Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Paul Ryan for President

Bookmark and Share    ”If Ryan does decide to run, win or lose, I will be behind him either until he wins the nomination and the presidency or ends his campaign.”  -Anthony Del Pellegrino, aka: Kempite

 
Reports have indicated that Wisconsin Congressman and Chairman of the House Budget Committee Paul. Ryan is in the final stages of deciding on a presidential run. According to The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, Ryan associates have been quietly going around and laying the groundwork for a run which has included establishing the deadlines for gaining ballot access to the ballot in each of the 50 states. Hayes reports that Ryan has been discussing the possibilities of running with advisors and close firlends about a run since last spring. He further adds that Congressman Ryan had been expecting Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to run and he was looking forward to a Daniels candidacy. But after a call from Governor Daniels to Ryan to give him a heads about his decision not to run, Ryan’s thinking about a run for President changed profoundly.

Hayes also reports that a Republican source close to Ryan, claims the Congressman is;

“coming around,” and adds “With Paul, it’s more about obligation than opportunity,” says another Wisconsin Republican. “He is determined to have the 2012 election be about the big things. If that means he has to run, he’s open to it.”

For its part Roll Call reports that the Congressman discussed the matter with House Speaker John Boehner when the subject of a spot on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction arose.

But Roll Call also reports that while Paul Ryan is considering a run for president he is unlikely not to run for the same reasons that held him back so far……….to avoid the fundraising and political demands that would keep him away from his family for extended periods. Another consideration for Paul Ryan would also be the possibility of losing the election and losing his influential position of the House Budget Committee where he is doing good and critically important work.

Much of the speculation about Ryan’s possible presidential candidacy arose from a talk show interview the Congressman conducted by Charlie Sykes, a Milwaukee based radio show host. That exchange went as follows:

Sykes :  “Looking at the Republican field right now, are you confident that the candidates there are able to articulate the issues of the debt and the deficit and the need to reform entitlements in the way that you want to see done?”

Ryan :  (laughing) “Why did you ask me that?”

Sykes“You know exactly why I asked you that question.”

Ryan :  “I know. We’ll see. I didn’t see it last night. I haven’t seen it to date. We’ll see. People’s campaigns evolve – they get better. So we’ll see.”

Ryan :  “Look, the way I see 2012 – we owe it to the country to let them choose the path they want our country to take. And I just have yet to see a strong and principled articulation of the kind of limited government, opportunity society path that we would provide as an alternative to the Obama cradle to grave welfare state.”

Sykes :  “Do you think that it is absolutely essential that there be a Republican candidate who is able to articulate…”

Ryan : (cutting Sykes off) “I do. Because this is how we get our country back. We do it through a referendum letting the country pick the path not by having a committee of 12 people pick the path or not by having just the inertia of just letting the status quo just stumble through by winning a campaign based on dividing people.”

Sykes :  You understands why people think that person should be you?.”

Ryan :  “Well, I keep hearing that. I’m hoping that people will step up and I’m hoping that somebody – I can help them fashion this. You know my story and you know my answer – and I haven’t changed it. We’ve got a long way to go. There’s 15 months left.”

The interview which was conducted last Tuesday, came before the official entry of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who as of today, according to a Rasmussen survey finds Perry the frontrunner in the race ahead of Mitt Romney by 11% and Michele Bachmann by 17%.

Whether or not Congressman Ryan believes that Rick Perry is the candidate who can offer the “strong and principled articulation of the kind of limited government, opportunity society path” that we need,  has yet to be seen, but either way, the Congressman can’t really wait much longer to decide. The very latest he can get into the game would be October. Anything beyond that will be placing any chance for the successful financing and organizing of a campaign a a great disadvantage that will be hard to overcome.

Much like Paul Ryan, my thinking about the Republican presidential race also changed “profoundly” when Governor Mitch Daniels decided not to seek the nomination. For me, Mitch Daniels was one of the best qualified people to address our predominant economic problems and was a candidate with whom a good campaign to defeat the President could have been built around. With Daniels out, and others like Sarah Palin not in, while I have found many things I liked about such people as Mitt Romney, I have not yet  been confident enough to throw my support behind any of them. But that will not be the case if Paul Ryan runs. If Ryan runs, White House 2012, the sister blog of POLITICS 24/7  will have itself a Ryan 2012 correspondent in me.

Paul Ryan represents the true future of the G.O.P. and as a fiscally responsible leader he is just what America needs. He is a new generation Republican, one who works from the premise of what is best for the nation, not for his poll numbers. That kind of thinking may not win a him the nomination through the type of popularity contest that is today’s politics, but it is the type of honesty that American voters should welcome and demand.

At some point one must stand behind what they believe in not just what they think will win. And beyond any shadow of any doubt, I believe in Paul Ryan , therefore if Ryan does decide to run, win or lose, I will be behind him either until he wins the nomination and the presidency or ends his campaign.

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Freshmen Republicans to Watch in the 112th Congress

Bookmark and Share    The freshman class of Republicans in the 112th Congress is one that could and should hold a lot of sway. Not only is it one of the largest classes, it was also elected on one of the clearest messages that voters ever sent. That message is to stop business as usual and to cut spending and the size and scope of government. This freshman class was elected to change Washington, D.C., not be changed by Washington, D.C., and for many voters this is the Republican Party’s last chance to get things right. And so, given the sentiments that swept these new lawmakers in to office, they must establish themselves by bucking both Party politics and the political establishment. They must demonstrate that they understand fiscal responsibility, limited government, states rights and a willingness to not tow the Party line when its leaders wander off path.

This will at times be hard to do. The old boy’s political network will tempt them to go along to get along and the desire for power can consume them if they forget what they were sent to Washington for. But considering the extremely strong message that sent these men and women to D.C. they will all be wise to not cave in to the traditional trappings of insider politics and Washington.

Given the caliber of many of the new faces on the Hill, there is a vary good chance that they will in fact have a dramatic, positive, impact on the 112th Congress and the legislation it produces. But of this class, I suspect that some will stand out more than others. The following are the names that are most likely to do so.

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  Justin Amash, MI-3:

This 30 year old Michigander has made a name for himself in the Michigan House of Representatives as a leading advocate for government restraint and his consistent commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. As a state representative, Amash set new standards for transparency and accountability. And was one of the first state legislators to list his office expenses, staff salaries, and legislative benefits online. He has also earned a wide following among Michigan voters for posting all of his votes, with explanations and an opportunity for interactive discussion, on his official face book page. Amash understands that we live under the rule of law and not under the rule of men and he has a command of the issues effecting our economy and liberty.

Lou Barletta, PA-11:

Lou Barletta comes to office after serving as Mayor of Hazleton, PA. There he demonstrated his expertise on economic matters and budgets but he became most known for his fight against illegal immigration. Hazleton had become ravaged by an illegal immigrant population that helped the small town’s crime rate skyrocket. Barletta went into action. In 2006, he created an ordinance that made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire illegal aliens and for landlords to knowingly rent to illegal aliens. The measure passed the Hazleton City Council but was subsequently challenged in the courts. The case still drags on to this day but in the meantime, the number of both violent and non-violent crimes in the City of Hazleton continue to decrease. Barletta is a hard nosed but cordial gentleman who is sure to take the same kind of grit and determination that he had as Mayor of Hazleton, to Washington as a Congressman.

Cory Gardner, CO-4:

Gardner is a quick witted, high energy legislator. The Denver Post calls Gardner “the GOP Idea Man,” and he has been recognized as one of the Top 40 young Republican lawmakers in the country by Rising Tide, a publication of the Republican National Committee. As a member of the Colorado State House of Representatives, Gardner was a leader on issues such as economic development, healthcare, and education. In 2007, he created the Colorado Clean Energy Authority, which has helped to bring millions of dollars in development to Colorado. With a focus on limited government, Cory Gardner believes strongly that reducing taxes is the best way to grow the economy and provide jobs. As a former leading conservative voice in the Colorado state legislature, he promises to be one in the 112th session of Congress too.

Adam Kinzinger, Il-11:

32 year old Adam Kinzinger is a Captain in the Air Force who has served in the Special Ops, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and the Air National Guard. Before his military career, at the age of 20, he challenged a twelve-year Democrat incumbent for the McLean County Board and in a campaign that focused on bringing local government back to the people, he became one of the youngest county board members in McLean County history. Today, Kinzinger has proved that he understands the value of American freedom and is committed to protecting and serving the nation both in uniform and elected office. He has the skills and drive to rise above the political noise, bring government back to the people and to create a lasting positive impact on Congress.

Allen West, Florida-22:

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (US Army, Retired) is a Bronze Star winner who has also been awarded three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award. With twenty years of distinguished military service, West now aims his fight on Congress where he intends to curb out of control Government spending, work for across the board tax cuts, and combat our economic woes by getting back to basics and transitioning to a flat tax system for both individuals and businesses. West is an aggressive and articulate voice for conservatism and has a deep rooted concern for the proper education of America children. Allen West knows that their opportunities can be endless with the right education and that our nation’s future depends on their ability to take advantage of those opportunities. Allen West is sure to be a thorn in the side of liberals and you can be sure that he will not sugarcoat his opposition to the left side of the aisle.

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Those are five freshmen members of the House whom you can expect to stir things up. They will be joined by several veteran G.O.P. House members who are also worth watching; incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, New Jersey’s Scott Garrett, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Mike Pence of Indiana and Virginia’s Eric Cantor. These five individuals are probably the best chance Republicans have when it comes to keeping to the much touted, conservative pledge to America that Republicans took during the campaign of 2010. But now these five have five exceptional new voices on their side.

In the Senate, things are quite different than in the House. The rules of the Senate allow for one member of that chamber to make more of an immediate difference than House members can. Here, although Republicans remain in the minority, their increased numbers will be made quite formidable as strong conservative voices like Jim DeMint and John Thune join with the following five freshmen senators.

GOPElephantRight.jpg GOP Elephant Right image by kempite Stars01.gif picture by kempiteGOPElephantLeft.jpg GOP Elephant Left image by kempite

 

Marco Rubio-FL:

 Marco is a standout among any group of people. He is a personable, bright, innovative, energetic, passionate and articulate young conservative who went through one of the toughest and longest campaigns of 2010. For much of the race he was the underdog and not the establishment choice. But patience and perseverance allowed him to prevail as he convincingly persuaded fellow Floridians to the commonsense, conservative cause. A son of Cuban exiles, Marco is an important voice in the Republican Party for Hispanic voters and his ability to attract voters of all persuasions is going to continue to make him an important player in national politics, especially national Republican politics.

Pat Toomey-PA:

This former leader of the Club for Growth is probably going to be one of the most ardent deficit hawks the senate has ever seen. He will be a perfect partner with South Carolina’s Jim DeMint in the cause of fiscal responsibility and limited government. Toomey will most definitely be a strict constitutionalist who will have no problem standing up to his fellow Republicans and most definitely not any Democrat, including President Obama.

 

Ron Johnson-WI:

Johnson was one of those TEA Party backed candidates who came out of nowhere to slay a liberal giant—Russ Feingold. His campaign was not the best but voter sentiment in Wisconsin was so soured by the direction that the country was going in that they wanted a definite change. Politically unencumbered, fresh faced, conservative, businessman Ron Johnson proved to be the man that Wisconsin voters saw fit to deliver that change. Expect Johnson to take some time getting his feet wet in Washington, but very soon he will be demonstrating a hard-line on budgetary matters and a very valuable independent streak.

Rand Paul-KY:

Rand Paul is another candidate whose race was particularly hard fought. He was also not originally the establishment choice but strong conservative support and energetic TEA Party backing pushed Rand Paul over the top in the end. Rand has many of the more appealing libertarian tendencies of his well known father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul but is a bit more pragmatic. Rand believes in a strong national defense and understand that the defense of the nation is the federal government’s number 1 priority. He insists that funding of the United Nations becomes voluntary, thereby demonstrating a true and accurate level of commitment of individual member states to the U.N.’s success. He also believes that the United States should withdraw from and stop funding those U.N. programs that undermine legitimate American interests. On the economy, Paul is a true free marketer who views the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as having “outlived their usefulness” and harmful to global economic development. Rand Paul is a staunch proponent of spending cuts, balancing the budget, and lowering taxes. Expect Rand to be a very loud voice and major critic of both Parties and the process they often abuse.

Rob Portman-OH:

Like Marco Rubio, Rob Portman is made of presidential timber. He is an experienced legislator and previously served in two separate presidential cabinet offices—–U.S. Trade Representative and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. During his tenure at OMB, the deficit was cut in half. Portman is experienced, accomplished, and when it comes to the federal budget, he is a persistent hawk who has proposed balanced budgets, the creation of new federal spending transparency laws, and fought hard against irresponsible earmarks. In the senate, expect Rob Portman to be a go-to guy on fiscal matters and a leader in the budget process that is growing in importance as well as debt.

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Only time will truly tell how well these 10 incoming legislators will really do but if they show the same kind of stamina, values and sincerity that they have in the past, they will go a long way in bringing the type of real change that Congress and the nation needs.

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Dan Coats Puts Indiana Into Undecided Column & the Senate Map Gets Browner

Bookmark and Share   Following up on our recent assessment of the Senate races taking place in the 2010 midterm elections, today POLITICS 24/7 moves Indiana into the possible Republican pickup column.

Despite his attempts to sound conservative, Evan Bayh has a lot to answer for and although he is usually on solid ground, Bayh was standing on a bed of shifting sand in this anti-Democrat, anti-incumbent environment.  However; Bayh is well established and has a history of convincing people that he is much more conservative than his voting record shows. So we saw his reelection as tougher than usual but safe.

But not anymore.

Senator Dan Coats has entered the race, and now that he has, with his favorable and reputable record make him a real threat to Evan Bayh as Americans sour on Bayh’s liberal party affiliation and support for some major liberal initiatives.

So In addition to New York, Washington, and Wisconsin being possible pickups for the G.O.P., POLITIICS 24/7 now adds Indiana to the list.

These increasingly competitive seats are just icing on the cake that so far has Republicans beating Democrats in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. That’s eight seats. If Republicans can pick up one of the four possible pick up seats, that would give the G.O.P. fifty seats to the Democrats seats. That would allow Vice President Joe Biden to cast the deciding vote. If they can win two of the four pickup seats that would give Republicans 51 seats and majority control, making Joew Biden as inconsequential as he really is.

For a full analysis of the 2010 senate election map and the other races, see; 2010 Senate Races Are Turning The Map “Brown”

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2010 Senate Races Are Turning The Map “Brown”

Bookmark and Share   After Massachusetts went Brown for Scott Brown, POLITICS 24/7 recently noted that if the G.O.P. can convince voters that they have learned a lesson and truly understand that Americans are looking for a limited, constitutionally driven government, that minds its own business and focuses on that which it is suppose to, such as our national defense and sovereignty, they are on schedule to pick up a minimum of 27 House seats and 7 Senate seats. 

If Republicans can not only convince voters that they learned their lesson but also go a step further and organize themselves around a unified message, I also pointed out that they can actually pick up as many 9 or 10 Senate seats and 41 House seats to achieve a 218 to 217 seat majority and a 50/50 split or 51/49 majority in the Senate.

Over the past few days, as seen in the map below, the odds of the high end of these predictions rather than the low end, have increased greatly, especially in the Senate, where some seemingly safe Democrat seats are leaning more toward the toss up column.

In Colorado, the Centennial State, Democrat Michael Bennet, whose election is already in doubt, is looking to be in even more doubt. Bennet, was appointed by the state’s unpopular Governor, to fill Republican Ken Salazar’s seat after President Obama appointed Salazar to his Cabinet as Interior Secretary. Now it is looking like Senator Bennet’s shaky bid to a full term in the Senate will be further damaged by a challenge for the Democrat nomination from Andrew Romanoff who has just signed some high priced and reputable Democrat consultants and pollsters to his primary campaign. This will undoubtedly make it even more difficult for Democrats to compete in an environment that is becoming less and less friendly for them in Colorado as each day passes.

A quick fly over to the East and a look at Deleware reveals that since the son of the favorite son of the Diamond State, Joe Biden, is not going to seek his fathers old Senate seat, Republican Congressman Mike Castle has this one almost in the bag. Considering the lousy environment for Democrats this time around, Beau Biden is conceding that race to Castle and running for reelection as the state’s Attorney General.

From the Diamond State in the East, we head back to the West and the Silver State, where another political gem reveals itself for Republicans.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s poll numbers have him plummeting to earth in a death spiral that has gravity hurtling him to the ground faster than Martha Coakley in a race against Scott Brown, and unlike Coakley, who Reid’s Republican opponent will be, is not even official yet.

According to financial filings released this past Friday, the Democrat leader turned out his weakest fundraising quarter of the entire past year. Not a good sign for a campaign that is trying get his reelection bid off the ground. In addition to that, approval ratings in the low 30’s are not a good sign of Reid’s ability to bring in a hell of a lot more money for what is looking like a doomed reelection bid.

While we’re here in the West, Washington State is worth looking at. Here we find that once safe Democrat Senator Patty Murray’s sneakers are beginning to wear thin on the voters of the Evergreen State. Here, a new poll shows that three term incumbent Patty Murray pulls 42% against two time Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi who polls 45% in a Murray-Rossi match-up.

But the fault line that lies in the Democrats base does not end there. From The Evergreen State, it meanders eastward to the Badger State where the confident and once secure liberal lion cub, Russ Foolsgold, I mean Feingold, now finds himself at risk if former Governor Tommy Thompson runs against him. If Thompson does decide to go for it, something which he is seriously mulling over, Thompson would take 47% to Feingold’s 43%.

But the more you travel this great land of ours, the worse the news gets for Democrats.

As is the case south of Wisconsin, in Missouri where voters in the Show Me State seem to want to see something more than the Carnahan dynasty represent them. Robin Carnahan, the Secretary of State and daughter of the former Governor Mel Carnahan is looking to run for the seat that her father ran for and won, even though he was killed in a plane crash only days before the election. Governor Carnahan’s posthumous victory allowed the Lieutenant Governor that succeeded Mel upon his death, to appoint Mel’s wife…..Robin’s mother. But since then Mama Carnahan lost that seat in a special election and now Robin is seeking to get back the seat that she sees as part of her families inheritance. The only problem is that Robin Carnahan is now behind her Republican opponent, Roy Blunt by 6 percentage points. On top of that in the last quarter Carnahan’s financial reports indicate that she has been having a tough time getting financial support.

Having seen the Show Me State’s state of political affairs, The Keystone State offers an even sadder situation for Democrats as now incumbent Democrat Arlen Specter finds himself in a primary against Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak. That will be a race that simply saps out whatever life is left in Arlen’s senate career and make it harder to overcome the 14% that a new poll has him trailing the Republican opponent, Pat Toomey, by.

A bit further East of Pennsylvania and Democrats are even finding the friendly liberal environment of the Empire State to be a challenge. Here, Kirsten Gillibrand finds herself having a tough time keeping Hillary Clinton’s old senate seat as former Tennessee Congressman, Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. starts beating up on her before he even officially challenges her in a race for the Democrat nomination.

In a number of polls, Gillibrand already trails former Republican Governor George Pataki, if he enters the race. Whether he runs or not is still highly doubtful. But with Gillibrand viewed highly favorable by a mere 9% of New Yorkers and unfavorably by 17%, finding a decent Republican who can possibly take this should not be hard………“should not be”, but probably will.   At the very least, a good candidate will force Democrats to pump money into a seat that the DNSC would rather invest elsewhere.

These are just some of the latest developments that only add to the likely Republican takeover of seats in Arkansas, Illinois and North Dakota. But if none of that worries Democrats yet, one thing that should is a very common denominator. All of these candidates, not to mention Arkansas, Illinois and North Dakota as well, have the Democrat incumbents and the likely Democrats nominees approval ratings that are below 50%. Historically, at this stage of game, just a mere nine or so months away, any incumbent who is preferred by less than half of their constituents, is in trouble.

That in and of itself means big trouble for most Democrats and although things could change, it is getting a little late in the game to turn things around.

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