Trunkline 2012: Wednesday’s Word On the Campaign Trail

Bookmark and Share  Today’s Trunkline 2012 election news wrap-up includes headlines about Paul Ryan’s call to actress Stacey dash, Romney’s benchmark lead over Obama, Fred Thompson’s assessment of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech, President Obama’s promise to be nasty, voters trusting Romney on the economy more than the President, an Obama staffer helping Obama voters to vote twice in the election, and much more….

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Today should be it

Mitt Romney should easily sweep a handful of blue states today, including New York and Pennsylvania.  If he does, I think the staunchest of conservative holdouts are ready to call it for Romney.  The only thing that will change the trajectory of the primary at this point would be if Romney’s performance is weak in any of these states.

Is that possible?  To a certain extent.  With Romney already the presumptive nominee, media coverage of the April 24th primaries has been minimal.  Additionally, any inhibition towards voting one’s conscience should be gone.   Romney’s refocusing on Obama is certainly not unwarranted confidence, but does signal an end to his scorched earth campaign that ravished his closest rivals.

Will Gingrich show any sort of proof of life in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, or Rhode Island?  Don’t count on it.  To be sure, there is a conservative underground in each of these states, most strongly in Pennsylvania.  But at the same time, they have been so marginalized by the liberal culture that “most conservative who can actually win” is deeply engrained.

My prediction is that Newt doesn’t break 40% in any of these states.  If that is the case, I am ready to call the 2012 primary for Mitt Romney.  However, if Newt can somehow mitigate his losses and mathematically survive today, he has some friendly states coming up in May.  He may still not survive to the convention fight he is counting on, but he would have a chance.  And something he hasn’t tasted in months: momentum.

Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News Wrap-Up from White House 2012 – 12/30/11

Bookmark and Share  The news from the campaign trail todasy is plentiful as Newt weeps, Ron Paul rejects everyone, Perry and Santorum sharpen their aim at one another, Bachmann gets an almost endorsement, Gingrich gets a very important Iowa endorsement, and everyone offers their own views on the Caucus and everyone else.

This is a time for leadership, not warm fuzzies. The future is at stake, and we may never get another environment with the country so prepared to challenge the system as we have right now. – Steve Deace in his endorsement of Newt Gingrich
  • Twitter of the Day:
Greta Christina
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Not sure which is funnier: headline reading “Santorum Surges From Behind,” or the fact that Rick Santorum retweeted it.
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Cain, Gingrich Make Headlines; Paul’s Missed Opportunity

Cain’s Race Card

I have no respect for candidates who play the race card, and so far Cain hasn’t.  In what is an obvious smear against Herman Cain, the candidate has not resorted to what the left finds so natural.  In fact, Cain traced the allegations back to a former campaign staffer who was hired by Rick Perry as Kempite wrote earlier this week.  This hasn’t stopped Cain’s supporters from making the connection.  After Clarence Thomas and the racism that blacks on the right have experienced, the attacks on Herman Cain for doing some undisclosed thing to some anonymous women is just enough to get any conservative’s blood boiling.

This is especially true when you look at how the media has portrayed the whole thing.  Immediately questions were being asked about if there was a double standard on the right because conservatives were not as upset with Cain for having allegedly done something to someone as they were when it came out that Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern (Monica Lewinsky), possibly raped a woman (Juanita Broderick), sexually harassed a woman (Gennifer Flowers), lied about it under oath (like Scooter Libby, who lost his career and faced jail time), and coached witnesses (obstruction of justice).  Of course, Bill Clinton also kept his job as President.

The attack on Herman Cain is already starting to backfire on both the media and the left.  And finally, Uncle Tom is getting the attention it deserves as an often used racist “codeword”.

Gingrich Keeps Rising

There is plenty to be negative about on the GOP field.  But there is also plenty to be positive about and that is the angle Newt has used to kickstart his second wind in this race.  The Hill questions the wisdom of Gingrich’s refusal to go negative on his fellow candidates.  I think he is making the best decision.  While Mitt Romney gets torn down by the Social Conservatives, and Cain and Perry continue to duel, Gingrich has been slowly sneaking back into the top tier through his focus on Obama and better ideas.

In fact, I gained interesting perspective from my vacation in Connecticut.  No matter where I go, red state or blue state, and who I talk to, I get the same response on Gingrich.  He is the smartest man in the room.  He knows what he is talking about.  He has the best ideas.  We would pay money to see him debate Obama and enjoy every minute of it.  But he has baggage.  In fact, Newt entered this race with the most personal baggage.  But now voters are taking a new look at the man who reigned in Bill Clinton and produced balanced budgets and record growth, two things our country desperately needs.  Depending on how Cain’s unnamed issues with unnamed people turns out, Newt could end up being the cleanest of the top tier candidates.  Every debate makes him look better and better.

Paul Could Be A 3rd Party Winner

I love talking politics with friends and family.  Actually, I just plain love talking politics.  It is always interesting to hear different perspectives, often from where you least expect it.  Well, here’s one for you: Ron Paul could win some electoral votes as a third party candidate by running in blue states.  In many blue states, it is not so much a matter of fiscal liberalism winning out over fiscal conservatism.  In some cases it is a matter of social liberalism overriding fiscal conservatism.

The fear of a Paul third party run has been that he would steal votes from the Republican candidate.  But Paul would actually have a hard time winning any red state in a national election.  On the other hand, put Paul with his limited social conservatism and strong fiscal conservatism and anti-war stance into California, New England, New York and other blue states, and he has a message that would resonate.

Part of Paul’s problem though is missed opportunities.  Ron Paul is like a cult classic movie.  Low budget, but adored to the point of insanity by many.  In 2008, there were Revolution signs strewn across the country in conservative and liberal districts alike.  Somehow Paul supporters manage to stack every conservative straw poll that comes out.  Yet Paul has failed over and over to convert that ravenous support into electoral votes.  Now, put Paul in to states like Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine where a Social Conservative will never win but there is a strong libertarian under current, and Ron Paul could have a huge impact in the general election.  For the Libertarian movement, winning even one state could be a huge victory for their future.

 

Trunkline 2012: Monday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 9/12/11

Rick Perry Makes it Official and Steps in the Race as a Responsible Libertarian

Bookmark and Share    The announcement of Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy (see the announcement in the video below) on the same day that the field of opponents were dealing with the Iowa Straw Poll, has met mixed with mixed criticism. Some have suggested that timing the announcement for the same day as the major event in Iowa was poor judgment. Most of those who say that though, come from Iowa.

But insofar as the other 49 states go, I fail to see how Perry’s move will hurt his chances in them. At the same time, with his relative late entry into the race and a virtually non-existent organization in the Hawkeye State, Perry’s decision to announce his candidacy while the Straw Poll was taking place, was smart. It assured that whoever won the Straw Poll would have an asterisk next to their win which states “The win was achieved before Rick Perry entered the race”. This diminishes the victory, which went to Michele Bachmann.

As it relates to the Republican presidential nomination, under the set of circumstances that Perry is confronting, this announcement was technically perfect and in every way.

In addition to diminishing the effect of Bachmann’s win in Iowa. The location of Perry’s announcement and the venue used to do it at were politically shrewd for at least two reasons. First, he chose to make his announcement at what is the third annual Red State Gathering. It is a convention of sorts for conservative activists and attending it this year were 500 highly motivated activists. The gathering is sponsored by the blog “Red State“, which is one of the most widely read right of center blogs there is,  and is widely considered one of the most influential voices of the conservative grassroots . That means that the conservative blogosphere has been and is a buzz about the potential and promise of a Perry presidential candidacy. In addition to that, Perry’s willingness to embrace hardcore conservative activists like those who follow Red State, shows guts, and an unwavering devotion to the conservative cause. Few if any mainstream politicians would choose to introduce their candidacy from something that is so politically partisan that it would call itself “Red State”.   While many haven chosen to announce their candidacies in front of some Norman Rockwell-like backdrop of a farm in Iowa or picnic ground in New Hampshire, Perry came right out and held no punches regarding  his commitment to conservatism and willingness not to hide from it. That sends a strong, positive signal to the Republican base.

The second thing about the location of the announcement was that it took place in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina is currently seen as wide open with no clear frontrunner. And while Michele Bachmann has the inside track on the Iowa Caucuses, after that the race turns to New Hampshire where Mitt Romney is expected to come out on top. After those two states, the race turns to South Carolina which has a Republican electorate that is closer to that of Iowa’s Republican demographic than New Hampshire’s. This makes South Carolina  more fertile for Bachmann than it is for Romney. But New Hampshire’s Republican base is not great turf for Bachmann and after a win in Iowa, a bad showing behind Romney and anyone else in New Hampshire could begin to convince voters that Bachmann may not be all that electable.  This all means that South Carolina could be a cakewalk for Perry.   If so, that will have a big effect on nearby Florida which holds its primary soon after. And with its compliment of 99 winner-take-all delegates, the third largest delegation of all states, Florida could be the state that finally determines who the real frontrunner is as the nomination process moves on from there.

But there was much more that was right about Perry’s announcement on Saturday.

While all of the candidate’s are using TEA Party talking points, Rick Perry’s talk about not exchanging “less freedom for more government” and “time to get America working again” seemed much more convincing than the others who have spoken similarly. Perhaps what makes him more believable than the others on these issues is his standing as Governor of the “Lone Star” state a state known for independence, and the fact that he has ruled over a state that has recently accounted for nearly 40% of all new jobs in that nation?

Be those the reasons or not, in his speech, Rick Perry demonstrated an ability to connect with voters and to electrify a room quite naturally. Nothing was forced in the way that Tim Pawlenty often seems to do, or stretched as Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann seem to do. With Rick Perry it all seems natural and genuine and based on his record, you can understand why.

In the final analysis, Perry’s announcement was a good start and as for the timing, South Carolina’s popular Governor and a national TEA Party darling, stated:

“I think his timing was brilliant. I think to turn around and do this the same day you’ve got the Ames Iowa poll really just lets us all know that it’s game on time for all the candidates and I love that,”

But there was much more to Perry’s announcement than the timing. The words he spoke rang quite true with the conservative base that will be decisive in the nomination process. Perry struck critical chords in lines such as these;

“The people are not subject to the government, the government is subject to us.”

And his closing line;

“I will work every day to make sure that Washington DC is as inconsequential to your lives as possible.”

That line in particular could be a key to Perry’s winning over of conservatives and those in the Taxed Enough Already movement. It was extraordinarily bold and in direct contradiction with the liberal logic that pushes government to be one of the biggest consequences in our lives. The left may try to use that line against Perry if he is the nominee, but in the Republican nomination process that will get you to the general election, that line demonstrates that Perry gets it and when pieced with all his other initial stances it makes him an adult version of Ron Paul……… a  “responsible Libertarian“, an image that can unite both the conservative base and the growing libertarian Republican base.   It shows that Perry is not only in touch with the right and the TEA movement, but that he is one of them and a part of the  movement. 

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