Conservative Formula Plays Out

Imagine if you single-handedly picked Presidents.  The choice is up to you.  No need to consider electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, spoilers, or anything else.  Your choice is it.  Now, imagine you live in Montana, Minnesota, or Colorado and delegates aren’t rewarded based on your primary vote.  It’s pretty much the same situation.

The result?  Ron Paul got his standard 10-20% of libertarians and conservatives seeking radical constitutionalism, Romney got his standard 30-40% of fiscal conservatives who want a strong businessman, and the social conservatives split the rest.  Except in states where electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, and spoilers don’t matter, Newt Gingrich barely registered.  Instead, Rick Santorum, deemed unelectable from day one, swept bigtime.  It’s like “What’s My Line” where the points don’t matter.

Social Conservatives demonstrated what they really want, and it ain’t Mitt or Newt.  Mitt Romney is striking out with Conservatives, first with support of increasing labor price floors, then with information about his imposing abortion coverage on private companies like Obama is doing now.  Both of these are huge question marks on Romney’s record.

But Newt hasn’t done much better, with most of the country now thinking he was Freddie Mac’s number one lobbyist and had more sex partners than your average Mormon.  Romney has succeeded in dragging Newt down, and Newt hasn’t helped himself.

So does Santorum have a shot?  Probably not, but he does have something Iowa didn’t really give him: momentum.

Now Santorum can face the Romney attack machine for a while.  It started with the Donald saying that since Santorum lost in Pennsylvania he can’t possibly win the Presidency. Of course, that is a pretty funny standard to be judged by when it comes from a multi-billionaire business-owner who has declared bankruptcy four times.  I would think Trump would be able to relate to Santorum’s tenacity.

The problem with Santorum is that he doesn’t have that Presidentiality  that stupid, ignorant, and independent voters look for in a President.  He doesn’t have the hair or the chin.  Oh, and as Scarlett Johannson pointed out, he is unelectable because he wears sweater vests.  What Johannson underestimates is how many people out there who would take a bag of rocks wrapped in a sweater vest over our current President.

I pick on independents, but social conservatives aren’t much better.  When delegates are back on the table, don’t hold your breath for another Santorum sweep.  That would require conservatives looking themselves in the mirror and asking what they actually want in a President, not just who can beat Obama.  Tuesday’s message was loud and clear.

You’re the Nominee – “The Donald” endorses Mitt

Dynamic Businessman – Donald Trump turned the Republican presidential race into a scene resembling one of his Apprentice shows by keeping everyone guessing on whom he would endorse for president. The rumours had been back and forth that he would endorse Newt Gingrich, then it was leaked that he would endorse Mitt Romney however, in true Trump fashion, he kept everyone waiting until the end before confirming his support behind Mitt Romney.

The Romney campaign did not release their public schedule until Thursday morning in an unusual move for them and even then their 20:30hrs GMT slot stood vague, offering only: “Romney for President Event. TBD Location. Las Vegas, Nevada.” Mr. Romney will appear with Mr. Trump at his Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Trump have not always enjoyed the strongest of relationships with Romney as recent as December, referring to Trump as a real estate mogul and reality television star and declined an invitation to attend a Republican debate, which “The Donald” had planned to host, but was later cancelled after other candidates pulled out and included a very public spat with Jon Huntsman.

A spokesman for Mr. Trump suggested the Romney camp would be releasing an official statement soon, and in manner typical of Trump showmanship, said, “I strongly suggest you be there no matter what.”

Trump is a controversial figure and the world’s greatest self-promoter however, like him or loath him, he brings considerable media attention where ever he speaks and when he speaks. Trump did toy with the idea of entering the race last year himself and actually led the polls prior to pulling out with catchy sound bites on U.S. trade policy being weak towards China and regarding Iran. Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of President Obama and his economic record as president. He has made no secret of his concern about the direction and future of America under another four year Obama term and has also criticised the president on the polarising approach to his presidency and his failure to unite American’s in a common cause.

Trump promised to “push our president and the country’s policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness.” Following his announcement last May, that he would not be a candidate for the GOP nomination, Trump welcomed other hopefuls to his office at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for strategy sessions. Romney made the trek, as did former candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Gingrich visited in December when he was topping polls in Iowa and nationally.

Trump’s weeks of will-he-or-won’t-he run last year, stole the media coverage and his decision to question the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate, caused such a news media firestorm that the White House was forced to publicly release the document. A feat even Hillary Clinton her campaign team had failed to achieve during the heated Democratic primary campaign four years ago.

Many will question the impact of a Trump endorsement, I believe it will not have a considerable impact on Republican voters, but most certainly on Independent voters where Romney has an increasing negativity rating in recent weeks, due to his attack ads in Iowa and Florida against Gingrich. Trump will be able to command a media audience and spotlight that no other previous endorser of Romney could hope to deliver. The media love “The Donald” and he equally loves them.

Trump said he made the decision after getting to know Romney after meeting with him several times in the past few months and it was his real honour to endorse Mitt Romney. He said Mitt was tough, his smart and he’s sharp and he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to the country. Trump also cited Romney’s performances in presidential debates and his tough stance on China and OPEC as reasons for his support.

It is certain that Trump’s announcement has all but ruled out a third-party run for the White House which he threatened if the wrong GOP candidate was selected to run as the nominee. One would also have to say that with Trump’s ability to command a media audience and great communication ability, Speaker Gingrich’s hopes of winning the nomination appear to be dwindling by the day now. It will come down to his performance in the Lone Star state of Texas on 3 April, 2012. A poor showing by Gingrich in Texas will effectively finish his campaign and hand Romney the nomination.

Can Donald Trump Run as a Realistic Third Party Presidential Candidate?

Bookmark and Share   Ever since most of the Republican presidential candidates declined to turn the presidential election in to a Jersey Shore-like, MTV reality TV show by attending a Donald Trump moderated presidential debate, Donald Trump has gone out of his way to try to prove that he is relevant and deep enough a person to be considered for President.   First he maintained that he if none of the Republican candidates met his “you’re fired” inspired “The Apprentice” television show standards, then he would run for President himself.

Then after being personally offended by the fact that most of the candidates did not take him serious enough to attend the Newsmax sponsored debate that he was scheduled to host, like a child in the middle of a tantrum, he ditched the Republican to make a well publicized switch of his party affiliation to that of Independent.

Personally, I was relieved when he left the G.O.P.

The way I say it, we have enough problems as a Party and really do not need the utterly pointless baggage, controversy, and distraction that is Donald Trump.  So when Trump switched Party, I said good riddance.  It was probably the very best thing he could have done for Republicans ever since he became one.

But in the days to follow Trump’s much appreciated exit from the G.O.P., he has done his best to make clear that if he is not happy with the Republican nominee, he will jump into the presidential race as an Independent candidate.

Now to be honest, if Trump were to do so, he would essentially single-handedly elect Barack Obama to a second term.  I can’t deny that Trump would hurt Republican chances of defeating the President in 2012.  Unfortunately there is a vast segment of voters who can relate more to celebrity news and gossip then they do the intricacies of politics and such things as nuclear proliferation.  They tend to pay far more attention to the latest trials and tribulations of Lindsay Lohan than they do to public policy and the allocation and transfer of power in political decision making and the roles and systems of our government.  In other words, Donald Trump’s sensationalism and celebrity trumps politics for far too many people and those people would easily support Trump if for no other reason than the fact that they are more familiar with him  than political figures like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, or Rick Perry.

So Trump would indeed make it more difficult to defeat Barack Obama if he were to run if for no other reason than the fact that he would dilute the strength of the anti-Obama vote by splitting some of it between him and the Republican nominee.  And that really is a sad situation.  Especially since if Trump did run, there would be very little chance for his candidacy to be taken seriously by most voters.

Case in point was this very public tweet from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed which he sent out earlier today;

Donald J. Trump

realDonaldTrump   Donald J. Trump

The Mar-a-Lago Club has the best meatloaf in America. Tasty. http://www.maralagoclub.com/
  Favorite   Retweet     Reply

After reading that, I could not help but think to myself, “how stereotypically aloof that was”.

I mean in this day of liberal inspired class warfare when running against “Country Club Republicans” is a popular populist chant among the boisterous radicals who use their rhetoric to great success in the mass media, how helpful is it to be a candidate who is not only a rich Republican, country club Republican, but to be the owner of the country club?

And here is Donald Trump praising the meatloaf served at his exclusive Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.

I guess in his world, talking about savory meatloaf helps people relate to him better than if he discussed the delicious château brion he ate for lunch.

Making matters worse, when you click on his Twitter link you are introduced to his Mar-a-Lago website and a personal message that includes tidbits like this;

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Mar-a-Lago Club, one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world. Located within 20 acres of perfectly landscaped gardens and with ocean views, Mar-a-Lago is truly the crown jewel of Palm Beach and an acknowledged landmark in the National Register of Historic Places. Members enjoy all of the finest amenities that the club has to offer, from our incredible beach and pool facility, to the spa and fine dining as well as world class entertainment.”

 

Trump adds;
“Since purchasing this landmark in 1985, I spend many weekends and holidays at this home away from home. When I made it a club in 1995 (126 rooms made it a very big house),”

Way to go to show how well you realte to the plight of the American voter, Donald.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to deny Trump his legitimate participation in the free enterprise system, and I am not trying to suggest that his wealth and success precludes him from possibly being a viable presidential candidate.  Afterall, Mitt Romney is not exactly your average middle-class American and I do not disqualify him.  But what I do question here is Donald Trump’s judgement.  I always have.  His recent Twitter simply confirms my doubt about his judgement.

Here we are in the middle of an election in which a devastating and stagnant economy is the preeminent issue, yet Donald Trump is tweeting about meatloaf at the exclusive country club which he is not simply a member of, but the owner of.

It leads me to suggest that if Donald Trump is actually still considering running for President, he is a bigger ass than I thought he was.

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The Huntsman-Gingrich debate verdict: Take a second look at Huntsman

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and former Speaker Newt Gingrich met Monday in a one-on-one debate in a Lincoln-Douglas style format where each candidate was given five uninterrupted minutes on each topic related to foreign policy and national security during the 90-minute debate at the St. Anselm Institute of Politics, in New Hampshire. 

The debate flew along in terms of time and was brilliantly insightful.  I was extremely impressed with Huntsman’s grasp of the major threats facing the United States and his interpretation on how to deal with the challenges. The format enabled both men to explore each topic headline in depth and it was centred on substance no cheap shots were dealt by either man during the entire debate. The discussion points allowed both men to demonstrate a remarkable depth of knowledge on matters from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Iran to China.

Huntsman who wasn’t involved in the ABC debate at the weekend and has recently been involved in a spat over deciding not to be involved in the Donald Trump debate excelled throughout.  Huntsman jokingly said, “I can’t wait to compare and contrast this format with the Donald Trump debate,” Huntsman said. Huntsman was relaxed, natural, and humourous but displayed a knowledge and vision which even the most partisan onlooker could not help but admire. There can be no doubt, the former Utah Governor came off looking like one of the most intelligent, experienced people running for office possibly with the exception of Gingrich himself.

Huntsman said Iran posed a bigger problem than any other country right now, calling it the “transcendent threat” and saying all options are on the table in dealing with the regime there. He continued saying a nuclear Iran would lead Turkey and other nations to build nuclear programs. “I think all options are on the table, and I do believe we’re going to have a conversation with Israel” when Iran goes nuclear. Huntsman also said the Obama Administration missed a huge opportunity to get a foothold in the region with the Arab Spring.

Gingrich put on another masterful professorial display, he managed to speak in clear and simple terms about all the issues showing the audience the vast amount of knowledge he’s picked up and retained over decades of foreign policy work. He controversially said that the next president would most likely be put in a position to choose between assisting Israel in a ground war against Iran or standing by as nukes were unleashed from one side or the other (if not both) which could result in a “second holocaust” for the Jewish people.  One thing you have to admire about the former speaker and his campaign is that he is prepared to speak on the controversial topics that most people think privately but avoid speaking publicly on. It is refreshing to see a presidential candidate being prepared and willing to discuss them on the campaign trail

On the topic of China, Gingrich said the Chinese will be the United States’ most important relationship for decades to come. “The most important relationship of the next 50 years is the American people and the Chinese people,” Gingrich said, differentiating that from the relationship between the governments. “If you don’t fundamentally rethink what we’re doing here, you cannot compete with China,” Gingrich added. “If we do the right thing here, China can’t compete with us.” This was well received by the attentive audience.

On Afghanistan Huntsman said the United States has had success in Afghanistan, and that it should bring the troops home. “I think we’ve done the best that we could do, but I think we’ve done all we could do,” he said, repeating his past statements on the topic, which differ from his GOP opponents. Huntsman said the time has passed for nation-building and counter-insurgency, and that the new mission should be focused on counter-terrorism.

Huntsman went on to say that the United States’ relationship with Pakistan is too “transactional.” “Pakistan, sadly, is nothing more than a transactional relationship with the United States,” Huntsman said. “For all the money we put into Pakistan, are we in a better situation? The answer is no.”

During his closing remarks, Gingrich highlighted how important it was for the public to see meaningful, in-depth discussions of the policy matters which will shape the future. “This is not a reality show. This is reality.

As the moderator was wrapping up he joked with both of the candidates and the subject of doing a two person format with Mitt Romney came up. He said, “I’ll bet you ten thousand dollars he doesn’t show up.”

Following the event, Huntsman said he’d consider Gingrich as a running mate, and added that he’d like to participate in other similarly-structured debates and challenged other candidates, specifically Mitt Romney, to one-on-one issues-focused discussions.

“Based on Speaker Gingrich’s excellent performance, he is now definitely, on my short list for people to consider for vice-president of the United States,” said Huntsman, immediately following the debate.

“We’re always looking for winners and losers in these things, but I think the winners might be the American people because they actually got a sense of the world views on display by these candidates,” said Huntsman. “I think that’s a good thing and a rare opportunity in these formats … as opposed to always defining things by who is up, who is down, who wins, who loses, they actually get a little good information, which they can use to assess and analyze what the candidates are made up of, and what they may then pursue in terms of policies.”

Overall, it was a brilliant format and anyone watching cannot help but notice the quality and depth of knowledge of both men. Both men were winners merely by their participation in the debate and the quality uninterrupted time afforded by the format. Huntsman was perhaps the winner in terms of debate result, as it allowed anyone watching to see how intelligent this man actually is; he articulated his points throughout in a very polished and accomplished fashion.

I’ll go on record now and say, if Romney & Gingrich destroy each other in the primaries. Voters looking for a capable, knowledgeable alternative to President Obama would do no harm giving Huntsman a second look regardless or whether people consider him too moderate, too liberal or too conservative at present. People should be elected on ability and have the confidence that their vote could be valued as an investment in America’s future. Jon Huntsman on the evidence would represent a very sound investment for any Republican, Democratic or Independent voter.

Definitely the most enjoying debate of the election season to date, it is a pity one of the networks don’t organise a head-to-head between two candidates each night in the lead up to the Iowa caucus. This would enable all ten candidates to be afford quality time talking about the issues and not throwing out cheap shots at each other.

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

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

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

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Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News Wrap-Up from White House 2012 – 12/2/11

Bookmark and Share  On this day, Trunkline 2012 delivers to you a dose of suspense involving Herman Cain’s campaign and his personal life, Palin’s wink and nod to Rick Santorum, the case for Newt, questions about Ron Paul and antisemitism, a poll question, the final calendar dates for the Republican presidential primaries and caucuses, and much more.

 
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