Newt Gingrich is Yesterday’s Man

 

Will the Dream Team be Benched?

Newt Gingrich was introduced at CPAC by Calista, who generously thanked the many kind Americans they have met on the campaign trail. When he came on stage to an excited crowd, it was clearly no 2009, when he had entered through the crowd to his signature “Eye of the Tiger.” Maybe it’s the effect of copyright denying him playing his tune, but it seemed to take Newt a while to get going.

His focus was on the economy, though if he’s going to present an economic plan to America he will have to find a better way than invoking the name of Reagan every two minutes. He recalled Reagan’s bold colors speech at CPAC, and recalled what he achieved, which liberals thought then was “unrealistic” but turned out so successful.

It was almost halfway through the 10 minute slot that he finally got the crowd going, when he sent Prime Minister Harper a message that Canada won’t need China in a Gingrich White House.

He joked that we can track Fedex parcels, but the government can’t track 11 million illegal immigrants. Newt offered his own innovative solution, to send 11 million parcels to immigrants and track them to find them.

Newt promised he intends to change Washington, not accommodate it, prompting this observer to ponder when he decided to stop accommodating DC, given his ultimate insider status. Really, his attacks on the Washington, Republican or political “establishment” rings hollow for this consummate DC schmoozer.

His schmoozing has led him to form his own “conservative dream team” to challenge his supposed bête noire establishment, and you can count how many failed presidential nominee candidates are in the line-up for yourself.

The speech in truth hit the two problems: the GOP will not win by trumpeting Reagan in favour of substance, and Gingrich will not convince many beyond his base that he is anything but an establishment man. In both cases, he simply comes across as yesterday’s man.

Who will bring us a bright tomorrow?

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A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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These Debates Could Be Game Changers

Come on.  We’ve heard these candidates in just over one million debates so far this year.  Another one?  Another two actually, this weekend leading up to the New Hampshire debates.  And these two debates could definitely wreak havoc on the standings going into New Hampshire.

Mitt Romney is the undisputed front runner.  Ron Paul and Rick Santorum fans at this point are dreaming if they think their candidates are on a solid trajectory to win.  Not winning Iowa should be a clear sign to heavily religious social conservatives like Bachmann, Perry, Santorum and Newt that getting past Romney is going to be nearly impossible with a crowded field.  Bachmann got the hint, and Perry almost did.  As for Ron Paul, maybe if he runs two more times he can win enough support to break out of his traditional 5-10% polling finish.  Look, he’s already doing better this year than last time, and last time he did better than the time before.  That was Ross Perot’s and Ralph Nader’s problems.  They quit trying too soon.

Back to Mitt Romney.  You know he is back on the punching bag hook tonight, a place he hasn’t been since the very first debates.  Santorum wants a piece of him, Newt wants a piece of him, Jon Huntsman finally qualified for another debate and you know he wants to take Romney down a peg.  I think Perry will try to just get through the night and might take a few shots at Santorum.  As far as the #1 conservative attack dog of other conservatives, Michele Bachmann will not be there tonight to claim that Perry is in bed with pharmaceutical companies,  Newt Gingrich is pro-partial birth abortion and the number one Freddie Mac adviser responsible for the economic collapse, and whatever she might cook up about Rick Santorum while mostly leaving Paul and Romney alone.  So I think Romney will be taking the hits and the other candidates can relax their guard a little bit.

Now, on to the x factor in debates.  Newt Gingrich was finished this summer after his campaign collapsed and he proved he was in the top 1% by buying his wife jewelry.  I mean how out of touch can you get.  But, he has climbed back into contention through powerful and commanding debate performances.  Just two weeks ago, Gingrich was the front runner.  The difference between Gingrich’s fall and other candidates falls is that their demises can be tied directly to debate performance.  Bachmann with her claims about HPV and other wild attacks on the candidates, Perry with his glaring gaffe, Cain who offered 999 and 999, oh yeah and 999.  It wasn’t enough substance to save him when scandal gave nervous supporters a reason to doubt.  Huntsman affirmed his global warming stance.

Gingrich hurt himself with his illegal immigration stance, but his downfall can be attributed to the harsh attacks he faced over the last two weeks from Romney’s friends, paid allies, and former foes.  Ron Paul also attacked Newt, not Romney, with harsh ads in Iowa.  Paul has probably done the same math I have, but mistakenly thinks he has a shot with Newt’s base over Romney’s.

The debates are ad free.  They are also friend free.  The only way Romney can attack another candidate tonight without attacking that candidate directly is to pay off the moderator or a fellow candidate.  On that stage, it is going to be Santorum’s “what smells” debate face versus Perry’s memory versus Huntsman’s out of touch moderate stances versus Paul’s old shaky finger wagging versus Romney’s slick hair and nice demeanor versus Newt’s heavy hitting and quick wit and ideas.

If these debates garner an audience, this is all upside for Newt, and downside for front runner Mitt Romney and social conservative front runner Rick Santorum.  In an instance of incredible luck for the candidates in this New Hampshire debate, the New England Patriots get this weekend of playoff action off.

Herman Cain Resurfaces with the Promise of an Unconventional Endorsement

Bookmark and Share   Moments ago, in a Fox News interview, Herman Cain resurfaced and shed some light on his future role in the 2012 presidential election.

Cain told viewers that he does not intend to endorse any candidate any time soon.  He states, “If I were to make an endorsement now, it might split the vote”.  He claims that in addition to not wanting to do that, he also does not want to do anything that prevents voters from remaining engaged in the process and educating themselves about candidates.

But the Herminator does promise to eventually issue what he called “an unconventional endorsement”.  He added that after running an unconventioanl campaign, an unconventional endorsement is only appropriate.

During the interview Cain admitted that in the end he will support whoever is the Republican nominee and as for his own political future he states that because of his accelerated age, he believes his biological clock will preclude any future run for president and he is not positioning himself for any future cabinet position.  However Cain did promise to remain active through his new political organization which is headquartered on the internet at The Cain Solutions website.

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Debunking Newt Mythology

Ok, hold on a minute.  Let’s talk about Newt.

The left has gone all in on Newt.  After three years of seeing that the Democrats have an empty hand with Obama, they have put all their chips on the table and dared us to run Newt.  And as usual, we are folding.  Same thing happened in 2008 when the left and the media scoffed at Mitt Romney and said that the only candidate who could ever beat their guy was John McCain.  Believe it or not, we listened.  For the smarter party, Republicans sure can be stupid.

Now the left is saying it will be a cake walk if we run Gingrich and the only serious candidate who can beat their guy is Romney, or maybe Huntsman, although they seem to have figured out that one is a hard sell.  So why are we listening again?  Ann Coulter came out slamming Newt and endorsing Romney.  George Will has attacked Newt Gingrich.  And what for?

Newt got $1.8 million from Freddie Mac.  Not really, it was actually Newt’s company.  But he did it by lobbying.  Well, again, no.  Newt did not lobby for Freddie Mac, but his company did provide consulting services to Freddie Mac.  Now, I am a businessman and a lot of what I do involves consulting.  Does that mean I can never run for President in case one of my clients does something bad someday despite my advice?  Maybe.

Let’s take it out of the business realm.  Pretend you own a garage and you fix cars.  If George Soros drives up and asks you to change the oil, will you turn him away?  Are you a liberal if you change his oil?  What about Bernie Madoff before he was caught?  Are you part of his illegal pyramid scheme because you changed his tires?

It would be one thing if Newt counseled Freddie Mac on how lose billions of dollars, get bailed out, and pay everyone huge bonuses.  But if you are looking for that smoking gun, you are looking at the wrong person.  Try Franklin Raines, Jamie Gaerlick, etc.  Enough with the guilt by association.  Newt did consulting for large businesses, and they paid his company rates that large, multi-billion dollar businesses pay for high level consulting.

Ok, but Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi.  Yes, he did.  He also had debates with Cuomo, Kerry and Sharpton.  Newt Gingrich is not going to implement cap and trade to prevent global warming.  That’s about as crazy as saying Mitt Romney is going to support partial birth abortion.  Seriously, you have my word that neither of those will happen.  Newt wasn’t endorsing Nancy Pelosi any more than Al Sharpton was endorsing Pat Robertson.  If Sarah Palin stood next to Michelle Obama and did a PSA saying its good for kids to have a healthy diet, would you suddenly think that Palin supports federal government takeover of school lunches? Newt has fought vigorously against cap and trade.

Well, what about Newt supporting a healthcare mandate?  When Hillary was pushing Hillarycare, which would take responsibility away from people, Newt signed on with the Heritage Foundation’s alternative that included an individual mandate. After researching it, Newt backed off that position.  He never implemented it for an entire state, or for anyone actually.  Newt is not going to implement a healthcare mandate on the entire country.  Guess what, neither is Romney.

In fact, let’s talk Romney for a minute.  Mitt Romney is pro-life.  He opposes gay marriage.  He makes Huntsman look like Hillary.  He supports tax cuts for the middle class and not raising taxes on employers and producers.  As much as Romney has been painted as the liberal in this bunch, he was the most conservative viable candidate in 2008 after Fred Thompson dropped out.  He may not be a card carrying TEA Party member, but he has said himself that he supports the TEA Party and shares all of their goals.  By the way, I never got a card either.  I really don’t think they issue them, even if Bachmann has one.

Why did Romney lose in 2008?  It all came down to two reasons.  Number one, Romney was not moderate enough to get the “independents”.  He was too conservative.  Only John McCain could beat the Democrat in 2008 by reaching across the aisle and not being so extreme.  Reason number two, the infamous time-table for withdrawal charge.  Romney said that when the time came to draw down the troops from Iraq, he supported a time-table for an orderly withdrawal.  His opponents turned that into Democrat style cut and run.  No matter how many times he tried to explain that was not what he believed, that became the mantra.

What about Rick Perry?  Why aren’t we going around saying that Rick Perry is going to implement cap and trade because years ago he was a Democrat working on the campaign of the future Nobel prize winner and global warming snake oil salesman, Al Gore?

The only person we have to actually worry about doing half the crazy stuff he’s been accused of thinking is Ron Paul!

So let’s not let people choose our candidate for us.  Research what you hear about candidates.  Just because George Will thinks you are too dumb to vote doesn’t make it so.  Each of the candidates left have some great ideas, and each one will do a far better job at running this country than the current President.  Did Cain have some foreign policy gaffes?  Shoot, the last three years have been an Obama foreign policy gaffe.

Part of this election cycle that Romney has skipped sofar has been the knife in the back from the right and the dare to run that candidate from the left.  Considering how well Newt is handling this complete onslaught from the right and left, wouldn’t you rather have him going up against Obama than the candidate that no one is vetting?  McCain got plenty of vetting after Romney dropped out in 2008.

This is not an endorsement of Newt.  I will make an endorsement of a candidate after the Jacksonville, Florida debate in January.  But this is a serious question to our party.  Why do we have to self destruct again?

Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review-12//4/11

Bookmark and Share ****Cain gone, Newt Ahead in Iowa, Coming in second: Ron Paul?? *****

With Cain gone, the field is looking more and more like Gingrich/Romney.  Meanwhile, liberal pundits and even some conservatives seem to be praying that Newt’s rise will be as long lived as Bachmann’s, Perry’s and Cain’s.  Is it really Santorum’s turn?  How about Ron Paul’s?

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Reaction To Herman Cain’s Decision To Suspend His Campaign

Bookmark and Share   Herman Cain’s poll numbers had fallen in to the single digits, so his withdrawal from the race for the Republican presidential nomination may not have any immediate and dramatic effect on the overall numbers for any of the other candidates.  It would seem that Newt Gingrich had already picked up the numbers that Cain lost.  But the remaining five to eight percent of Cain’s supporters have yet to pick a new team to side with.  Those staunch supporters will likely follow Herman Cain’s lead when he makes a promised endorsement of one of his rivals. 

But in the meantime, to say that those supporters are disappointed is an understatement.

Many of those who have come to support Herman Cain are a part of the newly reinvigorated civic minded group of individuals who come from the TEA movement.  They are people who had been turned off by politics and tuned it out.  Until President Obama tried to deliver on his promise to reform America.  Obama’s attempts to control every aspect of our lives from how much a private business can pay us, where a private business can do business, where we get our healthcare from and when we can get it, to the air that we breathe and the food that we eat, have alarmed these dissatisfied Americans so much that they came to realize that the direction our leaders try to take our nation in can not be ignored or allowed.

These people are not like politics and do not  like politicians.  They are reform minded and want dramatic changes in the process and policies of our federal government and they do not trust the establishment any more.

Then came Herman Cain.  An independent, successful businessman, who has challenged the establishment and tried to provide the solutions that the establishment can’t or won’t.

Between his fascinating and poignant personal story,  his oratory skills, homespun style, common sense thinking, and anti-establishmentarian tendencies, Cain captured the imaginations and hopes of these people.  And while he did not always rise to the occasion, he did offer the promise of a change from business as usual.  It helped him win the hearts and minds of many of these Americans and now that the Cain train was forced off the tracks, they are left angry at a process that dashed their hopes and they are left searching for a new leader to pin their hopes on. 

Immediate reaction to the Cain announcement seems to indicate that Cain’s support will continue to overwhelmingly go to Newt Gingrich. 

A sampling of the reactions to Cain development are expressed by messages sent to White and through white Hose 2012.  In an open letter that one Cain supporter, J.C. Stephens, sent to Mr. Cain through White House 2012, he writes;

I knew last night there was an update to come today about the campaign. The thought that you might stop your bid for the White House did cross my mind for a moment but I thought you would be able to fight through to the end.
I do understand and praise you for putting your wife and family first . I am however greatly saddened that you have made this decision.

I believe you are a man of character and just what we’ve needed for this country since Ronald Reagan.

I don’t know what more to say other than I hope you will return to the race for President and go on to the White House in 2012.

Sincerely,
J.C. Stephenson

Marji states to White House 2012 readers;

People…do you not remember..we had a President of the Unite States look the people in the eye and Lie, lie, lie….”I did not have……..”. The news did nothing…this man they are trying to put him on the cross. I wonder how much she got paid to ruin this man’s life. When are you going to wake-up!!! The news people are doing the voting for you so they can get the one in the White House now re-elected. Obama does not care for us or our country…he is selling us down the drain for pennies….Look..look at what is around him…the company he keeps!!! Wake-up and pray….the greatest country on earth and he hates it.

In another open letter to Herman Cain, Nina Flora writes;

Mr. Cain

I just want to express my deep concern for you, your wife and your family. I for one just do not believe the allegations and do hope you as you said recently get to the bottom of this. It is so sad that a person can say whatever they desire to defame a person’s character, hurt the family and just walk away with no proof. I always thought the person being accused had a right of confronting their accusers, I do also realize when in the position you were in that there is not time to do all this and “run for president” I am so very disappointed in our leaders “plural”. We have now people in our country in leadership who have no honesty, integrity, and loyalty to our loved country. I admire your desire to make some badly needed changes and do wish you all the best and our prayers.I know this was a plan to destroy you. You are in my prayers.

Nina  is now leaning towards Newt Gingrich but tells us she likes Rick Santorum because she thinks he is particularly honest   Nina says” I think Newt is very smart and actually does care for our country, he is a strong personality capable of standing up for us, his past does not bother me..if a person changes..they change and have a right to acceptance”  She adds ” but just wait , if he becomes the Republican candidate, they will crucify him just like Cain and Sarah Palin”  Nina goes on to tell us;

“I am sorry that Cain was maligned…but that is also part of the problem..just wait and see who is the upcoming candidate and see what liberals, MSNBC, CBS and all the liberal media do next to ruin them..These medias are simply evil and vindictive and want their “bosses” the liberals and all other anti-american entities to be in control.”

An appreciative Steve Moran of  California, shows some fighting spirit with some enthusiastic encouragement of Mr. Cain’s new mission;

Amen! Thank you for pressing forward Mr. Cain to represent “We the People” and to clear your good name. You are a true patriot and I pray that you are in the Cabinet of the new Republican administration in January 2013 to help to briskly cleanse Obama’s anti-constitutionial corruption, to eradicate his heretical socialist policies, and to, once again, restore America to the hill top so that her exceptional, unflickering shining light may unapologetically beam brightly for all the world to see in 2013, and for many generations to come. God bless and stay the course.

When asked where he will go from here Steve tells us he has has not yet decided who will now support but stated that is leaning towards Newt Gingrich because he is “largely aligned with Mr. Cain on the salient issues vital to the re-establishment of de facto conservatism in America.”  Mr. Moran also tells us that who Herman Cain endorses will totally influence who his vote goes to though.   “I value Mr. Cain’s opinion immensely, and his future endorsement will have a profound effect on the candidate that I support”, said Moran.

He adds “I had hoped that they [Gingrich and Cain] would run together as President and Vice President, with either in either position”

As for those who just a day ago were Herman Cain’s rivals for the nomination, reaction to the end of Cain’s campaign is somber in tone but filled with praise for the former presidential candidate.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson released the following statement;

“I have no doubt Herman Cain will remain a significant voice in the dialogue about the many important issues we face.  His rejection of business-as-usual in Washington has been a valuable part of this campaign,  and clearly resonates with a great many Americans.  I wish him the best.”

Newt Gingrich tweeted the following message;

“I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend and I know he will continue to be a powerful voice for years to come.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry stated;

“I know this was a difficult decision for Herman Cain, his family and his supporters. He helped invigorate conservative voters and our nation with a discussion of major tax reform. Anita and I wish him and his entire family all the best.”

Others like Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Jon Huntsman have also issued their well wishes and commended Herman Cain on what all agree was a job well done.  And a job well done it was.  One of his most significant accomplishments was his courage and ability to force the rest of the Republican to all agree on making tax reform a major staple of their campaigns and in turn a major issue on the American political agenda. 

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