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An Unenthusiastic But Eventful Primary Voting Experience

  Bookmark and Share Today is New Jersey’s primary election day. It’s not exactly one of the most intense primaries on the statewide level that we have ever seen though.

On the presidential side, New Jersey’s nearly last place in the primary lineup essentially made the contest meaningless in the selection of a Republican presidential nominee from the get-go. But to make it even more meaningless, Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate still actively running for the nomination. However, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were still on the ballot.

So given the largely symbolic nature of the New Jersey presidential primary, as a former regional coordinator for Newt Gingrich, I chose to cast a symbolic vote. I voted for Newt Gingrich as my choice for President, but I voted for the Romney slate of delegates to the national convention. I did so because even though I prefer Gingrich, I am confident in Mitt Romney. He was my first choice for President in the 2008 primaries and I believe that if given the job, he will be an exceptional President. My favoring Gingrich in this now symbolic primary came from my belief that Newt is more reform minded than Mitt and I like that. But with Newt out, I am solidly behind Mitt Romney and if Mitt wins the presidency, I believe he will at least deliver a degree of reform. The type of reform that would be defined by his change in the direction we are headed in under President Obama, ad at the moment, that’s good enough for me. But my symbolic presidential primary ballot was cast the way it was to send a message that will probably not be heard. That message was that I want to see Romney buck the establishment more and be more open to enacting reforms of government and our tax code.

In the other statewide races, New Jersey Republicans got to pick a nominee to oppose incumbent, liberal U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. That race has barely been a contest. It has pitted unknown Republicans David Douglas Brown, Bader G. Qarmout, and Joe “Rudy” Rullo, against long time State Senator and former Republican State Committee Chairman Joe Kyrillos.

The sad fact is that most New Jerseyans didn’t even know there was a primary for U.S. Senate, and the media nationally as well as locally has barely acknowledged that there was a primary because it has been projected from the start, that Kyrillos would be the nominee. Kyrillos has the support of Governor Chrisite and the entire Republican establishment, including Mitt Romney, whose 2008 presidential campaign featured Kyrillos as its State Chairman. Between that lock on the state G.O.P., access to significant fundraising and the combination of all his opponent’s lack of name ID and their own financial resources, made this hardly a race.

I will be supporting Kyrillos over the lesser of two evils, Bob Menendez, in the general election, but I won’t say which of the 4 U.S. Senate Republican primary candidates I voted for today. That was another symbolic vote.

My vote for a Republican nominee for the House of Representatives was however anything but symbolic.

Here I cast my vote against a candidate much more than for the other.

The 4th District congressional primary was much like the statewide U.S. Senate race. It wasn’t much of a race at all. It received no attention because 18 term incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Smith was running for a 19th term and there was no reason to assume that he would not be able to win it the same way he won each of his previous elections. But as for myself, even though it can be said that Chris Smith is a conservative, he is not the best that conservatives could or should offer.

Over the years, Smith has became naturally complacent and on several recent occasions he has voted for such things as federal Cap-and-Trade policies and other liberal oriented schemes. But more than that, after 32 years in the same office, Chris Smith has lost all prominence as a conservative leader. The type of leader who is in the forefront of creating conservative solutions and advancing the conservative ideology. He lacks innovation and has become a fixture of Washington, D.C., just another notch in the belt of Beltway politics. If any T.E.A. movement sentiments ever existed, it needed to exist in this race. But it didn’t and as a result the virtual unknown and under-financed candidacy of Terrence McGowan had no chance. So come November when the ballot will offer me a choice between Republican Chris Smith and the Democrat’s sacrificial lamb, Brian Froelich, I will cast a write-in vote for a conservative Republican. Maybe Terrence McGowan.

At the bottom of the ticket I supported the unopposed Republican incumbents for County Sheriff and Board of Chosen Freeholders who are almost certain to win reelection in my heavily Republican vote rich Ocean County.

All this made for a very blasé voting experience that left me feeling quite unproductive. I knew that each of my votes were not imperative and would not determine who the inevitable nominees would ultimately be. But that does not mean my voting experience lacked any excitement.

As I stepped toward my voting booth, an elderly woman had exited it and she was arguing with the poll workers who did not know what to do with the voting machine because even though the machine was set for her to cast her ballot, she refused to vote. For the befuddled poll workers, this created a problem. If she did not press the button to cast her ballot, they would have to reset the machine and fill out a complex series of forms and file a cabinet filled with red tape to account for the uncast ballot.

While the wayward voter discussed the matter with one of the poll workers who stood aside the voting booth, she stated from behind me, “I’m not voting for Obama. He can go to hell”.

The elderly voter was a registered Democrat. She came out to vote against President Obama. But what she did not understand was that in her Party’s primary, President Obama was unopposed. So when she stepped in to the voting booth, she was offended and refused to vote.

After I cast my own ballot, the voter was still airing her grievance with the poll workers and so I interjected and explained that as a Democrat, she was being given the opportunity to nominate the people she wanted to represent her Party. I further explained that if she was a Republican, she could join me in nominating who we wanted to represent us in the Republican Party and to replace the President with.

We soon took our conversation outside of the polling place where in the parking lot I explained the process to her further and also made her aware of the fact that even though President Obama was unopposed for the nomination, she could have written in a name, a fact that she found much more appealing than just walking away. But she was still quite frustrated and went on to tell me that we have to get rid of Obama.

As we parted ways, I realized that I was much more pleased by my voting experience than I expected. I was unethusiastically set out to cast a bunch of symbolic and protests votes that I knew would ultimately do more to make me feel good than make an actual difference. But in the end what I walked away with was an optimistic feeling about at least the future results in the presidential general election because you know it’s not good for Democrats when a lifelong Democrat voter stands behind you at the ballot box and declares that their Party’s nominee should go to hell.

And if that wasn’t pleasing enough for me, as my partner and i got in our car to leave the polling place, he told me how he voted It turns out that despite any prior discussion about how we would vote, he cast his ballot the same exact way that I did, and for the same reasons. So who knows? Maybe there are more people out their who took the time to cast similar symbolic and protest votes? I know at least a few Democrats did.

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Please Excuse Us. Politics 24/7 Is Under Renovation

Site Under Renovation

And being paid for without stimulus money

Politics 24/7 is undergoing a renovation of sorts.

For months now, Politics 24/7 has been dormant.  Most of my attention has been on Politics 24/7′s satellite blog, White House 2012, a blog which has been covering the presidential race.

But now Politics 24/7 is undergoing a transformation.

While White House 2012 focusses on the presidential election, Politics 24/7 is going to discuss politics on a broader scale while also placing on emphasis on the other important races of 2012.

With 33 Senate races, 11 gubernatorial contests, and 435 congressional elections, Politics 24/7 will be a source for news, information, analysis, and opinions on each of these races.  In addition to unique perspectives on each these contests and the ramifications that they will have nationally, Politics 24/7 will provide you with informative links to each of the candidates.  Links that will quickly send you to  everything from their websites to their voting records.

Gathering all this information takes some time, but within a matter of days, Politics 24/7 will be back up and running.  In the meantime, I invite you to visit White House 2012.  You will find it to be one of the most informative resources on the Republican race for White House that you can find on the internet.

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President Obama’s State-by-State Job Approval Numbers Mean He’s Headed for a 1 Term Presidency

Bookmark and Share Gallup recently released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers and the results paint several pretty dismal pictures for the President, pictures that reflects the overall dismal economic condition that that the nation is in.reside
According to the analysis the President received a plurality of approval from residents of only the District of Columbia and 10 states, while his job approval was below 50% in the remaining forty states. Furthermore; in a majority of them, his approval was well below 45%.

This analysis is particularly troublesome given that while the President’s job approval rating nationally is below the 50% mark, the President’s reelection rests not within the national opinion as much as it does within the collective electoral college results that arrived at through the opinions reflected in each individual state. And while a Real Clear Politics average of national polls put the Presidents approval rating at 46.5% and his disapproval rating is at 47.9%, what the Gallup state-by-state analysis shows is that the President’s challenge is actually tougher than the national polls indicate.

Gallup points out that President Obama received a 44% job approval rating in his third year in office, which is down from 47% in his second year. If that trend were to continue, Ron Paul could be nominated by the G.O.P. and probably defeat President Obama handily. But reality dictates that Ron Paul will never see the light of day as a Republican presidential nominee, and that President Obama’s numbers are not likely to trend downward as he embarks upon a billion dollar campaign that will seek to rehabilitate his own image while eviscerating the image of his Republican opponent.

However, if the President finds his reelection effort failing to reverse the trend of his existing numbers and change the opinions that voters have of him now, he is doomed. Based upon the current trend, If the President were to only carry those states in the Gallup poll which he he had a net positive approval rating in 2011, he would lose the 2012 election with 215 electoral votes, to the Republican nominee’s 323 electoral votes.

A White House 2012 breakdown of the Gallup study demonstrates how daunting a challenge lies ahead for President Obama.

Based upon his current state-by-state approval ratings, if we give President Obama each state where his rating is at 50% or above, he would lose the election by winning 159 electoral college votes from D.C., California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. The Republican nominee would receive 379 electoral votes, 109 more than needed.

But White House 2012 tried to be a bit more realistic and decided to breakdown these numbers down by giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt by assuming he can turn his numbers around in all those states where his approval was as low as 45%.

That was not only generous, it was also responsible for a fairly more accurate picture of things.

Regardless of the numbers, there are some states that will not likely vote Republican regardless of how bad a job President Obama is doing or who the Republican presidential nominee is. States like Washington and Oregon on the West Coast will probably remain dark blue and the president may easily turn around his downward trending approval ratings among the liberal sympathisers of those states. That accounts for 19 more electoral votes. Then you can easily see the President take Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the Midwest. That’s 36 more electoral votes. Then because his numbers are barely above 45% in Iowa, let’s say he can pull off some magic there, a state which he won in 2008. That’s 6 more. Then on the East Coast, you’ll find Maine, and Rhode Island remaining true blue. That’s another 8 electoral votes. And throw in Pennsylvania too if for no other than reason than the Southeast portion of the state may still be strongly under the President’s spell. That’s 20 more for a total shift of 89 electoral votes which gives President Obama 248 to the G.O.P.’s 290, a figure that still gives the win to the Republican nominee with 20 more electoral votes than needed.

With 29 electoral votes, this would make Florida the key to the President’s winning reelection. Without it he needs Ohio with 18 electoral votes and at least one of the following other states; Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, or North Carolina.

Those four states are not goof for him right now, but he has better numbers in them than he does in other states like New Hampshire or Arizona.

But even these state’s will be hard for Obama. Currently his job approval is 40.4% in Colorado, 41.7% in New Mexico, 41.3% in Nevada, and 43.7% in North Carolina. Meanwhile his approval numbers in Florida and Ohio are at 43.6% and 42.1% respectively.

While turning these numbers around will not be impossible in the course of the lifetime that politically speaking, exists between now and November, doing so will be quite a dramatic achievement. One that may require not just a well run campaign on the President’s part, but also a badly managed campaign on the part of whoever his Republican opponent is.

On a sidenote, I can not figure out for the life of me how the President’s job approval rating went up in a place like Wyoming. It went up slightly in Connecticut and Maine, but those two states are known for the lunacy of their liberalism and in many cases their socialism. But Wyoming?

As for the final outcome, no one can honestly say they know how the election will end. But based upon a bit of instinct, the issues that will play out during the campaign, and the existing numbers, I offer my own following projections.

It should be noted that if this scenario does come to fruition, there is the potential for an Electoral College crisis, for it offers the possibility of a tie in the Electoral College:

However I do not suspect that such a tie will occur because of the battleground states that I believe this will come down to, I foresee Republicans winning Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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Santorum Ad Tells Us What the “DEAL” with Newt Gingrich is

Bookmark and Share Fresh off of his poor third place showing in Florida, Rick Santorum is trying to take advantage of Newt Gingrich’s big 15% second place loss to Mitt Romney in the Sunshine State by reclaiming the title of “conservative alternative” to Mitt Romney, the big winner in Tuesday’s primary contest [see the ad below this post].

The ad entitled “Deal”, is a very powerful condemnation of Gingrich which catches you off guard with opening arguments that would have you think the ad is comparing Santorum to his three Republican rivals, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. It claims that the three politicians in question support legislative policies which are conservative anathema; Cap-and-Trade, amnesty, and the government bailouts. It would be bad enough for Santorum’s Republican rivals to have to wear all three of those issues around their necks, but the surprise comes when it is revealed that three politicians in question are not Romney, Paul, and Gingrich but rather President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Newt Gingrich.

The surprise comparison is twice as debilitating for Gingrich because while you might expect Mitt Romney to be accused of being too liberal, this ad avoids Romney and shockingly puts Newt Gingrich in an entirely differently league, one that puts him directly in the room with iconic liberals Obama and Pelosi.

The ad happens to be one of the most effective of this campaign cycle to date. It is produced well and is quite creative. It also presents Santorum’s case against Newt in a way that avoids being overly outlandish and to the point of being too hard to believe.

Yet while the ad is quite good, it is also indicative of the unfortunate position that Rick Santorum finds himself in. This ad pits him against Newt Gingrich, not frontrunner Mitt Romney, and it signals the fact that Santorum knows he is still competing in a primary within the primary………. the conservative primary within the Republican primary. It demonstrates that Rick Santorum is in a desperate fight to just get in to the race against Mitt Romney.

The good news for Santorum is that it is quite possible that conservatives have not yet ensconced themselves in Newt’s camp and Rick could still possibly win over a majority of them. One most notable conservative to recently go to Santorum’s side is Michele Malkin, a talking head with a considerably large conservative following. But at the same time it is a little late in this race for Santorum to hope his horse places or shows when the only ticket he can cash in on is the one to win.

But hope springs eternal and this ad is has a spin on it that forces me to give Rick Santorum a lot of credit, even though I believe it will help Mitt Romney than it will help Santorum.

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Romney Wins Florida But Newt Makes It Clear That There are “46 More States to Go”

Bookmark and Share As is the norm for Florida, the Sunshine State has again made electoral history. For the first time, the Republican winner of the South Carolina primary, lost the Florida primary. What it means in the long term is uncertain, but what it means in the short term is quite apparent. Nationally, Republicans have no real clear favorite for President yet.

Still, Mitt Romney’s win was significant and he deserve credit for orchestrating it. He spent $17 million to do it, but he did it and in the end, especially with 50 delegates now in his column, that is all that matters. However, while Romney once again becomes the frontrunner for the nomination, you will have to forgive me if do not declare this race over yet.

With little more than 5% of the delegates allocated so far, there is no denying that the race is not over yet, but it was made even more obvious to me after hearing Romney deliver his victory speech, and after Gingrich and Santorum gave their concession speeches.

In his speech, Mitt Romney rose to the occasion and sounded enthusiastic, but humble, and most of all, he sounded presidential. He delivered a speech that allowed people to truly begin to get comfortable with the idea of him being the candidate who can take the fight to President Barack Obama and beat him. He didn’t seal the deal, but his Florida victory speech helped make people more willing to accept the now almost inevitability of his being nominated for president. And now back in the frontrunner position, Romney offered not only a brief glimpse of the potential that exists in his carrying the Republican banner, he even took some steps to put the ugliness of the intraparty battle for the nomination behind him by eloquently making the point that “a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us.”

But in his facing the fact that he came in second place to Romney with at least 15% less of the vote than Romney, Newt Gingrich offered a speech which oozed of defiance and held a true thirst for not just beating Barack Obama, but for bringing about the type of reforms that Americans want, but as of late, have not often come to see in either Republicans or Democrats. He also provided some of the best reasons for his candidacy to date.

While limiting his negative attacks to calling Romney a Massachusetts moderate, Newt introduced what was seemingly a very heartfelt, personal contract with the American people, a spin on the now famous 1994 Contract With America that he spearheaded and guided through Congress.

Newt’s personal contract consists of two parts. The first part is conditional and it requires that the people elect conservatives to Congress. If they do that, Newt promises that before he takes office, he will request that on January 3rd, 2013, the new Congress stays in session and immediately repeals Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes Oxley, three bills that are being viewed as among the most detrimental legislative initiatives effecting our economy. Gingrich vows that if the American people elect strong conservative majorities to Congress, those three measures can be repealed by Congress and on the day of his inauguration, he will sign the legislation to rid us of those massive government burdens. The problem there is that unless it is veto proof majority, President Obama will have the opportunity to veto it before Gingrich has the opportunity to sign it. So Newt might want to hold back on his request for january 3rd vote on those issues.

The rest of Newt’s personal contract is a promise to promptly enact a series of constitutional executive orders that will consist of immediately abolishing the existence of all White House czars, an immediate order to commence construction of the Keystone Pipeline project, an executive order opening the American embassy in Jerusalem and essentially acknowledging that divided city as Israel’s capital, another executive order which would reinstate the Reagan policy that did not allow federal money to fund any abortions, anywhere in the world, and last but not least, he promised to enact an order that repeals any and all of the anti-religious acts enacted by the Obama Administration in what Newt described as the President’s war on religion.

Newt’s speech was far from a concession speech, but what it did do was offer voters some good reasons for why Newt should not give up. With a room full of supporters waving signs that reminded voters that there are 46 more states which have yet to vote, Newt demonstrated that he still has what it takes to continue contesting this election.

The other speech of note came from third place finisher Senator Rick Santorum.

Even though Santorum placed a very distant third with only 13% of the vote in Florida, his speech actually provided a good rationale for his own continued participation in this race.

Knowing full well that he was not going to have a strong showing in Florida, Santorum elected to make his primary night remarks from Nevada, where he is campaigning in advance of that state’s Caucus which takes place this Saturday.

Taking advantage of the very rarely traveled high road in their primary contest, Santorum exploited the bitter battle between Romney and Gingrich by looking like the adult in the room who had his eye on the real prize…….defeating President Obama.

He stated that he was not going to criticize the personal and public successes achieved by both Gingrich and Romney as they have done to one another. Instead he declared that republicans deserve better, and that he was going to focus on the issues important to the American people. However, Santorum did argue that Newt failed at taking the momentum he had coming out South Carolina and converting it in to establishing himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. According to Santorum, Newt proved to make himself the issue and the American people do not need a President who is the issue, but rather a President who can address the issues and solve the problems surrounding them.

All three speeches were actually quite good and they all provided a solid foundation and legitimate reasons for this nomination contest to remain competitive. The problem is that Santorum and Gingrich will still have to find the resources it takes to convince voters that it really isn’t over. If Newt can finally stick to the themes he struck in his speech in Florida, themes based on his being the anti-establishment candidate and a true conservative leader capable of achieving very real and very bold reforms, he can survive long enough to see another victory, but it may not happen for another month or more and the longer he goes without a victory, the harder it will be for him to achieve one.

Right now, the only thing we can be certain of is that Mitt Romney is the one in the catbird seat tonight. The real problem I see here though is that Romney is still the candidate which for numerous reasons, many Republicans seem to be settling for. Such uninspired support makes it quite possible for someone like Newt to turn things around by actually inspiring people and causing voters say, you know what? I don’t have to settle for Mitt. We can do better.”

Until Mitt Romney is willing to stop playing it safe, and proves that he too can be a bold leader, he will remain vulnerable to being overshadowed by the boldness of Newt Gingrich’s vision and red meat agenda. For Mitt it is now a judgement call and a gamble. Does he continue to play it safe and rely on his giant campaign war chest to suppress the amount of support Gingrich and risk the possibility of Newt turning things around again? Or does he step out of his safety zone and make an attempt to prove that he is more than just a wealthy Republican establishment candidate?

My experience with Romney leads me to believe that he will continue to play it safe with the expectation that Newt will be do just the opposite and a loss it all by taking one too many risks.

On a final note, yes I know that I did not mention Ron Paul and that I did not include his concession speech. And no it is not because I am afraid that if I give him any ink, people will flock to his side and elect him President. The reason I did not include Ron Paul is because he has yet to become a significant factor in this election and because he said absolutely nothing new in his speech following his single digit, last place showing in Florida.

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Poll Proves President Obama to Be Weak Where He Should Be Strong

Bookmark and Share    A new Quinnipiac Poll shows that 52% of New Jersey voters disapprove of the job that President Obama is doing and 43% approve of his job performance.  It is his lowest approval rating in the Garden State yet.  A breakdown of the polls shows that  Democrats approve of his job performance 77% to 19% percent. Disapproval is 88% – 10%  among Republicans, and the most important and lethal number is his 60% – 34% disapproval rating among independent voters.

Quinnipiac also notes that there is a large gender gap as women have a 50% to 45% approval rating of the Presidents job performance, while men disapprove  60%  to 36%.

Still though, the poll finds that voters are split 47% to 48% on whether President Obama deserves reelection.

However; one should take note of the polling history pertaining to New Jersey’s 2009 gubernatorial election.

At this same point in that election, almost a year before it took place,  a similar Quinnipiac Poll found that New Jersey voters disapproved of Governor Jon Corzine’s job performance by 51% to  40%.  It was his fourth negative score that year. Democrats approved of the Governor 60% to  31, while Republicans disapproved 75% to 19%,  and independent voters gave him a thumbs down by 52% – 38%.

Those numbers are better than President Obama’s number are and Jon Corzine went on to be  soundly defeated by Chris Christie.

The only difference is that President Obama’s job approval among Democrats is higher than Jon Corzine’s approval was at this same point in his election.  That shows that New Jersey Democrats are still more enthusiastic about Obama than they were of Corzine.  But aside form that, President Obama’s disapproval among New Jersey Republicans, and more importantly, New Jersey Independent voters, is substantially higher than Corzine’s were.

All of this simply confirms that at the moment, President Obama is indeed in trouble.

These poll numbers come from a very blue state that is in the bluest region of the nation for…….. the Northeast.  If the majority of voters  in a state like New Jersey disapprove of the job that the President  is doing, than you can rest assured that similar sentiments exist throughout the region.  So it only follows that President Obama will have to actually spend time and money campaigning in state’s like, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and even New York.  That will give the President less time and resources to dedicate to winning battleground, or swing states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.

The last time a Republican presidential candidate won New Jersey was in 1988, when George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.

With 14 electoral votes, if New Jersey does not soon be safely in President Obama’s column, it will dramatically increase the number of electoral college equations needed for Republicans to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.  Following conventional wisdom, giving Democrats and Republicans the state’s they traditionally win and leaving states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and several others undecided, if New Jersey is a tossup,  President Obama will have 15 different ways to reach a winning combination of electoral votes.  Republicans would have 45 winning combinations available to them.  And for those who really like suspense, there would be 7 scenarios whereby there could be a tie in the electoral college.

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Chris Chrisite’s Speech at the Reagan Library Shows Why He Should Run for President

See the video of Christie’s speech below this post and for a complete transcript of the speech, click here.

Bookmark and Share On Tuesday evening, after delivering a keynote address on “Real American exceptionalism” for the Reagan Foundation at the Reagan Library, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively any speculation about his entering 2012 presidential race as a presidential candidate.

The speech Christie gave was a plain-spoken, smooth flowing, hard-hitting, presentation that demonstrated the wealth of endless potential that could be unleashed in America by combining Republican principles with the type of frank and honest leadership that comes only from people of true integrity. Christie argued his case for the awesome power of the two when combined, by linking the history of Reagan Republicanism and Reagan’s leadership, to Obama socialism and Obama’s lack of leadership. He then essentially described how the two means do not lead to the same end. He made this point further by also contrasting between what is getting done in New Jersey under his management, with what is or isn’t getting done in Washington, DC under President Obama’s mismanagement.

The speech was, to use a phrase that Christie used, “a parable of principle“, which offered a roadmap to true American exceptionalism. As for the details of the speech, I am intentionally leaving them out. That is because I wish not to deprive anyone of the opportunity to hear them or read them yourself, in Christie’s own words. Hence the reason for the video and transcript provided for you within this post.

What I will tell you is that some of the most entertaining and heartfelt moments came during the brief question and answer period once the speech was over.

It was then that Christie laced his honesty with a unique mix of Jersey-style bluntness and endearing humor to stake out some well received positions and make viewers also understand why so many want him to seek the Republican nomination for President.

On that topic, while a Christie candidacy was first foremost on the minds of all who were listening, it was not the first question asked upon completion of Christie’s keynote address. The first question was on illegal immigration and his thoughts on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. In his answer, Christie explained that while he believes that our borders must be secured, he did not believe that states and taxpayers had any responsibility to subsidize illegal immigrants. And going a step further, the never shy New Jersey Governor took a swipe at Texas Governor Rick Perry. “And I don’t think that’s heartless. I think it’s common sense”, said Christie.

The second question for the Governor came from a man who asked The Governor if he was considering a run for President. To this Christie joked, that he was disappointed in the audience gathered before him. He said that for that to be the second question and not the first, showed him that they were not demonstrating America exceptionalism. He continued by explaining that he was not running and cited a video prepared by Politico.com as the best and most explanatory answer he could offer. The video spliced together a dozen or so different interviews from the past year in which Christie stated that he is not running and why.

But almost immediately following that answer, a questioner from the balcony was given the mic. This person did not ask a question. In very heartfelt terms, she instead made a request of the Governor and said “Please reconsider. We can’t wait till 2016. Your Country needs you”. To this Christie explained that he understood but he joked that while he is flattered and that while no politician’s ego is so small that they would demand people stop asking them to become the leader of the free world, he must keep answering “no”. He went on to say ,“I’m just a kid from Jersey who feels like I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have the opportunity that I have to be the governor of my state.” He added “That heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me.”

Christie’s appearance at the Reagan Library was truly powerful and ironically, he sounded like a presidential candidate. He subtly drew similarities between his leadership as a Governor and Ronald Reagan’s as a President. He also aggressively, but appropriately tore apart President Obama and successfully used the President’s own words against him. And he even took a shot at someone who would be opposing him if he were to run in the Republican primary. That combined with the sudden public leaks and comments involving what was the most recent flurry of speculation about Christie and the presidency, I have come to believe that history will reveal that in late September of 2011, New Jersey Governor Christopher J. Christie was about to run for President of the United States. But at the last minute, [fill in the blank] was the determining factor that caused him to change his mind and not announce his candidacy. Remember, you heard it here first.

That view may or may not be confirmed but upon the conclusion of Christie’s appearance at the Reagan Library, there are two things we all now know with certainty. One is that Chris Christie is authentic. He is the real deal. Love him or hate him, you can rest assured that you are loving or hating the real Chris Christie. The other thing that we now know definitively is that Chris Christie is not running for President in 2012. Vice President is another story that we will begin to write about after we finish the chapter that reveals who the presidential nominee is. So now, the only big name left available for speculation is Sarah Palin.

On a last note, I would like to make a personal admission.

As a resident of New Jersey who for the last twenty months has been living under the rule of Governor Christie, after listening to him at the Reagan Library last night, I can honestly tell you that for the first time in the fifteen years that this Brooklyn boy has lived the Garden State, I am proud to call it home, and for the for the first time in my life, I am truly proud to tell people who my Governor is.

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Yes We Cain! Herman Cain Wins Florida Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share From a pool of 2,657 registered Presidency 5 voters in Florida’s presidential straw poll , Herman Cain pulled off a significant victory by a significant margin, upsetting both favorite Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

The Final vote was as follows:

986 votes – 37.1% – Herman Cain

428 votes – 15.4% – Rick Perry

372 votes – 14.0% – Mitt Romney

289 votes – 10.9% – Rick Santorum

276 votes – 10.4% – Ron Paul

224 votes – 8.4% – Newt Gingrich

60 votes – 2.3% – Jon Huntsman

40 votes – 1.5% – Michele Bachmann

 
Herman Cain’s upset victory was a direct result of Perry’s poor performance in Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in which he argued that those who did not believe in offering in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants, did “not have a heart”.
 
Those remarks, combined with good showing by both Romney and Cain, put Cain’s victory in to motion. During the past two days of Republican electioneering in Friday’s CPAC-FL conference and today’s Presidency 5 convention,there was a clear sense that participants were changing their minds from Perry to Cain and Romney.
 
In addition to that, unlike Perry and Romney, Herman Cain stayed in Florida since Thursday’s debate and attended today’s Presidency 5 event where he delivered a speech that tore the rough of the convention center. His speech struck at the heart of the limited government cause and beyond that, it conveyed to the audience, that he truly gets the need for real changes in the way government does business.
 
Cain’s vote which was more than twice the size of Perry’s second place vote total, is a strong sign that both Perry and Romney have a long way to go if they intend to win. The sentiment expressed in Florida today, was a definite indication that the G.O.P. is still looking for a hero and that neither Romney or Perry fit that description yet.
 
However, Herman Cain just might.
 
He is the perfect anti-establishment candidate. And that is what voters want. They do not want politics-as-usual. On top of that, Cain has an uncanny and quite natural ability to inspire conservatives with his words and tap into their hope for a responsible figure who can be a citizen leader, not a career politician.
 
But the P5 participants are a very Southern evangelical sampling of Republican activists and many of them are also quite familiar with Herman Cain. Many have made him a part of their lives every weekday via his Atlanta based radio talk show which is widely heard in that region of the U.S.. This gave Cain the perfect opportunity to be the vessel for which voters could send their protest vote through. That is not to say that Herman Cain did not earn today’s victory in his own right. He did. In his speech he not only demonstrated the capacity to lead, he provided inspiration to a movement that seeks the type of change that is meant to restore liberty to America. He also showed the career politicians that politics-as-usual will not be good enough this time around.
 
If Herman Cain can parlay this straw poll win into future victories remains to be seen. Not long ago, Minnesota Congresswoman Michel Bachmann won the famous Iowa Straw Poll in Ames. But by her 40 vote, last place finish in Florida, it is safe to say that her Iowa Straw Poll results did not get her very far.
 
One thing that this win is sure to do for Herman Cain, is propel him from back tier candidate, to serious contender. In addition to raising his name ID, this victory will help him raise money and inject a sizeable dose of dollars into his campaign war chest. What will also be interesting is whether or not South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s recent claim that she will be endorsing someone who is a true business person, is a reference to Herman Cain or Mitt Romney. After today’s surprise win by Cain, one has to wonder.
 
An endorsement of Cain by Governor Nikki Haley, is not likely but if it did happen, it would place Herman Cain in a position to win back-to-back primaries in South Carolina and Florida………….a scenario that few have imagined, up till now.
 
On the flip-side of the coin, the man who probably faired worst in this contest was Ron Paul.
Paul’s fans are usually good at hijacking straw polls with ringers brought in from all over the place. But Presidency 5 is unlike Iowa and other straw polls. Participants in P5 must be certifies as registered Republicans through their county organizations. Such certification allows for a more accurate measure of Republican sentiments than do other forums which do not create conditions similar to actual primary contests.
 
But regardless of anyone else, today belongs to Herman Cain. Today he stunned the political world and put himself on the map. There’s a new candidate in town as of today and he promises to make sure that voters don’t just rollover for the perceived frontrunners. As of today, Herman Cain is going to ensure that the Republican who is nominated president, earns the nomination.
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Operation Old TEA Bag: The Democrat’s Hail Mary Pass

Bookmark and Share    The recent special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District did more than just elect a Republican to a seat that  hasn’t been in the hands of the G.O.P. since 1923. It also shed some light on the desperation of Democrats and what direction they will throw the ball in when they try to salvage their 2012 election fortunes with a last minute Hail Mary pass.

In the race that pitted liberal incumbent Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin against retired businessman, Republican Bob Turner, Democrats struggled to find the issues that their candidate could run on to win voters over. Initially they did not even do that. At first it was assumed that as always, whichever Democrat they ran, would sail to victory and succeed sex texting addict Anthony Weiner. But then in August, Democrat polling showed something strange. It showed that Democrat Weprin was not getting the amount of support that Democrats usually get. This then suggested to them that they actually had a real and competitive election on their hands.

So they got to work and started to develop the issues they would campaign on.

What they found was that Weprin and Democrats had no positions on the issues that would excite voters and convince them that Weprin was their man. Even in a relatively liberal district like the ninth, there were no issues which Democrats held a popular position on.

There was the issue of gay marriage which Weprin recently supported the passage of in the New York State Assembly. But with a heavy Hassidic Jewish population in the ninth, legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex was far from popular.

There was the issue of our national debt. On that issue, Weprin held a typical Democrat line which supported big government and big government social programs. But even in a left leaning district like the one that spans the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, voters know that our debt has become a deepening crisis for our nation and as such, they understand that more government spending is not realistic. That left Weprin with the opportunity to use the traditional liberal language of tax increases to pay for all the spending. But in the middleclass communities of NY-9, tax increases, even for those who earn $250,000 or more, doesn’t really go over well. The ninth congressional district is comprised largely of those people in the middle……the ones who get hit from both ends and are not poor enough to benefit from government social programs, but are not wealthy enough to take advantage of the tax loopholes and credits that the political establishment has arranged for. So these people did not want to hear the Obama “make the rich pay their fare share” rhetoric. Many of them are afraid that a liberal definition of “rich” would include them.

There was the issue of immigration. However on that issue, Weprin has a liberal “Dream Act” position that does not solve the illegal immigration issue that impacts on his district’s residents. They do not want their money going to fulfilling the dreams of illegal immigrants. These people, many of which remember seeing the World Trade Center from their windows and worked within its shadows, want our borders secured.

So like many other issues, that was out.

There was Israel. After all, with a population of Jewish voters that is disproportionately larger than in many other districts throughout the nation, as an Orthodox Jew himself, Weprin could certainly and convincingly argue his support for Israel and ride high on the popularity of that point. Unfortunately though, being a Democrat, most voters linked Weprin to President Obama’s unfriendly policies towards Israel. And Weprin’s argument to voters that they should trust him on israel because he would fight for Israel from within, didn’t have wings.

Short of a total condemnation of President Obama by Weprin, the Jewish vote in his district simply viewed Weprin as a congressional rubberstamp for Obama’s polcies.

The further Democrats went down the list of issues important to the middleclass voters of the ninth, the more they realized that there were no issues which allowed them to present a position that they could derrive district-wide support for.

So what is a candidate with a competitive election ahead of him to do?

Why, resort to the liberal playbook, of course!

That meant scare citizens. That meant to try and distort the Republican position to preserve Social Security and Medicare for those on it and those expecting to soon  be on them.  It meant denying the Republican position to preserve those programs for future generation with reforms that will strengthen Social Security and medicare. It meant do your best to make vulnerable senior citizens believe that if a Republican won, they would deny them the money that many seniors have come to rely upon.

That was a good start but Weprin and his Democrat strategists and Washington puppet masters needed something else to attract some voters outside of the senior citizen demographic. That’s when the orders from Washington came down. And that is when the strategy to run against the TEA Party came into play.

So in early August Operation Old TEA Bag went into effect. That is when Weprin campaign spokesperson Elizabeth Kerr first argued the following:

“Bob Turner’s doing anything he can to distract voters from his plan to end Medicare as we know it, which would cost seniors in Brooklyn and Queens an extra $6,400 every year,” .

And from there, the tactics to scare senior citizens began

Then when the news that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded the country’s credit rating because of fiscal uncertainty came out and  dominated the headlines, Weprin’s campaign defined Bob Turner as a TEA Party extremist and charged that because of their “irresponsible demands”, “Republican Tea Party extremists” facilitated the downgrade and the fallout from it.

From that point on, the Democrat campaign for Congress in NY-9 began.

It was a constant barrage of trying to make the TEA Party the enemy that voters had to unite against.  It was a never ending campaign to define Bob Turner as the TEA Party candidate. In Between those lines of attack was tossed in the same old scare tactics intended to frighten senior citizens that predate the Reagan Administration.

For his part Bob Turner campaigns argued;

“Career politicians like David Weprin have taxed and spent this country into a crisis. They have jeopardized the entire social safety network by irresponsibly borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend,”

And as one Turner campaign aide put it;

“Businessman Bob Turner is running to protect Social Security and Medicare for every American over 55 years old and to put those essential programs on a sustainable path for everybody younger than that.”

But Bob Turner didn’t just defend himself against Operation Old TEA Bag. He spent most of his time denouncing the Obama policies that even urban, middle-class Democrats have lost faith in. Like the days of Ronald Reagan, Bob Turner found himself addressing a new generation of Reagan Democrats. Democrats who do not appreciate the condition of our nation and do not have faith in the direction their Party is heading in under a liberal President.

Yet as the campaign continued and the polls tightened, D.C. Democrats from the DCCC, DNC, and from the state and local Party apparatus, double-downed on their last hope……Operation Old TEA Bag. Even when only days before the special election was to take and polls showed that Turner turned the tables and was now ahead of Weprin, Democrats found themselves desperately trying to make a success of their fear campaign of senior citizens and their efforts to make the TEA Party the common enemy.

The plan was perfect. It even concluded on a  high note…….a recorded phone call from former President Clinton which tied the TEA Party and Medicare together as he stated “and he’ll oppose the TEA Party plan to destroy Medicare” [see the video below].  But ultimately, what Democrats thought was the perfect strategy, proved to be as unsustainable and useless as their economic policies.

Like driving a car on empty it was a last ditch, desperate attempt to run a camping not on any issues,  just on fear. The only problem is that in the end, senior citizens were less afraid of distortions about Bob Turner than they were of the truth about the current direction our nation is headed. In the end, the voters of the ninth district decided that the TEA Party was not their problem. Democrats were.

Unless  Democrats start singing a different a tune, they will still be the problem in 2012.  And just as Operation Old TEA Bag did not work for them in CD-9,  it will not work for them in the 2012 elections.from the top of the Democrat ticket , to the bottom of the ballot.  However, with little else left in their playbook, I expect the Democrats to do little else but resort to scaring senior citizens and trying to run against the TEA Party. 

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Do Democrats and President Obama Get the Message Voters In New York Sent Them?

Bookmark and Share Last night’s win of Republican Bob Turner in the special election to replace disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner was a truly loud message to President Obama and Democrats. And while it does not necessarily mean that President Obama is surely going to be defeated in 2012, the fact that a Republican won this traditionally Democrat district with a 3 to one Democrat to Republican registration ratio in the heart of liberal New York City does mean trouble for Democrats.

In the video below the newly elected Congressman explains why he believes he won.

 

Turner is correct.

Normally winning the Democrat nomination for anything in this district is tantamount to winning the election. The only reason that was not the case this time was because voters are angry and wanted to let President Obama know that. Most important here is that this is a district heavily populated by a large Jewish constituency. Traditionally, the Jewish vote has mainly gone to Democrats but in this particular election, many Jewish voters came out to make it clear to President Obama that they oppose his policies involving Israel.

This will be a problem for the President in 2012. There is little he can do between now and then to reclaim favor among a substantial portion of the Jewish vote. Unless the President does a total 180 degree turn on many of his Israel related positions, he will have a hard time reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win reelection. The Jewish community will not easily forget President Obama’s disrespect of Prime Minister Netanyahu when he withdrew from a meeting to eat dinner and left the Prime Minister  waiting for the President to finish his meal. And more importantly than that, Jews will not simply ignore President Obama’s request for Israel to return to its 1967 borders which prohibit Israel from properly defending itself.

As demonstrated in NY-9, the general anti-Semitic impression that the President’s actions and policies has generated within the Jewish community may not affect him very much in states with low Jewish populations like Utah, but many of those states are not expected to vote for President Obama anyway. But in a state like Florida which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the nation, the Jewish vote can make all the difference to President Obama’s reelection chances. There, without the Jewish vote, President Obama is sure to lose and without Florida, there are few if any realistic mathematical combination of state electoral votes that he can piece together to arrive at 270 electoral votes.

Yet Democrats are doing their very best to try to put a happy face on the message that the voters of New York’s 9th congressional district sent them on Tuesday.

In interviews the morning after the special election in New York, Democrat National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who happens to represent a Florida district that is also heavily Jewish, used an interview regarding their loss of this seat and trying to make the case that it wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. According to Wasserman-Schultz;;

“It’s a very difficult district for Democrats”.

“It’s a very difficult district for Democrats”? —— What? ……. Is she joking?

The only way New York’s 9th CD would be difficult for a Democrat to win is if the name of the Democrat on the ballot was Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden. Wasserman-Schultz’ claim that this is a hard distrcit for Democrats to win in is so ridiculous that she should be fined for being too stupid to talk.

The fact is, that if President Obama been able to give voters, including Democrat voters, a reason to believe in him, they will. But now that the recession we are in is the longest in our history, and everything from job numbers to retail sales continue to be down, Americans are growing impatient. They now want a change from the “change” that candidate Obama promised in 2008. And to make matters worse, President Obama’s latest attempt to save face and the economy with his speech to a joint session of Congress and his American Jobs Act, has done little more than reinforce voters negative impressions of him. General consensus is that his new plan is anything but new and in truth,  just a regurgitation of the policies and plans that have gotten us to where we are today.

This is why the special election in NY-9 was so “difficult for Democrats”.

It is why Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in a historic wave election that elected more Republicans to Congress than we have seen since the 40’s. And it is why Democrats are headed to a very rough 2012 election cycle.

Fortunately for Republicans, Democrats like President Obama and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz don’t want to hear the message that people of New York’s Brooklyn and Queens sent them on Tuesday. But like President Obama himself said, the election is not for 14 months and we can’t afford to wait 14 months to get this economy going. Well Mr. President, the voters also can’t wait 14 months for you to get their message. You should have gotten that message in November of 2010, but clearly you didn’t and so now, there is little expectation for you to get it now.

Mr. President, it’s time to stop shouting “pass this bill”. It’s time to shut your mouth, open your ears, and hear the voice of the voters who are telling you to change direction.

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