Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Now It Is A Campaign: Romney Picks Ryan for VP

Wow. This blogger is surprised.

I thought Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from OH-IO was the frontrunner in the so-called veep sweepstakes. Of course some homerism was in play along with Senator Portman’s solid credentials. But we would have lost him in the senate even though Governor Kasich would have picked a solid replacement.

On the competency scale, Rep. Paul Ryan is another solid addition to Mitt Romney’s sheer business acumen and over-all competence.

Just on competence alone does Romney-Ryan beat Obama-Biden. Can you seriously look at that other side and think “they really know what they are doing”?

When it comes to competency, Romney-Ryan is the USA Basketball team and Obama-Biden are the Nigerian basketball team at the London Olympics.

Of course, the actual election will be a lot closer than that final score.

How about a little taste of what Ryan brings to Team Romney:

Watch Obama’s face as he knows he is being taken to task by Ryan and is losing on the merits.

If this is what Ryan will bring to this campaign the polls will tighten.

 

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Roberts to Obama: It’s A Big Fucking Tax Deal!

Who knew that Chief Justice Roberts secretly wanted to be a congressman? Because at the heart of his majority opinion is where he changed out of his jurist robes into his legislator’s costume.  How else can you explain what happened Thursday as the court ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the misnamed Affordable Care Act by finding the mandate is only a mandate if it is a mandated tax?

Roberts did a ctrl h to the law replacing the repeated word ‘penalty’ with the constitutionally approved word ‘tax’.  And like magic the judicial branch has grown its own legislative branch.

But wait…there’s more! Obama himself argued that his mandate was not a tax:

And during the first opening oral arguments the Supremes were trying to ascertain if the mandate indeed was a mere penalty or really a tax.

This little bit of debate was key to the entire case before the Supremes because the Anti-Injunction Act prevents lawsuits before a tax is paid. Taxpayers must pay the imposed tax to have standing to sue against the tax. Obama-care’s penalties taxes are not due until 2014. If the mandate is a tax there is no case and the suit is tossed out.

So, team Obama argued it is not a tax and the court accepted it to be not a tax so the case could move forward to have Roberts decide that, yes, indeed, it is a tax.

If your head is spinning it means you are following along nicely. It you feel the ground moving, that is because the Founding Fathers are following along and spinning in their respective graves.

Yes, it was that kind of week Thursday was.

Some of you (okay, the one of you who does read this) may have seen some esteemed fellow conservative commentators commentate that this ruling was indeed the work of genius as it puts Obama-care into realm of the largest tax increase in history and ties the Democrats to this tax increase while preserving limits to the Commerce Clause.

Bullshit.

First off who in their right, center-right, center, left of center minds do not know that Democrats love increasing taxes? Any tax increase is never taxed enough or high enough for them.

And limiting the Commerce Clause by removing the limits as long as the expansion is a tax levy–even if such wording and debating states the exact opposite of a tax levy. That is one limit to be honored.

Now, this blogger has in the past over-used cleaning the litter box as a metaphor for political studies. As I sift out the pee clumps and cat shit I know there is not going to be any gold or diamonds found in the box after I am done. Somehow our esteemed brighter lights of commentary think they have found gold and diamonds amid the piss and shit in this litter box filled by Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion.

There ain’t any.

This ruling is a loss, a defeat, a crushing blow to our side who believes in limited government under a strict constitution where each branch is separate and plays in their own litter box for the good of the republic and its citizens. There is no other way this litter sifter sees it.

So, what happens next?

I don’t know. But if past is prologue we are stuck with this badly decided ruling for maybe 100 years or so.  I am not being overly pessimistic just resolutely realistic.

Dred Scott took a civil war to overturn it.

Plessy which made segregation the law of the land took 6o years before Brown overturned it.

Roe is still enforcing a faux right to abortion since 1972 despite it being a cornerstone of conservative campaigning against.

So how long do you really think it will take before the Affordable Care Act ruling is overturned by a future court or legislative act?

And if it is by legislative act that this is overturned and a new suit is brought before the Supremes, will some future Chief Justice effect the rules of Roberts and ctrl h it to mean whatever the court wants it to mean to fit into their opinion?

By then maybe our liberty and freedoms too will have come under the SCOTUS editor and be easily replaced with a keystroke.

That is why this is even a bigger fucking deal than that master of vice Vice President Joe Biden made it out to be.

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Mr. Gray-Glo’s Commercial Debut

Last week your humble maker of typos was invited by Team Romney to be in a campaign commercial specially for Ohioans.

I was–no snickering–talent.

I was happy to do it but surprised by the invite as during the primary this blogger posted his endorsement of Rick Santorum.  But Team Romney are making great strides in uniting the clans–I mean bringing in the various Republican factions. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul son of libertarian leaning presidential candidate Ron is on board with Team Romney. Mr. Gray-Glo, too, is on board to recover America from the changeless hopelessness brought on by the Obama era.

Because the content of the ad was embargoed, I could not post about it. Embargoed is a great word to use for many different circumstances: I would have paid my bills but the economy was embargoed by Obama. See?

Tim O’Toole, the producer/videographer/line giver, asked me to hold off posting (as if anyone really reads you–The Voice) until the commercial is released. They wanted the content to hit Obama by surprise.

This is one huge difference this video star (there will be no living with him now–The Voice) notices between Team Romney’s campaign and the failed McCain campaign way back in ’08; Romney is Fast and Furious in getting his message out and rebutting Obama. Any time Obama’s teleprompter makes a gaffe, Team Romney is on it and has a commercial released.

And so it went with Obama’s comment that the “private sector is doing fine” coming on the anniversary of Recovery Summer.

Two years ago the president was in Ohio touting his amazing Summer of Stimulus, he just forgot the recovery part.

And that is the message of the Recover Our Country video I and other Romney Team supporters made last week.

Quite a few of the men and women in the montage are from the conservative grassroots organization Cuyahoga Valley Republicans. We were founded in July 2009 as we saw where Obama was leading our nation.

The video is here:

Recover Our Country

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2012 Presidential Race: Santorum Suspends Campaign

Traveling back from Kentucky this afternoon there was on the radio a Fox News Alert: Rick Santorum confirms to Fox News he’s suspending his campaign. Press conference to follow from what was to have been a rally, but is now a conference announcing his suspension.

Santorum went from being in single digits and at the end of the stage during the numerous early–and I mean early pre- caucus, pre-primary–debates to being the last serious challenger to Mitt Romney. And now he is out.

Santorum rose in the polls as a candidate but he did not grow as a candidate. Yes, he won caucuses and some primaries. He won more counties than his opponent Romney. But Santorum could not master the media. They played him more than he could play them.

This lack of control of his message hurt him.

Santorum’s strength was also proven to be his major weakness: he became solely identified by social issues. The media ever mindful of their disdain of conservatives, especially religious ones of true faith and more over those who actually believe what they espoused, did what they could to keep him on display as some carnival side show freak: Come See The Social Conservative!

And Santorum never failed to disappoint by aiding and abetting them when it came to social issues. This showed a lack of discipline at best or a lack of political intelligence at worse.

I am not advocating Santorum and other like-minded conservatives hide or become deceitful about their stands on abortion, homosexual marriage, birth control, religion in the public square, or any other cause. Conservatives never should hide or lie about their message and positions; leave that to the Liberals and Democrats.

But Santorum forgot that when it came to these issues (cliché warning) he had the base at “hello”. Nothing more needed said or added.

This is where his lack of discipline or political acumen was most apparent.

Abortion: not only does Santorum hold and espouse a solid ‘pro-life’ message–he lives it. Twice his family has been burdened by tragedy that if he was a Kennedy or other Liberal Lion would have been made into an empathetic network or cable movie.

His daughter Isabella known by her loving nickname Bella was born with a chromosome disorder called Trisomy 18. It is terminal and usually fatal within hours, days, or months. Bella is 3 years old.

Now some abortion rightist advocate killing of newborns who have not achieved their definition of personhood; Bella Santorum would qualify as one such non-person to them. To the Santorums she is daughter and a person complete.

This is a profound pro-life message and does not need further amplification. The conservative base which includes many of the social variety understands where he stands on this important issue.

All the Senator needed to say is that he chooses life, lives for life, and knows that Roe does not nor does President Obama and his party.

Homosexual marriage: this issue has tripped him up many times before. He did not call homosexuals practitioners of bestiality; he made an awkward ‘slippery slope’ or ‘draw the line’ argument about what other forms of ‘marriage’ courts may decide once homosexual unions are established.

His only answer about homosexual unions should be that he and President Obama share similar views opposing it. And the only difference is that unlike the Obama justice department, he will enforce the Defense of Marriage Act as signed into law by President Clinton.

Birth Control: The Media needed to spin the Obama Administration’s mandating Catholic and other religious groups provide birth control, sterilization, and abortion inducing drugs into the Republicans want to ban contraception. Santorum provided them with ample sound-bites to help make their case.

A more seasoned candidate would have seen the traps being laid for him and would have had better answers. Santorum proved he was not that candidate.

Maybe the next time.

I hope it isn’t 2016 because that would mean one more term of this regime and it could prove to be a terminal term for our republic.

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The Gray-Glo Endorsement: Rick Santorum

Tuesday is deemed Super-Tuesday when the seasonal hot air blowing through Ohio peaks. After Tuesday we get a little respite from campaigns until the general shifts into high gear. And it will be sooner than the start of Christmas December shopping season at the mall.

Folks in Ohio have been voting by mail (you remember mail) for a few weeks.

Mr. Gray-Glo will have no part of that unless it is truly an absentee ballot he needs to cast because he has decided to go into hiding.

And (clumsy segue time) speaking of decisions, with crunch time and deadline mounting, I have made mine.

Come Super-Duper Tuesday I am voting for Rick Santorum for President.

Why?

The final four candidates left standing have gone through the gauntlet of debates, personal appearances, myriad interviews, fund-raiser dinners, sticky stinky babies needing kissed…you know the hoops we make them jump through (some ignited too) we call republican democracy. I think to some degree or other each in his own way is a good guy and would make a better president. Each, too, has their own negative risks that need balanced against their positives.

When it comes to Senator Rick Santorum, his positives balance out and overcome his negatives.

First to come is a form of trust. Ideological trustworthiness: The kind of trust that a conservative needs to think and believe in their candidate—a philosophical trust.

I trust Senator Santorum will act and govern as president conservatively as defined and understood. By that, he will stand strong and work hard strengthening the three legs of the conservative stool: defense, fiscal, and social. Weaken or remove one and the entire stool topples and liberty falls on its ass injured.

Rick Santorum is not campaigning softening his edges that most lame campaign consultants claim need softened to win votes you really never had a chance of winning anyway. Damn, that was a keyboard twister to type.

What would be the point of enduring the liberal media’s smears, stones, rotten tomatoes and eggs thrown his way to drop your convictions when you get in the Oval office? There must be an easier way to get votes. But Santorum is not taking that way. He is not hiding who he is and what he believes to catch the sacred cow weak teat moderate independent which consultants say you must.

There is nothing shocking about his defense positions, they are basically mainstream conservative Republican positions of national security. I take that back. They are shocking when compared with the appeaser and apologizer in chief we have now.

Our current allies will know they have a friend who will have their backs. Our current enemies will know they have someone who takes their threats seriously and will do something about it. The pinky raised tea sippers at the UN will wet their pants more than usual.

A Santorum presidency means America is back and stronger and not afraid.

(We can say similar about Gingrich and Romney on defense but won’t since this piece is about Santorum).

Fiscally is where Santorum may have the most negatives. His tax policy mainly tinkers within the current system. He proposes two rates 28% and 10% because 28% was good enough for Reagan it is good enough for him. He wants to lower corporate taxes by 50% to 17.5%. Straightforward enough.

But then things do get complicated. He will use tax law to give manufacturing a boost by lowering their rate to zero. This is tax code favoring one sector over another.

He will increase certain income tax deductions and exemptions for families.

In simple terms he will not simplify the tax system but the rates will be lower.

On the spending side of things Santorum is no deficit hawk.  Part of his time in congress was spent spending and voting for spending.

This poses a risk. But only if you believe that the other three will not spend. None of them have clean hands and snouts when it comes to government (your and my money) slop.

But, this is key; Santorum is the only one who lost his job because of it. He lost his 2006 senate re-election when incumbent Republicans were justifiably judged to have lost their conservative principles.

He now says some of the spending we voted for then was a mistake. Perhaps Santorum learned from this loss.

Santorum can be described as an activist Conservative. If Hilary Clinton’s Village is the left’s idea of government’s role in our lives; Santorum’s Family is the right’s idea.  Where both meet is with Big Government. Santorum will spend but his focus will be on pro-family and pro-conservative programs.

Yet, Santorum can claim one important rollback of Big Government, the 1996 Welfare Reform. He was a key player in making this possible and led the floor debate in the Senate as a freshman. He started the groundwork on this historic legislation when he was in the house.

Welfare reform is the largest ever rollback of a New Deal era program. Short of closing a department, this was the biggest shrinkage of the Federal Government in decades.

Only Santorum and Gingrich can claim they know what it takes to pass this kind of legislation and create balance budgets since they are the only two to do it without a law telling them to unlike Romney had to as Governor.

Santorum knows what it takes to reduce and eliminate a program; he lost his way later in his career with spending and then lost his job.

Social issues are what Santorum is mostly known for. He is defined by social issues and because of that some chose to only define him that way.

There is no reason to spend time typing and listing his positions. They are well known and run the mainstream of social conservative thought.

This goes back to my first point about trust.

On social issues, Santorum walks and talks this difficult path to the White House where he is pelted endlessly by liberals and their comrades in Big Media. I sincerely doubt he will abandon this when he arrives at the White House. It makes no logical sense for him to do that.

Lastly, there is some commotion concerning his views about the so-called separation of church and state; a phrase that does not exist in the Constitution and especially within the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Santorum will not create a tax payer funded Church of America, Roman Catholic. Only the most absurd liberal (sorry for the repetition) would claim such.

He says, and stories about him and his wife’s tragedies with losing a child followed by the trials of having a ‘special needs’ child back him, that his faith is central in his life.

He does not think he should not use what his faith, his church, has given him as a foundation when he is president.

We would not ask a CEO to not use that experience when they are president. Or would we ask a lawyer to give up what he knows about the law and legal system. But when it comes to faith and church and what they add to a person’s life, some are bothered by the thought of it.

The current controversy caused by the Obama administration forcing religious groups to pay for birth control and abortion inducing drugs as part of Obama-care is the latest attempt to mark Santorum as a danger to this so-called church-state separation.

What Santorum has repeatedly said is that his own church based views do not permit him to personally use contraceptives. And all he wants is for the Government to not mandate contraceptives on those opposed on religious grounds.

This is a quote from Fox News Sunday on March 4, 2012:

I’m reflecting the views of the church that I believe in. And we used to be tolerant of those beliefs. I guess, now, when you have beliefs that are consistent with the church, somehow or another, you are out of the mainstream. And that to me is a pretty sad situation when you can’t have personal health belief.

But that’s not what the issue is about. The issue is about whether the government can force you to do things that are against your conscience. And that’s what we’ve been talking about on the road. We haven’t been talking about my own moral beliefs. We’ve been talking about what the government can do in forcing people to change or violate those beliefs.

Even more important is that he follows the teachings and beliefs of his church. Substitute the word Constitution and you have man you will follow the teachings and beliefs grounded in the Constitution regardless of his personal views. That is what I get from his statement about following his church’s beliefs. He follows the beliefs regardless.

This is not a Santorum statement; I just changed “Constitution” for “church”.

I’m reflecting the views of the Constitution that I believe in. And we used to be tolerant of those beliefs. I guess, now, when you have beliefs that are consistent with the Constitution, somehow or another, you are out of the mainstream.

We cannot say that about the current occupier of the Oval office.

For all the above reasons cited and those not cited, I am voting Tuesday March 6 for Rick Santorum.

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Enthusiasm Gap Is Just A Pothole For Now

Our winter’s freeze and thaw cycles takes its toll on our roads creating potholes or chuck holes making driving an adventure.

Some are just small bumps that jump and thump your ride while others will break an axle or swallow a car whole.

One rough patch of potholed chucked up roadway reminded me about this year’s presidential election.

Its early in this cycle even though most political fanatics feel it’s long in the tooth and graying around the temples and beard regions.

20 primary debates that had the feel of an American Idol cattle call will do that.  At least we are down to a final four. Is your president bracket busted?

Back to stretching this metaphor…

I was reading posts tracking partisan enthusiasm. It is too soon to see if an actual gap is emerging or is this just a small pot hole on the road to the White House that can easily be patched.

Or is it a chasm?

Anyway early polls show that Dems are not as excited about this race as Republicans are.

Gallup posts: GOP Slightly Ahead in Voting Enthusiasm Both parties far less enthusiastic today than Democrats were in 2008 writes Lydia Saad.

By 53% to 45%, Republicans, including independents who lean Republican, are slightly more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say they are “more enthusiastic than usual about voting” this year. Republicans have consistently led Democrats in voting enthusiasm since last fall, but to varying degrees.

And it isn’t just because the primaries are still competitive.

The 53% of Republicans who feel more enthusiastic about voting today — as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are engaged in a pitched nomination battle — is greater than the 44% found in February 2008 when John McCain and Mike Huckabee were still dueling in the primaries.

Before the elephant starts doing his happy jig, Gallup notes that in 2008 Dems were more excited than Republicans are now.

At that time, 79% of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting, higher than the 53% of Republicans today and the 44% of Republicans in 2008.

Maybe this elongated primary season is helping to slowly build the enthusiasm needed to defeat an incumbent president. We need to peak at the right time if we want to win.

The enthusiasm question is important because, in the last several presidential and midterm elections, the party whose rank-and-file members showed the most enthusiasm about voting toward the end of the campaign either gained congressional seats or won the presidency. That includes, for instance, Barack Obama in 2008, the Republicans in the 2010 midterm congressional elections, and the Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections. Thus, Republicans’ ability to maintain their 2012 enthusiasm advantage through the fall could be an important factor in the election outcome.

And the donkey cart needs to watch for additional pot holes growing. Warned you about stretching it.

Enthusiasm is down among the Hope and Change me crowd:

At this time four years ago, 62% of Americans, overall, were more enthusiastic about voting and 30% were less enthusiastic. That eagerness was mainly the result of heightened enthusiasm among Democrats, with 79% “more enthusiastic,” as noted above.

However, corresponding with their Democratic leanings, nonwhites and 18- to 29-year-olds also showed exceptionally high enthusiasm about voting in 2008, with more than 70% of each group saying they were “more enthusiastic.” Today, by contrast, these groups’ mood is on par with that of whites and older adults.

There is still time for Dems to build their enthusiasm. But…

Gallup trends show that enthusiasm generally tends to build as Election Day nears. However, in 2004 and 2008, Gallup found that the February patterns of enthusiasm by party generally held through October.

On College Campuses, Obama’s Not Cool Anymore reports the Atlantic Wire dot com.

His approval rating is at 56 percent approval rating among people ages 18 to 29. That’s higher than the 51 percent national average, but that’s a decline of 10 points compared to the 2008 exit polls.

But Obama need not worry too much about this lack of youth support. The mythical youth vote was not any greater than in ’04:

Despite all the buzz young voters got in 2008, they weren’t critical to Obama’s victory.

Voters aged 18 to 24 turned out at a rate of 49 percent in 2008, compared to 47 percent four years earlier–a statistically significant, but still small increase, according to the Census Bureau.

The difference? Obama turned on and turned out more old folks who actually vote.

Obama’s huge get out the vote operation reached out to way more young voters than McCain’s campaign–25 percent compared to 13 percent–but Obama didn’t neglect the old folks. His campaign reached 55 percent of seniors in Virginia, for example compared to McCain’s 45 percent.

Another factor this guy on keyboards thinks may be hurting Obama with his old youth group is that they may have all ready graduated college into the Obama jobless recovery.

Just 54 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. That’s the lowest employment rate for this age group since the government began keeping track in 1948. And it’s a sharp drop from the 62 percent who had jobs in 2007 — suggesting the recession is crippling career prospects for a broad swath of young people who were still in high school or college when the downturn began.

Rasmussen Reports confirms this as well: Partisan Trends: GOP Holds Steady, Democrats Fall To New Low

The number of Republicans in the country was virtually unchanged in February, while the number of Democrats fell to a new low for the third month in a row.

During February, 36.0% of Americans considered themselves Republicans. That’s up from 35.9% in January and the highest number of Republicans measured since December 2010.

At the same time, only 32.4% of adults said they were Democrats, down from 32.5 in January and 32.7% in December. This marks the third straight month that the number of Democrats nationally has fallen to the lowest level ever measured by Rasmussen Reports.

The number of voters not affiliated with either major political party remained the same at 31.6% in both January and February.

The GOP now holds a partisan identification advantage of 3.6 percentage points. That’s the widest gap between the two parties since July 2010, when Democrats held a 3.6 percentage point lead.

Rasmussen says, “In each of the recent election cycles, the victorious party has gained in net partisan identification over the course of the election year. It is worth noting, however, that the gains were generally short-lived.” Well they only have to stay alive until Wednesday November 7th.

Keep in mind that figures reported in this article are for all Adults, not Likely Voters. Republicans are a bit more likely to participate in elections than Democrats.

That is worth remembering, Republicans are a bit more likely to vote than the Democrats.

Is that just a pot hole in the road ahead or a donkey swallowing chasm?


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Where Does Paul Factor?
You know he has not won a single caucus or primary vote.
The conventional wisdom is still on Mitt Romney winning the nomination.
But the reluctance of the base and the conservative base to embrace him makes the path and math to the nomination less easy and straight forward.
Super Tuesday may or may not clear this up.
Some posts to ponder:

There’s been a lot of speculation lately on whether Mitt Romney can accumulate the 1,144 delegates he’ll need by late August to clinch the Republican presidential nomination at the convention in Tampa.
And there’s also been speculation of just why he’s been so tight with Ron Paul.
Knowing what I know about Ron Paul, I suspect a lot of that is personal in nature. Ron doesn’t seem to particularly like either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, perhaps for the obvious reason that neither is very likable.
But Mitt seems an affable enough sort.
That might explain why Ron’s been doing a tag team with Mitt against the other two.
Another explanation is that Ron wants some bargaining power at that convention.

[...]

And as we get closer to the convention, there’s even more reason not to drop out. If it really looks like Romney can’t get to 1,144, then both Gingrich and Santorum will want to stay in the running for Tampa, as will Paul, of course.

Rove goes into some detail about the difference between a “contested” convention and a “brokered” covention.

I think tha may be a distinction without much of a difference. If no one shows up with the magic 1,144 delegates, anything’s possible. The horse-trading begins right then and it’s hard to imagine either Gingrich or Santorum handing his delegates to Romney.

It is indeed possible to see Paul doing so, however, in return for some reward or another.

Paul Mulshine (what a great name for a political pundit) cites two posts in his piece:

The Stone post has a lot of good information but is difficult to excerpt a key paragraph. But I will try:
Ron Paul’s campaign has long centered on a “complex plan to force a long battle with Mitt Romney for delegates to the Republican National Convention in August.”5 Paul’s ability to organize in the caucuses and supporters enthusiasm cannot be understated – as he continues to siphon delegates away from Romney, who is also depending on the caucuses to secure the nomination, – and is played out in Maine where the Texas Congressman lost to the Massachusetts Governor in the New England caucus by only 156 votes.
This could portend to one of the strangest political wife swaps if Romney and Paul strike some kind of deal. And this deal will benefit both Romney and the mainstream GOP by getting Romney nominated, including Paul in a key position while negating his going independent.
But Stone has charts and data pointing to Romney’s electability decreasing. I was never sold on his electability any way.
He has lost the electability argument as well. A February 16th Democracy Corps Poll finds that Romney “may be on the edge of political death. The shift against him is one of the biggest in the polls and he now competes with Republicans in Congress for unpopularity. In the summer of 1996, Bob Dole essentially was disqualified in voters’ eyes and never really recovered his footing.”22 Further, a new CNN/ORC International poll finds that 53% of independents have an unfavorable view of Romney, compared with 44% last month.23 Further a new Des Moines Iowa Poll released February 18th shows Obama losing Iowa not only to Romney by a slim 46%-44% margin, but also losing to Santorum by 48%-44% and Ron Paul by 49%-42%.24
[...]

Politics is personal. People vote for a guy who they either like or they trust to do the job well. Romney scores high on the latter category, but as the season wears on he’s looking less and less like a regular Joe. The sharp increases in Romney’s unfavorability ratings have removed the “electability” argument.

But this may not lead to a brokered convention.
Rove:
Meanwhile, a brokered convention needs party bosses, and today there aren’t any. In the old days, party chiefs often led delegations of regulars who took orders and depended on patronage. No longer. In some states, winning candidates don’t even pick their delegates—party conventions do. This means that while the delegation is committed to support a candidate for a certain number of ballots, many individual delegates remain loyal to other candidates. That makes it more difficult for anyone in a smoke-filled bargaining session to deliver a large number of delegates.
But what about the a contested convention?
Rove, again:

As for a contested convention: This last happened for the GOP in 1976. Neither President Gerald Ford nor Ronald Reagan had a majority when delegates arrived in Kansas City. The nomination was decided by the unpledged Mississippi delegation swinging in behind Ford. But there are far fewer delegations in 2012 that will arrive in Tampa unpledged.

It’s also important to remember that, according to the Republican National Committee, delegates have been officially awarded in just four contests. Missouri’s primary was just a beauty contest, and the caucus states have county, congressional-district and state conventions to go through later this spring before their delegations are set, all of which will be affected by what happens in the race between now and then.

There are 48 still to go (including D.C., American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands and Guam). And once a candidate starts winning, they tend to keep winning, especially beginning in April when more states award delegates on a winner-take-all basis.

Brokered? Contested? This quadrennial show could be a ratings booster for C-SPAN.
No matter what it can make Paul’s –who is one of the wildest of wild cards– quixotic Pat Paulson routine of a campaign a deciding factor.
The crank may yet get a crack in that counts.

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Cuyahoga Valley Republicans Presidential Straw Poll Results: Herman Cain First with 29%

Last night during Cuyahoga Valley Republican’s September meeting also was our picnic cookout Herman Cain won the monthly straw poll with 29% of the votes.

Mitt Romney came in second with 25% and Rick Perry had 13%.

This is a significant change from August’s straw poll where newly announce candidate Perry was first with 35% of the votes. Cain was fourth with 9% behind Michele Bachmann’s 14%.  Romney was second last month, too, with 28%.

Amazing what learning about candidates from a few debates can do.

Perry and Bachmann fared the worse by what their debating styles revealed about them.

There were two invalid write-in votes: one for Obama which was probably meant as a twisted joke (although no booze was served at the picnic) and another for a member who was grilling the hamburgers and hot dogs. He only received one vote from his family but the food was good.

CVR will have monthly straw polls until the Ohio primary—whenever it may be.

The poster of this post is chairman of the CVR’s candidate screening committee.

This site is independent of Cuyahoga Valley Republicans.

Here are the totals. Percentages are rounded.

Michele Bachmann 7% 9/131
Herman Cain 29% 39/131
Newt Gingrich 8% 10/131
Jon Huntsman 1% 1/131
Gary Johnson 1% 1/131
Ron Paul 4% 5/131
Rick Perry 13% 17/131
Buddy Roemer 1% 1/131
Mitt Romney 25% 33/131
Rick Santorum 5% 7/131
Write In 6% 8/131
Chris Christie 2% 3/131
Sarah Palin 2% 3/131

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Jon Huntsman, Jr.: When East Coast Liberals Luv You
Please read the following posts about Jon Huntsman:
And the original Vogue piece the above commentary is based:

Drink milk, listen to the Osmond Brothers, and don’t be too Republican and you too could look this good!
If you had any inkling to support Mr. Huntsman, maybe the above two posts will help you make up your mind.
The Huntsman clan gets a rather bland but favorable photo treatment by Anne Leibovitz, famed photographer of most if not all liberal sensibilities.
The Vogue profile is what I would call a classic non-hit or anti-smear piece about Huntsman.
Yes, you East Coast NYC Manhattan Liberal types are just so disappointed with Obama, but maybe, maybe {winky winky} you can stomach this Republican-lite.
But don’t bet on it.
Ok, it may be an un-hit piece on Huntsman, but it definitely is a hit piece on those on the right and from the south:

The political milieu is evident this sticky July evening at Mutt’s BBQ, where around 100 conservative activists and assorted curiosity seekers have come for a gander at Jon Huntsman. Before tonight’s event starts, they join in a religious invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, and an anti-statist poem known as the Republican Creed. Henry McMaster, the state’s silver-haired former attorney general, then makes the political tenor of the room explicit when he rises to introduce Jon Huntsman in his thick-as-gravy drawl. “Some of you folks may remembah that I made a pledge that I looked forward to the day Democrats in South Carolina were so rare we’d have to start huntin’ em with dawgs,” McMaster intones. “It’s come true! You cay-ant find any!”

There is, however, at least one moderate Republican present: the smooth, cosmopolitan former Utah governor, who not only is on record as a supporter of gay civil unions but also served under Barack Obama as ambassador to China until a few months ago. Surveying the motley crowd with an ironic expression, he begins, “All I can tell you is that I never thought I would be making an appearance at Mutt’s BBQ.”

The incongruity level rises as Huntsman makes his way around the dining room to shake hands. One of the state’s Tea Party leaders, Chris Lawton, asks what he knows about China’s setting up “secret free-trade zones” in the American West. Huntsman politely says he hasn’t heard anything about that and moves along. When an older gentleman in a veteran’s hat adorned with flag pins presses some religious literature into his hand, Huntsman thanks him, slips the pamphlet in the pocket of his crisp white shirt, and keeps going.

But when Huntsman speaks, he doesn’t act like he’s pinned down behind enemy lines or tailor his explanation of why he’s running to the audience. He says he’s running on his rec­ord as a “conservative problem-­solver” in Utah and on his grasp of America’s economic challenges. “The future of the United States is not going to be determined in the fields of Afghanistan,” he says. “The future of the United States will be determined based upon how prepared we are to meet the twenty-­first-century competitiveness challenge. That war is going to be waged economically, across the Pacific Ocean.”

Jacob Weisberg is looking so far down his Manhattan skyscraper nose at those behind enemy lines speaking with southern accents that I am afraid he’ll get vertigo. He phonetically quotes Henry McMaster just in case his Voguish readers don’t understand that South Carolina is filled with redneck right wingers.
More from Vogue:
Huntsman has rarely criticized President Obama or his Republican opponents directly, though he does pepper his remarks with occasional digs at Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner.

As you listen to Huntsman’s blunt assessment of the country’s prospects, it’s hard not to notice the commonalities with the man he would challenge in 2012—the hazard Obama hoped to forestall by sending him to Beijing. There is, to begin with, the physical resemblance. Huntsman is slender, athletic, and stylish, with a winning smile. Huntsman is 51, Obama is 50, and both have an unusual reserve, a cool unflappability. More important is a shared fundamental outlook: substantive, patient, with a preference for compromise over confrontation, and a pragmatic rather than ideological approach to politics.

When we chat at the airport, Mary Kaye tells me about the first time her husband and Obama met, in a holding room at Coretta Scott King’s funeral in 2006. She glimpsed some kind of spark, a connection between the two men, as if they knew that they would figure jointly in some future history.

Just what we want as conservative Republicans, a spark between our candidate and Obama as they share their fundamental outlook. And if you believe he has not criticized his fellow Republicans, just check out his ABC News This Week interview.

We also know how queasy people of faith make East Coasters feel. So, Weisberg eases their queasiness by letting be known that Huntsman may be Mormon but doesn’t actually follow it too closely.
People tend to see Mormonism as a binary, you-are-or-you-aren’t question, but Jon Huntsman is something more like a Reform Jew, who honors the spirit rather than the letter of his faith. He describes his family on his father’s side as “saloon keepers and rabble rousers,” and his mother’s side as “ministers and proselytizers.” The Huntsman side ran a hotel in Fillmore, Utah’s first capital, where they arrived with the wagon trains in the 1850s. They were mostly what Utahans call “Jack Mormons”—people with positive feelings about the Latter-Day Saints church who don’t follow all of its strictures. “We blend a couple of different cultures in this family,” he says.
Vogue readers can rest assured that he isn’t quite as far gone as those others in the Republican field with their religion.
It also begs the question about Huntsman and his ideological political convictions. Does he only honor the spirit of republicanism? Only the spirit of smaller-government? Spirit of lower taxes?
Spirit of the Constitution? Spirit of Liberty?
Huntsman may be what could be described as Reformed Conservative. Mad Magazine did a primer on religion way back and wrote about the different styles of Judaism from Orthodox to Reformed and said there is a special kind of Reformed Jew called Christian.
Is Huntsman a special kind of Reformed Conservative called Liberal?

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Independent Voters Are Really Partisans, You Don’t Say.
We read and hear a lot about appeal to the base and lose the independents.
Please read the following post from the Daily Koz about a study of the independent voter.

Independent voters are actually closet partisans

Conventional political wisdom states that independents are truly that independent or even moderate in their thinking and voting practices.
But this study by Pew Research shows that not to be the case:
The conventional wisdom on independents is, naturally, completely wrong. Independents are not a monolithic group of moderates. In fact, they are very diverse in their political opinions and there isn’t a “move to the middle” formula that will win them over. Moderates, in fact, are now overwhelmingly Democrats. Independents are, for the most part, disaffected political partisans.
What it means is that independents are as if not more partisan than self-identified partisans like Democrats and Republicans. They just don’t like to admit it as such.

The American National Election Study learned that of the vast majority of independents who voted in 2008, 21 percent of independents were truly independent. The rest, all 79 percent, had a definite party preference. Their votes:

Fully 87% of them voted for the candidate of the party they leaned toward: 91% of independent Democrats voted for Barack Obama while 82% of independent Republicans voted for John McCain. That 87% rate of loyalty was identical to the 87% loyalty rate of weak party identifiers and exceeded only by the 96% loyalty rate of strong party identifiers.
This was something I had a gut feeling about. Especially when it came to Conservative or republican (note the small ‘r’) leaning independent. There is no point is attaching unneeded scorn to yourself by proclaiming you philosophically side with the right wing side of the aisle.
I don’t know what may cause an independent who aligns with Dems or Liberals not to proclaim it since Big Media and Big Hollywood loves your kind.
Maybe it is just as simple as that old Groucho Marx (for Liberals that is Marx as in comedy and not Marx as in communism) joke about joining any group that would have me as a member.
In other words, independents who prefer Democrats vote like Democrats, and independents who prefer Republicans vote like Republicans. The vast majority of independents are not truly independent, but are for whatever reason partisans who don’t want the party label.
This is a key point to understanding attracting independents.

It is highly unlikely that folks who lean toward either party, and remember the vast majority of independents lean, are going to swing their votes to and fro between the parties. What is likely, however, is that many independents may not be as motivated to vote as strong or weak partisans. To solve this problem, the parties need to motivate them to vote. Since the matrix of issues that motivate independents will more or less coincide with those issues that motivate party partisans, political strategists should do something counter-intuitive to the conventional wisdom: To win independents, motivate your base.

What happened in the 2010 election wasn’t so much that independents swung their votes solidly toward Republicans. The Democratic leaning independents didn’t show up. There is evidence to back this up.

The Koz piece cites this evidence:
The 2010 midterms revealed the fragility of this electoral base. While both Solid Liberals and Hard-Pressed Democrats remained solidly behind Democratic congressional candidates in 2010, support slipped substantially among New Coalition Democrats and Post-Moderns – not because Republicans made overwhelming gains in these groups, but because their turnout dropped so substantially. Where two-thirds of New Coalition Democrats came out to vote for Obama in 2008, just 50% came out to back Democrats in 2010. The drop-off in the Democratic vote was even more severe among Post-Moderns, 65% of whom backed Obama, but just 43% of whom came to the polls for Democrats in 2010.
The Tea Party despite the teeth gnashing and tut-tutting of Big Media blowhards did not turn off independents but gave reason for republican leaning independents to support Republican candidates while the opposite happened on the Democrat side of the ballot.
Back to the Koz piece:
Pew studied folks identified as Solid Liberals, whom you could also call “strong partisan Democrats,” albeit 24 percent of this group identify themselves as independents who lean Democrat. There was no drop in turnout among this group in 2010. Where there was significant drop, however, is what Pew calls the “New Coalition” Dems (moderates & Dem leaners) and the Post-Moderns (youth). Of those “New Coalition” Dems, fully 42 percent of them identify as independents. We [Dems and Libs] didn’t lose in 2010 because we lost independents. We lost 2010 because our independent leaners and young folks didn’t vote, while Republican leaning independents turned out in droves. Keep in mind, the enthusiasm gap reported on this site in 2009 was most prevalent in political typology groups most identified with President Obama’s winning coalition in 2008.
So, lets keep this in mind when we are told by Big Punditry that so and so’s appeal to the base will turn off independents. It is not true.
Now, there is one part of this research (at least what was distilled by way of Koz) where there is a gap: pragmatic independents. These are the folks who try hard to not be partisan or ideologues. They only care about what works. Their numbers need identified because they can be swayed to switch from voting Democrat to Republican. They are the one’s IMHO who saw what Bush and the GOP congress was doing was failing in 2006 and decided to give the Dems another shot at it. In 2008 they may have thought Obama had better solutions. But in 2010 the evidence showed Obama and the Democrat congress didn’t have solutions. And in 2012 they will be open to arguments for what works from a Republican.
The Koz post says there are 21% who profess to being independent sans partisanship.
So, shore up the base and use that to attract the partisan independent while appealing to the smaller group of pragmatic independents.
My work is done.

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