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?

Suffolk Stops Polling Presidential Race in Fl, NC and VA. Says Romney Is Certain to Win All 3

 Bookmark and Share   Since 2002, the Suffolk University Political Research Center has conducted polls and survey analyses with a 96% record of accuracy in predicting outcomes in Massachusetts, key battleground states, and nationally.  As such, Suffolk is considered far more reliable than not. So it should come as a surprise to those who believe that Barack Obama will defeat Mitt Romney handily when a reliable polling outfit like Suffolk announces that it is so clear to them that Romney has locked up wins in three key battleground states so securely that they are discontinuing any future polling of the presidential election in those states.

Pollster David Paleologos, the Director of the Suffolk University Research Center recently declared to Bill O’Reilly on his Fox News show “The Factor”, that his organization will not be taking anymore polls of the presidential election in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.  According to Paleologos, a look at the existing polling data in those states indicates overwhelming evidence of the depth of Romney’s support in those states as compared to the president.  Paleologos adds, “we’ve colored those states red.” (See the video below)

This is an extraordinarily significant development in the race for President. Polling is a lucrative business and a decision such as the one Suffolk has made here would not have been made unless they were absolutely certain with of the results they now predict.  It signals the beginning of what White House 2012 has predicted to be Romney’s winning of the presidential election in the Electoral College by a much larger than margin than many believe possible.  Currently White House 2012 has Governor Romney defeating President Obama by 281 electoral votes to 257, but with with a stated expectation of soon putting New Hampshire and Nevada in Romney’s column, White House 2012 is sure that that Romney’s electoral vote count is on the rise.

If it is indeed true that Mitt Romney has a lock on Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, President Obama finds himself facing an election that is totally different from the one he was running prior to last week’s presidential debate.  If those three states are solid for Romney, the number of paths that are available for the President to piece together the 270 electoral votes he needs in order to win reelection, are greatly reduced and it makes his need to deny Romney a win in Ohio almost essential to his reelection effort.  Meanwhile multiple polls from a range of independent survey outfits are now showing Mitt Romney to either be ahead of the President in Ohio or nearly tied with him.  These polls also show Romney pulling ahead in other battleground states and nationally.

But the decision by Suffolk to stop polling the presidential race in Fl, NC and Va, is a surefire sign that the race is over for President Obama in those states.  Pretty soon his own internal polls will probably make that inconvenient truth evident to his own campaign.  We will come to realize when they have reached that same conclusion as we soon begin to notice a lack of visits by the President to Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia and a noticeably larger amount of his time spent in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and a few states that up to now, the President was so far ahead in that he did not to waste his time visiting.  Those states include Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, three states which the Romney-Ryan ticket is cutting in to the Obama-Biden tickets once double digit leads.

As early as two weeks ago, an analysis of polls and other factors by White House 2012 had reached almost the same conclusion that Suffolk did about Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.   In fact, in White House 2012’s Electoral College Projection we stated that we no longer consider North Carolina a battleground state.  As for Florida and Virginia, White House 2012 has projected them to be red for Romney but we have not yet been confident enough to suggest that President Obama will at some point become more competitive in those two states again.  So far though, Suffolk’s polls and decision are o confirm that White House 2012 is doing a good job at analyzing the electorate.  In fact it just so happens that White House 2012 and Suffolk are independently in agreement with one another.

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New White House 2012 Projection Has Romney Winning By 24 Electoral Votes

  Bookmark and Share With 29 days remaining in the race for President, White House 2012’s latest analysis of polls, circumstances, and conditions, concludes that there is a swing towards Mitt Romney in the Electoral College that is so pronounced that the Romney-Ryan ticket has increased its lead over the Obama-Biden ticket by at least 24 electoral votes.  The last White House 2012 projection had Mitt Romney winning 273 electoral votes to the presidents 265 electoral votes.  Today Romney stands at 281 electoral votes to 257 for the President.

For the first time, the latest projection gives Romney the all important state of Ohio, which up to now has been written off by White House 2012 as an almost certain win for President Obama. However, small shifts which have revealed themselves in most of the polls figured in to the Real Clear Politics average of polls since Romney’ stellar debate performance last Wednesday, now indicate that if the numbers hold up, Romney will win Ohio, a change that significantly increases the number of ways that Romney can reach the magic number of 270 that is needed to win the presidential race in the electoral college.

While Romney seems to be gaining momentum, it is too early to call it a steady trend, especially given the fact that while Romney has picked up Ohio in the newest projection, New Hampshire and Nevada which Romney did have in column last week, have flipped back to President Obama today.  The good news is that combined, New Hampshire and Nevada have a total of only 10 electoral votes while by itself Ohio has a total of 18 electoral votes.  So even if Romney did lose Nevada and New Hampshire, he stands on better ground after picking up the Buckeye State.  However; it is important to note that White House 2012 is being very conservative by flipping New Hampshire and Nevada to the Obama-Biden ticket.  While the RCP average has pushed the President’s lead in those two states to be in excess of the 3.7% margin of error which we give to Mitt Romney to compensate for each polls poor judgment in the use the 2008 turnout models, other factors prove to be working in Mitt Romney’s favor and allow us to give the President those states by only the slimmest of margins. So both New Hampshire and Nevada are now only barely light blue for the President and they could easily turn pink for Romney at a moment’s notice.

While most states are clearly leaning towards one candidate or the other, White House 2012 is currently only considering there to be seven battleground states.  They are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.  Of those states, White House 2012 currently projects the following outcomes;

White House 2012 does see the potential for Romney to become much more competitive in Wisconsin, New Mexico, and possibly Michigan but for now, we do not consider them to be battleground states.

Other Favorable Indicators for Romney

As the race continues to evolve, this projection will change, however; at the moment the race is shaping up to be one that is moving in Mitt Romney’s direction.

For instance, it is with good reason that we continue to forecast Romney victories in the critical states of Florida and Virginia.

While some polls show small Romney leads in those states, most all other polls show Romney to have at least closed the small previous gap that existed between him and the President by as much as half or more.  For example, the latest number from PPP, a Democrat leaning polling outfit, shows that in Virginia, Obama’s lead has shrunk from +5  to +3.  While that Obama lead might not seem like good news for Romney, it is actually very good news when you consider the fact that by using the same turnout model from 2008, the PPP sampling finds this smaller Obama lead even after still giving Democrats a +6 advantage over Republicans.

Furthermore; it is that same Democrat advantage that polls are giving to the President which we see in other states such as Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire and all the other critical swing states.  Yet despite this Democrat advantage, Romney is gaining on the President.  So much so that WH12 sees evidence that indicates the Romney-Ryan ticket will probably not only win the election, they will probably win it by an even wider margin than anyone thinks possible.

Adding to this positive direction for Romney are indications that his own internal polling in at least two states. Currently, those internal polls are said to show Virginia and Ohio show him beating Obama by as much as 3.0% and 4.5%, respectively.

Conclusion;

The recent questionable jobs report has provided a slight spike in consumer confidence but it has not yet translated in to a bounce for the President.  At the same time, President Obama’s approval ratings continue to remain at or below 50%, a position not conducive for reelection of an incumbent President. 

Meanwhile, after his initial debate performance Mitt Romney has established himself as a real threat to the reelection of President Obama.  For the first time since their conventions, Romney is seeing evidence of his base becoming excited with his candidacy and there are signs that undecided voters are moving in his direction.  But Republicans must be careful to not consider this a trend until and unless future polls over the course of the next week show these recent numbers to still be moving in the right direction.  However; at the moment the Romney-Ryan ticket seems to have blocked President Obama’s own forward momentum in the polls and at the same time has finally gotten his campaign moving at pace that could turn the tables on the Obama-Biden and make them the ones with fewer paths to victory.  But to do that, Romney must be sure to keep the momentum moving in the right direction and at the right pace.  To do that, Romney must avoid any stumbles on the campaign trail and he must make sure that an endless repetitive stream of his well crafted 30 second ads are driving home his message and allowing it to sink in among the voters who have a new found respect for Romney after his first debate and are now more receptive to his message than they have been at any other point in this election.

The Projection Formula

The White House 2012 projection takes the Real Clear Politics average of polls and compensates for the outdated 2008 turnout models being used in each in poll by compensating for the under-counting of Republican turnout by adding to Romney’s total, the 3.7% average margin of error in the seven key swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.  Then along with a dose of personal political instinct, our projection incorporates other factors in to the equation such as the unemployment rates of individual states and the organizational strength of each state’s Party. 

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Internal Polls Have Romney Ahead in at Least 2 Pivotal Swing States

  Bookmark and Share   According to Breitbat editor Mike Flynn, the Romney campaign has internal polls that now show the Romney-Ryan ticket ahead of President Obama in two important battleground states… Ohio and New Hampshire.  According to two tweets posted by Flynn  on his Twitter feed, Romney’s internal polls have him beating the President in New Hampshire by 3.0%, and an almost unimaginably wider margin of 4.5% in Ohio.

If these numbers are true, this would suggest that my own estimation of a Romney victory that will be much bigger than most people think possible, could be shaping up.   Especially if Mitt Romney is ahead in Ohio.

While I have sensed that this race is not quite as close as most polls indicate, my inability to totally discount the preponderance of public polling numbers that are out there has been leading me to conclude that in 2012, the G.O.P. may win the White House without Ohio for the first time in history. Part of the reason for that opinion has been due to the available polling data.  The other part is my knowing that President Obama is going to do everything possible to win the Buckeye State for himself.  Doing so would leave Romney with significantly fewer paths to victory.  But aggressive campaigning by Romney in several other key states, specifically Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada and of course Virginia and Florida, has led me to conclude that while Team Romney has by no means written off Ohio, they are actively working on Plan B…. the plan to win the election without Ohio if necessary.

But if these leaked internal polls are accurate, Mitt Romney is currently on his way to being able to carry out his preferred plan of winning the election with Ohio and the way I see it, if he can do that, Americans will be stunned to find out on November 7th that Romney beat President Obama by far more than anyone predicted.

If the Romney-Ryan ticket can win Ohio, that bodes quite well for additional victories in swing states like Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire.  Given the make-up of Ohio, it is very good bellwether of the sentiments that exist in those aforementioned states.  Furthermore, a lead in Ohio would also indicates that Nevada is quite winnable.  Even more stunning is that it could be a sign that Romney is in contention for wins in other states like Wisconsin, which according to most polls is currently slipping away from the G.O.P. presidential ticket.  No matter what though, a lead in Ohio would significantly turn the tables on the Obama-Biden ticket by suddenly making them the ticket with fewer paths available to them to reach the magic number of 270 in the Electoral College.

Unfortunately for Romney backers, the reliability of this second and now third-hand information is not enough for us to hang our hats on yet.

While all campaigns conduct internal polls, they do not spend much time publicly talking about them or releasing the data and information contained in them.  By law, if a campaign releases any numbers from their internal polls, they must release the entire poll.  However, as is always the case with politics, campaigns can and do find ways to see that certain tib-bits somehow leak out for public consumption without being caught.  In this case,  no one can be sure of where or how Mike Flynn got hold of these numbers.  But if he did somehow get a look at the Romney campaign’s actual internal poll numbers for Ohio and New Hampshire, the news contained in his two tweets changes the narrative of this election by turning President in to the underdog in the race.

If the numbers Flynn released are actually from the Romney campaign’s internal polls, you can rest assured that they are accurate.  Mainly because of Neil Newhouse, the man who put those numbers together.

Neil Newhouse is Romney’s chief pollster and globally, one of the best pollsters around.   He is a co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs survey research firm that has been described as “the leading Republican polling company” in the country and in 2011 he was named “Pollster of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants for his work on Scott Brown’s winning Senate campaign in Massachusetts.

At Public Opinion Strategies, Newhouse developed a culture and approach to winning that is practically unsurpassed as he successfully helped political candidates win tough campaigns and scored hard-fought successes in the public affairs arena for some of America’s leading corporations and associations.  Through his polling efforts Newhouse has been a master at taking accurate polls and using the information derived from them to successfully tailor the type of winning messages that have allowed his candidates to get elected.  So if Neil Newhouse’s polling does actually have Romney up by as much as 3.0% in New Hampshire and 4.5% in Ohio, chances are that the vast majority of public polls which are basing their models on outdated 2008 turnout models, are offering us a very misleading perception of just how tight the election will actually be.

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First Reliable Post Debate Polls Shows the Momentum Behind Romney

  Bookmark and Share   Rasmussen Reports has released the first major polls for the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia since Romney’s masterful debate performance on Wednesday night.  The surveys seem to indicate that the first presidential debate has provided Romney with some of the forward momentum that previous polling indicated he needed in those states as Romney closes the gap in each of the three states to within either a percentage point behind or ahead of President Obama.

While all of this is good news for Mitt, the best news of all is in the Ohio numbers.

  • FLORIDA:    Romney 49% – Obama 47%
  • OHIO:            Obama 50%   – Romney 49
  • VIRGINIA:  Romney 49% – Obama 48%

Up to now, White House 2012 has largely concluded that Mitt Romney was likely to become the first Republican to win the White House without winning Ohio.  Barack Obama knows that without Ohio, Romney has significantly fewer paths leading to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.  For that reason, the Obama-Biden ticket has targeted Ohio and made it the key to their own reelection effort.  So far they have done so with success by exploiting the President’s bailout of the auto industry which in one way or another, employs a significant number of Ohioans.  But these new numbers may now show that the Obama strategy to deny Romney Ohio is going to be tougher than heretofore believed.  Apparently, Romney’s debate performance swung at least some minds in his direction.  But the apparent turnaround in Ohio and Obama’s struggle to deny Romney the state is a problem for the President that is only compounded by the fact that the latest Rasmussen poll now also shows Romney ahead in Virginia and Florida.

If this trend continues, the tables can quickly turn and President Obama can find himself the one losing the number of paths available to reelection.

On Monday, when these and other polls are figured in to the  RCP average of polls, White House 2012 will be updating its own Electoral College projection which currently gives Romney an 8 vote lead over President Obama.  (See the current WH12 Electoral College Projection here.)

The White House 2012 Electoral College projection is based upon a formula which uses the average margin of error in all the polls that Real Clear Politics uses to reach its average of polls.  This formula compensates for what we believe is the undercounting of the Republican voter that most polling outfits are using by basing this election on the 2010 turnout models.  Under this formula, White House 2012 currently adds 3.7% to Romney’s RCP average in each of the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Virginia….  the six  states we believe are still undecided.  North Carolina which is considered a swing state by the mainstream media, is not considered such by White House 2012.  We believe that Romney will win North Carolina and have put that state and its 15 electoral votes in Romney’s column.

As indicated in the map below with blue states being for Obama and red states being for Romney, most other states are clearly in the column of one candidate or the other.   A few exceptions could present themselves though in the coming weeks.  White House 2012 suspects that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico could open up and become much more competitive for Romney than it currently is.  If that happens, WH12 will consider them toss-ups and apply the 3.7% formula to their RCP average.

 

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Even Liberals Are Getting Disgusted With Obama’s Hypocrisy

  Bookmark and Share  If liberals are anything, they are first and foremost, hypocrites.  Liberalism is nothing more than a hypocrisy based ideology that operates under an atmosphere of double standards and an agenda that turns all issues into wedges that are designed to divide and fuel a “them against us mentality”.   This is why although you will always find the left preaching the need for tolerance, you will rarely find a liberal who is tolerant of a difference of opinion.  Yet today, even portions of the liberal base are finding that President Obama is reaching a level of hypocrisy that is too much for them to live with.

Such is the case with the CREDO organization, a liberal, pro-Obama group that practices their leftwing activism through the collection of signatures on petitions that they create for every issue they wish to reform.

CREDO recently issued a petition drive that calls upon President Obama to take down a radio ad that he has running in coal producing state’s like Ohio.  In the ad, President Obama tries to portray himself as a pro-coal President who has strengthened the American coal industry.  Now most Americans understand that the notion that President Obama has been good for any industry is ludicrous enough but to claim that he and his policies have benefited the coal industry is down right libelous.   Yet this latest radio spot doesn’t just suggest that president Obama is a supporter and fried of coal, it actually attacks Romney for remarks he made about  a Massachusetts  coal plant back in 2003.   At the time, that specific plant in Salem, Massachusetts was the oldest in the state and it failed to comply with state environmental laws. This particular plant was so egregious that according to a report by the Harvard School of Public Health, its lack of compliance with environmental regulations were  responsible for dozens of premature  deaths and 14,400 asthma attacks each year.

In his 2003 remarks, Romney stated;

“I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. And that plant kills people….”

In a blatant attempt to intentionally take Romney’s words out of context, the Obama ad implies that Romney was claiming all coal plants “kill people” and deceptively ignored the fact that Romney was referring to that specific plant in Massachusetts which failed to comply with the regulations that would have allowed it to operate in an environmentally sound manner.

But proper context has little to do with liberal logic.

A year ago,  another liberal cesspool called Climate Progress, used the same soundbite that  Obama uses in his ad but they were taking that quote out of context for their own purposes.  Climate Progress tried to use Romney’s words to demonstrate that Romney is a compulsive flip-flopper who has changed his position on the environment.  By taking the Romney quote out of context, Climate Progress tried to convince voters that Romney was once opposed to coal but now that he is running for President, he supports coal.  Move forward a year and now we have Team Obama using the same quote to try and claim that Romney is  supposedly not being as pro-coal as the President  is.

Meanwhile CREDO has now issued a petition calling upon the President to pull the ad, not because it misinterprets Romney’s position, but because as they put it ”

…”An ad suggesting that President Obama is more coal-loving than Romney isn’t just cynical, it’s misleading… Tell the Obama campaign: Drop your cynical pro-coal ad.”

CREDO gets marks for pointing out that the ad is misleading, but only a couple of points because misleading is an understatement.  But they quickly lose those points because like the liberals at Climate Progress, CREDO tries to suggest that Romney has flip-flopped on the issue of coal and that is a lie.

Still, regardless of how inherently disingenuous the left is, even the liberal Obama loving supporters at CREDO are beginning to freak out over just how two-faced the President is.

In their petition, CREDO writes;

“…Right now we need leadership from President Obama to overturn a decision by his campaign to run radio ads in Ohio which promote coal and incredibly actually criticize Mitt Romney for saying (when he was a different person, in 2003) that the pollution from coal plants kills people….”

Note how CREDO carefully tried to avoid laying blame for the ad at the President’s feet.  Rather than accuse the president of being a hypocrite, CREDO carefully phrases their criticism by calling upon the President to overturn the decision by his campaign to run the hypocritical radio ad.   It is an attempt to deny that President Obama is the one in this ad who is making all his outrageously fictitious pro-coal claims.  Instead they try to put the onus on his campaign.  Nonetheless; it is easy to see that even the President’s own supporters are beginning to get uncomfortable by the level of hypocrisy that their messiah is displaying.

Even the left is forced to to question which Barack Obama is running for reelection?  The one who spoke in the pro-coal radio ad offered above, or the one who has promised to bankrupt the coal industry and spent the past four years sapping investment in this industry and  importing coal in to the United States even though it can be found here, right under our feet.  As demonstrated in the video below, the record would seem to indicate that the Obama Administration is anything but a friend to the coal and energy industry.

All of this does prove one thing though.  Liberals, including the President, do have the market on one thing —-  hypocrisy.

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Obama And Democrats Try To Supress Votes In Swing State

Isn’t it Republicans that are supposedly dedicated to suppressing votes? Isn’t it Republicans that, when requesting voter IDs requirements, are actually re-instituting poll taxes? Isn’t it Republicans that want to make it so painful a process to vote that grannies, gran-pops, youngsters and the poor all release deep sighs of frustration and stay home?

In short, isn’t it Republicans that want to secretly strip certain citizens of their right to vote?

Guess again, crusaders, because apparently we got that all wrong. It’s Democrats. And the proof is in a lawsuit.

The Obama campaign, the Democratic party in Ohio and the DNC have all joined forces to try and strike down a Ohio state law that grants members of the military a few extra days to vote.

Given military deployments, exercises and other demands placed upon the people actually responsible for the nation’s protection, it seems reasonable to offer men and women in the armed forces a few extra days to cast a vote, yes?

Nope. Not according to Democrats. They disagree and feel the law has “no discernible rational basis.”

Don’t you find it interesting how looming military cuts, a 2012 swing state, and Obama’s re-election campaign all come together to create a sudden need to address an Ohio voting law because it has no rational basis?

We’ll skip discussing the well known disdain for Obama within the military.

This is nothing more than a devious, dastardly and despicable attempt at voter suppression against a population – military men and women – that should be given as much flexibility to vote as can be reasonably legislated.

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Obama in Jax, Mayor Out of Town

Obama received a cool reception in Jacksonville, FL on Thursday, where his campaign managed to give away about 3,000 tickets to bring a crowd into the smaller venue in town.  Also in attendance were protestors from several GOP groups.  One notable absence was Democrat mayor Alvin Brown.  This is the second Obama appearance he has been out of town for.

Obama greeted by the locals

It is not surprising that Brown hasn’t rearranged his schedule to join the President.  The Mayor has been accused by many of being too conservative to be a Democrat.  Even with the latest budget, he refused to raise taxes and instead sought to cut spending again.  Also, instead of demeaning business owners, Mayor Brown has spent a great deal of time courting businesses and bringing them (along with their jobs) to Jacksonville.

Jacksonville is an important swing city in a very important swing state.  Last time around, Obama drew a crowd of 9,000 at the Veterans Memorial.  It was the day before the election and Obama mistakenly thought he was in Ohio.  It’s still early in the race, and Obama could ramp up attendance as we get closer.  But the vibe in town was certainly different than it was four years ago.  Obama no longer carries the big tent revival aura or celebrity status that he once did.  I would be surprised if he lost northeast Florida by only 8,000 votes this time around.

Obama: Vote for Romney

Obama made a huge ecnomic policy speech in Ohio today.  He reiterated much of his Keynesian stump speeches from the last four years.  Then he gave a clear, unintentional endorsement of Mitt Romney.  Obama said “If you want to give the policies of the last decade another try, then you should vote for Mr. Romney”.

Obama’s self-delusional miscalculation is that he thinks things are better now than they were 6 years ago.  In fact, Democrats in the House and Senate might really want Obama to just shut up now.  Let’s consider the “polices of the last decade”.

When Pelosi/Reid took over Congress, they inherited a 4.4% unemployment rate.  At the end of 2008, it was 7.3%.  The last time unemployment was under 8% was January, 2009.

Since 2002, George W. Bush had 27 months of unemployment under 5%.  Obama had one month, his first in office, with unemployment below 8%.

The last month Republicans controlled the House and Senate, December 2006, unemployment was at 4.4%.  The last month Democrats controlled the House and Senate, December 2009, unemployment was at 9.9%.

In fact, Obama has a job growth chart that he loves to show (right up until May) that shows jobs lost and gained.  But he only shows it since 2008.  I’ve included the graph below since 2001.  Note the correlation between job growth and who controls Congress.

Was Obama talking about Bush, or Pelosi/Reid?

Obama has attempted to hit Romney on job creation by saying Romney’s state was as low as 47th in job creation.  But what Obama does not mention is that at that point Massachussetts already had 4.7% unemployment.  It would be the equivalent of saying LeBron James is short because he grew fewer inches than any fifth grader this year.

While Obama cheers an unemployment rate that has dropped to 8.2%, real unemployment remains at about 14.5%.  This rate includes people who have dropped out of the workforce and people who have taken interim under employment.

The last time the deficit was under $1 trillion was 2008.  The last time the deficit was under $500 billion was 2008.  In fact, even adjusted for inflation, you would have to add up all of Bush’s deficits going back through 2004 to equal one of Obama’s.  The last time we had a monthly budget surplus?  September, 2008.

The message from Obama was clear.  If you want 4.4% unemployment, you need to elect Mitt Romney and Republicans to the House and Senate.  If you want deficits under $500 billion per year, you need to elect Mitt Romney.  If you want unemployment at 9-10%, give Pelosi/Reid control over Congress.  If you want another four years of trillion dollar deficits and unemployment over 8%, re-elect Barack Obama. If you want the policies of the last decade when we had a record number of months of job growth, then do what Obama said.  Vote for Mr. Romney.

Will The Importance of Ohio in the General Election Determine Who Romney Nominates for Vice President?: The Herd Looks at Rob Portman

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Ohio Senator Robert Portman

Born Robert Jones Portman (1955-12-19) December 19, 1955 (age 56) Cincinnati, Ohio
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane Portman
Residence Terrace Park, Ohio
Alma Mater Dartmouth College (B.A.) University of Michigan (J.D.)
Profession Attorney
Religion United Methodist

Professional Experience:

  • Owner, Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio,
  • Attorney, Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey
  • Attorney, Patton, Boggs and Blow
  • Congressional Aide
  • White House Aide

Political Experience:

  • Associate Counsel to the President, 1989
  • Director, White House Legislative Affairs, 1989-1991
  • Won, Special Election, United States House of Representatives, May 4, 1993
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1993-2005
  • Senator, United States Senate, 2010-present

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Casual observers of politics may not be very familiar with the name Bob Portman, but in the world of economics Portman is highly regarded as a leading budget hawk, a reputation he established during his 6 terms as a Congressman and as a former Director of Management and Budget. His leadership has been marked by proposals for a balanced budget, fighting against irresponsible earmarks, attempts to put in place new transparency for all federal spending, and when he was Director of Management and Budget, for reducing the size of the federal deficit by more than half of its size at the time.

Prior to becoming the cabinet level Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Senator Portman held another cabinet level post as U.S. Trade Representative. There, Portman implemented and enforced trade policies that successfully reduced barriers to U.S. exports and increased enforcement of trade laws which helped to level the playing field for American farmers, workers and service providers. That is an accomplishment that could have significant appeal to many pivotal, farming oriented states.

Another point that could have vast electoral appeal is that under Portman’s leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought its first successful legal case against China.

Through it all, while Portman closely adhered to conservative orthodoxy, he still managed to establish another reputation for himself as a successful bipartisan leader and through his bipartisan efforts effectively maneuvered legislative initiatives through Congress which increased retirement savings, reformed the IRS and added over fifty new taxpayer rights, curbed unfunded mandates, reduced taxes, and expanded drug prevention and land conservation efforts.

Now entering his second year as United States Senator representing the important swing state of Ohio, Portman’s reputation and proven record could make him a prime target for Romney if he wants to balance the ticket with a solid conservative who has particular expertise with the budget matters that are playing such a critical role in this election, and who is not seen as an overly partisan politician, while at the same time can make the difference between winning and losing Ohio in the general election…….a factor which could very well mean winning or losing the presidency of the United States. It is that consideration which has led many political insiders to conclude that Romney will in fact pick Portman to be his rinning mate.

While too much weight is probably being placed on that for anyone to defintively state Portman will be the vice presidential nominee, the Ohio factor is certainly compelling.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election. The last time it did come very close to making the difference in the presidential election was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate. That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916. Kennedy and Johnson had no love for one another. In fact it was just the opposite. However, politics makes for strangebedfellows and so the Kennedy-Johnson alliance was born to insure winning the White House.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won, be stopped. In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally. But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P. candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent. Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Ohio or Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why like Rob Portman in Ohio, Jeb Bush of Florida and Bob McDonnell of Virginia must also be considered as very real a potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

Given these facts and the fact that Republicans may not be able to win the White House without winning Ohio (no Republican has ever been elected President without it), Portman could be the only available favorite son from Ohio who could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney. Therefore, when it comes to Rob Portman being on the ticket, at some point the powers that be may decide that they can’t win the election without Portman helping to make sure they win Ohio. Personally I do not believe that Portman is as of yet popular enough in the Buckeye State to ensure a G.O.P. victory there but he also can’t hurt the chances of pulling out a G.O.P. victory there.

All things considered, Senator Portman is probably one of the safest, least controversial, and most logical choices for any Republican presidential nominee to select as their running mate and therefore, like Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree, John Thune, Portman becomes a leading contender.

Pros:

  • Portman might influence the results in Ohio by a margin that could deliver Ohio for Republicans and winning Ohio is practicial required in order for Republicans to win the White House
  • Could please conservatives who not yet sold on Romney
  • Portman corners the market for Republicans on the issues most critical in this election…. the economy
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • He is not a lightning rod for liberal attacks and his addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own

Assessment:

While Portman is viewed as one of the most likely people for Romney to pick for Vice President because of his probable ability to put Ohio in the Republican electoral vote count, I do not beliueve that Bob Portman has yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done by the Obama regarding his record. Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with, and loyal to Portman, that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn. Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire. But that is not the case with Rob Portman. At least not yet. And if Ohio is so pivotal, Team Obama will do all they can to assasinante the charachter of Rob Portman. And Portman’s short time as G. W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the basis for that character assasination.

Of course, Portman will easily and correctly be able to defend his record by making it quitre clear that most of his reccomendations whil Director of OMB were not followed up on by the Bush Administration, but in many regards, the Obama campaign will have the ability to create the false impression that Portman played a part in creating the current economic crisis.

Understanding that, it must also be said that the opposition will do the same with anyone who is nominated by Republicans. So from that perspective, Portman should not be denied the chance to defend his record, a record that is truly exceptional and could be incredibly helpful in allowing Mitt Romney to advance a powerful case for fiscal conservatism.

Ultimatley though, if fiscal conservatism and budgets are a selling point that Romney wants his running mate to well versed and experienced in, I see him more likely to select someone else. Possibly someone like Mitch Daniels who was also a Director of the Office of Management of Budget under G.W. Bush but has a stronger and nmore loyal following than Portman, and has his economic record as Governor of Indiana to point to when Obama tries to pin the Bush years on him.

Portman certainly is on the short list for Vice President and for good reason. But I do not believe that he will make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

S 2343 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Reid Bill)
Legislation (Nay), May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2107 – Authorizes Import of FDA-Approved Drugs from Canada
Amendment (Nay) May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill)
Amendment (Yea), May 24, 2012

More Key Votes

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Portman on The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Health Care
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Civil Rights Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Jobs Welfare & Poverty Corporations
Energy & Oil Environment Technology Principles & Values

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Rob Portman Reported to Be Mitt Romney’s Pick for Vice President

 Bookmark and SharePJ Media reports that  a consensus among inside GOP political operatives exists which concludes that Mitt Romney will pick Rob Portman as his vice presidential running mate.  The report however  based on the hearsay of anonymous sources, including what is described as a prominent GOP Super PAC insider who wants to remains anonymous.

According to PJ Media upon asking this unnamed Super PAC leader about their thoughts on Portman as a potential vice presidential nominee, an email reply from them stated the following;

He could bring Ohio!!! And he is very experienced and he won’t spend $100,000 on clothes in two months!  The goal this cycle is “safe, not sorry. But win Ohio!”

Now I do not question the credibility of PJ Media, I do question the intent of this unnamed insider who feels the need to, out of nowhere, come out and take a foul, unjustified, and totally senseless shot at Sarah Palin for circumstances that were not of her own doing and which she rectified.

I also question whether or not this so-called consensus among G.O.P. operatives about Portman being Romney’s pick has anything to do with knowing what only a select few under Romney’s Senior Advisor Beth Myers, know and are discussing amongst themselves?

Myers served as chief of staff during Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor and managed his 2008 presidential campaign.  She is now overseeing  Romney’s vice presidential selection process and is undergoing a vetting process that involves only a select few Romney confidants who discuss aspects of the vetting process among only themselves.  And any discussions of the process among this small group of trusted advisors, is done only on a need to know basis.  Which is why there have not yet been any leaks which have led to the upping or lowering of the odds for of being picked among any of the known potential nominees.  The Romney team is probably one of the most talented and professional political or for that matter, non-political organizations there has ever been.  It is a consequence of Romney’s own managerial expertise and Midas Touch.  Say what you want about Mitt but he knows how to run  things and get a job done.  And so the only way that a leak about who has picked for Vice President would come about is if it was intentional.  And this “consensus” based declaration about Rob Portman was not sanctioned by Team Romney.

Furthermore, I doubt that the leader of a Super PAC, even a pro-Romney Super Pac, would be privy to such insider information.  In addition to it being questionably illegal or at the very least,  unethical for such communications between the Romney campaign and any Super PAC, it would not benefit Team Romney to exercise the type of loose lips that would give away a secret as big as this one.

So while I do not wish to call in to question the credibility of the claim that Rob Portman is going to be Romney’s running mate in November, I must do exactly that.

Portman could very well be the individual Romney picks but only a select few know how truly likely that is and they are not talking.

Speculation about who the Romney’s running mate will be is the last big question that remains in the race, aside from who will ultimately win.  And the suspense is just killing most political junkies, myself included.  However it must be understood that any public discussion about who Romney will pick is simply conjecture on the part of conducting the discussion.  In the case of the latest scuttlebutt concerning Rob Portman, it would seem to be based mainly on his ability to deliver Ohio for Romney in November.  But it has been my sense that Portman is not necessarily established well enough to be counted on for that purpose.  That sense of mine was only verified when a recent Quinnipiac Poll concluded the following;

The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call as President Barack Obama gets 45 percent to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, with a 45 – 45 percent dead heat if the GOP adds home-state Sen. Rob Portman as Romney’s running mate.

That poll was taken just two weeks ago but it is safe to say that those numbers have not changed much since then and it led Politico to report a story entitled “Poll: Rob Portman no GOP boost in Ohio”

As indicated in an abbreviated White House 2012 Vice Presidential Contender page prepared for for Bob Portman back in April, historically, the vice presidential nominee only affects the presidential election results in their home state by no more than four percent.  If that were to hold true here, according to the closeness of the race in Ohio so far, Portman could actually put Romney over the top.  But the polls do not yet bear that out and  even if they did, we are long way from Election Day and the Obama campaign will not give up Ohio easily.  As such,  in my opinion, the Obama campaign’s ruthlessness and billion dollar campaign war chest will simply inundate every media source with an endless array of stories focussed on destroying the record and reputation of Bob Portman.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Portman is exceptionally qualified and although he is not my first choice to be the next in line for the presidency, I can easily support him.  His record of fiscal responsibility is far superior to most political leaders out there and he is extremely competent in other areas of concern too.  But Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own and the lies about him will have a way of becoming true in the subconscious of an ad weary electorate.

Such was the case in 2008 with Sarah Palin.

In a documentary entitled Media Malpractice, one is taken on a step-by-step walk through of election history that documented what I call the palinization of Sarah Palin.  It was a process that showed how the left inundated our world with an endless array of salacious stories about Sarah Palin.  Every day some new liberal inspired charges or unseemly story was leaked and for days, each one captured the headlines.    As the documentary then shows at the very end, when asked what was true and what false during the campaign, voters got each answer wrong.

For instance, when asked which person running on either of the major presidential tickets pretended that their daughter’s son was their own, all those questioned answered Sarah Palin.

However, in that same documentary when asked which candidate on either of the major presidential tickets had to drop out of a previous race for President because they were caught plagiarizing the speeches of a British Labor Party leader, voters again answered Sarah Palin.

In both cases the answers to those question were wrong.  As most of us know, Sarah Palin did not pretend that her daughter’s child was her own and as for the candidate who dropped out of a previous race for President in disgrace because of plagiarism, the answer of course is not Sarah Palin.  It’s Joe Biden.

But politics is perception and the Obama campaign successfully created false impressions about the Republican ticket which casual voters believed to be true.

This can of course be done to any candidate, and with Team Obama it will be done.  It will be done to Mitt Romney and whomever he nominates for Vice President.  The problem is that given how pivotal Ohio may be “if” this election is as close as many think it will be, the Obama campaign will invest so much time and money into Ohio and into destroying Portman that in the end, even Ohioans will be embarrassed to support Portman on a presidential ticket.  I say this not because Portman will not be able to defend himself.  He will.  I state this simply because Portman is not yet the kind of established figure in Ohio who I believe can withstand the type of relentless assault upon him that the Obama strategists will engage in.

Bob Portman has not yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done regarding his record.  Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with and loyal to Portman that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn.  Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire.  But that is not the case with Rob Portman.  At least not yet.

So I would not bet the farm on Rob Portman.

As for myself, I have used White House 2012 as the platform for a series called The Herd.  It explores a herd of 25 names which I believe are being or should be considered for Vice President by Mitt Romney.  Each day, in alphabetical order, one of those names is discussed.   We are currently up to the “M’s”.

In each of those profiles, I present a case for why each person is being or should be considered and address the pros and cons of their potential presence on the Republican presidential ticket.  In creating this series, I have established my own assumptions as well as my own preferences.  But deep down I know that in trying to predict who Mitt Romney will actually nominate, no matter how much I try to put myself in his position and try think to like, I know that I am not Mitt Romney and that even after studying Romney’s personal history and management style, no matter how in tune I may think I am with his thought process, I know that only Mitt Romney knows who he will choose and at the moment I do not even think Mitt Romney yet knows who that will be.

But stay tuned because once The Herd has posted the profile of each of those names that we believe are in contention, I will offer my best guest as to whom Romney might pick, as well as the name of the person I believe he should pick and who this conservative wants to see him pick.Bookmark and Share

Obama’s Only Prayer: Forward

Forward.  Please, don’t look back at the last three years.  Look forward to a new set of baloney, magic wand promises, not back to failed bandaid solutions, corruption, out of control spending, and a political ideology that has favored friends and taken freedoms from many Americans.  This is the perfect campaign solution for a President who failed and wants a second chance.   In fact, I found it to be refreshingly honest.

Forward is a complete contrast to Obama’s last implied campaign slogan of “look at the last 8 years”, by which he actually meant look at the last two years.  Of course, look at the last two years was a great slogan in a Presidential race in 2008.  Looking at how Pelosi/Reid had run congress since 2007 turned out to be the Democrat party’s downfall in 2010.  In fact, it is telling that Obama appears to have abandoned his earlier plans to run against a do-nothing congress.

Romney would be wise to run a campaign on contrast.  Romney could contrast Obama’s bliss over 8.1% unemployment to Bush’s unemployment rates in the 4% range. While the media continues to stoke anti-Wall Street sentiment, Romney still connects when he contrasts his years of business experience with Obama’s youthful, socialist ideologies mixed with lack of experience.  On the same note, Romney might also mention the difference between the years of peaceful, clean and respectful TEA Party protests compared to the violent, ignorant Occupy Wall Street groups who caused millions of dollars in damage on May 1st of this year.

To start, Romney could simply contrast the lack of enthusiasm in 2012 with the fainting and worshiping masses Obama inspired in 2008.  For example, in Obama’s “first” campaign speech of this year, he couldn’t even fill a stadium in the swing state of Ohio.

The key for Romney in combating Obama’s “Forward” campaign is capturing the conversation and creating pictures for the American people of what forward will look like under Obama.  Contrast that with a picture of forward under Mitt Romney, and Obama’s best shot at a winning campaign could become his liability.

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.

A Dismal Fight for Relevance

The GOP Presidential debate in Las Vegas highlighted not only some of the candidates’ fight for relevance, but the fight for relevance for many voters in the nation. Nevada joined the growing number of States moving up their primary election. The voters in many States have felt as though their votes did not matter. Key swing States often vote so late that the primary process is basically over and decided before their votes are cast. It has been argued that this has resulted in nominations of candidates that don’t speak to the needs of most Americans, but rather just to the needs of a handful of non-representative States. The power that Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have in the nomination process outweighs that of key general election States like Florida and Ohio. The cost of running a campaign is so staggeringly high that a candidate that does not appeal to the voters in Iowa or New Hampshire may be out of the race regardless of how he or she is polling in more critical States. The problem effects both parties and gave the Democrats Barack Obama and the Republicans John McCain, not the first choices of the majority of people in key general election States at the time of the early primaries. Penalties against States in 2008 from the Democrats are being matched this year by many Republican candidates boycotting Nevada either wholly or in part.

Jon Huntsman was absent from the debate in protest. In reality, his ‘protest’ had more to do with courting New Hampshire voters than it did with any principle. He is seeking to knock Romney down in the New Hampshire polls and lift himself by painting himself as their real ‘friend’ and Romney as not really for their needs. Romney, Perry and Paul decided to leave the placement of primaries to the States and stay out of their affairs. All the others didn’t seem sure of what position to take, so they went to the televised debate but skipped other events. That is sort of like going to the all you can eat buffet and ‘making a stand’ by not eating any oyster crackers. It isn’t a position based on any principles and it isn’t particularly meaningful. In the end, it all comes down to Huntsman trying to make himself relevant by playing up the inflated relevance of New Hampshire while Nevada is trying to make the votes of its citizens relevant by moving up its primary.

The rest of the field used the debate to fight for their relevance. Bachmann and Santorum needed to make a big move. Gingrich needed to put on as good a performance in this debate people could actually watch as he did in the minimal audience Bloomberg debate so they would see his relevance. Perry needed to show that he can be an effective candidate without a teleprompter or he might drop further in the polls to total irrelevance. Cain needed to show that he had foreign affairs ideas and not just 9-9-9 so that he can truly challenge Romney. Paul needed to connect with the viewer better after publishing his plan full of popular conservative ideas so that he is no longer viewed as irrelevant to mainstream voters. Lastly Romney needed to put some passion into his performance and show the voters something to be excited about so that he can see his poll numbers break out of their long-time holding pattern.

Unfortunately none of the candidates succeeded. They could have all come out of the debate better off and advanced the larger conservative cause. Instead, rather than any winners, the debate is better measured in who the bigger losers were. In the effort to make themselves look better at the expense of other candidates, Santorum and Perry generally made themselves look like jerks. The only civility in the debate came, once again, from Gingrich and Cain. Romney, who needed to energize the voters and give them a reason to be excited by his campaign, instead decided to engage in attacks on other candidates in a very condescending manner. Bachmann did better on issues than in some previous debates but still came across as a yipping dog.

Now I’m sure that there will plenty of you who think I am being too hard or too mean to these candidates. You may feel that it is disloyal to the party or the movement for a conservative blogger to call out these candidates. You may think your preferred candidate somehow was justified in his or her actions during the debate. You may think they won the debate. As someone who has yet to make a choice on these candidates, I are weighing them all and I was disappointed in their performances this time. I know they could do better. I expect them to be better. We need them to be better.

That being said, there were many good responses and messages put forth in this debate on security. There was not as much consensus on security issues as there had been on economic issues. Some interesting divides emerged. It was surprising that Bachmann, as Tea Party champion, aligned more with neoconservative Santorum on foreign affairs. She was far more a champion of interventionism than any other candidate on the stage aside from Santorum. How that will play with the less interventionist leanings of most Tea Partiers will be seen in the next round of polls. Ron Paul has generally had weak support from most conservatives on foreign affairs, but he did manage to better articulate his positions on those matters. Herman Cain was able to be a more broad candidate and not just Mr. 9-9-9. Rick Perry appeared prepared and engaged for the debate. So, there are some good parts that came from the debate. It is just unfortunate that most of that was buried underneath a mountain of attacks and counterattacks between the candidates.

The conduct of the candidates is translating to the voters. The audience in the debate hall was far more divided than in previous debates. At times they even booed various responses. That is good news for Obama, but not very good news for the GOP. The only person who really seems to get that is Newt Gingrich. If the candidates continue to drive wedges within the party in their fight, they may only make the eventual nominee so weak that the party itself will have to fight for relevance again. We need to be building on the momentum of 2010, but are slowing our own roll and giving Obama everything he needs to destroy any of these candidates in the general.

To all of the candidates (except Speaker Gingrich), I must say that I am disappointed in your actions and while I came into the debate excited about my choices, I am leaving the debate much less so. We need leaders. Attacking your fellows is not leading. Bashing another’s ideas is not having vision. Grow up.

Ohio’s John Kasich Backs Haley Barbour for President

Bookmark and Share Although Republican presidential polls have not been kind to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the people who appreciate Barbours efforts on their behalf are. After raising and spending more than $50 million to elect GOP candidates to statehouses as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association the first of one those newly elected Governors has come out and endorsed Haley Barbour for President.

Ohio Governor John Kasich recently stated I will be for Haley if he runs because he’s been so helpful to me,”.

Kasich is one of the 17 newly elected or reelected Republicans whose races Barbour targeted and played a big role in their victories. Some of those Barbour backed victories included the ousting Democrat Governors in Iowa, while wresting away open seats currently held by Democrats in Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming; and successfully defending Republican seats in Arizona, South Carolina, Florida and Texas. But Ohio was probably the sweetest victories of all. Not only did the G.O.P. defeat incumbent Ted Strickland, they replaced him with what is a true deficit hawk in John Kasich. Kasich also happens to be one of White House 2012s rising stars. But most important of all is the value of Ohio itself.

Ohio is one of the most important states in the general election and no Republican has won the presidency without carrying Ohio since Abraham Lincoln was elected in1860.

Prior to Lincoln, three Republican candidates carried Ohio, but they lost the national election. Those candidates were John C. Fremont in 1856; James G. Blaine in 1884, and Benjamin Harrison in1892.

In the last century, only two Democrats, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 and John F. Kennedy in 1960 won the presidency while losing Ohio.

In the presidential nominating contests, Ohios late date on the primary calendar makes it less pivotal and while this year, Ohios primary may not be held until March, it does carry 66, winner-take-all delegates, delegates that, if Haley Barbour makes it that far, could make or break his race for the presidential nomination. Which is why having the states Governor in your corner and putting the states party organizational effort behind you, could prove invaluable.

The Kasich endorsement is just one of the many examples of state and Party leaders who will throw their weight behind Barbour because of, as Kasich put it, how helpful Barbour has been to them. Governor Barbour has been racking up such chits ever since he was Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Republican Revolution of 1994, when Barbour was credited with providing the margin of victory for Republicans on many different levels.

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