Decline of America


Does Presidential Racial Group Voting Data Since 1976 Spell Doom for Republicans?

electoral-college-2012

 

It is well-established among pollsters that for either party’s presidential nominee to win in 2016 they must attract the correct balance of what is now commonly referred to as the white vs. the non-white vote.

This development has spawned numerous articles and demographic math games whereby one can plug-in the estimated turn-out for Whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian voters and thus predict a party’s margin of victory or defeat.

For example, a recent Real Clear Politics interactive turn-out calculator shows that for the Republican nominee to win the White House, he or she must capture at least 64 percent of the white vote. (This assumes the white and non-white voter turn-out numbers remain historically consistent.)

The need to achieve 64 percent of the white vote should be extremely disconcerting for the GOP because since 1976 there have only been two presidential elections where the Republican nominees won over 60 percent of the white vote and that was in 1984 and 1988.

On the non-white vote side of the equation, respected Republican pollster Whit Ayres predicts that the Republican nominee must win at least 30 percent of the total non-white vote in order to win the White House.

Republicans must not sugarcoat these numbers because the party is swimming against strong tides of presidential election voting data dating back to 1976.

First, as you will clearly see in the data displayed further down, the growing non-white population has consistently voted for Democratic Party presidential candidates by wide margins going back almost five decades.

Second, the white vote that splits between the two major parties by varying degrees in every presidential election is shrinking as a percentage of the total electorate.

Can Republicans overcome these two problems? Sure, in politics anything is possible – but here is a behavioral science explanation as to why the white and non-white vote is unlikely to make a large swing towards Republicans in 2016.

After the disastrous results of the 2012 election, I tried to understand how our nation could have reelected President Obama with his dismal record of achievement.

While doing some research I found what I believed was the answer — a phenomenon called ‘tribal voting” and wrote about it in a piece on November 14, 2012.

“Tribal voting” simply means you vote for a Republican or a Democrat because of your tribal allegiance. My piece quoted Richard A. Friedman M.D. who, in his November 12, 2012  New York Times piece,“Primal Emotions Come to Fore in Politics” wrote:

“Once you’ve selected your party, you are likely to retrofit your beliefs and philosophy to align with it. In this sense, political parties are like tribes; membership in the tribe shapes your values and powerfully influences your allegiance to the group.

So strong is the social and emotional bond among members of a political tribe that they are likely to remain loyal to their party even when they give it low marks for performance. Yankees fans don’t jump ship when their team loses any more than Republicans switch parties when they lose an election.”

Then I mentioned how I tested Dr. Friedman’s theory on my own mother and wrote: “Recently I asked my 86-year-old mother (now 89) why she voted Democrat her entire life and her explanation was rather simple, ‘Everyone I knew voted Democrat and I was always one who went along with the crowd.’”

(Obviously, her daughter broke with the crowd and has been a Republican tribeswoman since 1975.)

However, I recognize that my own anti-tribal behavior is not the norm, whereas political tribal behavior among non-white voters and white Democrat-loyal demographic groups has been remarkably consistent in presidential elections going back decades.

Let’s look at some facts gleaned from the Roper Center’s “How Groups Voted”, an on-going study that has examined presidential election exit poll data starting in 1976.

When you look over this data, note that the numbers to the right in parenthesis are the White, Hispanic and African-American share of the total electorate. Watch over the decades how this number shrinks for whites and grows for non-whites. Then ask yourself, “How has the Republican Party consistently managed to repel non-white voters?

1976:  White vote, Jimmy Carter 48% vs. Gerald Ford 52%   (89% White vote)

Hispanic vote: Carter 82% vs. Ford 18%   (1% Hispanic vote)

African-American vote: Carter 83% vs. Ford 17% (9% African-American vote)

1980:  White vote, Jimmy Carter 36% vs. Ronald Reagan 56%   (88% White vote)

Hispanic: Carter 56% vs. Reagan 37% (2% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Carter 83% vs. Reagan 14% (10% African-American vote)

1984:  White vote, Walter Mondale 34% vs. Ronald Reagan 66%   (86% White vote)

Hispanic: Mondale 66% vs. Reagan 34% (3% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Mondale 91% vs. Reagan 9% (10% African-American vote)

1988: White vote, Michael Dukakis 40% vs. George H.W. Bush 60%   (85% White vote)

Hispanic: Dukakis 70% vs. Bush 30% (3% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Dukakis 89% vs. Bush 11% (10% African-American vote)

1992:  White vote, Bill Clinton 39% vs. G.H.W. Bush 41% vs. Ross Perot 21%  (87% White)

Hispanic: Clinton 61% vs. Bush 25% vs. Perot 14% (2% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Clinton 83% vs. Bush 10% vs. Perot 7% (8% African-American vote)

1996: White vote, Bill Clinton 44% vs. Bob Dole 46% vs. Ross Perot 9%   (83% White vote)

Hispanic: Clinton 73% vs. Dole 21% vs. Perot 6%   (5% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Clinton 84% vs. Dole 12% vs. Perot 4% (10% African-American vote)

2000: White vote, Al Gore 42% vs. George W. Bush 55%   (81% White vote)

Hispanic: Gore 62% vs. Bush 35% (7% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Gore 90% vs. Bush 9% (10% African-American vote)

2004:  White vote, John Kerry 41% vs. George W. Bush 58%   (77% White vote)

Hispanic: Kerry 53% vs. Bush 44% (8% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Kerry 88% vs. Bush 11% (11% African-American vote)

2008: White vote, Barack Obama 43% vs. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)  55%   (74% White vote)

Hispanic: Obama 67% vs. McCain 31% (9% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Obama 95% vs. McCain 4% (13% African-American vote)

2012: White vote, Barack Obama 39% vs. Mitt Romney 59% (72% White vote)

Hispanic: Obama 71% vs. Romney 27% (10% Hispanic vote)

African-American: Obama 93% vs. Romney 6% (13% African-American vote)

Asian: Obama 73% vs. Romney 26% (3% Asian vote)

So how will these numbers change in 2016?

Latino Decisions, a premier Latino research group contracted by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to conduct polling, estimates that the White vote will decrease to 70.5 percent, the African American voter share will decrease to 12.5 percent, the Hispanic share will increase to 10.4 percent and the Asian share will increase to 3.5 percent.

Republicans cannot change these demographic numbers, but how about boldly challenging blindly loyal Democrat voters to leave their current tribe?

For example, may I suggest a Republican marketing campaign that asks questions like, “Why am I a Democrat?” Is it because everyone I know is a Democrat? Is it because I was born a Democrat? Why do I vote for the same party year after year, yet see no changes in my economic circumstances? Maybe it’s time to break my voting habit?

There is no doubt that such a marketing campaign would be controversial and widely mocked, but do Republicans really have a choice? Perhaps it is time for a behavioral approach that questions Democratic Party tribal allegiance? At the very least, the concept should be tested in focus groups.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Republican presidential nominee is tasked with needing to win at least 64 percent of the white vote and 30 percent of total non-white vote. That my friends is either a total fantasy or it would be a historic election and one for the record books.

Advertisements

 Re-posted from PJ Media

Recently Politico ran a piece entitled, “To GOP, Blatant Bias in Vetting“, written by two of its top writers, Jim VanderHei and Mike Allen.

The article began with an example of how The New York Times on Sunday, May 27, dedicated prime front page space to a hit piece on Mitt Romney’s wife Ann.

The piece zeroed in on Mrs. Romney’s love of dressage horse- riding that elitist sport only reserved for rich people like Ann Romney.

Politico then compared the high profile placement of the Ann Romney piece with the New York Times’ third-rate coverage – buried on A- 15, of the young Barack Obama’s penchant for dope-smoking revealed by David Maraniss in his new book, Barack Obama: The Story.

From Politico:

No wonder Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign. To them, reporters are scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience – and once again downplaying ones that could hurt the president.

Now that Politico has raised serious questions about biased presidential campaign coverage against Governor Mitt Romney and his family, one wonders if this entire campaign will be a repeat of the well-documented 2008 love affair between the media and then candidate, Senator Obama.

The totally “in the tank” coverage, even spoofed on Saturday Night Live was credited with elevating a candidate with the thinnest resume in our nation’s history to the highest office in the land. That was the mainstream media’s agenda then and it looks like those same “powers that be” are going for a redux in 2012.

The Politico piece quotes Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary to President Bush,…”The love affair of 2008 may no longer be a love affair, but it’s a like-a-lot affair. There’s no equivalency for the right.”

Except to document what happened…

Back in 2009, filmmaker John Ziegler produced a two-hour documentary entitled

  Media Malpractice – How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted.

The film, now available on Netflix and Hulu, is recommended viewing, but I warn you, it is difficult to watch if you happen to be a freedom loving American.

Ziegler’s documentary storyline told through news footage and headlines resembles Soviet-era style Russian propaganda. It shows step by step, how voters were systematically brainwashed by the media so voters would feel good about electing a leader who had barely served two years as a United States Senator and for most of those two years spent his time running for president.

So I asked John Ziegler to comment on the Politico piece and this was his email reply:

“Only in the bizarro world of mainstream media could an obviously biased news source do a story on vetting bias and not even really mention the abject lack of vetting by the press of Barack Obama, which forms the sound basis of GOP anger over the way Romney is being treated by comparison. If it all wasn’t so serious it really would be hilarious. Even when they seem to “get it,” they really don’t.”

The good news for John Ziegler is if the current mainstream media’s “like-a-lot-affair” with President Obama continues, and he is reelected, Ziegler will have more than enough material for another two hour documentary.

In that case may I suggest the title: Media Malpractice — The Sequel of Doom.

Because if President Obama is reelected, many Americans, myself included, believe he would continue our totally unsustainable collision course with increasing government debt that will accelerate our decline as a superpower.

Can you imagine if the New York Times were to explore that premise on their Sunday front page a week before the November election?

No, instead watch for a derogatory front page feature on Mormons.


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.


“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.


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.


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


A visit to a therapist might be necessary to help conservatives work through their issues with the current frontrunner.

May 10, 2011 – 12:00 am – by Myra Adams

What if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination for president in 2012?

A vast majority of conservatives become anxiety-ridden at the mere posing of this question, and many go ballistic at the thought of it actually happening.

So a quick visit to a therapist may be helpful.

Imagine yourself lying on a couch in the spring of 2012 with soothing music playing in the background. News breaks that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has clinched the Republican nomination for president.

Your therapist, knowing that as a true conservative you worked against Romney by supporting (fill in the blank), asks in a soft comforting voice, “How does this news make you feel — angry, betrayed, confused?”

The therapist is insisting that you anticipate your feelings and mentally prepare yourself because Intrade, the respected online prediction market operating outside of polls and politics, is betting on Romney with a 23.9% chance of him winning the GOP nomination. (By comparison, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is second at 15.3% and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is third at 9.5%. The rest of the GOP field is in single digits. Note: Intrade is a fluid prediction market, therefore percentages change frequently, but Romney has consistently led the GOP field. )

Intrade also pegs Obama’s re-election prospects at 58.6%, but your therapist says she will address those negative feelings in a future session.

This hour she wants you to work through the stress associated with accepting Romney as the GOP nominee.

So in an empathetic tone she asks you to think about the following questions:

Are you going to pick up your signs for Candidate X and go home?

Could you work for and support Romney’s campaign?

Will you vote for Romney in the 2012 election?

What if the polls show that Romney is running neck and neck with Obama?

Do you resent that squishy independent swing vote that is fueling Romney?

Finally, the therapy session is over and you leave her office with a huge headache. You realize you would have real problems supporting Romney as the nominee and even imagining these questions makes you angry.

Can you relate to this scenario?

Since the defeat of John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, I have heard numerous conservatives admit they held their nose and supported him. They say that in 2012 they will not support anyone but a “true conservative.”

Which begs the question, what is a “true conservative” these days?

Would President Reagan have even qualified, considering he granted amnesty to three million illegal aliens in 1986?

The following week the therapist works through your behavioral options if Romney wins the nomination:

You can support Romney 100% because as the nominee he will be your only chance of making Obama a one-term president. You can break away from the GOP and start a third party with Candidate X. (Although this ensures Obama will win re-election, you can feel good because you stuck by your principles.)

You can insist that Romney select a “true conservative” as his vice-presidential running mate. (This is similar to what McCain did with his selection of Sarah Palin.) But if Romney doesn’t select a running mate conservative enough for you, will you “punish” him by staying home and not helping the campaign at any level?

Then your wise therapist reads you a quote from Ronald Reagan.

On February 9, 1983, when asked about people who said he was “moving away from the policies and principles that got you elected,” Reagan responded by explaining that compromise is not retreat: “I’m not retreating an inch from where I was. But I also recognize this: There are some people who would have you so stand on principle that if you don’t get all that you’ve asked for from the legislature, why, you jump off the cliff with the flag flying. I have always figured that a half a loaf is better than none, and I know that in the democratic process you’re not going to always get everything you want. So, I think what they’ve misread is times in which I have compromised.”

Ah … the wisdom of Ronald Reagan: “half a loaf is better than none.”

Good advice all Republicans should remember. For if Romney does manage to win the 2012 nomination, conservatives must admit that he would be a “half loaf” better than another full loaf of Obama.

The truth is the Republican Party is fractured. However, someone has to be the nominee and chances are it will be someone that a good chunk of the party did not initially support — or still might not support after the nomination process is over.

That would be a huge mistake.

Republicans must unite and together build a massive 50 state national campaign and the fundraising apparatus to support it. And the sooner the better, because besides the obvious advantage of incumbency, the opposing team will be well managed and organized on the ground, the airwaves, and in cyberspace.

President Obama will have close to a billion dollars in his campaign war chest. This will buy him millions of dollars of air time, including 30-minute infomercials. He will have the funds to hire thousands of staff, pay “volunteers” to stand for hours at the local mall, and bloggers to flood the internet with favorable content. Perhaps he’ll even have a few thousand left over to “buy” some new voter registrations.

But Obama can not buy down our national right-track, wrong-track number: 67.5% of Americans think our nation is on the wrong track. He can not buy down the official unemployment rate, which just climbed back up to 9%. He can’t buy down the real unemployment rate, which some experts estimate to be closer to 18%.

President Obama can be defeated because his vision for America’s economic future vastly differs from that of Republicans and the all important independent swing voters who helped forge those historic wins in the 2010 midterm elections.

A Republican victory in 2012 will hinge on getting those voters back again. Therefore, grassroots Republicans participating in the primary process must keep their eye on the general election and ask themselves: could my candidate attract independent voters in key battleground states like Virginia or Florida?

Romney as the GOP nominee might just wind up representing that “half loaf is better than none” philosophy for many Republicans. If that is the eventual outcome, and as a “true conservative” you find yourself still demanding a “full loaf,” please consult a therapist and Ronald Reagan.

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 The Daily Caller and as a co-writer on The Daily Beast. Myra’s web site TheJesusStore.com contributes all profits to Christian charity. Follow @MyraKAdams on Twitter.