Newt’s Ex…So What?

Am I crazy?  Maybe.  But I don’t think the Marianne Gingrich affair will end up materially changing this race.  If you remember, I wrote earlier this week about campaign fatigue.  It is January, not last July.  Nobody woke up this morning and discovered that Gingrich is in his third marriage.  So what do voters think when Newt’s bitter ex-wife decides to tell all to the media with the goal of ending his candidacy?

We saw a signal from the audience in the CNN debate when John King decided that was the number one issue Americans are concerned about and made it his top topic for the candidates.

Honestly, serious voters who are going to raise money, go to the polls, get friends out to the polls, are too busy living their own lives to watch the mainstream news media deteriorate to a level previously occupied by TMZ and Inside Edition.  Even CNN admitted that Gingrich won the debate simply based on his response to the first question.  I think even CNN realized just how stupid a question that was.

Oh, and Herman Cain, if you were watching that debate from home…That’s how it’s done.

Take the Ron Paul quiz

Ron Paul is suddenly looking like a potential runner up in Iowa.  Supporters are hoping that this is his turn to rise to the top.  Paul is a constitutionalist, he is consistent, and a lot of what he says makes sense.  But what does Ron Paul say?  What are his policy stances beyond legalizing drugs, opening the border, bringing the troops home, and eliminating the department of education?  Take the Ron Paul quiz and find out what you really know about this potential runner up in Iowa.  No cheating, no googling, no going to his website.  Here you go:

Ron Paul on taxes:

A. Fairtax, get rid of the IRS!

B. Flat Tax, replace the current system

C. Modify current system, but keep a progressive tax

D. No changes

E. Other

Ron Paul on Abortion:

A. Make all abortion illegal

B. All abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother

C. Keep abortion legal and accessable

D. Let the states decide if abortion should be legal, but keep it legal on a federal level

E. Other

Ron Paul on Gay Marriage:

A. Thinks gay marriage should be completely legal

B. Let the states decide who can get married

C. Supports DOMA, but would not take further action if the courts overturn it

D. Supports constitutional amendment to define marriage

E. Other

Ron Paul’s family history:

A. Been divorced multiple times

B. Never been married

C. Successful marriage and family

D. Troubled marriage with affairs

E. Other

Why is Ron Paul wealthy? Check all that apply:

A. Years as a doctor (also opposes Obamacare)

B. Years as a congressman (while supporting term limits)

C. Consulting for large Wall Street firms (including lobbying)

D. Large portfolio in gold and mining stocks (and supports gold standard and mining earmarks)

E. Kickbacks and bribes (especially from bailed out companies)

Ron Paul on earmarks and pork:

A. Opposes all earmarks and pork barrel spending

B. Supports earmarks as part of the process but does not use them

C. Supports earmarks and has “brought home the bacon” in his district

D. Supports only necessary earmarks to prevent committees from making those choices

E. Other

Ron Paul on Entitlements:

A. End Social Security and Medicare

B. Social Security and Medicare are government promises, leave them alone

C. Private accounts and state block grants

D. Optional private accounts, leave Medicare alone

E. Other

Ron Paul on Healthcare:

A. Status quo

B. Repeal Obamacare and let states decide, anything from Massachusetts style to any other state

C. Expand HSA accounts and allow insurance purchases across state lines

D. Individuals must buy insurance or pay for care received

E. Other

Ron Paul on Energy:

A. Drill here, drill now

B. All of the above approach

C. Pursue green energy, eliminate fossil fuels

D. Tax subsidies for green energy, eliminate the EPA

E. Other

Ok, you took the quiz.  Now do the research.  If Ron Paul becomes the next front runner, he is going to be vetted.  One of the reasons Newt hasn’t crashed and burned yet despite the onslaught from all sides is because he has put all his flaws on the table, admitted his stupid mistakes, explained where his ideas have changed and why, and has been open about what he believes, even when it means taking the heat.  The reason Romney has not crashed and burned is because he has successfully argued why he would not take the Massachusetts mandate to DC.  On the other hand, Cain fell flat on his face because of accusations that came out of nowhere, a flawed 999 plan, and stumbles on foreign policy.

Paul has not been vetted.  Until now, no one took him seriously.  If he is your guy and you want him to win, or you are rightfully taking a second look at him, now you know if you actually know what he stands for.

Bachmann’s Gamble

Michele Bachmann believes she is the best candidate for the job.  She should, she’s running.  However, unlike the two front runners, Bachmann has chosen not to differentiate herself based on ideas, but instead to attack the front runners as being more liberal as she is.  Her most recent target is Newt Gingrich, but she can also be traced to the fall of Rick Perry.

The two front runners, and Herman Cain, have done a very good job of not attacking other candidates.  The “attacks” between Romney and Gingrich over the last week have amounted to points scored on differentiation in back ground and complementary assessments of each others abilities with subtle hints as to who is better because of it.

So why does Bachmann think that attacking the other GOP candidates is a winning proposition?  Simply put, she does not believe Barack Obama can win.  In Bachmann’s mind, the GOP candidate could be Tom DeLay and Obama would still lose.  Technically, she should be right.

The administration got the best news it’s had in three years this past week.  Enough people dropped out of the job hunt to join Occupy Wall Street that unemployment (which only measures who is looking for a job) fell to 8.6%.  Now, Obama’s justice department has released a new round of incriminating documents on a Friday night to avoid the media cycle and Obama is skipping town for an extended Christmas/New Years vacation that us working schlubs could only dream of.

But Bachmann’s faith in Republicans’ will to vote for the lesser of two evils is unfounded.  Just look at how quickly Republican supporters are backing off of Cain after the most recent affair allegation.  Sure some of it is fears over electability, some of it is dislike for his 999 plan and foreign policy, but a good portion of it is different standards.  It’s the kinds of standards that make Republicans resign for tapping their toes in the men’s room while Democrats can shove a cigar in their young intern’s….well anyway.

Bachmann’s gamble is that since Obama is going to lose anyway, Republicans need to take this glorious opportunity to choose the best candidate for the job (Michele Bachmann) and not settle for a RINO (Mitt Romney), a crony capitalist (Rick Perry), or a flip flopping environmentalist (Newt Gingrich).  Instead, we should choose the TEA Party image of perfect conservatism, the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan mixed with Sarah Palin: Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann seems to think her negativity will make her be the first candidate to be a front runner, lose it all and end up in 5%ville, and then rise from the ashes a second time.  She needs to be careful that it won’t accomplish that for Obama instead.

Cain’s Area 51 Response to Tabloid Reporting

Herman Cain may not be able to salvage his campaign after issuing a notice that he is reconsidering his run.  Nothing says you have skeletons in your closet more than jumping in front of the closet door and shouting “Ok, I’m done!” when people get close to it.  And it’s truly a shame.  Whether or not the accusations are legitimate, so far there is no credible evidence that they are.

Ginger White adds to the list of financially troubled, gold digging, sue happy women from Cain’s corporate past who have been bankrupt, sued their work place for frivolous sexual harassment claims, and of course have failed to provide any evidence of the alleged misconduct.  Her husband said her claims “wouldn’t surprise me, either way”.  If you’ve worked in the corporate world, haven’t you known that person that you decided right away you better leave your office door open when he or she comes in to protect yourself?

The mountain of accusations has come down to one woman, without even a hotel receipt to show for it, claiming that Cain grabbed her crotch in a car while taking her back to her room, one woman who claims Cain dared say she was as tall as his wife, and a woman with no money and several eviction notices who Cain thought was a friend, but who also has had about a month now of hearing why the other accusers might be financially motivated because of book deals.  I mean, imagine how much she could sell her autographed book she got form Cain that says something about friends being friends forever and everything else being bonuses?  We all know what that means.  He might as well have said “had a great time being friends with benefits”.

So suddenly every mainstream newspaper in America is reporting Cain’s affair like the black and white tabloids say that aliens exist.  The only problem is, Cain is getting ready to put electric, barbed wire fences up all around area 51.

Herman Cain has not been impressive in his handling of things like this, but let’s face it.  He is an amateur when it comes to smear politics.  He can’t even do it himself.  The poor guy has been nothing but respectful to most of his opponents, with the one exception being when he rashly called out Rick Perry and his former staffers for kickstarting the story since only they knew those sexual harassment claims existed.  So Cain’s decision to hold off and see if things blow over or not could just be a rank amateurish blunder.

That said, my evaluation is that Herman Cain may choose to continue, but the continuation will be short lived.  He has contributed a lot to this election process, but at this point his blunders have just made him a distraction from the main event.  If I had to predict, I would say that Cain will drop out, and will endorse the person who ends up becoming the GOP candidate.  Shortly after dropping out, the affair stories will quickly evaporate leaving only his most staunchest supporters and detractors wondering if they were ever actually true.

Affair Story Could Change Minds

Herman Cain may not have impressed pundits with his handling of the sexual harassment and assault charges that were leveled at him with no proof, and in some cases no names attached to the victims.  But he has managed to keep many of his loyal supporters from losing faith.  Support from Cain’s wife and his own direct denials turned a potentially ugly situation into a he said/she said where his supporters had a reason to rally around him and his detractors simply had one more negative thing to say about him.

Now, someone who Cain describes as someone he thought was a friend is coming out and alleging a 13 year affair with Cain.  Cain apparently had knowledge ahead of time that she was going to come out and attempted a pre-emptive denial.  The big difference here is that Cain did know her, remembers that he knows her, knew she was going to come out with this allegation, and considered her a friend.  People who you think are your friends don’t usually make up stories about 13 year affairs.

The problem with this story is that if it changes peoples’ minds about Cain’s character, then every other dismissed accusation is back on the table.  If Cain did it and decides to come clean and admit to an affair, he can forget the support and especially the trust of his supporters.  If he continues to deny this affair, he will keep his loyal supporters but may not gain enough support back to regain relevance.

The best thing that could happen for Cain’s campaign at this point is for one of the women who made accusations to come out apologetically admitting that she made the story up.  Either that, or an alibi.

Why the Cain story is so big

Let’s be honest.  There really isn’t much to this Herman Cain story.  After a week of the media acting like Cain had raped a woman, had an affair with an intern or broken some federal laws or something, all we know is that he allegedly did something to someone a couple decades ago. In the grand scheme of things, the Cain story is the biggest non-story since we discovered that George W. Bush was a drunken AWOL airman because Dan Rather had a fake letter that said so.

The intensity with which the media has been following this story has consumed major media resources.  So let’s look at what the Cain non-affair story might be hiding.

– Administration scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Solyndra affair continue to get juicer as Congress subpoenas the administration for documents they have been slow about releasing

– Occupy Oakland protests show the true nature of the Wall Street Mob as protestors get violent and start destroying public property.  The movement is finally stooping to the level we have come to expect from liberal, leaderless mob protesters, especially union supported mobs.  Now the media is working hard to find OWS protesters who look enough like they are in charge of something who will disavow the violence.  Of course, poll that crowd and you are sure to get even responses either way.

– Speaking of union led protests, a story that has barely entered the Cain filled news cycle is yet another document shred drill at the ACORN offices in New York City.  ACORN is shredding documents and firing workers as fast as they can to cover up the extent of their involvement behind the scenes with the now Democrat bought and owned Occupy Wall Street movement.

– Wall Street meanwhile ended a winning streak on Friday after job growth came in lower than expected and downright anemic compared to what the economy needs to start making significant strides towards reaching reasonable employment levels.

– After taking millions in bonuses, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae execs are reporting billions in losses and Freddie Mac is asking for $6 billion in new bailout funds.

– Obama’s jobs tax hike bill continues to face bi-partisan opposition, though he is choosing to blame it all on Republicans.  Meanwhile, Democrats are blocking Republican jobs provisions that don’t kill jobs at the same time by raising taxes.

– And perhaps the biggest scandal fresh on the scene and being ignored by major media outlets is the Jon Corzine fraud story.  Remember Bernie Madoff?  He was the guy who tricked investors into giving him money in a grand pyramid scheme which worked great until he ran out of money.  Corzine did it the legal way.  Corzine’s investment company, MF Global, found a legal loophole that allowed him, without investor knowledge, to take funds out of investor accounts as a “loan” to fund business operations.  When the investors went to get their money, they found it wasn’t there.

So how is what Corzine did legal, you might ask?  Simple.  Jon Corzine is a well connected Democrat, former senator and New Jersey governor.  He was a star at Goldman Sachs where many administration officials cut their teeth.  When Obama regulators considered eliminating the loophole that allowed Corzine to steal from his investors’ brokerage accounts to fund business operations, Corzine himself personally lobbied them (all his friends), into not regulating out that loophole or even requiring proper accounting for it.

Throughout the 2012 campaign, we will continue to hear the same mantra about how we need regulation to prevent what happened in the past from happening in the future.  In this case, we have another example of the hand in glove relationship between Democrat politicians, Democrat corporate CEOs and Democrat regulators.  And as usual, the media ignores it.  Why?

Because a conservative allegedly did something offensive to a female employee 20 years ago.  For all we know, he picked his nose while she was in the room.  No names, no specifics, just enough to inspire the tabloid writers we used to take seriously.

Cain, Gingrich Make Headlines; Paul’s Missed Opportunity

Cain’s Race Card

I have no respect for candidates who play the race card, and so far Cain hasn’t.  In what is an obvious smear against Herman Cain, the candidate has not resorted to what the left finds so natural.  In fact, Cain traced the allegations back to a former campaign staffer who was hired by Rick Perry as Kempite wrote earlier this week.  This hasn’t stopped Cain’s supporters from making the connection.  After Clarence Thomas and the racism that blacks on the right have experienced, the attacks on Herman Cain for doing some undisclosed thing to some anonymous women is just enough to get any conservative’s blood boiling.

This is especially true when you look at how the media has portrayed the whole thing.  Immediately questions were being asked about if there was a double standard on the right because conservatives were not as upset with Cain for having allegedly done something to someone as they were when it came out that Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern (Monica Lewinsky), possibly raped a woman (Juanita Broderick), sexually harassed a woman (Gennifer Flowers), lied about it under oath (like Scooter Libby, who lost his career and faced jail time), and coached witnesses (obstruction of justice).  Of course, Bill Clinton also kept his job as President.

The attack on Herman Cain is already starting to backfire on both the media and the left.  And finally, Uncle Tom is getting the attention it deserves as an often used racist “codeword”.

Gingrich Keeps Rising

There is plenty to be negative about on the GOP field.  But there is also plenty to be positive about and that is the angle Newt has used to kickstart his second wind in this race.  The Hill questions the wisdom of Gingrich’s refusal to go negative on his fellow candidates.  I think he is making the best decision.  While Mitt Romney gets torn down by the Social Conservatives, and Cain and Perry continue to duel, Gingrich has been slowly sneaking back into the top tier through his focus on Obama and better ideas.

In fact, I gained interesting perspective from my vacation in Connecticut.  No matter where I go, red state or blue state, and who I talk to, I get the same response on Gingrich.  He is the smartest man in the room.  He knows what he is talking about.  He has the best ideas.  We would pay money to see him debate Obama and enjoy every minute of it.  But he has baggage.  In fact, Newt entered this race with the most personal baggage.  But now voters are taking a new look at the man who reigned in Bill Clinton and produced balanced budgets and record growth, two things our country desperately needs.  Depending on how Cain’s unnamed issues with unnamed people turns out, Newt could end up being the cleanest of the top tier candidates.  Every debate makes him look better and better.

Paul Could Be A 3rd Party Winner

I love talking politics with friends and family.  Actually, I just plain love talking politics.  It is always interesting to hear different perspectives, often from where you least expect it.  Well, here’s one for you: Ron Paul could win some electoral votes as a third party candidate by running in blue states.  In many blue states, it is not so much a matter of fiscal liberalism winning out over fiscal conservatism.  In some cases it is a matter of social liberalism overriding fiscal conservatism.

The fear of a Paul third party run has been that he would steal votes from the Republican candidate.  But Paul would actually have a hard time winning any red state in a national election.  On the other hand, put Paul with his limited social conservatism and strong fiscal conservatism and anti-war stance into California, New England, New York and other blue states, and he has a message that would resonate.

Part of Paul’s problem though is missed opportunities.  Ron Paul is like a cult classic movie.  Low budget, but adored to the point of insanity by many.  In 2008, there were Revolution signs strewn across the country in conservative and liberal districts alike.  Somehow Paul supporters manage to stack every conservative straw poll that comes out.  Yet Paul has failed over and over to convert that ravenous support into electoral votes.  Now, put Paul in to states like Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine where a Social Conservative will never win but there is a strong libertarian under current, and Ron Paul could have a huge impact in the general election.  For the Libertarian movement, winning even one state could be a huge victory for their future.

 

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