Senator Rob Portman Will Be Romney’s VP According to GOP Insiders


Obviously since my last post in November much has changed!                                              (Yes, I know I need to re-post my pieces here more often.)                                             Governor Bob McDonnell ran into some problems with “women issues” legislation and his VP star has dramatically faded as a result. So now in late May here we are….

Breaking News May 30, 2012:                                                                                                  Senator Portman in Israel to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Is this a strong signal that Portman has been tapped to be Romney’s VP?

Re-posted from PJ Media

These days one of the favorite games among political junkies is prognosticating about who will be Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate. An important criterion for selection, the “incredibly boring white guy”  factor previously has been examined by this writer and others.

Now, there seems to be a consensus among inside GOP political operatives as to who will share the bumper sticker with Romney within that group of potential VP nominees who exemplify that distinguishing “boring” characteristic.

That person is Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

Sensing an opinion wave for Portman within the last month, I asked a prominent GOP Super Pac insider (name withheld by request) why Portman is the “chosen one” and this was the email response I received:

He could bring Ohio!!! And he is very experienced and he won’t spend $100,000 on clothes in two months!  The goal this cycle is “safe, not sorry. But win Ohio!”

Packed within that email are several discussion points alluding to the GOP’s 2008 VP candidate, (which are sure to be elaborated upon in the comment section of this post).

Notwithstanding a negative or positive opinion of the GOP’s 2008 VP candidate, Sarah Palin has significantly impacted the decision-making selection process of the GOP’s 2012 VP candidate and it now looks like Senator Rob Portman will be the ultimate beneficiary.

Another veteran insider of past GOP presidential campaigns responded to my email which posed the question “Why Portman?” with this list of reasons:

He’s fabulous.

Would actually be a great VP.  

Not an ideologue.

Ohio.

Understands jobs and global economy as U.S. Trade Representative not OMB.

“Not OMB” is worth discussing for this is a touchy Portman resume item that Team Obama is sure to exploit as a negative talking point after Portman is officially nominated.

From May, 2006 until June, 2007 Rob Portman served as President George W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget. (OMB)

When asked about the potential for President Obama and the Democrats to “denigrate” his OMB service, Portman was ready with an answer, as recently reported in a comprehensive piece in Real Clear Politics (RCP) entitled, “Does Portman Have the Edge in VP Sweepstakes?

He told the Cincinnati Enquirer last month: “I was there for just over a year and I put out one budget … [which] was actually a balanced budget. And not even over 10 years but over five years and I’m proud of that.” He conceded, “Frankly it was a battle within the White House to get the White House and everybody on board with that . . . but imagine that, a balanced budget.”

So Rob Portman’s defense of his one year as OMB Director includes a small salvo aimed at the Bush White House for rejecting his “pathway to balancing the budget in five years”. Now, by comparison, President Obama’s budget deficits are projected to be $977 billion in 2013 making President Bush’s $161 billion deficit in 2007 look like chump change.

This means Portman has plenty of cover when the Obama campaign unleashes their wild attack dogs in the last two months of the general election and there is no doubt that Portman will successfully defend himself and his record at OMB.

Portman’s first post in President Bush’s second term was as the United States Trade Representative. He worked in that position for one year before President Bush promoted him to OMB Director in mid- 2006.

To further understand the depth of experience that Senator Portman brings to the Romney ticket, it is important to note that before serving two years in the Bush Administration, Portman had a distinguished congressional career which spanned 12 years from May, 1993 until May, 2005.

Representing Ohio’s 2nd congressional district, Portman built a reputation for bi-partisanship, writing numerous pieces of legislation that were signed into law by President Clinton; but you can count on this part of his career to be completely ignored by Team Obama.

Instead, get ready to read how Portman was “Bush’s guy” who helped drive the economy into a ditch and you can almost hear Obama asking voters the question, “and this is the guy you want to let back into the White House?”

Well, the voters of Ohio had no problem sending Portman back to Washington after serving in Bush’s White House. In fact, when Portman ran for his current senate seat in 2010 he defeated his Democrat opponent, garnering 57% of the vote to Lee Fisher’s 39%.

Now in the midst of the 2012 election cycle when Romney is in search of a “boring white guy” how could any guy who won an important state’s senate race by 18% points possibly be that boring?

In response to the boring accusation which supposedly helps Portman’s chances, here is an entertaining piece to the contrary which appeared recently on Buzz Feed entitled  “15 Genuinely Interesting Things About Rob Portman.”

He’s hunts! He canoes! He bikes! He fishes! He speaks Spanish!  (The latter could be a big benefit to Romney with a voting block that he needs to attract.)

So, maybe he’s not that boring after all.

Consider Portman’s resume of 12 years as a Congressman with stints as International Trade Representative, OMB Director, a US Senator since January 2011 an Ohio political power player who is credited with helping Romney win the Ohio primary over Rick Santorum — and you have someone who is extremely well qualified to be the GOP vice-presidential candidate.

Now many signs are pointing in Portman’s direction except this one.

Currently Intrade has Senator Portman’s chances of being selected as Romney’s VP rated at only 22%. (But Portman’s chances are increasing by the minute.)

Portman’s closest Intrade competitor is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. At the moment Rubio’s chances that he will be Romney’s VP are rated at 24%.

This tight VP race raging at Intrade suggests that the general betting public is not yet up to speed on what many Washington GOP insiders and members of the media are saying about Portman’s real chances.

All politics aside, the primary job of the Vice-President is to step in and take over as President of the United States if called upon — and for that role Senator Portman is well suited.

In fact, Mark McKinnon, now a political media personality, who served as media strategist for President Bush in 2000 and 2004, wrote in an email responding to my question “Why Portman”, “The guy was truly made for the job.”

Compare that description to the now deceased Osama bin Laden’s stinging critique of Vice-President Joe Biden, calling him “utterly unprepared” to be President of the United States.

This description came to light on captured documents while bin Laden planned/dreamed of targeting planes carrying President Obama and General Petraeus so our nation would be plunged into crisis under Biden’s leadership.

In the end the contest between “the guy truly made for the job” vs. the one called “utterly unprepared” will not be the determining factor in whether Obama or Romney is victorious in November.

However, according to my sources Senator Rob Portman is the one most likely to be standing on stage at the Vice-Presidential debate this fall.

So reserve your seat now because a Biden vs. Portman match-up will be anything but boring.

Posted in 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama, Bob McDonnell, Mitt Romney, Politics, Presidential Election 2012, Republican Politics, Senator Rob Portman | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Romney/McDonnell 2012 Presidential Ticket Is (Practically) a Done Deal


Re-posted from PJMedia November 11, 2011

It’s a done deal! It’s a slam dunk! You can just about start printing the bumper stickers for the 2012 Republican presidential ticket. For as a result of this week’s GOP debate and a Virginia legislative election, the Romney/McDonnell ticket has been solidified.

Mitt Romney, the inevitable Republican presidential nominee, has become even more so as a result of Rick Perry’s debate implosion (Otherwise known as the “56 second brain freeze” that rocked the world.)

Romney looks and sounds presidential and is by default going to be the last man standing after Cain-mania settles down. This is not exactly pleasing to the conservative base, but there is “hope and change” coming for conservatives on the 2012 ticket and his name is Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia.

Governor McDonnell took a well-deserved victory lap this past week after helping the Republican Party of Virginia win control of both the Virginia General Assembly and Virginia Senate. This huge legislative victory, won with tea party support, catapults McDonnell right into Romney’s number two slot.

But for McDonnell, these favorable Virginia election results are only the cherry on top of the sundae. There are five other important reasons why McDonnell will be Romney’s running mate, served up for coronation at the 2012 Republican nominating convention in Tampa.

1. Governor Bob McDonnell is a conservative who conservatives trust.

McDonnell can make a Romney-topped ticket more palatable to the tea party/conservative base. The base currently does not trust Romney but with McDonnell as his VP, McDonnell can help “sell” Romney and soften the blow for conservatives nationally, while not scaring away moderate voters.

2. Virginia is a must-win-back state for the GOP.

Obama won Virginia in 2008 by 7 percentage points, but with Governor McDonnell’s high approval rating of  62% Romney can count on him to return Virginia into the red column where it had been for forty years since 1968.

Obama will throw everything he has at Virginia but McDonnell will triumph. Already, Tuesday’s Virginia election results are considered a bad omen for Obama nationally.

3. Obama/Kaine vs. McDonnell/Allen

The race for the open U.S. Senate seat created by Democrat Jim Webb stepping down will be one of the most watched, vicious, and expensive Senate races in 2012.  But not only will it be a political fight to the finish but very personal as well.

The dynamic revolves around former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine who, as governor in 2008, was one of Senator Obama’s earliest supporters and was widely credited with helping Obama turn Virginia from red to blue.

Now, Virginia governors can only serve one 4 year term, and Kaine’s term was ending in January of 2010. So after Obama was elected president, Obama thanked Kaine for his early support by appointing him to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in early 2009 while Kaine was still governor of Virginia.

Then, in the Virginia gubernatorial election in November of 2009, Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell won a resounding 59% of the vote  a 17.5% point margin of victory against Democrat Creigh Deeds to whom both Obama and Kaine (as DNC head and incumbent VA governor) threw much campaign funding and personal support.  McDonnell’s victory was a total embarrassment to Obama and Kaine.

Moving ahead to the 2012 election cycle, Kaine has left the DNC to run for the US Senate in Virginia against former US Senator and former Virginia Governor George Allen, who was defeated in 2006 by Jim Webb.

On Friday, November 11th a few days after his state legislative victories, Governor McDonnell endorsed George Allen, who has primary tea party opposition.

There are high hopes that George Allen will win that highly contested Virginia Senate seat, especially if the VP candidate is Governor Bob McDonnell.

President Obama, of course, will be supporting Kaine one thousand percent for two reasons. First, Obama is counting on Kaine to keep the Virginia Senate seat in the Democrat column. Second, Obama is expecting Kaine to have coat-tails going up the ballot, helping him to win Virginia again.

This all sets up an Obama/Kaine vs. McDonnell/Allen WWF style “death match.”

For not only is Virginia and its 13 electoral votes a grand prize in the race for the White House, but Republican control of the US Senate also hangs in the balance.

This Virginia Senate race is the third practical political reason why a Romney/ McDonnell ticket will be appearing on your ballot in 2012.

4. McDonnell is chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

The Bob McDonnell for VP stars aligned even more perfectly when Texas Governor Rick Perry resigned as chairman of the RGA to run for president, and Governor McDonnell was then tapped as chairman.

McDonnell chairing the RGA is highly significant for individual state and national media exposure as well as fundraising.

There is no better post for McDonnell to hold to help Romney more than RGA chairman and this is even before Romney chooses McDonnell as his running mate.

5. Romney thinks very highly of McDonnell.

That is an understatement in that Romney has called Governor McDonnell one of the ¨great leaders of the Republican Party.”  Romney has also said, “I say nice things about Governor McDonnell every time I have a chance.”

McDonnell, meanwhile, has said that he would like to see a former governor in the White House. (Wink, wink, I don’t think he is talking about Perry.)

Additionally, McDonnell has not been shy when asked about being considered for the number two position.

Furthermore, McDonnell would personally and politically complement Romney and not overshadow him in some ways like Palin did to McCain in 2008.

Romney/McDonnell could be a marriage made in political heaven — a win-win for the “establishment wing” of the Republican Party with the “conservative wing” placing a respectable second.

The next step would be for McDonnell to officially announce his support for a presidential candidate, something McDonnell said he would do after the Virginia legislative election this past Tuesday. Gee, I wonder whom McDonnell will endorse?

And when McDonnell does utter the name “Mitt Romney,” it’s time to start up the presses for the yard signs and bumper stickers. For on that day, the 2012 GOP presidential ticket will be non-officially inked but officially ready to do battle.

Posted in 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama, Bob McDonnell, Decline of America, Economic Crisis, Mitt Romney, Politics, Presidential Election 2012, Republican Politics | Leave a comment

PJMedia Exclusive: A Talk with Congressman Allen West


“I’m not going to tailor my message. ‘Politicians’ tailor their message.”
Congressman Allen West FL -22

by  Myra Adams
October 6, 2011 – 12:00 am

Q. You have been representing Florida’s 22nd Congressional District for nine months now. Is there anything about Congress or being a congressman that has totally shocked or surprised you?

A. What has shocked me most of all is how easily facts seem to disappear when you cross the Potomac River. It seems on Capitol Hill the goal is to distort the facts, and as a result, the truth is in short supply.

Q. You have claimed to be “the modern day Harriet Tubman” for your commitment to leading African Americans away from the “plantation” of the Democratic Party, as she led slaves from the plantation to the underground railroad. Are you making any progress?

A. The first step in making progress is building awareness — making sure the African American community knows there is a way out of poverty and despair. The same way Harriet Tubman showed a path forward, my goal is to do the same. Government dependency does not create wealth.

But it’s not a message limited by race. The route all Americans have taken to advancement and prosperity is by embracing our constitutional principles of individualism and self-determination.

Q. Is it even possible to make substantial progress in this area since most African Americans and the Democrats are glued together as political allies?

A. It is certainly a challenge. The liberal progressive policies of the modern Democrat Party, while well-intentioned, have done great damage to African American families and their economic progress over the last five decades since passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Unemployment in the African American community stands at 16.7%, food stamp enrollment is up, and nearly three-quarters of all black children do not live with their biological fathers.

The policies since the War on Poverty have been a failure. Welfare programs devised by the left to aid single mothers have instead worked perversely to incentivize more young women to have children out of wedlock.

High minimum wages advocated by labor unions — from whom Democrats receive tremendous financial support — mean employers are less apt to hire unskilled African American youths — or any youths for that matter.

For the left, “spending on education” generally means job protection and preserving benefits for school administrators and teachers unions, rather than actually improving education for students in public schools, where African American students can build a foundation for economic advancement.

Even environmental policies have hurt the economic progress of African Americans. In cities such as San Francisco, severe building restrictions drive real estate prices through the roof, making neighborhoods where they once lived unaffordable.

Q. You have already threatened to quit the Congressional Black Caucus over what you called “racially motivated rhetoric” by members aimed at the tea party, but decided to remain a member. What future behavior by Congressional Black Caucus members would cause you to say “enough is enough” and force you to quit the caucus?

A. The Congressional Black Caucus needs to have an open dialogue and more than one viewpoint. After all, it is the Congressional Black Caucus, not the Progressive Black Caucus. Today there is a voice of constitutional conservatism in the CBC, and I will do my best to make sure that is a permanent voice. My goal is for that voice to grow. I have never been a quitter, and I do not plan to be one now.

Q. Have you received any backlash from African American voters in your district (approximately 5.6% of voters) when they heard about how you are trying to lead them from away from the “plantation” of the Democratic Party?

A. Nope.

Q. Though you won in 2010 in a mid-term election, your congressional district was won by Gore (51%), Kerry (51%), and Obama (52%) in the last three presidential elections. What is your strategy for convincing the majority of Democrat-leaning voters in your district who did not show up to vote in the 2010 mid-term election but will likely show up to vote in 2012?

A. Simply telling the truth. If voters want more of the same failed economic policies we have seen in the last three years, with unemployment at 9.1%, a deficit projected to be approximately $1.5 trillion this year, a national debt that has skyrocketed to more than $14.2 trillion, hundreds of regulations being handed down by unelected czars which are strangling our small business job creators, then they should get out and vote for the Democrat candidates.

However, I believe the American people and the constituents of South Florida know our ship of state is on the wrong course. They feel America’s better days are behind us. But if they want to get this ship back on course, if they want our country’s future to be better for their children and grandchildren, they must elect constitutional conservatives who will reverse the very dangerous direction in which this country is currently being led.

Q. As you are well aware, the national Democratic Party is targeting you for defeat. How does it feel to have a huge target on your back?

A. I’m a soldier. If you want to motivate a soldier, tell him you want a fight. When you pick a fight with a soldier, we love it … and you’ll get defeated.

Q. It has been speculated that you are most likely to face former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel as your Democrat opponent in 2012. Currently on Ms. Frankel’s campaign web site is a fundraising banner that states:

Stop Allen West and his radical backers. Contribute now!

What is your plan to counter her argument that you are too radical for your district? Especially when you seem to have a knack for making news headlines that could be perceived by Democrats and independents as “too radical.”

A. Tell me what is too radical about limiting the growth of the federal government. Tell me what is too radical about reducing out-of-control spending and restoring fiscal responsibility. Tell me what is too radical about setting the conditions for businesses to grow, thrive, create jobs, and help our communities prosper. Tell me what is too radical about protecting our way of life. What I find shocking is that so many on the left think it’s “too radical” to return to the constitutional principles on which our great nation was founded.

Q. Take a look at Lois Frankel’s campaign site. What are the most misleading or inaccurate items about you that she has posted on the site?

A. I don’t care what she says about me. What I find misleading is how she characterizes her business-as-usual progressive “tax and spend” policies as better for our congressional district and our nation, when they have clearly failed the American people. I see no ideas there, just typical liberal character assassination politics … which will fail, just as their policies have.

Q. According to the respected  Cook Political Report you are included on the list of top ten Republicans vulnerable for defeat because of redistricting. If your new district does end up including more Democrat or independent leaning voters and as a result you would have to tailor your message to appeal to them or face a certain defeat, on which major issues of the day could you consider compromise in order to win re-election?

A. I’m not going to tailor my message. “Politicians” tailor their message. My message is simple, and remains consistent. We must return to our constitutional principles of limited government and the defense of our citizens and their freedoms. At the end of the day, I believe people are looking for leaders who are principled, pragmatic, passionate, and patriotic. Americans no longer want retread career politicians looking for their next gig.

Q. You are a terrific speaker, an American patriot, a true conservative, a bold leader, and a “rising star” on the national political scene. As a result, money will pour in from outside your congressional district to aid in what will be, by all accounts, a tough re-election campaign.

Are you concerned that your Democrat opponent will use your national “rising star” status and all the outside funding against you? How will you counter the argument, sure to be used, that you are more interested in being a national conservative leader than in representing your Florida district?

A. I’m running for reelection in to the United States House of Representatives. I’m glad my message resonates on a national scale. I am glad people are listening and support this message of limited constitutional government. The constituents of the congressional district recognize this country needs a course correction in 2012 and Americans around the nation realize we need to support strong leaders to Washington, D.C., to address our nation’s most pressing issues. The people in this district like having a national leader, not a liberal puppet.

Q. Many Americans believe that our nation’s best days are behind us? Do you?

A.  Absolutely not — I believe in the American spirit. I believe that America is a shining city on a hill. I believe our nation is a lighthouse which sends out a beacon of light around the world illuminating the principles of liberty, justice, and freedom. We have faced challenges from the Depression, to Pearl Harbor, to September 11, and what we learned is that even in the darkest moments in our history, we are able to see a light at the end of the tunnel and have reemerged stronger as a nation and as a people.

Q. As a former military officer, who is your favorite American military hero?

A. Without question, General George S. Patton.

Q. Who is your political role model currently serving in elective office?

A. It’s only been nine months since I was sworn in, so you’re not going to get my admiration in such a short amount of time. However, there are a number of individuals, including senior members, whose advice I value.

Congressman West, thank you for your time. Many PJM readers and residents of your district look forward to watching you fight for your first re-election bid in a newly drawn district. We wish you well.

 
Myra Adams is a media producer, writer, and political observer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign, and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. Her columns have appeared on Pajamas Media, The Daily Caller and as a co-writer on The Daily Beast. Myra’s web site TheJesusStore.com contributes all profits to Christian charity.

Posted in 2012 Presidential Race, Allen West, Barack Obama, Decline of America, Economic Crisis, Politics, Republican Politics | Leave a comment

The First Lady – From Target Marketing to Ultra Ritzy Dining in One Weekend


Re-posted from Pajamas Media

As the world knows by now, First Lady Michelle Obama did a little shopping with jus’ plain folks at Target in Alexandria, Virginia, where a AP reporter just happened to be around to chronicle the event for the planet.

This also happens to be my Target store, (lovingly referred to in these parts as TarzhAY) As  a video producer, I was once tasked with shooting racks of bathing suits for a national weight loss product infomercial at this same Target – and can personally attest that video taping only commenced after numerous phone calls were made and permission was officially granted by Target management.

The point is stores like Target are very persnickety about photography, still or moving, taken inside their stores to be used for non- Target commercial purposes. (And, yes, I would classify Mrs. Obama’s husband’s re-election campaign as a non- Target commercial purpose.”)

So it appears the First Lady’s desire to shop for cheap Chinese goods along side her lowly subjects was fully planned and executed for promotional purposes with a product sell date of November 6, 2012.

Now that’s what’s called Target marketing!

But here is the yin to the yang.

The next evening, the Obamas celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in my neighborhood of Old Town, Alexandria, just a few miles from Target, at a little dining establishment called Restaurant Eve.

The restaurant’s web site states the following: The 34 seat Chef’s Tasting Room is Chef Armstrong’s culinary showcase. Here, Armstrong features a five, seven and nine-course prix-fixe tasting menu, priced at $120, $135, and $150 respectively.

Whoa…now that’s a meal symbolizing  “America has gone soft,” with wildly expensive delicate little forkfuls of gourmet this and that, highlighted with Garden Basil from the restaurant’s own organic garden.

Whatever happened to huge slabs of rare prime rib oozing blood juices?  THAT was the celebratory meal that made America hard.

Knowing my ‘hood as I do, I can state with great certainty that Friday afternoon shoppers at Alexandria’s “TarzhAY” do not normally find themselves dining Saturday night at Restaurant Eve. Rather, Chipotle right up the street is more likely and no doubt, a future target marketing opportunity for Mrs. Obama.

The fact that these two fine establishments were back to back on the First Lady’s weekend calendar is one of those Obama-nations where only Alexandria residents can truly appreciate the irony.

Celebrating an anniversary at Restaurant Eve (where the tab usually equals one month’s rent on a small apartment) is well within the reach of the first couple’s personal budget. And I would not be writing this snarky little piece if Michelle the Commoner hadn’t pulled that “I feel your pain” shopping stunt at Target the day before.

Posted in 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama, Decline of America, Politics, poverty, Presidential Election 2012, Republican Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Real Story Why Cain Won the FL Straw Poll, and What the Frontrunners Can Learn From It (Update: Romney Camp Responds)


Re-Posted from Pajamas Media  September 26, 2011

The Republican Party of Florida sponsored what was essentially a fundraising event in Orlando called Presidency 5, from Thursday, September 22, through Saturday, September 24.

The highlights of the three-day event were Thursday night’s Fox News/Google Republican presidential candidate debate and late Saturday afternoon’s presidential straw poll.

This straw poll was light years away from generally accepted polling practices.

Delegates eligible to vote, selected back in June, were state-wide local Republican club activists. Consider the high costs of  voting: delegate registration was $175 paid to the Republican Party of Florida, coupled with a “special” attendee hotel rate. The total with taxes was $357 for two nights.

So do the math.

Delegates shelled out a minimum of $532 to attend and that is before the $120 average registration cost of CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), which also held its first Florida event in conjunction with Presidency 5. A majority of delegates attended CPAC, which featured all the presidential candidates speaking on Friday, fresh off the Fox/Google debate the night before.

The high cost of attendance was important because delegates who eventually selected Herman Cain as the surprise winner were overwhelmingly a well- heeled, middle-aged crowd who had the time and money to attend both CPAC and Presidency 5. In other words, not necessarily your average Florida Republican voter.

From my personal experiences over the three-day event, I believe Herman Cain’s triumphal victory with 37% of the vote from 2,657 delegates was not a fluke. However, it is also not a national game changer with Cain as the new frontrunner to challenge Perry and Romney. Rather, it was a positive emotional response to Herman Cain, the man, with some “teachable moments” for the frontrunners.

Herman Cain showered the delegates with lots of love, inspiration, and political wisdom. The delegates, in turn, received his love. In fact, they were positively smitten, and rewarded Cain with their votes. This blossoming love affair unfolded slowly and built up to a frenzy right before the straw poll votes were cast.

After Thursday night’s Fox News/Google debate, Perry, who national polls showed was leading going into Florida, disappointed the audience and that sent Romney trending upwards in the minds of the delegates. This was all chronicled here the next day.

At the debate, Herman Cain made an emotional connection with the audience when he answered a question about how poorly he would have fared under ObamaCare instead of what became his miraculous triumph over stage four cancer. But by no means was Cain considered the debate winner among the delegates. That unofficial title was bestowed on Mitt Romney.

Even Rick Perry at Friday afternoon’s CPAC speech urged the audience not to nominate “the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater,” a poison dart obviously aimed at Romney’s superb performance the night before.

So what happened between Thursday night and late Saturday afternoon that enabled Cain to win over the hearts and minds of 37% of the delegates, with Perry receiving 15.4% and Romney 14%?

As one of the delegates succinctly said to me shortly after Cain’s victory was announced, “Cain is a businessman; he groomed us, he entertained us, and he closed the sale.”  Another delegate leaned first towards Perry, then after the debate towards Romney, and ended up voting for Cain, because he said “Romney ignored us” and “his organization was poor.” (This activist crowd actually grades candidates on organization, which is probably a good thing.)

If 80% of success is just showing up, as Woody Allen famously said, then Herman Cain took Woody’s advice, ran with it, and won a resounding victory.

Cain not only “showed up” the entire three days, but he did some ol’ fashioned preaching and inspiring along the way.

“Yes We Cain.”  “Cain is Able.”  “Hope and Cain.”  So read the signs and buttons.

Cain was the only candidate who stuck around to speak Friday night to a large room packed with delegates attending CPAC’s “Reagan Reception.” (No Reagan connection in sight, but these are Republicans and Reagan is their modern-day George Washington.)

There, Cain mesmerized the crowd with what I call a cross between a Tony Robbins-style motivational speech and a Sunday morning church sermon in a slow, deep, voice that sounded like the movie voice of God.

Furthermore, Cain was always present when the other frontrunners had either left the state (Romney especially) or were otherwise too busy or too uppity to socialize freely with “the folks.”

Cain showed he cared enough to send his very best — himself.

(Apologies for that old Hallmark ad line.)

One Romney-supporting delegate, who did not vote for Romney, told me why he changed his vote, saying: “Cain made us feel important” and “Romney ignored us.”

Then came the final curtain call right before the straw poll votes were to be cast.

All the candidates were given 15 minutes to appear on stage and make their case. Ron Paul sent a surrogate (snore). But Herman Cain gave such a rousing speech — bringing the delegates to their feet (shades of Obama 2008 minus the fainting) — that Rick Santorum, who had the misfortune of following Cain on the stage, said in jest that he was going to fire the staffer who decided that order of appearance.

Newt spoke next (more snores), and Huntsman sent his lovely wife and family as surrogates, but Cain’s performance was still echoing in the minds of all the delegates.

Up next was Rick Perry, who also sent a surrogate, but many delegates decided that was a good time to take a break and exit the room. Not a good sign for Perry.  And then it was suddenly announced it was time to vote. What? No Mitt Romney or Mitt Romney surrogate? Delegates were flabbergasted. “Mitt dissed us” and “He will pay for this” were the prevailing conversations.

So, instead of Santorum joking about firing a staffer for having to follow Herman Cain, Romney really needs to fire the staffer who advised him not to at least send a surrogate or even show a video like Huntsman. Those lost 15 minutes cost Romney dearly. His campaign committed the cardinal sin of ignoring activists who crave attention and want you to show them the love in exchange for their support.

It turns out Romney was in Michigan. He left shortly after his early Friday morning CPAC speech to attend a Republican gathering with their own straw poll. In Michigan, Romney took 51% of the vote, to Perry’s 17% and Herman Cain’s 9%.

It all goes to show that Woody Allen is right. When it comes to life and politics, 80% of success is just showing up.

Several delegates told me about a subliminal message they hoped to send the nation with their vote for Herman Cain, who just happens to be an African American conservative. They wanted their vote to prove that the GOP and the Tea Party are not racist  (take that Morgan Freeman and Black Caucus) but instead are willing to embrace a man of color whose personal story and political philosophy they wholeheartedly support.

There are several lessons to be learned from Herman Cain’s victory at the Florida straw poll. First and foremost, Florida Republican activists want to be courted. This vote also shows “Florida has attitude,” as one delegate said to me immediately after the results were announced.

Frontrunners like Romney and Perry need to take a page out of Herman Cain’s playbook and be prepared to spend a great deal of time showing Florida the love and taming that “attitude.”

This is because delegates at Presidency 5 and other Florida Republicans not in attendance are very proud of the fact that the road to the national nomination runs through the Florida 2012 primary and, subsequently, they are going to make all the frontrunners pay a steep toll in time and attention.

Update: The Romney campaign issued the following statement on June 9, 2011. The campaign has asked PJM to post this statement again as it relates to Myra Adams’ piece about the Florida straw poll.

“Our campaign has made the decision to not participate in any straw polls, whether it’s in Florida, Iowa, Michigan or someplace else. We respect the straw poll process.  In the last presidential campaign we were both strengthened as an organization and learned some important lessons by participating in them.  This time we will focus our energies and resources on winning primaries and caucuses. We look forward to bringing Mitt Romney’s strong pro-jobs message to every part of the country.” – Matt Rhoades, campaign manager

Posted in 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama, Decline of America, Economic Crisis, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Politics, Presidential Election 2012, Republican Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Florida Debate as Political Game Show


 Re-Posted from Pajamas Media  September 23, 2011                                                                     From my seat eight rows from the stage, here’s a bird’s eye view of the Florida Republican presidential debate.

Rick Perry’s performance was the most disappointing of the evening. He stumbled and paused when describing Mitt Romney’s history of flip-flopping. It was as if he lost his train of thought mid-sentence. You could actually feel audience support for him slipping away.

Based on Perry’s performance, I predict he will not win the Florida straw poll this weekend at the Presidency 5 event sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida.

Romney came off the most in command and presidential. There is no doubt he has great stage presence, with the ability to take a punch and then give one right back. Romney looked and sounded like a winner and winning in 2012 is what’s foremost in the minds of all the delegates here at Presidency 5.

Delegates are well aware the eyes of the nation are upon them. Therefore, they are serious about making a bold political statement as to which candidate can successfully defeat President Obama. My prediction is Mitt Romney will win the straw poll at Presidency 5 and regain his frontrunner status.

The debate itself was entertaining with all the Google-infused interactivity and personalities galore. But is this really the best way to get to know the candidates? They are forced to give quick snappy answers to important questions and leave voters begging for more.  It was truly a sad commentary when the loudest applause line of the entire evening was when Gary Johnson said his neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than President Obama.

Sure, for political junkies this is fun to watch. But seriously folks, this is serious business. Our nation is going down and the world is laughing at our presidential selection process.

The nine candidates were arranged on stage by their poll numbers which is why Perry was center, next to Romney, and Gary Johnson and Jon Huntsman were wingmen.

There are just too many candidates on stage for any real substantive discussion to occur. The debate sounded more like a game show than an important mile marker on the road to the White House.

Perhaps, after the Florida straw poll is over, some candidates will drop out. If not, the next debate sponsor should require that all candidates reach at least a 5% national approval by RealClearPolitics in order to command a podium.

If that were the criteria at the Florida debate, there would have only been six candidates instead of nine, for Santorum, Huntsman, and Johnson would not have made the cut.

It’s time to stop playing games and give the most popular candidates more time to beat up on each other. Since these debates already look and sound like a game show, all that’s missing is an official process for forced elimination.

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Hillary’s Secret Diary — Should I or Shouldn’t I ?


http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/author/myraadams/

3:00 AM September 8, 2011

Dear Diary:

Should I or shouldn’t I?

Bill says “go for it” because he is itching to be the first First Dude. And can you believe Dick Cheney is sending me signals to run? He also said on ABC News that I am the most competent person in Obama’s cabinet. Darn right I am!

Thanks for the reality check, Dick.

Cheney said I should have won the nomination in 2008. Hey Dick, not just won the nomination, everyone wishes I were president! Now I know how Al Gore feels everyday. It never gets any easier; in fact, time just makes it worse.

What really ticks me off is Obama entered the Senate in January 2005 and announced he was running for President in February 2007. This is after I had been working my butt off for 8 years in that mad house of prima donnas.

In the Senate they called me a ‘work horse” while Obama was a “show horse.” But I know show horses win and then burn out fast, while work horses have staying power. That’s me! Miss Staying Power!

Dear diary, so what do I do now? Start an “I told you so” campaign? Or have friends send Obama clips of President Lyndon Johnson announcing he would not seek his party’s nomination in1968? Do you think President Obama would get the hint, or suspect I was the instigator?

This I know, I will not contest him. The only way I will run is if the nomination is handed to me… out of respect. I refuse to go to bars and chug whiskey or cry on cue. Been there, done that.

I am too old to fight another primary season, but I am the perfect age to be president!

Some nights I dream about the Democratic National Convention as my coronation; the coronation I never had. Boy was I robbed! Besides, I want to save all the fight left in me for the general election and take on one of those handsome governors. Are those guys hot or what?

Or maybe I’ll resign from State and endorse either Romney or Perry in 2012 just because I can! Hah! Wouldn’t that show Obama who’s boss? After all, I started off as a “Goldwater Girl” in 1964, and maybe it’s time I return to my Republican roots. Damn it, my roots are in the White House!

Once again, it’s back to should I or shouldn’t I?

Note to self:

Call Dick Cheney tomorrow. Maybe he has some ideas about how I can run as a Republican. Strike that. Am I really that desperate to be President?

Yes I am! But time is running out for this old work horse.

Look, it’s 3:00 AM and I’m going to give Cheney a wake up call right now.

Posted at 11:02 am on September 9th, 2011 by
Posted in Economic Crisis | Leave a comment