Who Would the Republican Presidential Candidates Appoint to the Deficit Committee?

Bookmark and Share   With the passage of the multifaceted, two staged, bill to raise the debt ceiling, one must ask if it makes any difference. It has received mixed reaction. Those on the left despise the fact that the deal does not include any immediate tax increases, or as they have been defined in this debate, revue increases. Those on the right despise the deal because it does not contain any significant reforms on entitlements and does no go far enough in proposing cuts. Then there are those who have no partisan political allegiances. These are for the most part, the average independent, middle of the road voter. These individuals understand that the proposal’s almost $3 trillion in deficit reduction over a ten year period is really only a drop in the bucket that does little to put a dent into our long term debt and is still not enough to maintain the United States’ AAA credit rating.

Yet, despite conservative angst with the proposal and liberal disgust for the bill, both Houses of Congress passed it. This brings up another debate, one that is totally based on political perceptions and asks who won this deficit ceiling debate?

Seeing as how the bill raises our debt ceiling and does not reduce our debt significantly enough, there are no winners. At least not immediately. In fact the lack of immediate results makes us all losers here. But at the same time, it is clear that Republicans have settled on a deal that moves things in their direction. Democrats received none of the tax increases they wanted, they received none of the spending increases they wanted, and they were forced to accept some bitter pills. Some of these pills include the Republicans desire to get Democrats on record with a future vote on a balanced budget amendment and immediate spending caps. Another Republican victory in the proposal that is hard for the left to swallow is the automatic wholesale cut of up to $1.2 trillion that will occur if several terms of this bill are not met by the time Congress goes on their Thanksgiving recess in October.

So it would seem that Republicans have advanced their conservative agenda far more than liberals advanced their socialist agenda. Still, the need to reduce the deficit significantly enough to insure that our debt does not continue to exceed our GDP, has not been achieved.

Solving that problem will require deficit reduction actions that more than double the nearly $3 trillion proposed over the next decade. And that will have to be done in the not so distant future.

In the meantime, while Republicans did not have to compromise as much as Democrats were forced to, they are not yet winners in the debate. That will only be determined in October when the newly created Select Committee on Deficit Reduction proposes the $1.2 trillion in cuts and expense saving reforms that the bill demands. From the Republican perspective, the danger here is that this super committee is not limited to spending cuts and entitlement reforms. It could end up proposing tax increases (revenues). The committee could also shirk its responsibility to significantly reform entitlements, something that will be quite hard to pass the Senate anyway.

Given the flexibility that the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has, the only way the G.O.P. will have proven that they were successful in this recent deficit ceiling debate will come from what the Select Committee on deficit Reduction comes up with.

The committee is to be comprised of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, presumable chosen by the legislative leaders of the perspective political Parties. Boehner and McConnell for Republicans, and President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi for the Democrats.

The Party leaders will initially consider the usual cast of characters as candidates for this committee. People like Tom Kean, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Lee Hamilton, Judd Gregg, and other seemingly, now non-partisan, elder statesmen. Now while there may not necessarily be anything wrong with the usual cast of candidates for typical D.C., bureaucratic committees, the crisis we are in is not typical. Our debt crisis is so severe that for the first time in history, military experts warn that it has become a national security crisis. Furthermore; President Obama’s leadership has awakened the nation to just how distinct the political ideologies that divide our nation are. People have come to question what kind of nation America will be. Will we be the type of nation with a government that controls more and more of our lives with greater control, or do we want less spending, less government, and more freedom. Including economic freedom.

The ideological differences have become so divergent, that it is incumbent on the G.O.P. to make sure that the 6 members they choose for the deficit reduction commission are true conservatives who believe in limited government. Any one of those who doesn’t hold true to that belief, can easily defect and give the balance of power to the 6 liberals that Democrats will appoint to that committee.

So who should the G.O.P. appoint to the committee?

The first choice should be House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Ryan is a must. He is a deficit hawk who is reasonable but passionate. He understands the need for entitlement reform, supports a balanced budget amendment, is brave enough to stand against the tide of popular opinion and not looking for anything more than getting the job done.

Another appointment should be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Daniels has been there and done that when it comes to the budget, deficits, and spending. As Governor, his state has been one of the most economically stable states in the nation and he brings to the table some first hand experience with the excellent built-in, economic structural aspects of the budget process that Indiana has and that the United States would be wise to adopt.

Former Tennessee Fred Thompson is another excellent choice.

Thompson has proven to have a wealth of understanding for our existing problems and a unique down-to-earth and often blunt approach to the problem that can be refreshing.

Other good choices would be individuals who do not come from the often self-contained alternative reality that is Washington, D.C. People who are students of sound economic policy and people who have operated with and successfully crafted budgets that created jobs. The type of people who come from the real world……the private sector. People like Jack Welch, the most studied CEO of the 20th century, who had a successful 41- year career with the General Electric Company, one of the nation’s most preeminent names in the free market. Lawrence Kudlow is another refreshing suggestion. The CEO of Kudlow & Co., LLC, an economic research firm was a chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Company, back when Bear Sterns ran things right, he improper workings of the Federal Reserve Bank regarding open market operations and bank supervision. Kudlow is also the host of The Kudlow Report on CNBC.

With the exception of Paul Ryan, there are probably others who would make even better members than those suggested above. These are the type of people who should have a seat at the table that represents the conservative, free market, economic principles which can get us back on track. Without conservative voices who will stand firm on these values, Democrats will wind up being the real winners of this most contentious recent debt ceiling debate.

I would be most interested in knowing who the Republican presidential candidates would seek to appoint to this deficit super committee? Who they would appoint would be incredibly telling. Their selections to this committee would be even more telling than the name of those whom they would nominate to the Supreme Court. That decision is affected by politics much more than an appointment to this deficit committee which requires no congressional hearings and a no need to get the blessing of those who hold true to the liberal ideology . Who the Republican candidates would appoint to the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction would be a great sign of just how truly conservative their instincts are and just how committed to the conservative ideology they are. It would also tell us if how serious they are about reducing the deficit controlling spending and reforming the entitlements programs that are sucking the air out of the room.

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The Disadvantage of Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann

Bookmark and ShareThe debt. The deficit. The debt ceiling. Default. Social security checks. Medicare payments. Balanced Budgets. Tax increases. Gang of six. Cut, Cap and Balance. Headlines all in the past week. Headlines that, for the most part, the Republican candidates for President have been able to take a stand on without actually having to take a solid position. That is unless you are Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann, the 2 candidates who are sitting members of the House Of Representatives.

2012 GOP Presidential leader and former MA Governor Mitt Romney has stated that “The answer for the country is for the president to agree to cut federal spending, to cap federal spending and to put in place a balanced budget amendment.” “If the president were to do those things, this whole debt issue would disappear.” He has declined to say whether he would support a compromise.

Former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty said in Iowa this week, “Eventually you run out of money, but what you do is you buy yourself a bunch of time to have the debate about real reform.” A vague statement but one that allows him to offer an opinion without having to land solidly behind a plan.

Paul and Bachmann however are forced, through their House seats, to vote for or against the actual plans. They are not afforded the luxury to simply make broad statements without taking a position that the other candidates are. Both Paul and Bachmann were also among the nine House Republicans who voted Tuesday night against the ‘cut, cap and balance’ bill that would reduce 2012 spending by more than $100 billion, cap it over the next decade and prohibit more government borrowing until Congress passes a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. Harry Reid has vowed it will not pass the Senate and the President has vowed to veto it if it does.

Ron Paul said it wouldn’t live up to it’s promises, passing the cuts off for years and Bachmann said it didn’t go far enough to cut spending.

So are candidates that hold seats in Congress at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to use the rhetoric on an issue? Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was a top economic policy adviser to Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 but not aligned with any of the contenders this time around stated, “What they would like to have is the issue and that’s the difference between them and the congressional leaders. They need an issue. The congressional leaders need a result.”

We will see in the coming days and months leading up to the Iowa caucus if the other candidates try to pull the votes of Paul and Bachmann into the fray. While the other candidates can rely on rhetoric and easily take the stance that the polls dictate are popular, sitting members of Congress have to take a solid stand on the bills before them. A disadvantage for sure in a large candidate field with a mere 2 current legislators in it’s ranks.

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Romney Inspires Open Wallets

The April-June quarter numbers are in for the Romney, Huntsman, Cain and Pawlenty camps, and if donation figures are any indication, it is clear why Romney is still the front runner.  Romney has raised nearly twice as much as the other three combined.

Romney fundraising solidifies his front runner status

Romney has raised about $18 million.  Huntsman and Pawlenty have each raised about $4 million and Cain comes in with $2.5 million.  Romney is also conserving his funds, having more left in the bank at the end of the quarter than the other three have raised at about $12 million.  Things are looking good for the Romney camp.

Huntsman joined the campaign late, but AP speculates that half the money he has raised came from his own funds.

Bachmann, who has not released her figures yet, saw a big spike in May.  Her April-June contributions may confirm her current runner up status.

 

Update: Ron Paul beat out Pawlenty and Huntsman by raising $4.5 million in the second quarter, while Newt Gingrich raised a measly $2 million and is reportedly deep in debt.  Bachmann and Obama have yet to release their numbers.

Seven Versus One

The debate is over and there is a clear loser.  Whether by pact or we just got candidates this good, Obama was the only one with a target on his back last night.  Even Pawlenty wouldn’t take the obvious bait to attack front runner Mitt Romney.  The result was a debate of seven on one, and the One wasn’t there to defend himself.

The other loser in last night’s debate was CNN’s John King who amidst annoying grunts failed to turn the candidates on one another.  Even when he tossed Palin’s name out as an easy target for Republicans seeking to moderate, the response came from Tim Pawlenty and it was perfect.  Joe Biden has failed in every aspect as a Vice President, his views on Iraq were completely wrong, and Sarah Palin would be a better president than Biden or Obama.

Can Bachmann break through media created stereotypes?

The candidates handled tough hot button issues amazingly well also.  The shining example here was Michelle Bachmann who deflected an easy gotcha by making it clear that the role of the President and the role of the states in determining the fate of gay marriage is not equal.  She provided a balanced states rights view, while promising to protect the states from the courts if it came to that.  The other good answers on gay marriage were Ron Paul, leave it to the church and get government out, and actually Rick Santorum who explained that a constitutional amendment would require the approval of 75% of the states, something opponents rarely mention.  Cain appeared to struggle the most on the muslim staff question.

While there were no clear winners, I believe this debate showed two classes of candidates.  Michelle Bachmann led her class of fired up TEA Party approved candidates fighting for principled social and fiscal conservatism with unmeasured attacks against Obama and willingness to take heat for their views if deemed controversial.  Cain is included with this group, although he appears now more as a TEA Party candidate who jumped in feet first and now is searching for substance beyond catchphrases and buzz words.  He did not find that moment last night.  Ron Paul’s anti-establishment libertarianism may catch up to him this year when all the Revolution liberals realize that he does not support any federal entitlement programs.  Santorum failed to set himself apart as anything but a sacrificial lamb for 1st term George W. Bush style conservatism.  While they all performed well, Bachmann outshined this group.  Given the TEA Party’s success in 2010 and their conservative appeal, I would not write this group off.

The other group becoming apparent are the “intellectual”, restrained conservatives in Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.  Their answers would not pass a soundbite test, but they were clear, well thought out, and flawless.  At the same time, these three touted socially conservative views and credentials which should make each one palatable for any Republican voter.  Newt was in a tough place and would need to be the only shining candidate last night to pull his campaign out of the rubble.  His performance was near flawless and enough to start the rebuilding process, but not good enough to bring him in from the dog house.  And while he may be right about ensuring that America is on board with the Paul Ryan plan, he is sure to take more heat for some of his comments last night.

Tim Pawlenty was perhaps the closest thing to a winner last night.  He made a great case for his pro-life record, perhaps settled some social conservatives with his call for his stance on homosexuality, connected with union and blue collar America, and magnanimously skipped a golden opportunity to play John King’s game and trash the front runner.  While the left-wing media rakes Pawlenty over the coals for his choice, conservatives should take a much closer look at a candidate who knows the enemy.

Mitt Romney will remain the front runner after last night.  The campaign has been nearly effortless for him sofar, and he made no mistakes that would cause him to lose his front runner status last night.  But he shouldn’t get too comfortable.  With Huntsman entering the race and with Rick Perry and Rudy Guiliani mulling Presidential runs of their own, the space Romney and Pawlenty occupy could get real crowded real quick.

In the end, the field last night did what they had to do.  They stayed focused on the economy and Obama.  They did not bite on questions obviously designed to turn them against each other and other Republicans.  They agreed with one another publicly and showed that any one of them is better than and can beat Barack Obama in 2012.

Pawlenty Pummels Romney With “Obamneycare” in Republican Debate Preview

Bookmark and Share    As previously pointed out in detail by WH12, Mitt Romney is the biggest target that will be on the stage in tonight’s Republican presidential debate. The most recent evidence of that fact comes from former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who is so eager to hit the bull’s-eye that he has already begun taking some early practice shots at Governor Romney.

As seen in the video below, during an interview on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace, Pawlenty launched what is for Romney, a MOAB (Mother of All Bombs), a memorable hit on Romney’s Achilles heal……Romneycare. In describing Governor Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan as the model for President Obama’s national healthcare plan, commonly referred to as  Obamacare, Pawlenty called it Obamneycare. Pawlenty’s ability to coin a one word phrase that negatively links Mitt Romney to President Obama in such a memorable way, is a stroke of political genius that will prove to be a particularly potent strategic weapon as the Republican race for President moves forward.

Not only does the word help to move Romney’s thinking closer to President Obama’s thinking in the eyes of voters, it also provides Pawlenty with a perfect short and snappy soundbite that requires no explanation and continues to put Mitt Romney on the defensive and in the awkward position of having to spend valuable time trying to explain away. While Pawlenty need only to say the word “Obamneycare” to make his point, Romney has to exhaust time and spend money on using many words to defend himself against Obamneycare. While Tim Pawlenty’s campaign could now make money selling anti-Romney shirts emblazoned with the word “ObamneyCare” on them, Mitt Romney has to spend money on ads and mailings to explain Obamneycare away.

During the rest of the interview, host Chris Wallace afforded Pawlenty many opportunities to take more shots at Mitt Romney on an array of issues. But Governor Pawlenty resisted and instead maintained his focus on Obamneycare, adding,

“President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare… What I don’t understand is that they both continue to defend it.”

The one thing I do find questionable here though is Tim Pawlenty’s strategic decision to release his useful verbal weapon a day before tonight’s CNN/WMUR-TV/ Manchester Union Leader debate in New Hampshire. The newly created word was certainly laid on the desks of Mitt Romney’s talented team of experienced strategists, consultants, media mavens, and assorted opinion makers. This gives them more than 24 hours to come up with a creative response to any use of Pawlenty’s new verbal assault weapon during the debate. The question is, is Romney and his team talented and creative enough to come up with a rebuttal to “Obamneycare” that takes 15 seconds or less to articulate and sting Pawlenty with to boot?

No matter how Romney prepares to address Pawlenty’s new tool in an old line of attack against Romney, the seat that Mitt is in is only going to get hotter when the five other candidates on the stage tonight, follow Pawlenty’s lead and go for Romney’s jugular.

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Perry – Martinez 2012. That’s the Ticket!

Bookmark and Share    The general lack of enthusiasm that Republicans have regarding the current crop of presidential candidates, inspires one to hypothesize about who would be the best candidate for the G.O.P. to run. We are forced to ponder who the strongest candidate could be,  who has the ability to really inspire the G.O.P., and we are even compelled to think about what a strong ticket in 2012 would look like. For me a strong candidate would consist of any combination of names like Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Allen West, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and from Ohio, Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman. This is not to suggest that I do not believe that the G.O.P. is unable to hammer together a strong ticket in 2012 from among any of those who are currently running. We will. Come November of 2012, we will have gone through a campaign that gives us many reasons to feel good about those on the ticket and to want to vote for them. This will especially be the case when the choice its understood that the choice comes to them or the Obama-Biden ticket. As for my list of preferred choices, that is now mere fantasy.  It has become an unrealistic list of options. The people I listed are definitely not running, so in 2012, a ticket comprised of any two of those names on it is just no going to happen.

However, with a few names still considering entry into the 2012 Republican presidential contest, at this point in the process, the Republican field of presidential contenders that we will ultimately have to choose from is still evolving. As such, there is still room to discuss the merits of a truly strong hypothetical presidential ticket that could actually come to fruition and is worth trying to put together. It is a ticket that would be topped by a name that could excite the Republican base enough to make that person an immediate frontrunner and would even have a good chance to wrap up the nomination relatively early in the season. It is also a name that would probably provide TEA Party movement activists with plenty of reason to enthusiastically choose over President Obama in the general election.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

That person is Texas Governor Rick Perry.

I know, I know……….. The initial reaction to that consideration is a slew of superficial remarks and glib jokes referencing G.W. Bush and another Republican from Texas in the White House. But exaggerated references of that comparison would be just that………..exaggerated, superficial jokes. The reality is that unlike Mitt Romney, the man who currently has a very tenuous hold on frontrunner status, Rick Perry does not bring any of the doubts about his conviction to limited government that Romney brings to the table with RomneyCare. More so than other top-tier candidates like former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry brings with him an unapologetic record of conservatism. A record that has none of what Pawlenty described as faux pas and lapses in judgment on such things as a push for Cap-and-Trade measures.

In an assessment of a potential Perry presidential campaign that I prepared for Rick Perry’s WH12 page many months I ago, I wrote the following:

If Rick Perry were to run, he would become an automatic top-tier candidate. Along with a solid record of positive achievements, he has the All-American looks of the Marlboro Man and his personality is one that emanates confidence and optimism with charm and a down to earth, can-do, American spirit. This makes for a candidate who can maximize the impact of a well run campaign, and Perry has the ability to assemble a team that can run a top-notch campaign. He also has the fundraising mechanism and ability to finance a top-notch, well run campaign.

In my opinion, that assessment is as true today as it was last year when I originally wrote it. But it is the economy which makes that opinion even more relevant today than it was back then. That issue provides good reason for voters to focus on Perry.

The economy continues to be President Obama’s Achilles heal. As it keeps proving to move in the wrong direction, the Obama reelection effort is looking like a house of cards as the economy undermines everything from his approval ratings to his ideology. But for Rick Perry, a comparison between the way he runs the economy in Texas, to the way President Obama runs the nation’s economy, provides a strong contrast between the two men on many different levels. Not only do their different approaches show contrast between success and failure, they magnify the impact of many themes which will be essential to making the Republican case against President Obama. The most critical themes being the ability to bring our economy back, and the way the two men think. One thinks like an American while the other thinks like a European Socialist.  Guess which one thinks like an American and which one thinks like a European Socialist?

While Barack Obama believes in government control and largess, his approach to the economy is producing stagnation, inflation, extremely high unemployment, little consumer confidence, and an anti-business, no growth environment. On the other hand, Governor Perry’s approach to the economy has produced a state that leads the nation in exports, business growth, and job creation. And under Rick Perry’s stewardship, Texas has cut taxes and spending and balanced its budget with a surplus left over.

This difference between the two records is as sharp as night and day. It also belies the differences between the two men in a way that clearly demonstrates two different views of America, and two diverging directions for America. And when you consider the fact that most Americans believe the nation is currently headed in the wrong direction, it becomes undeniably obvious that Governor Perry holds the compass that we need to trust.

More than any of the other likely choices for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry’s record shows the sharpest contrast between a leader who believes in the American people and their free will, and a leader who believes in having the government control the people and their lot in life. It shows a clear difference between a leader who wants to unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit and a leader who wants the entrepreneurial spirit replaced by government subsidies. A great example of this can be seen in the video below. Imagine an ad similiar to this touting Perry’s record, compared to an ad trying to tout President Obama’s record on the same points.

Perry has just about everything Republicans want and need in a candidate, including a friendly personality that exudes strength, confidence, decisiveness and the ability to easily relate to and connect with voters.   In the end, when you factor in all of the above, any negative references to former President George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry having both governed Texas, becomes an  insignificant sidebar to the real issues in a head to head match up against President Obama

If he decides to run, I do believe Governor Perry will win the nomination. And if he does win the nomination, as we look towards the general election, the question becomes who would be a wise choice to complete the Republican presidential ticket?

There is an extraordinarily long list of exceptionally good people who could balance a Perry ticket. There’s Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and any one of the names that I previously listed as candidates whom I wish were running for President. Then there are other interesting possibilities like Tim Pawlenty , Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or maybe even Herman Cain. One very daring, outside-of-the-box, but still very real choice, could be the extremely fiscal conservative governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuno. All of these candidates bring certain unique strengths to the ticket. But one possibility shines brighter on my radar screen than others.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

It’s New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Governor Martinez, is the first woman Governor of New Mexico and the first Latina Governor in the United States. These qualities bring a very real degree of both ethnic and gender balance to the ticket. Not only can Martinez appeal to women, she has the ability to make significant inroads into the already large and fastest growing ethnic minority in the nation, Hispanics.

The Hispanic population is growing much faster than any other demographic. There are currently 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, or around 16 percent of our nation’s 308.7 million population. Between 2000 and 2010 that was an increase of 35.3 million more Hispanics. This figure accounts for more than half of U.S. population growth during that same time period. Moreover, while overall population growth in the South, the region where Republicans run strongest, increased by 14 percent, the Hispanic population in the South increased by a whopping 57 percent.

These numbers mean that if Republicans want to remain competitive, they must appeal to the Hispanic community far better than they have up to now. And while it is important to understand that the Hispanic community is not nearly as monolithic in their politics as the African-American community proved to be in the 2008, it is still clear that the G.O.P. must insure that they work hard at trying to win over a significant numbers of Hispanic voters if they intend tocontinue being viable in many states. Martinez can help expedite that process.

But in addition to the superficial characteristics which play an inordinate, but very real role in politics, Martinez is a tough lady who is right on the issues has a clear vision  for her state and our nation,  is committed to traditional vaues, and as seen in the video below, has the ability to articulate her vision with clarity and confidence. More so than even Sarah Palin, Martinez has a Thatcher-like persona which so far lacks any of the negative impressions that the lamestream media and liberal intelligentsia has been able to wrongly burden Palin with. 

Once a Democrat, Martinez has been a Republican since 1995.   In addition to a law and order background as a Republican elected District Attorney, Martinez is a fiscal conservative and although she has only been in office since 2010, she has made significant changes in the way that her state governs. Since coming in to office, Martinez has established such things as a moratorium on all state vehicle purchases, prohibited all state agencies from hiring lobbyists, limited the claim of executive privilege to help promote a more transparent government, and has created a small business friendly task force. On the legislative end she has reinstated the death penalty and signed an executive order rescinding sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico while protecting victims and witnesses of criminal acts.

It is on that issue, illegal immigration, which Martinez could prove to be the G.O.P.’s most powerful asset. While the economy is sure to dominate the 2012 election, illegal immigration will not be far from the top. On that issue a Perry-Martinez ticket would have more credibility on that issue than any other previous presidential Administration. And with Martinez articulating the Party’s position on illegal immigration, the left will have a hard time trying to paint the ticket as being anti-Hispanic. The fact that Perry and Martinez are both border state governors who have directly dealt  with the border security problem, will give themn an upper hand in convincing people that they truly understand the problem and how best to solve it. Together, a Perry-Martinez ticket would have a real opportunity to lead on the issue of illegal immigration and border security.

That will more than compensates for the argument that some may have against a Perry-Martinez ticket because they are both from neighboring Southern states. The fact that they are both border state governors and therefore have firsthand knowledge of, and experience with the issues surrounding illegal immigration, will appeal as much to a voter concerned about the isuue in New Hampshire or Illinois as it does to a voter in Arizona or Oregon. And besides, in this day and age, the regional balance strategy is greatly diluted by a society that is brought closer together by the internet. Furthermore; as we saw in 1992, the selection of a ticket made up of individuals from neighboring Southern states is not necessarily a bad thing. It worked for Clinton-Gore, twice. And in the case of New Mexico, it has become a Democrat leaning swing-state which  in a close election,  its 5 electoral votes could mean the difference between the 270 electoral votes it takes to win  the White House, and losing losing the White House.

Initially some may be prone to compare the selection of Susana Martinez by Perry, to the selection of Sarah Palin by McCain. They may try to do to Martinez, what they did to Palin. But those who do will be surprised to find people will see through such an attempt and it will backfire on them. If the left tries to depict another strong conservative woman as an ignoramus that does not belong in politics, they will prove themselves to be partisan and sexist hypcrites with biases as bad as those which claim to oppose. Such treatment of Martinez will go a long way in demonstrating that the left and their mainstream media only believe in strong women who are liberals, while at the same time suggesting that strong conservative women should be in the kitchen, not the Oval Office. The media already confirmed this liberal thinking when they covered the liberal wife of a President who was running for her Parties nomination and showered her with complimentary descriptions such as strong willed, determined, brilliant and experienced, but did their best to depict a conservative female Governor as some sort of caricature.

While there are many very promising options for someone like Rick Perry to pick from, I believe that few would be as potent as Susana Martinez. But first things first. Will Rick Perry run for President? I have given up on predicting who will or will not run. But the way I see it, there is no announced candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, whose record and personality should prevent Rick Perry from running. If the decisive factor for Perry is whether or not the current Republican field has a void that he can fill, than Perry’s decision should be a positive one. If that’s the decision he makes, it is only a short amount of time before we need to convince him that Susana Martinez is the right person for the job of Vice President. And that’s a decision that shouldn’t require a great deal of convincing.

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Pawlenty Proposes Obama Go to “Econmic Rehab” and Lays Out His Own Recovery Plan

Bookmark and Share   In a perfectly timed speech, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty capitalized on the irrefutable evidence and increasingly undeniable sentiment that President Obama is mishandling the American economy.

Appearing at The University of Chicago’s Harris School, a location that’s just a few steps away from the University that President Obama and his soon to depart chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee taught at, Pawlenty became the first candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential field to actually act like a candidate for President as he laid out his plans to revive the U.S. economy. He began his almost 45 minute appearance which included questions and answers, by slamming the President and claiming that President Obama needs to enter “economic rehab”.

“President Obama is satisfied with a second-rate American economy, produced by his third-rate policies. I’m not” said Pawlenty

From there Pawlenty presented a Reagan-like, limited government approach to our economic woes that included proposals to eliminate the U.S. Postal Service, Amtrak, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The former two term Governor’s plan also calls for what he called a “simpler, fairer and flatter tax code” that would eliminate capital gains, estate, and dividends taxes, and include only two tax rates. One of 10% and the other of 25%. Individuals earning up to $50,000 or a joint income up to $100,000, would pay 10% while those with incomes above that would be taxed at 25%. Under Pawlenty’s plan, those who currently do not pay any income tax, will continue to not pay any.

Other aspects of Pawlenty’s economic reforms were actually quite bold for a politician seeking support from voters. He proposed expanding presidential powers. That is a move that many limited government, TEA movement activists may initially view as a power grab that is antithetical to their cause. But Pawlenty’s proposed expansion of presidential power is a request to have Congress give the executive branch emergency powers only to freeze spending.  According to Pawlenty, “If they won’t do it [freeze spending] — I will,”. The Governor also declared his supports for the creation of a Medicaid block grant program that would cap the amount of money states receive for the health benefits for the elderly, and much to his credit, he courageously endorsed raising the retirement age of Social Security recipients.

That last point is something which few politicians who want to win an election are brave enough to propose, but for many people, the fact that he did endorse such a move, demonstrated that maybe Tim Pawlenty is one of those few political leaders who will actually say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. Isn’t that part of the reason why many are still clamoring for Chris Christie to jump in to the Republican presidential contest? The consideration of raising the age of SSI recipients is always a controversial one. However, it is nonetheless an unmistakably necessary move in light of the need to keep that program solvent, the need to get entitlements under control, and the increasing life expectancy rate of society.

The scheduling of Pawlenty’s speech, be it through good strategic instinct and timing or just plain luck, was impeccable. It came on a day when the news of President Obama’s mishandling of the economy was unavoidable. Facts, figures and polls all presented themselves today in a way that even the lamestream media could not avoid turning in to headlines. A new Washington Post/ABC news poll that found that by a margin of 59 to 40 percent, Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the economy, the President’s Chief economic adviser announced he is resigning, and if the news wasn’t grim enough, a new study of businesses found that once Obamacare kicks in, 1 in 3 businesses will stop offering health benefits. So much for the President’s promise that under Obamacare, you will be permitted…. “permitted”….. to keep your current health insurance plan. The perfect timing of Pawlenty’s speech came at an optimum moment to exploit all these findings.

The speech Pawlenty gave and proposal he offered were in many different ways promising. While it could have easily gone much further with such proposals as a total flat tax that would offer one rate for one nation, and for other measures such as a balanced budget amendment, the plan was solid and a total reversal from the failed Keynesian path the President has put us on. It had much to offer not just for the fiscal conservative base of the Party that Pawlenty desperately needs to win over, but for the important limited government independent voters as well.  As for the delivery of the speech, it proved that Pawlenty can articulate his vision for the nation, and that he is capable of taking the bull by the horn and leading. So far, on the issue of the economy, he is the first 2012 candidate to provide such leadership.

All in all, today was a good day for Tim Pawlenty. Unlike the announcement of Rick Santorum’s presidential candidacy from the day before, Pawlenty had the fortune of not being stepped on by the breaking news of a scandal, like Weinergate and the conditions were right for his message to resonate. Most of all, today Pawlenty took his first real step towards going from being the candidate to support if your first choice doesn’t run, to being someone who could be considered a first choice in his own right. He was poised, presidential, confident, and seemed to have a command of the issue. And on another positive note, Pawlenty managed to weave into his presentation, an important theme that continues to point out the sense that President Obama is out of touch with both the American people and the purpose of government In America.

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