Gingrich’s big, hollow win in Georgia

Many news outlets are reporting Gingrich’s win in Georgia’s Super Tuesday primary as distinct and expected. It was supposed to prelude Gingrich’s “March on The South.” However, at closer analysis, last night may have been the warm-salt watered gargle of the proverbial fat-lady singing for Gingrich’s bid for Presidency.

With Gingrich’s last win in South Carolina, the understood strategy seems to have been gathering strength in all Southern states and staying in the game. These states of the most concentrated number of delegates and will give any candidate more bang for their political buck. He was expected to win big in Georgia and polls projected Gingrich was surging in Tennessee as late as Monday. To be seen as a Southern victory, Gingrich would have needed to beat Romney in both states. He would also have needed to beat Romney by a high home-state percentage to obtain base support bragging rights. Instead, Gingrich lost Tennessee to Rick Santorum (he simply won’t step-aside as Gingrich suggested). Though this may not have been a death-blow, coming in behind Mitt Romney certain has to hurt. This indicates chinks in the Gingrich amour, even in Southern states. Under-performing in a state like Tennessee, a neighboring state to Georgia, suggests Gingrich will have a more difficult time than anticipated trekking through the South. He will have to fight against the ultra-conservative appeal of Santorum (from this point known as The Yankee) for the “anti-Romney” voters. If he performs this way in Mississippi and Alabama, that Yankee may destroy Gingrich’s campaign in the same way Sherman burned Atlanta. Santorum could rename his Southern campaigning “The Neo-Yankee March to the Sea.”

The bad news doesn’t stop there for Gingrich. Although he won Georgia’s primary, the less than spectacular results suggest he under-performed in that state as well. With 76 delegates up for grabs, he stated prior that he needed to win Georgia in order to maintain relevance. Since two nomadic candidates were competing in “home” states where they have held high-profile public office—Romney as former Governor of Massachusetts and Gingrich as former Congressman in Georgia— both were expected to win big (garner at least 50% of the vote or better) and gain momentum. This was especially important for Newt Gingrich as his campaign is marred by debt and could use a third wind. While Romney won decidedly  in Massachusetts by over 72%, Gingrich’s Georgia win was only 47.2%, less than the 50% needed to appear as a solid bet. In order to make Romney’s performance pitiful in Georgia, he needed to keep him below 20% overall and in most major voting congressional districts. Gingrich was unsuccessful. Romney obtained 25.9% on average (right on target). This allows him to take at least 13 delegates from the state. Gingrich walks away with 46. There are still 15 delegates unallocated. Based on elections reporting, Romney stands to gain a few more delegates, making this win in Georgia even more hollow for the former House Spea

The next Southern battles occur March 13 in Alabama and Mississippi. Based on the above results, these contest may just continue hammering the slow nail in Gingrich’s presidential-hopeful coffin.

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Limbaugh Apologizes; Can GOP Get Back On Message?

Moments ago, radio host Rush Limbaugh released a statement apologizing to co-ed law student and part-time women’s rights activist, Sandra Fluke. The talk show host caused an national uproar by labeling her a “slut” because of her congressional testimony requesting the government pay for her and others birth control. He also suggested she upload porn. In his brief statement, Limbaugh admits “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Limbaugh also scoffs at the absurdity of the nature of this discussion during such a crucial election cycle, stating “ if this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level”.

Many view this as a continued GOP attack against women. This has become a new battle cry for liberals offended by remarks from former Sen. Rick Santorum and others who have been said to speak irresponsibly and insensitively about women’s issues.

This denotes a  problem for the GOP.   The amount of women within the party, according to Gallup Poll, is down and has been trending this way for the last decade.  However, women are not being swayed by the Democratic party either.  The former female Republican is now opting to become an Independent. While the U.S. Population is 313,120,595 million, women account for 157 million. Thus, women are the majority. 85.4 million of these women are mothers and66.6 percent of female citizens have reported being registered to vote. This demographic is crucial to any party if they intend to make gains or seek national office majority. It is of great concern amongst many analyst that the Republican party is focusing on a new aged revival of social crusades and abandoning the message of economic reform that has been said to be both key and crucial to the 2012 election cycle.

Candidates tell Georgia to kiss their grits;CNN cancels Super Tuesday debate

Georgia is being bombarded by stump speeches, campaign fundraisers and rallies by the four leading GOP candidates Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul. No surprise, Georgia has a hefty 76 delegates at stake. The delegates will be divided according to the rules of the state GOP. Thus, there is something for everyone to gain in their fight for the hearts and minds of Georgia voters.

While all of the rallies and kumbaya politics sounds warm and fuzzy, this penchant for the positive seems to have left a bad taste in the mouths of GOP’ers around the state. Georgia will not be on these candidates’ minds as Romney, Santorum, and Paul have all formally declined appearing at the CNN Super Tuesday Debate to be held March 1 in Atlanta. These candidates appear to give the cold-shoulder to both Georgia and Ohio whose states actually have the largest delegate counts up for grabs Super Tuesday and partnered together for this event. With only Newt Gingrich on board, it seems this event will more than likely be canceled.

Should Georgia GOP’ers be offended? R.C. Hammer, a Gingrich spokesperson, tweeter this response earlier “@MittRomney spits in Georgia’s face and cancels Atlanta debate appearance. #CNN.” If this is indeed how it appears Georgia’s primary voters, they will have the chance to spit back Super Tuesday.

Do you think it is a smart move for any of the leading candidates to skip this debate? Have you heard enough and already know who you are voting for? We will know the answer in a few weeks.

GOP Leaders call for minority outreach from CPAC: Just fuzzy talk?

At this year’s CPAC convention, this popular gathering of conservative voices heard many battle cries. Within the battle cries for unity, there was, as Andrew Breitbart described, a “dog whistle” blown. It is a cry that has been heard before for several years. Leaders emphasized the need to extend grassroots outreach to minorities, particularly Blacks and Latinos.

According to the latest U. S. Census report, more than 50 million Hispanics call America home. This accounts for one-sixth of the total population. Blacks account for almost 12 percent of the population. In 11 key battleground voting areas, minority youth are now the majority—of which 17 percent are from mixed-race families. By2042, it is projected that the minority will be the majority. Yet, during the last decade of election cycles, the Republican votes have decreased by approximately 10 percent with Hispanics . Most strategist believe it will be impossible to compete in the 2012 Presidential election without at least 40 percent minority support based on these latest numbers. The voters’ demographic and Congressional districts are changing before our eyes.

These numbers could not have been more reflected than the 2008 Presidential election. Pew research indicated a 70/30 Hispanic voter split favoring the Democratic party for executive office and a 60/40 split for Congress. 95 percent of Black voters cast their ballots for Obama in 2008. These numbers should scare the GOP. Indeed, it has made them proactive. However, the result isn’t to connecting; it is fear-mongering. Granted, many of the fear-mongering can be attributed to fallacies spewed by the Democratic party about Republicans, but there has not been much done to set the record straight. To the White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, the tactic maybe to ignore these communities because they are not convinced they would vote straight Republican. While Democrats would convince you Republicans would go out of their way to halt the Black vote, the Republican response  has been to (seemingly)  not encourage it.  The Southern strategy, as some call it, has been lightly veiled in poorly coded verbiage throughout this election cycle. In large delegate states, it may be a detriment in the general election.

Other GOP leaders have decided to take a more direct approach by going into these communities and informing them of how Republican economic policies and core, conservative values mirror what works best in allowing those communities to thrive. The GOP has heard this message before time and again. Each election cycle, we hear much talk about what will be done to reach urban and minority voters. The key to outreach is allowing others to connect with your message. This requires identifiable, well-qualified faces in leadership positions. Though there are a few shell organizations here and there whose mission is to bridge this gap, the effectiveness of these organizations can be seen by the results (or, in this case, lack there of).

The success of these organizations are heavily contingent upon their leadership. The minority ambassadors for the Republicans to Hispanics are impressive. Marco Rubio appeals to a large and varied audience. Republican Presidential candidate,Mitt Romney’s family has a long history of missionary service within Latin America. The Latino National Republican Coalition also does direct, grassroots outreach and organizing for Hispanics around the country successfully.

On the other hand, some Black Republican Councils merely serve as networking events with other black conservatives. Often, the leaders are jockeying for appointed positions within the party and take no true interest in outreach initiatives. It is merely another affiliation to place on their resume. Instead, they safely preach to the choir. They seemingly care more to safeguard their perceived status. Outreach and membership growth is not a priority.

The GOP ambassadors to the black community leave much to be desired. Black conservatism has risen by at least 10 percent from 2004 to 2008. By many accounts, the numbers may be far greater. However, minstrel politics with Amos and Andy style shucking and jiving for the very audience, (conservative WASPS) who will already vote Republican creates myths and deep disdain from black voters. While the black experience is not one unified experience, the Black community would appreciate being approach with respect. Instead, Blacks see polarizing figures who come across as if they are completely disconnected from Black American culture and the Black American voter. This is not about using The King’s English or dressing properly. This is about having a person look at you, hear what you say and try to connect with you on a human level. With GOP Black ambassadors, this is a missing ingredient.The GOP continues to present the “untouchable overachiever”.  The reason why Obama did so well with everyone, not just the black community, is because he is the seen as the “brotha done good.”  He is portrayed as the smart guy who cares about all people.  It is difficult to see where any of the high-profile Black Republican ambassadors have this same urban appeal with a conservative twist.

Will the GOP FINALLY listen? Will the GOP truly do the work necessary to empower all communities by simply doing the grassroots outreach work? Ironically, some have done so and it isn’t from where one might expect. The Tea party, after having voted in the highest number of black representatives into Congress since reconstruction, has openly put forth a strategy for minority outreach. These events will occur in places such as Texas,  Atlanta and Virginia in the coming months. Often accused of racism, The Tea Party is actually quite diverse. There is not just one Tea Party, with one message. They have many messages. Those messages go beyond race and ethnicity. The one that resonates with most is taxation and economic policy. In most cases, The Tea Party recognizes that the face and brand of the party needs to be re-tooled if the values they hold dear are to survive in a political environment. If all factions the GOP are not on one accord and truly perform minority outreach, we will read about this crucial time in books published years later and realize we watched the demise of the Republican Party.

Obama ruled eligible to be President by Federal Judge

The expected decision by Federal Judge Malihi to determine whether or not President Obama would be eligible as a candidate on the Georgia ballot has been released to the public.  Judge Malihi has ruled in favor of Obama and he will be on the Georgia ballot.

Clich here to read the final decision.

Transcripts released from Obama Georgia ballot eligibility case, decision expected soon.

The transcripts of the Powell, Swensson and Allen vs Obama case are now available to the public (click transcripts” to view).  This case was heard in a Federal Circuit Court in Atlanta last week.  All arguments were heard, though President Barack Obama and his representing attorney were not present at the hearing.

Based on the ruling, Obama may be kept of off the Georgia ballot.  Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, informed Obama’s attorney via letter (click “letter” to view) that he would proceed based upon the court’s ruling and the boycotting the court appearance is done “at your own peril.”

Do you think the burden of proof has been met my the plaintiffs?

The default judgment is expected to be released before February 4, 2012.

Democrats face dilemma as Obama may be kept off the ballot in Georgia

  Bookmark and Share   President Barack Obama’s Georgia supporters may be disappointed come election day.  Five men challenged Obama’s eligibility to be a presidential candidate on the Georgia ballot arguing he is not a “natural-born citizen.”  This has been the stance of those now called “birthers” since former democratic presidential candidate and now secretary of the state, Hillary Clinton, brought forth the issue in 2008. Former Congressman and current Georgia Governor, Republican Nathan Deal, was notably outspoken in questioning Obama’s birth eligibility.  December 10, 2009, a letter arrived at the White House impugning Obama’s eligibility to be president from Deal.  GOP Presidential teaser Donald Trump also jumped on the birther bandwagon in 2011.  When Obama finally produced a birth certificate, many thought this case was closed.

David Weldon, Kevin Powell and Carl Swinson are a few of the plaintiffs who, with the help of The Liberty Legal Foundation, have successfully challenged Obama’s eligibility.  Obama filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.  This motion was challenged by The Liberty Legal Foundation.  The motion to dismiss was denied by Judge Malihi.  All parties are ordered to appear in Federal Court on January 26th at 9 am.

The Liberty Legal Foundation states this is a bold step because “this ruling ensures that the Georgia court will be the first court to address the substantive Constitutional issue of eligibility.  All other courts that have heard challenges to Obama’s Constitutional qualifications to hold office have refused to address the substantive issue and have dismissed on procedural grounds.”

The ramifications of this court possibly ruling against Obama and keeping him of the Georgia ballot would be significant.  For Georgian democratic candidates, it may leave them stranded.  Voter apathy may increase and turn the democratic base completely off from the election process.  Voter turn-out is crucial for democratic candidates.  Voter turn out tends to be higher in presidential elections than in non-presidential election cycles.  If voters believe they are not able to vote for their presidential candidate, they may not show up to the polls. This would improve the chances of an already republican stronghold to become a republican superpower.

Although Obama certainly does not need Georgia to be re-elected, not having an incumbent president on he election ballot may give democrats the rallying cry they have been hoping for to galvanize support and overtake local, state and congressional majorities.  Calls of disenfranchisement and discrimination could unite supporters and revive leadership and increase democratic presence in state and local legislature.

The hearing is open to the public.  The location is the Justice Center Building, 160 Pryor St, Atlanta, GA Courtroom G40 on the ground floor.

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