How Will The Media’s Double Standard Play Out Regarding Obama’s Osama Ad?

Bookmark and Share   To mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden receiving his just desserts, President Barack Obama decided to air an ad which suggested that his all but officially nominated Republican presidential opponent would not have given the go to the operation that allowed SEAL Team Six to do the job that brought bin Laden down.

The ad entitled “One Chance”, is based entirely on one quote made by Mitt Romney in an Associated Press interview back in April of 2007, some five years ago. The ad shows an incomplete quote from that interview as it reads “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person…”.

On its own, those words may seem to suggest that bringing justice to Osama bin Laden was not a priority for Mitt Romney, but for the record, the inference created by Team Obama after some very careful and artful political editing is totally incorrect.  When asked by the Associated Press,“Why haven’t we caught bin Laden in your opinion?”, Romney offered the following response;

“I think, I wouldn’t want to over-concentrate on bin Laden. He’s one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He’s by no means the only leader. It’s a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person… Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is – it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates.”

In other words, Romney suggested that while the capture or execution of bin Laden was desired, the AP reporter asking the question should try to not lose focus on the broader War on Terror which involves many more people than just Osama.  Clearly though, Mitt Romney did not suggest that he would not pursued bin Laden or that he would not have approved of the operation that led to his death, as inferred by the President’s ad.

But the story here is not that a rival candidate and his political campaign took his opponents words out of context.  This is politics folks and if you don’t know it yet, politics is all about perception.  Truth has little to do with it and reality is merely what those we elect can convince the majority of voters of.  Sad but very true.  And besides, Mitt Romney already did a similar thing to President Obama back in late November of 2011, when one of his own ads used a statement by the President to mislead voters.  Back then, the Romney campaign used video of the President giving a speech in which viewers saw and heard the President say;

“If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”

The problem is that those words actually came from candidate Obama in 2008 when he was quoting something supposedly said by the McCain campaign.

Then Senator Obama’s full quote was;

“Senator McCain’s campaign said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”.

So I guess you can say that the President’s new ad was simply payback to Romney.  Or you might say it is just politics as usual.

Or is it?

The story here is not that politicians are playing politics.  The story is all about what President Obama is playing politics with.

By exploiting the efforts of the the mission to bring justice to the ring leader responsible for one of nation’s darkest days in history, with a deceptive, misleading, political campaign ad, President Obama has demonstrated that nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred in his attempt to hold on to power.  He could have been the better man here and accepted the nearly unanimous approval and credit he deservedly received for doing the right thing and allowing SEAL Team Six to do their job and not making a Bill Clinton-like call that allowed Osama to live another day.  He could have accepted that feather in his cap which Seal Team Six handed to him after they succeeded at their mission. But instead the President decided to suggest that only he was brave enough to make the decision that allowed our Special Ops forces to risk their lives and take down the most wanted man in the world.

President Obama deserved credit for making the right decision.  Afterall, I would have been the first to blame him if he made the wrong one.  The decision to go through with the operation was one of the only right decisions this President has made and as such, it could have been one of the few things he could legitimately get some praise for.  However, now that the President has taken the anniversary of the end of bin Laden’s rule of al Qaeda and used it to exploit the real heroes behind the event in such a nefarious and unscrupulous way, he now opens himself up to criticism for the one achievement during his Administration that most Americans can agree was good.

After this disgraceful interpretation of the effort to capture bin Laden I can’t help but wonder if getting bin Laden was really a priority on this President’s agenda for the nation.  It now seems to me  that it was merely a priority for his eventual reelection effort?  Afterall, President Obama was simply carrying out the search and search process for bin Laden that his predecessor, George W. Bush already had in place.  You do remember George W. Bush, the guy that President Obama blames everything on?  The guy who’s policies in the War on Terror and in Iraq and Afghanistan he criticized and contradicted but ultimately followed through on?  All of which begs the deeper question which is, does Barack Obama have his priorities straight?

Such criticism relating to the Osama bin Laden capture and kill mission might not have ever been raised had President Obama not been so willing to act so unpresidential and spike the ball after doing cartwheels on the field of play.  But the decision by the President and his campaign team to run this disturbingly tacky and dishonest ad in connection with such a sensitive topic, reveals to me that both he and his staff are nothing but disingenuous, tacky, and incompetent custodians of the Oval Office.  It also shows me that this President is scared.  So scared that he will go to any lengths to try and create a fictional national narrative that paints him in a positive light regardless of how dim, dismal, and debilitating he and his policies have been for our nation.

In the end, politicians taking politicians out of context is nothing new and the practice won’t come to an end anytime soon.  So maybe we really can’t attack either candidate for playing politics as usual.  But we can attack them for what they play politics with and for crossing any new lines that their lack of judgement allows them to.  This is just such an occassion.

Still, it would be nice to see the media do their job and hold President Obama accountable for his disingenuous conducts and deceitful distortions.  Just as we see here, when Communist Chris Matthews, the DNC bullhorn who moonlights as a responsible commentator on MSNBC, went after Mitt Romney when he took President Obama out of context this past November.  But who am I kidding?  Does anyone honestly expect the media to drop their liberal bias and give up their double stereotypical liberal double standards?

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Mitt Romney Offers a Video Repsonse to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share Mitt Romney offers what he calls “The Real State Of The Union”

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Romney Makes Final Pitch to South Carolinians

Bookmark and Share    As the polls now place Newt Gingrich back ahead of Mitt Romney in South Carolina, Romney is making a final push to help avoid a second place finish that will do nothing but help narrow the election down to what will realistically amount to a two man race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Much of the last minute push consists of a heavy dose of last minute campaigning with the latest big name to endorse him, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and he continues to hit the trail with the Palmetto State’s Governor, Nikki Haley.

Below you will find  Romney’s most recent video pitch to South Carolinians.

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.  And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.  It comes one day before what could be a game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.  It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has mastered much of the art of political campaigning, has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.  The problem was timing.  He peeked too early and in the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  This time, in South Carolina, thanks to Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich looks like he is peaking just in time to be the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.   All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.  In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.  As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected  “establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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John McCain to Endorse Mitt Romney in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share   In an attempt to try to maintain a sense of momentum after a razor thin win in Iowa, the Romney campaign has decided to allow Senator John McCain to go public with his endorsement of Romney for President.

Word of a McCain endorsement of Romney first surfaced two weeks ago, but the announcement was shelved.  Until now.

A Republican official now states that on Wednesday, the 2008 Republican standard bearer with go public with his endorsement of Romney for the G.O.P.’s 2012 nomination.

The timing is most likely based on the need for Romney to start looking more like a clear frontrunner than his near loss in Iowa depicted him as and to help ensure that he can hold on to his wide lead over the rest of the field in the New Hampshire primary.

McCain remains relatively popular among New Hampshire Republicans and in 2008, McCain just so happened to beat Romney in New Hampshire.

For Romney, the need to create a sense of inevitability about his becoming the nominee is increasingly important.  Such a  perceived inevitability will help Romney to wrap up the nomination early by limiting the momentum that rivals like Santorum might capture.  However; McCain’s endorsement may be more damaging to Romney than helpful.  While McCain may provide Romney with a boost in the Granite State, how well his endorsement plays elsewhere is very questionable.

One of the knocks on Romney is his establishment Republican image.  That image is only reinforced by the signal that McCain’s endorsement sends, which is that the Republican establishment is lining up behind Romney.

In this anti-establishment atmosphere and age of TEA movement sentiments, the establishment label is hardly something that will help a candidate win favor with the electorate.

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Romney’s “Conservative Agenda” and Plight for Subliminal Acceptance

Bookmark and Share  According to the song and tradition, Christmas consists of twelve festive days that begin on Christmas Day and culminates on the evening of January 5th. It is commonly referred to as Christmastide, the part of the Christian liturgical calendar between Christmas and the Epiphany.  But this year, in the world of politics, the combination of Christmastide and an early caucus and primary calendar will provide one lucky presidential candidate with the delivery of a gift from voters that will arrive two days prior to the traditional celebration of the day the three kings delivered their gifts to the baby Jesus.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he is doing his best to hope that the voters of Iowa present him with the gift of a win in their presidential caucus on Tuesday, January 3rd and his latest attempt to make that come to fruition is a new ad.

It’s called “Conservative Agenda” and it incorporates excerpts of a speech given by Romney, which highlight several preeminent goals of conservatives…………..a smaller, limited government, and balanced budgets.

For Romney, ads like this are all a part of a much needed psychological mission designed to create a subliminal connection to himself and all things conservative, in the minds of the Republican base.

Repetition has a way of leaving unrealized impressions that can play a subtle role in acceptance of a candidate, especially among voters who are undecided.  With money being Romney’s last problem, he can afford the luxury of such a psychological campaign.  And if ads like “Conservative Agenda” are repeated enough between now and January 3rd, Romney could do better than expected in the Iowa Caucus.

As heard here, many Iowa voters are undecided and as the Des Moines Register recently reported the number of still undecided or not yet truly committed to the candidate who is currently their first choice and can easily be persuaded to vote for another candidate is as high as 70%.

This makes any subtle edge that Romney can get, imperative, especially if at the last minute, a great many Iowa Republicans decide that beating Obama is the most important objective in their selection of a presidential nominee.  If that because a major determining factor among still undecided voters, and if Romney can somehow convince evangelical and Republican base voters that he is at least a somewhat acceptable conservative, than many of those within the still undecided voting bloc could break for Romney at the last minute.

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The Real Reason Romney is Stuck in Neutral

Bookmark and Share    Mitt Romney went in to this campaign with everything going for him.  While his two major criticisms, flip-flopping and RomneyCare were hurdles, they weren’t and aren’t insurmountable obstacles.  Especially since he had far more going for him than working against him.  He was the next-in-line which the G.O.P. traditionally nominates for President, he had an extensive fundraising operation, high name recognition, experience in elected politics, the private sector, and in campaigning for President, as well as one of the most well organized and most professional campaign operations of all the candidates.  He already had a base of support and network of political operatives and connections in place since 2008, and most of all, Romney has the talent and ability to be a good President.  He is a genuinely talented manager and problem solver, a man who has proven that he can manage crises, a track record of achieving all the goals he sets out to, and offers a reasonable, conservative vision for the nation.   And while he may not be the most passionate speaker presidential politics has ever seen, he is certainly an articulate and above average speaker.

He also had the lead over all his potential rivals going in to this election.

So why is Mitt Romney now having trouble sealing the deal?

You may think it is because the conservative base distrusts this former blue state governor who has changed his positions on four or five issues.  But that is not it.  Such problems did not prevent Joh n McCain from being nominated in 2008.  You may think it’s because someone better came along and proved they are more conservative, more electable, and have a better managed campaign than Romney.  But that’s not it. Newt Gingrich is running a very under-managed campaign and if you listen to many conservatives, Newt is suddenly not a real conservative.  So it would not explain why he is the new frontrunner.

While those factors are a part of Mitt’s problems, none of them are the real reasons why Romney is now in trouble.  The true source of Romney’s problem stems from his unwillingness to take any chances in this campaign and his inability to offer bold new ideas and reforms.

So far, Mitt Romney’s campaign has done nothing to appeal to the electorate’s desire for reform.  Especially reform of the process and the way that Washington, D.C. does business.

Instead, everything that Mitt Romney has proposed, every program he has outlined, and every statement he has made, seems to have been designed to make himself out to be exactly what a vast majority of the electorate is not looking for……..another establishment politician.

In this highly charged TEA movement environment, the establishment is the first thing people want to get to rid of.  They have come to understand that the establishment will never deliver change.  Yet in every way, shape, and form, Mitt Romney has been selling himself as the establishment candidate.  This is one of the major reasons why Romney has found himself, like Ron Paul, stuck at a ceiling of support which he has not been able to break through.

As someone who supported and worked for Mitt Romney in 2008, I looked for every reason I could find for supporting him again in 2012.  I like to be consistent and I pride myself on having one thing that is very rare in politics…………….loyalty.  However, in the end, while I found many good reasons to support Romney and many reasons to believe in him, I found that my loyalty to the strength of our nation and the preservation of our American values through the political process, was stronger than my loyalty to any one politician.  And I am of the opinion that what this nation needs is not only someone with a conservative vision that is based on the conservatives principles that are at the heart of the G.O.P. and our nation’s founding, but someone who is bold enough to stand up to the status quo and say that if democracy is going to continue to preserve freedom in the 21st century, we need to modernize our democratic processes and practices.  Practices and processes that preserve freedom by adopting ways to allow our economy to grow at a decent rate.  practices and processes that will allow America to compete int the burgeoning Asian markets and improve the quality of education in our nation so that future generations can compete in the the future world economy.  I know that if we intend to preserve our founding principles, we need a leader who will stand up to the political class and remind them that it is the people who tell them what to do, not the other way around.

Such bold new leadership has not yet been offered by Mitt Romney.  Instead his campaign shows nothing other than the very same establishment qualities that people are tired of.  At the same time, Newt Gingrich, despite once being the ultimate political insider, is showing his willingness to oppose the establishment.  Newt Gingrich has bold news ideas.  He has a record of reforming not just government, but the rules governing the politicians.  When Newt became Speaker of the House, part of his Contract With America forced members of Congress to live by the same rules they make for others.  And a long the way, he made enemies in Congress.  But that is not necessarily a bad thing.  With approval ratings at around 9%, many voters might view those who members of Congress of consider to be their enemies, in a very positive light.  The more the establishment dislikes Newt, the more the anti-establishment electorate likes them.

Yet while Newt is being criticized by many of his fellow colleagues from within the political establishment, Mitt Romney is getting more and more endorsement from the establishment. While certain names like South Dakota Senator John  Thune may help Romney in certain states like Iowa,  on a national scale, the long list of Members of Congress endorsing Mitt is merely confirming that Romney is the establishment candidate.  And for now, that hurts Romney, more than it helps him.

For me, the tipping point which led me away from Mitt Romney and towards Newt Gingrich, was the day when Romney released his 59 point economic recovery plan.

The plan is a solid pro-growth, conservative proposal that would create jobs, free up the free market, and help us get the American economy back on track.  But the Romney plan did little more than tinker with traditional conservative economic ideas and tweak some regulations .  This for me was not enough.  We need a leader who is willing to do more than tinker and tweak things like our arcane tax code.  And we need leaders who are not going to put forth a typical bureaucratic program of 59 bureaucratic measures that are designed to do one thing………stregnthen our economy.   But Mitt did not show himself to be such a leader.  So I looked elsewhere and like many others, I liked what I saw when I looked at Newt.

Had Mitt Romney indicated the slightest anti-establishment sentiment, I may have stuck with him. But he hasn’t.  Which is why, when Herman Cain dropped out of the race, Newt Gingrich, not Mitt Romney picked up his supporters.   It is why the TEA movement has not rallied behind Romney, and it is why Mitt Romney is in trouble.

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An Interview with Mitt Romney

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In an ongoing series by the Nashua Telegraph, Mitt Romney addresses the major issues of the day as he faces some tough questions in an indepth editorial board interview.

From ObamaCare and RomneyCare to Iran and Afghanistan, Mitt Romney aggressively defends his record, attacks President Obama’s, and articulates his conservative vision for the nation.

This interview provides a much more comprhensive look at where Mitt Romney stands on the issues, than have the many debates which essentially are designed more souindbites than detailed discussion.  It is a an interview well worth watching.

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Obama Adviser David Plouffe Accuses Mitt Romney of Having “No Core”

Bookmark and Share During a Sunday morning appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, White House senior adviser David Plouffe accused Mitt Romney of having no core and lacks the conviction to be President. In his own words Plouffe stated

“He has no core, I can tell you as one thinking, working a few steps down from the president, what you need in that office is conviction. You need to have a true compass, and you have got to be willing to make tough calls. You get the sense with Mitt Romney that if he thought it was good to say the sky was green and the grass was blue to win an election, he’d say it.”

Plouffe cited Romney’s long and short term changes of heart on issues such as abortion, Cap-and-trade, gay rights, as examples of what he called a lack of any core.

While Mitt is certainly rightly or wrongly, stuck with the flip-flop problem, accusing of a lifelong Republican like Mitt of having no core, is a far stretch. But more than that, Obama’s adivser, may want to take some advice from me and not point too many fingers. Mr. Plouffe may not realize it but his candidate, the campaigner-in-chief, has a record of mind changing that would make John Kerry dizzy.

Let’s look at just some of the record;

Obama pledged to accept public campaign financing and changed his mind, he claimed to have supported welfare reform but he opposed welfare reform legislative, he promised to close Guantanamo Bay but keeps it open, he promised to try enemy combatants in civilian courts, but thankfully, refused to do so with 9/11 conspirators like KLM. President Obama supported Bush energy policies but in 2008, claimed he opposed those policies. As a senator, Obama promised to filibuster any bill that contained immunity for Telecommunication Companies involved in electronic surveillance but ended up backing a compromise bill. President Obama.

President Obama once pledged to withdraw out troops from Iraq immediately, but ultimately followed the Bush timeline that he opposed. During the 2008 primaries, Obama pledged to unilaterally renegotiate NAFTA but in the general election he indicated he didn’t want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA. According to a Fortune article dated 6/18/08 by Nina Easton entitled”Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All,” Fortune, Obama stated “Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified”. Easton goes on to write that Obama conceded that point …….“after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA ‘devastating’ and ‘a big mistake,’ despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.”

Other Obama flip-flops include support for and against corporate tax increases, his changing position on a D.C. gun ban, contradictory positions on nuclear energy, his opposition and support for and against an individual health care mandate, and when it comes to a commitment that Obama insisted he made to protecting infants who survive abortion, he voted against just such a law.

President Obama has also backtracked on commitments to meet with leaders of state sponsors of terror without precondition, to an undivided Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, and to his claimed that marriage should be between only a man and a woman.

While David Plouffe tries to argue that Romney’s change of mind on essentially 4 issues , he neglects to remember that the man he advises, promised to repeal Patriot Act, then voted for it, once promised to “restore a law that was in place during the Clinton presidency called Paygo, then said he was not going to sacrifice his domestic priorities for spending reduction. The he went and spent more money than all the Presidents since Reagan held office. He first supported and opposed taking North Korea off a list of state’s that sponsor terrorism. Our President even promised to repeal Patriot Act, then voted for it.

But if you really want an example of having “no core” in accordance with David Plouffe’s characterization of such, who can forget this following exchange between Tim Russet and Senator Barack Obama on “Meet the Press” back in the year that he officially began his campaign for President;

Russet: “When we talked back in November of ‘04 after your election, I said, ‘There’s been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?’”

Obama: “I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed.”

Russert: “So you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?”

Obama: “I will not.”

With all that flipping and flopping, I can’t help but feel the need to need to paraphrase a now infamous misstatement by Rick Perry and say to you, if you don’t think that all of Barack Obama’s flip-flops constitute his not having “a core”, “than you have no brain”. And as for David Plouffe, I think his remarks about Mitt Romney are a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Mitt Romney has certainly shifted his position on at least three issues. However, he has not done so in a way that is particularly unique to the human condition and especially those human beings in politics. Rick Perry changed political Parties, and Barack Obama has changes his mind as often as he changes his clothes. In other words, while Romney is vulnerable to charge of flip-flopping, it’s time to shed a little light of truth on the accusations and put them in the right perspective.

The truth is, Romney has more of “a core” than most politicians do. An honest and sincere look at his personal life and careers in both business and politics, will prove that. And on a final not, I will take a politician whose conservative core values are evolving more to the right, than one whose core values are evolving in a direction that is becoming more and more socialist in nature.

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Is Romney Signaling that He Will Tap Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for Vice President?

 Bookmark and Share   Praise for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell by Mitt Romney during a Wednesday campaign stop in Virginia, has many speculating that if nominated President, he will tap McDonnell as his Vice presidential running mate.

Speaking at Virginia’s  Fairfax County Republican headquarters, Romney called McDonnell one of the “great leaders of the Republican Party.” He added, “He’s a terrific governor doing a great job here in Virginia.” and stated “I say nice things about Governor McDonnell every time I have a chance”.

The remarks do not necessarily indicate that Romney is ready to pick McDonnell if he wins the G.O.P. presidential nomination.  What it does mean is that Romney is smart enough to appeal to Virginians by agreeing with them.  Governor McDonnell receives extraordinarily high approval from Virginia voters and to do anything other align himself with McDonnell would quite frankly, be a sign of severe brain damage.

Governor McDonnell is doing a fine job in Virginia and a look at his near perfect conservative record would make one believe that he might be a better Republican presidential candidate than those now running.  However, even though Barack Obama won Virginia in 2008, that is unlikely to be repeated.  Virginia is normally a reliably Republican state when it comes to presidential politics, and is likely to be that way in 2012 regardless of who the G.O.P. nominee is.   So for electoral purposes, McDonnell is not going to be needed to deliver Virginia’s electoral college vote to the Republican presidential ticket.

For the purpose of having an edge in the electoral college, Republicans may want to look at more truly competitive swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada or even, to a lesser extent, Florida, where the obvious choice is Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

No matter what though, Governor McDonnell will be and deserves to be on everyone’s short list.  Which is why there should not be too much read into Romney’s remarks in Virginia about their popular Governor.  The only remarks about McDonnell that should raise eyebrows would be negative ones.  Had Romney stood in the headquarters of one of Virginia’s county Republican headquarters and said of their popular Governor something like “Bob McDonnell is okay, but I can take him or leave him”, that would deserve attention.

Meanwhile, I remain reluctant to discuss vice presidential contenders until we know for sure who the Republican presidential nominee will be.  However I will say that my initial instincts tell me that if Romney is the nominee, Bob McDonnell is not his most likely choice.  As I previously pointed out, Virginia should easily go Republican in the presidential election no matter who the G.O.P. nominee is.  Add to that the imagery of Romney and McDonnell together and what you have is a ticket that looks almost too perfect.  Kind of like the cake topper of gay wedding cake.

Personally I believe that when it comes to Romney, he is going to have to go with a conservative but unconventional running mate.

So far Romney is tied too closely to the establishment and his reluctance to be bold in his policy choices leaves the selection of a running mate to be one of the few opportunities to step out of the establishment mold.  All things considered, I can see Romney picking someone like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley or even more likely than her, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.  Like Marco Rubio, she is conservative, strongly appreciated in the TEA movement, from an important swing state and offers the opportunity to make inroads into the increasingly important and influential Hispanic vote.

Another bold choice could be Herman Cain.  His strong TEA movement appeal and anti-career politician profile will make him attractive on an ticket, and helps Romney shore up his conservative credentials.

Then there is a real wildcard choice for Romney……… former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee may have very well cost Romney the nomination in 2008 and there is undoubtedly still some bad blood between the two men.  But they have seemingly warmed up to one another since 2008.  Huckabee even had Mitt Romney on his weekly Fox News program.

Picking Huckabee could be a way for Romney to inject new blood and new life in to what will be a news weary electorate by the time the Republican National Convention is held in late August of next year.  Adding Huckabee to the ticket will also appeal to the evangelicals that Romney really needs to appeal to and overcome their prejudices toward his Mormon faith.  As an ordained Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee could go a long way in helping Romney among the evangelical flocks that will be important to a Republican victory.  Mike Huckabee does have some luggage of his own, but when it comes to Mitt, Huckabee would be more compensation than burden.

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Is it Coming Down To Romney, Cain, South Carolina, and Florida?

 Bookmark and Share    While there is a great deal of focus on the view that the bickering during the recent CNN  G.O.P. debate in Nevada hurt Republicans and helped President Obama,the truth of the matter is that the bickering of today, is the meaningless and forgotten history of tomorrow.  Just ask George. H. W. Bush who called Ronald Reagan’s economic policy, voodoo economics and then went on to serve two terms as Reagan’s Vice President.

The only truly relevant factors concerning the success or failure of any of the Republican presidential candidates at this point concern three key elements………, their organization and its effectiveness, their fundraising capabilities, and their individual standings within the first four nominating contests, especially the last two of those four…..South Carolina and Florida.

While national trends have a role, it is important to remember that nominees are chosen through individual state contests and at different times.  So while the entire nation participates in the process, it is far from being accurately described as a national election.

For those reasons, I am less concerned with what Rick Perry said about an illegal immigrant cutting Mitt Romney’s lawn, in an attempt to defend his own pitiful position on  illegal immigration.  More important than any of that is the current snapshot taken by two new NBC News-Marist polls.

To get a real sense of how things are going, one needs to remain focussed on what really matters.  And with just a few months to go before voting in the Republican nomination contests begins, that focus needs to be less on any overall national impression of the current field and more on where the individual candidates stand in individual states. Although polls are merely a snapshot of a fleeting moment, the cumulative effect of each of these moments offer an indication of the way things are going and at the moment newly energized Herman Cain narrowly leads Mitt Romney in South Carolina’s Republican primary, and is running neck and neck with Romney in Florida.

Click Here for Complete October 19, 2011 South Carolina NBC News/Marist Poll Release

Click Here for Complete October 19, 2011 South Carolina NBC News/Marist Poll Tables

More so than Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida will have a profound effect on establishing the future trajectories of all the candidate.  The only real way for Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two contests, to have as much as an impact as Florida and South carolina is if Mitt Romney can win both of those states, or if someone is able to defeat Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.  If Romney wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, he will establish an almost unstoppable momentum that will lift his chances for victory in all the state contests that immediately follow them.  If someone like Jon Huntsman or Herman Cain pulls off an stunning upset victory over Romney in New Hampshire, they will be in the catbird seat as they go in to the Palmetto and Sunshine state contests.

No matter what though, South Carolina and Florida will really set the tone for all the following contests, especially in the delegate rich South which Mitt Romney faces his stiffest competition in as he vies for votes among the region’s uber-conservative, evangelical base, and must also contend with evangelical Christian bigotry towards Romney’s Mormon faith.

The fact that Romney is still maintaining a strong position in both Florida and South Carolina is a testament to both the effectiveness of his campaign organization and the viability of his candidacy.  But this does not insure a Romney win  in either state.  Herman Cain’s current ability to tie and even surpass Romney in early polls in South Carolina and Florida, is a sign that Romney is still quite vulnerable.  Herman Cain does not have a campaign that is organized in a way that is comparable to Romney’s.   Yet despite that lack of organization, Cain  is holding his own.  If Herman Cain hopes to insure his own victory in South Carolina and Florida, he must build an organization that can establish a strong ground game.  Mitt Romney will have a top notch ground game in both of those states.  If Herman Cain’s operation is inferior to Romney’s, the results in Florida and South Carolina could be close, but the winner will ultimately be Mitt Romney.

But if Romney finds himself facing off against a well organized competitor who within striking distance, Romney can definitely go down.

This made quite evident in the current NBC-Marist Poll which shows that in South Carolina, Cain has the support of 30% of likely GOP primary voters, to  Romney’s gets 26%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 9%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 6% and Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, with 15% of likely primary voters remaining undecided.  According to a broader pool of Republicans in South Carolina, Cain is at 28 % and Romney is at 27%.

In Florida, Cain is at 32% among likely voters, Romney at 31%, Perry at 8%and Paul and Gingrich are at 6%, and  11% say they are undecided.

South Carolina and Florida have both played pivotal roles in past Republican presidential nominating contests.   Since 1980, the winner of South Carolina’s GOP primary has gone on to win the party’s nomination, and in 2008, John  McCain’s win of Florida’s primary  essentially handed the nomination to him.  Both states are likely to play the same role in 2012.

What is particularly troubling for Romney within those numbers is a breakdown which shows that while Romney may be toward the top of the field with Herman Cain, the enthusiasm for Romney is much lower than it is for Cain. In South Carolina, 45% of Cain’s supporters in South Carolina strongly back him, while only 37% of Romney’s supporters describe themselves as strongly committed to Romney. In Florida, 52% of Cain’s supporters strongly back him, compared to 41% who strongly back Romney.

That means that the Republican electorate is quite unsettled and if there is still time for a third candidate to rise to the top.  I believe that that candidate could be Newt Gingrich.

If Gingrich holds his powder in Iowa and New Hampshire, a split decision  in those two states could allow Newt to make his move and startle everyone with either a win in South Carolina and Florida, or at least a stronger than expected showing.  That is unlikely but it is quite possible.  However, much like Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich does not have a campaign that is organized enough compete with Mitt Romney’s.  Unless and until someone can match Mitt Romney’s ground games in several early states, Romney is headed towards the Republican National Convention in Orlando, Florida as the inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

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“You’ve Got Mail”. Chris Christie Fundraising Email For Romney Hits

Bookmark and Share    Hours after winning one of the more coveted endorsements that a Republican candidate for President can get, the campaign of Mitt Romney has fired oof persoanalized emails to an extensive list of supporters and potential supporters [see the email below this post].

The email makes a direct appeal for voters to support the Romney campaign with a financial donation. 

In his message, Chrsitie focusses on the economy and credits Mitt Romney as the presidential candiate who can fundamentally change the economy and reverse the past three years of the Obama policies that have failed us.

Support Mitt Romney

Anthony,

This is the most important election in generations. Whether we are able to fix our economy and
get our country on the right track will have ramifications for decades. We cannot afford to continue on our current path.

Mitt Romney has a life history of coming into struggling organizations and turning them around. Right
now, we need someone like him in the White House to fundamentally change our economy and reverse three years of failed policies. Unlike our current President, Mitt Romney understands the economy from the inside out.

Chris Christie stands with Mitt

Fixing the economy will not be easy, but Mitt has shown throughout his life that he has the leadership ability and expertise to lead our country toward a recovery.  Republicans should recognize the importance of this election and realize that if they are serious about regaining the White House, Mitt Romney is the only candidate to back.

I hope you’ll join me and stand with Mitt today http://mittromney.com/donate

Best,
Chris Christie

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View Chris Christie Announcing His Endorsement of Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share   In advance of tonight’s Washington Post-Bloomberg TV Republican presidential debate on economic issues, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie traveled to New Hampshire to appear with Governor Romney and announce that he was endorsing Romney for President. [See video and transcript below]

“I’m here in New Hampshire today for one simple reason: America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead American, and we need him now. So that’s why I’m here.

If you look at Governor Romney’s experience — his experience in the private sector, running businesses, turning them around, going in there and telling the people the truth about what needed to be done, and then coming up with a plan to get it done, and you look at his experience as an elected official, we know that he brings the best of both to what we need for America right now.

He brings that great, private sector experience and he brings the experience of governor of Massachusetts, knowing how government works. Not a legislator, trying to figure out how to use executive power, but an executive who’s used executive power and will use it to make Americans’ lives better.

That’s why I’m endorsing Mitt Romney for president of the United States.”

Click here for an analysis of what was behind Christie’s endorsement and what it will mean in the presidential election.

Meanwhile, less than hour after the endorsement was passed on to the public, Romney’s campaign organization did not miss beat as they promptly posted the following page on the Romney for President website;

Click on the image to see a larger version of it

It is a whopping request to join Chris Christie in supporting Mitt by making a donation to his campaign.  Clearly, as was indicated by WH12 in a previous post, Christie’s endorsement does more than just help firm up Romney’s frontrunner status, it is worth a ton of money too.

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Martinez, Gregg, and Grimm Endorsements Giving Romney an Edge

  Bookmark and Share  Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney received two high profile endorsements today.  One each in the two key early primary states of New Hampshire and Florida.  He also received a third endorsement from a less visible but equally as important freshman Congressman.

In New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, a popular former Governor and three term Senator from the Granite State announced his support
of Romney, and in Florida, former Senator and RNC Chairman Mel Martinez did the same.

Also today, Romney picked up the endorsement of freshman Congressman Michael Grimm.

His endorsement may not attract as much news as Gregg’s and Martinez’s public support but as a former Republican operative in Grimm’s congressional districts which spans Staten Island and Brooklyn, I can tell you, that Grimm’s support is just as important.

Grimm took back the seat formerly held by disgraced Republican Congressman Vito Fossella.   In 2008, the seat went to a Democrat, but in 2010, Michael Grimm won it back for the G.O.P.   The district encompasses the most heavily Republican section of New York City ……all of Staten Island, and the Southwest portion of Brooklyn, which send one of the City’s only Republicans to the New York State Senate.   Beyond that, the political machine that Grimm represents and is controlled by former Congressman Guy Molinari, is an extremely heavy handed, Republican regime with a great deal of influence in the New York G.O.P.  This means that freshman Congressman Mike Grimm’s endorsement of Romney is an early signal of widespread organizational support.  In other words, Romney is locking New York up for himself.

This will help to dissuade others from forcing Romney to spend money on the New York presidential primary, a contest that because of its placement amid very expensive media markets, could be quite expensive.

New York could be important in the nomination process.  It offers 95 delegates, one of the largest in the nation. That’s only four less than Florida,
and because the Sunshine State has violated RNC rules by setting an earlier than allowed date for their primary, they could see their delegate count cut in half.

Unfortunately for Romney though, the New York presidential primary is not held until April 24th.  However; if the early primary contests do not
produce a clear frontrunner thereby allowing us to have a presumptive nominee, New York could be decisive.  In fact mark April 24th on your calendars.  On that day, New York will not be alone in holding its presidential primary.  For the first time, we the 2012 nomination contest will be experiencing a sort of Northeast version of the South’s Super Tuesday.  Call it a Northeast Mega Primary.  On that day 231 delegates will be up for grabs form among  5 Northeastern states:

  • Connecticut – 28 – Primary/Winner-Take-All– Closed
  • Delaware – 17 – Primary/Winner-Take-All– Closed
  • New York – 95 – Primary/Winner-Take-All– Closed
  • Pennsylvania– 72 – PrimaryLoophole Primary – Closed
  • Rhode Island – 19 – Primary/Proportional – Modified

If one of the candidates has not practically wrapped up the nomination by then, Romney could be the one to do it on that day. All 5 of those
states are largely fertile for a Romney.

So while Congressman Grimm’s endorsement may not grab the headlines that Gregg’s and Martinez’s endorsements will, it is as , or even more important.  In the case of Judd Gregg, while he is popular in New Hampshire, his electoral influence is debatable.  In 2000, Judd Gregg, then a sitting U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, endorsed Texas Governor George W. Bush for President and Senator John McCain wound up winning that primary.

Mel Martinez is a different story though.  While how much sway he still has among Florida’s voters is iffy, he does have the potential to influence important parts of the electorate there.  Particularly the higher than average  Cuban-American population. This can only help Romney in a state         where he will need all the help he can to fend off Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

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Haley Barbour Says Mitt Romney is “Less Conservative than Most Republicans”

 Bookmark and Share  In a recent forum discussing political strategy for Republicans and President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour spoke about the need for the G.O.P. to make the election a referendum on President Obama’s employment and economic policies, while Democrats will have to try to portray the Republican Party as unacceptable or disqualified. Afterward, he answered questions from John Harris of Politico and the audience.

In one of those questions, Barbour was asked why Republicans seemed to be uninspired by the candidacy of  Mitt Romney despite the fact that he seems to be the most electable candidate in the general election, especially among independent voters.

In his response, Governor Barbour began by stating;

“Mitt is less conservative than most Republicans”

He went on to explain that many Republicans remember Ronald Reagan so, in his words;

“they (Republicans) don’t accept the idea that nominating a moderate is the pathway to victory”

Governor Barbour added that there are a lot of soft Republicans and independents who vote Republican and want a more moderate nominee.  He writes it off as a “process you just have to work through.”

Whether Barbour intended it or not, his opening statement will make for a perfect soundbite in a thirty-second commercial spot for any of Romney’s opponents such as Perry, Cain, Santorum, and Gingrich.  Specifically in the South, where Romney will have some of his toughest primary challenges and where Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi has significant influence.  This is particularly the case in the important early, delegate rich primary state of Florida, where Barbour has significant sway.

Barbour who was himself almost candidate for for President, had been endorsed by Ohio Governor John Kasich, eleven days before Barbour decided not run.  After that decision it was said that Barbour was prepared to join with Chris Christie and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in endorsing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for President.  But Daniels, a close friend of Barbour also declined to run for President.

Who Haley Barbour will endorse for the Republican presidential nomination now, is anyones guess.  For the time being, it would seem that he is remaining neutral.  But is Barbour’s description of Mitt Romney as “less conservative than most Republicans” a sign that Mitt is not on Haley’s short list?

If Mitt Romney hopes to avoid a long, drawn out nomination battle, he will need someone like Haley Barbour behind him.   Barbour’s support could help Romney do well in the South, or at least better than expected.  That is the only way to insure that none of his opponents come out of the Southern contests with enough steam and momentum to compete with Romney in the primaries and caucuses held outside of the South, where Romney should be the strongest.  The question now is, will Haley Barbour be willing to endorse a Republican who “is less conservative than most Republicans” for President?

One thing to consider is this.  If anyone has been listening to the candidates, not just reading the media’s interpretations of the candidates, they will find that Mitt Romney has not taken a single position that would indicate he is less conservative than any of the other candidates running.  It comes down to this  ……….. Is anyone listening and if they are, do they believe what Romney is saying?

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Mackinac Straw Poll Shows Michigan is Still Romney Territory

Bookmark and Share    While the big news of this weekend is Herman Cain’s incredibly strong first place showing in the Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll, a straw poll in Michigan announced Mitt Romney its winner.

Out 681 votes cast from among 1,800 attendees gathered at the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Romney garnered 346 votes or 51 percent. The candidate who came closest to Romney was Texas Governor Rick Perry who captured 16.8% with 114 votes.

On Saturday, both Perry and Romney had forgone the opportunity to address the P5 Straw Poll in Orlando, Florida and instead opted to address the Mackinac event.

Perry did speak to P5 participants during a Saturday morning breakfast event. And before voting began in that contest, a pre-recorded video message by him was seen by all.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he has made it a policy to not compete in straw polls this year because he would prefer to invest the large amount of resources they require in the actual election rather than contests that have no bearing on the delegate count needed to win the Republican presidential nomination. In 2007, Mitt Romney spent more than $1 million in the Iowa Straw Poll, which he won. But he went on to lose the Iowa Caucuses to Mike Huckabee. Four years later, Romney does not want to divert the time and money from his 2012 campaign to such beauty contests.

Unlike Herman Cain’s win in Florida, Romney was widely expected to win the Michigan event, just as he is expected to win the Michigan Republican presidential primary in 2012. Romney is a native of Michigan and his father was a popular Governor of the state. Romney also won the Michigan primary in the 2008 election cycle.

Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference every two years at historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.. The event allows Party activists to discuss ideas, learn how to articulate the Republican message, and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state—and the country. The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier Republican events in the Midwest.

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Mitt Romney Wants Sarah Palin to Run for President

Bookmark and Share    In an interview with USA Today’s Susan Page, Mitt Romney states that he hopes Sarah Palin runs for President.

According to Romney;

“I think it would be a good thing if she did. She would make the race that much more exciting, bring more people to watch the debates, and I hope she gets in.”

Romney is totally correct on those points.

Palin’s entry into the race would have an incredibly positive affect for Republicans in the 2012 election. It will especially take a lot of ink away from President Obama.

However Romney does not mention the real reason why he would like Palin to run.

With Sarah Palin in the nomination contest, candidates like Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, will have their vote totals suppressed by Palin’s candidacy which will absorb much of their support. And while she holds down the vote totals of candidate like Bachmann and Perry, Romney has a good chance to see his establishment conservative vote totals surpass all others and wrap up the nomination earlier rather than later.

Of course, with Palin running, there is also a good chance that Romney will lose…………..to her.

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