First Round of Guests Invited To Speak at CPAC 2013 Released

The American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Al Cardenas today announced the first round of speakers invited to appear at CPAC 2013 – the annual national Conservative Political Action Conference.

According to Cardenas
“As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of CPAC, we are excited to present a conference focused on our timeless principles but also explore and define the future of the conservative movement,” .

Among the many speakers invited to appear so far are:

Cardenas added;
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“Each of the invited speakers plays a critical role in the movement and we’re pleased to invite them to address the nation’s top conservative thinkers, policymakers, authors and media as well as thousands of conservative leaders, activists and students at CPAC 2013.”
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The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, to be held March 14-16, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, will provide three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional American values. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s Capital since 1973, and it now stands as the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country. For additional information, visit our website at conservative.org/cpac2013, on Facebook at facebook.com/CPACNews, or on Twitter at @cpacnews and #CPAC2013. Media registration (including bloggers) will be available on February 1, 2013.
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A Romney Pick for Vice President That Would Change the Dynamics of the Entire Election

  Bookmark and Share  There are many good choices that Mitt Romney can make in picking a partner to lead our nation with.  But there is one strategic line of thinking that could lead Romney to a pick that would be so game changing that it will turn the 2012 presidential election in to an entirely different race than it it now is.

It is an option that does not seek to win by playing on the politics of ethnicity or gender. It does not seek to play on geographical politics or the assurance of winning any one particular state. It seeks to cross the divisions of sex, color, religion, class, geography and even the lines of political Party. It is a strategy that ignores the desire to pander to women on the basis of sex or Hispanics on the basis of ethnicity. It is a strategy that, if it focuses on anyone, it focuses on the small percentage of  independent voters in the handful of battleground states that will determine who will be elected President in November.

It is strategy that would shock the political world, put Republicans in control of the headlines and in charge of the political agenda that dominates the remaining weeks of the presidential campaign, and it is an option that seeks to do all that President Obama promised but failed to deliver………unite us instead of divide us.

It is a strategy that begins with Mitt Romney allowing all the speculation over who he will nominate to continue consuming the news cycles until the second day of the Republican National Convention. By allowing the buzz over who Romney will pick  to remain a hot topic, and even manipulating the media by allowing some certain names to leak out every few days, Team Romney is assuring that Team Obama will have to share any of their own campaign’s distractions and distortions about Romney with each media outlet’s desire to make sure that they are in the forefront of covering the biggest news of the election to date…….. who Mitt Romney’s running mate will be. Holding off on announcing who the nominee will be also insures a greater national focus on the Republican National Convention, an event that is so scripted that it is spells suspense “P-L-A-N-N-E-D”.

Allow there to be some suspense. Give the news all the help it needs to generate ratings for their stations by forcing them to use the suspense over Romney’s vice presidential pick by covering the convention from gavel to gavel.

Then on the evening of Monday, August 28th, the first night of the Republican National Convention, Team Romney announces that on Tuesday, afternoon, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, will be holding a rally outside of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the Democratic National Convention which will be held the following week.

This will immediately lead to an unfettered frenzy of speculation over Romney’s announcement of his vice presidential nominee and while this fevered pitch over who the nominee will be, provides the backdrop for the events and speeches at the first night of the Republicans national nominating convention, allow each speaker who comes before the national primetime audience to stress two things—- national unity and the united resolve to address the worst economy since the Great Depression, and to do so as one people, the American people, a people who have always valued a life of independence over a life of dependence.

With the stage now set, on Tuesday afternoon of August 28th, amid thousands of Republican activists who have been  rapidly mobilized  by the RNC and by local and state Republican organizations throughout the Carolina’s and neighboring states, an array of distinguished speakers begins to address the large audience in attendance and the even larger national audiences witnessing the event on every channel and internet stream available to them. Let each speaker fire up the audience with remarks about everything from the need for a President who unites us rather than divide us, to the need for an end to an Administration that is hell-bent on waging class warfare and a war on capitalism.

The long list of speakers at this rally would have two purposes.  In addition to preparing the crowd for Romney and to help set the tone for his announcement, it will help to throw the media off the scent. Have people like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Congressman Allen West there. Have Tim Pawleny, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio , South Dakota Senator John Thune, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman all there. Have New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayote and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal there. Even have Sarah Palin there to address the people and make it impossible for the media to determine who the nominee is based upon which one of them is jopining Romney at this announcement.  Let each of these fine people promote the Republican cause and most of all, make it impossible for the media to scoop Mitt Romney’s ability to capitalize on the shock value of his announcement.

Then comes the moment of truth. Marco Rubio steps up to the mic and after hammering home the theme of a nation tackling our problems together as one people, he introduces “the next President of the United States…. Mitt Romney.”

To the roar of the crowd, with a sea of signs and American Flags waving, Romney steps out on to the stage, hand in hand with his wife Ann, and the rest of his family behind him.

Romney thanks everyone for coming together on such short notice. He hits upon the theme of his campaign, one of which is that we the people are in this together and that the only way out of the depths of our dreary economy will not be found by splintering ourselves by sex, orientation, faith, color, or class and how we certainly can’t find economic recovery by dividing ourselves along Party lines. And in his own words Mitt Romney says the following;

“Today, America will take a step towards ending the traditional partisan political paradigm that has divided us. Today I propose that we bridge the political divide by demonstrating a willingness to solve our American problems with American solutions. Not partisan solutions that are based on foreign political ideologies.  But it is important to understand something. It is important to understand the difference between Party and ideology. Ideology is a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or program.  Political parties on the other hand, are typically motivated more by the desire to seek to influence government policy by consolidating power for themselves.   And in that search for power, we often see the issues and even ideology, take a back seat to each parties desire to dominate the process. 

But what if we the people, took the partisan power trip out of the equation?  What if our nation focussed on chosing an ideology instead of just one Party?  Today I come before you in an attempt to lead us based on ideology not Party. My ideology, the conservative ideology, seeks to retain traditional institutions and supports the most minimal influence and control of society through government.

This ideology is a basic philosophy that comes to us from the founding principles of our great nation. And these founding principles transcend Party lines. They lie at the heart of my vision for America, a vision quite different than that of our current President.

While our current President seeks to increase the size and scope of government, I seek to lead an America of less government, less taxation, less spending, and more freedom.  And that goal is not limited to me. It is the goal of millions of Americans. Including Democrats.

Democrats, like Republicans, have all suffered from the failures of the current Administration. Democrats, like Republicans, have suffered from the longest period of sustained high unemployment in history. Thanks to the liberal tax and spend ideology, like Republicans, Democrats have been forced to endure the weight of our national debt becoming so burdensome that it is now a national security issue. Democrats and Republicans are having to face the fact that for the first time in history, we are about to leave our children with a nation that is worse than off than it was for the generation before them.

That is why millions of Democrats are just as unhappy with the way our nation is going, as Republicans are.  That is why we are in this together. It is why I know the only way out of this is to work with all Americans. Instead of making the wealthy the enemy of the poor, we need to strengthen the system that built this country so that it can continue creating wealth and opportunity for all.  It is why instead of limiting our potential by focussing on consolidating partisan political power, I choose to work with Democrats and Republicans alike.

For too long we have seen both Republican Presidents and Democrat Presidents fail to reduce our debt.  For too long we have seen a government divided by Party, fail to unite the people behind the solutions that we need.  Today, I seek to unite us all by uniting the parties behind a vision for America, a vision that is shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.

I choose to break us out of  the boundaries of partisan politics that restrict us and limit us by focussing not on Party, but on the endless opportunities that the conservative ideology which founded this nation can provide for all Americans.  And I choose to lead by example. That is why today I am proud to keep my promise to you. I promised to pick a running mate who is conservative. And today I proudly deliver on that promise by nominating a conservative…… a conservative Democrat……….. North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler“.

Now back to reality.

Shuler,  a former first-round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft, who was taken by the Washington Redskins and  later played for the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders, is a competent campaigner and powerful speaker and while picking him to be Vice President is probably not in the cards for Mitt Romney, it is a choice that is well worth exploring.

The selection of a conservative Democrat as Romney’s running mate would be a game changing choice that upends every potential angle to the 2012 presidential that has been discussed to date. While much of the focus has been on Romney nominating a running mate who can fire up Republicans or increase his support among some key voting blocs such as women or Hispanics, by picking a conservative Democrat as his running mate, Romney will be focussing on the one group of voters that encompasses not only women, or Hispanics, but people of both sexes, all ethnicities, all religions, all states, and all colors……. independents. These voters are more important than any other single voting bloc. They are the only voters who reamin unpolarized and who will ultimately determine the winner of every battleground state that Obama and Romney will endlessly court. They are the voters who will determine who is elected President in November.

By picking a conservative Democrat, Romney will take control of the political agenda, capture the imaginations of voters, especially independent voters, and change the dynamics of the entire election.

The move would help breakthrough the polarization that has locked Republicans out of contention in many states that are now consideredd to be solidly in President Obama’s column.

It will also put President Obama on the defense.

In 2008 President Obama promised to be a uniter.  Yet in the years since then, we have seen him do nothing but divide us.  He has claimed Republicans are waging a war against women.  He has told the poor that we must target the rich.  He has essentially belittled entrepeneurs and claimed that government control is more valuable to the American people than American entrepreneurship.  And if this them versus us strategy of divide and conquer isn’t enough to demonstrate that he is anything but a uniter, since taking office, President Obama’s legislative agenda has been nothing but a display of totalitariansim and partisan politics. In addition to his unilateral appointment of an endless array of unelected and unnaccountable czars designed to circumvent Congress and the voters, President Obama has led by dicatating executive order s and the by getting legislation passed through entirely partisan deal making that were conducted behind closed doors.

By nominating a Democrat, a conservative Democrat, Romney will be able to exploit that record to the fullest.

Independent voters who consistently claim that the answer to our problems is having Democrats and Republicans work together will begin to at least find hope in Romney’s attempt to finally make that solution possible.

Picking Heath Shuler will not suddenly make liberals vote for Mitt Romney.  Indeed most Democrats won’t cross lines to cast their ballot for a Romney-Shuler ticket.  But given the extraordinary political polarization that we are experiencing at this juncture in our political history, nothing will make that happen.  However; by picking a Democrat as his running mate, Romney will help  to reverse the troubling polarizing that we are experiencing in this election cycle.  And by picking Shuler, Romney  will appeal to at least some Democrats, including those in his native state of North Carolina, a state Democrats are hoping to win but are quickly losing that hope in.  He will also be able to appeal to Democrats elsewhere and he can do so with far more success than President Obama and Vice President Biden would have if they were to campaign among Republicans.

Heath Shuler can campaign for the Republican ticket in blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and attract more Democrats to the Republican ticket than Obama and Biden would be able to among Republicans in redder states such as Indiana, Virginia,.  And in swing states like Ohio, and Florida, the appeal of Heath Shuler among Democrat voters could make the difference between winning and losing the election.

But how would Republicans take to the idea of Mitt Romney, a candidate whose conservative credentials they already call in to question, picking a Democrat, even a so-called Blue Dog, conservative Democrat?

Not very well and therein lies the downside to this strategy.

Many conservatives will initially feel betrayed.  They will claim that Romney can’t be trusted and that he is selling conservatives out.  However, by the time Heath Shuler accepts the nomination, thanks to the magic of politics, the power of symbolism, and the increased prospect of victory, many of those minds will be changed.

Shuler who is not running for reelection to his seat in Congress, has voted against Obama’s additional $825 billion economic recovery package.  He voted “No” on  on the 2008 $15 billion dollar bailout for GM and Chrysler and has supported Truth in Spending legislation that would force the government to show real costs vs. planned costs.  On the issue of abortion, Shuler is a staunchly opposes the practice and opposes any and all federal funding of the practice.   Such fine points may not prove that Shuler is as conservative as a Jim DeMint or a Rick Santorum.  But a look at the record shows that Shuler is certainly not a traditional Democrat and he is certainly not a liberal.  Shuler’s histroy also demonstrates that he has even been willing to stand up to his own Party and defy its liberal inclinations.  In 2010, after Democrats were brutally rejected and found themselves in the minority in the House of Representatives, Heath Shuler stood up for conservatism within the Democrat Party, and took it upon himself to challenge the liberal leadership of Nancy Pelosi by opposing her for House Minority Leader.  That in and of itself is a powerful image to use among conservatives.

Still, the truth is that promoting Shuler as a conservative based on the entirety of his record, especially in the area of taxes and the environment, will be a tough sell.  But not  an impossible one.

The question is, would the conservative base be willing to concede the need for political compromise on their presidential ticket in order to achieve a conservative victory?

Picking Shuler would be a big gamble for Romney.  It would force Romney to risk the support of the Republican base which remains leery of him and which he can’t afford to lose.  But polls currently show that Romney is consolidating that base behind him.  That consolidation of support may have more to do with a growing disapproval of President Obama among conservatives than out of a love for Romney  among conservatives.  However,  if  President Obama continues to demonstrate that his vision for America is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles, and Romney can hammer that point home along with the fact that President Obama’s policies have failed us, Romney will have wiggle room and picking Shuler will provide Romney with a perfect opportunity to move this election away from the proformer Democrat versus Republican paradigm and turn it into a referendum on two different ideologies and visions for America.   It would be a bold move that leave  a partisan President Obama defending his divisive tactics, party politics, failed record and tax and spend vision, against that of a bipartisan ticket united behind a vision of less spending, less government, and more independence.

Will Heath Shuler be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney?  Most likely not.  But it is an option worth exploring.

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The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.  In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.  Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.  Why jump in front of a train wreck?  Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.  Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.  Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.  The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.  Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.  He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.  If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.  But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.  Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.  However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.  Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.  While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.  Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.  But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.  Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.  Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.  Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.  We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.  There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.  In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.  That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.  However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.  Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.  He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.  Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.  As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.  Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.  But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.  And there are a few to choose from.  Rubio would lock of Florida.  Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.  Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.  Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.  Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

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
Signature

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

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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Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review – 11//20/11

Bookmark and Share    Sunday sends news from the campaign trail about federal help for unions to institute rules on how to ambush elections, Romney gets key supporter on board, Santorum eyes a win in Iowa, Spain shows the world the way in a landslide election, the President ignores the death of a border agent but sends condolences to a rappers family, and Jon Huntsman continues to play funny man but now on Saturday Night Live.  That and as always, much more, in today’s Trunkline 2012.

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Perry – Martinez 2012. That’s the Ticket!

Bookmark and Share    The general lack of enthusiasm that Republicans have regarding the current crop of presidential candidates, inspires one to hypothesize about who would be the best candidate for the G.O.P. to run. We are forced to ponder who the strongest candidate could be,  who has the ability to really inspire the G.O.P., and we are even compelled to think about what a strong ticket in 2012 would look like. For me a strong candidate would consist of any combination of names like Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Allen West, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and from Ohio, Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman. This is not to suggest that I do not believe that the G.O.P. is unable to hammer together a strong ticket in 2012 from among any of those who are currently running. We will. Come November of 2012, we will have gone through a campaign that gives us many reasons to feel good about those on the ticket and to want to vote for them. This will especially be the case when the choice its understood that the choice comes to them or the Obama-Biden ticket. As for my list of preferred choices, that is now mere fantasy.  It has become an unrealistic list of options. The people I listed are definitely not running, so in 2012, a ticket comprised of any two of those names on it is just no going to happen.

However, with a few names still considering entry into the 2012 Republican presidential contest, at this point in the process, the Republican field of presidential contenders that we will ultimately have to choose from is still evolving. As such, there is still room to discuss the merits of a truly strong hypothetical presidential ticket that could actually come to fruition and is worth trying to put together. It is a ticket that would be topped by a name that could excite the Republican base enough to make that person an immediate frontrunner and would even have a good chance to wrap up the nomination relatively early in the season. It is also a name that would probably provide TEA Party movement activists with plenty of reason to enthusiastically choose over President Obama in the general election.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

That person is Texas Governor Rick Perry.

I know, I know……….. The initial reaction to that consideration is a slew of superficial remarks and glib jokes referencing G.W. Bush and another Republican from Texas in the White House. But exaggerated references of that comparison would be just that………..exaggerated, superficial jokes. The reality is that unlike Mitt Romney, the man who currently has a very tenuous hold on frontrunner status, Rick Perry does not bring any of the doubts about his conviction to limited government that Romney brings to the table with RomneyCare. More so than other top-tier candidates like former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry brings with him an unapologetic record of conservatism. A record that has none of what Pawlenty described as faux pas and lapses in judgment on such things as a push for Cap-and-Trade measures.

In an assessment of a potential Perry presidential campaign that I prepared for Rick Perry’s WH12 page many months I ago, I wrote the following:

If Rick Perry were to run, he would become an automatic top-tier candidate. Along with a solid record of positive achievements, he has the All-American looks of the Marlboro Man and his personality is one that emanates confidence and optimism with charm and a down to earth, can-do, American spirit. This makes for a candidate who can maximize the impact of a well run campaign, and Perry has the ability to assemble a team that can run a top-notch campaign. He also has the fundraising mechanism and ability to finance a top-notch, well run campaign.

In my opinion, that assessment is as true today as it was last year when I originally wrote it. But it is the economy which makes that opinion even more relevant today than it was back then. That issue provides good reason for voters to focus on Perry.

The economy continues to be President Obama’s Achilles heal. As it keeps proving to move in the wrong direction, the Obama reelection effort is looking like a house of cards as the economy undermines everything from his approval ratings to his ideology. But for Rick Perry, a comparison between the way he runs the economy in Texas, to the way President Obama runs the nation’s economy, provides a strong contrast between the two men on many different levels. Not only do their different approaches show contrast between success and failure, they magnify the impact of many themes which will be essential to making the Republican case against President Obama. The most critical themes being the ability to bring our economy back, and the way the two men think. One thinks like an American while the other thinks like a European Socialist.  Guess which one thinks like an American and which one thinks like a European Socialist?

While Barack Obama believes in government control and largess, his approach to the economy is producing stagnation, inflation, extremely high unemployment, little consumer confidence, and an anti-business, no growth environment. On the other hand, Governor Perry’s approach to the economy has produced a state that leads the nation in exports, business growth, and job creation. And under Rick Perry’s stewardship, Texas has cut taxes and spending and balanced its budget with a surplus left over.

This difference between the two records is as sharp as night and day. It also belies the differences between the two men in a way that clearly demonstrates two different views of America, and two diverging directions for America. And when you consider the fact that most Americans believe the nation is currently headed in the wrong direction, it becomes undeniably obvious that Governor Perry holds the compass that we need to trust.

More than any of the other likely choices for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry’s record shows the sharpest contrast between a leader who believes in the American people and their free will, and a leader who believes in having the government control the people and their lot in life. It shows a clear difference between a leader who wants to unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit and a leader who wants the entrepreneurial spirit replaced by government subsidies. A great example of this can be seen in the video below. Imagine an ad similiar to this touting Perry’s record, compared to an ad trying to tout President Obama’s record on the same points.

Perry has just about everything Republicans want and need in a candidate, including a friendly personality that exudes strength, confidence, decisiveness and the ability to easily relate to and connect with voters.   In the end, when you factor in all of the above, any negative references to former President George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry having both governed Texas, becomes an  insignificant sidebar to the real issues in a head to head match up against President Obama

If he decides to run, I do believe Governor Perry will win the nomination. And if he does win the nomination, as we look towards the general election, the question becomes who would be a wise choice to complete the Republican presidential ticket?

There is an extraordinarily long list of exceptionally good people who could balance a Perry ticket. There’s Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and any one of the names that I previously listed as candidates whom I wish were running for President. Then there are other interesting possibilities like Tim Pawlenty , Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or maybe even Herman Cain. One very daring, outside-of-the-box, but still very real choice, could be the extremely fiscal conservative governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuno. All of these candidates bring certain unique strengths to the ticket. But one possibility shines brighter on my radar screen than others.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

It’s New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Governor Martinez, is the first woman Governor of New Mexico and the first Latina Governor in the United States. These qualities bring a very real degree of both ethnic and gender balance to the ticket. Not only can Martinez appeal to women, she has the ability to make significant inroads into the already large and fastest growing ethnic minority in the nation, Hispanics.

The Hispanic population is growing much faster than any other demographic. There are currently 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, or around 16 percent of our nation’s 308.7 million population. Between 2000 and 2010 that was an increase of 35.3 million more Hispanics. This figure accounts for more than half of U.S. population growth during that same time period. Moreover, while overall population growth in the South, the region where Republicans run strongest, increased by 14 percent, the Hispanic population in the South increased by a whopping 57 percent.

These numbers mean that if Republicans want to remain competitive, they must appeal to the Hispanic community far better than they have up to now. And while it is important to understand that the Hispanic community is not nearly as monolithic in their politics as the African-American community proved to be in the 2008, it is still clear that the G.O.P. must insure that they work hard at trying to win over a significant numbers of Hispanic voters if they intend tocontinue being viable in many states. Martinez can help expedite that process.

But in addition to the superficial characteristics which play an inordinate, but very real role in politics, Martinez is a tough lady who is right on the issues has a clear vision  for her state and our nation,  is committed to traditional vaues, and as seen in the video below, has the ability to articulate her vision with clarity and confidence. More so than even Sarah Palin, Martinez has a Thatcher-like persona which so far lacks any of the negative impressions that the lamestream media and liberal intelligentsia has been able to wrongly burden Palin with. 

Once a Democrat, Martinez has been a Republican since 1995.   In addition to a law and order background as a Republican elected District Attorney, Martinez is a fiscal conservative and although she has only been in office since 2010, she has made significant changes in the way that her state governs. Since coming in to office, Martinez has established such things as a moratorium on all state vehicle purchases, prohibited all state agencies from hiring lobbyists, limited the claim of executive privilege to help promote a more transparent government, and has created a small business friendly task force. On the legislative end she has reinstated the death penalty and signed an executive order rescinding sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico while protecting victims and witnesses of criminal acts.

It is on that issue, illegal immigration, which Martinez could prove to be the G.O.P.’s most powerful asset. While the economy is sure to dominate the 2012 election, illegal immigration will not be far from the top. On that issue a Perry-Martinez ticket would have more credibility on that issue than any other previous presidential Administration. And with Martinez articulating the Party’s position on illegal immigration, the left will have a hard time trying to paint the ticket as being anti-Hispanic. The fact that Perry and Martinez are both border state governors who have directly dealt  with the border security problem, will give themn an upper hand in convincing people that they truly understand the problem and how best to solve it. Together, a Perry-Martinez ticket would have a real opportunity to lead on the issue of illegal immigration and border security.

That will more than compensates for the argument that some may have against a Perry-Martinez ticket because they are both from neighboring Southern states. The fact that they are both border state governors and therefore have firsthand knowledge of, and experience with the issues surrounding illegal immigration, will appeal as much to a voter concerned about the isuue in New Hampshire or Illinois as it does to a voter in Arizona or Oregon. And besides, in this day and age, the regional balance strategy is greatly diluted by a society that is brought closer together by the internet. Furthermore; as we saw in 1992, the selection of a ticket made up of individuals from neighboring Southern states is not necessarily a bad thing. It worked for Clinton-Gore, twice. And in the case of New Mexico, it has become a Democrat leaning swing-state which  in a close election,  its 5 electoral votes could mean the difference between the 270 electoral votes it takes to win  the White House, and losing losing the White House.

Initially some may be prone to compare the selection of Susana Martinez by Perry, to the selection of Sarah Palin by McCain. They may try to do to Martinez, what they did to Palin. But those who do will be surprised to find people will see through such an attempt and it will backfire on them. If the left tries to depict another strong conservative woman as an ignoramus that does not belong in politics, they will prove themselves to be partisan and sexist hypcrites with biases as bad as those which claim to oppose. Such treatment of Martinez will go a long way in demonstrating that the left and their mainstream media only believe in strong women who are liberals, while at the same time suggesting that strong conservative women should be in the kitchen, not the Oval Office. The media already confirmed this liberal thinking when they covered the liberal wife of a President who was running for her Parties nomination and showered her with complimentary descriptions such as strong willed, determined, brilliant and experienced, but did their best to depict a conservative female Governor as some sort of caricature.

While there are many very promising options for someone like Rick Perry to pick from, I believe that few would be as potent as Susana Martinez. But first things first. Will Rick Perry run for President? I have given up on predicting who will or will not run. But the way I see it, there is no announced candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, whose record and personality should prevent Rick Perry from running. If the decisive factor for Perry is whether or not the current Republican field has a void that he can fill, than Perry’s decision should be a positive one. If that’s the decision he makes, it is only a short amount of time before we need to convince him that Susana Martinez is the right person for the job of Vice President. And that’s a decision that shouldn’t require a great deal of convincing.

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