Trunkline 2012: Thursday’s Dust Ups from the Campaign Trail

Today’s campaign trail news summary features Bill Clinton claiming Romney is right, Eva Longoria’s twitter inspired need to resign from Team Obama, the liberal return to playing the race card, Romney’s rising tide in Ohio, the nation and early balloting, the gaffe that will haunt the President in  the third and final debate, a clue that al Qaeda is still very much on the run, Hillary Clinton’s apparent lack of interest in running for President in 2016, and much more

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Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

No, if you believe his now former Iowa director Tina Goff and Kevin Hall who was in charge of coordinating for the Iowa straw poll in just over a month.  Jim Zeiler has also left the Iowa staff and Cain lost his New Hampshire director earlier this week.  When it comes to managing a campaign, things are not looking good for Cain.

On the other hand, Cain is looking good in the Iowa polls.  Most recently he came in second only to perpetual front runner Mitt Romney and remade Michelle Bachmann.

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

The problem is that Cain has not done or said anything to differentiate himself from Michelle Bachmann.  Going into this race he had perhaps set himself apart as a more “serious” candidate, and certainly took on early momentum from the TEA Party.  But Bachmann easily out-shined him in the debate and continues to make the right steps even in the face of extreme character assassination.  Bachmann’s successes have made her detractors appear to be less “serious”.

In the meantime, Cain is reducing himself to soundbite worthy quips and small government platitudes while his substance seems to be a foggy mirror of the clarity Bachmann has produced.  The result is that Cain is quietly slipping into the shadows where other candidate copies, like Gary Johnson (generic brand Ron Paul) and Jon Huntsman (Mitt Romney clone only the media is excited about) reside.  Bachmann is quickly taking the TEA Party energy.

In some ways, Cain brought this on himself.  His radio host style speeches leave little substance to hang one’s hat on and his brief handling of gay marriage in the debate has alienated him from the religious section of the TEA Party.  In addition, at times he has seemed clueless on some of the more detailed issues such as right of return for a Palestinian state.  This still puts him miles ahead in knowledge from someone like Joe Biden who wanted a three state solution for Iraq.

Cain does have one demographic that still turns out strongly in support of him, and that is the African American conservatives, moderates, and independents.  Many of these who helped turn Florida blue for Barack Obama and are now disenchanted with his policies are indicating strong support for Cain.  Whereas Iowa is turning out to be a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Bachmann, all important Florida may end up being a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Cain. Real Clear Politics shows Cain in second place to Romney in Florida out of current candidates, but large percentages going to Huckabee and Palin.  It will be interesting to see how those Palin and Huckabee supporters break by the time we reach Florida.  It won’t be for Mitt Romney.

If Cain can survive until Florida and then capitalize on it, losing Iowa might not be that big a deal.  Then again, perhaps he should talk to Rudy Guiliani about that strategy.

Texas Governor Rick Perry Could Be Surprise Late Entry in the Presidential Race

Bookmark and ShareIn reference to Texas Governor Rick Perry, back in January, White House 2012 wrote , “Governor Rick Perry has in the past, stated that he will not run for President. He probably meant it at the very moment of each specific time he said so. But politics is as changeable as the weather. A slight shift in a weather front could turn a sunny forecast into a cloudy day and for politicians the most modest alterations of political reality could change their mind on a dime.”

That statement was presented upon our disclosing that Governor Perry had apparently begun to do some polling outside of Texas. What those polls indicated are unknown. By law, the Governor and his camp,are not obliged to release those results unless they make any public reference to them. So far, no one from Team Perry has made any mention of them. Now, nearly four months later, Real Clear Politics reports that sources close to Governor Perry claim thathe sees a void in the Republican presidential field that he believes he can fill. In light off this sentiment, the Governor anticipates being called upon to seek the Republican presidential nomination. It is further reported that Perry has been examining the political environment within Iowa which holds the first in the nation presidential caucus.

Perry has repeatedly stated that he has no interest in running for President. But as noted by White House 2012, politicians can change their minds quite quickly. In Perry’s case though, it may not be so much a change of mind, as it is a change of chances. With all the talk about a so-called “weak” Republican field, Rick Perry, or at least those around him may feel that he has the record and personality that could fill what they see as an existing void and dominate the field. Such thinking would not be very far fetched. While I disagree with the notion that the still emerging Republican presidential field is weak, I do not deny that there is room for someone with natural and immediate star qualities to enter the race. Rick Perry has such star qualities. He is excellent on the campaign trail, easily likeable, and possesses a conservative record of successful policy initiatives and governance in Texas.

On the economy, Perry has presided over a state economy that is one of the strongest in the nation. He has cut taxes and spending and balanced its budget with a surplus left over. His strong positions on states rights once prompted him to evoke thoughts of secession, a thought that appeals to many who are fed up with a federal government that they see treading on their rights. His lead in opposing oppressive and constitutionally questionable federal EPA laws will also provide him with some mileage.

Perry is one of the few incumbent office holders who has a record that can still appeal to the anti-establishment, sentiments possessed by much of the TEA Party and the anti-government mentality that has often been the key to Republican electoral success (i.e.: Ronald Reagan). The only other potential candidate that can approach Perry’s appeal to both the political establishment and anti-establishment Tea Party elements, and who has a record on the economy as strong as Perry, is Indiana’s Mitch Daniels. That fact could account for these new murmurings from the Perry camp.

Mitch Daniels should be making his decision regarding a run for President any day now. If for some reason he declares that he will not be running in 2012, Perry may end up being the strongest possible surprise entry in to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest.

For months now, pundits and politicos have suggested that there may be some surprise entries in to the race. Conservative South Carolina Jim DeMint has gone so far as to say that he fully expects a surprising late candidacy to come from within the ranks of Republican Governors. Many have, and still continue to suggest that that person will be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I contend that short of a massive national draft effort unlike anything we have ever seen before combined with a total rejection of every Republican who winds up running for the nomination, Christie will not be running in 2012. Rick Perry however is a different story. If there is going to be any surprise late entry in this race it will be Perry. This will be even more likely to happen if Mitch Daniels surprises us by not running.

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Rep. Paul Ryan’s Star Rises Just in Time for the 2012 Presidential Race

Bookmark and Share After President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address, Republicans will respond in a speech that they have chosen Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to deliver. Ryan was chosen due in large part to the emphasis that the GOP wants to place on the national economy and issues such as the growing federal budget, spending and the national debt, all issues which few elected officials are as qualified to address as Paul Ryan is.

In addition to being a fiscally responsible deficit hawk, Ryan is the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, a position that makes him one of the most powerful men in government today. For Republicans, choosing Paul Ryan to respond to the President’s address is a wise one. Ryan is passionate about economic issues, especially when it concerns, smaller government, less spending and paying off our debt. He is also a man who does more than just offer talking points and criticism. He is a man of action and idea. In 2010 he put forward his own economic roadmap for America, a plan which he stands behind and which the G.O.P. would also be wise to unite behind.

Giving Ryan the national spotlight by having him issue the response to the President, confirms that Ryan is not only qualified to address the fiscal issues that the G.O.P. wants to focus on, but that Ryan is also a figure that people can trust and whom can articulate the cause convincingly and effectively. These are qualities that one looks for in a President and Ryan’s possession of these qualities is one of the reason why he is included in White House 2012’s list of contenders.

It is why he has nearly 13,500 fans than one of Ryan’s fans created for Facebook on a Ryan For President Facebook page. In fact after Rep. Ryan went face to face with President Obama and sparred with him over Obamacare in 2010, many blogs and articles such as this one in Red State, touted the future presidency of Paul Ryan.

But the Congressman quickly tried to put such talk to rest. The Weekly Standard once reported that at a fundraiser in In July of 2010, when asked if there’s any chance he would run for president, he replied “No, no there isn’t,” and added “I want to be a normal person,”. He then went to say, “Other people can run for that thing.”and then, while pointing to one of his young children, said; “Other people can’t do this”.

In February of 2010, told a Wisconsin television program host, “I’ll give you as Shermanesque a quote as I can,” said Ryan. “I am not going to run for president. I’m just not going to do it. My head’s not that big, and my kids are too small.” He added I am young and am not going to be a career politician. The complete interview can be viewed here. Later that same week in a Real Clear Politics interview reasserted that position but he did state that he would not rule out a 2012 run for the United States Senate against Democrat incumbent Herb Kohl.

Such a run would probably be more realistic than a run for President by the 40 year old Congressman at the moment, but people still hold out hope for seeing him in the Oval Office and if not in the Oval Office, than at least on the ticket as Vice President. In fact, one website suggests such a thing with Chris Christie running at the top of the ticket and Ryan holding the number two slot.

But while hope and speculation about a Ryan run for the White House make their rounds, it is worth noting that a 2012 run for the senate or on the GOP presidential ticket, would cost him his critically influential role in Congress as the House Budget Committee chairman, a position that few are more up to than Ryan. As for who Paul Ryan does look towards when considering the presidency, the budget conscience Congressman points to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and says; “He would be a great president,” He told the Weekly Standard “He looks like your accountant, but that’s not so bad maybe.” That assessment is founded on Ryan’s focus on the budget and his faith in his own economic roadmap, a major consideration which led him to say; “Are there [other] people who right now know these issues, have the principles, have the courage of their convictions, and are willing and able to defend them? Nobody comes to my mind,” But he added that “any one of these guys” interested in running for president could get up to speed on the Road Map.

Presidential politics aside, for now, after announcing Ryan as the man who will give the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union, Republicans should be pleased with the fact that our Party leadership is wise enough to acknowledge the fact that Congressman Ryan is the right man to take the lead on the budget and the economic issues facing us. And we should also be mindful that if Paul Ryan does indeed not participate in the 2012 presidential as a candidate himself, we should try to make sure that our ultimate nominee embraces Paul Ryan’s thinking and leadership on fiscal responsibility.

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