Romney Pulls Ahead of Obama in Ohio

   Bookmark and Share   President Obama’s failure to stop the continued momentum of Mitt Romney in the final days of the election has now allowed Romney to pull ahead of the President in the battleground state of Ohio where according to a new Rasmussen poll, Governor Romney now has a two-point advantage.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Ohio voters shows Romney with 50 percent support to President Obama’s 48 percent. According to the poll, 1 percent likes a third party candidate, while another one percent remains undecided.

Rasmussen also finds that among all Ohio voters, Romney now has a 12-point lead over the President in voter trust – 53 percent to 41 percent – when it comes to the economy. Last week, Romney had just a seven-point advantage among voters in the state when they were asked which candidate they trusted more to deal with the economy.

Romney’s also trusted more by eight points in the areas of job creation and energy policy but leads Obama by just two when it comes to housing
issues.  And when it comes to national security Governor Romney now has a 52 percent to 42 percent advantage on the issue.

All of this is evidence of the fact that Romney continues to ride a wave of momentum which is tipping the election in his favor more and more with the passage of each day.

While White House 2012 knows that Ohio is relatively close, our own analysis of polls, data, and circumstances on the ground in each state and nationally, has projected that Mitt Romney will in fact ultimately see Ohio’s 18 electoral votes go to Romney.  Interestingly, that same analysis produced evidence that upended the existing narrative that Mitt Romney can’t win the presidency without Ohio. WH12’s newest analysis showed just the opposite.

For President Obama, while he has three paths to victory two less than Romney, each of one them requires that to win the election, the President must win Ohio.

For Mitt Romney, of the five routes to victory available to him, only one of them requires that he wins Ohio, and as seen in the graphic below, that path is the one which he needs only if he losses each of the other remaining tossup states.

This latest Rasmussen poll is of course a mere snapshot of opinions at the moment and while there is room for error in the poll and the possibility for  voter sentiments to change within the next 7 days, existing evidence indicates that such a reversal of fortunes for Romney is unlikely.Bookmark and Share

Rob Portman Reported to Be Mitt Romney’s Pick for Vice President

 Bookmark and SharePJ Media reports that  a consensus among inside GOP political operatives exists which concludes that Mitt Romney will pick Rob Portman as his vice presidential running mate.  The report however  based on the hearsay of anonymous sources, including what is described as a prominent GOP Super PAC insider who wants to remains anonymous.

According to PJ Media upon asking this unnamed Super PAC leader about their thoughts on Portman as a potential vice presidential nominee, an email reply from them stated the following;

He could bring Ohio!!! And he is very experienced and he won’t spend $100,000 on clothes in two months!  The goal this cycle is “safe, not sorry. But win Ohio!”

Now I do not question the credibility of PJ Media, I do question the intent of this unnamed insider who feels the need to, out of nowhere, come out and take a foul, unjustified, and totally senseless shot at Sarah Palin for circumstances that were not of her own doing and which she rectified.

I also question whether or not this so-called consensus among G.O.P. operatives about Portman being Romney’s pick has anything to do with knowing what only a select few under Romney’s Senior Advisor Beth Myers, know and are discussing amongst themselves?

Myers served as chief of staff during Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor and managed his 2008 presidential campaign.  She is now overseeing  Romney’s vice presidential selection process and is undergoing a vetting process that involves only a select few Romney confidants who discuss aspects of the vetting process among only themselves.  And any discussions of the process among this small group of trusted advisors, is done only on a need to know basis.  Which is why there have not yet been any leaks which have led to the upping or lowering of the odds for of being picked among any of the known potential nominees.  The Romney team is probably one of the most talented and professional political or for that matter, non-political organizations there has ever been.  It is a consequence of Romney’s own managerial expertise and Midas Touch.  Say what you want about Mitt but he knows how to run  things and get a job done.  And so the only way that a leak about who has picked for Vice President would come about is if it was intentional.  And this “consensus” based declaration about Rob Portman was not sanctioned by Team Romney.

Furthermore, I doubt that the leader of a Super PAC, even a pro-Romney Super Pac, would be privy to such insider information.  In addition to it being questionably illegal or at the very least,  unethical for such communications between the Romney campaign and any Super PAC, it would not benefit Team Romney to exercise the type of loose lips that would give away a secret as big as this one.

So while I do not wish to call in to question the credibility of the claim that Rob Portman is going to be Romney’s running mate in November, I must do exactly that.

Portman could very well be the individual Romney picks but only a select few know how truly likely that is and they are not talking.

Speculation about who the Romney’s running mate will be is the last big question that remains in the race, aside from who will ultimately win.  And the suspense is just killing most political junkies, myself included.  However it must be understood that any public discussion about who Romney will pick is simply conjecture on the part of conducting the discussion.  In the case of the latest scuttlebutt concerning Rob Portman, it would seem to be based mainly on his ability to deliver Ohio for Romney in November.  But it has been my sense that Portman is not necessarily established well enough to be counted on for that purpose.  That sense of mine was only verified when a recent Quinnipiac Poll concluded the following;

The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call as President Barack Obama gets 45 percent to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, with a 45 – 45 percent dead heat if the GOP adds home-state Sen. Rob Portman as Romney’s running mate.

That poll was taken just two weeks ago but it is safe to say that those numbers have not changed much since then and it led Politico to report a story entitled “Poll: Rob Portman no GOP boost in Ohio”

As indicated in an abbreviated White House 2012 Vice Presidential Contender page prepared for for Bob Portman back in April, historically, the vice presidential nominee only affects the presidential election results in their home state by no more than four percent.  If that were to hold true here, according to the closeness of the race in Ohio so far, Portman could actually put Romney over the top.  But the polls do not yet bear that out and  even if they did, we are long way from Election Day and the Obama campaign will not give up Ohio easily.  As such,  in my opinion, the Obama campaign’s ruthlessness and billion dollar campaign war chest will simply inundate every media source with an endless array of stories focussed on destroying the record and reputation of Bob Portman.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Portman is exceptionally qualified and although he is not my first choice to be the next in line for the presidency, I can easily support him.  His record of fiscal responsibility is far superior to most political leaders out there and he is extremely competent in other areas of concern too.  But Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own and the lies about him will have a way of becoming true in the subconscious of an ad weary electorate.

Such was the case in 2008 with Sarah Palin.

In a documentary entitled Media Malpractice, one is taken on a step-by-step walk through of election history that documented what I call the palinization of Sarah Palin.  It was a process that showed how the left inundated our world with an endless array of salacious stories about Sarah Palin.  Every day some new liberal inspired charges or unseemly story was leaked and for days, each one captured the headlines.    As the documentary then shows at the very end, when asked what was true and what false during the campaign, voters got each answer wrong.

For instance, when asked which person running on either of the major presidential tickets pretended that their daughter’s son was their own, all those questioned answered Sarah Palin.

However, in that same documentary when asked which candidate on either of the major presidential tickets had to drop out of a previous race for President because they were caught plagiarizing the speeches of a British Labor Party leader, voters again answered Sarah Palin.

In both cases the answers to those question were wrong.  As most of us know, Sarah Palin did not pretend that her daughter’s child was her own and as for the candidate who dropped out of a previous race for President in disgrace because of plagiarism, the answer of course is not Sarah Palin.  It’s Joe Biden.

But politics is perception and the Obama campaign successfully created false impressions about the Republican ticket which casual voters believed to be true.

This can of course be done to any candidate, and with Team Obama it will be done.  It will be done to Mitt Romney and whomever he nominates for Vice President.  The problem is that given how pivotal Ohio may be “if” this election is as close as many think it will be, the Obama campaign will invest so much time and money into Ohio and into destroying Portman that in the end, even Ohioans will be embarrassed to support Portman on a presidential ticket.  I say this not because Portman will not be able to defend himself.  He will.  I state this simply because Portman is not yet the kind of established figure in Ohio who I believe can withstand the type of relentless assault upon him that the Obama strategists will engage in.

Bob Portman has not yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done regarding his record.  Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with and loyal to Portman that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn.  Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire.  But that is not the case with Rob Portman.  At least not yet.

So I would not bet the farm on Rob Portman.

As for myself, I have used White House 2012 as the platform for a series called The Herd.  It explores a herd of 25 names which I believe are being or should be considered for Vice President by Mitt Romney.  Each day, in alphabetical order, one of those names is discussed.   We are currently up to the “M’s”.

In each of those profiles, I present a case for why each person is being or should be considered and address the pros and cons of their potential presence on the Republican presidential ticket.  In creating this series, I have established my own assumptions as well as my own preferences.  But deep down I know that in trying to predict who Mitt Romney will actually nominate, no matter how much I try to put myself in his position and try think to like, I know that I am not Mitt Romney and that even after studying Romney’s personal history and management style, no matter how in tune I may think I am with his thought process, I know that only Mitt Romney knows who he will choose and at the moment I do not even think Mitt Romney yet knows who that will be.

But stay tuned because once The Herd has posted the profile of each of those names that we believe are in contention, I will offer my best guest as to whom Romney might pick, as well as the name of the person I believe he should pick and who this conservative wants to see him pick.Bookmark and Share

A Memorial Day Thank You Salute from Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share “We’re going to keep America strong, and worthy of the great sacrifices of America’s veterans and yhose men and women who put their lives on the line for us, even today”
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Day One: Romney Releases First General Election TV Ad

Bookmark and Share   In what can only be described as a subtle but powerful ad Mitt Romney uses his first television ad to outline a bold agenda that spurs economic growth and create jobs.

According to the ad, on his first day in office, he will approve the Keystone pipeline, introduce pro-growth tax reforms, and repeal Obamacare.

 

A version of the same ad in Spanish has also been released.

 

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A Few of the 23 Million Struggling In the Obama Economy

  Bookmark and ShareWhile President Obama continues to avoid that positive campaign on his record that his campaign handlers have promised and is instead putting out ads that call Mitt Romney “a vampire”, Mitt Romney has put out his web ad.  It does what President Obama doesn’t do —— discuss the Obama record.

Today, in the Obama economy, twenty-three million Americans are out of work, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. In this video we get a look at the stories behind those statistics.

These are a few of the twenty-three million.

 

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Reflections of Ann: The Romney’s Mothers Day Tribute

 Bookmark and Share The Romney campaign used Mothers Day to take the opportunity to exploit the Romney boys,  Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig.  But the campaign did so only as a means by which to pay tribute to mothers everywhere, through a video that shares some of their favorite memories of their own Mom, Ann Romney.

Now is as good a time for the campaign to utilize  the junior Romney’s because pretty soon I am sure they will be torn apart by the Obama camp.  I mean after all, we all know how much trouble similar roving gangs of young Mormon men are to our nation.  So I guess now is as good as time as any for the Romney sons to make it known that this Mothers Day is not the first time that they have been proud to call Ann Romney their Mom, something which is very unlike our First Lady, Michele Obama, who was finally  proud “for the first time” to be an American because her husband was winning the nomination of the nation’s liberal political party.

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Happy Mothers Day America

from

White House 2012

“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back”.

-William D. Tammeuse

Mitt Romney Offers a Video Repsonse to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share Mitt Romney offers what he calls “The Real State Of The Union”

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Romney Makes Final Pitch to South Carolinians

Bookmark and Share    As the polls now place Newt Gingrich back ahead of Mitt Romney in South Carolina, Romney is making a final push to help avoid a second place finish that will do nothing but help narrow the election down to what will realistically amount to a two man race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Much of the last minute push consists of a heavy dose of last minute campaigning with the latest big name to endorse him, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and he continues to hit the trail with the Palmetto State’s Governor, Nikki Haley.

Below you will find  Romney’s most recent video pitch to South Carolinians.

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.  And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.  It comes one day before what could be a game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.  It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has mastered much of the art of political campaigning, has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.  The problem was timing.  He peeked too early and in the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  This time, in South Carolina, thanks to Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich looks like he is peaking just in time to be the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.   All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.  In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.  As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected  “establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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John McCain to Endorse Mitt Romney in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share   In an attempt to try to maintain a sense of momentum after a razor thin win in Iowa, the Romney campaign has decided to allow Senator John McCain to go public with his endorsement of Romney for President.

Word of a McCain endorsement of Romney first surfaced two weeks ago, but the announcement was shelved.  Until now.

A Republican official now states that on Wednesday, the 2008 Republican standard bearer with go public with his endorsement of Romney for the G.O.P.’s 2012 nomination.

The timing is most likely based on the need for Romney to start looking more like a clear frontrunner than his near loss in Iowa depicted him as and to help ensure that he can hold on to his wide lead over the rest of the field in the New Hampshire primary.

McCain remains relatively popular among New Hampshire Republicans and in 2008, McCain just so happened to beat Romney in New Hampshire.

For Romney, the need to create a sense of inevitability about his becoming the nominee is increasingly important.  Such a  perceived inevitability will help Romney to wrap up the nomination early by limiting the momentum that rivals like Santorum might capture.  However; McCain’s endorsement may be more damaging to Romney than helpful.  While McCain may provide Romney with a boost in the Granite State, how well his endorsement plays elsewhere is very questionable.

One of the knocks on Romney is his establishment Republican image.  That image is only reinforced by the signal that McCain’s endorsement sends, which is that the Republican establishment is lining up behind Romney.

In this anti-establishment atmosphere and age of TEA movement sentiments, the establishment label is hardly something that will help a candidate win favor with the electorate.

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Romney’s “Conservative Agenda” and Plight for Subliminal Acceptance

Bookmark and Share  According to the song and tradition, Christmas consists of twelve festive days that begin on Christmas Day and culminates on the evening of January 5th. It is commonly referred to as Christmastide, the part of the Christian liturgical calendar between Christmas and the Epiphany.  But this year, in the world of politics, the combination of Christmastide and an early caucus and primary calendar will provide one lucky presidential candidate with the delivery of a gift from voters that will arrive two days prior to the traditional celebration of the day the three kings delivered their gifts to the baby Jesus.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he is doing his best to hope that the voters of Iowa present him with the gift of a win in their presidential caucus on Tuesday, January 3rd and his latest attempt to make that come to fruition is a new ad.

It’s called “Conservative Agenda” and it incorporates excerpts of a speech given by Romney, which highlight several preeminent goals of conservatives…………..a smaller, limited government, and balanced budgets.

For Romney, ads like this are all a part of a much needed psychological mission designed to create a subliminal connection to himself and all things conservative, in the minds of the Republican base.

Repetition has a way of leaving unrealized impressions that can play a subtle role in acceptance of a candidate, especially among voters who are undecided.  With money being Romney’s last problem, he can afford the luxury of such a psychological campaign.  And if ads like “Conservative Agenda” are repeated enough between now and January 3rd, Romney could do better than expected in the Iowa Caucus.

As heard here, many Iowa voters are undecided and as the Des Moines Register recently reported the number of still undecided or not yet truly committed to the candidate who is currently their first choice and can easily be persuaded to vote for another candidate is as high as 70%.

This makes any subtle edge that Romney can get, imperative, especially if at the last minute, a great many Iowa Republicans decide that beating Obama is the most important objective in their selection of a presidential nominee.  If that because a major determining factor among still undecided voters, and if Romney can somehow convince evangelical and Republican base voters that he is at least a somewhat acceptable conservative, than many of those within the still undecided voting bloc could break for Romney at the last minute.

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The Real Reason Romney is Stuck in Neutral

Bookmark and Share    Mitt Romney went in to this campaign with everything going for him.  While his two major criticisms, flip-flopping and RomneyCare were hurdles, they weren’t and aren’t insurmountable obstacles.  Especially since he had far more going for him than working against him.  He was the next-in-line which the G.O.P. traditionally nominates for President, he had an extensive fundraising operation, high name recognition, experience in elected politics, the private sector, and in campaigning for President, as well as one of the most well organized and most professional campaign operations of all the candidates.  He already had a base of support and network of political operatives and connections in place since 2008, and most of all, Romney has the talent and ability to be a good President.  He is a genuinely talented manager and problem solver, a man who has proven that he can manage crises, a track record of achieving all the goals he sets out to, and offers a reasonable, conservative vision for the nation.   And while he may not be the most passionate speaker presidential politics has ever seen, he is certainly an articulate and above average speaker.

He also had the lead over all his potential rivals going in to this election.

So why is Mitt Romney now having trouble sealing the deal?

You may think it is because the conservative base distrusts this former blue state governor who has changed his positions on four or five issues.  But that is not it.  Such problems did not prevent Joh n McCain from being nominated in 2008.  You may think it’s because someone better came along and proved they are more conservative, more electable, and have a better managed campaign than Romney.  But that’s not it. Newt Gingrich is running a very under-managed campaign and if you listen to many conservatives, Newt is suddenly not a real conservative.  So it would not explain why he is the new frontrunner.

While those factors are a part of Mitt’s problems, none of them are the real reasons why Romney is now in trouble.  The true source of Romney’s problem stems from his unwillingness to take any chances in this campaign and his inability to offer bold new ideas and reforms.

So far, Mitt Romney’s campaign has done nothing to appeal to the electorate’s desire for reform.  Especially reform of the process and the way that Washington, D.C. does business.

Instead, everything that Mitt Romney has proposed, every program he has outlined, and every statement he has made, seems to have been designed to make himself out to be exactly what a vast majority of the electorate is not looking for……..another establishment politician.

In this highly charged TEA movement environment, the establishment is the first thing people want to get to rid of.  They have come to understand that the establishment will never deliver change.  Yet in every way, shape, and form, Mitt Romney has been selling himself as the establishment candidate.  This is one of the major reasons why Romney has found himself, like Ron Paul, stuck at a ceiling of support which he has not been able to break through.

As someone who supported and worked for Mitt Romney in 2008, I looked for every reason I could find for supporting him again in 2012.  I like to be consistent and I pride myself on having one thing that is very rare in politics…………….loyalty.  However, in the end, while I found many good reasons to support Romney and many reasons to believe in him, I found that my loyalty to the strength of our nation and the preservation of our American values through the political process, was stronger than my loyalty to any one politician.  And I am of the opinion that what this nation needs is not only someone with a conservative vision that is based on the conservatives principles that are at the heart of the G.O.P. and our nation’s founding, but someone who is bold enough to stand up to the status quo and say that if democracy is going to continue to preserve freedom in the 21st century, we need to modernize our democratic processes and practices.  Practices and processes that preserve freedom by adopting ways to allow our economy to grow at a decent rate.  practices and processes that will allow America to compete int the burgeoning Asian markets and improve the quality of education in our nation so that future generations can compete in the the future world economy.  I know that if we intend to preserve our founding principles, we need a leader who will stand up to the political class and remind them that it is the people who tell them what to do, not the other way around.

Such bold new leadership has not yet been offered by Mitt Romney.  Instead his campaign shows nothing other than the very same establishment qualities that people are tired of.  At the same time, Newt Gingrich, despite once being the ultimate political insider, is showing his willingness to oppose the establishment.  Newt Gingrich has bold news ideas.  He has a record of reforming not just government, but the rules governing the politicians.  When Newt became Speaker of the House, part of his Contract With America forced members of Congress to live by the same rules they make for others.  And a long the way, he made enemies in Congress.  But that is not necessarily a bad thing.  With approval ratings at around 9%, many voters might view those who members of Congress of consider to be their enemies, in a very positive light.  The more the establishment dislikes Newt, the more the anti-establishment electorate likes them.

Yet while Newt is being criticized by many of his fellow colleagues from within the political establishment, Mitt Romney is getting more and more endorsement from the establishment. While certain names like South Dakota Senator John  Thune may help Romney in certain states like Iowa,  on a national scale, the long list of Members of Congress endorsing Mitt is merely confirming that Romney is the establishment candidate.  And for now, that hurts Romney, more than it helps him.

For me, the tipping point which led me away from Mitt Romney and towards Newt Gingrich, was the day when Romney released his 59 point economic recovery plan.

The plan is a solid pro-growth, conservative proposal that would create jobs, free up the free market, and help us get the American economy back on track.  But the Romney plan did little more than tinker with traditional conservative economic ideas and tweak some regulations .  This for me was not enough.  We need a leader who is willing to do more than tinker and tweak things like our arcane tax code.  And we need leaders who are not going to put forth a typical bureaucratic program of 59 bureaucratic measures that are designed to do one thing………stregnthen our economy.   But Mitt did not show himself to be such a leader.  So I looked elsewhere and like many others, I liked what I saw when I looked at Newt.

Had Mitt Romney indicated the slightest anti-establishment sentiment, I may have stuck with him. But he hasn’t.  Which is why, when Herman Cain dropped out of the race, Newt Gingrich, not Mitt Romney picked up his supporters.   It is why the TEA movement has not rallied behind Romney, and it is why Mitt Romney is in trouble.

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An Interview with Mitt Romney

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In an ongoing series by the Nashua Telegraph, Mitt Romney addresses the major issues of the day as he faces some tough questions in an indepth editorial board interview.

From ObamaCare and RomneyCare to Iran and Afghanistan, Mitt Romney aggressively defends his record, attacks President Obama’s, and articulates his conservative vision for the nation.

This interview provides a much more comprhensive look at where Mitt Romney stands on the issues, than have the many debates which essentially are designed more souindbites than detailed discussion.  It is a an interview well worth watching.

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Is Romney Signaling that He Will Tap Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for Vice President?

 Bookmark and Share   Praise for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell by Mitt Romney during a Wednesday campaign stop in Virginia, has many speculating that if nominated President, he will tap McDonnell as his Vice presidential running mate.

Speaking at Virginia’s  Fairfax County Republican headquarters, Romney called McDonnell one of the “great leaders of the Republican Party.” He added, “He’s a terrific governor doing a great job here in Virginia.” and stated “I say nice things about Governor McDonnell every time I have a chance”.

The remarks do not necessarily indicate that Romney is ready to pick McDonnell if he wins the G.O.P. presidential nomination.  What it does mean is that Romney is smart enough to appeal to Virginians by agreeing with them.  Governor McDonnell receives extraordinarily high approval from Virginia voters and to do anything other align himself with McDonnell would quite frankly, be a sign of severe brain damage.

Governor McDonnell is doing a fine job in Virginia and a look at his near perfect conservative record would make one believe that he might be a better Republican presidential candidate than those now running.  However, even though Barack Obama won Virginia in 2008, that is unlikely to be repeated.  Virginia is normally a reliably Republican state when it comes to presidential politics, and is likely to be that way in 2012 regardless of who the G.O.P. nominee is.   So for electoral purposes, McDonnell is not going to be needed to deliver Virginia’s electoral college vote to the Republican presidential ticket.

For the purpose of having an edge in the electoral college, Republicans may want to look at more truly competitive swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada or even, to a lesser extent, Florida, where the obvious choice is Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

No matter what though, Governor McDonnell will be and deserves to be on everyone’s short list.  Which is why there should not be too much read into Romney’s remarks in Virginia about their popular Governor.  The only remarks about McDonnell that should raise eyebrows would be negative ones.  Had Romney stood in the headquarters of one of Virginia’s county Republican headquarters and said of their popular Governor something like “Bob McDonnell is okay, but I can take him or leave him”, that would deserve attention.

Meanwhile, I remain reluctant to discuss vice presidential contenders until we know for sure who the Republican presidential nominee will be.  However I will say that my initial instincts tell me that if Romney is the nominee, Bob McDonnell is not his most likely choice.  As I previously pointed out, Virginia should easily go Republican in the presidential election no matter who the G.O.P. nominee is.  Add to that the imagery of Romney and McDonnell together and what you have is a ticket that looks almost too perfect.  Kind of like the cake topper of gay wedding cake.

Personally I believe that when it comes to Romney, he is going to have to go with a conservative but unconventional running mate.

So far Romney is tied too closely to the establishment and his reluctance to be bold in his policy choices leaves the selection of a running mate to be one of the few opportunities to step out of the establishment mold.  All things considered, I can see Romney picking someone like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley or even more likely than her, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.  Like Marco Rubio, she is conservative, strongly appreciated in the TEA movement, from an important swing state and offers the opportunity to make inroads into the increasingly important and influential Hispanic vote.

Another bold choice could be Herman Cain.  His strong TEA movement appeal and anti-career politician profile will make him attractive on an ticket, and helps Romney shore up his conservative credentials.

Then there is a real wildcard choice for Romney……… former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee may have very well cost Romney the nomination in 2008 and there is undoubtedly still some bad blood between the two men.  But they have seemingly warmed up to one another since 2008.  Huckabee even had Mitt Romney on his weekly Fox News program.

Picking Huckabee could be a way for Romney to inject new blood and new life in to what will be a news weary electorate by the time the Republican National Convention is held in late August of next year.  Adding Huckabee to the ticket will also appeal to the evangelicals that Romney really needs to appeal to and overcome their prejudices toward his Mormon faith.  As an ordained Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee could go a long way in helping Romney among the evangelical flocks that will be important to a Republican victory.  Mike Huckabee does have some luggage of his own, but when it comes to Mitt, Huckabee would be more compensation than burden.

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Is it Coming Down To Romney, Cain, South Carolina, and Florida?

 Bookmark and Share    While there is a great deal of focus on the view that the bickering during the recent CNN  G.O.P. debate in Nevada hurt Republicans and helped President Obama,the truth of the matter is that the bickering of today, is the meaningless and forgotten history of tomorrow.  Just ask George. H. W. Bush who called Ronald Reagan’s economic policy, voodoo economics and then went on to serve two terms as Reagan’s Vice President.

The only truly relevant factors concerning the success or failure of any of the Republican presidential candidates at this point concern three key elements………, their organization and its effectiveness, their fundraising capabilities, and their individual standings within the first four nominating contests, especially the last two of those four…..South Carolina and Florida.

While national trends have a role, it is important to remember that nominees are chosen through individual state contests and at different times.  So while the entire nation participates in the process, it is far from being accurately described as a national election.

For those reasons, I am less concerned with what Rick Perry said about an illegal immigrant cutting Mitt Romney’s lawn, in an attempt to defend his own pitiful position on  illegal immigration.  More important than any of that is the current snapshot taken by two new NBC News-Marist polls.

To get a real sense of how things are going, one needs to remain focussed on what really matters.  And with just a few months to go before voting in the Republican nomination contests begins, that focus needs to be less on any overall national impression of the current field and more on where the individual candidates stand in individual states. Although polls are merely a snapshot of a fleeting moment, the cumulative effect of each of these moments offer an indication of the way things are going and at the moment newly energized Herman Cain narrowly leads Mitt Romney in South Carolina’s Republican primary, and is running neck and neck with Romney in Florida.

Click Here for Complete October 19, 2011 South Carolina NBC News/Marist Poll Release

Click Here for Complete October 19, 2011 South Carolina NBC News/Marist Poll Tables

More so than Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida will have a profound effect on establishing the future trajectories of all the candidate.  The only real way for Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two contests, to have as much as an impact as Florida and South carolina is if Mitt Romney can win both of those states, or if someone is able to defeat Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.  If Romney wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, he will establish an almost unstoppable momentum that will lift his chances for victory in all the state contests that immediately follow them.  If someone like Jon Huntsman or Herman Cain pulls off an stunning upset victory over Romney in New Hampshire, they will be in the catbird seat as they go in to the Palmetto and Sunshine state contests.

No matter what though, South Carolina and Florida will really set the tone for all the following contests, especially in the delegate rich South which Mitt Romney faces his stiffest competition in as he vies for votes among the region’s uber-conservative, evangelical base, and must also contend with evangelical Christian bigotry towards Romney’s Mormon faith.

The fact that Romney is still maintaining a strong position in both Florida and South Carolina is a testament to both the effectiveness of his campaign organization and the viability of his candidacy.  But this does not insure a Romney win  in either state.  Herman Cain’s current ability to tie and even surpass Romney in early polls in South Carolina and Florida, is a sign that Romney is still quite vulnerable.  Herman Cain does not have a campaign that is organized in a way that is comparable to Romney’s.   Yet despite that lack of organization, Cain  is holding his own.  If Herman Cain hopes to insure his own victory in South Carolina and Florida, he must build an organization that can establish a strong ground game.  Mitt Romney will have a top notch ground game in both of those states.  If Herman Cain’s operation is inferior to Romney’s, the results in Florida and South Carolina could be close, but the winner will ultimately be Mitt Romney.

But if Romney finds himself facing off against a well organized competitor who within striking distance, Romney can definitely go down.

This made quite evident in the current NBC-Marist Poll which shows that in South Carolina, Cain has the support of 30% of likely GOP primary voters, to  Romney’s gets 26%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 9%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 6% and Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, with 15% of likely primary voters remaining undecided.  According to a broader pool of Republicans in South Carolina, Cain is at 28 % and Romney is at 27%.

In Florida, Cain is at 32% among likely voters, Romney at 31%, Perry at 8%and Paul and Gingrich are at 6%, and  11% say they are undecided.

South Carolina and Florida have both played pivotal roles in past Republican presidential nominating contests.   Since 1980, the winner of South Carolina’s GOP primary has gone on to win the party’s nomination, and in 2008, John  McCain’s win of Florida’s primary  essentially handed the nomination to him.  Both states are likely to play the same role in 2012.

What is particularly troubling for Romney within those numbers is a breakdown which shows that while Romney may be toward the top of the field with Herman Cain, the enthusiasm for Romney is much lower than it is for Cain. In South Carolina, 45% of Cain’s supporters in South Carolina strongly back him, while only 37% of Romney’s supporters describe themselves as strongly committed to Romney. In Florida, 52% of Cain’s supporters strongly back him, compared to 41% who strongly back Romney.

That means that the Republican electorate is quite unsettled and if there is still time for a third candidate to rise to the top.  I believe that that candidate could be Newt Gingrich.

If Gingrich holds his powder in Iowa and New Hampshire, a split decision  in those two states could allow Newt to make his move and startle everyone with either a win in South Carolina and Florida, or at least a stronger than expected showing.  That is unlikely but it is quite possible.  However, much like Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich does not have a campaign that is organized enough compete with Mitt Romney’s.  Unless and until someone can match Mitt Romney’s ground games in several early states, Romney is headed towards the Republican National Convention in Orlando, Florida as the inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

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“You’ve Got Mail”. Chris Christie Fundraising Email For Romney Hits

Bookmark and Share    Hours after winning one of the more coveted endorsements that a Republican candidate for President can get, the campaign of Mitt Romney has fired oof persoanalized emails to an extensive list of supporters and potential supporters [see the email below this post].

The email makes a direct appeal for voters to support the Romney campaign with a financial donation. 

In his message, Chrsitie focusses on the economy and credits Mitt Romney as the presidential candiate who can fundamentally change the economy and reverse the past three years of the Obama policies that have failed us.

Support Mitt Romney

Anthony,

This is the most important election in generations. Whether we are able to fix our economy and
get our country on the right track will have ramifications for decades. We cannot afford to continue on our current path.

Mitt Romney has a life history of coming into struggling organizations and turning them around. Right
now, we need someone like him in the White House to fundamentally change our economy and reverse three years of failed policies. Unlike our current President, Mitt Romney understands the economy from the inside out.

Chris Christie stands with Mitt

Fixing the economy will not be easy, but Mitt has shown throughout his life that he has the leadership ability and expertise to lead our country toward a recovery.  Republicans should recognize the importance of this election and realize that if they are serious about regaining the White House, Mitt Romney is the only candidate to back.

I hope you’ll join me and stand with Mitt today http://mittromney.com/donate

Best,
Chris Christie

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View Chris Christie Announcing His Endorsement of Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share   In advance of tonight’s Washington Post-Bloomberg TV Republican presidential debate on economic issues, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie traveled to New Hampshire to appear with Governor Romney and announce that he was endorsing Romney for President. [See video and transcript below]

“I’m here in New Hampshire today for one simple reason: America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead American, and we need him now. So that’s why I’m here.

If you look at Governor Romney’s experience — his experience in the private sector, running businesses, turning them around, going in there and telling the people the truth about what needed to be done, and then coming up with a plan to get it done, and you look at his experience as an elected official, we know that he brings the best of both to what we need for America right now.

He brings that great, private sector experience and he brings the experience of governor of Massachusetts, knowing how government works. Not a legislator, trying to figure out how to use executive power, but an executive who’s used executive power and will use it to make Americans’ lives better.

That’s why I’m endorsing Mitt Romney for president of the United States.”

Click here for an analysis of what was behind Christie’s endorsement and what it will mean in the presidential election.

Meanwhile, less than hour after the endorsement was passed on to the public, Romney’s campaign organization did not miss beat as they promptly posted the following page on the Romney for President website;

Click on the image to see a larger version of it

It is a whopping request to join Chris Christie in supporting Mitt by making a donation to his campaign.  Clearly, as was indicated by WH12 in a previous post, Christie’s endorsement does more than just help firm up Romney’s frontrunner status, it is worth a ton of money too.

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