White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Could Rand Paul Be the Ticket for Mitt Romney?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believethat  will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by 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 offers a look at Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Born Randal Howard Paul (1963-01-07) January 7, 1963 (age 49) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul Carol Wells Paul (parents)
Children William, Robert, and Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University (1981–1984)Duke University (M.D., 1988)
Occupation Ophthalmologist (Physician), Politician
Religion Presbyterian(baptized Episcopalian)

Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, rode a wave of anti-establishment, T.E.A. movement sentiments in Kentucky that allowed him to defeat his establishment backed Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson by more than 20% in the state’s primary. Grayson was even backed by the state’s senior Senator, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Paul went on to win the senate against in a a hard-fought battle against Kentucky Attorney General, Democrat Jack Conway (D) by with a mix of his father’s Libertarian and continued energetic support from the T.E.A. Movement.

Rand’s swearing in to the Senate and his father’s swearing in to the House of Representatives marked the first time in congressional history that a child served in the Senate while the parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives but Rand soon set out to become his own man and make his own mark on politics. After being assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees, Rand established the Senate Tea Party Caucus and his very Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. It included proposals This proposal include an 83% cut in funding of the Department of Education a 43% cut the Department of Homeland Security. Other measures in his spending bill included making the Department of Energy ia part of the Department of Defense and totally eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In total, his bill would dismantle seven more independent agencies, put an end to financial international aid spending, cut the food stamp program by 30 percent and reduce defense spending by 6.5 percent.

Since then, Paul was one of only two Republicans to vote against extending three key but controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, the provisions allowing for roving wiretaps, the search of business records and for conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”.

Later in the year Paul was one of only nine senators to vote against a bill designed temporarily prevent a government shutdown that cut $4 billion from the budget. His reasons for his opposition to the bill was based on his belief that it did not cut enough from the budget and a week later, Rand Paul voted against the Democratic and Republican compromise budget proposals to keep funding the federal government and On April 14, Paul was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

During the debt ceiling crisis, Paul stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted and became a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by the Democrats. On August 3, Paul voted against the inevitable bill that came before Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Some of Paul’s other initiatives in the Senate include calling for a no confidence confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, blocking legislation that would have supposedly strengthened safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he felt the bill was not strong enough. he also blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, because he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green. Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.

Rand Paul is most certainly a promising figure, but at this point in time, much of his reputation is that of his father’s. For the anti-establishment, libertarian types, Rand Paul offers the hope that unlike his father, who has been in Congress for more than two decades and achieved absolutely legislative accomplishments to limit government in its size and scope, or to reduce spending, prehaps Rand Paul’s being one of only a hundred members of the U.S. Senate, will enable to actually put some of his promised and ideas in to action. That has yet to be seen and much like former Senator Barack Obama, with less than two years in office, it might just be prudent to give time the opportunity to tell us who Rand Paul really is and what he is actually capable of.

But Rand Paul’s popularity, especially among the T.E.A. movement types who Romney is not very popular with, could help Romney does make Rand Paul a real possibility for Romney to pick as Vice President. If Romney wants to win the presidency, he will need to get out the Republican in record numbers and Rand Paul could help do that. Another intriguing consideration is that the addition of Rand Paul to the ticket might just get many of Ron Paul’s lunatic fringe followers to actually vote for a Romney-Rand Paul ticket. Many Ron Paul who will not be voting for the Republican candidate, regardless of who it is or could have been, will think twice about throwing their vote away on the doomed to failure Libertarian ticket now being headed by former G.O.P. presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson.

But picking Rand Paul to get Ron paul voters to vote for him, would be a mistake for Mitt Romney.

While Rand Paul will help among fiscal conservatives and can add to the ticket a degree of the anti-establishment popularity that Romney lacks, Rand is still too untested for the national stage. Furthermore, despite what some believe, Ron Paul’s following is not quite as large as they would believe, which is perhaps why Ron Paul has failed to win the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988, and has now twice failed to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Furthermore; Rand Paul has provided a lot of material of which the left will use to distract voters with He has given them plenty of material to exploit and dominate news cycles with in attempts to paint Rand Paul as an out of touch, extremist. Such a situation would end up creating a din of sensationalized headlines so loud and so often, that it would drown out such things as Romney’s proposals to tackle create jobs, grow the economy, cut spending, and tackle the enormous, Obama dominated spending deficit. Rand Paul’s record may be short, but it is rich with both scripted and unscripted, controversial remarks that would provide the left with an abundance of material to exploit and distract voters with. That combined with the fact that there are many more accomplished and experienced potential vice presidential nominees who can also appeal to the anti-establishment and T.E.A., movement voting blocs, and what you have is no real need for Romney to take a chance on Rand Paul.

Pros:

  • Rand Paul can attract support from among some Libertarians and from some of his father’s militant followers who would otherwise avoid voting Republican
  • Rand Paul’s presence on the ticket would add an anti-establishment flavor to the ticket that Romney sorely lacks
  • Rand’s nomination for V.P. would help assure conservatives that Romney is more open to reform and more committed to extreme actions to solve our spending and budget problems than he has demonstrated so far

Cons:

  • Rand Paul’s coming from Kentucky does not help to put a state in play for Romney. Kentucky has no chance of going for Obama in 2012 and even though Rand represents a Southern state, he has not yet established the type of popularity that would allow him to be a substantial regional influence for the Romney Ticket
  • Rand has been quite prolific when it comes to saying controversial things. Between those remarks and and his record, the left would be able to use Rand as a tool to distract voters with on a daily basis.
  • Rand Paul lacks legislative and foreign affairs experience
  • There are more accomplished and qualified potential candidate two can help the ticket far more than Rand Paul
  • Although not as isolationist as his father, some of Rand Paul’s positions significantly clash with basic conservative national defense positions

Assessment:

Thinking about picking Rand Paul for Vice President is more of a novelty than a serious consideration. This is especially the case when you realize that with no legislative accomplishments of his own yet, there are several far more deserving candidates who are just as strong on the same issues that make Rand Paul initially seem like a good choice for Romney.

Rand Paul presence on the ticket would also become more of a distraction than a benefit. A slew of controversial comments will be combined with his limited voting record and used by the left and the Obama campaign to try and make a Romney-Paul ticket look out of touch and extreme. And in doing so, each new news cycle would be dominated by a Paul oriented, liberal attack line rather than any focus of the Romney campaign to bring attention to the real issues and Obama’s record.

For example Paul recently voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Now he did not do so because he supports violence against women. Of course he doesn’t. But he voted against it because the bill contained langauge and measures that he believed were not appropriate and in some cases passage of the bill included passage of measures that were not germane to the issue. But take that vote and combine with something like the much discussed incident that came up in Paul’s senate race. The Aqua Buddha incident in which an anonymous woman claimed that back in college, Rand Paul and a friend tied her up, tried to force her to smoke pot, and then took her to a creek, where they blindfolded her and forced her to bow down and worship something they called the “Aqua Buddha.” That incident came out in the campaign and was discovered to have no truth to it, but since when did the truth have anything to do with news headlines and the impressions of others that liberals create? So just as an example, put those two stories together for a liberal media outlet and what you have is a false claim being combined with a false impression of Paul’s reasons for voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and a story that a Romney-Paul be spend three days explaining away and being taken off message.

For that and all the other reasons outlined above, Rand Paul is probably not even being considered as a viable option for Vice President by the Romney campaign. But that hasn’t stopped certain political circles and media outlets from declaring that Rand Paul is at least a possible dark horse nominee. So White House 2012 included Rand Paul in this series merely to address existing speculation. In the final analysis, Rand Paul has about as much of chance to be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney as does Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 2072 – Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Legislation (Nay), May 15, 2012

S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

Legislation (Nay) April 26, 2012

More Key Votes

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Rand Paul On the Issues

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A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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Electing Democrats in 2012 Will Be Really Difficult with Leaders Like Wasserman-Schultz

Bookmark and Share   This morning on Fox News, Democrat Party Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an under-liberal congresswoman from Florida went out of her way to articulate that people do not elect leaders to create jobs.

Debbie is partially right.

Republicans understand that politicians and governments do not create jobs, at least jobs that are sustainable and produce the type of profits  that lead to creating more sustainable jobs. Meanwhile Democrats like Wasserman Schultz and President Obama believe that government is the entity that needs to create jobs. This ignores the fact that more government jobs simply create more government spending, and requires more funding through additional taxation.

However, this morning, Schultz defied both actual logic and liberal logic.

When Fox News host Gretchen Carlson punctuated a point by stating that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believes that with a Republican President, the nation can create jobs, Wasserman Schultz laughed and stated, “that’s not why people elected leaders though”.

That should come as news to her liberal colleagues and it sure as heck contradicts everything she claimed in her years of liberal service prior
to today. As shown in the video below, Wasserman Schultz is on record claiming that creating jobs is the only thing people want from their leaders.

But liberal hypocrisy aside, Wasserman Schultz is right, but for all the wrong reasons.

People should not elect their political leaders to create jobs.  However, one of the reasons they should elect a political leader is for their
ability to allow government to create an atmosphere that allow the American people to create jobs through the free market. That is a point which Democrats and President Obama have not been able to comprehend. It is also why the unemployment rate is stuck at an historically long sustained high of 9.1%, why our economic growth has slow to stagnant, and part of the reason why our debt is at a record 70% of our GDP and growing higher every day.

Meanwhile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz keeps proving that she is probably one of the G.O.P.’s best friends in the world.

While she is a veritable fount of stupidity and contradiction, she is an accurate representation of liberal thinking and therefore a perfect
representative her Party, which as its national chair, Wasserman Schultz certainly is. I’m hoping that in an attempt to at least keep a portion of the women vote, President Obama dumps ol’ Joe Biden and puts Debbie on the Democrat ticket as his vice presidential running mate. Such a move would help expedite what is already a precipitous demise of the left and their Party as we approach 2012.


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Senate Defeats Obama’s Jobs Bill

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan failed to clear the Senate on Tuesday evening, despite the best pleas and weeks of campaigning by President Obama. The bill received a simple majority of 51 votes but fell short of the necessary 60 to end debate. Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana were the only Democrats to vote against the bill. Both of them are facing tough re-election campaigns next year.

The president’s Jobs Bill also has little chance of clearing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Mr. Obama called on lawmakers to “do the right thing” and “put country ahead of party,” and pass the $447 billion jobs bill earlier in the day. He said Republican opponents will have a hard time explaining to voters why they rejected it.

With the American economy stagnated and unemployment currently at 9.1 percent, Mr. Obama said the act would put thousands of teachers, police and construction workers back on the job. He said taxes for workers and small businesses would be cut. “This is a moment of truth,” Obama told a union crowd in Pittsburgh. “The time for gridlock and games is over. The time for action is now.”

President Obama’s Bill has been much criticised in recent weeks and Senate Leader Harry Reid even had to change the proposal on how to pay for the bill in the last week, in an attempt to secure support from his own Democratic Party for the bill. Reid after inserting a provision to pay for the bill by raising income tax rates, by 5.6 percent on people who earn more than a $1 million a year, accused the GOP of blocking the legislation both to deny Obama a victory and to protect millionaires at the expense of the rest of the country.

Republicans fundamentally opposed the measure over its spending to stimulate the economy and its tax rise on millionaires and many small business owners.

Reacting to the vote, Mr Obama said: “Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight.” In a statement after the vote, Obama said his bill contains proposals Republicans have supported in the past but that the GOP had obstructed the Senate from moving forward on the jobs bill. Obama says he will work with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to see that individual proposals in the bill gain a vote as soon as possible. Obama says that each vote will lead to lawmakers having to explain their positions.

He challenged lawmakers to “explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs”.

The House and Senate are expected to use the remainder of the week to approve U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, one of the few areas of agreement between Republicans and the administration on boosting the economy.

The White House and Democratic leaders must now resort to Plan B: The Democrats will need to  look at ways of breaking the jobs bill into pieces that would be easier to pass, such as payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and construction spending.

Both parties will no doubt use the outcome as a political tool ahead of next year’s presidential election, as Democrats have accused Republicans of failing to approve a measure that would cut high unemployment. In return, Republicans have said Democrats are trying to increase taxes, which would kill jobs.

One thing is clear, President Obama is continuing to use the bill as a vehicle for making Republicans look bad. Many of the components of the bill were rejected in 2009, by the then Democratic controlled Congress, so it is politicking of the highest order to say the Republicans are to blame. I am certain some component parts of the bill will pass once broken up.

The challenges of kick starting the United States economy in the next year are not economic, they remain political, so perhaps Standard & Poor were justified to downgrade the U.S. credit limit over sixty days ago.

The impasse continues leaving the economy at the mercy of the markets and speculators yet again.

Democrats Are Good for Something

   Bookmark and Share Democrats say the funniest things and what amazes me is how they can do so with such straight faces.

Then again, as made evident by the new White House 2012 video below, their straight faces come from the fact that they are not joking.  They’re serious.  That means they are actually as stupid as they sound.  The stupidity is often so stunning that it provides a good laugh, at least until you realize they were  serious.

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Trunkline 2012: Monday Mentions from The Republican Presidential Race – 9/26/11

Bookmark and Share    Some of the fallout from today’s trek down the campaign trail ………….Perry’s record under attack, Herman Cain’s Florida win raises questions, and shakes the establishment, Colorado makes the G.O.P. primary calendar a mess, Romney kisses Donald Trump’s ring, more talk about Christie running for President, the Recession Generation is quickly becoming “the Obama Generation”, Democrats try their best to let the government shutdown for the President’s benefit, and liberal discrimination against gays who disagree with them………..

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Republicans Opposed to Tax Increases Need Not Apply

Bookmark and Share    The debt ceiling debate did little to solve our problems.

In fact, as demonstrated by the S&P’s downgrading of our credit rating, if the debt ceiling arrangement did anything, it exacerbated our dire economic situation. Only two possibly promising things came out of it. One was the successful attempt to get Democrats on record as opposing a balanced budget amendment that will come up for a vote by years end. The other was the promise to deal with the budget issues that they once again refused to deal with today. In some ways this is a step in the right direction. Having a vote on the balanced budget amendment is a good first step. But as it currently stands, this is only a possible political success for Republicans, not a policy victory for Americans. Under the current make up of Congress, the bill will not pass the Senate and even if it did, there is not a veto proof Republican majority that can override President Obama’s refusal to sign such a bill. However; being able to get Democrats to vote on the issue, gives Republicans a strong image to run on in future elections. They will have the ability to claim that Democrats don’t want to balance the budget. Such a sound bite is enough to influence the votes of many swing and Independent voters and over time it could help to elect enough Republicans to actually pass a balanced budget amendment. But that is years away. In the near future, we are still left with a debt crisis.

The recent debt ceiling hike deal intends to solve our problem with the creation of a bipartisan Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that will be charged with finding a way to significantly reduce the deficit in the near future not the distant future. But the committee will be made up of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans. 3 each will be chosen from the respective leaders of the Republican and Democrat House and Senate leadership. For Republicans that means Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will choose which Republicans are on the committee. But now we are told that both Boehner and McConnell will only consider those who voted for the recent debt ceiling agreement for the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

That means that those who rejected stifling economic tax increases will not be at the table. Instead of having any voices that will focus on making significant spending reductions along with major reforms of the entitlements which will account for the bulk of our debt, we are assured only the input of Republicans who are willing to meet Democrats demands. And what do Democrats demand? Tax increases. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already stated that taxes will be raised by the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

It is bad enough that the so-called super committee charged with deficit reduction is composed solely of the members of the same legislative bodies that got us into the mess were in. But to limit the membership of that committee to Senators and Congresspersons who are willing to consider tax increases is a victory for Democrats. It not only weakens our hand in negotiations from the get go, it essentially concedes ground on the spending addiction we have that we have, to the left.

The Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should be balanced. Of the six Republicans on the committee, 3 should be from the group of G.O.P. members who opposed the debt ceiling hike and 3 should be from among those Republicans who voted for it. Boehner should select two of the many in his conference that voted against it, and McConnell should select one of his Senators that voted against is.

That would be balance. That would assure proper representation of the majority of people in America who believe that we need to cut more than tax and that we need to significantly reform Social Security and Medicare.

This is an issue which our Republican presidential candidates should be chiming in on. They should be criticizing our Congressional leaders who are tying conservative hands in the deficit reduction debate. They should be leading the charge and building the type of popular opinion that can persuade Boehner and McConnell to appoint members who opposed the debt ceiling debate to the deficit super committee.

This committee should really be filled by competent people who have no concern for reelection. People who have balanced budget, created solid pension plans for their employees, instituted successful private sector health insurance policies and plans, and who have created jobs. People like G.E.’s former CEO, Jack Welch. But such is not the case. Instead we are left to rely on the same forces that got us into this problem, to get us out of this problem. Given that sad reality, conservatives should be assured of representation on the super committee that is fiscally conservative, not just politically compromising.

Boehner and McConnell’s refusal to appoint anyone to the deficit reduction committee who voted against the debt ceiling hike forces fiscal conservatives to only hope that the committee is deadlocked and unable to agree upon a plan. Based upon the legislation recently passed, if the committee comes up with nothing, automatic cuts will kick in. That might just be the best thing that could happen.

That said, what do you think?  Vote in this weeks White House 2012 poll and join in the debate on White House 2012’s Facebook discussion page.  

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