South Carolina Political Ad Wars Are Well Underway

Bookmark and Share   Since 2000, South Carolina has taken on a reputation as the state in which the presidential primaries get real ugly.  It is a natural result that comes about because of timing and because of its symbolic start of the nomination contest in the all import delegate rich South.

For some candidates, the South is where their greatest strength lies and a win in South Carolina makes it more possible to win the many Southern states that follow, particularly Florida.  But for campaigns that have been battered and bruised in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina always seem to represents a last chance for success.  Those are the campaigns which are usually the most desperate and it is out of desperation that they begin to openly make their strongest, most outrageous, attacks on their rivals.   Then there are the smear campaigns that desperate candidates begin in South Carolina.

In 200o, South carolina Bush supporters began an undergorund effort that saw fliers that labeled McCain “the fag candidate”  circulated in churches.   Then a not so subtle whisper campiagn began to accuse McCain of homosexuality, and having illegitimate children and a drug addicted wife.  Then there was the smear designed to paint McCain as being unstable.  That underground effort was timed to coincide with Bush’s public references to McCain’s “temper”.

With 9 days remaining till voting in South Carolina begins, there will be plenty of time for a whole host of similar whisper campaigns to start.  I expect to hear a few good ones that try to raise doubts about Romney that stem from exaggerations about his Mormon faith, a religion which is about as foreign to South Carolinians as one can possibly get.

In the meantime, the airwaves are being taken over by commercials that reflect very different strategies.

Rick Perry has recently come out with a spot called “President of Honor”.  It tries to spark support for him among the inordinately large military population in South Carolina.

Ron Paul, fresh off of his own slew of negative attack ads like “Betrayal” is also targeting veterans for support of his candidacy.

And while Paul is targeting veterans, a pro-Paul Super PAC called Santa Rita PAC is is doing the same by urging voters to support our troops by supporting Ron Paul.

Then there is a group independent from all the presidential candidates, which is airing an attack on Ron Paul. The Emergency Committee for Israel features Gary Bauer in a spot that takes Ron Paul on for his dangerous foreign policies and conspiracy theories.

Newt Gingrich has chosen to stay focussed on destroying Mitt Romney in his campaign to exact revenge. His most recent South Carolina ad attacks Mitt on the issue of abortion and plays on doubts about Mitt’s conservative credentials.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is leaving the negative attacks up to his supportive Super PACs, such as this one which goes after Newt, sponsored by the pro-Romney PAC, Restore Our Future.

As Mitt leaves the dirty work up to his Super PACs, his campaign is investing most of its money in ads that aim at Barack Obama. Like in this one which he began running last week and which goes after the NLRB decision against Boeing.

A Rick Santorum Super PAC called the Red, White, and Blue Fund is airing a positive piece pitching Santorum as the principled conservative.

While that one is up, flush with an injection of $3 million in donations since his virtual tie in Iowa, Santorum’s campaign is airing another ad which casts him as the full spectrum conservative and the one who can beat President Obama.

And that is all just the beginning. Pretty soon South Carolina’s airwaves will be polluted with more rhetoric, accusations, and false claims than we will be able to keep track of. And that is when the real smear campaigns will begin, when it becomes too hard to really track it back to anyone specific.

But before that happens, Mitt Romney is already airing his ads in Florida, the state where much of this race will conclude. One of Mitt’s first ads up there is entitled Nosotros and essentially speaks to the very influential conservative Cuban American voting bloc in the Sunshine State.

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Iowa’s Mold Breaker Might Matter

We are discovering the 2012 election cycle dynamic every day.  One thing we have learned already is that things that didn’t matter last week are crucial this week.  The thing we are learning this past week is that money matters, as Mitt Romney surrogates bought waves of negative airtime, Ron Paul bought Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, and Newt suddenly began to realize what a nice thing it would be to have campaign staffs, ground crews, or even counter advertising money.

To Huntsman’s dismay, we may be discovering that Iowa matters.  Let me put it this way.  If Newt Gingrich wins Iowa, it doesn’t really matter.  If Santorum wins Iowa, it will give him some false momentum but Iowa alone won’t matter.  If Bachmann wins Iowa, we will all drop our jaw and then move on with the real race.  If Paul wins Iowa, mainstream Republicans will spend the next few days complaining about how he did his usual ballot stuffing tricks, but then move on.

However, if Mitt Romney wins Iowa, that will be huge.  Iowa has typically stuck to mainstream, evangelical, more conservative than moderate candidates.  Iowa has granted hope to Mike Huckabee in recent years, and Michele Bachmann this year.  Now, with Mitt Romney leading in the polls, it appears that more conservative, evangelical voters are accepting that Romney will win the nomination.  In fact, in this case I wonder what type of dynamic Ron Paul is attributing to Romney’s rise.  Are Iowans viewing Gingrich, Perry and now even Santorum as third party spoilers?

I think with the Iowa dynamic, voters may actually prefer Santorum in the current field.  Instead, it appears that Iowa may end up being about who can beat Barack Obama, or more immediately, who can beat Ron Paul.  At any rate, if Mitt Romney wins, Iowa matters.  As McCain proved in 2008, voting for a candidate primarily because of electability is a tough paradigm to crack once it is set.

One thing is for sure.  If Romney does win in Iowa, Newt is dreaming if he thinks he can turn everything around in New Hampshire.

And the Winner of the Iowa Caucus is……….

Romney and Santorum may surprise all with a first and second place finish, respectively, but South Carolina will be the real winner of the Iowa Caucuses.

Bookmark and Share I am predicting that Mitt Romney will in Iowa and it will go a long way in establishing a sense of inevitability that will help him wrap up the nomination sooner than later.   However; unless Romney racks up a win with 30 or more percent, the results will not matter a great deal and in the end, the real winner will be South Carolina.

Iowa’s caucus history shows that the winners of their nominating contests do not usually go on to become the nominee and President.  More often than not, Iowa caucus voters seem more intent on sending a message to the establishment than sending a nominee to the White House.  This time may be different in the sense that Iowa Republicans may believe that their support for most of the existing candidates will not send any strong message and that Ron Paul, the only candidate for whom a protest vote for would send a clear message, is not in any way a responsible and realistically, viable candidate.   As it is, most Iowa Republicans do not support Ron Paul.  His perceived success in the state so far is due mainly to the Independent and Democrats who are allowed to vote in the caucuses if they change their Party affiliation.

This is something which Paulbots have been planning on taking advantage for a very long time and they are doing a good job at it.

But not good enough.

In the end I believe that between all the back and forth of frontrunner status for one candidate or another, Mitt Romney who has been consistently at the top of the polls in Iowa and who has the strongest organization of all the candidates in the state, will benefit from a social conservative and evangelical vote that is sharply divided between at least four candidates, and from his perceived electability against Barack Obama.  These factors will allow Romney to win the caucus, but unless he wins by an overwhelming amount, it will not do much to help him convince people that he will definitely be the nominee.  That job will be left up to South Carolina, which will actually be the big winner coming out of Iowa.

Everyone knows that Romney will win New Hampshire, so there is little suspense there.  That leaves South Carolina which follows the Live Free or Die State, as the most pivotal of all the early state contests and the greatest beneficiary of the results in Iowa.

It is where Newt Gingrich has been trying to build a firewall and hoping to establish himself as either the frontrunner or the only real viable alternative to Mitt Romney.

South Carolina is also a prelude to the Florida and the momentum provided to the candidate who wins in South Carolina will go a long way in helping that candidate’s chances of winning in the Sunshine State’s primary. 

Even in the unlikely event that Romney blew out all his rivals with a win of  30% or more,  South Carolina will still be an early contest that either solidifies Romney’s lock on the nomination or gives someone else the opportunity to be Romney’s true chief rival as the race moves forward.

These are just simple facts which will not be changed by any result that Iowa produces.  If Senator Rick Santorum happened to pull off a Huckabee-like, 2008, come-from-behind victory, Romney will still dominate in the New Hampshire primary and South Carolina will still host the contest that play a somewhat more decisive role than either New Hampshire or Iowa.

When all is said and done, Iowa will serve one chief purpose.  It will help weed out the field of candidates.  It will help to begin sealing the deal for several of the lower tier candidates, especially Rick Perry.  But even in that capacity, Iowa is not likely to end anyone’s candidacy.  Once again, that mission will be accomplished in South Carolina.

That said, in the tradition of making predictions as one year ends and a new one begins, while I hold true to the belief that Iowa will really only matter if Romney comes in anywhere under third pace, or wins with a large plurality, I also believe that the candidates will finish as follows:

  1. Mitt Romney – 26%
  2. Rick Santorum -21%
  3. Ron Paul – 17%
  4. Newt Gingrich -16%
  5. Rick Perry – 11%
  6. Michele Bachmann – 7%
  7. Jon Huntsman – 2%

I am quite uncertain about those totals, but very confident in the order of each candidate’s placement.

These results will produce several storylines coming out of Iowa.  One will be about whether of not Mitt Romney has a lock on the nomination as he is now on a path to becoming the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to sweep both Iowa and New Hampshire?  The other story will be is Rick Santorum, the new Mike Huckabee and can he translate his strong Iowa showing into a victory elsewhere? 

The other stories that will provide the filler for 24 hour cable news programs, will be can Newt comeback “in South Carolina”? What happened to Ron Paul’s surge? And is this the end for Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann?

The answer to all these questions will be determined by the state which I argue will be the ultimate winner in the Iowa Caucuses…..South Carolina.

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Romney Addresses Values Voter Summit After Bill Bennet Defends Him Against Bigotry

Bookmark and Share  Today Mitt Romney took to the podium at the Values Voters Summit and delivered a speech that gave all whom call themselves Christians plenty of reasons to vote for him.  Romney’s speech came a day after Southern Baptist Convention leader Robert Jeffress, introduced Texas Governor Rick Perry at the Values Voters Summit and then proceeded to unleash extraordinarily unchristian-like conduct through bigoted statements that condemned Mormonism and disqualified Mitt Romney as a legitimate presidential candidate because he is a Mormon.

Upon hearing these statements, White House 2012 posted a scathing editorial which among other things, denounced Jeffress, suggesting he was anything but Christian in his conduct and attitude and called him a bigot.  The editorial also questioned the sincerity of Governor Rick Perry’s attempt to disassociate himself from Jeffress, who his campaign agreed to let introduce him at the Value Voters Summit.  In that post White House 2012 also called upon Governor Perry to not just distance himself from Jeffress, but to repudiate him for his bigotry.

I continue to stand behind this position.  It is a position that I have seen few other forums covering the Republican presidential nomination contest take.  For a while I was beginning to think that I was alone in  my harsh judgment of Jeffress.  Such loneliness left me with a feeling of great disappointment in my Party.  As I stated in the original post;

“In this day and age, for Americans to hold prejudices against a political leader because of their faith, is nothing other than an example of backwards thinking and a contradiction to the very constitutional principles that the G.O.P. is trying to stress the need for our nation to return to.”

To think that I was alone in that belief within the G.O.P., left me angry.

That is until today.

Prior to Jay Sekulow’s introduction of Mitt Romney, the events emcee, former Reagan Education Secretary and  George H. W. Bush Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Bill Bennett , addressed the remarks made a day earlier by Pastor Jeffress after Rick Perry addressed the gathering the day before [see the video below] .  Bennett called the pastor’s comments “bigotry” and added

“Do not give voice to bigotry,” …… “You stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and Santorum and Cain and Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good sir, in what you had to say.”

Can I hear a hallelujah, praise the Lord, and Amen to that!

I felt redeemed in my disgust with Pastor Jeffress and his anti-Christian remarks and at the same time, Bill Bennett helped redeem my Party.  I applaud him for stepping up to the plate and correcting the record for us all.  And at the same time, I must pat myself on the back  among the first to take the position which I did, a position that Bill Bennett happened to echo when he stated that the words which Pastor Jeffress spoke, did nothing to help his Rick Perry, his chosen candidate for President.

I presented the same argument when I wrote;

 “Jeffress did little to win over any converts to Perry.”

 Soon after Bennett spoke, Mitt Romney followed, and  stated;

“And how ’bout that Bill Bennett?  He really hit that out of the ballpark.”

After that, Romney proceeded to present a case which did not allow for any Christian to legitimately question Romney’s committment to faith, values, morals, and Christian principles.  He called for everything from the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and defunding planned parenthood, to reaffirming marriage as that of a union strictly between a man and a woman, and for our government’s need to respect religious values.  And he did so in a presentation that was relaxed, laced with mild injections of appropriate humor, and also outlined his presidential agenda beyond social issues.  In it’s entireity, Romney’s speech was articulate, convincing and a presentation of a strong case for his being our next Commander-in -Chief  [see the complete speech below this post].

Unfortunately though, the religious intolerance and bigotry of people like Pastor Jeffress was something which existed and among far too many of those attending this celebration of Christian values.  While those who possess the ugly prejudices which use religion to divide people rather than unite them were in the minority, the few that do subscribe to such intolerable conduct had often received levels of visibility that were distasteful representations of the Family Research Council which holds the annual Values Voters Summit.   For that reason, Romney found a legitimate need to allude to his opening references to bigotry, towards the end of his speech.

Scheduled to speak after Romney, was Bryan Fischer, a director at the American Family Association.  In the past, Fischer claimed that Mormons and Muslims have “a completely different definition of who Christ is” than the founding fathers did, and therefore, as a result,  do not deserve First Amendment protections.    That prompted Romney to note

“Now one more thing.  Our values are noble as citizens. And they strengthen the nation.  We should remember that decency and civility are values too.  One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line I think.”

And in a direct reference to Fischer’s call to deny Mormons and Muslims their rights, Romney stated;

“Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate.”

He added;

“The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda  narrow our vision or drive us apart.”

It is both ironic and a shame that Mitt Romney, a Mormon, had to waste time pointing these things out to Christians. The shame is that Christians should be well aware of the point he made.  The irony is that a man of the very religion Christians are claiming is not Christian, is espousing the Christian values that some of them are not.    The whole incident helped to demonstrate to me that while Romney has changed his position on about three issues throughout his adult life, unlike some Christians who are inconsistent with their own values, Mitt Romney at least practices what he preaches.  For that reason, I am more than proud to disclose that I am moving closer to endorsing Mitt Romney for President.

With Daniels, Ryan, Pence, and Palin out, I am slowly returning to the confidence I had when I endorsed Mitt Romney over the false prophet Huckabee and the false Republican McCain in 2008.   I am close but I am not there yet.  I want to be sure that Republican nominee earns my vote.  As such, I am inclined to still give Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum the chance to do that.  All three of these candidates have served the conservative and/or represent the conservative admirably and have already earned my respect.  If any of them can prove to me that they would be a better candidate and conservative Commander-in-Chief than Mitt Romney, than  I will accept as the better candidate and support them until the end.

For now though, I will await for Governor Perry to do the right thing and like Bill Bennett, denounce his friend and political supporter Pastor Robert Jeffress for his bigotry and injection of hate in to the Republican presidential contest.  As I have indicated on a previous occasion.  This is Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright moment.

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Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright Moment

Bookmark and Share On Friday afternoon, at a meeting of the annual Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.,  Texas Governor Rick Perry found himself involved in a controversy not of his own doing.  Instead it was the man who introduced him to the evangelical audience that brought the controversy on  to Rick Perry.

At around 2:30 in the afternoon, in his introduction of Perry, Southern Baptist Convention leader Robert Jeffress, who recently endorsed the Governor, described Perry as “the most pro-life governor in the United States of America.” He also touched upon the gaffes made by Perry in the last debate by saying, “do we want a candidate whois skilled in rhetoric, or one who is skilled in leadership?”.  He went on to call him “a committed follower of Christ.”

But 45 minutes later, when speaking to reporters, Jeffress told reporters that Mormonism is a “cult” and that voting for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would “give credibility to a cult”.  He also stated that he endorsed Perry only as an individual, and that he would not tell his church members how to vote. But he further stated that he is planning to give a sermon this Sunday in which he talks about “how a  Christian should vote.” Jeffress added that among the criteria is that the person they vote for be a Christian.

According to a live blogger at the summit reporting for the Washington Post, Jeffress also told reporters that many evangelicals were afraid to talk about Mormonism but would have a hard time voting for a Mormon candidate.

At the same time Jeffress also confessed that as a pastor he was “not nearly as concerned about a candidate’s record on fiscal issues or immigration issues” as he is with their social conservative bona fides.

That however is a view which contradicts the political realities of the 2012 election. And as demonstrated by the highly motivated TEA movement, is not the most important aspect that they are seeking in a candidate.  In fact for many of them, it is just the opposite.  They are looking more for a Republican candidate who while having moral values, will stay out of people’s personal lives.

That fact was not missed by Governor Perry.  For he delivered a speech that focused less on faith and more on his record of job creation.

Despite the fact that the group he was addressing was gathered together to celebrate the fundamentals of the Christian faith and socially conservative values, Perry chose to make the point that he was running on a message of economic recovery.  Such was most likely a tactical campaign decision based on an attempt to not allow rivals to paint him as a religious fanatic who would take the same priorities as Jeffress, to
Washington in 2013.

Ironically though, the remarks made by Jeffress did little to help his endorsed presidential candidate.  In fact, Jeffress only did more to hurt Perry.

Evangelicals have no problem with Rick Perry.  They know all that Jeffress tried to convey to them about Perry at the Values Voters Summit.  However, Perry will have a problem with voters who are leery of having a President focused more on social issues than the economic and foreign affairs issues that the office of President was designed to addressed and which are in desperate need of being addressed properly.  For those people, Jeffress did little to win over any converts to Perry.   And at the same time, he pushed a very sensitive button regarding religious tolerance and bigotry.

But Jeffress is probably less concerned with getting Rick Perry elected than he is with selling a new book that he has coming out.

For his part, after Jeffress made his off the cuff remarks, Rick Perry had his campaign distanced the him from Jeffress.  They noted that it was the organizers of Values Voters Summit that chose Jeffress to introduce the Texas governor, not the campaign. However it was later confirmed that Perry approved of having Jeffress introduce him.  Based upon Jeffress’ longstanding and well publicized history of religious intolerance, Rick Perry should never have allowed Jeffress to have the opportunity to be an representative of Perry’s supporters.  Allowing Jeffress to introdcue him was indeed a big mistake.  Either that or Perry does not see much wrong with Jeffress’ intolernace and bigotry.

Perry spokesman Robert Black did released a statement that read “The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult. He is not in the business of judging people. That’s God’s job.”

Whether that is true or not, no one can’t know for sure.  All we can do is take Perry at his word.  But interestingly enough the words that Jeffress speak do happen to be suspiciously scripted.

According to CBS, during Jeffress’ post Perry speech comments, he claimed “I did not talk about my Mormon views” with Perry, and added, “I’m not insinuating that the governor shares those at all — he may not.” described himself as only an acquaintance of Perry’s.  “I did not talk about my Mormon views” with Perry.   He continued, “I’m not insinuating that the governor shares those at all — he may not.”

Jeffress then said the following words which rang some alarm bells with me;

 “I haven’t gone coyote hunting with him,”.

They were the very same seemingly unrehearsed words he spoke in an MSNBC interview  on August 14th  [see the interview below] .  Personally, it sounds to me as though there is a lot more coordination between Jeffress and Perry’s campaign than some are willing to admit.

In another interview, this one on Fox News Live, back in June of this year, Jeffress expressed his disappointment in Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run for President.  He also stated that without Huckabee in the race, Chrsitians may be faced with having to hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils.  Jeffress then claimed  to being non-partisan and then professed that he is  only concerned with “the next President being committed to eliminating the tide of un-Godliness and evil that is sweeping our country”.  He even admits  “while Romney may make a good President”,  but adds, “we better understand that if we vote for Mitt Romney we are not voting for a Christian”. 

Observe the video for yourself.  I believe you will find this religious leader to be preaching a level bigotry that is so obvious, that is actually offensive.  I can only say that thank God most true Chrsitians are not as ignorant, bigotted, and intolerant as Robert Jeffress is.  And when I write “intolerant”, I do not mean it in the politically correct sense which is to deny the truth.  I mean it in the sense of trying to defy logic and closing doors based upon perceptions, not actual facts.

 The only way for Rick Perry to really nip this in the bud is to do more than distance himself from Jefresss.  In many ways this could be Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright moment.  That is why Perry needs to denounce Jeffress for his prejudices and defend Mitt Romney for having what may be religious differences but are most certainly Christian values.  If he does do not do so, Mitt Romney could turn what initially seems to be a relatively minor verbal hiccups, into a major issue that he could turn around to his advantage.

In this day and age, for Americans to hold prejudices against a political leader because of their faith, is nothing other than an example of backwards thinking and a contradiction to the very constitutional principles that the G.O.P. is trying to stress the need for our nation to return to.

As for Robert Jeffress, I am sorry to say this, but he is an ass.

I say so not neccessarily because of his beliefs but because of his obvious insincerity and the mixed messages that he as a religious leader, sends.  Personally, I think he is more concerned with selling his new book than he is with either whom our next President is, or Jesus.

But how does Mitt Romney feel about it all?  We may get the chance to find that out on Saturday, when Mitt is scheduled to address the Values Voters Summit himself.  His approach to the evangelicals gathered there will be quite interesting, especially in light of the assault made upon him and his faith by Perry supporter Robert Jeffries.

Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News – 10/07/11

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Palin Will Still Be the Cause for the Next Big Media Driven Maelstrom of the Election

Bookmark and Share A day after Governor Sarah Palin made it official that she would not run for President in 2012, the leaders of Team Sarah sent out the following email to their extensive list of supporters.

Team,

We’re not retreating, we’re  reloading!

While the announcement that Governor Sarah Palin will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for the office of President of the United States came as a surprise and disappointment to many,  let’s not forget that we have all been called to “fight like a girl” in an effort to restore our country.  It’s a call to stand with Governor Palin and to continue fighting for the conservative values of smaller government, free markets, life, and family.

Team Sarah members will continue to march towards the 2012 elections advancing the values and principles that Sarah Palin represents in the political process.  We will join Governor Palin in the fight to secure many victories for commonsense constitutional conservatives at all levels of government.

The email seems to be representative of the sentiments possessed by most Palinistas.  While they are disappointed by the fact that there is no chance she will become President in 2012, they are not disappointed in her.

Palin’s supporters appreciate her seeming lack of ambition to hold political office.  That is why they understood the thinking behind her sacrificing the second half of her only term as Governor Alaska and did not hold it against her.  They understood that the political firestorm that came with the liberal assault upon her was going to make it easier for her successor to advance the agenda that she set, faster and further.  Palin’s lack of political ambition is what attracts most people to her.  They understand that her opinions and words are not driven by the political motives which are usually behind the  words and policies of your average politician.

That understanding and the enormous number of people who support Palin for her ability to articulate what they feel and think, and her desire to be honest and blunt about those sentiments, is the same understanding which gave birth to the TEA movement.  That is why for many, the two go hand in hand.  It is why Palin is a darling of the TEA movement.

It is also why Palin’s decision not to run, is likely to have as much of an effect on who will be the next Republican nominee, as she would have had if she decided to run for the nomination herself..

That is why pretty soon, the news will be dominated by another topic.

With names like Daniels, Barbour, Ryan, Christie, and Palin definitely out of the race, the endless speculation about who is running which kept many from getting behind any of the actual declared candidates, has finally stopped.  There is little talk about who can jump in and change the complexion of the race.  But with the front loading of the primary and caucuses actually forcing the first votes in the nomination process to begin taking place in as few as 12 weeks from now, the next media prompted maelstrom will be who Palin is endorsing.  There will be a similar media focus on who New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also endorses, but ironically and quite figuratively, the Palin endorsement will carry much more weight than Christie’s.  Her support of a candidate could open doors for candidates like Romney, Santorum or Gingrich, candidates who desperately need TEA activists to just consider them as viable choices.  Candidates like Herman Cain and even Rick Perry don’t need such an opening to the TEA movement.  They already have strong support from many sectors within the less spending, less government, more liberty cause.  But a leading candidate like Mitt Romney can ill afford Sarah Palin promoting one of his opponents.

That is why Sarah Palin is very likely to be pivotal in the Republican nomination contest. And probably more so in the nomination process than the general election contest where she will probably not be able to change the minds of those supporting or still considering supporting President Obama for reelection.

In the meantime, Palin holds the power to change the course of history.  If she so chooses, she can actually be a determining factor in who the next Republican nominee and subsequently the next President is.  Such an assertion is only made more evident by the above letter from Palin supporters which confirms their desire to stand with Sarah Palin through thick or thin.

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Even the “Average Joe” Knows President Obama Can’t Win in the Obama Economy

Bookmark and Share  Vice President Joe Biden is probably one of the G.O.P.’s best friends.  He has a real propensity for always saying the right thing ………..for Republicans.  His latest statements to verify that came Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum, an invitation only, two day forum for leading newsmakers at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event is sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute.

During an appearance at the forum, Biden stated that  the shaky economy has left many Americans in “real trouble“, and made clear that the Republican Party is strong enough to beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.  Note how he said “President Obama” and not “us“.  Joe may be dumb but he is not without an ego that would prohibit him from sharing the blame for the economy that he said will be responsible for the defeat.

According to Joe, a significant majority of the American people don’t believe the country is moving in the right direction. You think?  He adds that such a public perception is never a good place to be going into re-election (no kidding), regardless of whether it is the current administration’s fault or not.

Biden defended the Administration though when he suggested that the economy has still greatly improved under President Obama.  He states that he is  counting on voters recognizing how deep the recession was and how much the economy has improved under the Obama Administration.

To be fair, credit must be given when it is deserved.  Joe is right about the strength of the Republican Party going in to the 2012 presidential election.  However, honesty is not always welcome in politics, especially if you are a liberal trying to promote the benefits of unsustainable spending, increased taxation, and socialist policies.  For that reason, the Vice President is not likely to get a pat on the back and hear a sincere thank you from the President for his honesty.  Instead he might hear something more along the lines of “Way to go, Joe.  Thanks for the encouraging words”.

The episode does demonstrate one thing though.  It shows us that the Administration sees the writing on the wall.  So much so that even the “average Joe” can read it.  That means that the Obama re-election team is surely preparing a campaign based on desperate attempts to run an extremely negative campaign against the Republican ticket, regardless of whose names are on it.  If they understand that voters will have very little reason to support the Obama-Biden ticket for reelection, there only chance will be to make the opposition look worse.  That means that while the President will try to resort to discussing issues with little detail and great flowery, rhetoric, His surrogates and ad men will be attacking attacking the Republican ticket with verbal assaults that are based on personal matters, and far-fledged distortions of records.

This conclusion is only verified by Joe Biden.

His comments on the 2012 election at the Washington Ideas Forum offer us a glimpse of the Administration’s mindset.  They know that they can’t win on the one issue that is likely to dominate the election…… the economy.  Oh they will try to wage class warfare, they will incite the anger of their big union base and take advantage of the underprivileged.  They will even play the blame it on Bush card and try to morph the Republican presidential nominee into Bush.  But in the end, the American people understand that saying that sat upon President Truman’s desk and read, “The buck stops here”.   And the fact that no bucks are flowing in to the economy, will only make most voters more aware of who is responsible for that.
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New Poll Has Herman Cain Beating Perry and Romney Among Likely Republican Voters

Bookmark and Share   In a new Zogby poll that was taken in the three days following the most recent Republican presidential debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, the man who rocketed past Mitt Romney as soon as he announced his candidacy and hs been the presumed frontrunner, has plummeted 18% among likely Republican voters and likely Republican primary voters.  Benefiting from this drop was not the former frontrunner, Mitt Romney.  That swing in voter sentiments went to none other than Herman Cain, the man who on the very last day that this poll was taken, shook the political world with his first place showing in the Florida “Presidency 5” Straw Poll.

According to the latest poll, Herman Cain increased his support by  16% percent since September 2nd.    In the same time period, Texas Governor Rick Perry lost 19% percent of his support and Mitt Romney picked up 3%.

For Herman Cain, this means that a star is born.  But it is important to remember that stars fall to earth faster than they rise and frontrunner status nows makes Cain a target.  A target of his Republican opponents, liberals, and the mainstream media which had already begun to abuse Cain before his win in the Florida straw poll.  So how long Cain can maintain frontrunner status is questionable, but one thing is for sure.  This news now breathes new life into a campaign that Herman Cain has twice considered ending.

For Cain, the results of this poll could be as significant or even more so than the Florida straw poll victory.  Unlike Presidency 5, the Zogby reflects not a state sentiment that could be written off to regional appeal, it is the reflection of Republican attitudes nationally.  That can provide Herman Cain with the ability to raise significant anounts of money and add strength to his campaign.

As for the rest of the field, they must come to grips with something which I have been stating repeatedly.  Voters from the TEA movement to your traditional conservative base, do not want politics-as-usual.  They want an anti-establishment candidate, the non-politician.  And they don’t just ant any non-politician.  They don’t want a Ross Perot-like moderate.   They don’t want some Kumbaya candidate who promises to “compromise” for the sake of moving the same, failed political agenda forward.  They want someone who will defend traditional American values, and enforce a pro-growth, liberty based free-market approach to our economy.  And they want someone who will do so not by promising to tinker with the failed policies. They want someone who will, as Herman Cain said in Florida, “alter and abolish” the failed approaches and policies of Washington, D.C.

At the moment that man is Herman Cain.  And it is that way because none of the other candidates have convincingly put forth a reform agenda that dramatically changes either the way Washington works or the failed and outdated policies holding us back.  All the other candidates are being overshadowed by the political reputations that precede them.  Meanwhile Herman Cain is discussing things as scrapping the current tax code.

But there are several important points to remember.  Herman Cain is quite inexperienced at campaigning. And while his lack of experience as a politician is a plus for him right now, at some point experience will be an issue and voters are going to want to know that Herman Cain has the know-how to achieve that which he promises within the very political system that he contradicts.

Point two.  Rick Perry may be don but he is not out.  The best example of that is Bill Clinton in 1992.

Early on in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton had low national poll numbers.  He was running against Jerry Brown, Paul Tsongas, Robert Kerry, and Tom Harkin.   He lost in Iowa and while trying to compete in New Hampshire against  Paul Tsongas, the Senator from neighboring Massachusetts, Clinton got caught up in the Gennifer Flowers scandal.  Despite Tsongas having favorite son status in the Granite State, Clinton was leading over Tosngas in the polls.  Then when the Flowers scandal broke, he plummeted.  But when the primary was over Clinton still pulled off  surprising second place showing.

  • Paul E. Tsongas 33.2%
  • Bill Clinton* (24.8%)
  • Bob Kerrey (11.1%)
  • Tom Harkin (10.2%)
  • Jerry Brown ( 8.0%)

Even though Clinton lost, his ability to come in second caused him to be dubbed the Comeback Kid.  So Rick Perry  cn easily comeback.  Just because he faltered in the most recent debate does not mean he broke his leg and needs to be shot.  He can survive and live to run a powerful campaign despite his ” having no heart” remark which will continue to haunt him.

The third point.  Mitt Romney has been maintaining a consistent percentage of support that is in the mid teens.  This consistency means something.  It means that unlike all the other candidates, Romney has a solid base.  He has yet to experience wild swings in his poll numbers.  Such a fact means that Romney’s consistency as a candidate could prove to be a major factor that leads to his winning in the end.

The last and final point is the wildcard.  It is the opportunity for a candidate like Sarah Palin or Chris Christie to jump into the race and suck the air right out of the room.  It is also the possibility that someone like Rick Santorum or  Newt Gingrich turns things around with a series of events and positions and missteps by some of the top tier candidates.  Ultimately, the variables are endless and anything can still happen.  Did you think that Herman Cain was actually going become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination with just a little more than three months to go before the Iowa caucuses?

The only thing that is looking certain, is the decline of President Obama.

In the same Zogby poll that has Cain ahead of the pack, 57% of voters disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, and only 37% believe he deserves to be reelected.

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