Ryan Wins Debate as Biden’s Bizarre Laughing Grabbed the Spotlight

  Bookmark and Share    The first and only vice presidential debate consisted of substantive questions that were occasionally met with equally substantive answers, at least in the case of a well prepared Paul Ryan.  Unfortunately the content in the answers were overshadowed by the awkward, bizarre, and often discomforting laughing fits that Vice President Biden consistently launched in to for the first three quarters of the forum. (See video of the full debate here)

Each time Paul Ryan offered an answer to a question, ol’ Joe reacted with a disturbing, uncontrolled, obnoxious, laugh that often made him look like the crazy guy on the bus that mother’s shield their children from.  At one point, Biden’s grimaces and forced cackles made him a perfect candidate for Jack Nicholson’s role in a remake of Stanley Kubric’s “The Shining”‘.   All that was missing was a wild eyed Biden writing “Redrum” across the desk that he sat behind on the stage of debate.

In between Biden’s exaggerated and disrespectful, chortling and snickering, the two men did ignite fireworks as they hammered each other on such issues as Libya, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, taxes, and Medicare.

The sparks flew immediately after moderator Martha Raddatz asked the first question on the hot button issue of the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11.  Raddatz essentially asked if there was a failure of intelligence leading up to the attack.  For his part Biden, never directly answered that question but he tried to claim that the Administration knew everything it needed to know and acted responsibly and appropriately to the circumstances leading up to the attack, and in the response to the attacks in the days following them.

Congressman Ryan took the opportunity to hammer the Obam-Biden ticket on the issue as he launched in to a familiar but well stated criticism of the way Benghazi was handled.

“It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack,”

 Ryan said;

“This Benghazi attack would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it’s indicative of a larger problem,” adding that Obama’s policy toward the Middle East is “making the world more chaotic and us less safe.”

Ryan also charged;

“What we are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy,”

Laughing Joe responded “Not true,” and added;

“With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey,”

The Vice President continued his attack on Ryan’s remarks by also falsely suggesting that proposed Republican cuts in embassy security of $300 million were the reason for the lack of security that made the attacks possible.  Biden further lied by claiming that the Administration knew of no requests for additional security in Benghazi.

Paul Ryan came back by making it clear that we now know there were requests for additional security but the  requests were denied by the Administration.

One of the best lines of the night came from Ryan who reminded voters of just how often Biden puts his foot in his mouth.  After the Vice President tried to distort Mitt Romney’s past controversial remark at a fundraising about 47% of voters, Ryan fired back;

“With respect to that quote,  I think the Vice President very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way”

To which a still laughing Joe responded”

“But I always say what I mean”.

For his part, throughout the debate, Paul Ryan was articulate, knowledgable, convincing, respectful, confident, and firm.  As for the Vice President, he was quick but disingenuous, as he performed in a way that was childish, disrespectful, arrogant, smarmy and at times goofy .  While Biden often made remarks that contained a perfect working class pitch to his base, between his demeanor and attempts to interrupt Ryan a total of 82 times, any possibly strong statements made by the Vice President were overshadowed by his disrespectful, cocky and often flippant attitude.  All of which was compounded by his disconcerting, wacky fits of laughter.

It was clear to me that after President Obama’s disasterous debate performance last week, several strategic decisions forced the Obama-Biden campaign to approach this debate in a way that was intended to make Ryan seem like he did not know what he was talking about and that his ticket was detached from reality.  So they decided to have Biden go on the attack.  Then they also decided to try to take advantage of Biden’s lengthy political career and advanced age as compared to the younger Ryan who was only four years old when Biden was first elected to the Senate.  They had hoped that by laughing at Ryan, Biden would look like the experienced elder statesman who was facing off against the clueless, young punk.  The strategy could have work were it not for two things.  The first being that Ryan knew what he was talking about and lacked the type of arrogance that could have allowed him to fall into that trap.  The second problem with the Biden strategy was that Biden’s laughing was taken to a level so exaggerated and flamboyant, that it came off as unnatural , dismissive, and inappropriate.   In the end, the strategy backfired on Joe and his ticket.

In the final analysis this debate did not reveal anything new to us about the candidates or their positions.  But it did go a long way in  leaving voters with  another negative impression of the Obama-Biden ticket and another positive impression of the Romney-Ryan ticket.  And while  Joe’s shots at Paul Ryan did whip up liberals who were already voting for Obama, he failed to make the case for why another four years of Obama-Biden will be any better the last four.  As for Paul Ryan, his steady demeanor and performance combined with his command of the issues, went a long way in convincing the all important independent and undecided voters that the Obama-Biden ticket is failing us.Bookmark and Share

Why Obama Thinks Romney is Lying

Obama stunk up the stage, no one is questioning that.  Even Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live had a hard time finding ways to take jabs at Romney’s debate performance.  That means Romney did something special in that first debate.  So what do you do when your opponent so completely mops the floor with you that your most loyal allies can’t even find a nice thing to say?  Accuse your opponent of lying.

In fact, Obama hasn’t just accused Romney of lying.  Obama has accused Romney of so completely abandoning his beliefs and principles that Obama didn’t even know how to respond.  The spin now is that Obama was so shocked by how far Romney would go to lie about his record that Obama was overcome with moral outrage and simply couldn’t get over it enough to respond or call him out.

That’s right, when Romney said he actually doesn’t want to cut taxes on the rich by $5 trillion and raise taxes on the poor and middle class to pay for it, Obama figured every American out there would know that was an outright lie.  When Romney said he wants a healthcare plan that is determined by the states but ensures that people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage, Obama figured he wouldn’t have to respond to such an obvious distortion of the truth.  Or perhaps Obama was so disgusted by Romney’s lies that he simply couldn’t stammer out a response.

Obviously that’s a bunch of baloney to try to excuse the worst debate performance since…well maybe ever.  Or is it?

Barack Obama is a pretty smart guy, but surely he tunes in to watch his friends in the mainstream media talk glowingly about him and attack Romney.  When the Tax Policy Center said that Romney’s tax plan was going to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for a tax break for the rich, Obama may have actually believed them.  When Chris Matthews and the left portray the Republican party as some sort of gathering of vampires seeking to suck the life-blood out of the poor and minorities, perhaps Obama began to actually think such wild leftist representations of Republicans must be accurate.

When Obama said that Romney wants to cut taxes by $5 trillion for the rich and raise taxes on the poor and middle class to pay for it, maybe Obama truly believed that was an honest attack.  When Obama, who himself cut $716 billion out of Medicare, talked about Romney taking away Medicare for seniors, maybe he thought the charges were accurate.  And since the debate, perhaps the leftist media has Obama convinced now that Romney would actually like to put Big Bird in the unemployment line.

Republicans really aren’t evil.  We don’t want to raise taxes on the poor.  We don’t want to do horrible things to people’s “lady parts” as one Obama internet ad suggested.  We don’t want to put blacks back in chains as Biden suggested.  Honestly, we don’t want to keep Hispanics out of the country or go to war with every country with a majority Muslim population.  Republicans are not racists by nature either.

If Obama doesn’t figure out that the other half of the country isn’t evil, he will look just as lost and bewildered in the next debate too.  And in the next debate, if Romney doesn’t admit to being a monster who wants to chain women to the kitchen sink or station troops at churches to stop gay weddings, I’m sure the Obama campaign will try to get more mileage out of the “Romney is a liar” argument to defend his next debate performance.

Unemployment Rate Explained

Conservatives woke up two days after one of our best debates since Bush/Kerry to hear that despite slower job growth than economists were expecting, the unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8%.  This is magically .1% lower than it was when Obama took office.  Most Americans don’t understand the details of the jobs report, but they understand 7.8%.

If you’ve ever played the game “which of these is not like the other”, the 7.8% rate would qualify.  Economists expecting 142,000 new jobs (the actual number was 114,000 according to the Establishment Survey) expected the rate to stay the same or go up to 8.2%.  However, there are two surveys used to measure the rate as I will explain later.

This is pretty wonky stuff and I don’t want to lose you, so let me get to the point then we will discuss the details.  The reason the rate dropped is because the economy added 583,000 part-time jobs.  But the U-6, which measures unemployed and under employed remained unchanged at 14.7%.  In other words, 583,000 people got part-time jobs they didn’t want.  Why?

Now for the background.  In 2012 we saw some major changes to the way unemployment benefits are paid out.  First, for anyone who loses their job after the beginning of the year, states only pay for 26 weeks.  Second, in states with high unemployment the federal government cut back payments from 99 weeks to 73 weeks.  They cut to 63 weeks for low unemployment states.  So here is the question:

What do you do when your unemployment benefits run out and you still can’t get the job you want or need?  Well, in my family’s case when I was a kid, my Mom got two part-time jobs while my Dad kept looking.  We had to eat.

Can Obama take credit for the 7.8% unemployment rate?  Only if he wants to take credit for cutting off the government’s new pseudo-welfare program of never ending unemployment benefit extensions and forcing some of the 47% to get off the government dole, even if it means flipping burgers for the King during the day and the Clown at night.  How does that sound for the narrative of Obama’s soon to be released “I fixed jobs” ad.

Actually, based on many of the revisions up from previous months, government jobs make up the majority of the growth.  How about that, they can work for the King and the Clown at the same time.  But of course this time I’m not referring to fast food chains.

But even the part-time job growth leaves many rightfully scratching their heads.  Did unemployment really just have its biggest one month drop since 1983?  If the economy is really about to come roaring back, why did Bernanke just promise QE-Infinity where he prints $40 billion a month to pump job growth?  Perhaps Bernanke is a terrible economist and should be canned.

Well, there is one more discrepancy to be mentioned in this jobs report.  The 7.8% rate is based on two surveys.  The Establishment Survey asks 390,000+ businesses about their hiring and extrapolates a national figure based on that.  The Household Survey asks 50,000 households if they are employed, searching, or gave up looking.  The Establishment Survey gave us the 114,000 job number.

The Household Survey indicated that 873,000 more people are employed.  That’s a little bit of a variance.  So although the surge in part-time/temporary hires certainly makes sense, the 7.8% figure is still suspect.

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.

 

The Cain-Gingrich debates should be welcomed not undermined

Bookmark and Share  We learned in recent days that Texas Governor Rick Perry is to skip some of the up and coming Republican Party debates, citing a busy campaign schedule. Of course, this excuse and Perry’s decision to suggest he may be pulling out of future debates, has basically taken the momentum out of his tax plan announcement earlier in the week.

Perry’s debate performances have been far from convincing and rather then try and run away from them, he should’ve been embracing the debates. Perry’s decision will lead to suggestions that he can’t handle the spotlight on the national stage and ultimately, if he can’t take the pressure in the primaries, he has no chance of beating President Obama in head to head debates in any general election race. It is a poor decision by Team Perry and despite his massive war chest; it is another bad mistake in a campaign that promised so much at the outset.

In stark contrast, we have former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain embracing debates, in what I believe will be truly outstanding nights, for any potential audience member. These two men are not afraid to talk about the issues, which I believe is the primary reason for their strong showing in the polls. They have abided by the Republican 11th Commandment mantra of former President Reagan; thou shall not attack a fellow Republican. Perry has spent so much time attacking Mitt Romney and in turn, Romney has been dragged into a number of retorts, resulting in both men’s campaigns suffering.

What I love about the idea of the Gingrich-Cain debates is that they promise, they will follow in the tradition of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, prior to the American Civil War. If you haven’t taken the time to read these debates and seen for yourself, what brilliant orators these men were, then my suggestion is make the time.

People have already criticised that cost of admission to these debates, well I say firstly, the cost is largely due to the fact that they will not be televised at the time of writing. Secondly, is the cost justified? Of course, here are two men taking historic steps towards the highest office in the land and they are prepared to lay out their ideas and solutions to the very real problems America faces both domestically and abroad. If I could get a ticket, I’d be on a plane to Houston, Texas, for November 5 absolutely. I don’t see how people can complain about tickets starting at $200 upwards when elsewhere, people are being charged $38,500 just to have dinner, and it strikes loudly of double standards.

I think both men have come to symbolise where the 2012 race will be won or lost, as a candidate, do you have the ideas, solutions and ability to address America’s very real and urgent problems. I don’t expect any person in this modern world to be without fault however, what I do expect is someone to recognise what the issues and problems are, and be prepared to offer solutions and not afraid to discuss them.

Both Speaker Gingrich and Mr. Cain have both spoken about every issue put in front of them more then any other candidate perhaps, this is why people are listening to them and starting to take notice. They don’t want the usual rehearsed and scripted answers which is put forward by other candidates; they want honest, simple, straight forward plain speaking on the following basis, “This is what I will do as president.”

The Cain–Gingrich debates will focus on steps to rein in government spending and fix Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. These issues will be at the very core of the challenges the next administration faces because like it or not, they need to be addressed and reformed to ensure their very survival and bring America’s bulging National debt under control. Cain & Gingrich unlike all the other candidates are prepared, to charge into a debate on these issues because, there seems a transparent unwillingness and reluctance, Rep. Paul Ryan aside, to face or even discuss the inevitable. It is a very brave move and both men have proved themselves eloquent speakers.

The debates on television are set-up for good ratings, not for good substantive answers and a crowded field does not assist in this respect either at present. I congratulate both men for being prepared to step into a longer substantive debate and put the meat on the bones so to speak, what I mean is enable those present, be it media or general public, to learn more about what they are proposing on some very controversial areas.

Their will be many detractors who will try and attack this bold move by two candidates trying to mount a serious challenge for the GOP nomination. I think it is a fantastic idea and rather then have their campaign teams and advisors trying to protect their every step, they are setting a bold and I believe very welcome step for future presidential races. Voters are entitled to know what their candidate really has to say on the issues in substantive form, not a masterfully crafted and marketed candidate who is sold to them through the media.

These are serious times for serious candidates, if these men are prepared to rise to the challenge and openly discuss real ideas and real solutions, I say bring it on. It is something that should be encouraged not undermined. If both men have the right solutions by adopting and embracing this format and educating the voters, they will have earned the right to win the party nomination come 2012.

I always say, I admire substance over style ever time. Well done to both men.  Bookmark and Share

Yes, he can?

In the volatility of the Republican 2012 primary, one thing is for sure.  Calling this race now would be like predicting the Superbowl in September.  How ’bout them Eagles.  Of course, I called the Eagles faltering before the season started.  I’m usually pretty good with my football picks.  So, allow me to apply some of that prophetic magic here.  FYI, this post is not for the faint of heart.  I’m just giving it to you straight.

Romney is all set as the Republican establishment candidate.  He has had that spot locked up really since before Mitch Daniels dropped out of the race.  Now the one stable thing in this race is that Romney will get the establishment vote.  He will also get a lot of mainstream Republican votes.  But he is going to run into a real issue, and that is with the anti-establishment movement within the Republican party.  All that is about to blow wide open this week as the NYT releases a story about opinions among establishment Republicans of the TEA party.  The GOP is about to have a civil war on its hands.  Whether they can recover by next November will be huge in determining whether or not Barack Obama is President in 2013.  Mitt Romney absolutely must nail down his conservative support and soon, or he will lose Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.

Cain's 999 plan could be his undoing

I like Herman Cain a lot.  I think he would make a great Vice President.  I think he would be a star on the campaign trail.  I think he would bring a lot of conservatives to the table and would bring the TEA party and anti-establishment wing to the table.  Here’s the problem: Herman Cain’s 9 9 9 plan sucks.  He would do better to drop that plan completely and advocate a Fairtax, which I also oppose for various reasons you can find here.  But even the Fairtax is better than 9 9 9.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan has several Achilles’s heels hidden in its simplicity.  Perhaps the worst is the 9% flat tax on corporation’s gross profits minus purchases and dividends.  Unless Cain plans to include payroll with purchases, his 9% flat tax could turn into an effective 99% tax, or even higher, on low margin service industries with high labor costs.  But simplicity and feel good soundbites are what drives the Cain campaign.  Sometimes those soundbites are the common sense we are all thinking, but nobody who represents us is saying.  In those times, I love Herman Cain.  Other times it’s not much better than the soundbites written on a Wall Street mob sign.  Great for riling you up, until you stop and think about it.

Right now, we are watching the French Revolution in the TEA party and anti-establishment wing of the Republican party.  And who can blame them?  I should say, who can blame us.  Our party had the President who initially signed TARP.  Now, of course I don’t think Bush ever imagined TARP would be used to give the treasury secretary ultimate powers to steal companies from their bondholders, sell them overseas and give the proceeds to unions.  But he should have.  Conservative Constitutionalists are praying, quite literally, that we don’t get fooled again.  The result has been the rise and fall of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain.  Each time, the anti-establishment establishment is looking for that perfect, conservative candidate that we can get behind and support.

Now, suddenly Newt Gingrich is inching back into the top three.  In fact, while Cain tops out the very volatile state of Florida, Gingrich has hit double digits.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich’s facebook page shows a photo of him on the Drudge Report with a story about how he is still in this.  And he definitely is.

The difference between Newt and the other candidates is that Newt’s laundry has been on the line for years now.  Everyone knows who Newt Gingrich is.  He isn’t going to come out with a plan that sinks his campaign a month from now.  No one is going to learn during a debate about him forcing 12 year old girls to get vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases.  Everyone knows how imperfect his past is.  That’s why he hasn’t been in this race up to now.  And that is why he will be very dangerous if Cain falls on 9 9 9.  Of course, I mean “dangerous” in the best way possible.  Newt versus Mitt with no specter of late arrivals and no more candidates left to shoot up to the top could solidify January’s primaries.

Newt can carry Iowa and South Carolina easily once the other social conservatives lose their votes to him.  Newt was the first in the debates to really highlight how Obama was preventing jobs from coming to South Carolina.  And Iowa will pick the social conservative every time.  In a Newt/Mitt race, it will all be about Florida.

Could the debate in Jacksonville, FL determine the next President of the United States?

On January 26th, Republicans will hold the last GOP debate that matters before the primary.  I know, there will be one in Tampa the night before the primary.  No one is going to change their mind because of the Tampa debate.  It will all come down to January 26th in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mitt Romney versus the TEA party favorite.  The last time the Superbowl was held here, the Patriots won.

Is It Too Late?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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