Monthly Archives: December 2011

Bachmann’s campaign co-chairman jumps ship to board the Ron Paul Bandwagon

Iowa Senator Kent Sorenson, one of Bachmann’s co-chairmen for her Iowa campaign has apparently ditched Bachmann in order to support Ron Paul.  Sorenson stated “I believe we have a clear choice here in Iowa and, I believe, across the country.”  Bachmann response to this was to accuse Sorenson of being a sell out.  She said “Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign,”  This is a big deal because having an Iowa Senator support your campaign during the Iowa caucuses is huge for the candidates. I think this whole situation is one of the effects of having polls.   According to the article “The news came after a new CNN/TIME poll released Wednesday showed Bachmann in last place, at nine percent among Republican likely caucus-goers, among Republicans actively competing in the Jan. 3 contest. Paul, by contrast, trailed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by just three points ”  In class we discussed the effect the polls had on campaigns.  If you see the person your supporting or funding is in dead last you may want to switch to a candidate that has a better chance of winning.  It’s obvious that this is exactly what happened, I mean the money may have helped persuade him but  I think that he wouldn’t have abandoned Bachmann if he believed she still has a legitimate shot at winning.  Also as an Iowa senator he wants to be seen as supporting someone the majority of his state supports. If the polls didn’t exist this wouldn’t happen.  You can’t jump on the leading candidate;s bandwagon if you don’t know who the leading candidate is.  I think this move could give a Ron Paul the boost in supporters he needs to pull ahead of Romney in the polls. As for Bachmann… I think this is going to hurt her big time at least as far as Iowa is concerned



Does Iowa Matter?

Ever since 1846 when Iowa became a state, it believed and relied on a caucus system rather than a convention system. When election rules changed in the 1960s requiring a certain number of days between caucuses and conventions, Iowa had to move its caucus ahead to comply with the rules. Being first causes a tremendous amount of media attention, tourism, and great significance. New Hampshire is similar in that it has state law that requires that its primary must be the first in the nation, and has been since 1920. So does being first matter? Well here is the data:

1980: Nominee: Ronald Reagan |  George H. W. Bush (32%), Ronald Reagan (30%), Howard Baker (15%), John Connally (9%), Phil Crane (7%), John B. Anderson (4%), and Bob Dole (2%)

1988: Nominee: George H. W. Bush | Bob Dole (37%), Pat Robertson (25%), George H. W. Bush (19%), Jack Kemp (11%), and Pierre DuPont (7%)

1996: Nominee: Bob Dole | Bob Dole (37%), Pat Robertson (25%), George H. W. Bush (19%), Jack Kemp (11%), and Pierre DuPont (7%)

2000: Nominee: George W. Bush | George W. Bush (41%), Steve Forbes (30%), Alan Keyes (14%), Gary Bauer (9%), John McCain (5%), and Orrin Hatch (1%)

2008: Nominee: John McCain | Mike Huckabee (34%), Mitt Romney (25%), Fred Thompson (13%), John McCain (13%), Ron Paul (10%), Rudy Giuliani (4%), and Duncan Hunter (1%)


Here is a summary of significance in the Republican [R] and Democrat [D] Iowa caucuses since 1972:

  • Nominee received over 19% support– 80% of the time [R]. 88% of the time [D]
  • Came in 1st or close 2nd – 60% of the time [R], 77% of the time [D]
  • Did not have significant support – 20% of the time [R], 11% of the time [D]


Based on the numbers, Iowa does matter. There are however some things that may defy these numbers this year. In 2008 when Huckabee won Iowa, but eventually dropped out, he did this because of the lack of funding. This is similar to what may be happening to Gingrich. He is leading the polls, but is also $4 Million in debt. Another item that needs to be taken into consideration is the numerous changes in leaders. Cain, Perry, Bachmann, Gingrich, and now Paul have all been leaders. Does this show uncertainty? Bachmann is also making a late push to visit all 99 counties before the caucus, which may cause another shift. Does Iowa matter? Should Iowa matter? We will see.

Iowa Care

The most agreed upon position all the republican candidates have is that the health care bill or more commonly, obamacare, needs to go.  This is pretty much straight down the board and every candidate will agree in saying that the bill should be taken away.  Its is ironic though that the place that initially started the bill is now ready to vote it away and go back to the way it was before.  In 2009 the Iowa primary is where Obama introduced the health care bill and Iowa voted for him because of it.  It was Iowa that began the bills rise to fame, but now the people of Iowa are starting to think they might have been wrong.

This article goes over the fact that Iowa is now against the bill and wants to repel it.  The article is written in a way that doesn’t exactly say that Iowa will go red, but hints at it.  It does this with saying things like Iowa is an “unfriendly place for Obama” and numerous interviews with citizens that are very against the bill.  With that the article finds irony in the situation while hinting at the fact that Iowa will most likely go red.




Tea Party 2012?

The big story of the 2010 midterm elections was the Tea Party, and all the new ultra-conservative Republicans elected to Congress and some governorships. For those who shared these ultra-conservative views, it looked like 2012 would be the year to run a “true conservative” for president—following from the moderate John McCain who didn’t garner much excitement from this wing of the Republican Party.

Oddly enough, that’s not how things are shaping up. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are currently battling for the top spot, and I wouldn’t describe either as a “Tea Party conservative.” Both men have aspects of their past which make some conservatives uneasy, such as the fact that they’ve both supported a health care individual mandate at one time. Interestingly, the four candidates who are “true conservatives” in my view—Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum—are splintering the conservative vote. Based on the current Gallup polling, if we combined the polling of these four candidates into one “supercandidate,” this person would be tied with Newt Gingrich for first. What would need to happen for a more-conservative nominee is that three of the four would have to drop out and rally behind who’s left, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.

I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more of an effort to rally around one of these candidates. Back when Romney was the clear frontrunner, the search was on to find the best “anti-Romney” to make the conservative case for the nominee. I would have never guessed that person to be Newt Gingrich. Looking at the RealClearPolitics polling, it looks like this was Herman Cain’s doing. As his support drops off to zero, almost all other candidate support stays the same except for Newt’s—which goes way up. This isn’t surprising since Cain and Gingrich are friends—they often complimented one another in the debates and agreed with one-another on a number of ideas.

Oddly enough, it looks like some high-profile Tea-Partiers are happy with the moderate Romney. Mitt has recently received endorsements from Nikki Haley, the current South Carolina governor, and Christine O’Donnell, the failed Republican candidate who ran for the Senate from Delaware in 2010. Both women identify with the Tea Party and were proud to be considered Tea Party candidates, and their endorsements have come with surprise and backlash from Tea Party supporters. (Sidenote— O’Donnell said that she likes Mitt because “he’s been consistent since he changed his mind.” What?) It’s likely that they’re taking a look at the prospects each candidate actually has at winning the White House. Does the Tea Party shtick just not work in a national election like this?

I don’t think so. Winning over independents is the key, and the idea of the Tea Party has become a joke to mainstream America. If the GOP goes too conservative or too Tea Party with their nominee, they’re going to divide America. If they want any shot at winning, they need a candidate who can unite.

The Electability Factor

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the current Republican frontrunners

What’s the top issue for Republicans looking to the 2012 election? While the economy, jobs, and immigration are all valid responses, defeating President Obama is a top priority for a number of Republicans. Knowing this, the rise of Gingrich has really surprised me. I’ve already taken a look at some of the issues with Romney, but his list of faults seems small when compared to all of the baggage that comes with nominating Newt.

Once the Republicans have their nominee, jobs and the economy will take the stage as the main issue. This would be a big strength for Romney—he won’t be shy in touting his experience in the private sector and making it clear that he knows how to create jobs. Merge that with his executive experience and I think he has a great case going for him. Newt does not have the kind of experience. Like Obama, he comes from a legislatorial background and hasn’t turned around businesses like Mitt has. Romney will admit that he’s made mistakes, but has learned from them. Newt’s described himself as an historian, and I think that’s a little too similar to the attack line Republicans have waged against Obama—calling him too professorial. At least Obama becomes a populist on the campaign trail—I don’t think Newt has an off switch to his professorial tone.

In the Republican primaries, healthcare is Romney’s Achilles’ heel. But if Romney can make is through to the general, his healthcare record won’t be as big of a deal—at least for independent voters. Romney just needs to make sure that the Republican base is excited to vote on Election Day, and a more-conservative VP nominee would help with that. This is starting to sound like the 2008 Republican ticket, but with disenfranchised democrats staying home and independents looking for an alternative, it could work this time.

Both Gingrich and Romney have some serious issues with consistency—so that’s a wash. On top of that, Newt will be hit on his ties to Freddie Mac, his marriage infidelity, and even some recent comments such as calling child labor laws “stupid.” Newt does a lot of off-the-cuff speaking, and if I’d be worried about his discipline to stay on-message and avoid controversial remarks. Romney’s playing-it-safe certainly makes for a more boring candidate, but he also comes across as more serious. Newt may be an “idea factory,” but I want to know what ideas he’ll actually fight for as president.

I’ve already alluded to it, but the most important factor in electability is grabbing independent votes, and stealing as many as possible from Obama. Where we currently stand, Romney polls about 2 percentage points below President Obama in a hypothetical general election matchup, and Newt comes in about 8 points behind. The good news for Newt is that he’s already closed the gap from when the difference was 15 points, but he still has a long way to go. Romney has actually polled above Obama within the past few months. In the months ahead, Romney would really just have to seal the deal, while Newt would need to be hard at work making his case. [Source: RealClearPolitics]

One saving grace for Newt may be his willingness to debate President Obama. He’s continually called for seven three-hour, un-moderated debates with the President. I would really like to see how those play out. Obama performed well in the 2008 debates, but traditional debates move quickly and don’t go in-debt on the issues. Both men are intellectuals, and I’d like to see Obama defend his record, in-detail, in front of the American people. An Obama-Romney matchup would likely be a standard affair where each man holds their own.

Patriotism ≠ Excuse for Infidelity

As the GOP negative campaigning continues, the two front-runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, battle it out aggressively to ensure their own nomination. A recent ad released by Romney is directly focused to expose Gingrich’s marital infidelity. Romney is very successful in this ad because he makes himself appear better by showing how constant and stable he is while contrasting that with Gingrich to advertise his wavering personal life. Romney begins his ad by telling about how he had been married for 42 years. This is intended to bring up how Gingrich is on his third wife, Callista. He began an affair with Callista, his congressional aide at the time, while he was still married to his second wife. It was the response that Gingrich gave when asked about his marital infidelity that interested me the most. During an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gingrich said his marital infidelity was “partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.” He then went on the say that he “felt compelled to ask God’s forgiveness.” I don’t know about anyone else, but to me this is a complete load of bull$#*!. It is ridiculous to think that the American public might actually buy that Gingrich “felt so passionately about this country” that he felt compelled to sleep with his congressional aide. The level of rhetoric here is truly amazing. In one quote he managed to turn his repulsive behavior into patriotism and bring his sins to God for forgiveness. I don’t mean to say that Gingrich is an outright detestable human being, but it is not acceptable of him to blame his love of his country for his sleazy behavior. Apparently Mitt Romney shared this belief with me, because he ended his ad by vowing to never apologize for the United States of America.



The last Republican debate before the Iowa Caucus had all of the main contenders for a presidential nomination present.  The article goes in depth on all of the candidates and analyzes all of their debating strategies.  This debate, to most people, doesn’t hold much interest, but to those that know of the importance of it, find it very interesting.  This is because of the nature of the debate.  This debate is the candidates last chance to present their reasons to be president before Iowa holds a major primary vote.  This vote not only tells the public who is going to win Iowa, but also is so publicized that it can influence future votes to the public based on the results.

In the debate each candidate acted in a different way based on their current position in the polls. Rick Perry, for example, is praised for finally getting his voice out.  He was stated to be comfortable and confident, but is this too late in the race to gain him these last minute votes?  Also Michelle Bachmann was talked about by using her typical aggressive strategy.  She tried to attack her opponents, and get herself heard.  While these two candidates were aggressive with their debating strategy the front runners Romney and Newt were in a much more defensive mode trying to not offend anyone going into a debate.  This showed how based on the position in the current polls a different  strategy of attack was taken when dealing with this debate, with those in the lead being defensive and those on the edge being aggressive and trying to gain last minute votes.


Please Stand Up

“Will the real tea party candidate please stand up?” by Rebecca Stewart asks who will take the tile of Tea Party Campion? Herman Cain’s dropping out of the race has created a power vacuum which the other candidates are trying to fill by pointing out why they are the Tea Party’s candidate. Bachman has clear ties to the Tea Party but Ron Paul claims that he started the Tea Party with his 2008 presidential campaign. Even Newt Gingrich has thrown his hat in by airing and ad saying he is the “original tea party.”

However according to Mark Meckler and Amy Kremer, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express chairman, disagree. “I don’t think they have claim to that title,” Meckler states. I happen to agree with Meckler and Kremer. The Tea Party was a grass roots effort made by political frustrated people who wanted their voices heard and for a time was an exciting moment, but sadly like most things dealing with politics got corrupted by the two political parties. The event I’m talking about is how Republican candidates put on sheep’s clothing and try to pass themselves off as Tea Party members which was a key part to the success of the Republicans in congress. The truth is the Tea Party started around 2008 and still we see only Republican and Democrats as the main powers in Washington, now I’m not bashing the Tea Party but what I hate seeing is it being used by another political party.

The Tea Party candidate would be someone who wasn’t a politician. It would be a real businessman who had work hard, and insured that his company and not just he had been successful.  The businessman would have no ties to any political party that could sway him from his purpose of getting our nation on track. The sad thing about our politics today is that a person like this couldn’t win because he would get bogged down by the politics. The Tea Party came out of two things wanting a fiscally responsible government and a view that our current leaders couldn’t bring the needed change. The current politicians being produced by our country are not the ones we need, compromise and common sense is what we need. Together our forefathers fought for our freedom and stood up to a tyrant and reshaped the world. Our nation has meet and bested many challenges but we did that by coming together not standing across an aisle created by political parties. The thing that I’m complaining about is how the Republicans jacked a grass roots effort for the people and by the people and there have been no visible gains for the people. We still have an unbalanced budget and the same politics.

The Supreme Court and the 2012 Election

In the 2011-2012 term, the Supreme Court is listening to arguments and deciding three cases that could be critical to the 2012 elections. In the span of between now and next June, challenges to Obamacare, the SR 1070, and Texas’s Congressional redistricting map will be decided. These decisions could drastically affect the course of the 2012 election, giving and removing arguments and areas of attack for both sides.

The Supreme Court deciding Obamacare could affect the race depending upon how it tilts. If the court rules that the law is constitutional, it would deprive the Republicans of a strong line of attack, mainly that the law is unconstitutional. As a result, it would strengthen Obama in the general election and give him a line of attack to fend of Republicans. On the flip side, if the law is ruled unconstitutional, it would validate the arguments that the Republicans have been using. With Obama’s signature achievement nullified, Republicans would be able to go on the offensive against Obama, using the argument to further their view that Obama is a big spending liberal who is fundamentally wrong for the country.

The second major Supreme Court case deals with Arizona law SR 1070. This is Arizona’s immigration law, which allows cops to question anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant for proof of legal residence. Or rather, it would, if it hadn’t been blocked by a US District Court. The Supreme Court’s ruling on this issue could thrust immigration, which up until now has not been a major part of the political debate of the elections, into a greater role, in turn drawing attention to the Republican party’s stance on illegal immigration.

The final major Supreme Court case concerns the Texas Congressional redistricting map. The Texas legislature approved, and Governor Perry signed into law, a new set of maps as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process. Texas had gained four seats as a result of the 2010 Census’s realignment of seats across the country. The map approved by the legislature redistricts these seats in such a way that Republicans would probably gain three out of the four new seats. Democrats and Hispanic groups, however, have complained, and the case has moved through the courts as they have fought the new map. While the Supreme Court’s decision would not directly affect the 2012 presidential election, it would fundamental affect the balance of power in Washington in 2013 and 2014, as it could give either side more seats in the House of Representatives, and depending upon how the races across the country go, could affect control of the House in the next couple years. This in turn could make the job of whoever is elected in November either easier or harder depending upon the specifics.

Overall, this Supreme Court term is looking out to being a major factor in the Presidential race. Whichever way it rules on the various cases before it, it is bound to fundamentally influence the race, though whether for better or for worse is to be seen.

Obama-Clinton 2012

Given that President Obama’s current approval ratings are not what the Democratic Party would like for them to be, Obama may have a more difficult time than he thinks winning the upcoming election. He is going to need a little bit of a boost to make sure he can stay on top with such formidable opponents as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Some current speculation is that he may decide to make Hillary Clinton his vice presidential running mate for this election. Clinton would bring a whole new level of experience to his campaign as well as bring more votes for being a woman.

With such a heated democratic primary during the last election, it would have been obvious that Obama was just fishing for votes if he had taken Clinton as his running mate then. Now, with Clinton serving as Secretary of State for all of Obama’s term and how they have apparently worked very closely together without any disagreements, it is very plausible that Obama has recognized that Clinton is the best person for the vice presidential position. The problem is that Hillary may not even accept the position. Right now, she is fairly well-liked by the public. There has even been speculation that she will run for president in 2016. Taking the vice presidential position with Obama could either help her chances with the 2016 election by giving her another level of experience, or it could hurt her by allowing herself to be a scapegoat for possible democratic woes. Plus Clinton herself has mentioned some desire to get out of politics completely in the near future. She may decide that she no longer even wants to be the first woman president or vice president.

It is up to Obama whether he will continue to run with Joe Biden or try to convince Hillary to run with him. No one can know what kind of an impact such a qualified person as Hillary could even have on the campaign. Personally, I believe that Clinton will be Obama’s ace in the hole if he can get her to run with him. She is definitely experienced enough to be president, and I think it’s time we had a qualified competent woman in a seat of power in this country.


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