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?

Ron Paul Announces He Will End Actively Campaiging for President

 Bookmark and Share Texas Congressman and three time candidate for President Ron Paul, has officially declared an unofficial end to his third race for President.

The announcement came in a statement released on Ron Paul’s official 2012 presidential campaign website and in it Paul carefully avoided to declare that he was ending or suspending his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.  In fact the statement Paul highlighted a phrase contained in his statement.  It read;

“We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.”

The announcement comes at a time several weeks after most everyone else has taken for granted  that Mitt Romney, Ron Paul’s only remaining active opponent, is the Republican nominee.

Paul used his announcement to deny defeat and make excuses for why he was unable to win.

According to him, “success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have” but went out of his to add that in his opinion, he did win a degree of “electoral success” which he claims that his  critics denied were possible.

While it is true that Ron Paul did have some electoral success, it is also true that in this case, success is relative to his past two races for President, but his campaign was far from successful when compared to the reality of the race that he ran.

Throughout this long nomination contest, Ron Paul did almost win a barely contested, non-binding caucus in Maine but that’s it.  Aside from Maine, despite statements by Ron Paul which often claimed that more people attended his campaign events than did the campaign events of other candidates, in the end he won a grand total of 104 delegates to the Republican National Convention.   And while it is true that Ron Paul’s fundraising did exceed that of all the other Republicans in the race except for Romney, it is also true that when one breaks down the more than $36 million that Ron Paul raised, he paid $345, 243.00 for each of the 104 delegates which he won.  That is compared to Mitt Romney’s $90,530.00 per delegate, Newt Gingrich’s $173,016.00 per delegate and Rick Santorum’s $77,951.00 per delegate.

So it is no wonder why Ron Paul finally admitted that it would take too much money for him to win.  Based upon what it cost him to win just 104 delegates, it would have cost him more than $3.2 billion dollars in order to win the 1,144 required to win the nomination.  $3.2 Billion!

At that rate of spending, to win just the Republican nomination, Ron Paul would have needed to spend more than 3 times the $1 billion that President Obama intends to raise to win reelection to the White House.   Talk about money in politics.

Yet through it all, Ron Paul still remains a legend in his own mind as he promises to continue trying to get more delegates in order to influence the Republican Party platform at the national convention in September.  According to Paul, it is all a part of his “campaign for Liberty”.

The problem with Paul’s “campaign for Liberty” though is that it is based on several severely flawed beliefs which fail to acknowledge that any true campaign for Liberty must include the willingness to defend Liberty and despite his denials, Ron Paul failed to ever acknowledge the foreign threats that do exist.

Paul preferred to focus solely on the very undeniable and very real self inflicted, domestic threats to Liberty that Americans have allowed our federal government to put in place.  Threats such as irresponsible taxation and spending and the Nanny State mentality that attempts to make the federal government act as each American’s caretaker from cradle to grave.

I truly appreciate Ron Paul’s Paul Revere-like warnings of the latter but it is his denial of the foreign threats mentioned in the former which frightens me.

Ultimately, the number of delegates that Ron Paul accumulates will probably not make a much of difference, at least not on foreign policy, and national security and defense.  On those issues, most American’s believe in a better safe than sorry approach and most of them refuse to fall for Paul’s pitch for such things as allowing Iran to have nuclear capabilities because they are not a threat to us.

On such issues, 104 delegates out of the 2,286 delegates in attendance, will not be enough to change the platform positions of a vast and overwhelming number of Republicans who understand that the United States can not relinquish its leadership role on  the world stage to others.  However, paul’s delegates could make the difference on several economic planks in the platform, such as calls for the elimination of several federal agencies or cabinet positions.

Ron Paul’s full statement read as follows:

“As I reflect on our 2012 Presidential campaign, I am humbled by the supporters who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. And I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We will not stop until we have restored what once made America the greatest country in human history.

“This campaign fought hard and won electoral success that the talking heads and pundits never thought possible. But, this campaign is also about more than just the 2012 election. It has been part of a quest I began 40 years ago and that so many have joined. It is about the campaign for Liberty, which has taken a tremendous leap forward in this election and will continue to grow stronger in the future until we finally win.

“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.

“Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom are fighting and need your support.

“I hope all supporters of Liberty will remain deeply involved – become delegates, win office, and take leadership positions. I will be right there with you. In the coming days, my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help, so please stay tuned.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul.”

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.

Reality Check

As we head into Michigan and Arizona, the Republican party needs a reality check.  Fortunately, here it is:

Rick Santorum

The media is doing their best to paint Santorum as some sort of radical conservative religious whacko.  Hardly.  Santorum on social issues is saying what most Republicans are thinking.  The thing is, conservatives are scared to death of Obama winning re-election and many will gladly sacrifice what they believe to take the candidate everyone is telling them can win.  But here’s the thing, Obama’s economy has about a 26% approval rating and any Republican looks amazing economically next to Obama.  If Obama wins, it will be because he runs an incredible marketing campaign, race bates, and paints his opponents as somehow more socially radical than he is.  It won’t be because Obama saved the economy, unless moderates and independents are even more gullible and stupid than we thought.

What should keep Republicans up at night about Santorum is his passion on Iran.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon.  I think they will use it on Israel if they do.  But America is not ready to commit to another war.  I think we would have to see another 3,000 US civilians die on one day before the majority of Americans get the stomach for what Santorum has been talking about.  That includes what he has talked about with central America.

Mitt Romney

Romney is uninspiring by design.  His economic plan is a mixture of timid populism.  In the end, what he is running on is his record of creating a great deal of personal wealth and success, as well as his management skills.  But Warren Buffett, another populist, has also made great personal success through good management, and I think he would be a terrible President.  If this election were solely about the economy,the DNC would be looking for a new candidate and Romney would already be the GOP candidate.  The fact is, as long as Romneyites continue to downplay social issues, they will continue to loose the support of the majority of conservatives who actually care about social issues.  Believe it or not, many Americans on both sides of the aisle hold the value of their social and religious issues higher than the economy.   For example, many pro-lifers would sacrifice a great deal of wealth to stop the murder of the unborn.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Mitt Romney is the fact that even his economic plan has been as malleable as his social stances.  What was supposed to be Romney’s conservative strength has instead turned into calls to raise the minimum wage and tax the rich to redistribute to the poor.  In each case, this was a reaction from the Romney campaign to criticism from the left.

Newt Gingrich

Newt is the smartest candidate and he has the best ideas.  It is no secret that I believe this.  But Newt is easily destroyed by opponents and the media.  He has tried to run a cheap campaign with little or no ground game, which makes victory as visionary as a base on the moon.  Part of Newt’s problem is that now his electability is questionable instead of Santorum’s.  Newt isn’t going to win anything until he re-establishes himself as the only electable anti-Romney.  Every time Santorum wins another state, Newt’s chances dim even more.  Get ready for things to start looking real bad as Santorum wins Arizona and maybe Michigan.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Newt Gingrich is how easily he is destroyed by negative campaigning and how weak his campaign structure is.  If Newt can’t beat the unelectable Santorum and uninspiring Romney in every state, how would he propose to beat Obama?

Ron Paul

No one ever thought Ron Paul would win, except maybe his 10% who also think that being obnoxious will win people over.  However, it has been noted that Paul seems to have a cozy relationship with Mitt Romney.  Perhaps Paul also thinks only Romney can beat Obama.  Or, as some have suggested, maybe Paul has a secret deal with Romney to secure a VP slot for him or his son.  Actually, a Romney/Rand Paul ticket would be an incredibly smart idea and might be the only thing that can bring the extremes of the Republican party back together.  The only thing, of course, other than Obama himself.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Ron Paul is his Iran policy.  Yeah, maybe we aren’t ready to go to war in Iran like we did in Iraq.  But I also don’t think most Americans are ready to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that Iran isn’t a threat.  I think fewer Republicans have an appetite to continue the World America Apology Tour under a different name.

Barack Obama

The real reality check for Republicans should be a refocusing on Barack Obama.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who support him.  After Solyndra, Fast n Furious, reversing Mexico City policy, forcing religious organizations to provide abortion pills, Obamacare, and everything else Obama has done, there are actually cars on the road with Obama 2012 stickers on them.  Somehow, Obama still has a shot in this race.

What should keep Republicans awake at night about Barack Obama is that despite all that he has done to this country and to the rule of law and constitution, there are people who still support him.  The media refuses to vet Obama, even ignoring his radical social positions on abortion.  Meanwhile, in desperation Santorum is releasing economic plans that are going ignored by the party and media.  GOP candidates are doing a great job of getting their message out.  Unfortunately, their message is that each other suck.  Let’s hope that Republicans will find a way to inspire the entire base, and expose Obama on fiscal AND social issues.

Too Bad The Debate Won’t Matter

It is way too late in the game for the groundswell of Santorum supporters to turn back and take a gamble on Newt.  At stake is handing the Republican nomination to an establishment Republican with a liberal tax plan, timid economic plan, and nothing more than a strong business reputation to run on.  But after last night’s debate, the choice for the Republican nominee is as clear to me as the day I endorsed him.

I was proud of Newt for making a supremely important point in the debate over contraception.  The issue isn’t a debate between someone who wants to keep birth control pills legal and someone who wants to ban all contraception and chain women to the kitchen sink.  The debate is between someone who voted to make it legal for doctors to kill babies after they are born and the eventual GOP candidate who simply wants to protect religious organizations from having to pay for abortion pills.  The radical here is most definitely Obama and both Newt and Mitt pointed that out.

Santorum struck out more than once.  He came across as arrogant, angry and mean.  He has already taken a great deal of heat for dismissing unprincipled votes as “taking one for the team”.  This is the opposite of what anti-establishment Republicans are looking for.  I will give Santorum one very good mark though for making clear that when he talks about what is wrong with the family in America, he id not proposing that we use the government to solve it.  I mentioned that a couple days ago as something Santorum has not done a good job making clear.

Romney did a poor job connecting.  He has put up a conservative facade, but his opponents consistently poked holes in it.  In the end, he will keep his diehard supporters and establishment Republican allies, but he continues to disappoint.

Ron Paul continues to live in a time machine fantasy world where we supposedly can ignore what Iran is doing because we made them do it in the first place and ignoring them will make them go away.  Ron Paul does not seem to understand that on a scale of rationality, radical Islamic terrorists make the communists and fascists seem like Locke and Des Cartes.  Mutual guaranteed destruction is no great incentive for peace when offered to suicide bombers.

Unfortunately, Newt does not have the ground organization to convince Santorum voters to switch back.  But after last night’s debate, we may be kicking ourselves for a long time for overlooking him in 2012.

Is a Romney/Paul Ticket in our Future?

After the most recent Republican presidential primary debate, the Santorum campaign beganfloating rumors that the Ron Paul and Mitt Romney campaigns had teamed up to take out the socially conservative politician.  The rumors come at a time when the Michigan campaign is heating up ahead of its February 28th primary election and the candidates are competing for every vote.

Following Wednesday’s Republican debate, Santorum suggested that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had teamed up in their attacks against Santorum, telling reporters that “You have to ask Congressman Paul and Governor Romney what they’ve got going together, their commercials look a lot alike and so do their attacks”.
Rick Santorum’s top campaign strategist took the rumor even further, suggesting that the two have a “tag-team strategy” and an “alliance”, and even went as far as to suggest that Romney was planning on taking Ron Paul on as his vice presidential running-mate.  Ron Paul has said in the past that despite significantly different foreign policy positions and disagreement over the Federal Reserve, he and Romney get along well.
The Mitt Romney campaign responded by denying that there was any coordination between the two campaigns, his chief strategist Stuart Stevens telling reporters that “I think that’s a sort of whiney silliness…to say ‘people are ganging up on me’ in a debate where there’s only four people in the debate and they’re raising questions kind of speaks for itself.”

Why Newt Gingrich? Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The pressure is again being mounted by some in the conservative media for former Speaker Newt Gingrich to withdraw from the GOP race. I sound a word of warning to conservatives against any such move and in fact, urge them to support Speaker Gingrich in whatever way possible going forward and will explain why.

Today, the influential conservative magazine National Review called for Newt Gingrich to leave the Republican primary contest. Repeating its past criticisms of Gingrich the magazine’s editorial said “it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee.”

I refute this call for a variety of reasons but above all, Republicans need to be careful what they wish for. This GOP race has perhaps being the most widely covered, and without doubt volatile in presidential race history. The reasons for this are many; the introduction of the Super Pacs, the media war between liberal and conservative media outlets, the vast amount of debates and finally social media have transformed this race.

This 2012 election race is I believe, a final opportunity for Americans to divert their great nation away from decline and direct themselves back onto a course of recovery, restoration and once again be the world’s leader in all sphere’s of influence.

If you believe commentators growth, consumer spending, manufacturing, house prices and stock prices are all on the upward trend and unemployment is coming down and the green shoots of a recovery are starting to gather steam. This may on paper be all true at present however; it is the unforeseen and often, quickly dismissed issues, that will determine the real future outlook for most American’s in the coming generations.

The primary function of government has come to be understood as being the protection of the people’s rights from foreign nations and the government itself. These rights, as we all know, are the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This function of government could not be clearer. It is this failure of government and the lack of an individual with a proven track record to address the issues of the national debt, spending, entitlement reform and pursue a strong foreign policy that are the real threats.

I will state, that I do not believe these very real threats and dangers facing America are all down to President Obama; they have been decades in the making. President Obama however; has failed to halt the decline and above all, has been unable to get all branches of government working for the people effectively under his stewardship that has been his biggest failure.

The U.S. National debt is approaching $15.4 trillion dollars; $4 trillion dollars of this debt has been added in three years under President Obama alone. Commentators in the U.S. often cite Greece as the potential end result for the U.S. if it fails to alter course. I say forget Greece, total European Union debt stands at around $14 trillion dollars however, its 27 nations account for a bigger share of global gross domestic product, possesses a much larger internal market and has a population of over 500 million compared to the U.S. population of roughly 310 million people. The debt burden per person (capita) stands at $48,258 for every American with the U.S contributing 37 per cent of the increase in global debt from 2007 – 2011 and 40 per cent from 2011 to 2016, it is only a matter of time before these financial constraints strangle America’s future and prosperity.

In recent years, all too often have U.S. recommendations or initiatives become to be ignored or dismissed by other leading nations on issues ranging from trade negotiations, military threats, peace efforts,  right through to addressing the recent global economic crisis.

I respect Mitt Romney, and if he is the eventual nominee for the GOP, he’ll have my total support in the race and I believe America will improve to an extent economically under a Romney Presidency. Respectfully, Ron Paul has some very valid and excellent ideas and arguments on a domestic level however; his approach to foreign policy concerns many and justifiably so. Then there’s the latest rise of Senator Rick Santorum. I think he is a strong valued & principled man however; putting the very real challenges of ineffective government, economic and global threats together, I do not believe he is capable of being the type of president America needs at the present time. Santorum is well versed on the issue of Iran however; like Governor Romney, when you take them onto broader international issues and threats, they simply haven’t got the depth of knowledge or experience to hit the ground running from the start.

Conservatives and independents need to be honest with themselves and ask, if they really want to defeat President Obama in the coming fall election. The GOP as a party needs to offer a strong platform and contrast to President Obama and the Democratic Party in terms of policy and vision.

The election is not about personality or an American Idol type contest, this is a decisive moment in history, and as I’ve always maintained, a turning point for America and its future. Don’t be swayed by populist media commentators and partisan coverage. In order for the U.S. to remain the global leader it has become, the entire manner in how the government in Washington operates needs to be addressed.

I’ll say something controversial here, regardless from what side of the political divide you come from, entitlement reform needs to be addressed urgently and fundamental changes made. There needs to be wholesale change of the tax system at all levels and finally, spending needs to be brought back under control and a balanced budget achieved within the next five years.

This leads me onto former Speaker Gingrich, who I’ve always believed substantively, to be the candidate with the most potential. He’s an individual whose strong conservative arguments and mastery of the issues are sometimes ignored due to past behaviour. He’s already been carpet bombed with negative advertisements from the Romney campaign in Iowa and Florida already. Attacked like no other candidate by the mainstream media in this election cycle, and then by many from within his own party. People need to ask why this is? It is not coincidence, or is it due to any past behavourial mishaps on his part. It is because Gingrich has the ability to communicate a sharp contrast between conservative policies and values against the Obama Administration’s better than any other candidate in the field.

Gingrich poses a real threat to the opposition and status quo, he has many achievements during his long political career, playing a key role in passing welfare reform in the 1990’s. He not afraid to upset members within his own party to pursue a vision, a vision he has laid out in his “21st Century Contract with America,” better than any other candidate in the field. It is an organic plan containing some bold but substantive ideas and solutions to the nations’ problems and challenges.

He wants to remove regulatory barriers to boost economic growth understanding fundamentally that less government is the key, not bigger government. He has also worked to and achieved balanced budgets and a budget surplus with former President Clinton.

Gingrich has the proven ability to work across party lines in the national interest, even if it costs him personally and politically. He wants to provide a healthcare system that works; he values and recognises the need for a well educated young nation and values entrepreneurship and innovation. I don’t perceive a candidates’ willingness or preparedness to work with the other party as a weakness, I see it as a distinct positive in these most of crucial times. Above all, I believe he possesses the desire, passion and enthusiasm to lead America from the front and get Washington working effectively again for the people.

I believe any of the other three candidates could be a good Vice-President however; in order to defeat President Obama in the coming election, it will require someone who has the experience, proven ability and vision to transform America and secure its future. America needs a strong president and someone in the Oval office who will not shirk the difficult decisions, and who will ensure a strong and powerful military exists to defend the nation and its people. This is an election of opportunity, and my fear is that conservatives and independents won’t see it in the all important context of securing America’s future for generations to come.

This presidential election race is more about the future and the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Only by choosing a capable and confident leader can America’s future be won! The nation needs strong leadership and a person willing to work with everyone in its interest and Newt is that candidate.

Florida Chooses Safe and Electable

In a repeat of 2008, Florida is betting on electability.  The only difference is that this time around Mitt Romney is the one who has been deemed “electable”.  After pouring millions of dollars into off the wall, and in some cases outright dishonest, advertising portraying Newt Gingrich as a disgraced philanderer, hated by anyone who worked with him, Mitt got one huge point across.  Newt can’t stand up to a multi-million dollar smear campaign.

The argument for Mitt in Florida seems to be, “if Mitt Romney can do that to Newt, imagine what Obama would do”.  The implication seems to be that Obama has more money and could even be dirtier and more dishonest than Romney was.  That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Mitt Romney.

Romney made a bit of his own gamble.  He won Florida with a scorched earth campaign that pulled out all the stops.  Frankly, most Floridians have a sour taste in their mouths.  Forgiving Mitt and getting excited for him may end up being a tough pill to swallow for Newt supporters, and Santorum/Paul supporters are pretty well disgusted with both candidates. McCain used some of the same tactics against Romney in 2008 and many Floridians had a hard time getting excited for McCain.

Had Gingrich performed well in the last debate and won Florida, this race would be close to done.  Instead, Romney is now back in front and has a clear path to the Republican nomination.  He is once again the presumed nominee.  At what cost?  That is the question leaving Florida.

In an interesting development, Romney garnered more votes than Newt and Santorum combined.  Just further proof that Florida conservatives surrendered to electability.

My Endorsement

In the interest of full disclosure, today I voted for Newt Gingrich and I am officially endorsing him for President.  Newt has one thing the other candidates lack, bold accomplishable ideas.  Newt’s 15% flat tax plan is the best tax plan of the remaining candidates.  Unlike Paul who talks about how we should leave the Middle East alone, Gingrich actually has a viable American energy plan that would help us avoid the next war in the Middle East.  Newt has a proven track record of being revolutionary and putting better policies above political games.  He leashed Clinton and accomplished welfare reform and balanced budgets.  Newt also has the determination and vision to argue the 14th amendment in the abortion debate to protect the unborn.

I have forgiven Newt for his personal past, as I think all Christians should.  Newt testified against Freddie Mac, against giving them money, and in favor of reforming them.  Mitt Romney has a funny idea of what lobbying is.  I also have no issue supporting a conservative who has made enemies among establishment, middle of the road Republicans.  We used to call moderates RINOs before we started consistently nominating them.

Don’t get me wrong, I will support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.  I’ll even get a yard sign and show up at rallies like I did with McCain.  But Newt is my first choice, and Romney has greatly disappointed me with the way he ran his Florida campaign.  Shame on Mitt Romney for not having enough bold ideas and vision to keep him from having to resort to negative campaigning to get elected.

Santorum Shines, Paul Respected

The only thing worse than endless political ads is political ads being tossed back and forth in a debate format with no fact checker.  Well, almost no fact checker.  Romney himself got caught when he tried to famously disavow any political negativity coming from his side only to discover that he had indeed approved an attack ad against Gingrich.

What was lost in the mix was serious debate.  The average listener might think that Romney and Gingrich’s stance on immigration actually differed.  What we discovered instead is that they really are basically the same, making their attacks on each others immigration policy pretty funny.  In fact, they all seemed to have the same view on illegal immigration except for Ron Paul who seemed to be saying that the problem is we have a bad economy and if we had a good economy we would all want illegal immigrants to come here and take the jobs Americans won’t.

Of course, with Paul sometimes it is difficult to differentiate his “this is what I would do as President” with his “this is the way things ought to be” with his “this is the way things are” rhetoric.  It keeps him safe with both the radical constitutionalists and the ignorant populists in his base.  Of course, I myself am a radical constitutionalist, but most of Paul’s constitutional rhetoric falls under the “this is the way things ought to be” column.  I couldn’t have any alcohol last night because of an early morning medical procedure Friday morning, but if I had a drinking game it would have been how many times Paul redirected a question by making his answer about the war, how bad the fed has made the economy, or how small a constitutional government should be.  The immigration question got both the war and the economy.

Paul did receive a great deal of respect from the other candidates.  It was the sort of respect Romney showed to Bachmann early on in the race.  It was that sort of “you have no shot of winning, but I would really like your supporters to like me down the road so I’ll smile and pat you on the back” respect.

Gingrich fell into a trap that I warned about a few months ago.  He has big ideas, but he has also become more and more of a states rights conservative.  Gingrich’s problem is communication in small soundbites.  I understood that he was speaking about encouraging private ventures to establish a moon colony, but the three candidates up there either willingly or ignorantly seemed to think he was talking about NASA doing it.

Gingrich also dropped the ball on something he has done very well at in previous debates, not taking media bait.  Blitzer played Romney and Gingrich all night long.  In fact, it was Rick Santorum who had to bring the debate back to the issues.  Unlike the early debates where Gingrich ran the show and the other candidates followed his lead, this time it was Santorum who reminded the other candidates what the debates and this whole process is all about.  Because of it, Santorum shined last night.

Mitt Romney has hired Bachmann’s former debate coach and it shows.  He laid down persistent attacks, mostly inaccurate, and was distracted from the issues all night.  Newt attempted to rebut, but his responses were too involved for the average American viewer.  Romney easily turned Gingrich’s responses on their head.  A good example was when Newt brought up Romney’s investments in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  I think Newt’s point was that Romney shouldn’t be attacking him for doing consulting work for Freddie Mac when in fact Romney himself is making money on Freddie Mac stock.  In the end though, both sides lost that debate and viewers were left with a disgusting taste in their mouth.

I said that Jacksonville, Florida would be the most important debate of this election if one candidate could shine like Gingrich has in the past debates.  In the end, Gingrich saw his shadow and this primary will continue far beyond Florida.  And unfortunately, it will continue to get nastier.  The candidates have already said many things about each other that they will not be able to take back in the general election.  So in the end, Santorum won the debate, but the Republican party was the big loser.

 

Three Points and a Poem

Paul’s Talking Points Get Stale

I’ve heard some good three point sermons.  In fact, in my youth I traveled with some pretty good preachers.  Occasionally it would be a preacher who used the same three point sermon at every stop.  Eventually, you know it by heart.  That is how I would describe Ron Paul’s campaign.  We saw it on display last night when a question about sugar subsidies came up.  Paul’s answer basically began with “Well, with all the wars out there, and economic turmoil…”  It reminded me of when he was asked about Medicare Part D.  He fell back to one of his three talking points, the wars, the fed, and smaller government.

Now, I like a lot of Paul’s principles.  But where he is overflowing with principles, he is short on plans.  Paul’s record is one of a loud, dead weight.  His padding bills with pork and then voting against them is really no different than Barack Obama abstaining.  Of course, that is just one of the similarities between Paul and Obama.  Another is an invisible record of legislative accomplishment, masked by the ability to get people to scream, hoot, and yell at political rallies (whether it is his rally or not).

Honestly, the young generation and Ron Paul deserve each other.  I know liberal pro-choicers who are supporting Ron Paul.  He has certainly connected on his talking points and has no problem leading a successful altar call.  Most voters might be satisfied with his answer that we need to focus on ending the wars and then worry about the details of domestic policy, or that he needs to study the issue more which was his second answer on sugar subsidies.  For me, that does not instill confidence.

Dude, where’s Mitt Romney?

Calm, smooth, classy, gracious, these are all words I’ve used in the past to describe Mitt Romney debate performances.  There was none of that in the Tampa debate where Romney stuttered and choked his way through all the attacks he had chided his superpac for running just a week ago.  Romney is full speed ahead on the attack, and in the process losing everything voters like me liked about him for so much of this race.  It’s getting so bad that the establishment is looking for a new candidate, like Mitch Daniels, to dust off and toss back in the ring.  Has it occurred to the establishment that maybe they are  part of the problem?

Romney’s attacks made him sound like a desperate candidate who has run out of ideas.  Honestly, it made him sound like Michele Bachmann.

Effect of Debates vs. Campaign Fatigue

South Carolina is within reach for Newt.  However, he must now combat something other than superpacs and media.  Newt now has to overcome campaign fatigue.  I’m sure that all of the candidates are tired and have been traveling a lot, but that isn’t what I was referring to.  You probably noticed about a month ago that every time there was a new debate, you were sure to have a friend who commented “Really?? Another one??”

Add to the non-stop debates at least 5 major lead changes among social conservatives, a growing, wearying Ron Paul movement, and the constant drum-beat from the establishment that Romney always was going to be the candidate and it is purely undeniable fate, and Romney gets the advantage among Conservatives who are tired of the infighting and want to get on to the main event.

Romney has flaws.  In fact, as I watch his superpac advertise Newt’s baggage (more than an airliner, according to the ad), I have to wonder why Romneycare, running on a pro-abortion platform, and all that does not count as baggage for Romney.  He has not yet been able to get the social conservatives to give him the unanimous thumbs up.  But one thing he has been flawless at has been this particular campaign.  His biggest missteps seem like manufactured class warfare attacks that only make him stronger among conservatives.  For example, he tried to bet $10k in a debate.  Who cares?  So he has $10k to throw around.  Duh, he’s rich.  Not only that, but only a moron, leftist, or member of the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) would think that Romney was actually trying to get Perry to make a financial wager, not just making a point that Perry was off his rocker.

Romney’s comment that he would like to fire his insurance company led to dishonest attacks from fellow conservatives, and perhaps one of the most boring Saturday Night Live opening sketches in history.  Attacks on Bain capital have left most conservatives scratching their heads, wondering if suddenly supporting small businesses and risk taking is no longer GOP approved.  The funnier thing was Obama attacking Romney’s record at Bain, after Obama used our tax dollars against our will to do the same thing with Chrysler against their will.  At least with Bain they were using investor’s money willingly given to help companies who came to them for help.  I can’t imagine the Chrysler bond-holders were hoping Obama would steal Chrysler, sell it to Italy and give the proceeds to the unions.

A couple days before South Carolina, Gingrich’s biggest advantage in the debates may become his worst liability.  Yes, the New Hampshire debate earned top ratings.  But Romney remains unflappable.  On the other hand, in Huckabee’s South Carolina forum on January 14th, the viewership was not quite so wide but Gingrich’s attack on Bain and the crowd’s booing response can be quickly found on youtube.  Going forward, more average voters are going to start relying more on soundbites and replays than taking time away from the playoffs to watch these debates from start to finish.  Without something to rally behind, Newt will not be able to recover the lost ground.

Romney won Iowa and New Hampshire, continuing to cement his front runner and assumed nominee status.  A South Carolina win will make it nearly impossible for any other candidate to catch up despite the fact that Romney continues to come no where near grabbing a majority of Republicans.  By the time Santorum and Perry drop out, Romney may have enough momentum to convince conservative holdouts to stop fighting him and start fighting with him against Obama.

Capitalism a Casualty of Campaign

What is happening to the Republican field?  It made some sense when Cain was attacked for being a businessman with no foreign policy experience and no political experience.  That was perhaps a fair shot at an outsider businessman candidate.

Then came the attacks on Newt for having Freddie Mac as a client.  Newt not only had Freddie as a client, but his firm made over a million dollars.  Suddenly, it was like Newt himself had caused the economic collapse.  Reasonable conservatives told me that this was insurmountable.  How could Newt, a high level business consultant, have Freddie Mac as a client?  His fellow candidates tried to make it sound like Newt was on their payroll.  Suddenly populism had overtaken the Republican party.

Then came the attacks on Romney for his time at Bain Capital.  Romney’s company created new businesses, reorganized and saved businesses, and occasionally tried to save businesses and failed.  As with any free American enterprise, Bain Capital sometimes downsized and let people go.  Romney’s opponents have seized on this, especially with the ignorant populist anti-wall street sentiment in the country today, and have tried to use this against Romney.  They have painted him as an out of touch, insanely rich “Mr. Burns” who would go in, take over small companies, and fire everyone just to make a buck.  Here’s an idea, how about a millionaire’s surtax on evil rich people like Romney?  Oops, we just became liberals.

I know, political rhetoric is political rhetoric.  You say whatever it takes to win.  But then came the really disappointing moment.  GOP rivals jumped on Romney’s statement that he likes to be able to fire people.  Romney was not saying that he likes to randomly fire people, or likes to fire employees like Bain Capital did.  Huntsman attacked Romney directly for the comment, while Newt released a video exploiting workers who had been fired as a result of Bain Capital’s work.  Romney was actually talking about the ability to not have to buy insurance, or to drop an insurance company that isn’t serving his needs.  But what does context matter in politics?  Shame on them for this line of attack.  You know it’s bad when you are attacking a moderate Republican, and even Ron Paul is standing up for the moderate.  In fact, my hat is off to Ron Paul for defending Romney against this dishonest line of attack.  Newt also eventually came to Romney’s defense about the misquote.

Newt at this point will likely lose Florida, which means he will lose the primary.  Up until this week, at least he had the opportunity to exit with his head held high.  Up to now he had run a very honest, positive campaign.  When he did go negative, it was with honesty.  His best shot at salvaging the honor in his campaign at this point is a humble apology for attacking Romney for being a capitalist.

One final note, may the best capitalist win.  Since when has populism won over conservatives?  Heck, what’s the point?  If Newt is evil for having Freddie Mac as a paying client and Romney is evil for what he did with Bain Capital, then we need to re-elect Obama.  Imagine if Trump had stayed in the race.

 

Editors note: correction from the originally posted article.  Newt did defend Romney against the attack based on his statement about firing insurance companies.  However Newt has attacked Romney for the jobs lost through Bain Capital.

Ron Paul finally gets airtime in the debates

Saturday night, Paul got caught.  Santorum flushed him out, but Perry nailed it.  Ron Paul was mid-attack against Santorum for adding earmarks when the subject of Paul’s own earmarks came up.  Paul then gleefully announced that sure he added earmarks, but he never voted yes on any of the appropriation bills.  Dr. Paul, that is a smoke screen.  You put everything you wanted in bills that you knew would pass anyway, and then voted against those bills to pad your record?  Sorry, not impressed.

Things got even worse when Paul attacked Gingrich again, apparently for not being eligible for the draft.  Paul referred to deferments insinuating that Gingrich received deferments in Vietnam, and Gingrich had to set the record straight that his father was in Vietnam and Newt himself was not eligible for the draft.

While continuing unfair attacks on fellow candidates, Paul once again defended his newsletter by saying he never wrote the ones he signed or read the ones he edited.  Paul did repeat a common liberal racist claim that illegal drugs  and wars adversely affect African Americans and perpetuated the stereotype that blacks are inherently poor.  His solution seemed to be to end wars and make drugs legal, but using the racism angle is a dishonest argument.

Paul made a gaffe when he talked about the US picking up Iranian seamen, which Santorum picked up on pointing out that if Paul was in charge our men wouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Paul’s answers on economics amount to vague elitism.  Something many of us on the TEA Party side have been hungry for in Paul’s rhetoric is the what and how of what he wants to do with the economy.  Yeah we get it.  Paul is a constitutionalist.  He is the doctor of democracy and champion of freedom.  But what does that mean?  Paul’s answer, liquidate debt and cut spending.    I suppose we could all just go read his website to see what exactly he wants to cut, but I’m not convinced Paul even wrote whats on his website.  I’m sure if something objectionable was found on there, Paul would have plausible deniability.

Fortunately, Paul did basically rule out a third party run.

 

ABC News/Yahoo Debate GOP New Hampshire post-debate analysis

I stayed up until 02:00hrs (UK Time) tonight to watch with anticipation the expected slug feast that was meant to be the GOP ABC News /Yahoo debate. Sadly, the standard of debate questions were the poorest of any to date, and I actually felt more sorry for the moderators asking the questions, then for the candidates, who had to stand through this whole debacle which was capped off with the most amateurish of finishes.

Ron Paul was put on the spot early by moderator George Stephanopoulos, over his accusation of corruption against Senator Rick Santorum in his campaign ads.

“It was a quote,” explained Paul. “Somebody did make a survey and he came up as one of the top corrupt individuals because he took so much from lobbyists.”

There was a good composed opening by Romney and Santorum on the issue of the latest jobs report although Santorum was reluctant to repeat his criticism of Romney when urged by the moderator.

At that moment, there was a loud noise and the microphone had some feedback, Santorum seized the moment saying, “They caught you not telling the truth, Ron.”

Mr. Paul quickly went after Mr. Santorum as well, faulting him for his “big government” votes while in Congress, controversy regarding his residency, and money he has taken since leaving office.

“I wish I had 20 minutes to answer this,” Mr. Santorum said. “It’s a ridiculous charge, and you should know better.” He defended his earmarks on behalf of Pennsylvania and the work he has done in the private sector.

“You’re a big spender,” Mr. Paul insisted. “You’re a big-government conservative, and somebody has to say it.”

Governor Perry did well citing his record and Washington outsider status in his quest for the presidential role and accused Ron Paul of taking earmarks for his district and then voting against the Bill saying it hinted of hypocrisy. Ouch! Perry also did well on the military question highlighting the $1 Billion in cuts under the Obama administration in three years, not just the recent cuts.

The next heated exchange came between Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich in a fiery heated exchange following a remark earlier in the week by Paul that Gingrich was a “Chicken Hawk” for supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he himself has never served in the military.

Asked whether he stands by the remark, Paul responds:

“Yeah. I think people who don’t serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments, they have no right to send our kids off to war. … I’m trying to stop the wars. At least I went when they called me up.”

Newt clearly annoyed but disciplined not to appear snarly coolly responds, “Dr. Paul makes a lot of comments. It’s part of his style,” he says. He adds: “Dr. Paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false. The fact is, I never asked for a deferment.”

Paul responds, ““I have a pet peeve that annoys me to a great deal, because when I see these young men coming back, my heart weeps for them.”

Gingrich then notes his father’s years in the military and chides Paul: “I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like as a family to worry about your father getting killed, and I personally resent the kinds of comments and aspersions he routinely makes without accurate information, and then just slurs people.”

The debate then turned to a social values question on Contraception which Romney, Huntsman and Santorum all did their level best at ducking the question and trying not to sound too controversial.

Step up Newt Gingrich! “I just want to raise a point about the news media bias,” he says. He goes on to say that there is more “anti-Christian bias” than bias against other religious groups under this current administration and attacks the administration for their treatment of the Christian faith and receives rapturous applause from the audience.

The debate continued with some further questions and probing on the Patriot Act and privacy, with Ron Paul delivering a good response on the right to privacy under the constitution.

The next controversial issues was the right to Gay Marriage which Romney ducked again, and clearly did his level best to view it as a states rights issue with Santorum effectively agreeing with his assessment and Jon Huntsman distinguishing between traditional religious rights and legal rights. Newt stepped up again with a good answer on gay rights and designation and contrasted his position well to the right of marriage.

On the issue of Iraq, a huge talking point will be no doubt Rick Perry’s tearing up of the textbook by saying he’d send U.S. troops back into Iraq. Nobody expected that response and no doubt his team will try and walk back his response.

There was some discussion over tax and economic plans but to be fair to the candidates, the questions were of such a poor standard that we learnt nothing new and the questions didn’t enable us to learn anything factually new.

All the candidates struggled on the issues of Afghanistan, Iraq and foreign policy in general with the exception of Newt Gingrich who gave a master class in the level of thinking and vision a president needs. “If you want to stop Wahabbism, get an American energy policy so no American president ever again bows to a Saudi king and rattled of a number of ideas and solutions with so much ease frankly, it made the other candidates look poor. Romney was again exposed showing he is great at saying what President Obama isn’t doing but can’t tell us what he’d do as President.

Santorum did well when talking about being a president who would bring every American together not be a divider like President Obama saying, “If you want someone that’s a clear contrast, that has a strong record, has a vision for this country that’s going to get this country going – an appeal to blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and Michigan and Indiana, and deliver that message that we care about you too, not just about Wall Street and bailing them out, then I’m the guy that you want to put in the nomination.”

Gingrich came out with a very humourous but well driven home point about President Obama’s attempt to develop a radical European socialist system in the United States which went down very well with the audience.

All the candidates did relatively well with the possible exception of Jon Huntsman who despite an encouraging start got completely slammed on the issue of trade with China by Mitt Romney and desperately resorted to speaking Mandarin to try and save the point, he didn’t.

Overall, the debate was the most disappointing so far, largely because of the lame questions being asked & it made of mockery of it, supposing to be a presidential standard debate being put on by the network. It left the viewers and candidates short changed. I couldn’t believe that throughout the entire debate there was no question on Obamacare, debt or entitlement reform.

Newt & Romney are in a league of their own compared to the rest of the field; I just wish we could narrow down the field and have some real substantive debates.

All candidates generally had a good night, Newt was the quality class responder however, Romney was the winner purely due to the fact that, nobody laid a glove on him and he hammered Huntsman on China.

P.S. I’d like to thanks Tina Revers for her input & contribution in producing this analysis.

Disgusting Ron Paul attack Ad against Huntsman brings campaign to new low

The depths of personal attacks in the Republican party race sank to a new low yesterday when a video was released by a supporter of Ron Paul attacking Jon Huntsman, but using footage of his adopted children to question his “American values”.

The video, posted to YouTube by the account “NHLiberty4Paul,” first calls Huntsman the “Manchurian Candidate,” asking: “What’s he hiding?” It then shows footage of Huntsman speaking Mandarin, and photos and video of him and adopted daughter Gracie Mei.

It goes on to ask if Huntsman “shares our values” and is a “man of faith,” before cutting to a picture of him with possibly his adopted daughter from India,  Asha Bharati. It closes with the message: “American Values and Liberty. Vote Ron Paul.”

“It’s just stupid,” the former U.S. ambassador to China said at a gathering in New Hampshire on Friday.

“If somebody wants to poke fun of me for speaking Chinese, that’s OK. What I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters, and suggesting there is some sinister motive there. I have a daughter from China who was abandoned at two months of age and left in a vegetable market, picked up by the police and sent to an orphanage.”

Huntsman joked that Gracie Mei, now 12, is “my senior foreign policy advisor.” But more, she and Asha are “part of my family.”

“I have two little girls who are a daily reminder that there are a lot of kids in this world who don’t have the breaks that we do, and who face a very, very uncertain future  . . . and any sense of upward mobility. Now these two girls are on the presidential campaign trail. I say how cool is that?” he said.

Paul’s spokeswoman for New Hampshire, Kate Schackai, responded saying she didn’t know who was responsible for the footage, but said it was not connected to Paul’s campaign.

“The video was utterly distasteful and no one who actually supports Dr Paul’s principles would have made it,” she said.

Abby Huntsman Livingston later speaking to Fox’s Megyn Kelly on the matter referred to her adopted sisters as the “love of my dad’s life” who came from very unfortunate circumstances, saying they have been “what makes us happy every day” on the campaign trail.

“I was surprised to see this ad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this, so I think we’re all a little bit stunned by it,” she said, adding that she fears that her sister Gracie, who is 12, will come upon the video.

She also warned the apparent Paul supporters behind the video: “Unfortunately, the Ron Paul supporters don’t realize that these actions really affect the Ron Paul campaign.”  It was brilliant to see a bright young lady putting family before politics and putting the distasteful nature of the attack into excellent perspective, proving she’s a credit to her father.

Later in the day Ron Paul’s campaign called on the person who put up the video to take the spot down, calling it “disgusting.”

More controversy is looming with a five page attack mailing going out to South Carolina residents attacking all of Paul’s competitors with a particularly harsh emphasis on Newt Gingrich. “Newt Gingrich has a long record of liberal appeasement, flip-flopping on key issues, and lobbying for insider millions even calling him a “counterfeit conservative.”

Paul also attacks Texas Governor Rick Perry’s immigration record and Mitt Romney on his flip-flops on abortion and “Romneycare” in Massachusetts.

There is no doubt regardless of the outcome, Rep. Paul will play a decisive part in the eventual destination of the GOP nomination however, at what cost to the party and his legacy.

These Debates Could Be Game Changers

Come on.  We’ve heard these candidates in just over one million debates so far this year.  Another one?  Another two actually, this weekend leading up to the New Hampshire debates.  And these two debates could definitely wreak havoc on the standings going into New Hampshire.

Mitt Romney is the undisputed front runner.  Ron Paul and Rick Santorum fans at this point are dreaming if they think their candidates are on a solid trajectory to win.  Not winning Iowa should be a clear sign to heavily religious social conservatives like Bachmann, Perry, Santorum and Newt that getting past Romney is going to be nearly impossible with a crowded field.  Bachmann got the hint, and Perry almost did.  As for Ron Paul, maybe if he runs two more times he can win enough support to break out of his traditional 5-10% polling finish.  Look, he’s already doing better this year than last time, and last time he did better than the time before.  That was Ross Perot’s and Ralph Nader’s problems.  They quit trying too soon.

Back to Mitt Romney.  You know he is back on the punching bag hook tonight, a place he hasn’t been since the very first debates.  Santorum wants a piece of him, Newt wants a piece of him, Jon Huntsman finally qualified for another debate and you know he wants to take Romney down a peg.  I think Perry will try to just get through the night and might take a few shots at Santorum.  As far as the #1 conservative attack dog of other conservatives, Michele Bachmann will not be there tonight to claim that Perry is in bed with pharmaceutical companies,  Newt Gingrich is pro-partial birth abortion and the number one Freddie Mac adviser responsible for the economic collapse, and whatever she might cook up about Rick Santorum while mostly leaving Paul and Romney alone.  So I think Romney will be taking the hits and the other candidates can relax their guard a little bit.

Now, on to the x factor in debates.  Newt Gingrich was finished this summer after his campaign collapsed and he proved he was in the top 1% by buying his wife jewelry.  I mean how out of touch can you get.  But, he has climbed back into contention through powerful and commanding debate performances.  Just two weeks ago, Gingrich was the front runner.  The difference between Gingrich’s fall and other candidates falls is that their demises can be tied directly to debate performance.  Bachmann with her claims about HPV and other wild attacks on the candidates, Perry with his glaring gaffe, Cain who offered 999 and 999, oh yeah and 999.  It wasn’t enough substance to save him when scandal gave nervous supporters a reason to doubt.  Huntsman affirmed his global warming stance.

Gingrich hurt himself with his illegal immigration stance, but his downfall can be attributed to the harsh attacks he faced over the last two weeks from Romney’s friends, paid allies, and former foes.  Ron Paul also attacked Newt, not Romney, with harsh ads in Iowa.  Paul has probably done the same math I have, but mistakenly thinks he has a shot with Newt’s base over Romney’s.

The debates are ad free.  They are also friend free.  The only way Romney can attack another candidate tonight without attacking that candidate directly is to pay off the moderator or a fellow candidate.  On that stage, it is going to be Santorum’s “what smells” debate face versus Perry’s memory versus Huntsman’s out of touch moderate stances versus Paul’s old shaky finger wagging versus Romney’s slick hair and nice demeanor versus Newt’s heavy hitting and quick wit and ideas.

If these debates garner an audience, this is all upside for Newt, and downside for front runner Mitt Romney and social conservative front runner Rick Santorum.  In an instance of incredible luck for the candidates in this New Hampshire debate, the New England Patriots get this weekend of playoff action off.

Be Careful Who You Pick As Friends

Ron Paul never had a chance.  It was part him and his abrasiveness,  part his foreign policy that he failed to connect with voters on.  For me, it was also his pro-choice in the states stance on innocent human life.  But one of the reasons Paul never connected with mainstream Republican voters who would normally be drawn to his small government message was his annoying, in your face, loud, obnoxious, and sometimes downright mean supporters.

In fact, much of Paul’s candidacy has seemed like a mean spirited romp that he frankly has had little control over.  A perfect example is the racist, black helicopter newsletter that he either edited, or in some cases signed, but claims to have never read.

One thing is clear, the friends of Ron Paul have not helped Ron Paul in this election.

Take note, Mitt Romney, your friends are getting out of hand too.  Romney is a great candidate.  He is a Reaganite, and I believed even in 2008 in his conversion to pro-life, pro-family issues.  He is cool headed on foreign policy, and great on fiscal conservatism.  I believe him when he talks about states rights and the tenth amendment separating what he did in Massachusetts from what he would do in the Whitehouse.  I’ve said before that I think it is criminal what his opponent did in 2008, insinuating that he was going to cut and run from Iraq.  I will admit that I had hoped Newt would run in 2008, but when he didn’t, I supported Mitt Romney.

Now Mitt needs to be careful.  His friends are getting a little crazy.  I have been chronicling Ann Coulter’s conversion from right wing radical conservatism to mainstream moderate in her love affair support for Mitt Romney, and it appears the conversion is complete.  In her latest newsletter, she blasts Rick Santorum as a “right wing zealot” and calls him a Catholic, not a conservative.

Coulter also lists why only Romney is electable.  Ready?  Pay attention kids.  If you were merely a congressman or congresswoman, you can’t win.  If you have a Texas accent, you can’t win.  If you ever had a business with prominent clients who did bad things later on in life, you can’t win.  If you are a Catholic, you can’t win.  If you have ever cheated on a spouse, you can’t win.  If you’ve been divorced, you can’t win.

Apparently, if you are a Mormon, you can win, but not if you are a Catholic.  If you started your career as a pro-choice candidate, you can win, but not if you ever had dinner with a pro-choicer.  If you instituted and still defend a personal insurance mandate you are electable, but if you at any time thought one would be a good idea, you are unelectable.  If you believe in Global Warming, you are OK by Ann.  If you do an ad with a Democrat saying you believe in generic climate change, forget it.

As John McCain taught us yesterday, campaign rhetoric is campaign rhetoric.  If Newt or Santorum wins, Coulter will have a lot of backstepping and bridge rebuilding to do.  Judging from what she says now, we might be tempted to think she would vote for Obama over Newt or Santorum.  Time for a reality check.  Coulter is in full campaign mode for Mitt Romney.  Give it a few months and we will get back the fiery, anti-liberal conservative Ann Coulter we used to know and love.  The question is if she will get us back.

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