Pawlenty’s Demise Focuses Crosshairs on Obama

Tim Pawlenty bowed out of the race  on Sunday morning.  He cited a poor showing in Iowa and no clear path forward.  In his exit statements, Pawlenty offered what had been missing from his campaign.  Pawlenty said:

“I’m doing this because I love this country and I want to defeat Barack Obama because I think he’s got it on the wrong course…but I don’t get my identity or my sense of worth or my values or my faith from politics. I get it from my personal faith in God, and I believe in this country, I love this country, I thought I would have been a great president.”

And with that he summed up what he should have been saying all along in this campaign.

Pawlenty's strategy of attacking frontrunners failed to rocket him to the front

Instead, Pawlenty became memorable for coining the term Obamneycare, attacking Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul for never accomplishing anything, while allowing himself to easily slip into the category of being a copy of another candidate.  Pawlenty was the governor who balanced the budget without increasing taxes beyond a cigarette tax.  But that didn’t separate him from nearly half the other candidates.  In fact, Pawlenty’s biggest differentiation was that he was the sole candidate outside of Ron Paul to go after his GOP rivals in a race that thus far has been mostly focused on Obama and liberal policies.

The loss of Pawlenty and inclusion of Rick Perry will help focus this race more on Obama as each candidate contrasts themselves with him instead of with each other.

Pawlenty was a good candidate with good credentials coming into this race.  However, after his performance in the last Iowa debate I was surprised that he did as well as he did in the Iowa caucus.  Pawlenty is making the right choice by stepping out of this race, and the tone of the race will be better without him.  The key to winning the 2012 GOP primary is becoming more clear.  Candidates need to contrast themselves with Obama and then win on ideas.  In this stage of the game, going after fellow GOP candidates is not yielding much fruit.

Debate Recap

The commentators in the Iowa debate finally succeeded in getting the Republican candidates to go after one another, and the result was a distinction between the boys, the girl, and the men.  Here is my assessment:

Newt Gingrich

I would name Newt as the winner of this debate.  He presented something the other candidates could not, a clear record on the economy and government with the exact results Americans want today that was left mostly unassailed.  Newt vented his frustration early at Chris Wallace over what came across as unfair questions, but was able to then produce reasonable responses.  Gingrich had a better grasp of history and economics and managed not to contradict himself.  I doubt it will be enough to kickstart his campaign again, but he looked and sounded most like the candidate who could turn our economy around.  Newt said what every American was thinking, the supercommittee part of the debt deal is a stupid idea and Obama should call Congress back to fix it.

Mitt Romney

Romney proved once again how effortless this race has been for him.  When Pawlenty shot across his bow with a jab at how much property he owns, Romney shrugged it off like Michael Jordan would if he wasn’t picked first in a neighborhood game of pickup basketball.  Romney looked and sounded like a professional and did not allow Wallace, Pawlenty or anyone else to shake his demeanor.  In fact, he made almost everyone else look like amateurs, especially Pawlenty and Bachmann.  Romney positioned himself as the successful businessman, accomplished politician, and leader.  In fact, when Cain touted his independent business success, when Pawlenty talked about balancing his budget and cutting spending and taxes, and when Pawlenty and Huntsman talked about leadership, Romney kept coming to mind.  He ignored interparty skirmishes and focused on Obama, which is a key in this race.  His only slip up was trying to discuss the semantics of state versus federal constitutional restrictions.  I think his point was a good one, especially when he asked Wallace what he knew about Massachusetts constitution, but ultimately the point was lost on the other participants.

Ron Paul

Republicans still don’t like Ron Paul, and he is still abrasive.  However, he came in third in this debate because he toned down the abrasiveness and instead mixed in some well earned “told ya so”.  Paul made key points on the Fed, the debt, the debt ceiling deal, the precariousness of our currency, and the costs of war.  These were timely points and made well.  He did not leap into easy traps on military spending that he has fallen into before that come across as disrespect for men and women in uniform.  Paul was also able to better articulate his views on social issues.  In the past he has come across as more liberal than libertarian.  This time he was able to articulate what be actually believes about gay marriage and abortion, stating that our liberties come from our creator, not government.  He may not win over the mainstream religious right, but will win over some more religious libertarians and constitutionalists.

Rick Santorum

Yes, believe it or not, Rick Santorum is fourth on my list.  His performance will most likely not change anything, but as a second tier candidate he exceeded expectations.  He was well prepared, made logical answers to the questions asked, and avoided harmful entanglements with other candidates.  He continues to represent George Bush neo-conservatism and will continue to bring useful balance to the debate.  He still has no chance of winning.

Herman Cain

Cain came across as the most unknowledgeable of the candidates.  He presents a good story of a businessman outsider seeking to change Washington’s business side.  However, Cain does not present a well rounded candidate that voters would trust on issues of foreign policy or domestic social issues.  Until he can get past soundbites to real plans and strategies he will not garner the needed support.   He was the only candidate to drive home the growth aspect of turning our economy around in a real and tangible way.

Jon Huntsman

Who?  His late entry, semi-liberal credentials, and lack of energetic or unique performance make Huntsman an afterthought.  He was like an off-brand candidate.  Aside from cyberwar with China, nothing he said really stood out.  If Huntsman was not at the next debate, I doubt most viewers would even realize it.  For example, remember that candidate from New Mexico, the Ron Paul wannabe?  What was his name again?

Tim Pawlenty

Chris Wallace was able to get under the candidates skin and even inspire direct confrontations between candidates.  Mostly though, the culprit ended up being Tim Pawlenty.  In a role usually occupied by the perennial anti-GOP establishment candidate Ron Paul, Pawlenty went after Bachmann, Romney, and whoever else got in his way.  He came across as a third place candidate trying to remind people why he is in this race, or at least that he is in this race.  I did not enjoy listening to him.  When he wasn’t on the attack, he was apologizing for cigarette taxes or highlighting things he did as governor that both Romney and Huntsman have on their resume.  In a race where the focus needs to be on Barack Obama, Pawlenty allowed himself to fall into the hands of the commentators and make for some great controversial TV.  Personally, I think this primary would come to a much better result without Pawlenty.

Michelle Bachmann

The loser of last night’s debate was Michelle Bachmann.  When Pawlenty attacked her, she fought back and lost.  Pawlenty managed to paint her as more of an ideologue than a successful conservative champion.  Pawlenty highlighted her lack of results, and she let that stick.  I believe she did receive some of the more unfair questions, including the one about submitting to her husband, but instead of recognizing those questions for what they were, she showed why she is not the caliber of Newt or Mitt and engaged the questions as though they were credible concerns.

Honestly though, what earned Bachmann the F was when she failed to return to her podium on time after the commercial break.  She is trying to overcome this idea that she is an unprofessional activist, not a serious contender.  However, her tardiness, fumbling over major points such as combining pro-life and taxes in bills, and engaging Pawlenty in unscripted arguments show why Bachmann’s runner up status has been purely on the substance of her popular TEA party beliefs, not because she is a polished candidate.  Conservatives may like her in the polls, but when they go to vote I think we will see them be more likely to send a quarterback than the mascot in to play.

So Now Michele Bachmann is Killing Gay Kids

Bookmark and Share    Recent reports about a school district in Minnesota have suggested that Michele Bachmann is behind the tragic suicides of nine school students in a period of two years. According to different sources, the teens who killed themselves were either gay or perceived as gay, and/or the victims of bullying .

MSNBC,or as WH12 refers to it, the Mostly Slanted News Bias Company, used the station stooge and political hack, Lawrence O’Donnell, to air a report  that ran with the premise that Michele Bachmann’s position on homosexuality was responsible for the suicides.

Soon after the MSNBC allegation, the ever so reliable news source, Perez Hilton, picked up on the charge and wrote a story entitled “Why Are So Many Teenagers Committing Suicide In Michele Bachmann’s District?”  Perez Hilton? I mean really. Can there possibly be a drama queen who is a more sickeningly despicable figure and unreliable source than that negatively stereotypical nightmare who is an embarrassment to the gay community, than Perez Hilton is?  The often controversial gay, entertainment, gossip columnists makes Paris Hilton look like Walter Kronkite. But both Hiltons aside, trying to associate Michele Bachmann with, and to lay blame on her for, suicides in her district is about as legitimate as Bill Clinton swearing under oath to a grand jury that he did not have sexual relations with that woman (said the semen stain to the blue dress).

One may not agree with Michele Bachmann and she may not agree with them but to extrapolate from your disagreement that she essentially drove kids to kill themselves, makes about as much as sense as something reported by Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC or written by Perez Hilton……oh wait, they were.

The issue of teenage suicide is a serious one and it should be addressed seriously. But to exploit it for political purposes designed to tarnish a legislator because they have become a viable presidential candidate, is more than a disservice to the problem it is an insult to the children who endured so much personal agony that they found it easier to die than to live.

MSNBC goes further in their attempt to suggest that Michele Bachmann is behind these suicides by referring to a 2006 vote she cast as a Minnesota State Senator. It had to do with an anti-bullying bill and Bachmann opposed it. For her part, the congresswoman offered a valid reasons for her vote. She stated;

“There’s always been bullies. You know, always have been and always will be. I just don’t know how we’re ever going to get to a point zero tolerance and what does it mean? What will be our definition of bullying? Will it go the point where we are stifling free speech and expression?”

Such a view is legitimate. This is especially the case if one were to consider how this specific bill that she voted against was written and what exactly was contained in it.

Yet liberal entities frame the debate in such a way that immediately paints Bachmann as the catalyst behind nine suicides.

The bottom line is that the left once again is showing their hypocrisy. While they are accusing figures on the right of not being tolerant of gays, they are demonstrating their own intolerance of differences of opinion. In this case, they are doing so without shame as they throw political bombs over the graves of the children whom they are exploiting.

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Bachmann Makes It Official. She’s Running for President!

Bookmark and Share    Michele Bachmann used the first question she was asked in tonight’s presidential debate to announce that she has filed the papers to run for President and will make an official announcement shortly.

The announcement makes Michele Bachmann the only woman running for the nomination this year and the first Republican woman to ever run for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Bachmann Needs to the Pull the Knife Out of Palin’s Back

Bookmark and Share   After hiring controversial veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins, it is expected that Minnesota Congresswoman and Congressional TEA Party Caucus Chair Michele Bachmann, will at any time announce her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. If she does run, while Bachmann could very well prove to be formidable in early nominating contests like Iowa and South Carolina, her plight to become the Republican presidential nominee will be far from easy. Now, thanks to her new loose cannon political operative, Ed Rollins, that plight has just gotten much harder.

On a radio show hosted by Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Rollins took the opportunity to trash Sarah Palin.

In addition to claiming “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins stated “She [Palin] got the Vice Presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.”

Rollins who was up until recently an operative for Mike Huckabee, claimed that now that Mike Huckabee’s not in the race, in terms of the Republican running for President, Bachmann is “probably the best communicator” He also added “Michele Bachmann and others worked hard, she has been a leader of the Tea Party which is a very important element here, she has been an attorney, she has done important things with family values.”

And Sarah Palin hasn’t?

At 68, perhaps Rollins is losing what good judgment he has left. His claim that Palin “has not been serious” is not only an utterly ludicrous charge, it is a very politically dumb and strategically damaging statement for him to make. Millions ….. “millions”… of Americans take Sarah Palin quite seriously and they take her efforts to elect limited government, family values oriented, fiscal conservatives who have an appreciation for the U.S. Constitution, very seriously.

As for the charge that Palin can’t be taken seriously because she was, as he argues, simply handed the vice presidential

Ed Rollins

nomination in 2008 and then gave up her governorship, perhaps Rollins memory is slipping. I guess he forgets all the legitimate reasons why Palin was picked to run for Vice President. Some of those reasons include her willingness to oppose and defeat a popular sitting Governor from her own Party after rooting out corruption and standing up for justice. Another reason includes her defense and promotion of family values and her ability to govern as a Mayor and a Governor in a way that was fiscally responsible and legislatively efficient.

As for her giving up the governorship, Rollins should really avoid using the propaganda of liberals to promote one conservative and denounce another. As unbelievable as it may seem to Rollins, Palin is not your average politician. She brings to her politics a level of sincerity that is rarely seen in the D.C. beltway that Ed Rollins is familiar with. And it is that sincerity which forced Palin to decide that stepping down was the best thing for the state of Alaska because it would have allowed her very capable Lieutenant Governor to continue the business of the state, unhindered by the ridiculous number of expensive, time consuming, frivolous lawsuits that liberals were relentlessly attacking Palin with.

Ever since she was nominated for Vice President and delivered some energy to the lackluster campaign of John McCain, the left lost all self control and could not give up on trying to tear Palin apart. She embodies everything the left fears in a conservative. And so they undertook an assault on Palin that she believed was not in the best interest of the people Alaska. So instead, she allowed Sean Parnell, the Lieutenant Governor, to take the reigns of power and run with the agenda she set, but to do so unincumbered by the liberal effort to take Palin down. Palin could have easily thought of what might have been best for her personal political career. But she didn’t. Instead she put the people first. And when it was all said and done, what new responsibility did Palin undertake? She set out on a mission to help insure that in 2010, true conservatives got elected to positions as Senator, Congressmen and Governors.

Rollins may not want to see it that way. But it is obvious that he doesn’t want to see the truth. The truth makes Sarah Palin the greatest threat to Michele Bachmann’s popularity and success that there is.  So instead Rollins resorts to trash talk.

But that’s Ed Rollins. For as good as he once was….and he was good, Rollins has also shown a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth.

In 1993, after working on the upset victory of Christine Todd Whitman over New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, Rollins deposited himself right into in the middle of a scandal that involved political campaign payoffs to New Jersey ministers. He told Time Magazine

“We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, ‘We’ve already endorsed Florio.’ We said, ‘That’s fine, don’t get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. We know you’ve endorsed him, but don’t get up there and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.'”

He later tried to backtrack by claiming his original statement was an exaggeration.

This latest gaffe, only enforces the perception that Rollins is losing it.  For someone who was hired to promote Bachmann, in just a few moments of air time, he has hurt her far more than he has helped.  One need to go no further than Michele’s Facebook page to see evidence of that.

In just a matter of hours since Rollins comments came out, hundreds of Face book “Fans” have begun to turn on the Congresswoman. For instance there was this from Allen Pishotta:

“Why have you stabbed Sarah Palin in the back after all she did for you last year? Why have you forsaken the Tea Party Movement in order to become a “stalking horse” for Mitt Romney and yes we all know that you are working for the RINO Romney campaign so it is no secret. What was the political bribe needed to become a “Judas” and sell …conservatives out? I once heavily supported you now I will never give you another dime after this. You nickname is now Michele “Backstabbing” Bachmann because that is what you did.”

And this from Doreen Graney:

“Hey, Michelle, the last time Ed Rollins was part of a winning campaign my oldest son was a newborn baby. Today is his 30th birthday. Hope you’re not paying him much. You won’t be getting any support from me, financial or otherwise.”

Sue Lynn writes:

“Lost my support….Your just another politician…Backstabbing a good friend that helped you get re-elected…So much for that Christian talk you talk about…sure don’t practice it…I will never support you in the future because of your actions to a good friend”

Jolyn Colon demands an apology and states:

“Ed Rollins has a reputation for being a bomb thrower. Did you know that when you hired him? You need to step up personally and 1.) issue an apology to Sarah and 2.) fire this idiot before he steps in it again. Anything else is not good enough.”

And Gary Jackson was particularly mad:

“Michele, Sarah Palin and her millions of supporters have ALWAYS had your back. ALWAYS! Now you go hire one of the biggest scum bags on earth to run your campaign and the first thing he does is trash Sarah Palin.

You realize you have effectively ended any chance you ever had at ever being elected, right?

Good luck winning your House se…at again without any Palinista support and $$$$

What a pathetic loser you are.”

Most offhand comments usually have a short political shelf life. So very often statements like those made by Rollins,  which inspired the type of anymosity seen in the words above, are normally healed by time. But that is not the case here. Unless Michele Bachmann makes some very substantial overtures to Palin  and isnure that not only are Rollins’ remarks are retracted, but that she in no way shares his thinking about Palin, Bachmann will be seriously hurt by this. As Republican red as Palin supporters are, they are also true blue to Palin and quite defensive of her.  After witnessing over two years of endless, unfair, attacks on her and her family, Palin’s supporters have a right to be defensive. And they especially have a right to defend her against one who is suppose to be on their side.

Ed Rollin’s remarks were incredibly stupid, in every way. Politically, he alienated Palin supporters, the very people who could have easily been backers of Bachmann if Palin does not run, and cost Bachmann that potential support .  And there was absolutely no reason for that. Just this past Sunday, when Sarah Palin was asked by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, if there was room for her and Michele Bachmann in the 2012 Republican presidential race, Palin gave Bachmann credit for having stregths of her own that she would bring to the race, and went on to say that Bachmann would be a welcome addition to the race…. “the more the merrier” said Palin.

Unlike Rollins, who claims that Palin is “not serious”, in that answer, Palin proved to be more politically savvy than Rollins, a so called political expert. Well now it is time for Michele Bachmann to show how politically savvy she is. Does she have the ability to correct the wrong done to her by her own political consultant? Short of firing him, Palin supporters may not ever believe so.

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Michele Bachmann’s Ready To Announce Her Candidacy for President

Bookmark and Share White House 2012 had previously made clear that the month of May, would begin to set the Republican race for President in stone. Most potential candidates had indicated at the latest, a June deadline for their decisions. As such, any of them who were leaning towards announcing their candidacy, would more than likely have to make some preparation that would not go unnoticed by either the media, political insiders, or both. That is now the case with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

The recent decisions by Donald Trump and most especially Mike Huckabee, seem to have taken her from giving a run some serious consideration, to being sure that she will run.

According to political reporter and analysts Chris Stirewalt, on Monday, on the heels of both Huckabees and Trumps decisions not to run for President, advisors to Congresswoman Bachmann let it be know that she is likely to jump in to the race and that she has begun searching for pollsters, consultants and all the other necessary staff components for a presidential campaign. According to Stirewalt, one D.C. based consultant close to Bachmanns camp said This is now beyond speculation. They are doing this.

I have been leery of Michele Bachmanns intentions to run for President in 2012. This is not based on any disapproval of the Congresswoman. To the contrary, it was based on a hope of for the longevity of her ability to be a maverick political forceon the inside of the system.

Beyond two of the first three nominating contests, I fear that the Congresswomans chances of winning enough primaries and caucuses were out of her reach. Bachmann can and probably will do quite well in the early contests of Iowa and South Carolina. These two states are uniquely ripe for her character and politics. And as is Bachmann, these two states are strongly influenced by evangelical principles and activism. In fact they are dominated by evangelical forces, especially in the case of Republican politics. But once the campaign moves beyond Iowa, and South Carolina, that influence which is a strong suit for the Congresswoman, will become more and more diluted. This is especially true in contests outside of the Southern Bible Belt.

Even New Hampshires primary, which falls in between the Iowa Caucus and the South Carolina Primary election, Bachmann is not likely to do very well. But a loss there would certainly derail her candidacy. New Hampshire id a state closely connected to Mitt Romney and he expected to be the winner there. Besides, if Bachmann could bookend a loss in New Hampshire with wins in Iowa and South Carolina, New Hampshire will be nothing more than a bump in the road.

After South Carolina, Bachmann will still have a fair shot at Florida, another state that has a highly active evangelical Republican structure. But here Bachmann will begin to struggle with a the more diverse electorates of the more heavily populated states in the nation. Ultimately, I believe that while Bachmann will start strong I do not believe that she will finish strong and in the end, not win the Republican presidential nomination. It is for that reason, that I have doubted Bachmanns willingness to run for a nomination that she is less likely to win than lose and give up her seat in the House of Representatives in the process.

Recent events though, shed some light on why Michele Bachmann might be inclined to not seek reelection in the House.

Bachmann knows that in 2012, with president Obama at the top of the ticket, Democrats are going to target her. The Congresswoman is a thorn in the lefts side and so in addition to wanting to try to take enough seats to recapture control of the House, they would love to do so by ridding themselves of Republican firebrands like her. But Bachmann has never shied away from a tough race and she has usually prevailed. This time though, in addition to being targeted by Democrats, Bachmann will be a victim of redistricting. How much her district will be redrawn is not yet established, but no matter how it is drawn, she will have to campaign for reelection among voters that are new to her and those voters will probably not be as conservative as they are in her district as it currently exists.

The combination of the knowledge that Bachmann will be damaged by redistricting and that she will be a top target by Democrats and President Obama himself, may account for Bachmanns willingness to choose a run for President over standing for reelection to Congress. Additionally; there is nothing to say that if the Congresswomans presidential campaign starts to wane early enough, she could always pull out of the race in time to file her papers for reelection to her current House seat.

So Bachmann may not have much to lose by running for President while at the same time, she could have much to gain. Her presidential candidacy will advance the issues that are important to her. It will also raise her visibility and national ID which in turn will elevate her level of influence in conservative circles.

If Bachmann does in fact run, while she may not have the best chance at winning the nomination, her candidacy will certainly have a large effect on who is or isnt the nominee. In many ways, Congresswoman Bachmann could play the same role in the 2012 nomination contest that Mike Huckabee played in the 2008 contests. She could be strong enough to attract enough votes from other candidates like Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and/or Mitch Daniels, to allow Mitt Romney to win.

That is the effect that Mike Huckabee had in 2008. He attracted enough votes away from Mitt Romney, to make it possible for John McCain to ultimately win the nomination. And like Mike Huckabee, now that he is out of the race, Congresswoman Bachmann could easily win the Iowa Caucuses. At the very least, this could all help delay the emergence of a clear frontrunner.

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Bachmann Brings Home the Bacon

In this case, I don’t mean pork spending. Michelle Bachmann outraised front runner Mitt Romney in the first quarter of 2011 according to the Politico. The fiery Minnesotan TEA Party favorite has come from the political shadows to the forefront since the 2010 Republican sweep, which heavily favored TEA Party candidates.

Bachmann outraises front-runner Mitt Romney

Bachmann’s greatest challenge sofar for 2012 has been distinguishing herself from Sarah Palin, the other fiery TEA Party activist with a funny northern state accent with the occasional hilarious gaffe on her record.

Still, her message has been clear and unwaivering social and fiscal conservatism. While pundits fear she cannot bring swing state independents to the polls, Bachmann did very well at bringing Republican voters to the polls in her district and others in 2010. She has also done well bringing funds into the party coffers.

For now, Bachmann seems to be stuck in the same spot as many other GOP primary potentials. Republicans agree with almost everything she says, we would vote for her over Obama without hesitation, but no one really thinks she’ll be the one in 2012.

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