The Disadvantage of Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann

Bookmark and ShareThe debt. The deficit. The debt ceiling. Default. Social security checks. Medicare payments. Balanced Budgets. Tax increases. Gang of six. Cut, Cap and Balance. Headlines all in the past week. Headlines that, for the most part, the Republican candidates for President have been able to take a stand on without actually having to take a solid position. That is unless you are Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann, the 2 candidates who are sitting members of the House Of Representatives.

2012 GOP Presidential leader and former MA Governor Mitt Romney has stated that “The answer for the country is for the president to agree to cut federal spending, to cap federal spending and to put in place a balanced budget amendment.” “If the president were to do those things, this whole debt issue would disappear.” He has declined to say whether he would support a compromise.

Former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty said in Iowa this week, “Eventually you run out of money, but what you do is you buy yourself a bunch of time to have the debate about real reform.” A vague statement but one that allows him to offer an opinion without having to land solidly behind a plan.

Paul and Bachmann however are forced, through their House seats, to vote for or against the actual plans. They are not afforded the luxury to simply make broad statements without taking a position that the other candidates are. Both Paul and Bachmann were also among the nine House Republicans who voted Tuesday night against the ‘cut, cap and balance’ bill that would reduce 2012 spending by more than $100 billion, cap it over the next decade and prohibit more government borrowing until Congress passes a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. Harry Reid has vowed it will not pass the Senate and the President has vowed to veto it if it does.

Ron Paul said it wouldn’t live up to it’s promises, passing the cuts off for years and Bachmann said it didn’t go far enough to cut spending.

So are candidates that hold seats in Congress at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to use the rhetoric on an issue? Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was a top economic policy adviser to Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 but not aligned with any of the contenders this time around stated, “What they would like to have is the issue and that’s the difference between them and the congressional leaders. They need an issue. The congressional leaders need a result.”

We will see in the coming days and months leading up to the Iowa caucus if the other candidates try to pull the votes of Paul and Bachmann into the fray. While the other candidates can rely on rhetoric and easily take the stance that the polls dictate are popular, sitting members of Congress have to take a solid stand on the bills before them. A disadvantage for sure in a large candidate field with a mere 2 current legislators in it’s ranks.

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Can The TEA Party Win On A National Level?

Bookmark and ShareWith the 2012 GOP field of presidential hopefuls lending numerous rumors and anticipation to it’s constituency the polls seem to be giving early indications that those names who have been there before have the advantage heading into the spring.

2008 candidates Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have been neck and neck in most polls and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich along with 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have been receiving a large helping of media attention. So with the polls showing the familiar names leading the pack, where does the TEA Party fit into all of this?

Most media outlets recognize CNBC’s Rick Santelli with launching the movement with a speech from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009 while giving a speech against the Obama administrations proposal to help homeowners with their mortgages. Keli Carender, blogger, teacher organized some of the earliest Tea Party style protests, before they were even called Tea Party protests. In February of 2009, Carender held a rally against the economic stimulus package in downtown Seattle. Ron Paul supporters credit him with launching the movement as far back as 2007 when the GOP held the keys to the White House and the federal budget deficit began to grow.

Despite who claims credit for the origins of the movement it flexed it’s muscles during the 2010 midterm elections. Some credit has to be given to the TEA Party movement for the Republicans taking the majority away from the Democrats in the House of Representatives. It was their message of controlling government spending and debt that propelled the GOP to victory.

So why is it that most polls for 2012 show the members of the ‘old guard’ as the early favorites? Sarah Palin is held in high regard by many who consider themselves TEA partiers but has shown little indication that she is making a run in 2012. Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll for the second straight year but in national polling is far behind the leaders. Tim Pawlenty has been campaigning to and garnering new found support amongst the TEA Party faithful but has yet to make any real gains to put himself on the same level of support as the early polling favorites. MN Rep. Michelle Bachmann has been hinting at a run and is the founder of the House TEA Party Caucus but has made many highly publicized gaffes and hasn’t even been a blip on the radar if the polling is any indication.

It is apparent from the results seen in 2010 that the TEA Party movement has a certain bit of influence. They are well organized and always draw media attention to their message of government fiscal responsibility. The question is can they bring the same message and support on a national level during a run for the White House as they did on the local level bringing a GOP majority to the House? The early polling doesn’t seem to say they can. It is very early in the process however and things can change quickly in the world of politics.

I believe that 2012 will be a huge test for the TEA Party movement. If they can get a candidate amongst the leaders for the GOP nomination they should be able to cement themselves as a true influence in national politics. If they fail to break through during THE largest race in the nation, they could be relegated to a mere footnote in American political history. Their message is a good one and seems to resonate with most Americans perception of the countries economic situation. Will that roll over into support from the independents that are necessary to win the White House? Time will only tell. Early indications however show that they have inroads to make within the GOP first.

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Has Michele Bachmann Tipped Her Hand Concerning a Run for President?

Bookmark and Share Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the leader of the House TEA Party Caucus and darling of the TEA movement has told CNN that she will make a decision regarding a run for President early this summer.

Figuring in to Bachmanns decision will be her contention that the Republican presidential nominee will be decided by voters in four early-primary states. That thinking is a little ambiguous because it fails to specifically address the early caucuses of Iowa and Nevada, tow of the first of four nominating contests. Iowa, the very first contest in the nation, is fertile ground for Bachmann. She is a native of the state and has regional appeal with conservatives and loyal followers in the evangelical base that strongly influences its caucus contest.

Since raising the prospects of running for President, the Congresswoman has swung by Iowa for a speaking engagement before that base. But she has also ventured into South Carolina, the second primary to be held in the nation, and plans on a few engagements in New Hampshire where the first in the nation primary contest is held. So Bachmann is surely testing some of those early four primaries.

Bachmann tells CNN;

“We need a nominee who really understands the times that we live in, who knows what to do in response to that, and has the political courage to do what has to be done,”

She adds;

“Very tough decisions will be made, and I think our nominee needs to be willing to be a one term president if that’s necessary to get the job done.”

So is Michele willing to run for President on a “one term and do what needs to be done campaign platform? If anyone has the chutzpa to do so, its here. And the thought of having a President who is not concerned about reelection, is a thought that will certainly excite her TEA Party supporters. It may also appeal to Independent voters. The question is, will it be enough to convince Republican primary and caucus goers that she is can be an electable nominee for President.

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Michele Bachmann Looks for Divine Assurance in Her Decision to Run for President or Not

Bookmark and Share Conservative Minnesota Congresswoman and TEA Party movement leader Michele Bachmann keeps the door to a run for the Republican presidential nomination open as she tells the Christian Broadcasting Networks David Brody that her decision to run will come from an inner assurance which let her know if is time or not.

From the interview:

David Brody: Whats going to determine whether or not youre going to run for president in 2012?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: I think it will be an inner assurance more than anything of what I am supposed to do.We would have to think through very seriously and know this is the right step to take. Until we know that we will not purse that path.

Brody: And thats where prayer comes in?

Bachmann: Thats where prayer comes in. Were strong people of faith. My husband and I gave our lives to the Lord when we were 16 years of age and so thats been a long time now. Were both almost 55 years old and that has been the greatest help and source of stability for both of us to have that ability in prayer to look to the Lord for guidance. And I cant say enough how important thats been to us to give us that rock of assurance on which pathwe should go.

The Congresswoman goes on to discuss her prospects for president in 2012 if she were to decide to run. Those remarlks can be seen and heard in a clip further down the page you will find here.
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