Trunkline 2012: Trunkline 2012: Tuesday’s Tidbits from the Campaign Trail – 10/23/12

Tuesday’s Trunkline 2012 is packed with an array of tidbits regarding last night’s debate including several on polls that will make the left cry, as  well as some analyses of the debate from Charles Krauthammer and David Gergen.  But today’s news summary also includes reports of Republicans being more educated than liberals, the future of the Supreme Court in the next four years, the truth about Obama and Iran, 5 reasons for independents to vote for Romney, a very poignant letter that the New York Times refused to publish, and more;

Bookmark and Share

Christie-Walker 2012?

Bookmark and Share Okay. So I have to tell you right off the bat, I am not serious. As a New Jerseyan, I am so far surprisingly happy with Chris Christie, but he still has to see much of his groundwork through to prove himself. And although I like Sctt Walker, I would like to see the guy govern for at least a year before we run him national office.But both of these men have struck at the heart of the fiscal problems that confront their states and the nation as well. They have touched the third rails of entitlement programs that no one before them has had the guts to address. And they are saying to unions what few before them have said so flatly ..no.

Will the big union protests hurt or help the G.O.P. in 2012? Take the WH2012 Poll

As such, the two men have become hated, but it is clear that so far, more voters like them than dislike them. Those who consider themselves union members first, dislike Christie and Walker.But those who consider themselves taxpayers first, like them. With the tax system we currently have in America, it is sometimes hard to say whether there are more taxpayers than union members or vise versa. But at the moment there are some union members who realize that they are both members of a union and taxpayers. These people understand that you can not keep robbing from Peter to give to Paul.

Governor Scott Walker

These people understand that while their union brothers and sisters are red with anger, their states are drowning in red ink. And it is these same people who understand that Scott Walker and Chris Christie are doing what they were elected to do. Indeed a few thousand Republicans all across America in local, county state and federa offices were recently elected with a similar mandate behind them in 2010. In 2006 and 2008 many Republicans were booted out of officebecause they had previously forgotten that message. But now here we are with two men who are leading the way in doing something that should have been done long ago .. Saying no to big unions and special interests.

Governor Chris Christie

Doing this doesnt really make Walker or Christie special. It doesnt make them those once in a generation leaders that we always look for. It just makes them commonsense leaders. And that is really quite sad. It is sad that we have come to a point in time when common sense in our leaders is so rare that we are ready to quickly throw their names about for offices as revered as President of the United States. Yet some recent polls have had Republicans claiming that Chris Christie was their first choice for the Republican presidential nomination. Now I am not saying that Christie or Walker are not capable, but they are not yet proven. The last time we selected an unproven leader, we got freshman Senator Barack Obama for President.And Walker and Christie are also not alone in this newfound commonsense leadership. Rick Scott of Florida shares in it. Bob McMillan of Virginia shares it. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Eric Cantor of Virginia as well as Justin Amash of Michigan, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Marco Rubio, Scott Garrett and a whole host of congressmen and senators and state legislators share this same respect for basic math and commonsense.

So let us not rush to coronate any one person King or Queen of the G.O.P. Let the Chrsities and Walkers and Scotts of our Party lead. Let them prove that commonsense has a place in government and let us allow the Republican presidential nomination process to be a real contest. Let it be a real proving ground where we can kick the tires, test drive our leaders and make them earn our trust, our support, our votes. Let them prove themselves before we jump on any of their bandwagons.

In the meantime. Heres to Chris Christie and Scott Walker! Keep up the good work and remember, as demonstrated in the picture below of teachers protestingin NewJerseynot long ago, those trying to shout you down, are not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. And another thing, the people of yesterday that Richard Nixon once called the Silent Majority are today called the TEA Party, and weve got your back.

Bookmark and Share

America’s President Committee Launches A Draft Mike Pence Campaign

Bookmark and Share Back in September, White House 2012 posted a piece on Mike Pence which mentioned that Mike Pence has a Jack Kemp-like following. Well today, that following declared that Mike Pence extraordinarily exemplifies the optimistic, pro-growth, pro-job creation Reagan-Kemp wing of the GOP and subsequently launched the America’s President Committee, an entity designed to mount a draft effort to encourage Pence to run for President.

Ralph Benko

Leading the charge is self described populist conservative, Ralph Benko, a former deputy counsel to President Ronald Reagan. Benko is also a columnist for Townhall.com and a senior advisor to the American Principles Project and a principal of the public affairs firm, Capital City Partners, LLC. He is also a member of the TEA Party Patriots

In a Monday morning statement, Benko declares;

Grass-roots conservatives, Republicans, the tea party and populists are looking for a man or woman of principle who can champion and unite the newly energized and engaged citizenry,

He adds;

Mike Pence is the best choice to lead us into a new era of peace and prosperity.”

One of the first most notable names to join the draft Pence effort is former Kansas Congressman Jim Ryan. He plans on helping the campaign to collect signatures.

Pence is planning a run for something other than reelection to the House of Representatives in 2012. After the GOP took control of the House in the 2010 midterms, he gave up his leadership role in the important House Republican policy committee. Pence stated that other endeavors would preclude him from being able to devote the amount of time that such a leadership position demands. Many suspect that those other endeavors are either a run for Governor of Indiana or for President.

If Pence were to give up his safe House seat for one or the other, giving it up for the Governors mansion would be a much

Mike Pence

safer bet than a run for President. Pence lacks some of the name ID of other potential candidates and would have a tough time gaining traction. At least at first. He would also have a tough time if Indianas outgoing Governor, Mitch Daniels, decided to run.

But with the Republican field currently wide open, Pence cant be written off if he did decide to run for the Republican presidential nomination. He does have an active support system within the GOPs conservative base and an ability to articulate a positive conservative message that will resonate. At the moment, Pence is benefiting from what is a late start of the campaign for the Republican nomination. Many big names are putting off an official decision until April. Potential candidates like Mitt Romney feel that his January 3rd, campaign kickoff in 2007, was too early for the 2008 elections and caused him to peak too early. Others like Mitch Daniels are waiting for the end of their state legislative sessions before they make a decision. And still others are waiting to hear what other names like Sarah Palin are doing.

For my part, I have been waiting for the draft movements to begin. There has already been a large number of such groups for candidates like Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and many others. But to date, the America’s President Committee effort for Mike Pence is one of the highest profile draft efforts to date.

But believe me, there will be more to come for many other names.

Bookmark and Share

White House 2012 Joins The Steve Wark In The Morning Show

Bookmark and ShareWhite House 2012,editor-in-chief Anthony Del Pellegrino (aka:Kempite), will be a guest on The Steve Wark in the Morning Show, KMZQ, AM670, “Nevada’s number 1 station for talk”, on:

Monday, January 3rd, 2011, at 8:00 am (PST), 11:00 am (EST).

The discusssion will range from the shaping Republican presidential race to the top freshmen legislators to look out for in the soon to be sworn in 112th Congress.

Join in the discusion. Call in at 702-866-6700

Bookmark and Share

Huck Emerges From The Muck

Bookmark and Share

With all of the uncertainty surrounding who will emerge out of the jumbled GOP huddle of potential contenders and make a serious run for the White House in 2012 a new CNN national poll shows that former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has the support of two thirds of those polled as their GOP nominee for President in 2012.

Former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin garnered 49% of the support which is an 18% drop in support from the same poll in 2008. Former Massachusetts Governor and 2008 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney came in with 59% support followed by 54% for Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

What is startling about this poll is the drop in support for Palin and the rise in support for Huckabee when neither candidate has officially announced a Presidential run in 2012. Both are familiar names to the GOP establishment and are highly active in the media, making almost daily appearances on the cable news circuit as well as having their own television shows. Both have a great deal of media exposure yet the poll shows they are traveling in opposite directions in regards to support from the likely voters in their own party. The poll now shows Palin substantially behind Huckabee and Romney and trailing Gingrich by 5 points.

What this poll also shows is that name recognition still reigns supreme in the minds of likely Republican voters. The top 4 potential candidates are all highly recognizable national politico’s who have held the media spotlight for some time. Although it is early, the polling shows that the lesser known candidates still have some work to do in getting their names out on the national stage before considering their options for a 2012 run. Although a few candidates have national experience such as Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint the likely Republican voters do not yet view them as potential candidates.

As the field of potential 2012 GOP candidates begins to take shape in the near future there is plenty of time for the polls to change as well as for the lesser known candidates to bring their message to the voters. As for the messages that are already front and center – It does seem to be boding well for Mike Huckabee and not so well for Sarah Palin. Time will tell who will emerge as the front runner in the Republican party but if this poll is an early indication, the opinions on the nationally recognized candidates is taking shape.

Bookmark and Share

Merry Christmas America

antmerrychristmas3dspinning

On Christmas, politics takes a backseat to the birth of Christ, the savior.

The political divisions created by differing opinions are put aside so that something more important can be celebrated..life. A life of goodness, goodness of purpose and intention. The type of goodness Christ tried to bring our world. The type of goodness that has faith in mankind and that wishes comfort and joy to all.

Liberal or conservative, republican or democrat, pious believer or devout atheist, today we Christian celebrants share, with all, the spirit of hope and goodwill that comes to the forefront of this special occasion.

Santorum Faces A Search Hurdle In Cyberspace

Bookmark and Share

As he continues to test the waters for a Presidential run in 2012, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has laid the groundwork for a social media campaign as well as his PAC website America’s Foundation. In an arena that Republicans are normally behind in, Santorum has shown that he has moved into the .com age in getting his message out. But if he decides to make a solid run for the GOP nomination in 2012 his biggest hurdle could be reaching new voters as an old nemesis could once again rear it’s ugly head and cause search engines to send possible supporters to a website set up by sex advice columnist Dan Savage.

In a 2003 response to what Savage felt were comments that were unkind to homosexuals (Savage is openly homosexual), he asked his readers to submit new definitions for the Senator’s last name. The winning definition was “a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Savage set up a website, santorum.com known as ‘Spreading Santorum’ for the term and created what is referred to as a Google bomb when his readers drove traffic to the site and unseated the Senator’s official website as the top search result for his surname on Google.

Former PA Senator Rick Santorum

As of October 2010, the site was still the top Google result for the search term “santorum”.

So what impact may this old beef have on the former Senator’s 2012 run? In the age of cyberspace the impact could be large. As newspaper circulation drops and more and more individuals getting their daily dose of news from websites having a search for your surname lead potential supporters to a website dedicated to a gay sex act named after you could be devastating. Santorum has been out of the Senate for 4 years now and it will be 6 years in 2012. A lifetime in politics. As he begins to make his way back into the public forum many potential voters who may have never heard of him could potentially Google his name expecting to research the candidate. Instead of finding where Mr. Santorum stands on the issues they in all likely hood could be led to Mr. Savage’s website where instead of hearing the issues they will be subjected to an unwanted description of a sexual act.

Although i’m sure Dan Savage and his readership still find the website and Google search results a perfect punishment for the former Senator’s comments regarding his opinion on homosexuality, I wonder how they feel subjecting innocent people to their newly defined sex act? How many young people will be subjected to Mr. Savage’s Google search bomb unwittingly as they search the name of a political candidate they are unfamiliar with?

Rick Santorum will definitely have to once again face this issue if he in fact makes a run at the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. Unfortunately so will many other potential voters as they try to research and make their choice.

Bookmark and Share

Santorum Starts Iowa PAC But Who Does It REALLY Benefit?

Bookmark and Share

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum launched a new PAC on Thursday aimed at raising money for candidates in Iowa. The Iowa Keystone Political Action Committee will supplement funding that the former Senator, and 2012 White House hopeful, already gives to the hawkeye state through his national PAC, America’s Foundation. “My federal PAC, America’s Foundation, has already assisted some candidates in the Hawkeye State, but I am eager to do more and the Iowa Keystone PAC will help us do that,” Santorum, a Republican, said in a statement. “There are many strong conservatives running in Iowa and assisting them with financial support may help put them in the victory column come Election Day.”

But are the intentions of the PAC to assist with Iowa candidates or are they to lay a groundwork for Santorum’s 2012 Presidential run? In my opinion it is the latter. As the former Senator stated, his America’s Foundation PAC already assist’s Iowa conservatives. Only a couple of weeks out from the mid term elections and no real race to speak of in Iowa does he truly think that the voters in the hawkeye state will actually believe that he has their best political interests at heart? The Santorum camp heads to Cedar Rapids and Coralville on Oct. 13 and Davenport and Dubuque a day later to meet voters and candidates. The former Senator should hope that voters in the first state that offers a chance to cast a ballot for a Presidential candidate see his gesture as sincere. However it may be difficult to convince them that he is all of a sudden concerned about Iowa politics.

I have no issue with Rick Santorum assisting other conservative candidates throughout the country. My concern lies with the projected insincerity of his Keystone PAC. Not because of the timing, but also because of his failure to launch PAC’s in other states that have conservative candidates in need of financial help.

I wish Mr. Santorum luck with his new venture. I hope that his newly formed PAC helps many conservative candidates in Iowa. I also hope that the voters of Iowa don’t see this venture as another Presidential hopeful trying to butter them up ahead of the caucuses. Because unfortunately, that’s what it appears to me.

Bookmark and Share

What Now?

Bookmark and Share

As the polls continue to show Republicans gaining support amongst the voting public and the TEA party making surprising strides in many primaries the question arises – Where does the GOP go from here?

With many conservative TEA party backed candidates poised to hold seats in Congress is it possible for the establishment Republicans to welcome them and work as a cohesive unit to promote the shared agenda of less taxes, less spending and less government? If there is one thing the old guard and the new lions have in common it is the platform of less, less, less. The dividing point however is the confidence that the voters have in the old guard to stick to the task of doing so. It is that lack of confidence, brought on by the deficit and debt spending of the GOP controlled congress during the Bush administration, that has brought on the meteoric rise of the TEA party candidates and the ouster of established GOP candidates in primary elections.

With that lack of confidence leading a new group of conservatives into the GOP power grid, the Grand Ol’ Party must now fight to instill confidence in the independents that they are moving in that direction in order to be successful in the general elections not only in 2010, but to ensure it continues into 2012. The TEA party conservatives have found success with one simple message: Less taxes, less spending and less government. The GOP establishment must embrace this message and show that they are serious about these issues and cohesive with the TEA party candidates before the voters will have confidence enough to continue to give them their votes into 2012. But any relationship is a 2 way street and the GOP/TEA party relationship can be no different.

As the Democrats go into attack mode, unwilling and unable to run on their votes for the highly unpopular stimulus and health care bills, the TEA party must instill confidence that they are not the far right fringe that the Democrats and the media are trying so hard and spending millions of dollars to paint them as. Taking a page from the Glenn Beck rally’s strategy book, the signs and idealistic t-shirts must go. Whether it be a few far right supporters that take advantage of the situation to get out their message of hate or whether it be plants by the left put in the crowd to give the appearance of radicalism, if they remove the opportunity all together then there will be nothing to debate but the issues. The first amendment is the backbone of our society and I am not suggesting that anyone’s rights be infringed. What I am suggesting is that the main message of less taxes, less spending and less government must be the only message if they expect to compete in a general election forum. In a general election the voting audience is different. They can go either way. The TEA party activists must realize that any opening for the other side or the media to push their message that the GOP is being taken over by far right radicals needs to be eliminated. Their message can win. If it is the message that the public sees.

So what now? Although they have been battling each other in the primary races, the GOP and the TEA party must now embrace each other in order to win in the big show. The GOP must embrace the TEA party to instill confidence in potential voters that they are serious about cutting taxes, spending and the size of government. A confidence that they have lost. The TEA party must embrace the GOP to instill confidence that they are not the far right radical fringe that many believe them to be.

What is known is that the voting public is disillusioned and disappointed in the policies of the Democrats and the White House. Will the Republican establishment work with the new conservative influx of TEA party backed candidates and embrace their ideas? Will the TEA party tone down it’s non-platform rhetoric as it did at the Glenn Beck rally and remove the radical public appearance?

It is yet to be seen but it must be done if they both expect to gain the confidence of the American voter.

Bookmark and Share

Pawlenty’s Catch 22 In The Hawkeye State

Bookmark and Share

Giving your opinion on the decision’s of judges when you’re the Governor should be the norm in a political landscape in which legislating from the bench has become a hot button topic for many. However, when that critique is aimed at a state that you re not the Governor of, it may become political ammunition. When that state happens to be the state that kicks off the run for Presidential aspirations, it may be toxic. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty may have found himself in a catch 22 over comment made regarding the possible ousting of 3 Iowa Supreme Court justices who recently ruled that Iowa’s law banning gay marriage was against the state constitution.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pawlenty said he would need to study the justices’ record before deciding whether to join the effort, but that voters have the right to remove judges if they disagree with their rulings.

“The notion that judges stand for election is embedded in the Iowa Constitution. It’s embedded in the Minnesota Constitution,” Pawlenty said. “It’s the right and privilege of the citizens of this state and my state to weigh in on whether they like or don’t like the job that a judge is doing and to agree or disagree with him.” Asked about a campaign organized by Sioux City business consultant Bob Vander Plaats – who failed in his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination – to remove the justices, Pawlenty stressed that he supports limiting marriage to one man and one woman. “I think the law should support that, and to the extent you have judges inserting their personal views to change that, I don’t like it,” Pawlenty said.

While this may help Pawlenty in his bid for the Republican nomination, it is a position that could come back to haunt him if he should be his parties nominee in the general election. In a primary he will be vying for the conservative vote that propels the Republican party. The general election tends to be about not who can get the vote of their own party, but who can get the vote of the undecided voters. As party voters usually support their parties candidate regardless, the independent voter, one not bound to party politics or candidates, becomes key to winning in the general election.

Hence the Catch 22 that Governor Pawlenty may have unwittingly thrust himself into. Should a candidate who is not well known outside of his own state and party throw himself into a position of taking a position on a hot button topic so early into the process? Let alone in the state which will have the all important first voice of the election? Not to mention a state in which his standing as the Governor of a neighboring state leaves many Iowan’s scratching their head as to why the Governor of Minnesota would make public his opinion on the affairs of their state.

The question will be asked and to that point the Governor’s statement will become a topic of debate should he decide to run in 2012. But for a candidate who received a mere 1% in recent polls to weigh in on a state issue of a border state that happens to hold the early key to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, maybe the question didn’t need answered in the manner in which it was. As many Iowan’s simply hope Minnesota keeps it’s opinions to itself, many independent voters may have already made up their mind before an official candidacy has had a chance to kick off.

Bookmark and Share

Pawlenty Announces Book Release Date

Bookmark and Share

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s upcoming book has a release date set as Jan. 11, a week after he leaves the governor’s mansion. The Governor has been seen recently in Iowa, spending time stumping for state GOP candidates and at the Iowa State Fair in a meet and greet campaign mode in what can be seen as an attempt to get his name into the mainstream in Iowa ahead of the 2012 caucus.

Is the January release date to coincide with a Presidential announcement? That is yet to be seen but an aide says it’ll come with a national book tour, which has become a sort of proto-campaign for many candidates. The book “will focus on his life, his experience as a conservative governor in a liberal state, and his vision for America,” the aide said. It may also answer questions as to the Governor’s intentions towards running for the highest office in the land.

The book, entitled “Courage to Stand” is slated to give more of an auto-biographical view of the Governor rather than have any real substance of what he would do as President of the United States. Given his 1% showing in a recent Iowa poll, that may be the exact strategy he needs to raise his profile to a public enthralled with the mainstream, easily recognizable names such as Romney, Palin and Gingrich. Although it will probably not be tearing up the New York Times Best Seller List it will afford Pawlenty the opportunity to reach a much more diverse audience much quicker than he could by hitting the stump. It also may personalize the Governor in an age in which media soundbites and social networks rule the roost.

Will the book lead to a Presidential run in 2012? It may be too early to tell but the timing, and the story are exactly what an unknown Governor needs to get his name in the national spotlight.

Bookmark and Share

Florida GOP Features Barbour. And Super Tuesday Heats Up

Bookmark and Share Florida is a critical state in both the Republican nomination process and the presidential election process. Having one of the four largest electoral votes in the nation, this makes Florida one of the two “must haves” in the Super Tuesday primaries of the South. So what happens politically in Florida, echoes nationally. So the recent decision by the Florida’s state Republican Party to have Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour deliver the Keynote address at their annual dinner in September is having a ripple effect in Republican circles.

Now that Florida’s Republican Governor became an Independent and is running for the U.S. Senate, the slot that would have normally been reserved for the state’s top elected Republican, came open and it would seem that Haley Barbour had did not hesitate filling it.

The move is a sign that Barbour is carefully and methodically lining up support for a run for President.

Since Charlie Crist left the Party and is now campaigning against the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, it would be natural for organizers of the annual dinner to have selected Marco Rubio as their Keynote Speaker. In fact it would have been a smart move. Yet the Florida GOP has Barbour speaking instead.

Why?

Well as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, when Charlie Crist switched parties, Barbour was in close communication with state Party leaders and he has remained in touch with them. So much so that he twisted a few arms to get this much coveted speaking engaging before Florida’s Republican elite.

The move was a smart one by Barbour. Although the numbers change based on the number of Republicans officials elected to office and population, Florida sends approximately 60 delegates to the Republican National Convention.That’s just a mere drop in the bucket when you compare it to the approximately 1, 191 needed to secure the presidential nomination. But of the 822 delegates that come out of the South, that is substantial in early counts. But what’s more is the timing of Florida’s primary. It normally takes place after South Carolina but before the bulk of the South votes for the nominees on Super Tuesday.

This makes the timing of Florida’s primary even more important than its delegate count. If a candidate does poorly in South Carolina, a comeback in the big Florida primary could provide a candidate with the type of momentum that they could use to sweep the South in the weeks to follow.

Barbour knows this. That is why he swooped into to that slot as keynote speaker. To get this “invitation”, he pulled quite a few strings with Republican state Party officials and apparently Florida Republican officials like what they see in Barbour because they jumped at the chance to have their strings pulled by him.

People don’t want to be associated with losers as much as they want to be associated with winners. If Barbour was a loser, the Florida GOP would not have just sent upplumes of white smoke that signal a decision like they do at Vatican upon the election of a Pope. If Barbour was not about to seal the deal with Party leaders, the Florida GOP would not have signaled to contenders like Romney, Pawlenty, Palin, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich and others, that a favorite son of the South is about to be tapped for bigger and better things.

Of course this has set contenders like Romney and Pawlenty, off on a frenzied attempt to contact current and potential Florida supporters to make sure that that they can keep the door open for their chance to win over the Party power hitters before Barbour is able to close the door on them and lock up Florida before the race even begins.

No matter what though, right now Haley Barbour isconstructing the foundation for his candidacy and creating the playing field on which all other contenders are being forced to play catch-up with Barbour on.

Bookmark and Share

Come On T-Paw. Just Say It Already.

Bookmark and Share    Although he contends he is not making an official decision until 2011, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is making the rounds at the Iowa State Fair and the talk is turning to the struggling economy. Seen by most political experts as a prelude to a primary run, a trip to Iowa for a man that was a finalist to be John McCain’s running mate in 2008 is definitely a soap box from which to get put his message. The Democrats have no clue how to spur the economy.

On why he believes Democrats have struggled creating jobs: “It’s pretty tough to be pro-job and anti-business. That’s like being pro-egg and anti-chicken. It doesn’t work so well.”, the Governor said when questioned about the struggling job market in what the President himself has labeled “The Summer of Recovery”. A summer which has seen a slow recovery turn into what may be a backward slide with the most recent job numbers shocking most analysts who expected a minor down tick and instead received an increase in applications for benefits. The Governor also spoke out regarding President Obama’s handling of the economy, “First of all he is clueless on a number of key issues on our time, including our economy,” Pawlenty said of the president on Fox News’ “Hannity” program on Monday. “We need to be growing this economy, lightening the burden for…the people that can get the economy going. Instead he is layering on burdens. And then, No. 2, he doesn’t have the depth of experience to run a large complex organization particularly in a time of crisis and its getting away from him.”

For a Governor who is ‘unsure’ of his political intentions for 2012, a direct verbal jab at the President of the United States would seem to be an indicator of things to come. With trips under his belt to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina who does T-Paw think he’s kidding? Get a jump on the crowd Governor. Hit while the hittin’s good. Headed into the mid-term elections at a time where the opposition party is highly unpopular and the administration losing poll points like the Detroit Lions lose football games, go ahead and get the ball rolling. Announce your intentions and ride the wave through to 2012. As a lesser known candidate on a national stage getting the drop on the growing unpopularity of Democrat policies and the failure of the stimulus to create the “Summer of Recovery” would be a major coup. Getting into the fray after a major national player such as Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin would only appear as a tag-along and not as taking the lead. Grab the bull by the horns and let the world know who Tim Pawlenty is.

Come on T-Paw……just say it already. “I, Tim Pawlenty, hereby declare my candidacy for President of The United States.”

Bookmark and Share

Jeb Bush. Secretary of Education or President?

Bookmark and ShareOver time, probably both.

While a third Bush presidency is probably not in the cards for 2012, it is not entirely out of the question in the future.

Yet if the potential crowded pool of talented Republicans do not actually come to the surface and run for President, Jeb Bush could actually throw his hat in the ring in 2012 and believe it or not, be a very viable candidate…… over time.

Once the shock of his name wore off and after what he had to say finally sunk in, Jeb Bush would be able to challenge people like Palin, Pawlenty, Paul, Barbour, and Romney and give them a run for their money……… over time.

However; with the wealth of talent that will undoubtedly fill the Republican field of candidates, it will actually be difficult to convince people that we need another Bush, so soon after the last one. And Jeb is not actually making any attempts to indicate that he is interested in running for President in 2012.

Instead, Jeb has been crisscrossing the country and discussing education in America and how to improve it.

The issue is one which he is most passionate about. As governor of Florida, Bush instituted the nation’s first statewide school voucher system, mandated standardized tests in Florida’s public schools, eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public schools based on a statewide grading system.

Since leaving office as Governor of Florida, education has been the issue Jeb has dedicated his life to. He started out by creating an institute named the Foundation for Excellence in Education and since then, in addition to speaking out on the issue and organizing forums on it, Jeb has been touring the nation as he studies innovative programs, learns about the tools educators need to successfully teach students and develops new ways to deliver quality education to the nation’s students.

The latest stride Bush has taken in this area has been an effort that would bring about a more intricate integration of future technology innovations with current technology in public education. Called the Digital Learning Council, Bush and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise have joined forces to create a panel of education experts that will help move digital learning to the forefront of education and away from the niche role they believe digital learning plays today.

The 60-member council includes Shafeen Charania, director of education product group marketing for Microsoft; Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va.: John D. Couch, vice-president of education at Apple Inc.; and state officials and members of education think-tanks.

According to a news release from the new group, more than 2 million K-12 students take courses online, and 1.5 million home-education students take online courses, but that barely scratches the surface of what is possible through technology.

In an interview with Education Week, Former Governor Bush told Education Week magazine that digital technology’s disruptive nature for good has not been applied to our education system. If you look at how technology has improved our lives, it has only been an accessory in education. The blueprint created by the Digital Learning Council will move us towards a more customized learning environment where more students learn at their maximum pace.

This latest initiative to enhance education in America is just one of many Jeb has taken since he firstbecame Governor of Florida back in 1998. In total, his record on the issue is impeccable and to date, he has done more to improve education in America more than most people of the day. And interestingly enough aside from demonstrating a great government model for teaching and learning, much of Bush’s work has demonstrated how we can improve the quality of education through private sector initiatives, as much, if not more, than government initiated demands.

Jeb’s efforts in the area of education are truly keeping him busy. He has turned the cause into a fulltime job. But it is a job that can certainly set him on the path to other employment opportunities.

Being aBush brother, timing may not allow him to become President in 2012 and he knows it, but a smart man can take time and turn it from an enemy, into a friend. And that is what Jeb is doing to the time he has. Currently, time is on his side. And should the next President in 2012 be Republican other than him, expect Jeb to be a member of that person presidential cabinet.

If the next President does not do away with the Department of Education, expect them to tap Jeb Bush, education’s best friend, to become Secretary of Education and once the President who appoints him to that position is no longer in office, anticipate former Governor and Cabinet member Jeb Bush to become the President after them over time.

Bookmark and Share

Ron Paul to Announce in January

Ron Paul, Matt Collins and Rand Paul

Bookmark and Share

It was leaked late last evening that Ron Paul will be running for President and will announce in January 2011. The leak came from Paul insider Matt Collins. For those who don’t know, Matt Collins is the name behind much of the online success of Ron Paul and now also his son Rand Paul. A look through the bylines of Ron Paul articles will turn up Collins’ name again and again. So, a leak from Collins on Ron Paul is more than likely sound.

It’s the timing of this leak that raises questions. Why now? If it is a planned leak, then there must be a good reason to leak it now. So, what’s the plan? Paul is still running for re-election to his House seat and his son is campaigning hard for the open Senate seat in TN. Bringing up a run for the Presidency right now seems like a bit of a distraction from more pressing concerns.

With Ron Paul already being a politician and able to accept campaign donations, there is no need to leak intentions in order to raise money. He also still has his network in place, so a leak isn’t needed to prevent potential backers and supporters from getting sucked into a different campaign. None of the normal reasons for a planned leak seem to exist in this case.

The leak may indeed be true, but I have my doubts that Ron Paul directed Collins to make it. I doubt Ron Paul wants to steal any media coverage away from his son Rand at this time. It is more likely that all the recent candidate posturing was more than Collins could watch without saying something about his candidate. Now the story is out and it is buried by bigger stories and if it does get reported in the major media, it will be linked to Rand Paul’s campaign a serve as a distraction.

Ron Paul’s 2012 bid is being fumbled from the start. While his core supporters will cheer the leak and be oblivious to the poor timing, the vast majority of voters that Paul needs to win over will be that much harder to engage. A candidate’s announcement (leaked or official) is a key component in getting the message out and capturing a news cycle. Paul has lost that opportunity through this weak leak. He now has an even more uphill battle to capture the attention of the voters who will have that attention sought by more well-timed and packaged announcements from the other candidates.

Bookmark and Share

Home and Abroad

Bookmark and Share
Last week Gov. Haley Barbour was visiting neighboring Alabama and received the unofficial endorsement of Gov. Bob Riley.  That effectively removed a potential challenger from the 2012 field.  It wasn’t headline news.  Out of Alabama or Mississippi, it wasn’t news at all – except perhaps here.  Here we look at more than the spotlight grabbing stories that make mediocre candidates temporarily look like contenders.  We look at the things that hint at what’s going on under the surface of the real contenders.  Haley Barbour is one of those.

Haley Barbour is the front-runner, even though most Americans don’t yet know who he is and he is polling in the single digits.  It will be awhile before he officially enters the race and makes his record known to the voting public.  The only overt action he’s taken recently was the mailer to Republicans in Iowa.  In the mean time, he’s building momentum behind the scenes.  It is that effort that will build into the kind of real support that wins elections.

The major media is not covering the announcement of an “understanding” Gov. Barbour worked out with the Panama Canal Authority.  Barbour and members of the Mississippi State Port Authority traveled to Panama and worked out an agreement that would bring more shipping to the Port of Gulfport.  This agreement is more than just a good news story for Gulfport or Mississippi.  It tells much about the forward thinking, follow through and savvy of Haley Barbour.

Barbour plans ahead rather than just reacts to the present

Barbour has taken some criticism for spending $600 million of Hurricane Katrina relief money as part of a $1.6 billion expansion of the Port of Gulfport.  The expansion wasn’t needed then and that money could have been used to rebuild other things.  Barbour isn’t a reactive thinker.  He didn’t look to only put back what was lost, but rather to turn disaster into opportunity.  He knew that the Panama Canal would be expanded in a few years to accommodate larger ships.  He knew that the Port of Gulfport would need to be expanded in order to handle the traffic of an expanded Panama Canal.  So rather than build to the past, he built for the future and then did the work to ensure that future became a reality.

It would have been easier for Barbour to do as his critics suggested and simply put the money into subsidized insurance for gulf coast housing.  After all, he’ll be out of office long before the benefits of his efforts pay dividends.  Had he simply handed the money out to people, he could have gained popularity and praise right now.  He didn’t do that.  He knows that pouring money into insurance subsidies doesn’t fix the underlying problem nor does it do anything to make people self-sufficient.  Bringing in more jobs and a stronger economy will do more to solve problems than subsidizing them.  It doesn’t matter that the benefits will come after he has left office.  He’s doing the right thing rather than the politically expedient thing.  That’s real leadership.

It is stories like this of what Barbour has done and is doing that explain why he is so successful.  It is this kind of thinking and leadership that gains the praise and support of the people and networks necessary to run a successful campaign and, more importantly, a successful administration after winning the campaign.  That network is growing based on the sensible and forward thinking policies of Haley Barbour.

It was announced at the end of last week that Gov. Barbour will be the key note speaker at the Florida GOP “Victory Dinner” in September.  The major media picked that story up because Florida is a consequential State in the 2012 electoral math.  That was the focus of their reporting.  That may be important in 2012, but it isn’t the story today in 2010.  The story is that the Florida GOP tapped Barbour when they needed a key note speaker who would bring in the big donors and energize the party prior to entering the home stretch of the 2010 campaign season.  Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and other Florida GOP figures are going to be lined up behind Barbour and many will owe Barbour some thanks after he helps get them funded and on to victory.  The State’s electoral votes may be important in 2012, but equally important is sidelining any potential challengers from Florida and locking out current challengers from gaining the support of that State’s party machinery.

Just as he did with rebuilding after Katrina and negotiating with the Panama Canal Authority, Barbour is sowing the seeds that will grow into tomorrow’s harvest by his efforts in Florida this year.  He has already done so in Alabama, New Jersey and Virginia just to name a few.  He’s not looking at getting into the spotlight today.  He’s not even looking at the delegate or electoral math of 2012.  He’s looking at having the support in place to be able to effectively govern after a 2012 victory.  I say that not to imply that Barbour is taking anything for granted nor that he thinks he’s got the election in the bag.  I say it because it shows how Barbour is different and why that difference will win the election.

Haley Barbour is a leader who plans ahead.  He has learned that preparing to govern effectively is more important than focusing on winning.  It requires building coalitions of support that tend to not only be there for the future, but also help in the present.  People recognize a real leader.  When the people of the United States get the chance to meet Haley Barbour, they’ll recognize the leader in him.  They’ll recognize it by not only what he says but also by the fact that so many people they have grown to trust and lead will be working with him.  In the end, that will make the difference.  The major media is missing that story and completely missing what makes Haley Barbour so different and why he has been and will continue to be so successful.

Bookmark and Share

Sarah Palin; Leader or Cheerleader?

Bookmark and ShareSarah Palin can continue to be a rising star. Or she can plummet like a meteorite. I am one of those who sees the potential for her to be a star that continues to grow as bright as the sun. I believe she has a record and solid foundation in being the anti-establishment politician with the ability to tap into the prevailing sentiment of the day which is less government and more personal responsibility.

However; I have been disappointed in what is becoming an extremely commercial image. She is becoming more of a commodity than a leader. That is a dangerous position for Palin to put herself in. I believe that if she has any ambitions for national elected office, she must soon start looking more like the elder statesman than a cheerleader.

While she can continue to make lots of money and cheer on Conservatives to aid the cause, the truth is that while Sarah is energizing the Conservative base, that’s all she is doing. Let’s face it, given a good Republican candidate to vote for, most Republicans and Conservative will vote for that candidate. But to win countywide, citywide or statewide elections, you need Independent and some Democrat votes too. Sarah does not attract those votes to those whom she endorses. Many Democrats and too many Independents don’t take her serious, and if Sarah simply continues to act like a cheerleader, when the halftime show is over, the audience is just going to start paying attention to the rest of the game and leave Palin standing on the sidelines.

I have yet to see any sign of Palin broadening her base. I fail to see where she reaches out to those beyond the Conservative ranks and while her motivation of the Republican base is important, she needs to also expand the base and that Palin is just not doing. If she would just do something like present her own economic recovery plan and her own ideas for tax reform, maybe people would  begin to see Sarah as a much more substantive figure than some see her as today.

It is great that Sarah Palin’s stated mission is electing “good Conservatives “ to office but if you want to lead, you must be a leader. You must put forth the ideas, proposals and plans that can help give solid solutions for Conservatives, and others, to rally around.

Instead Sarah Palin is simply repeating anecdotal and philosophical platitudes that, while sounding good and inspirational, leave you hanging and after a moment of reflection, make you wonder……”but what’s the plan that will allow us to do all those things and achieve all those goals?”

As someone who joined with Adam Bricker, the creator of the original draft Sarah Palin for Vice President movement in 2008, I am confident that Sarah has the capacity to lay out those plans and lead, but she just isn’t doing that.

Sarah Palin has much to offer. She can and often does convey a necessary sense of being one of us, someone who genuinely understands our frustrations with an overreaching government and overbearing bureaucracy that at times seems too ridiculous to have any faith in. She takes strong stands and she does so unapologetically. On the issue of abortion she is uncompromising. On spending she is a deficit hawk and on national defense, she is polar bear——-strong and self sufficient when left to themselves but ominous and brutal when threatened. Her short record as Governor of Alaska was a solid one and her decision to resign was an example of politically uncharacteristic self-sacrifice. While some accuse her of giving up and being a quitter, unlike other political leaders such as Charlie Rangel, Palin made the decision she believed was best for her constituents, not her career. Instead of putting the people of Alaska through a relentless tabloid and legal circus based on frivolous lawsuits that would have distracted from the issues and forced the state to incur undue legal costs, she stepped down knowing full well that her Lt. Governor was more than capable of carrying forward the torch that she lit.

Few politicians would make such sacrifice. But that’s Sarah. She does what is best for the people, not politics and politicians.

But if Sarah really wants to do some good for the people, then she must start leading the people down the path of common sense conservatism, not just talk about it.

Give those “good conservative” candidates that she is trying to elect , something to get elected on. Lead them, don’t just cheer them on.

Until Sarah starts offering that leadership, she will fail to establish the statesman-like image, that she will need if she wants to be taken seriously as a presidential contender. Right now Sarah is in a very precarious position. She can be like the pet rock of the 70’s, a big hit that quickly faded into undistinguished and unremarkable history, or a Reaganesque figure that changes the course of history.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: