Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

romney’s uphill battle

Jonathan Martin wrote an excellent piece in Politico today on Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 entitled, “A big warning sign for Mitt Romney.”

Martin writes that many key supporters of Romney in 2008 have not said that they would fully support the candidate running again in 2012.  It is obviously still very early and Romney has not even officially announced he is running yet, but as the author points out the key endorsement of his last presidential bid is remaining uncommitted.

Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) the top elected official in the Granite State whose endorsement of Romney in 2008 was seen as a pivotal moment, said in an interview that he’s firmly undecided about who he’ll back in next year’s primary.

If Senator Gregg ends up supporting someone other than Romney it would be a big blow to him in a state that he very much needs to win.

As the article also points out another key state that Romney would like to win is South Carolina. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)  a former Romney supporter and perhaps more importantly a huge influence among conservatives supported Romney in 2008 but has also not committed to supporting him in 2012.

One thing that could work to Romney’s favor this time around is that Romney supported numerous candidates in 2010 and here in Tennessee he supported current Governor Bill Haslam. If Haslam returns the favor it could catapult him into winning the Tennessee Republican primary which he lost to Mike Huckabee in 2008.

It is much too early to tell how relevant the “non-endorsements” are to his chances. But it is certain that if Romney runs he will need a combination of new support and old support to secure the nomination.

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2011 SOTU

The teleprompter in chief will be speaking at prom night in DC the State of The Union address tonight at 8:55 eastern.  Or as Michelle Malkin as put it, “talk like a Republican day.”

The SOTU  is usually extremely long because of the applause the President is inevitability interrupted with during his message, but on the bright side we don’t have to stare at Nancy Pelosi throughout the speech.

I will be liveblogging the speech here so if you do not want to watch it or just want to read my commentary be sure to check it during and after the speech. I will also likely be liveblogging Paul Ryan’s response after the President’s speech.

Michelle Bachmann will be giving a Tea Party response which will be broadcast online.

Chief Justice John Roberts will be there tonight but Samuel Alito will not which is not surprising considering this happened last year.

Text of Obama’s speech here and according to Dana Perino of the 6,082 words only 207 relate to health care.

Text of Ryan’s rebuttal here

8:16 PM Central: Obama’s first portion of the speech is centered around Congress working together because now bills must be passed by support from both Republicans and Democrats. Is that what the November elections told him?

8:26 Oak Ridge getting some love from 44

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities.  With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

8:31 Obama keeps referencing “winning the future” and other Newt Gingrich ideas. Several people on twitter are noticing this.

8:37 “The third step in winning the future…” more Gingrich. I can’t wait to hear what he says about this speech.

8:48 After a brief note on health care Obama begins talking about the spending freeze which before the speech a great rebuttal was given by Jim DeMint

9:00 Obama praises Republicans and Democrats for passing the START Treaty. Unfortunately TN Senators Alexander and Corker BOTH voted for it. It was a terrible piece of legislation.

9:06 Obama mentions repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the camera cuts to millitary men who sit without applauding. Democrats give standing ovation.

9:12 “From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.” More Gingrich…

Now let’s see what Paul Ryan has got.

9:27 Ryan is doing a good job of talking about what the President has actually done versus what he says he is going to do.

9:29 “Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified.” He goes on to say that Congress owes it to the American people to do a better job.

Very interesting Ryan is focusing almost solely on the economy and jobs. This is what Americans want to hear.

9:34

Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise – but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.

Great job focusing on jobs and the economy. Also he didn’t blame just the Democrats but all of Congress.

Really interested to hear what Michelle Bachmann has to say, I know it will be interesting.

9:49 In opening she says that she was invited to speak and it is not meant to compete with the official Republican response.

Bachmann uses a chart that shows unemployment from the Bush presidency to the Obama presidency.

9:55 “We will push forward…we will proclaim liberty throughout the land.”

Michelle Malkin points out that Bachmann practices what she preaches even though Congressman Ryan does not always do so.

People seem to be up in arms over Bachmann’s response. Apparently pointing out how Obama’s agenda has hurt our economy is uncivil.

rick perry

Rick Perry the Governor of Texas was inaugurated for his 3rd term on the 18th. His remarks Tuesday were dead on as usual. At about the 3:30 mark in the video is where Governor Perry begins the main portion of his speech.

On the topic of spending Perry says, “there is no such thing as the government’s money, it’s the people’s money.”

On the huge increase in job creation Texas has had, “those jobs are more than just statistics.”

Towards the end of his speech he speaks to how Texas can bring the whole country out of our economic downturn. “Our state is the new best hope for small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Although Texas has not experienced the gigantic troubles that many states have they still have a large deficit this year. However they are handling it the right way by cutting expenses which is a crazy concept isn’t it?

As a Tennessean I hope that newly elected Bill Haslam can accomplish half as much as Perry has. Perry is very popular all across the country and he has been making appearances all over the U.S. promoting his book, but unfortunately he has denied having any interest in running for president. I definitely hope this changes because Perry would be a great candidate.

santorum likely to run / UPDATED

“What the president has done — and this is the typical left: We know better, we’ll structure the marketplace, we’ll run it and it’ll be better than if people do it in the private sector. It’s a lie. It doesn’t work.” These are the words of former Senator Rick Santorum in an article from The Hill today about a possible presidential run. In the article written by Shane D’Aprile he says that Santorum has been to Iowa more than any other GOP possible presidential nominee.

Here are a few thoughts about a probable Santorum run…

UPDATE (January 20th) : As I mentioned above there is a good chance that Santorum will say something stupid and he has already done that. Playing the race card on Obama is not a good idea…

Herman Cain 2012?

Herman Cain has announced he will be forming a presidential exploratory committee. Unless there is some major setback, controversy, etc. I believe Cain will announce his candidacy. He has already launched a website and is accepting donations.

Cain has a strong business background and a truly American story. He became very popular during the early stages of the tea party movement and has continued to increase his support. I will certainly list more biographical information if he officially announces his candidacy, but now I want to list a few immediate reactions I have to his possible candidacy.

  • Running a business gives you credibility to be an elected official. Anyone who has ran a business knows what kind of hurdles they must overcome that the government throws at them. They also know what life is like for the vast majority of Americans who do have to work a job to make a living. Especially in this day and age we feel politicians don’t listen to the American people or have any idea what is going on outside the beltway but Cain does. Cain has been a businessman virtually his whole life and he has had a great deal of success.
  • Going off my last point he is the prototypical non-establishment candidate. This was extremely appealing to constituents in 2010 and it could possibly be appealing to Republicans in picking a nominee for President. If the Tea Party movement continues to have success and influence the fact that he has spent his whole life outside of the Washington bubble will help him tremendously.
  • He has never been elected to public office. This would be a big setback and a point of major criticism right from the start. However going back to my first reaction this can easily be changed into a positive.

Matt Lewis has a very detailed column about Cain written 6 months ago which gives some good insight into his chances to win in 2012.  I will be interested to see what people’s early receptions are to Cain and how much early publicity he gets because that will define his chances.

decision points

I looked out the window to the treaty room. In the distance I could see the Jefferson Memorial, where the words of the Declaration of Independence are carved into the wall: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Across the Potomac sat the scarred Pentagon. For twenty-six days after 9/11 we had planned and prepared. Now the wait was over. America’s counterattack was under way. The liberation of Afghanistan had begun (p. 184).

This is an excerpt from the memoirs of the 43rd President of the United States aptly called Decision Points. The book is not an autobiography but rather a combination of policies and decisions that Bush made during his two-term presidency. Bush gives an in depth look into his decision making on a variety of policies. Each chapter is broken down into separate issues where Bush explains why he did what he did. Below are a few reactions I had to the book.

1) You would feel differently about the world if every morning the first thing you did was get an intelligence briefing. This seems obvious but in Bush’s book you really get a feel for what it is like to have the pressure of protecting a nation weighing down on you at all times. For example, there was a great deal of intelligence relaying that there was an imminent attack planned for October 30th -31st 2001, that would be, “bigger than the World Trade Center attack.” Dick Cheney was moved to a safe undisclosed location, but Bush decided not to change any plans and on the 30th the President famously threw out the first pitch of the Yankees/Diambondbacks World Series game.

2) In my international relations classes in college we often spoke about how if Bush had to do it over again he probably wouldn’t have entered Iraq. I agreed with this assumption, but after reading the book I could not have been more wrong. If you only read one chapter of the book it should be the 8th which is on Iraq. Bush sums up his thoughts on Iraq with this statement.

I strongly believe that removing Saddam from power was the right decision. For all the difficulties that followed, America is safer without a homicidal dictator pursuing WMD and supporting terror at the heart of the Middle East. The region is more hopeful with a young democracy setting an example for others to follow. And the Iraqi people are better off with a government that answers to them instead of torturing and murdering them (p. 267).

3) 15 billion. That is the amount President Bush committed to give the people of Africa to fight AIDS/HIV with the PEPFAR plan (President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief). This is something that does not get talked about nearly enough. Most people are unaware that Bush did anything to fight AIDS, but I believe that this is something that will have a lasting impact. Bush sums up the immediate impact PEPFAR had.

By the time I left office in January 2009, PEPFAR had supported treatment for 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people. American taxpayer dollars had helped protect mothers and babies during more than 16 million pregnancies. More than 57 million people had benefited from AIDS testing and counseling sessions (p. 353).

I certainly am not the only one who has gotten the book, Decision Points has already sold more copies than Bill Clinton’s My Life Another book that is already out which gives great information on the Bush presidency is Karl Rove’s book.