Scott to Replace Demint in the Senate as Hawaii Seeks to Replace Inouye

Senator-elect Tim Scott

After two weeks of speculation about who will replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made it official and appointed second term Congressman Tim Scott to fill out the remainder of Senator DeMint’s term. (See video below)

In an overwhelming show of unity and support for her decision, the appointment was made by Governor Haley during a late Monday morning press conference where she, Tim Scott, and Jim DeMint were joined by several Republican members of the South Carolina Republican congressional delegation, and senior South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham.

With praise from all, the decision to have Tim Scott fill out the remaining two years of DeMint’s term was celebrated as one which help ensure that South Carolinians continue to be represented by the same type of conservative values championed by Jim DeMint, who has been considered the most conservative member of both houses of Congress. But filling DeMint’s shoes will not be much of a challenge for Tim Scott who in less than two, already established himself a strong conservative voice. In his first term, Scott turned heads as one of the staunchest supporters of South Carolina’s free-rider-anti-union laws and as South Carolina’s Club for Growth’s scorecard gave Scott a B and a score of 80 out of 100, he is praised by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers, for his “diligent, principled and courageous stands against higher taxes. It well earned praise for his tireless advocacy for smaller government, lower taxes, and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington.

After winning the general election in 2010, Tim acted upon his desires to regain fiscal sanity in the federal government and to limit its size and scope by acting on such issues with immediately and with urgency. The first bill he authored would defund and deauthorize the President’s health care reform package. e was also named to the influential House Rules Committee, asked to serve as a Deputy Whip and sits as one of two freshmen on the Elected Leadership Committee. Then he confronted our nation’s outdated and cumbersome tax code by sponsoring the Rising Tides Act. That initiative would lower burdensome corporate tax rates that discourage job growth and allow for the permanent repatriation of overseas profits. The latter would encourage American companies to bring home more than $1 trillion dollars that can be used for investment and job creation.

In general, Tim Scott is a consistent voice for significant cuts in federal spending, and staunch opponent of measures he believes do not go far enough. Tim was an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which would do just as it says – cut spending, cap our spending moving forward based on how much we bring in, and add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also cosponsored two stand-alone bills that would create a Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted against raising our nation’s debt limit.

While Rick Scott is not the only member of Congress who holds such positions, he, like his soon to be predecessor in the Senate, he is one of the few who has been so consistent in those positions. However, while Tim may not be the only member of either house to hold those positions, he is the only African-American in the United States Senate and that distinction will make him a leading voice in the Party, within the conservative movement, and in the nation.

Hiram Revels

Being African-American, Scott will have an incomparable ability to respond to and discount the left’s persistent attempts to paint those who hold his beliefs and political ideology as anti-black. And for a Party that needs desperately to attract Hispanic and African-American voters, the ability to convincingly contradict such mischaracterizations is invaluable. Meanwhile, Scott takes his place in history as only the seventh African-American to serve in the Senate.

Coming before him were Hiram Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, who briefly represented Mississippi during Reconstruction.

Blanche K. Bruce

The The first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote was Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Brooke served two full terms during which he championed the causes of low-income housing, an increase in minimum wages, and promoted commuter rail and mass transit systems. He also worked tirelessly to promote racial equality in the South.

Following Brooke in the Senate were Carol Mosley Braun and Barack Obama who were both elected from Illinois. Braun was elected in 1992, a year that saw more women than ever before elected to political office. For Braun the distinction was and is that she became the first and only African-American woman ever to serve as U.S. Senator.

Edward Brooke

In 2006, Illinois elected Barack Obama to the Senate and in 2009, after becoming President of the United States, another African-American, Roland Burris was appointed to fill out the remainder of his term.

Scott is expected to be officially sworn in to the Senate on January 3rd, 2013 and he has already committed himself to run for election to a full term in the Senate. That race will take place in 2014.

Another Seat Opens as Daniel Inouye Passes Away

Senator Daniel Inouye

On the same day that one replacement is named to the Senate, another seat became vacant as Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate’s most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, died at age 88.

First elected to the Senate in 1962, Inouye’s tenure is second only to Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died in 2010.

Under Hawaii law, it is required that the appointee be of the same Party as the person they are replacing. As such the state’s Governor, Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, will appoint a Democrats successor to Inouye until a special election can be held. State law also requires that the Governor base his decision on a field of three candidates provided by the state Party. The appointee will then serve until 2014, at which point a special election will determine who serves the final two years of Inouye’s term.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

Some of the names being considered for submission to Abercrombie by the Hawaii State Democrat Party include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, 61, who was just re-elected to her second term the House in, and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. Other names include Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbar, the first Hindu-American elected to Congress and who is set to take office in Januar. Also on the list are former Hawaii governors, Ben Cayetano, 73, and John D. Waihee, 66. Odds are though that Hanabusa will get the nod. She is said to have been Inouye’s preferred candidate to take his place one day, and news reports following Inouye’s death have indicated that the Senator informed Abercrombie that Hanabusa should get his job.

The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa (1972-01-20) January 20, 1972 (age 40) Bamberg, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michael Haley
Children 2
Alma mater Clemson University (B.S.)

Nikki Haley came to office as Governor of South Carolina as a TEA movement favorite known for her record of fiscal conservatism, a record she accumulated as a state representative.

That record is one which has yet to be tested as an executive officeholder but she remains a promising conservative who is leading a state which has an approximate 10% unemployment rate and is by many, considered to be under direct attack of the federal government. As such Haley and her state has challenged everything from South Carolina’s plight for voters to provide identification before voting, to their enforcement of anti-illegal immigration laws, and even the state’s right to work laws.

This puts Nikki Haley on the frontline of many of the hot button, conservative issues and that in turn makes her a prominent name to be considered for Vice President. However, Haley has really yet to cement her reputation as a fiscal conservative and with less than two years in office, it can be said that there are better choices to go with. Especially when you consider the fact that South Carolina is not likely to vote for President Obama. And at the moment, Governor Haley is not the most popular politician in her state. Recent polling indicates South Carolinians were evenly divided on if they approved of the way in which Haley was doing her job.

Another bump in the road deals with the unanimous agreement by members of the South Carolina House of Representatives’ House Ethics Committee to take a closer look at an ethics complaint against Gov. Nikki Haley. The complaint alleges Haley used her position as a House member to lobby and then vote on bills to benefit employers. But she still remains a potential candidate for the long list of vice presidential options. It is also worth noting that Nikki Haley was a prominent early supporter of Mitt Romney who even though he lost the state’s primary to Newt Gingrich, is certainly appreciative for her help.

Between her personal story as the daughter of Indian immigrants and her being the first woman Governor of South Carolina, she would bring to the G.O.P. ticket an interesting demographic which Republicans must considered.

Pros:

  • Helps Romney with the T.E.A. activists that he needs on his side.
  • Helps Romney energize the Southern base.
  • Aides Romney with the women’s vote that he needs help with.
  • Haley’s fiscal conservatism helps underscore Romney’s command of economic issues and the federal budget deficit.
  • The potential to make history as the first woman vice President carries a degree of excitement around it that the Romney campaign could use a touch of.
  • Nikki Haley is a strong and energetic speaker.

Cons:

  • Haley is not seasoned.
  • Lacks any foreign affairs credentials.
  • Is not as popular in South Carolina as she was in her first year in office.

Overall Assessment:

While Haley is a politically attractive and definitely qualified candidate for Vice President, she fails to bring to the table as much gravitas to the ticket that several other male or female prospects do. And while her brief tenure in office has proven her to be a rising star, now is probably not the time when her star should rise to the second highest office in the nation. But the Romney campaign must still consider Nikki Haley for the job.

She is strong on many of the issues that Romney needs to stronger on, including the issues of abortion, and limited government. He also needs to be sure that voters with T.E.A. Party sentiments do not sit on their hands on Election day and Nikki Haley can go a long way in winning them over at the voting booth.

Of all the potential female running mates that exist for Romney, Haley is probably one of the best. She is a safer choice than several others and Romney likes playing it as safe as possible. So Nikki Haley will probably make it to the short list of candidates but in the end, she is not likely to make the final cut.

Photobucket

Recent Key Votes

SB 1227

Legislation (Sign)

March 29, 2012

More Key Votes

Photobucket

Nikki Haley On The Issues

Photobucket
Bookmark and Share

What if Santorum Wins Michigan?

Rick Santorum is polling just slightly ahead of Romney in Romney’s home state of Michigan.  This is significant for more than just that reason.  Michigan is a blue state that has seen what the Democrat party can do to an economy.  So why is Santorum leading billionaire successful businessman Mitt Romney in a state that is starving for economic turnaround?

If Santorum does win, I think one thing it will demonstrate is how much Romney hurt himself with his scorched earth approach to his competitors. Romney has not set himself up as a policies or ideas candidate.  Instead he has set himself up as the “not the other guys” candidate.  Romney has correctly calculated that Ron Paul supporters would rather see four more years of Obama than vote for someone who has insulted Ron Paul.  So he hasn’t.  On the other hand, Romney knows conservatives will suck it up and vote for him if their guy loses.

What Romney didn’t seem to calculate was what effect his being the presumptive nominee and Ron Paul’s disappointing finish in Iowa and South Carolina would do.  Or what vetting Newt to death would do.  Now Social Conservatives, unburdened by the fear of a Ron Paul ascendency and no longer split now that Newt has descended into irrelevance, are freer than ever to vote their conscience.  It’s no longer about electability.  If you want to know what Social Conservatives with nothing to lose look like, look at the polls in Michigan.

But here is where it gets interesting.  Romney may be on the verge of losing Maine to Ron Paul.  Santorum is capitalizing on the mandatory abortion pill provision Obama has decreed.  Newt is all but finished with no momentum and the March 1 debate canceled.  Suddenly, Santorum is looking more viable than ever.  If Mitt loses Michigan, we could see the impossible: Barack Obama versus Rick Santorum.

Newt Wins, on to Florida

With Perry gone and Newt’s second resurrection complete, non-Romney supporters seem to have found their man in Newt.  I predicted Santorum would probably pull a Huckabee and win in Iowa.  I also predicted Romney would easily win New Hampshire.  South Carolina was the setup for the defining moment in this race scheduled for January 31 in Florida.  Had Romney won South Carolina, he would nearly have Florida locked up.  Instead, Romney will be going for the fight of his life again in Florida.  He has one week to show South Carolina is a fluke, because if Newt Gingrich can come back and beat Romney so handily in South Carolina based solely on a two strong debate performances, Romney has already lost the electability argument.  Newt swept all but two counties.

Liabilities for Newt include a strong negative campaign against him in Florida which is already underway.  Also, Santorum may not realize it, but he is in danger of doing to Newt what Huckabee did to Romney in 2008.  Newt was right, Santorum should get out of the race.  However, one thing is clear: Romney is not breaking out of his support base and he has fewer opponents to split the remaining votes.  If Santorum were to drop out of the race, Romney may as well join him.

Floridians watch a lot of TV.  They also are concerned with electability.  I will repeat my prediction that the key in the race for Florida will be the January 27th debate in Jacksonville Florida.  If Newt does well in that debate, the momentum from South Carolina will carry him.  If Newt wins Florida, it will be very difficult for Romney to make a comeback.  If Newt loses in Florida, then the assessment that non-Romney supporters need to make is what Newt plus Santorum’s votes combined would have been.

Oh, and one last parting thought.  The late breaking rumor is that Jeb Bush, the most popular Florida governor in decades, is choosing to stay neutral.  Most had been expecting him to endorse Romney.  I think Jeb sees the writing on the wall.

Santorum Will Remain in the Race Regardless of Where He Finishes In South Carolina

Bookmark and Share  According to officials in the presidential campaign of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum have stated that no matter where Santorum finishes in tonight’s South Carolina Primary, he will not drop out of the nomination contest and promises to campaign aggressively in Florida which holds its primary in 10 days.

Before polls even closed in the Palmetto State, it was already established that Rick Santorum is locked in a race for third place with Texas libertarian Congressman Ron Paul.

Whether he comes in third or fourth, a loss to both Romney and Gingrich who are locked in their own tight race for first place, would essentially put an end to any momentum that Santorum had after his surprise showing in Iowa several weeks ago.

Despite being endorsed by 150 evangelical leaders, pressure will begin to mount on Santorum to step aside, especially since while Gingrich is doing better the long race goes, Santorum is doing worse the longer the race goes on.

Bookmark and Share

Romney’s Critical Debate Slip

Romney is a classy debater.  He has style, smoothness, and grace.  Were it not for Newt in these debates, Romney would also have the market cornered on ideas and frankly the air of honesty.  I know most politicians are liars by nature, but when Romney refused to back down on Romneycare, he won some points in the straight-forwardness arena.  That has not hurt Romney, in fact it has been an asset, until perhaps now.

Romney emerged from the pro-life doghouse Thursday night after skipping the Personhood forum in South Carolina.  In the debate, Romney made a clear pro-life stand, but he also slipped up when he tried to deflect criticism from Santorum about abortion funding.

“Is there any possibility that I ever made a mistake in that regard?” Romney asked. “I didn’t see something that I should have seen? Possibly.”

As Rick Perry would say, “oops”.  What was one of the biggest problems with Obamacare?  The only people who actually read the bill were the grassroots groups who were against it.  Take the 1099 rule, for example.  The 1099 rule, written into Obamacare, would have required every business to send every other business a 1099 form for any amounts they paid for services.  For example, a mom and pop shop would have to send McDonalds a 1099 form if they ate there enough during the year.

Obama quickly recognized the stupidity of the 1099 rule based on the overwhelming response from businesses.  In his State of the Union address, he chalked it up to a “flaw” in the Obamacare legislation.

“We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.”

Bravo, Mr. President.  Why was it there in the first place?  Because nobody read or thought about Obamacare.  Now is Romney excusing his funding for abortion through Romneycare by admitting he didn’t see something he should have seen?  That is not what we are looking for in a President, especially on an issue as crucial as abortion.

I see a developing pattern.  It started with Romney’s distancing himself from superpacs that support him.  His excuse for the negative ads run against his opponents?  He has no control over what they run.  Then Romney responded to questions about his money in the Caymans by saying he has a blind trust that manages his money and he has no control over that either.

There are two things grassroots conservatives don’t want in a President.  The first is a President who has no control and is aloof from the actual governing processes.  We already have that with Barack Obama. The second is a President who is in control, but will not take responsibility for his actions.  Oh wait, in many areas that is Barack Obama too.

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.

Bookmark and Share

Newt Handed the Debate Win by CNN

Bookmark and Share

CNN handed the debate to Newt Gingrich on the opening question about his ex-wife’s allegations. With an economy in the toilet, millions out of work, a debt that is out of control and so many other issues facing us, CNN decided that the old allegations dredged back up by ABC were the top issue to debate about. Newt hit back hard and brought even more cheers than he did in the last debate. The audience was with him regardless of who they had originally come in supporting and that is all he needed to roll up another debate win and very likely a win on Saturday as well. It was a massive media gaffe, the likes of which the GOP can only hope to have in a debate against Obama in October.

Beyond the wild start, the debate was mainly between Romney and Gingrich with Santorum shoehorning his way in whenever he could find a chance. At one point, Ron Paul even had to tell him that he wasn’t referring to him in an answer and “I think you’re too sensitive.” Speaking of Ron Paul, he continued to lose out in the debate format by only occasionally being asked a question while the ‘chance to respond’ rule mainly kept the entire debate between the other three who kept attacking each other. At one point the audience actually booed and demanded the moderator let Ron Paul answer a question when he was about to be skipped over yet again. They ought to bring out an easy chair for Paul to relax in during the 20 or so minutes he has to wait before getting a chance to speak.

Santorum is showing no signs of dropping out and has only stepped up his attacks against Gingrich. He feels that he beat Gingrich twice and deserves to be the one conservative candidate. On that measure, he has a point. The problem with Rick is that he always sounds like a whining spoiled child arguing with his parents. Even when he is making really good points, he is about as unlikable as Romney. You have to give him credit for not caring what others think and being willing to stand by his convictions. Unfortunately, his convictions don’t line up well with the majority of Americans when weighed across all issues. America may be generally more conservative than it is liberal on key issues, it isn’t in favor of government meddling in the internet, the bedroom and a number of other places Santorum thinks are fair game for federal agents to dictate.

Romney had one of his best performances. He tried to channel a little Newt-ness with a couple quick one word answers – particularly when asked if he would follow the example of his father and release a dozen years of tax returns. Unfortunately for Mitt, he doesn’t play the part of jokester well. Those failed attempts to have a personality aside, he did a far better job articulating his positions than he has in the past few debates. He managed nearly whole audience support several times, although he did get heckled once. All in all, Romney seems to have refound his footing and should be able to prevent any further backslide in support for awhile. He may have to accept the fact that he isn’t going to win South Carolina and the nomination isn’t going to be easy to obtain.

No one collapsed in the debate. In fact, all four candidates turned in better performances they they had previously. The lines are becoming more clearly drawn. That makes Ron Paul the real loser of the debate as his inability to clearly articulate his ideas seems worse than it did when Perry was around doing an even worse job. If Paul can’t find a way to make salient points without drifting off-point constantly, he’s going to see his percentage of support drop over the next several contests as undecided voters don’t connect with him.

Bookmark and Share

Newt under attack from a hidden source but is endorsed by Perry as the right man

Texas Governor Rick Perry stepped out of the Republican Presidential race in a dignified and gentlemanly manner this afternoon.

Perry is abandoning his run for his party’s nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama on November 6, campaign sources said, and will endorse Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Perry scheduled a news conference in North Charleston, South Carolina, for 11 a.m. EST just two days before this Saturday’s crucial Republican presidential primary in the conservative Southern state, where he had hoped to revive his campaign.

“I’ve never believed that the cause of conservatism is embodied by one individual,” Mr. Perry said at a news conference here. “Our party and our conservative philosophy transcends any one individual.”

“I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me,” Mr. Perry said. “I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich.”

“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is,” Mr. Perry said, in an apparent allusion to his three marriages. “The fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek god. And I believe in the power of redemption for it is a central tenant of my Christian faith.”

Mr. Perry’s decision comes as Mr. Gingrich has picked up support in South Carolina during the past week of campaigning with the latest Rasmussen Poll showing Gingrich at 33%, leading Romney at 31% in South Carolina.  Monday’s debate performance on Fox News combined with the unofficial nod from Sarah Palin, has seen Gingrich surge in the polls over the last few days. Gingrich had called on his other conservative rivals to drop out so that conservative voters can coalesce around him as the alternative to Mr. Romney.

Perry’s support and endorsement of Gingrich couldn’t have come at a more welcome and critical time for the Gingrich campaign, as his second and former wife Marianne, is due to give an interview to be broadcast this evening on ABC news. It alleges former Speaker Gingrich asked her for an “open marriage” or a divorce in 1999, at the same time he was giving speeches around the country on family and religious values.

Most of the allegations have previously appeared in an interview printed last year in Esquire magazine. The general feeling and belief among commentators and supporters is that this is a “put-up,” by a non Democratic source in an attempt to derail Gingrich’s rise in the polls again. There are many who are concerned that Gingrich’s commitment on doing away with some of the poor practices in the Washington inner-belt, if elected, are motivating some of the dirtiest tricks seen in recent elections mostly from within his own party.

Gingrich has been direct and honest regarding the mistakes he has made in his personal past; he states that he has gone to god and sought forgiveness and reconciliation over those events.

Some sources in the media have gone as far as accusing those in the GOP establishment aligned to Romney with the attempted smear although; these are yet to be confirmed. However, even most Democratic commentators are surprised with the timing of the attack, and are steadfastly insistent that the source lies within the GOP, and not the Democratic machine itself.

Perry was clearly aware of the allegations to be broadcast on ABC tonight when saying, Newt is not perfect, but who among us is.” It is noteworthy in possession of the information surrounding the allegations to be broadcast tonight, Perry still felt strongly enough that Gingrich was the right candidate to lead the party into the general election and beat President Obama.

While South Carolina has been a renowned slugfest in the past, this campaign season has seen a determined effort by many in the establishment and conservative media, to anoint Romney ahead of Gingrich, Santorum & Perry and have the primary process over even before it has started.

The conservative and grassroots Tea Party movement have noticed the efforts to make a Romney victory in South Carolina, a coronation of his candidacy & seal the party nomination. There is no doubt, voters and supporters are now more concerned with issues of policy, and the need to have a strong powerful candidate, capable of beating President Obama in the fall.

If the latest effort to slur Gingrich, over widely known, and long held allegations, is identified as coming from a Romney source. Not only will Romney’s efforts to defeat Gingrich have been in vain, his political career will be well and truly over, regardless of the vast sums of money he has built up for the primary campaign.

President of the A.V. Club

Bookmark and Share

Whoopidee doo, Ricky Santorum maybe, kind-of, possibly won in Iowa, but we’ll never know. We’re in South Carolina now and voting in Florida in less than two weeks. Those are big league primaries. No offense to Iowa, but who cares what they think? (Actually, I guess that is an offense to Iowa – but given their track record, they only have themselves to blame.) The froth may have floated to the top in Iowa, but Santorum had few champions in New Hampshire and isn’t exciting many in South Carolina either.

Sure, Rick can now tout maybe having won in Iowa. Of course, that will sway about as many voters as saying he was elected President of the A.V. Club back in grade school. No one in South Carolina really cares. The only people who might care are that small segment of the population who think sweater vests are hip. Oh, wait… The only people who think that are already Santorum lovers: hipsters voting for Obama and people who have already lined up to support Rick Santorum. (Just read it again and you’ll get it and if not, just Google Santorum).

Anyway, my point is that Santorum isn’t going to the White House unless it’s as an invited guest. It doesn’t matter if he maybe, possibly won in Iowa. The only thing that matters out of the Iowa story is that the GOP in Iowa can’t figure out who won. It raises doubts about how effective they’ll be in helping the GOP in the general election if they are that disorganized as to mess up the only thing anyone pays attention to Iowa about.

When Santorum finally drops out of the race, he can rock gently back and forth in a darkened closet clutching a sweater vest repeating to himself, “I maybe won Iowa. I maybe won Iowa. I maybe won Iowa.”

Bookmark and Share

Romney MIA for Pro-Life Forum

Romney is playing it safe, taking advantage of the luxury of his front runner status.  Part of that means skipping tonight’s Pro-Life forum in SC.  Romney’s hubris is not unfounded.  As Social Conservatives split for Santorum and Gingrich, Romney is set to take another state with well under 50% of the vote.

Romney should be careful.  His support base includes many conservatives who are voting for him because he is the presumed nominee and they believe he can beat Obama.  So why didn’t they support Huntsman?  Because Huntsman was not a conservative on certain key issues that are non-negotiables for conservatives.  Romney is…or is he?

Romney has a history of running on both pro-life and pro-abortion platforms.  Politicians have a long established practice of flip flopping and pandering, so Romney is not doing anything radical by changing his position.  What sunk John Kerry wasn’t his flip flopping, it was the position he landed on.  Romney himself has done well landing in a solid pro-life position.  So why won’t he show up tonight?  This question is not one Romney should want conservatives asking themselves going into South Carolina.  It will be even worse if anyone on that stage mentions his absence.

Romney is coming fresh off another uncharacteristic campaign gaffe where he said he probably pays taxes at 15% (referring to his capital gains taxes on investments).  Romney failed to mention that his investment money is first subject to corporate tax rates of up to 35%.  In fact, if Romney were to add up his capital gains tax of 15% and corporate tax of 35%, the result would be much higher than Obama’s 23% income tax rate paid in 2010.  In fact, the Buffet induced myth of CEOs paying less than their secretaries is pretty ridiculous when you consider that Romney could probably have paid Obama’s entire income (including book sales) for 2010 with the taxes he paid.  But instead, Romney shot from the hip and wound up with a tax rate estimate of 15%.

One thing is for sure, this race is still far to volatile for Romney to think he can sit tonight’s debate out.  It may not be a huge mistake, but it is a mistake.  We will see if it affects him.

Sarah Palin gives Gingrich the nod, as Romney returns to a script again to convince voters

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s bid to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney in the GOP race received a huge boost last night on the Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity show when saying, that she’d vote for Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary in order “to keep this thing going.” The former Alaska governor’s latest wink and nod at the former House speaker comes just weeks after her husband Todd Palin openly endorsed the former speaker.

Palin said, “Newt came out just like South Carolina’s own Smokin’ Joe Frazier. He came out there swinging’, talking about work, talking about jobs and work ethic, and how government needs to get out of the way in order for all Americans to have a sense of opportunity to work. And I think that’s what a lot of voters have been craving to hear,” she said.

Palin said she was happy to see the remaining GOP candidates continue to mix it up in the televised forums. “Because iron sharpens iron. Steel sharpens steel. These guys are getting better in their debates. They’re getting more concise. They’re getting more grounded in what their beliefs are and articulating what their ideas are to get the country back on the right track.”

She praised all of the candidates’ performances Monday although didn’t mention Ron Paul or Mitt Romney by name expressly when commenting on Monday’s South Carolina debate.

When asked if she was ready to make a public endorsement, Palin said she would only say what she would do if she were a South Carolina voter.

“I’d vote for Newt and I would want this to continue, more debates, more vetting of candidates. Because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted to the degree that he should have been,” she said.

Palin, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008, was referring to President Obama, who took part in well over a dozen candidate debates, including a handful one-on-one against Hillary Clinton.

Fox News host Sean Hannity then asked Ms. Palin to assess the popular notion that Mr. Gingrich and the other remaining candidates are battling to attract conservative Republicans against the front running candidate Mitt Romney.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate called Mr. Romney the “more moderate” candidate and was critical of the media for popularizing the notion that it is “inevitable” that Mr. Romney will eventually win the Republican nomination in 2012.

Speaker Gingrich who now has become involved in a back and forth with White House Spokesman  Jay Carney over his “Food Stamp President” comments on Monday will no doubt openly embrace such a vote of support ahead of this Saturday’s South Carolina GOP primary.

It is widely accepted that Palin and Gingrich are outside the Republican Party establishment circle due to their support of the Tea-Party movement and more conservative stances.

Gingrich’s performance on Monday, which has drawn widespread acclaim from far and wide, appears to have worried Team Romney who today, released two new negative web videos, unleashed attacking surrogates and even went after the former House speaker himself.

A Team Romney source said on Wednesday that the attacks on Gingrich are coming because he is “the one left who can go the longest.” The truth is, if Mitt Romney can’t win over the GOP support in person or through the live debates, one has to worry how he would perform in a general election campaign trail, when even the slightest mis-step could have dire consequences for any potential nominee.

The huge war-chest and most negative of ads in the campaign may win him the primary however, the question everyone has to ask is, will Romney be able to take on President Obama head to head on the campaign trail, and win over independent voters. One must have serious reservations when Romney has no script or safe interview environment to protect him.

Responding to Romney’s attack ads, an independent group allied with Gingrich released its own Internet ad, showing computer-animated Obama annihilating his Romney counterpart in a debate by detailing some of his position changes on issues dear to conservatives.

“I agreed with Governor Romney on many things, but this presidential candidate Romney? I don’t even know the guy,” the mock Obama says. “Then again, he doesn’t seem to know himself.”

Thursday night will see a crucial CNN debate take place which could very well swing the outcome of Saturday’s decisive primary race.

Sarah Palin Endorses Newt Gingrich……to Keep the Race Going, Not for President

Bookmark and Share   During a Tuesday night Fox News interview,  Sarah Palin told South Carolinians that if she were voting in their primary this Saturday, she would cast her ballot for Newt Gingrich. [see the interview below this post]

Technically, that is an endorsement, but it was qualified by her desire to see Newt win in South Carolina expressly for the purpose of seeing that Republicans continue to vet the candidates.  According to Palin;

“More debates, more vetting of candidates because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted, to the degree that he should have been,”.

She added;

“I want to see that taking place this time because America is on this precipice — it’s that important. We need this process to continue.”

On January 9th, Sarah Palin’s husband Todd, came out and directly endorsed Newt when he released the following statement;

“Newt Gingrich is a true leader, which he has proven not only since the beginning of his campaign, but throughout his career,”

Not long after that, Palin had offered great praise for Rick Santorum and his consistent conservatism.   For a while it looked like she might be leading towards a full-fledged endorsement of Santorum.  But that was not the case.

This recent quasi-endorsement of Gingrich though, is the first time that Sarah Palin has actually suggested that a group of voters come out to vote for a specific Republican presidential candidate.  But it is clear that her call to arms in South Carolina was merely meant to produce a result that would force the Republican nomination to forge ahead and continue testing the candidates.  As a Palinite, I found myself appreciating Palin’s sentiments.  It is one which I myself expressed when early on in the process, I participated as a spectator who was giving all the candidates a chance to woo me over.  While I had my favorites, I did not want to merely give my endorsement away.  I wanted the person I endorse to earn the nomination and prove themselves.  Since then,  I don’t know if any candidate has really earned my endorsement, but based upon the issues and the approach that I have heard each of the candidates claim they would take reagrding those issues, I did endorse Newt Gingrich.  However, I have no problem with him still having to work for the nomination and truly earn it.

Palin is right.  In the end, the tougher this process, the better our candidate will be…..whoever it is.

Meanwhile, the Gingrich campaign did not waste a moment in exploiting the qualified endorsement by Palin.  Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told NBC News .

“We think its a pretty darn clear call to arms,”

Newt’s camp believes it is a call to arms directed at conservatives who many believe can derail the nomination hopes of Mitt Romney if only they got behind one of his opponents instead of splitting their support between three alternatives to Romney.  In the case of Gingrich, he believes that he is the conservative that has the best shot to consolidate that conservative support to win the nomination and then defeat President Obama.

Shortly after Palin’s pitch to South Carolina voters, Gingrich posted the following twitter message;

Newt Gingrich

  newtgingrich  Newt Gingrich

Thanks @sarahpalinusa for throwing your support my way in the South Carolina primary. Watch the Video:  http://youtu.be/xNgRHqvY1z0  #withnewt

Over at Conservatives4Palin.com, one of the leading web-based, pro-Palin organizing networks, some Palinistas were not ready to accept that Palin still won’t be running for President herself in 2012 and were quite adamant about the fact that Sarah’s statement was not endorsement of Newt but rather an endorsement of the process continuing.  And some even suggested that she wants it to continue because Palin may still actually  jump in and run;

According to Min Max

“Look, Romney is NOT the right candidate but neither is Newt. Non of them come even close and if you think a debate between Newt and BO would be something to watch, you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.  Sarah will rip him apart with a wink and a smile.   Friends, you absolutely HAVE to hold the line!”

One C4P participant wrote;

“The longer it takes, the longer she can wait to make her move into the race to take the rest of the delegates in the rest of the states. It is a beautiful strategy.”   

Others were realistic and excepted Palin’s statement for what she actually meant.

tjd4life for wrote:

“She is right! This thing has to continue. We don’t need a coronation right now. If you live in SC, the first thing I would tell you to is vote your conscience. Always do that, but if you want your vote to count and you are in the non-Romney camp, you have to vote for Newt. No if’s and’s or but’s.”

Other comments from Palin supporters applauded her positioning of Newt as the candidate to beat Romney with.

friskyness responded to Palin’s move this way;

“Newt is the only one that can beat Obama!  His debates are spectacular! Our goal is to oust Obama. We can’t do it with mushy Romney!”  

What will be quite interesting here, is the speed in which things can change if Newt does actually win South Carolina.

Although Mitt Romney will still be the likely nominee, if Gingrich does upset Mitt in the Palemtto State primary, the political world will most certainly be talking about the Republican nomination contest being a totally new and different race.  And it will be.  But until Newt can capitalize on his support and momentum it will all be for naught.

Right now Newt Gingrich needs a clear message and theme that can connect with voters and allow them to better relate to him.  He needs to show that he is a steady political hand who is not vulnerable to the mistakes of political novices.  Establishing an effective campaign organization that controls the story and message, while raising the money, doing the proper opposition research, and developing rapid response damage control teams, will all help Newt exploit any success that he could have from a surprise win in South Carolina.  However, the former Speaker of the House is still not convinced that the most basic aspects of conventional campaign management apply to him.

As someone who endorsed Newt for President, I hope he is right.   Unfortunately, I just don’t think he is and while Sarah Palin’s praise of him will help, Newt still does not realize how much his lack of discipline is failing to maximize the benefits that Palins’s words afford him.

Bookmark and Share

The Fox News GOP South Carolina post-debate review

The Fox News South Carolina debate and GOP race was blown apart by two brilliant performances last night from Texas Governor Rick Perry, & former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both men turned in factual, solid, cool and collected performances. What was also noticeable about the night wasn’t so much that both men attacked establishment favourite Mitt Romney, it was the manner in which the former Massachusetts Governor fell apart all on his own. Romney must have been glad that Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s consistent approach on foreign policy proved its usual unpopular self with the attending audience.

The sharpest contrast that was highlighted between Gingrich, President Obama and Mitt Romney was the desperately worrying fashion in which the conservative media and establishment favourite Romney fell apart. Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen; this was a train wreck of a performance by Governor Romney, which in a national debate with President Obama would certainly have secured another four years for the current incumbent.

The former governor of Massachusetts faced tough questions over negative campaigning and his failure to release his tax returns and fell apart on a seemingly straight forward question on hunting. The biggest damage to Romney was how many lines of questioning Perry, Gingrich and Rick Santorum opened on Romney during the course of last night’s debate, and how ineffective he was in closing them off or responding to them.

Only if Rick Perry had of turning in debate performances like last night four months ago, this race could look very different now. Perry has some good sound bites like, “South Carolina is at war with this federal government!” Perry’s masterstroke was when he challenged Romney to release his tax returns; Romney was very visibly hesitant and awkward in his response. Perry also argued forcefully against cuts to military spending and condemned the administration’s condemnation of the Marines caught urinating on Taliban corpses

Santorum challenged Romney over his Super Pac’s attack ad on Santorum’s voting record over felon rights, Santorum, went for the jugular demanding that Romney say where he stood on the issue. When Romney said he did not believe “people who committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote,” Santorum pointed out that Massachusetts under Romney had even more lenient rules for felon enfranchisement than the ones Santorum supported. “If in fact you felt so passionately about this, why didn’t you try to change that when you were governor?” he asked. Romney’s response was weak and those watching knew it. Santorum however, had his mantle as the challenger to Romney stolen very firmly away from him last night by Speaker Gingrich, and it showed in the post-debate interview with Sean Hannity when he seemed to lose his composure.

Gingrich was pressed into his best debate performance of the season by the Juan Williams over his comments calling President Obama “A Food Stamp President.” in a brilliant response littered with the very best elements of the concept of the American Dream. The excellent Juan Williams, who asked many thought provoking questions all night asked: “Speaker Gingrich, you recently said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can’t you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?”

“No. I don’t see that,” Gingrich replied. Gingrich argued that many children could learn good vales and the value and respect of having a paying job as opposed to the employment of one expensive janitor in New York, “they’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor.”

“New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union,” Gingrich said. “You could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out. They would actually have money in their pocket. They’d learn to show up for work. They could do light janitorial duty. They could work in the cafeteria. They could work in the front office. They could work in the library.”

“They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor,” he added. “Only the elites despise earning money.”

Williams stressed that some had perceived Gingrich’s comments about child labour, as well as remarks he made this month singling out blacks when speaking about food stamps, as offensive to poor people and racial minorities.

“The suggestion that he made was about a lack of work ethic,” Williams said. “And I’ve got to tell you, my e-mail account; my Twitter account has been inundated with people of all races who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities.”

“You saw some of this during your visit to a black church in South Carolina, where a woman asked you why you refer to President Obama as ‘the food stamp president,'” Williams continued. “It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle people.” Williams’ points resulted in loud boos from the audience.

“Well, first of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history,” Gingrich said to applause. “Now, I know among the politically correct, you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.”

“I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness,” he said. “And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.” Gingrich’s response was met with a standing ovation from many in the audience.

I’ve maintained throughout the last few months that Romney, is not strong enough under pressure or on foreign affairs. These weaknesses again came rushing to the front and if Gingrich wanted to press home his advantage last night, he easily could’ve done it.

Above all, I was pleased that despite a huge concerted effort by the conservative media and establishment, to anoint Romney this weekend in South Carolina, the ordinary viewer and supporter observed saw for themselves how weak a front runner Governor Romney actually is. People should not dismiss President Obama, and the scale of the challenge facing any GOP nominee in an election.

You will hear a lot of attempts in the coming days from media commentators saying,” Gingrich can’t win in the General election”. Ignore their efforts; this 2012 election has to be about issues, ideas and solutions. If the American people go for personality, the election is already a foregone conclusion. Only the voters and your average American person can make it about the issues that matter to them, jobs, the economy, health, housing and security.

Effect of Debates vs. Campaign Fatigue

South Carolina is within reach for Newt.  However, he must now combat something other than superpacs and media.  Newt now has to overcome campaign fatigue.  I’m sure that all of the candidates are tired and have been traveling a lot, but that isn’t what I was referring to.  You probably noticed about a month ago that every time there was a new debate, you were sure to have a friend who commented “Really?? Another one??”

Add to the non-stop debates at least 5 major lead changes among social conservatives, a growing, wearying Ron Paul movement, and the constant drum-beat from the establishment that Romney always was going to be the candidate and it is purely undeniable fate, and Romney gets the advantage among Conservatives who are tired of the infighting and want to get on to the main event.

Romney has flaws.  In fact, as I watch his superpac advertise Newt’s baggage (more than an airliner, according to the ad), I have to wonder why Romneycare, running on a pro-abortion platform, and all that does not count as baggage for Romney.  He has not yet been able to get the social conservatives to give him the unanimous thumbs up.  But one thing he has been flawless at has been this particular campaign.  His biggest missteps seem like manufactured class warfare attacks that only make him stronger among conservatives.  For example, he tried to bet $10k in a debate.  Who cares?  So he has $10k to throw around.  Duh, he’s rich.  Not only that, but only a moron, leftist, or member of the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) would think that Romney was actually trying to get Perry to make a financial wager, not just making a point that Perry was off his rocker.

Romney’s comment that he would like to fire his insurance company led to dishonest attacks from fellow conservatives, and perhaps one of the most boring Saturday Night Live opening sketches in history.  Attacks on Bain capital have left most conservatives scratching their heads, wondering if suddenly supporting small businesses and risk taking is no longer GOP approved.  The funnier thing was Obama attacking Romney’s record at Bain, after Obama used our tax dollars against our will to do the same thing with Chrysler against their will.  At least with Bain they were using investor’s money willingly given to help companies who came to them for help.  I can’t imagine the Chrysler bond-holders were hoping Obama would steal Chrysler, sell it to Italy and give the proceeds to the unions.

A couple days before South Carolina, Gingrich’s biggest advantage in the debates may become his worst liability.  Yes, the New Hampshire debate earned top ratings.  But Romney remains unflappable.  On the other hand, in Huckabee’s South Carolina forum on January 14th, the viewership was not quite so wide but Gingrich’s attack on Bain and the crowd’s booing response can be quickly found on youtube.  Going forward, more average voters are going to start relying more on soundbites and replays than taking time away from the playoffs to watch these debates from start to finish.  Without something to rally behind, Newt will not be able to recover the lost ground.

Romney won Iowa and New Hampshire, continuing to cement his front runner and assumed nominee status.  A South Carolina win will make it nearly impossible for any other candidate to catch up despite the fact that Romney continues to come no where near grabbing a majority of Republicans.  By the time Santorum and Perry drop out, Romney may have enough momentum to convince conservative holdouts to stop fighting him and start fighting with him against Obama.

The GOP establishment are more afraid of a Gingrich victory than an Obama victory

The signs are telling, conservative media bias and increasing establishment attacks on former Speaker – Newt Gingrich regarding his challenge on GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, to explain the nature of his role and undertakings while heading venture capitalist group Bain Capital. Many in the establishment and media have been quick to jump to Romney’s defence, calling the former speaker’s comments, an attack on Capitalism itself.

Congressman Peter King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview in New York today, that the former Speaker of the House is being “totally delusional” about ever winning his party’s nomination.

King when asked if he felt Romney, coming off victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, could now be considered his party’s presumptive Presidential nominee.  “I don’t want to go that far,” King said, adding, “We’ve had so many rollercoaster’s this year.  A month ago Newt Gingrich was the frontrunner. Now he’s just being an assassin, a political assassin out there.”  And King, who has previously lambasted Gingrich, observed, “He has to know he has no chance of getting the nomination but he’s coming down on Mitt Romney with all these charges, charges that a liberal democrat could be making…attacking Romney for being too much a part of the free enterprise system.

To have Newt Gingrich, supposedly a right-wing conservative, making those charges is the height of hypocrisy.”  King said Gingrich is “going out of his way, millions and millions of dollars spent for one purpose, and that’s to bring down Mitt Romney.” However, the real hypocrisy lies in the fact that the conservative media are hiding the sheer scale & ferocity of the attacks Romney’s Super Pac spent in Iowa & New Hampshire attacking Gingrich who only this week got a major financial backer for his bid.

In the lead up to the Iowa caucuses earlier this month, nearly half of the political television ads airing in the state were critical of Gingrich. Former Mayor of New York & one-time presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani chastised Mitt Romney Thursday for a barrage of anti-Newt Gingrich attack ads aired in Iowa on his behalf. “Some of it was unfair,” Giuliani said. “The sheer amount of it. And the fact it’s being done by a PAC and Mitt Romney’s separating himself from it.

During the attacks on Gingrich in Iowa, the same people now jumping to Romney’s defence were standing behind him and his Super Pac’s nasty attacks saying, “It is fair-game in an election cycle to have your record challenged.” However, Gingrich hasn’t been attacking the capitalist system, what Gingrich has been attacking is Romney’s claim of creating 100,000 jobs. Surely, if Gingrich has to explain and defend his career record, then why not Romney? Gingrich seized on a new Romney campaign ad that defends the former Massachusetts Governor’s record when he led the private investment firm, Bain Capital.

The ad states Romney and Bain created “thousands of jobs,” not 100,000 jobs as the former Governor has previously claimed. When asked about the ad, Gingrich laughed. “He’s now himself changing his claim,” Gingrich said.

The former House Speaker called on Romney to produce records from his tenure at Bain to prove his claims. “He’s still not prepared to release any documents from Bain to prove anything,” Gingrich said.

Last month, Romney told Time Magazine he and Bain created 100,000 jobs.

“And so I’ll compare my experience in the private sector where, net-net, we created over 100,000 jobs. We created over 100,000 jobs,” Romney told Time. That jobs claim does not appear in the new Romney ad. “Mitt Romney helped create and ran a company that invested in struggling businesses, grew new ones and rebuilt old ones, creating thousands of jobs,” the spot states.

In an interview with CNN, Gingrich questioned Romney’s claims. “I’m saying that he misstated the facts,” Gingrich said. A New ARG poll finds Romney and Gingrich in a statistical dead heat for the upcoming South Carolina primary.

Many conservative establishment people feel that a Gingrich victory might be scarier than a GOP defeat. Gingrich’s defenders say such fear is a compliment because it shows that he’s a “change agent” threatening the status quo. There is no doubt that those against Gingrich are trying to portray him as the Angry Old Newt however, I’d trust Bill Clinton’s judgement when recently asked if he respected Gingrich, Clinton replied;” I respect his ability to think and do. I eventually hammered out a really productive relationship with him.” The truth is, Gingrich and Clinton although polar opposites in the political sphere proved a winning combination balancing the budget for four successive years, delivered entitlement reform, an issue which the next four term president must tackle, produced a budget surplus and created over 11 million jobs.

American voters must decide if they trust their party establishment more than a man granted with some personal flaws, but brilliant in delivering transformational change on a national level. It is Gingrich’s ability to work in a bi-partisan manner, his ideas and solutions and above all, his willingness to tackle head on the difficult decisions which should make him the only candidate ordinary American’s would vote for to restore America’s economic strength and respect around the world.

The establishment are petrified what a Gingrich presidency would bring to the Washington gravy train. The inner beltway has for too long stumbled along talking big, but doing and achieving little. Gingrich may be a man of many words however; he is also a man who says what he means and does what he says.

The Republican Party hierarchy & playmakers are fearful a Gingrich presidency would solidify the Tea-Party & certain libertarian factions within the party permanently. They do not want this and want to control the status quo. Gingrich is genuinely interested in serving his nation and the American people; he has the record to prove it at a national level. The question quite rightly should be, what will voters get from a President Romney? Challenging a candidate about their claims should not be confused with an attack on capitalism. It is only right and reasonable that Governor Romney should be asked to explain his own claims.
 


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.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: