Pawlenty Pandering To Palin

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When it comes to name recognition on a national level for potential 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls there are 2 distinct levels: Those who are household names amongst the Republican party such as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and those who have a long way to go to reach their level of notoriety. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is one of those candidates looking to get his name known on a national level and with recent comments has picked a good starting point. Former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin and her passionate throng of supporters.

When asked in an interview with ABC’s Nightline on Thursday about his intentions to run for the White House the 2012 GOP hopeful said, Ive got a long way to go to get people to even know my name, much less worrying about whether I could beat, you know, the force of nature that is Sarah Palin.” If she wanted to compete for the presidency, I think she has the tools to do it, he said. You dont know whats going to happen two years from now in politics.

The former Governor refused to speculate on his chances in a head-to-head contest with the well known former VP candidate but dismissed talk that he as well as other Presidential hopefuls were afraid to speak out against Palin for fear of alienating her large base of very passionate supporters. I dont think its fair to say people are afraid of her, he said. Its fair to say she is somebody whos got a lot of influence and can use it for good, if she chooses to. although he didn’t speculate on Palin’s chances in 2012 he called Palin a remarkable leader and a friend.

With his autobiography, “Courage To Stand” set to be released next Tuesday, there has been much talk of a Pawlenty candidacy in 2012. The former Minnesota Governor has been hitting the early caucus and primary circuit while stumping for Republican candidates during the mid-term elections. He made the decision to not run for a third term as MN Governor, fueling the speculation that a 2012 run was in the works. Pawlenty has said he will most likely decide whether hes running for president in March or April. There is no doubt in my mind Id be prepared to be president, he said, adding that he had a very clear vision of what presidential leadership ought to look like in tough economic times. I think its precisely because of these times that I might be interested in running, he said. I believe the countrys in big trouble and we need a change in that direction.

With his book release set for early next week it is apparent that Tim Pawlenty is making his move to gain the name recognition that the early front runners enjoy. Although she is lagging behind in most of the early polling, Sarah Palin does command a large following of supporters and holds a substantial amount of influence over their political decisions. If you are wanting to take your name to a higher level in Republican politics, hitching your cart to the Palin horses could be a way to quickly move down the road to the national spotlight. With all of the negative press Sarah Palin is subjected to, a few kind words could be all it takes to harness her supporters.

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White House 2012 Joins The Steve Wark In The Morning Show

Bookmark and ShareWhite House 2012,editor-in-chief Anthony Del Pellegrino (aka:Kempite), will be a guest on The Steve Wark in the Morning Show, KMZQ, AM670, “Nevada’s number 1 station for talk”, on:

Monday, January 3rd, 2011, at 8:00 am (PST), 11:00 am (EST).

The discusssion will range from the shaping Republican presidential race to the top freshmen legislators to look out for in the soon to be sworn in 112th Congress.

Join in the discusion. Call in at 702-866-6700

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Democrats Strategy – Crazy or Crazy Like a Fox?

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As the mid term election campaigns enter the final two weeks, as a student of politics I have been confused as to what exactly the Democrats strategy is. The President has spent time in states in which the races seem well in control of the Democrat candidate until this week when he will hit Missouri and Nevada to stump for candidates in races that are within reach including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The party, the President and the pundits have spent countless hours with speeches, tv shows and commercials attacking tea party candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware in a race in which she has never been truly competitive. There is only one candidate who is running on the policies enacted by the Democrat controlled Congress and White House and that is Harry Reid who has no choice as Senate Majority Leader. The others are simply either failing to mention their support for the Democrats policies and their own voting records or are touting their votes against the policies of their party.

All but forgotten as a strategy is the Bush bashing that boded so well in 2008 as the public grows weary of the excuse that it’s the ‘other guys fault’ when Democrats have had control of Congress for 4 years and the White House for 2. As I watch the campaign unfold I have only two deductions I can make to justify the political death the Democrats willingly seem to be marching straight in to:

1. They have fallen so far out of favor with the voters by jumping in so deep with the rhetoric in 2008 that they simply don’t have the answer to the tsunami they see making landfall on November 2nd.

2. They purposefully do not want to win.

The first scenario seems to be the most likely but do not count out the second. It is the only strategy that actually makes sense. With the economy sluggish, unemployment rising, the debt and deficit out of control and basic public sentiment souring on the ‘Hope and Change’ that were promised it makes sense that losing a chamber of congress may allow the President and the Democrats to renew a scapegoat that they have lost in George W. Bush. I know it sounds a bit conspiratorial but if the policies enacted by the Democrats continue to fail who is there to blame if they retain control? As they have found, the public is holding them accountable for the issues the country is facing. They hold the entire enchilada. They own health care. They own stimulus, omnibus and every major spending bill but TARP and they bought the uncertainty surrounding the countries tax rates by leaving town early without addressing it. They need someone else in the picture to blame because honestly they are the only ones in the game.

It makes perfect political sense to not put all of your eggs in one basket, as they have found out. Simply put – they need another basket. A Republican basket.

The strategy of owning it all, including the blame has proven a tough road. the fix – sublease the House of Representatives to the GOP. Have someone to help carry the load and the blame if it all falters. The President’s excuse that the Republicans were blocking everything that may have worked fell upon deaf ears. The voters understood that the Democrats had full and complete control. Now maybe that excuse will have some merit with voters as the President heads to 2012.

Are they crazy or crazy like a fox? I believe it to be the latter. The Democrats have proven to be crafty campaigners. I find it hard to believe that they forgot how so soon following their greatest accomplishment.

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Keep The Caution Out Of The Wind

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As Republicans prepare for what polls are showing will be big gains in congress this November, they need to heed a warning. Do not throw caution to the wind. A takeover of the House is almost a given. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s wishful thinking, all signs point to the GOP gaining enough seats to put John Boehner in the Speaker’s seat and most congressional Democrats are preparing for it as well. But with a whirlwind getting ready to sweep them in, the Republicans must not fall for false hope of being able to make a huge impact right away.

If the scenario plays out where the GOP gains control of the House and the Democrats keep control of the Senate the GOP may become the perfect scapegoat that Obama and the Democrats have unsuccessfully been trying to brand them as. The ‘party of no’ mantra has played out and the strategy has failed as Democrats enjoyed large majorities in both chambers and the American people brushed aside the thought that the Democrat majority was helpless. The Democrats are paying for that strategic failure now but if the GOP is not careful, the strategy could play out beginning in January.

A Republican House and Democrat Senate would almost certainly bring about a political and legislative stalemate. A stalemate that the President would be able to shine a spotlight on from his place on the bully pulpit. Although the American public failed to believe, and rightfully so, that the minority party could block anything it would not be difficult to point to a divided legislature and the Republican house as a roadblock if both parties and both chambers battle it out come January.

So heed this warning. Learn a lesson of over promising and under delivering from the Democrats. Understand that it will be a difficult and divided legislative session. Understand that the ‘party of no’ branding will be thrown out to the public and your owning he House will lend it some credence. Do not believe your own campaign hype and do not think that your power is a mandate and that your support will remain. Keep the caution out of the wind.

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What Now?

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As the polls continue to show Republicans gaining support amongst the voting public and the TEA party making surprising strides in many primaries the question arises – Where does the GOP go from here?

With many conservative TEA party backed candidates poised to hold seats in Congress is it possible for the establishment Republicans to welcome them and work as a cohesive unit to promote the shared agenda of less taxes, less spending and less government? If there is one thing the old guard and the new lions have in common it is the platform of less, less, less. The dividing point however is the confidence that the voters have in the old guard to stick to the task of doing so. It is that lack of confidence, brought on by the deficit and debt spending of the GOP controlled congress during the Bush administration, that has brought on the meteoric rise of the TEA party candidates and the ouster of established GOP candidates in primary elections.

With that lack of confidence leading a new group of conservatives into the GOP power grid, the Grand Ol’ Party must now fight to instill confidence in the independents that they are moving in that direction in order to be successful in the general elections not only in 2010, but to ensure it continues into 2012. The TEA party conservatives have found success with one simple message: Less taxes, less spending and less government. The GOP establishment must embrace this message and show that they are serious about these issues and cohesive with the TEA party candidates before the voters will have confidence enough to continue to give them their votes into 2012. But any relationship is a 2 way street and the GOP/TEA party relationship can be no different.

As the Democrats go into attack mode, unwilling and unable to run on their votes for the highly unpopular stimulus and health care bills, the TEA party must instill confidence that they are not the far right fringe that the Democrats and the media are trying so hard and spending millions of dollars to paint them as. Taking a page from the Glenn Beck rally’s strategy book, the signs and idealistic t-shirts must go. Whether it be a few far right supporters that take advantage of the situation to get out their message of hate or whether it be plants by the left put in the crowd to give the appearance of radicalism, if they remove the opportunity all together then there will be nothing to debate but the issues. The first amendment is the backbone of our society and I am not suggesting that anyone’s rights be infringed. What I am suggesting is that the main message of less taxes, less spending and less government must be the only message if they expect to compete in a general election forum. In a general election the voting audience is different. They can go either way. The TEA party activists must realize that any opening for the other side or the media to push their message that the GOP is being taken over by far right radicals needs to be eliminated. Their message can win. If it is the message that the public sees.

So what now? Although they have been battling each other in the primary races, the GOP and the TEA party must now embrace each other in order to win in the big show. The GOP must embrace the TEA party to instill confidence in potential voters that they are serious about cutting taxes, spending and the size of government. A confidence that they have lost. The TEA party must embrace the GOP to instill confidence that they are not the far right radical fringe that many believe them to be.

What is known is that the voting public is disillusioned and disappointed in the policies of the Democrats and the White House. Will the Republican establishment work with the new conservative influx of TEA party backed candidates and embrace their ideas? Will the TEA party tone down it’s non-platform rhetoric as it did at the Glenn Beck rally and remove the radical public appearance?

It is yet to be seen but it must be done if they both expect to gain the confidence of the American voter.

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Pawlenty’s Catch 22 In The Hawkeye State

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Giving your opinion on the decision’s of judges when you’re the Governor should be the norm in a political landscape in which legislating from the bench has become a hot button topic for many. However, when that critique is aimed at a state that you re not the Governor of, it may become political ammunition. When that state happens to be the state that kicks off the run for Presidential aspirations, it may be toxic. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty may have found himself in a catch 22 over comment made regarding the possible ousting of 3 Iowa Supreme Court justices who recently ruled that Iowa’s law banning gay marriage was against the state constitution.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pawlenty said he would need to study the justices’ record before deciding whether to join the effort, but that voters have the right to remove judges if they disagree with their rulings.

“The notion that judges stand for election is embedded in the Iowa Constitution. It’s embedded in the Minnesota Constitution,” Pawlenty said. “It’s the right and privilege of the citizens of this state and my state to weigh in on whether they like or don’t like the job that a judge is doing and to agree or disagree with him.” Asked about a campaign organized by Sioux City business consultant Bob Vander Plaats – who failed in his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination – to remove the justices, Pawlenty stressed that he supports limiting marriage to one man and one woman. “I think the law should support that, and to the extent you have judges inserting their personal views to change that, I don’t like it,” Pawlenty said.

While this may help Pawlenty in his bid for the Republican nomination, it is a position that could come back to haunt him if he should be his parties nominee in the general election. In a primary he will be vying for the conservative vote that propels the Republican party. The general election tends to be about not who can get the vote of their own party, but who can get the vote of the undecided voters. As party voters usually support their parties candidate regardless, the independent voter, one not bound to party politics or candidates, becomes key to winning in the general election.

Hence the Catch 22 that Governor Pawlenty may have unwittingly thrust himself into. Should a candidate who is not well known outside of his own state and party throw himself into a position of taking a position on a hot button topic so early into the process? Let alone in the state which will have the all important first voice of the election? Not to mention a state in which his standing as the Governor of a neighboring state leaves many Iowan’s scratching their head as to why the Governor of Minnesota would make public his opinion on the affairs of their state.

The question will be asked and to that point the Governor’s statement will become a topic of debate should he decide to run in 2012. But for a candidate who received a mere 1% in recent polls to weigh in on a state issue of a border state that happens to hold the early key to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, maybe the question didn’t need answered in the manner in which it was. As many Iowan’s simply hope Minnesota keeps it’s opinions to itself, many independent voters may have already made up their mind before an official candidacy has had a chance to kick off.

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Pawlenty Announces Book Release Date

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Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s upcoming book has a release date set as Jan. 11, a week after he leaves the governor’s mansion. The Governor has been seen recently in Iowa, spending time stumping for state GOP candidates and at the Iowa State Fair in a meet and greet campaign mode in what can be seen as an attempt to get his name into the mainstream in Iowa ahead of the 2012 caucus.

Is the January release date to coincide with a Presidential announcement? That is yet to be seen but an aide says it’ll come with a national book tour, which has become a sort of proto-campaign for many candidates. The book “will focus on his life, his experience as a conservative governor in a liberal state, and his vision for America,” the aide said. It may also answer questions as to the Governor’s intentions towards running for the highest office in the land.

The book, entitled “Courage to Stand” is slated to give more of an auto-biographical view of the Governor rather than have any real substance of what he would do as President of the United States. Given his 1% showing in a recent Iowa poll, that may be the exact strategy he needs to raise his profile to a public enthralled with the mainstream, easily recognizable names such as Romney, Palin and Gingrich. Although it will probably not be tearing up the New York Times Best Seller List it will afford Pawlenty the opportunity to reach a much more diverse audience much quicker than he could by hitting the stump. It also may personalize the Governor in an age in which media soundbites and social networks rule the roost.

Will the book lead to a Presidential run in 2012? It may be too early to tell but the timing, and the story are exactly what an unknown Governor needs to get his name in the national spotlight.

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