White House 2012: The Herd. The Other Republicans Running for President

Bookmark and Share  Unless you’re in a coma or a teenybopper more concerned with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber than Lady Liberty and justice, you are aware of at least eight of the Republicans running  for the Republican presidential nomination.  But not everyone knows that there are actually 134 Republicans who have registered their candidacies for President with the Federal Election Commission. 
What’s more is that such a proliferation of candidates is not unusual.  Similar numbers have accounted for the entirety of past fields of presidential candidates in both Parties.  This year, with Democrats having an incumbent President running for reelection, as expected, they have far fewer challengers than do Republicans.  Democrats have only 45 registered candidates.  As for other Parties,  combined, there is a long list of candidates that looks as follows:
Constitution Party 1, Constitutional Party 1, Green Party 5, Libertarian Party 15, Reform Party 1, American Independent Party 1, American Party 1, Citizens Party 3, Independence Party 1, Objectivist Party 1, Prohibition Party 2, Socialism and Liberation Party 1, Socialist Party USA 2
All totaled, that accounts for 230 individual people running for President of the United States.  It is a number that makes you realize that there is much more to the presidential election than we see or hear about.  It also proves that the media does not necessarily live up to its need to truly inform the electorate.  But  knowing that such a large number of people are technically running for President makes it easy to understand why the major televised debates have rules requiring that in order to participate, candidates must have polled at least one or two percent in national polls.  Many have complained that these two hour debates with 7 or 8 candidates do not give the participants enough time to answer questions properly.  Can you imaging another debate with CNN’s Jonathon King moderating a stage full of 134 candidates?  He couldn’t handle the seven he had.
So given these facts, it becomes understandable why there are so many rules regarding these debates.  But the electoral process has its own set of rules that also weeds out the large field of candidates.
While there may be 134 Republicans running for President, most all of them are not on any primary or caucus ballots. 
Ballot access is something that is left up to the individual states and as such, they each have their own requirements and rules.
In New Hampshire, all it takes to get on the presidential primary ballot is a filing fee of $1,000.  In South Carolina  there is a filing fee to appear on the presidential primary ballot that costs $25,000 if the candidate pays by May 3, or $35,000 if they pay later than that.  
Other states have election laws that essentially give control of the primaries to the establishment of the respective Parties.  In state’s like New York and New Jersey, a large number of signatures from  registered Republicans who meet residency requirements,  is required to get on the ballot.  This usually means that a strong organization is needed and even then, these rules often produce numerous court challenges which try to knock candidates off the ballot due to legal technicalities which may disqualify some signatures from counting towards the total needed.  In New York, the petition process is so arcane that someone can see all their petition signatures disqualified based upon such things as an printing error on the petitions. 
Whether this is fair or not is debatable, but the democratic process has never been accused of being easy or clean and in many ways the daunting challenge to get on the ballot do prevent voters from having to go through a national phonebook of names to cast their vote.   In 200o, voters in Palm Beach had a hard enough time trying to vote for President with a ballot that had only three names available to them.  Can you imagine the chaos there would be with 140 or more names on the ballot?
In the end, the process does legitimately make it so that only a truly serious candidates run for President.  In order to make it to the ballot, they  must be motivated, organized, and well financed.  And even then it is not easy.  In 2000,  the  high-profile Green Party candidacy of ,Ralph Nader, didn’t make it onto the presidential ballots of  three states. 
So registering with the Federal Election Commission does not necessarily make one a serious presidential candidate.  However, as White House 2012 can attest to, despite the odds, many of those who filed with the FEC, are taking their run for the Republican nomination quite seriously.
Ever since last August, dozens of candidates have contacted White House 2012 requesting that they be added to the site and given the same treatment as the major candidates, including their own White House 2012 bio page. 
Unfortunately, the financial costs, and amount of manpower and time required to make that possible is just not possible

Joe Story

for White House 2012.   However, what we at WH12 are willing to do, is run this series called “The Herd”.  It is an ongoing series about the rest of the Republican field of candidates.  Every other day, we will feature one of these lesser known candidates.  Some of these profiles will include well intentioned people like Joe Story, who by the luck of the draw, will be the first name that appears on the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary ballot.   Other profiles will include colorful characters like Jimmy “The Rent is Too Damn High” McMillan, an outrageous former Democrat candidate for Governor of the Empire State.  Now he is running for President of, we think, the United States, as a Republican.   The series is sure to be, at the very least, quite entertaining.

Even though I have tried, White House 2012 still won’t be able to tell you about all 134 Republicans who filed a candidacy with the FEC but that won’t be because we didn’t try.  I reached out to each of the candidates and those who I could reach, were sent a questionnaire which was designed to help us determine whom the most serious candidates are [see the questions here].  Those who did not respond, eliminated themselves from this series. 
One such candidate was Samm Tittle .  Ms. Tittle called White House 2012 and left a message stating that she has “been with the FEC as a primary Republican candidate”. 
She added;
“I take it your a fair man.  I’ve read a lot about you and I’d like you to get me on  to that  list of the candidates, if you please. We’ve already sent to your staff, quite a bit of information and I haven’t gotten any response. So I thought I’d go ahead and call you personally. . I’m out there. I’d like to get the same respect that you’re giving to the rest of the candidates. Thank you very much.”   
If Ms. Tittle has sent White House 2012 “quite a bit of information“, I don’t know anything about it.  If she really did, we probably would have covered it.  We have done so with Fred Karger, the openly gay Republican candidate for President who sent us information and even sat down for an interview with us.  But I would like to consider myself a fair man.  So I responded to candidate Tittle.  She on the other hand has not responded back.  So there goes that.
Some candidates I could not even get in touch with.  Rest assured that White House 2012 will not bother with them.  Also on that list are those candidates who do not make any contact information readily available.  While I for one believe that modern technology can not replace many aspects of good ole’ fashioned political campaigning, this is not the election of 1796.  Communication with contemporary candidates should not need to be conducted via horse and buggy.
But those candidates who are willing to make a decent attempt at getting their message out, will be afforded the opportunity to do so on White House 2012 and that opportunity will be made available to them in “The Herd”.  So stay tuned.  I promise you at least a good slice of human interest  in this series. 
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Trunkline 2012: Saturday Political News in Review and Cinema Politico Movie of the Week

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  • Herman Cain Wins Big! See complete Florida Presidency 5 Straw Poll results here
  • A No Confidence Vote in Orlando.  Was Herman Cain’s p5 win a protest vote?
  • Is South Carolina Governor & TEA movement favorite Nikki Haley, preparing to endorse Mitt Romney or Herman Cain?
  • Does Romney Truly Embrace Tea Party Principles?
  • Chris Christie Reconsiders 2012 President Bid….Supposedly
  • Missouri Republican Party Takes a Proactive Approach to March Presidential Primary Bill
  • Sen. Susan Collins Delivers Weekly GOP Address on Over-Regulation
  • Preview of the Sunday Morning Political News Shows, 9/25/11: 
  1. Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace: White House senior adviser David Plouffe and Sen. Lindsey Graham What’s the President got planned for the next budget deal and how do we handle Pentagoon claims about Pakistan behind terrorist attacks.
  2. ABC’s This Week: Senior White House Advisor David Plouffe.
  3. NBC’s Meet the Press: Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel; Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City (I); Donna Shalala President, University of Miami and Former Secretary of Health and Human Services; William Bennett, Former Secretary of Education; Tim Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics; Tavis Smiley, PBS.
  4. CBS’s Face the Nation: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and RNC Chair Reince Priebus.
  5. CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: David Plouffe, senior White House adviser; Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA); Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN); Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), author “Keeping the Republic.”
  6. CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post; David Shuster, Current TV; Craig Crawford, Congressional Quarterly; Ron Suskind, author and former Wall Street Journal senior national affairs reporter; Connie Schultz, former Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter; wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown.
  7. Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Christi Parsons of Tribune News; John Harwood of CNBC and The New York Times; Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post; Susan Davis and Jim Tankersley of National Journal.
  8. Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
  9. NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast; Helene Cooper, The New York Times; Gloria Borger, CNN; Michael Gerson, The Washington Post.
  • Saturday Night Politics at  White House 2012’s Cinema Politico:  This Saturday night’s political movie pick…….Anytown USA.

Brought to you by White house 2012 & Hulu.com, Anytown USA is a  funny and eye-opening look into a hard-fought mayoral race between a legally blind, blunt-speaking, conservative Republican incumbent, a retired Democrat brought back into the fray, and a legally blind write-in candidate, in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey. With its quirky characters, dilapidated infrastructure, and impassioned citizens, Bogota serves as the perfect backdrop for a behind-the-scenes look at our nation’s political heart.

For anyone who is an experienced political hand, Anytown USA will have you saying, “Been there.  Done that”.  It is an amusing but real and ultimately, surprising, look at a political campaign that could be like any campaign in any town.  It offers a good look at the feelings that lie behind campaigns and which motivate the candidates.

Winner – Best Documentary – Minneapolis/St. Paul, Long Island, and Staten Island Film Festivals. Winner – Best Director – Trenton Film Festival. Official Selections – Atlanta and Newport Beach Film Festivals.

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September Is Critically Important to the Republican Presidential Hopefuls

Bookmark and Share  The month of September will be a critical launch pad for the Republican presidential field. With most Americans settling in for business as usual after the accelerated recreational pace of the Summer months, more attention will be paid to the ever evolving G.O.P. nomination contest. Up to now, much of what has been going on has been more inside baseball than settled public opinion. In a few weeks, few will ever even remember that Tim Pawlenty was running for practically a year and then  dropped out of the race after the Iowa Straw Poll.

In many ways, as September unfolds, we are dealing with a totally different election than we saw during the Summer. A few months ago, President Obama was announcing the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden and many were thinking he locked in his reelection. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney firmly held on to his frontrunner status, and then Michele Bachmann exploded on the scene as the winner of the Iowa Straw Poll. Then came Rick Perry. His entry into the race put an end to Bachmann’s momentum and stole Romney’s position at the head of the pack.

All of this has presented the nation with a new paradigm to the presidential election.

In the months ahead, it will surely change again but is September that will present the new political makeup to voters and also will be the month that offers a national “first impression” of the candidates for most voters. September will be the month that the candidates running for President will either set a foundation for the future of their campaign that they can build upon, or a flawed one which they have to waste valuable time running away from.

Up to now, any verbal gaffes made by the candidates have been largely innocuous and left no discernable impact. But from here on out, substantial verbal gaffes and political missteps will resonate much more loudly among a more focused electorate. As such, people like Michele Bachmann need to stay away from the type of rhetoric which claims that God is sending messages to Washington, D.C. through extreme weather. Rick Perry will have to avoid the type of language that makes his Texas swagger a bigger problem than it may already by labeling people as guilty of treason and the punishment of death that it comes with. From here on out, the words that the existing candidates speak will be etched in stone and tattooed to their foreheads.

How each candidates fares in September will make winning or losing a lot easier or harder when the caucuses and primaries begin in just 3 months. This ninth month of 2011 will essentially either provide a candidate with much needed momentum or force them to swim against the tide. And while anything can change the dynamics of a campaign and election, sailing through September with the wind at your back will put a candidate in a much better position to win the nomination.

But September will also lay to rest the existing unsettled nature of the Republican presidential contest due to a name that looms heavily over the process……… Sarah Palin.

Palin recently promised that she will make her decision regarding a run for President in 2012 known. Either way she decides to go will have a dramatic effect on the election. If she decides to run, it is likely that Palin will shake up the field in a way quite similar to Rick Perry’s recent entry into the race. She could end up being the decisive factor in the primary within the primary for the title of TEA Party candidate. Palin could either steal enough TEA Party votes to allow a Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Perry the clear TEA Party favorite, or she could easily become the obvious TEA Party favorite and prevent Bachmann and Perry from effectively challenging Mitt Romney for frontrunner status.

If Palin does not run, the Republican field will be firmly established and begin to force people to choose sides. Many anti-establishment Republicans and TEA movement proponents will begin to tilt to one of the existing candidates and start giving us a picture of where the electorate stands that will be far more accurate than we have currently seen.

But Palin aside, no matter what she does, September will be the real start to the 2012 presidential election and believe it or not, like Thanksgiving and Christmas which always seem to arrive before we know it, so will the presidential primaries and caucuses. And just like one needs to get a good start on Christmas gift shopping before they have to rush around and shop from sparsely stocked store shelves, in September, the presidential candidates must get a good start on solidifying popular support or else they will find themselves rushing around for votes from among sparse numbers of undecided voters.

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