Saturday, November 08, 2008

The next RNC Chair – There are the usual players and then there is Michael Steele.

After the historic loss to the Democrats (and by historic, it was historically time for a party change), the RNC chair is up for grabs. Rumors are floating across the blogs as to who would be most suitable as a successor to Ken Mehlman, the man with the impossible task of uniting a party behind the liberal-moderate John McCain, all the while dealing with those who would see the status quo remain, the “Town Hall-Club for Growth” Republicans who are out of touch with the base. Mitt Romney is currently cruising with the National Review – déjà vu 2012. Will they never learn? Romney is the first name that pops up on the list of RNC Chair contenders – at least over at the Daily Kos. The article refers to Romney as the Rights Howard Dean. Enough said.

Chip Saltsman, former head of the Tennessee State GOP is rumored to be actively seeking the post - he’s liked enough over at RedState where the first choice is Newt Gingrich? Newt makes sense to the Beltway pundits who would like to return to a Reagan Era, which simply no longer exists. The Washington Post weighs in with its list of hopefuls: Jim Nussle, former Iowa Congressman, Katon Dawson, chair of the South Carolina G.O.P., Jim Greer of Florida and Saul Anuzis, Party Chair of Michigan ( The “well-connected in to the political chattering class in Washington, having spent years building relationships.” – quote from the Post Article, just seals the deal). The list goes on to include Duncan Hunter, among others that are in line with the traditional Washington Republican think – perhaps with the exception of Saltzman – however, one more name is being bandied about that is of real interest – Michael Steele

Michael Steele, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, and GOPAC Chair, is not only likable, but someone who would have the ability to bridge the gap between the Washington elite and the “rest of us”. Chairing GOPAC is no mean feat and this organization is critical to the survival of the Republican Party. Steele has performed remarkably in that capacity and would make a smooth transition to the GOP Chair – bringing the all critical "connect to the base" skills to the table. “Drill Baby Drill” – is exactly what the party needs – an infusion of youth and new ideas. The comments over at the Save Jersey blog are most interesting – and give insight into what the party needs in order to move forward – youth and inclusion.

So, who actually chooses the RNC chair? From Real Clear Politics:
“Technically, RNC chairs are elected by the full 168 committee members, made up of two representatives and a chairperson from each state, along with officers. Several recent chairs have taken multiple ballots to win their post outright. But in recent years, the incumbent Republican president has anointed a chairman who is elected by acclamation.

Some presidents have used the appointment to reward top strategists from their political campaigns; George H.W. Bush (Himself a former RNC chair) elevated Lee Atwater to the post in 1989, while George W. Bush appointed both Ed Gillespie in 2003 and Ken Mehlman in 2005. Other picks are used to promote current or former elected officials. Recent chairs include former Virginia Governor Jim Nicholson and former Montana Governor Marc Racicot.”

However, since there is no incumbent, the race is open and will be voted on by those 168 committee members in January.

Whoever is chosen as party-chair is in a historically well-favored position. Smart observers understand that this loss was bound to happen (history again) and with the shape this nation is in (as a result of bad management of Freddie and Fannie by the Democrats, while the Republicans either turned a blind eye, or wanted media approval so badly (Bush), they actually aided and abetted the process which resulted in the largest tax burden in history) the blame game will come soon enough - from those who cast “historic personality votes” for Obama and against anyone who was a “Republican”.

A great deal is riding on the Democrats ability to deliver on promises made, avoid a worsening economic crisis, carefully manage a war on a minimum of two fronts (while cutting defense) and so much more - no sane Republican would want to be in Barack Obama’s shoes right now. That said, while some conservatives are looking to salvage their political Beltway necks (McCain aide’s gossiping like hens instead of men in order to blame Palin for example), what the RNC needs is a chair that is savvy enough to reel in Washington - start adding to a grassroots base that is already on board and tap those Democrats and independents that are already looking ahead to 2012 – Michael Steele just may be the ticket. Will the Party leaders put aside their egos and power grubbing mind-think aside? Leadership - the Steele's and the Palin's - are needed to march forward. Those would would see Jeb Bush in the White House and Newt Gingrich at the helm are not simply delusional - but dangerous.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Kerry Possible Cabinet Position Vacant Senate Seat? - Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick No To Special Election - He Will Appoint Kerry Successor

Speculation over John Kerry’s (D-MA) possible inclusion in an Obama cabinet, has Massachusetts politician’s gearing up for a run at the Senate should there be a special election. From Attorney General Martha Coakley to former Governor William Weld, are expressing interest. Not so fast: Governor Deval Patrick has decided than allowing a special election that might not be in the best interests of the Democrat Party, he will simply change the law of the Commonwealth and appoint the next US Senator from MA. Who might Governor Deval Patrick have in mind – Ted Kennedy’s wife, Vikki and his nephew Joseph Kennedy II. Patrick is putting his political party’s interest ahead of the interests of the Commonwealth – nothing new. Deval Patrick, the original “Yes We Can”, man - came up through the same Chicago political scene as Barack Obama (both men have been guided by David Axelrod) and will be up for re-election in 2010.

Where is The Confidence in Positive Change under Obama Administration?

Nestled into the rolling hills of Western Massachusetts, a local Springfield television station has an online poll asking if there is confidence in the idea of positive change under an Obama administration. These non-scientific polls are just for “fun”, not necessarily used for much more – the question that was poised is not frivolous and what is of interest are the responses (considering the location). 51% feel that yes, there will be a positive change, 49% feel otherwise – which, considering the spread in Massachusetts, 36% for McCain, 65% for Obama – why the discrepancy?

It is a bit too early for buyer’s remorse to set in, or is it? What is telling is the content and reaction to President-Elect Obama’s speech. In his speech he talked about a unified country, a bi-partisan effort, hope and change (“yes we can”), and the kicker, “sacrifice and hard work”. He did not evoke John F. Kennedy or any other great Democrat leader, rather chose Abraham Lincoln, the first leader of the Republican Party, a Party that has stood for inclusion from its inception, of fiscal responsibility, of less government and individual freedoms. Some individuals actually believed that once Obama was elected, the taxes would be cut, and giveaways were going to increase. One young woman at a rally in Florida, was overjoyed because she would no longer have to pay for gas, or pay her mortgage, (video below), others questioned who on earth was going to do all this hard work and sacrifice? They failed to get the memo. Obama, in this speech, sent a clear message that he was going to govern his way; and not one of us has any idea of what that will mean until he actually gets to work. His intentions however, his policies, have been in place on his website since inception (granted changes occur time to time, but heck, this is politics!), leaving one to question why supporters were not better informed. This is especially true of the youth group, and those single women who voted in droves – they are anticipating a great deal, the problem is that the President-Elect is going to face challenges unlike any other president has to date: a financial crisis that will only worsen (Wall Street already gave its opinion of a Democrat at the helm, by posting the biggest post-election drop in history. This should come as no surprise, free enterprise despises over-regulation, higher taxes, (sacrifice) will stymie production, one should understand that those on Wall Street did read the memo.), there will be wars, as well as a general disregard for the United States from countries who lean Marxist or might be a tad revolutionary, there may even be an attack on our own soil; the President-Elect will have to deal with all of these situations, not like Carter - but like a Reagan in order to keep the country solvent and safe. This will leave little in the till and the result will be; social programs will wait – taxes will increase, across the board and the social services.

This scenario would have been no different had McCain won the election, all of these challenges would have been in place; the difference is, of course, the expectation of McCain supporters were not quite as high as those supporting Obama. They understand that the world view can change quickly and those whose friendship we desire, will so deride us, that there is a need to watch the war on terror, and that Wall Street reacts more favorably to Republicans (Warren Buffett aside). What each citizen must do now is exactly what the President Elect suggested; get ready for sacrifice, there will be hard times, we must work together in a bi-partisan manner, because, my friends, this is going to be one rough ride. For those still unsure of where Obama stands on the issues,, if you want to compare where John McCain actually stood on these issues (apparently George Bush was somehow involved according to Obama’s Campaign website), go over to the dark side and do an actual comparison. What one will find is that, there are some minor differences between the two, (McCain being more like Reagan than Bush), and that it would be of no surprise should President-Elect Obama, in an effort to move swiftly to the middle, borrow one or two ideas from the Senator from Arizona; as they work together to better the nation. That is one thing of which one can be fairly certain: McCain and Obama will work together. The promise of bi-partisanship and reaching across the aisle will have to take place; the stakes are too high to continue the level of partisanship this nation has been exposed to for far too long.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-Elect Obama – A Mandate

The people have spoken, and the United States of America has a new president. Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States. This was not, as some predicted, a close race, neither was it a landslide similar to 1980, rather a strong and unquestionable majority that wanted to move this country away from one political party to another. President-Elect Obama’s moving speech in Chicago last night offered hope and change, but also a return to bi-partisanship – hard work and sacrifice. He evoked Abraham Lincoln; recalling the division of the country at a time in history where the political and geographical landscape appeared to be irreparably damaged, he praised John McCain’s service to the country and his hard-fought campaign, and encouraged a return to a more united nation. While I may not agree with Obama’s stand on most issues, I must respect and support our new President. I was never able to accept the notion that his candidacy would be rejected due to his race – rather his Progressive Policy, including stances on moral issues that compel my vote – added to a worldview that was overly inclusive, and a lack of experience that left a feeling of apprehension. That said - it was with a great deal of pride in this great country and its people that I watched a man of African-American decent reach the highest office in the land. My father, had he been alive today, would have been so proud. My father worked tirelessly for civil rights and the great AFLCIO of the 1950’s, he was a Democrat because he believed it to be the party that best represented the disenfranchised and the working man, a man, born in southern Moorish Spain, whose name was different from our neighbors, who spoke five languages and believed that, in this country, anything was possible. It is the memory of my father, and those family, friends and co-workers that I hold dear, which will allow this conservative to proudly accept, without reservation, President-Elect Obama. It is also the knowledge that during primaries, political expediency drives remarks, and therefore, one must wait and see what direction this man and his party will lead our nation. Obama may be the centrist, the man who will be the Democrat’s Reagan – it is not fair in the least, in all honesty, to pre-judge without knowing. This election brought many isms to light, one of which will be continually addressed in the coming years and that is the rejection of women in the role of President or Vice-President. What cannot be tolerated or afforded is another twenty-four year gap before this county sees another woman elevated to the candidacy of either President or Vice-President. What did the nation reject about conservative values and the Republican Party? It was not so much a rejection of conservative values that drove the vote (Obama spoke to the center; i.e. tax cuts and a rejection of Gay Marriage), it was a rejection of a party that had abandoned its principals and had morphed into a cousin of the opposition. Runway spending, scandals and a lack of cohesive leadership aided by an inability or unwillingness to communicate with the country, drove the voters away or kept them home. The mainstream media and the celebrity status afford politicians can be taken with a grain of salt. The fact remains that everyone in this nation has access to multiple news channels; there was a definite slant, so noticeable that it hurt the credibility of some institutions but not a particular party. This election, historic in nature on so many levels, is also historically bound to have gone in a new direction. Kennedy and Johnson brought us Nixon and Ford, Carter brought us Reagan, Reagan brought Bush (George H.), Bush brought us Clinton, Clinton brought us Bush and now, Bush has brought us Obama. It goes without saying, that depending upon the direction in which we, as a nation, are led, that in four or eight years, statistics will favor a Republican – so goes the country, historically. God Bless America and God Bless the President-Elect of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Electoral College – Is it tied to the popular vote?

The Electoral College has been cast out in articles the past few days asking Can Obama Win the Popular Vote but Lose the Election?” - the answer is yes, however, it is possible but not probable – having happened in only a handful of elections since the inception of the Electoral College. The reason being that the Electoral College is tied to the popular vote – Electors are chosen from political parties in each State, to cast their vote for the candidate who has received a majority of votes. These Electors are generally bound by state law to cast their ballot for a particular candidate, that said, Electors are not constitutionally bound to do so. Electors cast their votes on December 24th – well after the Electoral College votes have been awarded to a particular candidate. The best way to insure that your voice is heard – vote! Regardless of choice, the citizen that votes has the right to complain. (States to watch closely – Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Colorado and Nevada – polls are no bellwether this year; it will be the results coming in once the polls close will be the most accurate assessment – there is no doubt that it will be close – as everyone is making predictions: 271/269 – McCain/Palin.

Monday, November 03, 2008

McCain Closing - 11/2 Polling TIPPS

FromTIPP Online: "In 2004, TIPP, a Division of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, came within 3/10 of 1% point of President Bush's actual margin of victory, thus winning the title of "Nation's Most Accurate Pollster." We're planning to do it again this time around, so why not come along for the ride!"

11/2 Results: November 2 McCain: 44.6% Obama: 46.7% Undecided: 8.7% +2.1 Obama

8.7% Undecided - or unwilling to state their position - generally, undecided voters break conservative - the key in generally. Additionally, there is a margin of error to consider - that said - all polls include a rather high number of undecided voters - this is any one's race at this point. It is, however, interesting to note, that in the TIPP McCain gained 2.4 points in one day of polling. It would not be the first time in this long process that the polling data was in error. McCain was counted out, and came roaring back, Obama was slated to take a state in double digits, and lost soundly to Clinton - go figure.

One Thing is Certain - America Will Have a New Party Leader on November 5th

It is the day before American’s go to the polls to elect a new President – the media is in a frenzy, and tensions and tempers are high – today.
Tomorrow when we go to the polls, we will cast ballots for the individual who we feel will do the best job for the country and the one which we feel has values that most closely match our own. What one must also understand, is that whoever is in the Office of the President, is also the leader the a particular party; following a party platform developed by those within the party, a set of guidelines if you will, that lays out a plan for leadership and a direction of for the country. It is safe to say therefore that, be it Republican or be it Democrat, both parties have a unique vision of the direction our country should take, and the members of the party, have chosen a leader to move that agenda forward. The electorate (those who voice their opinion by casting a vote), play a small, but important part in all of this – and the right to vote, is one of the most important benefits of our Republic; it gives each and every citizen the ability to have a say in who will lead the nation and their respective Party. We are privileged to live in a nation that allows the common person to have a say in their government – what is most disturbing is that some, for whatever reason, feel their vote does count. These are the individuals who do have an opinion, and a preference, yet, either to not register to vote, or neglect to vote, and then, have plenty to say once the die is cast.

The 2008 election is no different than any other - with glaring exceptions – the amount of time all American’s have had to choose one over the other has been extended (the media is already running bits on the 2012 race, and in some instances, polling has begun); a steady diet of news and entertainment programs has assailed the public for over two years. 2008 has brought about unprecedented amounts of media coverage, and three firsts – Hillary Clinton, the first woman to run for the Democrat nomination, Barack Obama, the first African American to run and obtain the Democrat Nomination, and Sarah Palin, the first woman to be nominated to a Republican ticket. The media has played a great part in this group of firsts by turning it into a drama of sorts; Sexism was rampant in reporting; Hillary Clinton received more negative press than her opponent, Obama – not about policy, rather, her laugh, her choice of clothing and her makeup were center stage. Sarah Palin has been through a meat-grinder; the press, not found of Conservatives to begin with, took what little restraint, if any, they had applied to Clinton, and abandoned that completely in their treatment of Palin. Race was also brought to the forefront; the idea that one would not vote for Obama because of race, became the theme. Never once, was it played in the media that perhaps someone would not vote for Obama because of policy or lack of experience. Is there racism in America? Absolutely, now more than ever – perhaps some of us have been living under a rock for the past twenty years, thinking that yes, certainly there may be racists here and there, or sexists, but surely, isolated at best, as we have diversity programs in our schools, our communities are integrated, our country is made great by inclusion, and intelligence has trumped ignorance – apparently not. What the media has brought out in the general public is ugly, and it was done deliberately based on a political bias as well as an economical bias (ratings) – the constant drumbeat has further divided us – by political party, gender and race.

When a president is chosen, by the people and for the people, regardless of which President we have on Wednesday morning, the world will not end – we have rooted for our candidates, they have done their best to get a message out to the public, and, because we live in a Republic, a leader will be chosen by a majority. That majority may end up being a million votes, or 20 votes in New Hampshire, but it is the process that should make each and every one of us grateful and proud to be a citizen of this great nation. Whoever is elected should have the full support of the people, should be given a chance to perform and prove that they are worthy of the job that we, the people, hired them to do. Should that President not perform, in four years, they will be replaced – it is the process. The fact that so many American’s become emotionally vested in a particular candidate, aided by the media’s constant drumbeat and the candidate as “movie star” syndrome that developed this election cycle, is perhaps, the biggest hurdle to face the day after the election. Yes, there should be some disappointment if one’s candidate is not chosen, but that is where it should end – we should defy the media and the hype created in this election year (as in the past 8 elections one can recall that each was titled “the most important election”), and go about our business, supporting the new President until 2010 when the entire process begins again.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Massachusetts Shocker - Springfield Republican Endorses McCain!

One must understand that conservative residents in Western Massachusetts (which includes larger urban areas such as Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Greenfield and Pittsfield, as well as the Town of Amherst, home to the University of Amherst), generally believe that the largest newspaper in Western Massachusetts should have long ago, changed its name to “ The Springfield Democrat”. The simple truth is that the editorial board is not prone to endorsing Republican Candidates, including those in minor municipal races. With that in mind, this morning’s endorsement of John McCain by the Republican is of great interest – perhaps the Republican Editorial has discovered that the 18% of the state electorate that remain undecided, will, as they normally, do – vote for the Republican tickets – leading to a possible McCain win in the Bay state.

The A sound and reasoned endorsement: “One can easily imagine that Democrats, with increased majorities in both houses of Congress, will be legislating like it's 1933, and that is not what this nation needs at this time. (Whether the nation needed it in 1933 is a topic for another day.)

McCain will keep us safe, not only from al-Qaida and its sympathizers, but also from the excesses of some of the most liberal members of the Congress.

A divided government, with a Republican in the White House keeping the tax-and-spend crowd on Capitol Hill in check, would be best for everyone at this time.

This election offers a clear choice, and John McCain is our preferred candidate.

We urge voters to back McCain on Tuesday.”

The Republican is owned by Newhouse/Advance Publications whose subsidiaries include the New Yorker, Vanity Fair Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Parade Magazine, Conde Nast Publications, and Business Journals, Inc.

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