Out With The Old. In With The New.

ImageLast week should have been a wake up call for the GOP.  They received more positive press than they have in a very long time on the heels of Senator Rand Paul’s 13 hour ‘fillibuster’ in which he ranted and raved against the vague policy of the use drones on American soil.

Standing with Senator Paul and lending their assistance to the filibuster were a couple of the newer members of the GOP Senate.  Most notably Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  Young Senators who seem unafraid to take on the establishment.  The next day the ‘establishment’ was markedly upset and doing what they could to disparage the younger Senators stand against an administration who felt the need to not only not define a very dangerous policy, but who refused to answer simple questions regarding it when asked.  I am of course speaking of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

What, I asked, would drive 2 influential Senators such as McCain and Graham go on the offensive against members of their own party who had taken a very popular stance and received more positive press for the Republicans than they have had in a couple of years?  Could it be jealousy?  McCain and Graham were both at a dinner with President Obama at the time of the filibuster reportedly trying to iron out a compromise to end sequester spending cuts.  Were the established GOP lead dogs upset that they were upstaged by their younger counterparts?  Whatever the reason for their attacks and name calling the day following the filibuster one thing became clear.  The old dogs need to retire to a shady spot under the porch if the GOP is to ever shed the “Old white man’s party” perception that it has. 

Youth and newness can be a good thing for a party that needs to do some serious reputation rebuilding after years of a war of rhetoric for the public perception that they have been losing and losing badly.  I find it reprehensible for Senators with the clout within the party that McCain and Graham have to try and make illegitimate the best positive polling the party has had in recent memory.  I have to wonder.  Are they dumb, senile or so full of themselves that they feel the need to take shots at their own when the spotlight is shone elsewhere within the party?

Regardless of the reasoning for their name calling outbursts, what happened with the filibuster should serve as notice the the GOP leadership.  There is a youthful movement within the party.  That movement is part constitutionalist, part libertarian, part tea party and part conservative.  If you don’t come to grips with it and learn to embrace what it brings to the table in regards to helping erase the perception of the ‘old white man’s party’ then be prepared to stare at the outside of the White House for a very long time.

Republican Convention to Show Video Tribute to Ron Paul

   Bookmark and Share  During a 10 AM press conference call, Romney Campaign Strategist Russ Schriefer announced that the convention will be having a video tribute to  perennial presidential candidate, retiring Texas Congressman Ron Paul.   (audio of the entire press conference call can be heard in the video below this post.)

According to Schriefer;

Congressman Paul’s people came to us and said they would like to do a short tribute to him and we said absolutely, it would be a good time to do that.” 

Schrieffer noted “that while Governor Romney and Congressman Paul certainly disagree on many issues” they have “a lot of mutual respect between the two of them”.  Schriefer also stated that Senator Rand Paul will be speaking at the convention on Monday night and then made a point of stating that the Romney campaign looks forward to his speech.

With approximately 177 delegates and about twice as many when including alternate and unbound delegates, the often raucous and obnoxious Paul fanatics could try to disrupt the convention.  Attempts to get the G.O.P. to adopt such things as their isolationist foreign policies and reckless cuts in defense strategies could cause delegates to stage various protests.  So the Romney campaign’s willingness to show a tribute to Ron Paul is most likely a gesture to those delegates.  But it will also help to leave the door open for tens of thousands of other diehard Ron Paul libertarians who up to now, have vowed to oppose Mitt Romney.  By embracing the efforts of Ron Paul by paying honor to his decades in the House, the Romney campaign is giving at least tacit approval to many of the economic efforts the Congressman has been in the forefront of.   And under Mitt Romney, the G.O.P. is seriously considering some of Ron Paul’s big ideas such as a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, issues of Internet freedom, and even  opposition to indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.  Combined with Romney’s willingness to publicly credit Ron Paul for his contributions to the conservative movement, that may be enough to make discerning pauliacs who realize how disastrous a second Obama term would be, to consider casting their vote Romney instead of adding it to any anti-Romney vote total.

According Schriefer;

“We feel we’re in a good place.  We know that not everybody is going to agree with us all but we know that as the Republican Party, we’re going to unite and beat Barack Obama in November.”

During the press conference call, Schriefer outlined what he hoped the overall accomplishment of the convention would be and the sub-themes of each day and how they will drive a complete messages by the time the convention is over.  Monday will discuss how Americans can do better by addressing the failures of the Obama Administration over the past four years and the things that Mitt Romney will do to make things better. Tuesday will carry the theme “We Built It”.  That involves showcasing the fundamental philosophical differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney which is that while President Obama believes in government, Mitt Romney believes in entrepreneurship and the individual.

The third night of the convention will operate under the theme ” We Can Do Better”.  That theme will focus mainly on what Mitt Romney will do as President and the final night will tell Mitt Romney’s story under the banner of “We Believe In America”.  Schriefer states that on Thursday night, Romney’s story will be told in a way that will convince Americans that Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified to take on the problems that this country is facing at this time.

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First Night of the Republican Convention Will Feature Paul, Cruz, Huckabee, Arturo Davis and Anne Romney

Future First Lady Anne Romney

Bookmark and Share   On Monday, the Republican National Committee released the official schedule for the first day of the Republican National Convention which will kickoff on Monday, August 27th, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, in Tampa Bay, Florida (see the itinerary below this post). The schedule includes more than 34 speakers that span both the afternoon and evening sessions, but the most coveted speaking slot that closes out the first night of the convention will go to Mitt Romney’s wife Anne.Leading up to the future First Lady will be a host of high profile stars, rising stars, and even a former Democrat, Congressman Artur Davis.

Before running for the Democrat nomination for Governor of Alabama in 2009, Davis represented Alabama’s 7th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011, and was one of President Obama’s earliest supporters. In fact he was the first politician outside of Illinois to endorse Obama’s run for President.

Three years later, Davis, an African-American, is now a Republican and probably one of the best examples of the current popular sentiments of disappointment that most Americans have with President Obama, a point that will dovetail quite well with the the theme for the first night of the G.O.P. convention……”We Can Do Better”.

Also speaking on Monday night will be conservative stars such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, T.E.A. movement sweetheart, Texas Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, and the ever popular former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee.

Interspersed within that list of high profile leaders are other powerful but less known speakers such as Barbara Comstock and Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Luce’ Vela Fortuno

Perhaps one of the most intriguing orators scheduled for Monday though is Luce’ Vela Fortuno, the First Lady of Puerto Rico.  In what seems to be a decision to have Luce’ Fortuno introduce Anne Romney, the G.O.P. is obviously trying to appeal to Hispanics and specificall Hispanic women.

The Party could have easily had a more widely known and politically established female Republican figure such as Condoleezza Rice introduce Anne Romney to the American people.  Instead they chose to go with the lesser know First Lady of Puerto Rico, whose husband, Luis Fortuno, will be making a prime time speech to the convention in one of the two nights following Luce’s prime time remarks.  But the decision to go with Luce Fortuno is a good one.   As most of us know  by now, first impressions are lasting impressions, and by having Luce Fortuno introduce Anne Romney, many Hispanic Americans men and women alike will be left with a first impression of Anne Romney that at least has a positive subliminal connection to one of their own, A Hispanic woman who is a leading figure in Puerto Rico. `

While many similar, not so subtle, political strategies will play out throughout the night, expect each one of those who speak to bring home the overriding theme of the evening……. “We Can Do Better”.    ``

According to R.N.C. Chairman Reince Priebus, “Republicans reject the notion that America’s ‘new normal’ consists of 42 months of deep unemployment and greater debt, Americans know we can do better than joblessness, poverty and debt, and this convention will present our vision for a brighter, better future and it will lay out an optimistic, achievable plan to make it happen.   ``

Probably no four words could better sum up the conclusion that is shared by millions of Americans as they look back on the past four years,” said Convention CEO William Harris. “We can do better than this, and the country knows it.”   ``The convention will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. It will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media—an international press corps second only in size to this summer’s London Olympic Games—as well as a global audience that will witness a “convention without walls” thanks to the G.O.P.’s  Internet and social media efforts.

GOPElephantRight.jpg GOP Elephant Right image by kempite Stars01.gif picture by kempiteGOPElephantLeft.jpg GOP Elephant Left image by kempite

Schedule for Monday, August 27, 2012

*As part of its “convention without walls” program to make the convention open and accessible, Republican officials also released today the convention schedule for Monday, August 27 through the convention’s mobile app – Tampa 2012 (http://connect.gopconvention2012.com).

2:00 pm

  • Chairman of the RNC Reince Priebus
  • Color Guard
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem:  The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Invocation
  • Opening procedural steps, appointment of convention committees
  • Welcoming remarks, and House and Senate candidates and RNC auxiliaries
  • RNC Chairman Priebus
  • RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
  • Convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris
  • Chairman of Tampa Bay Host Committee Al Austin
  • Republican Congressional Candidates
  • State Delegate Barbara Comstock (VA)
  • Representative Tim Griffin (AR)
  • Republican Senate Candidates
  • Republican National Committee auxiliaries
  • Consideration of convention committee reports
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Committee on Credentials Chairman Mike Duncan
  • Committee on Permanent Organization Chairwoman Zoraida Fonalledas
  • Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner, Presiding
  • Official Convention Photograph
  • Committee on Rules Chairman John Sununu
  • Committee on Resolutions Chairman Governor Bob McDonnell
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Senator John Hoeven
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn
  • Roll Call for Nomination of President of the United States
  • Roll Call for Nomination of Vice President of the United States

7:15 p.m. Recess

7:45 p.m.  Reconvene

  • Remarks by Speaker John Boehner
  • Remarks by Governor Rick Scott (FL)
  • Remarks by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Video
  • Remarks by Senator Rand Paul (KY)
  • Various Speakers
  • Remarks by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
  • To Be Announced
  • Remarks by Artur Davis and video
  • Remarks by Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX)
  • Musical Act
  • Remarks by Governor Nikki Haley (SC)
  • Remarks by Mike Huckabee
  • Remarks by Mrs. Luce’ Vela Fortuno
  • Remarks by Mrs. Ann Romney
  • Benediction by Sammy Rodriguez and adjournment.

About the 2012 Republican National Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012.  Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, alternate delegates, media and other guests.  For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, become part of the virtual convention at www.ConventionWithoutWalls.com, visit our website www.GOPConvention2012.com and check out our official blog, Conventional Wisdom, at www.gopconvention2012.com/blog/.

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White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Could Rand Paul Be the Ticket for Mitt Romney?

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

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Born Randal Howard Paul (1963-01-07) January 7, 1963 (age 49) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul Carol Wells Paul (parents)
Children William, Robert, and Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University (1981–1984)Duke University (M.D., 1988)
Occupation Ophthalmologist (Physician), Politician
Religion Presbyterian(baptized Episcopalian)

Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, rode a wave of anti-establishment, T.E.A. movement sentiments in Kentucky that allowed him to defeat his establishment backed Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson by more than 20% in the state’s primary. Grayson was even backed by the state’s senior Senator, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Paul went on to win the senate against in a a hard-fought battle against Kentucky Attorney General, Democrat Jack Conway (D) by with a mix of his father’s Libertarian and continued energetic support from the T.E.A. Movement.

Rand’s swearing in to the Senate and his father’s swearing in to the House of Representatives marked the first time in congressional history that a child served in the Senate while the parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives but Rand soon set out to become his own man and make his own mark on politics. After being assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees, Rand established the Senate Tea Party Caucus and his very Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. It included proposals This proposal include an 83% cut in funding of the Department of Education a 43% cut the Department of Homeland Security. Other measures in his spending bill included making the Department of Energy ia part of the Department of Defense and totally eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In total, his bill would dismantle seven more independent agencies, put an end to financial international aid spending, cut the food stamp program by 30 percent and reduce defense spending by 6.5 percent.

Since then, Paul was one of only two Republicans to vote against extending three key but controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, the provisions allowing for roving wiretaps, the search of business records and for conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”.

Later in the year Paul was one of only nine senators to vote against a bill designed temporarily prevent a government shutdown that cut $4 billion from the budget. His reasons for his opposition to the bill was based on his belief that it did not cut enough from the budget and a week later, Rand Paul voted against the Democratic and Republican compromise budget proposals to keep funding the federal government and On April 14, Paul was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

During the debt ceiling crisis, Paul stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted and became a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by the Democrats. On August 3, Paul voted against the inevitable bill that came before Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Some of Paul’s other initiatives in the Senate include calling for a no confidence confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, blocking legislation that would have supposedly strengthened safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he felt the bill was not strong enough. he also blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, because he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green. Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.

Rand Paul is most certainly a promising figure, but at this point in time, much of his reputation is that of his father’s. For the anti-establishment, libertarian types, Rand Paul offers the hope that unlike his father, who has been in Congress for more than two decades and achieved absolutely legislative accomplishments to limit government in its size and scope, or to reduce spending, prehaps Rand Paul’s being one of only a hundred members of the U.S. Senate, will enable to actually put some of his promised and ideas in to action. That has yet to be seen and much like former Senator Barack Obama, with less than two years in office, it might just be prudent to give time the opportunity to tell us who Rand Paul really is and what he is actually capable of.

But Rand Paul’s popularity, especially among the T.E.A. movement types who Romney is not very popular with, could help Romney does make Rand Paul a real possibility for Romney to pick as Vice President. If Romney wants to win the presidency, he will need to get out the Republican in record numbers and Rand Paul could help do that. Another intriguing consideration is that the addition of Rand Paul to the ticket might just get many of Ron Paul’s lunatic fringe followers to actually vote for a Romney-Rand Paul ticket. Many Ron Paul who will not be voting for the Republican candidate, regardless of who it is or could have been, will think twice about throwing their vote away on the doomed to failure Libertarian ticket now being headed by former G.O.P. presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson.

But picking Rand Paul to get Ron paul voters to vote for him, would be a mistake for Mitt Romney.

While Rand Paul will help among fiscal conservatives and can add to the ticket a degree of the anti-establishment popularity that Romney lacks, Rand is still too untested for the national stage. Furthermore, despite what some believe, Ron Paul’s following is not quite as large as they would believe, which is perhaps why Ron Paul has failed to win the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988, and has now twice failed to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Furthermore; Rand Paul has provided a lot of material of which the left will use to distract voters with He has given them plenty of material to exploit and dominate news cycles with in attempts to paint Rand Paul as an out of touch, extremist. Such a situation would end up creating a din of sensationalized headlines so loud and so often, that it would drown out such things as Romney’s proposals to tackle create jobs, grow the economy, cut spending, and tackle the enormous, Obama dominated spending deficit. Rand Paul’s record may be short, but it is rich with both scripted and unscripted, controversial remarks that would provide the left with an abundance of material to exploit and distract voters with. That combined with the fact that there are many more accomplished and experienced potential vice presidential nominees who can also appeal to the anti-establishment and T.E.A., movement voting blocs, and what you have is no real need for Romney to take a chance on Rand Paul.

Pros:

  • Rand Paul can attract support from among some Libertarians and from some of his father’s militant followers who would otherwise avoid voting Republican
  • Rand Paul’s presence on the ticket would add an anti-establishment flavor to the ticket that Romney sorely lacks
  • Rand’s nomination for V.P. would help assure conservatives that Romney is more open to reform and more committed to extreme actions to solve our spending and budget problems than he has demonstrated so far

Cons:

  • Rand Paul’s coming from Kentucky does not help to put a state in play for Romney. Kentucky has no chance of going for Obama in 2012 and even though Rand represents a Southern state, he has not yet established the type of popularity that would allow him to be a substantial regional influence for the Romney Ticket
  • Rand has been quite prolific when it comes to saying controversial things. Between those remarks and and his record, the left would be able to use Rand as a tool to distract voters with on a daily basis.
  • Rand Paul lacks legislative and foreign affairs experience
  • There are more accomplished and qualified potential candidate two can help the ticket far more than Rand Paul
  • Although not as isolationist as his father, some of Rand Paul’s positions significantly clash with basic conservative national defense positions

Assessment:

Thinking about picking Rand Paul for Vice President is more of a novelty than a serious consideration. This is especially the case when you realize that with no legislative accomplishments of his own yet, there are several far more deserving candidates who are just as strong on the same issues that make Rand Paul initially seem like a good choice for Romney.

Rand Paul presence on the ticket would also become more of a distraction than a benefit. A slew of controversial comments will be combined with his limited voting record and used by the left and the Obama campaign to try and make a Romney-Paul ticket look out of touch and extreme. And in doing so, each new news cycle would be dominated by a Paul oriented, liberal attack line rather than any focus of the Romney campaign to bring attention to the real issues and Obama’s record.

For example Paul recently voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Now he did not do so because he supports violence against women. Of course he doesn’t. But he voted against it because the bill contained langauge and measures that he believed were not appropriate and in some cases passage of the bill included passage of measures that were not germane to the issue. But take that vote and combine with something like the much discussed incident that came up in Paul’s senate race. The Aqua Buddha incident in which an anonymous woman claimed that back in college, Rand Paul and a friend tied her up, tried to force her to smoke pot, and then took her to a creek, where they blindfolded her and forced her to bow down and worship something they called the “Aqua Buddha.” That incident came out in the campaign and was discovered to have no truth to it, but since when did the truth have anything to do with news headlines and the impressions of others that liberals create? So just as an example, put those two stories together for a liberal media outlet and what you have is a false claim being combined with a false impression of Paul’s reasons for voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and a story that a Romney-Paul be spend three days explaining away and being taken off message.

For that and all the other reasons outlined above, Rand Paul is probably not even being considered as a viable option for Vice President by the Romney campaign. But that hasn’t stopped certain political circles and media outlets from declaring that Rand Paul is at least a possible dark horse nominee. So White House 2012 included Rand Paul in this series merely to address existing speculation. In the final analysis, Rand Paul has about as much of chance to be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney as does Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 2072 – Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Legislation (Nay), May 15, 2012

S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

Legislation (Nay) April 26, 2012

More Key Votes

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Rand Paul On the Issues

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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.

CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

Rand Warns Father to Chill

Update:

Ron Paul has not yet ruled out a 3rd Party run, but at least one of his best supporters is encouraging him not to.  Rand Paul warned in a New Hampshire radio interview that Ron Paul running as a third party candidate would be a bad idea.  Citing Perot’s failure and the TEA Party’s commitment to reforming the Republican party, Rand suggested that a Ron Paul 3rd party run would mean an easy Barack Obama victory in 2012.

Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News Wrap-Up from White House 2012 – 12/9/11

Bookmark and Share  Newt has Mitt on the ropes in Michigan, critics scratch their heads regarding Newt, Ron Paul’s chances, Rick Perry trips over his tongue, Democrats ban their Occupy friends from their convention, Buddy Roemer continues to try to win the Republican nomination with those banned Occupy protesters, and FDR tutors Obama in class warfare tactics.  These are just some of them gems found in the wealth of treasure in today’s Trunkline 2012.

“To think that he’s an outsider or a tea partier, that he’s going to go into the White House and change things up when he’s been the constant Washington, D.C., insider doesn’t even survive the falling-off-the-chair-laughing test,”Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

  • Twitter of the Day:
Newt Gingrich   newtgingrich   Newt Gingrich
 
My first day in office, I will move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s chosen place, Jerusalem. Pls watch. http://bit.ly/uSPYO3
 
 
 

 

After Ron Paul’s Last Hurrah, Where Will His Supporters Go, and What Will They Do?

Bookmark and Share    As Ron Paul embarks upon his last political campaign for either the presidency or Congress, and as the curtain comes down on his over two decade long political career, he promises to go out with a bang.  Instead of exiting the stage on a high note and trying to better articulate and advance his deserving message of liberty, personal responsibility, and a limited, constitutional government, Ron Paul has decided to embark upon a scorched earth campaign that aims its fire at anyone who passes him in the polls.

As he leaves elected politics, he does so in a very ungraceful way that follows the stereotypical negative political path that voters claim they are sick and tired of.

So far, in this his third run for President, instead of being a true leader who demonstrates that their can be a new way forward, and a more positive political path to take us there, Ron Paul has chosen to be a follower who takes his mighty message down the same low road that most politicians have taken.  Instead of building himself up with his message and articulating actual coherent policies that can translate ideological purity into realistic accomplishments, Ron Paul has decided that he must tear others down in order for his message to succeed.  So he was the first to launch highly exaggerated, brutally negative, webads first against Mitt Romney, then Rick Perry, and now Newt Gingrich.

Now Rick, and Mitt, and Newt, are big boys who should be able to defend themselves and with the exception of Newt Gingrich so far , they are not immune from their own negative ads that they have produced against each other.  But Ron Paul is suppose to be a different kind of leader.  He was suppose to be the non-politician, champion of the people, defender of liberty, and defender-in-chief of the U. S. Constitution.  Yet his ads convey more of a very uncharacteristic first blood-like theme that is the total antithesis of his anti-war message and the noble cause he claims to represent.

Some might justify Paul’s highly negative campaign by claiming that he means business, is in this to win it, and will play by the same rules that his opponents will.  That may be so.  But I have yet to see Newt Gingrich produce an attack on the character of any of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.  In fact with Newt, at least so far, it is quite the opposite.  In Newt we see a man who is brave enough to stand behind his own record, his own ideas, and his own message, without resorting to cheap shots and investing his campaign’s money and time in to ads designed to allow him to become some sort of defacto winner because he is the last man, or woman, standing.  Unlike Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich is showing himself to be a leader in this area and blazing the path for a new campaign model that is relying less on polling and polarizing language, and more on solutions, ideas, and vision.

Seeing Ron Paul exit the political stage in such a way is in many ways sad.  Ron Paul deserves much credit for making sure that words and phrases like constitutional and limited government have never been left out of the political debate.  He has done much to make people think twice about what role government is suppose to play in our lives.  While Ron Paul has never quite been able to move his message very far within the legislative process, for the last two decades he has at least been an integral part of insuring that the question of government’s rightful role in our lives is at least an issue given consideration during the legislative process.   For that I give Dr. Paul much credit.  Which is why I would have prefered to see the curtain come down on his years in elected office in a much more dignified way than he has chosen.  But that is Ron Paul’s decision and as he would be the first to tell you, that is his right.

But as Ron Paul does leave elected office, and yes I say leave, because while I may not be sure who the ultimately Republican nominee will be, I am positive that it won’t be him and I see little chance of him being on anyone’s short list for Vice President. So as he “leaves” elected office without seeking reelection to a thirteenth term in Congress, I can’t help but wonder who will take his place.

Who will pick up the Libertarian Party torch and lead the way?

As a political party, Libertarians are a mess.  By their very nature, they are not an agreeable bunch.  In many ways, they are admirably not prone to any kind of groupthink mentality, but also irritatingly unable to consider a differing opinion.  As such, their independence and strong individualism makes them an inherently unruly, impossible to organize bunch.  As one observer put it;

” If you get 10 libertarians into a discussion, you’ll have 10 different opinions on many things, maybe even 11″.

Legendary Libertarian stalwart, Dr. Mary Ruwart  was even quoted as saying;

 “I was at the 1983 convention and it was so spiteful and destructive that I was almost done with the party.”

Responsible for such reactions is the very real Libertarian quality to be disagreeable and independent.  And the fact that Ron Paul was one of the few people that the vast majority of Libertarians could get behind,  simply makes Ron Paul an even more valuable figure and adds to a long list of legitimate credit due him.  Ron Paul is one of the few, if not the only figure that most Libertarians could ever truly unite behind.   Yet at the same time, Ron Paul has not sought out their presidential nomination since 1988, when he first ran for President, and probably for good reason.   While Ron Paul may be a bit, how can I say this…………unconventional.  Yeah.  That’s it,…… unconventional.  While he may be unconventional, he is not stupid.  Even he knows that he can not get elected President with only the Libertarian nomination.  So he runs as a Republican.

So again, with him leaving the spotlight, who else can carry the Libertarian banner with a unified Libertarian following?

Possible popular figures include Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 Libertarian VP nominee, and Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson who has joined Ron Paul in a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, as well as beloved Libertarian candidate, Mary Ruwart.  Yet while these may by leading names within the Party for various reasons, they can hardly be considered figures who can unify the Party and get their message out any more than Ron Paul has been able to.

The way I see it, aside from Ron Paul’s son, freshman Kentucky Senator  Rand Paul, no one has even the slightest chance of doing that.  And even Rand may fall short of being able to fill his father’s shoes among LP members.  While Rand Paul is an apple that has not fallen from the tree, his Libertarian roots are not quite as solid as his fathers.  Many Libertarians might even consider him to be too much of an interventionist for their tastes.

The sad fact is that as a Party, Libertarians are simply dysfunctional and they can barely be considered their own national Party.

As Dr. Walter Block,  a professor of economics at Loyola University, once noted, the Libertarian Party seems to be on the verge of being taken over by conservatives.  Which is part of the reason why the bombastic former conservative Republican Congressman from Georgia, Bob Barr was the Party’s presidential nominee in 2008.

Block writes that in 2008 he was struck by the fact that the Libertarian National Convention  had conservative  Richard Viguerie give what he called a “high profile” and “very well received speech”.  Then he was struck by the designation of conservative Jim Pinkerton as the moderator of the convention’s presidential debate.

All of this has already raised some big questions regarding what is really more of Libertarian movement than a Party.  Will it be taken over by conservatives and their often spoken of “neo-con” nemeses?  Will we see the Libertarian movement dismembered by a division between  conservative-Libertarians or libertarian-Conservatives and old guard Libertarians?  Will we see the rise of Conservatarians?  Or maybe we will see the Libertarian Party consumed by the TEA Party movement?  These questions become even more pertinent now that Ron Paul heads off in to retirement.   Having become the only widely recognized national leader of libertarianism, where do his supporters go after him?    And how will his supporters vote when he fails to win the Republican presidential nomination?  These questions and the lack of an answer to them are probably Ron Paul’s greatest failing as as the perceived father of contemporary, American libertarianism.  His inability to look beyond his own presidential aspirations and to  prepare for the future of his movement, leaves its future in great doubt.   Maybe Ron Paul believes that his son will inherit the libertarian limelight.  If so, the Libertarian Party will soon fade away as a political organization because as a member of the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul’s Party loyalties to the Republican Party are far greater than many may be willing to accept.

Rand Paul could however be a bridge.

He could become a bridge that finally helps lead to what really needs to be done here….the creation of coalition of Libertarians, and Republicans, and Conservatives, together in one great cause to save the principles that founded this great nation.  At least until we have steered ourselves safely away from the shoals of socialism that could run our ship of state aground.

While I have these questions, I do not have the answers.  But what I do know is that our nation is at a very critical juncture in its history.  Our current President has taken a hard left turn that has advanced the cause of socialism in America at a pace faster than I could have ever imagined.  And while Republicans, even prior to President Obama, have not always effectively stood their ground for the principles of limited government, after losing all control of government in 2008 and regaining some of it back in 2010, the hope is that they have learned their lesson.  But even if they have, the non-liberal, anti-socialist voters of America are still leery of the G.O.P.  So much so that in a close election in 2012, a conservative or libertarian oriented third party candidate could easily insure the reelection of President Obama.  This we must avoid.

Quite unfortunately, Ron Paul’s scorched earth campaign strategy is not willing to accept that.  Instead, the way he sees it, if he can’t be the Republican presidential nominee, then no one other Barack Obama can be President in 2012.

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Libertarian “Golden” Boy/Bachmann Tebow Complex

Ron Paul’s Golden Portfolio

Ron Paul is well known for his pro-gold policies.  He is a little less well known for his golden portfolio.  While most Americans have been watching their retirements quickly shrink, Ron Paul is doing OK.  He might not be as rich as Mitt Romney, but he could buy Tim Pawlenty.

Is Paul ready for the leftwing media meat grinder?

The question is if this will become an issue for Ron Paul down the road.  Unlike half the GOP field this year, Ron Paul had not been considered a threat so no vetting (as the left calls it) or smear (as the right calls it) has taken place yet.  Still, could Paul’s golden investments and golden ambitions of a gold backed currency be viewed by liberal opponents as a conflict of interest?  Already liberal bloggers are pointing out Paul’s use of earmarks, so more “vetting” may be on the way.

One question that had me scratching my head is why Paul would advocate fixing the debt ceiling deal by having the Fed write off the QE1 and QE2 loans it had printed and made to the Treasury.  Of course, this would make the hundreds of billions involved unrestricted cash and could result in inflation. At the same time he voted (contrary to his son Rand) against Cut, Cap and Balance.  Ron Paul’s constant votes against any appropriations bill that doesn’t adhere strictly to the constitution should be viewed as a principled approach to representing the people who sent him to DC.  But it sure hasn’t hurt his portfolio either, as imperfect but more conservative bills fall to more liberal compromises that can pass without him and others who vote like him.  Paul has bet on instability and it has paid off.

By the way, Paul’s holdings don’t include major stockpiles of gold, but are actually all in gold mining companies.

Should Bachmann Be Third String?

Meanwhile, on the mainstream side of the GOP Michele Bachmann is suddenly finding herself where Pawlenty was just a couple weeks ago: a solid third place.

This made me think of Tim Tebow who was recently put at the Broncos’ third string behind Brady Quinn and Kyle

Tebow was local hero as a Gator

Orton.  I love Tim Tebow.  When he gets the ball and runs, or dumps those short touchdown passes over the defensive line’s heads, we all go nuts here in Florida.  Bronco’s preseason makes Floridians happy because we get to see Tebow.  He was a local champion who got everyone on fire for him, and when he went pro his Broncos’ #15 jersey was the number one seller in the whole NFL.

But Tebow is not a polished player.  His faith endears him to Christian NFL fans.  The excitement he brought to the Gators with his competitive and unpredictable playing style built him a huge fan base.  But his accuracy is off.  He is no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.  He might fill the stadium, but he is not the quarterback to bring the Broncos to the Superbowl this year.

Can Bachmann be the GOP starter?

So why does he make me think of Michele Bachmann?  Bachmann has a huge fan base.  She became a national sensation as the darling of the TEA Party.  She fills stadiums and is exciting to watch and listen to.  But she is unpolished.  Her accuracy is off.  She’s no Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.

So for now, like Tebow, Bachmann is going to remain third string until she can prove she’s a starter.

Ron Paul: Last Hurah? Or Serious Contender?

There is one place Ron Paul is not planning on being in 2012.  Paul has announced that he will not run for re-election to the House of Representatives in 2012.  However, Ron Paul says this announcement does not signal retirement.  It signals that he is ready to go the distance in the Presidential race.

To be honest, I have found the announcement puzzling.  Paul has run for President before, and then focused on his district once the primary was over.  He has done this and won.  So why not this time?  The campaign line is that he wants to focus more on the race, and I think the intentional signal is that he is closer than any of his previous attempts.

Ron Paul has been in this game for a while

Instead, two alternative messages are coming across with this early Congressional retirement announcement.  Message number one is that he is getting old and is ready to hang up his hat after one last primary battle.  I don’t think anyone doubts that Paul could win his district again after this primary.  This raises questions as to how much fight Paul actually has left in him.  Should we elect a President who is actually ready to get out of the business?

The other message, and perhaps a more disconcerting message, is that Paul may be considering a third party run at the Whitehouse if he loses the primary.  If he is not ready to exit the political scene, this option best explains his confidence that he will in fact be in the Presidential race next fall no matter what.

Airtime for the backups

Aside from Tim Pawlenty, going into last night’s debate I think most pundits considered these to be second tier candidates. After last night, I will admit that the perception that most of these candidates don’t have a viable shot probably hasn’t changed. However, there were clear winners and clear losers. Here is my take on the debate, which at times will be blunt and harshly honest:

Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty demonstrated why he is a top tier candidate. He was professional, studied, and Presidential. He took clean shots at Obama and did not make missteps. However, his answer to Cap and Trade may come across to the base as a weak answer. Cap and Trade is already widely unpopular with the TEA party and conservative right. It is almost as unpopular as humbling yourself before the media and admitting a mistake. I think it was the best answer Pawlenty could give, but it highlighted that unfortunate decision to initially support Cap and Trade. Pawlenty’s other disadvantage coming into last night was that everyone expected a polished performance. He will be judged at a higher standard. I was pleased to see Pawlenty show some charisma and get the crowd motivated. However, when it came to charisma, Pawlenty was not the candidate who stole the show.

Herman Cain

Cain provided the night with a dose of Donald Trump charisma mixed with Sean Hannity conservatism. Cain was unequivocal and commanded the stage. He was a crowd pleaser who handled each question without a gaffe or misstep. I think Cain’s performance brought many conservatives to believe that he could be the conservative answer to the straightforward, no nonsense approach that Trump had become so popular for. My prediction is that we will begin to see Trump wane in popularity now that the birther issue has run its course and Cain stands to benefit. We will see if Cain can capitalize on his performance.

If Cain’s popularity does grow, he will need to find answers to a lot of questions on issues that have not seen the light of the mainstream media yet. For example, Cain defended his support of the Fairtax by mentioning the concept of a “prebate” paid to every family at the beginning of the month for essentials. But is Cain prepared to face scrutiny on the prebate idea? The IRS paid out billions in fraudulent stimulus checks as a one time deal. Kiplinger says that the IRS estimates that 25% of earned income credit payouts were incorrect and fraudulent. Can the government cut a check to every family in America at the beginning of every month without an Internal Revenue Service, individual tax returns, and massive fraud? Also, getting rid of the IRS sounds nice, but who is going to make sure businesses remit the fairtax and prebates are paid out without a revenue department in the government? Perhaps we will see in the course of this primary if Cain is running on answers or populism.

Rick Santorum

Santorum did a good job as a whole, and will appeal to the same conservatives that Bush appealed to. The question is if Santorum can position himself as more likely to win than Obama. Santorum’s message resonates with social conservatives, and he made it clear last night that his message hasn’t changed. Will conservatives vote for Santorum? While presenting himself as a solid candidate, he did not say anything last night that distinguished himself or rocketed him into the top tier. Santorum’s win for the night was the fact that he showed up, while Gingrich, Huckabee and others did not. But he is still overshadowed by other conservative heavyweights, including Gingrich, Bachmann, Huckabee, and now Cain.

Ron Paul

Paul hasn’t changed since 2008. While he says many things that make sense to conservative constitutionalists and libertarian Republicans, Paul still comes across as the enemy of all things Democrat and Republican. This is great for wooing independents and libertarians, but will not win Paul the Republican primary. For most of the night, I felt myself agreeing with and cheering Paul, but he will once again be the martyr of the protectionist, states rights conservatives. They understand what Paul is saying, they just can’t figure out why non-Paul Republicans don’t. Here’s a hint, Ron Paul still comes across as abrasive, obnoxious, and anti-Republican. This man could be President if he could figure out how to sell himself and explain why what he believes would actually work. I spent a good part of the evening asking myself why Republicans don’t support Ron Paul, but the answer is the same as last time he ran. He is an uncompromising and radical philosopher campaigning in a world of soundbites, and soundbites are not kind to Ron Paul.

Gary Johnson

Picture a more abrasive and whiny version of Ron Paul, but without the name recognition. With Ron Paul in the race, who needs Gary Johnson? He did not distinguish himself, except to come down on the traditionally liberal side of Iraq, Afghanistan (supported it before he was against it), and drugs. His “cost/benefit” approach to drug legalization portrayed a dollars above principles approach to policy. Whether his views on the cost benefit of the war on drugs are right or wrong, such a calloused approach to a moral question will not win him a conservative majority. Johnson only made matters worse by dismissing the conservative majority in the Republican party as unnecessary in the primary and guaranteed to be loyal in the general election. He should ask John McCain if Republicans need social conservatives to defeat Obama.

Johnson’s moment of charisma showed itself in the form of scolding the moderators for not asking him enough questions, a move that screams “I am unpolished, second tier, and everyone knows it but me”. He will find his frustrations at not being taken seriously will continue to grow, mainly because he is not a serious candidate.

Summary

After last night, I think Herman Cain moved up, Santorum, Paul and Pawlenty remained unchanged, and Johnson moved down. Gingrich was probably hurt the most by not showing up, Romney was hurt the least. Gingrich could have used the exposure and chance to showcase his debate skills. Romney sofar has seemed to transcend any primary activity in early polls as an assumed front runner by most whether he shows up or not. Mitch Daniels was probably the most unfairly represented absentee at the debate itself. In the end, the only lasting effects of this debate will be a bump for Herman Cain.

Draft (fill in name here) for President

Bookmark and ShareAs the Republican presidentialcontest begins to sort out who is running and who isnt running, public anxiety over who can actually be a viable candidate to run against President Obama, mounts. At the moment, there is a great deal of chatter about how the G.O.P. has no one who can mount a credible challenge to President Obama in 2012. Such an assertion is ludicrous, but natural. Without any single name to naturally gravitate towards as the logical leader and face of the opposition to the President, it is easy to believe that misconception. But it is important to remember that recent history shows us that the existence of an undeniably obvious nominee for the Party opposing an incumbent President is rare.

While there are always names that may seem to have the inside track for the nomination, at this early stage in the game, you usually do not have a name that is the clear frontrunner and logical candidate to lineup behind.That’s the case for republicans right now.And it is that sentiment which has forced many who are opposed to a second term for President Obama,to goon the hunt for the perfect candidate. Such pre-primary activity is a natural manifestation of the desire to insure that the incumbent President is not reelected. History has been laced with efforts to draft popular figures to run for the Oval Office.

Perhaps the most famous and one of the only truly successful draft efforts in American electoral history was that of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. That effort actually began in 1948 when Democrats believed that President Harry S. Truman had no chance of getting elected. An active duty General, Ike had believed in being non-partisan when it came to politics, so for Democrats, having him carry their mantle was quite possible. And when it seemed as though Republicans might nominate General Douglas MacArthur as their candidate for President, Harry Truman himself offered to run as Eisenhowers vice presidential running mate if he would accept the Democrat Partys nomination.

Four years later Republicans who had not held the White House in twenty years and Democrats who had noincumbent to run for reelection for the first time in 16 years, clamored for a nominee who could easily win the presidency in 1952. Republican standard-bearerThomas Dewy had been the Partys nominee twice and twice he was defeated. As a result, Dewey was not inclined to run for a third time and Republicans were not inclined to let him run as their nominee again. But Governor Dewey and Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge worked to persuade Eisenhower to run for the Republican presidential nomination through an organization called “National Citizens for Eisenhower”. Up till then, the closest name that Republicans had to a frontrunner was Robert Taft.

Senator Robert Taft

Taft was the establishment’s choice, but a schism between isolationist Republicans, represented by Taft, and internationalist Republicans who wanted someone else, gave the draft Eisenhower movement much momentum. At the same time, the spread of Communism was an issue of most importance and it was the one issue most responsible for Eisenhowers willingness to accept a run for the White House.

Ike believed in the use of diplomacy to contain the red menace in Europe. But Taft had a McCarthy-like belief in weeding out subversion at home. Things finally came to a head behind closed doors when Eisenhower told Taft that he would absolutely refuse to run if Taft agreed to collective security of Europe. But Senator Taft refused and so Ike allowed the draft movement to proceed. He also decided that if he would accept any nomination it would be the Republican nomination. This he determined when he realized that he was not in synch with the Democrats big, central government, liberty eroding approach to all the issues facing the nation.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

By early January of 1952, Eisenhower made it clear that if he was offered the Republican presidential nomination, he would accept it. And so without Eisenhower even knowing, Henry Cabot Lodge placed Eisenhowers name on the New Hampshire Republican Primary ballot. But Eisenhower still did not campaign. In fact he told people that he did not believe that support for him was a popular as many tried to claim.

Then in February, a Draft Eisenhower for President rally was held in New Yorks Madison Square Garden. The event was expected to draw a whopping 16,000 people to it. But those projections were wrong. An overwhelming 25,000 people showed up. A month later, General Eisenhower won every single delegate in the New Hampshire primary as he defeated Robert Taft by 50% to 38%. The rest is history.

The next closest example of a draft effort, came in 1964. The effort itself though, actually began in 1961.

With the defeat of Nixon in 1960, the Republican Party began its long, contemporary evolution towards the right. The leaders of the Republican Eastern establishment seemed to have exhausted its hold on to the type of influence it had been wielding. And at the same time a growing number of conservatives were beginning to organize. These numbers first took root within the ranks of the National and State Young Republican organizations. but while all this was happening, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater began serving as the Chairman of the Republican Senate Re-elect Committee. In this position he traveled thousands of miles, spoke before tens of thousands of people and quickly became the most popular face of the growing conservative movement.

By the time 1961 approached, with no clear choice for the 1964 Republican Presidential nomination, Conservatives itching to take the Party over from the liberal establishment, began to organize and think about who their candidate for President would be. Among a small group of political insiders, the consensus was Barry Goldwater. But Goldwater refused to run. He did not believe that he could win and he did not want his family exposed to the rigors of such a national campaign.

Then in June of 1961 Time magazine placed Goldwaters picture on their cover and did a story on his growing national popularity. They wrote;

“Goldwater is the hottest political figure this side of Jack Kennedy…. No Republican is more in demand. Since March, Goldwater’s Washington office has received more than 650 written invitations for the Senator to put in an appearance, plus hundreds of telephone requests. Goldwater’s mail runs to a remarkable 800 pieces a day…[and] visitors crowd around Barry Goldwater’s fourth floor suite in the Old Senate Office Building hoping to earn a passing hand clasp or a hastily scrawled autograph.”

This added to the motivation that a small group of activists already had. F. Clifton White, William A. Rusher, and Ohio Congressman John M. Ashbrook, began a process that combined tens of thousands of conservative contacts and began to organize a process that would get them in to Republican Party leadership positions. The most important of these positions were those of delegates to the 1964 Republican National Convention. This behind the scenes, group of three, eventually became a group of 22 and continued to grow from there. Soon it became known as the Suite 3505 Committee. 3505 being the address number of its New York City office.

Congressman John Ashbrook

After intense networking of Young Republicans, women s groups, and conservative oriented voters of all kinds, the expanded executive committee of this group concluded that Barry Goldwater was their only real choice for President in 64. But Goldwater still rejected the notion. So the committee quickly became an official draft organization that would seek to force Goldwater to run. It expanded and created state committees and between petitions, publicity and aggressive persuasion, Barry Goldwater decided on November 20, 1963 to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Two days later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This changed everything. Kennedy was a friend of Goldwater and the two had come to look forward to a sincere campaign that would test their ideologies. Goldwater also knew that with President Johnson now as his opponent, his own Southern base would be undermined. Two weeks after President Kennedy was assassinated, Goldwater announced that he would not be a candidate. However, The draft movement that had been in place never stopped and on December 11th, 1964, with polls showing Goldwater to be the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, he reentered the race.

Both of these draft movements teach us lessons that are relevant to todays approaching presidential election.

The draft efforts of 1952 and 1964 were both successful in getting the person they intended nominated. But both campaigns involved figures who had some sort ofundeniablyobviouspopularity. For Eisenhower it was popularity among the general population. For Goldwater, it was popularity among a growing movement within the population. Each provided momentum but equally as important, each had a candidate that was at some point in time willing to run. So the question is, can a successful draft effort be waged for the 2012 election?

It is clear that the G.O.P. is not in a position to use 1952 as a model. There is no single figure who is as popular among both Democrats and Republicans as Eisenhower was. But there are some parallels to 2012 that can be drawn from the 1964 draft Goldwater effort. Here we have a comparison that can be made between the emergence of the Conservative wing of the G.O.P. in the 60s, and the rise of the TEA Party movement of the past two years.

But there are two important distinguishing factors that come with this comparison.

The organization of the Conservatives movement in the 1960s involved coordination from within the political establishment, four years before the next presidential election. This allowed for an expedited path to organizing the movements ability to takeover the Party from within and, to elect Party officials and delegates to the National Convention. The TEA Party began on the outside of the establishment and even though it now has a few of its own on the inside, they have much less time to organize than did the effort of 1960. But perhaps the most important of all differences is that unlike the case with Conservatives in 64, the TEA movement has no one person that it is solidly behind. In 64 the Conservative movement had Barry Goldwater as their clear favorite, the consensus candidate. The Taxed Enough Already movement lacks that clear consensus choice. Is it Sarah Palin? Is it Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Allen West, Marco Rubio, or someone else?

Sarah Palin is the one contender with whom a draft movement could possibly be most successful. But even if all the right pieces were to fall into place and a successful 1964-like Barry Goldwater draft effort helped make Sarah Palin the Republican presidential nominee, that draft model failed to win the general election.

Draft efforts that are based only upon movements within a particular segment of society are able to influence the smaller electorate of partisan politics, but they have less of a chance to influence the vast majority of the larger electorate as a whole. This is not to say that the TEA Party movement cant influence the nomination of a Republican candidate that can win the presidential election. They can. But that influence can not come through a draft effort that labels the nominee as the TEA Party candidate. Just as it did not work when Goldwater was labeled the Conservatives candidate. Being a conservative candidate and being the Conservatives candidate create two vastly differently images. The latter is a direct negative connotation implying that one is owned by a particular group. The former indicates ones own sense of conviction. It may be shared with others, but it is not owned by others.

Probably one of the most successful draft campaigns that Republicans could run is one which seeks to make General David Petraeus our nominee. Like Eisenhower he is not seen as particularly partisan, he is not viewed as being owned by any Party or movement, and at a time when our nation is waging one war, possibly getting involved in another, and winding another one down, the choice of a General as our nations leader carries a certain populist logic.

Then again, the sense of the electorate is that our economy and the national budget are our most immediate top priorities. Who would be a natural candidate to draft given that consideration?

If Donald Trump were not such a dangerously fowl mouthed, often irrational and egomaniacal, loose cannon, he could have been a strong draft pick. Were it not for RomneyCare, Mitt Romney with his private sector, managerial, and business experience, would have been another perfect fit for solving economic problems. But we all knew that Romneyhas beenrunning for a long time now, so a draft effort was never even needed for him. In factfor all intents and purposes, he should be the frontrunner without a draft effort.

Governor Mitch Daniels

The person perfectly suited for a successful draft campaign based on the economy would be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. As a former budget director he earned the nickname The Blade” and his leadership inIndiana, particularly on the state budget, is unmatched. Indiana is one of the most solvent state’s in the nation and its economy has been one of the strongest of all during the current economic malaise. Of course for Mitch Daniels, there is already a very active draft effort underway.

Students For Daniels has aired commercials in Iowa, organized college campuses on state levels, created an active and effective website and maintained a degree of pressure that is all good. But Mitch Daniels seems reluctant to make a decision to run and as such, the draft effort begun by Students for Daniels would need to quickly expand beyond students if it is to achieve its goal. But even then one must ask, could a person like Mitch Daniels attract a crowd of 25,000 to Madison Square Garden as the draft effort for Eisenhower did in 1952? Its unlikely.

Truly successful drafts are rare and at this stage in the game, it is unlikely that such an effort would be very productive. Although there are a handful of names that I believe are worthy of draft efforts and have an ability to generate popular support, many of those names are clearly unwilling to run. Two personal favorites of mine include Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. But with 17 months or so to go, it may not be possible to coordinate the type of effort that could generate the national euphoria for their candidacies that would be necessary for them to accept the nomination. Paul Ryan is quite satisfied with the extraordinary power that he wields as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and while Marco Rubio is a sort of new phenomenon, he clearly intends to pace himself. Rubio does not want to be a flash in the pan.

That is why, all things considered, the Republican Party is probably best left to a process that involves the unforced participation fo candidates. We will be best suited by a contest that allows the eventual nominee to have to earn his or her popularity based on their ability to demonstrate the courage of leadership, their innovative solutions to our problems and the capacity to translateconservatism into the practical application of government. A contest that allows for suchabilities to be publicly tested through a hard fought campaign, can truly make those who currently believe that a viable candidate is not on the horizon, begin to believe that the right person has been right in front of eyes all this time.

Political campaigns have a way of producing heroes. Some quickly fade when the campaign ends, others linger on as trusted elder statesmen. But either way, the winner of those campaigns earn themselves at least a temporarydevout following and the 2012 primary process will be no different.

In the mean time, we the people, still seek that perfect candidate. And that search has produced no lack of current draft efforts. Here are just some that can be found:

2012 Draft Sarah Committee

Draft Jim DeMint for President in 2012

Draft Paul Ryan for President

Chris Christie for President

We Need Michele

Draft Cain 2012

Draft Allen West for President 2012

Jeb Bush 2012

Draft Rudy Giuliani for President

Students for Daniels

Draft Rand Paul for President

Draft General David Petraeus for President

Draft Michael Bloomberg 2012

Draft Lou Dobbs for President

Should Trump Run

Draft Gates 2012

Draft Mike Huckabee for President 2012

Draft Jesse Ventura

Draft Dick Cheney for President

Draft Marco Rubio for President 2012

Judge Andrew Napolitano for President

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Election News: Trunkline 2012 Evening News Summary for April 19, 2011

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Passover: Celebration of Freedom

Santorum Is Middle of the Road on GOP Recognition, Intensity

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Son Invited To Pose For Playgirl

Jeb crushes Obama in Florida

Pol predicts Andrew Cuomo to be VP

Iowa begins to take stock of the GOP field

The Election 2012 Soundtrack

Rand Paul files for re-election to the US Senate

Why President Obama was not born in Kenya

Emerging liberal meme: We gotta stop being so gosh-darned tolerant!

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Is it me?

Donald Trump is on to something. Trump was on the Rush Limbaugh radio show today during Rush’s annual Leukemia Lymphoma fundraiser, and Rush mentioned that the most recent poll has Trump in the lead. That’s when Trump said this: “I don’t know if it’s me or the message…”

The Donald may recognize that many consider him to be about as serious a candidate as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, or Ron Paul. On the other hand, conservatives are eating up Trumps no nonsense, pro-America, anti-Obama message.

It is the same

Do people love Trump? Or what he stands for?

message that brings tens of thousands of people to Palin rallies and has conservatives who don’t take Paul seriously as a Presidential candidate standing and applauding when he speaks and admitting great respect for him. It’s a message of a strong country, low taxes, low spending, limited government, and free markets. But is it electable?

“Mainstream” candidates tend to temper their rhetoric and take veiled jabs at one another while punctuating their sentences with political buzzwords like compromise, bipartisan, together, and of course, both sides are equally to blame.

But besides TEA Party favorite Republicans, there is another candidate in 2012 who has taken a no non-sense, partisan approach to elections. In fact, while giving only minimal lip service to bipartisan togetherness, the Democrat’s sole 2012 candidate has given us such phrases as “if they bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun” and has filled his campaigns and Presidency with partisan rhetoric. Barack Obama, even while being portrayed as a sort of political messiah who would unite our country, took no issue with blaming the nation’s problems on Bush, even as he continued many of Bush’s policies.

We may all wish that the nation was united and that politicians could just magically work together and fix things the right way, but in all honesty there are incredibly clear lines of demarcation between the left and right. This leaves the right with a serious question: do we campaign the way we have been told to and pretend the next President can unite the country? Or do we show the kind of confidence in conservatism that Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Paul, and other popular, not serious candidates are using to draw the masses and win polls?

The Democrat in 2012 has found his confidence in extreme liberalism.

25% Chance Rand Paul Will Run?

According to Rand Paul, there is a 50-50 chance that one of the Pauls will run for President in 2012. Will it be him? Only if his father, Ron Paul, decides not to run this year. That makes the chances of a Rand Paul candidacy closer to 25%.

Which Paul do you want to see in 2012?

Rand Paul has been considered a top contender for the 2016 primary, among other freshmen like Marco Rubio. But few expect him, Rubio, or any of the other 2010 Republican first time victors to step into the ring, especially after how much criticism Obama has received for his measly two years of experience. The fact that Obama’s inexperience continues to conspicuously display itself won’t help.

On the other hand, Ron Paul had little shot of winning the Republican primary in 2008. If he chooses not to run in 2012, will Rand run to highlight the same conservative constitutionalist issues his father did? Perhaps, but not all the same issues since Rand is more mainstream on foreign policy. In fact, the differences between the two Pauls could be the difference between a fringe candidate with an obnoxious group of libertarian outcasts and a mainstream candidacy by a conservative/libertarian hybrid who could garner a Republican majority in 2012. He could also scrap up some of the anti-war Democrats his father charmed in 2008.

One thing is for sure, if Rand Paul runs it will be a boon to debate buffs who are excited about the intellectual dialogue that a Newt/Romney debate already promises. Having Rand on the stage will also guarantee that conservative constitutionalist issues are well represented.

Rand Paul Visits South Carolina

Bookmark and ShareKentucky Senator and TEA Party favorite Rand Paul could be testing the 2012 presidential waters with a trip to South Carolina.

The son of Texas Rep., 2008 GOP presidential candidate and possible 2012 candidate Ron Paul, Rand is appeared this afternoon before the College of Charelston’s “Bully Pulpit” series to talk about Libya, his possible 2012 interest and the national debt. He is scheduled to appear this evening before the Charelston Meeting, a center right, invitation only organization that invites politicians to address it’s membership strictly off the record.

Paul, like his father a Tea Party favorite, who won his Senate seat last fall, is visiting several early presidential voting states independently of his father. The only answer he will give regarding his own Presidential aspirations is, “The only decision I’ve made is I won’t run against my dad,” he said, adding that he wants to see the Tea Party influence the 2012 GOP nominee.

So how many Paul’s will there be on the ballot come 2012? Just one according to Rand. Which one however remains a mystery.

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