John McCain Wants the Presidential Candidates to Stop All These Silly Debates

Bookmark and Share   While defending Mitt Romney, his choice for President, in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press,  failed 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain told host David Gregory that he wishes the Republican presidential candidates would stop participating in all the presidential debates that are taking place.

According to McCain, the debates “are driving down our candidates favorable ratings” and are making it harder whoever the nominee is to defeat President Obama in November.

The statement begs the question, is John McCain losing his mind, or has he already lost it?

McCain’s objection to the presidential candidates having as many as 19 debates in the last 8 months is both dumb and a quintessential example of establishment thinking.  Only a true established member of the political class would take issue with politicians having to discuss the issues and defend their records and policies in front of an audience comprised of the American electorate.  The political elite may not like being held accountable in a forum that is not scripted so tightly that it allows for a one way conversation of the candidate telling the voters what they think the voters want to hear, but voters do appreciate having the opportunity to see their potential President have to think on their feet.

Furthermore; even if John McCain is correct in his assertion that all the debates are responsible for driving down the favorability numbers of the G.O.P. candidates, then so be it.  If it is true that the more the candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination talk, the more they less people like them, then we do not deserve to win the presidency in November.  If we as a Party can not find a true leader based upon the realistic expectation that they can effectively articulate our cause and the solutions to our problems, than we deserve to lose.

But what it comes down to is that John McCain can’t actually believe his own words.  He can’t really be suggesting that debates are a bad thing.

What McCain is really suggesting is that Newt Gingrich survived this campaign and surged in it because of he outperformed the man that McCain is supporting……Mitt Romney.  And it is clear to McCain that had there not been 19 debates, Mitt would not have been dominated by Newt on 19 different occasions.    So here is Senator McCain actually calling for fewer debates because they are not helping his hand picked choice for President win voters over.

What it comes down to is this.

McCain’s call for the debates to stop is offensive and counterproductive.  It is typical establishment, inside-the-beltway, thinking that is designed to shelter the political class from those whom they seek to govern and it is quite arrogant and antithetical to democratic process.  It is the type of thinking that could only come out the mouth of a from a person who has spent over thirty years in the bubble that is Washington.  They are certainly not the words or thoughts of a so-called “Maverick”.

I will concede that it is quite unfortunate that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have resorted to attacking one another with distortions that are absolutely over the top.  I feel it is a shame that Newt Gingrich saw fit to travel down the same low road that Mitt Romney and the establishment led us down and that Mitt Romney finds it impossible to build himself up without first tearing down everyone else down.  However I will not go so far as to say that the answer is to stop the debates and limit the discussion to sanitized forums which do not allow candidates to raise and debate legitimate issues before the American people.

To his credit, Mitt Romney has not taken the same position as his establishment surrogate, Senator John McCain.  So while I will not hold McCain’s ignorant and offensive comments against him, but as someone who can easily support Romney if he is the nominee, I would like to suggest to him that he stop trying to embrace the political establishment so tightly.  Instead of using the Dole’s, McCain’s, and Tom DeLay’s of the political world as a ladder to which he can climb to power with, Mitt Romney should be running away from the establishment and building himself up as a candidate of independent, conservative thought, who brings to the table something that the establishment doesn’t……real life and business experience.

Whether Mitt realizes it or not, the establishment support he is receiving is not helping him among the voters he needs most.  The anti-establishment voters who are far removed from the political class and who are disdainful of Beltway politics.  Another thing that Mitt should realize is that the more the political establishment attacks Newt Gingrich, the more the anti-establishment coalesces around Gingrich.

In other words, Mitt Romney should tell surrogates like McCain to shut the hell up.

While he might think that the public pitches that Washington insiders are making on Romney’s behalf are helping him in places like Florida, he should realize that every time the establishment wins, the voters rally behind the anti-establishment candidates.  So even if Romney does wins Florida, if he does so through a strategy that employs tactics designed at assassinating the character of Newt Gingrich through the political class, then the voting class will lash out against him somewhere else, primarily in Minnesota, Missouri, and Arizona, which hold their nominating contests in late february and early March.

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The Truth About Rick Perry’s “Assault” of Ron Paul

Bookmark and Share    As Ron Pauliacs try to smear all those who might dare to disagree with their messiah, and continue to perpetuate rumors about Texas Governor Rick Perry assaulting Dr. Paul during the most recent Republican presidential debate, Congressman Paul himself finally divulges the ugly details of the traumatic experience conjured up by his supporters.

According to Rep. Paul, [as seen in the video below] he didn’t remember the exact moments that the pictures were taken in, but he confirms the two …..”didn’t have any cross words”.

Kudo’s to Ron Paul for setting the record straight.

While I am not a fan of Congressman Paul’s interpretation of several policies, I happen to like the man himself.  But as made evident by his kool aid swilling fanatics in the false allegations associated with three misleading photos, Ron Paul’s supporters do him more harm than good.  Few of them help Dr. Paul or his cause.  Just as Congressman Paul suffers from his own inability to take his arguments and communicate them in a way that expands his base, his most ardent supporters do little to help persuade people to support Ron Paul.  In fact they do just the opposite.  They turn people off with their obnoxious allegations, name calling, shouts,  and characterizations of others who disagree with them or their messiah.

In this case what is most funny and quite hypocritical of Pauliacs is that despite their attempts to claim a deeper appreciation for the United States Constitution than all others, they conveniently ignored one of the basic judicial precepts of American law………that one is innocent until proven guilty.  Thankfully Dr. Paul has not forgotten that.  Perhaps his supporters should remember that as well?

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McDonnell, Christie, and Rubio Make Romney’s Short List for Being Palinized

Bookmark and Share    At a private $1,200 per plate fundraiser in the home of Virginia State Senator Jeff McWaters, Mitt Romney declared that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are on his short list of possible running mates. The remark was essentially an innocuous statement of the obvious. For many conservative voters, Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio are on the short list of preferred candidates for President not just Vice President. Unlike many of the leading Republican candidates for President, including Romney, much of the conservative base of the G.O.P. are excited about the promise of Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio.

So for Mitt to suggest that he would consider all three men for the job of Vice President should not come as a surprise. The surprise would be that he wasn’t considering them. Such a surprise would also be a sign of some problematic political instincts. Any Republican who is serious about winning the White House in 2012, would be crazy not consider the governors of New Jersey and Virginia and the Senator form Florida.

However, would any of the three want to tie their future to Mitt Romney? Or for that matter would any of them want to tie their futures up with any of the current Republican presidential candidates?

If anyone of the three men in question were seeking the nomination, there would be none of the current chatter about a perceived lack of enthusiasm for the Republican field. Each of them would energize the base, excite those within the TEA movement, and even appeal to more independent minded Republicans. But Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio are not looking to be flashes in the pan. They are each in this for the long haul. Each of them are focusing on the still relatively new jobs that they have gotten and neither of them want to be palinized or quayled.

Those of us who were following Sarah Palin prior to her being picked as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, while we were pleased to see McCain pick her for Vice President, we were not pleased by the price she paid for accepting the nomination. After feeling threatened by the energy Palin brought to the otherwise lackluster ticket, the left pounced on her relentlessly. Combined with her relatively short political record and her inexperience with the constant political game paying of national politics, Palin’s image was not helped by the assistance she provided the G.O.P. in 2008. The same could easily happen with Marco Rubio who has not been in the U.S. Senate for even a year yet and Governors Christie and McDonnell who have served just about as much time in their current positions as did Palin when she was nominated.

As for Chris Christie, just yesterday, he again confirmed that he does not feel that the time for him to run for President is right and that he is personally not ready for to pursue the job. Ironically, he made that statement in Iowa, the hotbed of presidential politics which holds the first presidential nomination contest. But Christie was there as a guest of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a forum on education, not to run for President.

In the case of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, back in February, when asked “What if the Party’s nominee.. came to you and said ‘for the betterment of your party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate’. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?”, McDonnell replied, “Probably”. But other than that, the Virginia conservative has shown no interest in possibly giving up his job prematurely.

In regards to Marco Rubio, here is a young conservative who became the youngest Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and after being term limited, ran an incredible come from behind, against all odds, anti-establishment, race for the United States Senate. Before doing so, many urged him to wait. They asked him to pay his political dues and get in line in order to allow the traditional succession of the political hierarchy to tell him when it was his turn. Instead Rubio told the political hierarchy to get behind him. Eventually they did. Now Rubio’s future is still tied to no one. That is one reason why although he is a leading force in support of the principles held by the TEA Party movement, he did not join the Senate’s TEA Party Caucus. This was a bright strategic move that allowed him to create some distance between him and the type of hyperbolic rhetoric that the mainstream media uses regarding those connected with the TEA Party. While he adheres to the TEA Party agenda and in many ways leads it, the left does not have the opportunity to describe him as a radical, card carrying member of the TEA Party Caucus.

So Rubio is looking out and while being on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee in 2012 will undoubtedly be most beneficial to the chances of the Party’s winning the presidency, it may not be so beneficial to Rubio and the nation. The chances of being palinized for the sake of the vice presidency is not worth the risk. Win or lose, either way, for a talent like Rubio to be wasted on the vice presidency would be a conservative political travesty. And I believe Rubio knows that he is a future President, not a future Vice President.

Nonetheless, those who are running for President in 2012 need all the help they can get right now and not attempting to recruit the help of Rubio, McDonnell, and Christie would be stupid. The only question I have is why Mitt did not include New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on that list. In my estimation, each of those women are on a plane equal to that of McDonnell and Christie and almost equal to that of Marco Rubio.

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For Republicans, the First Step Is the Primary Within the Primary

Bookmark and Share    As we finally begin to understand what the likely field of Republican presidential candidates will look like, it is becoming clear that the same dynamics which influenced the 2010 Republican primaries and general election, are likely to play a significant role in the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest. In 2010, the influence of a strong TEA movement, shaped the platform that incumbents ran on, and determined the outcomes of many primary contests. The now former Congressman from Delaware, Mike Castle, is one of the most notable people who can attest to that.

In Delaware’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, Castle, a former Governor of the state, was an establishment candidate. He was defeated by Christine O’Donnell who, for better or worse, was the anti-establishment candidate. In Nevada, Sharron Angle, another anti-establishment candidate, defeated a number of other establishment Republicans in her attempt to win the G.O.P. nomination. In both cases, those ladies may have lost their general election races, but many other anti-establishment candidates, won both the Party nomination and their general elections. There was Marco Rubio,  Rick Scott, Daniel Webster, and Allen West in Florida, Tim Johnson in Wisconsin, Niki Haley in South Carolina, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez and many more, including hundreds more on the county and local levels. Ultimately, the TEA movement brewed a potent formula that is still infusing itself in to the electoral and legislative process and it will continue to do so in the nomination process of the next Republican presidential candidate.

The same anti-establishment sentiment that propelled statewide and local candidates to victory in 2010 is going to again play itself out in presidential primaries and pit the anti-establishment against the establishment. In fact, in many ways, the race to nominate a Republican presidential candidate is likely to come down to two people……..the establishment candidate and the anti-establishment candidate. Consider it a primary within the primary.

On the establishment side, you have frontrunner Mitt Romney, followed by Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and possibly other major players like Texas Governor Rick Perry, along with minor candidates like former Governors Buddy Roemer, George Pataki, Bob Riley and possibly even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In the end though, the establishment primary will really be only between Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Pawlenty and if he runs, Rick Perry.

As for the anti-establishment primary, who will be competing in this field is still a bit unsettled. With names like Bachmann and Palin not yet in the race but seriously considering it, this inner-primary has yet to take shape. At the moment, Herman Cain is the anti-establishmentarian frontrunner. Competing against Cain is former two term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  Both Paul and Johnson have a very low ceilings of support, but we have yet to see how high the roof on Herman Cain’s popularity is.

While Cain has a definite ability to outperform both Johnson and Paul, the entry of Bachmann and/or Palin in to the race, will give Cain a good run for whatever money he can raise.

On the establishment side, while Romney has the inside track, he can easily be thrown off pace and with the specter of RomneyCare hanging around his neck, he could be quickly overcome by Pawlenty, Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman or Perry.

But in the final analysis, the nomination will most likely come down to the candidate which the establishment gravitates towards and the candidate that the anti-establishment coalesces around. It is hard to say which two will win their primaries within the primaries. I tend to believe that unless Texas Governor Rick Perry enters the race, Mitt Romney will be the system backed candidate.

Despite fears of Romney being a Benedict Arnold to the conservative cause and having a government-centric mindset, Romney will be a strong candidate. Say what you want, but Romney has a good record. Especially when it comes to management and economics, two things critical to the immediate needs of our nation. He will strike all the right chords and do so in a way that could earn him not just the Republican presidential nomination, but the confidence of Republican voters as well. And in the general election, as the nominee, Mitt Romney has the ability to craft a campaign that can beat President Obama. But Mitt can easily be derailed from his seemingly likely road to the nomination and even the White House, if a during the primaries and caucuses, a certain former Governor winds up becoming the candidate that the ant-establishment forces gravitate toward.

That person is Sarah Palin.

In 2010, she was the needle that the TEA movement used to inject its brew into the G.O.P. with. In 2010, she was the TEA Party’s Cheerleader-in-Chief and the quintessential anti-establishmentarian. And right now, it looks like Palin has the staying power to still be that Cheerleader-in-Chief in 2012.

While people like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann could prove to be quite formidable, Palin is really the only anti-establishment candidate who has the ability to maintain the enthusiastic support of a majority of TEA movement Republicans while also being able to attract a significant portion of support away from the establishment candidate ……..especially if that ends up being Mitt Romney. In fact, if the primaries within the primaries pit Palin against Romney, I believe Palin wins the nomination.

That  is obviously conjecture. For it to even be possible, Sarah Palin will have to first decide to become a candidate for President in 2012. Additionally, the opportunity for any number of game changing events to take place is endless, and I still contend that the logistics of a well run campaign can make a candidate who looks weak now, seem quite strong later. But what is not conjecture is the fact that the G.O.P. will be encountering a primary within the primary. The anti-establishment forces are firmly ensconced within the G.O.P. and they are ready to do battle again in 2012. For these people, trust does not come with “political experience”. In truth, political experience is a minus to them. For these people, being a “good Republican” is not enough. They want a different type of Republican, the type who is willing to push the G.O.P. establishment and who can demonstrate that they are not willing to play the political games that have gotten us to where we are today. These sentiments are going to certainly produce a divide that will lead not to the usual competition between liberal Republicans and conservative Republicans but rather one between Republican insiders and Republican outsiders.

The final outcome will depend upon on which Republican outsider runs against which Republican insider.

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