Republican


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.

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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


– Pajamas Media – http://pajamasmedia.com

A ‘Flawed’ GOP Field vs. A Flawed President

Posted By Myra Adams On March 6, 2011 @ 12:00 am In Elections 2012,Opinion,Politics | 119 Comments

It’s nearly impossible to hear or read about the prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidates without the nasty F word being mentioned. No — not that word. Flawed. All the 2012 GOP challengers are continuously dismissed in the media [1]. It’s like little laser beams are focused on each ostensibly fatal flaw, blinding voters to the totality of the candidate’s career and achievements:
In 2006, then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed mandatory health care legislation — which, as the story goes, is the basis for Obamacare. POLICY: FLAWED!
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is on his third wife — and his two prior divorces were not family friendly. ETHICS: FLAWED!
Two-term Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is a former lobbyist — and, as a teenager, was more interested in watching girls than in remembering Martin Luther King’s speech in his home town. CHARACTER: FLAWED!
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels suggested to the party base that the next president would need to call a “truce” on social issues to focus on economic ones and he is several inches under 6 feet tall. SOCIALLY and PHYSICALLY FLAWED!
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is charisma challenged — allegedly way too boring and way too nice. PERSONALITY: FLAWED!
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s record raises red flags — he raised some taxes and commuted the sentence of a prisoner who years later murdered four policemen in Washington state. RECORD: FLAWED! And now with Huckabee’s latest “Obama was raised in Kenya controversy [2],” he is flawed by the prevailing media…. forever.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is — well, let’s say too polarizing for a general election. ELECTABILITY: FLAWED!

The mainstream media wants you all to believe all the potential Republican candidates are too flawed to defeat President Obama. As if President Obama is not too flawed to win!

Whether flaws are overlooked or accentuated greatly depends on the party from which the candidate hails. What the 2008 election proved — through the elevation of a man to the highest office in the land with the thinnest resume and least executive experience ever — is that anyone can get elected president, if the press chooses to overlook that candidate’s flaws.

Republican candidates will be judged in the media by vastly different standards than Barack Obama. Once one of them has at last secured the nomination, he or she will be pummeled while Obama will get a pass for his policies and how he comports himself as president. And the preparation for that howler of a pass is all happening now:

On Thursday, February 24th, Libya, along with the rest of the Arab world, was in turmoil. Hundreds of American diplomats, whose lives were in danger as potential hostages, had not yet been evacuated from Libya. The State Department was working 24/7, but the ferry they sent had not been able to leave shore for two long days with passengers aboard. What does our president do? He throws a party! Yes — a rockin’ Motown [3] celebration at the White House featuring Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and other celebs, with Obama looking and sounding more like a modern day Emperor Nero fiddling while Libya burned, gas prices spiked, and the lives of American Embassy workers hung in the balance.

Was the White House concerned that images of Obama dancing and grooving on that tenuous evening would perhaps send the wrong signal to the nation and the world? Of course not! After all,  Obama was honoring Black History Month for a televised show on PBS.

Aside from numerous headlines on conservative blogs like “Obama dances while the Middle East burns, [4]” there was no criticism from the mainstream media — only glowing reports and footage [5] on the festivities themselves.

Now, in contrast, here is how a “flawed” Republican president reacted to a crisis when American lives were in danger:
In August 2003 [6] President Bush said he decided to stop playing golf to show his respect for the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” Bush said in an interview with Politico and Yahoo News on May 13, 2008. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Here’s the signal [7] Obama was sending the loved ones of those Americans waiting to leave Libya: We party — you enjoy the ferry.

Imagine the media outrage if George W. Bush had thrown a similar party during a crisis of this type.

Example two:
What could be more flawed than the $821 billion stimulus [8] package, increased from the originally enacted $787 billion stimulus? Well, yes — ObamaCare may turn out to be even more economically disastrous. But one hopes the courts will intervene or Congress will defund it. The stimulus bill is so flawed, failed, and costly that our great grandchildren’s children will be still be paying for it. Filled to the brim with waste, fraud, and lies, it never pushed unemployment rates [9] below Obama’s stated goal of 8%.

While traveling recently on the Florida’s Turnpike, I stopped at one of those huge tourist-friendly service areas with food courts and gift shops. There was a very small work-in-progress road project of about 200 square feet between two curbs. It looked like the gravel was being readied for a garden. Although the purpose of the project was not exactly clear, the sign sure was. It boldly proclaimed The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. I swelled up with national pride knowing our economy is being stimulated by a gas station shrub garden. Who knows — maybe it was a future plot for an electric car charger for Government Motors’ Chevy Volt.

And since the stimulus sign was stimulating itself [10], I had all the more reason to feel proud of my government’s ability to create jobs at turnpike rest stops.

Flawed? Super flawed? So unbelievably flawed that recently Obama was reduced to telling our nation’s governors at a White House meeting that, even though many of our states are flat broke, the Recovery Act helped manage every state’s budget “whether you admit it or not”? [11] Yes. But not if you ask a fawning press or a doting media.

Republicans must unite behind one of their “flawed” candidates and help that person triumph before we all collapse under the weight of our debt.

The alternative? A second-term president who throws more glamorous parties during more international crises while ordering up more stimulus project signs.

We must defeat this modern day Emperor Nero — or else we will follow the Roman Empire down the path to collapse and ruin.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/a-flawed-gop-field-vs-a-flawed-president/

URLs in this post:

[1] dismissed in the media: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/30/AR2011013003972.html

[2] Obama was raised in Kenya controversy: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20110301/ts_yblog_theticket/huckabee-falsely-claims-obama-was-raised-in-kenya

[3] Motown: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/02/motown-dancing-in-the-white-house.html

[4] Obama dances while the Middle East burns,: http://www.thehotjoints.com/2011/02/25/video-obama-dances-while-middle-east-burns/

[5] reports and footage: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=133805307

[6] In August 2003: http://www.cnsnews.com/node/49931

[7] Here’s the signal: http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/02/shameful-obama-parties-while-americans-stranded/

[8] $821 billion stimulus: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/23/stimulus-price-tag-ticks-again/

[9] waste, fraud, and lies, it never pushed unemployment rates: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/02/17/stimulus-failure-measure-matters-jobs/

[10] stimulus sign was stimulating itself: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/who-made-the-10000-stimulus-sign/

[11] “whether you admit it or not”?: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/02/28/obama_to_governors_recovery_act_helped_whether_you_admit_it_or_not.html
Copyright © 2011 Pajamas Media. All rights reserved.


– Pajamas Media –
How Obama Gets to 270 in 2012

Posted By Myra Adams On January 3, 2011 @ 12:06 am In Elections 2012,Health Care,Homeland Security,Immigration,Judiciary,Legal,Politics,US News,economy | 89 Comments

Collective wisdom (and wishful group-think) among Republicans is that Obama will be a one-term president. “One & Done” is a rallying cry with the merchandise to match [1].

Not so fast my friends — as Obama’s victorious lame duck session proves, never underestimate this president or the power of the presidency.

Obama does not take defeat easily and tends to recycle negative energy into fuel for his re-launch. Obama’s re-launch plans for 2011 include spending more time outside of Washington “engaging with the public,” [2] according to a top White House adviser. This is in reaction to criticism of him for being aloof and disconnected from the great unwashed masses.

So as the president re-engages the public, the media will be there to chronicle glowing accounts of every backyard summit. We can watch as Obama’s two-year road to re-election is paved with re-kindled love between the “lamestream” media and “The Anointed One” version 2.0.  And we on the opposing team will shake our heads in disgust as our GOP candidates get lambasted in the media for every small infraction from their past and present.

Meanwhile, President Obama will have the power of incumbency. Note that since the founding of our republic there have been 56 U.S. presidential elections, 31 of which have involved incumbents. Of those 31 presidents, 21 have won, which means that, based on the historical odds, Obama has a 67% chance of winning re-election.

Now if the power of incumbency, the media fawning, Obama’s remarkable ability to bounce back, and Obama’s extraordinary campaign and speaking skills weren’t enough to ensure his re-election, let’s examine what Obama really has in his favor: the 270 math of the almighty Electoral College.  (Never discuss this with Al Gore, by the way.)

But before Republicans get too depressed, here is some good news. The 2010 census has shifted 11 electoral votes to “traditional” red states. (Traditional red states as defined from the 2004 Bush victory. Texas, for example, gained 4 votes, and Florida gained 2, even though Florida turned Obama blue in 2008.) See all the electoral vote changes here on this interactive map [3].

However, even the gain of 11 electoral votes spread among “traditional” GOP red states matters little when examining the unfavorable odds the GOP will confront getting to 270 in 2012

We begin by using the 2004 Bush/Kerry [4] election as a baseline for the red vs. blue electoral map. In 2004, President George W. Bush won 286 electoral votes to Senator John Kerry’s 252.

Bush carried 31 states and 50.7% of the popular vote. [5]

But cynics warned there was trouble ahead, for if Ohio’s 20 electoral votes had gone to Kerry then he would have been elected and Obama might still be the junior senator from Illinois.

Although 2004 was a close election, GOP strategists would dream about the look of the 2004 map. If not for those pesky northeast, Great Lakes, and wacky left-coast states, the vast body of the USA was coated in ruby red.

Here is the Obama/McCain 2008 electoral map [6] with Obama winning 365 electoral votes to McCain’s paltry 173.

Question: How do Republicans make their way back from 173 to 270?

Answer: With much difficulty.

Assume for a moment (and this is a HUGE assumption) that what I call the “Red Rogue States” of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana that turned Obama blue in 2008 will shake off the magic fairy dust he sprinkled over them and return to the red Republican barn in 2012.  These five “must win” states total 86 electoral votes, bringing our generic un-named Republican presidential candidate up to 266.

(Note: the new 2012 electoral vote totals are being used to reach 266.)

So where does our generic presidential candidate find the remaining four votes?

Oh, how I wish that was the only major problem keeping the GOP from reaching 270.

The first potential problem is that Arizona is included in the 266 total.

In 2008, Arizona was McCain’s home state and easily added 10 electoral votes to his 173 total.

But in 2012 can Arizona be counted on as reliably red?

Or will Arizona follow Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada into Obama blue territory? There is a good chance it will, especially if the Hispanic Institute Five-State Voter Project [7] has its way.

The Hispanic Institute [8], a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization, has the following as its stated mission: to provide “an effective education forum for an informed and empowered Hispanic America.”

Certainly a worthwhile mission and one that I fully support. Especially when you consider Hispanics are our fastest growing minority, currently standing at 16% of the population.

Through its Five-State 2012 Voter Project, the Hispanic Institute seeks to promote and grow the participation of Hispanics in civic engagement and the electoral process.

Success has already been achieved for the Five-State Voter Project’s pilot program — Nevada’s 2010 midterm election. The project added 10,000 new registered voters and increased the percentage of Hispanics voting in Nevada to 16% for a midterm election. (By comparison, Hispanics comprised 15% of the state’s voter turnout in 2008.) So, to have increased the percentage of a minority voting block by even one point in an off year election was deemed a great victory and psyched up the leaders to implement their 2012 full plan of attack.

So what does this Nevada “victory” mean for the 2012 Electoral College map?

Consider the five targets of the Five-States Voter Project: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada — together they represent a new 2012 total of 60 electoral votes.

During the 2008 election the percentage of Hispanic voters in these five states was:

  • Arizona 16%
  • Colorado 13%
  • Florida 14%
  • New Mexico 41%
  • Nevada 15%

The Five-State Voter Project fully expects the percentages of Hispanic voters in these states to increase for the 2012 election. For example, Arizona’s 2008 Hispanic vote of 16% is now projected to be 18.3% in 2012.

Hispanic voter growth like Arizona’s is not good news for the un-named Republican presidential candidate, especially when the GOP is considered hostile (fairly or unfairly) to Hispanic issues.

Obama received 67% of the Hispanic vote in 2008, and if that vote stays loyal, it could keep Florida blue and turn Arizona blue for the first time since 1996.

Even now, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada must be considered long shots to return to the red land of the 2004 electoral map.

So when you hear Obama bringing up the DREAM Act [9] over and over until it passes in the next two years, you know he is really dreaming of his re-election.

Now, let’s go back to our generic presidential candidate sitting at 266 electoral votes.

Remember my assumptions about the “Five Red Rogue” states that must return to red in 2012?

Florida is most problematic, especially with Florida’s Hispanic vote hovering around 15% and now targeted by the Voter Project for further increases. If only four of the five “Red Rogue States” return and Florida stays blue, our discussion ends right there and Obama is re-elected.

Too bad I don’t even get to discuss Iowa, which Obama won by 15.3% in 2008 but which could be the swing state which brings the GOP candidate up from 266 to 272 with its 6 electoral votes.

Any way you look at it, the 2012 electoral map is not user friendly for the GOP presidential nominee, even if national unemployment stays at 10% and the economy is sluggish.

The hope for Republicans in 2012 must lie in traditionally Democratic and  electoral rich blue states like NY, MI, NJ, and PA. But I would not want to bet the farm on those states, with their deep blue voting patterns and heavy union membership.

The new reality is the GOP has run out of reliable red states due to changing Hispanic demographics and Hispanics’ group loyalty to President Obama and the Democratic Party in general.

In 2012, the African-American vote combined with the Hispanic vote will comprise at least 30% of the electorate. If Obama wins these groups by the same percentages he did in 2008, 95% for African Americans and 67% for Hispanics, he easily wins re-election. Unless Republicans can make major inroads into those two minority groups, whatever Democrat follows Obama in 2016 will also start off with a huge electoral advantage.

Sorry about the 2012 reality check. But you can profit from this analysis by clicking on Intrade [10], the online prediction market. Here, you can gamble on whether the Democrats will keep the White House in 2012.  Today, players are betting there is a 57.5% chance of that happening, compared to a 41.7% chance the Republicans will take back the White House.


Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/how-obama-gets-to-270-in-2012/

URLs in this post:

[1] merchandise to match: http://www.zazzle.com/anti_obama_one_done_obama_symbol_funny_t_shirt-235409964299293386

[2] “engaging with the public,”: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/135115-jarrett-obama-to-spend-more-time-outside-of-dc-in-2011

[3] interactive map: http://www.270towin.com/

[4] 2004 Bush/Kerry: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/maps/obama_vs_mccain/?map=11

[5] Bush carried 31 states and 50.7% of the popular vote.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2004

[6] Here is the Obama/McCain 2008 electoral map: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/maps/obama_vs_mccain/

[7] the Hispanic Institute Five-State Voter Project: http://thehispanicinstitute.net/node/3233/print

[8] The Hispanic Institute: http://www.thehispanicinstitute.net/

[9] DREAM Act: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/94791/20101223/obama-to-push-for-dream-act-again-in-2011.htm

[10] Intrade: http://www.intrade.com/

 

 


Through the Teleprompter Glass

Posted By Myra Adams On November 1, 2010 @ 9:20 am In Elections 2010, Humor & Fun | 30 Comments

Dateline: The White House, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, November 3, 2010.

Today is the day after the day that I have to admit was not one of my best days.

Dead people … you let me down! Especially in Illinois! I counted on your votes to carry our Democratic candidates to victory, but instead you stayed dead. This is why Chicago needs Rahm as mayor; he knows how to get dead people to the polls.

And you ACORNS? So helpful in 2008 … what happened? Did you all grow into big trees, anchored to the ground and unable to get to the polls?

I am especially disappointed with all of you in the New Black Panther Party [1].

You so effectively intimidated voters in Philly for me during the last election with your billy clubs and paramilitary uniforms. What the heck happened yesterday? Were you hiding from Fox News?

But today is not for finger pointing.

My daughter Sasha said to me this morning at breakfast, “Dad, you really took a whuppin’ last night.” And I said, “No, not a whuppin’; I was just having a teachable moment.”

She asked me what I learned and I told her I learned I can no longer blame President George W. Bush for all our nation’s problems. So from this day on I will delete the words “I inherited” from my teleprompter. I know you are all sick of hearing “I inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression,” “I inherited two wars,” and “I inherited a financial crisis” — and frankly I am as well.

Now, instead of “I inherited” I will say, “It’s not my fault.” As in, it’s not my fault the Republicans now control Congress.

It’s not my fault Americans don’t understand what I have done for them.

It’s not my fault unemployment rates have remained high [2].

It’s not my fault there are no such things as shovel-ready projects [3].

It’s not my fault that billions of stimulus dollars were wasted [4].

It’s not my fault your health insurance premiums are dramatically increasing [5].

It not my fault White House staffers are fleeing [6].

It’s not my fault the rise of the oceans never slowed and our planet never healed [7].

Now that the midterm elections are finally over, I will be busy working on two great initiatives for the benefit of the American people.

The first initiative calls for stimulating the economy with the increased production of Krazy Glue. This stems from our need to ensure that whenever I travel across our nation there will always be an ample supply so never again will my presidential seal fall off my podium [8].

The second great initiative is my 2012 re-election. Yesterday’s teachable moment taught me that I am through with teachable moments. So starting today I have issued an executive order for a full-scale mobilization of every dead person who did not vote yesterday. I will be appointing a resurrection czar to ensure that every Democrat family will be reunited with their loved ones just in time to get them to the polls on November 6, 2012.

Finally, as president I am often asked, “What keeps you up at night?” Well, let me tell you what kept me up last night.

Remember back in November 2004 when I was first elected senator from Illinois? That means yesterday if I were still a senator, I would have been up for re-election. So last night I wondered: would I have lost my seat? Unfortunately my former Senate seat was lost yesterday to a Republican, but thankfully it wasn’t me on the ballot.

Then I fell into a deep sleep knowing the loss of my old Senate seat wasn’t my fault.


 


Posted on Pajamas Media     October 20, 2010 – by Myra Adams

At this moment Washington collective wisdom points to House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio as the next speaker of the House if the Republicans win control of the House of Representatives, as expected, on November 2.

Collective wisdom is often wrong. For politics by its very nature is unpredictable — just ask Scott Brown, the Republican senator from Massachusetts, now sitting in the “Kennedy seat.”

Washington wisdom regarding “Speaker” Boehner could be challenged if the Republican House victory is perceived as an overwhelming victory for the young conservative movement led by the self-titled “Young Guns,” comprised of Eric Cantor (the leader), Paul Ryan (the thinker), and Kevin McCarthy (the strategist).

Their book/manifesto titled Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders is aptly named. Pajamas Media CEO Roger L. Simon dubbed Young GunsThe Conservative 2.0 Campaign Book” back in mid-September, which was also when it grabbed such headlines as the Washington Post’s With new book, Cantor disavows power grab.”

So will Boehner’s number-two man, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, force Boehner to a duel for speaker of the House?

Not likely, but not totally out of the realm of possibility either. For conservative leaders outside of Congress are less than wildly enthusiastic about “Speaker” Boehner and offer lukewarm support.

Cantor is on record as saying he will support Boehner as speaker, but if his young conservative revolution has some really strong tailwinds coming off November 2, all bets are off.

According to the same Washington Post piece, “Of course this Boehner-Cantor alliance could fray if the Republicans win.”

The question is: by how many seats will the Republicans take the House and do larger numbers of freshmen benefit Cantor or Boehner?

The possibility surely exists for a duel if a newly enlarged posse of “gun-toting” young’uns feels Eric Cantor best represents who they are, what they campaigned on, and what they hope to accomplish in Congress.

Keep in mind that the back cover of Young Guns says: “Together the Young Guns are changing the face of the Republican Party … .” Of course that face could be Boehner’s.

For there is already talk of members not committing to Boehner right now.

Meanwhile, Cantor, Ryan, and McCarthy have been busy crisscrossing the country campaigning for more “young gun” congressional candidates with the intent of storming Capitol Hill, raising the flag of a new young conservative revolution, then getting to work charting a course of limited government, free markets,  fiscal responsibility, and a rebranding of the Republican Party.

(Although notice how seldom the word “Republican” is used to describe this group.)

Take the hot-button issue of earmarks, for example. Last week Eric Cantor fired off what could be perceived as a mild shot at Boehner, by advocating an outright end to earmarks — stronger language then Boehner’s oddly worded recent commitment to end earmarks “as we know them.”

It’s probably all high-stakes semantics, but it might also be Eric Cantor further positioning himself as the ultimate fiscal hawk to all the newly elected members who might want to be more closely identified with him over Boehner.

However, it has been widely reported that Boehner provides “adult leadership” and “scoffs at suggestions” that the “Young Guns” might undermine his leadership. “They are some of our brightest, most energetic members,” he said in a telephone interview between campaign stops for House candidates in the Dakotas as reported in a very fair and balanced Huffington Post piece (“John Boehner: Speaker-in-Waiting?).

Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1990. He was elected majority leader in February 2006 and presided over the terrible House losses of 2006 and 2008.

Now he is fighting his way back into the majority and must be savoring his new status as Obama’s “villain du jour.”

Here is a classic New York Times hit piece on Boehner voicing some of the arguments that make even Republicans question whether Boehner is the right face and image to lead the party at this juncture.

Even though Boehner scoffs at the Young Guns undermining his leadership, it can’t have escaped his attention that those “brightest and most energetic members” neglected to mention him in their book except for three minor passing references. (Speaker Nancy Pelosi is mentioned over 20 times.)

But more telling are the acknowledgments at the back of Young Guns. Cantor, Ryan, and McCarthy do not thank Leader John Boehner for anything.

Was this omission of John Boehner from their leadership vision an accidental oversight, or a Washington-style smoke signal setting the stage for a showdown?

With that thought in mind, the forward of Young Guns, written by Fred Barnes of the the Weekly Standard and Fox News, is especially intriguing and important.

Barnes wrote in April 2010: “I’m convinced Eric Cantor will be speaker or majority leader the next time Republicans control the House.”

Why is what Fred Barnes wrote so important?

For that answer, believe it or not, you have to go back to an Alaskan cruise in June 2007.

On that cruise Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol had lunch with Governor Sarah Palin and Barnes noticed she had “real star quality,” as reported in this October 2008 New Yorker article. The piece chronicles how Barnes and Kristol were enamored with Sarah Palin and then, through their influence at Fox News and the Weekly Standard, started enough media momentum that when McCain selected then-unknown Palin as his 2008 surprise running mate, Barnes and Kristol were credited as major behind-the-scenes players.

So is Fred Barnes aiming to do for Eric Cantor what he did for Sarah Palin?

Maybe, because for Barnes to even write that Cantor could be the next speaker of the House when Republicans take control signals he might be willing to play an active role in promoting the idea of  “Speaker” Cantor  to the conservative audiences of Fox News and the Weekly Standard.

Just a little palace intrigue you might want to watch after November 2.

There would be another interesting story if Eric Cantor were to be elected speaker, for he would make history as our nation’s first Jewish speaker of the House.

For Republicans, that opens up the potential of a vast shift in what is currently the nation’s second most loyal Democratic voting bloc. (Obama got 77% of the Jewish vote in 2008.)

Even if the first Jewish Republican speaker of the House could help nudge Jewish voters over to the R column by a few percentage points in some key states, it could make the difference in a close 2012 presidential election

At a minimum, Cantor from his perch as speaker could help rebrand the Republican Party by possibly making it more attractive to Jewish voters in the future and then redirect millions of dollars in financial support that Jewish Democrats contribute to their party and its candidates.

Will Eric Cantor and the “Young Guns” blow away presumed “Speaker” Boehner if the GOP takes control? Probably not, but watch closely how the media spins a Republican victory on November 2. If you start hearing more about Eric Cantor and his newly expanded posse, then listen carefully, for the sound you might hear next could be the Young Guns taking a shot at the speaker’s gavel.

 


Predicting the 2010 GOP Ticket   Barbour/Daniels

A  Governor Governor Ticket

Tomorrow’s elections today, because it’s never too early.
September 2, 2010 – by Myra

With 2012 less than 500 days away and just a few months left before the November midterm elections, there is no better time to predict the 2012 Republican presidential ticket, because no one else in their right mind would dare.

Yes, I am aware that predictions of this nature are usually worthless, but they are fun nevertheless, and who doesn’t need some fun in these last depressing days of President Obama’s Orwellian-sounding “Recovery Summer”?

(Which leads one to ask: Does “Recovery Fall” start in September? Or did Recovery Fall eclipse Recovery Summer way back in June?)

These are questions for another time. But as for the 2012 GOP ticket, my prediction as of now is: Governor Haley Barbour and Governor Mitch Daniels.

This would be a historic governor-governor ticket.

In fact, back in March of this year, I co-wrote a Daily Beast column with Mark McKinnon about the strong possibility that the 2012 GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees would come from the statehouse. Now it’s time to stick my neck out and predict these two governors will be the eventual headliners.

In the Daily Beast column, we listed two-term Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour among the vice-presidential contenders, but respectably called him “king of the Republican governors” because of his chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

We wrote, “Barbour is someone to watch because he will be so influential in the 2010 governor’s races and will be a mainstay on the national news shows.”

Still true today, but here is the big difference between March of this year and now: Haley Barbour as RGA chairman has emerged as the de facto leader of the entire Republican Party (a post Barbour actually held from 1993 to 1997). This has been accelerated by the disastrous tenure of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele.

Now Politico calls Governor Barbour the “most powerful Republican in American politics, at least for the next three months.” This refers to the $40 million he has raised as RGA chairman and his political operative skills, which will most likely lead to an increase in the number of victorious Republican governors among the 37 states holding gubernatorial elections in November.

Of course, if he is successful, Barbour will not only keep that “most powerful Republican”  title along with an impressive stack of IOUs. On November 3, you will also begin reading about how Haley Barbour was the “real winner” of the midterms and hearing hours of  “will he or won’t he run” cable chatter.

The answer is “yes.” Haley Barbour will run and he will be the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.

Back in January of this year, Newsweek called him the “Anti-Obama” and “Mr. Fix It.” Both titles are even more accurate now and position him well for 2012.

Haley Barbour is a governor who has weathered Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and now the Gulf oil spill, state-level crises of the magnitude normally reserved for presidents. His stature has risen through both tragedies.

According to a July Rasmussen poll, Governor Barbour had a 70% approval rating in Mississippi.

Barbour was first elected Mississippi governor in 2003 with 53% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2007 with 58% of the vote. Quite a feat considering he presided over a state where 47 out of 82 counties were declared Katrina disaster areas.

Barbour’s Katrina leadership has been compared to the 9/11 leadership of Rudy Giuliani, propelling a little known Southern governor into the national spotlight.

His second term ends in 2011, and he is term limited. Nice timing for a 2012 run.

Haley Barbour will have the organization, money, experience, and political savvy to turn his RGA fiefdom into Barbour 2012. According to Politico, “his logic is simple: When he surveys what most Republicans consider to be a weak field, he sees no reason he couldn’t easily beat them. He is a better strategist and fundraiser than any other candidate currently considering running — and just as good on television and in debates, his thinking goes.”

Which really means that on November 3 look for Haley Barbour to start being the political equivalent of Hurricane Katrina — wiping out his opponents with Category 5 wind gusts.

Finally, after the hurricane passes, he will still have a unique advantage: everyone who is anyone in Republican politics on the national or state level already has a friendship or at least a working relationship with Haley Barbour.

If Republican inner circles were a small town, he would be the mayor — a most powerful mayor who knows exactly how to get what he wants.

In this same Daily Beast article, we called Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels “the man to watch” among the presidential gubernatorial contenders.

Daniels, a popular two-term governor, knows how to painfully balance a budget and create jobs in a Rust Belt state. As a result, he’s had much media buzz speculating on whether he will or won’t run.

The Economist, in a recent profile, headlines that he has “the right stuff” for 2012.

Even though Daniels is not a charismatic media candidate, he has that “every man” ability to connect with voters. In 2008, he was re-elected with 58% of the vote, an 18-point margin, in a traditionally red state that turned Obama-blue.

Daniels is also a Washington player, having served as George W. Bush’s first Office of Management and Budget director until June of 2003.

He has conservative credentials and the Weekly Standard gifted him with a long glowing cover story in June. You can not help but like this man after you read it.

Governor Daniels is still “very watchable,” but it may only be in a supporting role.

For now, he doesn’t have the organization and fund-raising apparatus in place for a presidential race that unofficially begins on Nov 3.

Daniels is only flirting with the idea of running for president, and I believe he will decline, but not for lack of organization or funds.

It’s way more personal.

Governor Daniels and Governor Barbour are pals. Rumor has it they have had a conversation and the “deal” is only one of them runs for the top slot.

Gee, I wonder who that will be.

That rumor only strengthens my prediction that Daniels will end up in the #2 spot with Barbour at #1.

Sounds like good long-term planning for a VP pick, for there will be no embarrassing sound bites slamming each other in a debate.

It also gives Barbour one less car to pass on nomination highway.

Now since any governor-governor ticket would be perceived as light on foreign policy experience, Haley Barbour should ask General David Petraeus to retire and enlist his services as secretary of State. How could Petraeus resist walking in the footsteps of Generals George Marshall and Colin Powell, being the history buff that he is?

This governor-governor pairing especially brings desperately needed executive level managerial and budget balancing experience to the White House. There are skills Obama and Biden sorely lack. Between the two of them, they have never run a business, never balanced a budget, never met a payroll, and never created a job.

Perhaps that is why “Summer of Recovery” became the “Fall of Recovery,” with its backsliding economy and 61.3% of Americans believing this nation is on the wrong track.

Maybe the Barbour/Daniels ticket will finally hammer home the message that Americans loath to hear: our current budget and debt are unsustainable, and our very survival as a nation is a stake.

Not exactly a cheery 2012 bumper sticker, but one we all need to recognize as truth.

For this governor-governor ticket will be forced to run on an economic reality check, because all the hope and change along with “Recovery Summer” has slipped away.

Myra Adams is a media producer, writer and political observer, who served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign. Her columns have appeared on The Daily Caller and as a co-writer on The Daily Beast.