First Night of the Republican Convention Will Feature Paul, Cruz, Huckabee, Arturo Davis and Anne Romney

Future First Lady Anne Romney

Bookmark and Share   On Monday, the Republican National Committee released the official schedule for the first day of the Republican National Convention which will kickoff on Monday, August 27th, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, in Tampa Bay, Florida (see the itinerary below this post). The schedule includes more than 34 speakers that span both the afternoon and evening sessions, but the most coveted speaking slot that closes out the first night of the convention will go to Mitt Romney’s wife Anne.Leading up to the future First Lady will be a host of high profile stars, rising stars, and even a former Democrat, Congressman Artur Davis.

Before running for the Democrat nomination for Governor of Alabama in 2009, Davis represented Alabama’s 7th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011, and was one of President Obama’s earliest supporters. In fact he was the first politician outside of Illinois to endorse Obama’s run for President.

Three years later, Davis, an African-American, is now a Republican and probably one of the best examples of the current popular sentiments of disappointment that most Americans have with President Obama, a point that will dovetail quite well with the the theme for the first night of the G.O.P. convention……”We Can Do Better”.

Also speaking on Monday night will be conservative stars such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, T.E.A. movement sweetheart, Texas Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, and the ever popular former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee.

Interspersed within that list of high profile leaders are other powerful but less known speakers such as Barbara Comstock and Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Luce’ Vela Fortuno

Perhaps one of the most intriguing orators scheduled for Monday though is Luce’ Vela Fortuno, the First Lady of Puerto Rico.  In what seems to be a decision to have Luce’ Fortuno introduce Anne Romney, the G.O.P. is obviously trying to appeal to Hispanics and specificall Hispanic women.

The Party could have easily had a more widely known and politically established female Republican figure such as Condoleezza Rice introduce Anne Romney to the American people.  Instead they chose to go with the lesser know First Lady of Puerto Rico, whose husband, Luis Fortuno, will be making a prime time speech to the convention in one of the two nights following Luce’s prime time remarks.  But the decision to go with Luce Fortuno is a good one.   As most of us know  by now, first impressions are lasting impressions, and by having Luce Fortuno introduce Anne Romney, many Hispanic Americans men and women alike will be left with a first impression of Anne Romney that at least has a positive subliminal connection to one of their own, A Hispanic woman who is a leading figure in Puerto Rico. `

While many similar, not so subtle, political strategies will play out throughout the night, expect each one of those who speak to bring home the overriding theme of the evening……. “We Can Do Better”.    ``

According to R.N.C. Chairman Reince Priebus, “Republicans reject the notion that America’s ‘new normal’ consists of 42 months of deep unemployment and greater debt, Americans know we can do better than joblessness, poverty and debt, and this convention will present our vision for a brighter, better future and it will lay out an optimistic, achievable plan to make it happen.   ``

Probably no four words could better sum up the conclusion that is shared by millions of Americans as they look back on the past four years,” said Convention CEO William Harris. “We can do better than this, and the country knows it.”   ``The convention will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. It will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media—an international press corps second only in size to this summer’s London Olympic Games—as well as a global audience that will witness a “convention without walls” thanks to the G.O.P.’s  Internet and social media efforts.

GOPElephantRight.jpg GOP Elephant Right image by kempite Stars01.gif picture by kempiteGOPElephantLeft.jpg GOP Elephant Left image by kempite

Schedule for Monday, August 27, 2012

*As part of its “convention without walls” program to make the convention open and accessible, Republican officials also released today the convention schedule for Monday, August 27 through the convention’s mobile app – Tampa 2012 (http://connect.gopconvention2012.com).

2:00 pm

  • Chairman of the RNC Reince Priebus
  • Color Guard
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem:  The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Invocation
  • Opening procedural steps, appointment of convention committees
  • Welcoming remarks, and House and Senate candidates and RNC auxiliaries
  • RNC Chairman Priebus
  • RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
  • Convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris
  • Chairman of Tampa Bay Host Committee Al Austin
  • Republican Congressional Candidates
  • State Delegate Barbara Comstock (VA)
  • Representative Tim Griffin (AR)
  • Republican Senate Candidates
  • Republican National Committee auxiliaries
  • Consideration of convention committee reports
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Committee on Credentials Chairman Mike Duncan
  • Committee on Permanent Organization Chairwoman Zoraida Fonalledas
  • Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner, Presiding
  • Official Convention Photograph
  • Committee on Rules Chairman John Sununu
  • Committee on Resolutions Chairman Governor Bob McDonnell
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Senator John Hoeven
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn
  • Roll Call for Nomination of President of the United States
  • Roll Call for Nomination of Vice President of the United States

7:15 p.m. Recess

7:45 p.m.  Reconvene

  • Remarks by Speaker John Boehner
  • Remarks by Governor Rick Scott (FL)
  • Remarks by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Video
  • Remarks by Senator Rand Paul (KY)
  • Various Speakers
  • Remarks by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
  • To Be Announced
  • Remarks by Artur Davis and video
  • Remarks by Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX)
  • Musical Act
  • Remarks by Governor Nikki Haley (SC)
  • Remarks by Mike Huckabee
  • Remarks by Mrs. Luce’ Vela Fortuno
  • Remarks by Mrs. Ann Romney
  • Benediction by Sammy Rodriguez and adjournment.

About the 2012 Republican National Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012.  Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, alternate delegates, media and other guests.  For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, become part of the virtual convention at www.ConventionWithoutWalls.com, visit our website www.GOPConvention2012.com and check out our official blog, Conventional Wisdom, at www.gopconvention2012.com/blog/.

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Born: August 11, 1955, Hope, Arkansas

Spouse(s): Janet Huckabee

Children :John Mark, David, Sarah

Residence :North Little Rock, Arkansas

Alma mater: Ouachita Baptist University

Profession:Politician, Talk Show Host,Author, Public Speaker, & ordained Minister

Religion: Southern Baptist

Political Career :
  • 1992, Ran for U.S. Senate in Arkansas against incumbent Dale Bumpers
  • 1993, Huckabee to run in the special election for lieutenant governor and won, becoming only the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as Arkansas lieutenant governor.
  • 1994, Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor, beating Democratic candidate Charlie Cole Chaffin with nearly 59 percent of the vote
  • 1996, Huckabee announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Senator David Pryor.
  • During that campaign Democrat Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker was convicted on one count of arranging nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans in conjunction with the Whitewater scandal. Tucker announced that he would resign. Lt. Governor Huckabee then withdrew from the senate race and assumed the office of Governor on July 15, 1996.
  • 1998, Huckabee was elected to his first full term as Governor.
  • 2002, Huckabee was reelected to his second four-year term
  • 2008, Huckabee ran for the Republican presidential nomination but withdrew from the race when it became apparent that John McCain had won enough delegates to cinch the nomination.

(Click here for Huckabee’s White House 2012 Presidential Contenders Page)

Mike Huckabee could be a surprise pick by Romney designed to appeal to the Southern and evangelical base of the G.O.P. which need to find a good reason to vote Mitt. But picking him could also be a decision to appeal to independent voters. While Huckabee is not necessarily considered a big independent vote getter, if given that mission in a campaign for Vice President, Huckabee could do a good job. His ability to articulate issues in a folksy, down-to-earth manner is quite effective and his command of the issues is admirable.

Some suggest that bad blood from the 2008 Republican nomination contest, still exists between Romney and Huckabee.  And they are probably right.  However contrary to those who believe that will prevent Romney from picking Huckabee or Huckabee from jumping at the chance to be one heartbeat away from the Oval Office, that bad blood will not be the reason for it to actually happen.  Bad blood did not prevent Huckabee from inviting Romney on to his to weekly Fox News show.  Huckabee did not let bad blood get in  the way of ratings for his show, nor did it allow Romney to get in the way some free airtime.  Hard feelings did not prevent John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson from teaming up.  And it didn’t keep Ronald Reagan from calling upon George H. W. Bush to be his Vice President.  So neither Romney or Huckabee will let the campaign rhetoric of 2008 get in their way either.  And both men genuinely know that defeating Barack Obama in  the election is the only thing they need to concern themselves with.

That leaves only a few reasons for why it may not happen.

Romney may easily conclude that there are other better suited running mates who can bring a better advantage to the ticket  regarding a particular state’s electoral college vote, or who can perhaps better appeal to certain needed demographic that Romney needs to win.  Another reason could be that Huckabee just might want to enjoy life and keep making money in the private sector or retire to his lush estate in Florida.

Another reason for Huckabee not being given a place on the ticket could be the same issues which probably prevented him from running for President.

When Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas, he pardoned Maurice Clemons, a man who’s criminal history included five felony convictions In 2009, killed 4 police officers in cold blood as they sat in a Lakewood, Washington coffee house.

The fact is that even after Clemons went on a spree in Arkansas that was so violent that a judge saw fit to sentence him to 95 years behind bars, Governor Huckabee issued Clemons clemency, and he did so over the objections of prosecutors.

In 1988 then Vice President George H.W. Bush used a similar incident in the now infamous Willie Horton ad, to decimate the Democrat presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

For obvious reasons, this will more than likely derail any chance for Huckabee to selected by Mitt Romney as his running mate.

Pros:

  • Excellent campaigner who can connect with voters, especially Independents
  • Can help Romney bolster his standing among Southerners and evangelicals
  • Has a fairly decent conservative record on the issues
  • Executive experience
  • High, positive national name ID
  • Helps to firm up Romney’s committment to his opposition to abortion

Cons:

  • Has a serious Willie Horton-like issue hanging in his closet
  • The material used against Romney by Huckabee in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination against Romney in 2008 could be used against Romney again in 2012. This is not a lethal factor, but it is a consideration.
  • Huckabee may sincerely not be interested in seeking elected office

General Assessment:

Huckabee would make a decent compromise candidate for Vice President who helps compensate for some of the weaknesses that Romney has among conservatives, Southerners, and evangelicals.

He is a good, smooth talking, campaigner who is quick on his feet and could actually make a good choice were it not for the Clemons clemency tragedy, which is far to significant to not become an issue during the campaign and does raise serious, legitimate doubt about Huckabee’s judgement.

Huck is a possible but not probable choice for the Republican vice presidential nomination.

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Mike Huckabee On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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View Allen West’s Entire CPAC 2012 Speech

Bookmark and Share  Florida Congressman Allen West delivered a speech filled with lots of red meat for conservatives and raised the roof on CPAC in a way that few others can do.  In both the content of his speech and the delivery of speech, Allen West proves that he gets it and makes you wonder why others don’t, including those who are running for President.

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Is Romney Signaling that He Will Tap Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for Vice President?

 Bookmark and Share   Praise for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell by Mitt Romney during a Wednesday campaign stop in Virginia, has many speculating that if nominated President, he will tap McDonnell as his Vice presidential running mate.

Speaking at Virginia’s  Fairfax County Republican headquarters, Romney called McDonnell one of the “great leaders of the Republican Party.” He added, “He’s a terrific governor doing a great job here in Virginia.” and stated “I say nice things about Governor McDonnell every time I have a chance”.

The remarks do not necessarily indicate that Romney is ready to pick McDonnell if he wins the G.O.P. presidential nomination.  What it does mean is that Romney is smart enough to appeal to Virginians by agreeing with them.  Governor McDonnell receives extraordinarily high approval from Virginia voters and to do anything other align himself with McDonnell would quite frankly, be a sign of severe brain damage.

Governor McDonnell is doing a fine job in Virginia and a look at his near perfect conservative record would make one believe that he might be a better Republican presidential candidate than those now running.  However, even though Barack Obama won Virginia in 2008, that is unlikely to be repeated.  Virginia is normally a reliably Republican state when it comes to presidential politics, and is likely to be that way in 2012 regardless of who the G.O.P. nominee is.   So for electoral purposes, McDonnell is not going to be needed to deliver Virginia’s electoral college vote to the Republican presidential ticket.

For the purpose of having an edge in the electoral college, Republicans may want to look at more truly competitive swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada or even, to a lesser extent, Florida, where the obvious choice is Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

No matter what though, Governor McDonnell will be and deserves to be on everyone’s short list.  Which is why there should not be too much read into Romney’s remarks in Virginia about their popular Governor.  The only remarks about McDonnell that should raise eyebrows would be negative ones.  Had Romney stood in the headquarters of one of Virginia’s county Republican headquarters and said of their popular Governor something like “Bob McDonnell is okay, but I can take him or leave him”, that would deserve attention.

Meanwhile, I remain reluctant to discuss vice presidential contenders until we know for sure who the Republican presidential nominee will be.  However I will say that my initial instincts tell me that if Romney is the nominee, Bob McDonnell is not his most likely choice.  As I previously pointed out, Virginia should easily go Republican in the presidential election no matter who the G.O.P. nominee is.  Add to that the imagery of Romney and McDonnell together and what you have is a ticket that looks almost too perfect.  Kind of like the cake topper of gay wedding cake.

Personally I believe that when it comes to Romney, he is going to have to go with a conservative but unconventional running mate.

So far Romney is tied too closely to the establishment and his reluctance to be bold in his policy choices leaves the selection of a running mate to be one of the few opportunities to step out of the establishment mold.  All things considered, I can see Romney picking someone like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley or even more likely than her, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.  Like Marco Rubio, she is conservative, strongly appreciated in the TEA movement, from an important swing state and offers the opportunity to make inroads into the increasingly important and influential Hispanic vote.

Another bold choice could be Herman Cain.  His strong TEA movement appeal and anti-career politician profile will make him attractive on an ticket, and helps Romney shore up his conservative credentials.

Then there is a real wildcard choice for Romney……… former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee may have very well cost Romney the nomination in 2008 and there is undoubtedly still some bad blood between the two men.  But they have seemingly warmed up to one another since 2008.  Huckabee even had Mitt Romney on his weekly Fox News program.

Picking Huckabee could be a way for Romney to inject new blood and new life in to what will be a news weary electorate by the time the Republican National Convention is held in late August of next year.  Adding Huckabee to the ticket will also appeal to the evangelicals that Romney really needs to appeal to and overcome their prejudices toward his Mormon faith.  As an ordained Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee could go a long way in helping Romney among the evangelical flocks that will be important to a Republican victory.  Mike Huckabee does have some luggage of his own, but when it comes to Mitt, Huckabee would be more compensation than burden.

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Mainstream Media Still Pushing Chris Christie and Now Bringing Mike Huckabee Back

Bookmark and Share    As a fickle Republican electorate continues to demonstrate their apathy for the existing field of declared presidential candidates, an old name to the 2012 field has become the newest name to be drawn back into the contest.  While news stories continue to swirl around about some still possible entry of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the presidential contest, a new one surfaces about former Governor Mike Huckabee.

According to Reuters,  numerous unnamed sources have urged Mike Huckabee to reconsider his midsummer decision not to run .  Huckabee is said to have told Fox News thathe doesn’t  “see it happening”.  But as is the case with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, that has not put an end to the rumors.

Despite stating quite adamantly that he is not running for President after a speech that Chris Christie delivered at the Reagan Library this past Tuesday, reports that he was on the verge of declaring his candidacy seemed to have only gained in their intensity.

As made evident in the clip below, in the New York City Tri-State area, residents in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania media market were fed an endless array of reports declaring that Christie was still in the middle of considering a run.  On WCBS 880 AM radio news, every twenty minute cycle had a report telling listeners that Chris Christie advisors and aides were scrambling to see if they could put together a presidential campaign organization together at very last moment.

Even the Sunday morning TV political shows dug into the Christie speculation.

Unfortunately most all the reports about Christie possibly deciding to throw his hat in the ring come from “unnamed” sources.  That’s pretty convenient and getting tiresome. But in the never ending search for a “perfect” presidential candidate Republicans have allowed the media to label the existing field of presidential candidates as not good enough.   That feeling will change in time.  But until then, we will continue to hear about the need to recruit someone in to the race.  Such a storyline allows the mainstream media to continue making President Obama look superior when compared the field of  Republicans from which his ultimate opponent will come from.

Meanwhile, with all the talk about Huckabee and Christie running, it is important to realize that both of these would have a problem if they run.

Huckabee has a record on taxes that contradicts some  of his rhetoric on that issue.  He also has to answer to a string of clemencies he issued as Governor Arkansas, which resulted in rapes and murders.  Including the killing of 4 police officers in Oregon.

As for Christie, his 20 months in office have still not done much to increase employment and many of his economic policies have not yet had the time to show New Jerseyans if they are working or not .  Beyond that, Christie is consistently nagged by the far right for what they call his poor judicial appointments, including a controversial selection of a Muslim who represented other Muslims who were rounded up by the FBI in the aftermath of 9/11.   Such representation was not wrong but depending upon the context in which it is explained, it could be turned in to an impression that would be a liability in a campaign.

Other issues which would become a problem for Christie among the conservative base that is responsible for electing a nominee, includes Christie’s support of  the federal assault weapons ban, he supported President Obama’s education reform agenda and has confirmed his belief in manmade global warming and  his support of the President’s failing green energy policies.

So Christie is far from being a perfect conservative candidate.  Yet until he has been forced to defend his record, voters looking for that perfect candidate will not allow the concept of a run for President by Christie in 2012 to die.

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Mitt Romney : Which is More Important? His Midas Touch or His Flawed Candidacy?

Bookmark and Share   Having already left the starting gate, the Republican race for the White House continues to run down a long and bumpy track that is riddled with twists, turns, high hills, steep declines, and blind spots. The biggest blind spot of all exists among the voters.  With them it seems as though the perfect candidate in 2012 is always someone else.   Once it was Mike Pence, then it was John Thune. For the longest time it was Mike Huckabee and then for For awhile it was Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan.  For some it’s Sarah Palin, for others it’s Chris Christie.  The only problem is that none of these people have expressed a willingness to make the committment necessary to become President.

Then Texas Governor Rick Perry did make that committment.  He immediately vaulted to frontrunner status as the next near perfect and everyone finally had  the perfect candidate.  But after one month in the race, he fell out of favor and people quickly started to again ask Chris Christie to become the perfect candidate.  Now they are again turning to Mike Huckabee.

In Iowa Michele Bachmann was the perfect candidate for a while.  She even won their Straw Poll.  Now after her first place showing there, Mitt Romney is leading in Iowa and Herman Cain came in first in Florida.

So now, Herman Cain goes from bottom tier candidate to top tier candidate and some claim that he is now the perfect candidate.  But for how long will that be?

Through it all though, there has been one candidate who ever since he entered the race, has held steady among Republican voters.  He has never been seen as perfect.  But he has also never been viewed as a certain loser like Ron Paul and he has never been seen as a candidate who had no chance of beating President Obama if he were the Republican nominee.

That candidate is Mitt Romney.

While Romney has been denied be seen as a strong frontrunner, since the 2008 presidential election, he has consistently been a frontrunner nonetheless.   And for good reason.

While the creation of Romneycare will always make Mitt a flawed candidate, the success of Romney’s record in and out of politics, makes him without a doubt, one of the most impressive and promising candidates running.  The problem is, that he is not perfect and will not ever be seen as perfect.

The greatest knocks against Romney are that he has flip-flopped on several issues including abortion, and his creation of Romneycare.  But on these issues, Romney has indeed redeemed himself in many different senses.

Mitt has has remained true to his conversion from being a pro-choice Republican, to being a Right-to-Life Republican and as Governor he did the following;

  • Vetoed legislation that would have provided for the “Morning After Pill” without a prescription.
  • Fought to promote abstinence education in the classroom.
  • Vetoed legislation that would have redefined in Massachusetts the longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation.
  • Supports parental notification laws and opposed efforts to weaken parental involvement.
  • Supports adult stem cell research but has opposed efforts to advance embryo-destructive research in Massachusetts and he has not supported public funding for embryo-destructive research.

On the healthcare issue, while Romney admits that his healthcare plan had some things in it that he would change, he also turns it into a powerful example of state’s rights that can be used with great strength against President Obama.  But in addition to understanding that state’s should have the rights to legislate based on their own needs and desires and not a federal mandate force them in to  a one size fits all federal bureaucracy, it is important to realize the biggest difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare.

Romney proposed universal insurance, not universal health care.

The difference is critical to not only the basic thrust behind the two healtchare approaches, it is essential to ideological purity.  What revolutionized the traditiona lstate health care sys­tem was that Romney’s plan attempted to empower individuals to buy and own their health insurance policies and keep these poli­cies with them regardless of job or job status.  ObamaCare goes beyond that, denying choices and creating a new humoungous federal bureaucracy that essentially allows bueraucrats to make healthcare decisions by determining what treatment Obamacare will allow one to get or deny them the opportunity to get it.  According to the leading conservative policy think tank, The Heritage Foundation, Romney’s plan “made significant strides in reforming their health insurance market, and other states can learn from the Massachusetts experience.”  Still it is clear that the plan leaves much to be desired.

Yet, many see the implementation of Romneycare in Massachusetts as a sign of Romney having a lack of limited government credentials and too much of a government-centric mindset.  This is where those within the TEA movement have the most difficulty with Mitt.

However, not only has Romney vowed to repeal Obamacare, he has promised to provide waivers that would allow all fifty states to be exempt from Obamacare.  This is a clear sign that Romney gets it.  Furthermore, given the strong doubts about Romney’s limited government credentials, one should easily be able to see that Romney will have to go out of his way to lead in a way that compensates for those doubts.  In other words, Romney’s hands are tied.  He will have little chance for political survival if he were to employ big government policies.

So it is safe to say that Romney not only gets it, he has no choice other than practicing limited government policies.

But beyond that, Romney’s overall record as a Governor, does support his being considered a worthy conservative.

Upon taking over Beacon Hill, Romney  issued an Executive Order reestablishing a Judicial Nominating Commission that reviewed resumes of applicants for state judicial positions and did so without any knowledge of the applicants  race, sex, or  political leanings.  The process, resulted in the selection of the judges based solely upon their qualifications as responsible interpretations of the law.  Furthermore; Romney appointed a chairman to the Judicial Nominating Commission that used the position to prevent the appointment of liberal activist judges who would legislate from the bench. That Romney appointee was Christopher Moore, a member of the Federalist Society, which fights against judicial activism. This helped move the courts of what is arguably one of the most liberal states in the nation, to the right.

Beyond his strict constitutionalist views, Romney has been a productive conservative on everything from illegal immigration, to economics.  He has fought for lower taxes,  practiced fiscal responsibility, been a longtime defender of Second Amendment rights, taken a hardline on border security, executing the War on Terror, and as Governor, he reformed government in ways that made it more efficient and effective as he cut wasteful programs, merged duplicate departments, and turned the state’s $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus without raising taxes.

But the most impressive example of Romney’s abilities still remain his turnaround of the 2002 Olympics in 2002.

Not only were the Olympic games a great example of his superior executive skills, as seen in the video below, it offered a great look at the character, determination, skills, positive attitude, and due diligence that is Mitt Romney. And in many ways, the Olympics of 2002 are incredibly analogous to the condition of the U.S. economy, the issue most critical to the election of a President in 2012.

In 1999 Romney took over what was a scandal-ridden Olympic organization committee that was in crisis, in debt, and in complete disarray, and turned it around by making it the most successful, well organized, and profitable Olympic games in history.

This was no easy accomplishment.  Romney’s massive operation, included the oversight, management and coordination of everything from the image of the Olympics, to the construction of the Olympic Village and top notch venues for Olympians to compete in, and even what was the most secure Olympics history.  After the events of 9/1/01, the Winter Olympics which took place only a few shorts month after that horror, suddenly became the place most vulnerable for terrorism in  the world.   With its worldwide audience, the high profile of the Salt Lake City Olympics made insuring it against acts of terror, the largest security operation of its kind .  And Mitt Romney coordinated it  all.

While Mitt points out that he did not do it alone, he is the person who hired the competent, committed people, that made it possible to turn the Games around and make them the most successful ever.  In the end, from both a sporting and business standpoint, the 2002 Salt Lake City set  broadcasting and marketing records with more than 2 billion viewers and 13 billion viewer hours.  Financially, Romney’s Olympic’s turnaround raised more money with fewer sponsors than any prior Olympic Games, and left Salt Lake Olympic Committee with a surplus of $40 million at the conclusion of the games.

Given Romney’s record, while he may be flawed, there is little to suggest that he is anything but conservative.  And beyond that, Mitt Romney is a by nature, a forward thinking, problem solver who does not seek quick, short term fixes.  He seeks to solve problems now and avoid them in the future.  He has done so be it in business or government.  Such leadership is lacking in the White House today, and not easily recognizable in the existing field of Republican presidential candidates.

This is why even though Mitt Romney has essentially been running for the presidential nomination since 2008, he is not trying to come on like gangbusters.  Romney’s campaign is one that is carefully pacing itself.  That is why while other candidates are bouncing back and forth in the polls, Romney has remained consistently towards or at the top.   All of this could ultimately mean success for Romney in  the Republican presidential race.  Romney’s steady position helps add to an impression of consistency, something which people like and trust.

Another thing to remember is this.  With a large field of Republican candidates that consists of a number of candidates who are splitting the hardcore religious right of the G.O.P., Romney can play safe and not move so far to the right, that he turns off Independent voters in the general election.  Instead he can remain, consistent and noncontroversial and benefit from a diluted concentration of a social conservative voting bloc that is divided among three or four candidates.   However, this does not mean that Romney will be a moderate Republican if elected President.

Case in point.  Back in 2009, I did not have a great deal of appreciation for Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie of New Jersey.  I was one of those New Jersey voters who has been fed up by moderate Republicans who try to be like Democrats for the sake of political expediency in a very blue state.  I had in fact favored an ardent conservative who challenged Chris Christie in a primary for Republican gubernatorial nomination.   During his campaign, Christie did little to prove to me that he would be a reliable conservative and that is what I wanted in a Governor. But not long after Chris Christie was elected Governor, I began to understand that if Chris Christie’s campaign sounded as conservative as his Administration actually proved to be, there would be no Christie Administration.

So it is reasonable to say that Romney is playing politics here.  Whether that is good or bad, elections are political and if you’re not willing to play politics, don’t  run for election.  That combined with the fact that Mitt Romney is no liberal and has a an incredible ability to lead, solve problems, and turn things around, allows me to keep the door open to him.   Be it Perry, Paul, Palin, or Ryan, Daniels, or Christie,  none of them are perfect and to keep waiting around for such a candidate will only get us a second term of a President who is as far from perfect as the sun is from the Earth.  And I for one am not going to wait light years to bring about the change we need.

This is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney, at least not yet.  But this is a reminder that Romney has given us no reason to believe that he won’t do as he says …………..

” I will press for full repeal of Obamacare, which will save hundreds  of billions of dollars. I will reduce the size of the federal workforce  and align the wages and benefits of federal workers with the private  sector. And I will set about the hard work of fundamentally  restructuring the federal government.”

If that is  not good enough for many Republicans, than they can throw their vote away on Lyndon LaRouche or Ron Paul.  As for myself, I believe there comes a time when one  has to start differentiate the rhetoric from the facts.  In doing so, I can see that Mitt Romney has a record that allows me to believe he will do what he says.  While he has not yet moved me enough to endorse him, I can tell you that I have closed no door on any Republican presidential candidate.  My door is open for all them to come right through and prove to me that they deserve my vote.  I just hope that many Republicans will leave the door open for Mitt Romney.  Not only is he the likely nominee, he is also the person who is most likely to be able to get this country back on track when 2013 rolls around.

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Cain’s Gain?

Mike Huckabee made it official over the weekend. He is not running. Huckabee was one of those candidates who was able to corner a specific share of the GOP market and turn them into a cult following. As the 2008 primary dragged on and Huckabee appeared on shows like Saturday Night Live to joke about how his mathematical chance of winning required winning every remaining state, Huckabee continued to campaign and siphon votes away from Mitt Romney in crucial states.

Even coming into 2012, Huckabee has maintained a Ron Paul-like base of support who will chide media outlets for not casting him in a bright enough light or leaving him out of 2012 primary analysis. To be honest though, I wasn’t surprised when Huckabee said no this year. Any Republican candidate is going to have a huge uphill battle facing their own divided party, the media, and then the Obama political machine. Who can blame Huckabee for wanting to sit this one out and make money hand over fist at his TV show?

Can Herman Cain pick up Huckabee's votes?

So who will get those voters who faithfully showed up and voted Huckabee even after his chances of winning evaporated in 2008? Only one candidate sofar has come out firmly for the socially and fiscally conservative platform, including the Fairtax, that Huckabee represented: Herman Cain.

Cain stands to pick up many of your neighbors who have the anti-IRS Fairtax signs in their yard and on their bumper stickers. He also will pick up many of Huckabee’s fans who are also mainstream Conservative media fans. There is a great deal of overlap between Foxnews talk show fans and Conservative radio fans.

Huckabee and Cain share another large support base among TEA Party candidates. Many of these small government conservatives who supported Huckabee in 2008 will look to Cain in 2012 as the most Conservative candidate who is not as radical as Ron Paul on foreign policy.

Will this be what bumps Cain into the top tier? It certainly is an opportunity sitting on the table. If Cain can make the connections in voters’ minds, he stands to be the one to gain.

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