Obama’s Red Badge of Courage

From listening to the tale retold, you would think that not only was Obama on Seal Team 6, but that the choice to pull the trigger was as a more difficult decision then say giving military the order to shoot down civilian planes, as one President did ten and a half years ago.

Don’t get me wrong.  Obama deserves as much credit for giving the kill order as Bush does for letting the CIA waterboard the terrorists who eventually gave Bin Laden up through actionable intelligence.    In fact, the one thing the Bin Laden anniversary should do is bring the country together.  Instead, Obama has made a political blunder by seeking to use the Bin Laden killing for divisive political gain.

Obama has released an ad suggesting that the decision he made to allow Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Laden is a decision Mitt Romney would not have made.

The only word I could think of to describe this crazy political  attack is disgusting.  The next word that comes to mind is ridiculously unbelievable, which is a reputation that Obama cannot afford.  Obama won 2008 based on a fraudulent image of George W. Bush and Sarah Palin which was promulgated by an overzealous media and semi-unbelievable overselling of hope and change.  Now that 2012 is here and Obama’s hope and change have not materialized, he is in desperate need of credibility.  This idea that he is the hero of the Bin Laden raid and Romney would have flinched destroys Obama’s credibility even with the most ardent leftists.

But this blunder also highlights a bit of Obama hypocrisy that can only hurt his chances in 2012.  When things go bad, Obama finds a scape goat.  Three and a half years later, he is still blaming the last eight years.  When things go good, even if he simply gave the go on a plan that started with an invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, included waterboarding, and was only possible because of the intelligence community and strong military who he has sought to minimize and defund, Obama suddenly is riding a metaphorical victory chariot in full military garb through the cities.  Ironically, Obama campaigned on shutting down Gitmo and ending the wars.  I’m sure those are two promises Obama is pretty happy he failed to keep.

The two days of the Obama administration that we haven’t felt the full contempt of the left towards the military were the day Obama gave the order to take out Bin Laden, and the one year anniversary.  In fact, the Democrats used the military as a pawn in budget talks when Obama had spent us out of house and home.

Whether they approve or disapprove of military spending or war,  I would have to think that at some point news outlets would have their own reputations to think about.  Obama has skipped through this Presidency like a comic character in a movie, surrounded by straightmen who clean up after him.  The media has happily turned their heads as though the only reality is the one they report.  But moves like this that display unbelievability and hypocrisy will change American minds.

For those who continue to either blindly follow Obama, or put up with his gaffes for the “greater good”, I hope they at least pause for a moment and think: It would have been nice if the President used today to unite the country.  It would have been nice if he allowed liberals and conservatives to raise their glasses together and toast the death of one of the most infamous war criminals in American history.  Instead, Obama tried to make today all about his re-election.

Sarah Palin Endorses Newt Gingrich……to Keep the Race Going, Not for President

Bookmark and Share   During a Tuesday night Fox News interview,  Sarah Palin told South Carolinians that if she were voting in their primary this Saturday, she would cast her ballot for Newt Gingrich. [see the interview below this post]

Technically, that is an endorsement, but it was qualified by her desire to see Newt win in South Carolina expressly for the purpose of seeing that Republicans continue to vet the candidates.  According to Palin;

“More debates, more vetting of candidates because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted, to the degree that he should have been,”.

She added;

“I want to see that taking place this time because America is on this precipice — it’s that important. We need this process to continue.”

On January 9th, Sarah Palin’s husband Todd, came out and directly endorsed Newt when he released the following statement;

“Newt Gingrich is a true leader, which he has proven not only since the beginning of his campaign, but throughout his career,”

Not long after that, Palin had offered great praise for Rick Santorum and his consistent conservatism.   For a while it looked like she might be leading towards a full-fledged endorsement of Santorum.  But that was not the case.

This recent quasi-endorsement of Gingrich though, is the first time that Sarah Palin has actually suggested that a group of voters come out to vote for a specific Republican presidential candidate.  But it is clear that her call to arms in South Carolina was merely meant to produce a result that would force the Republican nomination to forge ahead and continue testing the candidates.  As a Palinite, I found myself appreciating Palin’s sentiments.  It is one which I myself expressed when early on in the process, I participated as a spectator who was giving all the candidates a chance to woo me over.  While I had my favorites, I did not want to merely give my endorsement away.  I wanted the person I endorse to earn the nomination and prove themselves.  Since then,  I don’t know if any candidate has really earned my endorsement, but based upon the issues and the approach that I have heard each of the candidates claim they would take reagrding those issues, I did endorse Newt Gingrich.  However, I have no problem with him still having to work for the nomination and truly earn it.

Palin is right.  In the end, the tougher this process, the better our candidate will be…..whoever it is.

Meanwhile, the Gingrich campaign did not waste a moment in exploiting the qualified endorsement by Palin.  Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told NBC News .

“We think its a pretty darn clear call to arms,”

Newt’s camp believes it is a call to arms directed at conservatives who many believe can derail the nomination hopes of Mitt Romney if only they got behind one of his opponents instead of splitting their support between three alternatives to Romney.  In the case of Gingrich, he believes that he is the conservative that has the best shot to consolidate that conservative support to win the nomination and then defeat President Obama.

Shortly after Palin’s pitch to South Carolina voters, Gingrich posted the following twitter message;

Newt Gingrich

  newtgingrich  Newt Gingrich

Thanks @sarahpalinusa for throwing your support my way in the South Carolina primary. Watch the Video:  http://youtu.be/xNgRHqvY1z0  #withnewt

Over at Conservatives4Palin.com, one of the leading web-based, pro-Palin organizing networks, some Palinistas were not ready to accept that Palin still won’t be running for President herself in 2012 and were quite adamant about the fact that Sarah’s statement was not endorsement of Newt but rather an endorsement of the process continuing.  And some even suggested that she wants it to continue because Palin may still actually  jump in and run;

According to Min Max

“Look, Romney is NOT the right candidate but neither is Newt. Non of them come even close and if you think a debate between Newt and BO would be something to watch, you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.  Sarah will rip him apart with a wink and a smile.   Friends, you absolutely HAVE to hold the line!”

One C4P participant wrote;

“The longer it takes, the longer she can wait to make her move into the race to take the rest of the delegates in the rest of the states. It is a beautiful strategy.”   

Others were realistic and excepted Palin’s statement for what she actually meant.

tjd4life for wrote:

“She is right! This thing has to continue. We don’t need a coronation right now. If you live in SC, the first thing I would tell you to is vote your conscience. Always do that, but if you want your vote to count and you are in the non-Romney camp, you have to vote for Newt. No if’s and’s or but’s.”

Other comments from Palin supporters applauded her positioning of Newt as the candidate to beat Romney with.

friskyness responded to Palin’s move this way;

“Newt is the only one that can beat Obama!  His debates are spectacular! Our goal is to oust Obama. We can’t do it with mushy Romney!”  

What will be quite interesting here, is the speed in which things can change if Newt does actually win South Carolina.

Although Mitt Romney will still be the likely nominee, if Gingrich does upset Mitt in the Palemtto State primary, the political world will most certainly be talking about the Republican nomination contest being a totally new and different race.  And it will be.  But until Newt can capitalize on his support and momentum it will all be for naught.

Right now Newt Gingrich needs a clear message and theme that can connect with voters and allow them to better relate to him.  He needs to show that he is a steady political hand who is not vulnerable to the mistakes of political novices.  Establishing an effective campaign organization that controls the story and message, while raising the money, doing the proper opposition research, and developing rapid response damage control teams, will all help Newt exploit any success that he could have from a surprise win in South Carolina.  However, the former Speaker of the House is still not convinced that the most basic aspects of conventional campaign management apply to him.

As someone who endorsed Newt for President, I hope he is right.   Unfortunately, I just don’t think he is and while Sarah Palin’s praise of him will help, Newt still does not realize how much his lack of discipline is failing to maximize the benefits that Palins’s words afford him.

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Iowa Recap

Romney won, Bachmann quit, Santorum is rising, Paul is maintaining his status quo, Newt is struggling, Perry has faith, and Huntsman….who?  Iowa recapped:

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney won in Iowa. Honestly?  No big deal. Romney will gain momentum from winning, but when people look at the numbers they will realize that if Michele Bachmann wasn’t in the race, Santorum would have won comfortably.  If Santorum wasn’t in the race, Newt and Perry probably would have both outpolled Romney.  In Iowa, he got his fiscal conservatives and the social conservatives split the rest.  But it’s not all bad for Romney.  In fact, while Romney may have come to a predictable finish, he won by choosing his opponent.  Gingrich was a shoe in to win Iowa barely more than a week ago.  Instead, Santorum now has the social conservative momentum and Romney should easily win New Hampshire and could win South Carolina.  So Romney’s win is:

Good for: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum      Bad for: Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman

Rick Santorum

A shocking surprise to some, a mild surprise for others, Santorum has Huckabee’d Iowa.  With a great ground game, time, hard work, and the luck of Newt Gingrich being destroyed by Romney, Inc, Michele Bachmann, and the Republican establishment, Santorum is finally getting his shot at vetting.  Already, he is being called a war monger and “big government conservative”.  But Santorum’s rise may be too late in the game for a vetting process to destroy him.  Many social conservatives have been waiting for a reason to believe that Santorum could win.  From the day he started running the narrative has been that Santorum is simply unelectable on a national scale.  So, Santorum’s second place finish is:

Good for: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney   Bad for: Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann

Ron Paul

Paul’s third place finish is certainly not what the Paul camp was hoping for.  Ron Paul came very close to breaking free from his libertarian ceiling, but in the end social conservatives showed they would rather take a gamble on the unvetted Rick Santorum instead of giving Ron Paul the ‘turn’ he was starting to experience.  Paul has been passed over as the anti-Romney.  He may be able to turn things around in New Hampshire, but a third or worse finish in New Hampshire should be a clear signal to Paul that the revolution is over.  Paul’s third place finish is:

Good for: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney  Bad for: Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Even if Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann dropped out of the race and split their votes on a pro rata share, Newt would still not have passed Mitt Romney.  The fact is, Romney ran an incredible, strategic dismantling of Newt without even breaking a sweat.  In the meantime, Newt refused to go dishonestly negative, but managed plenty of headlines saying “Newt Goes on the Attack”.  Newt is realizing in time for New Hampshire, he won’t win with a positive campaign.  Can he win with a negative one?  New Hampshire will probably go Romney’s way.  But Newt needs South Carolina.  Without South Carolina, he won’t have the momentum to take Florida and Florida is the key.  So Newt’s dismal fourth place finish is:

Good for: Mitt Romney   Bad for: Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann

Rick Perry

Perry’s fifth place win got him to re-think his campaign.  But with Michele Bachmann choosing to drop out, perhaps Perry thinks he still has hope.  He should have decided to stay in Texas.  Perry’s placing is:

Bad for: Rick Perry

Michele Bachmann

Bachmann barely registered.  Iowa was her last hope to connect with social and evangelical conservatives and she failed.  Fortunately, this provided the wake up call she needed to see the end of the race.  Bachmann has decided to drop out of the race and return to Minnesota.  Unfortunately for Bachmann, she has not built the cult following that Sarah Palin did.  Hopefully she will continue to be a strong voice for the TEA party.

Good for: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry   Bad for: Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney

As for the other contender, Jon Huntsman’s disrespectful snub of Iowa, especially in light of Romney’s stronger finish in the state and momentum, seals Huntsman’s irrelevancy.

Debunking Newt Mythology

Ok, hold on a minute.  Let’s talk about Newt.

The left has gone all in on Newt.  After three years of seeing that the Democrats have an empty hand with Obama, they have put all their chips on the table and dared us to run Newt.  And as usual, we are folding.  Same thing happened in 2008 when the left and the media scoffed at Mitt Romney and said that the only candidate who could ever beat their guy was John McCain.  Believe it or not, we listened.  For the smarter party, Republicans sure can be stupid.

Now the left is saying it will be a cake walk if we run Gingrich and the only serious candidate who can beat their guy is Romney, or maybe Huntsman, although they seem to have figured out that one is a hard sell.  So why are we listening again?  Ann Coulter came out slamming Newt and endorsing Romney.  George Will has attacked Newt Gingrich.  And what for?

Newt got $1.8 million from Freddie Mac.  Not really, it was actually Newt’s company.  But he did it by lobbying.  Well, again, no.  Newt did not lobby for Freddie Mac, but his company did provide consulting services to Freddie Mac.  Now, I am a businessman and a lot of what I do involves consulting.  Does that mean I can never run for President in case one of my clients does something bad someday despite my advice?  Maybe.

Let’s take it out of the business realm.  Pretend you own a garage and you fix cars.  If George Soros drives up and asks you to change the oil, will you turn him away?  Are you a liberal if you change his oil?  What about Bernie Madoff before he was caught?  Are you part of his illegal pyramid scheme because you changed his tires?

It would be one thing if Newt counseled Freddie Mac on how lose billions of dollars, get bailed out, and pay everyone huge bonuses.  But if you are looking for that smoking gun, you are looking at the wrong person.  Try Franklin Raines, Jamie Gaerlick, etc.  Enough with the guilt by association.  Newt did consulting for large businesses, and they paid his company rates that large, multi-billion dollar businesses pay for high level consulting.

Ok, but Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi.  Yes, he did.  He also had debates with Cuomo, Kerry and Sharpton.  Newt Gingrich is not going to implement cap and trade to prevent global warming.  That’s about as crazy as saying Mitt Romney is going to support partial birth abortion.  Seriously, you have my word that neither of those will happen.  Newt wasn’t endorsing Nancy Pelosi any more than Al Sharpton was endorsing Pat Robertson.  If Sarah Palin stood next to Michelle Obama and did a PSA saying its good for kids to have a healthy diet, would you suddenly think that Palin supports federal government takeover of school lunches? Newt has fought vigorously against cap and trade.

Well, what about Newt supporting a healthcare mandate?  When Hillary was pushing Hillarycare, which would take responsibility away from people, Newt signed on with the Heritage Foundation’s alternative that included an individual mandate. After researching it, Newt backed off that position.  He never implemented it for an entire state, or for anyone actually.  Newt is not going to implement a healthcare mandate on the entire country.  Guess what, neither is Romney.

In fact, let’s talk Romney for a minute.  Mitt Romney is pro-life.  He opposes gay marriage.  He makes Huntsman look like Hillary.  He supports tax cuts for the middle class and not raising taxes on employers and producers.  As much as Romney has been painted as the liberal in this bunch, he was the most conservative viable candidate in 2008 after Fred Thompson dropped out.  He may not be a card carrying TEA Party member, but he has said himself that he supports the TEA Party and shares all of their goals.  By the way, I never got a card either.  I really don’t think they issue them, even if Bachmann has one.

Why did Romney lose in 2008?  It all came down to two reasons.  Number one, Romney was not moderate enough to get the “independents”.  He was too conservative.  Only John McCain could beat the Democrat in 2008 by reaching across the aisle and not being so extreme.  Reason number two, the infamous time-table for withdrawal charge.  Romney said that when the time came to draw down the troops from Iraq, he supported a time-table for an orderly withdrawal.  His opponents turned that into Democrat style cut and run.  No matter how many times he tried to explain that was not what he believed, that became the mantra.

What about Rick Perry?  Why aren’t we going around saying that Rick Perry is going to implement cap and trade because years ago he was a Democrat working on the campaign of the future Nobel prize winner and global warming snake oil salesman, Al Gore?

The only person we have to actually worry about doing half the crazy stuff he’s been accused of thinking is Ron Paul!

So let’s not let people choose our candidate for us.  Research what you hear about candidates.  Just because George Will thinks you are too dumb to vote doesn’t make it so.  Each of the candidates left have some great ideas, and each one will do a far better job at running this country than the current President.  Did Cain have some foreign policy gaffes?  Shoot, the last three years have been an Obama foreign policy gaffe.

Part of this election cycle that Romney has skipped sofar has been the knife in the back from the right and the dare to run that candidate from the left.  Considering how well Newt is handling this complete onslaught from the right and left, wouldn’t you rather have him going up against Obama than the candidate that no one is vetting?  McCain got plenty of vetting after Romney dropped out in 2008.

This is not an endorsement of Newt.  I will make an endorsement of a candidate after the Jacksonville, Florida debate in January.  But this is a serious question to our party.  Why do we have to self destruct again?

Yes, he can?

In the volatility of the Republican 2012 primary, one thing is for sure.  Calling this race now would be like predicting the Superbowl in September.  How ’bout them Eagles.  Of course, I called the Eagles faltering before the season started.  I’m usually pretty good with my football picks.  So, allow me to apply some of that prophetic magic here.  FYI, this post is not for the faint of heart.  I’m just giving it to you straight.

Romney is all set as the Republican establishment candidate.  He has had that spot locked up really since before Mitch Daniels dropped out of the race.  Now the one stable thing in this race is that Romney will get the establishment vote.  He will also get a lot of mainstream Republican votes.  But he is going to run into a real issue, and that is with the anti-establishment movement within the Republican party.  All that is about to blow wide open this week as the NYT releases a story about opinions among establishment Republicans of the TEA party.  The GOP is about to have a civil war on its hands.  Whether they can recover by next November will be huge in determining whether or not Barack Obama is President in 2013.  Mitt Romney absolutely must nail down his conservative support and soon, or he will lose Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.

Cain's 999 plan could be his undoing

I like Herman Cain a lot.  I think he would make a great Vice President.  I think he would be a star on the campaign trail.  I think he would bring a lot of conservatives to the table and would bring the TEA party and anti-establishment wing to the table.  Here’s the problem: Herman Cain’s 9 9 9 plan sucks.  He would do better to drop that plan completely and advocate a Fairtax, which I also oppose for various reasons you can find here.  But even the Fairtax is better than 9 9 9.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan has several Achilles’s heels hidden in its simplicity.  Perhaps the worst is the 9% flat tax on corporation’s gross profits minus purchases and dividends.  Unless Cain plans to include payroll with purchases, his 9% flat tax could turn into an effective 99% tax, or even higher, on low margin service industries with high labor costs.  But simplicity and feel good soundbites are what drives the Cain campaign.  Sometimes those soundbites are the common sense we are all thinking, but nobody who represents us is saying.  In those times, I love Herman Cain.  Other times it’s not much better than the soundbites written on a Wall Street mob sign.  Great for riling you up, until you stop and think about it.

Right now, we are watching the French Revolution in the TEA party and anti-establishment wing of the Republican party.  And who can blame them?  I should say, who can blame us.  Our party had the President who initially signed TARP.  Now, of course I don’t think Bush ever imagined TARP would be used to give the treasury secretary ultimate powers to steal companies from their bondholders, sell them overseas and give the proceeds to unions.  But he should have.  Conservative Constitutionalists are praying, quite literally, that we don’t get fooled again.  The result has been the rise and fall of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain.  Each time, the anti-establishment establishment is looking for that perfect, conservative candidate that we can get behind and support.

Now, suddenly Newt Gingrich is inching back into the top three.  In fact, while Cain tops out the very volatile state of Florida, Gingrich has hit double digits.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich’s facebook page shows a photo of him on the Drudge Report with a story about how he is still in this.  And he definitely is.

The difference between Newt and the other candidates is that Newt’s laundry has been on the line for years now.  Everyone knows who Newt Gingrich is.  He isn’t going to come out with a plan that sinks his campaign a month from now.  No one is going to learn during a debate about him forcing 12 year old girls to get vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases.  Everyone knows how imperfect his past is.  That’s why he hasn’t been in this race up to now.  And that is why he will be very dangerous if Cain falls on 9 9 9.  Of course, I mean “dangerous” in the best way possible.  Newt versus Mitt with no specter of late arrivals and no more candidates left to shoot up to the top could solidify January’s primaries.

Newt can carry Iowa and South Carolina easily once the other social conservatives lose their votes to him.  Newt was the first in the debates to really highlight how Obama was preventing jobs from coming to South Carolina.  And Iowa will pick the social conservative every time.  In a Newt/Mitt race, it will all be about Florida.

Could the debate in Jacksonville, FL determine the next President of the United States?

On January 26th, Republicans will hold the last GOP debate that matters before the primary.  I know, there will be one in Tampa the night before the primary.  No one is going to change their mind because of the Tampa debate.  It will all come down to January 26th in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mitt Romney versus the TEA party favorite.  The last time the Superbowl was held here, the Patriots won.

Palin Will Still Be the Cause for the Next Big Media Driven Maelstrom of the Election

Bookmark and Share A day after Governor Sarah Palin made it official that she would not run for President in 2012, the leaders of Team Sarah sent out the following email to their extensive list of supporters.

Team,

We’re not retreating, we’re  reloading!

While the announcement that Governor Sarah Palin will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for the office of President of the United States came as a surprise and disappointment to many,  let’s not forget that we have all been called to “fight like a girl” in an effort to restore our country.  It’s a call to stand with Governor Palin and to continue fighting for the conservative values of smaller government, free markets, life, and family.

Team Sarah members will continue to march towards the 2012 elections advancing the values and principles that Sarah Palin represents in the political process.  We will join Governor Palin in the fight to secure many victories for commonsense constitutional conservatives at all levels of government.

The email seems to be representative of the sentiments possessed by most Palinistas.  While they are disappointed by the fact that there is no chance she will become President in 2012, they are not disappointed in her.

Palin’s supporters appreciate her seeming lack of ambition to hold political office.  That is why they understood the thinking behind her sacrificing the second half of her only term as Governor Alaska and did not hold it against her.  They understood that the political firestorm that came with the liberal assault upon her was going to make it easier for her successor to advance the agenda that she set, faster and further.  Palin’s lack of political ambition is what attracts most people to her.  They understand that her opinions and words are not driven by the political motives which are usually behind the  words and policies of your average politician.

That understanding and the enormous number of people who support Palin for her ability to articulate what they feel and think, and her desire to be honest and blunt about those sentiments, is the same understanding which gave birth to the TEA movement.  That is why for many, the two go hand in hand.  It is why Palin is a darling of the TEA movement.

It is also why Palin’s decision not to run, is likely to have as much of an effect on who will be the next Republican nominee, as she would have had if she decided to run for the nomination herself..

That is why pretty soon, the news will be dominated by another topic.

With names like Daniels, Barbour, Ryan, Christie, and Palin definitely out of the race, the endless speculation about who is running which kept many from getting behind any of the actual declared candidates, has finally stopped.  There is little talk about who can jump in and change the complexion of the race.  But with the front loading of the primary and caucuses actually forcing the first votes in the nomination process to begin taking place in as few as 12 weeks from now, the next media prompted maelstrom will be who Palin is endorsing.  There will be a similar media focus on who New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also endorses, but ironically and quite figuratively, the Palin endorsement will carry much more weight than Christie’s.  Her support of a candidate could open doors for candidates like Romney, Santorum or Gingrich, candidates who desperately need TEA activists to just consider them as viable choices.  Candidates like Herman Cain and even Rick Perry don’t need such an opening to the TEA movement.  They already have strong support from many sectors within the less spending, less government, more liberty cause.  But a leading candidate like Mitt Romney can ill afford Sarah Palin promoting one of his opponents.

That is why Sarah Palin is very likely to be pivotal in the Republican nomination contest. And probably more so in the nomination process than the general election contest where she will probably not be able to change the minds of those supporting or still considering supporting President Obama for reelection.

In the meantime, Palin holds the power to change the course of history.  If she so chooses, she can actually be a determining factor in who the next Republican nominee and subsequently the next President is.  Such an assertion is only made more evident by the above letter from Palin supporters which confirms their desire to stand with Sarah Palin through thick or thin.

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Palin Announces She Is Not Running For President. Catch the Audio and Written Versions of her Decision Here.

Bookmark and ShareWhat Will It Mean To The Existing Field?

What Role Will She Play?

On Tuesday it was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who dispelled any rumors about his running for President and now on Wednesday, in what can only be called a week that finally allowed the Republican presidential nomination process to focus on the real, not the imagined candidates, former Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin put an an end to speculation about her own run for President.

She revealed her decision on Mark Levin’s popular radio talk show.  You can listen to the entire interview here.

In an open letter on her SarahPAC website, Governor Palin tells supporters  that she decided not to run because she feels that she can be more effective in playing a decisive role in the election of others who defend the conservative values that she has come to represent.   She also promised to;

“continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.”

Palin’s announcement now forces a fickle Republican electorate to choose from among the existing field of assembled candidates.   As of yesterday, a Quinnipiac poll of Republican primary voters indicated that Mitt Romney had a majority of support, while Herman Cain was
quickly rising and Texas Governor Rick Perry was dropping fast.  The next important name and number to appear in the poll was Sarah Palin, who before the news that she was not running, came in fourth place with with 9%.

Quinnipiac National Republican Primary

(Numbers in parentheses indicate previous poll results)

  • Romney – 22% (18)
  • Cain – 17% (5)
  • Perry – 14% (24)
  • Palin – 9% (11)
  • Gingrich – 8% (3)
  • Paul – 6% (9)
  • Bachmann – 3% (10)
  • Santorum – 3% (1)
  • Huntsman – 1% (1)

Now, combining the significant number of Republican voters hoping Palin would run with the existing 17% who are already undecided, the total percentage of the G.O.P. electorate that is up for grabs is 26% or more than 1/4th of the G.O.P. electorate.

This in many ways keeps this a wide open race.  That is especially the case considering that many more voters who have stated support for one candidate or another have also indicated that their support is soft, and can easily be won over by one of the other Republicans in the field.

At the moment, it looks like the name that has the most to gain from Palin’s announcement is Herman Cain.  As indicated in a WH12 post by IkeFriday, Palin’s social conservative and TEA movement support is now likely to go Cain’s way.  Palin’s announcement that she is not running happened at the most opportune time for Cain.  With the tide shifting his way ever since the Florida Straw Poll, the voters left hanging by Palin can easily be swept up in that tide.

As for Palin herself, her decision was most definitely the right one for her.  Palin has been thriving as a cheerleader for the anti-establishment wing of the conservative electorate.  She has raised and made money and advanced the cause.  By keeping herself out of the race, she allows herself to remain a force to contend with.  As we have seen with Rick Perry and others, once one becomes a candidate, maintaining their superstar image is much harder to do.  Palin though has the opportunity to keep her star burning brighter for  another day.

Meanwhile, much of  Palin’s fan base is still trying to digest the decision and absorb what obvious disappointment they feel.  While many of the pro-Palin websites and blogs have not yet even released statements, one leading site, Conservatives 4 Palin, did have a post from Adrienne Ross who wrote;

“The Governor Palin I have supported these past three years, the one I’ve been privileged to come to know, is indeed the real deal, and so for tonight I will leave it at this: I continue to stand with Governor Palin.”

While many Palin supporters will undoubtedly be disappointed with the decision, it does not look like they will be disappointed by her.  As such, her role in the 2012 election could be critical to who the G.O.P. nominates.  But Palin supporters can not give up the hope that we can win back the White House and to do so with a candidate who represents all the values which Sarah does.  Depressed Palin supporters must now engage the existing candidates.  They must make sure that all the candidates are talking the issues we want and proposing the solutions we want.  If we aggressively engage them in such a way, they will have no choice to be run on our agenda.  And once they are there, we will have the opportunity to decide which one can advance our values and our cause successfully.  That is what elections are for.  Now that we know we have no more players in the game, we must play with the hand we  have been dealt.  It is time for voters to stop focussing on who it could have been and start focussing on who it will be.

With only three months to go before the primaries and caucuses begin in earnest, there is much to be done by both the candidates and the voters.   The candidates now have no reason to hold back any strategies that would have been used if Christie or Palin ran.  They are now free to run their campaigns based on what we know, not what we don’t know.  In other words, it is time for the candidates to start acting presidential.  Now we need the Republican candidates to show the nation  that beyond being the Party of limited government, we are also the Party of ideas.  And our candidates must begin to release bold new ideas to solve our old problems.  The candidate that can do that, will give the anti-establishment and TEA movement wings of the G.O.P., a reason for them to at least be willing to look at the candidacies of others such as Romney, Santorum and Gingrich.

Now that the Barnum & Bailey’s Three Ring Circus of candidates has closed up the tent, and last two candidates have pulled out of that mini sized clown car that was crowded with as many as 12 or more other candidates , we can get to business.  The real business, not this business of waiting on someone to get fired up for the job, or have a need to kiss  The Donald’s ring.  Now is the time for each candidate to prove they have solid plans for expanding our economy by unleashing the free market and reining in big government.  We need candidates who will offer plans that seek to cut spending, reform government, and do away with the arcane American tax system that is turning our nation into a consumer economy that buys from outside of our borders and sells very little outside of borders.

In addition to a leader who will unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit, one who will be a world leader.  A leader who can take back the title of leader of the free world from the man who has held it since 2009,  It was in September of 2009 that both President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Uniter Nations.  After those two speeches, it became clear that Netanyahu was the true free leader of the world, not our American President.  In light of that, our nation requires a firm hand, articulate mouth, and open ear.  They will need that articulate mouth to make clear what is right and what is wrong, who are friends, who are foes, and how we can all try to all come be friends.   They need ears that will listen to the responses to such dialogue and when necessary, use their firm hand to slap down those who seek to abridge  the rights of others and jeopardize the lives of the innocent.  We need a clear American foreign policy that starts at securing our international borders and then stands side by side with our friends in Canada, Israel, Great Britain, Spain, Italy,Poland, Australia, and many other true allies of peace.

Truth be told, if given the chance, anyone of a number of existing candidates have the capacity to be such leaders.  There’s Perry, Romney, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum and possibly even Michele Bachmann.  We just need to give them a chance.  All of them.

Important at this juncture though is Sarah Palin.  While Mitt Romney has been a soft but steady frontrunner for the nomination, his appeal among TEA movement and anti-establishment types, has been dismal.  It has been a major reason for his inability to cinch the nomination as early as he could have.   TEA movement voters are too leery of Romney for what they see as an indication of a big government mentality demonstrated by his creation and passage of RomneyCare in Massachusetts.    If Sarah Palin happened to throw her support behind Mitt, she could help him at least break the ice with those voters.  If not, Herman Cain could go much further than many expect.

No  matter what, the first week of October, 2011 will become the official start of the presidential election.  We now know who we have to choose from and it it is time for all of us to focus on the big picture here.  Do the candidates want to play it safe so that they can simply sail on by and defeat a badly wounded President Obama?  Or is there a candidate who is willing to step forward with bold changes and bold visions and take risks, thereby demonstrating that if elected, they will be more than just some caretaker of the White House.   No, they must prove themselves to be a leader who reforms government, restores power to the states, get our fiscal house in order, and ensure our national security and doesn’t do business as usual.

Many of us Palin supporters believe that Sarah would have been that bold leader, but with her out, the mantle seems to be passing in to the hands of Herman Cain.   The only way for Mitt Romney to prevent that from happening is if he starts thinking outside of the Washington, D.C. political box he lives in and demonstrates that instead of playing by the rules of the old political game, he intends to rewrite them and to do so in every way from our tax code, to the way Washington does business.

In the meantime, each of the declared candidates have better be on their A games.  For with Sarah Palin and Chris Christie out there as free agents, none of the candidates’ running for the nomination can afford to be on the wrong side of their endorsements.

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