Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 GOP Update: Ron Paul Upset in Maine? Romney To Lose Yet Another State! – Romney Rushes to Portland in Last Ditch Effort - Analysis

Ron Paul Had to Speak from a Balcony to Accommodate Crowds in District Romney Hopes to Win - compare to crowd at last minute Rally for Romney in Portland Last night - image National Review

Reuters: The State of Maine, where Mitt Romney won over 50 percent of the vote in 2008, is now seen as a “different state” than it was four years ago – as are the balance of the states with few exceptions where Romney had actual ground games and extensive support of the State GOP. Ron Paul is running so strong in the caucuses, that Romney took a last minute flight from CPAC (Conservative Convention) in Washington DC, in order to try to rally troops in Portland. The Portland Press Herald suggests that the win will go to a 200 vote difference, with Paul taking the expansive and remote 1st district, and Romney possibly pulling out a victory in the more populated 2nd District which includes Portland.

A win by Paul would show that the U.S. House member from Texas can actually come in first in a 2012 GOP contest, something he hasn't done. Paul spent two days in Maine last month, drawing large crowds, and is spending today in the state, visiting caucus sites in Sanford, Lewiston and New Gloucester and holding a party in Portland.

However, the more populated areas of the second district are also the homes to the States universities where Paul has an extensive organization of both students and Libertarian and Tea Party members. It is another case where the ground game is more than likely going to trump the much “ballyhooed” former front-runner, who spent little to no time in Maine compared to Paul. In addition the other candidates, Gingrich and Santorum did not compete in Maine, where Romney is now faced with the same situation as Missouri – going one-on-one with a single candidate – where after his loss in Missouri, one of his aids noted that Romney is “vulnerable” in one on one match-ups. No kidding right on CNN – giving one the impression that Romneys campaign is not in control of its message.

The Bangor Daily News noted that Romney’s quick sprint from CPAC to a Portland Rally was met with both supporters and hecklers, but judging from the Video that is shown on the site, the attendees for Romney were mostly reporters and Romney surrogates and state officials, who are part and parcel of the “establishment” – while elsewhere in Maine Ron Paul has been pulling crowds in the thousands, even in remote areas, with a little help from his fans in Massachusetts.

The fact is that if Romney can’t pull out a win in Maine, and is faced with a strong Santorum in Michigan and possibly Arizona, going into Super Tuesday will be a nightmare. Romneys other home state, Massachusetts has campaigns in place for Santorum and Paul, with Gingrich having run television ads. The anti-Romney sentiment in Massachusetts, with exception of the State Republican and usual party leaders, is palpable. (That's less than 10%) In addition, as of the moment, Virginia is another of those one-on-one primary states, where Romney will be wishing he had begged the State’s AG to allow Gingrich and Santorum to compete with the 10,000 plus signatures they collected. In 2008 Ron Paul clobbered Romney in the state’s Primary – and one can only imagine as the anti-establishment sentiment has grown. In the final analysis as Santorum grows stronger, and should Paul pull a victory out of Maine, Romney will have to reassess his campaign.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rick Santorum and the Women’s Vote – Would his Position on Women in the Front Lines of War Derail his Candidacy – Think again

Rick Santorum and his family - Surrounded by Women - Imagine your daughter on the battlefield? image:

From the Washington Postcomes an article by Jennifer Rubin, regarding Santorum’s view of women serving in the military – on the front lines, as suggested recently by the Administration. She takes offense that Santorum feels that emotions might preclude women safely conducting themselves on the front lines – something that is easy for a woman who stands no chance of being on the front lines to rattle on about. She goes further into Rick Santorum’s take on women, as far back as 1990, when he wrote about his family and the role of women and men in the family – one that is decidedly conservative and Catholic in nature – she takes offense at that as well.

Will Santorum’s view of women serving on the front lines really make women turn on Rick? It’s unlikely given that it would be women’s daughters serving on the front line, let alone their sons, and frankly, one might not care how “sexist” his viewpoint may be, it works when it involves the safety of our nations children, especially women. What Ms. Rubin fails to see, is that not all women are rushing to join a combat unit, we also have no data on how effective a woman will be in combat, we do know that women serve in the military and honorably, and that they are on the front lines, unable sometimes to defend themselves due to ridiculous restrictions that are more than archaic – however, give us guns but don’t put us on the front lines – we’re mothers, and daughters, and those roles should be considered.

Emotion – do women tend to react emotionally? To deny that is to deny that there is a moon, sun and stars, it is not to say that woman cannot effectively defend themselves, but, there is a difference between worrying about one’s daughter on a date, and worrying about one’s daughter on the front lines of a battlefield. That is an emotion that cannot be denied, except when it suits those on the left who can somehow tie in a political incorrect gaffe from the opposition team (i.e. Conservative versus Liberal)

It is his opinion, and frankly, this blogger among other mothers that have young teenage daughters, are not so enamored of the decision either. Perhaps we are tired of war, and perhaps we would like to see the troops come home, and perhaps we would like to see a bit of tradition upheld – or make that directive elective – as in, “if you want to go to the front lines, go ahead, but if not, you can just continue on with what you are doing.”.
Rick Santorum, a man who calls his wife a hero, a man who holds her education and her successes up as part and parcel of why she is the love of his life –can be a bit old fashioned, but one might be hard pressed to find him not advocate for equal pay for equal work (check his voting record on that for instance), and to stand up for women on all issues – he is pro-life, admittedly and unabashedly – and that is the problem with Rick Santorum and the left – so to those who feel this will be the end of Rick and the women, think again. There are those who will be offended, naturally, those who want to go to combat and those who would never leave Manhattan or Washington and feel that a woman should be the first to go – they are also the first to citizen a well –worn pantsuit – catty to the core - defending Abortion to the teeth.

There are women who believe in equal rights, but equal rights, as far as wages and educational opportunities are concerned, but are we really that ridiculous that we must lobby for, what amounts to, suicide? This from a feminist who is also anti-war when it comes to real cannon fodder – rather than the use of air strikes and drones.

GOP Update: Santorum Tells it Like it is: “The Gotcha Politics of Mitt Romney” – Romney May Have Overplayed his hand - Santorum More Electable.

Romney, Gingrich and Santorum to Speak at CPAC - image florida primary dot come

It is no secret that Mitt Romney and His Super PAC (which he does not control), unleashed attack after attack on Newt Gingrich as soon as he rose in the polls, causing Gingrich’s campaign to fall under the never-ending barrage of advertisements in Iowa, (not to mention robo-calls and emails). It was suggested that Gingrich was done, and Romney went off to win one of his home state’s Nevada, he ignored the fact that Rick Santorum won Iowa. To date, Romney has won three out of the eight contests, with Santorum winning four, and Gingrich one, giving the reality that Romney is no longer the front runner some teeth.

Santorum is a seasoned politician, in the vein of Newt Gingrich or anyone who has spend more than one term in office, and he is, for all intents and purposes, squeaky clean. While in the Senate, he did his job based on the state of Pennsylvania and voted towards what the former industrial powerhouse needed to survive – in other words, he did what he was hired to do by the voters of Pennsylvania. That is what Romney has to use against Rick Santorum – so far. While Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, he did what he thought was best for the populace in the “they can’t take care of themselves, so we’ll just mandate – health care”. Romney was known in Massachusetts as the guy who would do or say anything to keep in the good graces with the most corrupt group of Democrats this side of Chicago – and that involved: being pro-choice, raising taxes, etc. Highly recommended: The Bluest State, a book available on, written by Jon Keller, and outlining the aforementioned like no one else has ever done. Although, the sub-title reads: How Democrats Created the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster”, it belies the fact that prominent Massachusetts politicians are mentioned in the book, a real eye-opener. Those in Massachusetts already know the story, but the rest of the nation – not so much.

It is not that Romney is a horrible person, it is that he fights dirty, changes his mind frequently, does what he feels is best politically, which may not be popular with those who employed him, and is a smart guy when it comes to making money. The problem is that Romney is not seen as “the nice guy”, no matter how hard he might be trying, it falls flat. The reality is such that if one does not like a candidate, one will either not vote at all, or vote for – Obama.

Rick Santorum on the other hand is likable, he polls the highest of the four remaining candidates with likability – he also knows his stuff – which is of import and has not changed position for political purposes – he has drive, and passion, and he is able to draw a distinction between Mitt Romney’s attack machine, short, and sweet and to the point.
The Drudge Report Title the link to the National Journal story : “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, the actual article reads: “Energized Santorum Unloads on Romney’s Gotcha Politics” – the video that accompanies the article (shown below) depicts a rather calm Santorum, just laying out the facts – which is why he is resonating with voters - everywhere, including Massachusetts.

No polls have been taken yet, however, Massachusetts is ready for change, it is a palpable “Scott Brown” type of atmosphere, and there will be those that root for the home team guy, (being Romney), but one might note, everyone knows who is running on the Republican side – the coverage is on the 6 and 11 local news, CNN is the station of choice, (and the entire state is not like Amherst and or Cambridge) –it might be a Romney landslide, but it might not. With Santorum organizing in Super Tuesday States and getting teams in place now (in Massachusetts mind you), and he comes in even or one state behind Romney by March 6th, then the race is set for an upset.

CPAC, the Annual Conservative convention will take place this week, and one thing that is certain, according to Eric Erikson of Red State Romney still considers himself (as does the national GOP elite), the front-runner, and hopes to cement this perception with those conservatives attending. That said, Santorum, Gingrich and a host of other “notable” conservatives, will also be speaking – it is understood that Santorum continues to be perceived as a nice guy who might not be able to withstand the Romney onslaught, or raise the funds, and or simply be electable – even though he more than bested Romney is states, particularly Minnesota and Colorado, that were Romney’s before a ballot was cast. It is a perception that has been shattered, and should those at CPAC respond more favorability to Santorum than Romney, these activists may go back to their home state and get on the stump for Rick. Why, because every poll indicates he is more electable than Romney, he is raising money hand over fist, and he is relentless on the campaign trail, while remaining consistent, and he can spar with the best of them, while maintaining his dignity. This is something that this blogger missed, following trends of the GOP and looking for the ABR (Anybody but Romney) given the fact that this blog is from Massachusetts (hint), however, Santorum’s voice, his performances in the debates, both on social issues, but most importantly on economic and national and foreign policy issues, when given the time by the moderators and the media, prove him to be the well-rounded, smart guy, who is both the anti-Romney and the anti-Obama. Lastly it does not matter if he is wearing a sweater vest or a suit jacket – works either way. That’s what happens when you have a candidate that believes in his candidacy, and believes most importantly in the nation and is willing to put himself and his family fortunes on the line – not for accolades, or power, but to fix and correct and work with everyone, for everyone. One has a tendency to believe his speeches, because he is – genuine.

In 2008 CPAC was 24/7 Romney, and it was difficult to watch this unfold, as it is supposed to be, again, a Conservative convection – therefore, this weekend, It will be imperative to check in on CSPAN or CNN to see how the speeches are received, and how well received all the candidates are comparatively. If Santorum is received well, then one will understand there is a new front-runner, both by states won, and by popular demand. Watch CPAC live this morning at 9 on

To correct the continuous erroneous reporting on the delegates that Santorum won in Minnesota and Colorado – they exist and will be awarded in March, just prior to Super Tuesday.

Video title belies Santorum's delivery of the message

Thursday, February 09, 2012

GOP Update: Primaries on Deck: Michigan and Arizona (2-29 and 2-30) – 1 CNN Debate on 2-22 - A Santorum win in Michigan and Arizona (Analysis)

The GOP Contenders (Minus Ron Paul) image politico

With less than three weeks to go before the Arizona and Michigan primaries, speculation on who, of the four remaining GOP candidates, will rise to the occasion, is rampant. (ABS News). In particular, the GOP Establishment candidate, Mitt Romney, who has won two states, has the majority of the delegates, with Rick Santorum second at this early stage in the game.

The delegate count is currently: *Romney (107), Santorum (68), Newt Gingrich (32) and Ron Paul (9) (Fox News via AP Analysis)
. The Delegate Counts are somewhat confusing - Romney’s 107 delegates come from a combination of actual delegates won in proportional Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida, however, the some of the delegates come from the GOP “Super Delegates”, those senators and congressmen and other party leaders who have endorsed Romney – (AP) inflating his advantage in this early stage. In real terms Romney has 85, to Santorum’s 35, Gingrich’s 34, and Ron Paul’s 13, which is closer to the actual count, and includes the states actual proportional distribution. With 1144 Delegates needed to win, one can see where endorsements might help with overall front-runner’s “bragging rights” (Real Clear Politics). However, each delegate tally appears to be different depending upon the source, given the fact that some reports include the total delegates awarded, while some adjust for early primary penalties for States holding primary/caucuses prior to a certain date. Looking at the numbers provided by Real Clear Politics in terms of actual popular vote count delegates, adjusted for proportional distribution and penalties, it looks more like a horse race, or what it truly is, anyone’s game.

The next two states to weigh in are Arizona and Minnesota, and the pundits are looking towards the 2008 election as a way to judge just how well Mitt Romney will do in both states – a tactic that apparently failed dismally in Colorado. In the 2008 races, Romney held fast to the northern and more moderate Western States, where if he lost, it was to the more Moderate John McCain (especially Arizona, where it is literally McCain’s home state. There have been some changes to the party narrative since 2008 – namely the Tea Party and the 2010 elections.

Now in Arizona, under the direction of Governor Jan Brewer (*a Tea Party favorite), the state will most likely vote on the issue of immigration in part while in Michigan, which was a completely moderate State in 2008), took a change towards conservatism in 2010, and has not looked back. However, there is a large voting bloc of Mormon's which may, or may not sustain Romney. Michigan, one of Mitt Romney’s home states (the state where he grew up and his father was Governor for three terms) belies the fact that Santorum has more of a connect to the rank and file voter given his background, than Romney (Detroit Free Press). Michigan, not unlike other states, north, south, east and west, became more Conservative in 2010, which means that 2008 results must be adjusted or they become totally useless.

Romney is not taking this laying down, an article in Business week suggests that Romney’s scored earth method of winning hearts and minds, will turn his attention towards Rick Santorum – who, after besting Romney in the West and Midwest Contests of CO, MO and MN, needs a dose of what it is that Romney does best, either through his actual campaign or his Super PAC – attack, without regards to facts, candidates that are in his way to the nomination.

The problem with this method, the constant attacks, the barrage of ads, may have worn out its’ welcome, especially against a candidate whose record is primarily squeaky clean, and one who is able to counter with facts on Romney’s records – Between Santorum and Gingrich, Romney is playing a game that will end up, once again, costing him the nomination (refer to 2008). Negative advertising may work at first, but it grows old, and fast, in the high tech world of today where every ad played in Iowa, has been seen in all 50 states via YouTube, and the cable networks.

Rick Santorum, to his credit, is taking this in stride (so far) and rebutting Romney’s initial salvo’s with calm and measured facts. Given the fact that debates have played a huge part in the fortunes of candidates in each of the primaries, the primary on the 22nd, is the one where Romney needs to step away from the teleprompter and come up presidential. If Gingrich is in attack mode, (as he has vowed to stop Romney), and goads Romney into rebuttals, Santorum will be able to pull out of this debate looking as squeaky clean as Ron Paul. Gingrich and Romney’s dislike for one another is almost palpable at this stage in the contest, and one cannot see Romney not taking the “bait’ so to speak. Now with the podiums in order of Romney in the middle with undoubtedly Santorum and Gingrich as bookends, the CNN debate will be the one to watch, and the winner, will be the one who will undoubtedly do best in both Arizona and Michigan. One other note: despite the debate coach, Romney still has problems with delivery and connecting to the “average person” and Michigan, an industrial state, is tailor made for Santorum and his pro-manufacturing proposals, and background.

Arizona, is most likely to go to the least establishment candidate, one who has a strong border policy. It is difficult, at this point, to tell which candidate will end up rising in Phoenix.

However, if one were to place bets on first and strong second finishes in both Arizona and Michigan, one might want to take the Pennsylvania Senator over the former Massachusetts Governor, given the aforementioned. Especially if Gingrich goads Romney into attacks during the debate and if Romney ramps up over the top attack ads on Santorum in either of these states (a la Florida and Iowa vis a vis Gingrich), it may be yet another route for Santorum in the long run.

Voter turnout - it has been dismal in the first states, which can be explained one of two ways, (the notion that Republican's and Independents are satisfied with the current administration should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Most likely it is a question of why show up - on the one hand, the establishment candidate, Mitt Romney has been touted as a foregone conclusion. If the base actually feels he can lose to a less moderate candidate, and after this week's Santorum wins, that is more than possible, the voter turnout will improve - or, alternately, another theory is that no matter who wins, the rank and file will come out and vote in droves in November. One is tempted to believe the former rather than the later.

Best line from the Tuesday night Caucus, via CNN - on Missouri, "Romney is more vulnerable when he is faced with a one on one race" (paraphrased), delivered by CNN Analysis during caucus watch.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Santorum Trifecta! Wins Colorado (40%), Minnesota (45%) and Missouri (55%) Caucuses – Decisive Victories – A New Front-Runner in the GOP - Analysis

Rick Santorum and Karen Santorum, the perfect couple, celebrate pre-victory speech in Missouri - image: Washington Post

At approximately 1:30 am EST, the State GOP of Colorado reported that Rick Santorum had won the Colorado GOP Caucus, bringing the third victory of the night to the former Pennsylvania Senator, and GOP Presidential candidate. Earlier, the states of Minnesota and Missouri had weighed in with Santorum as a clear preference in the all important middle of the nation – where Santorum had won Iowa, in the first of the nation decision. Colorado, a Western State that had shown clear preferences for moderates in 2008, chose the more Conservative Santorum, who has a solid economic plan that includes, in Santorum’s words “not 99 or 95, but 100% of the people”. The second generation, Italian American, hails from a blue-collar background and staunchly defended those manufacturing jobs so important to Pennsylvania, and the nation, during his tenure in the Senate. He drew a sharp distinction between himself and the former front-runner and establishment candidate, Mitt Romney, and went on to challenge the nation’s voters in a call to support his candidacy that was nothing short of commanding. It was the premise, that Santorum could not win due to a lack of funds and name recognition, and that he had run a ground game in Iowa, where he had visited every corner of the state, explained his Iowa victory. It was anticipated by the media and pundits that this fiscal and social conservative, with a squeaky clean record, was a nice guy who would be the first to drop out due to the inevitability of a Romney coronation – it is now apparent that this myth has been exploded. Romney, in his speech in Denver, tampered down expectations of a Colorado win early, noting he hoped to come in first or second, and then congratulated Santorum for winning both Missouri and Minnesota – it was anticipated that Santorum would win the Missouri contest, which was a precursor with no delegates awarded, and a primary to be held in March, but it was expected that Romney would win both Minnesota and Colorado, by pundits and the constant drumbeat of a the eventual nomination of former Bay State Governor.

Perhaps more than any other reason, the lower turnout at GOP caucuses and primaries can best be explained by the fact that the GOP establishment and the media have been noting that Romney was the eventual nominee, regardless of the fact that only four states had weighed in by close of January. The fact that the former Governor, U.S. Olympic CEO and CEO and founder of an investment firm, Bain Capital, had not gotten support in the polls form the beginning, apparently did not dissuade those in the elite of the GOP from pushing Romney forward – and it has backfired. The fact is that Romney, although well-intentioned, appears stiff and unapproachable, and his former policies as Governor, do little to contrast himself as an alternative to President Obama. It is, as if to say to caucus voters and to those who voted in early primaries – why show up and vote – the winner has been established.

Newt Gingrich, who had vowed to stay in the race and defeat Romney, has more than accomplished this task, and the longer he stays in the race, goading Romney, the more this boosts Santorum, who stands above the fray of the petty personal attacks that have all but destroyed Gingrich and Romney in the eyes of the electorate. Romney, who’s Super Pac began the assault on Gingrich as frontrunner, when he rose in the polls, and then later after Gingrich won South Carolina, attacking him outright through his campaign, was met by a rebuttal by Gingrich’s campaign as well as the Super Pac which supports Gingrich – Romney, more than any other candidate, is the one that the Obama administration would prefer to face in the fall, and now are faced with the possibility of an extended GOP primary, that will result in the end, not in the Romney anticipated win, but with a Santorum win, one which would pit a working class hero up against the elite, a complete reversal of the roles most often associated with both political parties.

It would not, in this opinion, be any surprise, if on Super Tuesday, Santorum bested Romney in Massachusetts, and going forward, taking those states in what are known as swing states rounding out the primary season. The Romney attack machine has already taken one shot at the Senator and apparently that fell flat, as Santorum refuses to rise to the bait, and calmly points out the discrepancies in policies, and refutes the inaccuracy of the attacks. Rasmussen Polling, which now shows Santorum leading Obama, while Romney falls short, also played a part in the narrative that the grandson of an Italian immigrant, who worked it the coal mines of Pennsylvania could, indeed, go onto become the President of these United States.

With this three-state victory, it will be clear to voters that the narrative is not as strong in the case for Romney and one might anticipate larger turn-out in the upcoming primaries, particularly on Super Tuesday. That will be the “winnowing” field for those four candidates that are left in the race: Gingrich, Romney, Paul and Santorum, all vowing, however, to stay up until the Convention.

The 70 delegates that were up for grabs in yesterdays contests will be awarded in March (CNN), and although the current delegate count favors Romney (who won two states, and has been given delegates by the GOP), the figure is at approximately 102 delegates – there’s a long road to the 1140 that is necessary to win the nomination.

What to expect going forward: Attacks on Santorum by the Romney campaign (or its Super Pac) and attacks by the media, which will, in all likelihood, attempt to portray Santorum as the “religious right”, a candidate that is all about Social Issues rather than a complete candidate who is also strong on foreign policy, economics and jobs. He is, in this bloggers minds, the anti-Obama, having been one of those that had searched for an alternative and actually listened to the narrative that nice guys finish last – clearly and specifically in the case of Rick Santorum - not so.

Next up: ( February 28th, Arizona and Michigan, March 3rd Washington, and finally March 6: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia – next debate: Feb. 22, CNN

Santorum’s speech below, is worth watching, it depicts a man that does present, in his words, “Not a clear contrast to Mitt Romney, but a clear contrast to Barack Obama”

Learn more about Rick Santorum and where he stands on the issues:

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Santorum’s Rise Unleashes the Romney Attack Machine – Romney Attacks Santorum on Pork, but - Ran Olympics on Federal Funds – McCain Appalled - Analysi

Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, now Romney's Target: Besting Romney In Polls, A Family Man who resounds with Blue Collar Voters, and one who can school Romney in the debate arena - without using a teleprompter - image Politco.

Rick Santorum is a nice guy, and one knows the old epitaph – “nice guys finish last” – well, that’s not always the case. First, Santorum must survive the “Romney Attack Machine” – legendary in politics since he began to run for the Office of the President in 2006. A combination of PAC’s and the campaign itself, Romney focuses on each rising candidate in turn; unleashing a barrage of negative advertising that is often misleading. With Rick Santorum, who is as squeaky clean as they get – Romney has gone the fiscal conservative anti-pork in the Senate Route. From The Boston Globe: “Romney Looks to Squelch Santorum’s Late Rise”, speaks to the tactics employed by Mitt Romney in order to maintain his alleged front-runners position.

The problem is the headline is also misleading – if anything, Santorum had an early rise, and has maintained momentum in states that were not partially Romney friendly, winning Iowa, besting Romney in a very close race. Gingrich took the state of South Carolina, and had been under attack by Romney since his polling numbers showed he was besting the former Bay State Governor. Money might not buy votes, but it sure can make your opposition look bad, and by default, one might get a win. The problem with this philosophy is that the public soon becomes aware of a pattern – and if it were just one candidate, that would be possibly overlooked, but every single candidate that stands to best Romney – that becomes habitual.

The fact of the matter is that there are several candidates that are equally compelling and that currently there are no real front-runners, given the very low delegate count and 5 states weighing in – one might also note that until Super Tuesday, on March 6th of this year that the front-runner will not be established. It is where the opportunity exists for one candidate to amass enough delegates should they win the majority of the states, to claim that mantle. It appears Romney may have the same difficulties he had in 2008 when he spent most of his energy on demonizing Mike Huckabee, former Govenor of Arkansas
Now that Romney’s calling out Rick Santorum as a spendthrift, instead of thrifty Rick, there appears to be hundreds of articles available pointing to the fact that when it came to Pork, Romney had no problems taking Federal Funds – in fact he embraced it to the point where John McCain went to bat against the millions requested to support the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Understanding that the Olympic Games are a host nation’s responsibility – and that Romney, as the CEO actively sought and fought for federal funds, his pork laced attacks on Rick Santorum fall a tad flat.

Nowhere is this more evident than in an article from the Desert Sun found on Newsbank (a fee based newspaper archive).

In an article from the Desert News: Avaialbe at

Deseret News, The (Salt Lake City, UT)
September 20, 2000
Edition: All
Section: Wire
Page: A01

Index Terms:
McCain vows to wage war on S.L. 'pork'
But Romney says he's confident funds will come
Author: Lisa Riley Roche and Lee Davidson, Deseret News staff writers
Article Text:
WASHINGTON -- Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., vowed Tuesday to kill any bills with "pork-barrel" spending for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
But Mitt Romney says he is confident needed federal funds still will come.
"I'm expecting the funding we need to host the Games," the Salt Lake Organizing Committee president told reporters in Sydney Wednesday. "I'm quite confident."
But in Washington, D.C., McCain was vowing war.
"I will filibuster and do everything in my power to delay any more appropriations bills that have this pork-barrel spending for Salt Lake City," McCain said. He was specifically attacking a treasury appropriations bill that contained a Secret Service request for $14.8 million to improve law enforcement communications for the Games.
"The Olympic Games, supposedly hosted and funded by Salt Lake City, which began in corruption and bribery, have now turned into . . . an incredible pork-barrel project for Salt Lake City and its environs," McCain told the Senate.
McCain complained that numerous Utah road, transit, sewer and other projects have been been quietly tucked into appropriations bills through the years -- with the excuse that they are critical to the Olympics -- without the normally required "authorization" through separate legislation.
"Instead, they are stuck into an appropriations bill without scrutiny," McCain said, adding he will do everything possible to block funding for any more "unauthorized" projects.
Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, told the Senate, "I know of no funds in the 2001 bill that are yet to come before us that have not, in fact, been authorized in the appropriate procedure."
McCain said a U.S. General Accounting Office report he formally released last week projected that the federal government will spend $1.3 billion on the Utah Games, far more than the $609 million it spent for the Atlanta Games in 1996 and the $75 million spent for Los Angeles in 1984.
He said host cities increasingly use the Olympics as an excuse for pork-barrel spending.
Bennett, however, said all but $254 million of the $1.3 billion would have gone to Utah anyway through projects such as rebuilding I-15 and constructing the new TRAX light-rail system, which would have proceeded without the Olympics but not as quickly.
Romney said that since he took over SLOC in early 1999 he has tried to make it clear that light rail and the I-15 reconstruction are not needed for Salt Lake City to host the Games.
He said Wednesday he resisted pressure from former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini to sign a letter stating light rail was essential to the Games.
After meeting with congressional leaders, Romney said he realized such a statement could jeopardize SLOC's chances of getting federal help. "I thought it was very important that we not overstate in any way what was an Olympic project and what was not," he said, adding that Corradini came around to his way of thinking.
Romney's predecessors were more willing to go along with state and local officials in claiming that the big-ticket transportation projects were needed.
McCain does raise some legitimate points, Romney said, especially questioning what role the federal government should play in staging the Olympics.
Unlike other countries that provide government funding for the Games, the U.S. government's financial responsibility has never been clear.
What the Salt Lake Games need from the federal government is money for buses and park-and-ride lots, as well as projects such as the road to Snowbasin, site of the Olympic downhill and super giant slalom courses.
Federal funding is also key to providing security at the Games, as well as staging the Paralympics that follow for the world's disabled athletes.
Some $77 million in transportation funds are still needed from this session of Congress, Romney said, calling the appropriation crucial to the Games.
"If it did not get put in place, I would question our ability to host the Games," he said. "I believe our requests in Washington are appropriate."

Romney also said inclusion by the GAO of light rail and I-15 costs as Olympic funding is "absurd." Although I-15 and light rail will be used during the 17 days of competition in 2002, Romney said, "$1 billion wasn't spent to get ready for the Games." The actual amount of federal funds going toward the Games will be closer to about $250 million, Romney said.
Meanwhile, Bennett told the Senate an increase in federal spending for the Olympics in Utah over previous Games is appropriate -- because threats are increasing and the Games are becoming more complicated. "As the Olympics get bigger and bigger, with more and more nations, more and more athletes, and more and more opportunities for international terrorism, they become a bigger and bigger problem for the federal government," Bennett said.
Meanwhile, Romney said he spent several days in Washington lobbying for the final funding request before coming to Sydney last week. He also said he has congressional and White House support.
"We're less than a year and a half away," Romney said. "That's no time to change horses midstream."
Copyright (c) 2000 Deseret News Publishing Company
Record Number: 0009200155

Romney needs to stop the negatives while playing the victim every time someone fights back – it will not win him hearts and minds, and it will not win him the nomination – that contest appears to be developing on its own between Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich heading into the Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri contests this week. Santorum, according to polls, is in a good position to do well in all three states, and to break the Romney as front runner myth prior to Super Tuesday. In addition Romney is no longer the one who is best positioned to beat the President in the fall – Santorum is – this according to Rasmussen Polling and of course, subject to change. Romney has been seen in this light from the beginning, a combination of name recognition and the foregone conclusion that he will be “the front runner”. This has been blasted in the news, by the GOP Elite, and may account for the low voter turnout in the primary and caucuses to date. If Romney is pre-ordained to be the winner, why bother to vote? (Fox, CNN discussions)

That is Rick Santorum’s biggest challenge, to help the voters understand that he is a viable alternative, and those contests today will establish that fact. One can, therefore, anticipate Santorum under blazing attack by Romney should he take even one of the 3 states, let alone 2. In addition there is the vitriol from the left labeling him as “religious” – stick in the word “Christian or Catholic” and one understands that the game is on, and Santorum is now seen as a viable threat to Obama – not Romney.

What to watch for in the next debate then? Santorum receiving questions based on social issues rather than his rather strong positions on the economy, specifically manufacturing, as well as foreign policy and national defense. Of all the candidates, Santorum and Gingrich have the strongest showings is past debates on these specific issues, with Ron Paul taking the lead on economics. Should the moderators at CNN allow Santorum and equal stage with equal topics, he stands a chance of besting both Romney and Gingrich. With Newt Gingrich, who has risen from the ashes in the past, one can look at the race as between Santorum and Gingrich – both battling to unseat Romney from the artificial throne upon which he is currently seated. Romney, who does not give a speech without a teleprompter, (sound familiar), is up against the best in the orator business, especially when it comes to Gingrich, and Santorum, who studied under Gingrich, has found his footing in the debate arena,. However, it will depend a great deal upon the behavior of the candidates, should Gingrich continue to attack Romney, it will open the door for Santorum to take the high road, once again, and this scenario is far from unlikely. Moreover, Santorum is seen as most likable by the GOP voters in poll after poll, and with Romney’s inability to reign in his attacks, should he turn up the heat on Santorum in the debate arena, let alone in the primary states via advertising, that will be the final straw for those who are sick and tired of the personal and over the top policy attacks – and Romney’s bid.

There are a few remaining primary debates: courtesy of www.2012

February 22, 20128pm ET on CNN
Location: Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona
Sponsor: CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona
Participants: TBD

March 1, 20128pm ET on CNN
Location: Georgia
Sponsor: CNN and the Georgia Republican Party
Participants: TBD

March 5, 2012Air time TBD on NBC
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsor: Reagan Library, NBC News and Politico
Participants: TBD

March 19, 20129pm ET on PBS
Location: Portland, OR
Sponsor: Oregon Public Broadcasting, NPR, PBS, The Washington Times and the Oregon Republican Party Participants: TBD

Monday, February 06, 2012

2012 GOP Update: National - Santorum Leads Obama, Romney Falls Behind – Media turns up Santorum “Religious” rhetoric, Ignores Polling on MO, CO, MN

Rick Santorum surrounded by Press - image

2012 GOP Presidential Candidate, Rick Santorum is now leading President Obama in the Rasmussen Daily Presidential-GOP match-up polling by 45 to 44%, while Romney has fallen to 43% versus Obama 47%. In addition, Public Policy Polling has has Santorum in 2nd place in the Colorado primary to be held on Tuesday, while he leads in both Missouri and Minnesota. One would, given the fact that it is early in the primary contest, and the Massachusetts Governor has three rivals in Santorum, Gingrich and Paul heading into Super Tuesday, one would think that the media push for one candidate, an early winner in Romney, be premature. This given the polling data, as well as the fact that the other candidates, specifically Gingrich and Santorum, have each won a primary or caucus to Romney’s three wins, two of which were anticipated early (Nevada and New Hampshire). In the Maine Caucus, which has had little to no attention, one would anticipate a Romney win as well, however, Ron Paul is favored to win as the Maine caucus began on Saturday with Nevada, but will not finish on the same day.(The Hill)

Yet Rick Santorum keeps hammering home the same message, “don’t count me out” – he is clearly able to articulate the contrast he presents to voters versus Romney. On the eve of the Nevada contest, it was brought home in the most ridiculous of manners by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who, covering the Romney victory speech, noted back and forth with the field reporter, that Romney’s teleprompter was in place. Although that may seem petty in the broader scheme of things, it is another point in the litany of “why Romney is just like Obama” and faces an uphill battle against a president who, by all polling data, especially Gallup, should not win a second turn. (The others being: Moderate, Massachusetts, Health Care and Romney’s “miss-speak” on the fate of the nation’s poor versus the middle class.
Meanwhile, the media, regardless of which way it leans is refusing to accept the fact that there are other candidates in the race that might win at all – and since it looks like the beginning of a Santorum surge, and Santorum is “squeaky clean” as one can be in politics – there are only two tactics left: Denial and Religion.

In a lively piece by the Los Angeles Times: entitled: “As Nevada counts, Republican candidates press on” which details Gingrich’s second place win, his press conference rather than traditional post-primary speech and a lampoon on Saturday Night Live. They also touched on the dust-up between Obama and the Catholic Church, the new ruling that insists the Church affiliates must provide insurance that covers contraceptives, which is against Catholic doctrine. Both Gingrich and Santorum are Catholics and both had different takes on the ruling, which inserts the Government into Religious institutions - Gingrich straight forward Catholic defender, while Santorum held to a more Constitutional viewpoint. Yet, in the pro-Romney piece, the Times speaks to Santorum as the candidate that is specifically courting the evangelical vote, noting that his appearances in Colorado focused solely on that Demographics in rallies, which is blatantly false. In addition, the AP released an article this morning specifically aimed at Santorum titled: “Santorum refuses to bow despite another loss”as if winning only one out of 5 contests held to date, and having the potential to a) best the President, and b) win multiple states between now and Super Tuesday, just weren’t on the table.

What is on the table is religion - the fact that the piece focused on one of several events Santorum had attended in Colorado on Saturday, a church service, while ignoring the Republican sponsored events such as a Lincoln Breakfast. In addition, it dismisses his win in Iowa completely and although one might reasonably assume Romney, who has the backing of the establishment GOP, the DNC (they would want to run against no other candidate), and of course, the media, it is the blatant disregard for the facts and the Presidential candidate, that is most evidenced by this on small AP article.

Super Tuesday on March 6th, will, in all likelihood, be the bellwether as to who stays in and who leaves the GOP nominating process – and it is far too early to call this a Romney dominated contest given the makeup and geography associated with the Super Tuesday States, it may well show multiple wins, by multiple candidates, and with a plethora of proportional delegate states (including Massachusetts), Ron Paul will continue to amass delegates – and may give Romney a headache in Virginia, where he bested him in the 2008 primary – Romney and Paul being the only two on the ballot.

What is healthy for the GOP is a continued process; this is basically due to several factors, including a full vetting of the candidates, and the media being forced to focus on the events. If one were to sign up for Google News alerts on all candidates, one would find that those alerts, which were in the hundreds two weeks ago, have dwindled to merely mentions – former presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin, former VP candidate, both had more news alerts this past weekend, despite two caucuses being held, than any of the candidates – no one more evident than Mitt Romney.

Therefore, one might want to pause before discounting Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney’s campaign is just beginning to wake up to the fact that Santorum should be next in line for hits from Mr. Negative, who’s staff begin to send out emails on Santorum(according to the LA Times article: “In a tacit acknowledgment of Santorum's potential to do well Tuesday, Romney's campaign attacked him in an email Sunday as a defender of congressional earmarks.”
However, Santorum, unlike other candidates in the race, has bested Romney in the Florida Debates, and has little that the Romney campaign can truthfully challenge. In fact, there are few if any Congressional Representatives and or Senators, who do not accept earmarks, and Governors, accept those earmarks – even Governors like Mitt Romney.

Therefore, before one counts out anyone, pick a candidate, either Gingrich, Santorum or Paul, and donate – to keep it going and if one is not a fan of the Massachusetts Governor, it’s a sense of gratification to donate to a campaign that can do well, is doing well, be it any of the aforementioned (in truth, Santorum is doing the best at this point and has the greatest potential, next to Ron Paul to actually defeat Mitt Romney and go on to defeat President Obama. This makes one wonder if, back in the early stages of the debate process, where Gingrich acknowledge his friendship and pride in Santorum, and later continued to promise to stop Mitt Romney, if he weren’t throwing himself on the proverbial sword, in an attempt to weaken Romney while Santorum rose in the polls. If this were the case (speculation only), it would explain a lot.

Rick Santorum, Catholic, and Italian American – would be the first Catholic-Italian American President of the United States, just imagine the field day the press would have with that one – and the pride that Italian Americans’ would feel in being able to cast their votes for the first time for one of their own. Of note: there are 70 million Catholic voters, most of which tend to vote Democrat as they are blue collar (if the nation still had a blue collar workforce), and that is Rick Santorum’s bailiwick. That should give pause to any contender, be they GOP or the President.
According to the latest U.S. census Italian Americans’ are third in overall population with those of Irish decent in 2nd, and those of Germanic Decent being the largest group.

Therefore, one has to use the old adage, which may not be terribly politically correct but true non-the-less: “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings” and she hasn’t even begun a tune at this stage.

To donate to the Santorum Campaign visit: - although money can’t buy love, it can buy airtime.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

New York Times Floats Elizabeth Warren, Advisor to Obama, Running for MA Senate as DNC Presidential Candidate in 2016

Elizabeth Warren with Obama and Geithner, image "Just How Stupid Does Elizabeth Warren (& Barack Obama) Think You Are?">

With the GOP Presidential Primary Race the number one topic in the news lately, Obama’s latest approval rankings by Gallup showing
approval above 50% in only 10 States (and DC)(i.e. unelectable), and the price of gas inching towards $5.00 per gallon this summer (CBS) an article in the NY Times suggests that the 2016 election is already starting, and those on the left might as well start to pick out some candidates.

One name that stands out among the rest is one Elizabeth Warren, best known in Massachusetts as the one who would hope to unseat popular Senator Scott Brown The quote from the Times is priceless:

“A plausible newcomer for 2016, Democrats say, is Elizabeth Warren, who advised Mr. Obama on the creation of a consumer-protection bureau for financial products and is now running to be a senator from Massachusetts (against Scott P. Brown, the incumbent and a Republican hero). She can deliver a punchy case for economic fairness, which has already made her a YouTube sensation. Obviously, she first would need to unseat Mr. Brown.
(NYTimes, 2/5/2012)

The woman who takes credit for starting the Occupy Wall Street Movement, (Business Insider) is about as viable a candidate as Mickey Mouse, even in Massachusetts Scott Brown, who is yes, a Republican – (the times “Republican hero” may be a stretch) was elected in a Massachusetts wave of resentment towards the Democrat Party and the state of the union back in 2009 (and it hasn’t gotten better – fair warning). It was the fact that Brown never wavered from telling those from the Tea Party, or those Die-Hard Massachusetts Conservatives (of which there are more than one would think), that he would be an independent vote in the Senate, and has done exactly that – Brown votes for Massachusetts, sometimes it’s not the most conservative vote sometimes it is, making him appealing to the number one voter in Massachusetts –the Unenrolled. The unenrolled voter is neither Democrat nor Republican, rather, the 51% of the electorate when given a choice of a viable candidate, will turn the entire state red. To think that Lizzie Warren, Obama advisor, and Occupy Wall street supporter, will garner more than Democrat support, is, at this point in time, a bit unthinkable - thus the “she first needs to unseat Mr. Brown” from the NYTimes.

To float her name as a candidate for President is a sign that the left (Progressives) have no grasp on the reality of what works for the nation – and that to continue to use Massachusetts as a stepping stone for extremist, might not be the best of plans. Understandably Massachusetts does offer Amherst, Cambridge, P-Town and of course, the hills west of the Connecticut River, where time has stood politically still since Arlo Guthrie first penned Alice’s Restaurant, does not, when the Democrats are being watched (as in the case of the Scott Brown election), belie the fact that Republicans can win by 5 points or more in a statewide election. Brown won the MA vacant senate seat despite the dead voting and DNC operatives trolling for votes in every nursing home in the state.

Perhaps Lizzie Warren, the Marxist academic, might do better by launching a bid for senate up the street, in Vermont, if the DNC wants her to run for President in 2016, then perhaps they can convince Bernie Sanders to retire. Other names floated in the article: Hillary Clinton and Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley.

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