Associated Press Confirms Romney Will Pick Paul Ryan for Vice President

Bookmark and Share   The Associated Press has confirmed White House 2012’s previous post which reported that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will nominate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan for Vice President;

According to Associated Press;

“NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate.       

A Republican with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Romney has chosen Ryan. The Republican spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to disclose the decision.       

Romney was expected to introduce Ryan during a rally Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va.”       

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Romney To Annouce Paul Ryan as His Vice Presidential Running Mate at 9:00 AM in Virginia

Bookmark and Share  Although it has not been confirmed that Mitt Romney will nominate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan for Vice President, we do now know that he will be making his announcement at 9:00 am this morning in Norfolk, Virginia and that he will doing so on the USS Wisconsin.

The announcement will come at the start of a 4 day campaign bus tour through four battleground states.  The “Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class” bus tour was first scheduled weeks ago but the exact itinerary had not been released until now and in that itinerary may lie the answer to who Mitt Romney will be picking as his running mate.

According to the Romney campaign the first event will take place at  8:45 AM EDT on the USS Wisconsin, which is docked in Norfolk.  According to the schedule, Romney will be taking a tour of the USS Wisconsin.

However, scheduling a “tour” of the USS Wisconsin, fifteen minutes before you are suppose to announce your vice presidential nominee might seem odd, unless of course the person who your are nominating for Vice President happens to be a Congressman from Wisconsin, such as Congressman Paul Ryan who has been rumored to be a top contender for the job on Romney’s VP short list.

For a list of other potential Romney VP nominees visit White House 2012’s VP Contender Page.

The latest White House 2012 poll regarding who readers would like to see Mitt Romney pick as his running mate found Marco Rubio heading the list with 23% of the vote, followed by Condoleezza Rice with 20%, and Florida Congressman Allen West at 18.%.   In that same poll, Paul Ryan finished in sixth place with 7%, behind Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who received 8% .  See complete results of that poll below.

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Who Do You Want Mitt Romney to Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share As the race for President seems to have entered a perpetual state of boredom that is filled with a bumper sticker mentality of shallow stump speeches that offer little insight and a whole lot of repetitive pot shots and one liners, concerned voters find themselves left with but one last intriguing question —- who will Mitt Romney pick for Vice President?

Rob Portman

Aside from the actual election results, the question of who Romney will pick for Vice President is perhaps the only moment of suspense remaining in the campaign.  And as such, who he picks could actually make more of a difference than it has in most of the presidential elections in our recent past.  In fact, according to a CBS News/New York Times  poll released last Wednesday, 74 percent of registered voters said that a candidate’s running mate  matters “a lot” or “somewhat” to their vote,(26 percent  said that it matters a lot, while 48 percent said that it matters somewhat). At  the same time, 25 percent said that it doesn’t matter at all.  However; that sentiment is often expressed at this point in every presidential election, but by the time Election Day rolls around, it is a sentiment that is usually proven wrong.  Yet in the case of Mitt Romney and this extraordinarily polarized electorate, who he picks could make the difference between winning and losing.With swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin at stake, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan  could add the percentage or two to the election result in their respective states that is responsible for putting Republicans over the top in the Electoral College.But with figures like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or New Mexico’s Susana Martinez also on the list of possible contenders, the combination of their being women and being representative of different minority groups, has the potential to erode an important part of President Obama’s base vote just enough to make a small difference in a multitude of states that Romney is currently considered less competitive in.

Marco Rubio

What Romney is thinking is anyone’s guess though and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The only thing we know for certain right now is that some names are less likely to be selected than others.  Take Mitch Daniels for example.  He’s a highly successful and popular two term, conservative Governor of Indiana who I originally hoped would be our presidential nominee.  With his command of matters of the budget and fiscal conservatism in general, he would be a perfect running mate for Romney in a campaign that will be based on fiscal responsibility.  Daniels also has crossover appeal and would be a perfect balance for Mitt.  Unfortunately though, Mitch  has agreed to become the President of Perdue University at the end of his term in January.  So he’s out.  Unless of course that decision was thrown out to throw us off the track?

Paul Ryan

The there’s Chris Christie, or at least there was.  He has supposedly been given the honor of delivering the highly coveted keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  That essentially means he won’t be delivering an acceptance speech at the convention.  Unless of course the rumors about his being the keynoter were intentionally thrown out for public consumption to throw us off the track?Another very striking contender was Virginia’s popular conservative Governor, Bob McDonnell.  With his national star rising from Virginia, another key battleground state in this election, his presence on the ticket could deliver a state that is practically a must win for Republicans.  But McDonnell has been named chairman of the Republican platform committee, a job that brings with it the type of contentious floor fights and baggage that automatically scratches him off of any V.P. short list.So those are is at least one name you can take out of contention and two which you can stop taking bets on.  Maybe.

McMorris Rodgers

But that still leaves us with a mix of both likely and unlikely contenders who can potentially be nominated to join Romney on the G.O.P. ticket.  They range from names such Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire, to Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and from Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to Tennessee’s former U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson and a host of names in between such as Florida’s Allen West and Jeb Bush, or South Dakota’s John Thune and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.  In one scenario, even a Blue Dog Democrat, North Carolina’s Heath Shuler has been floated as a game changing decision for Romney. Polls about who most Republicans want Romney to pick vary based on the audiences that frequent those platforms offering such polls.  For instance, the conservative site Town Hall is probably seeing it’s far right readers choose dark horse contender Allen West, while other more libertarian geared sites might find that Rand Paul is the choice that it’s audience most wants to see selected by Romney.But when it comes to less partisan entities that happen to do professional polling and are therefore far more accurate at polling than those who conduct online opinion surveys , there is one name that keeps emerging as the favorite among voters —– Condoleezza Rice.

John Thune

A Rasmussen Reports poll that was conducted between July 15-16, found  that 65% of likely U.S. voters share at least a somewhat favorable view of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while just 24% view her unfavorably. Those results included 29% who have a Very Favorable opinion of Condi Rice and 6% who had a Very Unfavorable opinion of her. Twelve 12% were undecided in the poll.  (To see survey question wording, click here).  Other professional polling surveys have had similar results and for good reason.Condoleezza Rice is regarded as a very respectable, likeable, admirable leader.  She is also viewed by most voters as someone who is guided more by personal conviction and ideology than Party and partisan politics.  Such a persona could do nothing but help the G.O.P.  and hurt Democrats.  This is especially the case when you consider the fact that as both an African-American and a woman, Condi Rice does have the potential to make significant inroads into a base vote that President Obama needs to keep in his column and that Mitt Romney desperately needs to peel off and bring his way.  Furthermore; Condoleezza Rice can help Romney with the all important independent vote that will essentially determine who wins in November.Whether Romney agrees with that assessment or not is anyone’s guess but I will state this.  If he doesn’t agree with that opinion, he’s a dope.

Condoleezza Rice

While I like many of the potential candidates for Vice President, I believe that Condoleezza Rice is the one person  who can bring everything that Romney needs to the ticket.  And I mean everything.  Not only does she cover the electoral aesthetics of being a women and being African-American, her presence on the ticket adds a degree of historic value that can benefit Republicans much the same way it benefitted Democrats in 2012.  Add Rice’s ability to articulate conservatism and the traditional American values of independence, freedom, personal responsibility better than practically anyone else other than Allen West and what you have is a running mate who is an electoral goldmine.But it’s not just the electoral politics that makes Rice such a good choice for Romney.  It is her ability to be a great President that makes her not just a good choice, but also a potentially good President.  And afterall, is that not what a Vice President is suppose to be? Few politicians have the experience and knowhow that Condoleezza Rice has and few Vice Presidents would be more immediately prepared to assume the office of President at a moments notice as she.Still, there are three things that stand in the way of a Romney-Rice ticket.

One is the fact that Rice herself has not seen fit to show any interest in the job.  Yet despite the lack of interest, her recent penning of an inspiring editorial in the Financial Times raises some question as to exactly how disinterested the former Secretary of State is in getting her country back on track.  Problem number two is Rice’s stance on abortion.  Rice does not support banning abortion.  She does however strongly support placing many restrictions on how its practice.  While that position may be tolerated by some on the right, it will not be acceptable by others, especially those who are already doubtful about Mitt Romney’s own committment to the right-to-life cause.

Lastly is the political fear factor that Romney and his consultants may have regarding Condoleezza Rice’s ties to the Bush Administration.  They may fear that teaming Rice with Romney will provide Team Obama with an unintended campaign theme that links Romney to the not so popular former President.   While such political fears are worthy of considering, political reality should lead Romney to realize that Condoleezza Rice brings far more positives to the ticket than negatives.  And Team Romney should also realize that if the Obama campaign wants to revisit Condoleezza Rice’s record, they will be entering in to a very dangerous zone.  Rice will be able to defend her record and the Bush record better than anyone else and she will also be able to remind the American electorate that it is President Obama who essentially carried out her policies in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he and his Vice President ran against those policies in 2008.

All things considered, I believe Condoleezza Rice would be the best choice for Romney and while I would certainly be gleeful over the selection of someone like Marco Rubio or even the man whom I believe Romney will ultimately choose, South Dakota Senator John Thune, I can’t help but believe that only Condoleezza Rice can provide the momentum, gravitas, and appeal that Romney will really need if he wants to win the independents, and undecideds who will decide who the next President is.

What do you think?  Cast your vote for Vice President here.

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A Romney Pick for Vice President That Would Change the Dynamics of the Entire Election

  Bookmark and Share  There are many good choices that Mitt Romney can make in picking a partner to lead our nation with.  But there is one strategic line of thinking that could lead Romney to a pick that would be so game changing that it will turn the 2012 presidential election in to an entirely different race than it it now is.

It is an option that does not seek to win by playing on the politics of ethnicity or gender. It does not seek to play on geographical politics or the assurance of winning any one particular state. It seeks to cross the divisions of sex, color, religion, class, geography and even the lines of political Party. It is a strategy that ignores the desire to pander to women on the basis of sex or Hispanics on the basis of ethnicity. It is a strategy that, if it focuses on anyone, it focuses on the small percentage of  independent voters in the handful of battleground states that will determine who will be elected President in November.

It is strategy that would shock the political world, put Republicans in control of the headlines and in charge of the political agenda that dominates the remaining weeks of the presidential campaign, and it is an option that seeks to do all that President Obama promised but failed to deliver………unite us instead of divide us.

It is a strategy that begins with Mitt Romney allowing all the speculation over who he will nominate to continue consuming the news cycles until the second day of the Republican National Convention. By allowing the buzz over who Romney will pick  to remain a hot topic, and even manipulating the media by allowing some certain names to leak out every few days, Team Romney is assuring that Team Obama will have to share any of their own campaign’s distractions and distortions about Romney with each media outlet’s desire to make sure that they are in the forefront of covering the biggest news of the election to date…….. who Mitt Romney’s running mate will be. Holding off on announcing who the nominee will be also insures a greater national focus on the Republican National Convention, an event that is so scripted that it is spells suspense “P-L-A-N-N-E-D”.

Allow there to be some suspense. Give the news all the help it needs to generate ratings for their stations by forcing them to use the suspense over Romney’s vice presidential pick by covering the convention from gavel to gavel.

Then on the evening of Monday, August 28th, the first night of the Republican National Convention, Team Romney announces that on Tuesday, afternoon, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, will be holding a rally outside of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the Democratic National Convention which will be held the following week.

This will immediately lead to an unfettered frenzy of speculation over Romney’s announcement of his vice presidential nominee and while this fevered pitch over who the nominee will be, provides the backdrop for the events and speeches at the first night of the Republicans national nominating convention, allow each speaker who comes before the national primetime audience to stress two things—- national unity and the united resolve to address the worst economy since the Great Depression, and to do so as one people, the American people, a people who have always valued a life of independence over a life of dependence.

With the stage now set, on Tuesday afternoon of August 28th, amid thousands of Republican activists who have been  rapidly mobilized  by the RNC and by local and state Republican organizations throughout the Carolina’s and neighboring states, an array of distinguished speakers begins to address the large audience in attendance and the even larger national audiences witnessing the event on every channel and internet stream available to them. Let each speaker fire up the audience with remarks about everything from the need for a President who unites us rather than divide us, to the need for an end to an Administration that is hell-bent on waging class warfare and a war on capitalism.

The long list of speakers at this rally would have two purposes.  In addition to preparing the crowd for Romney and to help set the tone for his announcement, it will help to throw the media off the scent. Have people like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Congressman Allen West there. Have Tim Pawleny, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio , South Dakota Senator John Thune, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman all there. Have New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayote and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal there. Even have Sarah Palin there to address the people and make it impossible for the media to determine who the nominee is based upon which one of them is jopining Romney at this announcement.  Let each of these fine people promote the Republican cause and most of all, make it impossible for the media to scoop Mitt Romney’s ability to capitalize on the shock value of his announcement.

Then comes the moment of truth. Marco Rubio steps up to the mic and after hammering home the theme of a nation tackling our problems together as one people, he introduces “the next President of the United States…. Mitt Romney.”

To the roar of the crowd, with a sea of signs and American Flags waving, Romney steps out on to the stage, hand in hand with his wife Ann, and the rest of his family behind him.

Romney thanks everyone for coming together on such short notice. He hits upon the theme of his campaign, one of which is that we the people are in this together and that the only way out of the depths of our dreary economy will not be found by splintering ourselves by sex, orientation, faith, color, or class and how we certainly can’t find economic recovery by dividing ourselves along Party lines. And in his own words Mitt Romney says the following;

“Today, America will take a step towards ending the traditional partisan political paradigm that has divided us. Today I propose that we bridge the political divide by demonstrating a willingness to solve our American problems with American solutions. Not partisan solutions that are based on foreign political ideologies.  But it is important to understand something. It is important to understand the difference between Party and ideology. Ideology is a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or program.  Political parties on the other hand, are typically motivated more by the desire to seek to influence government policy by consolidating power for themselves.   And in that search for power, we often see the issues and even ideology, take a back seat to each parties desire to dominate the process. 

But what if we the people, took the partisan power trip out of the equation?  What if our nation focussed on chosing an ideology instead of just one Party?  Today I come before you in an attempt to lead us based on ideology not Party. My ideology, the conservative ideology, seeks to retain traditional institutions and supports the most minimal influence and control of society through government.

This ideology is a basic philosophy that comes to us from the founding principles of our great nation. And these founding principles transcend Party lines. They lie at the heart of my vision for America, a vision quite different than that of our current President.

While our current President seeks to increase the size and scope of government, I seek to lead an America of less government, less taxation, less spending, and more freedom.  And that goal is not limited to me. It is the goal of millions of Americans. Including Democrats.

Democrats, like Republicans, have all suffered from the failures of the current Administration. Democrats, like Republicans, have suffered from the longest period of sustained high unemployment in history. Thanks to the liberal tax and spend ideology, like Republicans, Democrats have been forced to endure the weight of our national debt becoming so burdensome that it is now a national security issue. Democrats and Republicans are having to face the fact that for the first time in history, we are about to leave our children with a nation that is worse than off than it was for the generation before them.

That is why millions of Democrats are just as unhappy with the way our nation is going, as Republicans are.  That is why we are in this together. It is why I know the only way out of this is to work with all Americans. Instead of making the wealthy the enemy of the poor, we need to strengthen the system that built this country so that it can continue creating wealth and opportunity for all.  It is why instead of limiting our potential by focussing on consolidating partisan political power, I choose to work with Democrats and Republicans alike.

For too long we have seen both Republican Presidents and Democrat Presidents fail to reduce our debt.  For too long we have seen a government divided by Party, fail to unite the people behind the solutions that we need.  Today, I seek to unite us all by uniting the parties behind a vision for America, a vision that is shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.

I choose to break us out of  the boundaries of partisan politics that restrict us and limit us by focussing not on Party, but on the endless opportunities that the conservative ideology which founded this nation can provide for all Americans.  And I choose to lead by example. That is why today I am proud to keep my promise to you. I promised to pick a running mate who is conservative. And today I proudly deliver on that promise by nominating a conservative…… a conservative Democrat……….. North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler“.

Now back to reality.

Shuler,  a former first-round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft, who was taken by the Washington Redskins and  later played for the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders, is a competent campaigner and powerful speaker and while picking him to be Vice President is probably not in the cards for Mitt Romney, it is a choice that is well worth exploring.

The selection of a conservative Democrat as Romney’s running mate would be a game changing choice that upends every potential angle to the 2012 presidential that has been discussed to date. While much of the focus has been on Romney nominating a running mate who can fire up Republicans or increase his support among some key voting blocs such as women or Hispanics, by picking a conservative Democrat as his running mate, Romney will be focussing on the one group of voters that encompasses not only women, or Hispanics, but people of both sexes, all ethnicities, all religions, all states, and all colors……. independents. These voters are more important than any other single voting bloc. They are the only voters who reamin unpolarized and who will ultimately determine the winner of every battleground state that Obama and Romney will endlessly court. They are the voters who will determine who is elected President in November.

By picking a conservative Democrat, Romney will take control of the political agenda, capture the imaginations of voters, especially independent voters, and change the dynamics of the entire election.

The move would help breakthrough the polarization that has locked Republicans out of contention in many states that are now consideredd to be solidly in President Obama’s column.

It will also put President Obama on the defense.

In 2008 President Obama promised to be a uniter.  Yet in the years since then, we have seen him do nothing but divide us.  He has claimed Republicans are waging a war against women.  He has told the poor that we must target the rich.  He has essentially belittled entrepeneurs and claimed that government control is more valuable to the American people than American entrepreneurship.  And if this them versus us strategy of divide and conquer isn’t enough to demonstrate that he is anything but a uniter, since taking office, President Obama’s legislative agenda has been nothing but a display of totalitariansim and partisan politics. In addition to his unilateral appointment of an endless array of unelected and unnaccountable czars designed to circumvent Congress and the voters, President Obama has led by dicatating executive order s and the by getting legislation passed through entirely partisan deal making that were conducted behind closed doors.

By nominating a Democrat, a conservative Democrat, Romney will be able to exploit that record to the fullest.

Independent voters who consistently claim that the answer to our problems is having Democrats and Republicans work together will begin to at least find hope in Romney’s attempt to finally make that solution possible.

Picking Heath Shuler will not suddenly make liberals vote for Mitt Romney.  Indeed most Democrats won’t cross lines to cast their ballot for a Romney-Shuler ticket.  But given the extraordinary political polarization that we are experiencing at this juncture in our political history, nothing will make that happen.  However; by picking a Democrat as his running mate, Romney will help  to reverse the troubling polarizing that we are experiencing in this election cycle.  And by picking Shuler, Romney  will appeal to at least some Democrats, including those in his native state of North Carolina, a state Democrats are hoping to win but are quickly losing that hope in.  He will also be able to appeal to Democrats elsewhere and he can do so with far more success than President Obama and Vice President Biden would have if they were to campaign among Republicans.

Heath Shuler can campaign for the Republican ticket in blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and attract more Democrats to the Republican ticket than Obama and Biden would be able to among Republicans in redder states such as Indiana, Virginia,.  And in swing states like Ohio, and Florida, the appeal of Heath Shuler among Democrat voters could make the difference between winning and losing the election.

But how would Republicans take to the idea of Mitt Romney, a candidate whose conservative credentials they already call in to question, picking a Democrat, even a so-called Blue Dog, conservative Democrat?

Not very well and therein lies the downside to this strategy.

Many conservatives will initially feel betrayed.  They will claim that Romney can’t be trusted and that he is selling conservatives out.  However, by the time Heath Shuler accepts the nomination, thanks to the magic of politics, the power of symbolism, and the increased prospect of victory, many of those minds will be changed.

Shuler who is not running for reelection to his seat in Congress, has voted against Obama’s additional $825 billion economic recovery package.  He voted “No” on  on the 2008 $15 billion dollar bailout for GM and Chrysler and has supported Truth in Spending legislation that would force the government to show real costs vs. planned costs.  On the issue of abortion, Shuler is a staunchly opposes the practice and opposes any and all federal funding of the practice.   Such fine points may not prove that Shuler is as conservative as a Jim DeMint or a Rick Santorum.  But a look at the record shows that Shuler is certainly not a traditional Democrat and he is certainly not a liberal.  Shuler’s histroy also demonstrates that he has even been willing to stand up to his own Party and defy its liberal inclinations.  In 2010, after Democrats were brutally rejected and found themselves in the minority in the House of Representatives, Heath Shuler stood up for conservatism within the Democrat Party, and took it upon himself to challenge the liberal leadership of Nancy Pelosi by opposing her for House Minority Leader.  That in and of itself is a powerful image to use among conservatives.

Still, the truth is that promoting Shuler as a conservative based on the entirety of his record, especially in the area of taxes and the environment, will be a tough sell.  But not  an impossible one.

The question is, would the conservative base be willing to concede the need for political compromise on their presidential ticket in order to achieve a conservative victory?

Picking Shuler would be a big gamble for Romney.  It would force Romney to risk the support of the Republican base which remains leery of him and which he can’t afford to lose.  But polls currently show that Romney is consolidating that base behind him.  That consolidation of support may have more to do with a growing disapproval of President Obama among conservatives than out of a love for Romney  among conservatives.  However,  if  President Obama continues to demonstrate that his vision for America is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles, and Romney can hammer that point home along with the fact that President Obama’s policies have failed us, Romney will have wiggle room and picking Shuler will provide Romney with a perfect opportunity to move this election away from the proformer Democrat versus Republican paradigm and turn it into a referendum on two different ideologies and visions for America.   It would be a bold move that leave  a partisan President Obama defending his divisive tactics, party politics, failed record and tax and spend vision, against that of a bipartisan ticket united behind a vision of less spending, less government, and more independence.

Will Heath Shuler be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney?  Most likely not.  But it is an option worth exploring.

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Unconfirmed Reports Say that Chris Chrisite Will Be the Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention

Let the Speculation Begin.

  Bookmark and Share  New Jersey Republican activists can hardly contain their excitement over the fact that their Governor has been selected to give the all important keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  New Jerseyans are bursting with pride over the thought that our Governor will be given the national spotlight and be called upon to articulate the Republican case and cause before the nation and the world.  But the reports have not yet been confirmed by either Governor Christie, Governor Romney or the Republican National Committee.  According to the Washington Post;

“Republicans say that, contrary to media reports, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Neither the Romney campaign nor the Republican National Committee would confirm those reports.

“You”ll have to stay tuned,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon.

Sources with the campaign say Romney is not prepared to announce any speakers yet. The New Jersey State GOP Committee said they knew nothing about it. 

“I’ve gotten no invitation to do anything like that,” Christie told NBC.”

These unconfirmed reports amount to nothing more than speculation but if true, the decision to make Christie the keynote speaker opens the door for additional speculation.  So here goes.

If it is true that Christie is the RNC’s 2012 keynote speaker, it will signal the G.O.P.’s obvious desire to highlight the message of a figure who has established a reputation for being blunt about what needs to be done to get our nation on a track to economic responsibility and prosperity.   It would also signal the G.O.P.’s desire to appeal to fiscally conservative independent voters, a segment of the voting bloc which could be critical to who wins the presidency in November.

Picking Christie to be the keynote speaker could also be a signal of several other things to come such as who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate. There has been a wide range of Republicans who would have liked to see freshman Florida Congressman Allen West deliver the keynote address.  West has proven himself to be a powerfully articulate speaker who inspires the conservative base while also firing up the TEA Party which Romney needs to bolster his standing among.  Christie tends to enjoy similar popularity within those same groups but West brings additional positives that Christie doesn’t.  Unlike Christie who comes from a state that Republicans feel is so hard to win that they have written it off in most of their campaign plans, Rep. West comes from a critical swing state that is well within the reach of Republicans to win.  Additionally, West is African-American, and those two factors would have made West a prime pick for giving the keynote address.  But giving that honor to Christie instead of West could be a sign that Mitt Romney has picked a running mate of color and so the need to highlight ethnic diversity during a high profile, primetime, keynote address may not be as necessary as it once was.  If true, that person of color who Romney may be ready to pick could very well be  former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who many have suggested that Romney is quite enamored with and whom  in national polls,leads all other potential vice presidential choices Romney may have.

But to read too much in to any decision would be wrong.

While Chris Christie is liked for the breath of fresh air that his brutal honesty and bluntness brings to the table, his abrasive nature does not fit well with the more diplomatic, less confrontational approach to politics that Mitt Romney is comfortable with.  The same goes for West who may seem like a good choice for Vice President for Romney but like Christie, neither man can be described as having the “same personality type” as Mitt, a factor that Anne Romney once described as a key consideration in her husbands decison on who he will nominate for Vice President.   Yet there is no denying that Christie’s approach has been popular and as such, there may be no other suitably prominent role for Christie to play in the Romney campaign other than allowing him to be a surrogate speaker and what more suitable platform can there be for such a surrogate than keynote speaker?

This of course does not leave West out in the cold.  Many other primetime slots are still available.  They include the highly coveted opportunity to be tapped as the lucky individual who gets to make the speech that nominates the presidential candidate, a role that West would fit quite well.

All of this is speculation though.  The only thing that is not speculation however is the fact that if it is true that  Christie is the keynote speaker, you can rest assured that he is definitely out of the running to be Romney’s Vice President.

On that front, until now, speculation about who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate has of late been superseded only by the speculation over when he will publicly announce who that person will be.    Today’s Wall Street Journal writes;

“It appears unlikely now that Mr. Romney will name his selection before departing next week for a trip abroad.”

At the same time, The New York Daily News writes;

“Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has  been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and  conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

Yet amid that media speculation comes a Tuesday tweet from National Review political reporter and CNBC contributor Robert Costa in which he writes:

“A Republican strategist close to the Romney campaign tells me veep announcement may come Friday”

Meanwhile, in an interview taped for ABC earlier today, Ann Romney claims that  her husband is “not quite there yet” on a final decision regarding who he will nominate for Vice President.

Not long after that interview, while attending a town-hall event in Bowling Green, Ohio, Mitt Romney answered a a question from the audience regarding who he will pick by confirming that  he has “not chosen the person” who will be his Vice President.

What this all means is anyone’s guess but to confuse matters even more, as noted in a previous White House 2012 post, Tim Pawlenty, the former Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has decided to retool his website, TimPawlenty.com.

Currently TimPawlenty.com has been replaced by a “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read  “Please come back later.”  Normally such an event would not mean very much but at a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, every move of every individual who might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen as a signal.   In this particular case though, having been a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw’s decision to finally retool his website and put in its place a “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit it, appears at the same time that Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Coincidence?  Speculation?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

You’re guess is as good mine.

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Is Tim Pawlenty Preparing His Website For The Vice Presidential Nomination?

 Bookmark and Share  Most people have little if any reason to visit TimPawlenty.com, but if you are one of the very limited stream of visitors to the official website of the former Minnesota Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, than you have been surprised to find that the long standing platitudes for conservatism, apple pie, coffee, and all things American , have been replaced by a “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read  “Please come back later.”

Whether Pawlenty is just conducting some useful site maintenance on his otherwise useless website, or handing control of the site and its future content to the campaign of Mitt Romney in preparation of Pawlenty’s accepting Romney’s vice presidential nomination is unknown.  Calls from White House 2012 regarding the status of the site that were made to several aides and former staffers of Pawlenty’s presidential campaign and his Nation First PAC have received a range of inconclusive responses that claimed the “Coming Soon Page” is up as the site undergoes some retooling.  However; attempts to determine exactly what it is being retooled for remains undetermined.

At a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, aside from who will the election, every move of every individual who might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen as a signal but in this case, one can’t help but question the timing.  Almost a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw finally decides to retool his website and put in its place a “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit, appears at the same time that we all know Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Now this could very well be coincidental but my political experience has taught me that in politics coincidences are events which politicians actually put on their schedules.  In politics, coincidence is a convenient excuse which allows the most unlikely set of circumstances to come together and seem like the most natural  string of events.  That stated, even though I have recently indicated that I am of the opinion that Mitt Romney will pick South Dakota Senator John Thune as his running mate, I can’t help but wonder if the coincidental timing of Tim Pawlenty’s “Coming Soon” page and Mitt Romney’s “soon to come” decision on a running mate is a more definitive indication of who that running mate will be than is my personal sense of who it will be?

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Senator John Thune Tops “The Herd” of White House 2012’s Potential Vice Presidential Picks for Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today, in it’s final installation of the series, White House 2012 offers a look at Senator John Thune of South Dakota.

South Dakota Senator John Thune

Born: January 7,1961(age 49), Murdo, South Dakota

Spouse(s): Kimberly Thune

Children : Brittany and Larissa

Residence : Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Alma mater: Biola University

Religion: Evangelical Christian

` Political Career :

  • Served as a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Abdnor.
  • Was an appointee of President Ronald Reagan to the Small Business Administration.
  • Was appointed Railroad Director of South Dakota by Governor George S. Mickelson and served from 1991 to 1993.
  • From 1993 and 1996, he worked as a member of the South Dakota Municipal League.
  • In 1996, Thune was elected to South Dakota’s at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He won reelection in 1998 and in 2000 was reelected with over 70% of the vote. Thune supported term limits and promised to serve no more than three terms in the House.
  • Keeping his pledge, Thune instead ran for the United States Senate, challenging Senator Tim Johnson in 2002. Democrat ran scandal which saw Party officials pay for on Indian reservations placed the results of the election in doubt. But Thune decided not to mount a legal challenge by filing any objections and accepting a questionable and close loss by 524 votes (0.15%).
  • Between 2002 and 2004 Thune worked as a lobbyist for the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad.
  • In 2004, he again ran for the Senate, this time challenging incumbent Tom Daschle, at the time the United States Senate Minority Leader and leader of the Senate Democrats. It is rare for for the Party’s legislative leaders to lose an election but after overcoming Daschle’s early 7 point lead, Thune defeated Daschle by 4,508 votes.

John Thune sits on the following committees:

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Thune is an attractive, young, conservative with heartland values that would be a big help to a candidate like Mitt Romney.  Yes, I know we have had seemingly similar people who fit that same description, but John Thune is no Dan Quayle.  The only drawback in picking Thune is the fact that South Dakota is going to go Republican in the presidential election no matter what and even if the G.O.P. did not have a lock on South Dakota, the benefit that comes with the advantage of Thune being that state’s favorite son is a miniscule 3 electoral votes.

But if the basis for chosing a vice presidential running mate is that of someone who he is capable of being President at a moment’s notice, than there is no reason for a Republican not pick Thune.  He is a solid conservative, not perfect, but solid, and he is well spoken, levelheaded, quite friendly, knowledgable on the issues and his legislative record is one which is rich in common sense solutions that most conservatives and common sense Americans would find quite appealing.   Add to that the regional appeal that Thune has and what you have is someone who is an almost perfect vice presidential nominee.

Part of the importance of Thune’s Midwest appeal is the neighboring swing state of Iowa, a state President Obama won in 2008.

In 2012, John Thune is much more popular among Iowa voters than is the President.  It is a fact that the Romney campaign used quite well after Thune became an early supporter of Mitt Romney and began campaigning with Romney in Iowa during the state’s presidential caucus.  Thune’s regional appeal could help make two typically solid blue states, Minnesota and even Wisconsin, far more competitive than they might be without Thune on the ticket.

Aside from the possible effects that John Thune could have on the electoral college, the two term conservative Senator meets all the basic criteria that Mitt Romney seeks.  Most important is Romney’s level of comfort in his running mate.  Like Romney, John Thune is firm, methodical, deliberative, not abbrassaive, and non-controversial.    This makes Thune a a safe choice for Romney among the conservative base that still doubts the depth of Romney’s committment to the conservative ideology.  Yet at the same time, John Thune lacks the ire of the left that would make him the type of lightning rod for their hatred that others such as Chris Christie or Michelle Bachmann would be.  That lack of hatred which is often exhibited fby the left means that the addition of Thune to the G.O.P. ticket will not provide the left with the degree of motivation that would be required to use Thune as a distraction from the issues.

Thune is a productive legislative leader, and a bright youthful, inoffensive, consistently conservative consideration for Vice President and is certainly on Romney’s shortlistt.  In recent days, Senator Thune has admitted that he has met with Beth Meyers, the woman heading up Romney’s search for a running mate, but he has not confirmed whether or not the Romney campaign is still vetting him.

However; I maintain that because of Thune’s overall record, his personal attributes, the unlikely acceptance of other individuals who may be up for the job, and the circumstances confronting Romney in the existing political environment, I believe John Thune is probably the person most likely to be picked by Romney.  While he may not excite the ticket with a sense of history and diversity because of his color, gender or lack of a Hispanic background, all o which would help bolster the G.O.P.’s much needed support from various blocs of voting groups, he is a competent and reliable selection who can offer a degree of balance that Romney needs in order to keep together his conservative base, motivate fiscal conservatives, and still be able to compete for the pivotal independent votes that will be needed to win the presidency.

Thune was considered a possible presidential candidate and even gave the idea of running for president some serious thought of his own until he decided against it in late spring of 2011.   But running for Vice President is a different story, and if asked to run, I really don’t see Senator Thune refusing the nomination.  Being Romney’s running mate will be a no risk proposition for Thune that will produce high yields for his political future.  Having been reelected to the Senate in 2010, Thune will not have to give up his senate to run for Vice President and if a Romney-Thune ticket did happen to lose in 2012, Thune will continue to serve in  the Senate and he will do so as a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.  That scenario dovetails quite well with Thune’s support for term limits.

When he served in the House of Representatives, Thune limited himself to three two year terms.  Now as a Senator, it is safe to say that he will limit himself to two six year terms.  As such, a run for President would be the perfect next step.  So for Thune, there is no reason to say “no” if asked to be Mitt Romney’s running mate

Thune is a productive legislative leader, who is youthful, bright, inoffensive, consistently conservative, and a good man in his own right.  Thune is certainly on Romney’s shortlist and if the nomination of the Vice President becomes contentious, John Thune would be the perfect compromise candidate.  And for all the right reasons.

Pros:

  • Thune is positioned well to attract independent voters
  • Can appeal to younger voters
  • Helps Romney in the Midwest, specifically Iowa, Minnesota, and possibly even Wisconsin
  • Thune has the capacity to be the articulate and credible attack dog that the G.O.P. will need on the ticket
  • Thune was a strong opponent of certain economic recovery and stimulus spending bills in 2008 and early 2009 and subsequently voted against many of those measures
  • Thune has played a leading role in formulating energy policy and was instrumental in passing a comprehensive energy bills in 2005 and 2007

Cons:

  • Although Thune now states he is disappointed in the way the money from the first  Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008 was spent, Thune did vote for it
  • Thune may be vulnerable to attacks based upon distortions of his work as a lobbyist for for the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad
  • Thune does not help to guarantee Republicans that they will any of the electoral rich states like Ohio or Florida  that may be pivotal in the Electoral College.
  • Thune’s support for earmarks that went to South Dakota will be exploited by the left

Assessment:

Thune is one of the more relatively exciting safe choices that Romney can make.  He is a relatively young, fresh political face, with a fairly solid conservative record and he can help Romney appeal to independent voters and voters in several upper Midwest state that Romney could use help in.  Since 2011, I have felt that John Thune is Mitt Romney’s most likely choice for Vice President.  Thune is a perfect fit for Romney in the sense that Thune is a comfortable match for Romney.   With names like Rubio and Daniels supposedly out of the running because of their claims to not want the job, unless Romney is prepared to make a bold choice and pick a running mate that could be viewed as a game changer, I believe that Thune is more likely to picked by Romney than other so-called safe choices such as Ohio’s Rob Portman or Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.

While Pawlenty is a solid and safe choice, he has never been very popular and if his own campaign for the Republican presidential nomination proved anything, it is that voters couldn’t care less about him.  As for Rob Portman, his addition to the ticket does not necessarily guarantee that he will deliver Ohio to the the Republican ticket but it does help tie Romney to the Obama Administration because of Portman’s past position as the Director of the Office of management and Budget under Bush.  That combined with the longer history of accomplishment that Thune has over Portman in the Senate makes John Thune a vice presidential pick for Romney that has more potential and less baggage than Portman will.

Will Romney pick Thune?  I have no idea if that can be answered in the affirmative or the negative but I have a personal sense of things that tells me Romney is leaning towards making John Thune his running mate.

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Bill Sponsorship & Co-Sponsorship

Some of Thune’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)

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Recent Key Votes

More Key Votes

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Thune On The Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Click here for John Thune’s Facebook Page

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Is a Romney-Ryan Ticket in the Works? White House 2012’s “The Herd”, Takes a Look

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Born: January 29, 1970 (age 41), Janesville, Wisconsin

Spouse(s): Janna Ryan

Children : Sam, Liza & Charlie

Residence : Janesville, Wisconsin

Alma mater: Miami University, (Ohio) (BA),

Profession: Blue Collar worker, Marketing Consultant

Religion: Catholic

Political Career :

  • Intern for the foreign affairs advisor assigned to Wisconsin Sen. Bob Kasten.
  • staff economist attached to the office of U.S. Senator Bob Kasten
  • 1992 – Ryan became a speechwriter and a volunteer economic analyst with Empower America, an advocacy group formed by Jack Kemp, former education secretary Bill Bennett, the late diplomat Jeane Kirkpatrick and former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber.
  • 1998 – Elected to Congress from his Wisconsin hometown

After his 2011 delivery of the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address and his presentation of the 2011 Republican budget proposal, “A Path to Prosperity”, no matter who the Republican presidential nominee was going to be and no matter whether he likes it or not, Paul Ryan was going to be on the short list of names to be considered for Vice President on the 2012 presidential ticket.

Ryan has already expressed no interest in the number two spot for Republicans in 2012 but if the call comes, the pressure is put on, and the political climate continues to echo the need for economic leadership, the times will dictate that Paul Ryan accept such an offer. For no man who truly loves their country can refuse to serve it when they are convinced that duty calls. And right now America calls out for the type of leadership and fiscal understanding that Paul Ryan brings to the table and possibly to the presidential ticket.

Paul Ryan is young, confident, humble and uses soft spoken words to convey hard hitting facts as he avoids demonizing the opposition. This along with his record of competence and passion for a budget that deals with the problems of today while addressing the needs of tomorrow, will make Paul Ryan the type of running mate who does not outshine the top of the ticket but provides incomparable support from the bottom of the ticket by being a seemingly non-partisan, down-to-earth, friendly, likeable family man, who can relate to voters and still make them feel confident about his ability to step into the presidency if the need arose. All that is in addition to his coming from an important swing state and his mastery of issues that will still be a top priority in November of 2012,——— the federal budget and national economy.

And Paul Ryan’s stock as a potential running mate has risen even further after the recent attempts to recall several Wisconsin Republicans, including the state’s Governor, Scott Walker. The left-wing, union inspired recall effort, failed miserably and stunned the nation with a vote that actually affirmed the type of economic austerity which Paul Ryan represents. That recall election has led many to believe that Wisconsin could come in to play for Republicans in the presidential election and if that is the case, adding Paul Ryan to the ticket could swing the state in the G.O.P.’s favor by as many as four percentage points.

The greatest obstacle to Ryan’s being asked to run for Vice President comes from the mileage that Democrats may be able to gain from painting Ryan as a heartless conservative whose budget plan attempts to destroy Americans by cutting everything from Social security benefits to the elderly to slashing assistance for the impoverished. To succumb to the potential of liberal propaganda would be a mistake though. If the left seeks to paint Ryan in such a way, the G.O.P could actually carve out a path to victory that addresses the divisive class warfare charade that liberals are trying to wage and combining it with the cold hard facts of mathematics, the mathematics of our ballooning deficit and weak economy.

But perhaps the greatest hurdle to Paul Ryan being selected as Vice President is the specter of losing his leadership in Congress as the House Budget Committee Chairman. It is one of the ten most powerful, and influential positions in America and a president Romney would have to ask himself, does he want to lose the responsible and competent leadership that Paul Ryan brings to that position? If it will get him elected President, Romney will probably be willing to have Ryan make that sacrifice.

Pros:

  • Ryan can attract Independent voters
  • Appeals to younger voters
  • Can help the G.O.P. win the case against tax and spend liberal policies
  • Might be able to swing Wisconsin to Republicans if the race tightens up
  • Ryan is an articulate, passionate campaigner
  • Is a relatively fresh face in national politics
  • Helps Romney with T.E.A. movement activists who are not particularly thrilled with Romney

Cons:

  • The left has already attacked Ryan as a heartless extremists and has even created parodies of him pushing a grandmother off a cliff
  • Lack of executive experience
  • Lacks extensive foreign affair expertise

Assessment:

Paul Ryan would be a relatively bold choice for Mitt Romney. Ryan does not initially bring the type of “safe” factor that would normally make Romney comfortable. However, Paul Ryan would bring to the ticket the type of solid convictions and leaderships required by republicans to corner the market on one of the number one issues of the day, our economic security. Paul’s Ryan’s credentials on the federal budget, the national debt, and entitlement reform are unparalleled and while his record will never convince liberals to suddenly realize that their attempts to tax and spend the nation in to prosperity is a dismal failure, he can help win over the critical independent voters who tend be more economically than socially conservative. And that is where this election may be won or lost.

That alone makes a Ryan a smart choice for Romney. But in addition to that is Ryan’s age, demeanor, working class background and Mid-West appeal. All of which compensate extraordinarily for that which Mitt Romney lacks. Which is why, I would have to say, that Paul Ryan is probably one of the 5 people Romney is most likely to pick.

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Recent Key Votes

More Key Votes

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Bill Sponsorship & Co-Sponsorship

Some of Ryan’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)

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Ryan on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Health Care
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Civil Rights Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Jobs Welfare & Poverty Corporations
Energy & Oil Environment Technology Principles & Values

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Romney – Rubio 2012: A Look at The Vice Presidential Prospects of Marco Rubio

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Born Marco Antonio Rubio (1971-05-28) May 28, 1971 (age 41) Miami, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jeanette Dousdebes
Children 4
Alma mater University of Florida (B.A.) University of Miami (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

When it comes to Marco Rubio the question isn’t will he be on anyones shortlist for VP. The question is who in their right mind would not pick Marco Rubio to be their Vice Presidential nominee? The forty year old Floridian is probably one of the three most conservative legislators in both Houses of Congresses but lacks the air of extremism that others like him carry, he comes from a critical swing state, and is the most popular elected figure in the state.

Given that President Obama is unlikely to be able to get re-elected without Florida, getting Rubio on the G.O.P. ticket would greatly limit the number of electoral combinations that will be available for the President to reach the 270 electoral votes needed. But if that wasn’t good enough reason to have Marco as your running mate, his Hispanic background is a major plus too. Born to Cuban immigrants, Rubio has the ability to connect to the increasingly important and growing Hispanic voting bloc in America. Winning the Hispanic vote or at least a decent portion of it, will mean the difference between winning the presidency and losing the presidency for Republicans. Rubio’s appeal would help in several states with large Hispanic populations, including the important swing state of New Mexico.

Beyond that, Rubio is bright, levelheaded, articulate, passionate, personable, and polished. Some of that polish came from his years as the youngest person to have ever served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. And when it comes to putting that political polish to work in a campaign, you must realize that we are talking about a man who was only 39 years old when he decided to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida and to do so by running against the state’s popular incumbent Republican Governor who also wanted the nomination. Governor Charlie Crist had been considered the next Senator even as Rubio began his underdog campaign. But in time the underdog turned the tables around so quick, that Governor Crist dropped out of the Republican primary, because he knew Rubio was about to beat him the primary. In the end Rubio was handily elected and along the way, he became a hero to the TEA movement and shot of life in to the G.O.P.’s conservative base.

The only problem is, Marco Rubio has made it clear that he will not run for Vice President in 2012. But that can’t exactly be written in stone. If duty calls, it is hard to say no. However, Rubio may just stick to his guns. He knows that he will someday be President, so long as he plays his cards right. I believe that Rubio wants to be sure that he paces himself. He does not intend to be a quick flash in the pan, and as such I really believe that he does not want to play second fiddle to anyone as their vice presidential running mate. He is waiting for the day when he picks the person that he wants to nominate as his vice presidential running mate.

Pros:

  • Rubio can attract Independent voters
  • Appeals to younger voters
  • Can help the G.O.P. win over Hispanic voters
  • Can deliver Florida to Romney and Florida could make the difference between winning and losing the presidential election
  • Rubio is an articulate, passionate campaigner
  • Is a fresh face in politics
  • Helps Romney with T.E.A. movement activists who are not particularly thrilled with Romney

Cons:

  • Being relatively new to national politics, Rubio is not quite as tested and vetted as other possible prospects for Vice President

Assessment:

All things considered, Rubio is probably the best choice Romney can make. However, Rubio has been firm in his declaring that he does not want to be Vice President. But the pressure that could come down on Rubio to take the nomination might be to much to bear.  So early declarations may not be quite as definite as they seem and if it is determined that Florida is in fact the key to winning the White House, we could easily see a Romney-Rubio ticket.

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Recent Key Votes

S 2343 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Reid Bill) Legislation (Nay), May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill) Amendment (Yea), May 24, 2012

More Key Votes

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Bill Sponsorship & Co-Sponsorship

Some of Rubio’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)

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Rubio on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Romney-Rice 2012: White House 2012’s “The Herd” Looks at the Possible Selection of Condoleezza Rice for Vice President

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

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Born (1954-11-14) November 14, 1954 (age 57) Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Denver University of Notre Dame
Signature

Professional Experience

  • Provost, Stanford University, 1993-1999
  • Professor, Stanford University

Political Experience

  • United States Secretary of State, 2005-2009 Appointed,
  • United States Secretary of State, January 26, 2005
  • National Security Advisor, 2001-2005
  • Senior Director/Director, Soviet and East European Affairs, National Security Council, 1989-1991
  • Special Assistant, Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1986

Click here for a detailed biography of Condoleeza Rice

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In mid December a Washington Times opinion piece stated that Dr. Rice was ”quietly positioning herself to be the top choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to deliver bona fide foreign-policy credentials lacking among the candidates.” They added “The 56-year-old has recently raised her profile, releasing her memoir in November and embarking on a monthlong book tour”. Whether it is true or not that Rice has been “quietly positioning herself” for a vice presidential nomination is questionable. This very humble, renaissance woman with above average intelligence, an unmatched resume, and wide range of interests has previously claimed that she would much rather serve a stint as the Commissioner of the National Football League than another stint in politics.

But minds do change and Condi could actually be floating the idea by sending some behind the scenes signals that she would be willing to be the running mate on the Republican presidential ticket. She would certainly be an excellent choice. Even though her presence on the ticket may initially draw some negative perceptions of the Bush Administration, Condi’s record is one that is strong enough to diminish such perceptions. Furthermore, in addition to her ability to bring strong foreign affairs credentials to the ticket and bolster voter confidence in the Republican ticket with it, she adds a combination of troubling fear factors to the Obama relection campaign. In addition to being African-American, she is a woman and while these are politically shallow reasons for electing our nation’s leaders, they are also very real and very undeniable political inroads in to the critical female and black voting block. All things considered, Condoleezza Rice is an automatic addition to any Republican presidential nominee’s short list.

Except Mitt Romney’s.

Although she is remarkably diplomatic and inoffensive while at the same time possessing steel-like resolve and confidence, and while her incredibly articulate ways would be able to win more voters over than turn them off, Mitt Romney can not afford to seem to equivocate on the issue of abortion. After switching his position from pro-choice to right to life, he has a hard enough time convincing conservatives that he is sincerely committed to to the sanctity of life. And the problem is that Rice is pro-choice. It is something which conservatives can only be overlooked by many conservatives if the candidate who picks her, had a solid, 100% reocod of committment to ending abortion and even then the selection of a pro-choice running mate would raise much more than just eyebrows.

That said, while I am a conservative who believes that choice exists before the fact, not after the fact, and therefore stand in opposition to abortion, I myself would still be supportive of Condoleezza Rice for Vice President and by natural extrapolation, for President. I do not belive that Rice’s pro-choice position would compel her to move towars a repeal of existing restrictions, not would she propose expansion of the use of abortion as a common practice. Indeed, she is on record as being a strong proponent of restrictions on the use of abortion and wanting to promote a culture that respects life. And when it comes to the many other issues facing our nation, I am willing to trust the judgement of this otherwise conservative leader.

And in many ways, Condoleeza Rice transcends politics. She is more of a policy person than a political one. As such, I trust in her willingness to make political decisions that are driven by the best polices for our nation as opposed to policy decisions driven by the purpose of persoanl political pursuits. If pressed, I would equate Rice to another former Republican President —— President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was more leader than politician. He was more public policy than partisan politics and he was more concerned with the plight our nation’s economy and security than the cause of partisan pandering. Such is the case with Condi Rice.

Such thinking may not please fellow Republican activists such as myslef but I am confident that making the best choices for our nation, also makes for the best positioning of our Party and Condoleezza Rice would make the right decisions for both.

But my sentimens do not change the reality of politics and unless Mitt Romney is willing to risk the support of the evangelical base that is already leerie of his conservtive convictions and committment to the right to life, Condoleezza Rice is not likely to make his final cut for Vice President. Between that and a Romney based fear that Barack Obama’s campaign will be able to use Rice’s leadership concerning the war in Iraq as a way to link the G.O.P. ticket to former President Bush and thereby create a distraction from the realissues in this election, will most likely doom Rice’s chances of being on the ticket.

Pros:

  • Condi Rice is one of those rare well known public fugures who if placed on the ticket, would probably be the one persona that the G.O.P. could nominate without offending a large portion of the left.
  • Her breadth of experience in foreign affairs would make the Obama Adminstration’s foreign and national security teams seem like high schools kids taking a summer course in history. Rice would be an an incredible force for Romney on such issues and could enable them to articulate the many weaknesses in that Obama policies have created for our nation throughout the world.
  • Has history of bipartisanship that can appeal to independent voters
  • McMorris Rodgers has a record that is quite appropriate for this election regarding her positions on fiscal policies, Obamacare, and government reform
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • Her relatively low profile makes her less a lightning rod for liberal attacks and her addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Has a pro-choice stance which could undermine Romney among the Republican base
  • Her ties to the Bush Adminstration will be exploited by the Obama campaign in an attempt to distract voters away from the Obama record

Assessment:

Despite my high regard for the former Secretary of State and regardless of my positive impression of the prospects of a Vice President Rice, my sentimens do not change the reality of politics and unless Mitt Romney is willing to risk the support of the evangelical base that is already leerie of his conservtive convictions and committment to the right to life, Condoleezza Rice is not likely to make his final cut for Vice President. Between that and a Romney based fear that Barack Obama’s campaign will be able to use Rice’s leadership concerning the war in Iraq as a way to link the G.O.P. ticket to former President Bush and thereby create a distraction from the realissues in this election, will most likely doom Rice’s chances of being on the ticket.

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Rice on the Issues

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White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Will Cathy McMorris Rodgers Be Romney’s Surprise Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Washington state Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Born: Cathy McMorris (1969-05-22) May 22, 1969 (age 43) Salem, Oregon

Political Party: Republican

Spouse(s): Brian Rodgers

Children: Cole McMorris Rodgers (April 2007) Grace (December 2010)

Residence: Spokane, Washington

Alma Mater: Pensacola Chrsitian College, AB 1990, University of Washington, MBA 2002

Occupation: Orchadist

Religion: Christian

Professional Experience

  • Former Employee, Peachcrest Fruit Basket
  • Former Legislative Assistant

Political Experience

  • United States House of Representatives, 2004-present
  • Representative, Washington State House of Representatives, 1994-2004
  • Republican Whip Team
  • United States House of Representatives Former Minority Leader

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Cathy McMorris Rodgers is largely unknown outside of her district in eastern Washington state, but among conservative activists, she is a familiar name and appreciated for her conservative leadership.

With a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93.80 percent, McMorris Rodgers has a record that could only shore up Mitt Romney among conservatives who remain insecure about his committment to the conservative cause and at the same time, Cathy McMorris Rodgers lacks the type of knee jerk reaction from the left that would automatically lead them to make her the poster child for their hatred.

Now in her 4th term in Congress, McMorris Rodgers is seen as one of Eastern Washington’s chief advocates in the House of Representatives and within the G.O.P. she is considered a rising star. Since first being elected to the House in 2004, she has earned the trust of both her constituents and her Capitol Hill colleagues. So much so that her fellow Congress members have twice elected her Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference where she is the only woman and the youngest Member of the elected House Republican Leadership. That position also makes her the highest-ranking Republican woman on Capitol Hill.

Such power has afforded McMorris Rodgers the opportunity to accumulate some substantial clout in Washington D.C., and she has used that clout to become one of her Party’s most influential leaders on issues like international bailouts, earmark reform, and the fight against Obamacare, three issues that will happen to play a pivotal role in the 2012 elections, including and most especially the presidential election.

So it is for those reasons alone, that Cathy McMorris Rodgers becomes an obvious addition to Mitt Romney’s short list of possible vice presidential running mates. But to make her even more attractive as a potential vice presidential nominee are a mix of her gender, compelling personal life story, and her history of reaching across the aisle to lead bipartisan efforts that introduced such things as beneficial health information technology legislation.

McMorris Rodgers’ non-political experience is another important consideration .

She grew up on a family farm, worked at a small business, and later became a wife and mom. To one degree or another, each of these aspects of her life can resonate quite well among several critical segments of the electorate, including those of the Midwest farming communities, women, and those who can appreciate having political leaders that are familiar with the plight of small businesses in America, something that compliments and compensates for Mitt Romney’s experience with the more corporate side of business in America.

All things considered, Cathy McMorris Rodgers is an ideal running mate for Mitt Romney.

She is well spoken, strong in character, firm in conviction, confident in her beliefs, and unmistakably compassionate. And while she lacks the lightning rod characteristics of a Sarah Palin which could allow the Obama campaign to make her a useful distraction from the issues , being a woman, her presence on the ticket would add a valuable degree of historic intrigue that it would lack if a Rob Portman or Tim Palwenty were to be selected by Romney to be his Vice President. Yet at the same time Cathy McMorris Rodgers would not overshadow Romney and still bring to the ticket the type of legislative experience and stature that people expect from a Vice President. Of course the left will draw parallels between Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Sarah Palin. But they will do so at great risk.

Like Palin, one of McMorris Rodgers’ two children was born with Down syndrome. Like Palin, McMorris Rodgers is a mom, a wife, a conservative and a person of deep religious faith. And if the left wants to use any of these similarities in an attempt to palinize McMorris Rodgers, they better be willing to deal with a backlash from mothers and wives all across the nation because this time their attacks will be seen as nothing but personal and inappropriate.

Pros:

  • Can help bridge the existing gap in popularity that exists between Romney and Obama among women and would make the liberal charge of a Republican war against women far more unbelievable than it already is
  • With a a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93.80 percent, McMorris Rodgers will be a choice that satisfies the conservative base that Romney needs to have show up to the polls in record numbers on November 6th
  • Has history of bipartisanship that can appeal to independent voters
  • McMorris Rodgers has a record that is quite appropriate for this election regarding her positions on fiscal policies, Obamacare, and government reform
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • Her relatively low profile makes her less a lightning rod for liberal attacks and her addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Has not yet been intensely scrutinized by a merciless media and national liberal lynch mob
  • Is relatively unknown outside of Washington state
  • Does not bring to the ticket any vast popularity that can dramatically change the electoral college vote within a needed state or region

Assessment:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not what you can call the perfect running mate for Mitt Romney. The perfect running mate for him is someone who won’t overshadow him, can win over a majority of women, and/or Hispanics and independents, lacks any of the baggage that liberals can use to create a distraction from the real issues with but has positive national name ID and could insure that Republicans win Ohio and or Florida.

The problem is that no one is perfect. If there was such a person, they would have been nominated for president by Republicans instead of Mitt Romney. But when it comes to Cathy McMorris Rodgers insofar as picking a running mate for Romney, she comes pretty close to perfect.

McMorris Rodgers is perfectly positioned on the issues important in this election, can help Romney among women, will appeal to independent voters, and in this largely out with the old, in with the new, anti-establishment electorate, McMorris Rodgers is a fresh face that helps generate a sense of fresh start in Washington, D.C.

And although she may not be the favorite son or daughter of a state that deliver a state like Ohio or Florida to the Republican’s electoral vote count, her appeal to a wide segment women and independent voters in those could be all Romney needs to win those states and others as well.

All of this makes McMorris Rodgers a bold but safe choice for Mitt Romney and “safe” is one of the things Mitt Romney likes the most. Which is why if Romney does surprise us by picking a running mate whose name has not already been widely discussed, it will be with the name Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 3541 – Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012 Legislation (Yea) May 31, 2012

H Amdt 1160 – Project Labor Agreements Amendment (Nay), May 31, 2012

HR 4310 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Legislation (Yea) May 18, 2012

More Key Votes

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Bill Sponsorship & Cosponsorship

Some of McMorris Rodgers’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)

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McMorris Rodgers on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Will The Importance of Ohio in the General Election Determine Who Romney Nominates for Vice President?: The Herd Looks at Rob Portman

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Ohio Senator Robert Portman

Born Robert Jones Portman (1955-12-19) December 19, 1955 (age 56) Cincinnati, Ohio
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane Portman
Residence Terrace Park, Ohio
Alma Mater Dartmouth College (B.A.) University of Michigan (J.D.)
Profession Attorney
Religion United Methodist

Professional Experience:

  • Owner, Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio,
  • Attorney, Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey
  • Attorney, Patton, Boggs and Blow
  • Congressional Aide
  • White House Aide

Political Experience:

  • Associate Counsel to the President, 1989
  • Director, White House Legislative Affairs, 1989-1991
  • Won, Special Election, United States House of Representatives, May 4, 1993
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1993-2005
  • Senator, United States Senate, 2010-present

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Casual observers of politics may not be very familiar with the name Bob Portman, but in the world of economics Portman is highly regarded as a leading budget hawk, a reputation he established during his 6 terms as a Congressman and as a former Director of Management and Budget. His leadership has been marked by proposals for a balanced budget, fighting against irresponsible earmarks, attempts to put in place new transparency for all federal spending, and when he was Director of Management and Budget, for reducing the size of the federal deficit by more than half of its size at the time.

Prior to becoming the cabinet level Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Senator Portman held another cabinet level post as U.S. Trade Representative. There, Portman implemented and enforced trade policies that successfully reduced barriers to U.S. exports and increased enforcement of trade laws which helped to level the playing field for American farmers, workers and service providers. That is an accomplishment that could have significant appeal to many pivotal, farming oriented states.

Another point that could have vast electoral appeal is that under Portman’s leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought its first successful legal case against China.

Through it all, while Portman closely adhered to conservative orthodoxy, he still managed to establish another reputation for himself as a successful bipartisan leader and through his bipartisan efforts effectively maneuvered legislative initiatives through Congress which increased retirement savings, reformed the IRS and added over fifty new taxpayer rights, curbed unfunded mandates, reduced taxes, and expanded drug prevention and land conservation efforts.

Now entering his second year as United States Senator representing the important swing state of Ohio, Portman’s reputation and proven record could make him a prime target for Romney if he wants to balance the ticket with a solid conservative who has particular expertise with the budget matters that are playing such a critical role in this election, and who is not seen as an overly partisan politician, while at the same time can make the difference between winning and losing Ohio in the general election…….a factor which could very well mean winning or losing the presidency of the United States. It is that consideration which has led many political insiders to conclude that Romney will in fact pick Portman to be his rinning mate.

While too much weight is probably being placed on that for anyone to defintively state Portman will be the vice presidential nominee, the Ohio factor is certainly compelling.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election. The last time it did come very close to making the difference in the presidential election was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate. That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916. Kennedy and Johnson had no love for one another. In fact it was just the opposite. However, politics makes for strangebedfellows and so the Kennedy-Johnson alliance was born to insure winning the White House.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won, be stopped. In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally. But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P. candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent. Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Ohio or Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why like Rob Portman in Ohio, Jeb Bush of Florida and Bob McDonnell of Virginia must also be considered as very real a potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

Given these facts and the fact that Republicans may not be able to win the White House without winning Ohio (no Republican has ever been elected President without it), Portman could be the only available favorite son from Ohio who could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney. Therefore, when it comes to Rob Portman being on the ticket, at some point the powers that be may decide that they can’t win the election without Portman helping to make sure they win Ohio. Personally I do not believe that Portman is as of yet popular enough in the Buckeye State to ensure a G.O.P. victory there but he also can’t hurt the chances of pulling out a G.O.P. victory there.

All things considered, Senator Portman is probably one of the safest, least controversial, and most logical choices for any Republican presidential nominee to select as their running mate and therefore, like Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree, John Thune, Portman becomes a leading contender.

Pros:

  • Portman might influence the results in Ohio by a margin that could deliver Ohio for Republicans and winning Ohio is practicial required in order for Republicans to win the White House
  • Could please conservatives who not yet sold on Romney
  • Portman corners the market for Republicans on the issues most critical in this election…. the economy
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • He is not a lightning rod for liberal attacks and his addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own

Assessment:

While Portman is viewed as one of the most likely people for Romney to pick for Vice President because of his probable ability to put Ohio in the Republican electoral vote count, I do not beliueve that Bob Portman has yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done by the Obama regarding his record. Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with, and loyal to Portman, that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn. Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire. But that is not the case with Rob Portman. At least not yet. And if Ohio is so pivotal, Team Obama will do all they can to assasinante the charachter of Rob Portman. And Portman’s short time as G. W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the basis for that character assasination.

Of course, Portman will easily and correctly be able to defend his record by making it quitre clear that most of his reccomendations whil Director of OMB were not followed up on by the Bush Administration, but in many regards, the Obama campaign will have the ability to create the false impression that Portman played a part in creating the current economic crisis.

Understanding that, it must also be said that the opposition will do the same with anyone who is nominated by Republicans. So from that perspective, Portman should not be denied the chance to defend his record, a record that is truly exceptional and could be incredibly helpful in allowing Mitt Romney to advance a powerful case for fiscal conservatism.

Ultimatley though, if fiscal conservatism and budgets are a selling point that Romney wants his running mate to well versed and experienced in, I see him more likely to select someone else. Possibly someone like Mitch Daniels who was also a Director of the Office of Management of Budget under G.W. Bush but has a stronger and nmore loyal following than Portman, and has his economic record as Governor of Indiana to point to when Obama tries to pin the Bush years on him.

Portman certainly is on the short list for Vice President and for good reason. But I do not believe that he will make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

S 2343 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Reid Bill)
Legislation (Nay), May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2107 – Authorizes Import of FDA-Approved Drugs from Canada
Amendment (Nay) May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill)
Amendment (Yea), May 24, 2012

More Key Votes

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Portman on The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Health Care
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Civil Rights Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Jobs Welfare & Poverty Corporations
Energy & Oil Environment Technology Principles & Values

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The Herd: A Look at the Possibile Picking of Tim Pawlenty as Romney Vice Presidential Running Mate

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty

Born: November 27, 1960,St. Paul, Minnesota

Spouse(s): Mary Pawlenty

Children :Anna, Mara

Residence :Eagan, Minnesota

Alma mater: University of Minnesota (B.A.), University of Minnesota Law School (J.D.)

Profession:Lawyer

Religion:Baptist

Political Career :

  • Appointed to the the Eagan city’s Planning Commission by then Mayor Vic Ellison
  • Elected to a term on the City Council
  • Campaign advisor for Jon Grunseth’s 1990 losing bid for Minnesota governor
  • 1992; Pawlenty was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and was re-elected to that seat five times
  • 1988; Pawlenty was elected House Majority Leader when the Republicans became the majority party in the State Legislature
  • 2002; Pawlenty campaigned and won on a pledge not to raise taxes to balance the state’s budget deficit, requiring visa expiration dates on driver’s licenses, a 24-hour waiting period on abortions, implementing a conceal-carry gun law, and changing the state’s education requirements. Pawlenty defeated 2 challengers in the GOP primary and eventually his opponents in the general election.
  • 2006; Pawlenty was reelected Governor of a margin of little more than 1%. This victory was despite DFL gains in both the state House and State Senate and a big gains for Democrats nationally.

(Click here to see Pawlenty’s White 2012 Presidential Page)

Pros:

  • Pawlenty could possibly make Minnesota more competetive for Romney than it currently is and without Minnesota in Obama’s column, it could be hard for Democrats to make up for that loss in the electoral college from another state
  • Pawlenty is a competent speaker
  • Pawlenty is a safe choice who has been somewhat vetted
  • His candidacy would not lead to any distractions from the issues or overshadow Mitt Romney

Cons:

  • Pawlenty does not fire up the base which Romney needs to energize

Overall Assessment:

There is no reason why Tim Pawlenty can’t be on the ticket. However; Pawlenty became one of the first people to declare their candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination and he became the first to withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And the same reasons which led to his withdrawal from the race may be the same reasons he is not nominated for the vice presidential nomination. Another reason he may not be on the ticket is because he has stated that he is taking himself off the list of candidates for Romney to consider for Vice President, and that he doesn’t even want to consider the position. Still, that doesn’t mean he is not being considered for the job or that he will reconsider his earlier stated thoughts.

Pawlenty campaigned long and hard. His campaign team was top notch and his campaign was initially financed fairly well and he did just about everything right. He had a good message, well done ads, and a good strategy. The only problem seemed to be the messenger. Tim Pawlenty seemed to be the kid in the classroom who always had his hand up while howling “ooh, ooh” but failed to interest anyone in what he had to say. So one day after the Ames Straw poll in Iowa, he dropped out of the race.

Despite those circumstances, Pawlenty is a top quality conservative leader with a great record on social and economic issues and he is an extraordinarily competent executive. Such qualities make Pawlenty a top contender for the vice presidential nomination, at least on paper. He is certainly not the type of running mate that any presidential nominee has to fear being overshadowed by. All this means that Mitt Romney could easily tap Pawlenty for Vice President. He comes from a state that the G.O.P. could use help with and which if they could win, would leave the Obama-Biden ticket in deep trouble. He also appeals to many Midwest voters and lacks much of the luggage that other potential running mates have.

But Romney may want and need a running mate who excites at least one demographic group far more than T-Paw does. Given that fact, even though Pawlenty is a safe choice and Romney likes playing it safe, there are several other potential running mates who are equally as safe as Pawlenty but bring a touch more excitement to the ticket than he does.

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White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Could Rand Paul Be the Ticket for Mitt Romney?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believethat  will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

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

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Born Randal Howard Paul (1963-01-07) January 7, 1963 (age 49) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul Carol Wells Paul (parents)
Children William, Robert, and Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University (1981–1984)Duke University (M.D., 1988)
Occupation Ophthalmologist (Physician), Politician
Religion Presbyterian(baptized Episcopalian)

Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, rode a wave of anti-establishment, T.E.A. movement sentiments in Kentucky that allowed him to defeat his establishment backed Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson by more than 20% in the state’s primary. Grayson was even backed by the state’s senior Senator, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Paul went on to win the senate against in a a hard-fought battle against Kentucky Attorney General, Democrat Jack Conway (D) by with a mix of his father’s Libertarian and continued energetic support from the T.E.A. Movement.

Rand’s swearing in to the Senate and his father’s swearing in to the House of Representatives marked the first time in congressional history that a child served in the Senate while the parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives but Rand soon set out to become his own man and make his own mark on politics. After being assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees, Rand established the Senate Tea Party Caucus and his very Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. It included proposals This proposal include an 83% cut in funding of the Department of Education a 43% cut the Department of Homeland Security. Other measures in his spending bill included making the Department of Energy ia part of the Department of Defense and totally eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In total, his bill would dismantle seven more independent agencies, put an end to financial international aid spending, cut the food stamp program by 30 percent and reduce defense spending by 6.5 percent.

Since then, Paul was one of only two Republicans to vote against extending three key but controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, the provisions allowing for roving wiretaps, the search of business records and for conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”.

Later in the year Paul was one of only nine senators to vote against a bill designed temporarily prevent a government shutdown that cut $4 billion from the budget. His reasons for his opposition to the bill was based on his belief that it did not cut enough from the budget and a week later, Rand Paul voted against the Democratic and Republican compromise budget proposals to keep funding the federal government and On April 14, Paul was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

During the debt ceiling crisis, Paul stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted and became a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by the Democrats. On August 3, Paul voted against the inevitable bill that came before Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Some of Paul’s other initiatives in the Senate include calling for a no confidence confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, blocking legislation that would have supposedly strengthened safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he felt the bill was not strong enough. he also blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, because he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green. Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.

Rand Paul is most certainly a promising figure, but at this point in time, much of his reputation is that of his father’s. For the anti-establishment, libertarian types, Rand Paul offers the hope that unlike his father, who has been in Congress for more than two decades and achieved absolutely legislative accomplishments to limit government in its size and scope, or to reduce spending, prehaps Rand Paul’s being one of only a hundred members of the U.S. Senate, will enable to actually put some of his promised and ideas in to action. That has yet to be seen and much like former Senator Barack Obama, with less than two years in office, it might just be prudent to give time the opportunity to tell us who Rand Paul really is and what he is actually capable of.

But Rand Paul’s popularity, especially among the T.E.A. movement types who Romney is not very popular with, could help Romney does make Rand Paul a real possibility for Romney to pick as Vice President. If Romney wants to win the presidency, he will need to get out the Republican in record numbers and Rand Paul could help do that. Another intriguing consideration is that the addition of Rand Paul to the ticket might just get many of Ron Paul’s lunatic fringe followers to actually vote for a Romney-Rand Paul ticket. Many Ron Paul who will not be voting for the Republican candidate, regardless of who it is or could have been, will think twice about throwing their vote away on the doomed to failure Libertarian ticket now being headed by former G.O.P. presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson.

But picking Rand Paul to get Ron paul voters to vote for him, would be a mistake for Mitt Romney.

While Rand Paul will help among fiscal conservatives and can add to the ticket a degree of the anti-establishment popularity that Romney lacks, Rand is still too untested for the national stage. Furthermore, despite what some believe, Ron Paul’s following is not quite as large as they would believe, which is perhaps why Ron Paul has failed to win the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988, and has now twice failed to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Furthermore; Rand Paul has provided a lot of material of which the left will use to distract voters with He has given them plenty of material to exploit and dominate news cycles with in attempts to paint Rand Paul as an out of touch, extremist. Such a situation would end up creating a din of sensationalized headlines so loud and so often, that it would drown out such things as Romney’s proposals to tackle create jobs, grow the economy, cut spending, and tackle the enormous, Obama dominated spending deficit. Rand Paul’s record may be short, but it is rich with both scripted and unscripted, controversial remarks that would provide the left with an abundance of material to exploit and distract voters with. That combined with the fact that there are many more accomplished and experienced potential vice presidential nominees who can also appeal to the anti-establishment and T.E.A., movement voting blocs, and what you have is no real need for Romney to take a chance on Rand Paul.

Pros:

  • Rand Paul can attract support from among some Libertarians and from some of his father’s militant followers who would otherwise avoid voting Republican
  • Rand Paul’s presence on the ticket would add an anti-establishment flavor to the ticket that Romney sorely lacks
  • Rand’s nomination for V.P. would help assure conservatives that Romney is more open to reform and more committed to extreme actions to solve our spending and budget problems than he has demonstrated so far

Cons:

  • Rand Paul’s coming from Kentucky does not help to put a state in play for Romney. Kentucky has no chance of going for Obama in 2012 and even though Rand represents a Southern state, he has not yet established the type of popularity that would allow him to be a substantial regional influence for the Romney Ticket
  • Rand has been quite prolific when it comes to saying controversial things. Between those remarks and and his record, the left would be able to use Rand as a tool to distract voters with on a daily basis.
  • Rand Paul lacks legislative and foreign affairs experience
  • There are more accomplished and qualified potential candidate two can help the ticket far more than Rand Paul
  • Although not as isolationist as his father, some of Rand Paul’s positions significantly clash with basic conservative national defense positions

Assessment:

Thinking about picking Rand Paul for Vice President is more of a novelty than a serious consideration. This is especially the case when you realize that with no legislative accomplishments of his own yet, there are several far more deserving candidates who are just as strong on the same issues that make Rand Paul initially seem like a good choice for Romney.

Rand Paul presence on the ticket would also become more of a distraction than a benefit. A slew of controversial comments will be combined with his limited voting record and used by the left and the Obama campaign to try and make a Romney-Paul ticket look out of touch and extreme. And in doing so, each new news cycle would be dominated by a Paul oriented, liberal attack line rather than any focus of the Romney campaign to bring attention to the real issues and Obama’s record.

For example Paul recently voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Now he did not do so because he supports violence against women. Of course he doesn’t. But he voted against it because the bill contained langauge and measures that he believed were not appropriate and in some cases passage of the bill included passage of measures that were not germane to the issue. But take that vote and combine with something like the much discussed incident that came up in Paul’s senate race. The Aqua Buddha incident in which an anonymous woman claimed that back in college, Rand Paul and a friend tied her up, tried to force her to smoke pot, and then took her to a creek, where they blindfolded her and forced her to bow down and worship something they called the “Aqua Buddha.” That incident came out in the campaign and was discovered to have no truth to it, but since when did the truth have anything to do with news headlines and the impressions of others that liberals create? So just as an example, put those two stories together for a liberal media outlet and what you have is a false claim being combined with a false impression of Paul’s reasons for voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and a story that a Romney-Paul be spend three days explaining away and being taken off message.

For that and all the other reasons outlined above, Rand Paul is probably not even being considered as a viable option for Vice President by the Romney campaign. But that hasn’t stopped certain political circles and media outlets from declaring that Rand Paul is at least a possible dark horse nominee. So White House 2012 included Rand Paul in this series merely to address existing speculation. In the final analysis, Rand Paul has about as much of chance to be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney as does Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 2072 – Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Legislation (Nay), May 15, 2012

S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

Legislation (Nay) April 26, 2012

More Key Votes

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Rand Paul On the Issues

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Romney-McDonnell: White House 2012 Looks at the Potential for Bob McDonnell Being Nominated Vice President

Bookmark and Share The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential names for Mitt Romney to choose from when picking his vice presidential nominee.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe will at least be considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

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

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell.

Born Robert Francis McDonnell (1954-06-15) June 15, 1954 (age 57) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Maureen Gardner; 5 children
Residence Executive Mansion
Alma mater University of Notre Dame (B.B.A.) Boston University (M.B.A.) Regent University (M.A., J.D.)
Profession United States Army Officer Businessman Attorney at Law Politician
Religion Roman Catholic

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Political Career:

  • 1992 – 2005:  Virginia House of Delegates
  • 2006 – 2009:  Virginia State Attorney General
  • 2010 – Present:  Governor of Virginia
  • 2011 -Present:  Chairman of the Republican Governors Association

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Bookmark and Share  During a February 21st, 2011 television interview, when asked“What if the party’s nominee.. came to you and said for the betterment of your Party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?” McDonnell replied simply, “Probably.”  Thus prompting White House 2012 to add Bob McDonnell to what was an already early and premature list of possible running mates for whoever the nominee was going to be that we first created and posted in December 0f 2010.  You see, even back then, there were certain outstanding individuals who many understood, were natural and logical potential vice presidential nominees, simply because they were exceptional leaders.

Today, with Mitt Romney’s selection of a vice presidential nominee soon approaching, McDonnell is still a natural and logical choice for Mitt Romney to nominate  for Vice President.

Bob McDonnell is a solid choice. He carries little baggage, is on the right side of all the issues that the G.O.P. base wants covered and is a strong speaker who would add a level of confidence and competence to the ticket. The greatest criticism might be that he has only been Governor for what at the time will be slightly over 2 in a half years. But Barack Obama was a Senator for less than that amount of time and it was good enough to elect him President. So for a Vice President , that should be no big deal, even though it seemed to have been a big issue when Sarah Palin was nominated for Vice President in 2008..

McDonnell’s establishing himself as a potential Vice President and ultimately maybe even President, did not come over night.  Getting to that point was a journey through decades of personal growth and accomplishments that really began after he graduated from University of Notre Dame on an ROTC scholarship, with a B.B.A. in management.

Upon leaving Notre Dame in 1976, McDonnell  joined the service where he served as a medical supply officer in the United States Army for four years.  Two and half of those years included posts in medical clinics in Germany, and for a year a half, in Newport News, Virginia.   During that time, McDonnell’s never ending drive for knowledge and self improvement compelled him to obtain a Masters of Science in Business Administration earned  by taking night classes from Boston University.

Upon leaving active duty service in 1981, McDonnell continued his military service as a reservist in the U.S. Army but as for a regular job, he took his young family to Atlanta where he was hired for a Fortune 500 Company named American Hospital Supply Corporation.  His work soon earned him a rapid succession  of promotions and after a year, American Hospital Supply Corp. transferred McDonnell to the company’s headquarters in suburban Chicago. The following year they put McDonnell in charge of their multi-million dollar custom  products regional division, based in Kansas City, where he managed the corporation’s  Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas  City offices.   But feeling personally unfulfilled by his work, McDonnell took advantage of his Vietnam-era G.I. Bill benefits that were to cease to exist in 1989, and decided to to go back to Virginia where he enrolled in Regent University in Virginia Beach to seek a Masters Degree in Public  Policy.  Then when the young university opened a law school, McDonnell took advantage of that to also obtain a law degree.

To say the least, it was a rather hectic and sleepless period in McDonnell’s life.  Others may not have been able to carry the burden of  simultaneously attending  law school, while pursing a Master’s Degree in  public policy, and doing so while supporting his family  as a sales manager for The  Virginian-Pilot newspaper, and serving in the active reserves of the Army with the 18th Field Hospital in Norfolk. In total,  McDonnell would serve 21 years in the U.S.  Army reserves until he finally retired as a Lt. Colonel, the same rank as his father, in 1997.  During these years, part of McDonnell’s pursuit of his law degree led him to also do an internship on Capitol  Hill with the House Republican Policy Committee for California Congressman Jerry Lewis, and it was here that McDonnell’s personal journey took him in a direction different than his previous private sector path.

So in 1989, with his degrees in hand, McDonnell took a job as a prosecutor in the Virginia  Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and in 1991 he ran for the seat representing Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates from the 84th District. He won and was reelected to the seat, six more times.

Here, as was the case with every other position and job McDonnell took responsibility for, he excelled.

Some of the  most prominent bills he drafted, sponsored and shepherded through the state legilature included Virginia’s historic Welfare Reform legislation, the reform of  Virginia’s drunk driving laws, legislation to abolish the death tax and to rewrite and improve  Virginia’s Public Private Partnership Transportation Act.  He was all the prime sponsor of Governor Allen’s Juvenile Justice Reform  Initiative.

In short time McDonnell rose through the House of Delegate’s political ranks and became Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman  of the House Courts of Justice Committee and along the way, in 1996 he was named the Network of Victims of Crime Legislator  of the Year in 1996.  In 1998 he was named The National Child Support Enforcement Association National  Legislator of the Year and  The Family Foundation of Virginia’s Legislator  of the Year.  He was again named The Family Foundations’ Legislator of the Year  in 2001, and in 2005  he received the honor of becoming the Virginia Sheriff’s Association Legislator  of the Year.

Then in 2006, McDonnell decided to run for Attorney General and after election results that were initially disputed, he was declared the winner by 323 votes.

As Attorney General of Virginia, McDonnell went right to work.  He established a “Senior Alert” to assist in locating missing seniors  with mental deficiencies, created a state of the art Sex Offender Registry, strengthened Virginia’s mental  health laws, and provided new tools for law enforcement involved in online investigations of  identity theft, sexual predators, and other 21st Century criminals. McDonnell  also created and led Virginia’s Youth Internet Safety Task Force, which was credited with improving online  safety, and establishing the ongoing Attorney General’s Task Force on Regulatory  and Government Reform. That task force made over 300 recommendations to  streamline Virginia’s Administrative Code, and reduce burdensome government  regulation.

But in 2009, McDonnell resigned as Attorney General in order to spend all his time and effort on running for Governor, a job he won in a landslide which saw him receive more votes than any candidate for  Governor in Virginia history.  McDonnell’s landslide also helped to sweep many new Republicans in to the Virginia state legislature.

Upon becoming Governor, McDonnell inherited a $6 billion deficit but in a year’s time he turned it in to a $400 million surplus.  And he did so after defeating a proposed $2 billion increase in the state income tax, and keeping the state’s existing car tax relief.

But perhaps the most profound immediate positive impact McDonnell has had was his ability to in less trhan two years, take Virginia’s unemployment from 7.2% to 5.6% after creating 111,900 new jobs in the state.

All this is probably why in 2011, McDonnell’s Republican colleagues chose him to be the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  It is also one of the reasons why Bob McDonnell is seen as an obvious choice for Vice President.

Pros:

  • McDonnell is a skilled campaigner and legislator whose talents can only help the ticket
  • “If” this a close presidential election, Virginia is a state that Romney must win in any formula that allows him to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House.  Bob McDonnell can deliver Virginia to the Republican column
  • McDonnell can help Romney among evangelicals who he needs to cast their ballots for him in record numbers.
  • McDonnell can help Romney in the South where he needs bridge the enthusiasm gap that exists for Romney
  • McDonnell’s record on jobs, energy, budgets, and deficits is an invaluable asset that will help draw sharp contrasts with Obama’s record
  • His experience in law and law enforcement, and on matters concerning the Constitution is unparalleled by most other likely contenders for the vice presidency and it helps to call in to question the credentials of the Obama Administration concerning ther Adminsistrations many legal challenges to states and their sovereignty

Cons:

  • McDonnell’s addition to the ticket does not bring the type of diversity which other potential candidates like Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice or Susana Martinez can, and that diversity might be needed to help win in key battlegrounds states like Ohio and/or Florida
  • McDonnell signed an executive order removing anti-discriminatory protection for gays and lesbians in Virginia, rescinding a 2006 order from Gov. Kaine which had prohibited discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.  This will mobilize liberal gay activists to the point where they may get some mileage from attempts to paint McDonnell and by natural extension, the Republican ticket,  as out of touch, right wing extremists
  • Governor McDonnell issued a proclamation designating April 2010 as Confederate History Month and the initial proclamation left out any anti-slavery language.  McDonnell rectified this  but the issue is one which the left may try to exploit
  • McDonnell signed in to law a measure that mandates ultra sounds for pregnant women seeking an abortion.  The measure came after McDonnell initially supported an earlier bill requiring  women to get an intravaginal ultrasound before an abortion procedure
  • Lacks any immediate foreign affairs experience

General Assessment:

McDonnell has his fingerprints are all over the solutions to the most critical problems ailing the nation. On an issue such as energy, he has led the way in making Virginia an national resource for natural energy with his support drilling for oil off of the coast of Virginia while simultaneously developing new technologies for wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable energy resources and expanding investments in renewable energy sources while also incentivizing  green job creation.  On the issue of jobs, CNBC named Virginia “The Top State for Business” in the country and while the nation has been focussed on not counting the number of people who have dropped out of the job market, since taking office McDonnell has has created 112,00 net new jobs and the number of unemployed Virginians has decreased by 21%.  That’s  a reduction in unemployment obtained by counting new jobs not by stopping to count the number of people who gave up looking for jobs.

On budgetary matters, while the nation lost its AAA bond rating, and the deficit has ballooned at an unprecendented rate, McDonnell took his state from one with a record deficit, to where now each year he has been in office, it has a surplus.

As one newspaper put it On those issues important to  all – taxation, jobs, schools, – Bob McDonnell did not disappoint.  “Priorities were set and addressed.”  And that is exactly what people want in a Republican presidential ticket and why McDonnell is only a logical choice.

However Mitt Romney may find that he can select others who have similarly positive but are more established.  Like Indiana’s Mitch Daniels.  Or that he could find some of similar accomplishments but unlike McDonnell, could also bring diversity to the ticket.  Names like Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Mexico’s Susana Martinez come to mind.

Romney may also want to try to get someone whose record lacks the type of controversial social issue positions that McDonnell has brought to the table.  The thinking there is that Romney does not want to give President Obama and the left, the opportunity to focus on things will distract from the G.O.P.’s ability to get voters to focus on the Obama record and the Obama economy.    With McConnell’s decisions regarding things like issuing a proclamation designating a Confederate History Month,   removing so-called anti-discriminatory protections from  gays and lesbians, and the decision mandating ultrasounds before a women has an abortion, Romney may fear that McDonnell could be “Palinized” and that those issues will can become the distraction that Democrats want.  But such can be done with the record of any conservative.  Or liberal for that matter.

So it is hard to say with any certainty that Romney will tap McDonnell for Vice President.  But you can bet that McDonnell’s name is one of the top five on the short list for the job.

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Recent Key Votes

Legislation  (Veto)  – April 9, 2012
Legislation  (Veto) – April 9, 2012
Legislation  (Veto) – April 9, 2012

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Bob McDonnell on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Frank Keating for Vice President? Will Mitt Romney Consider making the Former Oklahoma Governor His Runnig Mate?

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

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

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating.

Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating

Born Francis Anthony Keating (1944-02-10) February 10, 1944 (age 68) St. Louis, Missouri
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Keating
Profession Lawyer, Lobbyist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Frank who?

Many, non-Southerners may not know or remember Frank Keating, but they should because he’s worth remembering.   He is truly one of the most successful conservative leaders and genuinely nice guys politics has ever known. As such, those of us who do remember Frank Keating are stirred by feelings of respect and confidence, when we think about him. Which is why when considering people as prospective vice presidential nominees, Frank Keating should be considered by Mitt Romney.

Keating, a former two term Governor of Oklahoma began his career in law enforcement and his good work in that area eventually led President Ronald Reagan to appoint Keating to be the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, where he served with distinction from 1981 to 1984. In 1984 he ran for Congress in Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district and lost but came close to defeating House Budget Committee chairman Jim Jones

Following that loss, President Reagan appointed Keating to serve as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and later as United States Associate Attorney General, where he became the third ranking official in the Department of Justice. In these positions, Keating managed both the Justice and Treasury departments’ law enforcement agencies, as well as the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and all 94 United States Attorneys.

Following the election of George H.W. Bush in 1988, Keating continued on in the Justice Department but in 1990 was elevated by the first President Bush to serve as General Counsel and Acting Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Jack Kemp. He began his work there in 1990 but on November 14th of 1991, Bush nominated Keating to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Keating stayed on as Acting Deputry Director at H.U.D as he waited for his nomination to be taken up the Senate, but with Democrats in control, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and their partisanship caused them to sit on the nomination and never bring it for a hearing and vote. This allowed incoming Democrat President Bill Clinton to nominate a fellow partisan Democrat instead. The Democrat controlled Senate did act on that nominee in a timely fashion. Keating finally left his post with H.U.D. in 1993, after the Clinton Admimistration replaced him in that job too.

Keating then headed back to Oklahoma where after a years in the private sector, he decided to run for Governor of Oklahoma and in November of 1994 he defeated his Democrat opponent by 17 percentage points.

Within just three months of taking office, on April 19, Governor Keating became a man in charge of what at the time, was the greatest single act of terrorism in the United States. It became infamously known as the Oklahoma City Bombing and ground zero was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. One explosion ignited within the confines of a large U-Haul truck that was parked in front of the building killed 168 Oklahomans and injured 800. The blast tore down the Alfred P. Murrah Building and destroyed or damaged more than 300 buildings in the surrounding area, leaving several hundred people homeless and shutting down business.

Governor Keating orchestrated an unimaginable mobilization of relief and rescue teams to handle the tragic event. His leadership help coordinate the efforts of over 12,000 people in the days following bombing and his masterful handling of it all earned him worldwide attention for his efforts to help the victims and their families.

Aside from the testing of Governor Keating under fire through the tragedy of Oklahoma City, Keating undertook an aggressive political agenda that included environmental protection, road building, tougher law enforcement, economic development,education reform, public safety, tax relief. he even initiated the creation of an innovative public-private partnership that assured care for the indigent as well as a stronger medical education program. Passage of these initiatives was not east and despite several bitter battles with the Democrat controlled state legislature, most of Keating’s initiatives were passed.

His first major success was passage of the first welfare reform law in the nation in 1995. By y 2001, those reforms had reduced Oklahoma’s welfare rolls by over 70%., but it’s early success was so great that success made Keating’s reforms a national model that was mimicked by the historic welfare reform act of 1996.

From there, Keating moved on to other memorably successful efforts. As a law and order politician, Keating used his career in law enforcement to serve Oklahomans. He implemented tough parole policies and introduced the landmark truth-in-sentencing legislation. Keating also showed little amnesty when handling death sentence criminals, allowing many of those sentenced to death to be executed. Keating also raised the salaries of Oklahoma’s state troopers from the lowest in the nation to the 24th highest.

But the greatest success of Keating’s first term came in 1998 when he become the first Governor of Oklahoma in 50 years to successfully maneuver the passage of a cut in the state’s income tax. Something that was made all the more remarkable given the fact that he had already successfully reduced the states unemployment tax, sales tax, and estate tax. The sum total of these policies and cuts created over 130,000 new jobs in Oklahoma Oklahoma and amounted to the largest tax break in the state’s history.

In his second term Keating set four goals for Oklahoma for his second term:

  1. Ensure one out of every three Oklahomans has a college degree by 2010
  2. Decreasing Oklahoma’s divorce rate by 50% before 2010,
  3. Raising Oklahoma’s Americas College Testing scores to the national average by 2005
  4. Raising Oklahoma’s per capita income to reach the national average by 2025

This focus led to an agenda that focussed on education by introducing charter schools in to the system and by increasing spending on the enhancement of vo-tech and higher education facilities. It also led Keating confront the problems involving substance abuse , child abuse, and out of wedlock births.

Other extraordinary achievements of Keating included

  • A criminal justice bill that reformed Truth in Sentencing (TIS) to Oklahoma and ensure that violent and repeat offenders remained in jail
  • Overseeing the largest road construction project in Oklahoma history.
  • Leading his state through the historic and devastating tornado season of 1999
  • Raising more than $20 million in private money to replenish a state fund that went dry during WWI and was meant to complete the Oklahoma State Capitol with a dome.

Since leaving office, Keating has enjoyed much success in the private sector sector where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council of Life Insurers. In 2002 he wrote a children’s book about famous Oklahoman Will Rogers and in 2006 he authored another children’s book. This one was about Theodore Roosevelt. Then in 2008 came Standing Bear, his third book for children.

On January 1, 2011, Keating became president and CEO of the American Bankers Association.

During his post gubernatorial days, Keating flirted with the thought of running for President. However in 2008, he decided that compared to the earlier starts by the McCain and Romney campaigns, it was too late for him step in to the race.

Between his experience, personality and accomplishments, Governor Keating is probably more qualified to be President of the United States than any one who is or who were running for President in 2012. From a conservative standpoint, Keating is brilliant. From a non-partisan standpoint, Keating is a level-headed doer who looks beyond the obvious problems that needs fixing and dives full on in to a mission to fix them, but also has the vision to make sure that they won’t need to be fixed again in the future.

Governor Keating is a charming, inteligent, experienced, knowledgeable, accomplished leader who avoids partisan political bickering and reminds his colleagues that voters do not care about politics, they care about policies, policies that work. The type of Keating policies that increase, jobs, grows the economy, limits government, and is willing to accept the fact that government is not the answer to everything, but that government can help to unite the private sector in a way that allows them to do a better job than government ever could have.

Keating also has something that only a handful of other potential VP nominees have. Signature achievements that bring a level of undeniably proven credibility. The type of credibility that has also withstood the test of time. Frank Keating has truly walked the walk not just talked the talk. He has a proven record that if given the attention it deserves, could impress more than a few voters and make them say “we need someone like him to do for our nation, what he did for his state”.

It is simply a shame that Frank Keating didn’t become a candidate for President in 2012.

His record as Governor is one which not only demonstrates how good he was, it shows us a man who was ahead of the times. While many states are only now struggling with right-to-work laws, Frank Keating addressed them before they could become institutionalized problems in his state. While many states are finally trying to deal with the often tragic results of a lack of truth in sentencing, Frank Keating long ago solved that for the people of his state.

Be it matters of infrastructure, education, taxes, jobs, or the economy, Frank Keating has created road maps that have taken people in the direction before and there is no reason to believe why he can’t again. And he has even been successful at changing the dynamics of late which have people believing that all things must rely upon government. As Governor, Frank Keating was able to demonstrate the benefits of having government rely on the private sector and in so doing, proved that the private sector can do better than government. Between that and his having more hands on experience in the areas of public safety and law enforcement and what you have is a man who few are looking at now, but many could be wanting once they are reminded of who he is.

Pros:

  • Incredible experience in law enforcement
  • Has a record of governor that is full of reform, innovation, fiscal success, and managerial expertise, all of which touch upon important issues in this election.
  • Respected among the conservative base that Romney needs to excite and get behind him with enthusiasm

Cons:

  • Does not bring any needed extraordinary geographical pluses to the ticket
  • His post-gubernbatorial work in the private sector as a lobbyist for bankers and insurers will be turned in to something evil by the left
  • At 68, some may try to subtley use his age against him
  • His representation of Banks as the ABA President will be used to try paint a Romneky/Keating ticket as an out of touch, rich Republican team of banking and Wall Street special interests as a part of the ongoing liberal class warefare startegy

General Assessment:

Keating is everything that conservatives want and more. Not only has been there and done that when it comes to every issue that we are discussing today, he has taken those issues by the horn and in his state, solved the problems surrounding those issues. As a candidate, Keating would be a strong, articulate candidate who people could relate to and with whom they could connect. He also comes from a school of politics that when compared to today’s politics, is much more mature and non-partisan. And although many people might not exactly recognize the name, once his story is told, people will automatically respect him for both who he is and what he accomplished. However I do not think Mitt Romney wants to have to tell Keating’s story. Doing so would drive some unwanted contrasts between Romney’s record and Keating’s record that Mitt may not want to have to address. And finally, I think Mitt may want to try to bring a relatively fresher face to the stage.

But I could easily be, and in many ways hope I am wrong, because if anyone would make a good Vice President, it would be someone who would make an excellent President, and Frank Keating would make an excellent President. In the end, as much as glad as I would like to see Keating tapped for the nomination, I think he is a longshot for the job because of the lack of geographical electoral benefit he brings to the ticket and because of the propoganda rich image the left would be given because of Keatings representation of insurance interests and as the President of the American Banking Association, banking interests.

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Frank Keating On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Health Care
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Civil Rights Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Jobs Welfare & Poverty Corporations
Energy & Oil Environment Technology Principles & Values

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Other White House 2012 pages dedicated to potential vice presidential candidates include links to the websites, and Facebook pages of the candidate it focusses on. Keating’s lack of political inolvement since 2002 has left Keating without a need or desire for such pages so there were none to link to. Inlieu of such pages, we have instead provided several video interviews of the Governor.

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Recent Interviews of Frank Governors

Frank Keating, the former Oklahoma Governor who was named chief executive officer of the American Bankers Association, talks about his work on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s proposal for changes to the U.S. budget.

ABA CEO Frank Keating speaks at the ABA’s 2011 Convention about the Dodd-Frank Act and the importance of banks in building strong communities.

Former Governor Frank Keating talks about anger in America 15 years after the Oklahoma City Bombing with CNN’s John King.

The Herd: A Look at the Possible Republican Vice Presidential Nominnees: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

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

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

Today White House 2012 takes a look at New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

Born (1959-07-14) July 14, 1959 (age 52) El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party (Before 1995) Republican Party (1995–present)
Spouse(s) Chuck Franco
Children Carlo
Residence Governor’s Mansion
Alma mater University of Texas, El Paso University of Oklahoma
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Martinez is a strong, Thatcher-like, conservative, woman who in 2010 handily won her election and became the first female governor of New Mexico, and the first female Hispanic governor in the United States. Beyond both the appeal of the balance she would bring to the G.O.P. as both a Hispanic and a woman, Martinez is simply a strong conservative leader with solid conservative positions and a powerful conservative agenda that translates into the type of solutions that New Mexico and in many ways, the nation requires .

Martinez has pursued an aggressive approach to the problem of illegal immigration in her state, and as a four term district attorney, Martinez she has a powerful law and order agenda. She has sought to repeal state laws that provide illegal immigrants access to driver’s licenses and to deny children of illegal immigrants access to higher education through the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship Ironically Martinez has admitted that her paternal grandparents were illegal immigrants. While that may become a laughing point for the left, it does however give Martinez a unique ability to lead on the issue.

Governor Martinez has also been a leading “good government” advocate who has pushed for transparency in government every step of the way. This probably stems from her years as a prosecutor in which she focused on cases involving public corruption. And when it comes to fiscal conservatism, Martinez is a trim, female version of Chris Christie. While far more attractive than Christie, she shares his approach to budgetary matters and has proposed to reduce New Mexico’s debt without increasing taxes, and by proposing state spending reductions and agency budget cuts. Martinez has also called for pension reforms, that have reduced the state’s pension contribution and required their beneficiaries to pay an additional 2% into their pension funds. In other areas Martinez has promised to revamp the state’s education plan by investing in private education

Martinez is pro-life and is opposed to elective abortion. She supports parental notification laws for minors under 13-years-old who seek an abortion. She is also opposed to same-sex marriage. Martinez supports a balanced budget and lower government spending. She also favors putting taxpayer money into a rainy day fund, and refunding taxpayers to attempt to stimulate growth.

One area where Martinez may be seen as wandering off the conservative Republican ranch. While the Party line generally focusses von cutting services, the opposition often attempts to use that as a way to paint the G.O.P. as out to decimate programs aimed at helping the sick and poor. But such charges can not be used against Martinez. She goes out of her way to make it know that she believes in providing services to adults and children who can’t take care of themselves. That belief even prompted Governor Martinez to wrest an additional $6 million in Medicaid money out of the New Mexico legislature during her first year in office, despite inheriting a a $450 million deficit. This may earn Martinez some sharp criticism from fiscal conservatives on the right, but in the general election, it could a long way in compensating for the harsh image that the Obama and the pro-Obama media will create for Republicans when it comes to the most vulnerable in our society.

In many ways, Martinez is shrewd or to put it in a more accurate and less ominous way, she is politically savvy. She knows that her political future is bright and so she has been very carefull in her political decision making. She has avoided any of the political landmines that often eventually blowup in the faces of other politicians. In many ways, you can say Martinez is pacing herself. She offers bold conservatives solutions that are designed to address the problems of her state but she as avoided getting heavily invested in anything that would anger one segment of the electorate or the other. This may not be seen as a profile in courage but from a political standpoint, New Mexico governors are limited to two terms and if Martinez does a job that is good enough to get reelected, her second term could be the one in which she uses to shoot for more bold, sweeping reforms.

In the meantime, Martinez has one of the highest approval ratings of all the governors in the nation and she is in a perfect position to bring that type of popularity to the Republican presidential ticket.

If tapped for Vice President, the left will surely try to palinize Martinez. Like Palin by the time of the 2012 election she will have served only half a term as Governor and many will draw comparisons between Palin and Martinez. But such comparisons would be a mistake. The two are very different people, with similar conservative solutions but with distinctly different personalities and approaches. Martinez could be a strong running mate for any presidential nominee. But her willingness to accept the VP slot if asked is in great doubt. Voters of New Mexico were not very happy with their last Governor when he briefly ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Governor Bill Richardson was term limited and could not seek reelection but New Mexicans were still not happy with the time he spent running for office instead of running the state.

Which might be one reason why Martinez claims to be dead-set against running as Romney’s Vice President. Another reason could be her dislike of the Republican establishments approach to immigration and appealing to Hispanic voters. In regards to Romney’s call for policies that promote illegal immigrants to self deport, Martinez sate’s “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” She also adds that Martinez “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why.”

Martinez has many of her own ideas on how to do that. One of them includes reminding Latinos that President Obama promised to pass comprehensive immigration reform by the end of his first term year in office and to make them aware that as it turns out, he “didn’t even have the courage to try.” Another suggestion is for Republicans to come up with their own, very real, multi level approach to immigration. An approach that includes a guest-worker program for people who want “to go freely back and forth across the border to work”; increased border security; a visa (coupled with a “penalty” or a “tagback”) that allows rest of the illegal population to remain in the U.S. while they follow standard naturalization procedures. deportation for criminals; and a DREAM Act-style pathway to citizenship, through the military or college, for children brought here illegally by their parents.

But with such strong opinions and an obviously bright future of leadership, it is very possible that Martinez could be convinced that by joining the Republican presidential ticket, she might be able to accomplish these things. With Republicans needing close to at least 40% of the vote if they wish to win the White House, there is no good reason for Mitt Romney to adopt the ideas of Martinez and unleash her on the nation to campaign for the their implementation.

Given the reality of it all, Martinez is by far the best choice for Mitt Romney. Like Marco Rubio, she appeals to Hispanics, but as a Latina she also appeals to women, and not just Hispanic women. Martinez also comes from a state that if Republicans win, could make it impossible for President Obama to hammer together the 270 electoral college votes that he needs to win reelection. Martinez is also a top notch campaigner whose natural people skills goes a long way in compensating for Romney’s robotic personality. In that area, what Romney lacks, Martinez more than makes up for.

Although Martinez’s record is not blemish free, her placement on the G.O.P. ticket as Romney’s running mate could make all the difference in a close election. While the selection of some potential vice presidential running mates like Marco Rubio of Florida and Rob Portman of Ohio may be essential to winning one or the other of those two states that are critically needed for Republicans to win in November, Martinez could change the electoral equation of all the states by cutting in to the Democrat’s traditionally reliable strength among women and Hispanic voters.

Pros:

  • Is solid enough on most conservative issues to satisfy and energize the Republican base that Romney is on shaky ground with
  • She comes from a state that Democrats can’t afford to lose
  • She has regional appeal in the Southwest
  • As a Latina, Martinez who speaks fluent Spanish, can appeal to both Hispanics and women in ways that no other potential running mate can
  • Martinez’s position on Medicare and other government entitlement programs can help counter the left’s harsh rhetoric that tries to paint the G.O.P. as heartless
  • Martinez is a very strong Thatcher-like figure who connects with people and is an excellent speaker and campaigner
  • Her personal story is a quintessentially American one that can help voters relate to her and appreciate her
  • Will be able to address the issue of comprehensive immigration reform quite convincingly

Cons:

  • Open to criticism from fiscal conservatives on issues like Medicaid
  • Will have been governor for two years and will initially have to contend with comparisons to Sarah Palin
  • Will have to contend with rumors about her grandparents having been illegal immigrants
  • Will face sharp criticism for the handling of a mentally ill man who was held without a trial for two years at a county prison while she was D.A andfor being briefly fired in 1992 when her boss accused her of bringing in a case her husband had investigated.
  • The left will try claim that Martinez participated in patronage by awarding casino contracts and energy appointments to campaign donor

General Assessment:

While there are several other favorites of my own such as Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Allen West, Marco Rubio, John Thune, and Jeb Bush, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is another contender I am cheering for.

Martinez is a strong, convincing conservative voice with a compelling story and powerfully confident record on conservative issues and as a state executive. Her Thatcher-like strength goes a long way in providing a sometimes sexist male electorate with confidence in her and her ability to relate to women and Hispanics is unparalleled by any other figure on the national stage today. Those latter two points can have a major effect on the election, especially among those Hispanics and women who are independent voters.

From my perspective Martinez is a perfect choice not just for Mitt Romney but for anybody. She is right on the issues and is better suited than any other potential Romney running mate to articulate the Party’s position positions on those issues than most others, and when it comes to women voters and Hispanic voters, she is better than any other national figure especially when it comes to adding diversity to the ticket.  The only way Martinez could add a more perfect angle of diversity to the ticket would be if she was a lesbian.  Could you imagine the frustraqtion of the left having to contend with a conservtive Latina lesbian?  And contrary to what you might think, they do exist.

But I am not the presidential nominee. Mitt Romney is and I do not think he is likely to select Martinez as his running mate for several reasons. Martinez is probably not the non-controversial choice that is safe enough for his comfort level and he will probably want to avoid the distraction that the media will cause with inevitable comparisons of his campaign to John’s Mc Cain’s losing 2008 campaign and the selection of Sarah Palin, another woman and freshman Governor selected to be Vice President.

Another possible reason for not selcting Martinez is her prior criticism of Romney and her demonstrated disatisfaction with some of Romney’s polcies..  That is addition  to her indicating that she will not consider accepting the position if it was offered.  I hope I am wrong about Romney’s thinking though, and I would hope that Martinez would reconsider her earlier protestations because I truly believe she is one of the best 5 men or women for the job.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 9 – Changes Corporate Income Tax Rates and Filing Requirements

Legislation (Veto) March 6, 2012

HB 72 – Relating to Judicial Retirement

Legislation (Veto)March 6, 2012

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Martinez On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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