The Herd: A Look at the Possible Republican Vice Presidential Nominnees: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

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 of 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 New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

Born (1959-07-14) July 14, 1959 (age 52) El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party (Before 1995) Republican Party (1995–present)
Spouse(s) Chuck Franco
Children Carlo
Residence Governor’s Mansion
Alma mater University of Texas, El Paso University of Oklahoma
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Martinez is a strong, Thatcher-like, conservative, woman who in 2010 handily won her election and became the first female governor of New Mexico, and the first female Hispanic governor in the United States. Beyond both the appeal of the balance she would bring to the G.O.P. as both a Hispanic and a woman, Martinez is simply a strong conservative leader with solid conservative positions and a powerful conservative agenda that translates into the type of solutions that New Mexico and in many ways, the nation requires .

Martinez has pursued an aggressive approach to the problem of illegal immigration in her state, and as a four term district attorney, Martinez she has a powerful law and order agenda. She has sought to repeal state laws that provide illegal immigrants access to driver’s licenses and to deny children of illegal immigrants access to higher education through the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship Ironically Martinez has admitted that her paternal grandparents were illegal immigrants. While that may become a laughing point for the left, it does however give Martinez a unique ability to lead on the issue.

Governor Martinez has also been a leading “good government” advocate who has pushed for transparency in government every step of the way. This probably stems from her years as a prosecutor in which she focused on cases involving public corruption. And when it comes to fiscal conservatism, Martinez is a trim, female version of Chris Christie. While far more attractive than Christie, she shares his approach to budgetary matters and has proposed to reduce New Mexico’s debt without increasing taxes, and by proposing state spending reductions and agency budget cuts. Martinez has also called for pension reforms, that have reduced the state’s pension contribution and required their beneficiaries to pay an additional 2% into their pension funds. In other areas Martinez has promised to revamp the state’s education plan by investing in private education

Martinez is pro-life and is opposed to elective abortion. She supports parental notification laws for minors under 13-years-old who seek an abortion. She is also opposed to same-sex marriage. Martinez supports a balanced budget and lower government spending. She also favors putting taxpayer money into a rainy day fund, and refunding taxpayers to attempt to stimulate growth.

One area where Martinez may be seen as wandering off the conservative Republican ranch. While the Party line generally focusses von cutting services, the opposition often attempts to use that as a way to paint the G.O.P. as out to decimate programs aimed at helping the sick and poor. But such charges can not be used against Martinez. She goes out of her way to make it know that she believes in providing services to adults and children who can’t take care of themselves. That belief even prompted Governor Martinez to wrest an additional $6 million in Medicaid money out of the New Mexico legislature during her first year in office, despite inheriting a a $450 million deficit. This may earn Martinez some sharp criticism from fiscal conservatives on the right, but in the general election, it could a long way in compensating for the harsh image that the Obama and the pro-Obama media will create for Republicans when it comes to the most vulnerable in our society.

In many ways, Martinez is shrewd or to put it in a more accurate and less ominous way, she is politically savvy. She knows that her political future is bright and so she has been very carefull in her political decision making. She has avoided any of the political landmines that often eventually blowup in the faces of other politicians. In many ways, you can say Martinez is pacing herself. She offers bold conservatives solutions that are designed to address the problems of her state but she as avoided getting heavily invested in anything that would anger one segment of the electorate or the other. This may not be seen as a profile in courage but from a political standpoint, New Mexico governors are limited to two terms and if Martinez does a job that is good enough to get reelected, her second term could be the one in which she uses to shoot for more bold, sweeping reforms.

In the meantime, Martinez has one of the highest approval ratings of all the governors in the nation and she is in a perfect position to bring that type of popularity to the Republican presidential ticket.

If tapped for Vice President, the left will surely try to palinize Martinez. Like Palin by the time of the 2012 election she will have served only half a term as Governor and many will draw comparisons between Palin and Martinez. But such comparisons would be a mistake. The two are very different people, with similar conservative solutions but with distinctly different personalities and approaches. Martinez could be a strong running mate for any presidential nominee. But her willingness to accept the VP slot if asked is in great doubt. Voters of New Mexico were not very happy with their last Governor when he briefly ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Governor Bill Richardson was term limited and could not seek reelection but New Mexicans were still not happy with the time he spent running for office instead of running the state.

Which might be one reason why Martinez claims to be dead-set against running as Romney’s Vice President. Another reason could be her dislike of the Republican establishments approach to immigration and appealing to Hispanic voters. In regards to Romney’s call for policies that promote illegal immigrants to self deport, Martinez sate’s “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” She also adds that Martinez “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why.”

Martinez has many of her own ideas on how to do that. One of them includes reminding Latinos that President Obama promised to pass comprehensive immigration reform by the end of his first term year in office and to make them aware that as it turns out, he “didn’t even have the courage to try.” Another suggestion is for Republicans to come up with their own, very real, multi level approach to immigration. An approach that includes a guest-worker program for people who want “to go freely back and forth across the border to work”; increased border security; a visa (coupled with a “penalty” or a “tagback”) that allows rest of the illegal population to remain in the U.S. while they follow standard naturalization procedures. deportation for criminals; and a DREAM Act-style pathway to citizenship, through the military or college, for children brought here illegally by their parents.

But with such strong opinions and an obviously bright future of leadership, it is very possible that Martinez could be convinced that by joining the Republican presidential ticket, she might be able to accomplish these things. With Republicans needing close to at least 40% of the vote if they wish to win the White House, there is no good reason for Mitt Romney to adopt the ideas of Martinez and unleash her on the nation to campaign for the their implementation.

Given the reality of it all, Martinez is by far the best choice for Mitt Romney. Like Marco Rubio, she appeals to Hispanics, but as a Latina she also appeals to women, and not just Hispanic women. Martinez also comes from a state that if Republicans win, could make it impossible for President Obama to hammer together the 270 electoral college votes that he needs to win reelection. Martinez is also a top notch campaigner whose natural people skills goes a long way in compensating for Romney’s robotic personality. In that area, what Romney lacks, Martinez more than makes up for.

Although Martinez’s record is not blemish free, her placement on the G.O.P. ticket as Romney’s running mate could make all the difference in a close election. While the selection of some potential vice presidential running mates like Marco Rubio of Florida and Rob Portman of Ohio may be essential to winning one or the other of those two states that are critically needed for Republicans to win in November, Martinez could change the electoral equation of all the states by cutting in to the Democrat’s traditionally reliable strength among women and Hispanic voters.

Pros:

  • Is solid enough on most conservative issues to satisfy and energize the Republican base that Romney is on shaky ground with
  • She comes from a state that Democrats can’t afford to lose
  • She has regional appeal in the Southwest
  • As a Latina, Martinez who speaks fluent Spanish, can appeal to both Hispanics and women in ways that no other potential running mate can
  • Martinez’s position on Medicare and other government entitlement programs can help counter the left’s harsh rhetoric that tries to paint the G.O.P. as heartless
  • Martinez is a very strong Thatcher-like figure who connects with people and is an excellent speaker and campaigner
  • Her personal story is a quintessentially American one that can help voters relate to her and appreciate her
  • Will be able to address the issue of comprehensive immigration reform quite convincingly

Cons:

  • Open to criticism from fiscal conservatives on issues like Medicaid
  • Will have been governor for two years and will initially have to contend with comparisons to Sarah Palin
  • Will have to contend with rumors about her grandparents having been illegal immigrants
  • Will face sharp criticism for the handling of a mentally ill man who was held without a trial for two years at a county prison while she was D.A andfor being briefly fired in 1992 when her boss accused her of bringing in a case her husband had investigated.
  • The left will try claim that Martinez participated in patronage by awarding casino contracts and energy appointments to campaign donor

General Assessment:

While there are several other favorites of my own such as Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Allen West, Marco Rubio, John Thune, and Jeb Bush, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is another contender I am cheering for.

Martinez is a strong, convincing conservative voice with a compelling story and powerfully confident record on conservative issues and as a state executive. Her Thatcher-like strength goes a long way in providing a sometimes sexist male electorate with confidence in her and her ability to relate to women and Hispanics is unparalleled by any other figure on the national stage today. Those latter two points can have a major effect on the election, especially among those Hispanics and women who are independent voters.

From my perspective Martinez is a perfect choice not just for Mitt Romney but for anybody. She is right on the issues and is better suited than any other potential Romney running mate to articulate the Party’s position positions on those issues than most others, and when it comes to women voters and Hispanic voters, she is better than any other national figure especially when it comes to adding diversity to the ticket.  The only way Martinez could add a more perfect angle of diversity to the ticket would be if she was a lesbian.  Could you imagine the frustraqtion of the left having to contend with a conservtive Latina lesbian?  And contrary to what you might think, they do exist.

But I am not the presidential nominee. Mitt Romney is and I do not think he is likely to select Martinez as his running mate for several reasons. Martinez is probably not the non-controversial choice that is safe enough for his comfort level and he will probably want to avoid the distraction that the media will cause with inevitable comparisons of his campaign to John’s Mc Cain’s losing 2008 campaign and the selection of Sarah Palin, another woman and freshman Governor selected to be Vice President.

Another possible reason for not selcting Martinez is her prior criticism of Romney and her demonstrated disatisfaction with some of Romney’s polcies..  That is addition  to her indicating that she will not consider accepting the position if it was offered.  I hope I am wrong about Romney’s thinking though, and I would hope that Martinez would reconsider her earlier protestations because I truly believe she is one of the best 5 men or women for the job.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 9 – Changes Corporate Income Tax Rates and Filing Requirements

Legislation (Veto) March 6, 2012

HB 72 – Relating to Judicial Retirement

Legislation (Veto)March 6, 2012

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Martinez On The Issues

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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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A Most Likely Vice Presidential Nominee: White House 2012 Looks at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

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 Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Born: June 10, 1971 (1971-06-10) Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Spouse(s): Supriya Jindal

Children :Selia Elizabeth , Shaan Robert, Slade Ryan

Residence :Louisiana’s Governor’s Mansion, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Alma mater:Brown University, University of Oxford

Profession:Former President of the University of Louisiana, Business Consultant

Religion: Roman Catholic

Political Career :

  • In 1996 at the age of 25, Jindal became the state’s youngest Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals after being appointed to the position by then Governor Mike Foster. The agency represented about 40% of the state budget and employed over 12,000 people. During his tenure, Louisiana’s Medicaid program went from bankruptcy with a $400 million deficit into three years of surpluses totaling $220 million.
  • In 1999, at the request of the Louisiana Governor’s Office and the Louisiana State Legislature, Jindal volunteered his time to study how Louisiana might use its $4.4 billion share of a tobacco settlement. Also in 1999, at only 28 years of age, Jindal was appointed to become the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System, the nation’s 16th largest system of higher education with over 80,000 students per year.
  • In March 2001 he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation.He was later unanimously confirmed by a vote of the United States Senate and began serving on July 9, 2001. In that position, he served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.He resigned from that post on February 21, 2003, to return to Louisiana and run for governor.
  • 2003. Jindal ran for Governor.In its open Primary, he finished first with 33% of the vote. He went on to run in the gubernatorial runoff against the second place winner of the open primary, Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Blanco won the election with 52% of the vote and despite losing her home district to Jindal.
  • A few weeks after the 2003 gubernatorial runoff, Jindal decided to run for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district. The incumbent, David Vitter, was running for the Senate seat being vacated by John Breaux. He won the 2004 Election for that seat with 78 percent of the vote.
  • 2006, Jindal secured reelection to Congress with an overwhelming 88 percent of the vote.
  • 2007, Jindal announced his candidacy for governor. In what was a crowded field in the open primary process of Louisiana, Jindal defeated eleven opponents and received 699,672 votes or 54 % of the vote.Having exceeded the 50% mark it was the first time that a non-incumbent candidate for governor was elected without a runoff under the Louisiana election system.
  • In 2011, Jindal won a remarkable election to a second consecutive term, In Louisiana Candidates of any and all parties are listed on one ballot in what is called a jungle primary. Unless one candidate takes more than 50% of the vote in the first round, the general election in  November is a run-off election that is held between the top two vote getters in the primary, In the October 2011 gubernatorial primary,  Jindal received 65.80 of the vote against nine other opponents.

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Bobby Jindal is considered one of the most energetic, effective, successful, popular, and conservative Governors in America.  He has led Louisiana through natural and manmade disasters, balanced budgets, cut taxes, reduced spending, improved education, and developed and applied innovative new solutions to old problems.  In Congress he established himself as an earnest and knowledgable legislator  and successfully shepherded through Congress a number of critical  pieces of legislation and played an instrumental role in Louisiana’s recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Other such accomplishments included the passage of legislation to bring significant offshore energy revenues to Louisiana for the first time and legislation that till this day, keeps the Federal Emergency Management Agency from taxing certain recovery grants as income.

In 2007 the people of Louisiana found him so superior to other leaders, that when it came time to nominate their two candidates for Governor in their unique runoff election system, they gave Jindal such a wide margin of victory that it became unnecessary to hold a general election.  In other words, Louisiana voters did not doubt for one moment that they wanted Bobby Jindal to continue on as their Governor.  In the October 2011 primary for Governor, Jindal again won by a margin so wide that there was no need for a general election.  In 2007 he won 60 of the state’s 64 Parishes and and 53.91% of the vote against 1o opponents.  In the 2011 primary he won all 64 Parishes and 65.80% of the vote against 9 other opponents.

So not only is Jindal admired and trusted, he is a solid vote getter.  But not all of America is like Louisiana, so how would Jindal do outside of the South?

The answer is probably very well.

His message of fiscal conservatism and well grounded view of how to solve our nation’s problems are often well received, which is why in the 2010 midterm elections, Bobby Jindal was in great demand in states holding their own elections for governor, such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa.  He was also a popular campaigner for many winning U.S. Senate candidates throughout the nation.

For all these reasons, Governor Jindal, like Marco Rubio, is a surefire name for any Republican presidential candidate’s vice presidential shortlist.  But also like Marco Rubio, Jindal is not likely to want to accept a vice presidential nomination.

As is the case with Nikki Haley, Jindal’s Indian-American background has a unique appeal to the minority Indian-American community in the United States but while that community has numbers large enough to be of influence in states like New York and New Jersey, it is still not as large a minority community as the Hispanic voting bloc that can influence the results in many other states and which can be tapped in to with the likes of Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, or Luis Fortuno.  However; based purely on talent, ability, and competence, Jindal is unmatched and therefore can not be left off of any legitimate list of very possible candidates for Vice President.

Still though, Jindal’s superiority as a leader is undeniable and that coupled with several other factors make him a very likely choice for Mitt Romney.

When it comes to the more shallow aspects of politics, Jindal’s Indian-American background adds a certain degree of spice to an already bland Romney ticket.  The diversity that Jindal’s presence on the ticket would bring can go much further than the vanilla flavoring that a waspy Tim Palwenty, or John Thune deliver.  So the benefit of diversity is there.

Other very beneficial electoral benefits of a Jindal vice presidential nomination include his strong Southern support.  Southerners trust Jindal, and while Republicans are not likely to lose the South anytime soon, if Mitt Romney is going to win in  November, he will need to bring out the Republican base in record numbers.  That means he needs to get Southerners who do not quite trust him yet, a reason to trust him.  Jindal might be just the reason.

A tertiary benefit to Jindal’s joining Romney on the ticket, is the Gulf oil spill, or as we as all remember it to more accurately be…… the non-stop Obama Gulf oil gusher.

While the Obama Administration does not want us to remember that Summer in 2009 that was suppose to be the “Summer of Recovery” but wasn’t, as Governor of Louisiana Jindal’s presence on the ticket will act as a convenient way to exploit that debacle and use it against the President.  The Gulf oil disaster was the epitome of government inefficiency and as Governor of the coastal state affected by that disaster most, Jindal is the best person to explain why.  He will be able to explain that instead of being a help, the federal government was a hinderance that prevented him and the people of Louisiana from doing what they could to protect their shores and defend their livelihoods.  And the whole incident exemplifies the corporate cronyism of the Obama Administration which gave BP, the operators and owners of the rig that exploded, a safety award shortly after they donated a million dollars to the Obama campaign and not long before the rig that received that award, exploded.

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Pros:

  • Jindal can help firm up Romney’s standing in the South where Romney is viewed is quite skeptically
  • Jindal will excite the conservative base that is unenthusiastic about Romeny and which Romney needs to turn out in record numbers if he wants to win
  • Jindal has great command of the issues
  • Is experienced in several area of importance in the 2011, including health and healthcare
  • Has no excessive baggage or skeletons in his closet
  • Is well received by Independents
  • Adds a degree of history and diversity to the ticket

Cons:

  • Jindal does lack foreign affairs credentials.  But Romney doesn’t.
  • Jindal is not viewed as an exceptional speaker and his lackluster performance in the Republican response to President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address will initially hound him
  • Jindal does not bring to the ticket the electoral college of any of the key battleground states that could make the difference between winning and losing the White House in 2012

General Assessment:

All things considered,  Bobby Jindal is one of the most likely and logical choices for Mitt Romney to nominate for Vice President.  Jindal is inoffensive to most people on either the left or right, is well received by the all important Independent voters, has never been a political lighting rod and is probably one of the safest choices he could make and safe is something that Romney really likes.

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Recent Key Votes

HB 537 – Postsecondary Education

Legislation  (Veto)July 12, 2011

Legislation  (Veto) July 5, 2011
HB 614 – Inventory Tax Credit

Legislation  (Veto) July 1, 2011

More Key Votes

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Bobby Jindal 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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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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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

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 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 South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa (1972-01-20) January 20, 1972 (age 40) Bamberg, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michael Haley
Children 2
Alma mater Clemson University (B.S.)

Nikki Haley came to office as Governor of South Carolina as a TEA movement favorite known for her record of fiscal conservatism, a record she accumulated as a state representative.

That record is one which has yet to be tested as an executive officeholder but she remains a promising conservative who is leading a state which has an approximate 10% unemployment rate and is by many, considered to be under direct attack of the federal government. As such Haley and her state has challenged everything from South Carolina’s plight for voters to provide identification before voting, to their enforcement of anti-illegal immigration laws, and even the state’s right to work laws.

This puts Nikki Haley on the frontline of many of the hot button, conservative issues and that in turn makes her a prominent name to be considered for Vice President. However, Haley has really yet to cement her reputation as a fiscal conservative and with less than two years in office, it can be said that there are better choices to go with. Especially when you consider the fact that South Carolina is not likely to vote for President Obama. And at the moment, Governor Haley is not the most popular politician in her state. Recent polling indicates South Carolinians were evenly divided on if they approved of the way in which Haley was doing her job.

Another bump in the road deals with the unanimous agreement by members of the South Carolina House of Representatives’ House Ethics Committee to take a closer look at an ethics complaint against Gov. Nikki Haley. The complaint alleges Haley used her position as a House member to lobby and then vote on bills to benefit employers. But she still remains a potential candidate for the long list of vice presidential options. It is also worth noting that Nikki Haley was a prominent early supporter of Mitt Romney who even though he lost the state’s primary to Newt Gingrich, is certainly appreciative for her help.

Between her personal story as the daughter of Indian immigrants and her being the first woman Governor of South Carolina, she would bring to the G.O.P. ticket an interesting demographic which Republicans must considered.

Pros:

  • Helps Romney with the T.E.A. activists that he needs on his side.
  • Helps Romney energize the Southern base.
  • Aides Romney with the women’s vote that he needs help with.
  • Haley’s fiscal conservatism helps underscore Romney’s command of economic issues and the federal budget deficit.
  • The potential to make history as the first woman vice President carries a degree of excitement around it that the Romney campaign could use a touch of.
  • Nikki Haley is a strong and energetic speaker.

Cons:

  • Haley is not seasoned.
  • Lacks any foreign affairs credentials.
  • Is not as popular in South Carolina as she was in her first year in office.

Overall Assessment:

While Haley is a politically attractive and definitely qualified candidate for Vice President, she fails to bring to the table as much gravitas to the ticket that several other male or female prospects do. And while her brief tenure in office has proven her to be a rising star, now is probably not the time when her star should rise to the second highest office in the nation. But the Romney campaign must still consider Nikki Haley for the job.

She is strong on many of the issues that Romney needs to stronger on, including the issues of abortion, and limited government. He also needs to be sure that voters with T.E.A. Party sentiments do not sit on their hands on Election day and Nikki Haley can go a long way in winning them over at the voting booth.

Of all the potential female running mates that exist for Romney, Haley is probably one of the best. She is a safer choice than several others and Romney likes playing it as safe as possible. So Nikki Haley will probably make it to the short list of candidates but in the end, she is not likely to make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 1227

Legislation (Sign)

March 29, 2012

More Key Votes

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Nikki Haley On The Issues

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Newt Gingrich

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 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 former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Born: June 17, 1943, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Spouse(s):Jackie Battley (1962-1981), Marianne Ginther (1981-2000), Callista Gingrich(2000-?)

Children: Two daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandchildren.

Residence : Carrollton, Georgia (79-93), Marrietta, Georgia (93-99) McLean Virginia (Current)

Alma mater:Emory University,Tulane University

Profession:College Professor, author, Member of Congress

Religion: Roman Catholic

Political Career :

  • Two unsuccessful runs for Congress in Georgia’s sixth congressional district in 1974 and 1976
  • Elected to Congress in 1978 and subsequently served for 8 more terms until 1999
  • From 1989 to 1995 he served as the 16th United States House Minority Whip
  • From 1995 to 1999 he served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Throughout his continuing career, Gingrich has proven to be a prolific and top selling author. Most of his novels are comprised of innovative, conservative policy initiatives and directions that are rooted in the founding principle of our nation. His first book was published in January of 1982. It was entitledThe Government’s Role in Solving Societal Problems and offered a solid foundation for conservative leadership in America. But his breakout book came in 1985 withWindow of Opportunity, a profound compilation of of path to prosperity in America.

Other works include:

  • Contract with America (co-editor).
  • Restoring the Dream
  • Quotations from Speaker Newt
  • To Renew America
  • Lessons Learned The Hard Way
  • Presidential Determination Regarding Certification of the Thirty-Two Major Illicit Narcotics Producing and Transit Countries
  • Saving Lives and Saving Money
  • Winning the Future
  • Rediscovering God in America
  • A Contract with the Earth
  • Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis
  • Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works
  • To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine

Newt has also written a substantial number of historical novels:

  • 1945
  • Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War
  • Grant Comes East Thomas Dunne Books
  • Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory
  • Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th
  • Days of Infamy

See a more detailed bio of Newt here on his White House 2012 presidential contender page

Newt is probably not going to be Mitt Romney’s choice as a running mate. While he is consistently considered the smartest man in the room, he is also one of the loosest cannon in any room and although he can easily bring some very positive qualities to the ticket, it his baggage that may  prevent us from every seeing how positive those qualities may be on the G.O.P. presidential ticket.

Newt would certainly be impressive in any vice presidential debates, although it is more than likely that the Obama ticket will only allow one vice presidential debate, if even that. Newt would also certainly be able to condense the election down to several very succinct and powerful words that the average voter would be able to relate to in a most convincing way.

But Newt will also shoot from the hip and in what will undoubtedly be a highly negative campaign waged with the near billion dollar campaign war chest of the Obama ticket, any stray bullets fired off by Newt could become lethal distractions that the Romney campaign can ill afford.  Just having Newt on the ticket will be a very distraction.  The left’s venom of Newt is so strong, that a daily rush of personal name calling and attacks will be discussed in a pro-liberal mainstream media to such a great extent, that the Romney-Gingrich message would be overshadowed and muted.

As a play it safe kind of guy, Newt is probably too much of a risk for Romney’s liking and Newt’s long and accomplished political career is most likely open to the type of criticism that Mitt Romney does not want to deal with. Therefore, despite Newt’s ability to compensate for several of Mitt’s shortcomings, such as a lack of innovation and boldness as well as a lack of any popular anti-establishment sentiments, Newt will probably not be Vice President anytime soon.  Add to that a bitter campaign between the two of them and what you have is a personal relationship that does not preclude the idea from consideration, but is not exactly conducive to the creation of an enthusiastic partnership at the top of the presidential ticket.

Pros:

  • Articulate and has a great capacity for shaping issues in a way that makes the conservative approach to our problems seem like common sense
  • Has an anti-establishmentarian streak that can appeal to independents and T.E.A. Party activists and compensate for Romney’s establishment image
  • Great in debate
  • Brings unappalled experience to the ticket
  • Would help Romney among Southern conservatives who are not comfortable with him

Cons:

  • Has personal baggage which can easily become a distraction in the campaign
  • Has been a harsh critic of Mitt Romney and his policies
  • Shoots from the hip and can be a very loose cannon
  • Has the potential to overshadow Mitt Romney

Overall Assesment:

In some ways, Newt would be the perfect Vice President. Having once been the second in line for presidency, his experience is invaluable. He is also incredibly articulate and dogged in his defense of conservative values and tireless in his efforts to find innovative solutions to our problems and ways to remove government from our everyday lives. But Newt has an ego problem and it often gets in his way and it is that ego problem which Mitt Romney will probably not allow to get in the way of his winning the White House.  So when it comes to Newt Gingrich, he would not be the perfect Vice President for Mitt Romney.

Furthermore; while Newt was relatively competitive in the first half of the primary process, he never quite caught on and proved that he can’t be even be counted on as a favorite son of the South who could motivate those Southern voters uninspired by Romney.  And that is an important factor because for Mitt Romney to win this election, he will need to have the Republican base come out to vote for him in near record numbers.

Overall, while the selection of Newt would be a good one from a policy, management, and issue oriented angle, from a political perspective regarding an election, Newt is not the best choice for Mitt.

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Some Past Key Votes

H Res 611 – Impeachment Resolution: Article One

Legislation-Resolution (Yea)

Dec. 19, 1998 – President Clinton was charged with willfully providing perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury concerning one or more of the following:: – …

H Res 611 – Impeachment Resolution: Article Three

Legislation-Resolution (Yea)

Dec. 19, 1998 – -Accuses President Clinton of obstructing justice by coaching White House Secretary Betty Currie in potential testimony, encouraging Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath and by …

H Res 611 – Impeachment Resolution: Article Two

Legislation-Resolution (Yea)

Dec. 19, 1998 – – Accuses President Clinton of committing perjury on December 23, 1997, during his testimony in a Federal civil rights action brought against him by Paula …

More Key Votes

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Gingrich on the Issues

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

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno

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  Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno.

Born: October 31, 1960, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Spouse(s): Luca Vela

Children : Mara Luisa, Luis Roberto, Guillermo

Residence : San Juan, Puerto Rico

Alma mater: Colegio Marista, Georgetown University, Univeristy of Virginia School of Law

Profession: Lawyer

Religion: Roman Catholic `

Political Career :

  • 1993 – Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company
  • 1993 – President, Hotel Development Corporation
  • 1994 – Became Puerto Rico’s first Secretary Puerto Rico Economic Development and Commerce
  • 2004 -Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives which in Puerto Rico has the title, Resident Commissioner and is a four year term
  • 2008 – Elected Governor of Puerto Rico

(Click here for Fortuno’s WH2012 presidential contender page)

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Luis Fortuno’s name is not just one of those names , it is undeniably one of the most likely names to come up in the veepstakes, even if just briefly.

Largely unknown to most Americans, Governor Luis Fortuno has been on White House 2012′s radar for over two years now. Many have mocked such talk, ( you should see the comments on his WH2012 page) , but White House 2012 may very well have the last laugh. Take that from a friend of White House 2012, Adam Brickley. Adam recently told WH12 that although it may sound “off the wall”, consideration of Luis Fortuno for VP is very possible. Who is Adam Brickley? Adam is the man who created the Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President effort in 2008. He began the effort before we knew John McCain was going to be the nominee, well before most Americans heard of Sarah Palin, and long before John McCain even considered her for the job. So Adam has a good sense for these things.

As Governor of Puerto Rico, the first remarkable thing about Luis Fortuno was that he got elected. He is the first Republican to be elected Governor of Puerto Rico since 1969 and only the second one since 1949. The second remarkable thing about Fortuno is the way in which he has handled Puerto Rico’s budget. Between Fortuno’s ability to appeal to those beyond the Republican base, his fiscal conservatism, and his Hispanic ethnicity, he could make for an interesting choice for a Republican Party that must appeal to the rapidly growing Hispanic vote in the United States.

And when it comes to the primary issues facing our nation, limited government, less spending, and controlled federal budgets, Adam Brickley describes Fortuno to White House 2012 by saying “It’s like he’s the love child of Chris Christie and Marco Rubio.”

Fortuno trult is a Reagan Republican whose conservative thinking and record will have plenty of traction among Americans of all persuasions. Fortuno states that Reagan was “clear in what he envisioned, a party that is open to ideas, the free flow of ideas and goods and services”, and he has added that he believes “we have to go back to those principles.

As Governor, Luis Fortuno has been practicing those core Republican principles to tackle a record $3.2 billion deficit. He has cut expenses across the board, cut the size of Puerto Rico’s government and reduced its number of employees, while also instituting salary reductions of 30 percent for himself, department heads and political appointments. All this while implementing policies that include cutting taxes and creating new private-sector jobs in the place of government handouts.  Does this not sound like the opposite of what our nation’s President is doing?  And does this not sound like a model roadmap for our federal government?

At the moment, a G.O.P. ticket with Puerto Rico’s Governor Fortuno on it may seem far fetched, but it’s called history folks, and stranger things have made history and have eventually come to be seen as quite natural.

In conclusion, as for those of you who claim a native citizen of Puerto Rico can’t be eligible to be Vice President or President of the United States, it must be understood that all persons born in Puerto Rico between April 11, 1899, and January 12, 1941, are automatically conferred citizenship as of the date that such law was signed by the President on June 27, 1952. Furthemore, all persons born in Puerto Rico on or after January 13, 1941, are considered natural-born citizens of the United States.

Pros:

  • Fortuno could help appeal to Hispanic voters better than just about any other Republican in the Party and he could cut in to the Obama-Biden tickets lead among Hispanics in ways so significant that it could cost them several key battleground states
  • The selection of Fortuno as Vice President would have historic value and soften the perception that the G.O.P. is anti-immigration
  • Although Puerto Rico’s economy is by no means quite strong, the mess Fortuno inherited and the measures he took to correct decades of wrongs, helps to starkly contrast the tax and spend policies of the Obama Administration with the Republican philosophy that government is not the solution, it’s the problem, in a way that can define the race in a clearly positive way for Republicans

Cons:

  • It might be viewed as an overly blatant attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters
  • Many voters may be quite uncomfortable with the prospects of what they might perceive as a foreigner being Vice President and a heartbeat away from the presidency
  • Puerto Rico’s high unemployment and struggling economy will provide Democrats with an easy attack line that utilizes the anger of anti-Fortuno factions in Puerto Rico in a very effective way, despite all of Fortuno’s hard and successful work to turn things around there
  • Fortuno’s foreign policy and national security credentials may be questioned endlessly and viewed with skepticism by may voters
  • While Fortuno’s Spanish will help him appeal to Hispanic voters, his heavy accent does not make him the most fluid campaigners that English speaking voters will have ever seen

Assessment:

Selecting Luis Fortuno for Vice President would be one of the boldest moves that mitt Romney could possibly make. It would be a gamble that could yield enormous returns or cost Romney everything and Romney is not a gambling man (despite his desire to bet Rick Perry $10,000 during a debate). So I do not believe that Mitt will go with Fortuno. But it is such a historic and game changing move that seeing Romney pick Fortuno is not out of the question. Is it likely? No. But some of the most unlikely decisions throughout history have produced some of the most beneficial results.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 7321 – Automotive Industry Financing

Legislation (NA)

Dec. 10, 2008 – Requires the President to designate one or more officials (“Car Czars”) to be overseen by the Comptroller General in order to assess auto manufacturers’ recovery …

HR 6867 – Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation

Legislation (NA)

Oct. 3, 2008 – – Allows an individual who has no rights to federal or state regular unemployment compensation, or who has exhausted his or her rights to federal …

HR 1424 – Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments

Legislation (NA)

Oct. 3, 2008 – -Establishes the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to allow the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase troubled assets from any financial institution (Div. A, Sec. …

More Key Votes

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Luis Fortuno on The Issues

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

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

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 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 Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Born (1954-12-09) December 9, 1954 (age 57) Warrensburg, Missouri, U.S.
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Joseph Fallin (1984-1998)[2] Wade Christensen[2]
Residence Governor’s Mansion
Alma mater Oklahoma Baptist University University of Central Oklahoma Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

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Fallin was elected Governor of Oklahoma in 2010 after spending two terms in Congress.  Prior to that she served three terms as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. She is seen as strong willed, conservative and in her first year in office she streamlined and modernized state government, reformed education, and reduced health care costs. In that first year, she also sought out to make up a $400 million budget deficit through a combination of a 5% across-the-board agency budget cuts, and increased tax enforcement.

Fallin is not an immediate addition to any list of potential vice presidential candidates but any process that is designed to take a comprehensive look at the best possible prospects, would have to conclude that Mary Fallin has to be considered.  In other words, would she be a competent President if the need arises and can she bring something to the presidential ticket that can go a long way in  helping to win the presidential election?

The answer is probably not.

Still though,  for the purpose of exploring viable options for Mitt Romney’s selection of a Vice President, it must be understood that while Oklahoma is not a swing state that has a chance of going for President Obama in 2012, Fallin’s appeal on a wider scale can not be denied. However, much like several other potential running mates, Fallin has not yet really shined as an accomplished political leader on the executive level. If given the chance though, she can confidently articulate the issues and lay out her vision in a way that can help prove she is to up to the job. The only real immediate drawback to her candidacy is the fodder that an old incident might become in a national election.

In December 1998, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol bodyguard for then Lt. Gov. Fallin, resigned after admitting to unprofessional conduct. One week before that disclosure, Fallin filled for divorce amid allegations by her estranged husband that she had had an affair with a bodyguard. During this time, the trooper who admitted to “unprofessional conduct” resigned but never claimed that his conduct involved any sexual activity with Fallin.

The relevance of that really only lies in how much traction as a distraction it could become in the election and if Republicans can afford to or want to contend with it possibly becoming an issue. Then again, few thought that Newt could make it as far as he did in the presidential contest and he has been accused of multiple affairs. So if one’s personal relationships are not the focus of national politics in 2012, Fallin has a fair chance of winding up on the long list of potential running mates, even if it is for no other reason than to hope that Fallin can  ensure that the Republican base in the South, comes out to vote for Romney and prevents any upsets by President Obama among the Southern electoral vote count which a Republican presidential victory relies upon quite heavily.  As Duane Shepherd, a Conservative Republican from Oklahoma City put it in an interview from Examiner.com;

“If Romney gets the nomination and wins and she was the vice-president, maybe she could help rein in his liberal tendencies. He is much to liberal for most Republicans and she would help balance the ticket.”

Pros:

  • Can help improve Romney’s standing among women voters
  • Helps Romney among evangelicals and shores up his opposition to abortion rights

Cons:

  • Has not established herself as a powerful force nationally or regionally
  • Has not yet been vetted to any great extent
  • Has some dirty laundry that will be aired in any national campaign and could become too much of a distraction
  • In office as Governor for only two years but has served multiple terms as Lt. Governor

Assessment:

While there is nothing that should preclude Fallin from the ticket, there is also not much to push her ahead of others who have accomplished more and are also on a long list  of very prominent leaders.  She does not have any single claim to fame or immediately outstanding expertise in any area of concern in this election and she does not yet have a vast regional following in the South yet. However, any negatives regarding Fallin are overshadowed by the positives in her record and as such she may help to energize some of the uninspired voters within the Southern base of the G.O.P.. and she could be a decent compromise candidate. However, she remains an longshot.

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Recent Key Votes

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Mary Fallin on The Issues

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