Mackinac Straw Poll Shows Michigan is Still Romney Territory

Bookmark and Share    While the big news of this weekend is Herman Cain’s incredibly strong first place showing in the Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll, a straw poll in Michigan announced Mitt Romney its winner.

Out 681 votes cast from among 1,800 attendees gathered at the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Romney garnered 346 votes or 51 percent. The candidate who came closest to Romney was Texas Governor Rick Perry who captured 16.8% with 114 votes.

On Saturday, both Perry and Romney had forgone the opportunity to address the P5 Straw Poll in Orlando, Florida and instead opted to address the Mackinac event.

Perry did speak to P5 participants during a Saturday morning breakfast event. And before voting began in that contest, a pre-recorded video message by him was seen by all.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he has made it a policy to not compete in straw polls this year because he would prefer to invest the large amount of resources they require in the actual election rather than contests that have no bearing on the delegate count needed to win the Republican presidential nomination. In 2007, Mitt Romney spent more than $1 million in the Iowa Straw Poll, which he won. But he went on to lose the Iowa Caucuses to Mike Huckabee. Four years later, Romney does not want to divert the time and money from his 2012 campaign to such beauty contests.

Unlike Herman Cain’s win in Florida, Romney was widely expected to win the Michigan event, just as he is expected to win the Michigan Republican presidential primary in 2012. Romney is a native of Michigan and his father was a popular Governor of the state. Romney also won the Michigan primary in the 2008 election cycle.

Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference every two years at historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.. The event allows Party activists to discuss ideas, learn how to articulate the Republican message, and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state—and the country. The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier Republican events in the Midwest.

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Mitt Romney Wants Sarah Palin to Run for President

Bookmark and Share    In an interview with USA Today’s Susan Page, Mitt Romney states that he hopes Sarah Palin runs for President.

According to Romney;

“I think it would be a good thing if she did. She would make the race that much more exciting, bring more people to watch the debates, and I hope she gets in.”

Romney is totally correct on those points.

Palin’s entry into the race would have an incredibly positive affect for Republicans in the 2012 election. It will especially take a lot of ink away from President Obama.

However Romney does not mention the real reason why he would like Palin to run.

With Sarah Palin in the nomination contest, candidates like Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, will have their vote totals suppressed by Palin’s candidacy which will absorb much of their support. And while she holds down the vote totals of candidate like Bachmann and Perry, Romney has a good chance to see his establishment conservative vote totals surpass all others and wrap up the nomination earlier rather than later.

Of course, with Palin running, there is also a good chance that Romney will lose…………..to her.

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Romney Picks Up Conservative Support From Congress

Bookmark and Share    Darrell Issa , the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced that he endorsing Mitt Romney for President. On the surface, the importance of the endorsement is undeniably significant. Issa is considered by many a leading Republican figure in the G.O.P., particularly among Conservatives. As a candidate in desperate need of conservative credentials, Issa’s support helps. But below the surface are two contradicting factors at play with the Issa endorsement.

While Congressman Issa is appreciated in conservative circles, how convincing his endorsement of Romney will be to many Conservatives is in doubt. What is not doubted though, is that Darrel Issa is viewed as an establishment politician and Mitt Romney is not in dire need of support from the establishment. What he needs is anti-establishment support. Particuarly from the TEA movement, a large, active portion of the electorate that is disenchanted with politicians and politics-as-usual. The Issa endorsement does not help Romney on this front.

On the flipside, Darrell Issa’s endorsement does have a significant numerical, if not ideological benefit.

The 172 delegates that California sends to the national convention make up for a tad over 7% of the entire Republican delegation in the country or over 14% of the number of delegates needed to win the presidential nomination. And with California being a winner-take-all primary, that is a significant accumulation of delegates for the winner. That makes Issa’s influence important in California where he may have sway over a significant number of republican activists and leaders in his California congressional district. This will go a long way in providing volunteers for Romney, and organizing his Get Out the Vote operation.

Ultimately, while Darrell Issa’s endorsement of Romney may not exactly be the catalyst for a surefire Romney win, it will make a difference in California, a delegate rich state that will boost any candidate’s chance at winning the nomination.

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All Ahhhh Board! Tim Pawlenty Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share    Today Mitt Romney pulled off one of the first surprising twists to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest as former Minnesota Governor and the first former 2012 presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty, endorsed Romney for President.   The Governor described Mitt as the most knowledgable and capable candidate in the field.

The original announcement came on Fox News’ Fox and Friends in the late morning hours of Monday……..

Pawlenty had promised not to endorse any candidate or assist any candidate in the nomination process but in what was a bit of a surprise, not only did the man who was once trying to aggressively oppose Romney, endorse him, later in the day Mitt Romney announced that T-Paw would serve as a national Co-Chair of the Romney for President campaign.

The endorsement is yet another sign of how succesful Romney is becoming at solidifying establishment support.  It is also a sign that many are beginning to perceive Romney as the person who will ultimately be the winner of the Republican nomination.  Pawlenty’s endorsement signals a “get on board before the train leaves the station” mentality that is building despite the rather big splash that Texas Governor Rick Perry made when he cannonballed into the nomination contest on the day of the Iowa Straw Poll and the day before Pawlenty pulled out of the race.

For his part, Pawlenty is not exactly the most obvious of former rivals to endorse Mitt Romney, especially so early on.  For T-Paw, Romney’s candidacy was one of the biggest hurdles to his own presidential candidacy.  As such, Pawlenty aggressively targeted Romney and his record, particularly Mitt’s Massachusetts healthcare plan which Pawlenty famously called ObamneyCare.  But much worse has been said by former rivals who have later gone on to throw their support behind the winning candidate that they once opposed.  In recent history, the race between President Obama and Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination is a prime example of how politics can make strange bedfelows. 

During the 2008 presidential nomination contest, Clinton oozed derision for Obama.  On one occasion she cracked;

 “Now, I could stand up here and say, ‘Let’s just get everybody together. Let’s get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.'”

The crack was designed to malign the messianic image that many were establishing for then candidate Obama.

During another exchange Clinton stated;

“Sen. Obama’s insistence on repeating attacks that have been demonstrated to be false by independent entities proves once and for all that his speeches about the new politics are just words.”

As for Barack Obama, he took plenty of shots at Clinton.  At one point his campaign even launched a minisite called “Hillary Attacks”. It had the singular purpose of tracking and highlighting Clinton’s negative comments about him.

A year later, candidate Clinton was president Obama’s Secretary of State Clinton.

So there is nothing new with the coming together of former political rivals, but as history shows, the rivals usually ony unite with the winner.  They rarely unite with one another during the election process.  In this case, it is obvious that Pawlenty believes Romney is the winner and he is trying to insure himself a ticket on that gravy train.

Shortly after Pawlenty made his announcement on Fox News, the Romney campaign’s website had posted on it, the following open letter from Pawlenty on their website:

By: Tim Pawlenty

Great crises often produce great leaders. Unfortunately, sometimes the timing isn’t right, and neither is the leader. 

Barack Obama came into office in the midst of a great economic crisis. Although hopes were high, he did not rise to the occasion. Now that the clouds of enthusiasm and excitement have parted, we see he was obviously unsuited for the task at hand.

President Obama has failed to meet America’s economic challenges. 

His three years of spending, regulating and taxing have not restarted the economy. Unemployment remains at a shocking 9.1 percent. Economic growth is hovering on the edge of a renewed recession. 

Abroad, the standing of the United States appears uncertain and adrift under the failed leadership of a president who prefers chastising allies to condemning foes.

Fortunately, America may get a second chance: Mitt Romney is running for president, and I am proud to endorse him. 

Alone among the contenders, he possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament. His abiding faith in our country’s exceptional historical position as a beacon of freedom will make him the most important leader in a world that depends upon a strong America to stay at peace.

Having served as Governor of Massachusetts, he turned that state’s budget around from deficit to surplus while simultaneously cutting taxes, but that is not the full measure of what he will bring to the Presidency.  His time in government was a moment of service – a way to give back to our country—following a distinguished career in the private sector, where he launched companies and turned around troubled ones.

When the 2002 Winter Olympics were on the verge of collapse thanks to a bid-rigging scandal, Romney was asked to take over. The attacks of September 11 created a security nightmare. Romney presided over a highly complex security mobilization, addressed the management troubles plaguing the games, and staged one of the most memorable competitions ever seen on American soil.

Romney is running for president because he is deeply committed to our country, troubled by its current condition, and I believe he can turn it around.

He’s formulated an economic plan—a set of alternatives to the government-oriented programs that Barack Obama has put in place—that is unparalleled in the history of American electoral campaigns.  By pressing for fundamental change in the way that Washington taxes and spends, issues regulations, uses energy, interacts with our major trading partners, and deals with our labor force, he fully envisions a way to place America back on the path toward rapid economic growth and full employment.

And at his core, Mitt Romney is a man of great character. He and his wife Ann have been married for more than four decades.  She is the love of his life.  Together, they have five sons and sixteen grandchildren.

But he’s not only a family man, he is a man of principle. He believes in the bedrock conservative ideals of limited government and free enterprise. He will stand up for America’s allies when they are threatened, with fortitude.  And he will face down our adversaries. He is a formidable person, and he will certainly be a formidable president.  Our allies can count on it, and our enemies should expect it. 

Crises indeed produces great leaders.  Sometimes it just takes awhile.

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Romney Shows Some Passion in Exchange with Liberal Iowa Hecklers

Bookmark and Share    A group of liberals set out early this morning to stake territory right in front of a makeshift stage where Mitt Romney was going to speak. The group has been identified as think-tank called Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Some reports identified them by the name Scrap the Cap . Whatever you call them, they were nothing but as rude as a bunch of Ron Paul fanatics in the back row of a debate.

In the footage below, Mitt Romney can be seen handling one liberal relic from the group who refused to give Romney the chance to speak and answer the question he was being asked. After a long lasting tirade from the questioner, Romney answered the question which essentially was how he would save Social Security and Medicare without reducing benefits.

Once Romney made sure the liberal heckler was finished he said,

“good, now I will give you my answer and if you don’t like it you can go vote for someone else.”

And what was Romney’s response,

 “You ready for my answer? I’m not going to raise taxes”.

The exchange continued as at least three more members of the liberal think tank asked questions. In the Fox News video put together for you by White House 2012, Karl Rove offers an excellent critique of Romney’s handling of the situation. On balance, I gave him an A+. Romney showed that he was human and can be angered, but still maintain his composure. More importantly, he demonstrated some passion. And it is that passion that voters need to see more of if he wants to remain the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Obama Strategy Is To Paint Romney as Weird and Assassinate His Character

Bookmark and Share   Recent reports from numerous outlets have discussed the claim that President Obama is preparing a campaign strategy that is designed to paint Mitt Romney as being “weird”. This stems from a reported quote from an Obama advisor that stated:

“There’s a weirdness factor with Romney, and it remains to be seen how he wears with the public,”

 That same advisor noted that the contrasts they’d drive between the President and the former Massachusetts governor would be

“based on character to a great extent.”

According to Politico “a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House” said:

“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,”.

Have to kill Romney”…….so much for that political correctness Democrats preach about and their cries for civility in politics. But those of us who understand the use of metaphoric flare, understand what was meant by that remark. However that still does not make the comment any less inflammatory. It is a direct claim from a member of the Obama camp, that the President does not intend to run on the issues but will instead focus on personality.

At the moment, the Obama strategy is planned to be used against frontrunner Mitt Romney but considering President Obama’s record, the strategy will probably be the same regardless of who the nominee is. Nevertheless, let us look at this strategy in terms of Mitt Romney.

Any attempt for Barack Obama to portray Mitt Romney as weird is about as ridiculous as the claim that Barack Obama had the experience to be a President in the first place. Besides, you think Mitt Romney is weird? Have you looked at our President? How many wealthy Americans have a brother living in poverty on ten dollars a month in Kenya? How many Americans have convicted terrorists like Bill Ayers for a friend? How many Americans have a Pastor who preaches racial hatred and are unaware of it? How many Americans grew up in Hawaii and moved to become the state senator representing the slums of Chicago? If ya wanna talk weird, let’s have at it Barry!

As it pertains to Mitt Romney, the second part of the “killing” of Romney consists of a full-out assault on Romney’s record as a successful businessman. Really? Does President Obama really want to go their? I would love to compare Mitt Romney’s business record to the only comparable record that President Obama has………..his handling and manipulation of the U.S. economy? Bring it on Barry!

Politics is politics and to be fair, if the shoe were on the other foot and a Republican were in Obama’s position, they too would probably have to resort to character assassination as their only means of winning. But part of President Obama’s weirdness angle is undoubtedly a subtle attempt to exploit Mitt Romney’s religion. Romney’s Mormonism is somewhat alien to most Americans. In fact many Americans still equate the official Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints with polygamy. Indeed there are several mainstream TV series that proliferate this view such as HBO’s “Big Love”. But for President Obama, of all people, to try to take advantage of this form of religious bigotry, is beyond despicable and hypocritical.

One of President Obama’s first major initiatives in the Oval Office was to reach out to the Muslim community at home and abroad in a mission to promote religious tolerance. And President Obama has himself  been the victim of wild innuendo and religious-based bigotry that has tried to claim that he is a Muslim and sympathetic to the cause of Isamic terrorists. As such, for President Obama to even subtly try to exploit Romney‘s Mormonism is utterly disgraceful.

So far that has not begun, but it seems as though the seed is their within the campaign strategists that President Obama is surrounding himself by and building his reelection effort on. Hopefully, the President will think twice about such a strategy and veto the architects of his presidential reelection effort. If not, President Obama will go down in history as the first President to see our credit rating downgraded and the biggest hypocrit to ever sit in the Oval Office since Bill Clinton .   Oh wait, I take that back.  He already is both of those things.

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Mitt Romney’s Multiple Choice Positions: How Damaging Can They Be?

Bookmark and Share    In politics there is no rest for a frontrunner. And there shouldn’t be. If you close to getting the job that you’re running for, it is best that every angle of the candidate is tested before they get the job. In the case of Mitt Romney, he is the undisputed frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But he is seen as weak one. His healthcare plan in Massachusetts and a history of what he calls changes of heart but others call flip-flops continue to weigh Romney down. They also help keep the door open for another candidate to enter the Republican presidential race.

Recently Mitt Romney’s 2005 pro-life conversion again became the focus of attention as Salon.com  delved into the details of Romney’s change of heart on the issue. In his 1994 Massachusetts U.S. Senate debate against Ted Kennedy, Romney stood solidly behind Roe-v-Wade. The reason for this was due to the death of a family relative who had an abortion. Since then, the story was widely repeated but never widely explored by the media. Salon.com did explore it though and they discovered that the event dates back to 1963 and  involved a Detroit woman named Ann Keenan. Keenan was the sister of Romney’s brother-in-law and after an illegal abotion, she died from an infection . At the time, Romney’s father, George was the Governor of Michigan and the Keenan family wanted to keep the matter quiet.

Essentially what Salon discovered is that there is nothing new or political salacious about Romney’s claim.

But the issue still nags Romney, especially since he changed his mind on the topic and after using such a poignant story to support his original position. The issue of flip-flops will continue to weigh heavily on Romney’s campaign. The more he remains in the front of the Republican field, the more his position changes on the issues will be discussed. The fact that he now opposes for the nation, much of the Massachusetts healthcare plan that he help create and signed in to state law, only makes matters worse.

In the video clip below, talk show host David Pakman harps on this point.

Pakman is a young and fast rising radio/television talk show star. He is kind of the Doogie Howser of talk shows. He describes himself as “very liberal on social issues, center-left on financial issues”. In other words he is a left winger. But that does not negate his point and if Romney is going to be our nominee, we will have to hope that Barack Obama can’t exploit the issue as well as David Pakman does.

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