Republicans Release Tuesday’s Convention Schedule and Make “We Built It” the Night’s Theme

   Bookmark and Share  Promising that Tuesday’s convention theme “will honor the fact that it is the drive, determination and sacrifice of America’s job creators and millions of hard-working American men and women who made the United States the exceptional nation it is,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today announced that Tuesday’s theme for the 2012 Republican National Convention will be “We Built It.”

At a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia, last month, President Obama declared, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”  Priebus said that Tuesday’s convention proceedings “will remind America that we are a nation made great not by Washington but by the men and women who summoned the inner drive, discipline and persistent effort to achieve their dreams within the free enterprise system.”

Convention CEO William Harris said, “Tuesday’s program will highlight America’s entrepreneurial strength and our people’s incomparable work ethic.” 

Hammering the “We Built It” theme home will be a slew of speakers who have been doing their best to make sure that government gets out of the way of the American people’s entrepreneurial strength and incomparable work ethic.  Those speakers include the Mayor of Saratoga Springs Utah, Mia Love, New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, and a preponderance of conservative governors including Ohio’s John Kasich, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, and New Mexico’s Susana Martiniez.  The highlight of the night will be the delivery of the convention keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie(see the Tuesday night schedule below this post)

One of the most watched speakers of the night will be Rick Santorum.

Santorum, who ran against Romney for the Republican presidential nomination is one of Romney’s few former 2012 opponents who has been given center stage at the convention and what he says could go a long way in solidifying the support for Romney from among the social conservatives who supported him and remain reluctant of Romney.  Santorum’s speech will also be watch  intensely by the liberal propagandists like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, all the personalities at Current TV, and most the personalities at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC.  They will be chomping at the bit to exploit Santorum’s defense of life, liberty and traditional family values.

Tuesday night’s schedule of speakers could prove to be the strongest slate of orators of the entire convention.  While Chris Christie will offer a keynote address that promises demolish the reputation and record of the Obama-Biden Administration and capture the essence of the Republican vision for our nation, other convention orators such as Susana Martinez and John  Kasich will prove to be powerful voices and their speeches will probably earn them a place on the list of future potential presidential contenders.

Saratoga Springs, Utah Republican Mayor Mia Love

One of the most interesting speeches of the night will be given by Mia Love, a African-American Republican woman and Mayor of SaratogaSprings, Utah and a 2012 candidate for Congress who is challenging six-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.  She will be introduced with a video that highlights her personal story and tenure as mayor of Saratoga Springs before her speech.According to Love “The message I want to convey is that Barack Obama has accelerated this country into a downward spiral and that the only way there’s any hope of getting out of this is electing Mitt Romney, so I’m hoping everyone is inspired and ready to go out and do whatever they can to help Mitt Romney and  Paul Ryan get elected.”Love’s coveted Tuesday night primetime speech comes after Monday night’s prime time speaking engagement by another another African-American, former congressman Artur Davis, a Democrat who has become so disappointed in and dissatisfied with President Obama and his Party that he is now a Republican.Love has the early speaking spot Tuesday evening. She will be introduced with a video that highlights her personal story and tenure as mayor of Saratoga Springs before her speech.  Love, who is challenging six-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, will address the GOP gathering in Tampa on the evening of Aug. 28, a coveted prime-time slot for the candidate who has been billed as a rising Republican star.

Adding to the strength of the speaks will be the power behind Tuesday night’s theme as articulated in the phrase “We Built IT”.

It’s a theme that stems from a statement made by President Obama when speaking without a teleprompter at a campaign event in Virginia last month. At the event, President Obama infamously went into an rant that claimed American’s didn’t build their own businesses and suggested that entrepreneurs owe their success to the government and that the government was the driving force behind their businesses.

The Obama campaign quickly tried to claim that the President’s remarks were taken out of context, however his statements were eerily similar to those made several months earlier by Elizabeth Warren, the liberal nominee for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts who is locked in a tight race against Senator Scott Brown.  In a campaign event of her own, Warren, who President Obama is a fan of and was once a Special Assistant to the President,  made the same claims that the President seemingly paraphrased.  (See Video below)

The remark has helped to shed a bright light on the antithetically American ideology embraced by the left and President Obama and Republicans intend to capitalize on it in a way that focusses on the Republican principles which support an ideology that believes it is the people who are the driving force behind our government and not the government that is the driving force behind the people.

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Tuesday Convention Schedule

As part of its “convention without walls” program to make the convention open and accessible to people across the country, Republican officials also released today the convention schedule for Tuesday, August 28 through the convention’s mobile app – Tampa 2012 (http://connect.gopconvention2012.com).  Tuesday’s schedule includes the keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

7:30 p.m. :        Convention convenes

  • Presentation of Colors
  •  Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem sung by Philip Alongi
  • Invocation
  • Video
  • Remarks by Janine Turner
  • Video and remarks by Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, UT), U.S.
  • congressional candidate
  • Remarks by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
  • Segment to be announced
  • Remarks by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), accompanied by Jack Gilchrist
  • Remarks by Governor John Kasich (OH)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Mary Fallin (OK)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), accompanied by Bev Gray
  • Video
  • Segment to be announced
  • Remarks by Governor Bobby Jindal (LA)
  • Videos
  • Remarks by Sher Valenzuela (small business owner, candidate for DE Lt. Governor)
  • Remarks by Governor Susana Martinez (NM)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Chris Christie (NJ)
  • Benediction and adjournment

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Who Do You Want Mitt Romney to Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share As the race for President seems to have entered a perpetual state of boredom that is filled with a bumper sticker mentality of shallow stump speeches that offer little insight and a whole lot of repetitive pot shots and one liners, concerned voters find themselves left with but one last intriguing question —- who will Mitt Romney pick for Vice President?

Rob Portman

Aside from the actual election results, the question of who Romney will pick for Vice President is perhaps the only moment of suspense remaining in the campaign.  And as such, who he picks could actually make more of a difference than it has in most of the presidential elections in our recent past.  In fact, according to a CBS News/New York Times  poll released last Wednesday, 74 percent of registered voters said that a candidate’s running mate  matters “a lot” or “somewhat” to their vote,(26 percent  said that it matters a lot, while 48 percent said that it matters somewhat). At  the same time, 25 percent said that it doesn’t matter at all.  However; that sentiment is often expressed at this point in every presidential election, but by the time Election Day rolls around, it is a sentiment that is usually proven wrong.  Yet in the case of Mitt Romney and this extraordinarily polarized electorate, who he picks could make the difference between winning and losing.With swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin at stake, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan  could add the percentage or two to the election result in their respective states that is responsible for putting Republicans over the top in the Electoral College.But with figures like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or New Mexico’s Susana Martinez also on the list of possible contenders, the combination of their being women and being representative of different minority groups, has the potential to erode an important part of President Obama’s base vote just enough to make a small difference in a multitude of states that Romney is currently considered less competitive in.

Marco Rubio

What Romney is thinking is anyone’s guess though and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The only thing we know for certain right now is that some names are less likely to be selected than others.  Take Mitch Daniels for example.  He’s a highly successful and popular two term, conservative Governor of Indiana who I originally hoped would be our presidential nominee.  With his command of matters of the budget and fiscal conservatism in general, he would be a perfect running mate for Romney in a campaign that will be based on fiscal responsibility.  Daniels also has crossover appeal and would be a perfect balance for Mitt.  Unfortunately though, Mitch  has agreed to become the President of Perdue University at the end of his term in January.  So he’s out.  Unless of course that decision was thrown out to throw us off the track?

Paul Ryan

The there’s Chris Christie, or at least there was.  He has supposedly been given the honor of delivering the highly coveted keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  That essentially means he won’t be delivering an acceptance speech at the convention.  Unless of course the rumors about his being the keynoter were intentionally thrown out for public consumption to throw us off the track?Another very striking contender was Virginia’s popular conservative Governor, Bob McDonnell.  With his national star rising from Virginia, another key battleground state in this election, his presence on the ticket could deliver a state that is practically a must win for Republicans.  But McDonnell has been named chairman of the Republican platform committee, a job that brings with it the type of contentious floor fights and baggage that automatically scratches him off of any V.P. short list.So those are is at least one name you can take out of contention and two which you can stop taking bets on.  Maybe.

McMorris Rodgers

But that still leaves us with a mix of both likely and unlikely contenders who can potentially be nominated to join Romney on the G.O.P. ticket.  They range from names such Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire, to Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and from Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to Tennessee’s former U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson and a host of names in between such as Florida’s Allen West and Jeb Bush, or South Dakota’s John Thune and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.  In one scenario, even a Blue Dog Democrat, North Carolina’s Heath Shuler has been floated as a game changing decision for Romney. Polls about who most Republicans want Romney to pick vary based on the audiences that frequent those platforms offering such polls.  For instance, the conservative site Town Hall is probably seeing it’s far right readers choose dark horse contender Allen West, while other more libertarian geared sites might find that Rand Paul is the choice that it’s audience most wants to see selected by Romney.But when it comes to less partisan entities that happen to do professional polling and are therefore far more accurate at polling than those who conduct online opinion surveys , there is one name that keeps emerging as the favorite among voters —– Condoleezza Rice.

John Thune

A Rasmussen Reports poll that was conducted between July 15-16, found  that 65% of likely U.S. voters share at least a somewhat favorable view of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while just 24% view her unfavorably. Those results included 29% who have a Very Favorable opinion of Condi Rice and 6% who had a Very Unfavorable opinion of her. Twelve 12% were undecided in the poll.  (To see survey question wording, click here).  Other professional polling surveys have had similar results and for good reason.Condoleezza Rice is regarded as a very respectable, likeable, admirable leader.  She is also viewed by most voters as someone who is guided more by personal conviction and ideology than Party and partisan politics.  Such a persona could do nothing but help the G.O.P.  and hurt Democrats.  This is especially the case when you consider the fact that as both an African-American and a woman, Condi Rice does have the potential to make significant inroads into a base vote that President Obama needs to keep in his column and that Mitt Romney desperately needs to peel off and bring his way.  Furthermore; Condoleezza Rice can help Romney with the all important independent vote that will essentially determine who wins in November.Whether Romney agrees with that assessment or not is anyone’s guess but I will state this.  If he doesn’t agree with that opinion, he’s a dope.

Condoleezza Rice

While I like many of the potential candidates for Vice President, I believe that Condoleezza Rice is the one person  who can bring everything that Romney needs to the ticket.  And I mean everything.  Not only does she cover the electoral aesthetics of being a women and being African-American, her presence on the ticket adds a degree of historic value that can benefit Republicans much the same way it benefitted Democrats in 2012.  Add Rice’s ability to articulate conservatism and the traditional American values of independence, freedom, personal responsibility better than practically anyone else other than Allen West and what you have is a running mate who is an electoral goldmine.But it’s not just the electoral politics that makes Rice such a good choice for Romney.  It is her ability to be a great President that makes her not just a good choice, but also a potentially good President.  And afterall, is that not what a Vice President is suppose to be? Few politicians have the experience and knowhow that Condoleezza Rice has and few Vice Presidents would be more immediately prepared to assume the office of President at a moments notice as she.Still, there are three things that stand in the way of a Romney-Rice ticket.

One is the fact that Rice herself has not seen fit to show any interest in the job.  Yet despite the lack of interest, her recent penning of an inspiring editorial in the Financial Times raises some question as to exactly how disinterested the former Secretary of State is in getting her country back on track.  Problem number two is Rice’s stance on abortion.  Rice does not support banning abortion.  She does however strongly support placing many restrictions on how its practice.  While that position may be tolerated by some on the right, it will not be acceptable by others, especially those who are already doubtful about Mitt Romney’s own committment to the right-to-life cause.

Lastly is the political fear factor that Romney and his consultants may have regarding Condoleezza Rice’s ties to the Bush Administration.  They may fear that teaming Rice with Romney will provide Team Obama with an unintended campaign theme that links Romney to the not so popular former President.   While such political fears are worthy of considering, political reality should lead Romney to realize that Condoleezza Rice brings far more positives to the ticket than negatives.  And Team Romney should also realize that if the Obama campaign wants to revisit Condoleezza Rice’s record, they will be entering in to a very dangerous zone.  Rice will be able to defend her record and the Bush record better than anyone else and she will also be able to remind the American electorate that it is President Obama who essentially carried out her policies in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he and his Vice President ran against those policies in 2008.

All things considered, I believe Condoleezza Rice would be the best choice for Romney and while I would certainly be gleeful over the selection of someone like Marco Rubio or even the man whom I believe Romney will ultimately choose, South Dakota Senator John Thune, I can’t help but believe that only Condoleezza Rice can provide the momentum, gravitas, and appeal that Romney will really need if he wants to win the independents, and undecideds who will decide who the next President is.

What do you think?  Cast your vote for Vice President here.

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Named Chairman of The Republican National Convention Platform Committee

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Bookmark and Share  Every four years, in addition to nominating a President and Vice President, the quadrennial Republican National Convention is also responsible for hammering out a platform which is meant to explain what the Republican Party truly stands for.  The process is often contentious and at times the most suspenseful, but largely behind the scene, aspect of the convention and in many ways is every bit as important as the process to nominate our presidential ticket and this year conservative Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been given the responsibility of constructing this all important platform.

The announcement came late today from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  In it Priebus  also declared that Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota and Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee will serve as Co-Chairmen.

The move is one which is likely to please the conservative base of the Party who largely trust the conservative credentials of all three members of the newly established platform leadership committee.

But the announcement also probably signals that Bob McDonnell is out of the running for Vice President.

For many months now, the popular Governor of the important swing state of Virginia has been considered a top contender for the vice presidency.  But with his new position on the critically important Platform Committee, that would seem highly unlikely.  And the same goes for Marsha Balckburn who White House 2012 has also considered a vice presidential contender.

The prominent responsibility of defining all that the G.O.P. stands is always a difficult task that walks a fine between attempting to articulate a platform that accomplishes a nearly impossible goal……….  unite the nations while taking strong stands on some of the most polarizing issues in the nation.  Such a goal can often be just as a difficult among partisan Republicans as it is among partisan Republicans and Democrats.  And this year, Republicans can anticipate at least few attempted floor fights on several planks, especial those dealing with spending.

Ron Paul supporters have already vowed to employ their traditionally obnoxious behavior to try to help assure that the G.O.P. platform adopts some of their messiah’s irresponsible views.  Such fights are not likely to get very far considering that Ron paul has a grand total of 158 delegates compared to Romney’s 1,512, but thew will certainly receive a great deal of attention from a national and international media that will be doing it’s best to to cover any of the rare unscripted moments at the convention.    All this means that as Chairman of the Platform Committee, Bob McDonnell will go into the convention as a figure who could become embroiled in some of the most controversial aspects of the national convention and that is not the type of figure that Romney will want to nominate as his running mate.

On the flip side, while McDonnell supporters may be disappointed in the downgrading of his chances to be nominated Vice President, conservatives can rest assured that 2012 Republican platform will reflect an authoritative, right of center based explanation of what it means to be a Republican.

According to McDonnell;

“I look forward to hearing from voters across the country as we seek to give voice to the concerns, priorities, and values of the American people. This process is about more than writing; it is about listening. Voters deserve a party who listens to them.  The Obama presidency has been a difficult time for Virginians and for Americans. Our Platform will outline the way forward for our economy and a new and better direction for our country.”

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Romney-McDonnell: White House 2012 Looks at the Potential for Bob McDonnell Being Nominated Vice President

Bookmark and Share The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential names for Mitt Romney to choose from when picking his vice presidential nominee.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe will at least be considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites and records.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell.

Born Robert Francis McDonnell (1954-06-15) June 15, 1954 (age 57) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Maureen Gardner; 5 children
Residence Executive Mansion
Alma mater University of Notre Dame (B.B.A.) Boston University (M.B.A.) Regent University (M.A., J.D.)
Profession United States Army Officer Businessman Attorney at Law Politician
Religion Roman Catholic

`

Political Career:

  • 1992 – 2005:  Virginia House of Delegates
  • 2006 – 2009:  Virginia State Attorney General
  • 2010 – Present:  Governor of Virginia
  • 2011 -Present:  Chairman of the Republican Governors Association

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Bookmark and Share  During a February 21st, 2011 television interview, when asked“What if the party’s nominee.. came to you and said for the betterment of your Party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?” McDonnell replied simply, “Probably.”  Thus prompting White House 2012 to add Bob McDonnell to what was an already early and premature list of possible running mates for whoever the nominee was going to be that we first created and posted in December 0f 2010.  You see, even back then, there were certain outstanding individuals who many understood, were natural and logical potential vice presidential nominees, simply because they were exceptional leaders.

Today, with Mitt Romney’s selection of a vice presidential nominee soon approaching, McDonnell is still a natural and logical choice for Mitt Romney to nominate  for Vice President.

Bob McDonnell is a solid choice. He carries little baggage, is on the right side of all the issues that the G.O.P. base wants covered and is a strong speaker who would add a level of confidence and competence to the ticket. The greatest criticism might be that he has only been Governor for what at the time will be slightly over 2 in a half years. But Barack Obama was a Senator for less than that amount of time and it was good enough to elect him President. So for a Vice President , that should be no big deal, even though it seemed to have been a big issue when Sarah Palin was nominated for Vice President in 2008..

McDonnell’s establishing himself as a potential Vice President and ultimately maybe even President, did not come over night.  Getting to that point was a journey through decades of personal growth and accomplishments that really began after he graduated from University of Notre Dame on an ROTC scholarship, with a B.B.A. in management.

Upon leaving Notre Dame in 1976, McDonnell  joined the service where he served as a medical supply officer in the United States Army for four years.  Two and half of those years included posts in medical clinics in Germany, and for a year a half, in Newport News, Virginia.   During that time, McDonnell’s never ending drive for knowledge and self improvement compelled him to obtain a Masters of Science in Business Administration earned  by taking night classes from Boston University.

Upon leaving active duty service in 1981, McDonnell continued his military service as a reservist in the U.S. Army but as for a regular job, he took his young family to Atlanta where he was hired for a Fortune 500 Company named American Hospital Supply Corporation.  His work soon earned him a rapid succession  of promotions and after a year, American Hospital Supply Corp. transferred McDonnell to the company’s headquarters in suburban Chicago. The following year they put McDonnell in charge of their multi-million dollar custom  products regional division, based in Kansas City, where he managed the corporation’s  Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas  City offices.   But feeling personally unfulfilled by his work, McDonnell took advantage of his Vietnam-era G.I. Bill benefits that were to cease to exist in 1989, and decided to to go back to Virginia where he enrolled in Regent University in Virginia Beach to seek a Masters Degree in Public  Policy.  Then when the young university opened a law school, McDonnell took advantage of that to also obtain a law degree.

To say the least, it was a rather hectic and sleepless period in McDonnell’s life.  Others may not have been able to carry the burden of  simultaneously attending  law school, while pursing a Master’s Degree in  public policy, and doing so while supporting his family  as a sales manager for The  Virginian-Pilot newspaper, and serving in the active reserves of the Army with the 18th Field Hospital in Norfolk. In total,  McDonnell would serve 21 years in the U.S.  Army reserves until he finally retired as a Lt. Colonel, the same rank as his father, in 1997.  During these years, part of McDonnell’s pursuit of his law degree led him to also do an internship on Capitol  Hill with the House Republican Policy Committee for California Congressman Jerry Lewis, and it was here that McDonnell’s personal journey took him in a direction different than his previous private sector path.

So in 1989, with his degrees in hand, McDonnell took a job as a prosecutor in the Virginia  Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and in 1991 he ran for the seat representing Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates from the 84th District. He won and was reelected to the seat, six more times.

Here, as was the case with every other position and job McDonnell took responsibility for, he excelled.

Some of the  most prominent bills he drafted, sponsored and shepherded through the state legilature included Virginia’s historic Welfare Reform legislation, the reform of  Virginia’s drunk driving laws, legislation to abolish the death tax and to rewrite and improve  Virginia’s Public Private Partnership Transportation Act.  He was all the prime sponsor of Governor Allen’s Juvenile Justice Reform  Initiative.

In short time McDonnell rose through the House of Delegate’s political ranks and became Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman  of the House Courts of Justice Committee and along the way, in 1996 he was named the Network of Victims of Crime Legislator  of the Year in 1996.  In 1998 he was named The National Child Support Enforcement Association National  Legislator of the Year and  The Family Foundation of Virginia’s Legislator  of the Year.  He was again named The Family Foundations’ Legislator of the Year  in 2001, and in 2005  he received the honor of becoming the Virginia Sheriff’s Association Legislator  of the Year.

Then in 2006, McDonnell decided to run for Attorney General and after election results that were initially disputed, he was declared the winner by 323 votes.

As Attorney General of Virginia, McDonnell went right to work.  He established a “Senior Alert” to assist in locating missing seniors  with mental deficiencies, created a state of the art Sex Offender Registry, strengthened Virginia’s mental  health laws, and provided new tools for law enforcement involved in online investigations of  identity theft, sexual predators, and other 21st Century criminals. McDonnell  also created and led Virginia’s Youth Internet Safety Task Force, which was credited with improving online  safety, and establishing the ongoing Attorney General’s Task Force on Regulatory  and Government Reform. That task force made over 300 recommendations to  streamline Virginia’s Administrative Code, and reduce burdensome government  regulation.

But in 2009, McDonnell resigned as Attorney General in order to spend all his time and effort on running for Governor, a job he won in a landslide which saw him receive more votes than any candidate for  Governor in Virginia history.  McDonnell’s landslide also helped to sweep many new Republicans in to the Virginia state legislature.

Upon becoming Governor, McDonnell inherited a $6 billion deficit but in a year’s time he turned it in to a $400 million surplus.  And he did so after defeating a proposed $2 billion increase in the state income tax, and keeping the state’s existing car tax relief.

But perhaps the most profound immediate positive impact McDonnell has had was his ability to in less trhan two years, take Virginia’s unemployment from 7.2% to 5.6% after creating 111,900 new jobs in the state.

All this is probably why in 2011, McDonnell’s Republican colleagues chose him to be the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  It is also one of the reasons why Bob McDonnell is seen as an obvious choice for Vice President.

Pros:

  • McDonnell is a skilled campaigner and legislator whose talents can only help the ticket
  • “If” this a close presidential election, Virginia is a state that Romney must win in any formula that allows him to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House.  Bob McDonnell can deliver Virginia to the Republican column
  • McDonnell can help Romney among evangelicals who he needs to cast their ballots for him in record numbers.
  • McDonnell can help Romney in the South where he needs bridge the enthusiasm gap that exists for Romney
  • McDonnell’s record on jobs, energy, budgets, and deficits is an invaluable asset that will help draw sharp contrasts with Obama’s record
  • His experience in law and law enforcement, and on matters concerning the Constitution is unparalleled by most other likely contenders for the vice presidency and it helps to call in to question the credentials of the Obama Administration concerning ther Adminsistrations many legal challenges to states and their sovereignty

Cons:

  • McDonnell’s addition to the ticket does not bring the type of diversity which other potential candidates like Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice or Susana Martinez can, and that diversity might be needed to help win in key battlegrounds states like Ohio and/or Florida
  • McDonnell signed an executive order removing anti-discriminatory protection for gays and lesbians in Virginia, rescinding a 2006 order from Gov. Kaine which had prohibited discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.  This will mobilize liberal gay activists to the point where they may get some mileage from attempts to paint McDonnell and by natural extension, the Republican ticket,  as out of touch, right wing extremists
  • Governor McDonnell issued a proclamation designating April 2010 as Confederate History Month and the initial proclamation left out any anti-slavery language.  McDonnell rectified this  but the issue is one which the left may try to exploit
  • McDonnell signed in to law a measure that mandates ultra sounds for pregnant women seeking an abortion.  The measure came after McDonnell initially supported an earlier bill requiring  women to get an intravaginal ultrasound before an abortion procedure
  • Lacks any immediate foreign affairs experience

General Assessment:

McDonnell has his fingerprints are all over the solutions to the most critical problems ailing the nation. On an issue such as energy, he has led the way in making Virginia an national resource for natural energy with his support drilling for oil off of the coast of Virginia while simultaneously developing new technologies for wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable energy resources and expanding investments in renewable energy sources while also incentivizing  green job creation.  On the issue of jobs, CNBC named Virginia “The Top State for Business” in the country and while the nation has been focussed on not counting the number of people who have dropped out of the job market, since taking office McDonnell has has created 112,00 net new jobs and the number of unemployed Virginians has decreased by 21%.  That’s  a reduction in unemployment obtained by counting new jobs not by stopping to count the number of people who gave up looking for jobs.

On budgetary matters, while the nation lost its AAA bond rating, and the deficit has ballooned at an unprecendented rate, McDonnell took his state from one with a record deficit, to where now each year he has been in office, it has a surplus.

As one newspaper put it On those issues important to  all – taxation, jobs, schools, – Bob McDonnell did not disappoint.  “Priorities were set and addressed.”  And that is exactly what people want in a Republican presidential ticket and why McDonnell is only a logical choice.

However Mitt Romney may find that he can select others who have similarly positive but are more established.  Like Indiana’s Mitch Daniels.  Or that he could find some of similar accomplishments but unlike McDonnell, could also bring diversity to the ticket.  Names like Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Mexico’s Susana Martinez come to mind.

Romney may also want to try to get someone whose record lacks the type of controversial social issue positions that McDonnell has brought to the table.  The thinking there is that Romney does not want to give President Obama and the left, the opportunity to focus on things will distract from the G.O.P.’s ability to get voters to focus on the Obama record and the Obama economy.    With McConnell’s decisions regarding things like issuing a proclamation designating a Confederate History Month,   removing so-called anti-discriminatory protections from  gays and lesbians, and the decision mandating ultrasounds before a women has an abortion, Romney may fear that McDonnell could be “Palinized” and that those issues will can become the distraction that Democrats want.  But such can be done with the record of any conservative.  Or liberal for that matter.

So it is hard to say with any certainty that Romney will tap McDonnell for Vice President.  But you can bet that McDonnell’s name is one of the top five on the short list for the job.

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Recent Key Votes

Legislation  (Veto)  – April 9, 2012
Legislation  (Veto) – April 9, 2012
Legislation  (Veto) – April 9, 2012

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Bob McDonnell on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.  And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.  It comes one day before what could be a game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.  It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has mastered much of the art of political campaigning, has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.  The problem was timing.  He peeked too early and in the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  This time, in South Carolina, thanks to Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich looks like he is peaking just in time to be the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.   All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.  In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.  As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected  “establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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McDonnell, Christie, and Rubio Make Romney’s Short List for Being Palinized

Bookmark and Share    At a private $1,200 per plate fundraiser in the home of Virginia State Senator Jeff McWaters, Mitt Romney declared that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are on his short list of possible running mates. The remark was essentially an innocuous statement of the obvious. For many conservative voters, Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio are on the short list of preferred candidates for President not just Vice President. Unlike many of the leading Republican candidates for President, including Romney, much of the conservative base of the G.O.P. are excited about the promise of Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio.

So for Mitt to suggest that he would consider all three men for the job of Vice President should not come as a surprise. The surprise would be that he wasn’t considering them. Such a surprise would also be a sign of some problematic political instincts. Any Republican who is serious about winning the White House in 2012, would be crazy not consider the governors of New Jersey and Virginia and the Senator form Florida.

However, would any of the three want to tie their future to Mitt Romney? Or for that matter would any of them want to tie their futures up with any of the current Republican presidential candidates?

If anyone of the three men in question were seeking the nomination, there would be none of the current chatter about a perceived lack of enthusiasm for the Republican field. Each of them would energize the base, excite those within the TEA movement, and even appeal to more independent minded Republicans. But Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio are not looking to be flashes in the pan. They are each in this for the long haul. Each of them are focusing on the still relatively new jobs that they have gotten and neither of them want to be palinized or quayled.

Those of us who were following Sarah Palin prior to her being picked as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, while we were pleased to see McCain pick her for Vice President, we were not pleased by the price she paid for accepting the nomination. After feeling threatened by the energy Palin brought to the otherwise lackluster ticket, the left pounced on her relentlessly. Combined with her relatively short political record and her inexperience with the constant political game paying of national politics, Palin’s image was not helped by the assistance she provided the G.O.P. in 2008. The same could easily happen with Marco Rubio who has not been in the U.S. Senate for even a year yet and Governors Christie and McDonnell who have served just about as much time in their current positions as did Palin when she was nominated.

As for Chris Christie, just yesterday, he again confirmed that he does not feel that the time for him to run for President is right and that he is personally not ready for to pursue the job. Ironically, he made that statement in Iowa, the hotbed of presidential politics which holds the first presidential nomination contest. But Christie was there as a guest of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a forum on education, not to run for President.

In the case of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, back in February, when asked “What if the Party’s nominee.. came to you and said ‘for the betterment of your party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate’. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?”, McDonnell replied, “Probably”. But other than that, the Virginia conservative has shown no interest in possibly giving up his job prematurely.

In regards to Marco Rubio, here is a young conservative who became the youngest Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and after being term limited, ran an incredible come from behind, against all odds, anti-establishment, race for the United States Senate. Before doing so, many urged him to wait. They asked him to pay his political dues and get in line in order to allow the traditional succession of the political hierarchy to tell him when it was his turn. Instead Rubio told the political hierarchy to get behind him. Eventually they did. Now Rubio’s future is still tied to no one. That is one reason why although he is a leading force in support of the principles held by the TEA Party movement, he did not join the Senate’s TEA Party Caucus. This was a bright strategic move that allowed him to create some distance between him and the type of hyperbolic rhetoric that the mainstream media uses regarding those connected with the TEA Party. While he adheres to the TEA Party agenda and in many ways leads it, the left does not have the opportunity to describe him as a radical, card carrying member of the TEA Party Caucus.

So Rubio is looking out and while being on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee in 2012 will undoubtedly be most beneficial to the chances of the Party’s winning the presidency, it may not be so beneficial to Rubio and the nation. The chances of being palinized for the sake of the vice presidency is not worth the risk. Win or lose, either way, for a talent like Rubio to be wasted on the vice presidency would be a conservative political travesty. And I believe Rubio knows that he is a future President, not a future Vice President.

Nonetheless, those who are running for President in 2012 need all the help they can get right now and not attempting to recruit the help of Rubio, McDonnell, and Christie would be stupid. The only question I have is why Mitt did not include New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on that list. In my estimation, each of those women are on a plane equal to that of McDonnell and Christie and almost equal to that of Marco Rubio.

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Bob McDonnell For Vice President

Bookmark and ShareIt is way too early to discuss vice presidential choices for the G.O.P. but why should that stop anyone?

During arecent television interview, with Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell when asked “What if the Party’s nominee.. came to you and said ‘for the betterment of your party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate’. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?” McDonnell replied, “Probably”.

At a time when it is hard to even get peoplelike Mitt Romney to give a definitive answer about his own run for President (even though we all know he is running) “probably” is as close to “yes” that you can “probably” get from a politician these days.

So for that reason, Governor Bob McDonnell is the first name toofficially make it to the White House 2012 Vice Presidential Contenders list.

Between that answer and the fact that McDonnell isstill standing firmly in favor with Republican, circles I believe that no matter who the nominee is,McDonnell would be a safe and solid pick as their running mate. McDonnell comes with little, if any baggage. He has great appeal in the South comes from a state that President Obama won last time and by most counts would be necessaryto hammer together the electoral votes needed to sew up the election. McDonnellhas not offended the G.O.P. base in any way and to the contrary has pleased them on many issues but has been able to avoid any deep-rootedcharacterizations as an extremists, something which, like it or not, is helpful in a general election.

While there are dozens of good possible running mates, I do really have no desire to start listing them all, because it really is too early. But since McDonnell answered the question and since he is definitelya generically good running matefor anyone, I proudly make him the first entry on our Vice Presidential list which can be found here.

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