Only Divine Intervention Can Make the Evangelical Endorsement Matter Now

Bookmark and Share  As disgruntled conservatives and the the doubting Thomases of the conservative evangelical community continue to fear the potential candidacy of Mitt Romney,  leading evangelicals met in Texas on Saturday, to finally decide upon a single candidate to unite behind in the hopes of denying Romney the nomination.

After all the hand wringing, they decided to get behind former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a committed Catholic and self-described consistent conservative.

In explaining the decision, Tony Perkins, the group’s spokesman and President of Family Research Council, said:

“Rick Santorum has consistently articulated the issues that are of concern to conservatives, both economic and social. He has woven those into a very solid platform. And he has a record of stability.”

While the decision and the statement supporting the decision to back Santorum has a plausible tone to it, the facts that led up to the choice of Santorum tell an ugly story which undermines the conclusion that these religious leaders and values voters made.

Rick Santorum is not articulating  “the issues that are of concern to conservatives, both economic and social”, any better now than he was two, three, or four months ago.  Rick Santorum has not “woven those” issues into a more “solid platform” than he already established when he first announced his candidacy.  Yet it took Mitt Romney’s winning of the first nominating caucus and primary for these religious leaders to suddenly decide that Rick Santorum is their man.

The indecision, procrastination, and lack of committment demonstrated by these evangelical leaders up to now,  has essentially made this way too late endorsement of Santorum as the consistent conservative, an incredibly meaningless move that in the final analysis seems to be based less on the actual issues and more upon religious bigotry.

Had these moral men and women been truly sincere and really did believe that Rick Santorum was the best candidate for them and the nation, they would have and should have reached this conclusion well over a month ago, when the decision may have helped Rick Santorum pick up the 9 votes it would have taken for him to actually win in Iowa.  If these people of conviction had the courage to turn their moral conviction in to political courage, they would have united behind Rick Santorum many weeks ago and while Santorum was campaigning in New Hampshire, the evangelical community could have been coordinating their efforts and preparing South Carolina for Santorum.

But for some reason, the spirit to support Rick Santorum suddenly struck these movement conservatives now, when it looks like Mitt Romney might lock up the nomination.

For some reason, I find it hard to believe that the so called consistency of Rick Santorum is the real reason behind their endorsement.  A part of me can’t help but feel that Mitt Romney’s Mormonism is more a factor.  While some of the most well known and popular mainstream evangelical leaders have stated that they have no issue with Romney’s faith in a political context, others have not been so tolerant.    One such person is Robert Jeffress of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Pastor Jeffress, a Perry supporter, essentially declared that he disqualified Mitt Romney’s candidacy simply because the former Massachusetts Governor is a Mormon.  And Jeffress is not alone in that sentiment among many people of more mainstream faiths.

In their defense, this group of 150 evangelical leaders may deny that religious bigotry played a role in their decision.  Such denials inevitably make this a my word versus their word issue, but what their is absolutely no denying is the fact that the evangelical base of the Republican Party, embarrassed themselves during this election cycle.

They essentially defeated themselves during this nomination process.  Their inability to agree upon a single candidate as their favorite social conservative, has in large part been the reason for Mitt Romney’s success to date.   Now, at this late stage in the game, their endorsement of Santorum seems to lack any real meaning.  The unavoidable impression they created here is one of last minute desperation which makes their endorsement of Santorum seem quite half hearted and disingenuous and most of all, a last ditch effort designed more to stop Mitt Romney than support Rick Santorum.

Meanwhile, as stated previously, the endorsement is too little, too late.

First of all, in the Bible Belt of South Carolina, Catholics like Rick Santorum are viewed only slightly better than Mormons and the weak endorsement of Santorum by conservative Christian leaders does little to chip away at that bias among the evangelical masses.  Under normal conditions, the endorsement would have certainly helped to convince this voting bloc to approve of the Catholic more than the Mormon, but the inept handling of the evangelical leader’s decision makes these conditions far from normal.  So it would seem that Santorum’s sudden spiritual based support will not save him in South Carolina and it will probably fail to gain traction in Florida, where conservatives are resigning themselves to the inevitability of Romney’s nomination and beginning to unite behind him.

Secondly, the unconvincing sincerity of the evangelical endorsement will do little to help Rick Santorum raise the amounts of money that will be required to continue competing with Romney effectively.

In the end, the entire process leading up to endorsement by these evangelical leaders seems to me to have been quite an unsavory one. I have also found it to be quite hypocritical.  During the Sunday morning news shows, several speakers for this coalition of Christian leaders made it clear that electability was the main reason behind their decision.  Tony Perkins added that Rick Perry was actually the favorite going in to their Saturday meeting, but he failed to meet their electability expectations.  So they went with Santorum.  The problem with that claim is that if electability of someone who promises to commit themselves to the same conservative values that they share, than Mitt Romney would have to  win on that argument.  But there was far more to this decision than electability and the consistency which this Christian coalition also claims led to their endorsement of Santorum.

I believe it came down to the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon and that any excuse to deny him their support provided these social conservatives with a quick and easy way to deny religious bigotry played a role in their decision.    Were that not the case, based upon the Christian belief that people can change and redeem themselves, Mitt Romney’s committment to their issues combined with his electability should have allowed them to unite behind Romney.  Instead these religious leaders were more hellbent on just stopping Romney.

The question now becomes, will they be hellbent enough to stop Obama that they will allow themselves to vote for a Mormon come November?

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Paul’s Little Johnson: Does It Make Sense to Endorse Someone You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share  The question may sound silly but if reports are true, former New Mexico Governor and soon to be former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson is about to make it a very pertinent question.

In a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, Gary Johnson is expected to withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination, register as a Libertarian, and declare his intention to seek that Party’s presidential nomination.   Then he is reportedly going to endorse Ron Paul.

Given the lack of attention that Johnson has been able to direct to himself, the move is one driven by the desire to have some relevance in the 2012 election, something which up to now, Johnson has not been able to pull off.  It is an attempt at political survival that in Johnson’s case, is now highly unlikely to work.

Part of the reason Johnson did not gain any attention in the Republican nomination contest is due to his own lack of charisma and inarticulate messaging.  Johnson is about as inspirational as a pallbearer, but if that wasn’t bad enough, he was overshadowed by another very uninspiring figure……..Ron Paul.

As the two most Libertarian candidates in the field, not only are both men out of touch when it comes to their unrealistic and dangerous foreign policy stands that put them out of touch with mainstream America, they also have both tried to compete for the small but increasing Libertarian voting bloc within the G.O.P.  And it is that competition that ruined any glimmer of hope for attention that Johnson may have had because the cult of personality surrounding quadrennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, simply sucked what little oxygen that did exist in  Johnson’s campaign, right out of it.

Given the circumstances, if Johnson wants to continue with any kind of legitimate campaign for President, then seeking the Libertarian Party nomination is the only logical decision for him to make.  It is a decision which he should have made long ago.

But now come reports that Johnson is about to diminish even that small glimmer of political hope by coupling his announcement to seek the Libertarian presidential nomination with an endorsement of Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination.

This leads me to ask, is Johnson going to also endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination too?  Why not come out and also endorse Ralph Nader for the Green Party, Ross Perot for the United We Stand Party, Cynthia McKinney for the Socialist Workers Party, and Lyndon LaRouche for the “Only Other Living Candidate to Run for President as Many Times as Ron Paul Party” nominee?

In a previous post, I offered some praise of Gary Johnson and stated that based on his record of accomplishments as a governor, he was a superior candidate when compared to Ron Paul.  Ron Paul has done little more than preach and participate in acts of political hypocrisy for close to two decades.  But Gary Johnson actually put his Libertarian beliefs to work and applied them to state government.  I continue to stand by that belief.  However, if it is true that Johnson is changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian and subsequently announcing his quest for the Libertarian presidential nomination while simultaneously endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, than I have only one thing to say to Johnson………… Give it up!

I could respect Johnson for coming to the realization that because of his reckless foreign policy and national security sentiments, he is out of touch with Republicans and will therefore seek the nomination of a Party more in tune with his poor judgement on those issues.  But I cannot respect him if he is actually going to do so while endorsing someone who, if he wins the Libertarian, he will be competing against.  That is just plain stupid and is further evidence of just how poor Johnson’s judgement is.

Of course it is all probably just one big game.  Another round of political BS coming from another holier than thou politician who is too proud to to admit that they are not good enough, but too ambitious to not kiss the rear end of a fellow career politician.

Most of us know that Ron Paul will not be the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of where he finishes in next week’s Iowa Caucuses.  Not being  a stupid man, Gary Johnson probably knows this too.  So his endorsement of Ron Paul is most likely a gesture designed to entice those who are supporting Ron Paul during the Republican presidential nomination process, to turn around and support Johnson for President when Paul is out of the race.  The problem is that Ron Paul may not ever drop out of the race.  When he loses the Republican nomination, he might just turn around and run as an independent candidate or compete against Johnson for the Libertarian nomination.

If Ron Paul does either of the two, Johnson is dead meat.  How can he possibly wage a realistic race against the man he endorsed?

That is why, if these reports are true, and Johnson does announce his Libertarian presidential candidacy while also endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, I will be forced to label him a true political clown, because it all comes down to this, either you believe you are the best, most qualified, person for the job of President and believe that you can do a better job than all the others, or you don’t.  And if you don’t think you are the best person for the job, than you have no right wasting our time by seeking the position and whining about how you deserve time in nationally televised debates that already offer precious little time to legitimate candidates.

In many ways, the point is moot.  Gary Johnson did already endorse Ron Paul back in early December, as seen in this clip.  So whether Johnson reiterates this support for Paul during his announcement today, or not, I will congratulate him for finally  realizing that he has a snowball’s chance in hell at becoming the Republican presidential nominee and for deciding to give that campaign up.  But  I suggest that he make another decision too.  He should decide whether he wants to be President or whether he wants Ron Paul to be President. Once he makes that decision, maybe he will finally be able to do a little good for either himself or Ron Paul.  Until then he is just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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White House 2012 October Power Ranking

Bookmark and Share     White House 2012 is out with this month’s ranking of the Republican presidential race for the White House.  The ranking reflects the combined  opinions of White House 2012 contributors and offers a look at where we believe the candidates or perspective candidates will place on Election Day based on current circumstances.

It is important to note that the last WH12 ranking was in August, not September, so the changes betweeen this ranking and the last show dramatic shifts for some candidates, such as Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.  Others have moved slightly or not at all.  Most interesting in this month’s ranking of the field is the lack of any place for Chris Chrsitie.  Obviously our contributors do not by into the media hype that the New Jersey Governor is reconsidering his reconsideration of rethinking a run for President, which he has said he is not ready to run for and does not want to run for.

 

Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America Puts Him In Comfortable Territory

Bookmark and Share     Newt Gingrich revealed his 10-point 21st Century Contract With America in a one hour long speech to about 150 people gathered at  a town hall-style meetings sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, an entity holding a series of such forums with presidential candidates in Iowa.

Some of the key elements of his new contract  include repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan, giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and allowing young people to opt out of Social Security, boosting domestic energy production, easing government regulation of businesses,  curtailing the power of the courts, and providing a boost to medical research aimed at combating diseases like Alzheimer’s. [see details below]

While this new contract is not ground breaking, it is a clearcut plan to apply traditional Republican principles to government and is his attempt to set the tone of the presidential campaign season.  If successful, Gingrich could force candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to play on his turf and give Gingrich an upper hand in the election.  By making his new Contract With America a plan that the ongoing presidential debate addresses, Gingrich will have the opportunity to do something that none of the other candidates can do as well ………………….articulate and defend the conservative cause and its principles.

No one has the ability to define conservative values and policies in the way that Newt does. He has an uncanny ability to explain ideas and issues in a way which defines them in terms that are so easy to relate to, that they are seen as hard to deny, common sense points.  Newt offers a type of simplification and humanization of the issues that is similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s own capacity for making complex issues understood by relating them to the everyday lives of all Americans.  This is Newt Gingrich’s greatest quality.  It his ability to present both his vision and solutions in common sense terms that become undeniably logical and difficult for many to argue against.

His only problem now is making sure that he has enough face time with the Republican electorate to put that talent to work.

Currently Gingrich is lacking both the organization and financial resources to effectively compete with the likes of Romney and Perry and now, even Herman Cain.  This is a point he admitted while at the same time claiming it will not hold him back.  According to Newt, while his campaign war chest may not be able to compete with others, he will compete in the marketplace of ideas, the place that Newt Gingrich is most comfortable in.  Gingrich states, “Voters are so worried about the condition of the country that they are demanding detailed solutions from candidates.”

While Gingrich’s plan is not revolutionary, it does offer significant change for the better and is a step towards the type of total transformation of our existing arcane tax code .  Such change will be required for America to expand its economic growth and be competitive in the global economy.  But while Newt’s plan is a strong solution to our problems, his greatest challenge will be convincing Republican voters that the messenger is as strong a candidate as his message.  That for me is one of the greatest tragedies of the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Newt Gingrich is a conservative hero to me.  He is a man who made it possible for much of the success that conservative policies saw in the late twentieth century.  While he may not have been solely responsible for those successes, he played a major role in developing the policies, shaping the debate, and setting the agenda that ultimately achieved conservative success in the 80’s and 90’s.  Yet despite his being a major architect of contemporary conservatism, he has been to a great degree, sidelined in the 2012 Republican nominating contest because of an incorrect initial perception that he was too much of a lightning rod.

Having not yet endorsed any of those candidates running for the Republican nomination, I for one am still giving Newt a chance to prove himself.  We all should.

If given a chance and a fair hearing, Newt could surprise people.  Not me however.  I am confident that if he is given that chance, people will see that he is the type of leader who is not afraid of introducing new approaches to old problems and is not intimated by new approaches and ways of thinking. In many ways, Newt is a conglomeration of all that the TEA movement stands for.  They are an anti-establishment movement that wants to make sure that government changes its ways.  And while Newt worked within in the establishment, he was always reforming the establishment.  He can still do so.  He is capable of coming up with, and implementing, the plans for change we need to insure that in the 21st century, Americans have a federal government that is based on the needs of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

The media may not want to give him the opportunity to prove that, but as republicans, we should not be so willing to follow the media’s lead.  We should give Newt the chance to prove himself that he deserves.

Executive Summary of Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America

  • Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
  • Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.
  • Unleash America’s full energy production potential in oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear oil shale and more, creating jobs,  stimulating a sustainable manufacturing boom, lowering gasoline and other energy prices, increasing government revenues, and bolstering national security.
  • Save Medicare and Social Security by giving Americans more choices and tools to live longer, healthier lives with greater financial independence.
  • Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing waste cutting and productivity improvement systems such as Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
  • Control the border by January 1, 2014 and establish English as the official language of government; reform the legal visa system, and make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law abiding visitors to come to the US.
  • Revitalize our national security system to meet 21st century threats by restructuring and adequately funding our security agencies to function within a grand strategy for victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power.
  • Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs by removing unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients and emphasizing research spending towards urgent national priorities, like brain science with its impact on Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health and other conditions knowledge of the brain will help solve.
  • Restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.
  • Enforce the Tenth Amendment by starting an orderly transfer of power and responsibility from the federal government back “to the states, respectively, or to the people,” as the Constitution requires. Over the next year, state and local officials and citizens will be asked to identify the areas which can be transferred back home.

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Herman Cain Claims that African-American Voting Habits are a Result of Brainwashing

Bookmark and Share In a recent interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer [see interview below this post], Herman Cain offers an honest personal assessment of the voting habits of African-Americans and by claiming that many African-Americans have been brainwashed.  In the same interview, he provides an opinion of the two men who Cain now shares frontrunner status with …………………. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

In the first question thrown at Cain by Wolf Blitzer, the CNN political host asked Cain why the G.O.P. is poison to so many African-Americans.  Never one to mince words, Cain told Blitzer that such a view is held by many fellow African-Americans because they “have been brainwashed into not being open minded and not even considering a conservative point of view”.

Cain goes on to explain that he has had experienced this first hand.  Reacting to the claim, Wolf Blitzer pretended to be shocked and gave Cain an opportunity to walk his statement back after telling Cain that “brainwashed” is a strong word to use in reference to fellow members of the black community.  Yet Herman Cain held firm and reinforced his charge by stating that as many as 2/3 of the blacks are brainwashed.  But Cain did say that the good news was that 1/3 to 1/2 of them are beginning to think for themselves and to think that all African-Americans will simply keep voting for Democrats is untrue.   He added that he is convinced that he would able to garner as much as a third of the black vote and not because he is black, but because of his policies and their belief in his ability to fix the economy.

While true, Cain’s words are sure to get some flack from the African-American community.  Many have already aired their disdain for Cain’s remarks.  This reaction came from AngryBlackLady.com:

“Ho boy.  Yeah, see…some free political campaign advice there, Herman.  When you’re trying to convince a voting bloc to back you, it’s best not to insult them as “brain-washed” and “not open minded”.  In fact, I believe that’s the chief complaint I hear from the Tea Party about how liberals supposedly feel about them.  Given this evidence, I’m going to say that particular complaint is projection, plain and simple.”

Committed socialist and racist anti-TEA movement leader Maxine Waters had this to say about Cain’s opinion;

“Not only are we not brainwashed, we know how to act in our own best interest.  That`s why most of us are Democrats.  Who in their right mind, African-American, would belong to a Party that is as mean-spirited as we see coming out of the Republican Party.

They don`t care about poor people.  They don`t care even about working class people.  They don`t care about senior citizens.”

She added;

“And blacks are not going to vote for him either — not simply because he`s disrespected us so in these statements about us being brainwashed but because, again, we act in our own best interest.  We know what is best for us.  We all have to fight very hard to make sure that we get the most that we can get in terms of good public policy for everybody and for African-Americans.”

What Mrs. Waters left out was that through the application of the close-minded liberal policies of her and her Party, the African-American community is suffering the most. Under the Obama Administration and Mrs. Waters’ leadership in Congress, in addition to a disproportionate amount of African-Americans living at or below the poverty level, the overall poverty level in the nation has risen to its highest levels in decades.  And when it comes to unemployment in America, in the month of September, Mrs. Waters’ policies have helped to achieve a disparity between Caucasian and African-American unemployment rates that is more than 50% higher for blacks than whites.

The unemployment rate for blacks surged to 16.7% in August, its highest rate since 1984, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Congresswoman Waters also neglects to mention that the when she discusses “fighting very hard to make sure that we get the most that
we can get in terms of good public policy for everybody and for African-Americans” what she is actually saying is that good public policy is more expensive government spending programs that perpetuate a culture of dependency.

And therein lies the Democrat Party’s problem.

Government can no longer afford to be run like a charity with endless financial resources. Charities can’t even pretend to have endless financial resources.  Government can no longer afford to maintain expensive charitable legislative policies that are designed to keep minorities voting for Democrats by making them dependent on Democrat sponsored taxpayer handouts.

This is something that many minorities are waking up to.  And while they may not necessarily be flocking to the G.O.P., they are beginning to understand that liberal Democrats are probably acting more in their own interests than an in the interests of the African-American Community.

As for Herman Cain, there are many people of all colors who through his candidacy, are beginning to understand that big government is not a prerequisite for success.  In Herman Cain, they see a self-made man, who has not allowed himself to use racism as an excuse or reason to believe that the government owes him anything.  People see that Herman Cain is a man who said he will control his destiny and did so.  In Herman Cain, many voters are seeing a man who can create an America that will get government under control and allow the people to control their own destiny’s too.  That has become a novel concept these days, but the obvious failures of government due to big government liberal policies, has people of all colors understanding that they should probably stopt trying to rely on a bankrupt government andstart trying to rely more on their own ingenuity and abilities.

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Republicans Must Ask Themselves if Goldilocks Was a Dumb Blonde or a Pragmatic Decision Maker?

Bookmark and Share  Republican voters have become political versions of Goldilocks.  Every candidate they look at is seated either to high within the Republican establishment for their liking, or too low within the TEA Party for their support.  Every candidate they chew on is either too hot or cold.  And every candidate’s campaign they sleep on is either too hard or too soft on something for their liking.    Now you could argue that Goldilocks was too particular about everything.  The same case could be made about Republicans in their selection of a candidate.  You could also argue that both Goldilocks and Republicans just have very high standards and will not settle upon a choice until they have carefully examined each one.

No matter how you look at it, before you draw any conclusions on that, you must first answer an overriding question.

Did Goldilocks find a suitable bowl of porridge to eat, chair to sit in, and bed to sleep, in because she was making her decision relative to the choices available to her?  Or did she make her selections because they were as good or better than what she could have ever imagined a good bowl of porridge, a chair, and a bed could be.?

Republicans have yet to determine what they will base their decision on.  Will they base their choice of a candidate on some imagined political Rambo who can singlehandedly kick the ass out of our national debt, imprison out of control spending, and blow up all the bad guys?  Or will they make a decision based upon the candidates available to them?

Dumb blond or not, even Goldilocks knew that the only way she was going to eat, sit, and sleep, was if she based her decision on what was realistically available to her.

The G.O.P. and those active within the TEA movement are at a point in time when they must make that same critical decision that Goldilocks made.

Are we going to push the options available to us and shape the debate in such a way that existing candidates are forced to stake out positions that we either support or oppose?  Or are we going to continue to to project some wishful image of the perfect candidate on Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, or Paul Ryan, and beg them to run for President?

Many Republicans did that with Rick Perry.

With at least eight other major candidates who were running for months already, Rick Perry was the one.  He was the answer we were waiting for.  Then he told us we were heartless for not being supportive of taxpayer funded programs for illegal immigrants.  Well I have news for everyone.  Chris Christie is not perfect either.  Don’t get me wrong, I like what he is doing so far, but he is not perfect.  We now know that Rick Perry isn’t perfect either.  And it is safe to say that Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Herman Cain are also not perfect.   For that matter, neither was Ronald Reagan in 1980.  No matter who runs, there will be a problem with some aspect of their record, personal history, or personality.  But at some point we have to say to ourselves, are we going to engage those who have committed themselves to run a campaign for President, or are we going to keep imagining someone who has not been willing to commit themselves to running, as some kind of utopian candidate who is the only one who can do what is right for America?

This is not to suggest that Republicans must settle for anything less than the best.  But I am suggesting that by working with what we have, we can force the candidates running, to become the best.   In America, no one is born a President.  Presidents are people who have risen to the occasion.

It is up to us to set the table that they sit at.  We are the hosts, and this party begins and ends when we say.  The candidates running are sitting as guests at our table and they  have to abide by our conditions.  If they do not, we won’t be inviting them back.  If we as Republican voters can understand that, than we will not need to wish for someone else to run. If we focus on the candidates running and force them to compete on the terms we set, some will live up to our standards and others wont.  But we have to give those running, a chance.  It is not fair to cast Rick Perry aside because of one incorrect tought, or Mitt Romney for one failed experiment.

The first step though, requires that we the voters really know what we want.  Once we know that, all the candidates will have reasonable expectations to live up to.  The one who comes closes to those expectations will be the nominee.  And when we do have that nominee there is another lesson we must learn from Goldilocks.

After finding the chair that was just right for her, she eventually broke it.  The parable to that is that even when we find the candidate who is just right for us, it is possible that like Goldilocks with the chair that was just right for her, we can be too hard on  the candidate that is just right for us, and break them.  That might possibly be what we are doing right now.

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Florida Ready to Violate Party Rules With Early Presidential Primary Date

Bookmark and Share Under the heading of “First On CNN” comes a report that Florida is likely to move their presidential primary to January 31st.

The report merely confirms what White House 2012 has been decalring in it’s own tentative presidential primary and caucus calendar.

So far, the dates which White Hopuse 2012 established through a combination of historical analysis of how the schedule ususally works itself out and where each state has so far positioned themselves in the process is proving to be quite accurate.

The only question is, whether or not the nine states that will be clearly violating the RNC rule that prohibits them from holding their presidentil nominating contests before March 6th, will receive the prescribed punishment for doing so.  That punishment is a a loss of half  the number of delegates that their state sends to the National Convention and which nominates the President.   As was the case in previous years, that is highly unlikely.

Still, althought the contest will most assuredly have another early start, the tradition of Iowa and New Hampshire being the first caucus and primary, respectively, will remain in intact.  and with the exception of Nevada, three of the four states designewd to be the first to hold nomination contests, will still have that privelege.  Perhaps if there was a real fear of punishment for not abiding by Party, the stampeded to frontload the primary calendar that Florida’s early date will create, might not happen .  This is something to give serious consideration before the next contested Republican presidential nomination.

And for the record, this was ‘First on White House 2012″.

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Conflicts With the GOP Presidential Primary and Caucus Calendar Slated to Come to A Head this Saturday

Bookmark and Share     The Republican National Committee has told states that they must set the dates for their presidential primaries or caucuses by this Saturday, October 1st.

That deadline will at least begin to clarify the calendar for the Republican presidential nominating contests.  Up to now, attempting to clarify the primary and caucus schedule has been an extremely messy job and the states which have traditionally held the first contests have been in a state of electoral flux.  However at least three of those four states, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, have agreed to work together and change their datesaccordingly and ensure that they remain the first states to select a presidential nominee.

Much of the problem was created by Florida which wants to ensure that as the fourth most populus state in the nation, they have significant sway in the nomination process. With that intention in mind, despite the RNC’s rule that only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina can hold nominating contests before March 6th of 2012, Florida set their primary for January 31st.   Their bold move has subsequently been followed by several other states who would like to have a an early impact on the nomination process. So now Coloradoo, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota are holding their presidential selection events on February 7th, 2012.  All of this has threatened to deny the traditional early states their normal role.    But Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn recently assured his state’s voters that in conjunction with New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, Iowa will likely change its current  February 6th date to another one which will allow the other states to have the second, third, and fourth contest in the nation that RNC rules call for .

No one is saying what those dates are.  But for several months now, White House 2012 has posted a preliminary schedule which I believe reflects the dates that will ultimately be settled upon for the first ten primary and caucus contests.  Unfortunately I don’t see Nevada being one of the first four  though.  From what I have been able to ascertain, Nevada has not made any moves to change it’s caucus date since having done so already earlier in te year.

This is how White House 2012 predicts the early calendar fall in to place;

Monday, January 9th –   Iowa

Tuesday, January 17th – New Hampshire

Saturday, January 21st – South Carolina

Tuesday, January 31st –  Florida

Tuesday, February 7th –  Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota

Saturday, February 18th – Nevada

This relatively early calendar is still not really what Iowa or New Hampshire want.  These dates are pretty close to the holidays and much of the time leading up to those contests will be spent focussing on holiday festivities, not necessarily politics.  But four years the front loading by other states forced the Iowa Caucuses to be held two days after New Year’s Day.  That was the earliest it was ever held.   It also only left 5 days between their caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.  That gives the individual campaigns little time to pack up and head from Iowa to New Hampshire so that they can give voters in the Granite State, the attention that they have come to expect. The projected White House 2012 calendar allows for the typical 8 days between Iowa and New Hampshire that we have usually seen.

For White House 2012’s complete predicted calendar visit the Election Schedule page here

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Romney’s CPAC FL Speech. “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

Bookmark and Share    After his well received debate performance in Thursday evening’s Florida Republican Fox News/Google debate, Mitt Romney today delivered a casual but compelling speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee Florida conference. [hear speech below this post]

In his approximately 14 minute speech, Romney laid out the argument that his lifetime of private sector experience afforded him the knowledge and ability to make government work correctly.  He cited several examples of  how the state bureaucracy of Massachusetts operated before he took office and how it wasted time, money, and manpower on initiatives that he reformed for the better.  In general, Romney presented a case for his commonsense conservative touch and how it can effectively reform government, and limit it.

Romney also took the opportunity to lay in to his chief riva at the moment, Texas Governor Rick Perry.

After Perry used Thursday night’s debate to double down on his support for giving in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants and claimed that if you didn’t see it his way, you had no heart, Romney took advantage of his opportunity to address the large Florida CPAC audience and tried to place a nail in Perry’s electoral coffin.

Romney told the conservative activist’s;

“My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree on his position to give in-state tuition to immigration, you don’t have a heart,” Romney said. “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

While not your typical rah-rah speech, Romnney’s time addressing Florida’s CPAC conference was well spent.  He positioned himself as the man who possesses all the right conservative credentials, experience, and accomplishments, to effectively take on President Obama as the G.O.P. presidential nominee.

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In the Third Debate, Romney Wins,Cain, Gingrich and Santorum Shine. Rick Perry Bombs.

Bookmark and Share    Before we get in to the details, while White House 2012 is happy to provide you with one opinion of last night’s debate, we are also happy to provide you with both a complete transcript of the debate which can be found here and with a complete video version of the debate which is below this post.   Also, take the White House 2012 poll and let us know who you think won last night’s debate.

Now for the assessment;

With nine candidates and over 20,000 questions submitted by American voters, as one White House 2012 reader put it, last night’s Republican presidential debate was more of a Q and A than a debate.  Still, the forum did provide the opportunity for some engaging, albeit brief exchanges.  While most of those exchanges and some of the longest ones too, were between frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, others like Rick Santorum also took advantage of the those exchanges, land some punches, and score some points……….at Rick Perry’s expense.

Insofar as winners and losers go, if there was a winner, it would have to be Mitt Romney.  Not so much for the quality of his answers,  but for his performance and ability to use the rules of the debate to his advantage and his main rivals disadvantage.  One such example was Romney’s presence of mind while under pressure, to deny Rick Perry the chance to counter any of his verbal punches, by not mentioning Perry by name. 

One of the debate rules was that if a candidate referred to you by name, you would have 30 seconds for rebuttal.  On issues such as Social Security and immigration, while Romney laid into Perry’s record quite extensively, he would go so far as to look straight at Perry, but never mentioned him by name.  At the same time there, was no misunderstanding who he was talking about.  But Perry was left leaning against the ropes and unable to fight back.

As for Romney’s answers to the questions he was asked, the former Massachusetts Governor made no mistakes and never once departed off of the conservative line.  Throughout the debate, Romney offered decent answers that no conservative could have a problem with.  On that score, since he walked away from this debate without giving any Republican a reason to vote against him, he most certainly wins.  The only area in which Romney failed was his passing up of the chance  to break new policy ground and  prove himself to be a bold leader who will think outside of the box and be the anti-establishment hero that many are looking for.

 At the same time, not ony did Perry miss the chance to become that bold hero many are looking for, he walked away from this debate with less than he had when he first walked on to the stage.

At times, Perry seemed lost for words and when he tried to throw some body blows to his critics, he missed.  Such was the case when after Rick Santorum stated that he found Governor Perry to be soft on illegal immigration.  To that charge Perry could only say, “I’ve got one question for him. Have you ever even been to the border with Mexico?”

To which Santorum replied simply “Yes”.

For Perry, Thursday’s debate took him two steps back, not one step forward.  This was especially the case on the issue of illegal immigration.  On that Perry  threw out a remark that will leave a negative impression of him in the  minds of many conservatives for quite some time. 

When he and Mitt Romney engaged in debate over Perry’s approval of offering discounted in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal aliens,  Perry claimed  “If you say that we should not educate children (illegal immigrant children) who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” .  That remark seemed to cross a line, and not one with just the other candidates on the stage, but with the millions of conservatives in the American listening audience.  For many, it was the type of liberal attempt to make one feel guilty for the justified logic behind their own position.  Perry’s answer was a strange spin on another famous Texans attempt to be a “compassionate conservative”. however, while Perry’s slant on that phrase may have been compassionate,  it was not conservative.

But neither Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney let Perry get away with his claim.  In fact Romney swung a home run right over Perry’s head on the issue. 

“I’ve got be honest with you, I don’t see how it is that a state like Texas — to go to the University of Texas, if you’re an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? That’s $22,000 a year. Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me.” , said Romney.

But illegal immigration was not Perry’s only weakness last night.

Tell us who you think won the presidential debate

Right off the bat, Perry was asked about the number one issue in America today…….jobs. When asked where his jobs plan was? Perry answered, “Well, you will see a more extensive jobs plan.”    Sorry buddy, but telling voters that the dog ate your homework does not cut it in the real world.  Perry just looked stupid on that one. 

So we have our winner of the debate and the loser of the debate.  What about those in between?

Michele Bachmann had a few strong but routine answers but essentially, she was just there.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul.  While his cheering section hooted and hollered at his every word, his words were the same as usual and lacked the explanation of how he could successfully apply his libertarianism to government. 

Performing better than Paul, was former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.  Despite being a Republican libertarian who is little known, Johnson was able to do something that Paul could not.  he was able to point to actual accomplishments.  At times, he even provided answers that put him on an equal footing with some of his better known opponents such as Romney and Perry.  When asked why he would be a better choice as a libertarian-Republican than Congressman Paul, Johnson replied I’m not going to presume to make that assumption” , but he then went on to  to distinguish himself from Pau quite well……… 

“I would like to say that I do bring a unique perspective to this stage. I started a one-man handyman business in Albuquerque in 1974 and grew it to over 1,000 employees. I have run for two political offices in my life: governor of New Mexico and reelection. I promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. I promise to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue. And if anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.  Add to that, throwing out the entire federal tax system and replacing it with a consumption tax, the fair tax, which would absolutely reboot the American economy because it does away with the corporate tax to create tens of millions of jobs in this country.”

Johnson’s answer was strong and compelling.

In the  case of Newt Gingrich, he proved once again that he is ideologically the most true conservative and the most savvy.  But he did not distinguish himself as the one who could best institute his conservative concepts into government and he failed to overcome his biggest hurdle…..electability.   Interestingly though,  based on a question asked about picking a running mate from among those on the stage, most of the candidates chose Newt to be their wingman.

Herman Cain had a solid performance but not one that was strong enough to push those at the top of the field out of his way.

Perhaps the saddest performance came from Jon Huntsman. 

As in his first debate appearance, Huntsman tried to be funny, but as he waited for burst of laughter to ring out whenever he reached his punchline, crickets were heard.   It was very uncomfortable.  And to make matters worse, he really offered nothing worth while.  The most he seems tohave for us are boilerplate answers with hands extended outwards and a stiff delivery of bad attempts at humor.

All in all, given the understandable parameters of the type of debate we were presented, it was a worthwhile gathering that gave at least a brief sampling of the type of president each candidate would be or try to be.  However it set nothing in stone.  While Romney won, he has still not provided those who doubt his conservative credentials with the confidence they need to become believers.  While he did not say anything that conservatives can be unhappy with, he also did nothing to inspire them.  What will be interesting though is to see how much of a difference this debate has on Romney’s popularity among Independents.  In many state primaries, Independents and even Democrats are allowed to vote in the G.O.P. contest.   Being dissatisfied by President Obama, many of these Independent could show up at the Republican primaries to support the candidate that  they believe is most capable of beating the President. 

In that sense, I believe Romney helped himself immensely.  He certainly came off as one of, if not the most electable candidates on the stage.

Perry’s poor performance, while being a setback, was certainly not enough to knock him out of the race.  He is still very much in the race.  However, he must really be on his A game in the coming weeks.  He also needs to go in to the next debate much more prepared than he was for this one.

As for the others, they are essentially doomed to linger around the the back of the pack.  I think Michele Bachmann peaked with her straw poll win in Iowa and the rest is downhill from there.  Herman Cain will be able to hang in, but hanging out in the bottom tier is about all he is likely to do.  The only thing I believe we can expect from Huntsman is his withdrawal from the nomination contest.  Ron Paul is mired in the middle where he will remain not dead, but not exactly living either.  You might say that he is comatose. 

Were it not for an inability to raise money, I would have to say that after his debate performance, Rick Santorum would be able to emerge as a strong alternative candidate.  He is spirited and passionate, does not come off as scripted and is satisfactory to the G.O.P. base.  But money talks and Santorum just can’t raise enough money to really be heard. 

That leaves us with Newt Gingrich. 

I still can’t write Newt off.  He has great potential and the rebirth of his campaign that will occur when he unveils his new Contract with America could be very attractive to voters.  But even if that is so, Newt will still have an extremely high hurdle to jump in proving that Newt Gingrich, the man, is as good as Newt Gingrich’s  ideas.  If he can somehow prove that the messenger is as good as the message, he could give Romney and Perry a run for their money that will be expensive and exhausting. 

Now, the awards………..

Most Memorable Lines

Funniest Line of the Night:

“My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this President.” 

 – Gary Johnson

Sharpest Attack Line of the Night:

“He [Rick Perry] doesn’t want to build a fence. He gave a speech in 2001 where he talked about bi-national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I mean, I don’t even think Barack Obama would be for bi-national health insurance.” 

-Rick Santorum

 Most Sarcastic Line of the Night:

“I spent my life in the private sector. Not in government. I only spent four years as a Governor. (Turns head, looks at Rick Perry and says) I didn’t inhale” 

-Mitt Romney

 Most Logical Line of the Night:

“…sex is not an issue.  It should not be an issue. Leave it alone.  Keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.”

-Rick Santorum

Next Most Logical Line of the Night:

“….but I believe that it is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks, for doing nothing.  That’s why we had welfare reform.”

-Newt Gingrich 

Worst Line of the Night:

 “If you say that we should not educate children (illegal immigrant children) who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” 

-Rick Perry

Best Line of the Night:

“It’s important to remember, this month, in the Reagan administration, September 1983, we created 1,100,000 new jobs. Obama’s socialist policies, class warfare, and bureaucratic socialism, we created zero in August.”

-Newt Gingrich 

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And here is the debate in its entirety:

Trunkline 2012: Thursday’s News from the Race for the White House – 9/22/11

 
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Romney Picks Up Conservative Support From Congress

Bookmark and Share    Darrell Issa , the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced that he endorsing Mitt Romney for President. On the surface, the importance of the endorsement is undeniably significant. Issa is considered by many a leading Republican figure in the G.O.P., particularly among Conservatives. As a candidate in desperate need of conservative credentials, Issa’s support helps. But below the surface are two contradicting factors at play with the Issa endorsement.

While Congressman Issa is appreciated in conservative circles, how convincing his endorsement of Romney will be to many Conservatives is in doubt. What is not doubted though, is that Darrel Issa is viewed as an establishment politician and Mitt Romney is not in dire need of support from the establishment. What he needs is anti-establishment support. Particuarly from the TEA movement, a large, active portion of the electorate that is disenchanted with politicians and politics-as-usual. The Issa endorsement does not help Romney on this front.

On the flipside, Darrell Issa’s endorsement does have a significant numerical, if not ideological benefit.

The 172 delegates that California sends to the national convention make up for a tad over 7% of the entire Republican delegation in the country or over 14% of the number of delegates needed to win the presidential nomination. And with California being a winner-take-all primary, that is a significant accumulation of delegates for the winner. That makes Issa’s influence important in California where he may have sway over a significant number of republican activists and leaders in his California congressional district. This will go a long way in providing volunteers for Romney, and organizing his Get Out the Vote operation.

Ultimately, while Darrell Issa’s endorsement of Romney may not exactly be the catalyst for a surefire Romney win, it will make a difference in California, a delegate rich state that will boost any candidate’s chance at winning the nomination.

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Palin’s Presidential Write-In Candidacy

Bookmark and Share    Sarah Palin had originally indicated that she would make a decision about a run for President in 2012 by the end of September. Yet in a recent interview with Sean Hannity she seemed to indicate that her decision might not come until November. When asked about her intentions and after being reminded by Sean Hannity that crunch time is approaching soon, Governor Palin responded by stating;

“There is still time, Sean, and I think on both sides of the aisle you’re going to see people coming and going from this race,”

According to Palin;

“In the Republican race, in this primary, I think people are still going to be coming and going because there is still time. And I’m still one of those still considering the time factor.”

When Hannity asked she didn’t need to make a decision by November, her response was;

“You do, legally you do, because you have start getting your ducks lined up to have your name on these ballots.”

But probably the most telling comment she made during her interview was;

“This is going to be such an unconventional election cycle. … Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process.”

Trying to dissect Palin’s words is probably futile. The former Governor and Vice Presidential nominee is keenly aware that her every word is scrutinized, and from them are extrapolated some wild hypotheses . As such, she quite smartly, and intentionally throws out phrases that keep speculation about her front and center.

But there are several realities that can’t be denied. The most glaring one is that if Governor Palin intends to run, in order to get her name on the ballot in South Carolina and Florida, she must make her candidacy official and file the proper paperwork within the next 5 ½ weeks.

Or does she?

As Palin said in her interview, “Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process.”

When it comes to unconventional, Sarah Palin is the quintessential queen of unconvential. No politician is as unconventional as her. And while some suggest that her unpredictable nature makes her an unlikely political leader, it can not be denied that much of Palin’s popularity is based on her unconventional tendencies. It is what makes her the anti-establishment candidate at a time when the popular TEA movement that decided the 2010 midterm elections, is looking for an anti-establishmentarian figure to lead our nation.

So what could Palin have meant when after admitting that by typical legal standards, one would have to make a decision about the presidential election soon, but then suggested that this election is not going to be typical?

It is true that Palin would have to make her candidacy officially within the next several weeks if she intended to have ballot access in the South Carolina and Florida primaries. But it is also true that Palin could still win both those contests without appearing on the ballot. If an aggressive write-in effort were waged, Palin could actually catapult herself into frontrunner status and turn this election on its ear. That would certainly live up to her promise that we are about to enter into “an unconventional type of election process.”

To help make that promise come to fruition, Palin could remain an undeclared presidential candidate and continue to draw thousands to the appearances she she is already making around the country. But with a shifted focus on visits to Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, and a few additional words, she could be in this race until the Republican national convention concludes.

With all the talk about Republicans not being very confident or excited by any of the existing candidates, Palin can appeal to those dissatisfied Republicans, and TEA movement voters by remaining the anti-establishment Republican. She can simply suggest that if you really want to send a message to Republicans and Democrats alike, we should think outside of the box that the establishment has put us in and do not limit ourselves to the candidates that the two Parties offer. And then all Palin needs to say is……

“Write in the name of the person you want to lead this nation, don’t just mark off one of the names that the Party machine allows you to choose from”.

From then on, a movement will be born, a movement that will make writing Sarah Palin’s name in as a symbol of protest and dissatisfaction with the establishment……of both Parties.

In the end, Governor Palin may not be able to win the nomination solely as a write-in candidate, but it could also be that Governor Palin does not intend to be President. Such an effort could simply be an ingenious way for her to insure that her voice is heard and that she continues to influence politics in the way that she intends to………… by keeping the establishment on their toes and preaching the virtues of limited government and bountiful freedom.

Then again, no one can say that Palin would have to remain simply a protest vote. A strong write-in candidacy could actually provide Palin with enough delegates to significantly influence such things as who the next vice presidential nominee is and numerous planks in the Republican Party’s platform. And if this happens to be a very close nomination contest, she could even garner enough delegates to select who the next presidential nominee is.

But that’s not to say that Palin won’t be the next President herself.

If her promise of an unconventional election bears out to mean a Palin write-in candidacy, a strong showing in Florida or South Carolina as a write-in candidate could create enough waves to propel her ahead of the official candidates. If that were to happen, all bets are off.

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New Poll Shows Perry Has Lots of Work To Do

Bookmark and Share    A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Suffolk University has begun to raise doubt about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s electability outside of the South. According to the poll, Romney leads Perry by 33 points. Even more depressing for the Perry camp is that not only is the gap between him and Romney so wide, but he also trails behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul and even former Ambassador and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. According to the results, Romney takes 41 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 14 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finishes third with 10 percent, followed by Perry with eight percent, Sarah Palin who is not even an official candidate at 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Newt Gingrich at 4%; and Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer at or around 1%.

Perry’s fourth place showing in New Hampshire according to one poll which is not among any of the four that are typically used to gauge how a candidate is doing, is certainly not a sign that things are over for Perry, not even in New Hampshire. But it does suggest that Perry has a lot of work to do outside of the delegate rich South.

Between January and April 24th of 2012, 351 delegates are up for grabs from within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone. In that same time period, Midwest and upper-Midwest states will have 238 delegates in play. This means that unless Perry locks up the nomination with substantial early wins in at least South Carolina and Florida, followed by substantial victories in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota which are scheduled to hold their contests on the same day in February, than Mitt Romney can assure Rick Perry a long and drawn out battle that Romney could easily win.

Currently, while Perry’s strength lies in the South, Southwest and possibly even places like Iowa, Romney has a leg up on Perry in the Northeast, upper Midwest and West. For Mitt, states, like Michigan, which he won in 2008, and Wisconsin and Minnesota are strong territory for him. In the Northeast, states like new York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and others, make it the region that is strongest for him.

And then there is of course California, which is a winner-take-all contest that is closed to only registered Republicans. A win there in early February will earn the victor 172 delegates. That is equal to the number of delegates in play in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida combined.

What this means is that Rick Perry will need to quickly show some strength outside of Iowa and the South. New Hampshire would be the perfect place for him to do that. But asking Perry to win New Hampshire over Mitt Romney is like expecting Mitt Romney to defeat Rick Perry in Texas……..it ain’t gonna happen.

Still, coming in behind both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman is embarrassing for a so-called frontrunner. So Perry is going to have to work at New Hampshire. Even though a Southern strategy that would have him win the early states of South Carolina and then Florida can work, being blown out in New Hampshire will not allow Mitt Romney to stay in the game and survive until the states favorable to him allocate their delegates. At the same time, it must be realized that the earlier we decide who the Republican nominee is, the better it will be for the Party.

Until we have a nominee, the contenders will be beating up on each other. A protracted nomination contest will therefore only help to weaken the nominee up for President Obama to beat on. But a contest that wraps up the nomination decisively and early will allow everyone to focus on beating up on President Obama. As such, having a frontrunner for the Republican nomination blown out in New Hampshire, does not help anyone…..accept for Mitt Romney. Therefore if Perry wants to have any chance of securing the nomination early on in the process, he is going to have to do better in New Hampshire and demonstrate to voters that he can get votes outside of the South.

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Perry Calls Obama “President Zero” and Romney Calls Perry “Governor Sub-Zero” in Response

Bookmark and Share    Ahead of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Florida and the second debate appearance for Rick Perry, the Texas Governor has released a new a ad entitled “Rick Perry – Proven Leadership”[see ad below this post]. In it Governor Perry hammers President Obama on his economic record.

With depictions of barren land, boarded up homes, empty factories, and desolate scenes of decrepit urban ruin, Perry’s ad tags Obama as “President Zero”, a reference to his creating “zero“ jobs since he has been in office. But after the first half of the ad, a more optimistic tone is set with images of a happier, more pleasant America that include horses galloping through the surf , sun drenched cities, American flags, the statue of liberty, and happy factory workers shaking Perry’s hands. Perry’s point is driven home as you hear him describe the type of leadership that will lead to a thriving America as opposed to the ailing America that President Obama’s leadership has created.

The ad is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic, quick cutting imagery, and shaky shots done at angles, with jagged audio cuts, and a booming motion picture-like soundtrack that became a staple of Tim Pawlenty’s web ads that he ran during his short-lived presidential campaign. And that is for good reason. It was produced by Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old video prodigy who was once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Party.  Baino also did ads for the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 he  cut some spots for Hillary Clinton.

When Tim Pawlenty closed shop, Bainao was scooped up by Perry’s campaign earlier this month.

Lucas Baino

For his part, Mitt Romney, the man who is seen as Perry’s biggest rival (or vise versa depending on which side you’re on) issued a press release entitled “Governor Sub-Zero,”in response to Perry’s “President Zero”. In the release, Romney’s campaign alleges that that while the US economy produced zero net jobs in August, Texas produced even less. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul added

In his campaign’s latest video, Governor Perry criticizes President Obama for an economy that added zero jobs in August, yet Texas added even fewer and has over a million people unemployed,”

While Romney’s distortion is less accurate than the exaggerations of Perry’s ad, attacking Perry’s record right now is a political necessity. Perry’s three terms as Governor of Texas have outshined the accomplishments of Romney’s one term as Governor of Massachusetts. However, the better strategy for Romney might be to play Perry up as the career politician and himself up as a successful entrepreneur who understands how government works, or in most cases, doesn’t work. But in order for such a strategy to fly, Romney needs to exhibit anti-establishment positions and make bold proposals that don’t just tinker with out arcane tax code, but instead scrap it and do things like create a flat tax. In order for Romney.

Meanwhile, Perry’s ad effectively sets a tone and while it says more about President Obama than himself, it is a good indication that Perry’s campaign does know the issue that can get him votes.

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Will Obama’s Cozy Crony Capitalism with Solyndra and LightSquared be His Undoing?

Bookmark and Share    LightSquared is just the latest example of questionable conduct which tears down the façade of transparency as well as the political and legal integrity of President Obama and his Administration. Evidence from the Pentagon in regards to a new wireless project by LightSquared, a satellite broadband company based in Virginia, has been raising questions about a new crony capitalism crime involving the Administration. This latest scandal comes on the heals of the Solyndra scandal which saw Democrat donors with Obama administration ties, secure a $500 million loan for the solar energy firm right before it went bankrupt. In the case of LightSquared, in order to help that corporate intersts, a firm owned by Democratic donor Philip Falcone, it seems that the Obama Administration asked Air Force General William Shelton to alter testimony that he presented in a classified briefing to members of Congress.

The testimony was called for after the Pentagon raised concerns that LightSquared was embarking upon a new wireless project which preliminary tests indicated would create a significant disruptions to the military’s use of critical Global Positioning System technology, which among other things, controls missile targeting.

When questioned extensively by members of Congress, General Shelton admitted that the White House pressured him to alter his testimony in order to make it more favorable for the Democrat donor’s company to move ahead with the project, despite how much it could possibly alter the military’s effectiveness. It is further alleged that the original testimony was leaked to LightSquared in advance of its delivery to the congressional panel it was meant for.   Such a leak was a total breach of protocol in a process that only included the White House, the Office Management and Budget, and the Department of Defense .

This blatant attempt to influence Shelton’s original testimony and to involve LightSquared in the process in order to produce biased testimony designed to benefit another Democrat donor, is further evidence of the type of corruption that the Obama Administration is consistently engaged in. This time though, its crony capitalism went so far as to tamper with our nation’s defense capabilities. Such recklessness is more than just unforgivable, it is life threatening. But the Obama Administration seems not to have any regard for anything but its own political survival.  And their history of politics before policy and campaign contributors before national concerns is extensive.

Who can forget the strange case of the Deep Water Horizon environmental disaster in the Gulf.?

After the President received more campaign donations from Bristish Petroleum than any other candidate in the nation he granted BP’s Deepwater Horizon a waiver that sheltered them from regulatory requirements.  The Administration subsequently honored the  Deep Water Horizon with a safety award. Now after hundreds of millions of gallons of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government is blaming the operators of the Deep Water Horizon  for cutting corners that led to the disaster.  Ironically, the Bush Adminstration which was accused of being in the pocket of big oil interests, cited the Deep Water Horizon 6 times for safety violations.

Still though, President Obama likes to wage class warfare and hold oil companies up as greedy enemies of the people, and to claim that the big, bad Republicans are in bed with them. He loves claiming that Republicans are for big business while suggesting that he is not. Yet whose Administration is risking lives, the economy, and the environment for big business in return for big money contributions to his reelection effort?

Until now, President Obama’s Administration has escaped any aggressive scrutiny of its illegal conduct. The Democrat controlled Senate and House that he enjoyed for the first two years of his term, failed to thoroughly investigate any of the many puffs of smoke that indicated the fires of Obama related corruption. President Obama failed to face proper scrutiny in the case of BP. He failed to be properly investigated when his Administration was found to have been offering Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestack a job in turn for not challenging Senator Arlen Specter in a Democratic primary, or even when his Justice Department refused to investigate charges of black on white racism. These are just a few of the examples of corruption that has been ignored by the political establishment but this President has been virtually immune from the law in regards to a long list of other illegal activity. Such as:

  • Seizing control of GM and Chrysler without proper authorization from Congress.
  • Firing whistle-blower Gerald Walpin for doing his job as the Inspector-General in charge of investigating corruption, waste, and fraud in government programs.
  • Collecting data on fellow Americans who oppose healthcare reform with flag@whitehouse.gov and now, through a new Obama campaign website, again collecting data on fellow Americans who disagree with the Administration
  • Placing the U.S. Census Bureau under the supervision of the White House Chief of Staff, by law the Department of Commerce.
  • His Justice Department’s smuggling of weapons, that the President signed off on funding for.
  • Manipulating jobs by hiring and rehiring Census workers.
  • Creating false districts and assigning stimulus funds to those districts.
  • Violating tax codes by releasing private tax details to the public when attacking Koch Industries.
  • Creating a taxpayer-funded position, Director of Progressive Media & Online Response, to promote Obama’s incumbent candidacy, in violation of the Hatch Act.
  • Obama’s filming of a campaign ad in the White House in violation of FEC laws.

Now as the 2012 election begins to ramp up, any attempts to investigate the President’s questionable acts and his Adminstaration’s conflicts of interest, will be written off as politically motivated, Republican campaign tactics. In all honesty, such investigations would indeed be a distraction from the issues. But Republicans do not need to try and win in 2012 by creating any distractions from the issues. Right now, on the issues of most importance to voters, Republicans win. That is however a fact that the left will ignore when the “Solyndra” hit’s the fan. It is also a fact that should really not play a role in whether or not questionable conduct by the Obama Administration should be investigated.  The law is the law and political considerations should not determine the level of scrutiny that legally questionable conduct is given. Not unless unbeknownst to me, there has been a constitutional amendment passed which grants a Commander-in-Chief immunity from such things as the Hatch Act, or tampering with sworn testimony.

Of course the President will defend his Administration by try to claim such things as being among the most transparent executive branches in history because of new procedures he enacted that releases the White House visitors logs and meeting with lobbyists to the public. But the loopholes in this policy are big enough to  fit an undetected army of liberal interest groups though.

First of all, these logs are not made public until four month’s time has passed.

Then there are also reports of Administration officials scheduling meetings in the White House Conference Center which is conveniently not covered by the Worker and Visitors Entrance System (WAVES System) that collects the data for these logs. Furthermore, the White House‘s attempt to achieve “transparency“ through the WAVES System does not include records of meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops and restaurants near the White House.  All of this essentially circumvents sincere disclosure laws and policies.

For those reasons, Congress should look into the passage of new lobbying disclosure regulations that have real teeth and are capable of exposing government influence of Congress and the White House in real-time.

In the meantime, President Obama is getting away with murder and while the G.O.P. does not need to take President Obama down via a scandal, they also have a responsibility to not cover-up the White House cover-ups.

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