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.

Liberal Class Warfare Rhetoric…And Then There’s The Truth

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In what is sure to be a tough fought election full of scathing rhetoric, none has been more apparent in the last year then the class warfare being perpetrated for the most part by those on the left.

“Republican’s represent the rich. Republican’s support the rich. Evil millionaires and billionaires the lot of them.”
“Democrat’s represent the little guy. Democrat’s support the poor and downtrodden. Democrat’s are ‘one of you'”.

Basic political rhetoric that most often comes from those on the left. Especially when their fiscal record is as bad as it appears it will be heading in to the 2012 elections. They sure can’t run on the record but what they can do, and do effectively, is pit American’s against each other as they head to the ballot box using the ‘evil rich Republican’ vs. the ‘poor and middle class Democrat’ argument. An argument which I am about to prove false.

Using 2009 data from the 2010 Census, out of the top 20 states in median household income 14 of those states are Blue (Democrat), 2 are considered Purple (Center) and 4 are Red (Republican). The bottom 20 states in median household income are the exact polar opposite. Out of the states at the bottom of the income data 14 are Red, 2 are Purple and 4 are Blue. Median household income data by state

So, if the Republican’s support the rich and Democrats support the poor why is it that the richest states vote Democrat and the poorest vote Republican?

Because that’s what false data and rhetoric does. It attempts to paint a picture that isn’t always a fair and accurate one. Some politicians believe that if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth. That appears to be the case in regards to the class warfare being perpetrated as we head into November. The problem is as long as this false information has been perpetrated it apparently hasn’t weighed on the opinions of the classes who are supposed to be ‘at war’. The poorest states still vote Republican and the richest states still vote Democrat.

Don’t tell anyone. We don’t want the Democrats to have to change the perception they believe they have built over decades. We will simply just hope that they don’t notice the rich and poor aren’t listening.

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Romney needs to call Obama’s Bluffet….

 

We know that the Bluffet, sorry Buffet, rule is a motif for President’s class warfare, and more warning shots will be fired when Congress returns today from a two-week recess to a test vote on the rule, which would impose a minimum 30 percent tax rate on income over $1 million. The Bluffett tax targets wealthier Americans’ investments rather than salaries.

Today is the day when this issue of class warfare kicks off for November in earnest, now that we know it will be Romney for the GOP and Congress gets to have a say on the matter.

President Obama, who pays less tax than HIS secretary (he filed tax returns showing he paid an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent on income of about $800,000 in 2011) says the government needs the revenue from the Bluffett rule, estimated at $47 billion over 10 years, to cover “a broad range of goals.” He also says “This is not just about fairness.” Well, he got that right, it is very unfair, but not in the simplistic moralistic way he is peddling.

He says “This is also about growth. It’s about being able to make the investments we need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. And it’s about whether we as a country are willing to pay for those investments.” In other words, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Fact is, do we really need government to do the investing, and where does the investment go? Into government black holes and deep pockets, rather than into businesses which create wealth. The Bluffet tax would not create wealth, it would merely enhance dependency. We would see a better rate of return on the $47 billion in business investment by the wealthy than we would from government. That is an awful lot of liquidity to take out of the markets, and I don’t see too many secretaries taking up the slack.

Of course, keeper of the Treasury keys Tim Geithner was out pushing the rule on Sunday, “Just because Republicans oppose this does not mean it’s not the right thing to do and not the right thing to push for,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Double negatives aside, we can say that just because Democrats think it is the right thing to do doesn’t mean it even begins to make sense.

If we look at the paying side of this, we see the rich targeted for this end up paying more. Simple. But for what are they paying? Increased revenue means increased expenditure, and so the things for government to spend on expands to meet the expanded revenue. More programs, more dependency and less reward for effort. What does the payer get in return? They get little benefit, and the wealthier they are the less they need what they are paying for.

Which means the sole purpose of the Bluffet rule is twofold, increased state powers and redistribution of wealth. Conservatives who attack Romney or the rich for their wealth are playing with the same deck as Obama.

Obama says, “If you make more than $1 million every year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do… Most Americans support this idea. We just need some Republican politicians to get on board with where the country is.” Of course, Obama doesn’t have to worry too much about his investments, because after leaving office, which cannot come soon enough, he will make a ton of cash for the remainder of his days. He doesn’t have too much to worry about…The rest of us do.

A remarkable success by Santorum – a devastating night for Team Romney

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum claimed a remarkable trifecta of wins and massive surge of momentum by sweeping Mitt Romney in all three contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

Santorum’s victories are all the more remarkable considering Romney’s advantage in financing and organization. Tuesday’s results included losses in two states – Colorado and Minnesota – that he won in his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. Minnesota also became the first state where Romney did not end up in first or second place despite having the support of former presidential candidate and State Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The stunning results by Santorum have raised fresh doubts about whether establishment favourite and perceived frontrunner Romney, can in fact win a General election or even the nomination itself after struggling to get support from the party’s conservative base.

Santorum has now finished first in four of the first eight primaries and caucuses, after his narrow victory over Romney in Iowa’s caucuses on January 3.

The former senator said his campaign was already bringing in more donations, an important consideration for a candidate who trails far behind Romney in the fund-raising race.

As he has before, Romney had seemed on track to win the nomination after big wins in Nevada and Florida last week. He had been expected to win easily in Colorado and did little campaigning in Minnesota and Missouri.

In Minnesota’s caucuses, Santorum won with 45 percent of the vote. But the state became the first this year in which Romney did not finish first or second. Congressman Ron Paul was in second place with 27 percent and Romney was third at 17 percent.

Santorum trounced Romney by 30 percentage points in Missouri, 55 percent to 25 percent. That vote was a non-binding primary, but has symbolic value as a measure of support in a big Midwestern state.

The race was closer in Colorado where Santorum won by 5 percentage points over Romney, 40 percent to 35 percent.

Santorum in his victory speech also appeared more presidential then before, setting up a contrast between himself and President Obama as more of the aloof and arrogant policies from a person out of touch with the American people, or a true conservative alternative who will listen to the voice of the people. Santorum essentially positioned himself as the champion of the American people, economic policy, social values, and defender of the constitution and first amendment in particular. It was a passionate and heartfelt speech that connected with the audience.

“I don’t stand here to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” Santorum said. On health care, cap and trade and the Wall Street bailout, he charged, “Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama.”

Romney addressing his supporters said, “This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Senator Santorum and wish him the very best. We’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee with your help.”

I asked the question in a recent article about Mitt Romney – What does he stand for? (worldviewtonight.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/romney-florida-an-expected-success-can-he-stand-up-to-the-obama-machine/)

The reason I asked the question was not out of any dislike for Romney, I admire a lot about Governor Romney and his business success in particular. The reason I asked the question was that Team Romney were very effective at attacking President Obama and Newt Gingrich with his powerful advertising spending however; I honestly didn’t know what his vision for America was and where he stood on the key issues of the day.

Team Romney will need to have a very detailed reassessment of their strategy going forward. The tried and tested approach of going negative on his opponents, and touting his business experience combined with large rallies, has left voters and supporters devoid of enthusiasm for his candidacy.

Romney’s speech last night was almost parrot fashion repetition of his talking points from the last week. He is failing to connect with the ordinary voter and too often has appeared rehearsed and uncomfortable when put in personal one to one interviews. Romney will need to throw off the consultant shackles and be more energetic, more personal and more natural on the campaign trail or face certain defeat.

Ironically, despite his poor showing in contests which he barely contested, Santorum’s victories may also be good news for former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Team Romney will now need to develop a strategy to attack Santorum and need Gingrich to stay in the race. The longer Gingrich stays in the race, the longer it will split the conservative vote. Three weeks out of the cross hairs for Gingrich may enable him to lay the ground work for a series of victories himself on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

The Romney strategy was based on spending massive early to knock-out his rivals and claim the nomination early before turning his attention towards President Obama. Last night’s remarkable series of wins by Santorum, now appears to have changed the GOP race into a near certain long drawn out affair, and even if Romney prevails as the nominee, his chances of defeating President Obama in the race for the White House in November have been damaged.

There are three winners from last night’s results. Santorum’s victories give him the momentum he needs going forward and hopefully an injection of much needed financial support. They give President Obama renewed confidence that former Governor Romney is not as strong an opponent as initially believed and the longer the race GOP race on, the more damaged he will become. Finally, it gives Gingrich hope and time to re-organise his campaign and ground work ahead of Super Tuesday to deliver a series of southern victories himself.

A bad night for Romney.

You’re the Nominee – “The Donald” endorses Mitt

Dynamic Businessman – Donald Trump turned the Republican presidential race into a scene resembling one of his Apprentice shows by keeping everyone guessing on whom he would endorse for president. The rumours had been back and forth that he would endorse Newt Gingrich, then it was leaked that he would endorse Mitt Romney however, in true Trump fashion, he kept everyone waiting until the end before confirming his support behind Mitt Romney.

The Romney campaign did not release their public schedule until Thursday morning in an unusual move for them and even then their 20:30hrs GMT slot stood vague, offering only: “Romney for President Event. TBD Location. Las Vegas, Nevada.” Mr. Romney will appear with Mr. Trump at his Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Trump have not always enjoyed the strongest of relationships with Romney as recent as December, referring to Trump as a real estate mogul and reality television star and declined an invitation to attend a Republican debate, which “The Donald” had planned to host, but was later cancelled after other candidates pulled out and included a very public spat with Jon Huntsman.

A spokesman for Mr. Trump suggested the Romney camp would be releasing an official statement soon, and in manner typical of Trump showmanship, said, “I strongly suggest you be there no matter what.”

Trump is a controversial figure and the world’s greatest self-promoter however, like him or loath him, he brings considerable media attention where ever he speaks and when he speaks. Trump did toy with the idea of entering the race last year himself and actually led the polls prior to pulling out with catchy sound bites on U.S. trade policy being weak towards China and regarding Iran. Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of President Obama and his economic record as president. He has made no secret of his concern about the direction and future of America under another four year Obama term and has also criticised the president on the polarising approach to his presidency and his failure to unite American’s in a common cause.

Trump promised to “push our president and the country’s policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness.” Following his announcement last May, that he would not be a candidate for the GOP nomination, Trump welcomed other hopefuls to his office at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for strategy sessions. Romney made the trek, as did former candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Gingrich visited in December when he was topping polls in Iowa and nationally.

Trump’s weeks of will-he-or-won’t-he run last year, stole the media coverage and his decision to question the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate, caused such a news media firestorm that the White House was forced to publicly release the document. A feat even Hillary Clinton her campaign team had failed to achieve during the heated Democratic primary campaign four years ago.

Many will question the impact of a Trump endorsement, I believe it will not have a considerable impact on Republican voters, but most certainly on Independent voters where Romney has an increasing negativity rating in recent weeks, due to his attack ads in Iowa and Florida against Gingrich. Trump will be able to command a media audience and spotlight that no other previous endorser of Romney could hope to deliver. The media love “The Donald” and he equally loves them.

Trump said he made the decision after getting to know Romney after meeting with him several times in the past few months and it was his real honour to endorse Mitt Romney. He said Mitt was tough, his smart and he’s sharp and he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to the country. Trump also cited Romney’s performances in presidential debates and his tough stance on China and OPEC as reasons for his support.

It is certain that Trump’s announcement has all but ruled out a third-party run for the White House which he threatened if the wrong GOP candidate was selected to run as the nominee. One would also have to say that with Trump’s ability to command a media audience and great communication ability, Speaker Gingrich’s hopes of winning the nomination appear to be dwindling by the day now. It will come down to his performance in the Lone Star state of Texas on 3 April, 2012. A poor showing by Gingrich in Texas will effectively finish his campaign and hand Romney the nomination.

Newt the “Great Articulator” wins big in South Carolina

Not since President Ronald Reagan has a Politician stirred the deepest heartfelt passions & spoken to the sense of disillusionment, about every American household’s current struggle & experiences, then former Speaker Gingrich has this past week. “It’s not that I am a good debater,” Gingrich said, “It is that I articulate the deepest-felt values of the American people.” President Reagan may have been known as the “Great Communicator,” I welcome Speaker Gingrich as the average ordinary person’s “Great Articulator.”

Gingrich won 40% to Mr Romney’s 28% in South Carolina, a victory that seemed most unlikely a week ago. It proves that focussing on the issues and being prepared to stand up for traditional American values and speak directly to the people about the real issues, not the sugar coated spin often associated with the media’s interpretation of the issues, is what really appeals to the ordinary person. Other Republican hopefuls, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and Texas representative Ron Paul, were trailing badly with 17% and 13% respectively.

In his victory speech Gingrich went out of his way to praise his presidential rivals, getting an especially lively response when he cited Rick Santorum’s “enormous courage” for campaigning, and winning, in Iowa when he had no money, organization, or media coverage.  He was careful to cite the issues the other candidates have championed, as well as offering personal praise. Gingrich also said, ”Obama is the most effective food stamp president in history, I would like to be the best paycheque president in American history.”

Newt Gingrich’s thumping victory last night was based not only on his willingness to stand up against the media bias, which has traditionally attacked Republican candidates. It is also founded in the support base and homes of every American household, it is jobs and shows true people power is still the effective tool in American politics.

Gingrich spoke about a pro-growth strategy similar to the proven policies used when he was Speaker to balance the budget, pay down the debt, and create jobs. Political commentators and the media in general, have grossly underestimated the influence of social networks such at Facebook, Twitter and others have had in this result. The support base are now better informed and more independent then in any previous election, due to their willingness and ability, to undertake their own research on allegations and facts on the internet.

This election is without a doubt a watershed in American history, it will dictate whether America recovers from its slow economic decline over the last decade, and have its American spirit and love of free enterprise restored. The election boils down to the traditional question and bottom line. “Are you better off now then you were four  years ago?”

President Obama who is a very likeable person and rode a wave of public disillusionment in 2008 to win the White House with the message of hope and change, respectfully has proved an ineffective and at times weak leader. The near $5 trillion dollars of spending, and a perceived detachment from how ordinary American’s are feeling, is a world away from the optimism he espoused. American’s sense that their society, and indeed government, have never been as divided before. The ordinary voters haven’t switched off from President Obama the person, they have switched off from his administration’s poor policies, and all too frequent politicking in crucial matters. American’s want jobs and action, not political rhetoric.

Gingrich’s victory, should also send a clear and distinct message to Governor Romney, who has already spent $7 million dollars in Florida on media ads, the message is that dirty personal attacks are not what is going to make him president in this election. Voters want to know what the candidates stand for and what they will do to help them, with a passion.  I still believe Romney will win in Florida due to his spending advantage. However, Romney needs to win over the hearts and minds of the voters. He is coming across as too insincere, too out of touch and too much the professional politician. Fundamentally, people are sick and tired of the personal attack ads he so frequently uses.

Voters don’t want their votes and support taken for granted any longer, and political consultant’s will need to adapt their long held strategies and rule books and recognise, and respect, the reality is the modern voter is better informed and educated on the issues than ever before. Ordinary grass root supporters are also fed up of having a preferred establishment candidate being jammed down their throats, as if their own views and choices don’t matter.

This election is about restoring the American Dream, restoring jobs, rebuilding the education system, rebuilding communities, and above all, restoring the American dream with its unique exceptionalism together with a clear vision about the American future.

People are no longer interested in the trash talking that most of the television networks engage in, while reality T.V. may have made the debates more attractive and appealing to the younger generation. People want to know they can have a secure pay check at the end of each month and are able to meet their commitments and have the personal security that brings. They want a leader who puts America and Americans first, not their party or themselves. Gingrich has a record for delivering large scale improvements and for putting the people first, not the political elite.

The most evoking line that signalled Gingrich’s intent going forward against the GOP establishment and media attackers was, “We want to run, not a Republican campaign, we want to run an American campaign.”

Gingrich is slowly becoming the champion of the American dream and American exceptionalism for its people. More importantly, Gingrich is starting to make the ordinary American believe again in their leadership and country, that with optimism, hard work and some sacrifice, the American Dream can and will shine brightly for generations to come if he is elected.

Welcome Gingrich, the “Great Articulator”.

Obama the tax cutter…until 2013

I predicted a couple years ago that Barack Obama was going to run as a tax cutter in 2012.  When Obama extended the Bush tax cuts through 2012, my fears were confirmed.  Obama has cut taxes.  Consider this:

In 2010, Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.

In 2009, Obama turned the $7,500 interest free loan on first time homes into an $8,000 freebie.

In 2009 and 2010, Obama passed the $800 a year making work pay tax credit.

In 2011 Obama passed the Social Security tax cut of 2%.

In 2010, a tiny percentage of businesses were eligible for the healthcare tax credit.

Now, watch this:

In 2013, taxes will go up between 5% for the poor to 4.6% for the rich with the end of the Bush tax cuts.

In 2013, even if the extension is passed in 2012, Social Security taxes will be back to 6.2%.

In 2013, individuals with $200,000 or more of income ($250,000 for married) will get an additional .9% in Medicare taxes

In 2013, individuals with income over $200,000 ($250,000 for married) will get another 3.8% in taxes.

In 2013, taxes on dividends and capital gains will jump up to a maximum rate of 39.6%. Even if Obama keeps his promises, it will still jump 5% for everyone.

Democrats are pushing for a 5% surtax on millionaires, which would would mean that in 2013 taxes on people who make a million dollars a year would be 16.3 percentage points higher than they are today to effectively be nearly 50 cents out of every dollar of income.

And Obama has no future election to cause him to prevent any one of these 2013 tax hikes.  In fact, half of these will have been specifically passed by him with a 2013 due date.  At the end of 8 years, Obama’s tax hikes will have vastly outweighed any piddly cuts and politically expedient extensions he has signed in the first four years.

Don’t be fooled. Obama isn’t a tax cutter, he’s just a politically smart tax and spend liberal.

Paths to Victory

I have heard recently several conservative commentators marvel about how Newt has risen to the top and stayed there and how Mitt has never gotten over 30%.  It shouldn’t be a surpriseI explained it all months ago.  I’ve said as long ago as this that Mitt is in deep trouble.  He looked pretty good when there were six candidates splitting the other 70% of the vote and 40% were still undecided.  But Romney has always only appealed to fiscal conservatives.  He coasted through the first several months of this election and many in the establishment, now including George Will and Ann Coulter, assumed that his steadiness and assumed front runner status had something to do with him being the best candidate.

So can Romney win?  What about Paul and his recent rise in the polls?  Does he have a shot?  Here is a strategic look at where the candidates stand right now.

Newt Gingrich

Newt has managed to be that candidate who attracts social and fiscal conservatives.  It is his nomination to lose.  So far he has handled attacks perfectly.  Consider Nancy Pelosi’s claim that if he runs she will have a field day spreading every secret from his ethics investigation.  How does he respond?  By stating that out of 84 counts, 83 were dismissed and the 84th was a simple mistake he made and how if Nancy Pelosi is willing to spread secrets from the ethics committee investigation that proves just how corrupt she was in that investigation.  That’s Newt 2, Pelosi 0.  Those type of responses will continue to bolster him.

Next, he has to keep making speeches like he did to the Republican Jewish Coalition.  Newt showed the intelligence and wit that makes conservatives like me giddy about him opposing Obama.  Newt has to keep running on those ideas, setting the record straight, and not going after fellow Republicans who attack him.  I think he slipped up a little when he said Bachmann is factually challenged.  Newt’s message has to stay positive and focused on undoing and being the opposite of Obama.

Mitt Romney

As I said before, Romney’s only prayer in this race is to come out strongly to the social conservative side in a big, public way.  Maybe he needs to go protest in front of an abortion clinic, spend some of his Newt attack ad money on an ad clearly denouncing Obama for making bibles illegal at some military hospitals, or something like that.  Romney will never win this election with only DC establishment backing and fiscal conservatives.  Right now he barely has better electability to run on.  And the attacks from his surrogates are easily being linked back to him.  His smooth Reaganesque style and kindness on the debate trail is getting ugly with people like George Will calling his opponents book selling charlatans and Ann Coulter accusing Newt Gingrich of wanting to do something similar to teaching school kids how to masturbate.  None of this reflects well on Romney.

Romney has to do very well in this next debate at highlighting better ideas, but definitely smaller government ideas.  Newt tends to talk about ideas that he could not do as President but would help the country.  Romney needs to jump on that and be the smaller government alternative.  Romney needs to win the 10th amendment fight in this next debate, while still appearing to be a stronger social conservative than everyone thinks he is.

Ron Paul

Paul’s biggest liability is himself.  His second biggest liability is his supporters.  One of the reasons Ron Paul hasn’t gotten higher in the polls is that people don’t want to support him if they think he is their enemy.  Paul has worked very hard to make himself the enemy of anyone he considers to his left.  In the debates he comes across as abrasive and angry.  His pet issues cloud many great issues that most conservatives would agree with him on.  Hint hint, Ron Paul, constitutionalists want to like you.  But when I sit there and think about my life, I really can’t think of what I did to cause 9/11 or why terrorists can kill Americans because of Jimmy Carter’s foolish foreign policy and what every President has done since then.

Part of Paul’s problem is that his foreign policy approach reflects history, but not reality.  Paul can pontificate all he wants on how we got here, but most conservatives don’t like his solution for how we get home.  In a quick draw, when you drop your gun turn around and walk away, Bin Laden types usually just shoot you in the back.  Who cares if it’s your fault you got in that situation in the first place.  Personally, I don’t want to be shot in the back.

Ron Paul was his best this year when he was talking about domestic policy and when he showed even an ounce of grace in the debates towards his fellow Republicans.  One last thing, Paul will never win over conservatives with his states rights approach to abortion.  No true pro-lifer is going to vote for a guy who is going to ensure that abortion stays legal in most of the states.

Rick Perry

Perry really needs to reassess his chances.  His only shot is a good showing in Iowa, as in 2nd place or better.  He needs to nail every debate going forward.  Perry needs a “My Fair Lady” transformation.  For starters, he can learn how to pronounce Nukuler.

His ideas are not bad.  His tenth amendment stance is very good.  But he has a lot of competition among candidates who are pro-tenth amendment, and his HPV vaccine debacle ruins his credibility on personal freedom.

Jon Huntsman

Huntsman could easily be in the 2012 Presidential race.  All he has to do is switch parties.  I’m being completely serious.  Jon Huntsman could guarantee that Obama does not have another four years by changing to Democrat and running against Obama in the 2012 primary as a moderate.  Of course, he would have to kneel before Pelosi/Reid to get the necessary credibility.

Michele Bachmann

In order for Bachmann to win, two things have to happen.  First, Obama has to get so low in the polls and believe it or not do even more stupid things so that anyone could beat him (even Trump).  Then, Bachmann would have to convince TEA Partiers that she is their candidate more than Newt, Perry or Santorum.  Unfortunately for Bachmann, if absolutely anyone could defeat Obama and electability wasn’t an issue, there is another candidate who would still take the TEA Party vote before she would.

Rick Santorum

If the TEA Party is going to come home to anyone, it would be Rick Santorum.  Get ready, it could happen in Iowa.  Santorum has never been taken seriously because people doubt his electability.  He lost in Pennsylvania.  Of course, that year every Republican in Pennsylvania lost.  Not only that, but some of our best Presidents won after losing senate races.  If you listen to Newt, you know two famous historical names, Lincoln and Douglas.  Did you know Lincoln’s victory was a rematch of their senate race two years before?  Guess who won that senate race.

If one more star is going to rise before this primary is over, it will be Santorum and it will be because the TEA Party takes Bachmann’s advice and says screw electability.  If that happens, Santorum has to be ready for the vetting process with ideas that will knock our socks off and make Romney and Newt look like morons.  Santorum has to not be George Bush II on the war and he has to convince fiscal conservatives that he can get spending under control.  He also has to convince libertarians that he will stay out of their homes.  That’s a tall order for Santorum.

How does Team Romney deal with Gingrich “The Comeback Kid?”

Bookmark and Share   Mitt Romney and his team have been caught blind sided by the resurgence of former Speaker Newt Gingrich in recent weeks. Romney and his team have until now, run a fairly steady professional campaign, appearing to see off all challengers from Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann and last month, Herman Cain. The only challenger, who appeared likely to threaten Romney and his front runner status seriously, was Rick Perry, who had the finance and organisation to worry Romney before his debate performances tripped him up.

Former Speaker Gingrich was dismissed as a serious potential nominee last summer when political strategists and operatives left his campaign and with it a large debt. It appeared Gingrich would be forced out of the race early however; Gingrich launched a low-key strategy of maximising his resources to keep his ailing campaign going until he could make an impact during the many presidential debates. The debates have changed the electoral picture significantly, in a nation where leadership, ideas and willingness for bi-partisan co-operation seemed all but lost. Gingrich the often ridiculed professor like character, suddenly burst through the efforts of the mainstream media and began sounding like the presidential voice American’s and others have been crying out for. Gingrich not only could answer the questions substantively, he apologised where he made poor decisions in the past, offered creative and visionary solutions to many of the problems America faces and stuck to Ronald Reagan 11th Commandment of not attacking another Republican.

Romney and his team have been preparing for this presidential run for six years. Romney has been polished, smart, and professional, styled himself as the business candidate who could save the economy. He was able to look Commander in Chief like when compared to Herman Cain. He appeared practical and focused on foreign affairs when compared to Ron Paul’s stance on Iran and even when pressed into a clash by Perry, was able to remain composed and calm.

Romney and his team didn’t expect the near perfect rise of former Speaker Gingrich five weeks away from the first primary and caucus race. A Rasmussen Poll released today shows if the election were held today, Gingrich would receive 38% of the vote and Romney now a distant second on 17%.

Gingrich’s rise is due to his ability to cover a range of topics and invoke the patriotic passion and American spirit within the American people. Gingrich didn’t just rely on beating President Obama on his record like Romney, he is selling a vision, a future and able to say to voters, ”Here is what the country looks like after three year of an Obama presidency, can you afford four more?”.

Gingrich rhetorically uses specific examples, as he uncovers the Obama presidency then says, this is what I will do on jobs, education, national security & controversially, immigration. The trick Gingrich has cleverly used when selling himself, is on the notion that while he has a clear vision for America’s future, he is prepared to listen to anybody and above all, he talks about getting both political parties to work together again. He passionately believes the mantra of American togetherness is essential in rebuilding the nation and its fortunes.

Team Romney knows they cannot dismiss Gingrich’s rise like the previous pretenders. Gingrich has vast political and private sector experience; he has an exceptional mind and brilliant ability to offer three of four ideas on an issue, where others struggle to provide one. Team Romney know the stakes are higher then ever before with only five weeks to go before caucuses and faced with a challenger who poses their most substantial and credible threat to a Romney nomination victory.

How will Romney and his campaign team respond? It is already evident; they intend to launch a strong, robust and sustained attack that labels Gingrich as a Washington insider and serial flip-flopper who can’t be trusted. The big strategic question however remains; will Romney engage Gingrich through political advertisements or in the remaining debates?

It is an extremely tricky position Team Romney find themselves in. Any attack against Gingrich could rebound and hurt Romney among GOP supporters and only help to solidify Gingrich’s support more. It is likely they view the Gingrich threat as one which they’ll have to execute steadily and cautiously, by initially focussing on the Romney’s strengths personally and professionally such as his stable family and long marriage, his private sector experience on a whole, indirectly highlighting Gingrich’s Washington ties and former personal flaws.

If Gingrich is still in the lead two weeks away from Iowa, then expect a change in tactics and an all out attack campaign from Team Romney. Gingrich will not be like other challengers, if Romney’s team engage and attack him directly, Gingrich is very capable of putting it into perspective and force attention back on Romney. The late Gingrich challenge appears to have also unsettled Romney personally, he appeared annoyed and angered when questioned on the healthcare issue by an interviewer this week. Romney needs to ensure he doesn’t adopt a prickly personality which could bring on a media tsunami of close scrutiny and pressure at the very time he doesn’t need negative attention.

My own advice to Romney and his campaign team is to remove the protective shackles from and let him demonstrate some real passion and determination to win. Romney needs to convince voters why he would make a great president but more importantly, how much he wants it. Removing some of the protectionism which has surrounded Romney up to now, may in fact be the best strategy of all, to beat Gingrich. To challenge or attack Gingrich directly is a political tight rope for any GOP candidate with the potential for supporter backlash or abandonment.

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Gingrich wins key endorsement, Romney needs to up his game

Bookmark and Share  New GOP front runner Newt Gingrich managed a huge coup today, by winning the endorsement of the State of New Hampshire’s most widely read newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader before New Hampshire votes on January 10, 2012.

While the endorsement throws a huge bonus towards Gingrich’s chances, the snub by the newspaper deals a massive blow to the other current front runner Mitt Romney six weeks ahead of Republican primary. Romney is known to have courted the newspapers support and had lunch with the Newspapers’ editor a number of times.

The paper outlining the reasons for their decision to support Gingrich wrote, “We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing, “He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic president. A lot of candidates say they’re going to improve Washington. Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again.”

“We don’t back candidates based on popularity polls or big-shot backers. We look for conservatives of courage and conviction that are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job.” “He did so with the Contract with America,” the endorsement said.

The newspapers endorsement comes with a tradition of running front-page editorials and opinion columns in support of favoured candidates, and gives Mr. Gingrich an important conservative stamp of approval as he seeks to seize on his recent strong performance in polls elsewhere. There can be no doubt; the endorsement boosts Gingrich’s conservative credentials. He spent last week defending his immigration policies against accusations that they are a form of amnesty being attacked in particular by Michele Bachmann on the issue. Tomorrow, Gingrich takes a campaign swing through South Carolina, the South’s first primary state.

Former Massachusetts Governor has formed his whole election strategy on winning, and winning handsomely in New Hampshire, to provide the platform for what many believed was a near certain run to winning the GOP nomination. This setback in a state that Team Romney believed was a near certainty for a clear win, will now require a big effort and some crucial strategy decisions to get their candidate back in the race in a serious and leading candidate manner. Romney has largely ignored Iowa up to now, and this decision to ignore Iowa may come back to haunt him in his efforts to gain GOP party support, and electoral traction in the polls. Romney has found it difficult to convince the Republican base that he is strong conservative candidate who shares their deepest convictions.

A poll published last week showed him with 42% support among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, and Gingrich on 15%, Ron Paul posted 12% support and John Huntsman 8%.

After challenging the President to a series of live debates, Gingrich speaking in Naples, Florida said, President Obama can use a teleprompter if he wants to and that it would be fine with him. Gingrich also received an air of support from former President Bill Clinton who when asked about Gingrich said, “I think he’s doing well just because he’s thinking, and people are hungry for ideas that make some sense. He’s being rewarded for thinking.”

I would suggest that Romney’s team needs to put him on a more aggressive and forceful front in the coming weeks, there are many criticism’s levelled at Romney by media commentators. I am of the view that Romney’s campaign team have played it safe up until this point, however, now is the time to change tact and demonstrate strong potential leadership on issues to the Republican base.

Romney has largely run his campaign focussed on President Obama solely up until now, while I think he has run a smart and disciplined campaign on the whole, the challenge from Gingrich is potentially his most serious to date. It needs to sound a signal of warning to “Team Romney” that they first have to win the GOP nomination before turning their attention to President Obama.

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President Obama punts key oil pipeline decision past the election

After weeks of barracking Congress, requesting they “Pass the Bill” to help create jobs. President Barack Obama controversially delayed the approval of a massive oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada, causing accusations he was putting election-year politics above job creation and it was another sign of indecisiveness by a president who appears all at sea on how to create jobs in a struggling economy.

The White House said it was putting off consideration of TransCanada Corp’s proposed $7billion Keystone XL pipeline until it can study new potential routes that avoid environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska, an action that is likely to mean a decision only after the 2012 election. The State Department said it will require an environmental review of the new section, which is expected to take at least a year.

The requirement for a new environmental impact statement and more public comments means the decision won’t be made until after the 2012 elections. Controversy over the pipeline created a headache for the Obama administration, but the delay might not end it.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has become a classic example of an issue that pits environmentalists against energy developers. Environmentalists have made the pipeline a test case of whether President Barack Obama will fight climate change. The pipeline would ensure decades of an increased supply of a form of oil that produces more heat-trapping emissions than conventional oil does because more energy is needed to extract and refine it.

The announcement by the State Department means Calgary-based TransCanada will have to explore a way to move the proposed Keystone XL pipeline around the Nebraska Sandhills region and Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to eight states.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said,” the decision put politics in an election year above the creation of thousands of jobs: ‘Whether it will help the president retain his job is unclear, but it will cost thousands of shovel-ready opportunities for American workers.’

Republicans and supporters of the project said the timing wasn’t a coincidence, as Obama was pressurised by environmental groups who had said they may not mobilise to help Obama win re- election if he approved the pipeline.

“Calling for a new route is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to avoid upsetting the president’s political base before the election,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement.  “This is clearly a political decision, and everyone knows it,” Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobbying group, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Unfortunately, it will immediately cost more than 20,000 Americans an opportunity to get a job working on the pipeline and hundreds of thousands more jobs in the future.”

Election-year politics played no role in the decision, a State Department official said today.

President Obama said the 1,661-mile pipeline is likely to affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment. The 1,661-mile (2,673-kilometer) pipeline would deliver 700,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico by crossing Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The administration is keen to point out Obama’s other environmental accomplishments, which haven’t gotten the attention the president’s aides would like. The Recovery Act funded considerable leaps in renewable energy and efficiency research. Mandates on fuel standards will nearly double mileage efficiency by 2025, in turn reducing fossil-fuel consumption.

The decision allows the administration to delay a final approval past next year’s election thus avoiding a lose-lose decision certain to be politically unpopular.

While the decision may be popular with part of his base it further demonstrates charges that the president is more concerned with his own re-election chances then reviving the employment fortunes of the nation.

The decision to delay marks a success for environmental campaigners who have mustered growing opposition to the project, raising concerns about the danger of leaks from the 1,700 mile pipeline including actor Robert Redford who added his support to the campaign.

Russ Girling, TransCanada’s chief executive, said: “This project is too important to the US economy, the Canadian economy and the national interest of the United States for it not to proceed.”

One has to argue, a punted decision by the Obama Administration, but as what cost to the economy and the president’s recent job creation rhetoric? The deferred decision will cost him personal and political credibility with many American’s already lacking confidence over his management of the economy.

President Obama a one term president?

According to the CNN Poll of Polls, which is an average of the most recent national surveys, 45 percent of Americans approve of how the president is handling his job and 51% disapprove, a short term boost largely attributed to the recent success in Libya. 

It is now 364 days until perhaps the most economically important presidential election in generations both nationally and internationally. The president has already raised more money than all his GOP rivals combined. Obama hopes to raise nearly $1 billion for his 2012 re-election bid. There is no doubt, President Obama has enjoyed considerable success in the war on terror and in his pledges to drawn down American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan which many, believe to be politically motivated, rather than a matter of military decision making.

How would I rate President Obama’s re-election chances? I still see it as very much a 50-50 chance for the following reasons; while people may disapprove of his administration in many areas, President Obama is still personally very popular, especially among minority groups who are expected to have a big influence on the outcome in 2012. He will have considerable funds and the support of the liberal media on his side, which, cannot be under estimated and above all, it is the ability of the GOP to unite behind a credible and strong candidate that will ultimately have the biggest influence on the outcome in 2012. Don’t under estimate President Obama’s campaigning ability and rhetorical skills, he will prove an extremely determined competitor, and if his manages to get people to remember why they liked and voted for him in 2008, it will be difficult for any GOP contender to beat him.

President Obama following his many recent travels appears determined not to concede key swing states like North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico.  A year is an extremely long time in American politics, and things could change the odds in President Obama’s favour.  Economic growth could exceed expectations, and the unemployment rate could start to turn on a downward trajectory restoring some of the much shattered economic confidence in American households. My own personal belief is that the current administration seem incapable of making the fundamental policy shift in curbing spending and lowering taxes, to really deliver a boost to economic growth and this has only been further solidified by Democratic support for the Occupy Wall Street protests of recent weeks, and the attacks on the entrepreneurial spirit which has made America a great nation for the last century.

James Carville the famous and respected Democratic strategist coined the phrase, “It the Economy stupid” when former President Clinton was running against former President Bush Snr. amazingly, President Bush Snr. enjoyed an astounding approval rating of 89% just over a year before the election and went on to lose. In this coming election the phrase for the GOP should be, “It’s Jobs stupid.” A record number of Americans, 49.1 million are poor, based on a new census measure that for the first time takes into account rising medical costs and other expenses. External debt now stands as % of GDP at an incredible 101.1% and unemployment is at 9%, higher then even the biggest sceptic believed it would be following the stimulus plan. Unfortunately, President Obama’s economic team have only created uncertainty surrounding healthcare costs, tax and regulation over the last three years, these three factors alone are the biggest reasons why job growth in American has come to a standstill practically.

A Washington Post/ ABC polling today showed only 38% of American’s approved of President Obama’s handling of the economy against a disapproval rating of 61%. The reality is, if people took out President Obama’s personal appeal and focussed on his job performance and implemented policies during the first two years of his administration, the outcome of next years election would be a foregone conclusion with a GOP landslide. However, this election is going to be unlike any other. Personally, I believe substantively only Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich really have the experience, credentials and ability to beat President Obama in a head to head with the exception of Ron Paul who may benefit from a failure by the international community to resolve the debt crisis. It is important that the GOP nominee sells the message that they are the person capable of restoring America’s economic prospects and focus on facts.

The strategy to an Obama victory seems set to be played out in the Midwest states where President Obama still enjoys popular support and on portraying an “Under Dog” tag. The Democratic Party machine will unleash the fiercest and most personal attack campaign American electioneering history has witnessed. The president has already tried to use class divide and emotional scare tactics to frighten voters into supporting him, the one fact which cannot escape President Obama is his record.

Don’t believe the “Under Dog” status, President Obama will be the best supported and financed “Under Dog” in political history. The choice for American’s like previous elections, “Are you better now then you were four years ago come November 6, 2012”.

The eventual GOP nominee will need to focus on President Obama’s record, which is partly why, I believe Speaker Gingrich may be the best bet for the GOP nomination due to his factual, precise and eloquent communication skills. It promises to be the mother of all contests that is for sure.

It’s all Drama Obama – Challenges yes, leadership no!

Bookmark and ShareWell readers, I haven’t done much writing in the last week, largely due to taking some time out to put my thoughts into perspective regarding the current political situation in America. I have to say, as a huge admirer and fan of all things American, even the Miami Heat who beat my beloved Bulls in last season’s play-off’s, I am becoming increasingly concerned.

America in my own view as a foreign national has always been the beacon of hope for freedom, security and democracy during my whole life and long before I came into existence. The current political situation in Washington in not only gridlock, it is down right dreadful and unacceptable on every level.

I’ve watched the innuendo, criticism’s and twisted facts being spewed out over the last week, and it is time for American’s to wake up. I am not talking about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations; I have no problem with people expressing their beliefs, do it peacefully, make your point and go home politely. The wake up call I am calling for in fact, pleading for, is in the correct democratic way, through the ballot box.

I have had huge admiration for many American President’s regardless of party, there has been many great men who have graced the highest office in the land Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR & JFK, some of the most talented and brilliant men in history. I’ve no problem with party politics, as it is the model common to most European nations. What I do have issue with is a failure in leadership and then trying to blame, criticise and divide people, party’s and a fantastic nation for the sake of re-election.

I wrote an article on April 5, this year reviewing the performance of President Obama against his pledges. Link here(: http://worldviewtonight.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/obama-2012-a-review-of-2008-pledges-and-performance-so-far/ ), I was fair and not overly critical. First and foremost, no matter who occupies the Oval Office, you should always want the President of the United States to do well, it is not only in America’s interest that a confident and strong leader occupies the office, it is in the global interest.

I have however come to the very firm belief that President Obama is causing great damage to the American spirit, industry and economy which made it great. Before I move on, I will stress, no-one was a more enthusiastic and overjoyed a person then I, when he got elected I 2008. It was truly historic and his message of “Hope and Change,” was what the world needed after the financial upheaval of 2008.

I’m not ignorant to the woes the president inherited on entering office, a recession and let’s be clear NOT a depression, as the White House tries to frame it, two wars, growing unemployment at home and a housing market on the floor. Yes, the challenges were many however, President Lincoln had to fight a Civil War to restore the Union, President Bush had to deal with 9/11 the biggest attack on America since Pearl Harbor and Hurricane Katrina and Harry Truman had to end a war, fight another and demobilise one of the biggest armies in history, all the while keeping the economy and nation going. My point is this, leading a nation such as America is both an honour and a privilege. The Presidency brings many challenges and when you seek that challenge you accept all that goes with it, above all the covenant to provide leadership. Leadership also means you acquire accountability and responsibility, the fact is President Obama had control of Congress for the first two years of his presidency, he can blame republicans all he wants however, facts are facts. President Obama appears to have a huge problem accepting blame, President Clinton did and moved to the center and in my view economically, was the best economic president in modern times because of it.

President Obama focussed on Obamacare and not jobs in the first two years, Timothy Geithner can defend him all he likes saying he prioritised jobs above all else, the facts are as Norah O’Donnell quite correctly challenged, is President Obama took his eye off the ball. The President promised Obamacare and all the discussions around it would be on CSPAN, well that disappeared and now we even have the San Francisco Chronicle being frozen out of events because, they dare attempt transparency at a fundraising event and the week is rounded off with proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act, which a Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced.

A president is meant to be the leader of the nation, he or she is meant to issue the rallying call to the nation in hard times and provide the voice of assurance that things will get better. I admire great orator’s however, the rhetoric coming from President Obama recently has been disappointing, factually inaccurate, emotionally divisive and above all, disgusting from a President of the United States.

We had riots here in London during the summer, I’m not saying everything is perfect in the U.K. and that we don’t have our problems however, Our Prime Minister cut off his holiday and returned to our nation’s capital to resolve the issue. English people didn’t want to hear political assessments or excuses for the reasons for the riots, they wanted them stopped and the problem sorted, which is exactly what Prime Minister Cameron set about doing until he achieved the objective.

President Obama claims that Abraham Lincoln is one of his hero’s well, if he truly means that and wants to honour his memory and the Union he died to restore, he should change the language and stop the self-pity tour about the big bad Republicans. Get off the bus tours and campaign fund raiser’s and get back to Washington behind your desk and sort out the nation’s problems. I know from speaking with friends how difficult things are there economically at present. It is the responsibility of both sides to put the people and country first. The American he people, Democratic, Republican and Independent deserve their President back in the White House, doing his job and not playing legislative football or delivering podium speeches trying to score cheap political points. I will say this as an observer looking from afar, President Obama is starting to look silly with his speeches about caring and compassion while on the other hand raising millions for his campaign.

President Obama should seize the mantle of leadership and get both sides around the table and if necessary, allow some reporters into the discussions to cover the talks. There really needs to be compromise on both sides, if America believes it can afford to wait another year before reaching agreement on the debt issue and job creation, you must be mistaken. The problem the Eurozone area makes the “Debt Committee Talks” ever more urgent, failure to come to some reasonable practical way forward on the economy will lead to social disorder and a breakdown in law and order, is the president really advocating this? Does he want rioting in Oakland?

I know when we have worries, we don’t want to hear a leader tell us what a hard job and time they are having, remember, President Obama asked and sought the office, it wasn’t just handed to him. It is President Obama’s duty to perform for all American’s, not just his political base or fundraisers. I say Mr. President respectfully, stop the low level tone of your rhetoric and get off the campaign trail for a while. If you really want to be re-elected, show American’s you are prepared to lead and if necessary, make some sacrifices in their interest. The truth is, you had it very good for your first two years in office, and haven’t even had a full year of a Republican House of Representatives and he is saying he can’t deal wit them. It makes you appear weak Mr. President and incapable of handling the challenges and demands of office. Yes, you’ve done well on foreign affairs issue however, American people want a leader and unifier, not a divider.

Why does it matter to me you say, well I respect the office of the President of the United States and the United States greatly. I also respect decency, civility, appropriate language and statesmanship. The President needs to be a shinning example for all American’s and supporters to be inspired by in difficult times, not just a selective audience.

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Where America is economically 1,000 days into the Obama Administration

Today marks 1,000 days of President Obama’s administration and the race for the GOP nomination is in full flight with the American economy facing perhaps its biggest challenges since the great depression.

As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently told a Florida radio station, ”The U.S. election in November 2012 will be a “referendum” on the Obama administration’s handling of the economy.”

So what is the economic report card for the Obama Administration’s first 1,000 days.

  • Since President Obama took office, the National debt has increased by $4.3 trillion with America now borrowing $4.2 billion each day, to keep the country going. The total National Debt now stands at $14.9 trillion dollars.
  • 6.5 million jobs have been lost in the private sector and 290,00 in the Public sector, in last three years.
  • Four million bankruptcies have occurred during this period.
  • The unemployment rate has been above nine percent for 840 of the 1000 days, and the average unemployed worker has been without a job for more than 9 months.
  • 2.4 Million Homes have been foreclosed on.
  • Health Insurance premiums have increased by on average 13%.
  • 1 in 6 American’s are now officially classified as poor largely due to rising unemployment and 49.9 million American’s are uninsured, the biggest in more than two decades.

In fairness, the President has done some good work by extending the Bush era tax cuts and unemployment benefits. He also saved the automobile industry which regardless of your political view, is a hard fact to deny.

What we have seen from the Obama Administration though is bigger government, more regulations, and massive amounts of government spending in the hope of stimulating the economy. The trouble is that it simply hasn’t worked, as the numbers have shown. President Obama Promised that his $787 billion stimulus would save or create 3.3 million jobs by the end of 2010.  It simply hasn’t, in fact, his stimulus bill has caused nothing but problems with states now seeking more money to keep teachers and other public sector workers on the payroll, President Obama calling for an additional $35 billion funding bill today for the states. There has also been the wasted billions on green energy projects and the no so ready, shovel ready job projects.

The President has been touring the country over the last month, trying to sell his $447 billion jobs package or as most people call it, Stimulus II. It was defeated in the Senate last week on a bi-partisan basis. I actually don’t blame the president entirely for the state of the economy. I blame those academic advisors and special advisors he brought into his administration in the early days. They applied their theories without really having the practical experience of working in the economy ironically, a lot of the criticism’s which people are labelling against Herman Cain and Mitt Romney at present is based on their having real life experience. Where are President Obama economic experts 1,000 days down the road, they’ve abandoned the sinking ship.

The two big strategic mistakes President Obama did make in his first 1,000 days are as follows; firstly, he should’ve waited until his second term to pursue and implement his signature piece healthcare legislation “Obamacare”. The first mistake he made is what President Bush Snr (41) made, if you don’t look after the domestic economy, you can have all the success in the world on every other front however, people want jobs and want to know they are better off now, then they were four years ago. President Obama should’ve focussing on getting the economy right in his first term and leaving Obamacare until his second term.

The second mistake President Obama has made strategically in his first 1,000 days is not moving to the center and working with the Republican Congress after the mid-term election defeat. In 1994 when the Republicans won control of Congress under the Contract of America with Speaker Newt Gingrich, then President Bill Clinton knew in order to get re-elected, he had to work with the Republicans and move to the center. President Clinton did and worked effectively and in fact, gained the upper hand winning over independent voter by the time the next presidential election came around in 1996. It is Independent voters that decide the outcome of elections not the respective party faithful.

President Obama with all respect may be the only person who believes he has done a good job on the economy. Beyond that, he may be the only person who believes his current rhetoric and embracing of protests against entrepreneurs and successful and hardworking people, will get him re-elected next year and win over independent minded voters although I sincerely doubt it.

The eventual GOP nominee needs to emphasise the best of American traditions and empower the private sector, liberalise the markets and stimulate the education system to restore America’s economic engine. It will require strong leadership, collaboration and the involvement of expertise from both the public and private sectors until the economy is back in good health. It will require sacrifice in the short term and there will be no short term fixes.

Above all, it is clear that the rhetoric going into next years election is going to be based on class warfare and aimed at dividing people something President Obama promised he wouldn’t do. It is a very sad day when a president resorts to that tactic in order to win an election.

I would hope that any GOP nominee has the courage and conviction to refrain from engaging in such low level politics and be a president for all the people regardless of creed, colour or religion.

Senate Defeats Obama’s Jobs Bill

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan failed to clear the Senate on Tuesday evening, despite the best pleas and weeks of campaigning by President Obama. The bill received a simple majority of 51 votes but fell short of the necessary 60 to end debate. Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana were the only Democrats to vote against the bill. Both of them are facing tough re-election campaigns next year.

The president’s Jobs Bill also has little chance of clearing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Mr. Obama called on lawmakers to “do the right thing” and “put country ahead of party,” and pass the $447 billion jobs bill earlier in the day. He said Republican opponents will have a hard time explaining to voters why they rejected it.

With the American economy stagnated and unemployment currently at 9.1 percent, Mr. Obama said the act would put thousands of teachers, police and construction workers back on the job. He said taxes for workers and small businesses would be cut. “This is a moment of truth,” Obama told a union crowd in Pittsburgh. “The time for gridlock and games is over. The time for action is now.”

President Obama’s Bill has been much criticised in recent weeks and Senate Leader Harry Reid even had to change the proposal on how to pay for the bill in the last week, in an attempt to secure support from his own Democratic Party for the bill. Reid after inserting a provision to pay for the bill by raising income tax rates, by 5.6 percent on people who earn more than a $1 million a year, accused the GOP of blocking the legislation both to deny Obama a victory and to protect millionaires at the expense of the rest of the country.

Republicans fundamentally opposed the measure over its spending to stimulate the economy and its tax rise on millionaires and many small business owners.

Reacting to the vote, Mr Obama said: “Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight.” In a statement after the vote, Obama said his bill contains proposals Republicans have supported in the past but that the GOP had obstructed the Senate from moving forward on the jobs bill. Obama says he will work with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to see that individual proposals in the bill gain a vote as soon as possible. Obama says that each vote will lead to lawmakers having to explain their positions.

He challenged lawmakers to “explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs”.

The House and Senate are expected to use the remainder of the week to approve U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, one of the few areas of agreement between Republicans and the administration on boosting the economy.

The White House and Democratic leaders must now resort to Plan B: The Democrats will need to  look at ways of breaking the jobs bill into pieces that would be easier to pass, such as payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and construction spending.

Both parties will no doubt use the outcome as a political tool ahead of next year’s presidential election, as Democrats have accused Republicans of failing to approve a measure that would cut high unemployment. In return, Republicans have said Democrats are trying to increase taxes, which would kill jobs.

One thing is clear, President Obama is continuing to use the bill as a vehicle for making Republicans look bad. Many of the components of the bill were rejected in 2009, by the then Democratic controlled Congress, so it is politicking of the highest order to say the Republicans are to blame. I am certain some component parts of the bill will pass once broken up.

The challenges of kick starting the United States economy in the next year are not economic, they remain political, so perhaps Standard & Poor were justified to downgrade the U.S. credit limit over sixty days ago.

The impasse continues leaving the economy at the mercy of the markets and speculators yet again.

Do Nothing is Not an Option When it Comes to the American People

Bookmark and Share   President Barack Obama took to the podium in the East Wing of the White House today, for a hastily arranged Press Conference. The President intending to take the fight to Republicans over his Proposed Jobs bill, instead adopted, his now familiar lethargic, long-drawn out replies to journalists questions. Interestingly, he provided support for the Wall Street protests and attacked the risks bankers took as being irresponsible. On the other hand, the president promoted and justified the risk taking, when responding to questions on the Solyndra case.

President Obama tried to throw down the gauntlet to Republicans insisting they should pass his $447bn programme for creating new jobs or be punished by voters in next year’s Congressional elections. The president didn’t appear comfortable in his response when asked by a reporter, if he was trying to use President Truman’s tactic, of running against a “Do-nothing Congress.”   The Obama administration are embroiled in some of the toughest fights of their three year term between a shockingly bad economy, mounting debt and scandals ranging from the Solyndra case through to the “Fast and the furious” case. The one theme running through all the challenges facing the administration is denial, and a distinct lack or willingness, to take responsibility for any of the issues.

Speaker Boehner said the president had shown no leadership by holding rallies around the country to promote his $447 billion jobs bill, rather than negotiating with Republicans, to pass legislation that would bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

“I’ve had my share of disappointments this year, but nothing has disappointed me more than what’s happened over the last five weeks, to watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading, and spend full time campaigning,”

“I can’t tell you how dangerous our situation, our economy’s in and how dangerous the situation in Europe is,” Boehner said. “And yet the president, some 14 months before the election, throws in the towel and decides he’s going to spend all of his time out campaigning. We’re legislating, he’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”

 While it is fair to say that the last year hasn’t exactly being the beacon of legislative accomplishment, the general public are increasingly growing tired with all parties in Washington D.C., in failing to take real meaningful action.
While President Obama may have appeared to be talking tough, some of his choice of words like “Preaching” or “Here’s some homework for you,” still give the appearance that the president is guilty of the very charge his is attempting to level at the Republicans, which is, being out of touch with the people.

The best advice I could give the president is to take time to meet and listen to his fiercest critics. A good leader should never be afraid to take criticism and more importantly, act on it. Harsh critics often give you the most direct and honest feedback you’ll get as a leader. The important thing is that you be prepared to take it onboard and act on it, it is an opportunity not a hindrance.

The president needs to stop lecturing and trying to convince voters that he is not playing politics, the only thing that is going to turn the nation and his own fortunes around, is action!

There is an old childhood tale we tell our children here in Europe to stop them from telling falsehood’s, it is called “The boy who cried wolf.” The president needs to understand that he doesn’t carry the political influence or enthusiasm among voters that he did four years ago. The reason for this is because of his policies, leadership and the economy. He cannot carry on blaming the BIG, BAD, Republicans why? Because, people in tough times want a leader who talks about their concerns and pains, not about the cost or bruises he has endured politically.

People want to be inspired, enthused and above all, have belief that their leader will turn things around. President Obama needs to re-think his strategy and stop blaming others for the poor state of the country and start taking action; this may involve working with Republicans. He is absolutely correct; next years elections will give voters an opportunity to decide the members in Congress faith. The note of caution I would lend the president is that above all, they are voting for the leader of their nation, if you cannot provide that required leadership, the outcome of the presidential election will be a fore gone conclusion come November 2012, and he’ll then only have himself to blame, a honest fact. The most proactive step the Obama administration took on job creation this week was the farcical Tweet for Jobs initiative. I’m sorry, but I expect more from any president.

There was more bad news for the President before the press conference with the release of a new QUINNIPAC UNIVERSITY POLL showing the President’s approval ratings now stand at just 41% with 55% of responder’s disapproving of the president’s job performance. Tomorrow will see the monthly unemployment figures released for September with many commentators expecting the figure to stay at 9.1% at least.

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Social Conservatives Split As Predicted

Months ago, I laid the framework for next year’s primary election with my blog entitled “The Neapolitan Party“.  In it, my theory was that Republican voters would fall on three lines, Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, and Libertarian.  Cain’s rise and Perry’s fall is continued proof that this template is accurate.  It also is bad news for Mitt Romney.

An untrained eye might see Perry’s recent fall in the polls and Romney reclaiming front runner status as great news for the Romney campaign.  But the numbers tell a different story.  Romney is not losing or gaining votes from Social Conservatives.  Perry and Cain are moving these votes back and forth.  Eventually the race will come down to Romney and the top Social Conservative.  At this point, that top Social Conservative will likely win.

Can Romney increase his support among Social Conservatives enough to win?

Romney will get Huntsman’s voters when Huntsman drops out of the race.  Paul and Johnson voters  will either go to Romney, stay home, or vote third party.  But the rest of the candidates are passing support back and forth between them based on who has the best chance of beating Obama.  This is why Santorum and Gingrich continue to fail to gain traction.  When they drop out, their votes will go to the top Social Conservative.

Romney’s best hope may be for Perry to regain his momentum.  With the attacks leveled by Bachmann and Santorum against Rick Perry, some of their jaded supporters may gravitate to Romney if and when they fall out of the race.  Others will see Perry’s illegal immigration stances and choose Romney as the lesser of two evils.  However, I believe that Romney may not be able to recoup enough supporters from other Social Conservatives unless he seriously steps up his Social Conservative message.  Romney has done well to endorse TEA party objectives and move more to the right socially, but trust is still an issue.  On the other hand, Cain is a very likeable and trustable candidate.  Libertarians are wary of him because he used to be a board member of a Federal Reserve bank.  But the libertarians who would not vote for Cain because of that have far more reasons to not vote for any other viable candidate.

The other factor that could change this would be last minute polling of who would beat Obama.  If it comes down to Cain and Romney, but polls show that Romney would have a better chance of beating Obama, that could be a game changer.

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