To all of the current (and potential) Republican Presidential candidates, here’s a tip: focus on Obama. When we do, we win.
Remember, we are living in a country that is rejecting Obama and everything he stands for. Poll after poll show him at the lowest ratings of his career, and election results from Scott Brown’s upset Senate win in Massachusetts, to November 2010, to the recent special elections in New York and Nevada prove that over and over.
Just as they say that the number one rule in real estate is “location, location, location”, the number one focus of this election should be “Obama, Obama, Obama”. Period. End of strategy. As we evaluate the candidates, conservatives should choose the one who does the best job of doing just that.
Recently however, our candidates have been too focused on each other, instead of staying focused on Obama and how they would draw a distinction between his failures and conservative principles.
But Republicans don’t need the candidates to tell us what their opponent’s weaknesses are. We’re all too familiar with them. And as the process continues we’ll all have to come to grips with them and decide which of them we each feel does the least offense to our principles. No one is perfect and we’ll all compromise somewhere in choosing a candidate.
But the important point here is beating Obama.
Make no mistake, this process is not about making a statement, or insisting on 100% orthodoxy and then going down in flames. In that case, all we will have done is hand liberals the political means to continue remaking America in their own image. read more »
Handicapping the 2012 GOP Field as of this Moment
In the most exciting and momentous period in the 2012 election cycle, the declared Republican candidates will come together to engage in another spirited debate on Thursday, August 10th and then will breathlessly await the outcome of Saturday’s straw poll to see who is REALLY the frontrunner in this talent-rich field of potential challengers to President Baracpdfkoadlfk…sorry, I collapsed under the weight of my own BS. Yes, the candidates will debate again and then, two days later, there will be the Iowa Straw Poll which is said to count for something. But, truth be told, it’s meaningless. Even more meaningless than usual, I should say. The fact is, the 2012 Republican primary season will not really start until the two elephants in the room step up to the microphone and make it official. Until either Texas governor Rick Perry or former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin step into the ring, the current crop of declared candidates are just placeholders. The whole process is simply in a holding pattern, waiting.
I say this not to disparage any of the declared candidates. There is, generally speaking, nothing wrong with any of them. As a matter of fact, I am in 95-97% ideological agreement with even the least palatable of them, and ANY of them would make a better president than Barack Obama. But, they all represent the right message being carried by the wrong vessel. The exception to this being the current frontrunner/co-frontrunner Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is a photogenic and articulate vessel but with the wrong message or, at least, the right message but too little too late. This a conservative year, a Tea Party year, and Romney is a Bush 41 candidate, the revenue man at the moonshine party! He has been weighed down by the albatross of RomneyCare from day one and his unwillingness to repudiate what eventually became the template for ObamaCare won’t carry him past the Super Tuesday states if a popular, conservative alternative emerges. If that happens, he will be competitive in Iowa and maybe even win New Hampshire, but his 2008 total of 11 primary wins will probably be 5 or less this time. The only state south of the Mason-Dixon Line that Romney won in 2008 was the purplish Florida and even a repeat performance of that is probably overly optimistic. Again, IF a viable conservative alternative emerges, Romney will probably drop out about the same time he did in 2008, which was early February, unless his ego and personal fortune keeps him in until March.
On the other hand, if that challenge doesn’t emerge, Romney may benefit from the GOP’s “next-in-line” syndrome that gave us McCain, Dole, Bush 41, etc as well as the idea that he may have the best chance of shoring up swing voters in the general election. He’s 2012’s safe candidate.
As far as the other declared candidates go:
Michele Bachman: right message at the right time but the media has already succeeded in “Palin-izing” her. The “crazy-eyed” Newsweek cover, her “gay curing” husband, and the fact that she is the next GOP woman after Palin, won’t be going away and would only ramp up if she were the candidate. Sure, conservatives love her, but general election swing voters won’t and no matter how much the Tea Party may still love Palin, it can’t be denied that the Left’s caricature of her has become her de facto public image. The same will happen to Michele Bachman. She will probably stay in the race, putting her eggs in the Super Tuesday basket, but probably won’t make it out of March.
Tim Pawlenty: I find it REALLY hard to believe that this man was once considered the frontrunner! Again, he has the right message but its being delivered by a man who has all the charisma of a small town pharmacist. He’s a distant third in the popularity contest behind Romney and Bachmann and probably won’t stay in past January.
The rest of the declared candidates are all very good men, except for Rick Santorum who is a 2x4 in a suit, with good messages, but barring a miracle, most will be out after South Carolina, all will be out after Florida.
So, what of the “what if’s”?
Sarah Palin is the most interesting because of the double edged nature of her standing in the party. Among a large segment of the Right, an almost mythic quality has been created around her, one part Boudica, warrior queen, rhetorically slaying legions of liberals every time she appears on Fox News. But also, one part victim who, since 2008 has had every aspect of herself and her family dragged out into the mainstream media and torn to shreds by jackals who seek nothing more but pure character assassination.
My feel on Palin right now is that she won’t run. For one, she relishes the outsider role, and what could be more outside than not even being a part of the process. Secondly, I think that she likes being looked upon as a sort of Tea Party Delphic oracle. Every media talking head is probably beating down her door to do their show, raise their ratings, just to wax politically about her party and the political environment as a whole. If anything, Sarah Palin may make the perfect RNC chair. The Right loves her, the Left hates her, and she has credibility with what is currently the most dynamic movement in the country: the Tea Party. That position may give her the best of both worlds.
On the other hand, Texas governor Rick Perry is almost certain to enter the race and to do it in a way to intentionally upstage all of the other candidates. On Saturday, when Romney, Bachmann, et al are the Ames, Iowa state fair, shaking hands, gorging on corndogs and waiting on the results of the straw poll, Rick Perry will be in South Carolina totally invalidating the results of that poll and everything that has happened in the GOP race so far.
It is presumed as of this moment that Perry will officially announce his candidacy this Saturday after weeks of will he or won’t he. Well, he will! The question is: to what end? Many conservatives are vesting a lot of their hope in what they want Perry to be, the “real” conservative, the charismatic candidate, the new Reagan. Does this sound familiar? It should. Much of the same pre-announcement excitement surrounded actor, senator, lawyer and lobbyist Fred Thompson. With his drawl, his folksy wit and belief in constitutional conservatism, he was to be the Ronald Reagan to John McCain’s Bob Dole establishmentarian Old Guard. Sadly, the “Fredheads’” enthusiasm was short-lived. Running a lackluster campaign from the start, Thompson was out of the race by late January, never having won a primary and only coming in second in one.
It should be proven very quickly if Perry is the savior of the party or just a footnote, but you can almost count on one thing: if Perry isn’t what many think he is, the nomination will almost certainly go to Mitt Romney. If that is the case, God help the party and God help the United States of America.