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?

Chris Christie’s Republican National Convention Keynote Address

   Bookmark and Share  After officially nominating Mitt Romney for President during the afternoon session of the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wrapped up the evening session with a keynote address that electrified the Tampa Times Forum Arena with a  clarion call to all Americans who believe our nation can do better (see video and complete text of the speech below this post).

In his speech, without mentioning any names, Christie masterfully addressed the shortcomings of President Obama and his policies.  At one point he described the President as having a desire to be loved that runs deeper than his desire to take on the tough issues.  “That’s what we need to do now.  Change polls through the power of our principles. Change polls through the strength of our convictions. Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth”, said Christie.He added; “Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice.  Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth”.

Christie’s address was an incredibly strong statement of conservative principles that made it clear that Americans can no longer standby and be satisfied with the status quo of politics-as-usual.  He cited multiple examples of his leadership in New Jersey that demonstrated how by touching the traditional third rails in politics, New Jersey was energized, not burned.

The New Jersey Governor’s well presented case was a little heavy (no pun intended) on himself and light on Mitt Romney.  While he spent most of the speech referring to himself on more than 30 occassions, he mentioned Mitt Romney about seven times.   Atill, Chrsitie helped set a tone for the coming weeks of the election that places Democrats on a losing playing field.

Full Text of Christie’s Speech

The Hon. Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey

Republican National Convention Keynote Address
August 28, 2012
This stage and this moment are very improbable for me. 

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans. 

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight. 

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother. 

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable. 

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer.  She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger.  Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives.  Dad grew up in poverty.  After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s.   With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.  Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing.  She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day.  And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings.  She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to.  She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish. 

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore. 

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old. 

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade. 

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth. 

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.  She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love. 

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership.   In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved. 

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times. 

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path. 

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues.  And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough. 

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.  

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid.  We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it. 

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey. 

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things. 

There were those who said it couldn’t be done.  The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow. 

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit.  Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes. 

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy. 

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it. 

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful.  Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it. 

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice. 

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised. 

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth.  History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America. 

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats. 

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities.  Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government. 

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government. 

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them. 

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements. 

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren. 

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren.  So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election. 

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. 

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense. 

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children. 

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers. 

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles. 

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party. 

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing. 

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades,  a spiraling out of control deficit,  an education system that’s failing to compete in the world. 

It doesn’t matter how we got here.  There is enough blame to go around. 

What matters now is what we do. 

I know we can fix our problems. 

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results. 

The people have no patience for any other way. 

It’s simple. 

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses. 

Leadership delivers. 

Leadership counts. 

Leadership matters. 

We have this leader for America. 

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction.  And now he has a running mate who will do the same. 

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy. 

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey. 

It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House. 

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real. 

This moment is real. 

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.  

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge. 

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo. 

I have faith in us.  

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history. 

There’s only one thing missing now.  Leadership.  It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. 

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls. 

That’s what we need to do now.  

Change polls through the power of our principles. 

Change polls through the strength of our convictions. 

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth. 

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation. 

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world. 

Now it’s our time to answer history’s call. 

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we. 

What will our children and grandchildren say of us?  Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century. 

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. 

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one. 

This is the American way. 

We have never been victims of destiny. 

We have always been masters of our own. 

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you. 

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you. 

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling. 

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us. 

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States. 

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness. 

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Unconfirmed Reports Say that Chris Chrisite Will Be the Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention

Let the Speculation Begin.

  Bookmark and Share  New Jersey Republican activists can hardly contain their excitement over the fact that their Governor has been selected to give the all important keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  New Jerseyans are bursting with pride over the thought that our Governor will be given the national spotlight and be called upon to articulate the Republican case and cause before the nation and the world.  But the reports have not yet been confirmed by either Governor Christie, Governor Romney or the Republican National Committee.  According to the Washington Post;

“Republicans say that, contrary to media reports, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Neither the Romney campaign nor the Republican National Committee would confirm those reports.

“You”ll have to stay tuned,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon.

Sources with the campaign say Romney is not prepared to announce any speakers yet. The New Jersey State GOP Committee said they knew nothing about it. 

“I’ve gotten no invitation to do anything like that,” Christie told NBC.”

These unconfirmed reports amount to nothing more than speculation but if true, the decision to make Christie the keynote speaker opens the door for additional speculation.  So here goes.

If it is true that Christie is the RNC’s 2012 keynote speaker, it will signal the G.O.P.’s obvious desire to highlight the message of a figure who has established a reputation for being blunt about what needs to be done to get our nation on a track to economic responsibility and prosperity.   It would also signal the G.O.P.’s desire to appeal to fiscally conservative independent voters, a segment of the voting bloc which could be critical to who wins the presidency in November.

Picking Christie to be the keynote speaker could also be a signal of several other things to come such as who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate. There has been a wide range of Republicans who would have liked to see freshman Florida Congressman Allen West deliver the keynote address.  West has proven himself to be a powerfully articulate speaker who inspires the conservative base while also firing up the TEA Party which Romney needs to bolster his standing among.  Christie tends to enjoy similar popularity within those same groups but West brings additional positives that Christie doesn’t.  Unlike Christie who comes from a state that Republicans feel is so hard to win that they have written it off in most of their campaign plans, Rep. West comes from a critical swing state that is well within the reach of Republicans to win.  Additionally, West is African-American, and those two factors would have made West a prime pick for giving the keynote address.  But giving that honor to Christie instead of West could be a sign that Mitt Romney has picked a running mate of color and so the need to highlight ethnic diversity during a high profile, primetime, keynote address may not be as necessary as it once was.  If true, that person of color who Romney may be ready to pick could very well be  former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who many have suggested that Romney is quite enamored with and whom  in national polls,leads all other potential vice presidential choices Romney may have.

But to read too much in to any decision would be wrong.

While Chris Christie is liked for the breath of fresh air that his brutal honesty and bluntness brings to the table, his abrasive nature does not fit well with the more diplomatic, less confrontational approach to politics that Mitt Romney is comfortable with.  The same goes for West who may seem like a good choice for Vice President for Romney but like Christie, neither man can be described as having the “same personality type” as Mitt, a factor that Anne Romney once described as a key consideration in her husbands decison on who he will nominate for Vice President.   Yet there is no denying that Christie’s approach has been popular and as such, there may be no other suitably prominent role for Christie to play in the Romney campaign other than allowing him to be a surrogate speaker and what more suitable platform can there be for such a surrogate than keynote speaker?

This of course does not leave West out in the cold.  Many other primetime slots are still available.  They include the highly coveted opportunity to be tapped as the lucky individual who gets to make the speech that nominates the presidential candidate, a role that West would fit quite well.

All of this is speculation though.  The only thing that is not speculation however is the fact that if it is true that  Christie is the keynote speaker, you can rest assured that he is definitely out of the running to be Romney’s Vice President.

On that front, until now, speculation about who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate has of late been superseded only by the speculation over when he will publicly announce who that person will be.    Today’s Wall Street Journal writes;

“It appears unlikely now that Mr. Romney will name his selection before departing next week for a trip abroad.”

At the same time, The New York Daily News writes;

“Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has  been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and  conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

Yet amid that media speculation comes a Tuesday tweet from National Review political reporter and CNBC contributor Robert Costa in which he writes:

“A Republican strategist close to the Romney campaign tells me veep announcement may come Friday”

Meanwhile, in an interview taped for ABC earlier today, Ann Romney claims that  her husband is “not quite there yet” on a final decision regarding who he will nominate for Vice President.

Not long after that interview, while attending a town-hall event in Bowling Green, Ohio, Mitt Romney answered a a question from the audience regarding who he will pick by confirming that  he has “not chosen the person” who will be his Vice President.

What this all means is anyone’s guess but to confuse matters even more, as noted in a previous White House 2012 post, Tim Pawlenty, the former Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has decided to retool his website, TimPawlenty.com.

Currently TimPawlenty.com has been replaced by a “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read  “Please come back later.”  Normally such an event would not mean very much but at a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, every move of every individual who might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen as a signal.   In this particular case though, having been a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw’s decision to finally retool his website and put in its place a “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit it, appears at the same time that Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Coincidence?  Speculation?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

You’re guess is as good mine.

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Is Mitt Bouyant? Or Santorum Sinking?

The day before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is looking good.  It’s looking like he will take the key state of Ohio and could take Tennessee.  Both of these are very close races.  But Romney’s ascendency back to the top is marked by Santorum’s dive in the polls, and Newt’s resurgence again.  Newt will win Georgia, which has the most delegates of any Super Tuesday state.  Newt is also now tied with Santorum and within one point of Romney in Tennessee according to one poll.  Just last week, Santorum was looking good in both Ohio and Tennessee.

If Santorum is suddenly seen as faltering, we may see the polls seesaw back to Newt on fears of unelectability.  However, at this late stage that may serve to only help Romney, unless Santorum loses big time.  If Santorum comes in third in Tennessee or Ohio and Gingrich easily wins Georgia, the shift back to Newt could be significant.

Consider this, if Santorum was not in the race and his voters went to Newt, Newt would sweep Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.  On the other hand, the same could be said for Santorum if Newt dropped out and his votes went to Santorum.  In either case, Romney is the beneficiary of the social conservative split.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul is fleeing from social issues as he descends back into below 10% irrelevancy.

This could be short lived however, as Republicans revisit the myth that social issues are losers in elections.  As I pointed out the other day, a one dimensional economy candidate is going to struggle against Obama.  Republicans are more likely to be inspired to go to the polls for a bold conservative, and Romney is all pastels.  If Santorum falters tomorrow and Newt remains on message, this one could be far from over.

Chris Christie Introduces the Establishment’s Fear of Gingrich In To the Presidential Race

Bookmark and Share   In a Sunday morning interview with NBC’s David Gregory, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed to be doing his best to help establishment Republicans remain in the driving seat.  The interview with Christie consisted of a discussion about the results of South Carolina’s primary, which saw Christie’s prefered choice for President, Mitt Romney,  lose to Newt Gingrich. According to Christie those primary results  will not make that much of difference as the nomination battle rages.  According to the New Jersey Governor, one of the reason for that is because Newt Gingrich has “embarrassed” the Republican Party, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney never has.  He went on to claim that the former speaker just didn’t have the experience needed to be President.

But Christie’s remarks were based less on truth and more on an immediate need for Chris Christie to do his job as a surrogate for Romney and out of need for self-preservation.

Following Romney’s devastating loss to Gingrich in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Christie is apparently grabbing for straws as he searches for anything that he can throw at Newt and make stick.  But why?  What is the real reason behind Christie’s vitriol?

It is a simple fact that the establishment, or status quo,  of any institution naturally tries to preserve itself.  So it is only logical that in politics, the establishment of any Party will try to do the same.  It is the main reason why change, true change, is hard to come by in politics.  In the case of establishment Republicans, Newt Gingrich is the one realistic candidate remaining in the Republican nomination contest, who represents real change and as such, the establishment wing of the Party is not compelled to enthusiastically embrace his candidacy.  Going with Gingrich would cause them to risk losing the traditional perks that the system grants to the political powerbrokers and as an idea based reformer, Newt is a threat to the process, a process which is stacked against change.

But another political reality that the establishment is facing is the bigger electoral picture in 2012.

Establishment Republicans want not only to maintain the status quo of the political process, they want to increase their sphere of influence of that process.  That control comes about by increasing the number of Republicans who are elected to office……all elected offices.

When it comes to Chris Christie, that electoral concern is largely the main reason he came out and endorsed Mitt Romney for President.

While the focus right now is on the presidential race, in the next few months, elections for other offices will quickly consume some of that focus.  In 2012, control of the United States Senate is already beginning shape the presidential race and that is already playing out in New Jersey more than anywhere else in the nation.

Although there is little public interest in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race, the top of the ticket will make all the difference between winning and losing for Republicans.

Incumbent liberal Senator Bob Menendez is up for reelection to his second full term in the Senate.  He was first appointed to fill the vacancy that was created by then Senator Jon Corzine, who in 2005, became Governor.  In 2006, Menendez was subsequently elected to his first full term in the Senate.

Currently, Menendez is in decent political standing among New Jersey voters.  According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 45% of state voters believe to be re-elected while 38% believe otherwise.  And he beats a generic, unnamed Republican candidate by as much as 11%.

Typically, incumbents are in trouble if their reelect number are under 50%, but this is New Jersey, a state that brought Frank Lautenberg back to life, out of retirement and back in to the Senate where he does little more than keep his senate seast warm while he nods off in it. However, while the opportunity to pick Menendez off will be an uphill battle, the possibility does exist.  And therein lies Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for President.

In a state as blue as New Jersey, Mitt Romney can do relatively well.  While Newt Gingrich’s description of Romney as a Massachusetts moderate may work against Mitt in Peioria where conservatives can’t find anything too favorable about either Massachusetts or moderates, in Trenton, both are positive things which can only help Mitt among a Republican electorate which is generally slightly to the left of the national Party.   This becomes an even more important factor in New Jersey when it comes to defeating Bob Menendez.

Given Mitt’s perceived moderate image, he is expected to have much longer coattails than the more conservative, abrasive, hard-hitting, Southern Republican that is Newt Gingrich.  That conventional thinking is playing a critical role in New Jersey.

Although it is not official, Republicans are expected to nominate a longtime Republican State Senator by the name of Joe Kyrillos, for Bob Menendez’s Senate seat.  By New Jersey standards, Joe Kyrillos is considered a right of center Republican, but he is also the ultimate political insider.  In 1988 he became one of the state’s youngest members of the Assembly, where he served two consecutive terms and then promptly went to the State Senate where he remained since 1993.  Along the way, Kyrillos also spent some time as the state Party Chairman.

In addition to that, Joe Kyrillos happens to be a good friend of Chris Christie and served as Christie’s 2009  gubernatorial state campaign chairman.  Joe Kyrillos also coincidentally served as Mitt Romney’s presidential state campaign chairman in 2008.

This web of connections is all the evidence one needs to understand why Christie endorsed Romney and why he is now aggressively attacking Newt Gingrich.

But what Americans must begin to accept is that the circumstances which are forcing the establishment to rally around Mitt Romney in New Jersey are the same forces which will be forcing the establishment to rally around Romney and attack Newt Gingrich in many other states.   It is all being driven by self-preservation.  None of it is based on the issues, or reforms, or even beating Barack Obama.  It is based upon the establishment’s hope to maintain the status quo, something which can best be achieved by insuring that Mitt Romney defeats Newt Gingrich.

The good thing is that the establishment is not in good graces with a vast majority of the electorate that has taken on very anti-establishment attitudes.  This is one reason why despite the endorsement of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Romney lost to the anti-establishment candidate, Newt Gingrich.  In fact, to a large degree, the more incumbents that endorse Mitt Romney, the more the anti-establishment opposes Mitt Romney and supports  Newt Gingrich.

While those circumstances won’t help Newt Gingrich very much in a state like New Jersey, it will help him and the Republican tickets in a many other critical states.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich has the ability to tap into the anti-esatblishment sentiments that swept Republicans in to power in the House by historic proportions during the 2010 midterm elections.  That anti-establisment energy is minimal in New Jersey, where in 2011, state legislative elections did not produce any gains for New Jersey Republicans.

In 2012, to take control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans need to hold on to the 10 Republican Senate seats that are up for reelection and pick of 4 of the 23 Democrat seats that up for election.  At the moment Republican’s chances for success at taking the majority of senate seats are quite good.  So much so that it is even realistic to consider the chance that Republicans can actually pick up the 13 senate seats that would be required to meet the magic number of a filibuster proof 60 seat majority.

But in order for the G.O.P. to do either, a strong Republican ticket will be required.  The question is who will account for the strongest ticket?

The establishment assumes that a moderate candidate like Romney will do just that.  However; I am of the belief that a more radical, anti-establishment candidate will provide the strongest ticket and in states like Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin, tapping in to the same TEA Party-like energy that accounted for dozens of new Republicans getting elected to the House, will find that the chance to pick up each of the Democrat Senate seats up for grabs in those states will be enhanced by the “say no to the status quo” style of Newt Gingrich, far more than the “go along to get along style” of the “Massachusetts moderate”,  Mitt Romney.

Furthermore, in a state like New Jersey, where Chris Christie is hoping that his friend Joe Kyrillos can unseat Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, I am afraid that such a goal will be impossible regardless of who is at the top of the ticket, at least not with Joe Kyrillos as the standard bearer.

So what it comes down to is this.  Will Republicans be better off defending the status quo, or will they be better off staying the course that increased their numbers in 2010, when opposing the status quo proved to be the key to victory?

I believe I know the answer.  That is why I endorsed Newt Gingrich for President long ago.  Unfortunately Governor Christie does not agree.  Quite disappointingly, he is playing the role of political insider and pursing political self-preservation over proper public policy concerns.  And it is why he has chosen to go after Newt with guns blazing.

In his attempts to disqualify Newt Gingrich, he told NBC’s David Gregory that he thinks;

“Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time“, and explains “whether he’ll do it again in the future, I don’t know. But Gov. Romney never has.” 

Christie added;

“We all know the record. He was run out of the speakership by his own party. He was fined $300,000 for ethic violations. This is a guy who’s had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment to the Party.”

The saddest thing about those comments is Christie’s blatant attempt to support his political opinion with lies.

While it is true that Newt has never really taken the easy way out by simply  playing the political game in order to hold on to power, Christie is actually lying when he continues to promote the myth that Newt was fined $300, ooo.  The truth is that Newt paid for the investigation into one of 84 false accusation that his political opponents tried to burden Newt with.  In the end, all of the accusations were dismissed, but Newt was still stuck with a bill for the investigation of one charge which found that his lawyers had filed papers erroneously.

But Christie’s attempt to play the role of political hitman causes him to ignore these facts and that is quite disappointing.

Up to now, Chris Christie has been an impressive, hold no punches, play no games leader.  But apparently even he is not immune from the game of politics when it concerns his the interests of the status quo and his insider buddies.

Meanwhile, even though Newt may not be “safe” choice for the republican presidential nomination, he is the bold choice and I am willing to take bold new leadership over insider politics and tired old political games.  I want republicans to win and achieve real change, not to win and simply maintain the system that needs to be reformed.

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Chris Christie Shoring Up His Value as a Vice Presidential Running Mate

Bookmark and Share    In advance of the delivery of his second State of the State address, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie’s team has released a new web ad that credits him for having begun to turn the Garden State around.

It’s the type of stuff, that fits in well with any campaign’s desire to tap in to a similar theme for the nation and its economy, which much like New Jersey, is in desperate need of a comeback.  This is not to say that the ad is meant to establish the groundwork for a Chris Christie vice presidency.  Afterall, regardless of national politics, Chris Christie does need to make sure that his image in New Jersey remains one that will be worthy of reelection come 2013.

Either way, the web ad helps promote an image of Christie that can’t hurt either his chances for being picked as a vice presidential running mate or for eventually being reelected Governor.

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CNBC versus the GOP

Last night the GOP candidates went into hostile Michigan to face a hostile set of moderators who were booed into sticking to economic issues by the crowd after an unfair detour against Herman Cain.  In all, the night turned into somewhat of a circus.  Hopefully, the GOP will shun CNBC in the future, as this was the worst and most unprofessional case of moderation we have seen.    But aside from that, let’s get to the winners and losers.  First up…

It floored me when they tried to ask if companies should be making a profit or growing jobs.  Excuse me, but how the heck do you create jobs if you aren’t making a profit?? Gingrich’s response was beautiful. Watching the moderator rolling her eyes when Gingrich said a 30 second answer on healthcare was ridiculous was fun to watch.  But my favorite answer of Gingrich’s was on education, where he offered a real life example of a real life solution that addresses the issue of education that is getting exponentially expensive with much cheaper results.  As someone who works full-time, is a full-time grad student and has been in college for a decade following various business and religious pursuits, I connected with Gingrich’s answer and could not agree more.  This morning Neil Boortz in a morning phonecall to WOKV implied that Republicans needed to worry about who could beat Obama, not who would be the best President speaking of Newt Gingrich.  Bull.  Gingrich keeps winning debates because he is the smartest man on that stage.  And he made a joke out of those bombastic, rude moderators.

Rick Santorum did well.  This doesn’t mean anything, he still can’t win.  But he did highlight his leadership on things like medical savings accounts and gave viewers no reason to mark him down.  He has struggled in debates, but performed well last night.  Ron Paul also did a good job.  He avoided saying anything outlandish and produced a solid, constitutionalist approach.  Bachmann did well, but was once again forgettable.  Huntsman also did pretty well, though his attempt at “answer this in 30 seconds?” humor sounded like a lame, screwed up retelling of a good joke.

Mitt Romney needs to understand his precarious position.  He is stuck at 30%.  The rest of the GOP voters are looking for not-Mitt-Romney as their candidate.  His smoothness, economic savvy, and gaffe free debate performances have gotten him this far (along with a great deal of establishment money).  He needs to figure out how to get himself the rest of the way.  He has to find a way to make Social Conservatives trust him. Mitt, if you are listening, make a major statement in favor of state personhood amendments.  Consider that step one to breaking into the 40s in the polls.

Herman Cain also has hit a roadblock, but it is a policy roadblock.  I think many viewers were left with the feeling that if nuclear missiles were airborne from China heading for the US, President Cain would be on the phone with the Chinese President telling him how his bold plan, the 9-9-9 plan, could solve their problems by growing China’s economy.  9-9-9 is to Herman Cain what Windex was to Tula’s family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  This one dimensionalism will leave him open to a Gingrich rise.  On the other hand, Cain did very well defending himself against accusations which are more and more looking like racist smears from the Axelrod/Democrat machine.

Rick, Rick, Rick.  By the way, if you want to see the sexism of the left, just watch how long Perry’s crash and burn stays in the media cycle and blogosphere compared to a Palin or Bachmann gaffe.  Talk about not being ready for primetime.  I think Perry likes to start talking and get rolling, and that’s why he sometimes forgets what he was talking about mid-sentence.  No excuses.  You are running for President of the United States.  Running before you secure the ball is how you lose games.  Running your mouth before you have your answer and grasp on the issues is what makes Presidents say stupid things.  E.g. Barack Obama talking about police officers who arrested his professor friend.

Why the Cain story is so big

Let’s be honest.  There really isn’t much to this Herman Cain story.  After a week of the media acting like Cain had raped a woman, had an affair with an intern or broken some federal laws or something, all we know is that he allegedly did something to someone a couple decades ago. In the grand scheme of things, the Cain story is the biggest non-story since we discovered that George W. Bush was a drunken AWOL airman because Dan Rather had a fake letter that said so.

The intensity with which the media has been following this story has consumed major media resources.  So let’s look at what the Cain non-affair story might be hiding.

– Administration scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Solyndra affair continue to get juicer as Congress subpoenas the administration for documents they have been slow about releasing

– Occupy Oakland protests show the true nature of the Wall Street Mob as protestors get violent and start destroying public property.  The movement is finally stooping to the level we have come to expect from liberal, leaderless mob protesters, especially union supported mobs.  Now the media is working hard to find OWS protesters who look enough like they are in charge of something who will disavow the violence.  Of course, poll that crowd and you are sure to get even responses either way.

– Speaking of union led protests, a story that has barely entered the Cain filled news cycle is yet another document shred drill at the ACORN offices in New York City.  ACORN is shredding documents and firing workers as fast as they can to cover up the extent of their involvement behind the scenes with the now Democrat bought and owned Occupy Wall Street movement.

– Wall Street meanwhile ended a winning streak on Friday after job growth came in lower than expected and downright anemic compared to what the economy needs to start making significant strides towards reaching reasonable employment levels.

– After taking millions in bonuses, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae execs are reporting billions in losses and Freddie Mac is asking for $6 billion in new bailout funds.

– Obama’s jobs tax hike bill continues to face bi-partisan opposition, though he is choosing to blame it all on Republicans.  Meanwhile, Democrats are blocking Republican jobs provisions that don’t kill jobs at the same time by raising taxes.

– And perhaps the biggest scandal fresh on the scene and being ignored by major media outlets is the Jon Corzine fraud story.  Remember Bernie Madoff?  He was the guy who tricked investors into giving him money in a grand pyramid scheme which worked great until he ran out of money.  Corzine did it the legal way.  Corzine’s investment company, MF Global, found a legal loophole that allowed him, without investor knowledge, to take funds out of investor accounts as a “loan” to fund business operations.  When the investors went to get their money, they found it wasn’t there.

So how is what Corzine did legal, you might ask?  Simple.  Jon Corzine is a well connected Democrat, former senator and New Jersey governor.  He was a star at Goldman Sachs where many administration officials cut their teeth.  When Obama regulators considered eliminating the loophole that allowed Corzine to steal from his investors’ brokerage accounts to fund business operations, Corzine himself personally lobbied them (all his friends), into not regulating out that loophole or even requiring proper accounting for it.

Throughout the 2012 campaign, we will continue to hear the same mantra about how we need regulation to prevent what happened in the past from happening in the future.  In this case, we have another example of the hand in glove relationship between Democrat politicians, Democrat corporate CEOs and Democrat regulators.  And as usual, the media ignores it.  Why?

Because a conservative allegedly did something offensive to a female employee 20 years ago.  For all we know, he picked his nose while she was in the room.  No names, no specifics, just enough to inspire the tabloid writers we used to take seriously.

Time to thin the herd

All is not lost!  Yes, it was an ugly night for several GOP candidates.  Newt’s frustration with the format is certainly understandable.  It made for great television, but it was a bad debate.  However, there were some glimmers of hope, starting with the Vegas Champ…

Newt Gingrich.  I didn’t give Newt the win last time because I didn’t think his campaign would see a boost.  After this debate, I think it will.  Newt once again is the adult in the room.  He puts himself above the fray and really acts as a second moderator.  Voters should give Newt a second look.  Give Newt seven debates with Barack Obama and Obama might even drop out of the race before November.  I would love to see these debates as more candidates drop out and more time is given.  Newt has been so supportive of other candidates that his questions of other candidates carried a great deal of weight and were therefore more devastating.  Cain will not survive the 999 barrage, look for Newt to pick up steam.  Newt’s statement on faith put him squarely in the majority of conservative thought.  Newt’s biggest slip up was on appearing weak on states rights.  Another candidate who performed well, but likely won’t see much change because of it was…

Mitt Romney.  Romney was once again the big punching bag, and once again hit back.  He continued to defend his healthcare program as a state program and did pretty well.  But here Newt hit him hard on the big government aspect of it.    Romney kept his cool when being shouted down by Rick Santorum and talked over by Rick Perry.  Romney screwed up on Cain’s 999 plan trying to argue that Cain’s plan would add federal taxes to state taxes.  Excuse me, Mr. Romney, but you already pay bushels of apples and oranges.  Don’t feel bad, every candidate but Cain and Newt seemed to forget that 999 would eliminate our current tax code.  In the end, especially with no Huntsman, Romney’s got his support base solidified and did nothing to hurt that. Unfortunately, this is the last good report on a candidate performance in this review.  Although, it wasn’t terrible for everyone, especially…

Michele Bachmann.  Michele, Michele, Michele.  First, Obama took us to Libya, THEN, he took us into Africa!  Oops, Libya is in Africa.  But again, if Joe Biden can be VP, we shouldn’t be too hard on Bachmann for her frequent misspeaks.  Aside from that, she did well in another forgettable performance/turned stump speech.   As a tax litigation attorney though, I am disappointed in her evaluation of Cain’s 999 plan.  A VAT because every corporation in the manufacturing process pays 9%?  What does our current corporate tax do?  Same thing.  Shame on you Michele.  But most people won’t figure that out, so you’re good.  We will see if the media picks up on Bachmann’s idea of a $1 poor tax.  Bachmann won’t see any uptick from this debate.  Another candidate with no uptick or downtick…

Ron Paul. Paul is good on state’s rights.  The other candidates would do well to learn some things from him.  On the other hand, we heard a lot of the same platitudes and fuzzy one liners that leave us scratching our heads about if Paul actually has a viable plan.  Get rid of the income tax?  Oh, ok.  Is that like repealing Medicare part D?  Would be nice, but not a priority?  Paul came out with a new economic plan that cuts a trillion in spending.  Worth taking a look at, but didn’t get much play last night.  He will maintain his small support base, but with his vagueness and legend over substance approach this debate won’t give him a bump.  But at least he won’t lose support, like…

Herman Cain.  Cain gave the media some pretty good quotes last night.  Would he shut down Guantanamo to negotiate with terrorists?  Kinda sounded like it.  Apples and Oranges?  Cain, that is simply not Washington speak.  Cain looked amateurish.    He is an amateur though, so he may get a pass for the inability to articulate his 999 plan in a way that Americans can understand and latch on to.  Fortunately, his opponents weren’t much better.  In fact, only Newt seemed to have a clue how 999 works, but he wasn’t about to throw Cain a bone.  Cain right now is riding on populism, but poor debate performances can sink that ship (Bachmann, Perry).  In fact, I think it did sink two ships last night, starting with…

Rick Santorum.  Rick continues to be an advocate for the family.  He continues to present strong conservatism.  But his discussion with Romney early on just set a bad tone.  He reminded me of an angry teenager.  It was unprofessional and amateurish.  It’s been good to have Santorum in these debates for the most part, but after last night he needs to drop out and endorse a social conservative who can still beat Romney.  You’re not going to win, Rick Santorum.  At this point you are hurting more than helping.  But at least Santorum did better than…

Rick Perry.  Geez.  I don’t want to sound politically incorrect, but Perry seemed…slow.  Can we still use that term?  When Romney was answering and Perry was slowly drawling over him and droning on, I couldn’t help but laugh.  But it got worse as the night went on.  Perry, who gave instate tuition to illegals and opposes a full border fence, went after Romney for hiring a landscaping company that hired illegal aliens.  And that wasn’t the only 2008 unfair attack that Perry dug up.  Even when Perry made a good point (We need to uh, look at, uh the…darn, which amendment was it again?  Oh yeah, tenth amendment for uh…issues) it was lost in translation.  Perry was put in his place over and over.  It was a complete dud.  Even his distancing from Pastor Jeffers was not believable.  The best we got from Perry was a promise that next week he will have a tax plan. The good news is that even Rick Perry had a better week than…

Barack Obama.  Rumor has it, after a bunch of his tour supplies were stolen, that his teleprompter is currently being interrogated by Iranian sponsored Al Qaida terrorists in Mexico.  Although, there have also been alleged sightings of his teleprompter in Zuccoti park, smoking a joint and displaying a message about being overworked and underpaid.

Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News – 10/14/11

Romney, raises more moolah than expected, conservative think about how to stop Romney, Pawlenty wants a refund from the South Carolina primary conmtest he won’t be in, Perry tries get his footing with an energy based jobs plan that Michele Bachmann takes credit for, President Obama uses bailout money in his reelection, MSNBC host calls for violence in order to give the Occupy Wall Street protests some momentum, and more, is all a part of today’s news form the campaign trail.Bookmark and Share

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Poll Proves President Obama to Be Weak Where He Should Be Strong

Bookmark and Share    A new Quinnipiac Poll shows that 52% of New Jersey voters disapprove of the job that President Obama is doing and 43% approve of his job performance.  It is his lowest approval rating in the Garden State yet.  A breakdown of the polls shows that  Democrats approve of his job performance 77% to 19% percent. Disapproval is 88% – 10%  among Republicans, and the most important and lethal number is his 60% – 34% disapproval rating among independent voters.

Quinnipiac also notes that there is a large gender gap as women have a 50% to 45% approval rating of the Presidents job performance, while men disapprove  60%  to 36%.

Still though, the poll finds that voters are split 47% to 48% on whether President Obama deserves reelection.

However; one should take note of the polling history pertaining to New Jersey’s 2009 gubernatorial election.

At this same point in that election, almost a year before it took place,  a similar Quinnipiac Poll found that New Jersey voters disapproved of Governor Jon Corzine’s job performance by 51% to  40%.  It was his fourth negative score that year. Democrats approved of the Governor 60% to  31, while Republicans disapproved 75% to 19%,  and independent voters gave him a thumbs down by 52% – 38%.

Those numbers are better than President Obama’s number are and Jon Corzine went on to be  soundly defeated by Chris Christie.

The only difference is that President Obama’s job approval among Democrats is higher than Jon Corzine’s approval was at this same point in his election.  That shows that New Jersey Democrats are still more enthusiastic about Obama than they were of Corzine.  But aside form that, President Obama’s disapproval among New Jersey Republicans, and more importantly, New Jersey Independent voters, is substantially higher than Corzine’s were.

All of this simply confirms that at the moment, President Obama is indeed in trouble.

These poll numbers come from a very blue state that is in the bluest region of the nation for…….. the Northeast.  If the majority of voters  in a state like New Jersey disapprove of the job that the President  is doing, than you can rest assured that similar sentiments exist throughout the region.  So it only follows that President Obama will have to actually spend time and money campaigning in state’s like, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and even New York.  That will give the President less time and resources to dedicate to winning battleground, or swing states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.

The last time a Republican presidential candidate won New Jersey was in 1988, when George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.

With 14 electoral votes, if New Jersey does not soon be safely in President Obama’s column, it will dramatically increase the number of electoral college equations needed for Republicans to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.  Following conventional wisdom, giving Democrats and Republicans the state’s they traditionally win and leaving states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and several others undecided, if New Jersey is a tossup,  President Obama will have 15 different ways to reach a winning combination of electoral votes.  Republicans would have 45 winning combinations available to them.  And for those who really like suspense, there would be 7 scenarios whereby there could be a tie in the electoral college.

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Welcome to the top, Herman Cain

The most recent debate is over, and Herman Cain is discovering what Rick Perry felt like when he was the front runner.  The way the debate went, there was clear recognition of Cain, Romney and Perry as front runners.  The other candidates almost seemed to be helping in the vetting process as though they were seeking to help Americans choose from one of those top three.   So here goes, the latest debate in retrospect.  And the winner is…

Romney back in the driver seat

Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney had some good news today.  He picked up an endorsement from Chris Christie, which is huge.  He also had some bad news.  Rush Limbaugh questioned Romney’s conservatism compared to other candidates and gave the death knell that took down Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.  Rush called him the Republican establishment candidate.  Still, Romney was his usual comfortable self.  His adopting the Trump doctrine on China will help build that portion of his base.  Cain did Romney a huge favor by asking him about his 59 point plan and giving him the chance to explain it and expound on it.  In fact, the questioning session turned into an opportunity for the other candidates to seem to vet the apparent front runner candidate.  Romney’s own question to Michele Bachmann was very gracious and showed the kind of class that simply makes Romney likeable.  Romney’s answer on Dodd Frank was pure gold.  He was polished and Presidential.  Romney still has to get a little bit stronger on his conservative stances and lose a bit of that obvious shine in order to pick up more of the anti-politician minded rightwing, especially the TEA party.  But for this debate, Romney managed to edge out…

Newt Gingrich.  Newt Gingrich is the best debater.  As the best debater, Newt spewed pure common sense.  His best was when he bluntly spoke about how absolutely stupid the debt commission is.  His answers put him above the fray and he maintained his mantra that any candidate on that stage would be better than Obama.  However, Newt did not get enough face time.  He took no arrows, shot no arrows at the other candidates, but simply did not have enough chances to speak to make a difference.  Newt has won several of these debates, but winning these debates is not enough for him at this point.  He must so completely knock each debate out of the park that everytime a front runner falls he is there to pick up the pieces.  In this case, he did not even mention his campaign’s new contract with America.  It was a lost opportunity.   So far he has not accomplished what he needs to do in these debates.  I can’t give him first, no matter how well deserved.  But as a representative of the Social Conservative flavor of this party, he did outperform…

Cain has his work cut out for him

Herman Cain.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan finally got the inspection it deserved.  A striking moment was when Rick Santorum polled the audience on who wanted a new 9% sales tax, and who thought a 9% flat income tax would stay at 9%.  Not a single hand in the audience was visible.  Santorum hit the nail on the head.  The result is Cain will be in trouble after this debate.  He must now find a way to explain his plan in a way that resonates with Americans.  He made a good start when he talked about how the 9% sales tax would replace a 15% payroll tax, which of course we all pay.  If he can hit that point and solve the question of how to prevent future Presidents from turning his 9 9 9 plan into a 35 35 35 plan, he can salvage his front runner (by my calculations) status.  Cain took a huge hit on the federal reserve when Paul questioned him too.  Later when he spoke about fixing the Fed, Paul made easy work out of Cain.  Still, his likeability level and pure down home realness will keep him afloat for at least one more round.  At this point, if Cain falters I predict voters will finally give Newt Gingrich a second look.  Another candidate they might be looking at is…

Rick Santorum.  Rick Santorum did very well.  He made a key point when he said he did not support the bailout.  He called out Cain’s 9 9 9 plan and struck a very strong blow on it.  He exposed Cain’s naivete beautifully.  But that was the extent of Santorum’s stunning performance.  Like Gingrich, he simply did not get enough other face time to make a huge difference.  No one is afraid of him becoming the front runner any time soon, so there wasn’t much interest in him among the debate moderators.  While Santorum did not make a strong case for himself as President, he certainly gave voters a lot to think about with the latest rising star in Herman Cain.  That may be his purpose at this point.  There is very little chance of his campaign being successful.  Almost as little chance as…

Jon Huntsman.  Jon Huntsman did not do bad for the most part.  His answer on China will not connect with Americans and for a good reason.  Being nice to China does not sell when as Romney pointed out we are already losing to them because they are cheating.  Two debates ago I said Huntsman’s campaign is over.  Nothing changed with the debate tonight.  Feeling our pain because he helped run the family business and was a good governor is so cliche at this point, it’s really forgettable.  But not as forgettable as…

Michele Bachmann.  Michele Bachmann did well.  She spoke on Obama’s failures and conservatism.  But mostly she was forgettable.  At one point, it sounded like she said she raised 28 children, 22 foster and 5 biological.  I could understand, with that many kids, how easy it would be to get the math wrong.  But it’s not good when that’s what sticks out in my mind.  No highlights, no major gaffes, and in fact her role in Congress became even more forgettable when Gingrich asked why the House has not made any move to repeal Dodd Frank or Sarbanes Oxley.  I was left wondering where her actual leadership has manifested itself.  The exchange with Romney was her one saving grace, proving that at least she is not one dimensional unlike…

Popularity off the debate stage won't save these candidates from earning low marks in this debate.

Ron Paul.  Ron Paul did ok.  He made it pretty clear he isn’t a fan of the fed.  But on the fed, especially Bernanke, Newt stole his thunder.  What else did Paul speak about?  Again, another forgettable candidate.  Paul fans, don’t hate me for saying that.  Step outside of the movement for a minute and ask yourself if he truly made a splash.  Did we hear anything new about Ron Paul that would make us want to make him in charge of everything the President of the United States is responsible for?  No, but I’d be happy to see him head up the Fed audit once we get a President who has that as a priority (which apparently is not Herman Cain).  But even Ron Paul did better than…

Rick Perry.  Rick Perry came across as a something between a walking cliche and a deer in the headlights.  He simply does not debate well.  He again was slow in his responses and his wording did not connect.  He came across as very unprepared once again.  His good answers were copies of other candidates, and his bad answers seemed to drag on with his drawl.  I’ve said before that I would love to see Newt Gingrich debate Obama.  I would not love to see Perry debate Obama.  I’m not sure I would be able to watch.  Can Perry turn things around?  Possibly.  I’m not ready to give him the Dead Candidate Walking title along with Huntsman just yet.

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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Chris Christie Endorses Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has just landed the first jewel in the Quadruple Crown of Republican endorsements.

One week after declaring that he is definitely not running for President in 2012, it has been revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be endorsing Mitt later today at an event in New Hampshire.

This announcement comes a day after Romney received the endorsements of former senators Judd Gregg Of New Hampshire and Mel Martinez of Florida.  Both men have significant influence with different critical voting blocs within the respective states.  But Chris Christie’s endorsement goes far beyond any one state.  In fact, it may ironically have little bearing on the nomination in Christie’s own state of New Jersey, where the Republican presidential primary is held in June and is one of the very last primaries contests to be held.  But Christie’s endorsement is likely to have a big effect in the Northeast and beyond.

Many Republicans have become enamored with Christie because of his relatively fiscal conservative policies, willingness to take on unions, and most of all, because of his refreshingly open, honest, and blunt political dialogue.  That bluntness has allowed many Republicans and Independents to trust Christie as a political leader who says what he means and means what he says.  Such a perception will go quite far with many voters if they hear Christie offering high praise of Romney and see him committing himself to Romney’s candidacy.

Christie’s endorsement will not only give Romney an overall image boost, it will also open up a new channel of money that will flow right into his campaign treasury.  Many big donors who have had been urging Christie to run for President have been keeping their powder dry, but now with their man behind Romney, their money will also soon back him.

The most surprising thing  about this announcement is not that Christie endorsed Romney.

Romney provided Christie with a great deal of support during his 2009 race for Governor.  On top of that, the next Republican U.S. Senate nominee from New Jersey is likely to be a state senator named Jope Kyrillos.  Kyrillos is a good friend of Christie’s and was his 2009 campaign chairman.  In 2008, Kyrillos was also the New Jersey state chairman of  Mitt Romney’spresidential campaign.  So the ties to Romney and Chrsitie are many and tight.  The really surprise here was that the announcement came so soon.  While it took Christie many, many months to be sure about his own presidential candidacy,  he apparently did not find it hard to decide that Romney was the right man for job.  But the decision to make the endorsement public now, was probably more Romney’s than Christie’s.  It signals Romney’s awareness of the fact that if he does not consolidate his support early and rack up early victories, he risks losing the Republican nomination if it remains too competitive for too long.

With Christie’s endorsement in hand, the next important jewel in the Republican Quadruple Crown of endorsements will come from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who’s early state primary is a critical prelude to Florida and the South.  A win in South Carolina,be fatal to some candidates and  would expedite Romney’s road to the White House.  Haley has recently gone out of her way to state that she will be endorsing a businessman for President.  That could mean Mitt Romney or Herman Cain.  But it’s important to remember that as he was for Christie, Mitt was a big help to Nikki Haley in her run for Governor last year.

Then there is Florida’s Marco Rubio.

Like Nikki Haley, Rubio is a darling of the TEA movement, but he is considered everyone’s number one choice for Vice President.  If possible, President Obama would even dump ol’ Joe and put Rubio on the ticket as his number two man.  Rubio is seen as a bright, level headed political leader, with solid conservative credentials and with his Cuban background, has the ability to open doors for the Republican Party to the Hispanic community.  And Florida is also an important, delegate rich state that by winning, would make Romney a clear early frontrunner for the G.o.P. presidential nomination.

The fourth and in may ways one of the most important jewels in this endorsement crown is Sarah Palin.

Her endorsement will force anti-establishment and Tea movement activists to at least reconsider their support of Romney.  Many have been unwilling to do so because of his Massachusetts healthcare plan.  But with Sarah Palin’s seal of approval, many of those skeptical of Romney will at least have some cover when it comes to voting for Romney.

Other important endorsements of note for various specific reasons,  include Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Haley Barbour.Bookmark and Share

Watch Video of Chris Christie’s Full Press Conference Reaffirming He Won’t Run. Positive Public Reaction Results From It.

Click Here To See The Press Conference

Bookmark and Share  In what was a press conference regarding a 2012 run for President, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively answered that he is not running.  Christie stated that due to the numerous requests that he seek the Republican nomination for President, he did in fact reconsider his earlier decision not to run.  In questions asked after the Governor’s statement, he did reveal that the reconsideration process was already going on last week, prior to his giving a speech at the Reagan library.  The Governor said that the inundation of legitimate requests from people inside and outside of politics forced even his wife to believe that they must reconsider his previous decision.  In one instance, Christie told the assembled audience about a Federal Express delivery that came to his children at his home address.   The package was an appeal to them from a farmer in Nebraska who urged the Christie kids to sit down with their father and tell him that it was okay to dedicate himself to a run for President because our nation needed him.  The appeal stated that by doing so, his children would go down in history for their actions that led their father to run for President.

Christie made clear that the decision was his and his alone.  Members of his family had approved of a decision to run, but left the decision to him.  In the end Christie said he decided against running because he just does not feel that the time is right.  He added that he made a promise to the people of New Jersey to stay here and clean up the mess they are in and that is what he intends to do.

“The people of New Jersey elected me to do a job and I am just not ready to walk away”,  said Chrsitie.

According to the Governor, he just did not see any condition which made him feel right about leaving office as Governor of New Jersey.  He confirmed that he made his final decision last night, before going to bed .

When asked by a reporter if his decision had anything to do with some publications indicating that he was not as conservative as some believe, the Governor stated that it had no influence on his final decision.  He said that if anything, once he saw the knives come out and that people were aiming for him, he knew he could win, so that had nothing.

Christie also indicated that he saw a great deal of irresponsible coverage on whether or not he was running.  He stated that there were many things reported as news which were and could only have been speculation.  Whether or not this puts an end to such speculation remains to be seen.

While reaction to Christie’s final decision did bring about some public disappointment, it also seemed to have met with widespread understanding, approval,l and respect.  In a LiveStream/Facebook chat room that was conducted during a live broadcast of the Christie speech, John Mandler of New City, NY wrote,

 “NJ needed him to stay, and he needed to stay to keep faith with those of us who elected him in 2009. He is a greater man for staying the course.”

Other comments from people outside of New Jersey included;

Brandon Riggins, Columbus, OH……

“He’s going to finish up his term as governor, and for that he has earned (even more) of my greatest respect.”

Daniel Casey, Southbridge, MA……

“It sounds like he thought about it seriously and ended up doing the right thing. I respect him even more.”

Jon Maxwell of  Rockwall, Texas put the onus on New Jerseyans and suggested it was up to them to urge Christie run when he wrote…

“Can he serve NJ better by serving as President and helping the nation as a whole, or better as Governor? It’s up to you, NJ.”  

Reaction in New Jersey was also positive but Valerie Brooks-Klein of Trenton, NJ, concurred with Jon Maxwell and wrote,

“I think he needs to serve the entire country. NJ would benefit as well as the rest of the country.  Its time for us to share him.”

Other New Jersey residents were not sas generous as Valerie was when it comes to sharing Chrsitie;

Tammy Case,Red Bank, NJ……

“I respect Governor Christie’s decision to stay in NJ and accomplish the goal he set out to complete.  Once this is done then we can share him..An honest dedicated Politician how often do we get one of those. Amazing Governor.”    

Joani Boucher, Edison, NJ……

“While I believe Gov Christie would make a great President, I’m so glad he’s going to stick around and clean up the mess made by the former Governor’s of NJ.” 

And then there was this was Robert Frank Koscinski of Colonia, NJ……

“We do have the coolest Governor!!!”

At one point during the presser, a string of questions about Christie’s weight were raised by reporters in the context of how much of factor it would have been in the presidential race and in regards to columnists who wrote that his weight would be a problem if he ran for President.  To that Chrisite replied that those who wrote such things know nothing about politics.

For those who do believe his weight would be a problem, as a New Jerseyan, I have just one thing to say.  He ain’t heavy.  he’s my Governor.

If you’re only in your twenties, you may not get that but for those of you who have  been around long enough to know but not too long to be unable to remember, I refer you to the  popular music ballad, “He Ain’t Heavy.  He’s My Brother”, written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song went on to become a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970.

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Will He or Won’t He? See Chris Christie’s 1:00pm Presser Here, Live

Chris Christie - Caricature
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Bookmark and Share   All indications are that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie meant what he said in his repeated claims that he is not running for President.  However; a mainstream media that has been anxious to try to downplay the existing field of candidiates, has continued to add hype to a potential run for President by Christie.

Now today, Governor Christie will be holding a press conference that he has hastily announced for 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, outside of his office [see image link below].  Contrary to previous reports by some publications which use to be seen as reliable, the press conference is not to be held amid a backdrop of Chrisitie’s biggest financial donors and it is not being held on Thursday.

This afternoon’s presser is likely to offer a blunt talking Governor who will reiterate his countless other statements denying that he is running for President in 2012.  No matter what though, Chris Christie holds the most entertaining press conferneces of any contemporary politician and will be worth your while to watch.  I suspect that among other things, Chrsitie will make the media look foolish.  And rightfully so.

In case no one else has noticed, this ongoingf story about Christie running for President has been been treated with all the journalistic integrity of a National Enquirer covering the alien abduction of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton by little green men.  There have been more unnamed sources regarding Chrsitie’s run for President, than there are names in a small town’s phonebook.  Yet that did not stop the reports that Chrsitie is the next big name to throw his hat in to the presidential  ring.

I suspect that today, there will be more reason to believe that Chrsitie isn’tr running, but at the same time, the story will still have legs as over the next few days we see reports about all the reasons why Chrsitie isn’t running, true and false alike.

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Click Here To View The Presser Live

Mainstream Media Still Pushing Chris Christie and Now Bringing Mike Huckabee Back

Bookmark and Share    As a fickle Republican electorate continues to demonstrate their apathy for the existing field of declared presidential candidates, an old name to the 2012 field has become the newest name to be drawn back into the contest.  While news stories continue to swirl around about some still possible entry of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the presidential contest, a new one surfaces about former Governor Mike Huckabee.

According to Reuters,  numerous unnamed sources have urged Mike Huckabee to reconsider his midsummer decision not to run .  Huckabee is said to have told Fox News thathe doesn’t  “see it happening”.  But as is the case with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, that has not put an end to the rumors.

Despite stating quite adamantly that he is not running for President after a speech that Chris Christie delivered at the Reagan Library this past Tuesday, reports that he was on the verge of declaring his candidacy seemed to have only gained in their intensity.

As made evident in the clip below, in the New York City Tri-State area, residents in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania media market were fed an endless array of reports declaring that Christie was still in the middle of considering a run.  On WCBS 880 AM radio news, every twenty minute cycle had a report telling listeners that Chris Christie advisors and aides were scrambling to see if they could put together a presidential campaign organization together at very last moment.

Even the Sunday morning TV political shows dug into the Christie speculation.

Unfortunately most all the reports about Christie possibly deciding to throw his hat in the ring come from “unnamed” sources.  That’s pretty convenient and getting tiresome. But in the never ending search for a “perfect” presidential candidate Republicans have allowed the media to label the existing field of presidential candidates as not good enough.   That feeling will change in time.  But until then, we will continue to hear about the need to recruit someone in to the race.  Such a storyline allows the mainstream media to continue making President Obama look superior when compared the field of  Republicans from which his ultimate opponent will come from.

Meanwhile, with all the talk about Huckabee and Christie running, it is important to realize that both of these would have a problem if they run.

Huckabee has a record on taxes that contradicts some  of his rhetoric on that issue.  He also has to answer to a string of clemencies he issued as Governor Arkansas, which resulted in rapes and murders.  Including the killing of 4 police officers in Oregon.

As for Christie, his 20 months in office have still not done much to increase employment and many of his economic policies have not yet had the time to show New Jerseyans if they are working or not .  Beyond that, Christie is consistently nagged by the far right for what they call his poor judicial appointments, including a controversial selection of a Muslim who represented other Muslims who were rounded up by the FBI in the aftermath of 9/11.   Such representation was not wrong but depending upon the context in which it is explained, it could be turned in to an impression that would be a liability in a campaign.

Other issues which would become a problem for Christie among the conservative base that is responsible for electing a nominee, includes Christie’s support of  the federal assault weapons ban, he supported President Obama’s education reform agenda and has confirmed his belief in manmade global warming and  his support of the President’s failing green energy policies.

So Christie is far from being a perfect conservative candidate.  Yet until he has been forced to defend his record, voters looking for that perfect candidate will not allow the concept of a run for President by Christie in 2012 to die.

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