Is It Too Late?

Some very wise political analysts wrote that things have changed since 1992 when Bill Clinton got into the race late and managed to win. The need to build a national campaign network, raise money and meet the demands of 24/7 campaigning without making a single mistake are hurdles that put late joiners at a serious disadvantage. Mitt Romney has been raising money, performing in debates, bringing in endorsements and satisfying local political committees necessary for the early primaries. He can do it because he has a network in place to do most of the work for him, leaving him free to focus on interviews, debate prep and meeting with the big donors. Gov. Perry, as a relative late-comer, is floundering by comparison. The overwhelming demands on his time in places he has no network and from people with whom he has no intermediaries have strained his ability to focus on improving his debate abilities. His big lead has slumped and he is at risk of simply fading away. By the time he gets a full national campaign in place, his mistakes may have made him irrelevant. Soon Herman Cain will face the same problems. These were the reasons various pundits said Christie should definitely not get into the race. It was too late, even if he had changed his mind.

But is it too late? Being in early and ahead in the polls is no guarantee of success. The pages of campaign history are littered with the failed campaigns of big names, with national support and early planning. Perhaps the right question is not whether it is too late, but rather is it too soon? It is clearly too late to get into the race and compete against the established campaigns. There is not enough time to get a national campaign up and running effectively between now and the early primaries while simultaneously engaging in frequent televised debates. But, that doesn’t mean it is too late to get into the race at all. It just means it is too early to be a late entrant.

Look at the poll numbers Perry pulled in just due to hype. Christie saw the same, although he ended up not running. Cain made one great debate appearance and his numbers shot up. However, Perry and Cain now have to find a way to sustain that popularity for months before it can translate into votes. Just ask Michele Bachmann how that straw poll victory is treating her now. Frankly, getting in early opens the door to constant attacks by a vengeful media and the inevitable mistake that will get blown out of proportion just to have a news story to report. Romney and Paul are somewhat immune to these problems because they were already attacked in the last election and there just isn’t much new to attack them with. Their names are already out there and they have a base of support in place, so they don’t need the big performance to gain a position in the rankings. They just need to not trip over themselves and wait it out until the primaries get closer and they start spending the piles of money they built up. Everyone else has an uphill battle and has as much to fear from sudden success as from a major mistake.

With so many primaries happening so close together and so early in the year, a late entrant could ride the newcomer media hype to a handful of early victories. Then, by absorbing the staff and network of candidates who are forced to drop out, basically walk into a national campaign with enough time remaining to still effectively raise funds for the general election in November. This would not work for just any random candidate, but there are some big names who stayed out who have the skills, policy knowledge and connections to pull it off if they time it right. A December entry could steal the nomination.

I’m not saying that is what should happen, will happen or would be desirable. It is just that the old logic that there is a time after which a new campaign cannot succeed is very likely no longer valid. Like it or not, the media does manipulate public opinion in elections. Playing the media against itself may be a better strategy than traditional campaigning. After all, then Sen. Obama had nothing to offer on policy or experience, but the media carried him to victory. The media may be generally against conservatives, but they just can’t help themselves from hyping anyone new. Even if the hype is full of negatives, it raises the recognition of that candidate and usually results in a rise in the polls – at least until the hype dies down or the candidate withers under the spotlight.

A well-timed late entrant would face significant challenges, but could play the media hype into a surge in the polls just in time for it to translate into real votes. I’m sure Rick Perry wishes the early primaries had been in August when he was the talk of the town. Had they been, he’d probably be in this against Romney alone instead of falling back into a still crowded pack. The lack of consensus on a candidate and the infighting between them during the debates could be justification enough for one of the big names that decided not to run many months ago (when Obama looked stronger) to reconsider and come in to ‘unify the party against Obama’. While such an entry would never work if it came this month or in November, it could potentially play in December – especially if the field doesn’t slim down between now and then.

Second Thoughts?Who could pull off this last minute capture of the early primaries and the nomination? There are two that immediately come to mind: Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels. Conversely, two names that couldn’t pull it off are Sarah Palin and Chris Christie. They both bowed out too recently to change their minds so soon. Barbour and Daniels could be ‘drafted’ back in if they plan such an effort. They are not the only ones, but the ones with the best name recognition (Daniels) and existing connections (Barbour) to generate the necessary media hype and channel it into sudden victories. With the voters still divided, no real excitement for the ‘inevitable candidate’ and a compressed primary schedule, there may never be a better time than December to capture the race without having to face the withering pressure of public scrutiny of every minor decision they ever made. With so many of the big names that got out early still sitting silently and not endorsing anyone, one has to wonder if they are pondering the same thing I am. But, only one could pull it off. If two jumped in, they would both lose. If Barbour and Daniels go to dinner, Romney should start to worry.

“You’ve Got Mail”. Chris Christie Fundraising Email For Romney Hits

Bookmark and Share    Hours after winning one of the more coveted endorsements that a Republican candidate for President can get, the campaign of Mitt Romney has fired oof persoanalized emails to an extensive list of supporters and potential supporters [see the email below this post].

The email makes a direct appeal for voters to support the Romney campaign with a financial donation. 

In his message, Chrsitie focusses on the economy and credits Mitt Romney as the presidential candiate who can fundamentally change the economy and reverse the past three years of the Obama policies that have failed us.

Support Mitt Romney

Anthony,

This is the most important election in generations. Whether we are able to fix our economy and
get our country on the right track will have ramifications for decades. We cannot afford to continue on our current path.

Mitt Romney has a life history of coming into struggling organizations and turning them around. Right
now, we need someone like him in the White House to fundamentally change our economy and reverse three years of failed policies. Unlike our current President, Mitt Romney understands the economy from the inside out.

Chris Christie stands with Mitt

Fixing the economy will not be easy, but Mitt has shown throughout his life that he has the leadership ability and expertise to lead our country toward a recovery.  Republicans should recognize the importance of this election and realize that if they are serious about regaining the White House, Mitt Romney is the only candidate to back.

I hope you’ll join me and stand with Mitt today http://mittromney.com/donate

Best,
Chris Christie

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View Chris Christie Announcing His Endorsement of Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share   In advance of tonight’s Washington Post-Bloomberg TV Republican presidential debate on economic issues, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie traveled to New Hampshire to appear with Governor Romney and announce that he was endorsing Romney for President. [See video and transcript below]

“I’m here in New Hampshire today for one simple reason: America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead American, and we need him now. So that’s why I’m here.

If you look at Governor Romney’s experience — his experience in the private sector, running businesses, turning them around, going in there and telling the people the truth about what needed to be done, and then coming up with a plan to get it done, and you look at his experience as an elected official, we know that he brings the best of both to what we need for America right now.

He brings that great, private sector experience and he brings the experience of governor of Massachusetts, knowing how government works. Not a legislator, trying to figure out how to use executive power, but an executive who’s used executive power and will use it to make Americans’ lives better.

That’s why I’m endorsing Mitt Romney for president of the United States.”

Click here for an analysis of what was behind Christie’s endorsement and what it will mean in the presidential election.

Meanwhile, less than hour after the endorsement was passed on to the public, Romney’s campaign organization did not miss beat as they promptly posted the following page on the Romney for President website;

Click on the image to see a larger version of it

It is a whopping request to join Chris Christie in supporting Mitt by making a donation to his campaign.  Clearly, as was indicated by WH12 in a previous post, Christie’s endorsement does more than just help firm up Romney’s frontrunner status, it is worth a ton of money too.

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Chris Christie Endorses Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has just landed the first jewel in the Quadruple Crown of Republican endorsements.

One week after declaring that he is definitely not running for President in 2012, it has been revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be endorsing Mitt later today at an event in New Hampshire.

This announcement comes a day after Romney received the endorsements of former senators Judd Gregg Of New Hampshire and Mel Martinez of Florida.  Both men have significant influence with different critical voting blocs within the respective states.  But Chris Christie’s endorsement goes far beyond any one state.  In fact, it may ironically have little bearing on the nomination in Christie’s own state of New Jersey, where the Republican presidential primary is held in June and is one of the very last primaries contests to be held.  But Christie’s endorsement is likely to have a big effect in the Northeast and beyond.

Many Republicans have become enamored with Christie because of his relatively fiscal conservative policies, willingness to take on unions, and most of all, because of his refreshingly open, honest, and blunt political dialogue.  That bluntness has allowed many Republicans and Independents to trust Christie as a political leader who says what he means and means what he says.  Such a perception will go quite far with many voters if they hear Christie offering high praise of Romney and see him committing himself to Romney’s candidacy.

Christie’s endorsement will not only give Romney an overall image boost, it will also open up a new channel of money that will flow right into his campaign treasury.  Many big donors who have had been urging Christie to run for President have been keeping their powder dry, but now with their man behind Romney, their money will also soon back him.

The most surprising thing  about this announcement is not that Christie endorsed Romney.

Romney provided Christie with a great deal of support during his 2009 race for Governor.  On top of that, the next Republican U.S. Senate nominee from New Jersey is likely to be a state senator named Jope Kyrillos.  Kyrillos is a good friend of Christie’s and was his 2009 campaign chairman.  In 2008, Kyrillos was also the New Jersey state chairman of  Mitt Romney’spresidential campaign.  So the ties to Romney and Chrsitie are many and tight.  The really surprise here was that the announcement came so soon.  While it took Christie many, many months to be sure about his own presidential candidacy,  he apparently did not find it hard to decide that Romney was the right man for job.  But the decision to make the endorsement public now, was probably more Romney’s than Christie’s.  It signals Romney’s awareness of the fact that if he does not consolidate his support early and rack up early victories, he risks losing the Republican nomination if it remains too competitive for too long.

With Christie’s endorsement in hand, the next important jewel in the Republican Quadruple Crown of endorsements will come from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who’s early state primary is a critical prelude to Florida and the South.  A win in South Carolina,be fatal to some candidates and  would expedite Romney’s road to the White House.  Haley has recently gone out of her way to state that she will be endorsing a businessman for President.  That could mean Mitt Romney or Herman Cain.  But it’s important to remember that as he was for Christie, Mitt was a big help to Nikki Haley in her run for Governor last year.

Then there is Florida’s Marco Rubio.

Like Nikki Haley, Rubio is a darling of the TEA movement, but he is considered everyone’s number one choice for Vice President.  If possible, President Obama would even dump ol’ Joe and put Rubio on the ticket as his number two man.  Rubio is seen as a bright, level headed political leader, with solid conservative credentials and with his Cuban background, has the ability to open doors for the Republican Party to the Hispanic community.  And Florida is also an important, delegate rich state that by winning, would make Romney a clear early frontrunner for the G.o.P. presidential nomination.

The fourth and in may ways one of the most important jewels in this endorsement crown is Sarah Palin.

Her endorsement will force anti-establishment and Tea movement activists to at least reconsider their support of Romney.  Many have been unwilling to do so because of his Massachusetts healthcare plan.  But with Sarah Palin’s seal of approval, many of those skeptical of Romney will at least have some cover when it comes to voting for Romney.

Other important endorsements of note for various specific reasons,  include Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Haley Barbour.Bookmark and Share

The Field Is Set: And Herman Cain Could Win

Sarah Palin has now announced she will not be running.  It appears the 2012 GOP Primary is ready to kick off.  So you heard it here first: barring a major disqualifying gaffe, Herman Cain will win the 2012 primary.  Here’s why.

Cain passes on the right to pull even with Romney

Ok, seriously.  No one knows at this point how this  is going to go down.  Candidates surge and fall, as Rick Perry has proven.  I don’t really know that Herman Cain is going to win the primary.  But he does have a clear path to victory.  Right now it is his race to give up.

But wait, isn’t Romney leading the polls??  Yes, but as I pointed out in my last blog Romney’s majority is an illusion caused by a split vote among social, TEA party candidates.  As Perry continues to fade and Cain continues to pick up his supporters, you will see more polls like the most recent CBS poll that shows Cain and Romney tied.  Perry’s demise is all upside for Cain while Romney maintains his solid base of support.

So why Cain?  Why didn’t Bachmann, Gingrich, or Santorum gain any momentum from Perry’s fall?  Perry dropped 11 points in this CBS poll while Cain jumped 12 points.  Gingrich and Santorum both got small bumps, but are still considered unelectable and still cannot shake their baggage from the last 20 years.  Santorum continues to come across as an unelectable champion of family values with a support base that loves what he says and believes but won’t vote for him because they’d rather have Obama gone than lose with the most socially conservative candidate on the stage.  For Gingrich, conservatives have already written the USA Today, Time Magazine and New York Times headlines in their heads about his failed marriages, hypocrisy in the Clinton impeachment, global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, and other things from his decades in the spotlight.

Bachmann, with a relatively small public history, is a different story.  Although her message, naivete on some issues, and ability to stir a TEA party crowd mirror Herman Cain, she somehow comes across differently.   While Herman Cain gets away with announcing that no future President will raise the rates on his 999 plan, Bachmann promises $2 a gallon gas and becomes the laughing stock of the mainstream media and even conservatives.  Bachmann tells stories of raising her kids and foster kids and is seen as homely and amateurish.  Cain tells stories of him and his brother sneaking drinks from the Whites Only drinking fountain as kids and the story simply tugs at anyone’s heart strings.  Bachmann embellishes Perry’s Merck connection and the potential health risks of the HPV vaccine and the media drags her through the coals on it.  The media tried to make hay out of Cain’s comment about blacks being brainwashed into voting Democratic and the story was dead on arrival.

Perhaps the greatest difference that speaks to American hearts is that Cain is not bitter or angry.  Yes, he is the first to tell us that Obama’s policies are destroying the country.  But he does it with an air of policy sincerity, not partisan gamesmanship.  Cain doesn’t seem to have a racist bone in his body, to the extent that some Democrats seem to think he is racist against blacks.  Cain simply comes across as a successful American who believes in America and in every American’s ability to become whatever they want to be.  Cain brings back with sincerity something that politicians have been falsely touting for years: a sincere belief in the American dream and the ability of Americans to achieve it.  His simple, Reaganesque faith in the American people and freedom will be enough to preserve his seat as the top social conservative.  As other social conservatives call it quits, Cain will continue to swallow up their supporters and surpass Romney.

Just a month ago Cain was barely on the radar.  With Perry’s self-destruction and the Florida straw poll, Cain now has the potential momentum to carry him through.  The key will be surviving early Romney primary wins until the race narrows to just Cain and Romney.  From there he can coast to GOP victory.

Watch Video of Chris Christie’s Full Press Conference Reaffirming He Won’t Run. Positive Public Reaction Results From It.

Click Here To See The Press Conference

Bookmark and Share  In what was a press conference regarding a 2012 run for President, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively answered that he is not running.  Christie stated that due to the numerous requests that he seek the Republican nomination for President, he did in fact reconsider his earlier decision not to run.  In questions asked after the Governor’s statement, he did reveal that the reconsideration process was already going on last week, prior to his giving a speech at the Reagan library.  The Governor said that the inundation of legitimate requests from people inside and outside of politics forced even his wife to believe that they must reconsider his previous decision.  In one instance, Christie told the assembled audience about a Federal Express delivery that came to his children at his home address.   The package was an appeal to them from a farmer in Nebraska who urged the Christie kids to sit down with their father and tell him that it was okay to dedicate himself to a run for President because our nation needed him.  The appeal stated that by doing so, his children would go down in history for their actions that led their father to run for President.

Christie made clear that the decision was his and his alone.  Members of his family had approved of a decision to run, but left the decision to him.  In the end Christie said he decided against running because he just does not feel that the time is right.  He added that he made a promise to the people of New Jersey to stay here and clean up the mess they are in and that is what he intends to do.

“The people of New Jersey elected me to do a job and I am just not ready to walk away”,  said Chrsitie.

According to the Governor, he just did not see any condition which made him feel right about leaving office as Governor of New Jersey.  He confirmed that he made his final decision last night, before going to bed .

When asked by a reporter if his decision had anything to do with some publications indicating that he was not as conservative as some believe, the Governor stated that it had no influence on his final decision.  He said that if anything, once he saw the knives come out and that people were aiming for him, he knew he could win, so that had nothing.

Christie also indicated that he saw a great deal of irresponsible coverage on whether or not he was running.  He stated that there were many things reported as news which were and could only have been speculation.  Whether or not this puts an end to such speculation remains to be seen.

While reaction to Christie’s final decision did bring about some public disappointment, it also seemed to have met with widespread understanding, approval,l and respect.  In a LiveStream/Facebook chat room that was conducted during a live broadcast of the Christie speech, John Mandler of New City, NY wrote,

 “NJ needed him to stay, and he needed to stay to keep faith with those of us who elected him in 2009. He is a greater man for staying the course.”

Other comments from people outside of New Jersey included;

Brandon Riggins, Columbus, OH……

“He’s going to finish up his term as governor, and for that he has earned (even more) of my greatest respect.”

Daniel Casey, Southbridge, MA……

“It sounds like he thought about it seriously and ended up doing the right thing. I respect him even more.”

Jon Maxwell of  Rockwall, Texas put the onus on New Jerseyans and suggested it was up to them to urge Christie run when he wrote…

“Can he serve NJ better by serving as President and helping the nation as a whole, or better as Governor? It’s up to you, NJ.”  

Reaction in New Jersey was also positive but Valerie Brooks-Klein of Trenton, NJ, concurred with Jon Maxwell and wrote,

“I think he needs to serve the entire country. NJ would benefit as well as the rest of the country.  Its time for us to share him.”

Other New Jersey residents were not sas generous as Valerie was when it comes to sharing Chrsitie;

Tammy Case,Red Bank, NJ……

“I respect Governor Christie’s decision to stay in NJ and accomplish the goal he set out to complete.  Once this is done then we can share him..An honest dedicated Politician how often do we get one of those. Amazing Governor.”    

Joani Boucher, Edison, NJ……

“While I believe Gov Christie would make a great President, I’m so glad he’s going to stick around and clean up the mess made by the former Governor’s of NJ.” 

And then there was this was Robert Frank Koscinski of Colonia, NJ……

“We do have the coolest Governor!!!”

At one point during the presser, a string of questions about Christie’s weight were raised by reporters in the context of how much of factor it would have been in the presidential race and in regards to columnists who wrote that his weight would be a problem if he ran for President.  To that Chrisite replied that those who wrote such things know nothing about politics.

For those who do believe his weight would be a problem, as a New Jerseyan, I have just one thing to say.  He ain’t heavy.  he’s my Governor.

If you’re only in your twenties, you may not get that but for those of you who have  been around long enough to know but not too long to be unable to remember, I refer you to the  popular music ballad, “He Ain’t Heavy.  He’s My Brother”, written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song went on to become a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970.

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Will He or Won’t He? See Chris Christie’s 1:00pm Presser Here, Live

Chris Christie - Caricature
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Bookmark and Share   All indications are that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie meant what he said in his repeated claims that he is not running for President.  However; a mainstream media that has been anxious to try to downplay the existing field of candidiates, has continued to add hype to a potential run for President by Christie.

Now today, Governor Christie will be holding a press conference that he has hastily announced for 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, outside of his office [see image link below].  Contrary to previous reports by some publications which use to be seen as reliable, the press conference is not to be held amid a backdrop of Chrisitie’s biggest financial donors and it is not being held on Thursday.

This afternoon’s presser is likely to offer a blunt talking Governor who will reiterate his countless other statements denying that he is running for President in 2012.  No matter what though, Chris Christie holds the most entertaining press conferneces of any contemporary politician and will be worth your while to watch.  I suspect that among other things, Chrsitie will make the media look foolish.  And rightfully so.

In case no one else has noticed, this ongoingf story about Christie running for President has been been treated with all the journalistic integrity of a National Enquirer covering the alien abduction of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton by little green men.  There have been more unnamed sources regarding Chrsitie’s run for President, than there are names in a small town’s phonebook.  Yet that did not stop the reports that Chrsitie is the next big name to throw his hat in to the presidential  ring.

I suspect that today, there will be more reason to believe that Chrsitie isn’tr running, but at the same time, the story will still have legs as over the next few days we see reports about all the reasons why Chrsitie isn’t running, true and false alike.

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Click Here To View The Presser Live

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