Second Thoughts: Newt Goes Over the Edge with “King of Bain”

Bookmark and Share   I endorsed Newt Gingrich.  This came about after Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin, and Paul Ryan, all refused to run for President.   Clearly, Newt was not my first choice but for reasons that I outlined in my endorsement, I preferred him to the other choices that were available.    I still stand by my reasoning but Newt’s newest strategy has me regretting my choice.

I am generally a little forgiving.  I understand that no candidate is perfect and that each candidate is only human.  So I excused Newt’s poor judgment back in 2009 when he endorsed liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava in a special election for Congress in New York State.  I forgave Newt for his mangling of language which seemed like he was opposing Paul Ryan’s budget proposals.  I instead chose to see the promise that existed in Newt’s reform minded, conservative based, solutions and ideas, and his record of anti-establishment thinking and significant accomplishments.  I felt that all that he could deliver was worth the extra effort it would take to try to elect a candidate with as much baggage as him.  A part of me still feels that way.

But since Newt lost Iowa, he has put his baggage in the front seat and his solutions in the trunk.  Meanwhile, the car he is driving has four tires that have been flattened by all the stones that he has been throwing on the rocky road he has taken his campaign down.

Understandably angered by several weeks and $8 million worth of attack ads against him that were sponsored mainly by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, Newt has decided to take the low road that he once adamantly refused to take.  Now, instead of building himself up and focussing on the issues that could use his help, Newt is focussed more on revenge than revitalizing America.  That I cannot endorse.

Newt’s latest strategy is designed to use capitalism in the same ugly sense that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the term Kapitlaist in The Communist Manifesto.  He is trying to blur the lines between free market capitalism and human greed in a way that ignores the whole picture in an attempt to create a false impression.   In the case of Newt Gingrich, to create a false impression of Mitt Romney.

When Newt initially launched this line of attack, I was not offended.  I found his carefully chosen words explaining how he was not denying the natural dynamics of winners and losers in the free market, to be quite palatable.  Newt explained that he has long been a proponent of the type survival of the fittest competition in the free market that increases quality and cost effectiveness of goods and services. Newt made it clear that his problem was that he felt Mitt Romney abused the system and that he sought to take advantage of people through the system, not of the system with the people.

My willingness to listen to Newt’s unique conservative line of attack intrigued me.  So I was willing to listen.  I wondered if we were seeing a true genius at work as he gave birth to a new ideological spin based on compassionate capitalism or caring capitalists, the type of thinking and approach that could undermine President Obama’s attempts to demonize capitalism as a mean spirited, greed driven excuse for taking advantage of the down trodden.   So instead of jumping down Newt’s throat, I gave him 36 hours to prove to me that he was on to something.   I know that if anyone can properly articulate the virtues of capitalism and the opportunity for self help that it provides to those who value liberty, it was Newt.

Then quite sadly I watched the 28 minute film that a pro-Gingrich Super PAC, Winning Out Future, bought and has decided to market.  [see the movie below this post]

The film is all about how Mitt Romney destroyed the lives of thousands of people whose businesses were ultimately closed because of Romney’s venture capitalism company, Bain Capital.  As I watched the film, I could not help but feel as though I was watching an old Soviet style propaganda film aimed at grade school communists.  I expected Eugene Debs to make an appearance and for Upton Sinclair to pop up and deliver a PSA for EPIC.

Then I remembered how just two days ago, Newt ran around and in interview after interview, urged people to be sure to see this anti-Romney film that Gingrich supporters were going to soon make available to the public.  Recollection of that endorsement of the propaganda film before me triggered a true sense of anger in me over Newt and great  disappointment in him too.  These emotions were only intensified as I began to  see the extent to which this anti-Romney film was actually lying about the Romney record.

In one instance, Romney is caught saying, “for an economy to thrive, there are a lot of people who will suffer as a result of that.”   But the hit piece doesn’t include the rest of Romney’s  comment which went on to say; “It’s important for us as a society to find ways to help people be able to move through this process of losing a job in one industry that becomes outmoded, and finding a position in a new type of industry that is growing.”

The irony here is that just yesterday, Newt Gingrich rushed to Mitt Romney’s defense and chastised Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, and the DNC for taking Romney out of context and running with a quote claiming that Romney likes to fire people.  Of course the complete phrase was an inference to his liking the ability to fire insurance companies who aren’t providing proper services, but when taken out of context, you would never know what Romney meant, except for what you are allowed to hear…..”I like to fire people”.   So here is Newt attacking others for taking Mitt out context one day, and then pinning his entire campaign on a film that does nothing but take Mitt Romney totally out of context the next day.  That to me is a sign of hypocrisy, desperation, and instability.  Such qualities are not what I want in a president. Besides, we already have a President who possesses such characteristics.  So who needs another one.

Other lies in the anti-Romney docu-drama are outlined quite well in a piece by Bloomberg News.

This entire Newt endorsed film is nothing more than a pitiful attempt to play on our inherent sensitivities through half truths, and outright lies.  In the end, this film could have easily been produced by Keith Olbermann  for Al Gore’s new cable station Current.  It is nothing but a Debbie Wasserman-Schultz authored, DNC talking point memo and for Newt Gingrich to associate himself with this shameless example of politics at at its worst, is demeaning and an unflaterring sign of a man who is desperate and who has lost sight of the greater mission which he set out to serve when he first began his campaign for President.

On several occasions, I aggressively denounced Ron Paul for what I called his scorched earth campaign strategy that seeks to destroy the candidacies of his Republicans opponents through a slew of highly negative ads, that will only come back to haunt us in November.  Now I am forced to ask myself,  how can I not denounce Newt Gingrich for doing the same that Ron Paul did.  If I still have any sincerity left in me after 23 years of political involvement, I must.

So here I go.

I am denouncing Newt Gingrich for his tactics and asking that he admit he has gone too far.  He needs to admit that he lost sight of the real reasons behind his presidential candidacy and became so consumed by his desire to exact revenge upon Mitt Romney that he betrayed his own initial desire to run a forward looking campaign based on solutions not slander.

As for myself, I am now in the uncomfortable position of having to defend my endorsement of Newt Gingrich.  That is not a position any supporter should be placed in.  I don’t mind defending the candidate I support, but when I have to find good reason to defend my own reasons for giving that support to a candidate, that candidate’s campaign is over.    I just hope that Newt realizes that sooner rather than later.

 

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Trunkline 2012: Monday Mentions from The Republican Presidential Race – 11/28/11

Bookmark and ShareThe wrap up of news from the campaign trail today has mentions of an accusation of an affair, Newt rifding waves, Romney trying to keep up, vice presidential speculation, Cuban endorsements, a preview of a Romney presidential campaign, a request for your participation in the latest White House 2012 poll, and more.
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White House 2012′s Morning Memo: Tuesday’s Election News Briefing for 11/15/11

Bookmark and Share   While you were asleep, the political world kept turning and tried to cast its perpetual spin on reality.  So set the record straight with White House 2012’s Morning Memo as we bring you  Gloria Cain’s interview, Polls that have Newt soaring and Americans doubting Cain, as well as stories about the end of Rick Perry’s campaign, strange emails from the First Lady, the stage being set for the Supreme Courts hearing on Obamacare, the shaping of the 2016 presidential election, notes about the Abuser in Chief, and much more. 

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Add Another Name to the Lamestream Media’s Liberal Hall of Shame

Picture from Roll Call

Bookmark and Share  As most of us know, the lamestream media is dominated by mushy minds that have been brainwashed by liberal propaganda and media elites. Of course there are in fact many true journalists, who if charged with delivering just the news, can do so without even subtle hints of political bias.  But  journalists of that sort seem to be far and few between .  They are also the ones whom the liberal media holds up as evidence when they try to claim that the media is not biased.  Sadly though, there are far more examples of media bias than there are of impartial reporting.

Take for example the treatment of the rise of the TEA movement as compared to the spread of the “Occupy” protests which have taken place.

While TEA Party protests and demonstrations gathered tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands, the Occupy “Whatever” protests have

produced numbers in the hundreds.  But despite the obvious lack of populist appeal of the liberal endorsed demonstrations, the mainstream media tends to downplay the TEA movement and inflate the  Occupy protesters.  For example, when anywhere from 200,000 to 400,00o or more TEA activists showed up in Washington, D.C. , on September 12th of 2009, newspapers reported that there were tens of thousands in attendance.  But now that a few thousand leftwing, anti-capitalists band together with big union organized,  professional, protestors, the event is described as “outrage” that “ has spread all the way to Anchorage, Alaska” and  as “a group of protesters that is certainly growing in size and  diversity.”  Those comments came from so called “reporter”cilia Vega.  On that same “unbiased” news” program, Vega and World News anchor David Muir, spoke of how the Wall Street protests have supposedly “gone global

But as the TEA Party rose, it was described as little more than a group of angry Republicans and was accused of being violent and racist.  That certainly isn’t the case here.  Put a smiley face button on a person wearing a tie died t-shirt and put in their hands a sign with anything liberal written on it, and you have what the mainstream media is describing as being similar to “the Arab Spring of uprisings in the Mid East.”

As I said, none of this is new.  We have all come to expect liberal bias from the mainstrem media.  And I am not talking about clearly defined opinion programs such as Hannity or the Rachel Maddow Show,  or periodicals like National Review or New Republican.  I mean straight news services like CBS News, or The New York Times.

Which brings us to today’s new entrant into the Mainstream Media’s Liberal Hall of Shame.

His name is Steve Peoples and he works for Roll Call while the Associated Press often farms out some of his work.

Now according to Asssociated Press their mission is to “be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the
highest quality, reliability, and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed.”

Given that description, I find it hard to accept Mr. People’s October 10th story (and I do mean story) entitled “GOP presidential candidates keep focus off the economy“.

In  it, Peoples, along with contributors Holly Ramer and Philip Elliott, try to live up to the AP’s mission of objectivity by writing a piece which insinuates that Republicans are trying to avoid the topic of the economy.

Peoples writes;

In an election that’s supposed to hinge on jobs and the economy, the Republican presidential contest in recent months has been defined by almost everything else.

Immigration and children’s vaccines. Race and religion. Homosexuality and health care. The issues range far from the economic woes that concern most voters, but they have captivated Republicans in New Hampshire and other early voting states, providing the candidates with ways to distinguish themselves from  their rivals. The biggest applause lines on the campaign trail usually have little to do with a candidate’s economic positions.

I am not sure if Mr. Peoples realizes it or not, but we are not electing a Chairman of the Federal Reserve and their running mate, the Secretary of Treasury.  We are in the midst of a long campaign to elect or reelect a President and Vice President of the United States.  That responsibility deals with a host of issues, including those that are a part of the economic priorities that no one is doubting.  As such, all issues are, and should be discussed.  Additionally perhaps, Mr. Peoples missed the coverage of the economic programs which almost all of the Republican candidates dedicated their very first major policy announcements to.

To be sure, there is no doubt that the economy is in such dire straits that it is indeed a priority.  To deny that would be like claiming that it is more important to put someone’s cigarette out while a woman is hanging out of the window of an inferno filled house, right in front of your face.  But it is equally absurd to deny that the economy is not a primary issue in the Republican presidential primaries. Republicans have been and continue to make it a theme of their campaigns.  Why wouldn’t they?  Furthermore, the economy is just about the only issue that all the Republican running for President have similar ways to address.  And all agree that the first thing to do is everything that President Obama is not doing.

Did Mr. Peoples dare write a similarly “objective” piece in 2009  about  President Obama when many argued that the President made “a colossal miscalculation” by choosing the wrong priorities and instead of focussing on the economy “like a laser beam”, he essentially prevented government from dealing with anything else other than healthcare reform?  Which ironically has proven to do little more than exacerbate the economic predicament we are in by creating a greater uncertain future among investors and businesses.  I seem to have missed the story that Mr. Peoples and his liberal collaborators wrote about the President not devoting enough time to the Obama economy back then.

Did Mr. People’s accuse President Obama of avoiding the issue of the economy when he turned the nations’ attention to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?  Did he criticize the President and prompt people to provide him with quotes criticizing President Obama for traveling to El Salvador to discuss immigration and drug trafficking with President Mauricio Funes, instead of focussing on the economy?  Or does  Mr. Peoples just not understand that the presidency of the United States does not allow one to drop all else for the sake of just one aspect of life in America.

Even though his opinion on this issue is greatly flawed, Mr. Peoples’ article might have a place in an opinion oriented tabloid if it were written by an admitted partisan author.  But it has no place in a newspaper or on an online newspaper, and especially not coming from a “news” outfit that claims its job is to be objective.  You see,  there is a difference between opinion and news.  White House 2012 makes it clear that it covers the Republican race for the White House.  It does so by also making clear that it covers the race from a conservative viewpoint and with opinions of the facts.  Contrarily, the Associated Press bills itself as a news organization, a “premier” news organization, that delivers the news, not editorials.

You might think that this one story is not enough to hold one person up as a example of unsavory  journalistic conduct.  And that might be right……..if it was the only example.  But it’s not.

Before jumping to conclusions, I tested my suspicions about Steve Peoples by researching past stories he wrote.

While there were many accounts of obvious bias that he penned under AP’s banner of objective reporting, one of the most interesting discoveries was an article by Tom Blumer for News Busters.  In his September 7th piece entitled “AP’s Partying Peoples and Blathering Blood Celebrate Tea Party Negatives in  Cooked AP-GfK Poll“, Blumer writes that Steve Peoples tailored an interpretation of poll results to “celebrate” negative sentiments towards the Tea Party that were created by a skewed  AP-GfK .  Blumer goes on to note that  somehow, People’s article  “failed to report on the  president’s growing negatives found in a separate AP-GfK poll report with the  same respondents.”

It is all just indicative of how careful Americans must be when it comes to trying to have a real picture of public sentiments and our political environment.

One must really be careful about what information they use as a foundation for establishing their own conclusions.  What may seem to be fact is often in fact, not.  Steve Peoples is just one example of that.  And there are many other examples of  Peoples’ and the AP’s crimes against journalistic integrity, but suffice it to  say, White House 2012 is confident in the knowledge that Steve Peoples truly deserves to be hung in the Lamestream Media’s Liberal Hall of Shame.

The Associated Press’ picture has already been hanging there for quite some time now
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Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America Puts Him In Comfortable Territory

Bookmark and Share     Newt Gingrich revealed his 10-point 21st Century Contract With America in a one hour long speech to about 150 people gathered at  a town hall-style meetings sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, an entity holding a series of such forums with presidential candidates in Iowa.

Some of the key elements of his new contract  include repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan, giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and allowing young people to opt out of Social Security, boosting domestic energy production, easing government regulation of businesses,  curtailing the power of the courts, and providing a boost to medical research aimed at combating diseases like Alzheimer’s. [see details below]

While this new contract is not ground breaking, it is a clearcut plan to apply traditional Republican principles to government and is his attempt to set the tone of the presidential campaign season.  If successful, Gingrich could force candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to play on his turf and give Gingrich an upper hand in the election.  By making his new Contract With America a plan that the ongoing presidential debate addresses, Gingrich will have the opportunity to do something that none of the other candidates can do as well ………………….articulate and defend the conservative cause and its principles.

No one has the ability to define conservative values and policies in the way that Newt does. He has an uncanny ability to explain ideas and issues in a way which defines them in terms that are so easy to relate to, that they are seen as hard to deny, common sense points.  Newt offers a type of simplification and humanization of the issues that is similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s own capacity for making complex issues understood by relating them to the everyday lives of all Americans.  This is Newt Gingrich’s greatest quality.  It his ability to present both his vision and solutions in common sense terms that become undeniably logical and difficult for many to argue against.

His only problem now is making sure that he has enough face time with the Republican electorate to put that talent to work.

Currently Gingrich is lacking both the organization and financial resources to effectively compete with the likes of Romney and Perry and now, even Herman Cain.  This is a point he admitted while at the same time claiming it will not hold him back.  According to Newt, while his campaign war chest may not be able to compete with others, he will compete in the marketplace of ideas, the place that Newt Gingrich is most comfortable in.  Gingrich states, “Voters are so worried about the condition of the country that they are demanding detailed solutions from candidates.”

While Gingrich’s plan is not revolutionary, it does offer significant change for the better and is a step towards the type of total transformation of our existing arcane tax code .  Such change will be required for America to expand its economic growth and be competitive in the global economy.  But while Newt’s plan is a strong solution to our problems, his greatest challenge will be convincing Republican voters that the messenger is as strong a candidate as his message.  That for me is one of the greatest tragedies of the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Newt Gingrich is a conservative hero to me.  He is a man who made it possible for much of the success that conservative policies saw in the late twentieth century.  While he may not have been solely responsible for those successes, he played a major role in developing the policies, shaping the debate, and setting the agenda that ultimately achieved conservative success in the 80’s and 90’s.  Yet despite his being a major architect of contemporary conservatism, he has been to a great degree, sidelined in the 2012 Republican nominating contest because of an incorrect initial perception that he was too much of a lightning rod.

Having not yet endorsed any of those candidates running for the Republican nomination, I for one am still giving Newt a chance to prove himself.  We all should.

If given a chance and a fair hearing, Newt could surprise people.  Not me however.  I am confident that if he is given that chance, people will see that he is the type of leader who is not afraid of introducing new approaches to old problems and is not intimated by new approaches and ways of thinking. In many ways, Newt is a conglomeration of all that the TEA movement stands for.  They are an anti-establishment movement that wants to make sure that government changes its ways.  And while Newt worked within in the establishment, he was always reforming the establishment.  He can still do so.  He is capable of coming up with, and implementing, the plans for change we need to insure that in the 21st century, Americans have a federal government that is based on the needs of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

The media may not want to give him the opportunity to prove that, but as republicans, we should not be so willing to follow the media’s lead.  We should give Newt the chance to prove himself that he deserves.

Executive Summary of Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America

  • Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
  • Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.
  • Unleash America’s full energy production potential in oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear oil shale and more, creating jobs,  stimulating a sustainable manufacturing boom, lowering gasoline and other energy prices, increasing government revenues, and bolstering national security.
  • Save Medicare and Social Security by giving Americans more choices and tools to live longer, healthier lives with greater financial independence.
  • Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing waste cutting and productivity improvement systems such as Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
  • Control the border by January 1, 2014 and establish English as the official language of government; reform the legal visa system, and make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law abiding visitors to come to the US.
  • Revitalize our national security system to meet 21st century threats by restructuring and adequately funding our security agencies to function within a grand strategy for victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power.
  • Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs by removing unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients and emphasizing research spending towards urgent national priorities, like brain science with its impact on Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health and other conditions knowledge of the brain will help solve.
  • Restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.
  • Enforce the Tenth Amendment by starting an orderly transfer of power and responsibility from the federal government back “to the states, respectively, or to the people,” as the Constitution requires. Over the next year, state and local officials and citizens will be asked to identify the areas which can be transferred back home.

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Watch a Live Webcast of Chris Christie’s Speech at the Reagan Library

Bookmark and Share    As speculation begins to intensely swirl about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seriously considering  a run for President, today, Tuesday September 26th, the Governor will be in California, delivering a a speech as a part of the Reagan Foundation’s series of Perspectives on Leadership Forum’s.

While it is highly unlikely that Christie will announce that he running during this speech, he could indicate whether or not he really is considering the prospect of run for President in 2012.  Either way, Christie’s speech will be watched and scrutinized by much of the world.  It will be quite interesting to hear what the Governor will say, if for no other than reason that to confirm or deny the claims that Christie is the G.O.P.’s best hope for victory in 2012.

Tickets to th event at the Reagan Library were going for $75.00 a person but don’t worry about trying to get a last minute ticket and flight to Cali for the event.  According to the Reagan Foundation, tickets have been sold out for quite a some time now.  But you will have the opprtunity to join with White House 2012 and see the speech via a live webcast at 9:00 pm EST/6:pm PDT.

Just click the on the information link below to view it.

The Live Simulcast has concluded. To see a recorded version of the speech and to read a complete transcript of it, click here

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Mackinac Straw Poll Shows Michigan is Still Romney Territory

Bookmark and Share    While the big news of this weekend is Herman Cain’s incredibly strong first place showing in the Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll, a straw poll in Michigan announced Mitt Romney its winner.

Out 681 votes cast from among 1,800 attendees gathered at the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Romney garnered 346 votes or 51 percent. The candidate who came closest to Romney was Texas Governor Rick Perry who captured 16.8% with 114 votes.

On Saturday, both Perry and Romney had forgone the opportunity to address the P5 Straw Poll in Orlando, Florida and instead opted to address the Mackinac event.

Perry did speak to P5 participants during a Saturday morning breakfast event. And before voting began in that contest, a pre-recorded video message by him was seen by all.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he has made it a policy to not compete in straw polls this year because he would prefer to invest the large amount of resources they require in the actual election rather than contests that have no bearing on the delegate count needed to win the Republican presidential nomination. In 2007, Mitt Romney spent more than $1 million in the Iowa Straw Poll, which he won. But he went on to lose the Iowa Caucuses to Mike Huckabee. Four years later, Romney does not want to divert the time and money from his 2012 campaign to such beauty contests.

Unlike Herman Cain’s win in Florida, Romney was widely expected to win the Michigan event, just as he is expected to win the Michigan Republican presidential primary in 2012. Romney is a native of Michigan and his father was a popular Governor of the state. Romney also won the Michigan primary in the 2008 election cycle.

Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference every two years at historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.. The event allows Party activists to discuss ideas, learn how to articulate the Republican message, and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state—and the country. The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier Republican events in the Midwest.

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Romney’s CPAC FL Speech. “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

Bookmark and Share    After his well received debate performance in Thursday evening’s Florida Republican Fox News/Google debate, Mitt Romney today delivered a casual but compelling speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee Florida conference. [hear speech below this post]

In his approximately 14 minute speech, Romney laid out the argument that his lifetime of private sector experience afforded him the knowledge and ability to make government work correctly.  He cited several examples of  how the state bureaucracy of Massachusetts operated before he took office and how it wasted time, money, and manpower on initiatives that he reformed for the better.  In general, Romney presented a case for his commonsense conservative touch and how it can effectively reform government, and limit it.

Romney also took the opportunity to lay in to his chief riva at the moment, Texas Governor Rick Perry.

After Perry used Thursday night’s debate to double down on his support for giving in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants and claimed that if you didn’t see it his way, you had no heart, Romney took advantage of his opportunity to address the large Florida CPAC audience and tried to place a nail in Perry’s electoral coffin.

Romney told the conservative activist’s;

“My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree on his position to give in-state tuition to immigration, you don’t have a heart,” Romney said. “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

While not your typical rah-rah speech, Romnney’s time addressing Florida’s CPAC conference was well spent.  He positioned himself as the man who possesses all the right conservative credentials, experience, and accomplishments, to effectively take on President Obama as the G.O.P. presidential nominee.

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In the Third Debate, Romney Wins,Cain, Gingrich and Santorum Shine. Rick Perry Bombs.

Bookmark and Share    Before we get in to the details, while White House 2012 is happy to provide you with one opinion of last night’s debate, we are also happy to provide you with both a complete transcript of the debate which can be found here and with a complete video version of the debate which is below this post.   Also, take the White House 2012 poll and let us know who you think won last night’s debate.

Now for the assessment;

With nine candidates and over 20,000 questions submitted by American voters, as one White House 2012 reader put it, last night’s Republican presidential debate was more of a Q and A than a debate.  Still, the forum did provide the opportunity for some engaging, albeit brief exchanges.  While most of those exchanges and some of the longest ones too, were between frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, others like Rick Santorum also took advantage of the those exchanges, land some punches, and score some points……….at Rick Perry’s expense.

Insofar as winners and losers go, if there was a winner, it would have to be Mitt Romney.  Not so much for the quality of his answers,  but for his performance and ability to use the rules of the debate to his advantage and his main rivals disadvantage.  One such example was Romney’s presence of mind while under pressure, to deny Rick Perry the chance to counter any of his verbal punches, by not mentioning Perry by name. 

One of the debate rules was that if a candidate referred to you by name, you would have 30 seconds for rebuttal.  On issues such as Social Security and immigration, while Romney laid into Perry’s record quite extensively, he would go so far as to look straight at Perry, but never mentioned him by name.  At the same time there, was no misunderstanding who he was talking about.  But Perry was left leaning against the ropes and unable to fight back.

As for Romney’s answers to the questions he was asked, the former Massachusetts Governor made no mistakes and never once departed off of the conservative line.  Throughout the debate, Romney offered decent answers that no conservative could have a problem with.  On that score, since he walked away from this debate without giving any Republican a reason to vote against him, he most certainly wins.  The only area in which Romney failed was his passing up of the chance  to break new policy ground and  prove himself to be a bold leader who will think outside of the box and be the anti-establishment hero that many are looking for.

 At the same time, not ony did Perry miss the chance to become that bold hero many are looking for, he walked away from this debate with less than he had when he first walked on to the stage.

At times, Perry seemed lost for words and when he tried to throw some body blows to his critics, he missed.  Such was the case when after Rick Santorum stated that he found Governor Perry to be soft on illegal immigration.  To that charge Perry could only say, “I’ve got one question for him. Have you ever even been to the border with Mexico?”

To which Santorum replied simply “Yes”.

For Perry, Thursday’s debate took him two steps back, not one step forward.  This was especially the case on the issue of illegal immigration.  On that Perry  threw out a remark that will leave a negative impression of him in the  minds of many conservatives for quite some time. 

When he and Mitt Romney engaged in debate over Perry’s approval of offering discounted in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal aliens,  Perry claimed  “If you say that we should not educate children (illegal immigrant children) who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” .  That remark seemed to cross a line, and not one with just the other candidates on the stage, but with the millions of conservatives in the American listening audience.  For many, it was the type of liberal attempt to make one feel guilty for the justified logic behind their own position.  Perry’s answer was a strange spin on another famous Texans attempt to be a “compassionate conservative”. however, while Perry’s slant on that phrase may have been compassionate,  it was not conservative.

But neither Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney let Perry get away with his claim.  In fact Romney swung a home run right over Perry’s head on the issue. 

“I’ve got be honest with you, I don’t see how it is that a state like Texas — to go to the University of Texas, if you’re an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? That’s $22,000 a year. Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you are an illegal alien go to the University of Texas. If you are a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me.” , said Romney.

But illegal immigration was not Perry’s only weakness last night.

Tell us who you think won the presidential debate

Right off the bat, Perry was asked about the number one issue in America today…….jobs. When asked where his jobs plan was? Perry answered, “Well, you will see a more extensive jobs plan.”    Sorry buddy, but telling voters that the dog ate your homework does not cut it in the real world.  Perry just looked stupid on that one. 

So we have our winner of the debate and the loser of the debate.  What about those in between?

Michele Bachmann had a few strong but routine answers but essentially, she was just there.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul.  While his cheering section hooted and hollered at his every word, his words were the same as usual and lacked the explanation of how he could successfully apply his libertarianism to government. 

Performing better than Paul, was former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.  Despite being a Republican libertarian who is little known, Johnson was able to do something that Paul could not.  he was able to point to actual accomplishments.  At times, he even provided answers that put him on an equal footing with some of his better known opponents such as Romney and Perry.  When asked why he would be a better choice as a libertarian-Republican than Congressman Paul, Johnson replied I’m not going to presume to make that assumption” , but he then went on to  to distinguish himself from Pau quite well……… 

“I would like to say that I do bring a unique perspective to this stage. I started a one-man handyman business in Albuquerque in 1974 and grew it to over 1,000 employees. I have run for two political offices in my life: governor of New Mexico and reelection. I promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. I promise to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue. And if anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.  Add to that, throwing out the entire federal tax system and replacing it with a consumption tax, the fair tax, which would absolutely reboot the American economy because it does away with the corporate tax to create tens of millions of jobs in this country.”

Johnson’s answer was strong and compelling.

In the  case of Newt Gingrich, he proved once again that he is ideologically the most true conservative and the most savvy.  But he did not distinguish himself as the one who could best institute his conservative concepts into government and he failed to overcome his biggest hurdle…..electability.   Interestingly though,  based on a question asked about picking a running mate from among those on the stage, most of the candidates chose Newt to be their wingman.

Herman Cain had a solid performance but not one that was strong enough to push those at the top of the field out of his way.

Perhaps the saddest performance came from Jon Huntsman. 

As in his first debate appearance, Huntsman tried to be funny, but as he waited for burst of laughter to ring out whenever he reached his punchline, crickets were heard.   It was very uncomfortable.  And to make matters worse, he really offered nothing worth while.  The most he seems tohave for us are boilerplate answers with hands extended outwards and a stiff delivery of bad attempts at humor.

All in all, given the understandable parameters of the type of debate we were presented, it was a worthwhile gathering that gave at least a brief sampling of the type of president each candidate would be or try to be.  However it set nothing in stone.  While Romney won, he has still not provided those who doubt his conservative credentials with the confidence they need to become believers.  While he did not say anything that conservatives can be unhappy with, he also did nothing to inspire them.  What will be interesting though is to see how much of a difference this debate has on Romney’s popularity among Independents.  In many state primaries, Independents and even Democrats are allowed to vote in the G.O.P. contest.   Being dissatisfied by President Obama, many of these Independent could show up at the Republican primaries to support the candidate that  they believe is most capable of beating the President. 

In that sense, I believe Romney helped himself immensely.  He certainly came off as one of, if not the most electable candidates on the stage.

Perry’s poor performance, while being a setback, was certainly not enough to knock him out of the race.  He is still very much in the race.  However, he must really be on his A game in the coming weeks.  He also needs to go in to the next debate much more prepared than he was for this one.

As for the others, they are essentially doomed to linger around the the back of the pack.  I think Michele Bachmann peaked with her straw poll win in Iowa and the rest is downhill from there.  Herman Cain will be able to hang in, but hanging out in the bottom tier is about all he is likely to do.  The only thing I believe we can expect from Huntsman is his withdrawal from the nomination contest.  Ron Paul is mired in the middle where he will remain not dead, but not exactly living either.  You might say that he is comatose. 

Were it not for an inability to raise money, I would have to say that after his debate performance, Rick Santorum would be able to emerge as a strong alternative candidate.  He is spirited and passionate, does not come off as scripted and is satisfactory to the G.O.P. base.  But money talks and Santorum just can’t raise enough money to really be heard. 

That leaves us with Newt Gingrich. 

I still can’t write Newt off.  He has great potential and the rebirth of his campaign that will occur when he unveils his new Contract with America could be very attractive to voters.  But even if that is so, Newt will still have an extremely high hurdle to jump in proving that Newt Gingrich, the man, is as good as Newt Gingrich’s  ideas.  If he can somehow prove that the messenger is as good as the message, he could give Romney and Perry a run for their money that will be expensive and exhausting. 

Now, the awards………..

Most Memorable Lines

Funniest Line of the Night:

“My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this President.” 

 – Gary Johnson

Sharpest Attack Line of the Night:

“He [Rick Perry] doesn’t want to build a fence. He gave a speech in 2001 where he talked about bi-national health insurance between Mexico and Texas. I mean, I don’t even think Barack Obama would be for bi-national health insurance.” 

-Rick Santorum

 Most Sarcastic Line of the Night:

“I spent my life in the private sector. Not in government. I only spent four years as a Governor. (Turns head, looks at Rick Perry and says) I didn’t inhale” 

-Mitt Romney

 Most Logical Line of the Night:

“…sex is not an issue.  It should not be an issue. Leave it alone.  Keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.”

-Rick Santorum

Next Most Logical Line of the Night:

“….but I believe that it is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks, for doing nothing.  That’s why we had welfare reform.”

-Newt Gingrich 

Worst Line of the Night:

 “If you say that we should not educate children (illegal immigrant children) who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” 

-Rick Perry

Best Line of the Night:

“It’s important to remember, this month, in the Reagan administration, September 1983, we created 1,100,000 new jobs. Obama’s socialist policies, class warfare, and bureaucratic socialism, we created zero in August.”

-Newt Gingrich 

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And here is the debate in its entirety:

Trunkline 2012: Thursday’s News from the Race for the White House – 9/22/11

 
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Mitt Romney Wants Sarah Palin to Run for President

Bookmark and Share    In an interview with USA Today’s Susan Page, Mitt Romney states that he hopes Sarah Palin runs for President.

According to Romney;

“I think it would be a good thing if she did. She would make the race that much more exciting, bring more people to watch the debates, and I hope she gets in.”

Romney is totally correct on those points.

Palin’s entry into the race would have an incredibly positive affect for Republicans in the 2012 election. It will especially take a lot of ink away from President Obama.

However Romney does not mention the real reason why he would like Palin to run.

With Sarah Palin in the nomination contest, candidates like Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, will have their vote totals suppressed by Palin’s candidacy which will absorb much of their support. And while she holds down the vote totals of candidate like Bachmann and Perry, Romney has a good chance to see his establishment conservative vote totals surpass all others and wrap up the nomination earlier rather than later.

Of course, with Palin running, there is also a good chance that Romney will lose…………..to her.

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Romney Picks Up Conservative Support From Congress

Bookmark and Share    Darrell Issa , the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced that he endorsing Mitt Romney for President. On the surface, the importance of the endorsement is undeniably significant. Issa is considered by many a leading Republican figure in the G.O.P., particularly among Conservatives. As a candidate in desperate need of conservative credentials, Issa’s support helps. But below the surface are two contradicting factors at play with the Issa endorsement.

While Congressman Issa is appreciated in conservative circles, how convincing his endorsement of Romney will be to many Conservatives is in doubt. What is not doubted though, is that Darrel Issa is viewed as an establishment politician and Mitt Romney is not in dire need of support from the establishment. What he needs is anti-establishment support. Particuarly from the TEA movement, a large, active portion of the electorate that is disenchanted with politicians and politics-as-usual. The Issa endorsement does not help Romney on this front.

On the flipside, Darrell Issa’s endorsement does have a significant numerical, if not ideological benefit.

The 172 delegates that California sends to the national convention make up for a tad over 7% of the entire Republican delegation in the country or over 14% of the number of delegates needed to win the presidential nomination. And with California being a winner-take-all primary, that is a significant accumulation of delegates for the winner. That makes Issa’s influence important in California where he may have sway over a significant number of republican activists and leaders in his California congressional district. This will go a long way in providing volunteers for Romney, and organizing his Get Out the Vote operation.

Ultimately, while Darrell Issa’s endorsement of Romney may not exactly be the catalyst for a surefire Romney win, it will make a difference in California, a delegate rich state that will boost any candidate’s chance at winning the nomination.

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Palin’s Presidential Write-In Candidacy

Bookmark and Share    Sarah Palin had originally indicated that she would make a decision about a run for President in 2012 by the end of September. Yet in a recent interview with Sean Hannity she seemed to indicate that her decision might not come until November. When asked about her intentions and after being reminded by Sean Hannity that crunch time is approaching soon, Governor Palin responded by stating;

“There is still time, Sean, and I think on both sides of the aisle you’re going to see people coming and going from this race,”

According to Palin;

“In the Republican race, in this primary, I think people are still going to be coming and going because there is still time. And I’m still one of those still considering the time factor.”

When Hannity asked she didn’t need to make a decision by November, her response was;

“You do, legally you do, because you have start getting your ducks lined up to have your name on these ballots.”

But probably the most telling comment she made during her interview was;

“This is going to be such an unconventional election cycle. … Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process.”

Trying to dissect Palin’s words is probably futile. The former Governor and Vice Presidential nominee is keenly aware that her every word is scrutinized, and from them are extrapolated some wild hypotheses . As such, she quite smartly, and intentionally throws out phrases that keep speculation about her front and center.

But there are several realities that can’t be denied. The most glaring one is that if Governor Palin intends to run, in order to get her name on the ballot in South Carolina and Florida, she must make her candidacy official and file the proper paperwork within the next 5 ½ weeks.

Or does she?

As Palin said in her interview, “Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process.”

When it comes to unconventional, Sarah Palin is the quintessential queen of unconvential. No politician is as unconventional as her. And while some suggest that her unpredictable nature makes her an unlikely political leader, it can not be denied that much of Palin’s popularity is based on her unconventional tendencies. It is what makes her the anti-establishment candidate at a time when the popular TEA movement that decided the 2010 midterm elections, is looking for an anti-establishmentarian figure to lead our nation.

So what could Palin have meant when after admitting that by typical legal standards, one would have to make a decision about the presidential election soon, but then suggested that this election is not going to be typical?

It is true that Palin would have to make her candidacy officially within the next several weeks if she intended to have ballot access in the South Carolina and Florida primaries. But it is also true that Palin could still win both those contests without appearing on the ballot. If an aggressive write-in effort were waged, Palin could actually catapult herself into frontrunner status and turn this election on its ear. That would certainly live up to her promise that we are about to enter into “an unconventional type of election process.”

To help make that promise come to fruition, Palin could remain an undeclared presidential candidate and continue to draw thousands to the appearances she she is already making around the country. But with a shifted focus on visits to Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, and a few additional words, she could be in this race until the Republican national convention concludes.

With all the talk about Republicans not being very confident or excited by any of the existing candidates, Palin can appeal to those dissatisfied Republicans, and TEA movement voters by remaining the anti-establishment Republican. She can simply suggest that if you really want to send a message to Republicans and Democrats alike, we should think outside of the box that the establishment has put us in and do not limit ourselves to the candidates that the two Parties offer. And then all Palin needs to say is……

“Write in the name of the person you want to lead this nation, don’t just mark off one of the names that the Party machine allows you to choose from”.

From then on, a movement will be born, a movement that will make writing Sarah Palin’s name in as a symbol of protest and dissatisfaction with the establishment……of both Parties.

In the end, Governor Palin may not be able to win the nomination solely as a write-in candidate, but it could also be that Governor Palin does not intend to be President. Such an effort could simply be an ingenious way for her to insure that her voice is heard and that she continues to influence politics in the way that she intends to………… by keeping the establishment on their toes and preaching the virtues of limited government and bountiful freedom.

Then again, no one can say that Palin would have to remain simply a protest vote. A strong write-in candidacy could actually provide Palin with enough delegates to significantly influence such things as who the next vice presidential nominee is and numerous planks in the Republican Party’s platform. And if this happens to be a very close nomination contest, she could even garner enough delegates to select who the next presidential nominee is.

But that’s not to say that Palin won’t be the next President herself.

If her promise of an unconventional election bears out to mean a Palin write-in candidacy, a strong showing in Florida or South Carolina as a write-in candidate could create enough waves to propel her ahead of the official candidates. If that were to happen, all bets are off.

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New Poll Shows Perry Has Lots of Work To Do

Bookmark and Share    A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Suffolk University has begun to raise doubt about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s electability outside of the South. According to the poll, Romney leads Perry by 33 points. Even more depressing for the Perry camp is that not only is the gap between him and Romney so wide, but he also trails behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul and even former Ambassador and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. According to the results, Romney takes 41 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 14 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finishes third with 10 percent, followed by Perry with eight percent, Sarah Palin who is not even an official candidate at 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Newt Gingrich at 4%; and Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer at or around 1%.

Perry’s fourth place showing in New Hampshire according to one poll which is not among any of the four that are typically used to gauge how a candidate is doing, is certainly not a sign that things are over for Perry, not even in New Hampshire. But it does suggest that Perry has a lot of work to do outside of the delegate rich South.

Between January and April 24th of 2012, 351 delegates are up for grabs from within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone. In that same time period, Midwest and upper-Midwest states will have 238 delegates in play. This means that unless Perry locks up the nomination with substantial early wins in at least South Carolina and Florida, followed by substantial victories in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota which are scheduled to hold their contests on the same day in February, than Mitt Romney can assure Rick Perry a long and drawn out battle that Romney could easily win.

Currently, while Perry’s strength lies in the South, Southwest and possibly even places like Iowa, Romney has a leg up on Perry in the Northeast, upper Midwest and West. For Mitt, states, like Michigan, which he won in 2008, and Wisconsin and Minnesota are strong territory for him. In the Northeast, states like new York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and others, make it the region that is strongest for him.

And then there is of course California, which is a winner-take-all contest that is closed to only registered Republicans. A win there in early February will earn the victor 172 delegates. That is equal to the number of delegates in play in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida combined.

What this means is that Rick Perry will need to quickly show some strength outside of Iowa and the South. New Hampshire would be the perfect place for him to do that. But asking Perry to win New Hampshire over Mitt Romney is like expecting Mitt Romney to defeat Rick Perry in Texas……..it ain’t gonna happen.

Still, coming in behind both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman is embarrassing for a so-called frontrunner. So Perry is going to have to work at New Hampshire. Even though a Southern strategy that would have him win the early states of South Carolina and then Florida can work, being blown out in New Hampshire will not allow Mitt Romney to stay in the game and survive until the states favorable to him allocate their delegates. At the same time, it must be realized that the earlier we decide who the Republican nominee is, the better it will be for the Party.

Until we have a nominee, the contenders will be beating up on each other. A protracted nomination contest will therefore only help to weaken the nominee up for President Obama to beat on. But a contest that wraps up the nomination decisively and early will allow everyone to focus on beating up on President Obama. As such, having a frontrunner for the Republican nomination blown out in New Hampshire, does not help anyone…..accept for Mitt Romney. Therefore if Perry wants to have any chance of securing the nomination early on in the process, he is going to have to do better in New Hampshire and demonstrate to voters that he can get votes outside of the South.

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Perry Calls Obama “President Zero” and Romney Calls Perry “Governor Sub-Zero” in Response

Bookmark and Share    Ahead of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Florida and the second debate appearance for Rick Perry, the Texas Governor has released a new a ad entitled “Rick Perry – Proven Leadership”[see ad below this post]. In it Governor Perry hammers President Obama on his economic record.

With depictions of barren land, boarded up homes, empty factories, and desolate scenes of decrepit urban ruin, Perry’s ad tags Obama as “President Zero”, a reference to his creating “zero“ jobs since he has been in office. But after the first half of the ad, a more optimistic tone is set with images of a happier, more pleasant America that include horses galloping through the surf , sun drenched cities, American flags, the statue of liberty, and happy factory workers shaking Perry’s hands. Perry’s point is driven home as you hear him describe the type of leadership that will lead to a thriving America as opposed to the ailing America that President Obama’s leadership has created.

The ad is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic, quick cutting imagery, and shaky shots done at angles, with jagged audio cuts, and a booming motion picture-like soundtrack that became a staple of Tim Pawlenty’s web ads that he ran during his short-lived presidential campaign. And that is for good reason. It was produced by Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old video prodigy who was once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Party.  Baino also did ads for the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 he  cut some spots for Hillary Clinton.

When Tim Pawlenty closed shop, Bainao was scooped up by Perry’s campaign earlier this month.

Lucas Baino

For his part, Mitt Romney, the man who is seen as Perry’s biggest rival (or vise versa depending on which side you’re on) issued a press release entitled “Governor Sub-Zero,”in response to Perry’s “President Zero”. In the release, Romney’s campaign alleges that that while the US economy produced zero net jobs in August, Texas produced even less. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul added

In his campaign’s latest video, Governor Perry criticizes President Obama for an economy that added zero jobs in August, yet Texas added even fewer and has over a million people unemployed,”

While Romney’s distortion is less accurate than the exaggerations of Perry’s ad, attacking Perry’s record right now is a political necessity. Perry’s three terms as Governor of Texas have outshined the accomplishments of Romney’s one term as Governor of Massachusetts. However, the better strategy for Romney might be to play Perry up as the career politician and himself up as a successful entrepreneur who understands how government works, or in most cases, doesn’t work. But in order for such a strategy to fly, Romney needs to exhibit anti-establishment positions and make bold proposals that don’t just tinker with out arcane tax code, but instead scrap it and do things like create a flat tax. In order for Romney.

Meanwhile, Perry’s ad effectively sets a tone and while it says more about President Obama than himself, it is a good indication that Perry’s campaign does know the issue that can get him votes.

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Will Obama’s Cozy Crony Capitalism with Solyndra and LightSquared be His Undoing?

Bookmark and Share    LightSquared is just the latest example of questionable conduct which tears down the façade of transparency as well as the political and legal integrity of President Obama and his Administration. Evidence from the Pentagon in regards to a new wireless project by LightSquared, a satellite broadband company based in Virginia, has been raising questions about a new crony capitalism crime involving the Administration. This latest scandal comes on the heals of the Solyndra scandal which saw Democrat donors with Obama administration ties, secure a $500 million loan for the solar energy firm right before it went bankrupt. In the case of LightSquared, in order to help that corporate intersts, a firm owned by Democratic donor Philip Falcone, it seems that the Obama Administration asked Air Force General William Shelton to alter testimony that he presented in a classified briefing to members of Congress.

The testimony was called for after the Pentagon raised concerns that LightSquared was embarking upon a new wireless project which preliminary tests indicated would create a significant disruptions to the military’s use of critical Global Positioning System technology, which among other things, controls missile targeting.

When questioned extensively by members of Congress, General Shelton admitted that the White House pressured him to alter his testimony in order to make it more favorable for the Democrat donor’s company to move ahead with the project, despite how much it could possibly alter the military’s effectiveness. It is further alleged that the original testimony was leaked to LightSquared in advance of its delivery to the congressional panel it was meant for.   Such a leak was a total breach of protocol in a process that only included the White House, the Office Management and Budget, and the Department of Defense .

This blatant attempt to influence Shelton’s original testimony and to involve LightSquared in the process in order to produce biased testimony designed to benefit another Democrat donor, is further evidence of the type of corruption that the Obama Administration is consistently engaged in. This time though, its crony capitalism went so far as to tamper with our nation’s defense capabilities. Such recklessness is more than just unforgivable, it is life threatening. But the Obama Administration seems not to have any regard for anything but its own political survival.  And their history of politics before policy and campaign contributors before national concerns is extensive.

Who can forget the strange case of the Deep Water Horizon environmental disaster in the Gulf.?

After the President received more campaign donations from Bristish Petroleum than any other candidate in the nation he granted BP’s Deepwater Horizon a waiver that sheltered them from regulatory requirements.  The Administration subsequently honored the  Deep Water Horizon with a safety award. Now after hundreds of millions of gallons of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government is blaming the operators of the Deep Water Horizon  for cutting corners that led to the disaster.  Ironically, the Bush Adminstration which was accused of being in the pocket of big oil interests, cited the Deep Water Horizon 6 times for safety violations.

Still though, President Obama likes to wage class warfare and hold oil companies up as greedy enemies of the people, and to claim that the big, bad Republicans are in bed with them. He loves claiming that Republicans are for big business while suggesting that he is not. Yet whose Administration is risking lives, the economy, and the environment for big business in return for big money contributions to his reelection effort?

Until now, President Obama’s Administration has escaped any aggressive scrutiny of its illegal conduct. The Democrat controlled Senate and House that he enjoyed for the first two years of his term, failed to thoroughly investigate any of the many puffs of smoke that indicated the fires of Obama related corruption. President Obama failed to face proper scrutiny in the case of BP. He failed to be properly investigated when his Administration was found to have been offering Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestack a job in turn for not challenging Senator Arlen Specter in a Democratic primary, or even when his Justice Department refused to investigate charges of black on white racism. These are just a few of the examples of corruption that has been ignored by the political establishment but this President has been virtually immune from the law in regards to a long list of other illegal activity. Such as:

  • Seizing control of GM and Chrysler without proper authorization from Congress.
  • Firing whistle-blower Gerald Walpin for doing his job as the Inspector-General in charge of investigating corruption, waste, and fraud in government programs.
  • Collecting data on fellow Americans who oppose healthcare reform with flag@whitehouse.gov and now, through a new Obama campaign website, again collecting data on fellow Americans who disagree with the Administration
  • Placing the U.S. Census Bureau under the supervision of the White House Chief of Staff, by law the Department of Commerce.
  • His Justice Department’s smuggling of weapons, that the President signed off on funding for.
  • Manipulating jobs by hiring and rehiring Census workers.
  • Creating false districts and assigning stimulus funds to those districts.
  • Violating tax codes by releasing private tax details to the public when attacking Koch Industries.
  • Creating a taxpayer-funded position, Director of Progressive Media & Online Response, to promote Obama’s incumbent candidacy, in violation of the Hatch Act.
  • Obama’s filming of a campaign ad in the White House in violation of FEC laws.

Now as the 2012 election begins to ramp up, any attempts to investigate the President’s questionable acts and his Adminstaration’s conflicts of interest, will be written off as politically motivated, Republican campaign tactics. In all honesty, such investigations would indeed be a distraction from the issues. But Republicans do not need to try and win in 2012 by creating any distractions from the issues. Right now, on the issues of most importance to voters, Republicans win. That is however a fact that the left will ignore when the “Solyndra” hit’s the fan. It is also a fact that should really not play a role in whether or not questionable conduct by the Obama Administration should be investigated.  The law is the law and political considerations should not determine the level of scrutiny that legally questionable conduct is given. Not unless unbeknownst to me, there has been a constitutional amendment passed which grants a Commander-in-Chief immunity from such things as the Hatch Act, or tampering with sworn testimony.

Of course the President will defend his Administration by try to claim such things as being among the most transparent executive branches in history because of new procedures he enacted that releases the White House visitors logs and meeting with lobbyists to the public. But the loopholes in this policy are big enough to  fit an undetected army of liberal interest groups though.

First of all, these logs are not made public until four month’s time has passed.

Then there are also reports of Administration officials scheduling meetings in the White House Conference Center which is conveniently not covered by the Worker and Visitors Entrance System (WAVES System) that collects the data for these logs. Furthermore, the White House‘s attempt to achieve “transparency“ through the WAVES System does not include records of meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops and restaurants near the White House.  All of this essentially circumvents sincere disclosure laws and policies.

For those reasons, Congress should look into the passage of new lobbying disclosure regulations that have real teeth and are capable of exposing government influence of Congress and the White House in real-time.

In the meantime, President Obama is getting away with murder and while the G.O.P. does not need to take President Obama down via a scandal, they also have a responsibility to not cover-up the White House cover-ups.

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Republican Bob Turner Wins Anthony Weiner’s Congressional Seat in New York Special Election

Bookmark and Share   Although it is not officially been declared yet White House 2012 and Politics 24/7 is calling this race and and declaring that  Republicans have pulled off an astonishing election win that gives them control of New York’s 9th Congressional District for the first time since the 1923.
 
In what was an unusually hotly contested New York City special election campaign that began after Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace, Republican businessman Bob Turner defeated liberal, Democrat, career politician, Assemblyman David Weprin.

While the heavily Democrat district is normally not contested by Republicans in any meaningful way, ever since incumbent Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned from the seat a few months ago, a confluence of events and circumstance made this a seat a perfect opportunity for a Republican pick up.  Between dissatisfaction with the economy, increasing dissatisfaction with the President and a heavily populated Jewish vote disgruntled by President Obama’s treatment of Israel, this special election became less of a referendum on either Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin and more of a protest vote designed to show the President Obama how unhappy voters are with him.

This forced the traditionally reliable voters of this Democrat district to ignore their usual ideological dislike of Republican policies, thereby eliminating their habit of voting for whoever Democrats run. But it is important to realize that this is not necessarily a referendum on President Obama regarding 2012. With over 14 months before the presidential election and without a Republican presidential nominee to contrast President Obama with, the core traditional base of the President’s Democrat vote is willing to send him a message. But once the presidential campaign heats up, the people who currently comprise CD-9 will still have strong Democrat tendencies that will force many to coalesce around the President’s reelection and the Democrat ticket.

But what this special election does show to be a very real problem for the President is the incredibly large number of Jewish voters who have real problems with the President and even such Democrat agenda items as gay marriage. In addition to being heavily democratic, CD-9 is also heavily Jewish and Democrat David Weprin is an orthodox Jew. Yet his natural constituency in the district still opposed his election as a result of President Obama. Going in to the election, polls showed that the issue of Israel was a significant one for CD-9 voters and the same polls showed that voters were quite dissatisfied with the President’s policies regarding Israel.

Another sign of just how focused the electorate was on the national atmosphere created by President Obama was demonstrated by the issues which dominated the election. Neither candidate campaigned on any of the many local issues. For instance, after Hurricane Irene passed New York, it left a great deal of damage, especially along the Atlantic Ocean beaches in the Queens area of the district. Yet despite the timeliness of the campaign and the storm, it was not once mentioned.

So the electorate was indeed focused on President Obama. Still though, this was just a snapshot of the moment.  As mentioned previously,  it still may not be a long lasting referendum on the President. However; there is no denying that the President has a great deal of work to do to ensure that the traditionally democratic Jewish vote across the nation, does not vote the same way in the presidential election that they did in New York’s special election.

Meanwhile, the addition of Bob Turner to the existing Republican majority in the House of Representatives will not make any difference in national politics in the sense of being any kind of shift in the balance of power. Furthermore,this congressional seat may not exists after 2012.  New York state’s loss of population in the most recent census means that the state legislature will have to erase two congressional districts from its ranks. Ever since Anthony Weiner resigned, CD-9 became an obvious district to eliminate and is likely to remain so when redistricting is completed.

Meanwhile, what this Republican special election victory in the unlikely Democrat stronghold of New York City does do is provide a significant psychological boost for the G.O.P. and a profound sense of dread for Democrats. This defeat will begin to put a great deal of pressure on the President by congressional Democrats who will be counting on him to have some coattails in 2012 that can help to just keep incumbents in office but to also elect enough new Democrats to take back control of the House and to maintain control of the Senate. After the drubbing Democrats because of President Obama in the 2010 midterm election, this 2011 special election serves as good reason for Democrats to be fearful of a 2012 election cycle with President Obama at the top of their ticket.

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