Life With the Romneys: Chris Wallace Takes Voters Inside the Romney Home

  Bookmark and Share For the first time in the 2012 campaign Mitt and Ann Romney opened their home to cameras as they let Chris Wallace offer voters a glimpse of the Romney’s personal life. (see complete video of the interview below this post)

The interview was a rare look at how the Romneys live their more usual life off the campaign trail.  While the affluent home in the exclusive setting  of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee can hardly be described as representative of the everyday life of most middle and lower class Americans, this inside look at life with the Romneys provided at least some evidence that despite their wealth, the Romney’s don’t avoid the everyday trappings that come with life in a large family.

Granted, the Romneys at least seem to be a bit more functional than the average dysfunctional family but this pleasant interview with Chris Wallace did demonstrate that even though Mitt Romney’s pants may be a bit more expensive than those worn by you and I, he still puts them on one leg at a time.  Then again, as noted by Ann who recently bought Mitt a package of three button down shirts from Costco, not all of Mitt’s pants are as high priced as we may assume.

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Chris Wallace’s One-On-One Interview With Mitt Romney: Complete Video

  Bookmark and Share  A day ahead of the scheduled beginning of the Republican National Convention, Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace aired a one-on-one interview with Mitt Romney, the soon to be official presidential nominee of the G.O.P.

The approximately 13 minute interview (see the complete interview below) provided viewers with a side of Mitt Romney that is not often seen…his more hard hitting side.  In this interview, Mitt Romney was quite direct in his answers, specifically in the areas concerning such things as the President’s attempts to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign.  Romney also offered very blunt but genuine responses to such questions as the practices used by those who have been in control of Romney’s blind trusts.

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Former Iowa Caucus Winner Predicts Romney to be the Next Winner in Iowa

Bookmark and Share  In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee predicted that Mitt Romney will win the Iowa caucuses even though he has not spent a great deal of time or money in the state.

Huckabee, the surprise winner over Romney in the 2008 Iowa Republican Caucuses believes that this will be due, in large part to the fact that Iowa’s evangelical voters have not rallied around any one particular conservative candidate.

But Huckabee attaches a stipulation to his prediction. He uses weather as a reason for the possibility of a Ron Paul win Iowa. According to the former Governor turned Fox News host;

“If the weather is good, Mitt Romney is in better shape. If the weather is bad and it’s real tough to get out, Ron Paul would win.”

Huckabee claims;

“Ron Paul has an exceptional organization there. And it very well could be that he could end up winning because of the extraordinary devotion of his followers,”

He added;

“He’s got people that would walk over broken glass for him and they’d break the glass just to be able to say they did it. So, watch out for Ron Paul.”

While it is true that weather always plays a role in determining election results and I would tend to agree with Huckabee’s opinion about Ron Paul benefiting from bad weather on the day of the caucuses, a recent poll indicates that Newt Gingrich would in fact benefit from inclimate weather in Iowa.

According to an American Research Group Iowa Republican Caucus survey, among likely GOP Caucus voters who say they will definitely participate in the Caucus, 22% say they are voting for Newt Gingrich while only 17% say they would for Ron Paul.  The ARG results were as follows;

  • Newt Gingrich 22%
  • Mitt Romney 20%
  • Ron Paul 17%
  • Rick Perry 10%
  • Michele Bachmann 8%
  • Jon Huntsman 5%
  • Rick Santorum 5%
  • Buddy Roemer 1%
  • Other 0%
  • Undecided 12%

Those results would seem to indicate that Newt’s supporters are more committed to him than the the supporters of others candidates are to their candidate of their choice.

Yet despite this encouraging news for Gingrich, I still agree with Huckabee.

If Iowans find themselves in the midst of a blizzard with near sub-zero temperatures and a foot or two snow falling, the highly motivated, radical Pauliacs  will shovel their way through the snow in order to get their caucus destinations and that kind of committment alone will be enough to make Paul the defacto winner.

Much of this will also come down to organization and in that area, candidates like Bachmann, Santorum, Romney, and Paul, all surpass Newt Gingrich who has little if any real organization in Iowa.

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Trunkline 2012: Saturday Political News in Review and the Cinema Politico Movie of the Week 11/12/11

Bookmark and Share  Saturdays edition of  Trunkline 2012 reveals where to watch tonight’s debate, photo of Rick Perry’s debate preparation, Buddy Roemer’s bitter twitter, the California Supreme Court’s ruling for Mexican flag and against our American flag, Newtmentum, the Obama Administration’s praise of Jon Corzine’s economic expertise,  the guest lineup and topics of this Sunday’s morning news programs, this week’s Cinema Politico Saturday night movie feature, and as always, more.

  • Watch tonight’s CBS/National Journal Republican presidential debate on foreign policy live here, starting at 8:00 PM ET
  • Hours before the CBS/ National Journal foreign policy debate and Rick Perry Tweets: “Debate prep in Spartanburg, SC !! “http://t.co/uwdY27IN
  • A frustrated and inconsequential Buddy Roemer tweets I’ve decided to go to the movies tonight instead of tweeting the debate. Less BS.”  Aren’t we bitter? Maybe he should join OWS protesters and watch the debate with them.
  • Some Advice for Newt Gingrich from White House 2012
  • Turning an elephant into a Newt?   Newtmentum kicks in!
  • 10 character assassination attempts by liberals
  • NPR runs nasty hit piece on Herman Cain
  • Cain: I wouldn’t be Romney’s VP — but I’d consider being his secretary of defense
  • Ironic Flashback, 2009: Biden touts Jon Corzine as economic go-to guy for Team Obama
  • If this doesn’t piss you off, nothing will: California Students: Court Rules Mexican Flag Okay on May 5th – American Flag Not Okay on May 5th 
  • With Debt There is No DemocracySunday Morning Political News Program Guest lineup:

ABC’s “This WeekRoundtables on politics and Iran.   NBC’s “Meet the Press” 2012 GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann; Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee.   CBS’ “Face the Nation” 2012 GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Govs. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., and Haley Barbour, R-Miss.   CNN’s “State of the Union” Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas; Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa “Fox News Sunday” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Gov. Tom Corbett, R-Pa.; Penn State student body President T.J. Bard; former Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris.

W takes viewers through Bush’s eventful life — his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.  Oliver Stone’s biographical take on the life of George W. Bush, chronicles a liberal view of  George W. Bush’s life from his wild and carefree days in college, to his military service, to his governorship of Texas and role in the oil business, his 2000 candidacy for president, his first turbulent four years, and his 2004 re-election campaign.

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W. - on Hulu (You need to register with Hulu to see the movie. Registration is quick, free, and easy)

Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

No, if you believe his now former Iowa director Tina Goff and Kevin Hall who was in charge of coordinating for the Iowa straw poll in just over a month.  Jim Zeiler has also left the Iowa staff and Cain lost his New Hampshire director earlier this week.  When it comes to managing a campaign, things are not looking good for Cain.

On the other hand, Cain is looking good in the Iowa polls.  Most recently he came in second only to perpetual front runner Mitt Romney and remade Michelle Bachmann.

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

The problem is that Cain has not done or said anything to differentiate himself from Michelle Bachmann.  Going into this race he had perhaps set himself apart as a more “serious” candidate, and certainly took on early momentum from the TEA Party.  But Bachmann easily out-shined him in the debate and continues to make the right steps even in the face of extreme character assassination.  Bachmann’s successes have made her detractors appear to be less “serious”.

In the meantime, Cain is reducing himself to soundbite worthy quips and small government platitudes while his substance seems to be a foggy mirror of the clarity Bachmann has produced.  The result is that Cain is quietly slipping into the shadows where other candidate copies, like Gary Johnson (generic brand Ron Paul) and Jon Huntsman (Mitt Romney clone only the media is excited about) reside.  Bachmann is quickly taking the TEA Party energy.

In some ways, Cain brought this on himself.  His radio host style speeches leave little substance to hang one’s hat on and his brief handling of gay marriage in the debate has alienated him from the religious section of the TEA Party.  In addition, at times he has seemed clueless on some of the more detailed issues such as right of return for a Palestinian state.  This still puts him miles ahead in knowledge from someone like Joe Biden who wanted a three state solution for Iraq.

Cain does have one demographic that still turns out strongly in support of him, and that is the African American conservatives, moderates, and independents.  Many of these who helped turn Florida blue for Barack Obama and are now disenchanted with his policies are indicating strong support for Cain.  Whereas Iowa is turning out to be a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Bachmann, all important Florida may end up being a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Cain. Real Clear Politics shows Cain in second place to Romney in Florida out of current candidates, but large percentages going to Huckabee and Palin.  It will be interesting to see how those Palin and Huckabee supporters break by the time we reach Florida.  It won’t be for Mitt Romney.

If Cain can survive until Florida and then capitalize on it, losing Iowa might not be that big a deal.  Then again, perhaps he should talk to Rudy Guiliani about that strategy.

Mr. President, Are You A Flake?

As Michelle Bachmann approaches the top of the Republican field, she is facing even more intense scrutiny.  In the same week as Obama’s medal of honor gaffe, an unlikely interviewer has proven among the most unfair to Bachmann.  Chris Wallace of Fox News asked her directly: “Are you a flake?”

Is Bachmann a serious candidate? Iowa seems to think so.

Wallace was giving credibility to those who seem to hold this bias against Bachmann, whether he realizes it or not.  But an even more serious question is if Wallace would ask any other candidate that?

Joe Biden could have been living in a cave for the last two and a half years and no one would have known it.  There is a good reason for that.  Biden had more gaffes per month in his campaign than Bachmann has had in a lifetime.  And Obama, the great orator, is not immune either.  From following his teleprompter off a metaphorical cliff on more than one occasion to making his appearances before the British royalty look like something out of a comedy movie, Obama has embarrassed himself over and over again on both national and international stages.

I don’t recall Bush ever having to sit down to have a beer with a cop because he put his foot in his mouth.

Bachmann’s answer was brilliant, giving Chris Wallace her history as a tax attorney, state senator and House representative, her education history and her family history.  Remember the good old days when we got to compare Bush and Kerry’s college transcripts to see who got more Ds?  And Obama, for being a Harvard constitutional law professor really doesn’t seem to know anything about the constitution.

So what is it about conservative women that seems to earn them “flake” status in the media, even as an acknowledged and valid perception?  Is this sexism pure and simple?  Palin and Bachmann seem to be treated interchangeably in the media, especially on the conservative side.  Remember George Will saying Palin was unpresidential because she watched her daughter in Dancing with the Stars?  Funny how Obama is amazingly Presidential when he not only kisses babies, but rocks them to sleep on the campaign trail.

 

Sarah Palin Tells Chris Wallace What “President Palin” Would Do

Bookmark and Share   I have stopped predicting who will enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination. After seeing names like Pence, Thune, Barbour, and Huckabee, all shy away from a bid for the nomination and after being convinced that Mitch Daniels would run, only to find out that he won’t, I have stopped trying to figure out what any other potential candidates will do. This is especially so concerning former Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Pain is a master at throwing people off guard. She relishes her ability to befuddle the media that tries to follow her every move and she holds her cards close. However, in a rather extensive 25 minute interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Governor Palin sounded like someone prepared to challenge President Obama in 2012.

Palin came across as calm, cool, and in command of the issues. Her opinions were also presented in a way that made her come across as a  populist with a common sense conservative approach to the problems being denied by our President, but understood by the people.

In one of her brightest moments of the interview, Sarah hit Democrats and the President on the economy and said;

“Their [the Democrats]plans for bigger government, more federal control over our private sector, more regulation and burdensome mandates on the people, and on our businesses, its not working and we need to shift gears and change course.  And it is very noble of President Obama to want to stay at the helm and maybe go down with the sinking ship, but I prefer,…… many Americans prefer…… that we start plugging up the holes, powering up the bilge pump, and start to get rid of this unsustainable debt that is sonking our ship.”

Palin sounded most like a presidential candidate when host Chris Wallace asked the former vice presidential nominee, “What would President Palin do, specifically, to boost the economy?

Without any hesitation, Palin simply said that she “would go in the opposite direction of what these Democrats and President Obama have tried in these past 2 ½ years.” But as she continued her answer, at about 4 minutes, 10 seconds into the interview, she stated,

“What President Palin would do is cut the federal budget….making sure that we’re not crowding out private sector investment. And we will cut that spending”

Another telling point came when Wallace pointed out that Palin and Bachmann are both popular TEA Party figures as well as social conservatives and as such, asked Palin  if there was room for both her and Bachmann in the race, or would they split the same base of support between them?

Here , Sarah Palin gave a response that may have offered a “between the lines” interpretation indicative of her sense that she fully expects to become a candidate.

Palin stated;

“No, we have differences too. I have many years of executive experience too, and she has her strengths to add to the race. But no, yeah, there is certainly room. The more the merrier. The more competition, the better.”

That segment of the interview can be found at almost the very end of the video at about 23 minutes, 30 seconds in to it.

While I once leaned towards believing that Palin was not going to run for President, the last month has made me begin to think that she might actually go for it. For a while, she was suspiciously absent from the political scene as she laid relatively low. For me, that was a sign of Palin preparing for something big and trying to not overexpose herself too early. Now, while Palin vigorously argues that she is simply celebrating our American history, her recent bus tour for that  purported purpose, offers up an oddly timed, campaign-like experience, that affords her valuable attention.

Now we can add to that this nearly half hour long interview, an interview in which Palin talks about decisions that would come from a “President Palin”, and discusses room in the race for her and other candidates, so matter-of-factly, that it almost sounds as though she is welcoming candidates to challenge her for the nomination. But I am still not getting my hopes up.

The positive potential that I believe exists in a Palin presidential candidacy is endless. In 2008, I was part of a movement to nominate her for Vice President and became one of the happiest people in the world of politics when she actually was nominated. I believe it was the only smart decision made by John McCain and his campaign. However; I do admit that since then, Palin has been somewhat marginalized by a vindictive, liberal element and relentlessly brutal media. To a degree, her image was damaged and her negative ratings surpassed her positive ratings. But I also believe that if Sarah Palin can transition from playing the role of Republican cheerleader to Republican statesman, she could easily turn those ratings around. All Palin needs to do is come across a bit more Thatcher-like than pop star-like, and she could easily become America’s “Iron Lady”.

This latest interview was a step in that direction.

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