Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review – 11//27/11

Bookmark and Share Sunday’s Trunkline 2012 offers you a wrap up of the Sunday news show discussions, reaction to Newt’s Big New Hampshire endorsement, a new ad pushing for the drafting of Sarah palin for President, suggestions that President Obama should worry about Jon Huntsman, Ann Coulter calls for the shooting of Occupiers, supposed conservative dilemmas, and as usual, a lot more interesting tidbits than just that.

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Bachmann Needs to the Pull the Knife Out of Palin’s Back

Bookmark and Share   After hiring controversial veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins, it is expected that Minnesota Congresswoman and Congressional TEA Party Caucus Chair Michele Bachmann, will at any time announce her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. If she does run, while Bachmann could very well prove to be formidable in early nominating contests like Iowa and South Carolina, her plight to become the Republican presidential nominee will be far from easy. Now, thanks to her new loose cannon political operative, Ed Rollins, that plight has just gotten much harder.

On a radio show hosted by Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Rollins took the opportunity to trash Sarah Palin.

In addition to claiming “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins stated “She [Palin] got the Vice Presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.”

Rollins who was up until recently an operative for Mike Huckabee, claimed that now that Mike Huckabee’s not in the race, in terms of the Republican running for President, Bachmann is “probably the best communicator” He also added “Michele Bachmann and others worked hard, she has been a leader of the Tea Party which is a very important element here, she has been an attorney, she has done important things with family values.”

And Sarah Palin hasn’t?

At 68, perhaps Rollins is losing what good judgment he has left. His claim that Palin “has not been serious” is not only an utterly ludicrous charge, it is a very politically dumb and strategically damaging statement for him to make. Millions ….. “millions”… of Americans take Sarah Palin quite seriously and they take her efforts to elect limited government, family values oriented, fiscal conservatives who have an appreciation for the U.S. Constitution, very seriously.

As for the charge that Palin can’t be taken seriously because she was, as he argues, simply handed the vice presidential

Ed Rollins

nomination in 2008 and then gave up her governorship, perhaps Rollins memory is slipping. I guess he forgets all the legitimate reasons why Palin was picked to run for Vice President. Some of those reasons include her willingness to oppose and defeat a popular sitting Governor from her own Party after rooting out corruption and standing up for justice. Another reason includes her defense and promotion of family values and her ability to govern as a Mayor and a Governor in a way that was fiscally responsible and legislatively efficient.

As for her giving up the governorship, Rollins should really avoid using the propaganda of liberals to promote one conservative and denounce another. As unbelievable as it may seem to Rollins, Palin is not your average politician. She brings to her politics a level of sincerity that is rarely seen in the D.C. beltway that Ed Rollins is familiar with. And it is that sincerity which forced Palin to decide that stepping down was the best thing for the state of Alaska because it would have allowed her very capable Lieutenant Governor to continue the business of the state, unhindered by the ridiculous number of expensive, time consuming, frivolous lawsuits that liberals were relentlessly attacking Palin with.

Ever since she was nominated for Vice President and delivered some energy to the lackluster campaign of John McCain, the left lost all self control and could not give up on trying to tear Palin apart. She embodies everything the left fears in a conservative. And so they undertook an assault on Palin that she believed was not in the best interest of the people Alaska. So instead, she allowed Sean Parnell, the Lieutenant Governor, to take the reigns of power and run with the agenda she set, but to do so unincumbered by the liberal effort to take Palin down. Palin could have easily thought of what might have been best for her personal political career. But she didn’t. Instead she put the people first. And when it was all said and done, what new responsibility did Palin undertake? She set out on a mission to help insure that in 2010, true conservatives got elected to positions as Senator, Congressmen and Governors.

Rollins may not want to see it that way. But it is obvious that he doesn’t want to see the truth. The truth makes Sarah Palin the greatest threat to Michele Bachmann’s popularity and success that there is.  So instead Rollins resorts to trash talk.

But that’s Ed Rollins. For as good as he once was….and he was good, Rollins has also shown a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth.

In 1993, after working on the upset victory of Christine Todd Whitman over New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, Rollins deposited himself right into in the middle of a scandal that involved political campaign payoffs to New Jersey ministers. He told Time Magazine

“We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, ‘We’ve already endorsed Florio.’ We said, ‘That’s fine, don’t get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. We know you’ve endorsed him, but don’t get up there and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.'”

He later tried to backtrack by claiming his original statement was an exaggeration.

This latest gaffe, only enforces the perception that Rollins is losing it.  For someone who was hired to promote Bachmann, in just a few moments of air time, he has hurt her far more than he has helped.  One need to go no further than Michele’s Facebook page to see evidence of that.

In just a matter of hours since Rollins comments came out, hundreds of Face book “Fans” have begun to turn on the Congresswoman. For instance there was this from Allen Pishotta:

“Why have you stabbed Sarah Palin in the back after all she did for you last year? Why have you forsaken the Tea Party Movement in order to become a “stalking horse” for Mitt Romney and yes we all know that you are working for the RINO Romney campaign so it is no secret. What was the political bribe needed to become a “Judas” and sell …conservatives out? I once heavily supported you now I will never give you another dime after this. You nickname is now Michele “Backstabbing” Bachmann because that is what you did.”

And this from Doreen Graney:

“Hey, Michelle, the last time Ed Rollins was part of a winning campaign my oldest son was a newborn baby. Today is his 30th birthday. Hope you’re not paying him much. You won’t be getting any support from me, financial or otherwise.”

Sue Lynn writes:

“Lost my support….Your just another politician…Backstabbing a good friend that helped you get re-elected…So much for that Christian talk you talk about…sure don’t practice it…I will never support you in the future because of your actions to a good friend”

Jolyn Colon demands an apology and states:

“Ed Rollins has a reputation for being a bomb thrower. Did you know that when you hired him? You need to step up personally and 1.) issue an apology to Sarah and 2.) fire this idiot before he steps in it again. Anything else is not good enough.”

And Gary Jackson was particularly mad:

“Michele, Sarah Palin and her millions of supporters have ALWAYS had your back. ALWAYS! Now you go hire one of the biggest scum bags on earth to run your campaign and the first thing he does is trash Sarah Palin.

You realize you have effectively ended any chance you ever had at ever being elected, right?

Good luck winning your House se…at again without any Palinista support and $$$$

What a pathetic loser you are.”

Most offhand comments usually have a short political shelf life. So very often statements like those made by Rollins,  which inspired the type of anymosity seen in the words above, are normally healed by time. But that is not the case here. Unless Michele Bachmann makes some very substantial overtures to Palin  and isnure that not only are Rollins’ remarks are retracted, but that she in no way shares his thinking about Palin, Bachmann will be seriously hurt by this. As Republican red as Palin supporters are, they are also true blue to Palin and quite defensive of her.  After witnessing over two years of endless, unfair, attacks on her and her family, Palin’s supporters have a right to be defensive. And they especially have a right to defend her against one who is suppose to be on their side.

Ed Rollin’s remarks were incredibly stupid, in every way. Politically, he alienated Palin supporters, the very people who could have easily been backers of Bachmann if Palin does not run, and cost Bachmann that potential support .  And there was absolutely no reason for that. Just this past Sunday, when Sarah Palin was asked by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, if there was room for her and Michele Bachmann in the 2012 Republican presidential race, Palin gave Bachmann credit for having stregths of her own that she would bring to the race, and went on to say that Bachmann would be a welcome addition to the race…. “the more the merrier” said Palin.

Unlike Rollins, who claims that Palin is “not serious”, in that answer, Palin proved to be more politically savvy than Rollins, a so called political expert. Well now it is time for Michele Bachmann to show how politically savvy she is. Does she have the ability to correct the wrong done to her by her own political consultant? Short of firing him, Palin supporters may not ever believe so.

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Draft (fill in name here) for President

Bookmark and ShareAs the Republican presidentialcontest begins to sort out who is running and who isnt running, public anxiety over who can actually be a viable candidate to run against President Obama, mounts. At the moment, there is a great deal of chatter about how the G.O.P. has no one who can mount a credible challenge to President Obama in 2012. Such an assertion is ludicrous, but natural. Without any single name to naturally gravitate towards as the logical leader and face of the opposition to the President, it is easy to believe that misconception. But it is important to remember that recent history shows us that the existence of an undeniably obvious nominee for the Party opposing an incumbent President is rare.

While there are always names that may seem to have the inside track for the nomination, at this early stage in the game, you usually do not have a name that is the clear frontrunner and logical candidate to lineup behind.That’s the case for republicans right now.And it is that sentiment which has forced many who are opposed to a second term for President Obama,to goon the hunt for the perfect candidate. Such pre-primary activity is a natural manifestation of the desire to insure that the incumbent President is not reelected. History has been laced with efforts to draft popular figures to run for the Oval Office.

Perhaps the most famous and one of the only truly successful draft efforts in American electoral history was that of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. That effort actually began in 1948 when Democrats believed that President Harry S. Truman had no chance of getting elected. An active duty General, Ike had believed in being non-partisan when it came to politics, so for Democrats, having him carry their mantle was quite possible. And when it seemed as though Republicans might nominate General Douglas MacArthur as their candidate for President, Harry Truman himself offered to run as Eisenhowers vice presidential running mate if he would accept the Democrat Partys nomination.

Four years later Republicans who had not held the White House in twenty years and Democrats who had noincumbent to run for reelection for the first time in 16 years, clamored for a nominee who could easily win the presidency in 1952. Republican standard-bearerThomas Dewy had been the Partys nominee twice and twice he was defeated. As a result, Dewey was not inclined to run for a third time and Republicans were not inclined to let him run as their nominee again. But Governor Dewey and Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge worked to persuade Eisenhower to run for the Republican presidential nomination through an organization called “National Citizens for Eisenhower”. Up till then, the closest name that Republicans had to a frontrunner was Robert Taft.

Senator Robert Taft

Taft was the establishment’s choice, but a schism between isolationist Republicans, represented by Taft, and internationalist Republicans who wanted someone else, gave the draft Eisenhower movement much momentum. At the same time, the spread of Communism was an issue of most importance and it was the one issue most responsible for Eisenhowers willingness to accept a run for the White House.

Ike believed in the use of diplomacy to contain the red menace in Europe. But Taft had a McCarthy-like belief in weeding out subversion at home. Things finally came to a head behind closed doors when Eisenhower told Taft that he would absolutely refuse to run if Taft agreed to collective security of Europe. But Senator Taft refused and so Ike allowed the draft movement to proceed. He also decided that if he would accept any nomination it would be the Republican nomination. This he determined when he realized that he was not in synch with the Democrats big, central government, liberty eroding approach to all the issues facing the nation.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

By early January of 1952, Eisenhower made it clear that if he was offered the Republican presidential nomination, he would accept it. And so without Eisenhower even knowing, Henry Cabot Lodge placed Eisenhowers name on the New Hampshire Republican Primary ballot. But Eisenhower still did not campaign. In fact he told people that he did not believe that support for him was a popular as many tried to claim.

Then in February, a Draft Eisenhower for President rally was held in New Yorks Madison Square Garden. The event was expected to draw a whopping 16,000 people to it. But those projections were wrong. An overwhelming 25,000 people showed up. A month later, General Eisenhower won every single delegate in the New Hampshire primary as he defeated Robert Taft by 50% to 38%. The rest is history.

The next closest example of a draft effort, came in 1964. The effort itself though, actually began in 1961.

With the defeat of Nixon in 1960, the Republican Party began its long, contemporary evolution towards the right. The leaders of the Republican Eastern establishment seemed to have exhausted its hold on to the type of influence it had been wielding. And at the same time a growing number of conservatives were beginning to organize. These numbers first took root within the ranks of the National and State Young Republican organizations. but while all this was happening, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater began serving as the Chairman of the Republican Senate Re-elect Committee. In this position he traveled thousands of miles, spoke before tens of thousands of people and quickly became the most popular face of the growing conservative movement.

By the time 1961 approached, with no clear choice for the 1964 Republican Presidential nomination, Conservatives itching to take the Party over from the liberal establishment, began to organize and think about who their candidate for President would be. Among a small group of political insiders, the consensus was Barry Goldwater. But Goldwater refused to run. He did not believe that he could win and he did not want his family exposed to the rigors of such a national campaign.

Then in June of 1961 Time magazine placed Goldwaters picture on their cover and did a story on his growing national popularity. They wrote;

“Goldwater is the hottest political figure this side of Jack Kennedy…. No Republican is more in demand. Since March, Goldwater’s Washington office has received more than 650 written invitations for the Senator to put in an appearance, plus hundreds of telephone requests. Goldwater’s mail runs to a remarkable 800 pieces a day…[and] visitors crowd around Barry Goldwater’s fourth floor suite in the Old Senate Office Building hoping to earn a passing hand clasp or a hastily scrawled autograph.”

This added to the motivation that a small group of activists already had. F. Clifton White, William A. Rusher, and Ohio Congressman John M. Ashbrook, began a process that combined tens of thousands of conservative contacts and began to organize a process that would get them in to Republican Party leadership positions. The most important of these positions were those of delegates to the 1964 Republican National Convention. This behind the scenes, group of three, eventually became a group of 22 and continued to grow from there. Soon it became known as the Suite 3505 Committee. 3505 being the address number of its New York City office.

Congressman John Ashbrook

After intense networking of Young Republicans, women s groups, and conservative oriented voters of all kinds, the expanded executive committee of this group concluded that Barry Goldwater was their only real choice for President in 64. But Goldwater still rejected the notion. So the committee quickly became an official draft organization that would seek to force Goldwater to run. It expanded and created state committees and between petitions, publicity and aggressive persuasion, Barry Goldwater decided on November 20, 1963 to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Two days later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This changed everything. Kennedy was a friend of Goldwater and the two had come to look forward to a sincere campaign that would test their ideologies. Goldwater also knew that with President Johnson now as his opponent, his own Southern base would be undermined. Two weeks after President Kennedy was assassinated, Goldwater announced that he would not be a candidate. However, The draft movement that had been in place never stopped and on December 11th, 1964, with polls showing Goldwater to be the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, he reentered the race.

Both of these draft movements teach us lessons that are relevant to todays approaching presidential election.

The draft efforts of 1952 and 1964 were both successful in getting the person they intended nominated. But both campaigns involved figures who had some sort ofundeniablyobviouspopularity. For Eisenhower it was popularity among the general population. For Goldwater, it was popularity among a growing movement within the population. Each provided momentum but equally as important, each had a candidate that was at some point in time willing to run. So the question is, can a successful draft effort be waged for the 2012 election?

It is clear that the G.O.P. is not in a position to use 1952 as a model. There is no single figure who is as popular among both Democrats and Republicans as Eisenhower was. But there are some parallels to 2012 that can be drawn from the 1964 draft Goldwater effort. Here we have a comparison that can be made between the emergence of the Conservative wing of the G.O.P. in the 60s, and the rise of the TEA Party movement of the past two years.

But there are two important distinguishing factors that come with this comparison.

The organization of the Conservatives movement in the 1960s involved coordination from within the political establishment, four years before the next presidential election. This allowed for an expedited path to organizing the movements ability to takeover the Party from within and, to elect Party officials and delegates to the National Convention. The TEA Party began on the outside of the establishment and even though it now has a few of its own on the inside, they have much less time to organize than did the effort of 1960. But perhaps the most important of all differences is that unlike the case with Conservatives in 64, the TEA movement has no one person that it is solidly behind. In 64 the Conservative movement had Barry Goldwater as their clear favorite, the consensus candidate. The Taxed Enough Already movement lacks that clear consensus choice. Is it Sarah Palin? Is it Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Allen West, Marco Rubio, or someone else?

Sarah Palin is the one contender with whom a draft movement could possibly be most successful. But even if all the right pieces were to fall into place and a successful 1964-like Barry Goldwater draft effort helped make Sarah Palin the Republican presidential nominee, that draft model failed to win the general election.

Draft efforts that are based only upon movements within a particular segment of society are able to influence the smaller electorate of partisan politics, but they have less of a chance to influence the vast majority of the larger electorate as a whole. This is not to say that the TEA Party movement cant influence the nomination of a Republican candidate that can win the presidential election. They can. But that influence can not come through a draft effort that labels the nominee as the TEA Party candidate. Just as it did not work when Goldwater was labeled the Conservatives candidate. Being a conservative candidate and being the Conservatives candidate create two vastly differently images. The latter is a direct negative connotation implying that one is owned by a particular group. The former indicates ones own sense of conviction. It may be shared with others, but it is not owned by others.

Probably one of the most successful draft campaigns that Republicans could run is one which seeks to make General David Petraeus our nominee. Like Eisenhower he is not seen as particularly partisan, he is not viewed as being owned by any Party or movement, and at a time when our nation is waging one war, possibly getting involved in another, and winding another one down, the choice of a General as our nations leader carries a certain populist logic.

Then again, the sense of the electorate is that our economy and the national budget are our most immediate top priorities. Who would be a natural candidate to draft given that consideration?

If Donald Trump were not such a dangerously fowl mouthed, often irrational and egomaniacal, loose cannon, he could have been a strong draft pick. Were it not for RomneyCare, Mitt Romney with his private sector, managerial, and business experience, would have been another perfect fit for solving economic problems. But we all knew that Romneyhas beenrunning for a long time now, so a draft effort was never even needed for him. In factfor all intents and purposes, he should be the frontrunner without a draft effort.

Governor Mitch Daniels

The person perfectly suited for a successful draft campaign based on the economy would be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. As a former budget director he earned the nickname The Blade” and his leadership inIndiana, particularly on the state budget, is unmatched. Indiana is one of the most solvent state’s in the nation and its economy has been one of the strongest of all during the current economic malaise. Of course for Mitch Daniels, there is already a very active draft effort underway.

Students For Daniels has aired commercials in Iowa, organized college campuses on state levels, created an active and effective website and maintained a degree of pressure that is all good. But Mitch Daniels seems reluctant to make a decision to run and as such, the draft effort begun by Students for Daniels would need to quickly expand beyond students if it is to achieve its goal. But even then one must ask, could a person like Mitch Daniels attract a crowd of 25,000 to Madison Square Garden as the draft effort for Eisenhower did in 1952? Its unlikely.

Truly successful drafts are rare and at this stage in the game, it is unlikely that such an effort would be very productive. Although there are a handful of names that I believe are worthy of draft efforts and have an ability to generate popular support, many of those names are clearly unwilling to run. Two personal favorites of mine include Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. But with 17 months or so to go, it may not be possible to coordinate the type of effort that could generate the national euphoria for their candidacies that would be necessary for them to accept the nomination. Paul Ryan is quite satisfied with the extraordinary power that he wields as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and while Marco Rubio is a sort of new phenomenon, he clearly intends to pace himself. Rubio does not want to be a flash in the pan.

That is why, all things considered, the Republican Party is probably best left to a process that involves the unforced participation fo candidates. We will be best suited by a contest that allows the eventual nominee to have to earn his or her popularity based on their ability to demonstrate the courage of leadership, their innovative solutions to our problems and the capacity to translateconservatism into the practical application of government. A contest that allows for suchabilities to be publicly tested through a hard fought campaign, can truly make those who currently believe that a viable candidate is not on the horizon, begin to believe that the right person has been right in front of eyes all this time.

Political campaigns have a way of producing heroes. Some quickly fade when the campaign ends, others linger on as trusted elder statesmen. But either way, the winner of those campaigns earn themselves at least a temporarydevout following and the 2012 primary process will be no different.

In the mean time, we the people, still seek that perfect candidate. And that search has produced no lack of current draft efforts. Here are just some that can be found:

2012 Draft Sarah Committee

Draft Jim DeMint for President in 2012

Draft Paul Ryan for President

Chris Christie for President

We Need Michele

Draft Cain 2012

Draft Allen West for President 2012

Jeb Bush 2012

Draft Rudy Giuliani for President

Students for Daniels

Draft Rand Paul for President

Draft General David Petraeus for President

Draft Michael Bloomberg 2012

Draft Lou Dobbs for President

Should Trump Run

Draft Gates 2012

Draft Mike Huckabee for President 2012

Draft Jesse Ventura

Draft Dick Cheney for President

Draft Marco Rubio for President 2012

Judge Andrew Napolitano for President

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Bookmark and Share On Monday, Sarah Palins website, Sarah PAC, was spruced up and transformed from a rather bland, one page, lackluster site occupying web space, into a multimedia platform with information, news and links. The move is prompting many to believe that Palin is in fact readying for a run for President. The revamped website comes on the heels of what was a battle cry of a speech for commonsense conservatism that she gave in Wisconsin on Saturday. That speech alone, prompted many to change their minds about what they though Sarah would do. But the combination of the two has really upped the speculation about a presidential candidacy.

From the previous lack of coordinated moves that would usually signal one preparing to run for President, I had begun to think that it was slightly more than likely that Sarah Palin was not running for President in 2012. Yet Palins desire to continuously make sure that she stakes a high visibility position on every major issue of the day has me too unsure to place any bets against her running. But with Palin you just never know. I have even thought that she could possibly be working on her own time schedule because she never intends to run in the Republican primaries and caucuses. I have thought that Palin could possibly be preparing to build herself up as the ultimate anti-establishment candidate and run for President as an independent candidate. Maybe even running as a TEA Party candidate. I still dont put it past her to do that, but it is not very likely.

But therein lies the intrigue that is Sarah. You can never quite be sure what Palin is going to do. This is a woman who as Governor, kept her pregnancy a secret until the baby was practically born. This is the same woman who stunned the political world when two years in to her term, she abruptly resigned from the office of Governor of Alaska so that the business of Alaska could proceed without the interference of endless frivolous lawsuits that came with the spotlight she after being nominated for Vice President. And to most people even that was a surprise. So Sarah Palin is full of surprises. She likes it that way. It allows her to make decisions and think them through long before the media pounces. Those surprises also make it possible for Palin to completely own entire news cycles and push all other events off the front page. In many ways she is a PR genius.

Polls currently have Palin in the middle of the pack and tracking shows that her approval ratings have been making a U-Turn in the wrong direction. But one should not assume that such things will deter Palin from running. Those numbers can easily be turned around. And if she sees a field of Republican candidates that does not have an electable prospect who does not say it like it is and doesn’t shares her anti-establishment beliefsand desire for a truly limited government, with less spending and less taxes, than she will run. Sarah will jump in to fill that void. At the moment, with no truly clear favorite in the running, that void is there and so long as it remains, so will the potential for a Sarah Palin presidential candidacy.

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Palin Proves To Be Powerful at Madison TEA Party Rally

Bookmark and Share “Madison, I am so proud to be with you today. Madison, these are the frontlines in the battle for the future of our country! Those were the words used by Sarah Palin as she began a fiery speeech on the steps of the state Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin for a TEA Party rally that was held on Saturday. Palin’s speech proved that she still has what it takes to fire up the Republican base as well as the anti-establishment, limited government, less spending state rights, Taxed Enough Already movement. Hundreds joined in the type of boisterous cheers for Palin, that are usuallreserved for rock stars or stars of the silver screen. But Palin earnedthose cheers with a speech that struck every nerve of the anti-governemtn, anti-obama,crowd and she do so in a way that makes it impossible to not think of her as a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. (see video below)

As cold as it was in the sleet and snow of the Madison rally, Sarah’s speech heated things up as she spoke of her family of union members and teachers who understand that a pension is a promise that must be kept but that a government must also remain solvent inorder to have the ability to keep that promise.

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