November 21, 2014

OPINION: Help Us, Chris Christie, You’re Our Only Hope

The 2014 midterm elections were long expected to go well for Republicans. What was surprising was just how good a night the GOP wound up having, and that is in large part due to the extraordinary success of Chris Christie and the RGA.  Long thought to be the Democrats’ silver lining in 2014, the governors races ended up delivering a succession of crippling blows to the President’s party. Holding key states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida, while adding blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois, was the unexpected highlight of the election and the crowning achievement of Christie’s record-breaking tenure as RGA chairman. This accomplishment has rightly put Christie back in the frontrunner’s position for 2016.

Naturally, his return to the top has angered some on the far right, as well as some Bush loyalists in the establishment. But despite the naysayers, Christie is still better positioned and better suited to be the party’s standard bearer in 2016 than anyone else. This is due not only to Christie’s strengths, but also the profound weakness of his competition. Here are a few reasons why the 2016 field doesn’t stand much of a chance against the New Jersey governor:

1. Bush Baggage – The notion of Jeb Bush as a frontrunner has been a perplexing one for me. True, his family connections and donor base will give him a early jump on some of the new faces looking at the race, but other than that what does a third Bush run offer? The former Florida governor has been out of office for over a decade, a lifetime in politics. He champions a number of policies despised by the conservative base and attempts to sell these positions with a stage presence and style that would make Al Gore seem exciting. Worst of all, after painstakingly moving the party out of the shadow of George W. Bush, brother Jeb would pull us right back in. In a field of candidates unburdened by votes for the Iraq War or a bailout for the financial industry, Jeb Bush will be made to defend both. He is uniquely positioned to be the only Republican still carrying those albatrosses around his neck.  Add that to the fact that the Democrats are relying on a dynastic relic of their own for 2016, and it all seems incredibly stupid for the GOP to do the same. Why would we want to create a contrast between the Clinton economy of the 1990’s and the Bush economic collapse of 2008? Why hinder ourselves with the burden of the Bush family when we can finally run a new generation candidate in a change election? Without question, Jeb Bush is the worst possible option for 2016.

2. Empty Resumes – After two terms of Barack Obama and years of complaining from the GOP faithful about how unqualified and unprepared this half-term senator was for the job, the conservative base seems eager to offer up even less qualified candidates of their own. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio all have resumes even weaker and devoid of accomplishments than Sen. Obama offered in 2008. While some would argue that Rubio doesn’t belong in this group due to his short time in the Florida legislature, I would argue his flip-flop on immigration reform (a bill he helped write) has damaged his credibility even more so than his unqualified fellow senators. If these three were not unfit enough, conservatives are also pushing Dr. Ben Carson, a man with no political or governing experience whatsoever. None. Zip. Zilch. The shocking lack of qualifications among this group would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

3. Untested Governors – The common refrain among Republicans is that the 2016 field is so deep and talented. This notion seems to stem from the accomplished crop of governors that the party has cultivated. At first glance this seems to be the case, but upon further review, this group of big talents appears to be a collection of paper tigers. Take Rick Perry, the outgoing governor of Texas, who humiliated himself in the last presidential race despite his state’s good economic record. There is Bobby Jindal, often cited as a big thinker, who has also made himself a punch-line on the national stage when he wasn’t busy being the South’s most unpopular Republican. Even Mary Landrieu, the about-to-be-ousted senior senator from Louisiana boasts a high approval rating. Gov. Mike Pence checks a lot of boxes for the GOP, but he has a stunning lack of accomplishment for someone who has been in office as long as he has. Compare his record as governor to his predecessor and you will quickly see that Pence is as big a do-nothing governor as he was a do-nothing congressman. He also has no real experience dealing with the opposition, a gaping hole in the resume shared by Perry and Jindal.

4. Retreads – The rest of the field of pretenders is full of candidates who have run and lost before, and in some cases multiple times. Rick Santorum is planning to run again, despite having spent the last 15 years losing elections and saying embarrassing, bigoted nonsense every time he’s on television. Mike Huckabee, a moderately successful television and radio entertainer, is pondering another run to be President of Iowa, but like his previous campaign proved, he has little appeal outside the tiny, caucus electorate.  Mitt Romney has seen a bit of a comeback in the media, almost entirely due to the failures of the man who soundly defeated him. While he would have a few “I told you so” points to make in another race with Obama, he has no real appeal in a race against anyone else. Paul Ryan could be considered the “next-in-line” candidate due to his role as Romney’s defeated running mate, but he faces the same daunting realities that plagued other defeated VP nominees. Add in the fact that no member of the House has won the presidency in over a century and his path becomes even more unrealistic.

5. Real competitors – For all the problems the field has, there are a few bright spots who could lead to real challenges for Christie. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio can claim to be just as tested and even more accomplished than the New Jersey governor. True, only Christie has a powerful Democratic legislature to deal with, but Kasich and Walker faced fierce opposition from labor unions, and came out winners. While neither can command a stage or a late night show with Christie’s charisma, their mid-western charms may be compelling to voters in search of candidates to relate to. Most importantly, both men have shown they can win in purple states, which is one of Christie’s biggest assets. Both men have a long way to go to be able to stand toe-to-toe with the New Jersey governor, but they have a better shot than anyone else considering a run.

When you really examine this “deep bench” you begin to see that it doesn’t live up to the hype. Gov. Christie became a national star for a reason; he possesses the intangibles and talent that often accompany successful politicians. He can masterfully play both wrecking ball and common man, someone who can both feel your anger and your pain. He has accomplished a lot in a state long bereft of leadership, and with a mountain of problems thirty years in the making. He showed real leadership during a natural disaster that tore through his state. He demonstrated a level of accountability unseen on the presidential level in years during his marathon Bridgegate press conference. He has withstood a full-court assault from the media in an attempt to destroy his 2016 prospects. Through it all he has shown a remarkable resiliency, even more amazing considering just how blue his home state is. Some will nitpick about New Jersey’s economic numbers, or they’ll attempt to hype non-scandals, but these efforts will likely fail, just as they did when they were used to attack Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

Gov. Chris Christie is the best chance the GOP has at defeating Hillary Clinton and taking back the White House, and it will take an extraordinary effort by someone far less talented to change that reality.

November 19, 2014

RNC 2018 Straw Poll Lists 33 Possible Candidates

The Republican National Committee recently began an on-line straw poll asking its members which candidate they would like to see. The respondents are to circle any three. The list includes:

  1. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte
  2. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
  3. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton
  4. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  5. Businessman Herman Cain
  6. Dr. Ben Carson
  7. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  8. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
  9. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
  10. Former CEO Carly Fiona
  11. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  12. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
  13. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  14. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
  15. Ohio Gov. John Kasich
  16. New York Rep. Peter King
  17. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
  18. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
  19. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
  20. Former Rep. Ron Paul
  21. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  22. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
  23. Texas Gov. Rick Perry
  24. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
  25. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  26. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
  27. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan
  28. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval
  29. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
  30. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
  31. South Dakota Sen. John Thune
  32. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
  33. Former Florida Rep. Allen West

Write-in votes are allowed.

The results have not been published anywhere that I’ve seen, and I don’t particularly wish to sign up just so they can get my email address to spam me. However, if you are inclined to participate, here is the link.

November 12, 2014

A Personal Appraisal of the Early Field

Since some of the other posters from R4’12 seem to be returning (great to see you, Matt and Mark), I thought I might do the same. A good place to start might be with a very preliminary assessment of the field that is shaping up. In order to do that fairly, however, I think I need to first position myself, so that you know from what perspective I’m coming (or, if you prefer, what my biases are).

In the run-up to ’12, I was an ardent Mitch Daniels supporter. After Daniels withdrew, I never really settled on another candidate, though I tried to get hyped up about several, most notably Tim Pawlenty; hell, I even gave Jon Huntsman a look (and then quickly backed away). Eventually, of course, it became obvious that Romney would get the nomination, but I couldn’t work up enthusiasm about him, either, since I was fairly certain he’d lose (admission: there was a point in October where I came around to thinking he might pull it out – wrong again!). However, I was out of the country by then and unable to do anything other than go to the nearest consulate and vote for him).

Which brings us to 2016. I would still support Daniels in a heartbeat, but he seems perfectly happy at Purdue, and getting him to change his mind about subjecting his family to the ugliness that American politics has become is about as likely as the Romney and Palin supporters of R4’12 organizing a ‘Draft Bob Hovic’ movement.

So I’ll have to find someone who can fill the same slot – reformist, executive experience, competence, able to relate to ordinary people, fiscally conservative, socially conservative, and defense-minded.

On those last three points let me add this: our party (and any party that is going to be more than a splinter movement – I’m looking at you, Libertarians) is a coalition. Any candidate that is going to unite a coalition must be acceptable to all major factions. Not that s/he is the favorite of all of them (or any of them). But s/he must not be obnoxious to any of them.

Matt Coulter listed a number of subgroups in his recent (excellent) post, but I’ll be old-fashioned and go with the old ficons, socons, and defcons. The Republican nominee need not be a hard-core deficit hawk, but must not go far in the opposite direction; need not be a culture warrior but must not be pro-choice (or even weakly pro-life); need not be an interventionist, but must not be isolationist. Which means the candidate must be able to thread needles quite nicely.

Oh – and one more qualification: I refuse to support anyone who can’t win.

For an early choice I’m leaning toward Scott Walker. Walker is identified primarily with fiscal and reform issues (especially reining in public employee unions), but his social policy credentials are sufficient that I think my most ardently socon friends would find no problem accepting him (part of why I think this is because he is well to my right on social issues). I know nothing about his defense views (having held only local and state offices, he has not had occasion to take positions on defense). I’ll look forward to seeing what he has to say about defense and foreign policy.

He also comes from a solidly middle-class background (mom a bookkeeper, dad a Baptist minister) and can relate to the suburban and blue-collar people Republicans must get in order to win. He has that Midwestern Nice thing going for him (though it did nothing for Tim Pawlenty). Coupled with his inoffensive (some say ‘bland’ and/or ‘boring’) manner, he (like Daniels) seems able to take strong positions without being offensive to middle-of-the-roaders.

My early second choice is Bobby Jindal, who shares many of Walker’s qualities – a proven record of reform at the state level (including a successful school voucher program), plus strong ficon and socon credibility. In addition, his grasp of policy is legendary, and to be blunt, his skin color is a positive. As with Walker, I know nothing of his defense views, and I’ll be waiting to learn more.

On the negative side, I have a perception of Jindal as being very outspoken on social issues – to the point that it might create problems for him with social moderates (whether or not strongly-held socon positions are a big political negative in a national race is, in my opinion, dependent on words and tone more than the positions themselves). This is just a perception, I admit, and only time will tell. I also think a Midwesterner would be a better choice than a Southerner.

It’s no accident that my two main choices are both governors. I strongly prefer governors for two reasons: 1) If Obama has proven anything, it is that executive experience matters greatly; and 2) I think the anti-Washington mood will continue into 2016, and these two will have little difficulty painting Hillary as an ‘insider’ and contrasting her to themselves.

These are the two I’m most interested in at this point. There’s a long way to go, obviously (at this point last time, Mark Sanford headed my list – but I’d rather not discuss that, thank you), so I retain my option to change at any time.

As for the others, just a few words on why I choose not (for now) to back them.

Mitt Romney – Obviously meets my executive experience criterion, in spades. He totally fails on appealing to blue-collar types and is past his sell-by date. In any case, I’m inclined to think, for now, that he isn’t running.

Mike Huckabee – Another governor who can sell socon positions with a smile, though I think he is so closely identified with social issues that he comes across as a one-issue candidate. His Arkansas record makes ficons like me uneasy, to put it mildly. I can’t support him for that reason, and I think he will have problems with a big enough bloc of Republicans that he’ll be stymied.

Rand Paul – Certainly a better salesman for libertarianism than his father, though that isn’t saying much. (As a libertarian myself, I prayed nightly for Ron Paul to just go away). Unless he starts quickly to moderate his foreign policy views, however, I think he has zero chance of getting the nomination. Also – no executive experience.

Jeb Bush – If only he had a different last name. By all accounts an excellent governor, but … well, let’s put it this way: We have an opportunity to run against a hard-core insider and we are contemplating nominating a Bush? Really?

Marco Rubio – No executive experience. Shot himself in the foot on comprehensive immigration reform, but probably backed away sufficiently that it will be forgiven/forgotten. Probably hasn’t been in Washington long enough to be perceived as being one of them. My problem with him is that I see no reason to support him other than his ethnicity. (We do owe him thanks for ridding the party of Charlie Crist).

Ted Cruz – Another short-term Senator. In addition to having no executive background, the guy is a loose cannon. Heaven only knows what he’d spout on the campaign trail.

Rick Perry — We’ll see if he learned anything from 2012. If he did, he might be worth giving attention to (though I think he’s damaged goods). If he didn’t, we won’t have to wait long for him to be gone.

Chris Christie – “Shut up and sit down!” might go over big in NY/NJ, but it will get real old real fast in the rest of the country. The guy just lacks the temperament for a long national campaign. I’ll never forgive him for embracing Obama right before election day – that finished the guy for me.

Paul Ryan – A ficon’s wet dream and one of my ABR options late in the 2012 primary season. On sober reflection, I don’t think a Representative can do it – though he has the advantage of having run a national campaign (losing, but still …). My objection is no executive experience, but I certainly wouldn’t be upset if he were the nominee.

Rick Santorum – He apparently hasn’t figured out that the only reason he did so well in ’12 is that he was the final ABR. If Huckabee gets in, Santorum will be eliminated in Ames, otherwise he might make it to New Hampshire.

Ben Carson – Okay, I’m scraping bottom now. Time to quit.

February 7, 2013

Kill Me Now…

Rick Santorum is “Definitely Not a No” regarding a 2016 run…

This is terrible news for a party and movement that is attempting to re-brand itself after the shellacking it took in November, for I believe that for every minute that Rick Santorum speaks publicly, the Republican Party and conservative policy positions lose .01% of support/approval in public opinion. The damage that Santorum did to the GOP brand in 2012 cycle really cannot be understated. He was worth more to the Democratic Party than all of the Super PAC and other outside money that was spent in the race.

Of course, I cannot prove this scientifically – yet. But if I had the time and opportunity, I would dub the phenomenon “The Santorum Ratio” or “The Santorum Effect.”

by @ 12:02 pm. Filed under Rick Santorum

November 27, 2012

Santorum 2016? He’s open to it

Rick Santorum said recently he’s open to a run in 2016. Here’s more from the Weekly Standard:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum says he is “open” to another run for president in 2016. Santorum was asked about a possible presidential campaign Monday at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“I’m open to it, yeah,” Santorum replied. “I think there’s a fight right now as to what the soul of the Republican party’s going to be and the conservative movement, and we have something to say about that. I think from our battle, we’re not going to leave the field.”

In 2012, Santorum won nearly 4 million votes and 11 GOP primary contests—the same number of states, he pointed out, Ronald Reagan won in his failed 1976 presidential bid. The nomination eventually went to Mitt Romney, whom Santorum argued did not focus on what he considered the “main issue” of the race: The role of government in the lives of Americans.

“We didn’t make that argument in this race. Our candidate didn’t make that argument, as some of us said during the campaign, because he was not capable of making that argument,” Santorum said. “In my opinion, what could have been and what should have been a referendum election on what it means to be an American, what it means for us as a country to head down the road toward European socialism, we just simply didn’t make the argument at a time when I think America was ripe to hear the argument.”

The former senator argued the GOP could have performed better in the Midwest with a candidate, and a party, that did not “look askance” at a populist economic and social message. Santorum said he will be working with his organization, Patriot Voices, over the next couple of years. “We’re going to talk about all of the issues with an emphasis on cultural issues,” he said.

by @ 3:12 pm. Filed under 2016, Rick Santorum

October 30, 2012

Mitt’s Rope-a-dope Strategy

J. R. Dunn discusses Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy over at American Thinker. He entitles his article, “Mitt’s Royal Slam”. You could just as easily call it, “Mitt’s Rope-a-dope”.

What’s the explanation for Mitt Romney’s unparalleled breakout?  A few weeks ago, the Romney campaign was regarded as dead in the water.  The polls (with the exception of Rasmussen) had the campaign uniformly down, giving Obama up to half a dozen points.  Voter interest was phlegmatic at best.  A combined Chicago-media offensive appeared to have put Romney on the ropes.  The consensus was that Obama would cruise to another victory, one paralleling and perhaps even exceeding his triumph over John McCain four years ago.

Today, little more than an electoral-cycle heartbeat later, the situation is utterly reversed.  The big mo belongs to Romney.

This remarkable turnaround is unmatched in recent American political history, and as such, it requires an explanation. Not many have been floated as of yet. The most popular so far holds that Anne and Tagg Romney, acting as Mitt’s consiglieres, pushed aside most the campaign’s professional political operatives in a successful effort to encourage “Mitt to be Mitt.”

Everyone involved denies that anything of the sort occurred, and that may well be the truth. Occam’s razor applies to politics as much as any other field, and the simplest and best explanation in this case is that no large-scale change occurred within the campaign or without — that in fact, things are unfolding pretty much as they were planned to. That it’s happening this way because it was meant to.

A pattern had already begun to emerge in the early months of the primaries. During the “anyone but Romney” phase that the GOP was going through, a new figure on a white charger was offered every couple weeks as the great hope to take down Obama the Usurper. Almost as soon as they popped up, down again they went. Presidential boots proved slightly too large for Rick Perry. Michele Bachmann was felled by a frustrating tendency for her words to outrun her thoughts, and Herman Cain by his purported eye for the ladies.

The two members of this squadron with real potential of taking the nomination were Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Both were similar — figures who appealed to the core conservatives of the GOP by means of images that were largely synthetic. Newt Gingrich was the Cincinnatus willing to leave his beloved historical studies to save the country, while Santorum was Ozzie Nelson. As is often case, these roles were a poor fit to the actual individuals.

That was the key element where Romney was concerned. As a businessman, he’d encountered plenty of figures who were all hat and no cattle, who talked a good game but were never around when it came time to toss some change into the kitty. It was in no way difficult to recognize many of the same traits in his GOP competition. So he treated them the same way he would have treated a hustler back in his investment days. He didn’t fight them, didn’t go blow for blow, didn’t so much as answer them back to any real extent. He let them each go through their schtick, until their essential hollowness was inescapable to all but the most hardcore true believers. He then, in the next debate, presented once again the basic Mitt Romney as the natural opposition figure. Newt and Rick both faded.

What Romney found himself facing in the presidential contest was very much the same thing — to a fault. Obama, the Illinois Redeemer, missionary from the Planet Zong, groveler to sheiks, reincarnation of FDR, and harbinger of the new age, was bogus enough to make Gingrich and Santorum look like avatars of authenticity.

Romney … essentially gave the late summer months to Obama, to the despair of the GOP, sneers from the Dems, and bewilderment from the political pros. Much as he did during the primaries, Romney let Obama take center stage, well aware that he wouldn’t accomplish anything with the time and opportunity he was being given, because he couldn’t.

Obama capered. He took the messiah routine to the point of burlesque. He turned himself into a caricature of Mr. Hope and Change, not grasping the facts that it was no longer 2008 and that no one was looking for a savior anymore. His campaign, the national left, and the kept media carried out relentless attacks on Romney, none of which ever stuck because Romney never did anything to draw attention to them.

By the time the debates rolled around, Obama had used up all his ammo and had become one of those pop items nobody wants to see any more of — last year’s hit sitcom, a burnt-out singer, an actress on her fifth or sixth breakdown. So it goes with messiahs who hang on too long.

It’s a great article. I encourage you to check it out.

September 21, 2012

Christie, Jindal, and Santorum to Iowa

Is the race for 2016 already underway? If it’s not, Iowa is certainly becoming a popular hub for potential Republican presidential contenders these days. First, a certain New Jersey governor seems to have found his way to Sioux City:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie officially endorsed Iowa Congressman Steve King today, at an appearance in Sioux City as keynote speaker for King’s 5th Annual Defenders of Freedom fundraiser.

King, however, wasn’t at his own event! According to his campaign, King flew to Washington D.C. yesterday to continue fighting for the passage of the Farm Bill.

That didn’t stop Governor Christie from coming out and supporting King, and the Romney campaign.

Christie campaigning for Romney and for down-ballot Republicans may just be the governor displaying his creds as a good party man, but still, the choice of venue seems…interesting.

And who could miss Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal, riding the So-Con Express to the Hawkeye State!

Former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum heads to Iowa next week to join a bus tour led by the social conservative group the Family Leader, furthering speculation that he’s looking ahead to another presidential run in 2016 if President Barack Obama defeats challenger Mitt Romney in November.

The bus tour, which takes place Sept. 24 to Sept. 27, will take Santorum to Des Moines, Pella and Ottumwa on Monday the 24th. It’s intended to protest retaining Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who joined the 2009 ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in Iowa.

The Family Leader endorsed Santorum for president in 2011.

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal will also join the tour and is scheduled to travel to Mason City, Marshalltown, Fort Dodge and Carroll on Wednesday the 26th.

More than once I’ve suggested that the race for 2016 would begin on the morning of November 7th. I was wrong. It’s already here.

by @ 8:28 pm. Filed under 2016, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum

August 7, 2012

More Convention Speakers Announced Including Santorum

Reuters has the story:

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s most bitter rival for his party’s nomination has agreed to speak at the nominating convention in Tampa, Florida, later this month.

Rick Santorum, the former presidential candidate who lobbed harsh criticism at Romney during some bitter primary contests, will join a host of other big-name Republicans as headline speakers, according to Republican sources.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will also speak at the convention, along with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Tea Party hero and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

So add Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, Mary Fallin, and Rand Paul to the list.

by @ 7:15 am. Filed under Conventions, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum

July 15, 2012

Mitt and Rick Copacetic Now?

As reported here earlier, Rick Santorum opened a Romney’s campaign office in Pennsylvania yesterday. It seems to have gone well.

CNN covered the event:

Greensburg, Pennsylvania (CNN) – It appears the hatchet is officially buried.

After a bitter and prolonged primary battle involving Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, Santorum on Saturday attended his first high-profile campaign event on Romney’s behalf since he endorsed Romney in May. Santorum helped open a Romney campaign office in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, that’s shared with the state Republican Party.

Not only did Santorum offer high praise for Romney, but he played political offense and defense for his former rival.

Claiming the “republic is at stake” in the presidential election because of President Barack Obama’s failed policies, Santorum said, “One man is who we have to put our trust in to go out and fight that battle, and win that battle. And we must rally behind and do everything we possibly can to support Governor Mitt Romney so he’s the next president of the United States.”

 

by @ 9:24 am. Filed under Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

July 13, 2012

Santorum to Stump for Romney

ABCNews reports:

This weekend former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will hold his first formal campaign event for Mitt Romney since he became the presumptive Republican nominee, sources close to Santorum tell ABC News.

Santorum, who emerged as one of Romney’s last opponents standing after a hard-fought  primary season, will appear on Saturday at the opening of the Romney campaign’s Greensburg, Pennsylvania victory office. It’s familiar turf for Santorum who used to represent that area of southwestern Pennsylvania in Congress.

Saturday’s event represents another step in the peace-making process between Santorum and Romney, and it is also a sign that the Romney campaign believes Santorum can be a helpful surrogate in the country’s economically-struggling Rust Belt area.

Santorum was asked to participate in the Greensburg office opening by the Romney campaign and Republican party officials, and “he was happy to accept the request,” according to a source familiar with the planning of the event.

It’s nice to see Rick Santorum coming on board. If he can help deliver Pennsylvania in the fall, it would be next to impossible for Obama to win. Even if he forces Obama to spend money there that they didn’t plan on spending, he would have done his duty to the party and Mitt.

by @ 4:49 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

June 8, 2012

Santorum To Form Conservative Advocacy Group

Santorum declared last Monday that he would have a big announcement this Friday. Well it’s now Friday, and his big announcement has been made. He is forming a conservative advocacy group.

Rick Santorum announced Friday that he would be forming a new outside political advocacy organization to advocate for conservative issues as the former presidential hopeful enters the next chapter of his political career.

“One of the things we found as we traveled around the country is that people came up to me and said I was out there speaking about things that gave voice to their concerns… that a lot of people had some basic anxiety of where America was going,” Santorum told Fox News on Friday. “We wanted to put an organization together that reflected those voices across America, and we’re calling it Patriot Voices.”

Santorum said the group would work to push candidates to embrace conservative principles.

“We’re going to be holding candidates responsible, and supporting them, and of course supporting Mitt Romney and make sure he becomes the next president and we get rid of the scourge that has been the bane of the economy and our country, which is Barack Obama and his administration,” Santorum said.

Speaking of Mitt Romney, Rick had this to say about the relationship between him and the former Massachusetts Governor:

Santorum also looked to downplay speculation of lingering tension with former rival Mitt Romney on Friday, saying those who suggested his late-night e-mailed endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor were off base.

“We wanted it to be in their mailbox first thing in the morning so it didn’t get buried in the middle of the day. We laid it out very clearly as to why I’m supporting Gov. Romney, the meeting went exceptionally well,” Santorum said.

 

by @ 7:27 am. Filed under Rick Santorum

June 4, 2012

Santorum Announcement on Friday?



Former US Senator and Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will be making a big announcement on Friday. Feel free to pointlessly and wildly speculate on it below.

My money is on a new line of designer sweater vests. (I kid).

by @ 11:27 am. Filed under 2012 Misc., Rick Santorum

May 8, 2012

Santorum Endorses Romney

In an email to supporters, Sen. Santorum has announced his endorsement of Gov. Romney:

On Friday, Governor Romney came to Pittsburgh for an over-hour long one-on-one meeting. The conversation was candid, collegial and focused on the issues that you helped me give voice to during our campaign; because I believe they are essential ingredients to not only winning this fall, but turning our country around.

While the issue of my endorsement did not come up, I certainly have heard from many of you who have weighed in on whether or not I should issue a formal endorsement. Thank you for your counsel, it has been most helpful. However, I felt that it was completely impossible for me to even consider an endorsement until after a meeting to discuss issues critical to those of us who often feel our voices are not heard by the establishment: social conservatives, tea-party supporters, lower and middle income working families.

Clearly without the overwhelming support from you all, I never would have won 11 states and over 3 million votes, and we would not have won more counties than all the other candidates combined. I can assure you that even though I am no longer a candidate for president, I will still continue to fight every day for our shared values – the values that made America the greatest country in the history of the world.

During our meeting I felt a deep responsibility to assess Governor Romney’s commitment to addressing the issues most important to conservatives, as well his commitment to ensuring our appropriate representation in a Romney administration.

The family and its foundational role in America’s economic success, a central point of our campaign, was discussed at length. I was impressed with the Governor’s deep understanding of this connection and his commitment to economic policies that preserve and strengthen families. He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved.

I also shared with Governor Romney my belief that we cannot restore America as the greatest economic engine the world has ever seen until we return America to being a manufacturing superpower. He listened very carefully to my advice on this matter, and while our policy prescriptions differed, he clearly expressed his desire to create more opportunities for those that are feeling left behind in this economy.

As it is often said, “personnel is policy.” I strongly encouraged Governor Romney as he builds out his campaign staff and advisors that he add more conservative leaders as an integral part of his team. And you can be sure that I will work with the Governor to help him in this task to ensure he has a strong team that will support him in his conservative policy initiatives.

Of course we talked about what it would take to win this election. As you know I started almost every speech with the phrase that this was the most important election since the election of 1860 and four more years of President Obama is simply not an option. As I contemplated what further steps I will take, that reality weighed heavy on me. The America we know is being fundamentally changed to look more like a European socialist state than the land of opportunity our founding fathers established.

Freedom and personal responsibility are being replaced with big government dependency. The greatest and most productive workers in the world are being hamstrung by excessive regulations making it impossible to compete. Our healthcare system had been socialized, and the worth of each life dictated by some government bureaucrat. Our allies are insulted while our enemies are appeased. And our religious beliefs and freedom have come under attack.

What is even more troubling is what a second term of an Obama administration could bring. President Obama’s admission to the Russians that he will have more flexibility in a second term can only be translated to “if you thought I was liberal in the first four years you haven’t seen anything yet!”

The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree: the need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending. We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. And while I had concerns about Governor Romney making a case as a candidate about fighting against Obamacare, I have no doubt if elected he will work with a Republican Congress to repeal it and replace it with a bottom up, patient, not government, driven system.

Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.

My conversation with Governor Romney was very productive, but I intend to keep lines of communication open with him and his campaign. I hope to ensure that the values that made America that shining city on the hill are illuminated brightly by our party and our candidates thus ensuring not just a victory, but a mandate for conservative governance.

Karen and I know firsthand how difficult the campaign trail can be particularly as governor Romney faces relentless attacks from the democrats. We have been praying for him and his family and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you again for all you have done for us, and I look forward to working together to defeat President Obama this fall and to protect faith, family, freedom and opportunity in America.

With Gratitude,

Rick Santorum

by @ 12:00 am. Filed under Endorsements, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

April 13, 2012

How Romney Won the GOP Nomination

Memories and Lessons of a Just-Completed Campaign

Now that the primary season has all but officially ended (mercifully and at last), it is time for political analysts to look back at the yearlong trek that got us Nominee Romney and see what conclusions we can draw from this prolonged fight. There are several things that led to Romney’s success this time around:

The Job Interview
At first glance, it may seem the most cogent lesson is the simplest one: the Republicans once again nominated their next-in-line candidate. Just as John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford before him, Romney was widely perceived as “earning his turn,” so to speak. But there is something going on at a deeper level here – why (with the notable exception of George W. Bush) does the modern GOP seem to hand their nomination to the next-in-line? After all, this is a truism, a force, strong enough to revive John McCain from political death a thousand times over in 2008. And it was enough to protect Romney from one of the most anti-establishment, angry conservative electorates in recent memory. How?

It has been said that the Republicans treat their primaries much like a job interview, while Democrats treat theirs like a dating game – a comparative analogy that has some heft behind it to be sure. Democrats get excited about insurgent candidates that send thrills up their legs, whereas Republicans like to sit back and determine whether our candidates have the experience necessary for the job. Looking at the 2008 primaries in an parallel universe, then, we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a Mike Huckabee vs. Hillary Clinton general election matchup – where Huckabee had won the Democratic primary and Hillary the Republican one.

Insurgent candidates are just not built to survive modern Republican primaries. And so Romney perhaps had the huge advantage in this way from the outset: with no Huckabee and no Palin in the mix, he was the only “serious” candidate applying for this job. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum were never going to pass the job interview process. Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry both had a chance based on the resumes they had submitted, but as soon as they were called in for a face to face interview they were both summarily dismissed from contention. And so, after inspecting each of the job applicants in turn, ultimately the Republican Party ended up calling the candidate that looked the most attractive at the beginning of the process and saying, “You’re hired.” It’s a familiar process that makes sense for the “party of business” to follow.

Continue reading for Cycling Seppuku, I Can be Your Friend, Where in the World is Romney Sandiego, and “Establishment” Support…
(more…)

April 11, 2012

Santorum Has Already Discussed 2016 Run

The Hill has the scoop:

A senior aide to Rick Santorum said Tuesday that the former Pennsylvania senator had already had discussions about a 2016 presidential bid.

Hogan Gidley, Santorum’s national communications director, was asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews whether the Santorum team was already considering a 2016 run.

“I’m not going to say we haven’t talked about it, of course, you look and you say what are you going to do in the future … a lot of people said ‘prepare for 2016,’ ” Gidley said.

Some political observers have hypothesized that Santorum chose to exit the race before the Pennsylvania primary to preserve his standing in the party — and avoid an embarrassing home-state loss.

All I can say is, “Good luck with that, Senator!” in a field which may consist of such conservative luminaries as Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Governor Mike Pence, and Rand Paul – among many others.

Be sure to read the full story here.

by @ 3:00 am. Filed under Rick Santorum

April 10, 2012

Mr. Santorum Withdraws. What’s Next?

Former Senator Rick Santorum has bowed to reality, and withdrawn from the Republican contest for the party’s presidential nomination. This in itself is to be applauded, and the presidential campaign can now move more appropriately to its next stage.

Mr. Santorum won in eleven relatively small primaries and caucuses, all of them in the South and Midwest. He did have the second highest number of delegates to date, but he was not ever truly in a position to win the nomination. What he did win he gained through hard work, especially in Iowa, and primarily with his appeal to a particular range of social conservative voters.

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remain in the race, and will probably continue until Mitt Romney, now the prohibitive frontrunner, actually reaches 1144 delegates, the number necessary for his to win the nomination on the first ballot. That will probably take place some time in late May or early June.

Mr. Gingrich now rightly claims to be the last major conservative person in the race, and when the totals are made, will now probably come in second to Mr Romney. He might even win at least three remaining states, and thus qualify to be nominated at the convention in Tampa. Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich were the two candidates of the highest stature to actually run for president this year, so this conclusion makes sense. Furthermore, by casting himself as the true conservative remaining in the race, and by suggesting Mr. Romney is the “moderate,” I think Mr. Gingrich actually is helping his opponent by reinforcing Mr. Romney’s acceptability to independent and centrist voters (perhaps as high as one-third of all voters) in the general election against Barack Obama. That is perhaps not Mr. Gingrich’s intention at this point, but that is, I believe, the real result.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gingrich and Ron Paul, the other remaining candidate, can continue to offer their ideas for the party platform. Mr. Gingrich, as I have often pointed out, is the best Republican “idea man” of his generation, and Mr. Romney and his team would do well to welcome and incorporate the best of Mr. Gingrich’s ideas into the platform in Tampa and in their campaign.

It is true that Mitt Romney did not start out as a “movement conservative,” and came later in his political life to some of the most cherished conservative ideas, including opposition to abortion and calling for complete repeal of “Obamacare.” But it seems to me that he is now irrevocably committed to these and other conservative principles, and if elected president, would be a genuine conservative president. Whether he would be the strong “reform” president that many in the conservative base want to take office in January, 2013, will depend on how successful Republicans are in keeping control of the U.S. house and winning back control of the U.S. senate in this autumns elections.

With their presidential nomination all-but-settled, Republicans would be well-advised to turn their attention to the many close races upcoming in the congressional elections. Is 2012 to be a continuation of the conservative landslide national elections of 2010, or a return to the Democratic control of the Congress won in 2006 and 2008?

There is no question, their bravado pubic optimism notwithstanding, that serious Democratic and liberal political strategists are very worried about the autumn campaign coming. The economy remains unsettled, unemployment extraordinarily high, gasoline prices rising to politically unacceptable levels, the stock market quite volatile, and the public statements by the incumbent president increasingly out of touch with the electorate. This does not mean necessarily that the Democrats will lose in November, but it does mean that independent and centrist voters are less and less inclined to go their way in the balloting.

_______________________________________________________________________

-Please visit Mr. Casselman’s personal site

by @ 6:15 pm. Filed under 2012 Misc., Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum

In Case You Missed It: Santorum Withdrawal Press Conference and Statement

Here’s the video from Sen. Santorum press conference from earlier this afternoon:



And here is the official release from the campaign:

Thank you. For your support, for your encouragement, and for your prayers for our family, especially Bella. You may have heard that we were able to bring her home from the hospital last night.

She has pneumonia, but like her Dad, she’s a fighter. It’s in the blood.

Today I announced that I am suspending my campaign for the President of the United States. This has been one of the hardest decisions Karen and I have ever had to face together. And it has been hard in large measure because of you. I know that my candidacy has offered you a way to fight for your convictions, and I do not want to let you down.

Since I first ran for Congress in a Democrat-majority district in Pittsburgh, I have fought for struggling families. I have fought for the unborn. I have fought for those losing hope in the American Dream.

And during this Presidential race we have fought hard. Together. You have been with me every step of the way. Every volunteer, donor, friend and family has given sacrificially of their time and their treasure. We are humbled and thankful.

We literally started this campaign in our kitchen with family and a few friends. The way that you make decisions. We believe America is the land of opportunity, and decided to do what we can to protect the hope that our forefathers sacrificed to give us a future for our children. A future of freedom secured through our sacrifices today.

Over 160,000 of you contributed to the campaign. Like you have for your children, we have sacrificed almost everything we have to ensure that this hope and dream is not lost with another four years under Barack Obama. Our average donation has been only $73.10. Few races in history have so many people give so modestly to preserve liberty.

We have been outspent in most states 5-1 or even 10-1. And we still won, or we’ve come incredibly close. Iowa and the three-state sweep. An over 20-point win in Louisiana. Only a few votes short of victory in Michigan and Ohio. We have made history. There has been no other Presidential comeback race like ours.
Our good friends in Texas have been working non-stop to make sure that they have a say in the choice of our nominee, but without the state changing its delegate allocation to winner-take-all, I do not see a path forward that does not risk our shared objective of defeating Barack Obama in November. I want to thank them for their valiant efforts.

I am planning to do everything in my power to bring a change about in the White House. But our campaign has debt, and I cannot be free to focus on helping defeat him with this burden. I am asking you to consider one more contribution of $25, $50 or even $73.10.

From the start of this race I have offered a unique voice in the debate. One that the party and the country needs to hear. I have been your voice. I have been positive. I have been willing to stand for issues that some believe are controversial and would prefer to sweep under the rug.

We have carried the torch. High. Together we have fought for the principles that this country was founded on; that made this country great. Without fighting for them, this country cannot continue to be great.

And we have fought fair. I am proud of the race we have run. We talked issues. We avoided character attacks. We have run almost entirely positive ads.
I want to continue to be your voice. Please CLICK HERE to contribute $25, $50 or even $73.10. We have had miraculous days of almost $1 million from supporters like you that allowed us to be competitive and win key states. We need you to step up again.

When I ran for the Senate in 1994 and defeated a sitting incumbent Senator, I asked the people of Pennsylvania to Join the Fight. They did.
I know you will. God bless you, and please keep us in your prayers. And know that we keep you in ours.

Working hard for America,

Rick Santorum

by @ 4:10 pm. Filed under Rick Santorum

Breaking — Rick Santorum Withdraws From Race **Update

Rick Santorum just announced in Gettysburg, PA that he was suspending his race

He started by stating his daugher’s illness gave him and his wife cause to reflect on the race.

He reminisced about his campaign for about ten minutes, and then announced he was suspending the race.

** Update **

Mitt Romney had this to say:

“Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation.  We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

 

by @ 1:36 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

Who Gets It and Who Does Not

It is unambiguously clear to any political observer who does not have partisan preferences, and even to most who do, that the 2012 Republican contest for the party’s presidential nomination is over. Mitt Romney will be that GOP candidate against Barack Obama in November.

On Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged as much in a forthright and professional way. He also said that if, as he expected, Mr. Romney were the nominee, he would do everything he could to assist his election as president. This is what serious and mature politicians do. It is what Mr. Romney himself did, as soon as he realized he could not win the nomination in 2008, by promptly endorsing John McCain and then working hard to help Mr. McCain in his November campaign.

Rick Santorum has apparently not reached the same conclusion as Mr. Gingrich has, and continues his campaign, now risking that his hard work in Iowa and his late emergence as a contender will be forgotten, and his conduct from here on will be regarded as pathetic and a self-caricature, possibly ending in two weeks in his home state of Pennsylvania where he might well be humiliated by losing there.

Mr. Romney, for all intents and purposes, has moved on to the next level, i.e. his contest with Mr. Obama. He had planned a massive ad buy immediately in Pennsylvania, but in the face of the illness of Mr. Santorum’s daughter, he suspended these ads until the former Pennsylvania senator returns to the campaign, presumably at mid-week. He thus demonstrates a professionalism and personal stature that, alas, Mr. Santorum so far has failed to show. (This, too, will likely not be lost on Pennsylvania voters.)

Ron Paul also remains in the race. He has not won a single primary or caucus. Nontheless, he has consistently made his points about the economy, and that was his purpose. He has indicated he would not, having lost the race for the nomination, now turn and run for president as an independent. He has had foreign policy disagreements with all the other GOP candidates, but now at the end of his political career, he appears ready to bow out gracefully.

Hillary Clinton retired from the 2008 Democratic nomination contest although that race was much closer than the 2012 GOP race is now. She might have contested some of Mr. Obama’s delegates at the Democratic convention, but the resulting bitterness and acrimony would have likely doomed the Democrats’ chances in November.

Electoral politics is a profession and a business. Those who are successful in it know how it works best, and how, with room for individual personality and imagination, a politician conducts himself or herself in a manner that commands respect and admiration.

______________________________________________________________________

-Please visit Mr. Casselman’s personal site

by @ 1:00 am. Filed under 2012 Misc., Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul

April 9, 2012

Romney, a Man of Class

Rick Santorum had suspended his campaign so he could be in the hospital with his sick child. Out of respect of that, the Romney campaign suspended an anti-Santorum ad set to run in Pennsylvania.

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is pulling its negative ads in Pennsylvania as Rick Santorum took Monday off from campaigning to spend the day with his young daughter, who is in the hospital.

“We have done this out of deference to Sen. Santorum’s decision to suspend his campaign for personal family reasons,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email.

Mr. Santorum’s three-year-old daughter Bella, who has a genetic condition, was hospitalized Friday.

The negative spot has been pulled until further notice, Romney aides said Monday morning. Mr. Santorum’s campaign has said the candidate plans to return to the campaign trail Tuesday.

Referencing Mr. Santorum’s 2006 defeat at the hands of Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, the negative ad asks Pennsylvania voters, “We fired him as senator. Why promote him to president?”

Good for Mr. Romney, and may little Bella Santorum get better real soon.

by @ 1:52 pm. Filed under Campaign Advertisements, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

April 8, 2012

Romney Going for the Win with Pennsylvania Ad Buy

ABC News’ Michael Falcone has the scoop on the Team Romney’s Pennsylvania offensive to knock Santorum out of the race:

In an attempt to eject Rick Santorum from the presidential race by force, Mitt Romney’s campaign will unveil a nearly $2 million television ad buy on the Pennsylvania airwaves beginning on Monday.

According to sources tracking TV ad spending the buy, totaling $1.9 million, is widespread, hitting media markets from Philadelphia to Erie between April 9 and April 22 — two days before the state’s April 24 primary.

(The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Salena Zito reported that the buy could grow even larger — eventually ballooning to nearly $3 million.)

Rick Santorum has already made clear that “we have to win” Pennsylvania and Romney predicted this week that Santorum, who served the state in the House and Senate, is “obviously going to do well in Pennsylvania.” A loss in the Keystone State would be exactly the knock-out blow the Romney campaign is seeking to finally shut the door on the GOP primary.

But officials with the Santorum campaign say they do not plan to let the Romney ad buy go unanswered.

“We’ll make an ad buy, no question about that,” Santorum’s national communications director Hogan Gidley told ABC News on Saturday, noting that although the campaign has yet to purchase any airtime, he fully expects they will do so “soon.”

Be sure to read the full story here, which includes more details on the planned response from the Santorum campaign.

by @ 11:53 am. Filed under Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

April 6, 2012

Bella Santorum is Back in the Hospital

Rick Santorum’s little daughter with the genetic disorder that flared up last January is back in the hospital:

Bella Santorum, the youngest daughter of Rick Santorum, has returned to the hospital.

“Rick and his wife Karen have taken their daughter Bella to the hospital,” Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a written statement. “The family requests prayers and privacy as Bella works her way to recovery.”

Bella suffers from Trisomy 18, a rare, genetic disorder that kills about 90 percent of children before or during birth. Bella, 3,  has defied the odds. She had been admitted to the hospital in January with pneumonia and Santorum briefly suspended campaigning. Bella had a “miraculous turnaround” in January, the GOP presidential candidate said.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Santorum family during this trying period. May she have a speedy recovery.

 

by @ 11:45 am. Filed under Rick Santorum

April 5, 2012

Some Reality About The Republican Convention in Tampa

The Republican convention in Tampa in August will not feature smoke-filled rooms and a brokered nomination for president.

The only smoke produced will come those delegates and media who enjoy cigars. Those smoke-filled rooms will be far from the convention floor. (Tampa is a center of U.S. cigar production.)

Well before Tampa, Mitt Romney and his political team will have taken complete control of the convention. My conservative tallying has Mr. Romney at a minimum of 1250 delegates at the end of the primaries, more than a hundred more than he needs for a first ballot victory. That’s a minimum. The actual number will probably be closer to 1400. Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Paul, and Mr. Santorum, if they wish, will be placed in nomination. Unless Mr. Romney’s team are complete amateurs and incompetents, they will design that first ballot to end promptly and orderly, make all the other presentations on the four-day program enhance the Romney campaign agenda and themes, and have their nominee make his acceptance speech timed precisely to be delivered at prime time.

As for speeches by Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum, that should depend on how they act between now and convention time. At a minimum, they should warmly endorse Mr. Romney. As history has demonstrated, a nominee who allows a less-than-enthsuiastic former opponent to speak at the convention is courting disaster. Senator Ted Kennedy’s speech at the 1980 Democratic convention, after a bitter nominating battle between him and a renominated Jimmy Carter, overshadowed the unpopular president who then lost to Ronald Reagan that November. Incumbent President George H.W Bush let his major opponent for the GOP nomination in 1992, Pat Buchanan, make a major speech at the convention that year (the so-called “cultural war” speech). That speech is generally credited to contributing to Mr. Bush’s defeat in November by Bill Clinton because it turned off so many independent and centrist voters from the GOP candidacy.

(SIDE NOTE: I was present on the floor of that 1992 convention when Mr. Buchanan made that speech (having just obtained a one-hour floor press pass), and distinctly remember how inflammatory it was. I had met President Bush’s son George W. Bush five years before, and saw him on the convention floor, trouble-shooting for his father, while Buchanan was speaking, and distinctly remember him telling me how upset he was at Buchanan’s remarks.)

While Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Paul have already muted their criticism of Mr. Romney, and appear to have accepted the likelihood of his nomination, Mr Santorum has not done so. It’s a free country, and Mr Santorum has the right to make a complete political ass of himself, something at which he seems quite successful. Unless Mr. Romney and his convention team are suicidal, they won’t let the former Pennsylvania senator near the podium in Tampa. (They could send him to a smoke-filled cigar store in Tampa to huff and puff the local wares.)

As President Obama and his convention team will almost certainly demonstrate in Charlotte, North Carolina a week after the GOP convention, these events are totally-choreographed public relations shows for the nominees of their party. The Democrats have already shortened their convention by one day, and the remaining three days will undoubtedly showcase Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden as faultless champions for the course of America’s next four years. Four years ago in St. Paul, Mr. McCain and his team showed how this can be done. Mr. McCain’s primary opponents, Mr. Romney and Mr. Huckabee did not speak in prime time, and when they did, it was brief and in warm support for McCain. Mr. McCain lost in November, but it was not because of the GOP convention in St. Paul in August.

The idea of a brokered convention in Tampa was an illusion. Mr. Santorum apparently still believes it can happen. His illusion has now become a delusion, and he has increasingly become a figure of political ridicule. From the beginning I said he was not ready for prime time, that his rise came about solely because he was the last social conservative standing.

Now virtually everything he says about Tampa and Mr. Romney is self-parody.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

-Please visit Mr. Casselman’s personal site

by @ 11:49 am. Filed under Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, The Republican Convention

April 4, 2012

Alright Mr. Roberts, I’m Ready For My Presidency

Per ABC news:

“We have now reached the point where its half time. Half the delegates in this process have been selected. And who is ready to charge down the field of Pennsylvania for a strong second half?” Santorum asked the crowd gathered in a ballroom at the Four Points Sheraton here.

One expects to find Santorum camped in front of the Capitol Building in January, waiting for the Chief to inaugurate him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIcC8YJrevQ[/youtube]

Wearing the exact expression Gloria Swanson has at 0:28.

by @ 10:21 am. Filed under Rick Santorum

It’s Just about Over.

Do you remember this scene from the start of Shrek I where a platoon of soldiers came to arrest Shrek?

Captain of Guards: [to Shrek, after finding him and Donkey in the woods] You there! Ogre!

Shrek: Aye?

Captain of Guards: [to both Shrek and Donkey] By the order of Lord Farquaad, I am authorized to place you both under arrest and transport you to a designated resettlement – facility.

Shrek: Oh, really? You and what army?

[the Captain looks behind him and notices that his soldiers have run away, leaving their spears behind. He does the same]

So it would seem with Rick Santorum. Rick imagined himself at the head of a vast group of defiant conservatives ready to take on the evil RINOs and “establishment”. They were all willing to fight to the death, or at least to the convention to place him at the head of the Republican party. But now he is finding himself in front of a rapidly diminishing force.

Sarah Palin, who has long advocated a fight to the convention, stated last night it’s over. Dr. Richard Land, one of the top Southern Baptist leaders in the country, stated yesterday it is time to end this thing. The panel last night on Fox stated it was time to end it. Even Newt Gingrich, the defiant one from just two months ago, has bowed to the inevitable and continues his campaign in name only.

And so it is around the web this morning. On site after site, hard-nosed “True Conservative” after “True Conservative” are all starting to bow to the reality of the situation. It’s over. It’s time to start focusing our attention on Obama. Certainly there will continue to be defiant ones, but they are now in a distinct minority. The party is coalescing behind Mitt Romney.

Will Rick be able to withstand the pressure, now coming from all sides of the Republican coalition? It will be interesting to watch.

by @ 9:15 am. Filed under Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican Party, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin

April 2, 2012

Romney Halfway Home

According to the AP, Mitt Romney is now exactly halfway to sewing up the nomination:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is halfway to clinching the Republican nomination for president.

The former Massachusetts governor inched up to 572 delegates on Monday — exactly half the 1,144 needed — after the Tennessee Republican Party finalized delegate totals from its March 6 primary. Results in several congressional districts were too close to call on election night, leaving three delegates unallocated.

Romney got all three delegates. He also picked up an endorsement from a New Hampshire delegate who had been awarded to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman dropped out of the race in January and endorsed Romney.

According to the Associated Press tally, Romney has more than twice as many delegates as Santorum. Santorum has 273 delegates, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 135 and Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 50.

by @ 4:40 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul

Santorum Ad – This Man

Santorum has a new anti-Romney attack ad up in Wisconsin and it’s vicious.

by @ 8:36 am. Filed under Campaign Advertisements, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

April 1, 2012

March 30, 2012

Reality IS Catching Up with Newt Gingrich — Maybe Santorum Too

Yesterday I asked the question, “Is Reality Starting to Catch Up With Newt Gingrich?” Today, we get our answer. Fox news reports:

With his campaign seemingly running on empty, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich acknowledged Friday that rival Mitt Romney is clearly in the lead and likely will get enough delegates to win the party’s nomination.

“I think Mitt Romney is clearly the front-runner,” Gingrich said while campaigning in Wisconsin ahead of the Tuesday primary. “I think he will probably get 1,144 (delegates), but I think he has to earn it.”

Newt goes on to say:

“I am comfortable that the day (Romney) gets 1,144 delegates, we will all unify and support him,” Gingrich told WTMJ News Radio. “But he has to finish earning the delegates, and that’s how the process goes.”

I have no argument with any of this. I am not one to count chickens so I refuse to claim that Mitt has this thing won. He hasn’t. “There be many a slip twixt cup and lip”, is an old saying packed full of a lot of wisdom.

At this point I see the odds are very much in favor of Mitt winning all the delegates needed before the convention. I place them close to a hundred to one. Those are very good odds, but the flip side of that is there is still a chance that he might fail.

So should Newt and Rick Santorum just drop out giving him a clear shot? No, I do not support that.

I have no problem with Newt or Rick staying in to make Mitt “earn” it. It is far better to have our nominee fully vetted by fellow Republicans than to wait until the Democrats get a crack at him. By then it will be too late. It also allows the Romney skeptics to have their say and not feel like they’ve had Romney rammed down their throats. As long as Newt and Rick keep their criticisms above the board and on the level, let them fire away. The party will be stronger for it.

Newt appears to have decided that that is the best course of action to follow. He has toned down his anti-Romney rhetoric considerably, even before this past weekend’s “secret meeting” with Romney. Now if Rick Santorum can be convinced to do the same, we will go a long way to uniting this party behind the eventual nominee, no matter whom it turns out to be.

Noises coming out of Santorum’s camp suggest that he might be dialing back his rhetoric, as well. Perhaps that “Vote for Obama” debacle woke him to the dangers of that sort of thing. It might well of sobered him up in a hurry. If it had, him blowing up at that NYT reporter makes a lot more sense. Here he was trying to be “a good boy” and the NYTimes reporter decided to see if he could twist his words into something he didn’t say.

The next few days will be interesting to see if Santorum really has turned over a new leaf. Time will tell.

by @ 6:41 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum

March 29, 2012

Romney Turns His Attention Towards Wisconsin

Mitt Romney has started to pay more attention to Wisconsin. He held his first tele-townhall for the Badger State yesterday where he came out in support of Governor Walker who is facing a recall election. From ABCNews:

At a Wisconsin voters’ tele-town hall Wednesday, Mitt Romney threw his support behind embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election after he orchestrated a  law that cuts public employees’ collective bargaining rights in the state.

“Governor Walker is, in my opinion, an excellent governor, and I believe that he is right to stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin, and to insist that those people who are working in the public sector unions have rights to effect their wages, but that these benefits and retiree benefits have fallen out of line with the capacity of the state to pay them, and so I support the governor in his effort to reign in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years,” said Romney.

This was the first tele-town hall Romney has held with Wisconsin voters ahead of next week’s primary.

His campaign has also announce events in Appleton and Milwaukee tomorrow and Muskego on Saturday.

Why the sudden interest in the land of the cheeseheads? Wisconsin is holding their modified winner-take-all primary there next Tuesday. Whoever wins the primary wins 18 delegates outright. Twenty-four more will be allocated by Congressional district. These will also be WTA per district. So it is entirely possible for winner of the primary to walk away with 42 delegates free and clear.

Since Mitt paid attention to Guam and NMI this year (9 delegates each), it makes perfect sense for him to set his sights on Wisconsin and its nice cache of 42 delegates.

There is another reason, as well. Rick Santorum has hinted that Wisconsin is the key to the nomination fight. If he doesn’t win there, that hint could give him a face-saving reason to withdraw from an increasingly uphill battle. If he loses Wisconsin, can his home state of Pennsylvania be far behind? Polls suggest that it just might. So that gives Romney every reason in the world to finish off Santorum in the state next Tuesday.

Can he do it? Recent polls suggest he might. But remember, Wisconsin is an open primary. Democrats and Independents can vote in it. The Democrat base has been fired up for some time now in their fight against Walker and the GOP senators who passed the labor reform bill. They might decide to pull some shenanigans hoping to force the Republicans to keep fighting amongst themselves for as long as possible.

MSNBC said the following (emphasis added):

*** Santorum’s last chance (really, this is it): With Mitt Romney holding a sizable delegate lead and with more prominent Republicans (George H.W. Bush and Marco Rubio) formally endorsing the former Massachusetts governor, Tuesday’s GOP primary in Wisconsin is shaping up to be Rick Santorum’s last chance — in math and perception. If Romney wins Wisconsin, Santorum can’t stop him from getting to the magic number of 1,114 delegates, according to our math.

Well, we’ll have a new NBC/Marist poll on the race tomorrow morning that could answer that question.

So the Badger State could very well be Rick Santorum’s last stand.

by @ 10:48 am. Filed under Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

Join The Community


Sponsored Ad

Meta

Recent Posts

Sponsored Ad

Categories

Archives

Search

Blogroll

Site Syndication

Main