Saturday, December 31, 2011

Breaking: 2012 Iowa Caucus Des Moines Register Poll - 41% Still Undecided! Romney Paul Top Poll

The final polling before the 2012 Iowa Caucus this Tuesday, January 3rd, shows that 41% of the respondents could still be pursuaded to chanage their minds - (Des Moines Iowa Register) - currently Romney tops the field with 24%, Paul in second place:

The poll, conducted Tuesday through Friday, shows support at 24 percent for Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts; 22 percent for Paul, a Texas congressman; and 15 percent for the surging Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

However, over the four days the poll shifted, with Santorum pulling into second, Paul into third, and Romney staying at 24%. Gingrich, Perry and Bachman currently are 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. The poll has a large margin of error at plus or minus 5.6% - given the fact that the last few days of polling saw a shift with half of the 302 of the 600 likely voters polled.

In other words, no one has a clear idea of who will win, place or show in Iowa on Tuesday.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Iowa – Polling Varies to Extreme’s – Anyone’s Guess – Ground Game will Prevail – Ron Paul Organizational Strength

Iowa has been at the center of attention with newscasters touting poll after poll suggesting that Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and variations of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will be the likely winners of the first 2012 GOP caucus. The latest Insider Advantage poll taken on the 28th of December, shows Paul, Romney and Gingrich in a dead head with Santorum in a statistical 4 way tie within the margin of error. (Marginals PDF hereat Real Clear Politics) A number of polls suggest either a Paul, Romney, Santorum win or any combination one can conceive of those candidates running (with the exception of Huntsman whose focus is now on New Hampshire). It will be the first three placements in Iowa that will count towards any “political capital” going forward to New Hampshire, where Romney is leading in polls, but where, again, one cannot pinpoint, by current polls and the variance that is going to come out in the top tier. It will be the state of South Carolina that will forecast which of these candidates can stay in for the long haul, by the placement of the top two – going forward, the candidate that can hold the South and Midwest on Super Tuesday, will emerge as the front-runner (or front-runners as 2012 appears).

All the Super PAC’s and candidates cash on hand will count towards the battle, in the sense that those left with cash will be able to make those necessary appearances and run advertising in states where they are not known – which is where the crux of the matter lays. With the media 24/7 news cycle it is doubtful that anyone who isn’t living under a rock does not know who is running for the GOP nomination. Even in Massachusetts, the local news is bringing the Republican contest into the first half of the news cast, the focus on Iowa and New Hampshire being so strong, that the affiliates are running national stories on the early contests, including commentary from the local anchors. It appears to be message, message, message and who can appeal across the board to a wide range of voters, including the Democrats who are now considering (and not in a paranoid, Democrat Operative voting for the Republican to spoil the race for a specific candidate, type of way, but in a sincere and selective manner, in which they will, many for the first time, and many for the second time in a matter of 30 years, cross party lines) voting against every political instinct instilled in a Democrat – for a Republican to lead the nation.)

Nothing speaks to this stronger than the marginals of the Insider Advantage Poll, and as a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (known as the bluest state), a Super Tuesday participant, one cannot help but wonder when those who always cast Massachusetts aside (with the exception of the 2009 special election for the Senate seat, won by Scott Brown) will finally poll the Commonwealth. It is not that Massachusetts would be a deciding factor in any Presidential contest (not withstanding the fact that the state offers 9 electoral votes, which, in a hotly contested race may make the difference), but it would offer a snapshot of the depth of the race, and which of the candidates those Massachusetts Independents (the largest portion of the electorate) were considering for the March 6th contest.

Who resonates, who is the candidate that will capture, not the Republican Party loyalists (otherwise known as the Country Club Republican Set (not unsimilar to those in similar positions in the Democrat Party), but those rank and file members who are making decisions based on the newscasts, the mailers, the candidates that show up in the state, and those that have volunteers in sufficient numbers to knock on doors.

One has to consider who has made appearances, that is likely to go a long way towards additional state and local news, and who has an established ground game. (See Campaign Tracker by the Washington Post – visits to States by Candidate noted in this interactive map). History will also play a factor, if one cannot succeed in the Southern States, one might as well be spitting into the wind, so to speak. Historically, those who have risen to the top of the pile, by virtue of either state wins in caucuses or primaries to win delegates at a convention, or those in a brokered convention, and who cannot, on their own merit, carry the South or the west, will choose a running mate that can – the exception being John McCain, a moderate who chose the conservative Govenor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to boost the base. Consider the case of Kennedy, who chose Johnson in order to solidify the South, so important it was for that Massachusetts Democrat to have geographic representation in order to secure a win.

Therefore, one must look at strengths and weaknesses, endorsements being what they are, in the eyes of some, specifically those who are less inclined to watch the news more than once in a blue moon, or who pay little attention to the primaries, (this year, perhaps an exception). The GOP endorsements to date (running up to Iowa) have been made in large part to Mitt Romney and those endorsements have been mainly GOP establishment figures, Gingrich has received endorsements from, most recently a noted economics and Michael Reagan, Rick Santorum is being back by former Huckabee campaign personnel and certain evangelical leaders in the state, some of whom have gone so far as to suggest to other candidates that they drop out of the race. Ron Paul – has organization, the scope of which it is doubtful that anyone has bothered to look at with any seriousness – but they should.
Paul has, in the past, had the support of the youth vote (think Occupy Wall Street) but this has changed in the age of the Tea Party (think strict Constitutionalists) and now includes a wide spectrum of ages and individuals who are tired of “business as usual”.

A recent op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader by Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid entitled “Ron Paul is truly dangerous” speaks to the rise of the Paul Candidacy and the lack of media attention vis a vis Paul’s national security stance, one which many would conclude, as did Mr. McQuaid, are “dangerous” to the security of the nation. Mr. McQauid also points out that his appeal lays in his “domestic libertarian views” which “are quite attractive to some voters fed up with politics as usual”.

How organized is Paul? Take a look at one of the organizations that is backing Paul, to understand the scope of not only his campaign organization but what amounts to a “super pac” of supporters. The websites for reference are Young Americans for Liberty and the Campaing for Liberty (which boast 600,000 plus members). Granted this may not transform into votes, however, look back at the marginals of the Insider Advantage Poll to understand who is voting in the Iowa Caucus and those states through the end of March that offer proportional delegates to those placing, and open primaries where Independents and Democrats may vote and/or change affiliation to vote in the Republican Primary.

The Poll breakdown is shown below:

Insider Advantage Poll Iowa - click to enlarge

Iowa is of import as well as New Hampshire in measuring the depth of the organization of one Ron Paul versus the lack of grassroots organization of the establishment candidate Mitt Romney, leaving South Carolina and Florida to stop what may become a freight train. Those candidates that garner votes in sufficient numbers that cross party lines are at present: Paul, Gingrich and Bachmann, the three candidates that represent the most “outside of Washington” personas and are able to amass votes from all parties.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Update: Paul Scores in Iowa, Santorum Rises, Gingrich Changes Minds -Raises 9 Million, 1994 Kennedy-Romney Attack ads surface - More

From Politico: “In Iowa, Ron Paul is on time and on message” speaks to the Texas Congressman’s ability to fill a room, on time (literally) and his adherence to his message, anti-war, anti-Fed and pro-Constitution that is managing to attract more than the usual youth vote.

How well is Paul doing in Iowa? Michelle Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman just left for the Paul Camp” (Washington Post). Conflicting polls show Paul either leading or tied with Romney as of this past week. That said, in most polls, over 45 % of Iowa caucus goes are still undecided. This one is just about anyone’s game.

Enter Candidate Rick Santorum who has risen in the polls to a third place, the pollster, Public Policy Polling, shows that Santorum has the favorability rating of any candidate in Iowa (Politico). Santorum has been in Iowa from the beginning, he’s practically lived there, and it may just pay off. One might consider that money is the big decider in Iowa – not so: Recall Mitt Romney’s millions against Mike Huckabee’s thousands, and Huckabee’s win in Iowa in 2008. That said, Huckabee was leading in the polls two weeks out from the contest, and although the theme was he could not win due to lack of funds, it was quickly made apparent that “money can’t buy you love” in Iowa.

Newt Gingrich, the candidate with the biggest “target” on his back due to his front runner status which is now reduced due to Romney’s PAC and Paul’s attack ads, along with Bachmann’s robo-call attacks. Gingrich lost that distinction in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but maintains a lead in both Florida and South Carolina (as of this week). In Iowa however, on the ground, he is swaying voters: from the Spencer Daily Reporter: Regarding a town hall style meet and greet one woman got the media’s attention after telling her story, and receiving Gingrich’s answer:

Williams later said she was surprised by Gingrich's compassion, especially after viewing negative ads about him.
"I was truly touched with how kind he was about it ..." she said, with daughters Mollie and Morgan by her side. "Honestly, I thought he might just gloss over my question and he took a moment to let it sink in and then answered it."
Four years ago, Williams supported President Barack Obama and was leaning toward voting for him again, but does not know who to support following Gingrich's response to her questions.
In the closing remarks of his short stump speech, Gingrich extended an invitation to the crowd.
"I will not ask you to be for me because, if you're for me, you'll vote, go home and say, 'I hope he gets the job,'" Gingrich said. "I will ask you to be with me. We need you to be with us for the next four years. ... This is what America has to do if we want to be successful with our children and grandchildren."

In addition, the AP is reporting that Gingrich, over the course of the past three months has raised 9 million in campaign contributions no mean feat when one considers the negative ads. Again, a note of caution on those millions versus thousands and where that may end. Also, on Gingrich nationally, one pundit noted that Newt Gingrich was still doing well outside of Iowa because the rest of the states had not seen the negative advertising, however, one has to understand that every negative ad has been played on every major news outlet in the nation - making it difficult to believe that those living in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, or Alaska for that matter, have not seen or heard Ron Paul’s or Mitt Romney’s attacks on Gingrich. This lends to the theory that negative ads do not always work as intended.

Speaking of negative advertising, the Romney Camp had better hope they don't work: Red State has uncovered a few ads from the 1994 Romney-Kennedy Campaign, several directly from the Kennedy Campaign and one from the DNC. These ads reference Romney’s platform of “job creation”, the same record he ran on in 2008 and is running on in 2012. The DNC ad shown below never ran, but this is most likely why the Obama Campaign would be set back if another candidate should take the lead - given the fact that they have more opposition research on Romney than anyone. A plus for the Obama campaign: the ad below would be revived, at little to no cost.

Alternately, on the individual mandate: Redstate again, came out with this little ditty on Willard “Mitt” Romney the headline? “TODAY, December 28, 2011, Mitt Romney Calls Obamacare “Conservative”.

Romney continues to defend the Massachusetts model he created (with a little help from Ted Kennedy), the plan which was the model for “Obamacare” and which has those uninsured in Massachusetts scrambling to come up with the cash to pay the Commonwealth for a)not being able to afford one of the three plans offered in the state (four if you count Commonwealth Care, which is not accepting new enrollees (open enrollment only), and is as expensive as the three “private carriers”, b) therefore “assessed a fee” that is equal to the amount one would have paid in premiums!! The money goes to – that’s a question often asked by those paying the Massachusetts equivalent to the IRS, or having their wages garnished in the event they can’t come up with the “fee” on time. There is, to be fair, a provision that allows one who is unemployed, and who’s employer does not offer health insurance (one must work outside the state to take advantage of this), to apply for a “hardship” waiver with the Commonwealth. The fact that the program is the largest portion of the Commonwealth Budget, bypassing Education, is also telling. Conservative – perhaps in its initial concept, whereby those earning more than $75,000 a year having to provide for themselves instead of skipping out on hospital bills. However, as it developed past theory into reality, it would be fair to say that $75,000 in Boston pre-tax is the poverty level. In addition, the lack of competitive programs makes it impossible for those living in the Bay State to buy insurance at a competitive rate – unless the Commonwealth opens the floodgates, and allows individuals to buy across state lines. (They did so with Auto Insurance and there was immediate relief.). Again, the original concept was ok, in theory, however, once put into practice….there are families in the Bay State that are suffering. (One would hazard to guess that if he is the nominee it would be difficult to contrast and compare himself to Obama on that front.)

All in all its a hard driven, dramatic, up and down GOP Contest, one which is on the plus side, getting a great deal of media attention, individual voters are interested (especially former Obama voters), and the roller-coaster of the campaign is nothing new - not as tidy as the GOP would like, but, this may end up being for the best, going down to the wire perhpas with two or three candidates going into the convention. All former bets are off, there's no way of telling at this point in time, who will be up next, who will be down, and who will be out.

DNC Campaign ad from 1994

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sears to Close 120 Stores, 10,000 Jobs at Risk, Housing Prices and Foreclosures Decline - President asks for Rise in Debt Ceiling - Spending Continues

Playing Golf to reach a deal? Washington At Work - image

In the post-Holiday sales review, Sears has made the decision to close up to 120 stores, including both Sears and K-Mart, resulting in a loss of up to 10,000 jobs (Reuters), add to that the continual decline in housing, where foreclosures remain up and the average price of homes continues to drop. (PBS). With retail and housing slumping, and little to no manufacturing left within the United States, President Obama is asking for yet another increase in the debt ceiling to the tune of 1. 2 Trillion dollars. (Reuters)

The never ending spending that is emanating from the Congress can be found in a rather interesting report issued by Senator Tim Coburn, which(R-OK) (Full PDF Here) details wasteful spending while the economy continues to tank. Items included in the report are

• $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.
• $15.3 million for one of the infamous Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska.
• $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.
• $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
• $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.
• $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
• $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan.
• $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.
• $765,828 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in the nation’s capital.
• $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.

$764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking – seriously – this during a time where most people, from the lower to middle class are bypassing steak in the hopes of being able to afford hamburger at the grocery store, and with the state and federal taxes on everything from gasoline to pet food to garbage bags, to fees on phone lines, including cells, and every utility under the sun, one would think those who still have a job, and are “taxed enough already”, would anticipate that the government, would, at the least, use their tax payers dollars wisely.

Not so much.

What is needed is a leader who would have the ability to stand up to the status quo (as in Harry Reid) and lead the nation back to not just a recovery but an increase in prosperity that is available to every single American. There will never be another Ronald Reagan, but that said, we need someone who has the ability to work with both parties, who has a record of doing so, no matter if they anger both sides, and who will take their case to the public if neither side wants to play nice in the wasteful sandlot that is Washington DC. There are candidates that fit the bill, at least two, and as 2012 plays out in the caucus and in Washington that a leader emerges from the ashes of the GOP nominating process or President Obama, to put it bluntly, stands up to Harry and the Democrats and gets the Senate under control – the last thing this nation needs is another useless committee, but a decisive leader who would tell those idiots that the people hire: “No, you cannot have $780,000 plus to study social networking use by college students – you do that and It will be breaking news in 10 seconds”. It is a time for the nation to take a step backwards, to re-introduce welfare reform, to take a second look at proposals that would put the nation back to work, including cutting corporate taxes in order to bring manufactures back to the U.S., and if that means throwing the unions, the Democrats, the Republicans or the lobbyists and or corporate campaign contributors under the bus, so be it. How much longer do the American people need to suffer in the name of ideology and partisan politics?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ron Paul Chasing Romney in NH – The Big What If Game Changer for Romney and the GOP Establishment - Gingrich and Paul as the Last Men Standing

Paul and Gingrich in the debate format - image

From the Boston Globe’s: “Paul sparks passion in Granite State”comes an article that speaks to the depth of “passion” supporters of the Texas Congressman who would be President, elicits from supporters. These supporters have, in the past, been younger – college students and those in their mid-to late 20’s – times are a-changing. Paul is now garnering support not only from his traditional base of the youth vote, but from those who might otherwise be considered more conservative and not shocking at all, more liberal. Paul, who is a Libertarian and runs as a Republican, has a philosophy of limited government, individual freedom, and, perhaps most appealing to a great range of age demographics, a non-interventionist policy towards use of the military.

In random “kitchen table” conversations over the holidays, one found that those that are traditional Democrats are looking at Ron Paul as an alternative to the standard GOP as well as the incumbent, President Barack Obama. Generally, those in Massachusetts that are considered “solid Democrat” are also anti-war, on a scale that is perhaps larger than the balance of the nation. To find those individuals seriously considering, or committed to the Ron Paul campaign is at first startling, as it crosses party lines that are rarely crossed (see Massachusetts General Election voting history, where in only two cases in recent memory did the Bay State vote Republican: twice for Ronald Reagan.)

Paul appeals to those who are “sick of government” or “tired of all these wars” and alternately, those who want “government out of our schools, and our lives” – from hard-line Constitutionalists (i.e. Tea Party) to those who are still banging bongo drums in protest of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the youth who see no recourse and no hope for the future as long as the government remains in the status quo.

It may explain why Paul is doing so well in Iowa; he has the ability to attract the grassroots support necessary to push a win in a Caucus state, one that allows independents to participate in the nominating process. Iowa is not the only state to prescribe to the “open primary or caucus” – in fact Paul’s supporters are well aware of the 17 states that allow open primaries, and of those states, most take place on or before Super Tuesday. That said, the GOP has released the 2012 delegate playbook (PDF download here form the Weekly Standard,) which suggest that some states adopt a “Winner Take ALL “ delegate allocation, however, it is anticipated that certain states will continue to offer “proportional delegate allocation”. In this process, states that are designated as winner take all release all delegates to the candidate that amasses 50% or more of the total primary/caucus vote. In states where the rules are proportional allocation, delegates are allocated based on the percentage of the vote candidates receive (see “participation trophy”). Those states are few and far between after Super Tuesday.

In general, the candidate that amasses the most delegates by mid-March is seen as the eventual nominee, not only in terms of the ability to raise money based on their standing, but also in the makeup of the balance of the primary states.

The Polls: From Real Clear Politics one finds a variety of GOP polls , from national to the primary states, using a method of a “combined” score used for all candidates (averages all polls taken to rank a candidate). At this stage, Ron Paul ranks third nationally, behind Romney and Gingrich; all three have double digit leads, with Gingrich and Romney showing double Paul’s percentage. However, at this early stage in polling, these numbers are extremely fluid, and are subject to change on a weekly basis. In Iowa, Paul leads within the margin of error, with Romney and Gingrich following, In New Hampshire Romney leads, with Paul and Gingrich following. In South Carolina, Gingrich has a commanding lead of 37%, but again, Romney and Paul follow and the same scenario exists in Florida. These are the first four states that hold either a caucus or primary.

As attack ads from the Romney and Paul campaigns have weakened Gingrich’s lead in New Hampshire and Iowa, the consequence has been a rise in the polls for Paul. In addition, in Virginia, the Republican Committee disqualified over 1,000 signatures for both the Gingrich and the Perry campaign (Gingrich was leading Romney in the polls in Virginia and Romney is considered the “GOP establishment choice for nominee”). The only two that qualified for the ballot were Romney and Paul. In 2008, Paul bested Romney by a large margin in Virginia – the state GOP in attempting to block Romney’s competitors, set up a probable win for Paul in that Super Tuesday State.

Taking all of the preceding into account, the opportunity for Paul’s campaign to take the lead in several states, with Gingers continuing to poll high in South Carolina and Florida, sets up a 2008 déjà vu for Romney, and the possibility to Paul to seriously compete, especially in states where there are more liberal/moderate primary and caucus voters, and large delegate shares. This brings up the question as to who the Democrats would rather have as an opposition candidate – Romney is their first choice due to the media and GOP focus on Romney, the Obama campaign amassed vast amounts of political intelligence on the former Massachusetts Governor, all but ignoring the rest of the candidates. At this stage it the game, it would be difficult but not impossible to attempt to garner the same intelligence against Paul and Gingrich, who both have long and open records, which are more difficult to distort. In addition, both Gingrich and Paul can claim Washington “outsider” status – Gingrich on the length of team out of Congress and Paul simply because of his Libertarian ideology. In Paul’s case, especially, an ideology that appeals to the Democrat anti-war base.

All bets are currently off the table as to which way this primary will go, however, the eventual nominee, should the current Presidential Approval rankings hold, will face an incumbent that has an average approval well under 50%, with a majority of American’s dissatisfied with the direction of the country, in numbers not seen since 1979 (the last year of the Carter administration, where President Carter, not unlike President Obama, saw a job approval spike in the later end of that year – to no avail.) Therefore, either Gingrich, Romney or Paul would be in a position to win the general, however, it is more likely, given the historical makeup of the 2008 general GOP primaries, that both Gingrich and Paul will be the last men standing, unless Romney can, on a national and state by state level, move past is 20 – 25% support, with New Hampshire currently, the only state where he is above 20% in pre-primary polling.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingrich a Look Back – The Bush Take-down and Rise of the Republican Congress – Reviled and Respected by Both Parties – The Negotiator and Deal Maker

Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton talking Budgets - image Washington Post

From the Washington Post: a column by Bob Woodward, offers insight into the rise and fall of Newt Gingrich within the Republican Party and those in the establishment who still harbor resentment for actions taken by the powerful Speaker of the House. In brief, Gingrich is blamed by President H.W. Bush for his eventual loss of the Presidency, not for the fact that he actually was drummed out of office on the pledge that he would not raise taxes, then did so in a deal with Democrats, but because in this article, Gig rich clearly would not sign onto a deal that he felt was not in the best interest of the American People, and was not well negotiated, it was a bad deal.

This is of course, paraphrased, in an article that covers the history of Gingrich and the House by Woodward, and it is suggested that he entire article be read to fully understand how an outsider, one who does not go with the Republican Party, is treated by the Establishment, as well as how a Powerful Speaker who is also a Republican, and who works closely with a Democrat President to get things done (President Bill Clinton), is anathema to both parties who would prefer to sit back and draw partisan lines in the sand and call it a day.

Key words that stuck out like a sore thumb, better negotiation and deals – if that does not make Gingrich sound like the Donald Trump candidate, no one does. Which brings up a point – Trump has stated on numerous occasions that if the Republicans’ fail to nominate the right candidate, then he would run as an independent. Understanding that he may not be referring to Gingrich at all, but speculating that he may given the verbiage used and the former Speakers ideology about negotiating from a point of strength, in addition to the latest move of the Establishment GOP to oust Gingrich off the Virginia Primary ballot by disqualifying over 1000 signatures, insisting that each one must have a voter ID, whereas that was not a previous requirement, smacks of a set-up to knock Gingrich out of the race. (See the point that Romney may not make it past Super Tuesday and the possibility that Ron Paul may take Virginia) – Should Donald Trump carry through on his promise to run given the circumstances of the Republican nomination and not knowing which candidate he feels would be the best to broker deals and be the best negotiator, one can only understand that Trump will take votes from both Democrats and Republicans, in numbers sufficient to throw the race back to Barack Obama. It is the Democrats Dream.

The scenario of a third party candidate was the exact circumstance that led to the reelection of Deval Patrick in Massachusetts by one point – an election, David Axelrod, Obama advisor and campaign guru, watched closely and hoped to put into play for the 2012 general.

The Newt Gingrich as anti-Republican, and in plain language egotistical, is seen in the latest article from Politico, that headlines: Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton battle over 1990s legacy one finds that there is no quote from Bill Clinton, rather those “Democrat Strategist” pulled for the beltway to remark on events in which they were clearly not involved. This completely contradicts Clinton’s own words, in an interview with Newsmax (Article Here: in which he Praises his “Old Foe, Gingrich)

Suffice it to say, that not one of the pundits have a crystal ball, nor the blogger or the hundreds of pollsters how have come out of the woodwork lately, to give an indication of how the vote will go in the GOP primary – but the constant media drumbeat is as follows: Mitt Romney will be the nominee, Newt Gingrich will continue to decline in the “polls”, and Ron Paul is not a serious candidate. One might recall the constant drumbeat for Romney in 2008 and McCain in 2008, two individuals who are keen moderates in the vein of an Olympia Snow of Maine, and who the Republican Party believes will be able to “play ball” and keep the status quo. It is the conservative candidates that who might cross party lines to get the job done, without caving in completely (See current Speaker Boehner), that are poison to both he GOP and the DNC.

It may well be that Romney is the nominee, and in that case, everyone from the Obama campaign (who has the opposition research to launch a very aggressive campaign against Romney) to the establishment Republican’s who have another Bob Dole or John McCain, will be thrilled, while millions of independents and Republican’s (not the political class) will find themselves either staying home, or going to the polls knowing that the vote they cast may have one of two results. Romney would lose, similar to those who have gone before with the same ideology and marketing, and /or Romney will win, and that means we have a former Governor of Massachusetts in the White House, and from this perspective, it will mean little change from one administration to the other – there will be no bold moves, and lots of compromises in order to maintain the status quo.

Of course, a lot will depend on Donald Trump and Ron Paul, who one can gather will have an impact on the outcome of the 2012 election. It appears that the GOP has grossly underestimated Ron Paul’s constituency, and his national appeal to those who would cross party lines – to vote for a man who has a foreign policy ideology that is slightly more progressive in practice than President Obama!

To achieve the above scenario, one must also takes into consideration that the media does not hold the sway they did in 2006 to 2008, and that the negative ads that Romney and Paul have unleashed on Gingrich will then be turned upon one-another. It will be a Phoenix that rises out of the ashes of that fiasco that will eventually gain the nomination. One thing may be stated without one prediction being made; the race may indeed be decided by March. The outcome of which, is anyone’s guess, but looking at current polling and should the GOP keep its hands off the state’s primary process, then that candidate may well be Newt Gingrich. Suggest watching Clinton Interview with Newsmax.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Newt Polls Above Romney in Virginia - Virginia Republican Party Boots Gingrich and Perry from Ballot – Set’s Up Win for Ron Paul !

Romney after suspending his campaign in 2008 -image

The Virginia Republican Party has announced that both Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to qualify for the primary ballot in the Commonwealth(AP)

From the Website of the Commonwealth one finds that the information was sent as a ”Tweet” noting both Paul and Romney qualified by submitting the required 10,000 signatures, although both the Perry and Gingrich Campaigns had submitted over the required amount. Signatures can be challenged in any State as valid, and the State’s Party determines eligibility.

In addition, one cannot write in their candidate’s name in a primary election (see Commonwealth’s voting procedures here) , only in a general election.

The Party, apparently, makes up the rules for those who would run on their ballot, which is, in essence reasonable. However, with it known that the general Republican Leadership prefers Romney, regardless of the fact that he may not carry the election, blocking his competition in Virginia appears somewhat risky.

Ron Paul, who came in third in a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac, now is, in essence, the only choice Virginia Republicans and Independents, have besides Mitt Romney. With his usual strong grassroots support, vis a vis a weak Elitist Republican base in most states and Commonwealths, a Ron Paul win in Virginia is now not out of the question. Virginia is an open primary state, refer to Ron Paul Website here. There were questions as to whether Gingrich would have time to acquire the 10,000 signatures necessary to be placed on the ballot, he did and went over the required amount, by 1000 plus, however, signature’s can be challenged in elections and it is necessary to have above and beyond the required signatures, as the Party has the right to reject signatures they feel may not be accurate.

Normally, that amount is between 500 and 1,000 signatures, which would have put Gingrich and Perry within the margins. However, Virginia is known for its extremely tough primary signature requirements, therefore, a 1000 plus overage would have given the Republican Party the ability to question 1000 plus signatures as invalid, eliminating the candidates.

Historical aspect:

Virginia goes to the polls on Super Tuesday, in 2008; Romney managed to garner only 3% of the vote and was bested by Ron Paul. Needless to say, Ron Paul supporters are ecstatic as the prospect that they are facing Mitt Romney in this contest alone. (John McCain won the vote in 2008 followed by Huckabee then Paul, then Romney, then Fred Thompson see return of votes here.

The full 2012 Republican Parity schedule is shown below, with, states Romney carried in 2008 noted. Once Romney left the northeast and upper Western States he was virtually finished. In addition, Romney’s continued use of negative attack ads on opponents (CNN 2007, did little to endear him to the electorate primary voters. Those candidates that had either positive and/or contrast ads, pulled out wins – with last men standing John McCain and Mike Huckabee. Romney suspended his campaign in March of 2008. The question remains will Romney be able to carry the states necessary to continue his campaign beyond March in 2012? Iowa is currently up for grabs, with conflicting polls, most of which show a tight race between Paul, Gingrich, Santorum and Romney. In New Hampshire, Ron Paul is chasing Romney while Romney is not polling well In South Carolina, which has Gingrich in the lead, as well as in Florida where, again, Gingrich is up over Romney by double digits (Real Clear Politics). It appears that Gingrich is sewing up the South, while Paul is on Romney’s heels in more moderate states won in the last election.

2012 Primary/Caucus Calendar
January 3, 2012 Iowa (caucus)
January 10, 2012 New Hampshire (primary)
January 21, 2012 South Carolina (primary)
January 31, 2012 Florida (primary)
February 4, 2012 Nevada (caucus) (Romney)
February 4–11, 2012 Maine (caucus) (Romney)
February 7, 2012 Colorado (caucus) (Romney)
Minnesota (caucus) (Romney)
Missouri (primary) – *See note below on Missouri
February 28, 2012 Arizona (primary)
Michigan (primary) (Romney)
March 3, 2012 Washington (caucus)
March 6, 2012
(Super Tuesday) Alaska (caucus) (Romney)
Georgia (primary)
Idaho (caucus)
Massachusetts (primary) (Romney)
North Dakota (caucus) (Romney)
Ohio (primary)
Oklahoma (primary)
Tennessee (primary)
Vermont (primary)
Virginia (primary)
March 6-10, 2012 Wyoming (caucus) (Romney)
March 10, 2012 Kansas (caucus)
U.S. Virgin Islands (caucus)
March 13, 2012 Alabama (primary)
Hawaii (caucus)
Mississippi (primary)
March 17, 2012 Missouri (GOP caucus) – *See note below on Missouri
March 20, 2012 Illinois (primary)
March 24, 2012 Louisiana (primary)
April 3, 2012 District of Columbia (primary)
Maryland (primary)
Wisconsin (primary)
Texas (primary)
April 24, 2012 Connecticut (primary)
Delaware (primary)
New York (primary)
Pennsylvania (primary)
Rhode Island (primary)
May 8, 2012 Indiana (primary)
North Carolina (primary)
West Virginia (primary)
May 15, 2012 Nebraska (primary)
Oregon (primary)
May 22, 2012 Arkansas (primary)
Kentucky (primary)
June 5, 2012 California (primary)
Montana (primary) (Romney)
New Jersey (primary)
New Mexico (primary)
South Dakota (primary)
June 26, 2012 Utah (primary)(Romney)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Batter Up – GOP 2012 - Ron Paul - Soars Too Close to Top in Iowa – Found: Racists, Bizarre, Newsletters from 1990’s – Next? A rant and analysis.

One of the many documents unearthed written under Paul's name - from

As each candidate, in turn, gets too close to the top of the polls, passing Mitt Romney for the nomination, there is a sudden “problems” with each of the candidates character and/or their past that apparently makes them unelectable. To date, eliminated at the top has been Herman Cain, who found himself assailed by women claiming he was a sex fiend (and one man claiming to be his son) - all those Chicago based/Government employed accusers are quiet, not a peep out of them now that Cain is no longer on the campaign trail. As Gingrich soared in the polls, he was taken to the woodshed by his close friends, Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann, throw in Ron Paul and one has a full set of candidates who apparently believe that the nastier and further from the truth opposition ads can be, the better. Newt Gingrich’s fall in the polls can be explained by these types of attacks, the most surprising from this blogs perspective coming from Ms. Bachmann, who stretched the truth thinner than a piece of plastic wrap in regards to Newt Gingrich record on Life Issues. Apparently, as a tax attorney, Bachmann must feel individual voters are clueless as to how to research bills, sponsored legislation and ratings from individual groups such as the NRA and Pro-life organizations. Gingrich is not on the top of the pro-abortion group, NARAL’s list, in fact, only one person has made the top of that list, and that would be President Obama. Hillary Clinton received a lower rating as she is not quite as abortion happy as the President.

Congressman Ron Paul, who, as New Gingrich started to fall from the spotlight ever so slightly (Pollsters actually disagree as to how far Newt Gingrich may be from clocking the heir apparent “Mitt Romney” – in some polls he’s ahead by 10 points, in others he’s now fallen behind) became a serious threat to both the national GOP and one Mitt Romney – not only in Iowa (where one cannot seriously expect Romney to win) and one in New Hampshire (where it is expected he would win) – Paul has something Romney does not, a ground game and one that is made up of more everyday people, Independents, Democrats, Students, Homemakers, Union Workers – those are Obama Voters and yes, Tea Party and Libertarian groups who otherwise might vote for: Newt Gingrich and possibly as a last resort Mitt Romney.

Time to dig for dirt on Paul: Opposition research unearthed newsletters available at Reuters, that paint a different picture of the kindly old Doctor who loves the Constitution and hates war, a man who delivers baby’s – not anymore – The newsletters obtained through Reuters appears to make the Congressman out to be not only a screaming crackpot, but a racist and anti-Semite to boot – or what is otherwise known is a man who was in keeping with his time – albeit from a conspiracy theorists point of view, along the lines of Jim Jones, however sans Kool-Aid. What is most disturbing is the manner in which Paul decided to make money on the side, selling political and financial advise through these newsletters, bearing his signature, which he apparently never saw.

Now, from a pragmatic point of view, generally speaking busy people never write their own drivel, they hire others to do it, say someone who’s in Congress or the Senate, or most businessmen from that era - usually writing was consigned to someone such as a secretary – who would have access to everything, including a signature stamp. This is how things were done, and are still done in businesses and in government today – if one thinks most of the elite write their own material, think again.

But what is irresponsible and obviously dangerous is that this went on for years, without Congressman Paul ever noticing that the materials going out under his name were not only erratic in nature but downright disgusting. That’s the big story, since Paul insists he didn’t write the newsletters, he allowed them to go out under his name – the proverbial “you know what” does roll uphill.

Mitt Romney should now be cleared for takeoff.

The man who the Obama Campaign wants to run as the GOP nominee more than any other due to the mountains of opposition research they have obtained and one who is, also, far from squeaky clean, given his “Ken Doll” appearance.

One problem, now that the GOP can dismiss Ron Paul, the other candidates are starting to rise in the polls (granted, out of literally hundreds of polling taking place) one did find Michel Bachmann tied with Paul and ahead of Romney in Iowa as of yesterday – Bachmann who had been near the top, and had taken a nose dive, apparently is being given a second look. What happens when the negative GOP candidates (Paul, Romney (and Bachmann is in that group) need to turn their attention now to Michelle?!

She’s already been assailed, survived, and is fighting for her political life – like a girl, which in this book, is a positive. The negative was the outright distortion of the truth on the part of Bachmann regarding Gingrich’s record. Although this blogger may think Gingrich is the best possible choice out of the bunch, it is also clear that there is an independent streak that allows for adjustments, when a candidate does wrong, they get zinged. Simple.

It is no secret that Romney is going to have horrific problems with the nomination. It does not matter how many Bushes’ he drags out of retirement, or even Bob Dole (who despises Gingrich for so many things, specifically as an opponent in the 1996 race against Clinton, one which Dole stood zero chance of winning).
In other words, this has become what is normal in American Politics, a cat/or dog fight to the finish.

With Mitt “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” Romney, hoping against hope that this time, he’ll carry the day.

One might ask why this bloggers is holding out on Romney as last choice in the contest for ABO (Anybody But Obama) – simple, this blog is written from Massachusetts from the mind of someone who is less Republican, less Democrat, and extremely sick and tired of politics as usual in this nation. Whether one is a Democrat or a Republican if one does a great job, one deserves kudos, however in Romney’s case, one gets the impression one is not alone – which is why this blog has called, worse, begged, polling firms to take it to Massachusetts and match up the current field of GOP candidates. One can hazard to guess that Romney might not win Massachusetts.

Why the distaste for the way Romney Governed? He did Cross the Aisle – he has that to his record, however, he did so by abandoning his conservative principals, whereas on the serious candidate on a wish list – the following individuals did not: Sarah Palin, managed to govern and get things done in Alaska, by working with both Democrats and Republicans and kicking both to the curb when they placed party before people, Newt Gingrich, who is the villain of the piece, was in the same mold, only longer, as a legislature his push and pulled those Democrats and Republicans together, in the Congress and in the Senate, while waging a campaign to bring Bill Clinton to his point of view. He succeeded. Its history, one can look it up. The last individual on my list has never been in this race, but, one might note, there is always hope and that is one Hillary Clinton. She had a very interesting record as Senator, one which would disqualify her from an A Rating with most of the fringe groups and fringe members of Congress (Reid and Pelosi come to mind) – one has to ask, and be honest, would Clinton have allowed Reid and Pelosi to run them around? (She has a record too, one which is not ridiculous, but to be applauded).

Therefore, since two of the candidates that would be acceptable and run this nation with an eye towards fiscal conservatism, military strength, and would be able to cross the aisle to get things done, shoving members of their own party out of the way – that leaves one standing. Yes, Gingirch is pompous, because he’s smart, yes he won’t run negatives ads, because he is smart (in the long run, those negative ads will sink a candidate), and he hasn’t to date, done the one thing the pundits suggested: imploded. He’s kept his wits, and even manages a few zingers now again, especially against Romney, who, if he would debate Gingrich on negative Campaigning (which he refused to do), he would lose, he lost in the debates with Ted Kennedy when he ran for the Massachusetts Senate, and one can anticipate he will lose those debates should he become the nominee – in this opinion, if Romney is the nominee, obviously he will be the ABO candidate, however, those in the voting booth will have hard time decide ding which way to go, one Moderate or the other. It will make no difference - he will govern the nation just like he governed Massachusetts – again someone please poll Massachusetts.

The concept that Romney will be the given nominee, is a not yet determined, because first he has to get past the Carolina’s, and to the best of this knowledge, Fred Thompson is not available to run against Gingrich/Huckabee/McCain – so, the fate of the nation literally rests on the good people of the great state of South Carolina, followed by those states in the south and Midwest, that drove Romney from the race in 2008.

Ron Paul, it was fun while it lasted – maybe. Paul’s followers are ready to forgive, so if Paul pulls out Iowa and then New Hampshire (still a possibility regardless of the newsletter find), the individual who wins the South Carolina Race will be perceived as the most viable candidate, and that is still to be determined.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 GOP Iowa, a Dead Heat - Bachman in the Race - Gingrich Leads Nationally, Romney Super Pac Sole Target: Newt Gingrich – Shades of Mike Huckabee!

2008 - The Last Men Standing the Least Likely to Win by Pundits Standards

One has to ask themselves, how many polls can be accurate and what methodology is most predictive – the answers will vary, depending upon the pollster; however, one thing in this election cycle is clear – few if any of the polls taken appear to have a general consensus. The latest poll coming out of Iowa and commissioned by Fox News, an automated poll taken by Springfield Illinois Based political consulting firm “We Ask American”, shows a statistical dead heat among Paul, Romney, Gingrich and Bachmann. The pollsters analysis is fairly spot on, given the facts about how the Iowa Caucus is structured - it is the ground game – the arm twisting, the convincing and not the amount spent on advertising, but the ground troops that will win the day. In 2008, although predicted to win Iowa two weeks out in some polling, Mike Huckabee was considered a dark horse, with Mitt Romney favored to win. Romney had, after all, spent millions on ads, most of those focused on attacking the up and coming Arkansas Governor who broke into the lead. Inexplicably (to some) Huckabee won Iowa, and Romney was out of the race after Super Tuesday. In Iowa, apparently, it’s those that walk the walk and talk the talk, despite negative advertising, that will win the day, but only if they have the ground troops.

In this particular automated poll of likely voters We Ask America offers the following (Taken Dec. 21st): Ron Paul 19%, Mitt Romney 18%, Newt Gingrich 16% and Michelle Bachmann 15% - with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%, that places all candidates within reach of winning the caucus. In their analysis, they give the nod to Ron Paul, who has the apparent ground strength in Iowa.

In the latest national poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, one of the most accurate pollsters (leans Democrat), especially within the last week of any political contest, gives Gingrich the nod, with only a slight loss in support, yet a 35 point margin, with Romney at 22% (which is a number Candidate Romney has owned for two Presidential Campaigns), Paul 11% and Bachmann, again next in line, at 7%. Bachmann, who has taken the position of “tied” in Iowa, can stay fairly even in the race should she finish in the top four. However, a word of caution on Iowa polling – wait until next week to get a handle on Iowa, if this remains unchanged, one can anticipate four winners coming out of the caucus. The main focus on the campaign, however, unless Bachmann gains traction in New Hampshire and South Carolina (the most predictive state), will continue to be Gingrich/Romney and Paul, the top tier candidates for now.

Of course, if one doesn’t care for the outcome of the Public Policy Polling survey, one can turn to ten other national polls, and literally shop which polls they prefer. For example, a national survey released last week by CNN (marginals here) using the same methodology as the aforementioned pollsters, shows Gingrich and Romney tied at 28%, with Paul at 14% and Bachman at 8%. Over at Rasmussen on Iowa, taken on Dec. 21st, one sees an entirely different outcome: Romney leads with 25%, Paul at 20%, Gingrich at 17%, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum at 10% each and Bachmann in this poll at 6%.

Again, these pollsters used automated polling (telephone survey) – apparently one might hazard to guess that it depends upon where one is calling in Iowa, as to the results one will have, given the range of poll results from two pollsters and in the same day. Suffice it to say, what it does tell us is that one of the top three may either place or win in Iowa – and the 4th candidate may be Perry, Bachmann or Santorum.

Mitt Romney and the Super PAC versus Newt Gingrich (the Mike Huckabee of 2011 in terms of who’s in Mitt Romney’s proverbial cross-hairs)

The Political Action Committee directly tied to Mitt Romney in this election (see Club for Growth in 2008), Restore our Future has spent literally millions on a barrage of ads against one candidate only: former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. The PAC, which the Speaker has rightly pointed out, is made up of former Romney 2008 staffers, and “friends”, has released advertising that is less than truthful and designed to do one thing – remove Newt Gingrich from Mitt Romney’s path. Romney refuses to refute these methods; in the same manner he championed similar programs against Huckabee in 2008. The PAC’s top donors, incidentallyare from Bain Capital – no surprises there (See Open

Here’s the take on the negative advertising from this perspective at any given time in any give race – it will eventually backfire. It backfires especially with independent voters in the state of Massachusetts, which should be the model for studying the habits of the unenrolleds or independent voter, given that 51% of the Commonwealth’s Electorate is “unenrolled”. What attracts these voters? Apparently not attack ads – Kerry Healy, former Lieutenant governor under Romney, ran 24/7 attack ads against one Duval Patrick, and the result: defeat. Flip to the Democrat side in Massachusetts, and the race between Attorney General Martha Coakley and one Scott Brown, and the same negative advertising run by Coakley, managed to have the same effect.

What can one take away from all the dirty dealings, the attack ads and the conflicting polls? The fact that this is an open and healthy race and that the longer the American Public has to watch this nominating process with four candidates or five for that matter, the better the eventual outcome will be. One can also look at the similar patterns evolving from the 2008 cycle and find that one candidate is proving to be taking a similar path, which ended in a withdrawal after Super Tuesday. In any bettors mind, putting good money on Mitt Romney to go the distance at this point would be a waste. The question is which of the remaining candidates will go the distance? One would hazard to guess, given this round of polls (which is subject to change next week); Gingrich, Paul and Bachmann will be the likely trio emerging. One would, however, caution both Bachmann and Paul to remain rather focused on their own merits rather than pull up 20 year old drivel on the Speaker, as it has a tendency to backfire, sooner than later. They might want to check back with Mitt in March.

As to those pundits who are pointing, rather gleefully, to the Speakers falling poll-numbers, and noting that he is dislike in polls nationwide (obviously not the case), noting that the negative ads would have no impact because they are being run only in Iowa. One has to ask, regardless of the candidate under attack, and regardless of the state, do they really believe the American Pubic is so isolated that they would not see an attack ad against any candidate, on the net, or on one of the many cable shows, or network nightly newscasts that are broadcast nationwide? Would someone is say California, watching a broadcast which shows a negative campaign ad in Iowa, not see it? Again, the disregard for the intellect of the American Public is, in a word (phrase), lacking in common sense.
Here’s the prediction: should these plethora of polls hold true: Ron Paul should sweep Iowa, he has the ground game, in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney may just squeak out a win, unlikely given the same ground forces of Paul and strong tea party support for Gingrich, that contest too is up in the air. That leaves South Carolina – or the gateway to Super Tuesday and the nomination. Should Gingrich take South Carolina, and possibly the now in the outs Florida primary (or place with Romney near the top), the balance of the states will map similarly to those of 2008. However, one might find that instead of Romney running second throughout the south, it may be Bachmann or Paul or both going the distance to the bitter end. Although this blogger holds no crystal ball, only access to articles and insight from previous election cycles (history) these trends that are taking shape, make the aforementioned scenario extremely likely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

GOP-DNC Comparisons - Flashback December 2007 – Clinton vs. Obama – A Heated Mess, Romney-Gingrich and Iowa – The Same

The Democrat Candidates in 2008 - Difference between 2008 and GOP 2012 - Zero(Image

If memory serves, the 2007-2008 Election cycle on both sides of the political aisle was heated, disorganized and at times, ridiculous - as a matter of course, no-one on the Democrat side had the “nomination in their pocket” until the Convention, as opposed to the nearly anal drumbeat on the side of the GOP that Huckabee must go to give McCain time to “fight” whichever DNC candidate emerged.

As a matter of course, American politics are messy, as are politics universally, but more so now with the plethora of talking heads, and elitists who apparently lack recall past yesterday – touting the GOP field as undecided with no clear front-runners and ups and downs in the polls. In 2007, there were few choices on the Democrat side; Clinton came into the race the perceived nominee publicly, while the DNC had plans for a one-term Illinois Senator, come Hades or high water. As a result, in July of 2007, both Clinton and Obama were battling(New York Sun), up until the convention where Democrat Leaders decided to use the Super-delegates (former and sitting Congressional Representatives) to choose Obama over Clinton in a battle that resulted in a great deal of salesmanship on the part of those in control of the Democrats: the Kennedys, Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, etc., all pushed the Jr. Senator from Illinois over the top – the last vote being Nancy Pelosi and her daughter Christine. It was up to the wire drama.

Fast forward 2011, with the media insisting (along with the establishment GOP) that Mitt Romney is “the one”, while the balance of the candidates are “afterthoughts” – specifically Newt Gingrich who has more legislative experience and a solid record as, of all things, a Republican, than anyone on that stage. Gingrich’s biggest mistake is running against Romney and the political machine that is the beltway and the National GOP (who’s only apparent interest in this General election is taking control of the Senate).
What the American electorate must understand is that elections are contests, and the purpose is not for the national party to choose, rather those members of the electorate, be they Republican or Democrat, or “other”.

In fact, in the case of 2011, the problem with Mitt Romney is two-fold, he was not a popular choice in 2008, and he is without a doubt, the least popular of choices in 2011 – unless of course, he’s the only choice. It is not fair to Romney, and it is not fair to Gingrich, Paul, or any of the lower tier candidates one can expect to see eliminated after the first three contests. It is especially not fair to the American voter, the one who has the right to make the choice, and who may not particularly care a whit what the talking head, GOP or otherwise, thinks. If one can stand to spend more than 10 minutes watching Fox News, one gets the impression rapidly that it is the Romney Channel; in much the same way as MSNBC was the Obama Channel from 2007 to 2008. Is there really a difference between Romney and Obama? - Ideologically possibly, but as far as being chosen by the party not the people, absolutely not.

The fact that individuals like Ann Coulter, Rachel Maddow, Christ Matthews and Chris Wallace obviously have the hubris to get behind the “establishment” (there is no other more appropriate word for a candidate that, pre-primary, has the backing of the Beltway) choice believes their ability to cram the “message” home to the American electorate at every turn, actually helps the candidate. Yes, Obama did get elected President, but at a cost to nomination process, as the Super Delegates supplanted those delegates who had traveled from fifty states to represent and choose the candidate of their choice, allegedly based on the popular vote. Had the elite stayed out of it, Hillary Clinton would be president.

These are not wild musings, rather facts, and the fact that the same nonsense is practiced by both parties, complete with surrogate “journalists” touting the will of a party over the people should not be lost on anyone.

Those individuals in the early voting states, who are at this point undecided, are undecided because they have choices. There are six: Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Santorum, Perry, Huntsman and Bachman from which to choose – are they all perfect – no. However, the argument can be made that in 2007, the field was less than perfect on the Democrat side, and that imperfection was brought all the way to the Convention.

Therefore, with all the GOP hype over Romney, and the Press picking and choosing the candidates, it is up to the GOP voter, to go to the mat for the candidate of their choice – and let the chips fall where they may. If the candidate is imperfect, it means that the candidate is human – which is a plus. If the candidate has baggage, and it’s out there now for the world to see, it means that candidate has been vetted ad nausem, the negative ads run by super pacs, were run in 2007and 2008, perhaps those Republican voters weren’t paying attention, but there was plenty of angst and barbs between candidates on both sides to go around.

In fact, as stated, the only difference in 2011 is that there are still so many candidates to choose from, something one should consider a plus, not a negative. What remains the same? The Romney is the best candidate message, and the negative advertising from Super-Pacs attacking the former Massachusetts one-term (3 years) Governor’s closest rival – see Mike Huckabee.

The end result of the 2008 race may be doomed to the lessons of history, and in that case, one would see an underdog come out on top in Iowa (it was the negative advertising that sunk Romney in 08, and yet, he’s still hitting hard), in New Hampshire, the race may take a surprising turn as well, there is that feisty old Congressman from Texas who is playing a big factor (one Ron Paul), and appealing to both non-traditional Republicans, Students and yes, Tea Party Activists. Polling aside, and one who reads this blog understands the respect for polls, but the reality of the poll is that it is predictive only – a crystal ball of sorts, that can be , given the sample – dead wrong.

The State being ignored completely at the movement is the Tar Heel State, the Gateway to the South and the Gateway to the nomination regardless of political party. It is where Romney lost in 2008 and where McCain and Huckabee were, silently the two left standing. It was where Hillary Clinton was upended by Barack Obama, and that is where, from an historical perspective, as well as a predictive standpoint, the one state that matters in this process. Whichever candidate has the strongest showing in South Carolina will be the nominee.

Does it really matter which of the candidates are chosen by the people? Not a bit – what does matter is that the candidates be chosen by the people rather than the Elite – the last men standing on those podiums in September debates will have to face the public, for good or ill, and should that individual be Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul facing Barack Obama in the televised (nationally and internationally) debates, one has to ask oneself, who would one choose, and then, should the nominee be less than perfect, would one sit out ones privilege to vote, or would one hold ones nose and head to the polls and vote for their respective party nominee? The election, to this mind, will come down to a party politics as usual – with Democrats on one side of the booth, and Republicans on the other, and those Independents and others, with whom the Presidency rests, those who are least likely to choose up until they walk in the booth and pull the lever, or what-have- you, will make the decision. That decision will not be made by the National GOP, or talking heads, or past or present members of Congress, or the DNC – in the end, the choice will be the candidate who appears to have the most differences, the one who clearly articulates a message of resurgence of the American People the one who has the ability to understand foreign policy form the onset and the one who the American Electorate feels they can trust. According to the latest Gallup Poll – right now, it’s no-one! (Gallup).

In the final analysis, regardless of all the hyperbole, the process is fine, and working as it should, negative ads and all, and in perfect timing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

AP: Team Obama Prefers Romney over Gingrich – Romney is Jobs Loss Research Gold Mine - Attack Ads - Effective?

Opinion and Commentary

Is Mitt Romney David Axelrod's Favorite GOP Candidate? Image

As the times draws near to the Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, the position of Front Runner made Newt Gingrich the target of not only lower tier candidates such as Michelle Bachmann, but of the constant 20 percenter, Mitt Romney and his Super Pac. Romney, in his 2008 short lived Presidential campaign, spent millions on attack ads against former Governor Mike Huckabee, only to find Huckabee besting him in the end. He’s at it again, going full throttle with attack ads from both his campaign and his Super Pac, outspending all candidates in Iowa, with ads one might characterize as either misleading, or the pot calling the kettle black. Specifically ones Super Pac ad that depicts Newt Gingrich as a flip-flopper – a sample of an “approved Rome ad” appears below. Although it is expected that candidates beat each other up, literally as they go into the home stretch of any political party’s nominating process, there is that nagging though of “what if”.

What if Mitt Romney repeats 2008 and ends his campaign in March of 2012? In the course of his attacks, not unsubtle, he will have given sound bites and ammunition to the one team that has nothing on Newt Gingrich, one of the other top tier candidates. That would be Team Obama. Although Gingrich has been characterized as everything imaginable to make Romney appear to be more presidential, more acceptable and all major media outlet polls suggest that Romney is in the best position to beat the President in the general election, one has to step back a moment and take a look at the numbers to understand that any one of the GOP candidates, with few exceptions, could best Obama in a national contest. The fact that he is below 50% and consistently in job approval and by state is meaningful (see Gallup job approval), the fact that he would be forced to run on his record (given the winning campaign has the gumption to use the facts), belies the constant media drum that he may be difficult to beat. Pollsters tout head to head match-ups, giving Romney the lead over Obama (in some cases) while other candidates are apparently trounced by the President. However, the President consistently looses to a “generic” or unnamed candidate.

The explanation is rather simple, with only 7 million voters paying attention to the contest at this point, out of a potential repeat of 130 Million who voted in 2008(Politico), none of the GOP candidates has made the case to the entire American Public, therefore, Romney, Gingrich, Paul, are all the “generic Republican” at this point. It is no secret that the Beltway and the national GOP, would prefer Mitt Romney, simply because “it’s his turn to run”, and Romney’s record in Massachusetts as Governor is one which would make the likes of Olympia Snow proud. That said is he electable? - Of course, but so are the other candidates and one has to ask which one would Team Obama least want to face. The Associated Press did some digging and came up with that answer: One Newt Gingrich

From the Boston Globe via the AP”Dems: Romney is easier jobs target than Gingrich” explores why the Obama campaign would rather face Mitt Romney in a General Election over Newt Gingrich – apparently, the team has sufficient “opposition research” on Mitt Romney and nothing on Gingrich, especially on job creation.

While Romney and the balance of the GOP candidates focus their attention on Newt Gingrich’s social and political “missteps”, of which there are a few, no doubt, they are, for all intents and purposes, shooting one another in the proverbial foot. The polls do indeed show that the negative advertising and media support given Romney over the past week, versus the negative reporting on Gingrich, has resulted in a drop in the polls, but he is still either tied or ahead of Romney. An excellent article in the National Journal looks at all the polls taken in the past week, and finds that Romney and Gingrich are in a virtual dead heat with Texas Congressman, Ron Paul, in third, and the balance of the candidates hoping for a miracle in Iowa so that they can at least stay in the race until possibly Super Tuesday.

What we have in the final analysis, is a vulnerable President (despite the sudden uptick in approval, which, incidentally was similar in the uptick that former President Carter enjoyed for a brief time in November of 1979.), and a host of contenders, all of which are not perfect, but all of which are preferable to anyone who identifies themselves as conservative, be they Republican, Tea Party, Independent or Unenrolleds, and yes, include those Moderate Democrats in that group.

Going against the Beltway logic of a short primary and coronation of a GOP nominee by March of 2012, it is perhaps, more in the interest of the American Public to have more time with the candidates and a prolongs and competitive GOP race. This allows the general public to compare and contrast two or three candidates against one, and although the eventual nominee will be battle scared, they will also be battle hardened. If the eventual nominee is Newt Gingrich, then it will also be David Axelrod’s worse nightmare –as he will have to go back to the research team and they have, according to the AP, very little on Gingrich.

Here’s a thought, if the GOP candidate against Obama is imperfect in the eyes of some who are the GOP and GOP primary voters, then how much more imperfect is the President in the general scheme of things? Gingrich has held a variety of positions over a 20 year period, he also had a rather interesting career in the Congress, lauded and vilified by Republican’s (especially those on the same side of the aisle, for working to get things done and bullying them into working with those rascally Democrats) and investigated by Democrats! (Who understood that he was strong-arming everyone to get the job done.)
Therefore, in that candidate, one finds an individual who will go to the walls for the American People, and cross aisles, twist arms – something that should appeal to a majority of the unenrolleds and those who are willing to view bi-partisanship as a good thing.
The case for Romney is similar, while Governor of Massachusetts he was perhaps the most moderate of men, until it was time for him to run for the 2008 nomination, at which point, he became extremely conservative.

It’s called politics. Romney, in order to survive in a GOP nomination process, must flip-flop constantly to nullify his term as Governor of Massachusetts – a point that does not take away, necessarily from the man.

As of now, it is far too early to know what the “general voting population” will decide upon, except that they would prefer Brand X Republican to the current President. The fact that only a small percentage of the population has a clue as to who the candidates are does play a role (Less than 1/6th of one percent of the total electorate based on those who watched the debates (using ABC’s highest number, and those who voted in the 2008 election). It is message that will matter, it will most defiantly be the debate arena that will matter, and it will be advertising that will matter. The more positive and honest and the most frequent – once introduced in a contrast and compare scenario without throwing barbs, the GOP candidate could pull out a Reaganesque victory in 2012 – of course, this is at this point speculation based on minimal statistics, however, common sense is also in play.

On the one hand, the man whom Team Obama would rather have in the lead, or on the other, the man they would least care to face.

Sample Romney AD

Monday, December 19, 2011

Asia Upended: Kim Jong Il Dead at 69, Son Kim Jong Un to secede, Chinese Province Protests Increase, Putin ‘s rejection - Analysis

Kim Jung Un - youngest son of Kim Jung IL (aged 28 or 29) to take lead in North Korea - image New York Times

North Korea’s Leader, Kim Jong Il, died sometimes this past weekend according to the AP. An analysis by Stratfor Global Intelligence indicates that the nation may experience, for now, some stability. Jong Il had not chosen a successor from his sons, fearing a power grab, with the military the strongest ally to the ‘royal’ family, the younger Jong Un was only recently made a four-star general, having no military experience. The analysis indicates that for now, the situation should remain stable, given report that there has been no military buildup indicated by South Koran – this suggests that the military agrees with the transition from Jong Il to Jong Un. The nation of North Koren depends heavily on China. (Stratfor)

However, China is now experiencing some internal difficulty of its own. The richest province in the nation, Wukan, will see strikes this week with protestors marching on government offices – there are 13,000 residents in open revolt and they have driven out the local Communist Party leaders who allegedly have been stealing their land. They appear to have gained support from the general public. (AP). The demonstators are calling for free elections from the local to the national level, and are, for the most part, teenagers. Financial Times reports that this fact provides insight that the land issues with the Communist Party in this province has evolved into a question of the governance of the Communist Party. Two Communist Party officials, looking for more prestige within the party, are in a heated debate over the use of tough crackdowns on protestors, one suggesting the use of chanting Maoists Songs, the other advocating independent, non-government controlled groups, which is not a view shared by the Party, which would keep all power over economics and the Chinese people, rather than let control of any sort go to a non-government group. (Stratfor)

Meanwhile, over in Russia, Putin appears to be going the way of the free election, insisting that he would not win, even if the election were “fair” (Telegraph UK)

In the final analysis, it remains to be seen if these are merely hiccups in time, or if , from an historical perspective, the rule of dictatorships (communism, socialism) which allow the few at the top to profit, while the balance remain in poverty, (especially in the case of North Korea where it has used nothing sort of barbaric controls over its citizens), may herald the cyclical breakdown of these types of governments over history, some with the intervention of other nations (Germany under Hitler for one example), It remains to be seen if this is the beginning of the end of the glorified communist dictatorships that have existed since the 20th century.

North Korea, however, is a different animal, entirely, with a heavy military leadership that would have the power to oust a leader and become the ruling ‘party’. A situation that would be invite infighting within the military for power, and generally cause instability, especially if their main source of food, weapons and money (China) were no longer able to pick up the tab. All three nations play a huge role in supply Iran, and with these developments, that nation (one of the three Axis of Evils - coined by former President George W. Bush), may suffer both financial as well as the loss of its strongest international allies.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Romney Picks Up Endorsements – Des Moine Iowa Register and Bob Dole Latest to Get in Lockstep Behind Beltway’s Choice

Romney after Dole endorsed McCain in 2008

From ABC News: Mitt Romney has received the endorsement of Bob Dole, former Senator from Iowa and 1996 Republican Presidential Nominee – Dole lost to Clinton in what might have been characterized as a “lackluster” campaign. Mitt Romney was pleased to accept Dole’s endorsement, a change of heart from the 2008 election when Romney stated Dole was "probably the last person I would have wanted write a letter for me." (

Romney, who has the backing of the political class, is seen as “next in line” to the GOP nomination, given McCain’s win in 2008. (McCain lost to Bush in 2000). Romney also received the endorsement of the Des Moines Iowa Register, the paper which endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 Iowa Caucus (ABC News).

Bob Dole, as Majority Leader from 1994 to 1996, was openly critical of Newt Gingrich as he worked across the aisle to force a balanced budget and welfare reform. Known as “Dour Dole, he went so far as to slam Gingrich for his fictional novels (Wilmington DE Star Journal, June 6, 1995). It was suggested at the time, that Dole was “taking a swipe” at Gingrich “a potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination.” (Boston Herald, June 6 1995)

It remains to be seen how much a factor endorsements will play in the 2012 primary and caucuses – generally endorsements have little to no effect on on the outcome. (Pew Research)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Victory! Light Bulb Ban No More: Republican's Win Sanity Battle

The Solyndra of the consumer light products now has competition Image from

The battle over the little squiggly, inefficient, yet "politically correct", hazmat hazard lighting devise, scheduled to replace the best invention: the good old fashioned light bulb has been won. Those of you hording the standard Edison bulb can now relax, however, one might wish to go out and stock up on those on sale now, before retail prices increase. Send a huge thank you note to those rascally Republicans in the Congress.

GOP 2012 Iowa Fox News Debate Winners: Gingrich, Romney – Stable, Bachmann Misleading

Paul’s Foreign Policy Issue. Lackluster: Perry, Huntsman, and Santorum

The Frontrunner(s) - image Washington Examiner

The Fox News 2012 Iowa GOP Debate offered very little new in the way of showing differences between the candidates – Both Gingrich and Romney remained polite and did not heed the call to arms from the moderators, specifically Bret Bair (who appears to like a bit of rabble-rousing) – on points and on answering the questions without “dodging”, Gingrich was straightforward, however, appeared off his game and somewhat tired. Romney, true to form, ignored the timer, however, was given the time to do so by the moderators more than any other candidate, he appeared to stand up for himself, however, took less barbs than the current front runner Newt Gingrich.

Those who are running behind Romney and Gingrich in national polling, attempted to compensate and ended up overcompensating, specifically Bachmann, who leveled the most accusations against Gingrich and his record, with increasingly inaccurate and misleading statements. Gingrich, to his credit, remained calm and refuted the false allegations, with the exception of one: Bachmann’s claim that Gingrich favored Partial Birth Abortion and was not pro-life. In that instance, Bachmann went off the charts – refer to articles from: Life “Misleading calls claim Newt Gingrich Not Pro-Life on Abortion. Apparently, an anonymous group in Iowa has been making claims regarding Gingrich since November, and Bachmann has no problem aiding them (according to Poltiico. Bachman also had a difficult time grasping the difference between a lobbyist and a private consultant, consistently harping on Gingrich “taking taxpayer money” for work done for Freddie and Fannie. When called on these allegations by Gingrich as being false, Bachmann immediate cited the St. Petersburg Times (not the most Conservative of Organizations) Politifact as giving her a perfect rating, Politifact immediately put out a statement disputing Bachmann’s claim.

Ron Paul, who, as of yesterday, was neck and neck with Newt Gingrich in Iowa polling, remained true to Paul form, he is an isolationist in the mold of George Washington, however Paul neglects to acknowledge that times have changed since 1786. That said, he is perhaps, the most consistent constitutionalist, with the exception of Gingrich, on the panel. Ron Paul did get into a heat with Bachmann, again, Bachmann overstating the truth on the issue of Iran and its nuclear capabilities as to who said what when. Paul also appeared less energetic in this debate than in the previous debates.

Rick Perry remained Rick Perry, with little opportunity to answer questions, he compared himself to football sensation which is being called a ”Hail Mary Pass” and rightly so. Although acknowledging that he is enjoying the debates (that may be subject to a fact check), Perry’s inability to articulate at a level shown by the other candidates, explains his less than exciting poll performance.

John Huntsman, who is perhaps one of the more underrated candidates, simply has not had the same camera time as the balance of the candidates, and it is unfortunate. His record as Governor of Utah is impeccable (especially when compared to Perry’s and Romney’s – the two other Governors on the stage). Huntsman’s governance in Utah would make a great case study for any of the GOP candidates on that stage – as a tutorial on “what to do right”. His lack of organization, and his soft-spoken demeanor, for now, has held Huntsman back.
Santorum’s performance was solid, however, he had about as much time on questions as Jon Huntsman, and for someone who has spent time in Iowa, more than any other candidate on that stage, the reception belied the effort.

The audience: made of Iowa Republican caucus goers, gave the loudest and lengthiest applause to Newt Gingrich, the other candidates not so much.

One heckler for reform of the Federal Reserve noted their disappointment in the fact that there were no questions poised on that subject – in the last 10 minutes of the debate. It is assumed that this would have been a Ron Paul supporter – the individual who received the second highest applause from the audience.

The television audience: For the very small percentage of the entire electorate that actually turns on debates, Fox News was not quite as solid as the ABC debate held just last week. ABC has, to date, the highest debate viewership at 7.6 Million viewers. In the 2010 elections 81.9 Million votes were cast. Putting that into perspective, calculating a minus 40% for Democrats and 20% for Independent Voters, that leaves: 39.3 million Republican’s available to watch debates. (Note: The Fox News Debate Viewership should be out before Monday)

Therefore, although a certain segment of the electorate (those categorized as “political junkies” (blogger: guilty, or those who seek to really understand the process) do tune into the debates, the balance who don’t rely on advertising and/or the person they see most in the News (if and when they do watch a news segment). This is why, when pollsters fail, and the chips fall in a shocking direction, the pundits are put to shame.

Who will win the Iowa Caucus, at this point in time it is difficult to tell, however, the individual with the best ground and grassroots campaign going may be the surprise candidate. With the individual running the most positive messages either in a tie, or close, this may be why Mitt Romney wisely failed to jump on the front-runner Newt Gingrich, knowing that negative attacks and advertising diminish the candidate espousing the same.
For this blogger the most entertaining segment of this debate was the Fox Post debate review, and one Charles Krauthammer, who appeared to have difficulty weighing in on the performances of the candidates, perhaps he, like Gingrich and Paul, was simply tired, or “off his game” a bit. The Fox Post Debate Team surprisingly gave the debate to points to Michelle Bachmann, for being “aggressive”.

Currently Fox News has not released the full video of the debate, rather Snippets of the candidates question on electability
In closing, one can anticipate swings in the polls on both the national and primary or caucus state level, some of which will bear little resembles to the outcomes, (excluding those taken within the last two weeks prior to the vote). It will be the ground game in both New Hampshire and Iowa that will garner the win, in South Carolina; it will be the individual who comes across with the most sincerity and conservative credentials that are proven. As of today, Gingrich is tied in Iowa with Paul, behind Romney in New Hampshire and South Carolina (said to be the state that is most predictive of the nominee) Gingrich is currently leading by a wide margin.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment to this conservative feminist is one Michelle Bachmann. One cannot take away Ms. Bachmann’s personal record, which is stellar, nor her voting record, again, she voted against Bush as many times as against Obama, however, when it comes to crunch time, instead of playing fast and loose with the facts, in this opinion, standing firm on her convictions and attacking anyone but those candidates on that stage, would have pushed her polling higher. She has the ability to be an effective leader, and the heart to take on the task, but she has a trust factor when it comes to facts. A sticking point from this perspective - one which leads down the slippery slope of intentional deception, one which is not admirable in a woman or a man. Therefore, Congresswoman Bachmann should, calling it quits by Florida at the latest.

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