ………3 term Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

If one intends to run for national office, it is often taken for granted that the state they come from, supports them. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter only won 6 states and the District of Columbia. Fortunately for him, two of those states were his home state of Georgia and his Vice President’s home state of Minnesota. In 1984, Carter’s Vice President, Walter Mondale, was the Democrat presidential nominee and aside from the District of Columbia, the only state that he carried was Minnesota ….…..his home state.

But such favorite son or daughter results are not always the case.

In 1972, Democrat South Dakota Senator George McGovern won his Party’s presidential nomination, but in the presidential election, McGovern’s state of South Dakota voted for Richard Nixon.

And look at Al Gore in 2000.

The man had once represented Tennessee in the U. S. Senate and that same seat was once held by his own father. Yet in the infamous 2000 presidential election, Tennessee voted for George W. Bush. Had Gore been able to win his own state, the result in Florida, the state that was governed by G.W.’s brother at the time, would not have mattered.

So being the favorite son or daughter of your state is not just a good thing, sometimes it is a must.

Yet the PPP survey shows that only one candidate has a higher favorability rating than unfavorable rating. That is the understated, underdog of the 2012 presidential field ….. Gary Johnson. And not only is he the only one with a higher favorable to unfavorable rating, his favorability numbers are dramatically higher than his unfavorable numbers. Twelve percentage points higher to be exact. As seen in the graph from PPP below, 32% of New Mexico voters have an unfavorable opinion of their former Governor and 44% have a favorable opinion of him. Compare this to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman who’s unfavorable number among Minnesota voters is 26% higher than her favorable numbers, 33% favorable 59% unfavorable, and Sarah Palin who among Alaska voters stands at 33% favorable to 58% unfavorable.

What accounts for Bachmann’s bad numbers in her state is the fact that she is a national conservative voice from a relatively conservative district in an otherwise liberal state. What accounts for Palin’s bad numbers in Alaska is not quite as obvious. But much of it could be due to the fact that Alaskan’s who once gave Palin favorable ratings that were the highest of any Governor in nation, were very disappointed and angered by her decision to resign midway through her term in office. Another factor is overexposure and the disruption of  life in the state that came with Palin’s sudden rise to national and international fame. On the flip-side, part of the reason for Gary Johnson’s still high positive numbers from New Mexico voters, may come from his lack of attention.

Johnson is a rather mild mannered, understated man. He was elected Governor as an outsider with no prior political experience, did a good job with no scandals or media circus scrutinizing his every move, and went on to win a second term that went much the same way. Since leaving office, unlike Palin, Johnson, stayed out of the fray avoided controversy and allowed his last impression among New Mexico voters to be a lasting impression. Those are some reasons that account for why he still is more liked than disliked.

Unfortunately, while these numbers show that Johnson could probably do well in his state’s Republican presidential primary, it does not look like Johnson will do that well elsewhere. It’s a shame too. With New Mexico being a swing state, it could be critical to reaching the magical number needed to reach the electoral vote required to win the presidency . Of course nothing is to say that President Obama has a much higher approval rating than any of those mentioned in most of these states. Still, it would be encouraging to know that you could count on your own state. The only potential Republican nominees that we should legitimately expect to lose their own state in the general election would be Mitt Romney in the case of liberal Massachusetts, and if he really was delusional enough to run again, Rudy Giuliani in adark blue New York state.

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Gary Johnson Shoots the Moon in NH

Gary Johnson is in. He announced Thursday morning outside the New Hampshire statehouse that he intends to run on a platform of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cutting defense, Medicaid and Medicare by 43% each, raising the retirement age for Social Security, and legalizing marijuana.

Johnson stated that he has never supported the Iraq war, and while he once supported the war in Afghanistan, now believes that it is time to bring the troops home. AP reports that Johnson made the official announcement to about a dozen supporters.

Johnson is a relatively obscure candidate who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003. He received a mix reception at CPAC earlier this year and is generally viewed as outside of the Republican mainstream. However, he is sure to turn some independent heads. In addition to calling for a repeal of Obamacare, Johnson also called for a repeal of the Republican passed Medicare Part D prescription drug subsidy.

Johnson is not considered by most to be a contender, but he hopes to change that with a strong showing in libertarian leaning

Gary Johnson puts it all on the line in New Hampshire

New Hampshire. Johnson feels that New Hampshire can rocket him “…from obscurity to prominence overnight with a good showing in New Hampshire.”

Another Republican Ready To Decalre Their Presidential Candidacy

Bookmark and Share On Tuesday, Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson ent out a press release decaring that he will be decaring his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. The announcement will come on Thursday, at 9:00 am, on the steps of the New Hampshire State Capitol Building. (See Press release below).

Governor Johnson is a self described Libertarian-Republican and possibly even more so than Ron Paul hehas the ability to force issues such as the legalization of drugs on to the table. WhileJohnson is himself opposed to recreational drug use, it is his belief that a nanny state which tells adults what they can or cannot use, is not inlline with the Constitution of the United States. In fact, although Johnson does not intend to make this a competition betweenjust him and Ron Paul, he will be indirect competition with Ron Paul and the libertarian mantlethatRon Paul has held for many years now. While the two have many similiar posoitions on the economy drugs and foreign policy, the real competition willl be which one has the ability to turn their beliefs in to the mainstream beliefs of the Republican Party.

Having had the executive leadership of governing a state, Johnson may have the the advantage their. Especially since unlike Ron Paul who promotes his beliefs through proposing and supporting or opposig legislation, Governor Johnson has actually implemented his beleifs and successfully applied his belief system to the everday governance of a state. And he did so by winning two back to back elections to the office of Governor in a state that is not ususally very friendly to Republicans.

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Governor Gary Johnson set to make major announcement in New Hampshire

Former Republican Governor of New Mexico to discuss future plans, 2012 campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sue Winchester
801.303.7924

April 12, 2011, Santa Fe, NM Gary Johnson, former Republican Governor of New Mexico will hold a news conference on Thursday, April 21st at 9:00am EDT at the New Hampshire State Capitol Building in Concord (location: Capitol front steps: 107 North Main Street, Concord), to discuss his plans for the 2012 election.

Governor Johnson, who has been referred to as the most fiscally conservative Governor in the country, believes the highest priority for America is a balanced federal budget. He calls the national debt the greatest threat to our national security.

Since launching the OUR America Initiative in late 2009, Governor Johnson has traveled to 38 states, participated in hundreds of media interviews and addressed a wide range of organizations all across the nation. He is vocal in his opposition to U.S. involvement in Libya, and has called for an end to American military involvement in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He supports marijuana legalization and advocates common-sense immigration reform.

Following the formal news conference, Governor Johnson will be available for media opportunities through Saturday, April 23rd. Details and locations are provided below:

Thursday, April 21

9:00am: Gary Johnson news conference at New Hampshire State Capitol Building in Concord
10:00am 12:00pm: Media availability in Concord
12:00pm 1:00pm: Lunch reception with NH Legislators (location: Barley House downstairs, 132 North Main Street, Concord).
2:00pm 4:00pm: Media availability in Manchester
6:30pm: VIP Reception/Photos with Governor Johnson (location: Executive Court, 1199 South Mammoth Road, Manchester)
7:00pm: Public kick-off event (location: Executive Court, 1199 South Mammoth Road, Manchester)

Friday, April 22

9:00am 6:00pm: Governor Johnson to visit local businesses, meet with residents and various political groups in the Southern New Hampshire/greater Manchester area.

6:00pm: Depart Manchester for North Conway, NH.

Governor Johnson will be available for live TV/Cable segments (throughout the day on Friday, and subject to availability on Thursday) from the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St Anselms College in Manchester. Please schedule in advance if possible.

Saturday, April 23rd

Governor Johnson will be skiing Tuckermans Ravine on Mount Washington. Media are invited to cover the event and/or ski with the Governor. Tuckermans Ravine is an extreme skiing endeavor. Interviews can be conducted at Hermit Lake Shelter (a two hour hike from the trailhead) or at the trailhead following the run. If interested in covering or skiing, please contact Sue Winchester or Lizz Renda at media@ouramericainitiative.com for details and credentials. For more information on Tuckermans Ravine click here.

8:00am: Meet at Pinkham Notch trailhead (location: AMC Pinkham Notch Camp on US Route 16, eighteen miles north of North Conway, NH). Begin 2.5 mile hike to Hermit Lake Shelter
11:30am (approximately): arrive at Hermit Lake Shelter
12:00pm 3:30pm: Ski Tuckermans Ravine
3:30pm 6:00pm: Hike back to Pinkham Notch trailhead
6:30pm: Depart for Manchester

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25% Chance Rand Paul Will Run?

According to Rand Paul, there is a 50-50 chance that one of the Pauls will run for President in 2012. Will it be him? Only if his father, Ron Paul, decides not to run this year. That makes the chances of a Rand Paul candidacy closer to 25%.

Which Paul do you want to see in 2012?

Rand Paul has been considered a top contender for the 2016 primary, among other freshmen like Marco Rubio. But few expect him, Rubio, or any of the other 2010 Republican first time victors to step into the ring, especially after how much criticism Obama has received for his measly two years of experience. The fact that Obama’s inexperience continues to conspicuously display itself won’t help.

On the other hand, Ron Paul had little shot of winning the Republican primary in 2008. If he chooses not to run in 2012, will Rand run to highlight the same conservative constitutionalist issues his father did? Perhaps, but not all the same issues since Rand is more mainstream on foreign policy. In fact, the differences between the two Pauls could be the difference between a fringe candidate with an obnoxious group of libertarian outcasts and a mainstream candidacy by a conservative/libertarian hybrid who could garner a Republican majority in 2012. He could also scrap up some of the anti-war Democrats his father charmed in 2008.

One thing is for sure, if Rand Paul runs it will be a boon to debate buffs who are excited about the intellectual dialogue that a Newt/Romney debate already promises. Having Rand on the stage will also guarantee that conservative constitutionalist issues are well represented.

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.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson On Libertarianism & Debt

Bookmark and Share Former New Mexico Governor and future Republican candidate for President Gary Johnson sits down for an interview with Forbes and discusses his electability as a Libertarian in a Republican primary, his thoughts on cutting our debt and other issues as well.

During the interview Johnson states that any real attempt to control our deficit requires reforms and cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security,and defense. Some of his solutions include means testing, raising age requirements and other answers which have often been viewed as the third rails of politics.

While Johnson is widely viewed as a bottom tier candidate, many of his views are far lacking popularity and are worth a hearing. See for yourself in the video below.

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CPAC a Clash of Ideologies

Legalize marijuana? Cancel the fence? Withdraw the troops? Lose in Iraq and Afghanistan and don’t look back? If you only listened to every other speech from CPAC, you might forget where you were. Pollster Tony Fabrizio was jeered for downplaying Ron Paul’s second consecutive straw poll win, but his comments were spot on. The consensus at CPAC is that government is too big. That may have been the only consensus.

Herman Cain also nailed it when he said the reason Obama is President is because too many conservatives stayed home rather than vote for a less than perfect candidate.

Ron Paul’s victory should not be ignored by the Republican Party. While he certainly does not represent mainstream Republicanism, his supporters could represent the difference between a Republican win in 2012 and four more years of Obama.

On the other hand, Paul needs to understand the influence he holds and the responsibility he has to promote conservatism to whatever degree he can. Ron Paul is so infatuated with individualism that I doubt he would call out his supporters for their shameful, liberal-like behavior when Cheney and Rumsfield were on the stage. Paul could learn a lesson or two from his son about how to defeat the left and build bridges with conservatives. Such reconciliation is his only path out of the peanut gallery.

Gary Johnson eliminated himself from the mainstream 2012 Republican primary with his libertarian views on drugs and immigration. However, he too represents a very significant part of not just Republicans, but the conservative constitutional movement. If Republicans truly want to return to the constitution, then federal drug prohibitions, international relations, and other differences appearing from CPAC must be dealt with and debated in a civil manner.

It would be far from fair to portray the libertarian wing of conservatism to be the only division, especially when Politico reports that Palin, Huckabee, and DeMint skipped the conference this year because of the presence of a gay conservative group at CPAC. Perhaps they could learn a lesson from Ann Coulter, a notoriously right wing radical Christian who keynoted a recent GOProud homosexual conservative conference and spoke about the gay conservative movement at CPAC.

I doubt even Paul’s supporters believe the straw poll is representative of the majority of conservative Republicans in the country. But if the various factions of conservatives cannot come together against the Democrat candidate after the 2012 primary, Herman Cain’s history lesson will repeat itself.

CPAC 2011; Gary Johnson’s Speech at CPAC

Bookmark and Share Libertarian-Republican and Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson took the opportunity to speak to conservatives at CPAC by delivering what I would term as common sense look at the issues. It was a speech which in many ways demonstrated how conservatism goes hand in hand with common sense.Johnson’s ability to shape the solutions to the issues as common sense thinking through a very natural flow of thoughts which persuasively argued for school vouchers, a balanced budget, and even a compelling case for the legalization of marijuana.

The overriding theme of Johnson’s speech was how much better our nation would be if the federal government eliminated impediments to entrepreneurs and increased competition so that we can truly find the best products at the lowest prices. Johnson emphasized how such thinking applies to education and even health care.

In general, Gary Johnson proved himself to be a welcome voice in the upcoming Republican presidential nomination process. He is a believer who stated that the Republican Party is the only Party capable of fixing what’s wrong in this country today. With Johnson and his ideas and approach to our solutions involved in the debate, he will indeed help to be a formidable candidate who influence the quality of the candidate the G.O.P. ultimately nominates.

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Is Ron Paul Hinting At Another Presidential Run In 2012?

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In an e-mail to supporters, Texas Congressman and Libertarian leaning 2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul hinted that he may be thinking about another run at the White House in 2012. The e-mail, sent on behalf of the Liberty PAC, of which Paul is the honorary chairman, may have been the first concrete sign that the popular Ron Paul “Revolution” may be preparing to test the waters.

I have spent the last several months speaking to supporters and activists all across the country.

I’ve thought and prayed. I’ve sought the counsel of my wife, Carol, my children, my extended family, and my most trusted advisors.

As I look to my political future, there are several intriguing options I could pursue, and I need to gauge the existing financial support to back those options.

Our campaign did remarkable things in 2008, at first on a bare-bones budget, and much later, with the overwhelming support that launched our REVOLUTION.

The 2008 campaign helped launch Campaign for Liberty and the Tea Party movement, while laying the groundwork for the successful candidacies of pro-liberty candidates like Justin Amash, Mike Lee, and my son, Senator Rand Paul.

In fact, this current Congress includes more Liberty-leaning members than ever before.

And on the state level, the successes have been even greater.

Last year in New Hampshire alone, no less than 25 Liberty candidates won election to the New Hampshire State House or Senate, including longtime supporter Jim Forsyth winning a State Senate race, and other strong supporters like Andrew Manuse, Keith Murphy, Daniel and Carol McGuire, Jon Maltz, Cameron DeJong, Jenn Coffey, Norman Tregenza, and many more winning House seats.

In Iowa, three candidates endorsed by Liberty PAC went on to shock the establishment and win, including State Representatives Glen Massie and Kim Pearson and State Senator Kent Sorenson.

And across the country, folks like Drew Ivers, A.J. Spiker, and David Fischer in Iowa are ascending to positions of power in their local and state GOP Committees.

With special elections possible around the country and state elections to be held this year in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Virginia, I am confident you and I will see even more successes.

In fact, just last month, longtime supporter Kerry Roberts won the Republican nomination for a special election this March for a State Senate seat in Tennessee.

Now, I believe the time could well be right for our REVOLUTION to take its next step.

Our pro-Liberty movement could grow by leaps and bounds if we take the right steps.

I don’t think even I expected what has happened since we launched our fight in 2007.

Back then, no one had yet heard of the “Tea Party,” because these groups didn’t really exist. Yet, our supporters organized a record-setting $6 million dollar, one-day fundraising Moneybomb that sent shock waves through the political establishment.

That Moneybomb was held on December 16, 2007 – the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

It has long been said that the Boston Tea Party launched the American Revolution.

Well, in 2007, the REVOLUTION launched the “Tea Party”!

Now, I believe the time is right to take that next step to bring our message to even more waiting Americans. To take the fight to those who would steal our Liberty, our country.

To prove that America is ready for leaders who will take seriously their oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

The e-mail, although meant to raise funds for Liberty PAC, gives a subtle look into where the Texas Congressman is in his mind in regards to another Presidential bid. Could the “REVOLUTION” be brewing again? Most doubt it as Rep. Paul has been named chairman of the Congressional Subcommittee on Monetary Policy, allowing the End The Fed author to question and oversee the entity that he has advocated ending completely. Though seen as his dream chairmanship, a strong base of loyal supporters could push Dr. Paul into another run at the big chair in the oval office. Viva La Revolution?

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